Episode:Purpose and Destiny—Stages of Light and Life (Part 5)
In the successive stages of settled existence the inhabited worlds make marvelous progress under the wise and sympathetic administration of the volunteer Corps of the Finality, ascenders of Paradise attainment who have come back to minister to their brethren in the flesh. And upon the formal inauguration of the planetary ministry of these finaliters, the majority of the celestial hosts withdraw.
Opening thought: "The goal of eternity is ahead! The adventure of divinity attainment lies before you! The race for perfection is on!" That's the only occurrence of three exclamation marks in a row in The Urantia Book.
Summary by Brad
Commentary about reading remote material
We pondered how to make sense of seemingly far-removed material concerning stages of light and life. A case in point is the seemingly inscrutable "potentials of an intellectual, philosophic, cosmic, and spiritual nature." It seems impossible to detect fine-grained differences in our mind activity in those 4 categories. Yet our authors have revealed this to us for a reason; somehow a list like this must be what the 5th ER is all about: better initial assumptions for us in our thinking! Can serious students of The Urantia Book challenge themselves to use their reflective faculties to grasp some taste of how their own mind activity might incline toward these 4 categories? Can the serious student seek a better concept frame instead of doing the natural thing and spouting something like, "I already know all I need to about spiritual thinking"?
Commentary about loving one's enemies and avoiding hate
Another example revelation challenges us to improve our thinking in is Jesus' call to love our enemies. Millions have heard this only as some vague paradox or a platitude. But for most people, love is just an outer-life feeling. So for them of course it's a paradox to love your enemies. What Jesus is really doing is challenging us to seek a higher concept frame, a higher understanding of love in the levels of meaning, so high that love becomes possible for friend or foe (hint: in the inner life there are no outer-life individuals). But how many people have challenged themselves to reflectively undertake such a thing?
Or think of it this way: there are obnoxious scoundrels in the world exploiting the poor and unfortunate. Nothing new under the sun. While we can have strong feelings about such situations, the greater challenge is to improve our concept frame so we become immune to the sophistries of such scoundrels. Instead of being tossed about by a strong emotional reaction to the outrage du jour, we're called by the 5th ER to improve our quality of thinking over our natural animal-origin estate.
Put even other ways:
- The problem wasn't Lucifer's malignant ideas. The problem was that susceptible people listened to Lucifer and said, "Now that sounds like a great idea!"
- The solution to malignant viruses and bacteria on a world is not eliminating them, but to uplift the humans so they are wholly and forever immune to them.
- The solution to obnoxious individuals is not some totalitarian regime that eliminates them along with individual freedom, it's better individuals that are the solution. They're immune to sophistry. Can you improve your immunity to sophistry and malignancy? Can you uplift your mind? Can you stand unmoved in your inner life, just like Van and Amadon?
And of course if you know better now, you must do better.
Think of the positive effects of this: the serious student's can humbly and patiently strive to order their mind in accordance with higher concept frames, while setting a guard on the inner life. If they do that, the fruits of such sincere efforts will be marvelous! But it's not easy. Abandoning your outmoded concept frame is a painful act. And inhabiting a new and better one is an artful act, something akin to—we mused—keeping an arrow's pointy end pointed upstream while it moves downriver—constant artificial intervention.
Re-examination of Paper 55:3.11
Beings from a world beyond the third stage of light and life cope with some kind of "inevitable penalty" because of how advanced and unnatural they are. It's as if they miss some important anchoring to the law of the cosmos, and being deficient in this regard must be given remedial duty on a less advanced world. We'll see more of this in section 5.
55:4.17 Administrative Readjustments, continued at the fourth stage of Light and Life
Mortals on worlds beyond the third stage of light and life, via the high teachers sent to them, begin considering issues above the purview of the Ancients of Days of a superuniverse. They begin to learn about the absonite from finaliters. It's this kind of advanced instruction that Lucifer cast doubt doubt on: why should mortals learn of such arcane administrative matters? But we must. Advanced mortals who fail to learn these things would be in danger of liberty without law. Much is expected of people on advanced spheres, just as much will be expected of us as we ascend to higher spheres. Preparing for the absonite age is no small feat.
