Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Precaution and Preaching (Part 3)
Jesus taught many great truths, such as: Prayer is self-reminding—sublime thinking; worship is self-forgetting—superthinking. Worship is effortless attention, true and ideal soul rest, a form of restful spiritual exertion. Worship is the act of a part identifying itself with the Whole; the finite with the Infinite; the son with the Father; time in the act of striking step with eternity.
Opening thought: "It is in our power to have no opinion about a thing, and not to be disturbed in our soul; for things themselves have no natural power to form our judgments." Or more liberally and popularly translated, "You don't have to turn this into something. It doesn't have to upset you." Marcus Aurielus, Meditations, Book VI, Item 52.
Note: Justin Armstrong filled in for Kermit Anderson this week.
Summary by Andrea
Commentary after Review
Our commentary revolved around the topic of diversion and relaxation. Mention was made about feeling worthy of taking a break when there’s always so much to do. For example, many people pack so much into a vacation that there is no time for true relaxation. A modern-day vacation can be much different from the diversion that Jesus and the twelve must have enjoyed. Jesus knew how to help them free up their overly tight grip on a variety of material issues. He got them to let go so their minds could rebalance between spirit gravity and material gravity.
We also discussed the importance of having a 3-step process when reading the Urantia book or even as we go about our everyday life. These 3 steps as delineated in [196:3.10] include: discovering, recognizing, and interpreting. Using these steps is fundamental to reflective thinking. If we leave out the 2nd step, recognition, we’ll only qualify as a fancy animal. Many people spend their entire lives not reflecting which fundamentally disqualifies them from being truly human. We must ask ourselves, "Am I an active and questioning self that pulls back on the reins and reflects?" And when reading The Urantia Book using these 3 steps we validate the revelation experientially. To be truly human we need reflection.
When we finally begin to transcend emotions, we know we’re becoming truly human. Not that we’re without emotions. But we’ll have a viewpoint above emotion and that viewpoint from above is what allows us to reflect with some objectivity on a given circumstance. Real religion is above emotion and is not some histrionic outward manifestation of life. We can’t do unnatural things when we’re ruled by emotion. And remember we are called to be unnatural in the best sense of the word. A person behaving unnaturally is what Jesus gave us: a new and living way. Let’s remember that drama is not in harmony with a reflective and truly human life.
143:6.6 The Samaritan Revival
Jesus pointed out that the apostles were reaping the harvest of what John the Baptist and his followers had set in motion. He gave the Samaritans everything he could knowing he would not be back again.
Jesus gave them that memorable talk on "The realities which are central in the kingdom of God." He explained that “In any religion, it is very easy to allow values to become disproportionate and to permit facts to occupy the place of truth in one's theology.” By fixating on the cross we can miss the revelation of Jesus of Nazareth, the person, the human. It’s the personality of Jesus, not the facts of his life that can be recognized by our insight.
In our very secularistic society, and our bias toward facts above values, we can find it challenging to find value in our lives. Even if we don’t understand the physics of truth, we should know it’s different from fact. Facts end up occupying the place of truth. Again, in any interpretation of the Urantia papers, we want to include that step of recognition. Truth is something that we gain through a synthesis of the book. It’s the physics of the human mind that allows for this.
What Jesus taught the apostles on Mt. Gerizim (pro: gerazeeem) was that he wanted all men to see God as a father/friend. He told them that "love is the greatest relationship in the world—in the universe—just as truth is the greatest pronouncement of the observation of these divine relationships." We noted the way the revelators speak about truth. Are they trying to define truth after telling us it can’t be defined? Perhaps they want us to define truth by ourselves and for ourselves. In fact, if we are really living the truth it will be self-evident. It is through the truth that we reflect the cosmos. The Urantia Papers have this theme running throughout the text.
143:7 Teachings about Prayer and Worship
In this section, we see that the revelators go back and forth between describing aspects of the Father and the Mother. One is the individuality of the parts (the father) which establishes your real nucleus point and the mother which is the individuality of the whole. It is the Mother which gives us the sphere that encompasses that truth nucleus that we can then radiate outward.
This section also clarifies the terms prayer and worship for us. It is not designed to increase knowledge but increase wisdom. Prayer is programmed into us and we can climb it like a ladder that will settle the incessant clamoring of self.
We read that “Worship is intended to anticipate the better life ahead and then to reflect these new spiritual significances back onto the life which now is.” The term enlightenment comes to mind because if worship is thinking the truth and we reflect those significances back onto our life here and now it’s like shining a light into our life—allowing for enlightenment.
Worship is the act of a part identifying itself with the Whole. In the word Whole, when they capitalize the W they are referring to the Mother. Here they are talking about synchronization with Mother Deity. They are talking about personal communion and synchronization with the Mother. That is what thinking the truth is, that’s what philosophizing is, that’s what worship is.
And when it comes to the discussion of the Mother, it’s interesting that they use the word romantic. We mentioned that women tend to be the romantic ones in a relationship so that makes sense.
Paper 144. At Gilboa and in the Decapolis
We started into this first section of the next paper where we find Jesus taking the apostles to a secluded camp on Mt. Gilboa. There were 3 reasons that Jesus took them apart.
- The Jerusalem religious rulers were very antagonistic.
- Herod Antipas still held John in prison, fearing either to release or execute him, while he continued to entertain suspicions that John and Jesus were in some way associated.
- The tension between the leaders of John's disciples and the apostles of Jesus grew worse with the increasing number of believers.
Reflecting on these circumstances, we are always encouraged to remember that the Whole (with a capital W) is in charge, not the parts... and so Jesus, the creator of our universe waits...
Notes by Brad
- Playing off of [143:6.3], we stated: "In any interpretation of the Urantia papers, it is very easy to allow values to become disproportionate, to permit facts to occupy the place of truth in one's system of understanding."