33. Religious Experience

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I. God-consciousness
II. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness
III. Religion and Social Institutions
IV. Religious Growth - True Religion
V. Religion and Revelation - Mysticism
VI. Marks of Religious Living
VII. Faith and Belief - Assurance
VIII. Religious Liberation - Insight
IX. Fact of Religious Experience
X. Religion and the Individual
XI. Science and Religion
XII. Philosophy end Religion
XIII. Supremacy of Religion


1. Proposition. God-consciousness progresses from the idea of God to the ideal and ends with the spirit reality of God.

"God-consciousness, as it is experienced by an evolving mortal of the realms, must consist of three varying factors, three differential levels of reality realization. There is first the mind consciousness — the comprehension of the idea of God. Then follows the soul consciousness — the realization of the ideal of God. Last, dawns the spirit consciousness — the realization of the spirit reality of God." (69.6) 5:5.11

2. Proposition. God-consciousness leads to increased social service.

”Religious desire is the hunger quest for divine reality. Religious experience is the realization of the consciousness of having found God. And when a human being does find God, there is experienced within the soul of that being such an indescribable restlessness of triumph in discovery that he is impelled to seek loving service-contact with his less illuminated fellows, not to disclose that he has found God, but rather to allow the overflow of the welling-up of eternal goodness within his own soul to refresh and ennoble his fellows. Real religion leads to increased social service."
(1121.6) 102:3.4

3. Proposition. Finding God is consciousness of identity with reality.

“The progressive comprehension of reality is the equivalent of approaching God. The finding of God, the consciousness of identity with reality, is the equivalent of the experiencing of self-completion — self-entirety, self-totality. The experiencing of total reality is the full realization of God, the finality of the God-knowing experience.”
(2094.2) 196:3.3

1. Proposition. The goodness of God is found only in personal religious experience.

"In the physical universe we may see the divine beauty, in the intellectual world we may discern eternal truth, but the goodness of God is found only in the spiritual world of personal religious experience." (40.5) 2:6.1

2. Proposition. Jesus revealed a God of love - all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness.

"The Hebrews based their religion on goodness; the Greeks on beauty; both religions sought truth. Jesus revealed a God of love, and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness."
(67.4) 5:4.6

3. Proposition. Truth relates to science, beauty to art, goodness embraces ethics, morality, and religion.

"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." (647.1) 56:10.10

4. Proposition. Truth, beauty, and goodness represent man's approach to mind, matter, and spirit.

”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

5. Proposition. Love, the sum of truth, beauty, and goodness, is man's perception of God.

"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

6. Proposition. Spirituality enhances ability to discover beauty in things, truth in meanings, and goodness in values.

"Spirituality becomes at once the indicator of one's nearness to God and the measure of one's usefulness to fellow beings. Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefor and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love."
(1096.1) 100:2.4

7. Proposition. The idealization of truth, beauty, and goodness is not a substitute for religion.

"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

1. Proposition. Religion is not directly concerned with creating new social orders or with preserving old ones.

“But religion should not be directly concerned either with the creation of new social orders or with the preservation of old ones. True religion does oppose violence as a technique of social evolution, but it does not oppose the intelligent efforts of society to adapt its usages and adjust its institutions to new economic conditions and cultural requirements." (1086.2) 99:0.2

2. Proposition. Religion is a forceful influence for moral stability and spiritual progression.

"Religion must become a forceful influence for moral stability and spiritual progression functioning dynamically in the midst of these ever-changing conditions and never-ending economic adjustments."(1086.5) 99:1.2

3. Proposition. The paramount mission of religion is the stabilization of ideals.

“The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civilization to another, from one level of culture to another." (1086.6) 99:1.3

4. Proposition. Religion is the cosmic salt which prevents the destruction of the cultural savor of civilization.

"Religion must act as the cosmic salt which prevents the ferments of progression from destroying the cultural savor of civilization. These new social relations and economic upheavals can result in lasting brotherhood only by the ministry of religion.

