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Working with Personal Revelations

2016-02-17 12:13 PM | Dave

During my beginning yogic practice, years before I was reading The Urantia Book, I had my earliest personal revelations. By this use of the term revelation, I am not talking about an appearance of angels, or the discovery of golden tablets in a cave (haven’t found any lately), but those naturally occurring revelations that come to the mind in a flash of recognition, often called philosophical insights. They are not made up of conscious thought alone; a “divine invasion” has taken place in there somewhere (196:3.20).

"Truth is always a revelation: autorevelation when it emerges as a result of the work of the indwelling Adjuster; epochal revelation when it is presented by the function of some other celestial agency, group, or personality." (The Urantia Book, The UB, 101:4.3, p. 1109).

Of the two types of revelation, personal or autorevelation and planetary or epochal revelation, personal revelations that result from our work with the Father Fragment, are “continuous” (101:2.12) and transformative. “The highest religious experience is not dependent on prior acts of belief, tradition, and authority; neither is religion the offspring of sublime feelings and purely mystical emotions. It is, rather, a profoundly deep and actual experience of spiritual communion with the spirit influences resident within the human mind,” (101:1.4, p. 1105)

I view The Urantia Book as a teaching text that becomes sacred/revelatory when we personally experience our own revelations in reading it, experiences that quicken, animate, vitalize the words. These “visions” can, to give some examples, reveal the loving character of the Father, the nature of reality, your life purpose in accordance with God’s will. They differ from rote recitations read from a gold-encrusted Bible in church, in that they bear the stamp of our own living understanding.

Here is a philosophical look at the idea. “Revelation means an intelligible event which makes all other events intelligible. It is the discovery of rational pattern in the events of our lives.” (Theologian, H. R. Niebuhr, from The Meaning of Revelation.)

“The reason of the heart...does not really know what is in the revelation, in the illuminating moment, except as it proceeds from revelation to experience and back again from experience to revelation. In this process the meaning of the revelation, its richness and power, grow progressively clearer.” (Niebuhr, Ibid)

But although philosophic logic and “experience” helps us testify to the validity, our grasp of the reality of the divine, revelation also compensates for the failures of philosophy. “Revelation is the only technique for atoning for this deficiency in the conceptual data which man so urgently needs in order to construct a logical philosophy of the universe and to arrive at a satisfying understanding of his sure and settled place in this universe.”  (103:6.8; p. 1136) 

“Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience.” (195:10.1; p. 2084)

Using mind as “the gateway” to both, we combine revelation and rational thinking: “Revelation proves itself to be revelation of reality by its ability to guide us to many other truths.” (H.R. Niebuhr, Ibid)

As the philosopher Locke pointed out, rational thought checks the validity of the auto-revelations. “Enthusiasm, laying by reason, would set up revelation without it; whereby in effect it takes away both reason and revelation … revelation must be judged of by reason.” (John Locke, 1632-1704)

“Sometimes we regard revelation as though it had equipped us with truth in such measure that no further labor in historical and psychological searching is necessary. Fundamentalism in its thousand historic forms escapes in one way. Modernism escapes by applying to life the short and narrow ideas of some present moment...But true revelation is not the source of such irrationality and absurdity. We become fools because we refuse to use revelation as the foundation of a rational moral life.” (Niebuhr, Ibid)

We can experience the power of the personally-received revelations of others (1467; 132.7.6), as Jesus said to Ganid, “the revelations of God flash upon earth in the lives of the men who reveal God to their fellows.” Indeed, that is how many of the Earth’s evolutionary religions began.

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