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Is Urantia a new religion?


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#1 Howard509

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:54 PM

Should readers of the Urantia Book be considered a religion? Would that be a good or bad term to use for them? If Urantia is a religion, it is a non-institutional religion of loosely affiliation individuals and groups who read the Urantia Book and regard it as a spiritual revelation.


Edited by Rick Warren, 23 March 2014 - 07:44 AM.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#2 JR Sherrod

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:34 PM

For me, the Urantia Book contains the information that enables me to become an experiencer of personal religion. I am a better church-going man because of the powerful truths, eye-opening vistas of eternity, and the unmatched chronicle of the life of Jesus. I would like to be known as a "Jesusonian."

[P.1038 - §7] The Tibetans have something of all the leading world religions except the simple teachings of the Jesusonian gospel: sonship with God, brotherhood with man, and ever-ascending citizenship in the eternal universe.

I am striving to become more like the man, Joshua ben Joseph, in my day-to-day life here on Urantia. My personal religious experiences have become richer and more satisfying since I first discovered, then read, then lived the teachings in this marvelous book.

No, the Urantia Book is not a religion; but it certainly makes one's own religion much, much more than it was.
Ah! To be host to God, Himself; and to be enriched beyond measure by that incomprehensible treasure!

#3 Bonita

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:30 AM

First, I think it would be useful to define true religion. TUB invests many words helping us understand what religion is and then leaves it up to the individual to discover it for him/herself. True religion is an enduring unity in human experience, a lasting peace and a profound assurance. It is the devotion of the self to the service of meaningful and supreme values. And thus religion becomes a spontaneous and exquisite devotion, the living experience of the loyalty of love. (p66:6 5:4.2; p1012:6 92:7.5)

#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:36 AM

Excellent question Howard,

(But did you ask it twice in the title for extra emphasis?)

As an aside to this thread, there are so many new aspects and insights presented in the book about "true religion". And as might be expected the authors redefine and sharpen the concept beyond anything humans might conceive or concoct.


These make an interesting read by themselves, eh?

...True religion carries over from one age to another the worth-while culture and that wisdom which is born of the experience of knowing God and striving to be like him.... P.1088 - §1

...True religion does not belittle man's efforts to progress during the mortal lease on life. Every mortal gain is a direct contribution to the enrichment of the first stages of the immortal survival experience.... P.1134 - §5


...True religion is a meaningful way of living dynamically face to face with the commonplace realities of everyday life.... P.1089 - §11

...Primitive religion was largely a material-value consciousness, but civilization elevates religious values, for true religion is the devotion of the self to the service of meaningful and supreme values.... P.1012 - §6

...The social characteristics of a true religion consist in the fact that it invariably seeks to convert the individual and to transform the world. Religion implies the existence of undiscovered ideals which far transcend the known standards of ethics and morality embodied in even the highest social usages of the most mature institutions of civilization.... P.1781 - §1


...Modern science has left true religion--the teachings of Jesus as translated in the lives of his believers--untouched. All science has done is to destroy the childlike illusions of the misinterpretations of life.... P.2076 - §9

...True religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother. Religion is not a slavish belief in threats of punishment or magical promises of future mystical rewards....
(99:5.2)

...One of the great lessons of this sojourn at Caesarea had to do with the origin of religious traditions, with the grave danger of allowing a sense of sacredness to become attached to nonsacred things, common ideas, or everyday events.
From one conference they emerged with the teaching that true religion was man's heartfelt loyalty to his highest and truest convictions.... P.1727 - §5

...Upon the impartiality, fairness, and integrity of its courts the endurance of a nation depends. Civil government is founded on justice, even as true religion is founded on mercy...." P.1462 - §1


...The projections of the human intellect may indeed originate false gods--gods in man's image-- but the true God-consciousness does not have such an origin. The God-consciousness is resident in the indwelling spirit. Many of the religious systems of man come from the formulations of the human intellect, but the God- consciousness is not necessarily a part of these grotesque systems of religious slavery.... P.2095 - §7

