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One of the more <scientific> gifts in the fifth epochal revelation is a new foundation for our science of psychology. Not only do the authors explain precisely what mind is, in all its forms and flavours, but they also tell a most surprising story about how animal psycho-somatic interaction evolved on this world.
And all of this touches on one of the most <non-scientific> questions we usually forget to ask: what is it that makes something <feel true>? Over the course of its 2,000 pages, the Urantia Book sketches out the many factors (both material and numinous) that collaborate to help make us responsive to truth.
To start the discussion, over the next few posts I’ll try to set the scene.
What is it that makes something <feel> true? In our “mind arena of choice”, when we choose to believe that something <is true>, what’s really going on?
Let’s discount the gullible (who fall for whatever they’re told) and think instead about the best of our scientists and philosophers, the most inspiring of our poets and religionists. In their private inner world, where they can safely admit that their perception of reality is limited and subjective, what makes it possible for them to commit to a conclusion that something is <real>? And the other side of that coin: how is it possible for equally sincere and sophisticated souls to reach such distinctly different conclusions about what the real thing is?
Throughout history, this real thing has been called (the equivalent of) truth. Our groups and tribes are almost defined by what those in the group believe about truth. But things get slippery when we try to describe our experience of truth. For scientists, truth is somehow tied up with facts. For philosophers, truth is something woven into the frames in which we think. For others, it’s those “feelings too deep for words”. Sadly, each of these groups tend to think that only their view, their own experience of truth, is… well, true.
So we find mystics stuck on their islands of illumination, and materialists dismissing anything they can’t measure.
What causes this great divide between materialist and religionist? Why do the satisfactions that quench the thirst of one leave the other parched? What could possibly explain such specialization and polarization, yet allow both camps to declare, with equal conviction, that their business is “getting to the truth“, and that they “love what they do“? Assuming such motivation and feelings of validity are felt in the mind, we have to wonder: what is it about our minds that enables such response? What makes possible, and so powerful, this intuitive validation? Among psychologists, discussion about such things has grown stale. But this fifth epochal revelation stirs the pot, revealing some surprising things about human mind:
” […]. In the mortal experience the human intellect resides in the rhythmic pulsations of the adjutant mind-spirits and effects its decisions within the arena produced by encircuitment within this ministry. […] ” (1286.5, 117:5.7)
This is new. This is something other than the biochemistry of neurons, and something more than chakras spinning. Human mind as an arena, designed and sustained? Ok, by what?
“The seven adjutant mind-spirits always accompany the Life Carriers to a new planet, but they should not be regarded as entities; they are more like circuits. The spirits of the seven universe adjutants do not function as personalities apart from the universe presence of the Divine Minister; they are in fact a level of consciousness of the Divine Minister and are always subordinate to the action and presence of their creative mother.” (402.1, 36:5.4)
If this is true, then a whole lot of territory has just been opened up for psychologists to explore. But wait, there’s more. This adjutant-induced arena is intended simply to help us make a start, like training wheels on a child’s bike. Once we’ve found our balance, as we progress though “psychic circles” of personality realization, we are weaned quickly onto more substantial stuff. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. To get a clearer picture of what’s going on, let’s take a look behind the scenes, and remind ourselves how our “mind arena of choice” was made.
For us, the story begins about 200 billion years ago (654.3, 57:3.10). Michael and his Beloved, the Divine Minister, have been enjoying their own personal family affair for about 100 billion years, age upon age when it was just these two Paradise pioneers together with their family of splendid sons and angelic daughters. 100 billion years of orderly progress and organization, free of those complications sure to arise once humans are involved. But then one day, Michael announces to his realm — to his beautiful family — that the time had come for him “to be about his father’s work“:
“And then, when such a universe has been so completely organized and so repletely manned, does the Creator Son enter into the Father’s proposal to create mortal man in their divine image.” (359.5, 32:2.8)
“Let us make mortal man…” Easier said than done. Sure, native science can follow how evolution might turn salty fluids into living tissue, but how to tickle up emotion in biochemistry? How to turn emotion into choice, and then heroic deeds? To get this process started, the Divine Minister broadcasts throughout Nebadon a level of her consciousness as a set of circuits, her “adjutant mind spirits”. These then serve as targets for each team of Life Carriers, whose challenge is to evolve animals that can respond — biochemically and psychologically — to this set of seven (differential and complementary) urges, mediated by the adjutants.
See Figure 1: Adjutants_1.jpg (attached)
But the plot thickens. This system of adjutants is not so much a system of mind, but a system that serves like mind; a technique for animating our biochemistry. This is the domain of feelings and urges and pre-programmed subjective response. It’s here that understanding first flickers as superstition, where courage and loyalty take root as tribalism, where zeal appears as our first unlovely response to worship. But once we learn to use wisdom to manage the mix, this system of “differential urges” (401.6, 36:5.2), (402.8, 36:5.11) becomes an integrated ministry, a first interface into the source of mind in Nebadon. This is the coal-face, the cutting edge, where humanity begins to be levered beyond its animal ancestry.
