Episode:Religion in Depth—Human Experience (Part 7)

From Symmetry of Soul

True religion is a wholehearted devotion to some reality which the religionist deems to be of supreme value to himself and for all mankind; it is a living love, a life of service. The striving for the attainment of supermortal ideals is always characterized by increasing patience, forbearance, fortitude, and tolerance.

Listen to the broadcast

Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Enthusiasm, Zeal, Courage

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

We spent the first hour of the broadcast reviewing the final three paragraphs of the section on conversion and mysticism. Here the authors provide some cautionary technical details about the mystical state. The characteristics of such states risk mental dissociation (de-localization) away from our individuated relation to value via encircuitment in the Holy Spirit in the superconscious, toward the subconscious. The vivid islands of focal attention operating on a comparatively passive intellect may erroneously be interpreted as the focalizing activities of the Thought Adjuster (TA). A “passive intellect” suggests that the discrimination functions of the cosmic intuitions are diminished with serious negative results. We entertained another analogy of the mind (the “rubber sheet” analogy) to depict the abnormal mental manifestations resulting from mystic mental dissociation. Details are to be found in the archive of the broadcast. The abnormal mental manifestations are all too often labeled as spirit manifestations. Rather than being imbued with genuine meaning they are more often associated with experiences of intense feeling. The end result is a form of self-absorption rather than an experience that is beneficial to others.

Our revelator suggests to us a preferable alternative to seeking mystic communion, being the healthful attitude of spiritual meditation consisting in reflective worship and the prayer of thanksgiving as demonstrated in the religious life of Jesus. The inadvisability of seeking so-called mystic communion is further illustrated by an examination of the precursors to these states. Practically all of these precursors involve intense and extreme physical and emotional practices that have the effect of inducing mental de-localization from the individuated balanced encircuitment to the cosmos we have by grace.

We noted that the feelings of unity with others and with the cosmos produced by the cultivation of eastern meditation techniques or the use of psychedelic substances are much more likely to be experiences of the vastness of mind rather than real contact with spirit. Also of note is the revelators’ use of the word “danger” in referring to the practices in the initiation of the mystical state: “physical fatigue, fasting, psychic dissociation, profound aesthetic experiences, vivid sex impulses, fear, anxiety, rage, and wild dancing.” And to be sure none of these were part of Jesus’ religious life.

100:6. Marks of Religious Living

Returning to the examination of real religion in human experience, we are directed toward the recognition of manifestations of true religion in ourselves and others. Evolutionary and revelatory religion notwithstanding their differences in methods, are similar in their motives. We read: “True religion is a wholehearted devotion to some reality which the religionist deems to be of supreme value to himself and for all mankind.” The unquestioning loyalty and wholehearted devotion which is characteristic of all religions can be seen as a superconscious endowment by grace in the behavior of seemingly irreligious or nonreligious individuals. It is our purpose to cooperate in the maturation of that which we have by grace superconsciously, into a genuine conscious religious mode of living.

The final seven paragraphs of this section illustrate several characteristics of the genuine conscious religious mode of living. We indulged in a careful examination of the revelators’ use of words in their depiction of true religious living. The qualities of nobility and grandeur that characterize the human response to the religious impulse are paired with the recognition of universe citizenship and superhuman power, and further associated with the thrill and energy of the recognition of belonging to a superior and ennobled fellowship of the sons of God.

We unpacked the phrase: increasing patience, forbearance, fortitude, and tolerance that characterize the intense striving for the attainment of supermortal ideals by the true religionist. We discovered that along with altruism and forgiveness these four terms constitute facets of cosmic character. Two other places in the revelation also cite several of these facets with patience being common to all citations. Going deeper, we find that these facets have foundational meaning associated with patience. Can we infer that a key to the attainment of a multifaceted cosmic character lies in cultivating patience thus allowing God the Mother to grow within us patient love, forgiveness? Or can we build such a cosmic character through the consecration of our will?

Another linguistic adventure is to be found in scrutiny of the new types of enthusiasm, zeal, and courage generated by the new meanings that genuine religion adds to life. This journey involves a reasonably complex interplay with the adjutant mind spirits and cosmic intuitions illuminating the difference between enthusiasm and fanaticism. Please consult the archive for the eye opening details of these revelatory constructions. Such is the facility and profundity with which the revelators use the “circumscribed language of the realm.”

Consider the religionist’s detachment from temporal and trivial matters, while remaining socially engaged with his fellows and manifesting a wholesome sense of humor as a litmus test for genuine religion. Another amazing earmark of religious living is the exhibition of a sublime peace and poise that is beyond all human understanding.

Revealed religion partakes of a new quality of divine wisdom which augments purely experiential human wisdom. Lest any slip into self-righteousness, recall that we are told, it is experience in and with the human religions that develops the capacity for subsequent reception of increased bestowals of divine wisdom and cosmic insight.

Notes by Brad

  • Let's live a life full of meaning, not just full of feeling.
  • Religion is a mode of living predicated on eternity, then brought out into time in the external world.
  • Patience, forbearance, fortitude, and tolerance are 4 of the 6 facets of cosmic character. The other two are altruism and forgiveness.