...Culture does rest on a biologic foundation, but caste alone could not perpetuate the Aryan culture, for religion, true religion, is the indispensable source of that higher energy which drives men to establish a superior civilization based on
human brotherhood.... p883

...Since true religion is a matter of personal spiritual experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own and personal interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience.... (99:5.7)

...The consciousness of the impulse to be like God is not true religion. The feelings of the emotion to worship God are not true religion. The knowledge of the conviction to forsake self and serve God is not true religion. The wisdom of the reasoning that this religion is the best of all is not religion as a personal and spiritual experience. True religion has reference to destiny and reality of attainment as well as to the reality and idealism of that which is wholeheartedly faith-accepted. And all of this must be made personal to us by the revelation of the Spirit of Truth.... P.1782 - §4

... How foolish it is for material-minded man to allow such vulnerable theories as those of a mechanistic universe to deprive him of the vast spiritual resources of the personal experience of true religion.... P.2078 - §4

...True religion is an experience of believing and knowing as well as a satisfaction of feeling.... P.1142 - §2


***

#5 Bonita

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:52 AM

p1091:6 99:5.7 Just as certainly as men share their religious beliefs, they create a religious group of some sort which eventually creates common goals. Someday religionists will get together and actually effect co-operation on the basis of unity of ideals and purposes rather than attempting to do so on the basis of psychological opinions and theological beliefs. Goals rather than creeds should unify religionists. Since true religion is a matter of personal spiritual experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own and personal interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience. Let the term "faith" stand for the individual's relation to God rather than for the creedal formulation of what some group of mortals have been able to agree upon as a common religious attitude. "Have you faith? Then have it to yourself."

If TUB readers want to form a group religion, they would do so because they share common beliefs they discovered from reading the book. There might be a group here that believes in aliens . . . a group there that believes in divine visitations . . . another group that believes that more messages will come through various contacts . . . a group that believes in TUB science . . . a group that believes in hierarchies of angels and celestial beings . . . a group that believes in midwayers who interact with humans . . . a group that believes in creating a TUB civilization . . . so on and so on. These groups already exist and they are based solely on beliefs.

True religion is about faith; and if you have faith, we are told to have it to yourself. I think that's pretty clear.

#6 JR Sherrod

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

Hello Howard!

I have to say, that Rick and Bonita's posts really clairified your question and the answer we all need about real religion. In seeking, we are found! The trip through mortality is, certainly, an immensely important start to our eternal lifetime, but we venture forth with an arsenal of wonderful tools and companions to accompany us on our way!
Ah! To be host to God, Himself; and to be enriched beyond measure by that incomprehensible treasure!

#7 Cal

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:26 PM

Should readers of the Urantia Book be considered a religion? Would that be a good or bad term to use for them? If Urantia is a religion, it is a non-institutional religion of loosely affiliation individuals and groups who read the Urantia Book and regard it as a spiritual revelation.


The authors do consider the book to be revelatory "religion", using that word specifically:

92:4.3-4 - "Revelatory religion is propounded by the real spiritual world; it is the response of the superintellectual cosmos to the mortal hunger to believe in, and depend upon, the universal Deities. Evolutionary religion pictures the circuitous gropings of humanity in quest of truth; revelatory religion is that very truth.

There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance." ...

Then a little further, that's where The Urantia Papers are mentioned as the fifth. Some people call the book the "Fifth Epochal Revelation" from this, they could accurately call it the "Fifth Epochal Religious Revelation".

Someday I'm sure there are going to be people who group together based on common belief in the Urantia Book, organized in what would look like a "religion", but I don't see that things have reached that point yet. The authors have a long term view point, I think that it's a part of the ongoing social growth to come, that the revelation and how its believers will fellowship together in increasing numbers with increasing traditions and organization will be seen more and more as "religion". For now it's more loose than what most people would call a "religion" I think.

