Episode:Religion in Depth—Social Problems (Part 5)
Religion is genuine and worth while if it fosters in the individual an experience in which the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness prevails, for such is the true spiritual concept of supreme reality. And through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with God.
Note: This might be a top episode because of the small number of paragraphs read and thus much meaningful discussion.
Summary by Kermit
Commentary on Review
We reviewed the final paragraph of our reading from the week before, paying specific attention to the author’s use of the word decadence in describing the effects of the transition from old religious loyalties to the emerging new meanings and values occurring in the early decades of the twentieth century. Decadence implies a fall from an attained level. In this case it was applied to the quality of family life and personal religious experience. Speaking in a mode of vertical orientation, transition from old loyalties to new meanings and values requires a letting go of the old and an embracing of the new. In order for progress to be realized higher meanings and values must be grasped. Decadence indicates a decline or fall to lower levels. The overthrow of the more primitive elements of the religious practices and usages also entails disconnection from the cosmos. For even these primitive religious practices and usages represented a superconscious attachment to the cosmos, and such separation therefrom eventuates in decadence. Further, because of the rapid and extensive social changes that have propelled the social ship out of the sheltered bays of established tradition, these once useful cosmic conduits are no longer sufficient to so serve as in the past. And remember the weakening of the cosmic connections will result in society falling from the all three cosmic levels: religious, moral, and scientific, such as is playing out today.
A caller requested that the team address the separation of religious activities from social activities as they specifically apply to our Urantia Book community. As mentioned, the function of religion is to ennoble the three cosmic intuitions, as well as foster creative, comforting, and love-expanding fellowships. Listen to the archive for an elucidating explanation of this, using the hourglass analogy of the human mind.
Paragraph three. As previously mentioned, religion redounds to the common good by equipping the religionist to live dynamically in direct engagement with the commonplace realities of everyday life. If genuine religion, functioning within the whole of existence, while maintaining a separation from the other elements of the whole (i.e., the social, political, and economic parts). And to do this it MUST NOT BE: standardized, stereotyped, or formalized, as is characteristic of the non-personal lower domain functioning of adjutant mind.
Our author reassures us that regardless of the degree of disturbance attendant upon the social and economic growth of civilization, religion is real and beneficial outwardly and temporally if it serves to anchor the religionist firmly experientially in the transcendent nature of truth, beauty, and goodness, the true spiritual concept of supreme reality. The discussion following paragraph four of this section should be revisited in the archive for the fullness of its unpacking. The precision and distinctions of the concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness in terms of eternity, time, and supremacy defy summarization in this treatment. Through this unpacking we can follow the dynamic movements whereby religionists gather to encourage and remind one another to hold on to eternity, and through love and worship find their meaning in fellowship with man and sonship with God. In so doing the realm of the eternal and the transactions of time connect in experience. In the course of this explanation we were introduced to the difference between loving service and feeling service, and a fuller significance of one of the revelation’s definitions of LOVE as being the DESIRE to do good to others as opposed to DOING good to others (which is service).
To reiterate: Genuine religion must be exclusively spiritual and tied to eternity by itself. When such religion is considered in the context of the whole you can begin to relate to other things. The maintenance of this separation enables the religionist to enjoy that peace that passes all understanding irrespective of temporal circumstances. We are given a picture of a real religionist in action; one hand resting in/on eternity, the other hand extended in time to his fellows—loving service.
We have frequently encountered the idea that you can obey truth but not facts. Paragraph 5 speaks to this interesting (truth? or fact?). Our author tells us that what one believes determines conduct and dominates personal performance. Factual knowledge exerts little influence unless activated emotionally. How does this happen? Zeal (on the 2nd level of meaning) is applied to ideas. Real religion takes place on a level above feelings on the 6th levle of meaning where the religious consciousness is found. Continuing in the Melchizedek’s words; “...unifying the entire human experience on transcendent levels through contact with, and release of, spiritual energies in the mortal life.”
Notes by Brad
- decadence etymology: decay, to fall from. Implies falling down from some state. Calling chocolate cake decadent is a misuse of the word, and if you read it in this context in the revelation, you will interpret everything in error.
- If you let go of old religious loyalties and immediately grab ahold of the new meanings and values, you will fall down--lose the objectivity of that higher vantage point.
- Genuine attempts to go beyond the self are what count, a spirit of trying to do this. Earnest seeking and striving to reach upward are what have fallen away in the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Can Urantia Book readers have a shared religious experience? It's so easy to accidentally use the old wineskins (of old collective religious phenomena)
- True religion is synonymous with: genuine (real) religion in the context of the whole.
- Big hint your so-called religion isn't anchored in the inner life? It evinces standardization.
- Your relation to the cosmos first is an individuation ("courageous and independent"). But then it must be socialized, connected to the parts of the whole. Don't remain introspective.
- Truth, beauty, and goodness are in eternity, don't pretend like they're in time (that's delusional). A stable relationship to eternity anchors you.
- When you recognize beauty in the temporal world, you've had an insight into eternity.