Episode:Religion in Depth—Human Experience (Part 1)

From Symmetry of Soul

The experience of dynamic religious living transforms the mediocre individual into a personality of idealistic power. Love supplies the soil for religious growth—an objective lure in the place of subjective gratification—yet it yields the supreme subjective satisfaction.

Listen to the broadcast

Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Love, Progress, Growth

Note: Andrea Barnes filled in for Kermit, who way traveling abroad this week.

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

The review for the previous week consisted of commentary by each SoS co-host on the entire first series of the arc, Paper 99, The Social Problems of Religion. First was mentioned the foundational principle that genuine, real, religion is first and foremost an individual, personal spiritual experience in the inner life of the faith son. Further, that for a religious group to be genuine it must be separate from the social service groups, and most of what today are called religious groups are in fact social or service groups. Reflections on the issue of the separation of church and state were also discussed. It was noted that separation of governmental and so-called religious institutions is well and good. However, much of what passes for separation of church and state issues today are actually issues of the separation of God and man, and man’s public expression and representation of faith in God. We are reminded that, "99:7.4 Man can never wisely decide temporal issues or transcend the selfishness of personal interests unless he meditates in the presence of the sovereignty of God and reckons with the realities of divine meanings and spiritual values."

Another foundational issue recalled from Paper 99 is that true religion means “bound back”, to the cosmos, to eternity, and to spirit. This inner life phenomenon is not about church bake sales and altar guilds. The religious impulse leads you up towards inner synchrony with the cosmos, while the outer directed social service activities represent consequences and outworking of religious living by the individual, not the sum and substance of collective religious activity. Such orientation as is described in the little review paragraph, 99:7.3 "Religion inspires man to live courageously and joyfully on the face of the earth; it joins patience with passion, insight to zeal, sympathy with power, and ideals with energy."

Further discussion was had about the economic and social problems of our time and the activities of those who seek reforms in these realms erroneously as a so-called religious duty. Jesus attempted to initiate an enhanced religious consciousness by distinguishing between these realms and commanding that we seek first the kingdom of heaven (eternity and spirit). The less genuine religion we have the more our social, political, and economic activities become infused with the zeal of false religious motivation. Can we actually pursue our real religious purpose and keep it separate from the social, political, and economic reconstruction required for sailing the high seas of evolutionary destiny? This question remains open.

Paper 100 Religion in Human Experience

Beginning where Paper 99 leaves off, we are reminded to be reborn spiritually, (bound back to eternity and spirit), as real religionists! The ensuing discussion of the preface is given to the important distinction between progress and growth, with reference made to Dr. Chris’ reflections on Growth: What Is It and Where Does It Come From? Published in the Perfecting Horizons Library, on the PHI website.

Growth is synonymous with perfecting spirit. This is the process where personality (spirit pattern) applies pattern to spirit (above mind). This phenomenon of perfecting spirit then imposes itself from above onto mind. Spirit dominates mind, thus producing progressing mind. In a linear perspective from the literal meaning of the word progress—stepping forward, the authors will also use the word development. The use of the words development or progress reflect a linear quality of progressing mind. Growth however reflects wholeness, non-linearity. The take away lesson is that perfecting spirit is growth, and progressing mind is development. Be mindful of the context of the uses of growth and progress. Remembering religion is an individual phenomenon note that it ministers to the progress of all, by first fostering the progress of each individual.

The author’s use of the terms spiritual growth and religious growth were discussed. Inasmuch as the term growth implies perfecting spirit, these two modifiers of the word growth are meant to suggest in the first case foundational aspects of spirit substance, whereas the second case includes the personal spiritual aspect of the growth.

Considerable discussion ensued about the significance of love in the fullness of its meaning (the personal realization of divine fellowship), as the context and motivation for religious growth. The always, important emphasis is made concerning love on the 6th level of meaning and the consequential feelings sparked by such love which are on the 2nd level of meaning.

1. Religious Growth

The first six paragraphs of this section were read and discussed in significant detail. As habitual listeners to our broadcasts know, these discussions can profitably be accessed through the archives of all of our broadcasts.

Recalling the oft’ mentioned truth, you cannot cause growth. We begin to encounter mention of the favorable conditions, which we must supply if we are to be grown beyond the initial connection to the cosmos we enjoy by grace.

The first three of five such conditions mentioned in previous programs are encountered in the paragraphs read. We are to be loyal, humble, sincere, just, and patient if we expect to be grown by the Mother in our personal evolutionary process of perfecting.