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JR  Sherrod

Personality and the Me I Want To Be

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What a great topic has evolved on the thread about the Second Coming of Jesus - an awesome discussion about Personality.

 

Bonita, Todd, FTFsGRL, et.al., You each have helped me to discover more about my Personality.

 

As I see it, the ME I want to be in eternity, starts here in mortality. What began as a biologic life-vehicle, was endowed with "Personality" by Almighty God, Himself, with a "distinct consciousness of self" which came with a sovereign "right to choose" - free-will. Next, after a short time (and subsequent to a choice exhibiting the actual, conscious exercise of "free will"), was augmented by the presentation of a Thought Adjuster which came with a betrothal of "potential" immortality (within the Thought Adjuster). The Personality and The Thought Adjuster AND my own material strivings, may all contribute to the Immortal ME that will tread the Pilgrim's Path back to our Heavenly Father - the actual source of Personality and Thought Adjuster.

 

Is that close to right?

 

"JR" Sherrod

Edited by JR Sherrod

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Yup! You got it right except one tiny little detail concerning the coming of the Thought Adjuster. It is not any free-will decision that precedes his coming. The free-will decision made by the personality which signals that the time is right for the Adjuster to come must be a selfless one, thereby proving the function the higher mind adjutants.

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Yup! You got it right except one tiny little detail concerning the coming of the Thought Adjuster. It is not any free-will decision that precedes his coming. The free-will decision made by the personality which signals that the time is right for the Adjuster to come must be a selfless one, thereby proving the function the higher mind adjutants.

 

I respectfully disagree. I understand that the choice is not necessarily the self-less choice, because I am thinking about Andon & Fonta's willful, adjuster-calling choice. Was it not completely about living with and for each other - a selfish, preservative choice, of sorts? The proof of human mind of will-dignity, of the functioning of the adjutants of worship and wisdom, was their purposeful decision to flee & be separate from their inferior primates tribe. When they made a moral choice, chose between right & wrong - good & evil, that was the signal for the coming of the Adjuster(s).

 

[P.708 - §6] When about nine years of age, [Andon & Fonta - the Twins], journeyed off down the river one bright day and held a momentous conference. Every celestial intelligence stationed on Urantia, including myself, was present as an observer of the transactions of this noontide tryst. On this eventful day they arrived at an understanding to live with and for each other, and this was the first of a series of such agreements which finally culminated in the decision to flee from their inferior animal associates and to journey northward, little knowing that they were thus to found the human race.

 

[P.709 - §6] Imagine our joy one day--the twins were about ten years old--when the spirit of worship made its first contact with the mind of the female twin and shortly thereafter with the male. We knew that something closely akin to human mind was approaching culmination; and when, about a year later, they finally resolved, as a result of meditative thought and purposeful decision, to flee from home and journey north, then did the spirit of wisdom begin to function on Urantia and in these two now recognized human minds.

 

[P.710 - §2] "To the Life Carriers on Urantia--Greetings! We transmit assurance of great pleasure on Salvington, Edentia, and Jerusem in honor of the registration on the headquarters of Nebadon of the signal of the existence on Urantia of mind of will dignity. The purposeful decision of the twins to flee northward and segregate their offspring from their inferior ancestors has been noted. This is the first decision of mind--the human type of mind--on Urantia and automatically establishes the circuit of communication over which this initial message of acknowledgment is transmitting."

 

[P.711 - §7] The decision of Andon and Fonta to flee from the Primates tribes implies a quality of mind far above the baser intelligence which characterized so many of their later descendants who stooped to mate with their retarded cousins of the simian tribes. But their vague feeling of being something more than mere animals was due to the possession of personality and was augmented by the indwelling presence of the Thought Adjusters.

 

[P.1187 - §1] The Adjusters cannot invade the mortal mind until it has been duly prepared by the indwelling ministry of the adjutant mind-spirits and encircuited in the Holy Spirit. And it requires the co-ordinate function of all seven adjutants to thus qualify the human mind for the reception of an Adjuster. Creature mind must exhibit the worship outreach and indicate wisdom function by exhibiting the ability to choose between the emerging values of good and evil--moral choice.

 

Would you agree; or am I mis-understanding?

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Hi again, Forumites!

 

I suggest, (since this Forum is such a great teaching tool), that our task, today, is to find and correlate the references within TUB which explain these next few things:

 

The ME I want to be is a child of both Man and God.

 

God directly provides Personality. God directly provides the Thought Adjuster. God provides, (through the person of the Creative Daughter of our Local Universe), Life itself, and the Life Vehicle. So what do I, as Man, provide?

 

I, as a living being, with Personality & relative Free Will, and with the guidance of a Thought Adjuster, must provide EXPERIENCE. Living is a vital ingredient, is it not? Knowledge and Divinity comes with the Thought Adjuster; but that is not enough. The Thought Adjuster needs Mortal Living Experience to become a Personal being. AND not any experience will do. One must make decisions upon decisions to shape the relative free-will endowment into a "God's Will" endowment and personal possession of the ME I want to be.

 

Being a mortal being is a totally critical constituent of our eternal selves, so important, that our Universe Son (Christ Michael) had to have the same experience! Without mortal experience, the Thought Adjuster cannot achieve personal self-hood.

 

The glue that bonds all the required ingredients of eternal, personal self-hood together is "Personality."

 

Let's have fun in this "reference-chase," shall we?

 

"JR" Sherrod

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I respectfully disagree. I understand that the choice is not necessarily the self-less choice, because I am thinking about Andon & Fonta's willful, adjuster-calling choice. Was it not completely about living with and for each other - a selfish, preservative choice, of sorts? The proof of human mind of will-dignity, of the functioning of the adjutants of worship and wisdom, was their purposeful decision to flee & be separate from their inferior primates tribe. When they made a moral choice, chose between right & wrong - good & evil, that was the signal for the coming of the Adjuster(s).

 

[P.708 - §6] When about nine years of age, [Andon & Fonta - the Twins], journeyed off down the river one bright day and held a momentous conference. Every celestial intelligence stationed on Urantia, including myself, was present as an observer of the transactions of this noontide tryst. On this eventful day they arrived at an understanding to live with and for each other, and this was the first of a series of such agreements which finally culminated in the decision to flee from their inferior animal associates and to journey northward, little knowing that they were thus to found the human race.

 

Would you agree; or am I mis-understanding?

 

Note wherein the quote it says that Andon & Fonta arrived at an understanding "to live with and for each other."

 

Living for one another required selfless thoughts, each for the other. The Adjuster comes when a moral decision is made. This was a moral decision although it may appear to be otherwise looking at it externally. What really mattered was the internal intention of the two.

 

A moral decision does not always have to do with right and wrong since the criteria for right and wrong change constantly with the culture. Also, decisions concerning right and wrong behavior are often done as a sense of duty rather than out of love. This type of morality is called social morality or subspiritual morality.

 

195.5.7 4. Even man’s sense of
human morality is not, in and of itself, religious.

