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International Study Day - 2011


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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:46 AM

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Dear Forum Friends, Fellow Students and Paradise Pilgrims--Siblings All!

The Australia/New Zealand Urantia Reader's Association is inviting readers everywhere to unite once more in its annual study of the same Paper on the same weekend.

ANZURA's invitation:

...Only through the personal sharing of this experience by those who freely chose to do the Fathers will, will Urantia achieve its goal of light and life. We have each been given the honour to be able to share in one stage of reaching this magnificent goal.

I believe that our study groups are one of the first places that we can begin to help each other to find increased bravery and courage in doing the Fathers will. In our study groups we can create places where we can learn together about the truth of the Fathers love, experience first hand the spiritual growth in the lives of those we study with, and learn better ways to share this living truth in our daily lives.

Just such an opportunity is coming when ANZURA encourages readers across the land to take part in the National Study Day on the third weekend in May - 21/22. 5. 2011 -

The chosen paper is 132 - The Sojourn At Rome.

As in previous years we invite you, the international readership, to join us on this weekend - either in a group or as a solitary student, in which case you can be assured of the unifying bond the spirit forms of sincere hearts and minds.



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The Forum host will post the long introduction to Paper 132 Friday evening (GMT) right here. Another Section will be presented every several hours. Read, make comments and offer insights when you can. Post pictures of you and/or your group here! Enjoy the unity of the global study group if only for a weekend. Thanks to the Australia/New Zealand Urantia Readers Association for leading this annual event!


The Sojourn At Rome is a treasure chest of accurate history of his travels plus the Master's teachings on spirit values, good and evil, truth and faith. The last part of this Paper is the thrilling religion of Jesus, in action, in the "eternal city".



ANZURA

***
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#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 03:53 PM

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Overview of:

Paper 132:THE SOJOURN AT ROME

1. True Values
2. Good and Evil
3. Truth and Faith
4. Personal Ministry
5. Counseling the Rich Man
6. Social Ministry
7. Trips about Rome





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#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 02:38 PM

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Welcome to the 2011 International Study Day.


This Year's Presentation Is:


PAPER 132 of The URANTIA BOOK


~ THE SOJOURN AT ROME ~


[Introduction]



P.1455 - §1 Since Gonod carried greetings from the princes of India to Tiberius, the Roman ruler, on the third day after their arrival in Rome the two Indians and Jesus appeared before him. The morose emperor was unusually cheerful on this day and chatted long with the trio. And when they had gone from his presence, the emperor, referring to Jesus, remarked to the aide standing on his right, "If I had that fellow's kingly bearing and gracious manner, I would be a real emperor, eh?"



P.1455 - §2 While at Rome, Ganid had regular hours for study and for visiting places of interest about the city. His father had much business to transact, and desiring that his son grow up to become a worthy successor in the management of his vast commercial interests, he thought the time had come to introduce the boy to the business world. There were many citizens of India in Rome, and often one of Gonod's own employees would accompany him as interpreter so that Jesus would have whole days to himself; this gave him time in which to become thoroughly acquainted with this city of two million inhabitants. He was frequently to be found in the forum, the center of political, legal, and business life. He often went up to the Capitolium and pondered the bondage of ignorance in which these Romans were held as he beheld this magnificent temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. He also spent much time on Palatine hill, where were located the emperor's residence, the temple of Apollo, and the Greek and Latin libraries.



P.1455 - §3 At this time the Roman Empire included all of southern Europe, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and northwest Africa; and its inhabitants embraced the citizens of every country of the Eastern Hemisphere. His desire to study and mingle with this cosmopolitan aggregation of Urantia mortals was the chief reason why Jesus consented to make this journey.

