First there was the thought, the Universal Father. Then the word, the Eternal Son. And then the act, the Infinite Spirit. And they function as one mighty author, creator and sustainer of reality; the Paradise Trinity. From these circles of the oneness of infinity and eternity, on out to the finite edges of the evolving universes of time and space all true “values”, “meanings” and “things” can be traced back to the great and mighty unified creative God of all creation.
He “measures the waters in the hollow of his hand, measures a universe with the span of his hand. It is he who sits on the circle of the earth, who stretches out the heavens as a curtain and spreads them out as a universe to dwell in.” “Lift up your eyes on high and behold who has created all these things, who brings out their worlds by number and calls them all by their names”; and so it is true that “the invisible things of God are partially understood by the things which are made.” Today, and as you are, you must discern the invisible Maker through his manifold and diverse creation, as well as through the revelation and ministration of his Sons and their numerous subordinates. (p.27.6)
The first great source and centre of all things and beings, the eternal Father of love turned to his equals the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit with a divine plan:
“Let us make mortal creatures in our own image.” (p.85.6)
Outside of Paradise the stage of space was astir, time began, the universe was alive with a vast host of created spiritual helpers, evolving galaxies were spun into motion, and billions upon billions of solar systems with planets similar to ours that could harbour and sustain the evolution of finite life were formed.
The Divine Plan
This divine plan of perfection attainment embraces three unique, though marvellously correlated, enterprises of universal adventure. (p.85.5)
The Plan of Progressive Attainment. This is the Universal Father’s plan of evolutionary ascension, a program unreservedly accepted by the Eternal Son when he concurred in the Father’s proposal, “Let us make mortal creatures in our own image.” This provision for upstepping the creatures of time involves the Father’s bestowal of the Thought Adjusters and the endowing of material creatures with the prerogatives of personality.
The Bestowal Plan. The next universal plan is the great Father-revelation enterprise of the Eternal Son and his co-ordinate Sons. This is the proposal of the Eternal Son and consists of his bestowal of the Sons of God upon the evolutionary creations, there to personalize and factualize, to incarnate and make real, the love of the Father and the mercy of the Son to the creatures of all universes…
- The Plan of Mercy Ministry. When the attainment plan and the bestowal plan had been formulated and proclaimed, alone and of himself, the Infinite Spirit projected and put in operation the tremendous and universal enterprise of mercy ministry. This is the service so essential to the practical and effective operation of both the attainment and the bestowal undertakings, and the spiritual personalities of the Third Source and Center all partake of the spirit of mercy ministry which is so much a part of the nature of the Third Person of Deity. Not only in creation but also in administration, the Infinite Spirit functions truly and literally as the conjoint executive of the Father and the Son. (p.85.5)
….This project for the spiritual elevation of the ascendant souls of space is a joint creation of the Father and the Son, and they are, with the co-operation of the Infinite Spirit, engaged in associative execution of their divine purpose. (p.85.3) (emphasis mine)
In this paper I am going to explore the divine purpose, of how and what is being undertaken by the Gods. I hope to gain a greater appreciation of our position and situation. I will look into what makes up the reality laws that govern our universe for our evolutionary growth. I hope to discover and attempt to define the key elements that go towards making up the wholeness of reality and the mind tools that we can use to perceive its true unified realness. In the area of free will I will explore the importance of Positional Values in regard to the Elements of Reality and how they contribute to our system of thinking, our perception of reality and our patterns of reaction. I will look into the technique of how we contribute to growing our selves from this time we have into eternity. Overall I hope to achieve a deeper understanding of the meaning and purpose of our lives; how we construct our view of reality, what we do with reality, and what we need to contribute to the building of its realness in the eyes of God.
So to begin let’s define the basic elements that go towards making up reality. The Urantia Book tells us;
There are just three elements in universal reality: fact, idea, and relation. The religious consciousness identifies these realities as science, philosophy, and truth. Philosophy would be inclined to view these activities as reason, wisdom, and faith; physical reality, intellectual reality, and spiritual reality. We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value. (p.2094.1) (emphasis mine)
Now let’s have a look at defining Positional Values.
In aggregations parts are added; in systems parts are arranged. Systems are significant because of organization – positional values. In a good system all factors are in cosmic position. In a bad system something is either missing or displaced – deranged. In the human system it is the personality which unifies all activities and in turn imparts the qualities of identity and creativity. (p.1227.9) (emphasis mine)
My understanding of positional values is that it is what we value in our habits of thinking, the way we prioritise values in our system of thinking; how we arrange and position our values in relation to the whole of reality.