#8 Bonita

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

Cal, that's a good point you bring up about revelatory religion. TUB tells us that, on this planet, both evolutionary and revelatory religion are progressing side by side, sometimes coalescing and blending (92:6.2)

But it also says that this planet is ripening for the appreciation of true religion (92:1.2). Does that mean revelatory religion will take the place of evolutionary religion? No. Pure revelatory religion, we are told, is meant to uplift evolutionary religion, not replace it. We are destined to experience revelatory religion as personal religious experience which we then socialize within evolutionary religion, thereby uplifting it (92:4.1). The process is very slow and gradual. New religions cannot be suddenly invented, even if they are revealed. The old religions will not cease to exist, they simply merge with the new revelatory ideas (92:7.2). TUB clearly states that revelation is evolutionary and always progressive. (92:4.1).

And, that is where we stand today. We stand at the ripening of an age where people are hungry for the new ideas that revelatory religion has to offer. The mistake that many UB'ists make is trying to invent a new religion by attempting to replace old evolutionary religious ideas with the new ideas from TUB, when they should be working to uplift the old religious ideas we already have and allow them to transform themselves (let the Spirit of Truth do his own work). I assume that many are afraid of "contaminating" UB teachings with evolutionary religion, but I'm afraid that it might be inevitable. I don't think that there are any classes offered by UB organizations on how to go about doing this because most UB organizations are still purists at heart. I'm not saying that this is wrong; perhaps there should be a faction that attempts to maintain a level of purity; I can't say. Certainly, most evolutionary religions do have those factions.

So what I've struggled to do, in my own small way, is attempt to uplift the evolutionary religion concepts of evil, sin and hell with new ideas. Most people are receptive to the hope revelatory religion has to offer. This year especially, I try to speak out about end-time myths and judgment days. Just little confidently inspiring words here and there, hoping that those tiny seeds of truth will eventually sprout. And when they do sprout, they will most likely not sprout as a new revealed religion, but as an uplifted part of the evolutionary religions that already exist.


#9 Howard509

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:03 PM

True religion is about faith; and if you have faith, we are told to have it to yourself. I think that's pretty clear.


I agree with this. Thank you for sharing.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#10 Julian McGarry

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:02 PM

Hi everyone! I agree that TUB itself is a revelatory religion, but what about its readers? Do they constitute a 'religion'? It may depend on what definition we use, Since becoming involved in the 'Urantia movement' about six years ago, I have noticed the prevalence of the attitude..."We are not a religion!" In asking the question, it is almost as if you have used a politically incorrect word! The revelators mention and promote what they call "group religious activities":


“...it is the purpose of group religious activities to dramatize the loyalties of religion; to magnify the lures of truth, beauty, and goodness; to foster the attractions of supreme values; to enhance the service of unselfish fellowship; to glorify the potentials of family life; to promote religious education; to provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance; and to encourage group worship.” – P1092:2

When we come together at readers conferences or gather in our study groups, perhaps we do not see ourselves as a religion per se; but who can deny that we engage in “group religious activities”? Does not that make us part of evolutionary religion? Much as we enjoy the social interaction that takes place at our gatherings, they are nevertheless religious rather than secular. Listen to how a Melchizedek describes the purpose and practice of a religious gathering and ask yourself to what extent our gatherings comport with this description:

The characteristic difference between a social occasion and a religious gathering is that in contrast with the secular the religious is pervaded by the atmosphere of communion. In this way human association generates a feeling of fellowship with the divine, and this is the beginning of group worship. Partaking of a common meal was the earliest type of social communion, and so did early religions provide that some portion of the ceremonial sacrifice should be eaten by the worshipers. Even in Christianity the Lord's Supper retains this mode of communion. The atmosphere of the communion provides a refreshing and comforting period of truce in the conflict of the self-seeking ego with the altruistic urge of the indwelling spirit Monitor. And this is the prelude to true worship--the practice of the presence of God which eventuates in the emergence of the brotherhood of man. – P1133:1