P.1455 - §4 Jesus learned much about men while in Rome, but the most valuable of all the manifold experiences of his six months' sojourn in that city was his contact with, and influence upon, the religious leaders of the empire's capital. Before the end of the first week in Rome Jesus had sought out, and had made the acquaintance of, the worth-while leaders of the Cynics, the Stoics, and the mystery cults, in particular the Mithraic group. Whether or not it was apparent to Jesus that the Jews were going to reject his mission, he most certainly foresaw that his messengers were presently coming to Rome to proclaim the kingdom of heaven; and he therefore set about, in the most amazing manner, to prepare the way for the better and more certain reception of their message. He selected five of the leading Stoics, eleven of the Cynics, and sixteen of the mystery-cult leaders and spent much of his spare time for almost six months in intimate association with these religious teachers. And this was his method of instruction: Never once did he attack their errors or even mention the flaws in their teachings. In each case he would select the truth in what they taught and then proceed so to embellish and illuminate this truth in their minds that in a very short time this enhancement of the truth effectively crowded out the associated error; and thus were these Jesus-taught men and women prepared for the subsequent recognition of additional and similar truths in the teachings of the early Christian missionaries. It was this early acceptance of the teachings of the gospel preachers which gave that powerful impetus to the rapid spread of Christianity in Rome and from there throughout the empire.

P.1456 - §1 The significance of this remarkable doing can the better be understood when we record the fact that, out of this group of thirty-two Jesus-taught religious leaders in Rome, only two were unfruitful; the thirty became pivotal individuals in the establishment of Christianity in Rome, and certain of them also aided in turning the chief Mithraic temple into the first Christian church of that city. We who view human activities from behind the scenes and in the light of nineteen centuries of time recognize just three factors of paramount value in the early setting of the stage for the rapid spread of Christianity throughout Europe, and they are:


1. The choosing and holding of Simon Peter as an apostle.

2. The talk in Jerusalem with Stephen, whose death led to the winning of Saul of Tarsus.


3. The preliminary preparation of these thirty Romans for the subsequent leadership of the new religion in Rome and throughout the empire.


P.1456 - §5 Through all their experiences, neither Stephen nor the thirty chosen ones ever realized that they had once talked with the man whose name became the subject of their religious teaching. Jesus' work in behalf of the original thirty-two was entirely personal. In his labors for these individuals the scribe of Damascus never met more than three of them at one time, seldom more than two, while most often he taught them singly. And he could do this great work of religious training because these men and women were not tradition bound; they were not victims of a settled preconception as to all future religious developments.

P.1456 - §6 Many were the times in the years so soon to follow that Peter, Paul, and the other Christian teachers in Rome heard about this scribe of Damascus who had preceded them, and who had so obviously (and as they supposed unwittingly) prepared the way for their coming with the new gospel. Though Paul never really surmised the identity of this scribe of Damascus, he did, a short time before his death, because of the similarity of personal descriptions, reach the conclusion that the "tentmaker of Antioch" was also the "scribe of Damascus." On one occasion, while preaching in Rome, Simon Peter, on listening to a description of the Damascus scribe, surmised that this individual might have been Jesus but quickly dismissed the idea, knowing full well (so he thought) that the Master had never been in Rome.



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The next Section of Paper 132 will be posted in about 12 hours. Between now and then your comments, insights and questions are invited. Thank you for studying with us!]



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#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 05:01 PM

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Welcome Friends all round Urantia to the 2011 ISD,

What a compelling story, eh? This billion year old being incarnates on evil stricken Urantia 2000 years ago and visits the epicenter of the Roman empire, to till the soil before his workers return to tend the seeds he now sows in the "eternal city". A great gardener he.

The influence of Stephen's death on Saul/Paul was mentioned back in Paper 128:

...When Stephen yielded up his life as the price of his attack upon the Jewish temple and its traditional practices, there stood by one named Saul, a citizen of Tarsus. And when Saul saw how this Greek could die for his faith, there were aroused in his heart those emotions which eventually led him to espouse the cause for which Stephen died; later on he became the aggressive and indomitable Paul, the philosopher, if not the sole founder, of the Christian religion.... P.1411 - §6


Good Night Everyone, Good Morning ANZURA! Post your pictures!!

I'll post the next piece of Paper 132 first thing tomorrow. Until then read, discuss and enjoy this astounding, detailed revelation of an almost unknown, yet quintessentially pivotal, period in Jesus' life. How efficient and beautiful his deft manipulation of the art of teaching.

Isn't it amazing in his six months there, the Master teacher aroused no resistance to his influence while fundamentally influencing the most important social leaders in the Roman empire?!

Much love, Rick
2011 ISD Host


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#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 04:17 AM

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Welcome to the 2011 International Study Day.