See Figure 2: Adjutants_2.jpg (attached)
What’s missing from this picture? If this were the whole story, then a skeptical materialist would be right to ask: “So what’s different from the Richard Dawkins view? A body built by evolution, animated by a standard set of urges, warmed by a cluster of imaginary friends…?” If this adjutant animation is merely emulating mind to help us make a start, then there’s a puzzle: what is mind, and how does it fit in?
Enter a timely revelation. As humans, much of our thinking has to be backwards, from effect to cause. We use the facts we can measure to invent theories to explain those facts. But measuring material facts won’t help us discover non-material causes. Fortunately, those very non-material causes, those agents involved in creating human mind, are well equipped to explain how it works:
“Human consciousness rests gently upon the electrochemical mechanism below and delicately touches the spirit-morontia energy system above.” (216.6, 111:1.5)
Not only does our “mind arena of choice” react to mind-like urges from below, it can respond to another system, impinging from above. This is something we’d never work out for ourselves, so the fifth epochal revelators were free to sketch some details. From Paper 16 section 6, The Cosmic Mind:
“There exists in all personality associations of the cosmic mind a quality which might be denominated the “reality response.” It is this universal cosmic endowment of will creatures which saves them from becoming helpless victims of the implied a priori assumptions of science, philosophy, and religion. This reality sensitivity of the cosmic mind responds to certain phases of reality just as energy-material responds to gravity. It would be still more correct to say that these supermaterial realities so respond to the mind of the cosmos.” (191.7, 16:6.4)
As free-will persons, apparently part of the deal is access to a more cosmic mind. As the revelators explain, for us pre-fusion humans, this means a first taste of three “cosmic intuitions“:
See Figure 3: Intuitions.jpg (attached)
Ok, this too is new. What’s even more surprising is how these intuitions, these “reality responses”, are made accessible to us. As local source and center of the “Nebadon variant of the Orvonton type of cosmic mind” (102.3, 9:4.3), our local universe mother, the Divine Minister of Salvington, complements Michael’s Spirit of Truth by serving as “Spirit of the Meaning of Facts“; as source of these three intuitions, she enables us not only to recognize (1) the facts of causality, (2) the facts of relative right and wrong, and (3) the facts of spirit values, but also to sense the meaning of all these facts (see 192:1, 16:6.5). As one level of her consciousness (the adjutants) fosters in us a capacity to believe, in her capacity as Spirit of Fact, she makes it possible for us to know, to discriminate fact from figment.
“The cosmic-mind-endowed, Adjuster-indwelt, personal creature possesses innate recognition-realization of energy reality, mind reality, and spirit reality. The will creature is thus equipped to discern the fact, the law, and the love of God. […]” (195.7, 16:9.1)
But what if we fail to discern all three? What if we get hung up on the love of God, and remain blissfully ignorant of his fact (causation) or his law (duty)? What if we take delight in cultivating our first cosmic intuition, revelling in the beauty of nature and the harmonies of mathematics, while completely failing to recognize the source of such beauty and harmony?
” […]. Matter-energy is recognized by the mathematical logic of the senses; mind-reason intuitively knows its moral duty; spirit-faith (worship) is the religion of the reality of spiritual experience. These three basic factors in reflective thinking may be unified and co-ordinated in personality development, or they may become disproportionate and virtually unrelated in their respective functions. But when they become unified, […]” (192.6, 16:6.10)
“… disproportionate and virtually unrelated …“. Reminds me of how baby kangaroos begin: as near helpless embryos, they crawl from the birth canal into their mother’s pouch, then fiercely attach to the first teat they find. Not unlike us? As humans, we’re equally embryonic, and our shift into our soul is not unlike that climb from birth canal to pouch. So what are the teats to which we so fiercely attach? An intuition about what’s real?
See Figure 4: Specialists.jpg (attached)
Imagine someone who “takes delight in cultivating” the third cosmic intuition, utterly satisfied by the teat they’ve found (“the reverential and worshipful form of the cosmic discrimination” (192.4, 16:6.8), yet who remains ignorant of fact and law. Or picture Richard Dawkins, sucking on the teat of “the mathematical form of the cosmic discrimination” (192.2, 16:6.6), taking delight in cultivating the first cosmic intuition, fiercely determined to believe he’s found all there is to find.
Clearly, such one-eyed specialisation is just an imbalance and should not be hard to fix. But looking at the bigger picture, once we accept that such “reality response” is fostered by the Divine Minister, the next question is why? Why is it important that we be given access to, and learn to wield, the three cosmic discriminations?
