Truth, Beauty, and Goodness

   
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TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS

I. MEANINGS AND VALUES OF TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS

1. Meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“No matter what upheavals may attend the social and economic growth of civilization, religion is genuine and worth while if it fosters in the individual an experience in which the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness prevails, for such is the true spiritual concept of supreme reality. And through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with God.” (1089.12) 99:4.4

2. The charm and harmony of art.

“The discernment of supreme beauty is the discovery and integration of reality: The discernment of the divine goodness in the eternal truth, that is ultimate beauty. Even the charm of human art consists in the harmony of its unity.” (43.1) 2:7.8

3. Truth, beauty, and goodness—discerning God in mind, matter, and spirit.

“Throughout this glorious age the chief pursuit of the ever-advancing mortals is the quest for a better understanding and a fuller realization of the comprehensible elements of Deity—truth, beauty, and goodness. This represents man’s effort to discern God in mind, matter, and spirit. And as the mortal pursues this quest, he finds himself increasingly absorbed in the experiential study of philosophy, cosmology, and divinity.” (646.3) 56:10.2

4. The achievement of cosmic art.

“Philosophy you somewhat grasp, and divinity you comprehend in worship, social service, and personal spiritual experience, but the pursuit of beauty—cosmology—you all too often limit to the study of man’s crude artistic endeavors. Beauty, art, is largely a matter of the unification of contrasts. Variety is essential to the concept of beauty. The supreme beauty, the height of finite art, is the drama of the unification of the vastness of the cosmic extremes of Creator and creature. Man finding God and God finding man—the creature becoming perfect as is the Creator—that is the supernal achievement of the supremely beautiful, the attainment of the apex of cosmic art.

“Hence materialism, atheism, is the maximation of ugliness, the climax of the finite antithesis of the beautiful. Highest beauty consists in the panorama of the unification of the variations which have been born of pre-existent harmonious reality.” (646.4) 56:10.3

II. INTERASSOCIATION OF TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS

1. Interassociation of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“All truth—material, philosophic, or spiritual—is both beautiful and good. All real beauty—material art or spiritual symmetry—is both true and good. All genuine goodness—whether personal morality, social equity, or divine ministry—is equally true and beautiful. Health, sanity, and happiness are integrations of truth, beauty, and goodness as they are blended in human experience. Such levels of efficient living come about through the unification of energy systems, idea systems, and spirit systems.

“Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personality experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty. The real purpose of all universe education is to effect the better co-ordination of the isolated child of the worlds with the larger realities of his expanding experience. Reality is finite on the human level, infinite and eternal on the higher and divine levels.” (43.4) 2:7.11

2. Relations of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“When reason once recognizes right and wrong, it exhibits wisdom; when wisdom chooses between right and wrong, truth and error, it demonstrates spirit leading. And thus are the functions of mind, soul, and spirit ever closely united and functionally interassociated. Reason deals with factual knowledge; wisdom, with philosophy and revelation; faith, with living spiritual experience. Through truth man attains beauty and by spiritual love ascends to goodness.” (1142.1) 103:9.10

3. Correlation of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“Goodness is living, relative, always progressing, invariably a personal experience, and everlastingly correlated with the discernment of truth and beauty. Goodness is found in the recognition of the positive truth-values of the spiritual level, which must, in human experience, be contrasted with the negative counterpart—the shadows of potential evil.” (1458.4) 132:2.7

III. AS RELATED TO PERSONALITY

1. Personal relations of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“The concept of truth might possibly be entertained apart from personality, the concept of beauty may exist without personality, but the concept of divine goodness is understandable only in relation to personality. Only a person can love and be loved. Even beauty and truth would be divorced from survival hope if they were not attributes of a personal God, a loving Father.” (31.3) 1:7.3

2. Choice of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“The soul of survival value faithfully reflects both the qualitative and the quantitative actions and motivations of the material intellect, the former seat of the identity of selfhood. In the choosing of truth, beauty, and goodness, the mortal mind enters upon its premorontia universe career under the tutelage of the seven adjutant mind-spirits unified under the direction of the spirit of wisdom. Subsequently, upon the completion of the seven circles of premorontia attainment, the superimposition of the endowment of morontia mind upon adjutant mind initiates the prespiritual or morontia career of local universe progression.” (1237.1) 112:6.9