"A godless humanitarianism is, humanly speaking, a noble gesture, but true religion is the only power which can lastingly increase the responsiveness of one social group to the needs and sufferings of other groups."(1087.1) 99:1.4

5. Proposition. Institutional religion is now caught in the stalemate of a vicious circle.

"Institutional religion is now caught in the stalemate of a vicious circle. It cannot reconstruct society without first reconstructing itself; and being so much an integral part of the established order, it cannot reconstruct itself until society has been radically reconstructed." (1087.5) 99:2.2

6. Proposition. Religionists function in human affairs as individuals - not as religious groups.

“Religionists must function in society, in industry, and in politics as individuals, not as groups, parties, or institutions. A religious group which presumes to function as such, apart from religious activities, immediately becomes a political party, an economic organization, or a social institution. Religious collectivism must confine its efforts to the furtherance of religious causes."
(1087.6) 99:2.3

7. Proposition. The kingdom of heaven is neither social nor economic - it is a brotherhood.

"The kingdom of heaven is neither a social nor economic order; it is an exclusively spiritual brotherhood of God-knowing individuals. True, such a brotherhood is in itself a new and amazing social phenomenon attended by astounding political and economic repercussions."(1088.3) 99:3.2

8. Proposition. Sectarianism is a disease of institutional religion.

“Sectarianism is a disease of institutional religion, and dogmatism is an enslavement of the spiritual nature. It is far better to have a religion without a church than a church without religion. The religious turmoil of the twentieth century does not, in and of itself, betoken spiritual decadence. Confusion goes before growth as well as before destruction.“ (1092.1) 99:6.1

9. Proposition. There is a real purpose in the socialization of religion.

"There is a real purpose in the socialization of religion. It is the purpose of group religious activities to dramatize the loyalties of religion; to magnify the lures of truth, beauty, and goodness; to foster the attractions of supreme values; to enhance the service of unselfish fellowship; to glorify the potentials of family life; to promote religious education; to provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance; and to encourage group worship. And all live religions encourage human friendship, conserve morality, promote neighborhood welfare, and facilitate the spread of the essential gospel of their respective messages of eternal salvation." (1092.2) 99:6.2

10. Proposition. Religion is always dynamic.

"We are not blind to the fact that religion often acts unwisely, even irreligiously, but it acts. Aberrations of religious conviction have led to bloody persecutions, but always and ever religion does something; it is dynamic!(1121.2) 102:2.9

11. Proposition. Religion leads to service, and revelation to the eternal adventure.

"Knowledge leads to placing men, to originating social strata and castes. Religion leads to serving men, thus creating ethics and altruism. Wisdom leads to the higher and better fellowship of both ideas and one's fellows. Revelation liberates men and starts them out on the eternal adventure." (1122.2) 102:3.6

1. Proposition. The chief inhibitors of spiritual growth are prejudice and ignorance.

"Some persons are too busy to grow and are therefore in grave danger of spiritual fixation. Provision must be made for growth of meanings at differing ages, in successive cultures, and in the passing stages of advancing civilization. The chief inhibitors of growth are prejudice and ignorance..“ (1094.4) 100:1.2

2. Proposition. Growth is indicated not by products, but by progress.

"Give every developing child a chance to grow his own religious experience; do not force a ready-made adult experience upon him. Remember, year-by-year progress through an established educational regime does not necessarily mean intellectual progress, much less spiritual growth. Enlargement of vocabulary does not signify development of character. Growth is not truly indicated by mere products but rather by progress." (1094.5) 100:1.3

3. Proposition. The growing person is motivated by love, activated by ministry, and dominated by ideals.

"Spiritual growth is first an awakening to needs, next a discernment of meanings, and then a discovery of values. The evidence of true spiritual development consists in the exhibition of a human personality motivated by love, activated by unselfish ministry, and dominated by the wholehearted worship of the perfection ideals of divinity. And this entire experience constitutes the reality of religion as contrasted with mere theological beliefs.“ (1095.6) 100:2.2

4. Proposition. Progress is meaningful, but growth is not mere progress.

"The association of actuals and potentials equals growth, the experiential realization of values. But growth is not mere progress. Progress is always meaningful, but it is relatively valueless without growth. The supreme value of human life consists in growth of values, progress in meanings, and realization of the cosmic interrelatedness of both of these experiences. And such an experience is the equivalent of God-consciousness. Such a mortal, while not supernatural, is truly becoming superhuman; an immortal soul is evolving."(1097.3) 100:3.6

5. Proposition. The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress.

”But the great problem of religious living consists in the task of unifying the soul powers of the personality by the dominance of LOVE. Health, mental efficiency, and happiness arise from the unification of physical systems, mind systems, and spirit systems. Of health and sanity man understands much, but of happiness he has truly realized very little. The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress. Spiritual growth yields lasting joy, peace which passes all understanding." (1097.7) 100:4.3

6. Proposition. Religion takes nothing away from life - but it does add new meanings to all of it.

"But true religion is a living love, a life of service. The religionist's detachment from much that is purely temporal and trivial never leads to social isolation, and it should not destroy the sense of humor. Genuine religion takes nothing away from human existence, but it does add new meanings to all of life; it generates new types of enthusiasm, zeal, and courage. It may even engender the spirit of the crusader, which is more than dangerous if not controlled by spiritual insight and loyal devotion to the commonplace social obligations of human loyalties.“ (1100.7) 100:6.5