“Let us make mortal man in our own image.” (78.3, 110.7), (6:5.7, 10:3.1)
As the Urantia Book explains, this “making” of us requires Adjusters and souls. The making of souls requires choice. And the making of choice requires? A mind in which to choose. From paper 111:
“Though the work of Adjusters is spiritual in nature, they must, perforce, do all their work upon an intellectual foundation. Mind is the human soil from which the spirit Monitor must evolve the morontia soul…” (1216.2, 111:1.1)
And the punch-line,
” […]. Concerning insight, the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose.” (2094.9, 196:3.10)
See Figure 5: Choice.jpg (attached)
As humans it’s our business to choose. Which makes sense, because it’s our personal and wilful choices that allow our Adjuster to weave for us a soul. But for us to make free-will, soul-worthy choices, we need some sort of intuition about value and validity; some way to sense what’s real; some way to evaluate and discriminate “things, meanings and values”. Having learned of the cosmic intuitions, we can see how the necessary reality responses are fostered by the Holy Spirit — as Spirit of the Meaning of Facts. But what do these intuitions of validity have to do with <truth>? And in particular, the Spirit of Truth:
“This bestowed Comforter is the spiritual force which ever draws all truth seekers towards Him who is the personification of truth in the local universe.” (377.9, 34:4.5)
The personification of truth in the local universe. For most of us, this sort of truth is new. It’s not philosophical or mathematical, it’s living, personal, and seeks relationship. It’s the truth made accessible by the presence of Michael and Dad within,
“Truth is made accessible to the wisdom-endowed individual by the bestowal on such a mind of the spirits of the Father and the Sons, the Thought Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth.” (1111.8, 101:6.4)
And what about the truth in this most wonderful and unforgettable paragraph:
“Faith most willingly carries reason along as far as reason can go and then goes on with wisdom to the full philosophic limit; and then it dares to launch out upon the limitless and never-ending universe journey in the sole company of TRUTH.” (1141.5, 103:9.7)
Notice, it’s not faith, but the person wielding faith, that chooses to dare to launch. This kind of <TRUTH> lives beyond that “full philosophic limit“. So how does this relate to those more familiar species of truth which motivate the work of physicists, philosophers and poets? And what about this:
“Increasingly throughout the morontia progression the assurance of truth replaces the assurance of faith. When you are finally mustered into the actual spirit world, then will the assurances of pure spirit insight operate in the place of faith and truth or, rather, in conjunction with, and superimposed upon, these former techniques of personality assurance.” (1111.4, 101:5.14)
Truth as “a technique of personality assurance”? So I’m thinking… while the personality assurance made accessible by the Father/Son validates our reality as persons in the personality circuit, it’s this “resonance” with cosmic intuitions (made accessible by Mum) that enables us — as persons — to discover, recognize, interpret and choose.
So here’s the question: is this numinous validation, these “intuitive realizations of validity“, what reflective humans have historically interpreted as truth? If so, should we dismiss such feelingly experienced validation as something less than truth? Or should we help to reveal the good news about another species of truth, a truth that’s personal and life-giving, a distinct and unexpected truth now made accessible by the Spirit of that Truth, the truth Caligastia and Adam were commissioned to plant as the essential motivation in all human cultures: that we are our Father’s children ?
Everyone will have their own response to the Urantia Book. For me, it simply offers a bigger frame in which to think; and within this bigger frame, scientists can see the material universe in context, and mystics can understand their experiences in a way that they can share. Let’s not forget, revelation is all about bridging the gulf back to territory evolution has attained.
Looking forward to exploring this more deeply
I’d like to go on record as declaring that neither the Spirit of Fact, or the Spirit of Meanings and Facts, exist. There is no such being. The concept is a fabrication, a myth. Despite all your efforts, you will never find anything in the Urantia Book that even implies such a fallacy.
The next thing I’d like to go on record declaring is that the reality recognition responses of the cosmic mind are not about facts. All three responses have to do with the discernment of REALITY, not facts. Fact and reality are not synonyms. Causality is a reality discernment of the difference between facts and non-facts. Duty is a reality discernment of the difference between right and wrong. Worship is a reality discernment of the difference between the presence and absence of spirit value. When it comes to progress, the evolutionary mind requires contrasts; and as it turns out, the greater the contrast the greater the function of the cosmic mind. The more real something is, the more strongly it reacts to the cosmic mind, thereby giving guidance to a mind and personality struggling to discover and recognize reality as part of its psychic/cosmic circle progression.
