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#1 Bonita

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 10:26 AM

It seems that man must have a primeval inclination to regard water with fascination, even reverence. It's as though there lies a primitive instinct at our very core which prevents us from forgetting our humble origins: the slime and ooze of the briny sea.

65:1.1 The story of man's ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. Man's primordial ancestors were literally the slime and ooze of the ocean bed in the sluggish and warm-water bays and lagoons of the vast shore lines of the ancient inland seas, those very waters in which the Life Carriers established the three independent life implantations on Urantia.



It truly is a romance of sorts. Man's earliest religious awakenings were often connected with the mystery and power of water.

85.4.1 . . . The primitive races venerated springs and worshiped rivers. . . . It was easy for the ancients to imagine that the spirits dwelt in the bubbling springs, gushing fountains, flowing rivers, and raging torrents. Moving waters vividly impressed these simple minds with beliefs of spirit animation and supernatural power.



The supernatural power of water included not only healing, but protection from the afflictions of bad luck and evil, making it a potent fetish.

90.4.6  Since water was a potent fetish, it was utilized in the treatment of many ailments.



I'd like to examine the myths and beliefs surrounding the supernatural power of water and explore man's transition from regarding water as a source of physical survival, protection, healing, cleansing, purifying all the way up to spiritual sustenance and eternal survival. I'd also like to trace the methods man used to transform water into a symbol of his progress from reverence of a natural power to the worship of the Source of ultimate power.

We have gone from the fetish of moving water to the joy of discovering living spiritual waters. Water remains a potent symbol and metaphor that all of mankind can understand. It's no wonder that many of Jesus' miracles involved water, that he was known as a fisher of men and the early symbol of Christianity was a fish. It's also no wonder that he used water as a metaphor in many of his teachings. We all seem to instinctively value water on some level.

The Archetypal Symbol of Water:
A symbol derived from the unconscious and the emotions of mankind; a source of fertility and growth; the life force of the psyche; rebirth; as a large body, it symbolizes the Collective Unconscious; the source of creation in most of the world's cosmologies; a symbol of life, cleansing, and rebirth; a strong life force, often depicted as a living, reasoning force; symbol of birth-death-resurrection; creation; purification and redemption; the sea/ocean: the mother of all life; spiritual mystery; timelessness and eternity; baptism; the flowing of time into eternity; transitional phases of the life cycle; divine creation/life.


[Aside: I doubt that I can present my thoughts on this subject in an organized manner, so I plan on offering random posts and I ask anyone else with insight to post what they have discovered on the subject as well. I'm doing it for fun and it's possible that I'm the only one interested in it, so bear with me.]

#2 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:12 AM

[Aside: I doubt that I can present my thoughts on this subject in an organized manner, so I plan on offering random posts and I ask anyone else with insight to post what they have discovered on the subject as well. I'm doing it for fun and it's possible that I'm the only one interested in it, so bear with me.]


Hi Bonita, all,

I'm interested in the topic. Water is a substance of the material universe and even Havona. Here are several comments about other-world water. This one pertains to mansonia.

Though you have morontia bodies, you continue, through all seven of these worlds, to eat, drink, and rest. You partake of the morontia order of food, a kingdom of living energy unknown on the material worlds. Both food and water are fully utilized in the morontia body; there is no residual waste. Pause to consider: Mansonia number one is a very material sphere, presenting the early beginnings of the morontia regime. You are still a near human and not far removed from the limited viewpoints of mortal life, but each world discloses definite progress. From sphere to sphere you grow less material, more intellectual, and slightly more spiritual. The spiritual progress is greatest on the last three of these seven progressive worlds. P. 535 - §2


Pertaining to the physical features of Jersuem:

There are thousands upon thousands of small lakes but no raging rivers nor expansive oceans. There is no rainfall, neither storms nor blizzards, on any of the architectural worlds, but there is the daily precipitation of the condensation of moisture during the time of lowest temperature attending the light recession. (The dew point is higher on a three-gas world than on a two-gas planet like Urantia.) The physical plant life and the morontia world of living things both require moisture, but this is largely supplied by the subsoil system of circulation which extends all over the sphere, even up to the very tops of the highlands. This water system is not entirely subsurface, for there are many canals interconnecting the sparkling lakes of Jerusem. P. 520 - §7


Of other architectural spheres:

Edentia abounds in fascinating highlands, extensive elevations of physical matter crowned with morontia life and overspread with spiritual glory, but there are no rugged mountain ranges such as appear on Urantia. There are tens of thousands of sparkling lakes and thousands upon thousands of interconnecting streams, but there are no great oceans nor torrential rivers. Only the highlands are devoid of these surface streams.

The water of Edentia and similar architectural spheres is no different from the water of the evolutionary planets. The water systems of such spheres are both surface and subterranean, and the moisture is in constant circulation. Edentia can be circumnavigated via these various water routes, though the chief channel of transportation is the atmosphere. Spirit beings would naturally travel above the surface of the sphere, while the morontia and material beings make use of material and semimaterial means to negotiate atmospheric passage.
P. 485 - §5 to P. 486 - §1


Even the Havona worlds:

The architecture, lighting, and heating, as well as the biologic and artistic embellishment, of the Havona spheres, are quite beyond the greatest possible stretch of human imagination. You cannot be told much about Havona; to understand its beauty and grandeur you must see it. But there are real rivers and lakes on these perfect worlds. P. 156 - §4



Maybe our thought/feelings/reverence and so on about water is because life was born in it, at least on our world. It was a surprise to me to learn that water exists on architectural spheres!

