Episode:Marriage and Family—The Institutions (Part 1)

From Symmetry of Soul

Marriage has progressed through many variations, from loose and promiscuous matings, toward ever higher standards, culminating in the union of one man and one woman to establish a home of the highest social order. The family, which grows out of marriage, is itself a stabilizer of the marriage institution; but the real influence which safeguards marriage and family is the fact that men and women positively will not live without each other.

Listen to the broadcast

Keywords: Urantia, Marriage, Courtship, Betrothal, Romance

Note: This was Ann Garner's final episode before retiring as co-host. Brad Garner was also present as a co-host.

Summary by Kermit

The Pitcairn experiment was cited in the previous week’s text. One of the SoS team reminded us of the story of the mutiny onboard the British ship H.M.S. Bounty. The experiment referred to involved the mating of white British sailors (predominantly Sangik blue stock) with brown Polynesians (blended red and yellow Sangik stock), producing a somewhat balanced blend of the primary Sangik races. Because the initial genetic strains involved were of fairly good quality, the outcome worked out fairly well. This discussion led to the topic of genetic engineering technologies and eugenics, and its role in our planetary future. One scenario mentioned pertained to Machiventa Melchizedek’s assumption of his title of Planetary Prince and the possibility that he might assume those duties concerning racial and genetic issues usually exercised on “normal” worlds by the resident Material Son and Daughter. On normal worlds, the biologic uplift of a Material Son and Daughter serve to initiate the biological enhancement of the races with their superior genetic material. The full implementation of uplifting and blending of the races, as a planet progresses toward light and life, involves genetic engineering and technological manipulation of these potentials. The pathway of such implementation on our world can be more direct or circuitous depending on whether our choices are evolutionary or revolutionary. Remember, that which revelation fails to accomplish, evolution always achieves.

Paper 83 The Marriage Institution

In this introduction to the marriage institution, the revelators are encouraging the recognition of our long history and progression from the animal practices of loose and promiscuous matings of the herd, to the realization of pair matings, one man and one woman in the establishment of a home of the highest social order. Note the use of the word realization signifying the engagement of personality, without which civilization can not advance. Establishing a home of the highest social order requires persons functioning purposefully, not merely the assertions of a self. It is the personal element that elevates the actuality of monogamy, to the reality of true monogamy, one of the four indispensables of advancing civilization. As we survey the twentieth and twenty-first century mating practices, are we advancing or not?

We took a slight detour to Rodan’s discussion on the art of living in [166:2.10], where he exalts the marriage relation as an ideal beginning, when based on genuine and mutual personal devotion, from which to build up effective small units of human association, and when assembled in the aggregate, lead to a civilization of mortal maturity, enabling the realization of the Master’s ideal of “peace on earth and good will among men.” Rodan, as presented by the revelators, clearly understood the role of marriage and family as the fundamental building blocks of civilization. The state of marriage and family has been, and continues to be of major interest and concern of celestial overseers on all inhabited worlds. Destructive and deteriorating trends in the marriage and family are inimical to the progress of civilization and constitute an urgency if not an emergency.

Many times in our history marriage has been in danger. The marriage mores have relied on property and religion for support. Today, such support from both areas is weakening. In such an environment, civilization can hardly advance unless we bring a more personal consciousness in play to replace our dependence on property and religion. Nevertheless, the ultimate safeguard of marriage and family is found the Life Carrier biologic designs which dictate that men and women positively will not live without each other, be they primitive savages or cultured mortals.

Our author points out the ingenuity of the Architects of Being and the Life Carriers in their design of we animal-origin material mortals. The powerful sex urge lures selfish man into adaptive maneuvers aimed at rising above the purely animal level. The quest for self-gratification entails certain consequences of self-denial, and insures the assumption of altruistic duties. Thus, the sex urge has been the unrecognized civilizer of the savage. It is this same sex urge which automatically and unerringly compels man to think and eventually leads him to love. And of course we remember that it is our thoughts which lead us Godward. In order to transcend the “fancy animal” level we are required to master the sex urge and all animal impulses with our personality. It is with our personality overcontrol that we elevate our animal impulses to cosmic purposes and not merely biologic ends.

As we saw in our study on prayer, our biologic imperatives (our inescapable built in urges) force us to move up for their resolution. These urges however, only move us so far, at which point we must personally choose to continue to reach up. Note, we have previously discussed two groups of indispensable factors, one for early civilization (slavery, war, social classes, and the profit motive) and one group for advancing civilization (true religion, true monogamy, prayer, God-consciousness). The first four force man to begin the journey to civilization and the second four represent the personal choices required to ascend the rest of the way.

83:1. Marriage as a Societal Institution

As mentioned in the previous paper, marriage arises out of the physical fact of bisexuality. As an institution marriage functions in two directions: first, in the regulation of personal sex relations, and second, in the regulation of descent, inheritance, succession and social order. Both of these directions are essential to civilization and likewise unattainable through the “loose and promiscuous matings of the herd.” Neither are these two directions necessarily always in harmony.

Along with family itself, we reflected upon the list of five factors that have contributed to the stability of marriage as an institution:

  • pride,
  • vanity,
  • chivalry,
  • duty, and
  • religious convictions.

Upon reflecting on this list we notice that pride and vanity are seemingly negative traits in the individual. Chivalry has positive and negative aspects to it, and duty and religious convictions (in their best sense) can be seen as positive. This illustrates something of the reciprocal nature of the Supreme, i.e. transmuting these initial negative factors to something positive, in this case to stabilize marriage. Chivalry is a pivotal element in this list. Is it an affront to the equality of the sexes or a precursor to altruism. Does condemning chivalry short circuit our progress? In our assessment of the meaning and value of our status and direction with respect to civilization and marriage, we are challenged to view all these phenomena from an evolutionary perspective as opposed to an existential one. The author goes on to warn us of the inadvisability of allowing religion exclusively to control and regulate marriage.

With influence of the mixture of the Andite stock, changing mores of advancing civilization, and increased spiritual consciousness; marriage is emerging from the pragmatic, utilitarian arrangement and slowly becoming mutual, romantic, parental, poetical, affectionate, ethical, and even idealistic. But selection and so-called romantic love were at a minimum in primitive mating. Personal affection was a product of living and working together as opposed to sex attraction. Genuine personal engagement between a man and woman is not achieved immediately. It progresses in ascending levels from the biological, up through mental-emotional, to the spiritual level. The encompassment of these three levels by personality leads to such a genuine personal relationship. It is by becoming personal we transcend time and strike step with eternity. The serious student will want to listen to our further discussion concerning Father and Mother Deity in relation to personality relationships.

83:2. Courtship and Betrothal

The evolution of marriage from primitive times to modern times is characterized by woman’s gradual progression from outright sexual inferiority to increasing freedom. Even under the oppressive mores of sexual inferiority, the more intelligent women used their wits and wiles to circumvent many of the restrictions inherent in her subordinate status. Thanks to the Andite contribution to the world races premarital courtship is increasingly characterized by love, romance, and personal selection.