Episode:Religion in Depth—Real Nature (Part 3)

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February 7, 2017 (Paper 101:2-3)

Religion can never be observed, much less understood, from the outside. Your only assurance of a personal God consists in your own insight as to your belief in, and experience with, things spiritual. No argument about the personality or reality of God is necessary—or could ever be truly convincing.


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Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

Continuing with the final three paragraphs of section two: While the wisdom of the world is not a prerequisite for the realization of religion, widespread realization of religion without the complement of commensurate wisdom is becoming problematic for our world. Again, we see that the religious consecration of the will to the will of the Father is partial. The second consecration to a cosmic perspective and understanding supplies the foundation upon which a true universe philosophy can be grown. Epochal revelation is needed to assist the seeker in identifying those aspects in the external world to which the word truth can be correctly applied.

Assurance of a personal God consists in an inner life experience with things spiritual. This assurance cannot be given to another. Those who have shared such inner life experiences require no convincing proofs from another. And for those who have not had such an experience, no convincing proof can possibly be provided. The implications of this principle for spreading the gospel suggest that inducement to reflection and fostering favorable conditions in our fellows is preferred to emotional appeals or intellectual arguments. In the evaluation and validation of your own spiritual experiences, separation of the objective from the subjective is required. Further, among the objective aspects of spiritual experience, appearance must be distinguished from reality. This is no small task and constitutes the inner work of the second consecration.

Psychology (the study of the mind) can study the phenomena of religious reactions to the social environment, but not the real and inner motives and workings of religion, which consist of relationship with spirit. Theology, faith combined with revelation, can disclose the nature and content of religious experience. Our discussion of the nature and workings of psychology and theology using references to the three cosmic intuitions and the Spirit of Truth are worthy of revisiting on the archive of the broadcast.

101:3. The Characteristics of Religion

Religion, persisting throughout man’s history has conserved the ethical conscience and moral consciousness, indispensible factors in individual human progress and personal survival. And it has done this in spite of its contamination with erroneous cosmologies and false philosophies. Fundamental religious consciousness does not depend on either science or philosophy. It enables conformation to the cosmos (eternity) via the endowments of the Holy Spirit. Even in the presence of false scientific and philosophic notions religion endures. However, the social expression of religion suffers when accompanied by such false notions.

The second and third paragraphs of this section describe in somewhat technical terms the components and their coordination that constitute man a spirit personality in potential destiny. The components referred to include the spirit endowments of the Thought Adjuster, Holy Spirit, and Spirit of Truth. For some intriguing details and a bit of mystery listen to the archive of the broadcast.

During the final fifteen minutes of the broadcast we examined twelve examples of how the religious faith of the soul of man reveals itself and demonstrates the potential divinity of its emerging nature by the characteristic manner in which it induces the mortal personality to react to certain trying intellectual and testing social situations. These could be thought of as the characteristics of a genuine religionist. All of these reactions involve an unnatural, artificial or atypical response to tribulation. These twelve items are certainly not exhaustive, but present some objective measures by which to assess the state of your progress in religious living. By demonstrating these qualities and characteristics man is entitled to affirm the personal possession and spiritual reality of religious experience.

Thus there are three phenomena by which we can know that man has a divine spirit indwelling him and other spirits impinging upon him.

  • Personal experience—religious faith
  • Revelation—personal and racial
  • The amazing exhibition of such extraordinary and unnatural (artificial) reactions to his material environment (the twelve examples listed)


Religious response Trying life situations
Progress of ethics and morals Animalistic tendencies
Trust in goodness of God Bitter disappointment and crushing defeat
Profound courage and confidence Natural adversity and physical calamity
Inexplicable poise and sustaining tranquility Baffling diseases and acute physical suffering
Mysterious poise and composure of personality Maltreatment and rankest injustice
Divine trust in ultimate victory Cruelties of blind fate and apparent utter indifference of natural forces to human welfare
Persistence of unswerving belief in God Contrary demonstrations of logic and other intellectual sophistries.
Undaunted faith in soul’s survival Deceptive teachings of false science and persuasive delusions of unsound philosophy
Live and triumphs Crushing overload of the complex and partial civilizations of modern times
Continued survival of altruism Human selfishness, social antagonisms, industrial greeds, and political maladjustments
Steadfastly adheres to a sublime belief in universe unity and divine guidance Perplexing presence of evil and sin
Continues worshipping God Anything and everything

“Even though he slay me, yet will I serve him.”

Notes by Brad

  • "I will tell you the truth" is an imprecise term. What people mean is are they being factual. You cannot tell truth. And search engine cannot discern truth (facts? Perhaps).
  • God has already found each of us. Don't try to lead people to God; try to help them open their eyes and recognize where they already are, if you want to do anything.
  • Let go of your love of an elaborate self. Rediscover the child-like properties that were there from the beginning of your life, by grace.
    • This isn't a popular stance in an era of humanism, where the self is glorified and made fancier and fancier.
  • Revelation isn't just through epochal revelations. The synthesis of the three cosmic intuitions is a form of auto-revelation.
  • Theology is a sophisticated term, one we have misused historically. It has several definitions, but it fundamentally is the study of your religion (the study of someone else's religion can proceed a bit through psychology)
  • Dashes and commas don't always define a term in The Urantia Book. Sometimes they discuss it, give varying angles on it.
  • Section 3: Characteristics refer to character, which is a personality-associated word. So this section is about what you would observe as personal expression in a religionist.
  • Section 3 also might be entitled "The Characteristics of a religionist."
  • Thought Adjuster is Spirit of Goodness. Holy Spirit is Spirit of fact. The superadditive consequence between fact and goodness is truth, the Spirit of Truth.
    • More about goodness: [132:2.5]
  • "How can I recognize a genuine religious motivation? A true religious nature manifesting?" There are 12 checkboxes here in Section 3, so to speak.
    • These all are about being given a negative stimulus and reacting positively. A positive reaction to these will not come naturally. It is an artform. Do this and you will be achieving self-mastery, wielding the mastered self.
  • Religious experience is the crowning endowment of human nature.