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The Ideal Civilization


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#21 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:44 AM

It all begins with religion and my country (along with many others) is working feverishly to stomp out religion – hence my belief that we are in a significant retrogression. Significant.


I do not think people are working feverishly to stomp out religion, as if that were even possible! I do not think we are retrogressing. There are many inevitabilities (see Paper 3, page 51). Jesus reminds us to ". . . be not overcome by evil but rather overcome evil with good." P.1739 - §0 Why worry about people who want to stomp on something? Negativity should challenge us to do better.

What I do think is this: People are getting more and more personal religion, rather than the organized, institutional, and outward showing religion. I talk to people all day long about this and they tell me their religion is inside their hearts and souls, even while they may not be attending religious services of their religious tradition.

All the best,
Meredith

#22 Bonita

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:35 PM

I do not think people are working feverishly to stomp out religion, as if that were even possible! I do not think we are retrogressing. There are many inevitabilities (see Paper 3, page 51). Jesus reminds us to ". . . be not overcome by evil but rather overcome evil with good." P.1739 - §0 Why worry about people who want to stomp on something? Negativity should challenge us to do better.

What I do think is this: People are getting more and more personal religion, rather than the organized, institutional, and outward showing religion. I talk to people all day long about this and they tell me their religion is inside their hearts and souls, even while they may not be attending religious services of their religious tradition.


Okay, so what you're saying is that it's a good thing that God is being eliminated from all public or non-religious institutions, because it's forcing people to discover God within themselves instead?

But doesn't this next quote imply that God cannot be isolated to only one part of life? Don't we have to become comfortable allowing God into all aspects of our lives, both public and private?

102:6.1 The philosophic elimination of religious fear and the steady progress of science add greatly to the mortality of false Gods; and even though these casualties of man-made deities may momentarily befog the spiritual vision, they eventually destroy that ignorance and superstition which so long obscured the living God of eternal love. The relation between the creature and the Creator is a living experience, a dynamic religious faith, which is not subject to precise definition. To isolate part of life and call it religion is to disintegrate life and to distort religion. And this is just why the God of worship claims all allegiance or none.



#23 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 10:15 PM

Okay, so what you're saying is that it's a good thing that God is being eliminated from all public or non-religious institutions, because it's forcing people to discover God within themselves instead?

But doesn't this next quote imply that God cannot be isolated to only one part of life? Don't we have to become comfortable allowing God into all aspects of our lives, both public and private?


Let's put it this way, Bonita:

P.1088 - §5 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.


The individual citizen, the ideal citizen, is one who know this: That God is his/her Father and that man is his/her brother.

P.1090 - §3 There is no danger in religion's becoming more and more of a private matter--a personal experience--provided it does not lose its motivation for unselfish and loving social service.


P.1088 - §4 The religionist is not unsympathetic with social suffering, not unmindful of civil injustice, not insulated from economic thinking, neither insensible to political tyranny. Religion influences social reconstruction directly because it spiritualizes and idealizes the individual citizen. Indirectly, cultural civilization is influenced by the attitude of these individual religionists as they become active and influential members of various social, moral, economic, and political groups.


Individual religionists, as they become active and influential members of various social, moral, economic and political groups, grow cultural civilization.

P.1089 - §8 It is the business of religion to create, sustain, and inspire such a cosmic loyalty in the individual citizen as will direct him to the achievement of success in the advancement of all these difficult but desirable social services.


I'm saying simply that people with whom I interact are less interested in institutional religion and more in touch with the religion of personal experience.

All the best,
Meredith

#24 Bonita

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 07:28 AM

Well, I agree with that approach Meredith, but that's not what I'm referring to. Of course religion begins with the individual and is a private affair. I've been saying that ever since I came here. What I'm asking is, is it appropriate for modern civilization to oust God from the public arena? Should our attention to God be relegated only to private places?

For instance, do you think it is wise for the mayor of NYC to forbid any clergy from participating, or any reference to God be permitted at the 10th anniversary 9-11 memorial? Should civic functions always exclude references to God because they are civic? Are we at that point where there are just too many different religions and because we have become so politically correct we consider it wrong if we don't include every single religion on the planet, and since we can't do that, we ignore or ban all of them instead? Shouldn't we get to the point where a specific religion is not as important as God himself? And shouldn't we get to the point where people are not ashamed to include God in their civic functions, out loud and for all to hear without referencing any one particular religion, but the God of all religions? Why should people, especially our leaders, have to feel ashamed about mentioning God in public?