In cosmic evolution matter becomes a philosophic shadow cast by mind in the presence of spirit luminosity of divine enlightenment, but this does not invalidate the reality of matter-energy. Mind, matter, and spirit are equally real, but they are not of equal value to personality in the attainment of divinity. Consciousness of divinity is a progressive spiritual experience. (p.140.11) (emphasis mine)
….In the evolutionary cosmos energy-matter is dominant except in personality, where spirit, through the mediation of mind, is striving for the mastery. Spirit is the fundamental reality of the personality experience of all creatures because God is spirit. Spirit is unchanging, and therefore, in all personality relations, it transcends both mind and matter, which are experiential variables of progressive attainment. (p.140.10)
In the above quotes we find hints as to the positioning of values such as; Mind, matter, and spirit are equally real, but they are not of equal value to personality in the attainment of divinity and In the evolutionary cosmos energy-matter is dominant except in personality, where spirit, through the mediation of mind, is striving for the mastery.
So in looking at the stability and wholeness of reality we realise that it is made up of components. Just as an atom is made up of multiple parts so finite reality, viewed through the experience of personality is made up of components and systems of thinking as well.
The progressive comprehension of reality is the equivalent of approaching God. The finding of God, the consciousness of identity with reality, is the equivalent of the experiencing of self-completion – self-entirety, self-totality. (p.2094.2) (emphasis mine)
What does the author of this quote mean by …the progressive comprehension of reality is the equivalent of approaching God? Perhaps we need to reassess our understanding of what is meant by reality. The Urantia papers give us an enhanced definition of the term. It tells us that when the elements of reality are unified by true values it becomes unified functional reality and is Godlike. We should remember however that just because something is regarded as real in the eyes of the world doesn’t mean that it is also true, beautiful and good; said Jesus “My kingdom is not of this world”. Our response to reality has to do with free will choice; where we place our values in our system of our thinking – where we decide to position our values in regard to all of the components that make up reality.
In looking at how we arrange our values it may be helpful for us to ponder some of the following questions.
How do we go about discovering a personal spiritual reality from our finite experience?
Where should I place my values in my system of thinking?
What is a correct system of positional values?
What gives me pleasure?
Do I find pleasure in truth?
How do I value truth, what value does it have, what should I do with it?
How do I go about balancing the pleasures of self with the responsibilities of reality?
Do I have a good system of thinking which positions my values in a responsible and balanced way?
How do my values affect myself and others?
Where are my values taking me?
Are my values derived from a healthy mix of my experiences in life with the teachings and leadings of the Thought Adjuster?
Are my values of real value, with whom should I evaluate my values?
Do I make my decisions based on my values?
What value do I place on my personal relationship with God?
Do I value making an effort in sharing my inner life with God?
Why is being re-born in the spirit so important in regard to how I position my values?
It seems that the seeds of eternity have been planted out in the realms of time and space. The infinite laws of God are watering this finite garden of life. The creation stage has been set for our nurture and growth and into our hands has been given the priceless powers of freewill choice. Our beginning as a new species has truly begun. In our ongoing universe adventure of discovery, discernment and unification of things meanings and values the eternal purpose has been proclaimed;
From the Universal Father who inhabits eternity there has gone forth the supreme mandate, The Universal Father has decreed: “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect. (p.21.3)
The Father has bestowed himself upon you, placed his own spirit within you; therefore does he demand ultimate perfection of you. …this supernal adventure should be the supreme study of mortal man. (p.449.2) (emphasis mine)
The perfect and imperfect are truly interrelated, and therefore may the finite evolutionary creature ascend to Paradise in obedience to the Universal Father’s mandate: “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect. (p.637.1)
So how do we go about growing towards finite perfection? Does the existence of life in and of itself knock us about sufficiently to make us feel, think and act? Yes, I believe it does. Does experience, ideas and reflection of life’s relationships with people and the world graciously hand us eternally significant choices? Yes, I believe they do. So do we hold the motivational keys to either ignore or to unlock the levels of insight into a greater comprehension of the responsibilities of reality and the goodness of love? Yes, I believe we do. Does this world naturally and seamlessly work together to give opportunities to our unseen spiritual helpers? – Without a doubt…..
On observation there seems to be a natural pattern and system imbedded in our universe and we should have trust and faith in the goodness of God who has put everything in place for the growth of man. So what must we do? What value tools must we find and use? How do we arrange and use them? What should we be creating with them? There are so many questions to all of these challenges that confront us. Our personal life at some stage will show us that we will need God’s help in transferring our personality (seat of identity) from the material to the spiritual if we are to become in reality the sons and daughters of God. Because we are material and God is spiritual, we will be dependent on our relationship with God for our spirituality. We must recognise that it is impossible to eternalise ourselves by ourselves. From our side of the fence we will need guidance in our motivation. Through the recognition of truth we may choose to spark the desire to realign our positional values in regard to the deepening truth of relationships of our evolving reality with things, meanings and values. This is how we may graft and grow our selves onto the spiritual DNA – “becoming partakers of the divine nature”.
Before we move on to attempt to explore deeper into the elements of reality and their positional values lets look at our position in the universe and at the vast differences between us and God; the reality context of the creation of experiential mortals and of God who is existential.
