The Consciousness of God
Morality has its origin in the reason of self-consciousness; it is superanimal but wholly evolutionary. Human evolution embraces in its unfolding all endowments antecedent to the bestowal of the Adjusters and to the pouring out of the Spirit of Truth. But the attainment of levels of morality does not deliver man from the real struggles of mortal living. Man's physical environment entails the battle for existence; the social surroundings necessitate ethical adjustments; the moral situations require the making of choices in the highest realms of reason; the spiritual experience (having realized God) demands that man find him and sincerely strive to be like him.
Religion is not grounded in the facts of science, the obligations of society, the assumptions of philosophy, or the implied duties of morality. Religion is an independent realm of human response to life situations and is unfailingly exhibited at all stages of human development which are postmoral. Religion may permeate all four levels of the realization of values and the enjoyment of universe fellowship: the physical or material level of self-preservation; the social or emotional level of fellowship; the moral or duty level of reason; the spiritual level of the consciousness of universe fellowship through divine worship.
The fact-seeking scientist conceives of God as the First Cause, a God of force. The emotional artist sees God as the ideal of beauty, a God of aesthetics. The reasoning philosopher is sometimes inclined to posit a God of universal unity, even a pantheistic Deity. The religionist of faith believes in a God who fosters survival, the Father in heaven, the God of love.
Moral conduct is always an antecedent of evolved religion and a part of even revealed religion, but never the whole of religious experience. Social service is the result of moral thinking and religious living. Morality does not biologically lead to the higher spiritual levels of religious experience. The adoration of the abstract beautiful is not the worship of God; neither is exaltation of nature nor the reverence of unity the worship of God.
Evolutionary religion is the mother of the science, art, and philosophy which elevated man to the level of receptivity to revealed religion, including the bestowal of Adjusters and the coming of the Spirit of Truth. The evolutionary picture of human existence begins and ends with religion, albeit very different qualities of religion, one evolutional and biological, the other revelational and periodical. And so, while religion is normal and natural to man, it is also optional. Man does not have to be religious against his will.
Religious experience, being essentially spiritual, can never be fully understood by the material mind; hence the function of theology, the psychology of religion. The essential doctrine of the human realization of God creates a paradox in finite comprehension. It is well-nigh impossible for human logic and finite reason to harmonize the concept of divine immanence, God within and a part of every individual, with the idea of God's transcendence, the divine domination of the universe of universes. These two essential concepts of Deity must be unified in the faith-grasp of the concept of the transcendence of a personal God and in the realization of the indwelling presence of a fragment of that God in order to justify intelligent worship and validate the hope of personality survival. The difficulties and paradoxes of religion are inherent in the fact that the realities of religion are utterly beyond the mortal capacity for intellectual comprehension.
Mortal man secures three great satisfactions from religious experience, even in the days of his temporal sojourn on earth:
1. Intellectually he acquires the satisfactions of a more unified human consciousness.
2. Philosophically he enjoys the substantiation of his ideals of moral values.
3. Spiritually he thrives in the experience of divine companionship, in the spiritual satisfactions of true worship.
God-consciousness, as it is experienced by an evolving mortal of the realms, must consist of three varying factors, three differential levels of reality realization. There is first the mind consciousness -- the comprehension of the idea of God. Then follows the soul consciousness -- the realization of the ideal of God. Last, dawns the spirit consciousness -- the realization of the spirit reality of God. By the unification of these factors of the divine realization, no matter how incomplete, the mortal personality at all times overspreads all conscious levels with a realization of the personality of God. In those mortals who have attained the Corps of the Finality all this will in time lead to the realization of the supremacy of God and may subsequently eventuate in the realization of the ultimacy of God, some phase of the absonite superconsciousness of the Paradise Father.
The experience of God-consciousness remains the same from generation to generation, but with each advancing epoch in human knowledge the philosophic concept and the theologic definitions of God must change. God-knowingness, religious consciousness, is a universe reality, but no matter how valid (real) religious experience is, it must be willing to subject itself to intelligent criticism and reasonable philosophic interpretation; it must not seek to be a thing apart in the totality of human experience.
Eternal survival of personality is wholly dependent on the choosing of the mortal mind, whose decisions determine the survival potential of the immortal soul. When the mind believes God and the soul knows God, and when, with the fostering Adjuster, they all desire God, then is survival assured. Limitations of intellect, curtailment of education, deprivation of culture, impoverishment of social status, even inferiority of the human standards of morality resulting from the unfortunate lack of educational, cultural, and social advantages, cannot invalidate the presence of the divine spirit in such unfortunate and humanly handicapped but believing individuals. The indwelling of the Mystery Monitor constitutes the inception and insures the possibility of the potential of growth and survival of the immortal soul.
The ability of mortal parents to procreate is not predicated on their educational, cultural, social, or economic status. The union of the parental factors under natural conditions is quite sufficient to initiate offspring. A human mind discerning right and wrong and possessing the capacity to worship God, in union with a divine Adjuster, is all that is required in that mortal to initiate and foster the production of his immortal soul of survival qualities if such a spirit-endowed individual seeks God and sincerely desires to become like him, honestly elects to do the will of the Father in heaven.
--Presented by a Divine Counselor of Uversa, from the Urantia Papers.
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