I think it's high time that someone starts to publicly preach that there is only one God, the Father of all people and the Father of all their varied religions they've created about him. And I think it's high time that we stop being ashamed to bring God back into all aspects of our individual and collective lives.

I want to tie this into what TUB teaches about progressive civilization. We are told that we will go through seven successive developmental epochs: 1.) nutrition epoch; 2.) security age; 3.) material-comfort era; 4.) quest for knowledge and wisdom; 5.) epoch of philosophy and brotherhood; 6.) age of spiritual striving; and, 7.) era of light and life. We are currently in number 3:

50:5.6 3. The material-comfort era. After food problems have been partially solved and some degree of security has been attained, the additional leisure is utilized to promote personal comfort. Luxury vies with necessity in occupying the center of the stage of human activities. Such an age is all too often characterized by tyranny, intolerance, gluttony, and drunkenness. The weaker elements of the races incline towards excesses and brutality. Gradually these pleasure-seeking weaklings are subjugated by the more strong and truth-loving elements of the advancing civilization.



And we have to get to number 4:

50:5.7 4. The quest for knowledge and wisdom. Food, security, pleasure, and leisure provide the foundation for the development of culture and the spread of knowledge. The effort to execute knowledge results in wisdom, and when a culture has learned how to profit and improve by experience, civilization has really arrived. Food, security, and material comfort still dominate society, but many forward-looking individuals are hungering for knowledge and thirsting for wisdom. Every child is provided an opportunity to learn by doing; education is the watchword of these ages.



I think that if it were not for some recent retrogressions, we could actually be at number 4. I know that many individuals are are at number 4 and even further along, but this thread is about the collective body. The strong, truth-loving elements of advancing civilization are those same people who have found God. They should not have to feel ashamed about that fact and it should be permitted in the public arena, not to force it on the public, but to share what they have found. If we are meant to move forward in our hunger for knowledge and wisdom, then God has to be part of it. Wisdom without God is merely a form of science; wisdom of the world alone. Civilization cannot progress without religion, but the public's definition of what constitutes religion has to change if wisdom is to be attained.

92:7.15 True religion must ever be, at one and the same time, the eternal foundation and the guiding star of all enduring civilizations.

92:3.9 Religion fostered civilization and provided societal continuity; it has been the moral police force of all time. Religion provided that human discipline and self-control which made wisdom possible. Religion is the efficient scourge of evolution which ruthlessly drives indolent and suffering humanity from its natural state of intellectual inertia forward and upward to the higher levels of reason and wisdom.



#25 menno

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:25 AM

Hi Bonita;

In regards to your comment that we are currently in number 3 as per the seven epochs of Progressive Civilization

my personal view is that we are not really in number 3. Because of our screwed up history on Urantia; we are really all over the scale. Yes, you could say that in the "Western World" it appears that we are in number 3. But There are hundreds of millions of people who are still in number 1. And there are still millions of people who are in number 2. And at the same time there are some people forging ahead into the area of number 4.

We as a whole, can not really advance until we have wrapped up number 1 and number 2. We are in essence dragging old unresolved garbage along behind us.

And to top it all off; those among us, who are expanding our consciousness with the help of the Urantia Book, and other highly advanced souls; are reaching out and touching number 5 and number 6

Edited by menno, 30 August 2011 - 12:06 PM.


#26 Bonita

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:20 AM

Hi Menno,

I agree that you will find pockets of people all over the globe in earlier stages of civilization and you will likewise find that individual people may excel and reach a higher personal stage of light and life. But if you add it all up, on average, I believe civilization as a whole is winding up stage three and quivering on the brink of embarking on stage four.

195:9.2  Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment.



Some may think that we are about to enter stage five, but I believe we're far from this and need to master the knowledge and wisdom phase first, thereby making education the watchword of our times. (Right now we're making educators' rights and income the watchword of the times, not education. But, it is a step that needs to be taken in order that proper emphasis eventually be placed on the value of education with high quality educators. One of the many problems lies in the fact that we have educators educating educators, it's like lawyers making laws for lawyers . . . there's a major retrogressive conflict of interest there.)

50:5.8 5. The epoch of philosophy and brotherhood. When mortals learn to think and begin to profit by experience, they become philosophical—they start out to reason within themselves and to exercise discriminative judgment. The society of this age becomes ethical, and the mortals of such an era are truly becoming moral beings. Wise moral beings are capable of establishing human brotherhood on such a progressing world. Ethical and moral beings can learn how to live in accordance with the golden rule.



