Episode:Civilization—Modern Development (Part 1)

From Symmetry of Soul

Despite the miscarriage of the plans for world betterment—the Caligastia betrayal and the default of Adam and Eve--the organic evolution of the human species continued to carry the races forward in the scale of human progress and racial development. Evolution can be delayed but it cannot be stopped.

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Keywords: Urantia, Climate, Agriculture, Domestic Animals, Dwellings and Pottery

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

We re-emphasized the profound significance of the seven levels of mortal wisdom listed at the end of section seven in the previous week’s text. In particular we are encouraged to challenge ourselves to attempt to penetrate beyond the face value of the words used to describe the levels by recalling that each tier pertains to mortal wisdom and that wisdom is derived from tribulation of some sort. As with so many of the various levels, stages, or tiers revealed in our ascension, they are sequential and hierarchical. With that in mind, approach the lowest first and reflect as to your achievement or mastery thereof. Consider, that the higher you go up any of these levels the more you are transcending the validity of the language used to characterize them.

Paper 81. Development of Modern Civilization

Despite the miscarriage of the plans for world betterment intended by the first two epochal revelations to Urantia, basic organic evolution continued. Evolution can be delayed but it cannot be stopped. As we may remember from the marriage and family arc in Paper 84 evolution succeeds in what even revelation fails to accomplish. The biological uplift from the violet race, while less than planned, yet produced an advance in civilization since the days of Adam, far in excess of the progress of mankind during its entire previous history. Revelation is evolutional, not revolutional. In truth, revelation and evolution are the same phenomena. As we are told in [196:3.15] “Thus it appears that all human progress is effected by a technique of conjoint revelational evolution.” The cosmos is one integrated system. Thus, physical, biological and social evolution is an integrated phenomenon.

81:1. The Cradle of Civilization

Throughout this section we are presented with geological processes and climatic phenomena that appear coincidental if not conspiratorial in compelling Eurasian man to abandon hunting for the more advanced callings of herding and farming, something which the 1st and 2nd ER failed to complete. Climate was the decisive factor in the establishment of civilization in the so-called cradle of civilization in southwestern Asia, extending from the Nile valley eastward and slightly to the north across northern Arabia, through Mesopotamia, and on into Turkestan.

The truth in the revelation can be found when the physical evolutionary changes of the environment and the biological evolutionary progress of man are seen holistically, not separate or independent phenomena. Interestingly, in the early stages of the march towards the goal of light and life, the physical evolutionary changes are more determinative in the particulars of this path. As civilization advances, mankind’s collective personal choices gain ascendency in influencing the course of planetary evolution. As we are reminded, the universe exists to be inhabited and it is mind made and personality managed.

The transition to agriculture was largely responsible for such a large proportion of the human race becoming omnivorous in dietetic practice. The combination of the wheat, rice, and vegetable diet with the flesh of the herds marked a great forward step in the health and vigor of these ancient peoples.

Concerning current attitudes about climate change we pointed to two factors that make the topic difficult to understand. First, in our planetary history climate has gone through all manner of change and can be expected to continue to do so. Second, human’s historical perspective is notably very short when compared to geological and climatic changes, such that we view these phenomena in an existential context and interpret any change as detrimental. That humans are causal elements in this change, which is commensurate with personality dominance in advancing civilization, should impel mankind to scrutinize and determine our appropriate influence.

81:2. The Tools of Civilization

The growth of culture depends on tools, and the resulting liberation of manpower for the accomplishment of higher tasks. We discussed the role of the combined influence of the 4th, 5th, and 6th adjutant mind spirits in developing these tools and subsequently utilizing the earned leisure for thoughtful reflection and social thinking.

Reprising sections 6-8 of Paper 69 from an elevated perspective, our author developed further the role of the first four great advances in human civilization: taming fire, domestication of animals, enslavement of captives, and private property.

While fire presented immediate benefits to primitive man, its role in unlocking the doors of the scientific world had to await his more earnest search for true causes to replace his supernatural explanations of natural phenomena. It was just such frank, honest, and fearless searching that gave birth to modern science.

The development of living tools (animal domestication) prepared the way for both agriculture and transportation. And again we have to appreciate the holistic nature of the evolutionary process wherein climatic and geographic pressures drove migration to those areas where animals best suited to domestication were to be found.

The rise of agriculture brought the institutions of slavery and private ownership of land, raising the masters’ standard of living thus providing more leisure for social culture. Looking forward, the emerging scientific civilization will continue to set man free from the necessity for unremitting toil, notwithstanding the transient problems produced by the prolific invention of machinery. The leisure attained thereby is critical to man’s ability to think, to plan, to imagine new and better ways of doing things.

The final six paragraphs underscore again the wholeness of the evolutionary process demonstrating how man’s early efforts to find and improve structures for shelter evolved into basket weaving and advances in pottery making. In a heads up to those keen on finding hard evidence of man’s origins and early times our author reminds us that the Dalamatian and Edenic regimes have tremendously complicated the smooth course of human evolution.