Well for a start, God our spiritual Father was never created. God never had a beginning. God and Paradise are absolute and infinite; perfect in all conceivable attributes now and into eternity. God is the absolute perfectly unified personality of spiritually; God is the infinite person of the goodness of love; God is love. In contrast we start out like empty little finite life vehicles of potentials. For us everything (including ourselves) in our time space universe had a beginning. Because we are brand new and incomplete and have free will we are potentially evil, potentially good, an unfinished mix of both. We evolve, we are designed and built to discover, discern, choose and grow, learn through our mistakes; filling ourselves with growing finite experiences of things, meanings and values. Feisty little free will creatures we are! And it is for this very reason the Universal Father gives us a spiritual nucleus of himself to indwell our hearts and personally bestows upon us our unique personalty. His indwelling spirit is a loving spiritual parent of our soul; he has bridged the vast gap between the existential and the experiential and is always there willingly to guide the growth of our true evolving self – our soul. Aiding the Father is the spirit ministry of the Eternal Son who has pledged to help us recognize his and our Father’s true nature and loving personality. The Eternal Son does this through the bestowal lives of the Creator Sons and through their pouring out of the Spirit of Truth upon our hearts. This is done so that we may more clearly have opportunities to understand and feel what is true, beautiful and good within our finite world of experience with things meanings and values. Then through co-operation with the Universal Father and the Eternal Son the Infinite Spirit administers and upholds the reality stage on which we all exist and function, the Infinite Spirit nurtures life and ministers to us with understanding and mercy through a vast host of angelic helpers. All of this makes us a part of God’s growing family, God’s children in time. God cares greatly for us! God desires to make us in his own image; to share and give of himself; he has created the miracle of the experiential universe for this purpose.
But our continued existence and growth should not solely depend on the acts of God and all of our unseen helpers. For like any good parent who admonishes their growing children God urges us to attempt to make good our lives, not to rely solely on others for all of our needs; to try to contribute something of value and grow always in grace. The laws of cause and effect and evolution work towards the promotion of self determination.
…Man consciously grows from the material toward the spiritual by the strength, power, and persistency of his own decisions; he also grows as his Thought Adjuster develops new techniques for reaching down from the spiritual to the morontial soul levels; and once the soul comes into being, it begins to grow in and of itself. (p.1282.1)
Let us delve a little deeper in exploring this great revelation: Let us make mortal creatures in our own image. How does God make us in his own image? By what methods does he achieve this? Just how does he make us real in the eyes of the universe?
Ok, we have been told “there are just three elements in universe reality”: thing, meaning and value. So it is logical for us that science should look for the truth in physical facts – in things, it is reasonable that philosophy should search for the beauty in meanings (our ideas) and our religious faith should desire to find and embrace the goodness in the value of these relationships. When we attempt to unify these three evolving aspects of reality we make up our anywhere understanding of the finite universe of what we comprehend to be real (reality). These are the seeds that are sprouting in the soil of our evolving experiential framework, our growing arena of choice; we must utilize these when making decisions. The acid test for the truth, beauty and goodness to each of these three ongoing evolving aspects of realty discoveries is that each element of reality should not contradict or conflict with one another. Our mind must join the dots. They should function as one. Now our big challenge over time will be to transform our material system of acting and thinking towards a value system of thinking and acting that has a spiritual nucleus in regard to these things and meanings. This is how we “position our values”.
To understand these three elements of reality a little better let’s simplify how we start out in our use and evaluation of them – fact, idea and relationship. Mankind starts out wandering around observing and discovers a simple fact. Then he gets an idea that he can do something with this fact. Then he looks at the relationship between this fact and his idea and discerns its truth – and decides whether it is of value – then he takes action. With the accumulation of facts we build our ideas and value systems of thinking. From here we can start to choose how we’re going to position our values in regard to our experiences with things, meanings and values. From here we develop our reactionary patterns to life based on our desires, ethics and morality.
What value do we place on facts, ideas and their relationship? In regard to the relationship aspect of the elements of reality this is where seeking the will of God comes in. We need to place our relationship with God as the highest value, seeking to do his will at the top of our value system.
The universe fact of God’s becoming man has forever changed all meanings and altered all values of human personality. In the true meaning of the word, love connotes mutual regard of whole personalities, whether human or divine or human and divine. Parts of the self may function in numerous ways – thinking, feeling, wishing – but only the co-ordinated attributes of the whole personality are focused in intelligent action; and all of these powers are associated with the spiritual endowment of the mortal mind when a human being sincerely and unselfishly loves another being, human or divine. (p.1228)
We know our mind is the most important tool we have. It is within this mind that we contemplate our experiences and make decisions; position our values. It is within this arena of choice that we perceive and evaluate the elements of reality and sharpen our eyes to duty and moral perception. It is the very soil from which our soul grows. Isn’t it a joy to discover the truth in things, to discern the beauty in meanings and the goodness in values? What a relief it is to our soul when we look back and realise that good can come from even unpleasant situations. Isn’t it still a revelation and a comfort to ourselves when we feel this truth?
