GROPING THE APOCALYPSE

Herr TwitlerHERR TWITLER:  NO MERCY

White people bought this bullshit,
but we all get to pay for it.

 

The greatest book of all time,* the  “Art Of The Deal,” has no advice to help us with the rapidly mutating calamity of the choosing of a mentally ill narcissist to play president.  President-elect Trump has already resumed his mini-rants on Twittit™, even as the dolts who obstructed the Obama presidency for two entire terms are squealing at Trump protesters to “get over it.”  They don’t yet realize or care that the national psyche has only begun to feel the consequences of a concussion that could prove fatal to our democracy.

EUGENE ROBINSON

The people chose Hillary Clinton. But it’s the electoral vote that counts, not the popular vote, so Donald Trump will be president. And no, I’m not over it.

No one should be over it. No one should pretend that Trump will be a normal president. No one should forget the bigotry and racism of his campaign, the naked appeals to white grievance, the stigmatizing of Mexicans and Muslims. No one should forget the jaw-dropping ignorance he showed about government policy both foreign and domestic. No one should forget the vile misogyny. No one should forget the mendacity, the vulgarity, the ugliness, the insanity. None of this should ever be normalized in our politics.

The big protests that have followed Trump’s election should be no surprise. You can’t spend all those months trashing our nation’s values and then expect everyone to join you in a group hug. Trump made the bed in which he now must lie.

If a normal Republican had been elected, I could say the polite and socially acceptable thing, something like “I didn’t support So-and-So, but he will be my president, too, and I wish him success.” But I cannot wish Trump success in rounding up and deporting millions of people or banning Muslims from entering the country or reinstituting torture as an instrument of U.S. policy. In these and other divisive, cruel, unwise initiatives, I wish him failure.
(my emphasis)

But not to worry, mon.  Erry ting goann be awwiet.  Perhaps.  In a few dozen decades.

Meanwhile.  The citizens (not the corporations) of most of the great powers are taxed, regulated, and controlled almost oppressively.  Economic injustice is out of control.  And the curtailment of individual liberties promises to continue around the world.  Many Americans, and indeed, many of the world’s citizens are increasingly frightened and apprehensive about their future in Trump World.  The fear and anger that drove a majority of whites in the U.S. to take a blunt instrument to their craniums just to “shake things up,” will now begin paying the price for their paroxysm of vengeance.

Part of that unforeseen price is going to be the painful ruination of our democracy, at the stunted little hands of a B-grade reality teevee star, tweeting his tiny tantrums from the midnight oval office.

THE DANGERS OF DEMOCRACY
Many Americans seem to have the notion that “democracy” is baked into our reality like cherries are in a pie.  But our democracy is a product of civilization, not of organic evolution, and that makes it both fragile and volatile. There are several clear dangers that threaten democracy;  here they are:

Glorification of mediocrity.  Check.  Do you really need examples? 

Choice of base and ignorant rulers.  Check.  Trump isn’t the first or the worst; (yet).  George Bush set a new low; now the question is how low can we go.

Failure to recognize the basic facts of social evolution.  Check.  Yes, we’re talking about economic injustice, and the failure to recognize and achieve human brotherhood. 

Danger of universal suffrage in the hands of uneducated and indolent majorities.  Check.  Nothing in our history makes this point like our most recent presidential election.

Slavery to public opinion.  (The majority is not always right.)  Check.  We have made a fetish of democracy, through the exaltation of the common man’s ideas which we collectively call “public opinion.”  One man’s opinion, by itself, is not regarded as worth much. But when many men are collectively functioning as a democracy, this same mediocre judgment is held to be the arbiter of justice and the standard of righteousness.

Education of public opinion is still the only safe and true method of accelerating our civilization.  Force is only temporary.  Public opinion, the mores, is the elemental energy in social evolution, but it must be nonviolent in expression.  Civilized government arrived when public opinion was clothed with the power of personal franchise.  Now more than ever, we know that elections may not always decide things rightly; they just happen to represent the right way even to do a wrong thing.  

