Episode:Religion in Depth—Real Nature (Part 9)
March 21, 2017 (Paper 101:9-10)
Revelation unfailingly enlarges the ethical horizon of evolved religion and expands the moral obligations of all prior revelations. And true religion is that sublime and profound conviction within the soul which challenges man to believe in his highest ethical and moral concepts.
Summary by Kermit
101:9. Religion and Morality
Authentic revelation must recognize the duty demands of ethical obligation derived and upheld by evolutionary religion. In so doing, revelation conserves evolutionary religion. We are challenged to go further to recognize the sacred nature of God’s creativity in time—the process of evolution. Notwithstanding the partiality and imperfections of the current state of religious expression and manifestation, each moment of the evolutionary path is pregnant with divine potentials. Our ensuing discussion distinguished between the terms moral (duty to the cosmos in the inner life) and ethical conduct (interactions with others in the outer life). A parallel between the moral-ethical pair is faith in the inner life and belief in the outer life. The duty to the cosmos that is called moral is foundational to genuine religion. Confusion of the ethical with the moral inevitably leads to a religion consisting largely of a fairytale of conscience. Nevertheless, we are admonished to not judge others’ religion by our own standards of knowledge and truth.
Likewise we are admonished by our resident SoS mentor to exercise care and attention and not lose focus on the individuality of the precision and detail of our author’s words particularly when reading soaring passages that appeal strongly to our unity consciousness. Keep cosmic and do not be satisfied with the merely spiritual. The sublime and profound conviction within the soul that the revelators call true religion, they also characterize as the experience of yielding intellectual loyalty to the highest dictates of spiritual consciousness.
We are further warned that the appreciation and pursuit of beauty is part of religion only when is ethical and enriches the concept of the moral. Reverence for beauty without ethical and moral content leads only to a reverence for unity, devoid of the corrective influence of fatherly affection.
Enlightened spiritual consciousness is not concerned with specific doctrine or dogma, but with finding the good and right technique of responding to the never-ending challenges of mortal existence—finding positive responses to negative stimuli, in short acquiring self-mastery. The final sentence of paragraph five in this section clarifies the translation of moral consciousness in the spiritualized mind (inner life, upper domain) into the dutiful ethical conduct in the outer-life.
One practical manifestation of imperfect albeit genuine religion is the demonstration of ethical conduct intimated above. Another such demonstration of religion is the spiritualized consciousness of divine reality, a product of the coordinated interplay of established concepts of moral values with concepts of spiritual values to produce a faith trust and confidence in reality, both the enhanced realities of time and the enduring realities of eternity. Listen to the archive for our brief discussion of this process referencing the levels of meaning and the three cosmic intuitions.
Thus faith connects moral consciousness and the spiritual concept of eternity. It thereby enables man to escape from the limitations of the temporal and find his way to the supernal realities of the eternal and spiritual world through progressive growth up through the seven levels of salvation we encountered above [101:6.9-15].
101:10. Religion as Man’s Liberator
Reflective mortal man quickly discovers that neither the analysis of cause and effect in the material world, nor the pursuit of ideational continuity in the mental realm is sufficient to antidote the anxiety that comes with the contemplation of death. It is by the faith acceptance of the truth of God that man transcends his material limitations and finds a rational hope of deliverance from death and admission to the spiritual realm wherein is life eternal.
In this final section we are treated to an elegant, soaring, and inspiring culmination of our series on the real nature of religion. With the essential elements of genuine religion (i.e., faith, revelation, morality, philosophy, and more) exposed and their proper configuration revealed we are ready to continue to our exploration of religion in depth.
Notes by Brad
- Duty versus obligation; belief versus faith; there are many word pairs in the 5th ER which might at first appear to be synonyms but they are not.
- "Ever-recurring situations of mortal existence" refers to that observation that we are confronted with the same problems over and over again, and never get past them so long as we have a negative (non-religious) reaction to them.
- Religion starts in the inner life. Then goes "down and out" into the outer life. Even a sense of "pressure" driving it, as in Section 7 here.
- The final paragraph of this paper is soaring in its prose. The word panoply evokes suits of arms, and the paragraph uses battle metaphors throughout (enlisted x2, battle x2, struggle, triumph). Brilliant.