The mind of man can attain high levels of spiritual insight and corresponding spheres of divinity of values because it is not wholly material. There is a spirit nucleus in the mind of man – the Adjuster of the divine presence. (p.2094.5) (emphasis mine)
Now let’s look deeper into this concept of Positional Values.
We use the basic elements of reality with our positional values to build our “framework for thinking”. We can utilise this framework to grow and build something which is indestructibly real. Next we need to find the value tools to apply to these components of reality; tools such as truth, beauty and goodness; logic, reason and faith; science, philosophy and religion. To see with the eyes of the spirit, to distil spirituality from the elements of reality our personality needs to unify them with these values that are real.
Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personality experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty. The real purpose of all universe education is to effect the better co-ordination of the isolated child of the worlds with the larger realities of his expanding experience. Reality is finite on the human level, infinite and eternal on the higher and divine levels. (p.43.5) (emphasis mine)
In regard to the elements of reality why is the order and systems in which we position our values so important? Because where we position our values determines what we do with reality. Our positional values may even determine how we perceive reality. Let’s take a closer look at positional values on our side of the fence in the universe.
…Health, sanity, and happiness are integrations of truth, beauty, and goodness as they are blended in human experience. Such levels of efficient living come about through the unification of energy systems, idea systems, and spirit systems. (p.43.4) (emphasis mine)
Our souls crave identification with that which is lastingly real. The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress. (p.1098.0) By being motivated, by having a desire to understand the truth in things, to comprehend the beauty in meanings and to have a longing to perceive and embrace the goodness in values we begin to use the life giving ingredients of experience in the right way so that we may begin to grow ourselves towards the spiritual by applying these value tools to the elements of reality. To survive death we know that our personality’s seat of identity must become spiritual. Even though we must work and live in the material world, the aim and goal of our personality is spiritual. Our guide to the perfect positional value user is Jesus in the way he built and lived his life.
One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it. (p.2090.4)
In the growing reality framework of our mind that we live in day by day we need to put into practical perspective our positional values. What we are striving to achieve in our lives is personal unified functional reality and functional reality only comes about by the unity of the three elements of reality. We are sustained by these reality ingredients by living them.
…But mind can never succeed in this unification of the diversity of reality unless such mind is firmly aware of material things, intellectual meanings, and spiritual values; only in the harmony of the triunity of functional reality is there unity, and only in unity is there the personality satisfaction of the realization of cosmic constancy and consistency. (p.1120.2) (emphasis mine)
Physical certainty consists in the logic of science; moral certainty, in the wisdom of philosophy; spiritual certainty, in the truth of genuine religious experience. (p.2094.4)
Let’s look at the influences that affect our patterns of reaction to life’s situations, because our comprehension of the elements of reality along with our systems of positional values affects our reactionary patterns to life. In the long run this will determine the degree to which our system of thinking will be unified; stable or deranged. What we don’t want is an unstable framework.
Let’s compare our totality of reality to a three legged stool. Each leg represents one of the three elements of reality i.e. things, meanings and values. On this seat of our stool is our personality with its free will working through the arena of choices in our mind. If one leg is shorter than the other the stool won’t stand up too well. If one leg is missing it will fall over. If we have a balanced system of thinking with a correct set of positional values the parts are arranged in a way that will avoid prolonged confusion, irrational emotional behaviour and fanatical or thoughtless selfish reactions. We can have self control, because we are more sensitive to the realness of reality. We may avoid the endless experiences of making the same mistakes over and over again. We may avoid the extremes of the childish reactions of the atheistic materialist and the frothing stupidity of a religious fanatic. Within the world we live in we may eliminate a lot of wrong ideas about the reason for the existence of the universe, our reactions to it, and our relationships and responsibilities to life and others. With a good system we can keep our feet on the ground and gracefully grow.
Blind and unforeseen accidents do not occur in the cosmos. Neither do the celestial beings assist the lower being who refuses to act upon his light of truth. (p.556.9)
Our universe conundrum and challenge is that we are naturally coming from the bottom up not from the top down.