1. Proposition. Evolutionary religion drives men, revelation allures them.

"The morality of the religions of evolution drives men forward in the God quest by the motive power of fear. The religions of revelation allure men to seek for a God of love because they crave to become like him. But religion is not merely a passive feeling of 'absolute dependence' and 'surety of survival'; it is a living and dynamic experience of divinity attainment predicated on humanity service."(66.5) 5:4.1

2. Proposition. Too often subconscious material is mistaken for revelation.

”In contrast with conversion-seeking, the better approach to the morontia zones of possible contact with the Thought Adjuster would be through living faith and sincere worship, wholehearted and unselfish prayer. Altogether too much of the uprush of the memories of the unconscious levels of the human mind has been mistaken for divine revelations and spirit leadings."(1099.5) 100:5.7

3. Proposition. Revelation compensates for the absence of the morontia viewpoint.

“Reason is the method of science; faith is the method of religion; logic is the attempted technique of philosophy. Revelation compensates for the absence of the morontia viewpoint by providing a technique for achieving unity in the comprehension of the reality and relationships of matter and spirit by the mediation of mind. And true revelation never renders science unnatural, religion unreasonable, or philosophy illogical." (1106.1) 101:2.2

4. Proposition. It requires faith and revelation to transform the first cause of science into a God of salvation.

"Reason, through the study of science, may lead back through nature to a First Cause, but it requires religious faith to transform the First Cause of science into a God of salvation; and revelation is further required for the validation of such a faith, such spiritual insight." (1106.2) 101:2.3

5. Proposition. Revelation is validated only by human experience.

"Reason is the proof of science, faith the proof of religion, logic the proof of philosophy, but revelation is validated only by human experience. Science yields knowledge; religion yields happiness; philosophy yields unity; revelation confirms the experiential harmony of this triune approach to universal reality." (1106.7) 101:2.8

6. Proposition. Revelations are not necessarily inspired. The cosmology of the Urantia Revelation is not inspired.

“Let it be made clear that revelations are not necessarily inspired. The cosmology of these revelations is not inspired. It is limited by our permission for the co-ordination and sorting of present-day knowledge. While divine or spiritual insight is a gift, human wisdom must evolve.“ (1109.3) 101:4.2

7. Proposition. The first promptings of the child's moral nature have to do with justice, fairness, and kindness.

"The evolutionary soil in the mind of man in which the seed of revealed religion germinates is the moral nature that so early gives origin to a social consciousness. The first promptings of a child's moral nature have not to do with sex, guilt, or personal pride, but rather with impulses of justice, fairness, and urges to kindness — helpful ministry to one's fellows.“ (1131.2) 103:2.3

8. Proposition. Faith - spiritual insight - can be instructed only by revelation.

“Science is sustained by reason, religion by faith. Faith, though not predicated on reason, is reasonable; though independent of logic, it is nonetheless encouraged by sound logic. Faith cannot be nourished even by an ideal philosophy; indeed, it is, with science, the very source of such a philosophy. Faith, human religious insight, can be surely instructed only by revelation, can be surely elevated only by personal mortal experience with the spiritual Adjuster presence of the God who is spirit.“ (1137.6) 103:7.1

1. Proposition. The religionist is conscious of universe citizenship and aware of contact with the supernatural.

"The marks of human response to the religious impulse embrace the qualities of nobility and grandeur. The sincere religionist is conscious of universe citizenship and is aware of making contact with sources of superhuman power. He is thrilled and energized with the assurance of belonging to a superior and ennobled fellowship of the sons of God. The consciousness of self-worth has become augmented by the stimulus of the quest for the highest universe objectives — supreme goals." (1100.5) 100:6.3

2. Proposition. The most amazing earmarks of religion are dynamic peace and cosmic poise.

"One of the most amazing earmarks of religious living is that dynamic and sublime peace, that peace which passes all human understanding, that cosmic poise which betokens the absence of all doubt and turmoil. Such levels of spiritual stability are immune to disappointment. Such religionists are like the Apostle Paul, who said: 'I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else shall be able to separate us from the love of God.' "(1101.1) 100:6.6

3. Proposition. In the last analysis, religion is judged by its fruits.

"In the last analysis, religion is to be judged by its fruits, according to the manner and the extent to which it exhibits its own inherent and divine excellence." (1109.5) 101:4.4

4. Proposition. Genuine religious faith is evidenced by twelve characteristics.

"Through religious faith the soul of man reveals itself and demonstrates the potential divinity of its emerging nature by the characteristic manner in which it induces the mortal personality to react to certain trying intellectual and testing social situations. Genuine spiritual faith (true moral consciousness) is revealed in that it:

"1. Causes ethics and morals to progress despite inherent and adverse animalistic tendencies.

