Episode:Religion in Depth—Social Problems (Part 6)

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November 15, 2016 (Paper 99:4-5)

Man’s greatest spiritual jeopardy consists in partial progress, the predicament of unfinished growth: forsaking the evolutionary religions of fear without immediately grasping the revelatory religion of love. Today, amid unprecedented scientific achievement and mechanical development, there is spiritual stagnation and philosophic chaos.


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Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

Moving forward in our study of Paper 99, the authors wish to develop the idea that genuine religion is the means for an individual person to achieve and maintain stability in these times during which the social ship has steamed out of the sheltered bays of established tradition and has begun its cruise upon the high seas of evolutionary destiny. Genuine religion serves to attach the individual to the constancy of eternity, as opposed to what passes for religion which binds the individual to the material phenomena and the fluctuations of time. Thus the genuine religionist is able to experience the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness as the focal points of supreme reality while yet in time. As mentioned, that which binds us to the material and temporal is not religion in the true meaning of the word. Material phenomena are inherently variable and ephemeral, hence unstable, but beauty is the reflection of the eternal Isle.

99:4.6

Continuing in our section on transition difficulties, we drilled down into the nature of the unsettledness of today and the phenomena of unprecedented scientific achievement and mechanical development contrasted with spiritual stagnation and philosophic chaos. We noted how the animated and emotional activities of mankind are activities of the MIND spurred on by the religious impulse rather than of or pertaining to spirit. The many nuances and details of this discussion remain to be re-discovered in the archive of this broadcast.

We continued on to the nagging question of what constitutes genuine religious activity. Because of challenging secondary influences on religion of sudden mixing of cultures, intermingling of creeds, diminution of ecclesiastical authority, and other factors, devising and initiating genuine religious activities today is extremely complex. Since real religion is a purely personal experience, a suggestion was put forth that the private practice of religion is not dangerous provided the individual practitioner does not lose the motivation for unselfish and loving social service. And that the concerted effort towards creating group religious activities be seen as secondary in importance to the individual’s cultivation of courageous and independent cosmic thinking and the practice of true prayer and real worship, real religion.

Genuine religion cannot be broken of disrupted because it is bound back to eternity. There are many sincere, humble children of God who are trying to give God a place in their lives, but their faith is tied to things temporal. The 4th ER, Jesus, taught for them to reset their faith by accepting sonship by grace. But the 5th ER is looking for adults of God who can present the truth of the need for personal spiritual experience to institutional religionists and secular humanists alike. Life in the material comfort era mitigate against this by offering counterfeits for real religion in the form of feeling service and self exaltation, leaving the upper domains of personal activity stagnant, with the attendant philosophic chaos. Remember the fruits of genuine spiritual experience will be expressed outwardly automatically.

Peace in the religious world will not come until the struggle is ended among the three partial and contending religious philosophies: the spiritistic beliefs in a providential Deity, humanistic and idealistic beliefs, and the conceptions of mechanistic and naturalistic science. These three approaches must be harmonized through the revelatory presentation of religion, philosophy, and cosmology portraying the three-fold actuality of spirit, mind, and energy proceeding from the Trinity of Paradise and attaining their time-space triunity within the Deity of the Supreme. All of this is a restatement of this final paragraph and a fancy way of saying in addition to consecrating your will to the perfect will of God the Father, a second consecration of your mind to the universal harmony of God the Mother. (Please listen to the archive for the detailed discussion of this final paragraph of the section).

5. Social Aspects of Religion

We read the first half of this section. The corollary of the personal spiritual experience of sonship with the Father, is knowing man as a brother, thus ensuring the need for the adjustment of the self to other selves, giving rise to the formation of religious groups, with their historically evident transformation into a social, political, and economic groups. In primitive society there was often little difference between these groups. We are reminded that religion has always been a conservator of morals and a stabilizer of society. Thus are the false teachings of twentieth century socialism and humanism—that man does not need God—summarily dismissed.

The final five short paragraphs of our reading were completed in the final ten minutes of our broadcast and are summarized briefly.

True religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother, not a set of beliefs in threats and promises.

Jesus’ religion set aside belief systems, calling mankind to the eternal quest for perfection.

Religion’s function—the social association of the spiritual membership of the kingdom of heaven—is dependent upon its separation from all other groups.

Jesus attempted to restore man’s dignity declaring that all men are the children of God by grace, and not depraved by nature.

Any religious belief that spiritualizes the believer will redound to the manifestation of the fruits of the spirit.


Notes by Brad

  • How to anchor your inner life to the cosmos? Don't overthink it, don't over-feel it. Just wake up each day and know that you are connected to eternity. "Predicated on that face, I will not let the vagaries of the day un moor me."
  • Keep zeal under control, from the top-down, in the inner life. Make it the spirit of worship, not the energy of zeal.
  • "How can I find stability in my life?" Genuine religion can do this, but only if it's genuine--not what has been called religion, or just having deep feelings.
  • Don't bind your concept of beauty to objects (that are in time and perish). Instead bind beauty back to eternity, and appreciate that the material object gave you a glimpse.
  • Even when a car pass you on the road and you think, "That's a beautiful car," recognize that only a human can have that thought. Appreciate how profound even a little moment like that is; allow it to lighten your day.
  • Only thousands upon thousands of humanly dislocated people? Why so few? Because most humans have never been humanly located, ever, anyway (limited biologic uplift and all)
  • We have spiritual stagnation? It doesn't feel like we do! But we do. Emotions are churning, but that isn't spiritual nature.
  • Philosophy is the superadditive consequence between science and religion.
  • The point of life is not supposed to be a stagnant pool of spirit for you to float on. If you search deeply and find that stagnant pool, that's a problem.
  • When you find real religion, you find an on switch that cannot be turned off. The wells of feelings always run dry, the well of spirit does not.
  • Reaching up to grasp the cosmos, and synchronize yourself with it... there is nothing natural about that, it's an artform.
  • Religion is tied to eternity and spirit. And that's not a thought many people have ever had before.