Episode:Religion in Depth—Foundations of Faith (Part 4)

From Symmetry of Soul

Prayer is indeed a part of religious experience, but it has been wrongly emphasized by modern religions, much to the neglect of the more essential communion of worship. Prayer may enrich the life, but worship illuminates destiny.

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Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Human Experience, God-Knowingness, Supreme Purpose

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

One of our SoS team commented on his search for examples of selfish acts masquerading as altruistic behavior. All of which led to a discussion of the role and efficacy of prayer in the religious life. Some of the pitfalls of prayer in the service of others cited included overmuch focus on self inasmuch as prayer is self-reminding, also prayer may employed as a substitute for actual material assistance. Jesus attempted to emphasize material service predicated on a genuine inner religious life tied to eternity and spirit not merely the feelings associated with difficulties in the external world. His efforts to contrast for his apostles the difference between matter and spirit were largely unsuccessful.

We re-read the final three paragraphs of section three. Our ensuing discussion attempted to clarify the meanings of the following statements: “The eternal real is the good of the universe and not the time illusions of space evil.” And, “There is a vast difference between the evolutionary will-to-believe and the product of enlightened reason, religious insight, and revelation — the will that believes.”

102:4. The Fact of Experience

The mechanism by which we are conscious of knowing other minds, is the same faculty whereby we can know the mind of God, since our indwelling Thought Adjuster (TA) is first and foremost a fragment of Deity, hence innately minded. There is no special mystical faculty whereby we know the mind of God, aside from that which allows us to know any other mind, human or superhuman.

If we define religion as personal spiritual experience we need to have a clear idea of what constitutes human experience. This is a philosophic question of long standing. We are told that human experience (including religious experience) is simply any interplay between an active and questioning self and any other external reality. Thus does human experience consist of an inner phenomenon connected with an external reality. In the case of religious experience, the external reality is God and the inner active and questioning self is personality. Self-righteousness and other problems arise when confused notions of God are erroneously exalted as external realities. The revelators extend their definition of experience by ascribing to it qualities of mass and motion. Mass of experience consists of the internal depth of concept in combination with the totality of recognition of the external. The motion of experience combines the force of active expectant imagination plus a discrimination of the sensory discovery of the qualities of the external realities. The fact of experience is explained as self-consciousness plus the full three-fold aspects of other-existences: other-thingness, other-mindness, and other-spiritness.

Encircuitment in the Holy Spirit allows man to be aware of self and others. By virtue of the logical acumen the self and other selves so recognized are inferred to come from a transcendent other source. The reverential form of this cosmic discrimination identifies this source as God. For many this process takes place in the superconscious mind. Can we bring these transactions into the conscious mind?

Our material nature contaminates the spiritual concept of our Father in heaven. Our entire pre-spirit ascension career, i.e. through the entire local universe, is a process of divesting ourselves of these erroneous ideas of the nature of God and the reality of pure and true spirit. With this sobering reminder ask yourself how humble should we be concerning our most lofty and sublime ideas of God.

The revelators deliver strong medicine when they tell us that prayer has been wrongly emphasized by modern religions, to the neglect of the more essential communion of worship. In the parlance of our day, the words “right” and “wrong” do not carry the significance they are given in the revelation. So it is that wrongly actually denotes evil and not simply incorrect. Prayer (self-reminding) is bound to time, and when over-emphasized and over-employed to the exclusion of genuine worship can lead to an inflated sense of self trapped in time. Prayer enriches life while worship illuminates a destiny in eternity. As prayer is a prelude to worship, so is our ascension career a prelude to a life in eternity.

When the less spiritually animated wrongly emphasize prayer, their self-centered nature and influence is not vast, hence not so dangerous. Yet, with the increased spiritual awakening begun in the twentieth century, the same over-emphasis on prayer and subsequent self-centeredness leads to emergency planetary conditions such that we have been given the 5th ER. True enough, any good thing taken to extreme becomes bad.

So it is that revealed religion is the unifying element of human existence. Revelation unifies and coordinates ALL human endeavors encompassing science, philosophy, and religion.

So what do they mean, spiritual experience is the real soul of man’s cosmos?

Notes by Brad

  • The "depth of concept" paragraph meant a lot to me in undergraduate geology. It explained what I felt I was experiencing as my horizons expanded.
    • Today it (along with worship perhaps) explains why reading a molecular biology book seems such a rich experience. It deepens my appreciation for the exquisite design of all the things around us.
  • The Thought Adjuster is a fragment of Deity. Deity is inherently minded.
  • Ideas are a higher concept than mere notions. Many so-called ideas ae just erroneous, ignorant notions of God, seen with a fervent will to believe (still standing on sand, not a rock).
  • Prayer being wrongly emphasized is quite a strong statement! It suggests evil is at play.
  • Don't forget about worship. It helps illuminate destiny. Prayer starts with time and goes up. Worship starts with eternity and comes down.
  • The way to tell the difference between prayer and worship? In worship there is no time. It is self forgetting. Super-thinking, thinking above time.
  • "Revealed religion" at the end of section for is in the general sense of true religion, not specifically about the 5 epochal revelations.
  • The domain of spiritualized mind ("the upper domain of the hourglass") can be referred to as "the heart" by the revelators. And sometimes they use "soul to refer to this domain of mind as well; but just as often they use "soul" to refer to the literal morontia object that is being built.