Episode:Religion in Depth—Foundations of Faith (Part 5)
Religion is more than emotionalized morality. Religion is to morality as love is to duty, as sonship is to servitude, as essence is to substance. Morality discloses an almighty Controller, a Deity to be served; religion discloses an all-loving Father, a God to be worshiped and loved.
Summary by Kermit
Commentary on Review
We examined in some detail the significance and meaning of the oft use admonition “all good things taken to extreme becomes bad.” The basis for our affirmation of this dictum from a cosmic perspective is contained in the idea that a “good thing” constitutes a part (an individuality), which if exalted or applied outside of its harmonious relation to the whole, has a disrupting effect on the unity of the whole. We used an example of worship to underscore the point.
Continuing our commentary we examined the final paragraph of section four. First we distinguished the ways the revelators use the term “revealed religion.” More often this term is used in the revelation by the authors in the context of that which has been received by periodic epochal revelation. However, here we are asked to consider this term in the context of the truth of personal spiritual experience—revealed religion in contrast to the evolutionary religion of the mind. In this framework true religion is experienced with the philosophic attainment of the 6th level of meaning—the spiritual level, (above the 5th level of meaning—moral level) and the genuine engagement with spirit down into the mind spiritualizing the mind and conferring wholeness to mental activities involved in scientific disciplines. In this light we looked at the final sentence of the section “Spiritual experience is the real soul of man’s cosmos.” The term soul here can be thought of as the spiritualized mind and the morontia object, the soul.
102:5. The Supremacy of Purposive Potential
This entire short section attempts to get us to recognize the top down influence of purposive potential drawing all things evolutionary upward. Notwithstanding that beliefs are not self-validating, a transcendent faith grasp of a genuine fact in a top down orientation provides a valid basis for belief. The evolutionary progression of simple life to the status of personality does demonstrate the fact of the existence of the potential of personality to start with. The authors present a picture of down-reaching potential encountering upwelling actualization. The potential ever remains above the actualizing process in what they characterize as the purposive mandates of Deity.
In like perspective this purposive supremacy is demonstrated in the realm of mind whereby primitive animal fear is transmuted into reverence for God and awe of the universe. Note that these transmutations occur in the superconscious grace space of encircuitment in the Holy Spirit. As mentioned before, the encircuitment by grace needs must be augmented by conscious consecration for real spiritual progress to result. True enough with increased spirit gifts comes enlarged potential for destructive outcomes, but our ignorance is usually sufficient to protect the immature pilgrim from real harm.
You can psychologize evolutionary religion of human origin, but not the religion of personal spiritual experience. The latter is a spirit derivative influence down upon the mind. Bottom up human morality may recognize values, but only superordinate spirit influence from the 6th of the levels of meaning (genuine religion) can conserve, exalt, and spiritualize such values. Thus is religion (6th LoM) ever ascendant over the moral level (5th LoM) as illustrated by the comparison examples given by the author in the following sentence. “Religion is to morality as love is to duty, as sonship is to servitude, as essence is to substance.” Sad to record that contemporary conventional religionists are seen to practice an emotionalized morality as their highest manifestation of religion.
102:6. The Certainty of Religious Faith
Philosophic attainment and scientific progress eliminate religious fear and superstition. Genuine religion is a holistic top down influence. Religion is not an isolated part of life but a living experience, a dynamic relation between the creature and Creator such that the God of worship claims all allegiance or none.
Genuine religious faith that comes down from the highlands of philosophic attainment is certain of personal salvation. And the following characterizations about God as being: a reality, “a value, a level of achievement, an exalted process, a transmutation, the ultimate of time-space, an idealization, the personalization of energy, the entity of gravity, a human projection, the idealization of self, nature’s upthrust, the inclination to goodness, the forward impulse of evolution, or a sublime hypothesis” represent shadows cast upward by the Living God of Love.
It is a confidence in the dependability of personal experience that transcends belief and vanquishes skeptical challenges to theology.
The personal experience of knowing God by faith trumps the convictions about God arrived at through reason. But before making a declaration of God-knowingness we are challenged to ascertain that our God-knowingness is more that belief supercharged by zeal, but consists of a living faith wholeness that attains to trust, even assurance.
Notes by Brad
- Don't overplay the fixation on things that are "in time" (as opposed to eternity). We were placed out here, in time, for a reason. If God had not wanted us to be in time, he wouldn't have put us here.
- We aren't climbing up the ladder, so much as being enticed upward (by spirit gravity)
- "Moral" has a specific meaning and general meaning, as so many words do. Specifically, it is the 5th level of meaning, a high level indeed consisting of a triunity. In the general sense, morality is duty to the cosmos.
- "Human morality" would connote that bottom-up (up from the humus) morality, as opposed to a top-down morality.
- Duty is higher than mere obligation. Duty is a very rubber meets the road kind of word.
- Initially duty in a bottom-up mode is about conformity to the (human) more system. In the "behold all things are new" top-down view morality is conformity to the cosmos.
- In the most general top-down sense, there is no difference between science and religion! But don't worry about that too much now... there's plenty of reason for them to be effectively distinct right now.
- The "I know" paragraph is about a high truth indeed. It isn't about people saying "I believe". God-knowing is an advanced concept.
- Purposive potential is essentially another phrase for teleology. There is purpose behind everything, every ultimaton.
- Albeit this purposing is fairly inscrutable from our viewpoint, you can base your life on this premise.