WHO WOULD JESUS BOMB
Meanwhile, some free advice.  All you earnest Evangenitals¹ should answer this question:  Who should Jesus “bomb the hell out of”  first?  Maybe you reflexively thought to yourself, “Jesus wouldn’t bomb anybody.”  But hold that thought.

After this election, it’s safe to say that the order of progressive evolution is occasionally subjected to sudden and unexpected changes in both the material and the spiritual worlds.

. . .no state is going to transcend the moral values of its citizenry as exemplified in their chosen leaders. . .

Jesus alluded to a “phase of the kingdom” in the future, and did, on numerous occasions, intimate that such an event might appear as a part of a world crisis.  What sort of change is hard to speculate;  but how about a nuclear exchange over. . .   a hand gesture?  Just a guess.  

Our political or administrative form of a government is actually of little consequence, provided it affords the people with the essentials of civil progress:  liberty, security, education, and social coordination.  It’s not so much what a nation is, as what it does that determines the course of social evolution.  But no state is going to transcend the moral values of its citizenry as exemplified in their chosen leaders.  Ignorance and selfishness will insure the downfall of even the highest type of government.  Bombs away.

WHITE NATIONALISM
As much as we regret it — and we must — America’s white national egotism has been essential to our social survival.  The chosen people doctrine was a prime factor in building the nation.  But our nation will never attain ideal levels of functioning until every form of intolerance is mastered;  it is inimical to human progress. 

How should our nation — even the world — function ideally in the 21st century?  There are at least three powerful and all-encompassing drives we can use to set out upon a progressively ideal course:

1. Intelligent patriotism — based on wise ideals.

2. Love — derived from the realization of human brotherhood.

3. Cosmic insight — interpreted in terms of planetary facts, needs, and goals.

Un-American measures such as a Muslim registry is certainly not the answer;  it would quickly make matters horrendously worse.  Intolerance— fear and hatred of the other— is always best combated through a wise combination of science, commerce, play, and real religion.  But only a truly ethical consciousness can unmask the immorality of human intolerance.  What’s your honest estimate of the number of Trump supporters the poorly educated with a “truly ethical consciousness”?   Only a moral conscience will condemn the evils of national envy and racial jealousy.  Only truly moral beings will ever seek for that spiritual insight which is essential to living the golden rule.

THE PROGRESSIVE AGENDA
Okay then.  Here are a dozen bullet points true progressives should be willing and able to agree on and work to implement.  No pressure.

1. Preservation of individual liberties.

2. Protection of the home.

3. Promotion of economic security.

4. Prevention of disease.

5. Compulsory education.

6. Compulsory employment.

7. Profitable utilization of leisure.

8. Care of the unfortunate.

9. Race improvement.

10. Promotion of science and art.

11. Promotion of philosophy — wisdom.

12. Augmentation of cosmic insight — spirituality.

SO ARE WE DOOMED?
I hear you.  You’re exhausted, confused, outraged, stuck in traffic, etc., and already don’t have enough time or means to take care of your essentials.  Gee times are tough.  And let’s be honest, looks like they’re going to get exponentially tougher, at least short term;  even after the impeachment.

But yes, there was number nine up there:  Race “improvement.”  And yes you heard right, Trump thinks he has superior genes.  Whatever he has, he is absolutely the worst spokesperson for eugenics you could possibly find.   Huff-Po put it like this:

This May Be The Most Horrible Thing That Donald Trump Believes


Most unfortunate.  Do you believe in evolution?  Yes?  Then you probably know that simple farmers have known for centuries that the “crossbreeding” of plants and animals could favor more desirable traits; but when it comes to humans, animal-origin humans— eugenics becomes evil, because, Hitler!  Yes, imagine it:  there’s a wrong way to do a right thing!
But.  If you’ve never actually met an amoral criminal-type who would just as soon cut your throat as bomb a children’s hospital, I can understand some of your apprehension.  But after this election??