Mortal consciousness proceeds from the fact, to the meaning, and then to the value. Creator consciousness proceeds from the thought-value, through the word-meaning, to the fact of action. (p1299.3)
This fact that Mortal consciousness proceeds from the fact, to the meaning, and then to the value is not a bad thing, it is designed that way. Without facts and ideas how can we even begin to perceive values let alone make a moral decision? As long as we don’t ignore the reality responsibilities of living, it is designed to provide good soil for the growth of our soul. But we have a natural tendency to be more concerned about things; we worry about what others may think of us, we’re focused on our personal wants and desires, so we have a natural tendency to place our positional values in the wrong places. In doing so we place too much value on things and the immediate pleasures of self which tend to bend the universe to our will and warp our perception of reality. By doing so we may chose to ignore facts and become unwise because we may decide it takes too much effort to embrace a truth. We may clearly see the cold facts of a situation and proudly take a moral stance based on those facts but be wrong as to the truth of the situation. We may attach the wrong meaning to many values and end up becoming a nuisance. We may have accumulated an abundance of facts and knowledge and become very worldly, wise and powerful, though we may become heartless, disregard the worthiness of others and have no love for the goodness of values. Our values may be a litany of “the selfish qualities of love” masquerading in goodness. The things we find pleasures in may be repugnant to God. Our meaning in life may end up being spiritually meaningless. Our lives may become an irritation to others. We may fail to unify reality. We may heap material disasters upon ourselves and others. In the worse case scenario, we may adopt a wrong set of positional values and fail to spiritualise our personality.
The faith of Jesus visualized all spirit values as being found in the kingdom of God; therefore he said, “Seek first the kingdom of heaven.” (p.2088.3) (emphasis mine)
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and in finding these, all other things essential to eternal survival shall be secured therewith. And now would I make it plain to you that this kingdom of my Father will not come with an outward show of power or with unseemly demonstration. You are not to go hence in the proclamation of the kingdom, saying, `it is here’ or `it is there,’ for this kingdom of which you preach is God within you.” (p.1569.2)
“Seek first the kingdom of God, and when you have found entrance thereto, all things needful shall be added to you. Be not, therefore, unduly anxious for the morrow. Sufficient for the day is the trouble thereof.”(p.1578.0)
Urantia mortals can hardly hope to be perfect in the infinite sense, but it is entirely possible for human beings, starting out as they do on this planet, to attain the supernal and divine goal which the infinite God has set for mortal man; and when they do achieve this destiny, they will, in all that pertains to self-realization and mind attainment, be just as replete in their sphere of divine perfection as God himself is in his sphere of infinity and eternity. Such perfection may not be universal in the material sense, unlimited in intellectual grasp, or final in spiritual experience, but it is final and complete in all finite aspects of divinity of will, perfection of personality motivation, and God-consciousness. This is the true meaning of that divine command, “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect,” which ever urges mortal man onward and beckons him inward in that long and fascinating struggle for the attainment of higher and higher levels of spiritual values and true universe meanings. This sublime search for the God of universes is the supreme adventure of the inhabitants of all the worlds of time and space. (p.22.2) (emphasis mine)
What is the process of becoming spiritual? What wonderful things can happen when we combine and unify the elements of reality with our experience with these things, meanings and values? When viewed together through our system of positional values our personality unifies them in a way that is more than just the adding of parts together, they can function as an enlightening and saving system! For example:
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.
Technical analysis does not reveal what a person or a thing can do. For example: Water is used effectively to extinguish fire. That water will put out fire is a fact of everyday experience, but no analysis of water could ever be made to disclose such a property. Analysis determines that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen; a further study of these elements discloses that oxygen is the real supporter of combustion and that hydrogen will itself freely burn. (p.141. 4 & 5)
Through experience, when we combine the three elements of reality we often get a wonderful insight into something unexpectedly new and real. When our positional values are properly aligned we develop a balance in our system of thinking, we improve our quality of thought and insight and our personality will unify the worthy aspects of reality. We could call this “the miracle of experience-evaluation” or “enlightened evolution”, “spiritual elevation”. By observing reality from the material prospective and evaluating reality from the spiritual prospective, this gives us the ability to transfer our seat of identity towards spiritual reality.
Spirit is the basic personal reality in the universes, and personality is basic to all progressing experience with spiritual reality. Every phase of personality experience on every successive level of universe progression swarms with clues to the discovery of alluring personal realities. Man’s true destiny consists in the creation of new and spirit goals and then in responding to the cosmic allurements of such supernal goals of nonmaterial value. (p.141.2) (emphasis mine)
To understand more about this “miracle of experience-evaluation” in relation to selfhood and our systems of thinking, the paper titled “Personality Survival” gives us some wonderful insights into all of this. Here are just a few quotes:
But the concept of the personality as the meaning of the whole of the living and functioning creature means much more than the integration of relationships; it signifies the unification of all factors of reality as well as co-ordination of relationships. Relationships exist between two objects, but three or more objects eventuate a system, and such a system is much more than just an enlarged or complex relationship. This distinction is vital, for in a cosmic system the individual members are not connected with each other except in relation to the whole and through the individuality of the whole. (p.1227.7) (emphasis mine)
It would be helpful in the study of selfhood to remember:
- That physical systems are subordinate.
- That intellectual systems are co-ordinate.
- That personality is superordinate.