 

196.3.24
Morality is not necessarily spiritual
; it may be wholly and purely human, albeit real religion enhances all moral values, makes them more meaningful. Morality without religion fails to reveal ultimate goodness, and it also fails to provide for the survival of even its own moral values. Religion provides for the enhancement, glorification, and assured survival of everything morality recognizes and approves.

 

196.3.22 Morality is the essential pre-existent soil of personal God-consciousness, the personal realization of the Adjuster’s inner presence,
but such morality is not the source of religious experience and the resultant spiritual insight
. The moral nature is superanimal but subspiritual.
Morality is equivalent to the recognition of duty, the realization of the existence of right and wrong. The moral zone intervenes between the animal and the human types of mind as morontia functions between the material and the spiritual spheres of personality attainment
.

 

True moral decisions are spiritual decisions; they must be wholehearted and involve the highest wisdom one is capable of, involving unselfish love for another person, especially when confronted with the urge to be selfish.

 

103.2.8 When a moral being
chooses to be unselfish when confronted by the urge to be selfish
, that is primitive religious experience. No animal can make such a choice; such a decision is both human and religious. It embraces the fact of God-consciousness and exhibits the impulse of social service, the basis of the brotherhood of man. When mind chooses a right moral judgment by an act of the free will, such a decision constitutes a religious experience.

 

130.2.9 The next day Ganid talked all this over with his father, and it was in answer to Gonod’s question that Jesus explained that “human wills which are fully occupied with passing only upon temporal decisions having to do with the material problems of animal existence are doomed to perish in time.
Those who make wholehearted moral decisions and unqualified spiritual choices are thus progressively identified with the indwelling and divine spirit
, and thereby are they increasingly transformed into the values of eternal survival — unending progression of divine service.”

 

To outward eyes, Andon & Fonta appear to have made a selfish decision to remove themselves from their inferior brethren. This is typical of what the "eyes of the world" see. This is why we have such difficulty in separating out our "defective strains" because it appears to be selfish to do so. TUB is telling us here that it was actually an unselfish and moral act to preserve the truth, beauty and goodness they saw in one another, rather than their inferior relatives, and to commit themselves to one another. It was a form a primitive love.

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A moral decision does not always have to do with right and wrong since the criteria for right and wrong change constantly with the culture. Also, decisions concerning right and wrong behavior are often done as a sense of duty rather than out of love. This type of morality is called social morality or subspiritual morality.

 

I don't think the UB states that the criteria for right and wrong depend on the culture. It may be that actions performed out of duty are subspiritual, whereas those performed out of love are spiritual; I'm not sure what to make of that, since I'm invariably puzzled by the word "spiritual" anyway. I just don't think the UB tells us that all mortal morality collapses into cultural relativism. At least, I don't remember that message. The "realization of the existence of right and wrong" suggests, if anything, that these are objective truths, not just the shifting wind of cultural opinion.

 

Todd

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At one time it was considered righteous to sacrifice babies and virgins. People in those cultures were doing what was considered "right" and "moral" by that culture at that time, thereby making morality based upon human ideas of right and wrong completely relative.

 

Even today we have a difference of opinion concerning what is right and wrong according to culture. Honor killings are completely righteous in the Middle East whereas they are considered heinous crimes in Western cultures. Female circumcision is virtuous in some places and barbarous malfeasance in another.

 

Weren't my quotes sufficient to illustrate this point?

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At one time it was considered righteous to sacrifice babies and virgins. People in those cultures were doing what was considered "right" and "moral" by that culture at that time, thereby making morality based upon human ideas of right and wrong completely relative.

 

Even today we have a difference of opinion concerning what is right and wrong according to culture. Honor killings are completely righteous in the Middle East whereas they are considered heinous crimes in Western cultures. Female circumcision is virtuous in some places and barbarous malfeasance in another.

 

Weren't my quotes sufficient to illustrate this point?

Maybe I'm confused here, Bonita. What's difficult to understand, is that when we use the terms TUB uses, and in the same context, you seem to say we've got it wrong. You have, indeed, provided examples of incorrect evaluations of situations hiding under the facade of being right, but which are properly evaluated as evil, hence wrong. It is neither right, nor courageous, to go along with a terrible wrong, just because a degenerated society tries to paint such a wrong as if it were a right. Human mind can be lit with the Light of Pure Truth, even before an Adjuster has been bestowed. It is exactly that kind of innate knowing of the difference between TRUE values of good & evil - right & wrong - that the Solitary Messenger was telling us in Paper 108.

 

[P.1187 - §1] The Adjusters cannot invade the mortal mind until it has been duly prepared by the indwelling ministry of the adjutant mind-spirits and encircuited in the Holy Spirit. And it requires the co-ordinate function of all seven adjutants to thus qualify the human mind for the reception of an Adjuster. Creature mind must exhibit the worship outreach and indicate wisdom function by exhibiting the ability to choose between the emerging values of good and evil--moral choice.

 

I read that "...emerging values of good and evil..." when the creature mind has been prepared by the adjutants of worship & wisdom, can be discerned, identified, and good ultimately selected by the person - and that constitutes genuine "...moral choice."

 

If a Solitary Messenger addresses the issue by detailed explanation of a moral choice between good and evil, then maybe in justifying slippery values, we would be looking at this from a skewed viewpoint. Emerging values of good and evil can be discerned, and a truly moral choice CAN be made between genuine good and evil. Relative values, values that seem to fluctuate with passing fads and eroding society may indeed seem to make "...moral choice..." an unclear or variable target; but a Solitary Messenger indicates there is actually objective good and actually objective evil which can & must be discerned by the mind of one within which the adjutants of worship & wisdom are fully functioning. I agree with Todd; and hold that there is actually genuine good and genuine evil to be observed, evaluated, and ultimately chosen by the true human mind. A truly sane, human mind could really so act.

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At one time it was considered righteous to sacrifice babies and virgins. People in those cultures were doing what was considered "right" and "moral" by that culture at that time, thereby making morality based upon human ideas of right and wrong completely relative.

 

Even today we have a difference of opinion concerning what is right and wrong according to culture. Honor killings are completely righteous in the Middle East whereas they are considered heinous crimes in Western cultures. Female circumcision is virtuous in some places and barbarous malfeasance in another.

 

Thou shalt not kill.

 

Culture is... evolutionary as well. If culture remains the same, then so do beliefs. One cannot expand and grow when something is static.

 

God-consciousness is above culture. Therefore, knowing that killing, for example, is wrong, even though one's culture may allow it does not make it right or moral. It just makes it LEGAL in those countries. It is the intent of that person making the will choice.

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I don't think anybody really understands my posts. Maybe they're too long. Let me try again.