It’s time you got over it.

* LOL;  NO.

¹ Christian nutballs

 

LEONARD COHEN: HERE IT IS

Leonard Cohen — I'm your man

Here It Is

Leonard Norman Cohen

Here it is
Here it is
Here it is
Here it is
Here is your crown
And your seal and rings;
And here is your love
For all things.

Here is your cart,
Your cardboard and piss;
And here is your love
For all of this.

May everyone live,
May everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And my love, Goodbye.

Here it is
Here it is

Here is your wine,
And your drunken fall;
And here is your love.
Your love for it all.

Here is your sickness.
Your bed and your pan;
And here is your love
For the woman, the man.

May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And, my love, Goodbye.

Here it is
Here it is

And here is the night,
The night has begun;
And here is your death
In the heart of your son.

And here is the dawn,
(’til death do us part);
And here is your death,
In your daughter’s heart.

May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And, my love, Goodbye.

And may everyone live,
May everyone die
Hello, my love,
And, my love, Goodbye.

Here it is
Here it is

And here you are hurried,
And here you are gone;
And here is the love,
It’s all built upon.

Here is your cross,
Your nails and your hill;
And here is the love,
That lists where it will

May everyone live,
And may everyone die.
Hello, my love,
And my love, Goodbye.

And may everyone live,
May everyone die
Hello, my love,
And, my love, Goodbye.

Here it is
Here it is
Here it is

Here it is
Here it is
Here it is

• • •

“I intend to live forever.”
—Leonard Cohen
September 21, 1934  —  November 7, 2016

The Real Burial And Resurrection Of Jesus

The Resurrection Tomb of Jesus

“All five of the women then sat down on the stone near the entrance and talked over the situation. It had not yet occurred to them that the resurrection of Jesus had already happened.  They had been by themselves over the Sabbath, and they conjectured that the body had been moved to another resting place.  But when they pondered such a solution of their dilemma, they were at a loss to account for the orderly arrangement of the grave cloths; how could the body have been removed since the very bandages in which it was wrapped were left in position and apparently intact on the burial shelf ?”

 

Perhaps the most inspiring account in The Urantia Papers is the detailed explanation of what actually occurred in the final days of Jesus of Nazareth;  especially the events in, and around his burial tomb on Good Friday, and beyond.  The Christian belief in the Resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the “empty tomb.”  But this is not the truth of the resurrection.  Anyone who has sought understanding of the empty tomb and Christianity’s subsequent attempts to explain it, will find profound insight in reading the full account.  Here we hope to whet your appetite for the adventure with the following excerpts:

The Jews did not really bury their dead; they actually embalmed them. Joseph and Nicodemus had brought with them large quantities of myrrh and aloes, and they now wrapped the body with bandages[¹] saturated with these solutions. When the embalming was completed, they tied a napkin about the face, wrapped the body in a linen sheet, and reverently placed it on a shelf in the tomb.

After placing the body in the tomb, the centurion signaled for his soldiers to help roll the doorstone up before the entrance to the tomb. The soldiers then departed for Gehenna with the bodies of the thieves while the others returned to Jerusalem, in sorrow, to observe the Passover feast according to the laws of Moses.

There was considerable hurry and haste about the burial of Jesus because this was preparation day and the Sabbath was drawing on apace. The men hurried back to the city, but the women lingered near the tomb until it was very dark.

While all this was going on, the women were hiding near at hand so that they saw it all and observed where the Master had been laid. They thus secreted themselves because it was not permissible for women to associate with men at such a time. These women did not think Jesus had been properly prepared for burial, and they agreed among themselves to go back to the home of Joseph, rest over the Sabbath, make ready spices and ointments, and return on Sunday morning properly to prepare the Master’s body for the death rest. The women who thus tarried by the tomb on this Friday evening were: Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Clopas, Martha another sister of Jesus’ mother, and Rebecca of Sepphoris.

