Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Crisis and Consequences (Part 9)

From Symmetry of Soul

Until the races become highly intelligent and more fully civilized, there will persist many of those childlike and superstitious ceremonies which are so characteristic of the evolutionary religious practices of primitive and backward peoples. The acceptance of the traditional religions of authority presents the easy way out for man’s urge to seek satisfaction for the longings of his spiritual nature.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Religion of Fear, Religion of Mind, Religion of Spirit

Note: Ann Garner filled in for Andrea Barnes this week.

Summary by Kermit

Commentary after Review

In light of the recent lessons from the apostles sojourn at Caesarea-Philippi concerning the grave danger of allowing a sense of sacredness to become attached to nonsacred things, and the proclivity of man to imbue material objects with spirit content (fetishism), we briefly discussed ways to appropriately think and talk about the tragic burning of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Recognizing the significance of institutional religion in the development and maintenance of civilization, it is altogether fitting to join with our fellows in mourning the material damage to this symbol of man’s cultural and spiritual striving.

155:5. The Discourse on True Religion

Rather than quoting Jesus’ memorable discourse, the midwayers chose to summarize, and restate in modern phraseology the more abstract portions of his address.

Man’s religions have natural and revelatory origins. From this double origin man’s religious urge finds three distinct manifestations:

  • primitive religion,
  • the religion of civilization, and
  • true religion—the religion of the spirit.

A moment’s reflection reveals these three manifestations to be aligned with triune reality, matter, mind, and spirit. Even primitive religion, which is so decidedly based on matter, a religion of fear, contains an element of revelatory content, either from epochal sources (Planetary Prince’s staff) or the auto-revelatory function of the Holy Spirit encircuitment. The intellectual theology of the authority of established religious tradition represents primitive religion which has been uplifted by revelation and subsequently codified and standardized. True religion—the religion of the spirit—while based predominantly on the advancing epochal and auto-revelatory sources, still retains elements of our service to the two masters of our life in the flesh. The three forms of religious devotion can be likened to three stages of human development:

  • child,
  • adolescent, and
  • adult.

Man’s path to true religion is the evolutionary process of a temporal material creature following hints through grace leading up to the reality of spirit, the foundation of true religion. Personal reflection should expose all three influences in one’s own religious evolution.

We spent some time seeking deeper understanding of a cornerstone of true religion—human experience. Having defied definition since the beginnings of man, thanks to the 5th ER we have a basis for understanding what human experience actually is. A deceptively simple definition of human experience yet requiring reflection is given in [102:4.2]. In the words of a Melchizedek revelator: "It is simply any interplay between an active and questioning self and any other active and external reality."

Jesus deplored the fact that the religion of fear and superstition has persisted in the religious forms of the more intelligent races of mankind. Further he clarified that the difference between the religion of the mind and the religion of the spirit consists in the locus of confirmation and certainty—ecclesiastical authority on one hand and human experience on the other. Note that ecclesiastical authority does not brook nor satisfy the questioning of a truth seeker.

Following the introductory material presented by the midwayers, the Master aggressively contrasts the drawbacks and deficiencies of the religions of authority with the dynamic challenges and rewards of true religion. Here we are treated to a particularly soaring and lengthy paragraph consisting of one sentence. This address also includes one of SoS often cited passages: “The religion of the spirit means effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, love, loyalty, and progress.” Listen to the archive for our discussion of some of the deeper aspects of this path to progress involving the ascent up the levels of meaning to the 6th LoM, being reborn of the spirit, and re-approaching yourself from the top down, reflecting more of the cosmos within you than was initiated by grace to begin with.

Here the midwayers begin using quotation marks in the text as Jesus speaks more specifically to their circumstances of the present. He concludes his remarks with an emotional appeal and challenge to the twenty-four presenting them with a fork-in-the-road choice, which way will you go? Will they take the easy path of conformity to an established and fossilized religion or suffer the difficulties and persecutions attendant upon their mission of proclaiming a better way of salvation.

The twenty-four apostles and evangelists all signaled their loyal response, whereupon Jesus directed that they go apart each one alone and find their unemotional answer to his challenge. And then speak their answer to the Father, whose infinite life of love is the very spirit of the religion they proclaim.

Following their alone time with spirits uplifted and minds inspired they reconvened only to be instructed to continue their journey while they prayed the Father to transform their emotions of mind and body into the higher loyalties of mind and more satisfying experiences of the spirit. They journeyed in silence but could go no farther and Peter going up to Jesus asked to hear more of his words of life and truth.