I agree with you Bonita when you say that our task is to uplift existing evolutionary religion rather than invent a new one. But there are many ways of doing this. Some readers belong to and function effectively within established religions, Christian or otherwise. Others may choose to meet together using TUB as the theological basis of their religious activities. In so doing, and in harmony with the spirit of the revelators' message, they may strive to forge links with other 'religions' through ecumenical activities as a way of uplifting evolutionary religion. I don't think we should take exception if people label us as a 'new religion'. We can just explain that there is nothing new about what we espouse; that we are not exclusivist nor elitist.....we are simply trying to live according to the Jesusonian gospel.....recognition and worship of our common Universal Father and service towards our planetary brotherhood.

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this most interesting topic. Love to you all!

Julian

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:49 PM

IMO, the factor that the UB does not specify that it is or is not a Religion is Literally the overall basis of the Book itself. If anything, it is a Universal Church of the inhabitants of the entire Universe. Those that believe it is. In essence you cannot build a structure to hold its members but it can also be said that membership is optional based on understanding. For us on Urantia the way to this understanding is through the UB. For other places outside Urantia they would have their own way of recognition to this Church. Not having read or believing in the UB does not disqualify anyone. Our Father, in Heaven has many ways of getting the message out but the UB is a more direct way of learning what the Church is about. Those aware members have the opportunity of communicating with each other through various ways as described in the UB. Some are not that recognizable from others. The term reflective media device is only one unusual method of understanding the awareness of the Church membership but as I mentioned there are many others, even through established Religions currently in use.. In a more direct description, you could call it a universal spirit religion without a specific structure.

Edited by As-Above-So-Below, 18 February 2012 - 09:52 PM.


#12 Bonita

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:12 PM

I agree with you Bonita when you say that our task is to uplift existing evolutionary religion rather than invent a new one. But there are many ways of doing this. Some readers belong to and function effectively within established religions, Christian or otherwise. Others may choose to meet together using TUB as the theological basis of their religious activities. In so doing, and in harmony with the spirit of the revelators' message, they may strive to forge links with other 'religions' through ecumenical activities as a way of uplifting evolutionary religion. I don't think we should take exception if people label us as a 'new religion'. We can just explain that there is nothing new about what we espouse; that we are not exclusivist nor elitist.....we are simply trying to live according to the Jesusonian gospel.....recognition and worship of our common Universal Father and service towards our planetary brotherhood.


There are lots of worthy thoughts in your post Julian and I agree with most of them. I would say, however, that if people who have not read TUB choose to label it a new age religion, then we have to ask, "What do you mean by religion?" If they mean a system of beliefs, then we have to emphatically say NO! We have no system! If they mean a group pursuit of something deemed to be of supreme importance, then perhaps we can say YES! But that doesn't make it a religion, it makes it a group endeavor, by individual people with similar ideas about God and his cosmos, who want to share with one another, to help one another and to progress together. It's a community of individual religionists rather than a religion with a community of individuals.

#13 Julian McGarry

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:41 PM

"YES! But that doesn't make it a religion, it makes it a group endeavor, by individual people with similar ideas about God and his cosmos, who want to share with one another, to help one another and to progress together. It's a community of individual religionists rather than a religion with a community of individuals."


Thanks again Bonita.....I am interested then in what you believe TUB defines as a religion. Many ordinary people would say that what you have said above is a pretty good definition of a religion. When you say we don't have a "system", what do you mean exactly and are you saying that this factor is part of what constitutes a religion. We don't have a system of beliefs in the sense that no hierarchical body is dictating to us how we should interpret TUB.....but surely any organisation has a "system".....we have a book that contains a system of beliefs. Would it be fair to say that we are a very informal religion? I'm having difficulty getting a clear view of this!

