A Passage Of Time

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9vFE1ivVQ0[/youtube]

Red Gulch Ridge

From my deck, I look out over the ridge of Red Gulch, a little hogback belonging to the Lyons formation, a sturdy sedimentary ridge layed down more than three hundred million years ago. It is part of a living geological textbook, written on a grandiose scale of time and place.  The molecules of dust we occasionally wipe off our furniture were once alive.

When I’m avoiding some more important obligation, I like to trip down the internet tubes to discover who’s out there. Yesterday I tumbled into a blog called Brazen Beyond Belief, and being fond of alliterations, I poked around. BBB shorter, an atheist site looking to debate why they think Christianity is a “really, REALLY bad idea.”  I read only a little so can’t really tell if they just really love to debate, or are actually searching for the meaning of things;  you know some people just like to be challenged for the hell of it.  But exploring meaningful answers to who you are, what you are, and why you exist is ultimately a much more fulfilling exercise, even if it seems like you get nowhere.  But. There’s still no compelling reason to debate anything with atheists, because they simply cannot fathom that religion cannot be found or understood from the outside.

That means the only assurance anyone can have of a personal God must come from your own insight as to your belief in, and experience with, things spiritual. For those not really sure of God, there’s no possible argument that could ever be truly convincing.  And it’s almost a certainly that arguing about it wont help either party produce their own religious experience.

True religion then— not the dogma of some church— is an insight into reality; the faith-child of the moral consciousness;  not a mere intellectual assent to any body of dogmatic doctrines, what many, many Christians settle for, and what atheists rightly take issue with.  True religion always consists in the personal experience of the Indwelling Spirit itself bearing witness with our spirit that we are all the children of a personal Creator.

Religion is not in theologic propositions, but in spiritual insight— and the subsequent sublimity of the soul’s trust.  If you haven’t had what you recognize as a personal spiritual experience, the religious experience of others— valid or false— isn’t going to matter to you, or help you very much.

That shouldn’t be the least bit discouraging.  In fact, you might want to studiously avoid the religious experience of many so-called religious leaders at the outset of your quest for answers.  Surprise; every human being defines religion in the terms of their own experience of the divine impulses they may or may not be listening to, or understand fully. Following some one else’s religious experiences instead of discovering and following your own is responsible for practically all of the intransigent problems of organized religion.

That’s not meant to imply that all religions and their teaching are wrong;  it’s to say that no two human beings can similarly interpret the leadings and urges of the spirit within them, because personality is unique.  Absolutely unique. Sure, some “Catholics,” for example, can get together and experience some spiritual unity around their shared dogmas, but they will never have true philosophic uniformity.  That’s the main reason there are hundreds and hundreds upon more hundreds of different definitions of religion.

In the broad sweep of geologic time, two thousand years is an instant.  When the Son of God walked the earth, taught his truth, the world looked much the same. Men and women were called upon, then as now, to use the oars of faith to move along the stream of time, gathering the courage and wisdom of this life to make decisions which would carry them over to the other side of life. Some of them look out and see a rocky geological formation;  some, through insight, discover the handiwork of the infinite.

How fortunate the man with none;  no courage. No honesty. No wisdom. No insight. All intangible, unprovable stuff;  the sure pathway to trouble.

6 Comments

  1. Aloha Suzan,
    Are you sure you wanna open that can of amoeba-like worms?
    Life only comes from life; not inanimate slime, so “mystical chemical processes” can’t be the answer:
    “Scientific materialism has gone bankrupt when it persists, in the face of each recurring universe phenomenon, in refunding its current objections by referring what is admittedly higher back into that which is admittedly lower. Consistency demands the recognition of the activities of a purposive Creator.” The UB

  2. Hi Mary,

    We’re going to have to come up with an award for you, my dear. You’re the first visitor to USojo, as far as we know, to take it upon themselves to read them some UB; and you chose the Forward! —Absolutely some of the toughest sledding on the planet, literature-wise, and in the UB, too.

    But a clarification: The Urantia Book is not The Urantian Sojourn, and vise-versa. The Sojourn is just the name of this blog; the Book is a thing unto itself; we just read it, and love it, and recognize it as the name of our planet, hence, “Urantian sojourn,” our time here on the crazy World of the Cross.

    And now a second award for you figuring out on your own that Christianity doesn’t own Jesus! We’re mightily impressed, I can tell you, and extend a helping hand to you publicly and privately with your study of the Book; You Rock, girlfriend!

  3. Avatar mary b

    I just finished reading the forward to The Urantian Sojourn. I had a difficult time, most likely because I never have time with the computer without constant interruptions.

    I live here in the bible belt, where probably the biggest “Christian” hypocrites live. The place with the biggest mega chuches anywhere. I used to be a limo driver here, and a lot of my clients were these so-called preachers, picking them up from private airports from their private planes and bringing them either to the teevee studio to beg money from people on fixed incomes, or to their multi-million dollar homes. I never really got into organized religion in the first place but, after seeing how they live and treat other people, I can say that I do not like these phonies. And phony is being polite.

    I do believe in Jesus Christ. I have my own relationship with our Lord. I do not believe that you need a church to be Christian.
    But I will say, after reading the forward to your book, then onward, I think I’m at where it is what does Jesus believe, Thank you. Your book is helping me to try and understand things that I’ve been wrestling with for a long time now. And I haven’t even gotten very far.

    So, there you go. My rant on organized religion.

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