The Spiritual Teachings of The Urantia Book: Synopsis, Part 5
The consciousness of God's indwelling is based upon the intellectual reception of truth, the supermind perception of goodness, and the personality motivation to love.
Religion has to do with feeling, acting, and living, not merely with thinking. Thinking is more closely related to the material life and, in the main, should be dominated by reason and the facts of science except in its nonmaterial reaches toward the spirit realms when truth must dominate.
The ideal religious philosophy is such a faith-trust as would lead mankind to unqualifiedly depend upon the absolute love of the Father.
Such a genuine religious experience far transcends all idealistic desire, takes salvation for granted, and is concerned only with doing the Father's will.
When theology masters religion, religion dies. It becomes a doctrine instead of a life.
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 united and functionally inter-associated.
What Would Jesus Do?
Although the words from which this synopsis is drawn are claimed to have had their origin in the mind, thought, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, it is neither the words, nor their origin, that are of primary importance.
Rather, their importance is to be found in the spiritual values that lie dormant within--and dormant they remain except if awakened in the minds of individuals who listen to their indwelling Spirit of God, the same Spirit that was friend, guide, and counselor to Jesus during his short interlude on Planet Earth.
The call from Jesus requires his followers to live their lives as he lived his. But knowing where Jesus went and what he did is of little help for that task. Jesus' life was primarily a revelation of the nature of God. To emulate him, we need to know how he thought and what he thought. We must know the mind of Jesus. Only then can we hope to think as Jesus would think, do as Jesus would have done under our particular circumstances.
This synopsis was selected to be a framework that may help the seeker to "think as Jesus would think." Its foundation was those components of his thought and teaching that could relate to "life in the spirit." We hope it helps.
The Teachings of Jesus
To understand the Urantia Papers it is vital to understand the role attributed to the Spirit of God that now indwells the minds of virtually all human beings born on this planet. It is referred to in the New Testament in about 25 of its verses, e.g. "Know you not that you are the temple of God, that the Spirit of God dwells in you" (1. Cor. 3:16), and, "If we love one another, God dwells in us." (1 John 4:12).
This indwelling Spirit is the source of all true meanings and values of a non-material nature. Thus it is the source of true morality, non-material truth, beauty and goodness, and all revealed truth. So, one way or another, all true revelation is from God regardless of the means of its origin. But the recognition of this truth is an individual function, crucially dependent upon the personal relation between the individual and the God-Spirit within. Empirical truths of science may appear to be different, but basically, they are not.
The Urantia Papers have been presented to the world as the Fifth Epochal Revelation and, as such, this has generated claims for infallibility by some. The reality is that the Papers themselves state that "nothing which human nature has touched can be regarded as infallible." And there is not a single statement in all the Papers that has not, at some stage, been open to the contaminating hand of man. Thus all decisions on the validity of revelatory truth in these Papers, or elsewhere, must forever be the personal responsibility of the individual.
Certainly there are many aspects of the Urantia Papers, particularly their history and cosmology that should definitely be described with the authors' term of "a framework in which to think," rather than being taken as factual truth. But there are also other sections, in fact a major portion of the Papers, about which many have said that if it is not revelation, then indeed, it surely ought to be. What follows is from Part 4 only, a much compressed summary of the life, nature, and teaching of the one many call, "Master," that is also totally consistent with the spirit of the word of Jesus from the New Testament. Familiarity with the words herein will certainly promote our familiarity with the mind of Jesus.
These Papers confirm that the purpose of Jesus' life on our planet included revealing God to man and man to God, and that his life was to exhibit "the transcendent possibilities attainable by a God-knowing mortal being during the short career of mortal existence."
Having fully achieved his purpose, Jesus left us with this injunction: "Your mission to the world is founded on the fact that I lived a God-revealing life among you; on the truth that you and all other men and women are the sons and daughters of God; and it shall consist in the life which you will live among them-the actual and living experience of loving them and serving them-even as I have loved and served you."
Consequently the Papers tell us: "that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it."
Jesus taught: The will of God is the way of God, partnership with the choice of God in the face of any potential alternative. To do the will of God is the progressive experience of becoming more and more like God-who is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true.
Only in the perfection, harmony, and unanimity of will can the creature become as one with the Creator.always must the desire to do the Father's will be supreme in the soul and dominant over the mind of a mortal child of God.
Become interested in your fellows; learn how to love them and watch for the opportunity to do something for them that you are sure they want done. They who would have friends must first show themselves friendly.
When a wise man or woman understands the inner impulses of their fellows, they will love them. And when you love your brothers and sisters, you have already forgiven them.
During a lengthy period of intimate association with religious leaders in his early career, never once did Jesus attack their errors or even mention the flaws in their teaching. In each case he would select the truth in what they taught and then proceed to embellish and illuminate this truth in their minds that in a very short time this enhancement of truth effectively crowded out the associated error.
Jesus' Teaching About the Soul
The soul is self-reflective, truth discerning, and spirit-perceiving, the part of mankind which elevates the human being above the level of the animal world. Self-consciousness is, in and of itself, not the soul. Moral self-consciousness is true human self-realization and constitutes the foundation of the human soul-and the soul is that which represents the survival value of human experience. Moral choice and spiritual attainment, the ability to know God and the urge to be like him are the characteristics of the soul.
Jesus' Teaching about Goodness and Truth
Goodness, like truth, is always relative, unfailingly evil contrasted, living, and always progressing, a personal experience that is everlastingly correlated with the discernment of truth and beauty.
Goodness is found in the recognition of positive truth-its values at the spiritual level, which must, in human experience, be contrasted with the negative counterpart-the shadows of potential evil.
Evil becomes a reality of personal choice only when a moral mind makes evil its choice.
Truth cannot be defined with words, only by living.
Revealed truth, personally discovered truth is the joint creation of the material mind and the indwelling Spirit.
But truth can never become our possession without the exercise of faith. Faith acts to release the superhuman activities of the divine spark that indwells us.
Human life continues-survives-because it has a universe function, the task of finding God.
Prayer is the great unifier of the inspirations and faith urges of a soul trying to identify itself with the spirit ideals of the Indwelling Spirit.
There are only two groups of mortals in the eyes of God; those who desire to do his will and those who do not. Likewise there are two great classes-those who know God and those who do not.
If we know God, our real business on Earth is so to live as to permit the Father to reveal himself in our lives, and thus will all God-seeking persons see the Father in us and ask for our help in finding out more about God who in this manner finds expression in our lives.
Jesus taught a young associate: "I have absolute confidence in my Father's overcare; I am consecrated to doing the will of my Father in heaven. I do not believe that real harm can befall me. I am absolutely assured that the entire universe is friendly to me-this all-powerful truth I insist on believing with a whole hearted trust in spite of all appearances to the contrary."