Notes by Brad

  • Concerning the catastrophic fire at historic Notre Dame in Paris
    • Evolutionary religion is all around, but let's remember we'd be nowhere without it.
    • The people singing hymns in the street are acting. Were they religionists, acting? Perhaps!
    • Notre Dame's role in the evolution of civilization cannot be overlooked or understated.
      • Nothing is innately sacred about this observation, per se.
      • Even avowed secularists have been acknowledging this since this fire (yesterday as of this writing).
      • Even non-Christians visit it and experience something beyond the mundane.
      • Even just as a building, it helps anchor civilization. Lose the building and civilization could drift. Civilization is a choice.
      • Look at how often the Jerusalem temple is mentioned in Part IV. Probelms notwithstanding, it anchored the cutting edge of the civilization of its day.
    • Jesus generally worked within the evolutionary framework he was born into.
    • We students, too, also are products of the evolutionary religion process.
      • Lighting a candle for a departed loved one still stirs us emotionally, because it's almost impossible for it not to.
    • There is "subjective weight" and "objective weight" at play at Notre Dame.
    • Yet, there also are fetishes at play in this building, too.
      • And yet, fetishism is not evil in the existential sense. It's evolutionary.

  • The famed section 5 of this paper. But restated! Jesus' exact original words would not make much sense to us these days.

  • We all have an inborn innate religious urge. A mind energy that is a religious urge.
    • The question is: where will this urge go when you respond to it?
    • There is naturally occurring revelation, as well. Remember that revelation is not just epochal revelations. We all are engaged by spirit ministries (e.g., autorevelation)
    • Once primitive religious tradition gets overlaid with a lot of intellectual thinking, the religion of civilization appears.

  • There's a list of 3 forms of religion here. Don't be falsely dichotomous, it isn't all natural or all revelatory; it's a continuum.
    • You still, perforce, serve two masters in this life no matter what you try.
    • This list 3 mirrors another lists of 3 in the threefold actuality: matter, mind, and spirit.
      • 1. Matter, 2. Your thoughts about matter, 3. Spirit added
      • Also: child, adolescent, adult. You can't become an adult without having been a child first.
      • Matter is not to be despised. We start there. We see beauty there.
    • If you think you aren't subject to primitive religion, you simply aren't aware of it. You serve this master, also.
    • Fetishism has its place and time.

  • Why would Jesus deplore? A word rooted in "weeping, crying out?"
    • Perhaps because it is sad to record...
    • Like our reaction to the Notre Dame fire, perhaps we should not belittle it, but also find a way to get beyond it. We should see if we have the potential to do so.

  • Human experience. Human experience. Human experience. Referred to repeatedly
    • How can the religion of spirit be wholly based on human experience?
    • Well, you need a proper definition of experience. Which... well, no one has had before.
    • The revelators tell us in [Paper 102], aptly, in "The Fact of Experience". What is human experience?
      • You must be a questioning self.
      • That is, not animal experiences, of which you might be quite familiar.
      • An animal accepts experiences. An animal does not question experiences.
      • The revelators have helped clear up 2600 years of confusion and groping around in the darkness on this one for us...
      • So, scientific consciousness is needed to obtain true religion. Science and religion need one another.
    • Don't look for the definition of faith in the dictionary. They'll tell you it means you should not question.

  • If all you are is a child of God, all you will experience is primitive religion.
    • God calls us to grow up.
    • What a shame if you embrace "child of God" so tightly, you willfully bind yourself to it and then stop growing.

  • Traditional religion as a refuge for the "distracted and distraught".
    • This is not to be despised. No way would we get through life here without a refuge.
    • Karl Marx's "opium of the people" has a point, but is overly bitter; he wanted to toss religion aside.
      • But would mankind have made it through history without analgesics?

  • Well, here it is. The eight-fold path to progress.
    • Effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, love, loyalty, and progress
    • This author reports explaining this in a colloquial way to acquaintances. And many raise their eyebrows, wondering why you'd want to want struggle in your life.
    • The path of least resistance is a natural law.
    • The path of MOST resistance is an artifical imposition.
      • "Spirit is bliss" is antithetical to what spirit truly is. That's just deindividuation.
    • To be a truth seeker is to be ready, willing, and able to refute everything, even your fondest thought of God.

  • Are you ease-seeking? That is, are you a fancy animal in the material-comfort era?
    • If so, an established and fossilized religion might be for you.

  • What a way to end a soaring speech here. A rejoinder to go pray to God. To step out of time and reflect on the infinite.
    • Not many emotional speeches these days would end with such an epilogue.