"2. Produces a sublime trust in the goodness of God even in the face of bitter disappointment and crushing defeat.

"3. Generates profound courage and confidence despite natural adversity and physical calamity.

"4. Exhibits inexplicable poise and sustaining tranquillity notwithstanding baffling diseases and even acute physical suffering.

"5. Maintains a mysterious poise and composure of personality in the face of maltreatment and the rankest injustice.

"6. Maintains a divine trust in ultimate victory in spite of the cruelties of seemingly blind fate and the apparent utter indifference of natural forces to human welfare.

"7. Persists in the unswerving belief in God despite all contrary demonstrations of logic and successfully withstands all other intellectual sophistries.

"8. Continues to exhibit undaunted faith in the soul's survival regardless of the deceptive teachings of false science and the persuasive delusions of unsound philosophy.

"9. Lives and triumphs irrespective of the crushing overload of the complex and partial civilizations of modern times.

"10. Contributes to the continued survival of altruism in spite of human selfishness, social antagonisms, industrial greeds, and political maladjustments.

"11. Steadfastly adheres to a sublime belief in universe unity and divine guidance regardless of the perplexing presence of evil and sin.

"12. Goes right on worshiping God in spite of anything and everything. Dares to declare, 'Even though he slay me, yet will I serve him.' "(1108.3) 101:3.4

5. Proposition. Religion is ever and always rooted and grounded in personal experience.

"But religion is never enhanced by an appeal to the so-called miraculous. The quest for miracles is a harking back to the primitive religions of magic. True religion has nothing to do with alleged miracles, and never does revealed religion point to miracles as proof of authority. Religion is ever and always rooted and grounded in personal experience."(1128.3) 102:8.7

1. Proposition. Our senses tell us of things, mind discovers meanings, but spiritual experience reveals true values.

“In physical life the senses tell of the existence of things; mind discovers the reality of meanings; but the spiritual experience reveals to the individual the true values of life. These high levels of human living are attained in the supreme love of God and in the unselfish love of man." (1098.1) 100:4.4

2. Proposition. You must have faith as well as feeling.

“But emotion alone is a false conversion; one must have faith as well as feeling. To the extent that such psychic mobilization is partial, and in so far as such human-loyalty motivation is incomplete, to that extent will the experience of conversion be a blended intellectual, emotional, and spiritual reality." (1099.3) 100:5.5

3. Proposition. Our religious leadings convince us that we ought to believe in God.

"Thus it may be seen that religious longings and spiritual urges are not of such a nature as would merely lead men to want to believe in God, but rather are they of such nature and power that men are profoundly impressed with the conviction that they ought to believe in God." (1105.4) 101:1.7

4. Proposition. In the morontia, the assurance of truth replaces the assurance of faith.

"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

5. Proposition. Belief has become faith when it motivates life. Belief fixates, faith liberates.

“Belief has attained the level of faith when it motivates life and shapes the mode of living. The acceptance of a teaching as true is not faith; that is mere belief. Neither is certainty nor conviction faith. A state of mind attains to faith levels only when it actually dominates the mode of living. Faith is a living attribute of genuine personal religious experience. One believes truth, admires beauty, and reverences goodness, but does not worship them; such an attitude of saving faith is centered on God alone, who is all of these personified and infinitely more.

"Belief is always limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing. Belief fixates, faith liberates."(1114.5) 101:8.1

6. Proposition. Faith vitalizes religion and lives the golden rule.

"Faith does not shackle the creative imagination, neither does it maintain an unreasoning prejudice toward the discoveries of scientific investigation. Faith vitalizes religion and constrains the religionist heroically to live the golden rule. The zeal of faith is according to knowledge, and its strivings are the preludes to sublime peace."(1115.1) 101:8.4

7. Proposition. Faith is the bridge between moral consciousness and spiritual reality.

"Faith becomes the connection between moral consciousness and the spiritual concept of enduring reality. Religion becomes the avenue of man's escape from the material limitations of the temporal and natural world to the supernal realities of the eternal and spiritual world by and through the technique of salvation, the progressive morontia transformation." (1116.1) 101:9.9

8. Proposition. Genuine religious assurance never leads to self-assertion or egoistic exaltation.

"One of the characteristic peculiarities of genuine religious assurance is that, notwithstanding the absoluteness of its affirmations and the stanchness of its attitude, the spirit of its expression is so poised and tempered that it never conveys the slightest impression of self-assertion or egoistic exaltation." (1119.7) 102:2.2