3. Insight of the soul.

“In religion, Jesus advocated and followed the method of experience, even as modern science pursues the technique of experiment. We find God through the leadings of spiritual insight, but we approach this insight of the soul through the love of the beautiful, the pursuit of truth, loyalty to duty, and the worship of divine goodness. But of all these values, love is the true guide to real insight.” (2076.5) 195:5.14

4. The perfection of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“The Master came to create in man a new spirit, a new will—to impart a new capacity for knowing the truth, experiencing compassion, and choosing goodness—the will to be in harmony with God’s will, coupled with the eternal urge to become perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect.” (1583.6) 140:8.32

5. Man earns appreciation of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“ The full appreciation of truth, beauty, and goodness is inherent in the perfection of the divine universe. The inhabitants of the Havona worlds do not require the potential of relative value levels as a choice stimulus; such perfect beings are able to identify and choose the good in the absence of all contrastive and thought-compelling moral situations. But all such perfect beings are, in moral nature and spiritual status, what they are by virtue of the fact of existence. They have experientially earned advancement only within their inherent status. Mortal man earns even his status as an ascension candidate by his own faith and hope. Everything divine which the human mind grasps and the human soul acquires is an experiential attainment; it is a reality of personal experience and is therefore a unique possession in contrast to the inherent goodness and righteousness of the inerrant personalities of Havona.” (52.2) 3:5.16

IV. ALL THREE SUMMED UP AS LOVE

1. Truth, beauty, and goodness summed up as love.

“Universal beauty is the recognition of the reflection of the Isle of Paradise in the material creation, while eternal truth is the special ministry of the Paradise Sons who not only bestow themselves upon the mortal races but even pour out their Spirit of Truth upon all peoples. Divine goodness is more fully shown forth in the loving ministry of the manifold personalities of the Infinite Spirit. But love, the sum total of these three qualities, is man’s perception of God as his spirit Father.” (647.8) 56:10.17

2. When love is only a sentiment.

“Religious insight possesses the power of turning defeat into higher desires and new determinations. Love is the highest motivation which man may utilize in his universe ascent. But love, divested of truth, beauty, and goodness, is only a sentiment, a philosophic distortion, a psychic illusion, a spiritual deception. Love must always be redefined on successive levels of morontia and spirit progression.” (2096.5) 196:3.29

3. Love is the desire to do good to others.

“To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love-comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom. The advanced mortals on a world in the seventh stage of light and life have learned that love is the greatest thing in the universe—and they know that God is love.

“Love is the desire to do good to others.” (648.3) 56:10.20

V. AS RELATED TO DEITY

1. Love, beauty, and goodness—a revelation of Deity.

“The worlds settled in light and life are so fully concerned with the comprehension of truth, beauty, and goodness because these quality values embrace the revelation of Deity to the realms of time and space. The meanings of eternal truth make a combined appeal to the intellectual and spiritual natures of mortal man. Universal beauty embraces the harmonious relations and rhythms of the cosmic creation; this is more distinctly the intellectual appeal and leads towards unified and synchronous comprehension of the material universe. Divine goodness represents the revelation of infinite values to the finite mind, therein to be perceived and elevated to the very threshold of the spiritual level of human comprehension.

“Truth is the basis of science and philosophy, presenting the intellectual foundation of religion. Beauty sponsors art, music, and the meaningful rhythms of all human experience. Goodness embraces the sense of ethics, morality, and religion—experiential perfection-hunger.

“The existence of beauty implies the presence of appreciative creature mind just as certainly as the fact of progressive evolution indicates the dominance of the Supreme Mind. Beauty is the intellectual recognition of the harmonious time-space synthesis of the far-flung diversification of phenomenal reality, all of which stems from pre-existent and eternal oneness.

“Goodness is the mental recognition of the relative values of the diverse levels of divine perfection. The recognition of goodness implies a mind of moral status, a personal mind with ability to discriminate between good and evil. But the possession of goodness, greatness, is the measure of real divinity attainment.” (646.10) 56:10.9

2. Divinity comprehended as truth, beauty, and goodness.

“Divinity is creature comprehensible as truth, beauty, and goodness; correlated in personality as love, mercy, and ministry; disclosed on impersonal levels as justice, power, and sovereignty.”(3.4) 0:1.17

3. As man’s universe approach.

“Even truth, beauty, and goodness—man’s intellectual approach to the universe of mind, matter, and spirit—must be combined into one unified concept of a divine and supreme ideal. As mortal personality unifies the human experience with matter, mind, and spirit, so does this divine and supreme ideal become power-unified in Supremacy and then personalized as a God of fatherly love. (647.6) 56:10.15