This Year's Presentation Is:


PAPER 132 of The URANTIA BOOK


~ THE SOJOURN AT ROME ~


1. TRUE VALUES



P.1456 - §7 It was with Angamon, the leader of the Stoics, that Jesus had an all-night talk early during his sojourn in Rome. This man subsequently became a great friend of Paul and proved to be one of the strong supporters of the Christian church at Rome. In substance, and restated in modern phraseology, Jesus taught Angamon:



P.1457 - §1 The standard of true values must be looked for in the spiritual world and on divine levels of eternal reality. To an ascending mortal all lower and material standards must be recognized as transient, partial, and inferior. The scientist, as such, is limited to the discovery of the relatedness of material facts. Technically, he has no right to assert that he is either materialist or idealist, for in so doing he has assumed to forsake the attitude of a true scientist since any and all such assertions of attitude are the very essence of philosophy.

P.1457 - §2 Unless the moral insight and the spiritual attainment of mankind are proportionately augmented, the unlimited advancement of a purely materialistic culture may eventually become a menace to civilization. A purely materialistic science harbors within itself the potential seed of the destruction of all scientific striving, for this very attitude presages the ultimate collapse of a civilization which has abandoned its sense of moral values and has repudiated its spiritual goal of attainment.

P.1457 - §3 The materialistic scientist and the extreme idealist are destined always to be at loggerheads. This is not true of those scientists and idealists who are in possession of a common standard of high moral values and spiritual test levels. In every age scientists and religionists must recognize that they are on trial before the bar of human need. They must eschew all warfare between themselves while they strive valiantly to justify their continued survival by enhanced devotion to the service of human progress. If the so-called science or religion of any age is false, then must it either purify its activities or pass away before the emergence of a material science or spiritual religion of a truer and more worthy order.



***



Section 2 of Paper 132 will be posted in about 7 hours. Between now and then your comments, insights and questions are invited. Thank you for studying with us!]



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#6 Nigel Nunn

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 06:45 AM

Good Night Everyone, Good Morning ANZURA! Post your pictures!!

Hi Rick and everyone following along -- news just in from Canberra, Australia:

Our small group got together with the local branch of the Theosophical Society,
and spent 3 hours enjoying and discussing Paper 132. The description of Jesus
teaching the teachers of the Roman world was exhilarating, and his comments
about Buddha being "much better than your Buddhism" raised a few questions,
including what might it really mean for a mortal to become "enlightened".

The Theosophical Society is close to my heart: I began my education in their
bookstore in Sydney in 1979. After spending much of that year in the aisles
reading most of their stock, I had a word with the lady behind the counter...
"thanks for letting me read all your books, but do you have anything bigger,
you know, more 'comprehensive'?"

She reached under the counter and pulled out a copy of the Urantia book.

"Well, there is this", she said :)

happy studying!
Nigel

#7 Bonita

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:34 AM

I find it peculiar that Jesus, in discussing true values with a stoic, focused on the rivalry between science and religion. Everywhere else in TUB true values are defined as a spiritual experience. Rather than explain what true values are and how they can be arrived at, Jesus prefers to lecture the stoic on the preferred interplay between science and religion, materialism and idealism, highlighting the dangers of each when not balanced by true values. It's interesting to me that Jesus did not feel compelled to teach true values themselves but rather how to apply true values to life with emphasis on balance. Yet, he also warns against false values, but without explaining what they are. I'm wondering if this discussion was designed specifically for the believer in stoicism, a philosophy that preferred idealism over materialism but at the expense of demonizing the physical nature. Since Paul was heavily influenced by stoicism, perhaps this was Jesus' way of attempting to weed out what might potentially be incorporated into Paul's future teachings that was not in alignment with true values.

121:4.3 2. The Stoic. Stoicism was the superior philosophy of the better classes. The Stoics believed that a controlling Reason-Fate dominated all nature. They taught that the soul of man was divine; that it was imprisoned in the evil body of physical nature. Man’s soul achieved liberty by living in harmony with nature, with God; thus virtue came to be its own reward. Stoicism ascended to a sublime morality, ideals never since transcended by any purely human system of philosophy. While the Stoics professed to be the “offspring of God,” they failed to know him and therefore failed to find him. Stoicism remained a philosophy; it never became a religion. Its followers sought to attune their minds to the harmony of the Universal Mind, but they failed to envisage themselves as the children of a loving Father. Paul leaned heavily toward stoicism when he wrote, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”



#8 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:48 AM

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Welcome to the 2011 International Study Day.