#14 menno

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:40 AM

Hello Howard ' and everyone else

I thought it might be interesting to look at this question from another angle; namely the Oxford Compact English Dictionary

religion 1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
2. a particular system of faith and worship
3. a pursuit or interest followed with devotion

Do number 1 and number 3 fit the average student or reader of the Urantia Book ?

#15 Bonita

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:39 AM

As menno points out, religion has multiple meanings, which is why I asked in my first post in this thread if we shouldn't first define true religion. TUB describes the difference between revealed religion and evolutionary religion. Revealed religion is the religion of personal experience, the relationship between the creature and the Creator. Evolutionary religion is organized religion. Organized religion has creeds, dogmas, rites, rituals and a hierarchy of clergy to oversee and intercede. In revealed religion there are no such rules, and most importantly, no intermediary clergy getting involved in the relationship between God and his faith-son. All the power in revealed religion is within the relationship of Father and faith-son spilling out to serve others; whereas, the power in evolutionary religion lies with its organization, directed by the clergy, demanding its followers to comply in order to maintain its existence. One is spontaneously outgoing, the other gathers in, controls and directs, then does good deeds in order justify itself.

TUB readers, for the most part, have not organized established creeds, dogmas, rites, rituals or a priesthood, although there have been a few groups who have tried to ordain people as TUB ministers. I personally bristle at that notion; it's really a terrible, terrible development, in my view. What TUB readers are usually doing is socializing their personal religion. The whole purpose of living is learning how to socialize one's personality. If one has a religious personality, then one will be socializing one's personal religion as well. Socializing is not the same as organizing. Groups may form in order to fellowship or do a group activity together. But organization, if there is any, is generally loose, unbinding and mostly temporary. No one is forced to take an oath or undergo an initiation ritual; no one has to tithe, evangelize or make converts. TUBists are free and do not have to be part of a fixed cult in order to be legitimate. That doesn't mean that cults won't form from time to time, but they should be unbinding.

87:7.5 In the past, truth has grown rapidly and expanded freely when the cult has been elastic, the symbolism expansile. Abundant truth and an adjustable cult have favored rapidity of socialprogression. A meaningless cult vitiates religion when it attempts to supplant philosophy and to enslave reason; a genuine cult grows.

102:2.1 Observing minds and discriminating souls know religion when they find it in the lives of their fellows. Religion requires no definition; we all know its social, intellectual, moral, and spiritual fruits. And this all grows out of the fact that religion is the property of the human race; it is not a child of culture. True, one’s perception of religion is still human and therefore subject to the bondage of ignorance, the slavery of superstition, the deceptions of sophistication, and the delusions of false philosophy.

146:3.10 Throughout his entire earth life Jesus gave his followers very little instruction regarding the socialization of religion.

170:3.10 The religion of the kingdom is personal, individual; the fruits, the results, are familial, social. Jesus never failed to exalt the sacredness of the individual as contrasted with the community. But he also recognized that man develops his character by unselfish service; that he unfolds his moral nature in loving relations with his fellows.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

Maybe it would be easier to look at religion(s) in a different way with the UB. Looking at the positive and negative attributes of specific religious narrative, rite or doctrine as described in the UB, with a more personal inputs and outlook to those definitions. This might give more explanation to the forum reader who might be puzzled about specific areas while reading the UB. Although the UB does not always specify that some practices outside of Urantia are religious in nature but in comparison to practices on Urantia could they be compared as religious thereby, possibly, determining underlying Universal Religious attributes.

The UB gives specific descriptions regarding specific religious type practice on Urantia. It also makes specific and general statements of practices elsewhere in the universe. It would be interesting to compare the UB with the UB regarding universal religion in general.