All the best,
Meredith

#3 Bonita

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 01:34 PM

66.5.21  Before the Prince’s arrival, bathing had been an exclusively religious ceremonial. It was indeed difficult to persuade primitive men to wash their bodies as a health practice. Lut finally induced the religious teachers to include cleansing with water as a part of the purification ceremonies to be practiced in connection with the noontime devotions, once a week, in the worship of the Father of all.



One is left to wonder how the revelation given to our primitive ancestors by the Prince's staff changed their evolutionary religion. Primitives revered water as a source of power. Dipping themselves into this source of power would naturally transfer power or protection directly to themselves. The idea that water could also cleanse and purify, an idea fostered by revelation for health purposes, was instead reinterpreted into a religious ritual, presumably because it is not possible to suddenly change the beliefs of people. The power water had over men now had added to it the power of purification.

This idea of cleanliness and purification was further advanced by Adam and Eve who taught that defilement of water lead to sickness and disease, thereby increasing the conviction of the holiness of water and its purifying powers.

73.5.3  The sanitary arrangements of the Garden were far in advance of anything that had been attempted theretofore on Urantia. The drinking water of Eden was kept wholesome by the strict observance of the sanitary regulations designed to conserve its purity. During these early times much trouble came about from neglect of these rules, but Van gradually impressed upon his associates the importance of allowing nothing to fall into the water supply of the Garden.



It must have come as come as a shock to many of the tribesmen whose shamans made absolutely filthy concoctions and called it holy water, a practice that apparently did not die out readily.

87.6.5  Water was regarded as the best protection against ghosts. Holy water was superior to all other forms, water in which the priests had washed their feet.

70.10.6  The Old Testament records one of these ordeals, a marital guilt test: If a man suspected his wife of being untrue to him, he took her to the priest and stated his suspicions, after which the priest would prepare a concoction consisting of holy water and sweepings from the temple floor. After due ceremony, including threatening curses, the accused wife was made to drink the nasty potion. If she was guilty, “the water that causes the curse shall enter into her and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thighs shall rot, and the woman shall be accursed among her people.” If, by any chance, any woman could quaff this filthy draught and not show symptoms of physical illness, she was acquitted of the charges made by her jealous husband.



Allow me to share the following concerning the practice of shaman initiation among the ancient Buryats from Siberia:

When the date for consecration has been determined, there is a purification ceremony, which theoretically should be repeated from three to nine tiimes but which in practice is performed only twice. The "father shaman" and nine young men, called his "sons," fetch water from three springs and offer libations of tarasun to the spring spirits. On the way back they pull up young birches and bring them to the house. The water is boiled and, to purify it, wild thyme, juniper, and pine bark are thrown into the pot; a few hairs cut from a he-goat's ear are also added. The animal is then killed and some drops of its blood are allowed to fall into the pot. Dipping a broom made of the birch twigs into the pot, he ["father shaman"] touches the apprentice's bare back. (Eliade, Mircea, Shamanism, Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, Penquin/Arkana, London, 1989, pg. 116)



#4 JR Sherrod

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 01:49 PM

Hi Bonita, all,
I'm interested in the topic. Water is a substance of the material universe and even Havona. Here are several comments about other-world water. This one pertains to mansonia.

Though you have morontia bodies, you continue, through all seven of these worlds, to eat, drink, and rest. You partake of the morontia order of food, a kingdom of living energy unknown on the material worlds. Both food and water are fully utilized in the morontia body; there is no residual waste. P. 535 - §2

Pertaining to the physical features of Jersuem:

There are thousands upon thousands of small lakes but no raging rivers nor expansive oceans. This water system is not entirely subsurface, for there are many canals interconnecting the sparkling lakes of Jerusem. P. 520 - §7

Of other architectural spheres:

There are tens of thousands of sparkling lakes and thousands upon thousands of interconnecting streams, but there are no great oceans nor torrential rivers. Only the highlands are devoid of these surface streams. The water of Edentia and similar architectural spheres is no different from the water of the evolutionary planets. The water systems of such spheres are both surface and subterranean, and the moisture is in constant circulation. Edentia can be circumnavigated via these various water routes, though the chief channel of transportation is the atmosphere. P. 485 - §5 to P. 486 - §1

Even the Havona worlds:

You cannot be told much about Havona; to understand its beauty and grandeur you must see it. But there are real rivers and lakes on these perfect worlds. P. 156 - §4


Maybe our thought/feelings/reverence and so on about water is because life was born in it, at least on our world. It was a surprise to me to learn that water exists on architectural spheres!
All the best,
Meredith



Hi Meredith & Bonita!

It is an emotion of joy that I feel knowing water, streams, lakes, and rivers abound on every architectural sphere and on the majority of worlds of Human life!