- That the indwelling spiritual force is potentially directive. (p.1227.10)
As mind pursues reality to its ultimate analysis, matter vanishes to the material senses but may still remain real to mind. When spiritual insight pursues that reality which remains after the disappearance of matter and pursues it to an ultimate analysis, it vanishes to mind, but the insight of spirit can still perceive cosmic realities and supreme values of a spiritual nature. Accordingly does science give way to philosophy, while philosophy must surrender to the conclusions inherent in genuine spiritual experience. Thinking surrenders to wisdom, and wisdom is lost in enlightened and reflective worship. (p.1228.6) (emphasis mine)
In science the human self observes the material world; philosophy is the observation of this observation of the material world; religion, true spiritual experience, is the experiential realization of the cosmic reality of the observation of the observation of all this relative synthesis of the energy materials of time and space. (p.1228.7)
The purpose of cosmic evolution is to achieve unity of personality through increasing spirit dominance, volitional response to the teaching and leading of the Thought Adjuster. Personality, both human and superhuman, is characterized by an inherent cosmic quality which may be called “the evolution of dominance,” the expansion of the control of both itself and its environment. (p.1229.2)
… mortal personality, through its own choosing, possesses the power of transferring its seat of identity from the passing material-intellect system to the higher morontia-soul system which, in association with the Thought Adjuster, is created as a new vehicle for personality manifestation. (p.1233.0)
The above quotes are what we aspire to in our individual growth. With a stable system we are able to observe reality from a material prospective and attempt to assess reality from a spiritual perspective. This gives us the ability to transfer our seat of identity (personality) towards the spiritual. It gives us the ability for wise goal setting and forward planing, to adapt to changing circumstances gracefully.
Physical life is a process taking place not so much within the organism as between the organism and the environment. And every such process tends to create and establish organismal patterns of reaction to such an environment. And all such directive patterns are highly influential in goal choosing. (p.1227.4) (emphasis mine)
The above quote eloquently portrays the environment where our freewill functions. There is always a reason for our reactions. Here is where our freewill decides, “yes that seems right”… “no I won’t bother, it’s too hard and I don’t want to do that”… “gosh, that was good”… “I want to strive towards that”… “I’m deciding to act this way”… “or that way”…. “that feels good, that doesn’t”… “this is nice, that isn’t”… “I want it now”… “it’s not fair”… “I won’t do that again”… “I’ll work towards that”… “I won’t bother”… “that’s worth it”… “that’s not worth it” and so on…
The universe continues to throw out the challenge: “so what are you going to do about it?” It’s all designed to stimulate growth! It’s not so much what happens to you as what you do about it.
Our world is complex but it is also simple. For our framework of thinking to work well for us we should work through the complexity of life and organise and align ourselves with an un-complicated stable set of positional values. Jesus was not alone in solving his problems and we also are not alone. We need to follow our heart while not leaving our heads behind; to question our motives, beliefs and goals. To assist this process we need to pray for values not things. And we do all this by “sharing the inner life with God” praying for the will of God in our personal lives. Jesus said; “My kingdom is not of this world” meaning its outlook is from the top down not from the bottom up. But he didn’t mean for us to ignore the reality framework of the world we live in; he meant for us to look at it and work through it with the eyes of the spirit.
Mortal man has a spirit nucleus. The mind is a personal-energy system existing around a divine spirit nucleus and functioning in a material environment. Such a living relationship of personal mind and spirit constitutes the universe potential of eternal personality. Real trouble, lasting disappointment, serious defeat, or inescapable death can come only after self-concepts presume fully to displace the governing power of the central spirit nucleus, thereby disrupting the cosmic scheme of personality identity. (p.142.1) (emphasis mine)
Our problem and God’s challenge is that we are coming from the bottom up not from the top down.
Mortal consciousness proceeds from the fact, to the meaning, and then to the value. Creator consciousness proceeds from the thought-value, through the word-meaning, to the fact of action. Always must God act to break the deadlock of the unqualified unity inherent in existential infinity. Always must Deity provide the pattern universe, the perfect personalities, the original truth, beauty, and goodness for which all subdeity creations strive. Always must God first find man that man may later find God. Always must there be a Universal Father before there can ever be universal sonship and consequent universal brotherhood. (p.1299.3)
God starts off with values and works his way down to things. So how does God go about changing our material situation? He gives his spirit to indwell us, sets up a tension in the universe where all these problems can be solved and sorted out, and creates a universal environment where his imperfect creatures may grow. Our goal is to grow from our material system of thinking to his spiritual system of thinking.
As our personalty is touched by the spirit we begin to see, feel and think with the eye of the spirit. By being re-born – be it gradually or suddenly – we then align our positional values around our spiritual nucleus; “becoming partakers of the divine nature”. We may now holistically grow, we create a system of thinking that desires to be in harmony with the purpose and will of God. The revelation of this way of life is at the very heart of all of the teachings of Jesus. We start our humble climb “from chaos to glory”.