I also believe that some parts of civilization have been moving very quickly while others lumber behind. Perhaps that is the reason why the revelators explain that there are built-in brakes on the too rapid advancement of civilization. Retrogressions may be necessary in order for the laggers to catch up.

68:4.5 Nevertheless, the inertia of primitive man constitutes the biologic safety brake against precipitation too suddenly into the ruinous maladjustment of a too rapidly advancing civilization.

118:8.6 The slowness of evolution, of human cultural progress, testifies to the effectiveness of that brake — material inertia — which so efficiently operates to retard dangerous velocities of progress. Thus does time itself cushion and distribute the otherwise lethal results of premature escape from the next-encompassing barriers to human action. For when culture advances overfast, when material achievement outruns the evolution of worship-wisdom, then does civilization contain within itself the seeds of retrogression; and unless buttressed by the swift augmentation of experiential wisdom, such human societies will recede from high but premature levels of attainment, and the “dark ages” of the interregnum of wisdom will bear witness to the inexorable restoration of the imbalance between self-liberty and self-control.



Material inertia is currently giving us time for the evolution of worship and wisdom. Until we work out this problem, especially with wisdom, we're going nowhere except backward. Maybe going backward is necessary in order to find out where, exactly, we left worship and wisdom behind. It's like having to turn around and go back home because you forgot to take the tickets off the table when you ran out the door in a big hurry.

#27 -Scott-

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 12:09 PM

I agree Bonita I think sometimes going backward is necessary. Especially now with how records are kept we will be able to catalogue retrogression much more easily than in the past.

Part of me thinks that a material life is a gift, as opposed to being born directly on a mansion world. I think that there is some material inertia involved where you can screw up on our planet and not be pushed into insanity as easily. I would imagine screwing up on the mansion worlds has a little bit less inertia and more danger's.
If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#28 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:31 AM

I was interested in locating world literacy rates, as a snapshot of the progress of education on our world. I'm interested in a world view, as opposed to a strictly national view, though Rick has asked us about what we think about our own country. I imagine seeing the world from space, and look for the things that unify us, rather than divide us. I found some interesting data about the world not only about literacy, but other (to me) fascinating facts, some of which I want to share with you.

People ::World
Population:
6,928,198,253 (July 2011 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.3% (male 944,987,919/female 884,268,378)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 2,234,860,865/female 2,187,838,153)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 227,164,176/female 289,048,221) (2011 est.)

Median age:
total: 28.4 years
male: 27.7 years
female: 29 years (2009 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.092% (2011 est.)




Religions:
Christian 33.35% (of which Roman Catholic 16.83%, Protestant 6.08%, Orthodox 4.03%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.43%, Hindu 13.78%, Buddhist 7.13%, Sikh 0.36%, Jewish 0.21%, Baha'i 0.11%, other religions 11.17%, non-religious 9.42%, atheists 2.04% (2009 est.)


Languages:
Mandarin Chinese 12.44%, Spanish 4.85%, English 4.83%, Arabic 3.25%, Hindi 2.68%, Bengali 2.66%, Portuguese 2.62%, Russian 2.12%, Japanese 1.8%, Standard German 1.33%, Javanese 1.25% (2009 est.)
note: percents are for "first language" speakers only; the six UN languages - Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Spanish (Castilian), and Russian - are the mother tongue or second language of about half of the world's population, and are the official languages in more than half the states in the world



Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.7%
male: 88.3%
female: 79.2%
note: over two-thirds of the world's 793 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries (Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan); of all the illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women; extremely low literacy rates are concentrated in three regions, the Arab states, South and West Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, where around one-third of the men and half of all women are illiterate (2005-09 est.)*



I thought the literacy rate would be lower, so I was suprized to learn of the total population age 15 and over of the world 84% are literate - can read and write.

P.2086 - §3 Even secular education could help in this great spiritual renaissance if it would pay more attention to the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression. The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality. There is great need for the teaching of moral discipline in the place of so much self-gratification. Upon such a foundation religion may contribute its spiritual incentive to the enlargement and enrichment of mortal life, even to the security and enhancement of life eternal.


All the best,
Meredith

* Source: www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

#29 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:52 PM

I was interested in locating world literacy rates, as a snapshot of the progress of education on our world. I'm interested in a world view, as opposed to a strictly national view, though Rick has asked us about what we think about our own country. I imagine seeing the world from space, and look for the things that unify us, rather than divide us.