We sometimes use quotes from the UB out of context to the specifics of the authors intended or stated reference, thereby it may give the assumption that just because it is written in the UB it must be true or fact and interrelated. I have found that some quotes used in this forum do not always apply to the subject matter being debated or expressed. Therefore, some responses appear to fit a person’s viewpoint only because that word structure happens to fit the thought being projected but actually had nothing to do with the subject of discussion.

I can think of a few areas in the UB that look like cult like practice, which I need to look up before presenting.

Any other ideas?

Edited by As-Above-So-Below, 20 February 2012 - 03:30 PM.


#17 Bonita

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:48 AM

UB readers do not need a single overarching, controlling organization that dominates the religious life of its members. Such an organization would then have the power to designate the chosen and the unchosen, the holy and unholy, the right and wrong way of religious living. This would be evil and cannot be allowed to happen. Otherwise, a true religion is whatever you deem to be of supreme value, a supreme value you are willing to wholeheartedly devote your life to. Why would anyone want to limit themselves to one book, one organization or one set of principles? TUB is not a religion; TUB is a book written to inspire religionists, not to control them or their lives.

Perhaps some will argue that a religion is a method of thinking about things, a way to organize the cosmos and one's personal life in relation to the rest of creation. Well yes, religion includes these things and TUB offers a new cosmology suited for that, but all of it is subject to individual interpretation. It is rare that everyone agrees on the interpretation of what is written in TUB, how and why would anyone want to formalize it into an orthodoxy? It makes no sense to me.


p1013:9 92:7.10 Modern man is confronted with the task of making more readjustments of human values in one generation than have been made in two thousand years. And this all influences the social attitude toward religion, for religion is a way of living as well as a technique of thinking.


p1096:6 100:3.1 Religion is not a technique for attaining a static and blissful peace of mind; it is an impulse for organizing the soul for dynamic service.

#18 Alina

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:51 AM

Good Day all! :)

This point seems to me important to keep in mind. Just today I put something in Art with Quotes
I copy the whole point. I hope it is explanatory.


Paper 101
The Real Nature of Religion


The Limitations of Revelation

(1109.2) 101:4.1 Because your world is generally ignorant of origins, even of physical origins, it has appeared to be wise from time to time to provide instruction in cosmology. And always has this made trouble for the future. The laws of revelation hamper us greatly by their proscription of the impartation of unearned or premature knowledge. Any cosmology presented as a part of revealed religion is destined to be outgrown in a very short time. Accordingly, future students of such a revelation are tempted to discard any element of genuine religious truth it may contain because they discover errors on the face of the associated cosmologies therein presented.

(1109.3) 101:4.2 Mankind should understand that we who participate in the revelation of truth are very rigorously limited by the instructions of our superiors. We are not at liberty to anticipate the scientific discoveries of a thousand years. Revelators must act in accordance with the instructions which form a part of the revelation mandate. We see no way of overcoming this difficulty, either now or at any future time. We full well know that, while the historic facts and religious truths of this series of revelatory presentations will stand on the records of the ages to come, within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision in consequence of additional scientific developments and new discoveries. These new developments we even now foresee, but we are forbidden to include such humanly undiscovered facts in the revelatory records. Let it be made clear that revelations are not necessarily inspired. The cosmology of these revelations is not inspired. It is limited by our permission for the co-ordination and sorting of present-day knowledge. While divine or spiritual insight is a gift, human wisdom must evolve.

(1109.4) 101:4.3 Truth is always a revelation: autorevelation when it emerges as a result of the work of the indwelling Adjuster; epochal revelation when it is presented by the function of some other celestial agency, group, or personality.

(1109.5) 101:4.4 In the last analysis, religion is to be judged by its fruits, according to the manner and the extent to which it exhibits its own inherent and divine excellence.