Aside from David Zebedee and Joseph of Arimathea, very few of Jesus’ disciples really believed or understood that he was due to arise from the tomb on the third day.

. . .

At two forty-five Sunday morning, the Paradise incarnation commission, consisting of seven unidentified Paradise personalities, arrived on the scene and immediately deployed themselves about the tomb. At ten minutes before three, intense vibrations of commingled material and morontia³ activities began to issue from Joseph’s new tomb, and at two minutes past three o’clock, this Sunday morning, April 9, A.D. 30, the resurrected morontia form and personality of Jesus of Nazareth came forth from the tomb.

After the resurrected Jesus emerged from his burial tomb, the body of flesh in which he had lived and wrought on earth for almost thirty-six years was still lying there in the sepulchre niche, undisturbed and wrapped in the linen sheet, just as it had been laid to rest by Joseph and his associates on Friday afternoon. Neither was the stone before the entrance of the tomb in any way disturbed; the seal of Pilate was still unbroken; the soldiers were still on guard. The temple guards had been on continuous duty; the Roman guard had been changed at midnight. None of these watchers suspected that the object of their vigil had risen to a new and higher form of existence, and that the body which they were guarding was now a discarded outer covering which had no further connection with the delivered and resurrected morontia personality of Jesus.

Mankind is slow to perceive that, in all that is personal, matter is the skeleton of morontia, and that both are the reflected shadow of enduring spirit reality.  How long before you will regard time as the moving image of eternity and space as the fleeting shadow of Paradise realities?

As far as we can judge, no creature of this universe nor any personality from another universe had anything to do with this morontia resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. On Friday he laid down his life as a mortal of the realm; on Sunday morning he took it up again as a morontia being of the system of Satania in Norlatiadek. There is much about the resurrection of Jesus which we do not understand. But we know that it occurred as we have stated and at about the time indicated. We can also record that all known phenomena associated with this mortal transit, or morontia resurrection, occurred right there in Joseph’s new tomb, where the mortal material remains of Jesus lay wrapped in burial cloths.

We know that no creature of the local universe participated in this morontia awakening. We perceived the seven personalities of Paradise surround the tomb, but we did not see them do anything in connection with the Master’s awakening.  Just as soon as Jesus appeared beside Gabriel, just above the tomb, the seven personalities from Paradise signalized their intention of immediate departure for Uversa.
Let us forever clarify the concept of the resurrection of Jesus by making the following statements:

1. His material or physical body was not a part of the resurrected personality.  When Jesus came forth from the tomb, his body of flesh remained undisturbed in the sepulchre. He emerged from the burial tomb without moving the stones before the entrance and without disturbing the seals of Pilate.

2. He did not emerge from the tomb as a spirit nor as Michael of Nebadon;  he did not appear in the form of the Creator Sovereign, such as he had before his incarnation in the likeness of mortal flesh on Urantia.

3. He did come forth from this tomb of Joseph in the very likeness of the morontia personalities of those who, as resurrected morontia ascendant beings, emerge from the resurrection halls of the first mansion world of this local system of Satania. And the presence of the Michael memorial in the center of the vast court of the resurrection halls of mansonia number one leads us to conjecture that the Master’s resurrection on Urantia was in some way fostered on this, the first of the system mansion worlds.

The first act of Jesus on arising from the tomb was to greet Gabriel and instruct him to continue in executive charge of universe affairs under Immanuel, and then he directed the chief of the Melchizedeks to convey his brotherly greetings to Immanuel. He thereupon asked the Most High of Edentia for the certification of the Ancients of Days as to his mortal transit; and turning to the assembled morontia groups of the seven mansion worlds, here gathered together to greet and welcome their Creator as a creature of their order, Jesus spoke the first words of the postmortal career. Said the morontia Jesus: “Having finished my life in the flesh, I would tarry here for a short time in transition form that I may more fully know the life of my ascendant creatures and further reveal the will of my Father in Paradise.”