As an aside, [sort of], I note that our own planetary astronomers are quite correct in their search for extraterrestrial life in the "water zones" of extra-solar planetary systems. Of course, they must look more closely at the "Gas Giants" to discover water-rich moons. These gas giants have abundant spheres of life-capable habitat - as an example, we have Europa with it's humongous ice-capped ocean, way out beyond the asteriod-belt. Such a world is technically outside the "water zone" of our solar system; but the gas giants modify the local environment nicely with radiation belts, and tidal stresses - resulting in life-sustaining suburbs. Oh, the beauty of God's diverse creation!

"JR" Sherrod

Ah! To be host to God, Himself; and to be enriched beyond measure by that incomprehensible treasure!

#5 Bonita

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 10:06 AM

64.3.3  While the tribes of the north grew more and more to fear the ice, those living near the homeland of their origin became exceedingly fearful of the water. They observed the Mesopotamian peninsula gradually sinking into the ocean, and though it emerged several times, the traditions of these primitive races grew up around the dangers of the sea and the fear of periodic engulfment. And this fear, together with their experience with river floods, explains why they sought out the highlands as a safe place in which to live.



Is it any wonder that so many cultures have myths involving floods? Even today there are people still convinced that the story of a worldwide flood is true. The truth concerning what happened with Noah blossomed into legendary fiction probably because of man's archetypal fear of punishing waters indwelt by spirits and controlled by angry gods.

78.7.5  But Noah really lived; he was a wine maker of Aram, a river settlement near Erech. He kept a written record of the days of the river’s rise from year to year. He brought much ridicule upon himself by going up and down the river valley advocating that all houses be built of wood, boat fashion, and that the family animals be put on board each night as the flood season approached. He would go to the neighboring river settlements every year and warn them that in so many days the floods would come. Finally a year came in which the annual floods were greatly augmented by unusually heavy rainfall so that the sudden rise of the waters wiped out the entire village; only Noah and his immediate family were saved in their houseboat.



#6 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 10:58 AM

Hi Bonita, JR, all,

How about this indisputable bit of information about water?

Mathematics, material science, is indispensable to the intelligent discussion of the material aspects of the universe, but such knowledge is not necessarily a part of the higher realization of truth or of the personal appreciation of spiritual realities. Not only in the realms of life but even in the world of physical energy, the sum of two or more things is very often something more than, or something different from, the predictable additive consequences of such unions. The entire science of mathematics, the whole domain of philosophy, the highest physics or chemistry, could not predict or know that the union of two gaseous hydrogen atoms with one gaseous oxygen atom would result in a new and qualitatively superadditive substance--liquid water. The understanding knowledge of this one physiochemical phenomenon should have prevented the development of materialistic philosophy and mechanistic cosmology. P. 141 - §4

All the best,
Meredith

#7 Bonita

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:01 PM

Moses is another figure from antiquity around whom has survived many water myths. According to legend, he survived Pharaoh's slaughter of the innocents by being placed into an ark made of bulrushes and floated out onto the water where he was discovered by Thermutis, the daughter of Pharaoh, and raised as her son. This part of the myth is apparently common to a number of historic heros:

89.7.3  Even after most groups had ceased the ritual killing of children, it was the custom to put an infant away by itself, off in the wilderness or in a little boat on the water. If the child survived, it was thought that the gods had intervened to preserve him, as in the traditions of Sargon, Moses, Cyrus, and Romulus.



Thankfully, TUB tells us the truth concerning Moses' origins which answered a nagging question I always had as to why Pharaoh would not have noticed that Moses was a Jewish baby and slaughter him like all the others, especially since the reason for the slaughter was fear that a Jewish babe would eventually destroy Egypt. Even his daughter's pleas would not have stopped him, at least in my mind.

96:3.1 The beginning of the evolution of the Hebraic concepts and ideals of a Supreme Creator dates from the departure of the Semites from Egypt under that great leader, teacher, and organizer, Moses. His mother was of the royal family of Egypt; his father was a Semitic liaison officer between the government and the Bedouin captives. Moses thus possessed qualities derived from superior racial sources; his ancestry was so highly blended that it is impossible to classify him in any one racial group. Had he not been of this mixed type, he would never have displayed that unusual versatility and adaptability which enabled him to manage the diversified horde which eventually became associated with those Bedouin Semites who fled from Egypt to the Arabian Desert under his leadership.



The next miraculous event involving water that was ascribed to Moses was his turning the waters of Egypt into blood. (Isn't it interesting that Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine?) Next, Moses led his people out of Egypt by parting the waters of the Red Sea. He later struck a rock from which water poured out satisfying the thirst of his people who had been wandering the desert without water. Incidentally, he wasn't the last legendary figure to get water out of a rock. Mithras, a mythical god who undoubtedly influenced the early Christians, was another water-maker.

98.5.3  The Mithraic cult portrayed a militant god taking origin in a great rock, engaging in valiant exploits, and causing water to gush forth from a rock struck with his arrows. There was a flood from which one man escaped in a specially built boat and a last supper which Mithras celebrated with the sun-god before he ascended into the heavens. This sun-god, or Sol Invictus, was a degeneration of the Ahura-Mazda deity concept of Zoroastrianism. Mithras was conceived as the surviving champion of the sun-god in his struggle with the god of darkness. And in recognition of his slaying the mythical sacred bull, Mithras was made immortal, being exalted to the station of intercessor for the human race among the gods on high.



