Episode:Religion in Depth—Human Experience (Part 6)
There is great danger when visions, extraordinary dreams, and other so-called mystic experiences are regarded as divine communications to the human mind. The better approach to possible contact with the indwelling spirit would be through living faith and sincere worship, wholehearted and unselfish prayer.
Summary by Kermit
Commentary on Review
We preceded our evening’s reading with a review of the first two paragraphs of Paper 100, Section 5 (Conversion and Mysticism) with an eye towards the manner in which they provide introduction to the section. We recall the emphasis of this paper on the unconscious nature of growth as it is happening in the moment. Although reflection can lead to the recognition of having been grown. References to mystical and conversion experiences depict a conscious experience. Such depictions encourage the tadpole truth-seeker to seek for such a conscious experience in place of developing trust in God to be grown as a consequence of supplying conditions favorable to such growth. This section is challenging us to develop objective reflective thinking by which we can test our experiences for validity and value. Humility is indispensible in this effort, as these experiences are intense and powerful and risk leading to grandiosity.
It was noted that cults and isms share the feature of absolutizing a part and regarding it as the whole, with a ism being a complete lifestyle solution that has 6th adjutant energy applied to it (zeal), while a cult has a wider recognition of having some religious (not just zealous) energy applied to it.
The revelators make every effort to avoid drawing the lines of a dichotomy by contrasting the valid conversion experiences of Paul and Gautama Siddhartha, with many other true believers who have progressed in the spirit without such sudden conversions. We observed that the most notable true believer to progress in the spirit without sudden conversion was Jesus. Progress in the spirit is evolutionary, taking place in time. Jesus’ progress unfolded over his lifetime. The sudden conversions as in the case of Paul and Siddhartha can be seen more as an eventuated evolutionary developmental sequence, compressed into a moment. As was expressed kronos becomes manifest as kairos. Also noted was that such sudden conversions can set one up for unreasonable expectations for future religious growth.
We explored some of the details of the meaning of the parenthetical phrase “the psychic, emotional, and spiritual awareness of God-consciousness.” In light of previous distinctions between God-knowingness and the more transcendent God-consciousness we suggested these conscious elements of psychic, emotional, and spiritual awareness do not constitute God-consciousness per se, but are derived via Thought Adjuster activity from a superconscious God-consciousness.
Paragraph four of this section presents some very technical aspects of distinguishing between so-called religious conversions that are entirely psychological and those which are to a greater of lesser degree genuine. The key to making this distinction is determining whether the origin of such an experience is spiritual or mindal. Did the experience in question take origin within the mind or external thereto? Did the individual initiate the experience or did the thought adjuster? Because of the vastness of the mindal domain, such experiences can appear to come from outside the mind when in reality they are originate within the mind. (Remember all the admonitions in the thought adjuster papers concerning the dangers of ascribing purely mindal phenomena to the action of thought adjusters)
The revelators’ describe two elements of the kinetics of such genuine conversions—“mental mobilization is absolutely total on any level of the psychic upreach toward spirit attainment”, and “perfection of the human motivation of loyalties to the divine idea.” These constitute the concentrated and consecrated purpose of the superconscious mind of the believing mortal. The complexities and intricacies of this pathway involve levels or mortal wisdom and cosmic synchronization which in such immature creatures as we on Urantia is enabled by grace! Such phenomena are validated by the degree to which the fruits of the spirit are manifested in the daily life of the converted. The degree to which the above mentioned concentration and consecration are partial and incomplete is the degree to which the conversion is a blended intellectual, emotional, and spiritual reality.
In consideration of the intellectual life, our author reminds us of the two realms of mind of which we are not conscious—the subconscious and the superconscious, the zone of immediate contact with the thought adjuster, and the danger of ascribing subconscious mental content to divine communications to the human mind. Without a cosmic compass the immature individual can’t discriminate whence come visions and so-called mystic experiences. Wise counsel of the revelators is to be less concerned with conversion seeking and more devoted to wholehearted and unselfish prayer leading to sincere worship.
The section continues with admonitions and warnings concerning the pitfalls of various practices in the cultivation of religious experiences. They direct us instead to the religious life of Jesus for guidance, beginning with prayer moving up to thanksgiving and on to worship where we can cultivate reflective thinking and trust we will be grown.