After Jesus had spoken, he signaled to the Personalized Adjuster, and all universe intelligences who had been assembled on Urantia to witness the resurrection were immediately dispatched to their respective universe assignments. Jesus now began the contacts of the morontia level, being introduced, as a creature, to the requirements of the life he had chosen to live for a short time on Urantia. This initiation into the morontia world required more than an hour of earth time and was twice interrupted by his desire to communicate with his former associates in the flesh as they came out from Jerusalem wonderingly to peer into the empty tomb to discover what they considered evidence of his resurrection.

Now is the mortal transit of Jesus— the morontia resurrection of the Son of Man–completed. The transitory experience of the Master as a personality midway between the material and the spiritual has begun. And he has done all this through power inherent within himself; no personality has rendered him any assistance. He now lives as Jesus of morontia, and as he begins this morontia life, the material body of his flesh lies there undisturbed in the tomb. The soldiers are still on guard, and the seal of the governor about the rocks has not yet been broken.

THE MATERIAL BODY OF JESUS
At ten minutes past three o’clock, as the resurrected Jesus fraternized with the assembled morontia personalities from the seven mansion worlds of Satania, the chief of archangels the angels of the resurrection approached Gabriel and asked for the mortal body of Jesus. Said the chief of the archangels: “We may not participate in the morontia resurrection of the bestowal experience of Michael our sovereign, but we would have his mortal remains put in our custody for immediate  dissolution. We do not propose to employ our technique of dematerialization; we merely wish to invoke the process of accelerated time. It is enough that we have seen the Sovereign live and die on Urantia; the hosts of heaven would be spared the memory of enduring the sight of the slow decay of the human form of the Creator and Upholder of a universe. In the name of the celestial  intelligences of all Nebadon, I ask for a mandate giving me the custody of the mortal body of Jesus of Nazareth and empowering us to proceed with its immediate dissolution.”

And when Gabriel had conferred with the senior Most High of Edentia, the archangel spokesman for the celestial hosts was given permission to make such disposition of the physical remains of Jesus as he might determine.  After the chief of archangels had been granted this request, he summoned to his assistance many of his fellows, together with a numerous host of the representatives of all orders of celestial personalities, and then, with the aid of the Urantia midwayers, proceeded to take possession of Jesus’ physical body.

This body of death was a purely material creation; it was physical and literal;  it could not be removed from the tomb as the morontia form of the resurrection had been able to escape the sealed sepulchre. By the aid of certain morontia auxiliary personalities, the morontia form can be made at one time as of the spirit so that it can become indifferent to ordinary matter, while at another time it can become discernible and contactable to material beings, such as the mortals of the realm.

As they made ready to remove the body of Jesus from the tomb preparatory to according it the dignified and reverent disposal of near-instantaneous dissolution, it was assigned the secondary Urantia midwayers to roll away the stones from the entrance of the tomb. The larger of these two stones was a huge circular affair, much like a millstone, and it moved in a groove chiseled out of the rock, so that it could be rolled back and forth to open or close the tomb. When the watching Jewish guards and the Roman soldiers, in the dim light of the morning, saw this huge stone begin to roll away from the entrance of the tomb, apparently of its own accord–without any visible means to account for such motion— they were seized with fear and panic, and they fled in haste from the scene. The Jews fled to their homes, afterward going back to report these doings to their captain at the temple.  The Romans fled to the fortress of Antonia and reported what they had seen to the centurion as soon as he arrived on duty.

The Jewish leaders began the sordid business of supposedly getting rid of Jesus by offering bribes to the traitorous Judas, and now, when confronted with this embarrassing situation, instead of thinking of punishing the guards who deserted their post, they resorted to bribing these guards and the Roman soldiers.

They paid each of these twenty men a sum of money and instructed them to say to all: “While we slept during the nighttime, his disciples came upon us and took away the body.” And the Jewish leaders made solemn promises to the soldiers to defend them before Pilate in case it should ever come to the governor’s knowledge that they had accepted a bribe.