Even today there remains a legend of a holy man known as the "rain-maker", known as Abba Chilkiah, in the Talmud. Also, there are scholars who assert to legends that James, the Lord's brother, was also known as a "rain-maker".

In the days of the Tanaim, the great sages of the Mishnah, there lived in the Holy Land, saintly men to whom the sages and leaders of the people turned in time of distress to pray for G-d's mercy. These saintly men, because of the saintliness of their lives and learning, could accomplish miracles with their prayers. One of these humble saints was Abba Chilkiah. He was a grandson of Choni HaM'agel, the "Circle-drawer", who was also a famed rain-maker through prayer. He was called the "Circle-drawer," because when rain was needed, he would draw a circle around him and pray to G-d, saying he would not move out of the circle until rain came. (chabad.org, Abba Chilkiah;The "Rain Maker")



#8 Bonita

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 01:03 PM

TUB explains how the practice of baptism and the use of holy water was borrowed by Christianity from Mithraism.

98.6.4  Always had it been the practice of Mithraic worshipers, on entering the temple, to dip their fingers in holy water. And since in some districts there were those who at one time belonged to both religions, they introduced this custom into the majority of the Christian churches in the vicinity of Rome. Both religions employed baptism and partook of the sacrament of bread and wine. The one great difference between Mithraism and Christianity, aside from the characters of Mithras and Jesus, was that the one encouraged militarism while the other was ultrapacific. Mithraism’s tolerance for other religions (except later Christianity) led to its final undoing. But the deciding factor in the struggle between the two was the admission of women into the full fellowship of the Christian faith.



I found a source (Pagan Regeneration, by Harold R. Willoughby, [1929]) that describes the Mithraic sacraments of baptism and communion which were adopted and reinterpreted by the early Christians in Rome. I'll attempt to paraphrase what Willoughby wrote.

Initiation into Mithraism involved a series of ceremonies centered around the principle of death and renewal. The initiate went through a simulated death then regeneration in the baptismal waters followed by a communion meal with the god. Mithraic baptism promised purification by the washing away of sins. Once the defilements of the old life were washed away, the initiate entered into a spiritual regeneration marked by the baptism ceremony. The new spiritual life needed nourishment and sustenance, hence the practice of the communion meal with the god. Apparently, in the life of the follower of Mithraism, there were required repeated washings and ablutions in order to reach the ideal of perfect purity, hence the habit of sprinkling with holy water to renew or augment the initial baptism.

Willoughby quotes an ancient papyrus on which was written the opening prayer said by the initiate during his baptismal ceremony:

"O! first genesis of my genesis! First beginning of my beginning! First spirit of the spirit that is within me! .... May it please thee to translate me, who am trammelled by the nature which underlies me, to an immortal genesis .... that I may be born again in spirit; that I may be initiated, and the sacred Spirit may breathe on me! Though I was born a mortal from a mortal mother . . . . having been sanctified by sacred ceremonies I am about to gaze with immortal eyes on the immortal aeon. I, a man . . . . begotten in mortal womb by human seed, and today begotten again by thee, a man who has been called from so many thousands to immortality according to the plan of a god wonderful in his goodness, strives and longs to adore thee according to his human ability. O Lord! Having been born again, I pass away, being exalted the while. Having been exalted, I die! Coming into being by life-begetting birth and freed unto death, I go the way as thou hast ordered, as thou hast established the law and ordained the sacrament."



#9 Bonita

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 02:05 PM

TUB gives us a rather detailed description of one of the rituals of the Temple during Jesus' time, the Feast of Tabernacles. Of particular note is the emphasis on the symbolism of water.

162.4.3  Seventy bullocks were sacrificed during the feast, the symbol of the seventy nations of heathendom. The ceremony of the outpouring of the water symbolized the outpouring of the divine spirit. This ceremony of the water followed the sunrise procession of the priests and Levites. The worshipers passed down the steps leading from the court of Israel to the court of the women while successive blasts were blown upon the silvery trumpets. And then the faithful marched on toward the beautiful gate, which opened upon the court of the gentiles. Here they turned about to face westward, to repeat their chants, and to continue their march for the symbolic water.

162.4.4  On the last day of the feast almost four hundred and fifty priests with a corresponding number of Levites officiated. At daybreak the pilgrims assembled from all parts of the city, each carrying in the right hand a sheaf of myrtle, willow, and palm branches, while in the left hand each one carried a branch of the paradise apple — the citron, or the “forbidden fruit.” These pilgrims divided into three groups for this early morning ceremony. One band remained at the temple to attend the morning sacrifices; another group marched down below Jerusalem to near Maza to cut the willow branches for the adornment of the sacrificial altar, while the third group formed a procession to march from the temple behind the water priest, who, to the sound of the silvery trumpets, bore the golden pitcher which was to contain the symbolic water, out through Ophel to near Siloam, where was located the fountain gate. After the golden pitcher had been filled at the pool of Siloam, the procession marched back to the temple, entering by way of the water gate and going directly to the court of the priests, where the priest bearing the water pitcher was joined by the priest bearing the wine for the drink offering. These two priests then repaired to the silver funnels leading to the base of the altar and poured the contents of the pitchers therein. The execution of this rite of pouring the wine and the water was the signal for the assembled pilgrims to begin the chanting of the Psalms from 113 to 118 inclusive, in alternation with the Levites. And as they repeated these lines, they would wave their sheaves at the altar. Then followed the sacrifices for the day, associated with the repeating of the Psalm for the day, the Psalm for the last day of the feast being the eighty-second, beginning with the fifth verse.



