Episode:Religion in Depth—Social Problems (Part 3)

From Symmetry of Soul

The attainment of a high cultural civilization demands, first, the ideal type of citizen and, then, ideal and adequate social mechanisms wherewith such a citizenry may control the economic and political institutions of such an advanced human society.

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Keywords: Urantia, Religion, Religionist, Society, Brotherhood

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on Religion Papers

The five papers we are studying in this arc on religion in depth must be appreciated in a broad context. The revelators are attempting to kindle in us a new relationship with genuine religion. Knowing the benefits of real religion in functioning as a moral stabilizer, social guide, and spiritual pilot enabling mankind to successfully meet the challenges of rapidly shifting social changes, we can only imagine how they must view much of what passes for religion on this benighted world. Before we can recognize and realize these qualities of religion the revelation must first disabuse us of so much of what we call religion that is not, that we might create space decontaminated with false notions where religion can be redefined.

To this end Paper 99 begins with tough and challenging views on our current scene plus seeds of the more positive aspects of this redefined religion which will be thoroughly developed as we go forward. So the SoS team encourages our listeners to take to heart the call to cultivate courageous and independent cosmic thinking in the place of the more common merely spiritual thinking, as we submit to the revelator’s efforts to grow and transform our consciousness of true religion.

99:3. Religion and the Religionist

This section is aimed at getting us to distinguish between religion unto itself, and its collective functioning within a religious context vs. the individual religionist functioning in the secular realm. Separating these two modes of functioning without compartmentalization and maintaining the separation throughout the interplay between the inner and outer life is necessary for balanced living. Some current day religionists are able to manage to maintain separation between religious activities and civil entanglements and economic alliances, but nearly all stumble in keeping their religion free of social commitments. Rather do religionists overwhelmingly see these social commitments as comprising their religious duty. We are reminded of three duties described in [196:3]: The moral duty is to the cosmos, the ethical duty is to your fellows, and religious duty is to God.

We are being instructed in this paper to avoid blurring the ethical and religious duty. Yet the befogging of these two duties is what causes genuine religious activity to be usurped by social endeavors. The pervasiveness of this muddle makes it so very difficult to envision what genuine collective religious activity looks like. Reflection is essential while maintaining the separation of the religious realm from the social domain in order to be grown in the recognition of this untapped potential.

The Kingdom of Heaven is an exclusively spiritual brotherhood based on God-knowingness, not to be misconstrued as God-consciousness. The difference to be found in the analogy of the tadpole and frog. God-knowingness is the genuine religious consciousness conferred by the third cosmic intuition on the sixth level of meaning: the self-evident awareness that God exits (the tadpole—the child of God status). God-consciousness, as we have previously discussed on SoS is vastly different and on a considerably higher level of awareness (the frog—the adult of God status).

In our wide-ranging discussions of these first eight paragraphs of this section, we clarified the revelators’ use of terms modifying the word religion. Genuine and real denote the personal component in religion as personal spiritual experience. True denotes religion in the context of the whole.

Without question, a real religionist is not unsympathetic with the trials and tribulations of his fellows grappling with social suffering, civil injustice, economic imperatives, or political tyranny. And true it is that religion influences these facets of social reconstruction because of the religious transformations wrought in the individual citizen as he/she becomes an active member of any of the groups specifically concerned with the remedy of problems in these various spheres of human activity. Thus does religious experience and reflection serve as an initiator and gateway to a relationship with the cosmos, a personal living philosophy, a connection with ideals. A group activity that fosters a relationship to the cosmos is a religious activity. [16:6] informs us that it is the purpose of religion to ennoble the three cosmic intuitions. (Aside-listen to the archive for a gem on what constitutes a moral group)

Two other major points in our reading and discussion address first, the unfortunate role of the church, because of overmuch false sentiment in its ministrations to the underprivileged and unfortunate has led to the unwise perpetuation of racially degenerate stock to the detriment of the progress of civilization. Second, the likewise unfortunate action of social reformers and reconstructionists, while repudiating institutionalized religion, employ their religious impulse of zeal in the propagation of their programs of social reform. Thus the unrecognized religious motivation so employed is unable to profit from open religious criticism and fails to benefit from self-correction.

We discussed at some length this incorrect application of zeal in the pursuit of non-religious ends. Such zeal has the feeling qualities of God, leading one of the SoS team to suggest we think of this zeal as a ZING, which also serves as a helpful reminder acronym, Zeal Is Not God.

Notes by Brad

  • The revelators wish we could be born again into a much improved understanding of true religion.
    • To engage these 5 religion papers effectively, you need the biggest possible perspective you can muster.
    • They want us to stop calling things religion that aren't religion. That doesn't mean we stop those things we've called religion necessarily, just that we stop calling them religion.
    • To that end, these papers start out pretty "tough," in terms of what they are constructed. Watch [Paper 101] when we get to it, it's where the new definition begin to arrive. Here in Paper 99 they are deconstructing religion to create a space for a better definition of religion.
  • Try to separate religion from the religionist. But not in a compartmentalized way (i.e., the Sunday morning church service is the only place they experience religion)
  • You have 3 duties: moral (to the cosmos), ethical (to other people), religious (to God). Keep these separated. Religious duty is your duty to God. Period.
    • Keeping these 3 things separated is not natural. It is artificial and must be constantly maintained. An artform, personality managed.
  • God-knowingness is on the 6th level of meaning, it is far simpler than God-consciousness, which is far more advanced. God-knowing is achievable in this life.
  • See also p. 1091
  • Real religion is personal religion. An inner life phenomenon. Meanwhile true religion is about religion's relation to the whole (hence the use of the word true) and therefore has secondary social repercussions.
  • True is a whole word. Genuine/real/personal are part words.
    • Real and true religion aren't dichotomies. They're associated. True and real are just adjectives helping you to remember the part and the whole (the individuality and unity)
  • The individual religionist should be part of society. Religion does not call on the religionist to be removed from the world in wholeness. We just don't want to confuse religion with those outer-life phenomena.
  • The purpose of religion is to ennoble the 3 cosmic intuitions. Period. Inner life.
  • What is a "moral group" in the world? It fosters better and better mores, by taking the personal living philosophies of its members out into the outer life.
  • Can we separate the moral from the religious? We're called to, but to date no one ever has.
  • What is an ideal citizen? For starters, it is a real (personal) citizen, a religionist who is squared away properly in the inner life. Someone with a personal living philosophy that is connected to ideals.
  • Zeal should be applied to the inner life. Applied to ideals from the upper domain of mind.
  • Don't act outwardly as a religionist. Act outward as, say, a social reconstructionist.
  • Keep zeal in the inner life. And bring ambition, suitably spiritually motivated, into the outer life.
  • Zeal in the outer life manifests as impatience (it is impatient). Ambition understands patience. Ambitious people are wise, they spread their thoughts out through time, they have a practical plan.
  • Don't turn your zeal outward. Keep it in the inner life. In the outer life, be patient, loyal, humble...
    • [Paper 156]: Jesus spoke about forceful ambition. Being ambitious, yet being integrous, not selfish.
    • "Forceful ambition, intelligent judgment, and seasoned wisdom are the essentials of material success. Leadership is dependent on natural ability, discretion, will power, and determination."
    • Be ambitious. Don't demonize ambition. Just get your definition of it correct with the cosmos.
  • When you experience zeal in the inner life, you'll think you've found God (you haven't, it's just the 6th adjutant touching your mind).
    • It's like a ZING you feel. Zeal Is Not God.
    • The spirit of worship is not worship.
  • We aren't creator beings, we are procreators. God creates our children through us.