Episode:Religion in Depth—Real Nature (Part 1)

From Symmetry of Soul

Religion is the ancestor of the advanced ethics and morals of progressive social evolution. Always is religion the inspiration of man’s evolving nature. There really is a true and genuine inner voice, that “true light which lights every man who comes into the world.”

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Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Faith, Trust, Assurance

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Review

We shared some final thoughts on The Acme of Religious Living. Jesus unifies life, ennobles character, and simplifies experience. Ask yourself if your religious life simplifies your experience or introduces more complexity to your life. And beware, eccentricity can masquerade as originality.

Paper 101. The Real Nature of Religion

The one sentence first paragraph of this paper’s preface lays down the end points for the full range of experience the revelators call religion, extending from the primitive fear slavery of the savage to the sublime and magnificent faith liberty of civilized mortals who are superbly conscious of sonship with God. We note that post-Pentecost on our world we are all children of God by grace and possessed of a genuine religious nature through encircuitment in the Holy Spirit, augmented by the Spirit of Truth, and quickened by the universal bestowal of Thought Adjusters. The genuineness of religion for those still slaves to fear consists in the superconscious endowment by grace. We are here invited to follow Jesus’ command to “Fear Not!” and consciously move beyond grace to the faith liberty of sonship with God.

The initiating spark of genuine religion is always the inspiration of man’s evolving nature and is ancestor to the advanced ethics and morals of progressive social evolution. But the secret of this progressive evolution lies beyond the spark of religious consecration to do God’s will. It is to be found in the second consecration to supply favorable conditions to be grown.

The third paragraph of the preface proves to be foundational to our understanding of the real nature of religion. Here religion is described as “the conviction-faith of personality.” Comparing this with religion described elsewhere in the revelation, as “personal spiritual experience”, we find an emphasis on advancing faith to a more robust conviction-faith foreshadowing the ascending sequence of faith, trust, and assurance. In addition we find reference validating the presence and activity of a true and genuine inner voice universally bestowed. Further, that this spirit leading is distinct from the prompting of human conscience, even though the mindal mechanism is the same for both. Lastly, the assurance of religion is more than an emotional feeling. This assurance transcends the reason of mind, even the logic of philosophy. We spent considerable time examining significance of three-fold configuration of reason, logic, and faith—correlates to science, philosophy, and religion. We explored this configuration in relation to the ascending sequence of faith, trust, and assurance. Check out the intriguing details in the archive of the broadcast.

101:1. True Religion

True religion (the fullness of religion in the wholeness of the three-fold actuality) is not to be derived or understood through the pursuit of any one of the elements of the triunity. While religion is not a product of reason or derived from the logic of philosophy, it is both reasonable and logical when viewed from within. In attempting to understand how true religion aligns with the elements of the triunity it is necessary to distinguish between the individual initiating elements of the three-fold actuality (the three cosmic intuitions—material acumen, moral discrimination, and spiritual insight) and the context of the whole wherein reason, logic, and faith cross connect in more complex ways spanning the whole of the three-fold functional reality.

There is no special faculty used by the Thought Adjuster for the reception or expression of religious emotions. The religious nature is experienced through mortal mind. We discussed how conscience, an activity with internalized systems of mores, and the Thought Adjuster share the same mindal mechanism for expression. This creates no small difficulty when it comes to distinguishing between these very different experiences.

The indwelling spirit contacts mortal man via his highest and most spiritualized thinking, not by feelings or emotions. It is in the mind, the co-ordinated function of the three cosmic intuitions, where the combined operations of Thought Adjuster and Spirit of Truth function to produce the spiritual insight recognized as personal spiritual experience.

We took advantage of the hourglass analogy to model how through faith and insight religion consists in the discovery of new and spiritual meanings, moving up the levels of meaning to the sixth, surpassing, but not abandoning the level of the feelings where so many current day religionists dwell.

We noted that everything necessary for sound religious living is provided. No journey to exotic interior landscapes is required to find God. Above all, abnegation of self in pursuit of religious experience is never necessary, but is actually dangerous.

We also alluded to the upper and lower hemisphere analogy to model the merging of evolutionary philosophy and revelation in the ascension up through mortal levels of wisdom to God consciousness.

The higher and superphilosophic wisdom of such enlightened and disciplined individuals ultimately instructs them that to doubt God or to distrust his goodness would be to prove untrue to the realest and deepest thing within the human mind and soul—the divine Adjuster.

Notes by Brad

  • A framework of mind that simplifies one's experiences is a good litmus test for effective religious living. The right way to seek the cosmos has an essential simplicity to it.
  • When your religion is primitive and fear-based, your religious experience is most superconscious (and therefore not conscious to you). A higher form of religion is one that is conscious.
  • Having a religious experience does not necessarily imply it is a conscious experience. There is a lot of our consciousness that is unconscious.
  • Don't accept a substitute for the constancy of eternity on which to predicate your inner life. Only accept the real thing! Lots of people will try to sell you ideas that masquerade as constancy of eternity.
  • Analogy: faith is like a liquid, solidified into trust, and securing yourself to that trust (standing upon it with conviction) is assurance.
    • Trust and assurance, added to faith, equal conviction.
  • We have faith by grace. Trust must be grown in us (we cannot cause that growth, only supply favorable conditions).
  • reason, logic, faith -- science, philosophy, religion, respectively. This is used a lot in [Paper 101]
  • belief, tradition, and authority are the contrasting opposites of faith, trust, and assurance. See also [Paper 140] (intellectual assent, credulity, and established authority)
    • Belief, traditions, and authority are often what pass for religion in people's lives, however.
  • True religion isn't the extremes of: logical proofs, or mystical experiences.