Episode:Religion in Depth—Foundations of Faith (Part 1)
To the unbelieving materialist, man is simply an evolutionary accident, doomed to eternal oblivion and soul extinction. But such is not man’s end and eternal destiny; all this darkness and despair are forever dispelled by one brave stretch of faith on the part of a humble child of God.
Summary by Kermit
Commentary on Review
We considered the passage from the final paragraph of Paper 101 “even the stars in their courses are now doing battle for them.” In addition to appreciating the majestic imagery of this passage and those accompanying it, we reflected on the truth embodied in the idea that the things and beings, which make up the universe do not belong to disconnected domains. The realms of matter and spirit are parts of a whole, one cosmic system. The elements of this system down to each ultimaton and each person are held firmly in the grasp of Supreme Deity, the totality of the finite, in accordance with His supreme purpose. Revealed destiny declares that one-day this whole will transcend the finite. With the lure of this sometime destiny comes the challenge to envision this potential together with the actuals of the present moment as a reflection of Havona, NOW, even in light of the apparent tragedies of our evolutionary beginnings.
102. The Foundations of Religious Faith
We spent close to fifty minutes of our program with the preface to Paper 102. We noted that section 10 of the previous paper foreshadowed the first paragraph of the preface. This anthem to philosophic materialism was paraphrased from a human source; at the beginning of the twentieth century Bertrand Russell, British philosopher and brilliant mathematician penned his famous essay, “A Free Man’s Worship.” In all likelihood the revelators had Russell in mind with their description of the third of the four phases in the evolution of religious philosophy in [101:7.4]. “A third group progress to the level of logical intellectuality but there stagnate in consequence of cultural slavery. It is indeed pitiful to behold giant intellects held so securely within the cruel grasp of cultural bondage. It is equally pathetic to observe those who trade their cultural bondage for the materialistic fetters of a science, falsely so called” (emphasis added).
Even possessing such a vast intellect, Russell failed to cultivate the gifts of grace, available to the most humble and unlearned of God’s children, becoming lost in spiritual darkness, blinded by the confusion and distortion of unspiritualized learning. Thus it is faith and not reason, which dispels the doom of darkness and destiny of despair that follows from the mechanistic sophistries of a material philosophy.
Visit the archive of this program for a deeper appreciation of the relational and functional intricacies of the manner whereby faith takes origin in the spiritualized mind and awakens the moral consciousness to the reality that human values may be translated in experience from the material to the spiritual—all explained in terms of the hourglass analogy and the insight gifts of the cosmic intuitions.
102:1. Assurances of Faith
Jesus taught that childlike trust secures man’s entrance into Paradise journey; progress thereupon depends on the exercise of the faith of the full-grown man. The honest doubts and sincere questionings of the child represent favorable conditions for the time-consuming growth process of perfection attainment.
Here our author brings in another human source of truth. “Human things must be known in order to be loved, but divine things must be loved in order to be known.” This is by Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, and philosopher who lived at the beginning of the Enlightenment (mid-17th century). The revelators thus contrast these human source bookends to the Enlightenment, illustrating the troubling descent of human thought from the promising beginnings of the fullness of genuine philosophic endeavors to the darkness and gloom characterizing the materialism of the current age.
In the beginning of this arc we established true religion as our faith connection to the eternal through spirit, in contrast to the time bound fact foundation of the reason of science. Now we are reminded that through genuine philosophic reflection we can comprehend that time bound science and religion’s spirit program of eternity can be wisely encompassed directing us to allow the religious insight of faith to serve us when the serviceability of knowledge and reason are exhausted.
Due to the checkered past of Urantia history, revelations of truth have been forced to co-exist with partial and transient cosmologies. Because the 5th ER is so extensive, a top down perspective resolves apparent conflicts between its eternal truths and any obsolete ideas about the material world.
We noticed the use of two words certainty and certitude in relation to science and religion respectively. Though very close in meaning certitude can be thought of as certainty definitively predicated on a conscious recognition of the foundational insight. Listen to the archive for an enlightening discussion on the fine distinction between the certitudes of religion springing from the foundations of the entire personality, and the appeal of religion to the loyalty and devotion of the body, mind, and spirit, even to the whole personality.
God knowing-ness is born of our trust in him and our belief comes from our personal participation in his divine manifestations. We are told to approach such divine manifestations through God and not seek to prove God through so-called miracles.
Lastly, we recognize the Thought Adjuster as the source of our perfection hunger and far-reaching curiosity, which can be satisfied only by communion with God.
Notes by Brad
- The first paragraph of Paper 102 is drawn from Bertrand Russell's "A Free Man's Worship" as a human source work. Which is interesting, considering Russell was one of the definitive materialists of the 20th century.
- Russell was a brilliant intellectual giant. Probably one of those "intellectual giants" from Paper 101, Section 7, stuck at the 3rd level of philosophy.
- Fundamentally, positivism is a rejection of the 3 cosmic intuitions and encircuitment in the Holy Spirit. Rejection of the fact that some things can just be known innately.
- Blaise Pascal is quoted in section 1, first paragraph. He was early in the enlightenment--17th century.
- Terms like brilliant (in mind) and enlightenment (in mind) are not accidental metaphors. They refer to insight. Best not to turn off one's insight.