The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 101: The Real Nature of Religion
Religion is the true experience of eternal realities in time. Religious experiences result from the combined operations of the Thought Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth as they work with human ideas, ideals, insights, and spiritual strivings. Religion lives and prospers by faith and insight, eventually resulting in the consciousness of God and assurance of survival.
Revelation compensates for the absence of the morontia viewpoint by providing a technique for comprehension of the relationships of matter and spirit through the mediation of mind. Personal revelation is continuous; epochal revelation is periodic. Revelation enlarges ethics and expands morals; it is validated only by human experience.
True religion cannot be observed or understood from the outside. The assurance of a personal God depends wholly on spiritual insight. For people who are assured of spiritual realities, no argument about the reality of God is necessary; but for those who do not know God, no possible argument could be convincing.
Spiritual intuition is the endowment of the cosmic mind in association with the divine Adjuster. Spiritual reason is the endowment of the Holy Spirit, and spiritual philosophy is the endowment of the Spirit of Truth. The coordination of these spirit endowments creates a potential spirit personality within the mortal host. It is this embryonic spirit personality that is the part of a person that survives after death.
A soul reveals itself by the manner in which it reacts to difficult intellectual and social situations. Genuine spiritual faith engenders moral progress, sublime trust in God, profound courage, inexplicable poise, and unswerving faith-in spite of adversity, calamity, disappointment, suffering, injustice, and defeat. The teachings of Jesus provide temporal tranquility, intellectual certainty, moral enlightenment, philosophic stability, ethical sensitivity, God-consciousness, and the assurance of personal survival.
A personal religious philosophy is derived from both inner and outer experiences. Social status, economic conditions, education, moral trends, politics, racial tendencies, religious teachings, temperament, intellect, vocation, marriage, and kin all influence personal standards of life. There are four levels in the evolution of personal religious philosophy:
1. Submission to tradition and authority
2. Small spiritual attainments that stabilize daily life
3. Dependence on logic, which may stagnate into cultural or scientific bondage
4. Freedom from tradition and convention-to think, act, and live honestly, loyally, and fearlessly
Belief becomes faith when it motivates life and shapes behavior. Living religious faith is more than a set of noble beliefs; it is a living experience concerned with spiritual meanings, divine ideals, and supreme values. Faith is God-knowing and man-serving. Living faith never fosters bigotry, persecution, or intolerance.