The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the “empty tomb.” It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.

The tomb of Joseph was empty, not because the body of Jesus had been rehabilitated or resurrected, but because the celestial hosts had been granted their request to afford it a special and unique dissolution, a return of the “dust to dust,” without the intervention of the delays of time and without the operation of the ordinary and visible processes of mortal decay and material corruption.

The mortal remains of Jesus underwent the same natural process of elemental disintegration as characterizes all human bodies on earth except that, in point of time, this natural mode of dissolution was greatly accelerated, hastened to that point where it became well-nigh instantaneous.

The true evidences of the resurrection of Michael are spiritual in nature, albeit this teaching is corroborated by the testimony of many mortals of the realm who met, recognized, and communed with the resurrected morontia Master. He became a part of the personal experience of almost one thousand human beings before he finally took leave of Urantia.

We are not able fully to explain just what happened to Jesus of Nazareth during this period of a day and a half when he was supposed to be resting in Joseph’s new tomb.  Apparently he died the same natural death on the cross as would any other mortal in the same circumstances.  We heard him say, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”  We do not fully understand the meaning of such a statement inasmuch as his Thought Adjuster² had long since been personalized and so maintained an existence apart from Jesus’ mortal being.

. . .
In the vast court of the resurrection halls of the first mansion world of Satania, there may now be observed a magnificent material-morontia structure known as the “Michael Memorial,” now bearing the seal of Gabriel. This memorial was created shortly after Michael departed from this world, and it bears this inscription: “In commemoration of the mortal transit of Jesus of Nazareth on Urantia.”
And there is much other evidence which suggests that not all of the personality of Jesus was asleep and unconscious during this time of apparent physical death.

Earnest students of The Urantia Papers quickly learn that we mortals are but taking the first step on the eternal journey, and that we must advance a long way before we will progress by “sight” and “material” assurance;  for worlds to come we will be dependent upon faith and revelation in dealing with the many mysteries that stretch out before us now, and remain to be discovered in the eternal future.  On this day of celebration of one of the greatest of those mysteries, we wish you all a foretaste of the joy which passes all understanding.

•  •  •

¹Greek othonion (diminutive of othone) refers to a linen cloth or bandage used in preparing a corpse for burial (John 19:40; 20:5-7).

According to biblical and shroud scholar Kim Dreisbach:  In Jn. 19:40, the Fourth Gospeller uses the word othonia [Gk.] (plural) to describe the linen cloths used in the Burial. Othonia, a word of uncertain meaning, but probably best translated as a generic plural for grave clothes. The same word is used by Luke or his scribe in Lk.24:12 what had previously been described as the sindon in Lk. 23:53. Note: vs. l2 (But Peter rose and ran to the tomb, stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths (plural) by themselves; and he went home wondering what happened.) does not appear in the most ancient manuscripts, but is added by later ancient authorities.

²The Thought Adjuster is a term The Urantia Papers use to describe the Indwelling Spirit of God in man:

It is a mystery that God is a highly personal self-conscious being with residential headquarters, and at the same time personally present in such a vast universe and personally in contact with such a well-nigh infinite number of beings.  That such a phenomenon is a mystery beyond human comprehension should not in the least lessen your faith.  Do not allow the magnitude of the infinity, the immensity of the eternity, and the grandeur and glory of the matchless character of God to overawe, stagger, or discourage you;  for the Father is not very far from any one of you;  he dwells within you, and in him do we all literally move, actually live, and veritably have our being.

³ The term “morontia” is unique to The Urantia Papers;  it refers to the level of universe reality between the material and the spiritual. It may also refer to ascendant mortal creatures— you and me— or the transition worlds immediately following the material life in the flesh.

 

Do You Really Know What Love Is?

 

Do You Know What Love is? Alex Grey • Praying 3         Do you know what love is?  