 

  • There is a continuum of morality ranging from the perception of the difference between right and wrong all the way up to actual truth discernment.
  • Mere right and wrong puts a decision at the judicial level, one of duty to the laws of man.
  • Knowing the difference between right and wrong puts man just above the animal level.
  • Man has a spiritual nucleus and the potential to function on a spiritual level.
  • Values such as good and evil are a step above mere right and wrong. They are the reasons why we think something is right or wrong.
  • The ability to discern good from evil requires that one have a model of goodness by which one can compare. Man often uses such things as myth, scriptures, idols, super heros, monarchs, saints, wise men or even a god as a model of virtue and righteousness.
  • Truth discernment goes even beyond awareness of good and evil. It is a living process which identifies the difference between God's will and error (not God's will). This is the spiritual level of morality.
  • Moral decisions with spiritual value are decisions with circle making significance. They are usually difficult; they may involve a measure of uncertainty as to what the actual truth is thereby requiring one to trust one's spiritual nucleus; and, they always involve a choice for unselfishness. A true moral decision must involve love for another person when faced with the impulse not to. They rise above the man-made level of laws and even above simple perceptions of what might be commonly thought of as good and evil. They go all the way to the level of recognizing what God himself would do, then choosing to do it.

It might be useful to review the 6 levels of the Golden Rule from pages 1650-1651:

 

Let me now teach you concerning the differing levels of meaning attached to the interpretation of this rule of living, this admonition to `do to others that which you desire others to do to you':

 

1.
The level of the flesh
. Such a purely selfish and lustful interpretation would be well exemplified by the supposition of your question.

2.
The level of the feelings
. This plane is one level higher than that of the flesh and implies that sympathy and pity would enhance one's interpretation of this rule of living.

3.
The level of mind
. Now come into action the reason of mind and the intelligence of experience. Good judgment dictates that such a rule of living should be interpreted in consonance with the highest idealism embodied in the nobility of profound self-respect.

4.
The level of brotherly love
. Still higher is discovered the level of unselfish devotion to the welfare of one's fellows. On this higher plane of wholehearted social service growing out of the consciousness of the fatherhood of God and the consequent recognition of the brotherhood of man, there is discovered a new and far more beautiful interpretation of this basic rule of life.

5.
The moral level
. And then when you attain true philosophic levels of interpretation, when you have real insight into the rightness and wrongness of things, when you perceive the eternal fitness of human relationships, you will begin to view such a problem of interpretation as you would imagine a high-minded, idealistic, wise, and impartial third person would so view and interpret such an injunction as applied to your personal problems of adjustment to your life situations.

6.
The spiritual level.
And then last, but greatest of all, we attain the level of spirit insight and spiritual interpretation which impels us to recognize in this rule of life the divine command to treat all men as we conceive God would treat them. That is the universe ideal of human relationships. And this is your attitude toward all such problems when your supreme desire is ever to do the Father's will. I would, therefore, that you should do to all men that which you know I would do to them in like circumstances.

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At one time it was considered righteous to sacrifice babies and virgins. People in those cultures were doing what was considered "right" and "moral" by that culture at that time, thereby making morality based upon human ideas of right and wrong completely relative.

 

Even today we have a difference of opinion concerning what is right and wrong according to culture. Honor killings are completely righteous in the Middle East whereas they are considered heinous crimes in Western cultures. Female circumcision is virtuous in some places and barbarous malfeasance in another.

 

Weren't my quotes sufficient to illustrate this point?

 

The problem may be a difference in our understanding of what morality fundamentally is. The view that I hold, no doubt heavily conditioned by my training, is that morality is the set of objective concepts and principles that govern our conduct toward each other when well-being is at stake. On this view, there are such things are moral facts, not just moral opinions and customs.

 

To take a simple example, anyone who knows what it actually means to make a promise also knows that it's wrong to break a promise. This is because a complete understanding of the concept of promising includes an understanding that promises are binding. That is, when we make a promise, we bind ourselves to keep it.

 

Yes, there have been many practices that were regarded as right, which were in fact wrong. This isn't because people don't know what right and wrong are, but because they have all manner of mistaken ideas about the world as they apply moral concepts and principles. It is universally recognized that killing without justification is wrong, but there are all kinds of ideas about what counts as justification. If you believe that gods must be propitiated by blood sacrifice, and only the death of virgins will get the job done, then when you sacrifice those virgins you are still acting on moral grounds. You haven't abandoned the moral truth that it's wrong to kill without justification. You are, however, utterly mistaken in your other beliefs about the gods, and it is those beliefs, not your morality, that lead you to commit atrocities.

 

Kant wrote, "Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me." In saying that the moral law is within us, he was saying something that is very consistent with the UB, I believe. The work of the adjutant mind spirits is, indeed, within us. Kant took the view that any rational being, simply in virtue of being rational, can discern the moral law within. This notion of rational being is also the UB's threshold of the "superanimal" level.

 

When the UB says "Morality is not necessarily spiritual; it may be wholly and purely human", that needn't be taken to mean that human morality is merely cultural and relative.

 

How then should we understand the difference between merely human morality and spiritual morality? I don't think the distinction has anything to do with the objectivity of moral principles. I do think it has to do with what motivates us to act morally. Using Kant again, since he is one of the best representatives of what human morality is all about, acts are right or wrong depending on whether they do or don't conform to the (objective) moral law. As Kant sees it people are praiseworthy if they do the right thing out of respect for the moral law, rather than out of self-interest, or self-love, as he usually put it. This, too, seems entirely consistent with the UB, especially the quotation, "Morality is equivalent to the recognition of duty, the realization of the existence of right and wrong."

 

Consider a case where a dying person gives me a large sum of money and asks me to donate it to his favorite charity. I promise to do so. He dies, and I have the money, and no one else in the world knows anything about it. Moreover, that money would be very useful to me. But despite the temptation, I keep my promise and give it to the charity. I've acted in accordance with the moral law. Am I virtuous or praiseworthy for having done so? It depends on which of the following motivated me.

 

1. I keep the promise because I'm afraid that I'll be found out if I don't, and then I will look bad.

2. I keep the promise out of respect for the moral law. I know it's the right thing to do, so I do it.

3. I keep the promise out of love. This includes my love for this person, for humanity, and for God.

 

Kant would say there's no virtue in the first case, even though the right thing was done. I think his view collapses 2 and 3 together, but the UB says that 3 involves spiritual, not just rational, motivation, and is therefore higher. I'm not sure about that, but that's how it looks to me at the moment.

 

Todd

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Note wherein the quote it says that Andon & Fonta arrived at an understanding "to live with and for each other."

 

Living for one another required selfless thoughts, each for the other. The Adjuster comes when a moral decision is made. This was a moral decision although it may appear to be otherwise looking at it externally. What really mattered was the internal intention of the two.

 

Hi JR, Bonita, Todd, all,

 

The conversation has picked up in pace, since yesterday, but I wanted to go back to this comment, regarding Andon and Fonta, by Bonita. It is the urge to altruism, the first moral choice, a child makes which is the signal for the arrival of the TA. Also the adjutant mind spirits were functioning back in the day of Andon and Fonta. I imagine the adjutant of the spirit of wisdom influenced their choice to leave their tribe. Regarding moral choosing from PAPER 103:

 

Moral choosing is usually accompanied by more or less moral conflict. And this very first conflict in the child mind is between the urges of egoism and the impulses of altruism. The Thought Adjuster does not disregard the personality values of the egoistic motive but does operate to place a slight preference upon the altruistic impulse as leading to the goal of human happiness and to the joys of the kingdom of heaven.