The advanced stages of light and life continue to parallel the Sevenfold hierarchy, but now not just the Sevenfold Creators. Because of how rarefied this kind of atmosphere is getting here this high, things start to get a little complex. So it takes some synthesis.
The fourth stage of light and life. We followed the sevenfold hierarchy up to its third level. Here at the fourth stage of light and life we might expect involvement from the Seven Master Spirits, but on the face of it that is not apparent. We had to dig a little deeper. Creature-trinitized sons play a teaching role in this fourth stage of light and life, and in [22:8.2] we recalled that creature-trinitized Sons have a long association with the Seven Supreme Executives. And the Seven Supreme Executives are associates of The Seven Master Spirits! There's the connection! Indeed, we still are following the Sevenfold hierarchy upward, but seeing the start of some complexity because of approaching the ceiling of the finite, impinging on the absonite.
The fifth stage of light and life. Up the next level of the Sevenfold hierarchy, this paragraph implies a relationship to the Sevenfold Controllers not the Sevenfold Creators (we jumped over a little). This stage parallels the Almighty Supreme because of the focus on "physical domains"—the power side of supremacy. We're not sure: maybe they're wrangling comets and sweeping up solar-system detritus to prepare for the absonite age? Little we can know about this stage.
The sixth stage of light and life. Up another level in the Sevenfold hierarchy, this stage of light and life is about mind. We are not surprised, then, this stage correlates to one of the Cosmic Mothers: the Infinite Mother Spirit—a mind womb. A world in this stage has had kindred minds for a long time, but now those minds are synchronizing with the Infinite Mother Spirit—"the universal spirit-mind of all creation" [194:2.15] This is far transcendent of the creative mother spirit's mind presence in the more local sense.
The seventh stage of light and life. This stage correlates to the Eternal Mother Son in the Sevenfold hierarchy, another level higher. This is a very high spirit gravity-like presence. By this stage, there gas been the final changing of the guard: Adam and Eve are off the planet by this point, if not earlier.
Speaking of Adam and Eve, these more advanced stages of light and life provide the planetary Adams and Eves opportunities to continue the upward universe career. It appears they need multiple options for advancement because their nature is not as simplistic and linear as an animal-origin mortal ascender like us. It will be even more complex for our world given its defaulted state. But in all cases the Thought Adjuster is that vertically oriented spiritual elevator to Paradise they have, just as we do. Listen to the episode for more details on these complexities.
55:5. The Acme of Material Development
We sought for ways to apply this section's contents to our times and ourselves, a mirror as it were in several ways, to make it come alive and apply to here and now.
Are you self seeking? evil dominated? sin stricken? Instead of pointing a finger at others, take a cue from the Stoics and try starting with yourself, someone you can really do something about.
The way to light and life is not to eradicate industry or economics, but to have them serve higher aims. Elimination of all armies and human government might be some ideal, but only on a world in light and life. Our world does not have the requisite high morality and spirituality for such a move. No way, that would send us backward, not forward.
Social inequality all but vanishes on these advanced worlds. But if it vanishes, what about the inevitabilities? Without social inequality, how can there be altruism? This is why beings from such advanced worlds have that "inevitable penalty"—the sly use of the word inevitable in that phrasing might have been a hint to the serious student.
The section concludes with a reminder of what real religion is for us just as it is for advanced mortals: personal spiritual experience, experiential religion. And they end echoing our own "pursuit of happiness," but in light and life such a pursuit is not as fraught with sorrow as it seems to be for us.
Notes by Brad
- Obsessing over malignant thoughts and ideas toward individuals? Careful, Icarus.
- You eventually will nurture hatred in your heart—in your inner life.
- You will transform ill-humor into ill-will, and real harm will befall you just as it befell Pontius Pilate.
- You certainly won't be of any real use to the world in such a corrupted condition.
- Not a new idea. The prophets have long spoken of this:
- Jesus tried to warn us about nursing hatred in our hearts.
- George Orwell tried to warn of totalitarian regimes corrupting inner lives through state-sanctioned hatred each day via television screens.