Episode:Marriage and Family—The Ideals (Part 6)

From Symmetry of Soul

Almost everything of lasting value in civilization has its roots in the family. The family was the first successful peace group, the man and woman learning how to adjust their antagonisms while at the same time teaching the pursuits of peace to their children. The function of marriage in evolution is the insurance of race survival.

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Keywords: Urantia, Marriage, Family, Home, Pleasure

Note: Kermit mentions that we had previously studied the Mediterranean tour of Jesus with the Indians. In fact, we only touched upon those topics here-and-there in previous episodes.

Summary by Kermit

68:2. Factors in Social Progression

Man’s dislike of isolation and his early efforts to overcome it led to the development of civilized society. Even in the absence of mutual affection, the turbulent path of man’s history led to progress in the development of civilization, albeit the civilization thus attained may appear to be an inconsistent mass of striving and struggling. Yet, the revelators point to such striving as earnest in contrast to the deadly monotony of stagnation. Again, we see that early man’s initial movements and actions are preferable to doing nothing. As the saying goes, God can't steer a parked car. We are to beware of attempting to cultivate a relationship with existential reality at the expense of action. We are reminded concerning our relationship with the Supreme, “—one must do something as well as be something.”

The rate of cultural progress depended upon the level of intelligence and progressed just as fast as it succeeded in lessening pain and increasing pleasure. Thus does the whole social body move forward to the goal of destiny—extinction or survival. The destiny endpoint depends on whether man’s goal is self-maintenance (S-M) or self-gratification (S-G). This binary destiny endpoint here is either eternity or oblivion. For self-maintenance (S-M) originates society and excessive S-G destroys civilization. We have often mentioned on this broadcast that today, our civilization is at risk of collapse. Further, that the fifth epochal revelation (5th ER) has been given to us now, that we might avoid such a collapse. Our civilization could be seen as going through an adolescence. Adolescence, whether in the collective or as an individual is a vulnerable period. While the trauma and catastrophe of the individual can be remedied on the mansion world, the same cannot be said for aberrations in the collective, hence we have an emergency situation. Note that the bottom up progression of society, begins to approach civilization as man exercises the gift of personality. Civilization is the product of freewill choice, it is not an automatic acquirement of man. Excessive S-G will not completely destroy society, but we’re told it will do so to civilization. This section was chosen to highlight the key role of marriage and family in the evolution of civilization.

Society is concerned with S-P, S-M, and S-G, but self-realization is worthy of becoming the immediate goal of many cultural groups. We discussed some key distinctions between self-actualization (a term introduced by psychologist Abraham Maslow in the 1960’s) and self-realization. These distinctions hinge on the differences between the terms actuality and reality. (Reality is actuality in time, synchronized with eternity.) Do yourself a favor and consult the archive of this broadcast for elucidation.

Many modern anthropologists assert that the development of current day civilization can be accounted for by the herd instinct of natural man. Such is hardly the case. In addition to the 5th adjutant, functioning as the energy of socialization, two other great influences, food hunger and sex love were instrumental in bringing people together. Additionally, vanity and ghost fear held human beings together.

Here we read, “Primitive man only thought when he was hungry.” The thinking referred to here is reflective thinking which leads to food saving (self-denial and self-discipline). But, as society grew, food hunger ceased to be the sole incentive for human association. Today we are warned that society is top heavy with a plethora of supposed human needs. Herein is real danger. As the Supreme sparks forward evolution of our minds, the increased imagination and spiritual consciousness trigger a greater appetite for S-G (self-seeking), which is most dangerous to the maintenance and stability of civilization. Can we heed the call to seek for greater wisdom, insight, and foresight needed to transcend the fancy animal level of existence. The appropriate self-centered drives and behaviors which characterize and serve the primitive must give way to the recognition and realization of our cosmic duty to the Supreme.

The sex restlessness of the male, the helplessness of the young, and the maternal instinct, conspired to make woman the anchor point of the home. From the earliest times, home was always reckoned as where the mom was. The description of woman’s indispensability to the evolving social scheme, should give us all pause to reflect. Further, that almost everything of lasting value in society has its roots in the family, including peacemaking. The greatest contribution a peace loving spiritual idealist can make to the world is a peaceful family and home.

The evolutionary function of marriage is to insure race survival, not merely the realization of personal happiness. S-P and S-M are the real objects of the home; S-G is incidental and essential only to insure sex association. Yet, the arts of civilization continue to increase the pleasures and satisfactions of marriage and family.

The necessarily self-centered drives and influences of vanity (including pride, ambition, and honor) helped bring humans together and hold them together. Such emotions gave origin to the early beginnings of ALL art, ceremonial, sportive competition. But, this vanity today threatens to swamp and submerge our complicated and highly specialized civilization. The author (a Melchizedek sometime stationed on Urantia) ends this section with; “S-M builds society; unbridled S-G unfailingly destroys civilization.”

Again, our discussion was jam packed with valuable observations and commentary too extensive for this summary. Please check out the archive for key insights and reflections. Herein is the crux of why the revelation is here, with not so subtle hints as to our task in embracing it and consecrating ourselves to its purpose.

84:8. Dangers of Self-Gratification

As remarked, this section in paper 84 is a direct continuation of the text from paper 68. Here is a beautiful example of finding the truth that flows through our revelation.

Marriage is the only institution of human society which embraces all three of the great incentives for living. S-P, S-M, and S-G. Originally these three incentives were met through marriage for S-P, property for S-M, and food satisfaction, play, humor, and periodic sex indulgence for S-G. But we are told that the evolving mores failed to build any distinct institution of S-G, which is why ALL human institutions are so completely shot through with the pleasure pursuit. Property accumulation is increasingly seen as means of augmenting S-G, and marriage is increasingly viewed as a means of pleasure.

The imperfectly realized play instinct coupled with the sense of humor was introduced by the violet race into human experience. Previously present among the Sangiks and Andonite is measure it was elevated into the potential of pleasure, a new and glorified form of S-G. The unfolding of this pleasure potential in our history plays upon the essential need for individuals to clearly distinguish between mind and spirit. Thus has the small Adamic inheritance in association with mind activity been mistaken for spirit. However, the satisfaction of this heightened pleasure potential of the mind is powerless to elevate the soul or to nourish the spirit. Can we look to the advancing celestials and learn to enjoy rest, reversion, and wholesome diversion to prevent boredom and monotony? Can we cultivate the profitable use of reflection as opposed to the headlong pursuit of stimulation? Can we discover the delights of being truly human, something more than a fancy animal. Unfortunately the social collective is not much help. Perhaps when we discover these delights we might begin to institutionalize them. Our author reminds us to look well to goal of destiny! Pleasures are indeed suicidal if they succeed in destroying property, which has become the institution of self-maintenance; and self-gratifications have indeed cost a fatal price if they bring about the collapse of marriage, the decadence of family life, and the destruction of the home — man’s supreme evolutionary acquirement and civilization’s only hope of survival.