VI. AS RELATED TO ADJUSTERS AND THE SUPREME

1. Adjusters and truth, beauty, and goodness.

“In a sense the Adjusters may be fostering a certain degree of planetary cross-fertilization in the domains of truth, beauty, and goodness. But they are seldom given two indwelling experiences on the same planet; there is no Adjuster now serving on Urantia who has been on this world previously. I know whereof I speak since we have their numbers and records in the archives of Uversa.” (1199.1) 109:4.6

2. The Supreme and truth, beauty, and goodness.

“The final penetration of the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Supreme Being could only open up to the progressing creature those absonite qualities of ultimate divinity which lie beyond the concept levels of truth, beauty, and goodness.” (1263.6) 115:3.19

VII. SPIRITUAL VALUES OF TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS

1. True spirit values of truth, beauty, and goodness.

“This same philosophy of the living flexibility and cosmic adaptability of divine truth to the individual requirements and capacity of every son of God, must be perceived before you can hope adequately to understand the Master’s teaching and practice of nonresistance to evil. The Master’s teaching is basically a spiritual pronouncement. Even the material implications of his philosophy cannot be helpfully considered apart from their spiritual correlations. The spirit of the Master’s injunction consists in the nonresistance of all selfish reaction to the universe, coupled with the aggressive and progressive attainment of righteous levels of true spirit values: divine beauty, infinite goodness, and eternal truth—to know God and to become increasingly like him.” (1950.4) 180:5.9

2. As related to Spirit ministry.

“Truth, beauty, and goodness are correlated in the ministry of the Spirit, the grandeur of Paradise, the mercy of the Son, and the experience of the Supreme. God the Supreme is truth, beauty, and goodness, for these concepts of divinity represent finite maximums of ideational experience. The eternal sources of these triune qualities of divinity are on superfinite levels, but a creature could only conceive of such sources as supertruth, superbeauty, and supergoodness.” (1279.5) 117:1.7

3. Related to the environment of worship.

“It was also at Jericho, in connection with the discussion of the early religious training of children in habits of divine worship, that Jesus impressed upon his apostles the great value of beauty as an influence leading to the urge to worship, especially with children. The Master by precept and example taught the value of worshiping the Creator in the midst of the natural surroundings of creation. He preferred to commune with the heavenly Father amidst the trees and among the lowly creatures of the natural world. He rejoiced to contemplate the Father through the inspiring spectacle of the starry realms of the Creator Sons.” (1840.4) 167:6.5

4. Paradise values of truth, beauty, and goodness,

“Paradise values of eternity and infinity, of truth, beauty, and goodness, are concealed within the facts of the phenomena of the universes of time and space. But it requires the eye of faith in a spirit-born mortal to detect and discern these spiritual values.” (2078.7) 195:7.4

5. But nothing takes the place of faith.

“The idealization and attempted service of truth, beauty, and goodness is not a substitute for genuine religious experience—spiritual reality. Psychology and idealism are not the equivalent of religious reality. The projections of the human intellect may indeed originate false gods—gods in man’s image—but the true God-consciousness does not have such an origin. The God-consciousness is resident in the indwelling spirit. Many of the religious systems of man come from the formulations of the human intellect, but the God-consciousness is not necessarily a part of these grotesque systems of religious slavery.” (2095.7) 196:3.23

TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS IN THE BIBLE

I. TRUTH

“True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” John 4:23.

“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’” John 14:6.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:13.

“Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.” John 17:17.

“Present yourself to God as one approved...rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15.

“By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6.

“Who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” Eph 1:13.

II. BEAUTY

“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.” Ps 50:2.

“Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.” Ps 96:6.

“The Lord of Hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty.” Isa 28:5.

“I am perfect in beauty.” Ezek 27:3.

III. GOODNESS

Many passages using the words “goodness” or “holiness” in the King James Version are rendered “faithfulness” in the Revised Version.

“Who is like thee, majestic in holiness.” Ex 15:11.

“God sits on his holy throne.” Ps 47:8.

“And give thanks to his holy name.” Ps 97:12.

“And designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness.” Rom 1:4.

“He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” Heb 12:10.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.” Isa 6:3.

“Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy.” Isa 57:15.

“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16. (See also Lev 19:2.)

“Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me.” John 17:11.

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