Episode:Evolutionary Religion—Ghost Cults (Part 5)

From Symmetry of Soul

Regardless of the drawbacks and handicaps, every new revelation of truth has given rise to a new cult. Modern man must find some adequate symbolism for his new and expanding ideas, ideals, and loyalties. This enhanced symbol must arise out of religious living, spiritual experience; a surviving cult must provide supreme goals and be the outgrowth of applied love.

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Keywords: Urantia, True Religion, Spiritual Progress, Moral Values, Cosmic Meanings

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

If the commonly held religious framework today has its foundations in the ghost cult, what does that say about psychopathologies of everyday life? We recognize the 5th ER as a true metaphysics capable of providing a true framework for enhancing human thought. However, to derive benefit therefrom, we must reflectively recognize the foundations and substance of the religious framework into which we were born. This framework bears faint resemblance to that which was initiated by grace with encircuitment in the Holy Spirit around age six. The framework derived from scientific dictation, social usage, and religious dogma must be discerned as taking origin in the ignorance of men. The 5th ER provides key salutary elements e.g., authoritative elimination of error and coordination of essential knowledge for rehabilitating your inherited framework more in keeping with cosmic harmony. The 5th ER does not show us how to think, but gives us a better starting place, better initial assumptions in pursuing cosmic consciousness.

We called attention to the list of seven techniques developed by the ancients for frightening ghosts and driving them away. As an example, cremation continues today and is regarded with a degree of religious significance beyond merely practical considerations. In our assessment of these practices and their ancient roots we should look for elements of valid superconscious origin.

87:6.14 (Coercion and Exorcism cont.)

The author gives more examples of man’s attempts to force favorable actions by the spirits and demigods. Reversion to usages of past ages as in the use of the solemn style of speech in public prayers are still with us. Temple prostitution may have passed away, but sexual energy is still reckoned as having religious significance. Ritual vows, pledges, and oaths, often accompanied by self-torture and later by fasting and prayer were all employed to coerce the spirits. Sex suppression and various flavors of self-denial led to austerity in ancient religious practices. We still see the marked association of ideas of morality and sexuality today. Even though frank coercion is not practiced today by modern man, he still is not above bargaining with God and routinely, almost without thinking crossing fingers, knocking on wood etc., to garner good luck.

87:7. Nature of Cultism

The revelators attempt to rehabilitate the word “cult”, reminding us that the cult fosters and gratifies emotion thereby ensuring a cultural manifestation and survival of its inspiring ideals. Despite the present-day connotations, cult is the root of other positive terms as “culture” and “cultivate.” Even so, the cult, when erroneously fixed and frozen become the greatest obstacle to social reconstruction and spiritual progress. As has often been mentioned, the highest expression of genuine religion is found above the level of feelings, yet it is not without feeling and requires forms for emotional experience.

The early Christian cult was the most effective, appealing, and enduring of any ritual ever conceived or devised. Yet today, because of the loss of many fundamental ideas and underlying tenets, much of its value has been destroyed at the hands of a scientific age.

The final paragraphs of this paper contain precise statements concerning the inevitable new cult destined to appear surrounding the restatement of the 4th ER found in the 5th ER. Adequate enhanced symbolism for the new and expanding ideas, ideals, and loyalties contained in this restatement must arise out of religious living and spiritual experience. Further they must be predicated on the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. This new cult must satisfy the demands of the old cult, i.e., fostering sentiment and satisfying emotion. But it must do more. It must facilitate spiritual progress, enhance cosmic meanings, augment moral values, encourage social development, and stimulate a high type of personal religious living. And it must provide supreme goals of living that are both temporal and eternal—social and spiritual.

If this is not enough, to endure and contribute to the progress of social civilization and individual spiritual attainment, this cult must be based on the biologic, sociologic, and religious significance of the home. Cult survival depends on symbolizing the permanent amidst change and recognize true meanings, exalt beautiful relations, and glorify the good values of real nobility.