PAPER 81 offers this section, THE MAINTENANCE OF CIVILIZATION, informing us weaknesses and strengths of the civilization now evolving on Urantia. Many factors go into maintaining civilization. I thought you would be interested in reading this section.


P.906 - §7 The civilization which is now evolving on Urantia grew out of, and is predicated on, the following factors:

P.906 - §8 1. Natural circumstances. The nature and extent of a material civilization is in large measure determined by the natural resources available. Climate, weather, and numerous physical conditions are factors in the evolution of culture.

At the opening of the Andite era there were only two extensive and fertile open hunting areas in all the world. One was in North America and was overspread by the Amerinds; the other was to the north of Turkestan and was partly occupied by an Andonic-yellow race. The decisive factors in the evolution of a superior culture in southwestern Asia were race and climate. The Andites were a great people, but the crucial factor in determining the course of their civilization was the increasing aridity of Iran, Turkestan, and Sinkiang, which forced them to invent and adopt new and advanced methods of wresting a livelihood from their decreasingly fertile lands.

The configuration of continents and other land-arrangement situations are very influential in determining peace or war. Very few Urantians have ever had such a favorable opportunity for continuous and unmolested development as has been enjoyed by the peoples of North America--protected on practically all sides by vast oceans.


P.907 - §3 2. Capital goods. Culture is never developed under conditions of poverty; leisure is essential to the progress of civilization. Individual character of moral and spiritual value may be acquired in the absence of material wealth, but a cultural civilization is only derived from those conditions of material prosperity which foster leisure combined with ambition.

During primitive times life on Urantia was a serious and sober business. And it was to escape this incessant struggle and interminable toil that mankind constantly tended to drift toward the salubrious climate of the tropics. While these warmer zones of habitation afforded some remission from the intense struggle for existence, the races and tribes who thus sought ease seldom utilized their unearned leisure for the advancement of civilization. Social progress has invariably come from the thoughts and plans of those races that have, by their intelligent toil, learned how to wrest a living from the land with lessened effort and shortened days of labor and thus have been able to enjoy a well-earned and profitable margin of leisure.



P.907 - §5 3. Scientific knowledge. The material aspects of civilization must always await the accumulation of scientific data. It was a long time after the discovery of the bow and arrow and the utilization of animals for power purposes before man learned how to harness wind and water, to be followed by the employment of steam and electricity. But slowly the tools of civilization improved. Weaving, pottery, the domestication of animals, and metalworking were followed by an age of writing and printing.

Knowledge is power. Invention always precedes the acceleration of cultural development on a world-wide scale. Science and invention benefited most of all from the printing press, and the interaction of all these cultural and inventive activities has enormously accelerated the rate of cultural advancement.

Science teaches man to speak the new language of mathematics and trains his thoughts along lines of exacting precision. And science also stabilizes philosophy through the elimination of error, while it purifies religion by the destruction of superstition.



P.907 - §8 4. Human resources. Man power is indispensable to the spread of civilization. All things equal, a numerous people will dominate the civilization of a smaller race. Hence failure to increase in numbers up to a certain point prevents the full realization of national destiny, but there comes a point in population increase where further growth is suicidal. Multiplication of numbers beyond the optimum of the normal man-land ratio means either a lowering of the standards of living or an immediate expansion of territorial boundaries by peaceful penetration or by military conquest, forcible occupation.

You are sometimes shocked at the ravages of war, but you should recognize the necessity for producing large numbers of mortals so as to afford ample opportunity for social and moral development; with such planetary fertility there soon occurs the serious problem of overpopulation. Most of the inhabited worlds are small. Urantia is average, perhaps a trifle undersized. The optimum stabilization of national population enhances culture and prevents war. And it is a wise nation which knows when to cease growing.

But the continent richest in natural deposits and the most advanced mechanical equipment will make little progress if the intelligence of its people is on the decline. Knowledge can be had by education, but wisdom, which is indispensable to true culture, can be secured only through experience and by men and women who are innately intelligent. Such a people are able to learn from experience; they may become truly wise.



P.908 - §5 6. Effectiveness of language. The spread of civilization must wait upon language. Live and growing languages insure the expansion of civilized thinking and planning. During the early ages important advances were made in language. Today, there is great need for further linguistic development to facilitate the expression of evolving thought.