 

When a moral being chooses to be unselfish when confronted by the urge to be selfish, that is primitive religious experience. No animal can make such a choice; such a decision is both human and religious. It embraces the fact of God-consciousness and exhibits the impulse of social service, the basis of the brotherhood of man. When mind chooses a right moral judgment by an act of the free will, such a decision constitutes a religious experience.

 

But before a child has developed sufficiently to acquire moral capacity and therefore to be able to choose altruistic service, he has already developed a strong and well-unified egoistic nature. And it is this factual situation that gives rise to the theory of the struggle between the "higher" and the "lower" natures, between the "old man of sin" and the "new nature" of grace. Very early in life the normal child begins to learn that it is "more blessed to give than to receive."

 

Man tends to identify the urge to be self-serving with his ego--himself. In contrast he is inclined to identify the will to be altruistic with some influence outside himself--God. And indeed is such a judgment right, for all such nonself desires do actually have their origin in the leadings of the indwelling Thought Adjuster, and this Adjuster is a fragment of God. The impulse of the spirit Monitor is realized in human consciousness as the urge to be altruistic, fellow-creature minded. At least this is the early and fundamental experience of the child mind. When the growing child fails of personality unification, the altruistic drive may become so overdeveloped as to work serious injury to the welfare of the self. A misguided conscience can become responsible for much conflict, worry, sorrow, and no end of human unhappiness
. P. 1131 - §6 to P.1131 - §9

 

All the best,

Meredith

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Again Todd, I don't think you really read my posts because we are hardly differing at all in our opinions. I would offer the following observations though:

 

A soldier/warrior or combatant for a cause makes a promise and swears to secrecy concerning a mission. He is caught and tortured. He keeps the secret. He is a hero. Then because his secret is suspected to imperil thousands of lives, his torture is intensified, maybe even cruel, and he gives up the secret, breaking his promise. In our culture, he is still a hero. Instead, the torturer becomes the evil villain because he was cruel, even though he saved thousands of lives. Suddenly it is morality itself that is conflicted.

 

Thou shall not kill. Simple? No. The mother is hours away from dying because she has developed a rare disease that renders her allergic to her own fetus. She's drowning in inflammatory fluids surrounding her heart and lungs. The fetus is literally killing the mother at the cellular level. What does the doctor do? The baby is not viable at mid-term. Does the doctor do nothing and thereby kill both the mother and the baby or does he save the mother by killing the baby? A troubling moral conflict.

 

Have you seen the movie, Jakob the Liar? Jakob, a Jew in the ghetto during WWII, overhears a Nazi radio announcement that the Russians were closing in. He goes back to the ghetto and accidentally gives this information to a close friend. It is illegal for Jews to have radios, but his friend who mistakenly believes that Jakob got his information from a secret radio, went about telling all the Jews in the ghetto the great secret that Jakob had a radio and he heard that the Russians were coming to save them. The suicide rate in the ghetto dropped to zero. People were happy, more courageous, hope was alive and so were they. Jakob was a hero but he was tortured because he was involved in a lie, his moral conscience plagued him. He confessed to a friend and it devastated the friend, who killed himself. Doubt began to spread through the ghetto, morale and health suffered. Jakob decided that it was his moral duty to continue the lie for the benefit of his fellow man. He kept the secret even until his own end when the Nazis discovered him and believing he had a radio, physically tortured him. Given the opportunity to confess the lie before the ghetto residents, he chose death instead, keeping hope alive. The liar was a hero. Again, morality is conflicted.

 

So the old man gives you a big wad of money and he wants you to give it to the charity of his choice, a non-profit specializing in providing lawyers for needy people seeking asylum in your country. Ok, it's a good charity. You sit for a few months with the money as you wait for it to all become liquidated. While you wait, you discover that your neighbor has been unemployed for some time (he kept it secret) and benefits have dried up, his family is starving, the kids are sick. You give him some of the money to pay for food and medicine. Then the church calls asking for help, they have been hosting some homeless people and have run out of revenue to keep the program going. You give them some of the money too. You still have plenty for the old man's charity you rationalize, but your conscience begins to bother you because you know you're breaking your promise. Were you being immoral? Your morality is now conflicted.

 

Consider Adam and Eve. Eve sincerely believed she was doing the right thing. It turned out to be exactly the wrong thing because it was not God's will; it went against his divine plan. It was evil and definitely not good. Ever since, mankind has misunderstood this event and turned it into a moral issue at the level of #1 on the list of 6 levels of the Golden Rule, where we are still stuck today, barely moving into the feeling zone of pity and sympathy at #2. Morality is within, and because it is within, it evolves. In order to evolve, it must become conflicted. We must perpetually come up against Y's in the road, with no clear marker, so we learn to rely on the inner Source of morality who points the way. What appears to be "right" may suddenly become "wrong". We have to remain open to that and be willing to follow his lead and do his will.

 

The question here is, who is doing God's will? What is really moral? What rises to the spiritual level of a fatherly, loving decision? The moral law cannot be firmly objective. It evolves.

 

Again, ultimately morality has to do with God's will. Of course we cannot have an objective list of criteria for morality when we're talking about something as subjective as God's will. There is man's idea of right and wrong, then there's God's perfection of doing right and forgoing wrong. We are in the process of learning what that perfection is, hence morality changes as it progresses toward that goal. There really is a "right" way to do and think about almost everything and we are evolving in that direction -- towards light and life. It's the divine plan.

 

The laws of God are merely the habits of God, his way of repeatedly doing things; and he ever does all things well. You observe that God does the same thing in the same way, repeatedly, simply because that is the best way to do that particular thing in a given circumstance; and the best way is the right way, and therefore does infinite wisdom always order it done in that precise and perfect manner. (12.7.2)

 

Technical Advisers are dedicated to the work of preventing delay, facilitating progress, and counseling achievement. There is always a best and right way to do things; there is always the technique of perfection, a divine method, and these advisers know how to direct us all in the finding of this better way. (25.4.10)

 

As a side note we should consider discussing conscience, which is also not the same as morality.

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Our views may be closer than I thought. I was addressing what I thought you meant when you wrote, "A moral decision does not always have to do with right and wrong since the criteria for right and wrong change constantly with the culture." But I may have been misunderstanding what you meant by "criteria." My view is that the concepts of right and wrong don't change, but how we apply them does change, because our beliefs about the world and each other change. And if that's what you were getting at, then indeed there's no daylight between our views!