(1109.6) 101:4.5 Truth may be but relatively inspired, even though revelation is invariably a spiritual phenomenon. While statements with reference to cosmology are never inspired, such revelations are of immense value in that they at least transiently clarify knowledge by:(1109.7) 101:4.6 1. The reduction of confusion by the authoritative elimination of error.
(1109.8) 101:4.7 2. The co-ordination of known or about-to-be-known facts and observations.
(1110.1) 101:4.8 3. The restoration of important bits of lost knowledge concerning epochal transactions in the distant past.
(1110.2) 101:4.9 4. The supplying of information which will fill in vital missing gaps in otherwise earned knowledge.
(1110.3) 101:4.10 5. Presenting cosmic data in such a manner as to illuminate the spiritual teachings contained in the accompanying revelation.



I agree Bonita!

Greetings,

Alina
***

Edited by Alina, 21 February 2012 - 10:57 AM.


#19 ubizmo

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:24 PM

I like the attempts by William James to define religion better than most others that I've found:

Religion, therefore, as I now ask you arbitrarily to take it, shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.


Were one asked to characterize the life of religion in the broadest and most general terms possible, one might say that it consists of the belief that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto.


James, like the UB, is speaking of what is at the heart of religion. Religious insitutions and organizations may arise with the purpose of supporting and preserving religion. They may succeed or fail in this. For any religious institution you can name, I think you can find many who have found true religion through it, and as many who have been driven away from it. I wouldn't expect the UB to be any different in this respect, even though it's not an institution or an organization.

In the history of Christianity alone, there have been many, many examples of people breaking away from the institutions of religion in order to form small communities for the pursuit of true religion, until these communities themselves become institutions from which a rising generation feels the need to separate itself for religious renewal, etc. That this hasn't happened yet, on any noticeable scale, in the community of UB readers is probably a result of the fact that there are so few of them, and they are scattered so thinly around the world. Study groups tend to be very small and informal, needing to accommodate the quirks of individual members, but even at the study group level, people can be and are excluded if their views or manner are not congenial to the rest. Some study groups become larger, and acquire a more definite protocol--a liturgy in the making.

If the UB becomes more widely known and believed, I have little doubt that religious institutions will arise to support it. There are Swedenborgian churches, even though Swedenborg himself didn't "found" any church. I'd expect something similar in the UB diaspora, when it reaches critical mass.

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:03 PM

. . . TUB is not a religion; TUB is a book written to inspire religionists, not to control them or their lives.
. . . TUB offers a new cosmology suited for that, but all of it is subject to individual interpretation. It is rare that everyone agrees on the interpretation of what is written in TUB . . . .


Bonita, I definitely agree that “TUB is not a religion” but, you must admit from its content and from many of the forum questions and posts, many readers are looking to find a Religion between its covers. Having attended many of the UB conferences held in the US, I became very concerned that what I was seeing in their so-called group presentations, offered at these events, were pushing in the religion direction. That is why I drew away from these events and expressed my concerns.

I am interested in your statement above “TUB offers a new cosmology suited for that …” as a response to your statement -- Perhaps some will argue that a religion is a method of thinking about things, a way to organize the cosmos and one's personal life in relation to the rest of creation. Well yes, religion includes these things” – can you be more specific using your own thought and opinion? IMO, religion is a way of life or living which people use to set some order to their life. Whether a specific religion is deemed right or wrong by others should not be an issue unless their actions and interrelation with others becomes a problem or intrusive to others. Even following a political doctrine can be considered a religion depending on how one attempt’s to perceive whether that doctrine affects their life and may affect others. Yes, religious thinking is a personal thing but it becomes a doctrine or way of life when put into practice.

Being a Religionist, to me, is not only studying various theology but, studying and interacting with the people who believe and live those religions every day. So it isn’t a bad thing for UB readers to look for the religious aspect to what is in the UB as long as they understand why they wish to choose it as a religion or not, which would be their rite. Also, I would be interested in knowing what they think regarding this subject, not to deter their thinking merely understand why they think one way or another. Maybe I will learn something in return.

Edited by As-Above-So-Below, 21 February 2012 - 06:06 PM.





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