Language evolved out of group associations, each local group developing its own system of word exchange. Language grew up through gestures, signs, cries, imitative sounds, intonation, and accent to the vocalization of subsequent alphabets. Language is man's greatest and most serviceable thinking tool, but it never flourished until social groups acquired some leisure. The tendency to play with language develops new words--slang. If the majority adopt the slang, then usage constitutes it language. The origin of dialects is illustrated by the indulgence in "baby talk" in a family group.

Language differences have ever been the great barrier to the extension of peace. The conquest of dialects must precede the spread of a culture throughout a race, over a continent, or to a whole world. A universal language promotes peace, insures culture, and augments happiness. Even when the tongues of a world are reduced to a few, the mastery of these by the leading cultural peoples mightily influences the achievement of world-wide peace and prosperity.

While very little progress has been made on Urantia toward developing an international language, much has been accomplished by the establishment of international commercial exchange. And all these international relations should be fostered, whether they involve language, trade, art, science, competitive play, or religion.



P.909 - §1 7. Effectiveness of mechanical devices. The progress of civilization is directly related to the development and possession of tools, machines, and channels of distribution. Improved tools, ingenious and efficient machines, determine the survival of contending groups in the arena of advancing civilization.

In the early days the only energy applied to land cultivation was man power. It was a long struggle to substitute oxen for men since this threw men out of employment. Latterly, machines have begun to displace men, and every such advance is directly contributory to the progress of society because it liberates man power for the accomplishment of more valuable tasks.

Science, guided by wisdom, may become man's great social liberator. A mechanical age can prove disastrous only to a nation whose intellectual level is too low to discover those wise methods and sound techniques for successfully adjusting to the transition difficulties arising from the sudden loss of employment by large numbers consequent upon the too rapid invention of new types of laborsaving machinery.


P.909 - §4 8. Character of torchbearers. Social inheritance enables man to stand on the shoulders of all who have preceded him, and who have contributed aught to the sum of culture and knowledge. In this work of passing on the cultural torch to the next generation, the home will ever be the basic institution. The play and social life comes next, with the school last but equally indispensable in a complex and highly organized society.

Insects are born fully educated and equipped for life--indeed, a very narrow and purely instinctive existence. The human baby is born without an education; therefore man possesses the power, by controlling the educational training of the younger generation, greatly to modify the evolutionary course of civilization.

The greatest twentieth-century influences contributing to the furtherance of civilization and the advancement of culture are the marked increase in world travel and the unparalleled improvements in methods of communication. But the improvement in education has not kept pace with the expanding social structure; neither has the modern appreciation of ethics developed in correspondence with growth along more purely intellectual and scientific lines. And modern civilization is at a standstill in spiritual development and the safeguarding of the home institution.



P.909 - §7 9. The racial ideals. The ideals of one generation carve out the channels of destiny for immediate posterity. The quality of the social torchbearers will determine whether civilization goes forward or backward. The homes, churches, and schools of one generation predetermine the character trend of the succeeding generation. The moral and spiritual momentum of a race or a nation largely determines the cultural velocity of that civilization.

Ideals elevate the source of the social stream. And no stream will rise any higher than its source no matter what technique of pressure or directional control may be employed. The driving power of even the most material aspects of a cultural civilization is resident in the least material of society's achievements. Intelligence may control the mechanism of civilization, wisdom may direct it, but spiritual idealism is the energy which really uplifts and advances human culture from one level of attainment to another.

At first life was a struggle for existence; now, for a standard of living; next it will be for quality of thinking, the coming earthly goal of human existence.



P.910 - §2 10. Co-ordination of specialists. Civilization has been enormously advanced by the early division of labor and by its later corollary of specialization. Civilization is now dependent on the effective co-ordination of specialists. As society expands, some method of drawing together the various specialists must be found.

Social, artistic, technical, and industrial specialists will continue to multiply and increase in skill and dexterity. And this diversification of ability and dissimilarity of employment will eventually weaken and disintegrate human society if effective means of co-ordination and co-operation are not developed. But the intelligence which is capable of such inventiveness and such specialization should be wholly competent to devise adequate methods of control and adjustment for all problems resulting from the rapid growth of invention and the accelerated pace of cultural expansion.



P.910 - §4 11. Place-finding devices. The next age of social development will be embodied in a better and more effective co-operation and co-ordination of ever-increasing and expanding specialization. And as labor more and more diversifies, some technique for directing individuals to suitable employment must be devised. Machinery is not the only cause for unemployment among the civilized peoples of Urantia. Economic complexity and the steady increase of industrial and professional specialism add to the problems of labor placement.