 

Concerning conflicts of duties...it's a very interesting area. I'm not sure that the UB addresses it explicitly, but it certainly is important, and you put your finger right on it. My view is that such conflicts do not show that morality is conflicted, but they do show that there are higher and lower duties (a point that Kant, incidentally, recognized, but didn't handle very well). And even that recognition doesn't begin to handle all the possibilities. Does this show that morality is conflicted, or the world is conflicted?

 

"Again, ultimately morality has to do with God's will. Of course we cannot have an objective list of criteria for morality when we're talking about something as subjective as God's will."

 

The mark of the conflict of duties is the sense that there is no right answer. I guess the idea is that individuals capable of discerning God's will would not have that reaction.

 

Concerning conscience...

 

(1207.7) 110:5.1 Do not confuse and confound the mission and influence of the Adjuster with what is commonly called conscience; they are not directly related. Conscience is a human and purely psychic reaction. It is not to be despised, but it is hardly the voice of God to the soul, which indeed the Adjuster’s would be if such a voice could be heard. Conscience, rightly, admonishes you to do right; but the Adjuster, in addition, endeavors to tell you what truly is right; that is, when and as you are able to perceive the Monitor’s leading.

 

It is no doubt in cases of conflicts of duties that we are most in need of the Monitor's leading.

 

Todd

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Our views may be closer than I thought. I was addressing what I thought you meant when you wrote, "A moral decision does not always have to do with right and wrong since the criteria for right and wrong change constantly with the culture." But I may have been misunderstanding what you meant by "criteria." My view is that the concepts of right and wrong don't change, but how we apply them does change, because our beliefs about the world and each other change. And if that's what you were getting at, then indeed there's no daylight between our views!

 

You are correct. Our differences seem to lie in how we define words. Since I'm on a UB forum, I tend to use words as they are used in the text. However, I do believe that concepts concerning right and wrong do change on the human level, but not on the divine level. Even when we pass to the mansion worlds, our ideas concerning right and wrong will change because there is always something more right (righteous) to strive for. There is no rigid set of universal concepts of right and wrong that we have access to, at least not until we reach Havona. All truth this side of Paradise is relative. And that's a fact.

 

p42:03-04 Physical facts are fairly uniform, but truth is a living and flexible factor in the philosophy of the universe. Evolving personalities are only partially wise and
relatively true
in their communications. They can be certain only as far as their personal experience extends.
That which apparently may be wholly true in one place may be only relatively true in another segment of creation.

Divine truth, final truth, is uniform and universal
, but the story of things spiritual, as it is told by numerous individuals hailing from various spheres, may sometimes vary in details owing to this relativity in the completeness of knowledge and in the repleteness of personal experience as well as in the length and extent of that experience.

 

p1949:03 Divine truth is a spirit-discerned and living reality.
Truth exists only on high spiritual levels
of the realization of divinity and the consciousness of communion with God. You can know the truth, and you can live the truth; you can experience the growth of truth in the soul and enjoy the liberty of its enlightenment in the mind, but
you cannot imprison truth in formulas, codes, creeds, or intellectual patterns of human conduct
. When you undertake the human formulation of divine truth, it speedily dies. The post-mortem salvage of imprisoned truth, even at best, can eventuate only in the realization of
a peculiar form of intellectualized glorified wisdom
. Static truth is dead truth, and only dead truth can be held as a theory. Living truth is dynamic and can enjoy only an experiential existence in the human mind.

 

p888:01
Truth is relative and expanding
; it lives always in the present, achieving new expression in each generation of men--even in each human life.

 

There are some belief systems that assert that the human soul exists before birth and comes to earth with a divine program, already familiar with perfection, and only here for the experience of imperfection. It then becomes the goal of the individual to "remember" that pure state of perfection when the soul was in unity with the universe, was the owner of divine wisdom, and always followed in the paths of righteousness. But this is a myth. We are not preprogramed with a sense of absolute right and wrong and only need to rediscover it.

 

If you mean by concepts of right and wrong that never change, those existing on Paradise rather than those here on earth, then yes, we are of the same mind. We are here to approximate those concepts of right and wrong on Earth as they are in Heaven; but, that won't really happen until the Supreme comes to fulfillment and all the universes are settled in light and life.

 

Concerning conflicts of duties...it's a very interesting area. I'm not sure that the UB addresses it explicitly, but it certainly is important, and you put your finger right on it. My view is that such conflicts do not show that morality is conflicted, but they do show that there are higher and lower duties (a point that Kant, incidentally, recognized, but didn't handle very well). And even that recognition doesn't begin to handle all the possibilities. Does this show that morality is conflicted, or the world is conflicted?

 

TUB is more concerned about loyalty than duty. Duty is to the law; loyalty is to love, a person. The law of God is not a person; the love of God is. Sin is defined as disloyalty, evil as conflicted loyalties. But I'd rather wait to develop that topic and answer the question about conflicted morality.

 

If we agree that there are different levels of morality and that when one is making a decision between two moral issues, one must determine which decision deserves priority status. The decision is easy if we can clearly determine that one option is immoral or amoral and the other moral; but what if both options are moral? We all agree that the decision which leans toward unselfishness should get priority, but what if both options are unselfish? What then? How do we determine which one is more unselfish? What do we base our prioritizing on? Well, it has to be the choice with the highest value and the the choice with the highest value is always the one with the most love. How can we know what has the most love if we are not intimately involved with an entity always capable of more love than we are? The goodness of God is our moral compass, and that is what we are always searching for, getting closer and closer to his ultimate goodness, as we strive to become more and more like him, here on Earth as he is in Heaven.

 

Meredith offered a good quote concerning the conflict of morality. These conflicts are part of the divine plan. They are the refiner's fire that brings us from one level to another, one circle after another. Moral choice is meant to be rugged. We are here in a morally rigorous environment for a reason; our loyalty is being challenged. Will we choose the divine way; will we seek the easy way out and go with conventional wisdom; will we be indifferent and selfish; will we stubbornly demand our own way; or, will we reject the entire struggle and abandon it altogether?

 

103.2.7 Moral choosing is usually accompanied by more or less moral conflict.

 

p1766:03 Forewarn all believers regarding the fringe of conflict which must be traversed by all who pass from the life as it is lived in the flesh to the higher life as it is lived in the spirit. To those who live quite wholly within either realm, there is little conflict or confusion, but all are doomed to experience more or less uncertainty during the times of transition between the two levels of living. In entering the kingdom, you cannot escape its responsibilities or avoid its obligations, but remember: The gospel yoke is easy and the burden of truth is light.

 

The mark of the conflict of duties is the sense that there is no right answer. I guess the idea is that individuals capable of discerning God's will would not have that reaction.

 

Yes there is a right answer for that particular moment, that particular individual, that particular place and time. Those souls who are listening will hear the constant voice of God within them; when they arrive at the Y on the moral road, they know that God will faithfully light the sign that points to the right way, his way. He is always there, the internal pilot light is always on. The problem is that we don't often pay heed to it, which is why it boils down to an issue of loyalty. Who, or worse yet, what, are we loyal to; what master do we serve, God or mammon?