This Year's Presentation Is:


PAPER 132 of The URANTIA BOOK


~ THE SOJOURN AT ROME ~


1. TRUE VALUES


P.1456 - §7 It was with Angamon, the leader of the Stoics, that Jesus had an all-night talk early during his sojourn in Rome. This man subsequently became a great friend of Paul and proved to be one of the strong supporters of the Christian church at Rome. In substance, and restated in modern phraseology, Jesus taught Angamon:



P.1457 - §1 The standard of true values must be looked for in the spiritual world and on divine levels of eternal reality. To an ascending mortal all lower and material standards must be recognized as transient, partial, and inferior. The scientist, as such, is limited to the discovery of the relatedness of material facts. Technically, he has no right to assert that he is either materialist or idealist, for in so doing he has assumed to forsake the attitude of a true scientist since any and all such assertions of attitude are the very essence of philosophy.

P.1457 - §2 Unless the moral insight and the spiritual attainment of mankind are proportionately augmented, the unlimited advancement of a purely materialistic culture may eventually become a menace to civilization. A purely materialistic science harbors within itself the potential seed of the destruction of all scientific striving, for this very attitude presages the ultimate collapse of a civilization which has abandoned its sense of moral values and has repudiated its spiritual goal of attainment.

P.1457 - §3 The materialistic scientist and the extreme idealist are destined always to be at loggerheads. This is not true of those scientists and idealists who are in possession of a common standard of high moral values and spiritual test levels. In every age scientists and religionists must recognize that they are on trial before the bar of human need. They must eschew all warfare between themselves while they strive valiantly to justify their continued survival by enhanced devotion to the service of human progress. If the so-called science or religion of any age is false, then must it either purify its activities or pass away before the emergence of a material science or spiritual religion of a truer and more worthy order.



***



Section 2 of Paper 132 will be posted in about 12 hours. Between now and then your comments, insights and questions are invited. Thank you for studying with us!]



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#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:58 AM

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Great news Nigel! Hey Swadlings, Rita, Vern, all, :D

God love that lady who reached under the counter for the good stuff :)

Why not Bonita? He apparently saw many details of the future.


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#10 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 01:20 PM

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...Technically, he has no right to assert that he is either materialist or idealist, for in so doing he has assumed to forsake the attitude of a true scientist since any and all such assertions of attitude are the very essence of philosophy....


Todd, Forum philosopher,

If you're reading this thread, do you have reflections/insights on the sentence above? Don't think I fully understand it.


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#11 EllenRG

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 02:02 PM

Hi Rick, this line was difficult to "get" but here is an attempt to :

RE:
" ...Technically, he has no right to assert that he is either materialist or idealist, for in so doing he has assumed to forsake the attitude of a true scientist since any and all such assertions of attitude are the very essence of philosophy...."

There is an objective scientific process to be "religiously" adhered to before any scientific fact is accepted as a fact.
Assertion states position - a matter of philosophic opinion whereas a fact, like gravity, is not an opinion but an identified and thoroughly proved scientific reality.
Also.. while "religion" is really a PERSONAL relationship with God, our discussion and sharing of our ideas, our collective agreement about ideas (and adoption of attitudes) is relegated to the realm of PHILOSOPHY, "technically" not religion.

I find this intriguing because this concept is central to a person's decisions regarding "conflict of interest" --Ell
.."..clear thinking, wise reasoning, logical judgment, sincere motivation, unselfish purpose, intelligent loyalty, experiential memory, disciplined character, and the unquestioning dedication of his personality to the doing of the will of the Father in Paradise." ..."..loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace.." URANTIA.org

#12 Alina

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 02:30 PM

GOOD DAY ALL!

