Divine Truth and Beauty
All finite knowledge and creature understanding are relative. Information and intelligence, gleaned from even high sources, is only relatively complete, locally accurate, and personally true.
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. While the laws and decrees, the thoughts and attitudes, of the First Great Source and Center are eternally, infinitely, and universally true; at the same time, their application to, and adjustment for, every universe, system, world, and created intelligence, are in accordance with the plans and technique of the Creator Sons as they function in their respective universes, as well as in harmony with the local plans and procedures of the Infinite Spirit and of all other associated celestial personalities.
The false science of materialism would sentence mortal man to become an outcast in the universe. Such partial knowledge is potentially evil; it is knowledge composed of both good and evil. Truth is beautiful because it is both replete and symmetrical. When man searches for truth, he pursues the divinely real.
Philosophers commit their gravest error when they are misled into the fallacy of abstraction, the practice of focusing the attention upon one aspect of reality and then of pronouncing such an isolated aspect to be the whole truth. The wise philosopher will always look for the creative design which is behind, and pre-existent to, all universe phenomena. The creator thought invariably precedes creative action.
Intellectual self-consciousness can discover the beauty of truth, its spiritual quality, not only by the philosophic consistency of its concepts, but more certainly and surely by the unerring response of the ever-present Spirit of Truth. Happiness ensues from the recognition of truth because it can be acted out; it can be lived. Disappointment and sorrow attend upon error because, not being a reality, it cannot be realized in experience. Divine truth is best known by its spiritual flavor.
The eternal quest is for unification, for divine coherence. The far-flung physical universe coheres in the Isle of Paradise; the intellectual universe coheres in the God of mind, the Conjoint Actor; the spiritual universe is coherent in the personality of the Eternal Son. But the isolated mortal of time and space coheres in God the Father through the direct relationship between the indwelling Thought Adjuster and the Universal Father. Man's Adjuster is a fragment of God and everlastingly seeks for divine unification; it coheres with, and in, the Paradise Deity of the First Source and Center.
The discernment of supreme beauty is the discovery and integration of reality: The discernment of the divine goodness in the eternal truth, that is ultimate beauty. Even the charm of human art consists in the harmony of its unity.
The great mistake of the Hebrew religion was its failure to associate the goodness of God with the factual truths of science and the appealing beauty of art. As civilization progressed, and since religion continued to pursue the same unwise course of overemphasizing the goodness of God to the relative exclusion of truth and neglect of beauty, there developed an increasing tendency for certain types of men to turn away from the abstract and dissociated concept of isolated goodness. The overstressed and isolated morality of modern religion, which fails to hold the devotion and loyalty of many twentieth-century men, would rehabilitate itself if, in addition to its moral mandates, it would give equal consideration to the truths of science, philosophy, and spiritual experience, and to the beauties of the physical creation, the charm of intellectual art, and the grandeur of genuine character achievement.
The religious challenge of this age is to those farseeing and forward-looking men and women of spiritual insight who will dare to construct a new and appealing philosophy of living out of the enlarged and exquisitely integrated modern concepts of cosmic truth, universe beauty, and divine goodness. Such a new and righteous vision of morality will attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge that which is best in the human soul. Truth, beauty, and goodness are divine realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritual living, these supreme qualities of the Eternal become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in God, who is love.
All truth -- material, philosophic, or spiritual -- is both beautiful and good. All real beauty -- material art or spiritual symmetry -- is both true and good. All genuine goodness -- whether personal morality, social equity, or divine ministry -- is equally true and beautiful. 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.
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.
--Presented by a Divine Counselor acting by authority of the Ancients of Days on Uversa, from the Urantia Papers.
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