 

p1205:03 If you so fully conform to the Adjuster's mind that you see eye to eye, then your minds become one, and you receive the reinforcement of the Adjuster's mind. Subsequently, if your will orders and enforces the execution of the decisions of this new or combined mind, the Adjuster's prepersonal will attains to personality expression through your decision, and as far as that particular project is concerned, you and the Adjuster are one. Your mind has attained to divinity attunement, and the Adjuster's will has achieved personality expression.

To the extent that this identity is realized, you are mentally approaching the morontia order of existence. Morontia mind is a term signifying the substance and sum total of the co-operating minds of diversely material and spiritual natures. Morontia intellect, therefore, connotes a dual mind in the local universe dominated by one will. And with mortals this is a will, human in origin, which is becoming divine through man's identification of the human mind with the mindedness of God.

 

If you don't believe in a personal God who lives within your own mind and loves you as a Father, a Father who wants the very, very best for you and for every other person at all times and places, then most likely you're going to need a list of commandments and a to-do list of duties to follow until you are able to see the light.

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Sooo . . .

 

The search, within ourselves AND without, is going to be profitable for the ME I want to be, in Eternity, because we can transcend shifting moral codes and find objective Good only by being completely selfless?

 

If I, in seeking to unify my personality with the Divine Gift - the Thought Adjuster, can overcome all selfishness and be living completely for others, then I can achieve whatever spiritual heights the Heavenly Father has planned for me. Have I distilled this elixer well?

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You are correct. Our differences seem to lie in how we define words. Since I'm on a UB forum, I tend to use words as they are used in the text. However, I do believe that concepts concerning right and wrong do change on the human level, but not on the divine level. Even when we pass to the mansion worlds, our ideas concerning right and wrong will change because there is always something more right (righteous) to strive for. There is no rigid set of universal concepts of right and wrong that we have access to, at least not until we reach Havona. All truth this side of Paradise is relative. And that's a fact.

 

I should conclude, then, that "There is no rigid set of universal concepts of right and wrong that we have access to, at least not until we reach Havona" is itself only relatively true!

 

Well, I'm just teasing. When I speak of "universal" moral principles and concepts, I'm working within a mortal human framework, the only framework I know anything about. It's intriguing to think about moral concepts on the mansion worlds. Indeed, one wonders what our moral challenges and conflicts there will be. I suppose in part they will involve dealing with our mortal histories, and seeing them from a very different vantage point.

 

p42:03-04 Physical facts are fairly uniform, but truth is a living and flexible factor in the philosophy of the universe. Evolving personalities are only partially wise and
relatively true
in their communications. They can be certain only as far as their personal experience extends.
That which apparently may be wholly true in one place may be only relatively true in another segment of creation.

Divine truth, final truth, is uniform and universal
, but the story of things spiritual, as it is told by numerous individuals hailing from various spheres, may sometimes vary in details owing to this relativity in the completeness of knowledge and in the repleteness of personal experience as well as in the length and extent of that experience.

 

This is a passage that I underlined as well. To be candid, I've never felt entirely comfortable with the UB's insistence on a distinction between facts and truth. To me, a fact is simply anything that is the case, whether it be physical, spiritual, moral, or whatever. I don't know what else a fact
could
be. Facts are what make truths
true
! Facts are what truths are true
of
! Truths are representations of facts. I realize that this way of talking is completely different from the UB's way, but I have never managed to wrap my mind around the way the UB uses these words. But that's my problem, and nobody else's.

 
If we agree that there are different levels of morality and that when one is making a decision between two moral issues, one must determine which decision deserves priority status. The decision is easy if we can clearly determine that one option is immoral or amoral and the other moral; but what if both options are moral? We all agree that the decision which leans toward unselfishness should get priority, but what if both options are unselfish? What then? How do we determine which one is more unselfish? What do we base our prioritizing on? Well, it has to be the choice with the highest value and the the choice with the highest value is always the one with the most love. How can we know what has the most love if we are not intimately involved with an entity always capable of more love than we are? The goodness of God is our moral compass, and that is what we are always searching for, getting closer and closer to his ultimate goodness, as we strive to become more and more like him, here on Earth as he is in Heaven.

 

Good questions, all. My skepticism invariably comes through; I don't know that these questions have answers. Yes, I realize that the UB tells us there is a perspective from which they do. But from my perspective, just as there are formally undecidable propositions of mathematics, there may be undecidable ethical dilemmas.

 

103.2.7 Moral choosing is usually accompanied by more or less moral conflict.

 

p1766:03 Forewarn all believers regarding the fringe of conflict which must be traversed by all who pass from the life as it is lived in the flesh to the higher life as it is lived in the spirit. To those who live quite wholly within either realm, there is little conflict or confusion, but all are doomed to experience more or less uncertainty during the times of transition between the two levels of living. In entering the kingdom, you cannot escape its responsibilities or avoid its obligations, but remember: The gospel yoke is easy and the burden of truth is light.

 

That's somehow reassuring!

 
If you don't believe in a personal God who lives within your own mind and loves you as a Father, a Father who wants the very, very best for you and for every other person at all times and places, then most likely you're going to need a list of commandments and a to-do list of duties to follow until you are able to see the light.

 

Unless that list is already written in my mind by the very God in whom I don't believe! Perhaps this is why even atheists have no trouble discerning moral truths.

 

Todd

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It's intriguing to think about moral concepts on the mansion worlds. Indeed, one wonders what our moral challenges and conflicts there will be. I suppose in part they will involve dealing with our mortal histories, and seeing them from a very different vantage point.

 

This is a bit off topic, but the work of the mansion worlds is not about what happened on Earth. We only retain memory of things with spiritual significance, meaning our spiritual triumphs. Our errors are no longer important except for entertainment purposes.

 

To be candid, I've never felt entirely comfortable with the UB's insistence on a distinction between facts and truth. To me, a fact is simply anything that is the case, whether it be physical, spiritual, moral, or whatever. I don't know what else a fact could be. Facts are what make truths true! Facts are what truths are true of! Truths are representations of facts. I realize that this way of talking is completely different from the UB's way, but I have never managed to wrap my mind around the way the UB uses these words. But that's my problem, and nobody else's.

 

The problem lies in the inability to differentiate between the intellectual mind and the spiritual mind. You admit that you don't really understand what the spiritual mind is and that is because it is not understandable. It is experiential; it is a living experience. Facts do not change, they are dead data. Truth grows; it is living. Facts only rise to the level of intellect whereas truth transcends the intellect. Truth is part of a trinity (with a small "t"), it concerns relations, particularly to beauty and goodness, all of which are attributes of one single personal reality, and that is LOVE. Facts don't necessarily have anything to do with love; they are not experiential and they are not personal. But, both facts and truth are important and interrelated.

