Episode:Civilization—Modern Development (Part 6)

From Symmetry of Soul

The maintenance of world-wide civilization is dependent on human beings learning how to live together in peace and fraternity. In civilization much, very much, depends on an enthusiastic and effective load-pulling spirit. And such teamwork—social co-operation—is dependent on wise and vigorous leadership.

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Keywords: Urantia, Patriotism, Wisdom, Insight, Foresight

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

We briefly reflected on item number eight the character of torchbearers. Personally, we can recall those in our formative years who were sources of enlightenment. In the revelation we find reference to torchbearers as those who embody the values attained through the long evolutionary struggle for progressive civilization and pass the torch forward to succeeding generations thereby contributing to the conservation of those values.

The final sentence of last week’s reading refers to the stages of progressive civilization and places us, today, firmly in the material comfort era, pointing to the quest for knowledge and wisdom as the next earthly goal of human existence. While we see unmistakable signs today of an increase in the quantity of thinking, the revelation is beckoning us to strive for the wisdom to profitably use the product of all this thinking thereby attaining to a higher quality of thinking


10. Co-ordination of specialists. Division of labor and specialization greatly advance civilization, but without the coordination of specialists the attendant diversification of ability and dissimilarity of employment eventually weaken and disintegrate human society. Remember: the word co-ordination connotes a system of associations of a holistic nature. Due to the ever-expanding spheres of wholeness, the demand for coordination exists at manifold levels of society, and is not restricted to just the leadership.

11. Place-finding devices. Carrying forward the implications of extensive and rapid specialization, our author adds the element of co-operation i.e. personal and willful engagement, as essential in directing and placing individuals in suitable employment situations. And the juxtaposition of the terms place and direction should trigger the recognition in the student of these differentials as expressed in femaleness and maleness.

One of the techniques suggested by the author in addressing the vulnerabilities of an ultraspecialized workforce, is parallel training of citizens in one or more methods of commonplace labor, trades or callings to be utilized in times of unemployment helping thereby to prevent the pernicious effects on the able-bodied but unemployed of the protracted periods of welfare, public or private.

In the face of the need of this co-operative directing and place finding, we are reminded that the tried and failed methods of communism and the establishment of dictatorial regulative institutions based on force are more productively replaced by some technique of intelligent cooperation and fraternal regulation.

12. The willingness to co-operate. This issue will be with us into light and life. A great hindrance to the progress of human society is found in the innate and inevitable conflict among groups and individuals which are found in large more socialized groups, smaller contrary-minded asocial associations, as well as antisocially-minded single individuals. At a national level, intelligent patriotism and national devotion provide a solidarity that can resist the disintegrating effects of provincial jealousies and local self-interests. We examined patriotism in a little more detail noting that the word derives from “father.” Patriotism in its best sense is the zeal for the ideals of the founding fathers as they are manifested in the fatherland. This sentiment embodies loyalty and devotion. National disintegration regresses to a tribal society. Notwithstanding the deleterious qualities of a primitive nationalism, advanced nationalism will persist into light and life. The transition from national divisions on a world to a truly global civilization requires tens of thousands of years.

13. Effective and wise leadership. An enthusiastic and effective load-pulling spirit is an essential ingredient of a genuine civilization. Since Pentecost, with its enhanced spirit ministries, the spirit of brotherhood is found far and wide. But the teamwork and social co-operation required for this spiritual sentiment to find practical application in the outer life demands wise and vigorous leadership. Such leaders will be needed to atone for the deficiency of kindred minds among those of kindred spirit. As our author eloquently characterizes the role of such leaders: “High civilizations are born of the sagacious correlation of material wealth, intellectual greatness, moral worth, social cleverness, and cosmic insight.

14. Social changes. Society is not a divine institution, but a product of progressive evolution. It suffers delay when leaders are tardy in instituting changes necessary to keep pace with scientific developments of the age. We noted that in order to understand the full significance of this idea, the term science is to be broadly interpreted to include disciplines as sociology, psychology, etymology etc. Wise experimentation with the mechanisms of society is encouraged. However, such experimentation is best controlled by those fully conversant with the history of social evolution and guided by experts in the various pertinent technical domains. Further, such social or economic changes should not be attempted suddenly.

15. The prevention of transitional breakdown. Breakdown during the transition from established methods of the past to new and better, but untried procedures of the future stands as a great danger to any civilization. Such is the time in which we find ourselves, and why we have been given the 5th ER. The wisdom, insight, and foresight possessed by our leadership, and recognized by our citizenry is indispensable to the endurance of nations, our nation. Civilization is not really jeopardized until able leadership begins to vanish, and it’s rare to begin with, never exceeding one percent of the population.

The revelators conclude the paper with the sober reminder that these fifteen essential out of which grew, and on which are predicated our rapidly expanding culture of the twentieth century (now twenty-first century) must be adhered to if we are to maintain our civilizations and provide for their continued development and certain survival.

Their final paragraph underscores the increased pace of change we face in that we have left the sheltered bays and are venturing forth on the high seas of evolutionary destiny, plunging forward under the force of the accumulated momentum of all the ages through which civilization has struggled.

Notes by Brad

  • A torchbearer is not merely someone who brought you enlightenment (a great teacher, say). A torchbearer is far greater than that. And they are scarce.
  • "The me generation": a term we all hear and is well understood. A focus on self-involvement. This has been corrosive as it was passed onto the next generation.
  • The 5th epochal revelation has a "short" timescale of relevance here. It's only about getting us to the quest for knowledge and wisdom.
    • The order is important: wisdom is the foundation, and it comes down from the top as a quality.
    • If knowledge were the foundation, it would be bottom-up, and quantity of thinking.
  • just, fair, patient, kind, merciful... and then and only then: love
  • Only in a top-down, big-picture, holistic perspective can one truly co-ordinate the parts.
    • And systems aren't automatic. They are maintained.
  • You can have an intellectual life and be a good specialist. But you must think reflectively in order to take it to the next level, to become holistic in your thinking.
  • Every organization needs systems-level people to coordinate at various levels in the hierarchy. You need lots of these people (only a very few can wiled the entire picture)
    • That is, the wholeness is relative, just like in the cosmos and in the Mother.
  • Co-operation and co-ordinations are personal words as used here, not fancy animal words.
  • I (Brad) work day in and out on highly specialized skills of organization and planning... but I can also hang drywall, and #11 here suggests that's a good thing.
  • The world will reach life and life someday. But the life we leave for our grandchildren is our choice.
  • Asocial associations are ones that are below the level of accepted social interaction.
  • intelligent patriotism: in this case, the -ism is appropriate. It is zeal (religious fervor) applied to the Feather ideal
  • "Vigorous" leadership: many today are distrustful of vigorous leadership.
    • Why? Because of spiritual consciousness: thinking ahead to light and life where usch things are not needed. We DO need them now!
  • Post-Pentecost, we are all kindred spirits, sure, but we are by no means kindred minds. Thus, we need effective leadership.
  • Sagacious is a more powerful word than just wisdom. It connotes a higher wisdom than normal. It encompasses wisdom, insight, and foresight.
  • Wise leadership has never exceeded one percent.