The Arrow of Time:
In what direction does the arrow of time fly? To believers, for whom God is the archer, his divine Monitor within guides our hand to the target chosen for our most ideal life and career, the achievement of his will. When Darwin discovered the principle of evolution, he did not believe that it had a goal of progress; it was a matter of luck or chance that individuals possessed variations allowing them to survive and reproduce. The Urantia Book (The UB) reveals the concept of progressive development as a truth. “It is the presence of the seven adjutant mind-spirits on the primitive worlds that conditions the course of organic evolution; that explains why evolution is purposeful and not accidental.” (The UB, Pg. 401, 5:1)
Perhaps in such modern books as God and the Evolving Universe, in which the authors (Redfield, Murphy and Timbers) state that, “Christianity preserved and extended the Jewish belief in ‘the arrow of time,’ the promise that the world has direction and purpose,” we are seeing an end to the seemingly predominant, secularized, materialistic philosophy that followed Darwin’s discovery. His old explanation promoted the random nature, chaotic motion, the up and down cycles of planetary progress. In our modern philosophy, there even arose an anxiety about the pointlessness of the motion; the nihilism of no direction. Secular philosophers and their followers counter that religious thinkers had created a false optimism. The atmosphere of our current era confirms that Freud’s lesson was well learned: religion was a childish delusion and atheism is “grown-up” realism. Materialism views time’s leaps and slides, its steps forward and falls backwards, as clustering around an unchanging mean or median.
The Urantia Book challenges religious thinkers, “Can you not advance in your concept of God's dealing with man to that level where you recognize that the watchword of the universe is progress?” (4:1.2)
This idea is central to a branch of philosophy known as teleology, the study of purposes, goals, ends and functions. “Intrinsic or immanent teleology is concerned with cases of aiming or striving towards goals” (Routledge Encyclopedia); ups and downs occur but the median point on the graph gradually rises. For example, in race relations, European conquerors once enslaved and killed other indigenous races wherever they founded colonies. Gradually, we have ended many such practices, even though we still deal with residual racism and ideas of white supremacy. It has been pointed out that slavery has not really ended: “according to Gallup surveys of 167 countries, there are 45.8 million slaves worldwide. … [defined as] someone owned, someone working as a forced laborer or prostitute, someone in debt bondage or in a forced marriage,” and this should not be overlooked. (National Review, 6/4/2016) http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436205/slavery-still-exists
For certain, we’ve witnessed the default of universe plans for planetary progress, beginning with “Caligastia's adherence to the Lucifer rebellion,” (50:4.11) and there have been cultural retrogressions. It is no wonder many view Urantia’s history as random and chaotic with no enduring progress achieved. It is a story with roots from way before secularist mechanistic philosophy took hold. In the rebellion, Lucifer derided the idea of progressing spiritual advancement, and “advocated that ascenders should enjoy the liberty of individual self-determination. He challenged and condemned the entire plan of mortal ascension as sponsored by the Paradise Sons of God and supported by the Infinite Spirit … With derision he pointed out that the finaliters had encountered a destiny no more glorious than to be returned to humble spheres similar to those of their origin,” (53:3.6) a circular destiny, no progress achieved in the end.
Steve Mcintosh (author/philosopher) developed an integral philosophy that is teleological, a doctrine of design and purpose in the material world http://www.integralworld.net/mcintosh4.html.
“The primary values of beauty, truth and goodness can be expansively understood as the actual directions of evolution. And understanding where evolution is headed is, of course, a central inquiry for a philosophy that defines itself in evolutionary terms. … properly understood, these questions [about the directions of evolution’s unfolding] relate to every situation in which the need for improvement can be recognized.”
Mcintosh teaches that cultural evolution is driven by humanity's quest to improve its conditions, a quest driven by that which people consider valuable. He believes people by nature choose a teleological philosophy, a positive direction. Integral philosophy's understanding of the spiral of development demonstrates how each stage of consciousness constructs its worldview out of agreements about values that give us, “the actual directions of evolution.”
Jesus upstepped the trajectory of the Jewish arrow of wisdom, and he laid down more progressive concepts of God and his Universe. “The fact of Jesus' earthly life provides a fixed point for the anchor of time, while the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth provides for the everlasting expansion and endless growth of the religion which he lived and the gospel which he proclaimed. The spirit guides into all truth; he is the teacher of an expanding and always-growing religion of endless progress and divine unfolding.” (194:3.8)
Currently, Steve McIntosh carries on teaching this truth: “As it now becomes increasingly necessary for humanity to participate in guiding cultural evolution toward a more positive future, knowledge of evolution’s essential methods, techniques, and directions is of critical importance.”
The Urantia Book was placed here partly to confirm this central idea lost in the fog and fury of the Lucifer manifesto. Jesus’s refusal of the Lucifer proposals was “the real end of the Lucifer rebellion,” (53:8.4) and now, “Mankind is on the march toward a new and unrevealed planetary destiny.” (99:1.1)
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