Rick, for me in this quote we can find a good explanation:

5:5.5 Evolutionary religion is the mother of the science, art, and philosophy which elevated man to the level of receptivity to revealed religion, including the bestowal of Adjusters and the coming of the Spirit of Truth. The evolutionary picture of human existence begins and ends with religion, albeit very different qualities of religion, one evolutional and biological, the other revelational and periodical. And so, while religion is normal and natural to man, it is also optional. Man does not have to be religious against his will.


Clarification:
I manage to perceive that we should not confuse the Revelations epochal, or this same Fifth Revelation such as the UB with our own revelations, that I mean that sometimes we receive as a result of our will "personal revelations" from our Adjuster


Happy reading and study, especially today!

Greetings,

ALINA
*******

Edited by Alina, 21 May 2011 - 03:29 PM.


#13 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 03:31 PM

That does help Ellen! And thanks Alina for that quote. Greetings and good tidings to Washington state and Argentina!!

Up next: Good and evil.

#14 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 03:34 PM

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Welcome to the 2011 International Study Day.


This Year's Presentation Is:


PAPER 132 of The URANTIA BOOK


~ THE SOJOURN AT ROME ~


2. GOOD AND EVIL


P.1457 - §4 Mardus was the acknowledged leader of the Cynics of Rome, and he became a great friend of the scribe of Damascus. Day after day he conversed with Jesus, and night upon night he listened to his supernal teaching. Among the more important discussions with Mardus was the one designed to answer this sincere Cynic's question about good and evil. In substance, and in twentieth-century phraseology, Jesus said:



P.1457 - §5 My brother, good and evil are merely words symbolizing relative levels of human comprehension of the observable universe. If you are ethically lazy and socially indifferent, you can take as your standard of good the current social usages. If you are spiritually indolent and morally unprogressive, you may take as your standards of good the religious practices and traditions of your contemporaries. But the soul that survives time and emerges into eternity must make a living and personal choice between good and evil as they are determined by the true values of the spiritual standards established by the divine spirit which the Father in heaven has sent to dwell within the heart of man. This indwelling spirit is the standard of personality survival.

P.1457 - §6 Goodness, like truth, is always relative and unfailingly evil-contrasted. It is the perception of these qualities of goodness and truth that enables the evolving souls of men to make those personal decisions of choice which are essential to eternal survival.

P.1458 - §1 The spiritually blind individual who logically follows scientific dictation, social usage, and religious dogma stands in grave danger of sacrificing his moral freedom and losing his spiritual liberty. Such a soul is destined to become an intellectual parrot, a social automaton, and a slave to religious authority.

P.1458 - §2 Goodness is always growing toward new levels of the increasing liberty of moral self-realization and spiritual personality attainment--the discovery of, and identification with, the indwelling Adjuster. An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one's fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster, all of which lead directly to an increased desire to do the Father's will, thereby fostering the divine passion to find God and to be more like him.


P.1458 - §3 As you ascend the universe scale of creature development, you will find increasing goodness and diminishing evil in perfect accordance with your capacity for goodness-experience and truth-discernment. The ability to entertain error or experience evil will not be fully lost until the ascending human soul achieves final spirit levels.

P.1458 - §4 Goodness is living, relative, always progressing, invariably a personal experience, and everlastingly correlated with the discernment of truth and beauty. Goodness is found in the recognition of the positive truth-values of the spiritual level, which must, in human experience, be contrasted with the negative counterpart--the shadows of potential evil.


P.1458 - §5 Until you attain Paradise levels, goodness will always be more of a quest than a possession, more of a goal than an experience of attainment. But even as you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you experience increasing satisfaction in the partial attainment of goodness. The presence of goodness and evil in the world is in itself positive proof of the existence and reality of man's moral will, the personality, which thus identifies these values and is also able to choose between them.

P.1458 - §6 By the time of the attainment of Paradise the ascending mortal's capacity for identifying the self with true spirit values has become so enlarged as to result in the attainment of the perfection of the possession of the light of life. Such a perfected spirit personality becomes so wholly, divinely, and spiritually unified with the positive and supreme qualities of goodness, beauty, and truth that there remains no possibility that such a righteous spirit would cast any negative shadow of potential evil when exposed to the searching luminosity of the divine light of the infinite Rulers of Paradise. In all such spirit personalities, goodness is no longer partial, contrastive, and comparative; it has become divinely complete and spiritually replete; it approaches the purity and perfection of the Supreme.