In answer to Ganid asking Jesus why he did not take an interest in a certain “thoughtless pagan” Jesus said:
“Ganid, the man was not hungry for truth. He was not dissatisfied with himself. He was not ready to ask for help, and the eyes of his mind were not open to receive light for the soul. That man was not ripe for the harvest of salvation; he must be allowed more time for the trials and difficulties of life to prepare him for the reception of wisdom and higher learning. Or, if we could have him live with us, we might by our lives show him the Father in heaven, and thus would he become so attracted by our lives as sons of God that he would be constrained to inquire about our Father. You cannot reveal God to those who do not seek for him; you cannot lead unwilling souls into the joys of salvation. Man must become hungry for truth as a result of the experiences of living, or he must desire to know God as the result of contact with the lives of those who are acquainted with the divine Father…” (p.1466.2) (emphasis mine)
Mankind is very much in the making, life is a process of improving the way we assess our experiences. God is love but love is not God. It is through the heart that we often feel values. We have learnt that to give is Godlike, but we have also learnt that thoughtless brotherhood leads to disaster, disappointments and sadness. But it is through experience and through the mind that we start to understand a greater meaning of true values in their relation to things, it is through our choices that we try to live them. It is through the evaluation of our experiences that we grow in wisdom towards goodness. It is our youthful ideals that grow into maturity.
Following the natural course of life, things often hurt and may discourage us, but this is how we begin our growth. “I was innocent but I quietly confess that I was wrong”. Like little children we start out devoid of experience, wisdom and spiritual insight.
…The universe of your origin is being forged out between the anvil of justice and the hammer of suffering; but those who wield the hammer are the children of mercy, the spirit offspring of the Infinite Spirit. (p.100.2)
Because of our imperfect natures and animal origins, when left to our own habits and devices we can naturally develop selfish qualities of love. One of the main jobs of reality along with the spirit of God within us is to help us, to give us opportunities to eliminate these selfish qualities of love. The whole universe is geared to help us. Our evolution towards the spiritual is derived from a combined unified analysis of experiential reality by our personality.
Spirituality becomes at once the indicator of one’s nearness to God and the measure of one’s usefulness to fellow beings. Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefore and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love. (p.1096.1) (emphasis mine)
As mankind develops and grows he is discovering that in the evolution of life we eventually become self determinative, similar to the wonderful adaptation and cooperation of flowering plants and their interaction with a host of insects, and the adaptations of life on the Gallipolis islands. Let’s take a look at a few quotes on how the Supreme Being grows; the author of these papers draws many analogies between our growth and the Supreme’s.
Mortal man, being a creature, is not exactly like the Supreme Being, who is deity, but man’s evolution does in some ways resemble the growth of the Supreme. (p.1282.1)
But there is still another aspect to the evolution of God the Supreme: He is not only Creator-evolved and Trinity-derived; he is also self-evolved and self-derived. God the Supreme is himself a volitional, creative participant in his own deity actualization. The human morontial soul is likewise a volitional, cocreative partner in its own immortalization. (p.128.2)
Man’s immortal soul evolves its own eternal destiny by association with the divine presence of the Paradise Father and in accordance with the personality decisions of the human mind. What the Trinity is to God the Supreme, the Adjuster is to evolving man. (p.1282.5) (emphasis mine)
…Mortal man is more than figuratively made in the image of God. From a physical standpoint this statement is hardly true, but with reference to certain universe potentialities it is an actual fact. In the human race, something of the same drama of evolutionary attainment is being unfolded as takes place, on a vastly larger scale, in the universe of universes. Man, a volitional personality, becomes creative in liaison with an Adjuster, an impersonal entity, in the presence of the finite potentialities of the Supreme, and the result is the flowering of an immortal soul. (p.1281.7) (emphasis mine)
We all have something unique and creative to contribute towards the truth, the beauty and the goodness of finite reality. By being re-born; by untangling and re-aligning our positional values in our system of being, we can contribute and enjoy the journey of life and experience the satisfaction of this supreme adventure.
Paradise values of eternity and infinity, of truth, beauty, and goodness, are concealed within the facts of the phenomena of the universes of time and space. But it requires the eye of faith in a spirit-born mortal to detect and discern these spiritual values. (p.2078.7) (emphasis mine)
As we experience life, our minds become our personal dairy. We all utilise this same mind supplied by the Divine Minister (our operating software). But our physical hardware is uniquely different. On the physical side of life we have our brain and its processing capabilities; this part of us is derived from our genetic enheritance and when unzipped at birth this package comes along with all of its innate tendencies; nature and character traits; our animal reaction patterns, quite unique in and of its self. From our starting point in our universe career, this entire DNA package goes towards making up who we are. We are all different. We start our journey of life coming from this package; from the bottom up in our evolutionary process of becoming spiritual. As we begin to grow and mature we start to get to know ourselves, we become conscious of being conscious, now we have the ability to choose, to direct and control ourselves and our environment, rather than the other way round.