The Eschatological Feast of Booths

Zechariah sees the ultimate fulfillment of the Feast of Booths on the day when “the Lord your God will come and all the holy ones with Him” (Zech 14:5). “On that day,” the prophet explains, “there shall be neither cold nor frost. And there shall be continuous day. . . not day or night, for at evening time there shall be light” (Zech 14:6-7).
In the prophetic vision, the unusual night illumination of the Feast of Booths finds it ultimate fulfillment in the new earth where “there shall be continuous day. . . for at evening them there shall be light” (Zech 14:7). A clear description of this fulfillment is found in Revelation where we are told that “the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev 21:23). We shall see how the major themes of the Feast of Booths, namely, light, water, and booths, are extensively used in Revelation 21-22 to describe the conditions of the new earth.
Zechariah links the theme of water to that of light in his description of the eschatological Feast of Booths: “On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem. . . it shall continue in summer as in winter” (Zech 14:8). The water flowing out from Jerusalem is a clear allusion to the water processions that took place each day of the Feast of Booths from the pool of Siloam to the Temple. A priest would pour a golden flagon of water into one of the two silver bowls that had been positioned on the altar. On the second bowl, the priest would pour a libation of wine. Zechariah explicitly mentions “the bowls before the altar” (Zech 14:20). Spouts in each of the two bowls allowed the water and wine to flow out onto the altar. (www.goodnewsaboutgod.com)


In regard to the ceremony and the significance of the "water priest" and the "water gate".

The Water-Drawing Ceremony

“While the morning sacrifice was being prepared, a special procession was organized for the joyous water-drawing ceremony that was rich in symbolism and high drama. The procession of faithful worshippers began at the Temple, led by a priest who carried a golden pitcher. When the Temple procession reached the pool of Siloam, the priest filled his golden pitcher with water. Journeying back to the Temple, the cortege would pass through the Water Gate (its name being derived from the ceremony). The Water Gate had special eschatological significance because it was identified by some rabbis as the south gate of Ezekiel’s Temple through which the water of life would flow to all the land
(Ezek 47:1-5). (www.goodnewsaboutgod.com)


Is it no wonder that Jesus took this opportunity to teach the true meaning of "water of life" or "living water"?

162:6.1 On the last day, the great day of the feast, as the procession from the pool of Siloam passed through the temple courts, and just after the water and the wine had been poured down upon the altar by the priests, Jesus, standing among the pilgrims, said: "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. From the Father above I bring to this world the water of life. He who believes me shall be filled with the spirit which this water represents, for even the Scriptures have said, `Out of him shall flow rivers of living waters.' When the Son of Man has finished his work on earth, there shall be poured out upon all flesh the living Spirit of Truth. Those who receive this spirit shall never know spiritual thirst."
162:6.3 At the conclusion of this early morning service Jesus continued to teach the multitude, saying: "Have you not read in the Scripture: `Behold, as the waters are poured out upon the dry ground and spread over the parched soil, so will I give the spirit of holiness to be poured out upon your children for a blessing even to your children's children'? Why will you thirst for the ministry of the spirit while you seek to water your souls with the traditions of men, poured from the broken pitchers of ceremonial service? That which you see going on about this temple is the way in which your fathers sought to symbolize the bestowal of the divine spirit upon the children of faith, and you have done well to perpetuate these symbols, even down to this day. But now has come to this generation the revelation of the Father of spirits through the bestowal of his Son, and all of this will certainly be followed by the bestowal of the spirit of the Father and the Son upon the children of men. To every one who has faith shall this bestowal of the spirit become the true teacher of the way which leads to life everlasting, to the true waters of life in the kingdom of heaven on earth and in the Father's Paradise over there."



#10 Bonita

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 10:01 AM

After watching the horrific scenes of the tsunami in Japan and realizing the cataclysmic power of raging waters, it is comforting to know that there will be no such occurrences in heaven.

46.2.2 There are thousands upon thousands of small lakes but no raging rivers nor expansive oceans. There is no rainfall, neither storms nor blizzards, on any of the architectural worlds, but there is the daily precipitation of the condensation of moisture during the time of lowest temperature attending the light recession. (The dew point is higher on a three-gas world than on a two-gas planet like Urantia.) The physical plant life and the morontia world of living things both require moisture, but this is largely supplied by the subsoil system of circulation which extends all over the sphere, even up to the very tops of the highlands. This water system is not entirely subsurface, for there are many canals interconnecting the sparkling lakes of Jerusem.