P.1458 - §7 The possibility of evil is necessary to moral choosing, but not the actuality thereof. A shadow is only relatively real. Actual evil is not necessary as a personal experience. Potential evil acts equally well as a decision stimulus in the realms of moral progress on the lower levels of spiritual development. Evil becomes a reality of personal experience only when a moral mind makes evil its choice.




***



Section 3 of Paper 132 will be posted in a few hours. Between now and then your comments, insights and questions are invited. Thank you for studying with us!]



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#15 Bonita

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 03:48 PM

I rather think that the following explains the quote in question:

112:2.12 In science the human self observes the material world; philosophy is the observation of this observation of the material world; religion, true spiritual experience, is the experiential realization of the cosmic reality of the observation of the observation of all this relative synthesis of the energy materials of time and space. To build a philosophy of the universe on an exclusive materialism is to ignore the fact that all things material are initially conceived as real in the experience of human consciousness. The observer cannot be the thing observed; evaluation demands some degree of transcendence of the thing which is evaluated.



The philosophy of materialism is the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications. Consciousness and will, therefore, are averred to be wholly due to material agency.

The philosophy of idealism, on the other hand, is the theory that the object of external perception, in itself or as perceived, consists of ideas.

One philosophy is of matter, the other of mind. Jesus was teaching that neither alone incorporate true values and if a scientist asserts either matter or mind, then he is asserting a philosophy, not a fact. Scientists deal with facts only whereas religion deals with values only. Philosophy is the means by which we attempt to unite the two.

101:5.2 Science deals with facts; religion is concerned only with values. Through enlightened philosophy the mind endeavors to unite the meanings of both facts and values, thereby arriving at a concept of complete reality. Remember that science is the domain of knowledge, philosophy the realm of wisdom, and religion the sphere of the faith experience.



#16 EllenRG

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 04:35 PM

This idea..

P.1458 - §2 Goodness is always growing toward new levels of the increasing liberty of moral self-realization and spiritual personality attainment--the discovery of, and identification with, the indwelling Adjuster. An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one's fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster, all of which lead directly to an increased desire to do the Father's will, thereby fostering the divine passion to find God and to be more like him."


... I think is hard for persons who try hard to do as they have been told, taught, brought up to admire and stick with as principles of living.

When I was little some teachings of our church seemed to be not sensible and now I know they weren't sensible or correct and I feel sorry for all the people who must continuously and constantly attempt to reconcile the incorrect teachings of their church or philosophy with true God in their heart showing them the way -- a way that is perhaps VERY different and -on-the-face-of-it- "wrong" according to their upbringing and practices.

How do persons develop confidence in the their Adjuster's leading? i'm thinking: Practice! Practice loving!
Practice loving and LISTENING to person's who's Adjusters are there, too.
Honest and friendly feedback. Practice TRUTH without brutality.

Here is an admonition ( thank you Meredith)

But as religion becomes institutionalized, its power for good is curtailed, while the possibilities for evil are greatly multiplied.
The dangers of formalized religion are: fixation of beliefs and crystallization of sentiments;
accumulation of vested interests with increase of secularization;
tendency to standardize and fossilize truth;
diversion of religion from the service of God to the service of the church;
inclination of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers;
tendency to form sects and competitive divisions;
establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority;
creation of the aristocratic “chosen-people” attitude;
fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness;
the routinizing of religion and the petrification of worship;
tendency to venerate the past while ignoring present demands;
failure to make up-to-date interpretations of religion;
entanglement with functions of secular institutions;
it creates the evil discrimination of religious castes;
it becomes an intolerant judge of orthodoxy;
it fails to hold the interest of adventurous youth and gradually loses the saving message of the gospel of eternal salvation.
(1092.3) 99:6.3


Edited by EllenRG, 21 May 2011 - 04:37 PM.