It is not enough to train men for work; in a complex society there must also be provided efficient methods of place finding. Before training citizens in the highly specialized techniques of earning a living, they should be trained in one or more methods of commonplace labor, trades or callings which could be utilized when they were transiently unemployed in their specialized work. No civilization can survive the long-time harboring of large classes of unemployed. In time, even the best of citizens will become distorted and demoralized by accepting support from the public treasury. Even private charity becomes pernicious when long extended to able-bodied citizens.

Such a highly specialized society will not take kindly to the ancient communal and feudal practices of olden peoples. True, many common services can be acceptably and profitably socialized, but highly trained and ultraspecialized human beings can best be managed by some technique of intelligent co-operation. Modernized co-ordination and fraternal regulation will be productive of longer-lived co-operation than will the older and more primitive methods of communism or dictatorial regulative institutions based on force.



P.910 - §7 12. The willingness to co-operate. One of the great hindrances to the progress of human society is the conflict between the interests and welfare of the larger, more socialized human groups and of the smaller, contrary-minded asocial associations of mankind, not to mention antisocially-minded single individuals.

No national civilization long endures unless its educational methods and religious ideals inspire a high type of intelligent patriotism and national devotion.Without this sort of intelligent patriotism and cultural solidarity, all nations tend to disintegrate as a result of provincial jealousies and local self-interests.

The maintenance of world-wide civilization is dependent on human beings learning how to live together in peace and fraternity. Without effective co-ordination, industrial civilization is jeopardized by the dangers of ultraspecialization: monotony, narrowness, and the tendency to breed distrust and jealousy.



P.911 - §2 13. Effective and wise leadership. In civilization much, very much, depends on an enthusiastic and effective load-pulling spirit. Ten men are of little more value than one in lifting a great load unless they lift together--all at the same moment. And such teamwork--social co-operation--is dependent on leadership. The cultural civilizations of the past and the present have been based upon the intelligent co-operation of the citizenry with wise and progressive leaders; and until man evolves to higher levels, civilization will continue to be dependent on wise and vigorous leadership.

High civilizations are born of the sagacious correlation of material wealth, intellectual greatness, moral worth, social cleverness, and cosmic insight.

P.911 - §4 14. Social changes. Society is not a divine institution; it is a phenomenon of progressive evolution; and advancing civilization is always delayed when its leaders are slow in making those changes in the social organization which are essential to keeping pace with the scientific developments of the age. For all that, things must not be despised just because they are old, neither should an idea be unconditionally embraced just because it is novel and new.

Man should be unafraid to experiment with the mechanisms of society. But always should these adventures in cultural adjustment be controlled by those who are fully conversant with the history of social evolution; and always should these innovators be counseled by the wisdom of those who have had practical experience in the domains of contemplated social or economic experiment. No great social or economic change should be attempted suddenly. Time is essential to all types of human adjustment--physical, social, or economic. Only moral and spiritual adjustments can be made on the spur of the moment, and even these require the passing of time for the full outworking of their material and social repercussions. The ideals of the race are the chief support and assurance during the critical times when civilization is in transit from one level to another.



P.911 - §6 15. The prevention of transitional breakdown. Society is the offspring of age upon age of trial and error; it is what survived the selective adjustments and readjustments in the successive stages of mankind's agelong rise from animal to human levels of planetary status. The great danger to any civilization--at any one moment--is the threat of breakdown during the time of transition from the established methods of the past to those new and better, but untried, procedures of the future.

Leadership is vital to progress. Wisdom, insight, and foresight are indispensable to the endurance of nations. Civilization is never really jeopardized until able leadership begins to vanish. And the quantity of such wise leadership has never exceeded one per cent of the population.


P.911 - §8 And it was by these rungs on the evolutionary ladder that civilization climbed to that place where those mighty influences could be initiated which have culminated in the rapidly expanding culture of the twentieth century. And only by adherence to these essentials can man hope to maintain his present-day civilizations while providing for their continued development and certain survival.


P.912 - §1 This is the gist of the long, long struggle of the peoples of earth to establish civilization since the age of Adam. Present-day culture is the net result of this strenuous evolution. Before the discovery of printing, progress was relatively slow since one generation could not so rapidly benefit from the achievements of its predecessors. But now human society is plunging forward under the force of the accumulated momentum of all the ages through which civilization has struggled.

(End of PAPER 81 - DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN CIVILIZATION - P.900)






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