#11 Bonita

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:24 AM

92.1.3  Religion arises as a biologic reaction of mind to spiritual beliefs and the environment; it is the last thing to perish or change in a race. Religion is society’s adjustment, in any age, to that which is mysterious. As a social institution it embraces rites, symbols, cults, scriptures, altars, shrines, and temples. Holy water, relics, fetishes, charms, vestments, bells, drums, and priesthoods are common to all religions. And it is impossible entirely to divorce purely evolved religion from either magic or sorcery.



Based upon the above quote it seems that it is unlikely to ever divorce rites such as baptism from evolved religion. But is it absolutely necessary that revealed religion adopt these practices in order to be accepted by society? I'm guessing that these human reactions to mystery cannot be prevented, which is why Jesus never condoned or condemned baptism. But I still hold out great hope that there is a way to socialize revealed religion without including any of the magic and sorcery while at the same time acknowledging the mystery of it all.

#12 Bonita

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 03:56 PM

90.4.6  Since water was a potent fetish, it was utilized in the treatment of many ailments. For long it was believed that the spirit causing the sickness could be eliminated by sweating. Vapor baths were highly regarded; natural hot springs soon blossomed as primitive health resorts. Early man discovered that heat would relieve pain; he used sunlight, fresh animal organs, hot clay, and hot stones, and many of these methods are still employed. Rhythm was practiced in an effort to influence the spirits; the tom-toms were universal.



Many superstitious customs are derived from the primitive belief that ill humors can be transferred to other animate and inanimate objects. Transferring a spirit through sweating is actually an improvement over some of the superstitions described below.

Because it is possible to shift a load of wood, stones, or what not, from our own back to the back of another, the savage fancies that it is equally possible to shift the burden of his pains and sorrows to another, who will suffer them in his stead. . . .
The devices to which the cunning and selfish savage resorts for the sake of easing himself at the expense of his neighbour are manifold; only a few typical examples out of a multitude can be cited. At the outset it is to be observed that the evil of which a man seeks to rid himself need not be transferred to a person; it may equally well be transferred to an animal or a thing, though in the last case the thing is often only a vehicle to convey the trouble to the first person who touches it. In some of the East Indian islands they think that epilepsy can be cured by striking the patient on the face with the leaves of certain trees and then throwing them away. The disease is believed to have passed into the leaves, and to have been thrown away with them. To cure toothache some of the Australian blacks apply a heated spear-thrower to the cheek. The spear-thrower is then cast away, and the toothache goes with it in the shape of a black stone called a karritch. Stones of this kind are found in old mounds and sandhills. They are carefully collected and thrown in the direction of enemies in order to give them toothache. The Bahima, a pastoral people of Uganda, often suffer from deep-seated abscesses: "their cure for this is to transfer the disease to some other person by obtaining herbs from the medicine-man, rubbing them over the place where the swelling is, and burying them in the road where people continually pass; the first person who steps over these buried herbs contracts the disease, and the original person recovers." . . .
Animals are often employed as a vehicle for carrying away or transferring the evil. When a Moor has a headache he will sometimes take a lamb or a goat and beat it till it falls down, believing that the headache will thus be trasferred to the animal. In Morocco most wealthy Moors keep a wild boar in their stables, in order that the jinn and evil spirits may be diverted from the horses and enter into the boar. . . .
The entrance into a house of an animal which does not generally seek to share the abode of man is regarded by the Malays as ominous of misfortune. If a wild bird flies into a house, it must be carefully caught and smeared with oil, and must then be released in the open air, a formula being recited which it is bidden to fly away with all the ill-luck and misfortunes of the occupier. . . . The Huzuls of the Carpathians imagine that they can transfer freckles to the first swallow they see in spring by washing their face in flowing water and saying, "Swallow, swallow, take my freckles, and give me rosy cheeks."(Sir James Frazer, The Golden Bough, A Study in Magic and Religion, Wordsworth, London, 1993, pg.539-340)



#13 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:29 PM

Dear Readers,

From PAPER 34:

It is the presence of the divine Spirit, the water of life, that prevents the consuming thirst of mortal discontent and that indescribable hunger of the unspiritualized human mind. Spirit-motivated beings "never thirst, for this spiritual water shall be in them a well of satisfaction springing up into life everlasting." Such divinely watered souls are all but independent of material environment as regards the joys of living and the satisfactions of earthly existence. They are spiritually illuminated and refreshed, morally strengthened and endowed. P. 381 - §2


All the best,
Meredith

#14 Bonita

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 02:23 PM

So much of Jesus' life centered around water. If you think about it, it's rather overwhelming. Even his conception was preceded by Mary giving a cup of water to Joseph, which began their relationship. In his ninth year, he became fascinated with the science of water. He worked as a boat builder and fisherman. He gave new meaning to the Jewish symbols of the passover, calling the wine the water of life. He took pains to explain the water system of Caesarea and the Lighthouse of Pharos to Ganid. He traveled about the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Gallilee, the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. He was baptized with water. His first miracle was changing water into wine. He often taught by the water's edge or in a boat so as to use its sound reflective properties to amplify his voice. He converted a Samarian woman at Jacob's well. He impressed David Zebedee to follow him after the seemingly miraculous draught of fishes. He inspired and healed at the pool of Bethesda. His apostles believed that he calmed the seas and that he walked on water. He washed the feet of his apostles at the last supper and the room for that supper was obtained through a man carrying a pitcher of water. And finally, the Master's last request before dying was for water.

