Dear Urantia Book students and friends,
I ask you to please indulge me in my admiration and appreciation of PAPER 160. I return to read it again and again. Thus I believe that there is much of practical wisdom and religious experience to be found in what this PAPER has to say to us.
With the recent Summer Study Session, the Triennial Delegate Assembly, and the newly formed General Council and officers, it seems to me particularly apt to re-visit what Rodan is quoted as having said, about inter-personal communications and social interactions.
160:2.2 Since animals cannot communicate ideas to each other, they cannot develop personality. Man develops personality because he can thus communicate with his fellows concerning both ideas and ideals.
160:2.3 It is this ability to communicate and share meanings that constitutes human culture and enables man, through social associations, to build civilizations. Knowledge and wisdom become cumulative because of man’s ability to communicate these possessions to succeeding generations. And thereby arise the cultural activities of the race: art, science, religion, and philosophy.
160:2.4 Symbolic communication between human beings predetermines the bringing into existence of social groups. The most effective of all social groups is the family, more particularly the two parents. Personal affection is the spiritual bond which holds together these material associations. Such an effective relationship is also possible between two persons of the same sex, as is so abundantly illustrated in the devotions of genuine friendships.
Look moreover at the two paragraphs added on, here. Rodan speaks to us as contemporaries, evidently anticipating the multifarious and difficult ways in which today's mortals congregate, form groups, and provide for mutual benefits. Perhaps there is much to be learned from contemplating the meanings and values of this teaching?
2. Union of souls — the mobilization of wisdom. Every human being sooner or later acquires a certain concept of this world and a certain vision of the next. Now it is possible, through personality association, to unite these views of temporal existence and eternal prospects. Thus does the mind of one augment its spiritual values by gaining much of the insight of the other. In this way men enrich the soul by pooling their respective spiritual possessions. Likewise, in this same way, man is enabled to avoid that ever-present tendency to fall victim to distortion of vision, prejudice of viewpoint, and narrowness of judgment. Fear, envy, and conceit can be prevented only by intimate contact with other minds. I call your attention to the fact that the Master never sends you out alone to labor for the extension of the kingdom; he always sends you out two and two. And since wisdom is superknowledge, it follows that, in the union of wisdom, the social group, small or large, mutually shares all knowledge.
3. The enthusiasm for living. Isolation tends to exhaust the energy charge of the soul. Association with one’s fellows is essential to the renewal of the zest for life and is indispensable to the maintenance of the courage to fight those battles consequent upon the ascent to the higher levels of human living. Friendship enhances the joys and glorifies the triumphs of life. Loving and intimate human associations tend to rob suffering of its sorrow and hardship of much of its bitterness. The presence of a friend enhances all beauty and exalts every goodness. By intelligent symbols man is able to quicken and enlarge the appreciative capacities of his friends. One of the crowning glories of human friendship is this power and possibility of the mutual stimulation of the imagination. Great spiritual power is inherent in the consciousness of wholehearted devotion to a common cause, mutual loyalty to a cosmic Deity.
I'd like to urge you to spend some time with Rodan, if you have been studying elsewhere in the Book. I realize that the content of PAPER 160 has been the subject of some considerable controversy. Regardless, it is worthwhile spiritual food that is waiting to nourish your mind.
Our study groups, and Society meetings are just such times when "the enthusiasm for living" can be greatly enhanced, and "the mobilization of wisdom" can become a primary goal, in each such gathering of believers, Faith Fellows of our Creator Parents, and children of The Universal Father.
Stephen Zendt, Walnut Creek, CA
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