.."..clear thinking, wise reasoning, logical judgment, sincere motivation, unselfish purpose, intelligent loyalty, experiential memory, disciplined character, and the unquestioning dedication of his personality to the doing of the will of the Father in Paradise." ..."..loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace.." URANTIA.org

#17 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 04:41 PM

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Wonderful insights as always Bonita,

I truly enjoy the way various authors redefine so many of our concept frames, and then hone that definition again and again, as with philosophy. Has any philosopher ever realized that true philosophy is a bridge between fact and value, material and spirit worlds and been able to convey that understanding with a minimum of confusion?

And has the world realized that good can be realized in time and space because is it is contrasted with evil. This is a well defined theme in the book. People always want to know why the evil? Now we can know:


...Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast.... P.51 - §12

...The inhabitants of the Havona worlds do not require the potential of relative value levels as a choice stimulus; such perfect beings are able to identify and choose the good in the absence of all contrastive and thought-compelling moral situations.... P.52 - §2

...The infinite goodness of the Father is beyond the comprehension of the finite mind of time; hence must there always be afforded a contrast with comparative evil (not sin) for the effective exhibition of all phases of relative goodness.... P.58 - §4

...Perfection of divine goodness can be discerned by mortal imperfection of insight only because it stands in contrastive association with relative imperfection in the relationships of time and matter in the motions of space.... P.58 - §4

...Man is slow to perceive that contrastive perfection and imperfection produce potential evil; that conflicting truth and falsehood create confusing error.... P.613 - §1



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#18 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 05:03 PM

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Well stated Ellen and a perfect segue into good and evil,

I would note that the only italicized word in this, the Master's rephrased essay on good and evil, is in this sentence:

...The possibility of evil is necessary to moral choosing, but not the actuality thereof....


So the manifestation of evil isn't actually required! A point to remember, apparently.

Thanks El!

PS. This good and evil dissertation by Jesus contains two references to another broad theme in the Papers, one that appears over 80 times, the coupling of the words truth, beauty and goodness.

Take this link to see them all in highlight: http://www.urantia-u...p?showtopic=692

#19 Bonita

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 06:33 PM

Again, I find it interesting that Jesus chose to discuss good and evil with one of the cynics and it's fitting that a cynic asked this question in the first place since the principle of returning good for evil was one of their teachings. Cynicism was a religion that preserved the Melchizedek teachings.

131:1.1 The residual teachings of the disciples of Melchizedek, excepting those which persisted in the Jewish religion, were best preserved in the doctrines of the Cynics.



When Ganid compiled information on the world's religions, he wrote the following about cynicism:

131:1.7 "In your lives overthrow error and overcome evil by the love of the living truth. In all your relations with men do good for evil. The Lord God is merciful and loving; he is forgiving. Let us love God, for he first loved us. By God's love and through his mercy we shall be saved. Poor men and rich men are brothers. God is their Father. The evil you would not have done you, do not to others.



In teaching the cynic, Jesus expounded further on true values than he did with the stoic. Here he goes a step further and reveals that true values are established in the soul by the Adjuster.

P.1457 - §5 But the soul that survives time and emerges into eternity must make a living and personal choice between good and evil as they are determined by the true values of the spiritual standards established by the divine spirit which the Father in heaven has sent to dwell within the heart of man.



And then Jesus goes even further by revealing that personality itself is responsive to true values. The personality identifies value and has been given the ability to choose it.

P.1458 - §5 The presence of goodness and evil in the world is in itself positive proof of the existence and reality of man's moral will, the personality, which thus identifies these values and is also able to choose between them.



And finally, he explains the question of "enlightenment", personal light and life, where the individual attains perfection of identification with true values.

P.1458 - §6 By the time of the attainment of Paradise the ascending mortal's capacity for identifying the self with true spirit values has become so enlarged as to result in the attainment of the perfection of the possession of the light of life.



#20 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:17 PM

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Welcome to the 2011 International Study Day.