 

130.4.10 Knowledge is the sphere of the material or fact-discerning mind. Truth is the domain of the spiritually endowed intellect that is conscious of knowing God. Knowledge is demonstrable; truth is experienced. Knowledge is a possession of the mind; truth an experience of the soul, the progressing self. Knowledge is a function of the nonspiritual level; truth is a phase of the mind-spirit level of the universes.
The eye of the material mind perceives a world of factual knowledge; the eye of the spiritualized intellect discerns a world of true values.
These two views, synchronized and harmonized, reveal the world of reality, wherein wisdom interprets the phenomena of the universe in terms of progressive personal experience.

 

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

 

118.3.3 Truth is inconcussible — forever exempt from all transient vicissitudes, albeit never dead and formal, always vibrant and adaptable — radiantly alive.
But when truth becomes linked with fact, then both time and space condition its meanings and correlate its values. Such realities of truth wedded to fact become concepts and are accordingly relegated to the domain of relative cosmic realities
.

 

44:7.2 Beauty, rhythm, and harmony are intellectually associated and spiritually akin.
Truth, fact, and relationship are intellectually inseparable
and associated with the philosophic concepts of beauty. Goodness righteousness, and justice are philosophically interrelated and spiritually bound up together with living truth and divine beauty.

 

48.4.18 Humor also functions to lessen the shock of the unexpected impact of fact or of truth,
rigid unyielding fact and flexible ever-living truth.
The mortal personality, never sure as to which will next be encountered, through humor swiftly grasps — sees the point and achieves insight — the unexpected nature of the situation be it fact or be it truth.

 

102.6.6
God is the first truth and the last fact; therefore does all truth take origin in him, while all facts exist relative to him.
God is absolute truth. As truth one may know God, but to understand — to explain — God, one must explore the fact of the universe of universes. The vast gulf between the experience of the truth of God and ignorance as to the fact of God can be bridged only by living faith. Reason alone cannot achieve harmony between infinite truth and universal fact.

 

103.9.6Reason introduces man to the
world of facts, to things
; wisdom introduces him to a
world of truth, to relationships
; faith initiates him into a world of divinity, spiritual experience.

 

Unless that list is already written in my mind by the very God in whom I don't believe! Perhaps this is why even atheists have no trouble discerning moral truths.

 

Atheists have no trouble discerning the social mores, not truth. If they could discern truth, they would not be atheists. The good news is that even atheists are usually indwelt by an Adjuster who is working tirelessly to present truth to his unwilling partner. Unless the human partner is hopelessly perverse, the Adjuster will eventually triumph.

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Well, I'm just teasing. When I speak of "universal" moral principles and concepts, I'm working within a mortal human framework, the only framework I know anything about. It's intriguing to think about moral concepts on the mansion worlds. Indeed, one wonders what our moral challenges and conflicts there will be. I suppose in part they will involve dealing with our mortal histories, and seeing them from a very different vantage point.

 

Hi Todd, all,

 

The moral challenges and conflicts on the mansion worlds will be a continuation of the ones a person grappled with here, if one does not reject God. Those who survive mortal death pick up over there exactly where they left off over here.

 

On mansion world number one (or another in case of advanced status) you will resume your intellectual training and spiritual development at the exact level whereon they were interrupted by death. Between the time of planetary death or translation and resurrection on the mansion world, mortal man gains absolutely nothing aside from experiencing the fact of survival. You begin over there right where you leave off down here.
P. 533 - §6

 

All the best,

Meredith

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Sooo . . .

 

The search, within ourselves AND without, is going to be profitable for the ME I want to be, in Eternity, because we can transcend shifting moral codes and find objective Good only by being completely selfless?

 

If I, in seeking to unify my personality with the Divine Gift - the Thought Adjuster, can overcome all selfishness and be living completely for others, then I can achieve whatever spiritual heights the Heavenly Father has planned for me. Have I distilled this elixer well?

 

Sounds pretty good to me. I'm not exactly sure what objective Good is, but . . . God is selfless, so it makes sense that the more selfless we are, the more like God we become. It's the process of becoming selfless that's filled with adventure . . . a long, long adventure.

 

2.6.5
Righteousness implies that God is the source of the moral law of the universe. Truth exhibits God as a revealer, as a teacher.
But love gives and craves affection, seeks understanding fellowship such as exists between parent and child. Righteousness may be the divine thought, but love is a father’s attitude. The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of God was irreconcilable with the selfless love of the heavenly Father, presupposed absence of unity in the nature of Deity and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine, which is a philosophic assault upon both the unity and the free-willness of God.

 

10.1.1 It would seem that the Father, back in eternity, inaugurated a policy of profound self-distribution.
There is inherent in the selfless, loving, and lovable nature of the Universal Father
something which causes him to reserve to himself the exercise of only those powers and that authority which he apparently finds it impossible to delegate or to bestow.

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...To be candid, I've never felt entirely comfortable with the UB's insistence on a distinction between facts and truth. To me, a fact is simply anything that is the case, whether it be physical, spiritual, moral, or whatever. I don't know what else a fact could be. Facts are what make truths true! Facts are what truths are true of! Truths are representations of facts. I realize that this way of talking is completely different from the UB's way, but I have never managed to wrap my mind around the way the UB uses these words. But that's my problem, and nobody else's.

 

 

Hi Todd,

 

It doesn't have to be a problem, but it certainly is an understandable one! After studying truth in the UB for several years I am just now beginning to grasp the distinction between fact and truth. In the UB, facts are frozen but truth lives.

 

The old vague definition of truth hangs everyone up, most think truth is found in words. The many authors try again and again to convey the concept that real truth is alive, truth is an actor, even a Person. There must be a score of quotes that point to this. The Revelators declare that absolute TRUTH exists only in God, that God IS truth, that all other truth is relative and alive--until it becomes frozen fact. This distinction is crucial to understanding the use of the word truth in the Papers.

 

All throughout the authors take the related words; knowledge, wisdom, truth and fact, and sharpen their meaning, presumably teaching them in their cosmic sense, as the schools on high do.

 

A study of truth in the UB is very revealing of its nature, and I believe everyone who does so will cease using the word carelessly. The more truth you know, the less you use the word to apply to facts.

 

Note the use of the word fetish here:

 

...But the fetish of factualized truth, fossilized truth, the iron band of so-called unchanging truth, holds one blindly in a closed circle of cold fact. One can be technically right as to fact and everlastingly wrong in the truth.... P.555 - §1

 

In order to get the difference between truth and fact as the authors apply them, I had to allow for refined definitions. What most think of as truth are instead facts B)

 

PS. One other thing, which Bonita also cited, truth is part of an inseparable trio. To fully understand and live truth, one must also study goodness and integrate these two with beauty. Apparently truth, beauty and goodness represent a whole new philosophy that will eventually encompass all our energy and focus, because they are symbolic of divine ideals, character and nature.

 

 

 

 

.

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Atheists have no trouble discerning the social mores, not truth. If they could discern truth, they would not be atheists. The good news is that even atheists are usually indwelt by an Adjuster who is working tirelessly to present truth to his unwilling partner. Unless the human partner is hopelessly perverse, the Adjuster will eventually triumph.