God is Love— but love is not God. The greatest manifestation of divine love for mortal beings is his divine gift bestowal of the Spirit in us, but our greatest revelation of the Father’s love is seen in the bestowal life of his Son Michael as he lived on earth the ideal spiritual life. It is the indwelling Spirit who individualizes the love of God to each human soul.

Love is simply the desire to do good to others;  thus love has but one religion: The   Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. 

Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor’s motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day we learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week we achieve an understanding of one more of our fellows, and if this is the limit of our ability, then we are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing our personality.

 

 “Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious.  If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love— and that would be the realiz ation of the brotherhood of man.”
—The  Urantia Book

What Is RELIGION, Then?

TwoBrothers

“They gave him the bread to bless, and as he began to break and hand to them,
their eyes were opened, and Cleopas recognized that their guest was the Master himself.
And when he said, ‘It is the Master —,’ [he] vanished from their sight.”
The Emmaus Brothers  — by Terry Kruger

 

Try to think of it like this.

See yourself in a vast classroom. There are millions of seats, in fact, one for each person on the planet. There is a teacher at the head of the class and he is saying things like, “God is your Father,” and “man is your brother”; “Love one another.” “Love your enemies”; and, “You shall have eternal life.”

And then the teacher asks, raise your hand if you would accept my Father’s gift of eternal life.  Not everyone hears the question;  some are many miles away.  Some tend to not even believe there ever was a teacher at all, because they cannot see him.  Many others simply refuse to believe the whole idea that the world is a “vast school,” or that an invisible “God” created everything and everyone.  Some are asking, “Who does he think he is?”  Others say, “He wants you to believe in a big, imaginary sky-daddy.”  A great many do not raise their hand.  And those that did were constrained to try and explain what they had seen and heard, their personal experience— to those who had not seen.

Religion then, is your personal pursuit of divine values; truth, beauty, goodness.  True “religion” is the experiencing of divinity in our consciousness;  it is a profoundly deep and actual experience of spiritual communion with the spirit influences resident within the human mind.  As far as such an experience is definable, it’s simply the experience of experiencing the reality of believing in God as the reality of such a purely personal experience.

But since personality is unique — no two persons are alike — it’s inevitable that no two human beings will similarly interpret the leadings and urges of the spirit of divinity which lives within their minds. Every human being defines religion in the terms of his or her own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, therefore such an interpretation must be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all others.

Turns out that’s a wonderful thing. Because when religionists mostly reduce their religion to the parroting of the religion of someone else— whether it is some approximation (church dogma) of the religion of Gandhi, or Muhammed, or Jesus, the Buddha, or Richard Dawkins— they’ve utterly surrendered the right to participate in the most thrilling and inspiring of all human experiences: their own personal quest for truth; the exhilaration of facing the perils of intellectual discovery; the determination to explore the realities of their own personal religious experience.

“Spirituality” is any person’s augmentation of their cumulative cosmic insight.  Religion is living out those values.  Above all, spirituality— living as if in the presence of God— enhances the ability to discover beauty in things; recognize truth in meanings; and discover goodness in values. There’s a few billion people who could use some enhanced ability to understand more of the truth, beauty, and goodness to be found in the world.

Right now the evolutionary religions of the world are operating on teachings that, by and large, are two-thousand years old.  Until the world’s religions progress to a higher recognition of the realities of spiritual experience, a lot of people will continue to prefer the religions of authority; religions which require only intellectual assent— in contrast to the religion of the spirit— which requires active participation of mind and soul with the realities of progressive human experience.

All this grows out of the fact that religion isn’t just a “child of culture”;  it is, and always has been, the property of the human race.  It’s also important to remember that any one person’s perception of religion is still more or less subject to the bondage of ignorance, the slavery of superstition, as well as the very real deceptions of sophistication, and the various delusions of false philosophy.  God, help us.

If you’re still looking for true religion, read The Urantia Book while you are still on Urantia.