This Year's Presentation Is:


PAPER 132 of The URANTIA BOOK


~ THE SOJOURN AT ROME ~


3. TRUTH AND FAITH


P.1459 - §1 Nabon was a Greek Jew and foremost among the leaders of the chief mystery cult in Rome, the Mithraic. While this high priest of Mithraism held many conferences with the Damascus scribe, he was most permanently influenced by their discussion of truth and faith one evening. Nabon had thought to make a convert of Jesus and had even suggested that he return to Palestine as a Mithraic teacher. He little realized that Jesus was preparing him to become one of the early converts to the gospel of the kingdom. Restated in modern phraseology, the substance of Jesus' teaching was:


P.1459 - §2 Truth cannot be defined with words, only by living. Truth is always more than knowledge. Knowledge pertains to things observed, but truth transcends such purely material levels in that it consorts with wisdom and embraces such imponderables as human experience, even spiritual and living realities. Knowledge originates in science; wisdom, in true philosophy; truth, in the religious experience of spiritual living. Knowledge deals with facts; wisdom, with relationships; truth, with reality values.

P.1459 - §3 Man tends to crystallize science, formulate philosophy, and dogmatize truth because he is mentally lazy in adjusting to the progressive struggles of living, while he is also terribly afraid of the unknown. Natural man is slow to initiate changes in his habits of thinking and in his techniques of living.

P.1459 - §4 Revealed truth, personally discovered truth, is the supreme delight of the human soul; it is the joint creation of the material mind and the indwelling spirit. The eternal salvation of this truth-discerning and beauty-loving soul is assured by that hunger and thirst for goodness which leads this mortal to develop a singleness of purpose to do the Father's will, to find God and to become like him. There is never conflict between true knowledge and truth. There may be conflict between knowledge and human beliefs, beliefs colored with prejudice, distorted by fear, and dominated by the dread of facing new facts of material discovery or spiritual progress.

P.1459 - §5 But truth can never become man's possession without the exercise of faith. This is true because man's thoughts, wisdom, ethics, and ideals will never rise higher than his faith, his sublime hope. And all such true faith is predicated on profound reflection, sincere self-criticism, and uncompromising moral consciousness. Faith is the inspiration of the spiritized creative imagination.

P.1459 - §6 Faith acts to release the superhuman activities of the divine spark, the immortal germ, that lives within the mind of man, and which is the potential of eternal survival. Plants and animals survive in time by the technique of passing on from one generation to another identical particles of themselves. The human soul (personality) of man survives mortal death by identity association with this indwelling spark of divinity, which is immortal, and which functions to perpetuate the human personality upon a continuing and higher level of progressive universe existence. The concealed seed of the human soul is an immortal spirit. The second generation of the soul is the first of a succession of personality manifestations of spiritual and progressing existences, terminating only when this divine entity attains the source of its existence, the personal source of all existence, God, the Universal Father.

P.1459 - §7 Human life continues--survives--because it has a universe function, the task of finding God. The faith-activated soul of man cannot stop short of the attainment of this goal of destiny; and when it does once achieve this divine goal, it can never end because it has become like God--eternal.


P.1460 - §1 Spiritual evolution is an experience of the increasing and voluntary choice of goodness attended by an equal and progressive diminution of the possibility of evil. With the attainment of finality of choice for goodness and of completed capacity for truth appreciation, there comes into existence a perfection of beauty and holiness whose righteousness eternally inhibits the possibility of the emergence of even the concept of potential evil. Such a God-knowing soul casts no shadow of doubting evil when functioning on such a high spirit level of divine goodness.

P.1460 - §2 The presence of the Paradise spirit in the mind of man constitutes the revelation promise and the faith pledge of an eternal existence of divine progression for every soul seeking to achieve identity with this immortal and indwelling spirit fragment of the Universal Father.

P.1460 - §3 Universe progress is characterized by increasing personality freedom because it is associated with the progressive attainment of higher and higher levels of self-understanding and consequent voluntary self-restraint. The attainment of perfection of spiritual self-restraint equals completeness of universe freedom and personal liberty. Faith fosters and maintains man's soul in the midst of the confusion of his early orientation in such a vast universe, whereas prayer becomes the great unifier of the various inspirations of the creative imagination and the faith urges of a soul trying to identify itself with the spirit ideals of the indwelling and associated divine presence.


P.1460 - §4 Nabon was greatly impressed by these words, as he was by each of his talks with Jesus. These truths continued to burn within his heart, and he was of great assistance to the later arriving preachers of Jesus' gospel.



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Section 4 of Paper 132 will be posted in about 10 hours. Between now and then your comments, insights and questions are invited. Thank you for studying with us!]



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