 

I can't agree with this. There have been too many atheists who know very well the difference between social mores and moral truth. As an agnostic myself, I recognize and understand the distinction. If this is due to the work of the Adjuster, that's fine, but since I have no way to know that, it doesn't make me less agnostic.

 

Concerning truth and facts, I do recognize that in the UB the distinction between them is very important.

 

The many authors try again and again to convey the concept that real truth is alive, truth is an actor, even a Person. There must be a score of quotes that point to this. The Revelators declare that absolute TRUTH exists only in God, that God IS truth, that all other truth is relative and alive--until it becomes frozen fact. This distinction is crucial to understanding the use of the word truth in the Papers.

 

The trouble is, all statements such as "truth is alive", "frozen fact", and so on are metaphorical--or at least, I can attach no literal meaning to them. But as metaphors, I have yet to take in their meaning.

 

"God exists." Is that a truth or a fact? Both? Could it be true but not a fact, or a fact that's not true? Are truths even capable of being stated, or are they only graspable by minds with greater spiritual discernment than mine? Maybe all truth is ineffable.

 

I suppose truth/fact is material for a separate thread.

 

Todd

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Dear Todd,

 

Thanks for urging us to press on beyond the metaphor! And thanks to all

for struggling with these central things: Personality and Truth. Let's try a

different tack, and begin here:

 

"
Faith most willingly carries reason along as far as reason can go ...
"

Notice that reason is something that can be "carried along" by the one engaging faith.

"
Faith most willingly carries reason along as far as reason can go

and then goes on with wisdom to the full philosophic limit; ...
"

Notice the implication: that the domain accessible to philosophy is limited.

Sorry for the interruptions! Ok, from the top:

 

"Faith most willingly carries reason along as far as reason can go

and then goes on with wisdom to the full philosophic limit; and then

it dares to launch out upon the limitless and never-ending universe

journey in the sole company of TRUTH." [(1141.5) 103:9.7]

Here the author reveals something about "truth". Whatever TRUTH is,

it only begins to really stretch its wings once beyond the domain accessible

to either reason or philosophy. It is of a different order of universe reality.

 

What does that mean? For me, the start of an answer is a shiny new concept,

delivered in paper 12 section 3. Here, the author reveals something that

mortal mind could never discover: that reality below the level of the I AM is

partitioned into four utterly distinct but collaborating domains. With regard to

our exploration of truth, the domain of interest is the one the Father did not

delegate; the domain filled with Personality and lit by Love.

 

Elsewhere, truth is described as a "technique of personality assurance".

[(1111.4) 101:5.14]. So, as a point of departure for our next sortie, we might

find non-metaphorical, fifth-epochal insight into truth by looking at the interface

between Personality and Love. These are the only two things our Father did not

delegate. These are what motivate those other domains: matter, mind, spirit.

 

Nigel

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The trouble is, all statements such as "truth is alive", "frozen fact", and so on are metaphorical--or at least, I can attach no literal meaning to them. But as metaphors, I have yet to take in their meaning.

 

Trying to "attach a literal meaning" to a metaphor is the same as attempting to turn it into another fact when it is not a fact; it is a truth. Truth is not literal. Only fundamentalists attempt to make truth literal.

 

Experiential truth must be expressed in metaphors, symbols, poetry, art, parables, etc., because it is not literally describable. If it were, it would be a fact. The fact of experience cannot be objectively proven. It is not literal.

 

For example, is it a fact or a truth that you experience love for your wife? Can you prove your love? Is there a test you can take that will score the amount of love you experience? Is there a new PET scanner that can register the actual presence of love in your brain? There may be changes in physiology and behavior that are the result of the experience of love, but they are not the measure of love itself, just as the fruits of the spirit are the only way to measure the love within a person's soul. (Another metaphor)

 

103.8.3 A good and noble man may be consummately in love with his wife but utterly unable to pass a satisfactory written examination on the psychology of marital love. Another man, having little or no love for his spouse, might pass such an examination most acceptably. The imperfection of the lover’s insight into the true nature of the beloved does not in the least invalidate either the reality or sincerity of his love.

 

Also, we experience the truth of God now and spend an eternity exploring the facts of God.

 

102.6.6 Though reason can always question faith, faith can always supplement both reason and logic. Reason creates the probability which faith can transform into a moral certainty, even a spiritual experience. God is the first truth and the last fact; therefore does all truth take origin in him, while all facts exist relative to him. God is absolute truth. As truth one may know God, but to understand — to explain — God, one must explore the fact of the universe of universes. The vast gulf between the experience of the truth of God and ignorance as to the fact of God can be bridged only by living faith. Reason alone cannot achieve harmony between infinite truth and universal fact.

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Trying to "attach a literal meaning" to a metaphor is the same as attempting to turn it into another fact when it is not a fact; it is a truth. Truth is not literal. Only fundamentalists attempt to make truth literal.

 

Blake wrote, "In every voice of every man / In every infant's cry of fear / In every voice, in every ban / The mind-forged manacles I hear." That last line is a metaphor. I understand it. It can be expressed non-metaphorically, if need be, althouth it's not necessary to do so in order to understand it. Is that fundamentalism? I have no idea.

 

Experiential truth must be expressed in metaphors, symbols, poetry, art, parables, etc., because it is not literally describable. If it were, it would be a fact. The fact of experience cannot be objectively proven. It is not literal.

 

Omit the word "truth" for a moment, and just talk about experience. I agree that some experiences can be described by comparison with other experiences, but others cannot be. If I had to describe the flavor of dill to someone who had never tasted it, I would be utterly unable to do so, not even metaphorically. Nevertheless, I know what dill tastes like and can often recognize it in foods. There are some experiences that I can only describe metaphorically, such as the feeling that I have when I hear Bach's "Air on the G String." I can say, for example, that each note feels absolutely necessary and inevitable, and the piece has serenity. These are metaphors that describe my experience. That I have such an experience is a fact. The metaphors I use are a true description of the experience. If "truth" in the UB simply means true description of experiences that cannot be described non-metaphorically, then I'm on board. I understand what that means.

 

For example, is it a fact or a truth that you experience love for your wife? Can you prove your love? Is there a test you can take that will score the amount of love you experience? Is there a new PET scanner that can register the actual presence of love in your brain? There may be changes in physiology and behavior that are the result of the experience of love, but they are not the measure of love itself, just as the fruits of the spirit are the only way to measure the love within a person's soul. (Another metaphor)

 

It's a fact. Facts don't depend upon proof. Facts are what they are, regardless of whether anyone believes them, knows them, or can prove them. As far as I'm concerned, truth is a property of statements, propositions: the sorts of things that can be true or false. So a truth (noun) is simply a true statement, whether literal or metaphorical, cosmic or mundane, provable or unprovable. If the UB uses the word "truth" to refer to certain kinds of experiences, I can get used to that, but it does seem like an odd way to use the word.

 

Todd

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