He spoke at great length about the the water of life and the living waters, a "well of refreshment springing up even unto eternal life".

162.6.2 He addressed the worshipers immediately after the chanting of the Hallel, the responsive reading of the Psalms accompanied by waving of the branches before the altar. Just here was a pause while the sacrifices were being prepared, and it was at this time that the pilgrims heard the fascinating voice of the Master declare that he was the giver of living water to every spirit-thirsting soul.

181.1.4 The Father sent me into this world, but only a few of you have chosen fully to receive me. I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, but all men will not choose to receive this new teacher as the guide and counselor of the soul. But as many as do receive him shall be enlightened, cleansed, and comforted. And this Spirit of Truth will become in them a well of living water springing up into eternal life.

182.1.10 I am the bread of life. I am the living water. I am the light of the world. I am the desire of all ages. I am the open door to eternal salvation. I am the reality of endless life. I am the good shepherd. I am the pathway of infinite perfection. I am the resurrection and the life. I am the secret of eternal survival. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am the infinite Father of my finite children. I am the true vine; you are the branches. I am the hope of all who know the living truth. I am the living bridge from one world to another. I am the living link between time and eternity.



#15 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 02:54 PM

He spoke at great length about the the water of life and the living waters, a "well of refreshment springing up even unto eternal life".

182.1.10 I am the bread of life. I am the living water. I am the light of the world. I am the desire of all ages. I am the open door to eternal salvation. I am the reality of endless life. I am the good shepherd. I am the pathway of infinite perfection. I am the resurrection and the life. I am the secret of eternal survival. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am the infinite Father of my finite children. I am the true vine; you are the branches. I am the hope of all who know the living truth. I am the living bridge from one world to another. I am the living link between time and eternity.[/indent][/color]


Hi Bonita, all,

How nice to read this! Here is part of the story of Nalda, the Samaritan woman of Sychar at Jacob's well.

. . . Nalda asked Jesus, "How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink of me, a Samaritan woman?" Jesus answered: "I have indeed asked you for a drink, but if you could only understand, you would ask me for a draught of the living water." Then said Nalda: "But, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; whence, then, have you this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us this well, and who drank thereof himself and his sons and his cattle also?"

Jesus replied: "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whosoever drinks of the water of the living spirit shall never thirst. And this living water shall become in him a well of refreshment springing up even to eternal life." Nalda then said: "Give me this water that I thirst not neither come all the way hither to draw. Besides, anything which a Samaritan woman could receive from such a commendable Jew would be a pleasure."

Nalda did not know how to take Jesus' willingness to talk with her. She beheld in the Master's face the countenance of an upright and holy man, but she mistook friendliness for commonplace familiarity, and she misinterpreted his figure of speech as a form of making advances to her. And being a woman of lax morals, she was minded openly to become flirtatious, when Jesus, looking straight into her eyes, with a commanding voice said, "Woman, go get your husband and bring him hither." This command brought Nalda to her senses. She saw that she had misjudged the Master's kindness; she perceived that she had misconstrued his manner of speech. She was frightened; she began to realize that she stood in the presence of an unusual person, and groping about in her mind for a suitable reply, in great confusion, she said, "But, Sir, I cannot call my husband, for I have no husband." Then said Jesus: "You have spoken the truth, for, while you may have once had a husband, he with whom you are now living is not your husband. Better it would be if you would cease to trifle with my words and seek for the living water which I have this day offered you."
P.1613 - §0 to §2


All the best,
Meredith

#16 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 11:53 PM

Dear Readers,

This is from PAPER 162, (6. DISCOURSE ON THE WATER OF LIFE - P.1795) when the Master, standing among the pilgrims at the pool of Siloam, said:

"If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. From the Father above I bring to this world the water of life. He who believes me shall be filled with the spirit which this water represents, for even the Scriptures have said, `Out of him shall flow rivers of living waters.' When the Son of Man has finished his work on earth, there shall be poured out upon all flesh the living Spirit of Truth. Those who receive this spirit shall never know spiritual thirst."


Jesus did not interrupt the service to speak these words. He addressed the worshipers immediately after the chanting of the Hallel, the responsive reading of the Psalms accompanied by waving of the branches before the altar. Just here was a pause while the sacrifices were being prepared, and it was at this time that the pilgrims heard the fascinating voice of the Master declare that he was the giver of living water to every spirit-thirsting soul.

At the conclusion of this early morning service Jesus continued to teach the multitude, saying: "Have you not read in the Scripture: `Behold, as the waters are poured out upon the dry ground and spread over the parched soil, so will I give the spirit of holiness to be poured out upon your children for a blessing even to your children's children'? Why will you thirst for the ministry of the spirit while you seek to water your souls with the traditions of men, poured from the broken pitchers of ceremonial service? That which you see going on about this temple is the way in which your fathers sought to symbolize the bestowal of the divine spirit upon the children of faith, and you have done well to perpetuate these symbols, even down to this day. But now has come to this generation the revelation of the Father of spirits through the bestowal of his Son, and all of this will certainly be followed by the bestowal of the spirit of the Father and the Son upon the children of men. To every one who has faith shall this bestowal of the spirit become the true teacher of the way which leads to life everlasting, to the true waters of life in the kingdom of heaven on earth and in the Father's Paradise over there."