Modern men however collectively adhere to a scientific attitude, reject superstition, and hate ignorance, yet individually crave mystery and venerate the unknown. The new cult must address both of these proclivities. The symbolism must be accessible and meaningful for both the individual and the group.

We discussed alternatives for the sincere student of the 5th ER in this matter of developing and participating in a new cult. The revelators explain that we cannot build a new cult, it must grow and evolve. Also, if a cult is too complex it will not function. This does not bode well for those who might want to build a cult around the 5th ER. The revelators provide additional admonitions and warn of pitfalls in this process of arriving at a symbolism of rituals, slogans, or goals connected with the 5th ER, but underscore its importance in the last sentence of the paper. “The cult is the skeletal structure around which grows the living and dynamic body of personal spiritual experience—true religion.

Notes by Brad

  • Today's societal framework is just an evolution of the ghost cult.
    • The 5th ER is a true metaphysics. It offers us a framework in which to think better, think further.
    • A big part of this is reflecting to discover the societal framework you already implicitly were born into. It was not innate. It was not put there by God.
    • Do you think the framework you got by grace at age 6 is still there? Ah, no. Not these days.

  • All psychological pathologies have an origin point.
    • Psychology understands that everything that's going on in your mind is predicated on a certain set of initial assumptions--a framework.
    • Even though "psyche" is rooted in soul and that seems unfortunate for the word psychology, there's a truth there.
    • The 5th ER can help us understand psychology better.
    • The degree to which your mind is diseased can be traced back to this truth: you can only conclude what you assume. What were your assumptions?
    • Found your mind on the ignorance of man and you'll conclude in pathology. Better to found your mind anew, as we've discussed here.

  • Can you renew your relationship to The Urantia Book? Perhaps it's not tell you how to think, but perhaps where to start your thinking.
    • A Thought Adjuster doesn't micromanage your thoughts as they come along. It works by starting you out with better initial assumptions. You're free to think as you will.

  • Do you think you can convince God to do what you want him do by speaking in a solemn style? If so, is that very humble of you? No.
  • Almost everyone in the old wineskins believes there is some magic energy they can wield to countermand the power of spiritual energy that is tormenting you.
    • Sexual energy, crystal energy, music energy, "aura" photography... performances of all kinds.
    • Sex is about as material and far removed from spirit as you can get. Why would you continue to accept the old wineskin that says sex can influence spirit?
    • That said, civilization should consider issues concerning regulation of sex hunger. Just don't consider it a spirit issue. Stay balanced in considering all of this.

  • "But I never thought of prayer in that way! as a magical invocation."
  • "Then why are you using it that way by using those words?"
  • "Well, it's just they way I've always done it, and how I learned it. In Jesus' name we pray is just what we always say."
  • "Exactly. That's the old wineskin. On some unconscious level you're still thinking you can bargain with Deity."
    • Take care what motions you set up in your mind. There's a physics at play there. Were that not the case, the word "unwittingly" wouldn't be in the dictionary.
  • "Gosh, you're right. It's illogical to think I can bargain with Deity, and we can evolve past it."

  • Section 7's 1st paragraph is a foundational one, to reflect back on as you read the rest of the section.
    • It helps explains "what of the evolutionary stream that courses around you.
    • You can do better internally than confining yourself to a cult. But externally there must be a cult! Otherwise you don't have a culture, only a society.
  • Superlative words about the Christian cult in paragraph 4. The deviatlization of it has been caused by the Enlightenment has pointed out many of its beliefs were magical.
  • A meaningless cult would be one with no philosophic framework.
  • There is seemingly advice here about a cult around the 5th ER. We don't like to talk about that because of the negative connotation the word widely enjoys. And at any rate, an enduring cult must grow, not be built. And it must grow outward from the inner life.
    • It's a startlingly direct section--the word must appears in here a lot. But don't think it's specific advice is advice for how to build a cult from the outside-in. That won't result in an enduring, meaningful cult.

  • This inner life work we are charged to do can be helped by some outer-life context.