Our mind is used for reflective thinking. Fortunately for us the Infinite Spirit has given us a mind that has intuition and innate endowments to scrutinize things, meanings and values. Our mind needs to work to rid itself of ignorance, immaturity and delusion. The purpose of our mind is to recognise and unify the elements of reality. We must remember that we are contributing to growing something here in the soil of our minds; we are growing ourselves – our soul. We have all the ingredients for growth, but it is more than just a one off “WAM-O” moment. It is a process of progressive recognition of things, meanings and values and their growing functional unification in a spiritual system of feeling, thinking and acting by our personality. Through the recognition of truth we can cheerfully attempt to dominate matter with our mind and in turn our mind can gracefully be responsive to the leading of the spirit.
Mind is your ship, the Adjuster is your pilot, the human will is captain. (p.1217.4)
In our mental efforts of reflective thinking our decisions cultivate the soil for soul growth by discerning, evaluating and integrating the worthy aspects of experience; cultivating a rich soil of genuine morality and virtue. If we maintain a childlike faith trust in the goodness of God, God’s efforts may be likened to the warmth of the sun on our soul for its spiritual elevation. This is beautifully illustrated by one of Jesus stories;
It was during this same sermon that Jesus made use of his first and only parable having to do with his own trade – carpentry. In the course of his admonition to “Build well the foundations for the growth of a noble character of spiritual endowments,” he said: “In order to yield the fruits of the spirit, you must be born of the spirit. You must be taught by the spirit and be led by the spirit if you would live the spirit-filled life among your fellows. But do not make the mistake of the foolish carpenter who wastes valuable time squaring, measuring, and smoothing his worm-eaten and inwardly rotting timber and then, when he has thus bestowed all of his labor upon the unsound beam, must reject it as unfit to enter into the foundations of the building which he would construct to withstand the assaults of time and storm. Let every man make sure that the intellectual and moral foundations of character are such as will adequately support the superstructure of the enlarging and ennobling spiritual nature, which is thus to transform the mortal mind and then, in association with that re-created mind, is to achieve the evolvement of the soul of immortal destiny. Your spirit nature – the jointly created soul – is a living growth, but the mind and morals of the individual are the soil from which these higher manifestations of human development and divine destiny must spring. The soil of the evolving soul is human and material, but the destiny of this combined creature of mind and spirit is spiritual and divine. (p.1738.1)
When we honestly view reality we find that it is working for us, not against us. The universe is friendly; it is geared to prod us towards growth. Without facts and ideas how can we even begin to perceive values let alone make a moral decision?
The weak indulge in resolutions, but the strong act. Life is but a day’s work – do it well. The act is ours; the consequences God’s. (p.556.13)
Many of our spiritual realties are gleaned through our experiences and relationships with one another. We live for the benefit of the growth of each other. For those who love God, all things, eventually work towards a greater understanding of the truth and beauty of goodness. The following quotes for me, sum it up beautifully; they put personal experience in harmony with the whole of finite reality into a spiritual nutshell!
When reason once recognizes right and wrong, it exhibits wisdom; when wisdom chooses between right and wrong, truth and error, it demonstrates spirit leading. And thus are the functions of mind, soul, and spirit ever closely united and functionally interassociated. Reason deals with factual knowledge; wisdom, with philosophy and revelation; faith, with living spiritual experience. Through truth man attains beauty and by spiritual love ascends to goodness. (p.1142.1)
In the local universe mind bestowals, these three insights of the cosmic mind constitute the a priori assumptions which make it possible for man to function as a rational and self-conscious personality in the realms of science, philosophy, and religion. Stated otherwise, the recognition of the reality of these three manifestations of the Infinite is by a cosmic technique of self-revelation. Matter-energy is recognized by the mathematical logic of the senses; mind-reason intuitively knows its moral duty; spirit-faith (worship) is the religion of the reality of spiritual experience. These three basic factors in reflective thinking may be unified and co-ordinated in personality development, or they may become disproportionate and virtually unrelated in their respective functions. But when they become unified, they produce a strong character consisting in the correlation of a factual science, a moral philosophy, and a genuine religious experience. And it is these three cosmic intuitions that give objective validity, reality, to man’s experience in and with things, meanings, and values. (p.192.6) (emphasis mine)
Mind universally dominates matter, even as it is in turn responsive to the ultimate overcontrol of spirit. And with mortal man, only that mind which freely submits itself to the spirit direction can hope to survive the mortal time-space existence as an immortal child of the eternal spirit world of the Supreme, the Ultimate, and the Absolute: the Infinite. (p.484.3)
…Loyal persons are growing persons, and growth is an impressive and inspiring reality… (p.1094.6)
Truly of the human race has it been said, “You are of God” because “he who dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” (p.45.3)
Further recommended reading: Paper 16 “Seven Master Spirits” Section 6 through to section 9. (p.191-196)