Facts are part of the material intellect, not the soul. Meanings are experienced within the soul by the personality and then expressed by the personality using the material intellect. The Holy Spirit provides the supermind arena in which reality recognition takes place; she is the source of the soul’s intellect the realm where discovery and recognition take place. But the interpretation of meaning is not her job. Meanings are derived from a personality relationship with the Spirit of Truth and Adjuster. Meanings have to do with philosophy and the Spirit of Truth provides the soul’s philosophy. When meanings are interpreted by personality in the soul, and identified as something of value, something the soul is desirous of possessing as its own personal religious experience, and if the desire of the soul and the desire of the Adjuster are one, those meanings are spiritized by the Adjuster and made ready for action by the Spirit of Truth. Those meanings are then expressed in the life of the personality as the living fruit of the spirit. FACTS CANNOT BE LIVING.
Furthermore, just because a mind is conscious of all three levels of cosmic reality does not mean that it is balanced. It is rare to find a mind that only functions on one level of reality. Even a devoted materialist recognizes the reality of morality and value. The experience of living never fails to develop all three cosmic reality recognition responses. The problem is the lack of integration, coordination and unification of all three aspects of reality at the soul level which then results in the misapplication of meaning by the personality. And incidentally, lack of unification always results in mental conflict and some level of unhappiness. Being unreal and untrue, such a minded personality has difficulty acting out its disharmonious misconceptions of reality. There is no fruit.
Awesome topic….just discovered it!! I am very interested in the confirmation of truths, the discovery of meanings, and the recognition of reality and how the mind and personality gifts connect to all 3 of the great spirits of Mother, Father, and Son. I know there is only one reality. But the experience within that reality is so differentially unique. And truth seems so fluid or changeable by the perception of each. And so progressive. It’s as though reality is the elephant that must be consumed one bite at a time and each bite changes the perception of the reality….but not the reality itself.
How are these “intuitive realizations of validity” discovered…..and confirmed? If truth is not true until lived, it takes more then than the realization and the confirmation of truths to become true to the individual mind? How does experience in living truth affect this cause and effect relationship. Is validated discernment itself progress?
So here’s the question: is this numinous validation, these “intuitive realizations of validity“, what reflective humans have historically interpreted as truth?
Nice presentation! I’ll think about it.
BonitaParticipantBradly wrote: How are these “intuitive realizations of validity” discovered…..and confirmed?
I’ve explained this many times in the past, but since this is Nigel’s thread, I think he should explain it. While you wait, here are some quotes to ponder which might answer your question.
12:9.1 Every phase of personality experience on every successive level of universe progression swarms with clues to the discovery of alluring personal realities.
14:5.10 Love of adventure, curiosity, and dread of monotony – these traits inherent in evolving human nature – were not put there just to aggravate and annoy you during your short sojourn on earth, but rather to suggest to you that death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery.
14:5.11 Curiosity – the spirit of investigation, the urge of discovery, the drive of exploration – is a part of the inborn and divine endowment of evolutionary space creatures. These natural impulses were not given you merely to be frustrated and repressed.
42:12.1-8 Mind always reaches out towards: 1. Creation of material mechanisms. 2. Discovery of hidden mysteries. 3. Exploration of remote situations. 4. Formulation of mental systems. 5. Attainment of wisdom goals. 6. Achievement of spirit levels. 7. The accomplishment of divine destinies – supreme, ultimate, and absolute.
(646.7) 56:10.6 1. Curiosity. Hunger for harmony and thirst for beauty. Persistent attempts to discover new levels of harmonious cosmic relationships
101:1.4 Religion lives and prospers, then, not by sight and feeling, but rather by faith and insight. It consists not in the discovery of new facts or in the finding of a unique experience, but rather in the discovery of new and spiritual meanings in facts already well known to mankind.
MaraParticipant101:6:4 [#3]The evolutionary type of knowledge is but the accumulation of protoplasmic memory material; this is the most primitive form of creature consciousness. Wisdom embraces the ideas formulated from protoplasmic memory in process of association and recombination, and such phenomena differentiate human mind from mere animal mind. Animals have knowledge, but only man possesses wisdom capacity. Truth is made accessible to the wisdom-endowed individual by the bestowal on such a mind of the spirits of the Father and the Sons, the Thought Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth.The SoT works as one with the presence of the spirit of the Divine Minister forming a dual spirit liaison to teach truth and to spiritually enlighten men. All three spirits – TA. SoT and HS, lead people forward to the degree of the person’s capacity for receptivity, if the person so chooses.34:5:4 [#2]When mind is thus endowed with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it possesses the capacity for (consciously or unconsciously) choosing the spiritual presence of the Universal Father — the Thought Adjuster. But it is not until a bestowal Son has liberated the Spirit of Truth for planetary ministry to all mortals that all normal minds are automatically prepared for the reception of the Thought Adjusters. The Spirit of Truth works as one with the presence of the spirit of the Divine Minister. This dual spirit liaison hovers over the worlds, seeking to teach truth and to spiritually enlighten the minds of men, to inspire the souls of the creatures of the ascending races, and to lead the peoples dwelling on the evolutionary planets ever towards their Paradise goal of divine destiny.
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