I founded the Vista Study Group in January 1991. In 1992 participants of our group and those of two other mutually enthusiastic study groups in my area planned and began to study together a selected topic from the book. The topic was always selected by the person who volunteered to present it. Hosting it was rotated among the three study group locales. Over the years we’ve developed a tradition of sorts to get together periodically on a Sunday afternoon for what we call a "topical discussion", followed by the sharing a meal provided by both the host and the participants.
The most recent topical discussion titled “Spiritual Brotherhood” was held in my home on Sunday, March 13. Twenty participants from six study groups attended. It was a joyous afternoon, full of fun and laughter. It seems UB readers have a great sense of humor! While the topic is very large in scope, I hoped to convey the truth that “[h]uman unity and mortal brotherhood can be achieved only by and through the superendowment of the religion of the spirit.” (P. 1732) Both new readers and long time readers attended and three different versions of the book were used. People helped each other find the page and paragraph under discussion in these various books and in general the group attempted to make light of it.
The informational structure of the topic was centered on a section from PAPER 52 - Section 6 titled, “URANTIA'S POSTBESTOWAL AGE.” It is interesting to note that “[t]he postbestowal Son age may extend from ten thousand to a hundred thousand years.” (P. 596) Planetary adjustments, as well as personal transformations of millions upon millions of persons, human beings, now and over the centuries to come are required to achieve what both you and I envision for our world - the brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God.
I post the topical outline on spiritual brotherhood for our mutual edification, though I do not have the page/paragraph references for the third version of the UB.
SPIRITUAL BROTHERHOOD 3/13/11
1) . . . the kingdom of heaven is the spiritual brotherhood of man founded on the eternal fact of the universal fatherhood of God. P.1808 - §6; 163:7.4
2) The kingdom of heaven is neither a social nor economic order; it is an exclusively spiritual brotherhood of God-knowing individuals. True, such a brotherhood is in itself a new and amazing social phenomenon attended by astounding political and economic repercussions. P.1088 - §3; 99:3.2
3) Jesus offered no rules for social advancement; his was a religious mission, and religion is an exclusively individual experience. The ultimate goal of society's most advanced achievement can never hope to transcend Jesus' brotherhood of men based on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. The ideal of all social attainment can be realized only in the coming of this divine kingdom. P.2093 - §5; 196:2.11
4) (From PAPER 52: P.597 - §3 - 4; 52:6.2 - 3) Even on normal evolutionary worlds the realization of the world-wide brotherhood of man is not an easy accomplishment. On a confused and disordered planet like Urantia such an achievement requires a much longer time and necessitates far greater effort. Unaided social evolution can hardly achieve such happy results on a spiritually isolated sphere. Religious revelation is essential to the realization of brotherhood on Urantia. While Jesus has shown the way to the immediate attainment of spiritual brotherhood, the realization of social brotherhood on your world depends much on the achievement of the following personal transformations and planetary adjustments:
5) 1. Social fraternity. Multiplication of international and interracial social contacts and fraternal associations through travel, commerce, and competitive play. Development of a common language and the multiplication of multilinguists. The racial and national interchange of students, teachers, industrialists, and religious philosophers.
6) P. 1093 - §3; 99:7.5 Economic interdependence and social fraternity . . . .
7) P. 787 - §5; 70:3.5 The absence of a common language has always impeded . .
8) P. 805 - §1-§4; 71:5.1 - 4 Competition is essential to social . . . .
9) P. 1129 - §8; 103:1.1 The unity of religious experience . . . .
10) P.138 - §5 - 6; 12:7.10 - 11 This very love of God for the individual . . .
11) 2. Intellectual cross-fertilization. Brotherhood is impossible on a world whose inhabitants are so primitive that they fail to recognize the folly of unmitigated selfishness. There must occur an exchange of national and racial literature. Each race must become familiar with the thought of all races; each nation must know the feelings of all nations. Ignorance breeds suspicion, and suspicion is incompatible with the essential attitude of sympathy and love. P.597 - §5; 52:6.4
12) P. 553 - §3; 48:6.2 2. Racial Interpreters. All races of mortal . . . .
13) P. 1732 - §1 - §2 ; 155:6.8 - 9 “Every race of mankind has its own mental . . .
14) 3. Ethical awakening. Only ethical consciousness can unmask the immorality of human intolerance and the sinfulness of fratricidal strife. Only a moral conscience can condemn the evils of national envy and racial jealousy. Only moral beings will ever seek for that spiritual insight which is essential to living the golden rule. P.597 - §6; 52:6.5
15) P.1641 - §4; 146:3.2 The apostles were a bit disconcerted . . . .
16) P.1950 - §1 -§3; 180:5.6 - 8 Some persons discern and interpret . . . .
17) P.300 - §4; 27:3.1 The higher you ascend in the scale of life . . . .
18) P. 909 - §7; 81:6.26 9. The racial ideals. The ideals of one generation . . . .
19) 4. Political wisdom. Emotional maturity is essential to self-control. Only emotional maturity will insure the substitution of international techniques of civilized adjudication for the barbarous arbitrament of war. Wise statesmen will sometime work for the welfare of humanity even while they strive to promote the interest of their national or racial groups. Selfish political sagacity is ultimately suicidal--destructive of all those enduring qualities which insure planetary group survival. P.598 - §1; 52:6.6
20) P.1220 - §9; 111:4.10 Ideas may take origin in the stimuli of the outer world .
21) P.1491 - §4 to §7; 134:6.10 - 13 The individual will enjoy far more liberty. . . .
22) P.1087 - §6; 99:2.3 Religionists must function in society . . . .
23) 5. Spiritual insight. The brotherhood of man is, after all, predicated on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. The quickest way to realize the brotherhood of man on Urantia is to effect the spiritual transformation of present-day humanity. The only technique for accelerating the natural trend of social evolution is that of applying spiritual pressure from above, thus augmenting moral insight while enhancing the soul capacity of every mortal to understand and love every other mortal. Mutual understanding and fraternal love are transcendent civilizers and mighty factors in the world-wide realization of the brotherhood of man. P.598 - §2; 52:6.7
24) P.1739 - §6 156:5.11 You are destined to live a narrow and mean life . . .
25) P.1125 - §2 102:6.7 Belief may not be able to resist doubt and withstand . . . .
26) P.1302 - §7; 118:8.10 As man shakes off the shackles of fear . . . .
27) P.1468 - §3; 133:0.3 One day while resting at lunch, about halfway . . . .
28) If you could be transplanted from your backward and confused world to some normal planet now in the postbestowal Son age, you would think you had been translated to the heaven of your traditions. You would hardly believe that you were observing the normal evolutionary workings of a mortal sphere of human habitation. These worlds are in the spiritual circuits of their realm, and they enjoy all the advantages of the universe broadcasts and the reflectivity services of the superuniverse. P.598 - §3 52:6.8
29) P.1487 - §1; 134:4.4 Religious peace--brotherhood--can never exist unless . . . .
30) P.1866 - §4; 170:5.21 Mistake not! there is in the teachings of Jesus . . . .
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I hope you enjoy the study. I'm sure you, too, can find good references to add to the ones I highlighted.
All the best,
Edited by Meredith Van Woert, 21 March 2011 - 11:33 AM.