And Jesus continued to answer the questions of both the multitude and the Pharisees. Some thought he was a prophet; some believed him to be the Messiah; others said he could not be the Christ, seeing that he came from Galilee, and that the Messiah must restore David's throne. Still they dared not arrest him.
P.1795 - 1796


When he says, ". . . and all of this will certainly be followed by the bestowal of the spirit of the Father and the Son upon the children of men," he is revealing that his Spirit of Truth will be bestowed, and, the spirit of the Father, the Thought Adjusters, will be bestowed. And they were.


All the best,
Meredith

#17 Bonita

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 06:50 AM

When he says, ". . . and all of this will certainly be followed by the bestowal of the spirit of the Father and the Son upon the children of men," he is revealing that his Spirit of Truth will be bestowed, and, the spirit of the Father, the Thought Adjusters, will be bestowed. And they were.


I think what he meant is that the Spirit of Truth is the spirit of both the Father and the Son.

194:2.3 This bestowal of the son’s spirit effectively prepared all normal men’s minds for the subsequent universal bestowal of the father’s spirit (the Adjuster) upon all mankind. In a certain sense, this Spirit of Truth is the spirit of both the Universal Father and the Creator Son.

194:2.16 4. The spirit of the Universal Father and the Creator Son — the Spirit of Truth, generally regarded as the spirit of the Universe Son.

194:3.1 In subsequent times the events of this day, on which the Spirit of Truth, the new teacher, came to dwell with mankind, have become confused with the foolish outbreaks of rampant emotionalism. The chief mission of this outpoured spirit of the Father and the Son is to teach men about the truths of the Father’s love and the Son’s mercy.



#18 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 09:22 AM

I think what he meant is that the Spirit of Truth is the spirit of both the Father and the Son.


Hi Bonita, all,

Thanks for the clarification. And this is also true:

But it is not until a bestowal Son has liberated the Spirit of Truth for planetary ministry to all mortals that all normal minds are automatically prepared for the reception of the Thought Adjusters. P. 379 - §4


Thought Adjusters are the spirit of the Father, the TA is different from the SoT.

All the best,
Meredith

Edited by Meredith Van Woert, 15 April 2011 - 09:24 AM.


#19 Bonita

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 10:00 AM

Why do you suppose that they consider the SoT to be the spirit of both the Son and the Father if we already have a Father fragment?

#20 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 03:35 PM

Why do you suppose that they consider the SoT to be the spirit of both the Son and the Father if we already have a Father fragment?


Hi Bonita, all,

I think it has to do with a fact of origin. Creator Sons, Magisterial Sons, and Trinity Teacher Sons have different origins.

The Paradise Sons of God are of threefold origin: The primary or Creator Sons are brought into being by the Universal Father and the Eternal Son; the secondary or Magisterial Sons are children of the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit; the Trinity Teacher Sons are the offspring of the Father, Son, and Spirit. From the standpoint of service, worship, and supplication the Paradise Sons are as one; their spirit is one, and their work is identical in quality and completeness. P. 224 - §1


Much as the Creator Sons are personalized by the Father and the Son, so are the Magisterial Sons personalized by the Son and the Spirit. These are the Sons who, in the experiences of creature incarnation, earn the right to serve as the judges of survival in the creations of time and space. P. 88 - §3


And another reference indicates more, as we're informed of the difference between the proclamation of a Creator Son and that of a Magisterial Son.

Never does a Magisterial Son proclaim, "Whosoever has seen the Son has seen the Father," as did your Creator Son when on Urantia and in the flesh. But a bestowed Avonal does declare, "Whosoever has seen me has seen the Eternal Son of God." The Magisterial Sons are not of immediate descent from the Universal Father, nor do they incarnate subject to the Father's will; always do they bestow themselves as Paradise Sons subject to the will of the Eternal Son of Paradise. P. 229 - §4


And here is a bit more about Creator Sons and Magisterial Son to show the ministry of their spirits.

In the Creator Sons the love the Universal Father is blended with the mercy of the Eternal Son and is disclosed to the local universes in the creative power, loving ministry, and understanding sovereignty of the Michaels. In the Magisterial Sons the mercy of the Eternal Son, united with the ministry of the Infinite Spirit, is revealed to the evolutionary domains in the careers of these Avonals of judgment, service, and bestowal. In the Trinity Teacher Sons the love, mercy, and ministry of the three Paradise Deities are co-ordinated on the highest time-space value-levels and are presented to the universes as living truth, divine goodness, and true spiritual beauty. P. 232 - §6


I know there is a reference to an overarching sprit bestowal of a Magisterial Son after his bestowal mission, but I couldn't find it. There is also another reference pertaining to the fact that when the SoT is bestowed on the world of the Creator Son's 7th and final bestowal, his Spirit of Truth enlarges or embraces (or something like that) all the the worlds in his universe that have received a bestowal Son.

All the best,
Meredith




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