9. Proposition. There is a great difference between the will-to-believe and the will that believes.

"In science, the idea precedes the expression of its realization; in religion, the experience of realization precedes the expression of the idea. There is a vast difference between the evolutionary will-to-believe and the product of enlightened reason, religious insight, and revelation — the will that believes.” (1122.9) 102:3.13

10. Proposition. Faith transforms a God of probability into a God of certainty.

“Faith transforms the philosophic God of probability into the saving God of certainty in the personal religious experience. Skepticism may challenge the theories of theology, but confidence in the dependability of personal experience affirms the truth of that belief which has grown into faith." (1124.6) 102:6.4

11. Proposition. The individual becomes God-knowing only by faith.

"Convictions about God may be arrived at through wise reasoning, but the individual becomes God-knowing only by faith, through personal experience. In much that pertains to life, probability must be reckoned with, but when contacting with cosmic reality, certainty may be experienced when such meanings and values are approached by living faith. The God-knowing soul dares to say, 'I know,' even when this knowledge of God is questioned by the unbeliever who denies such certitude because it is not wholly supported by intellectual logic. To every such doubter the believer only replies, 'How do you know that I do not know?' "(1124.7) 102:6.5

12. Proposition. Religionists should face dogmatic scientists with the super-dogmatism of personal spiritual experience.

"If science, philosophy, or sociology dares to become dogmatic in contending with the prophets of true religion, then should God-knowing men reply to such unwarranted dogmatism with that more farseeing dogmatism of the certainty of personal spiritual experience, 'I know what I have experienced because I am a son of I AM.' If the personal experience of a faither is to be challenged by dogma, then this faith-born son of the experiencible Father may reply with that unchallengeable dogma, the statement of his actual sonship with the Universal Father."(1127.1) 102:7.7

13. Proposition. Of all universe experiences, we have the right to be most certain of the spiritual.

"If the nonreligious approaches to cosmic reality presume to challenge the certainty of faith on the grounds of its unproved status, then the spirit experiencer can likewise resort to the dogmatic challenge of the facts of science and the beliefs of philosophy on the grounds that they are likewise unproved; they are likewise experiences in the consciousness of the scientist or the philosopher.

"Of God, the most inescapable of all presences, the most real of all facts, the most living of all truths, the most loving of all friends, and the most divine of all values, we have the right to be the most certain of all universe experiences."(1127.3) 102:7.9

14. Proposition. Man is educated by fact, ennobled by wisdom, and saved by faith.

"The full summation of human life is the knowledge that man is educated by fact, ennobled by wisdom, and saved — justified — by religious faith." (2094.3) 196:3.4

l. Proposition. Religion persists in the absence of learning.

"Religion is so vital that it persists in the absence of learning. It lives in spite of its contamination with erroneous cosmologies and false philosophies; it survives even the confusion of metaphysics. In and through all the historic vicissitudes of religion there ever persists that which is indispensable to human progress and survival: the ethical conscience and the moral consciousness."
(1107.8) 101:3.1

2. Proposition. Religion may be the feeling of experience, but it is not the experience of feeling.

"Scientists assemble facts, philosophers co-ordinate ideas, while prophets exalt ideals. Feeling and emotion are invariable concomitants of religion, but they are not religion. Religion may be the feeling of experience, but it is hardly the experience of feeling. Neither logic (rationalization) nor emotion (feeling) is essentially a part of religious experience, although both may variously be associated with the exercise of faith in the furtherance of spiritual insight into reality, all according to the status and temperamental tendency of the individual mind." (1110.12) 101:5.9

3. Proposition. The liberated religious soul begins to feel at home in the universe.

“Religion effectually cures man's sense of idealistic isolation or spiritual loneliness; it enfranchises the believer as a son of God, a citizen of a new and meaningful universe. Religion assures man that, in following the gleam of righteousness discernible in his soul, he is thereby identifying himself with the plan of the Infinite and the purpose of the Eternal. Such a liberated soul immediately begins to feel at home in this new universe, his universe." (1117.1) 101:10.7

4. Proposition. Contrast spiritual liberation with the despair of materialism.

"To the unbelieving materialist, man is simply an evolutionary accident. His hopes of survival are strung on a figment of mortal imagination; his fears, loves, longings, and beliefs are but the reaction of the incidental juxtaposition of certain lifeless atoms of matter. No display of energy nor expression of trust can carry him beyond the grave. The devotional labors and inspirational genius of the best of men are doomed to be extinguished by death, the long and lonely night of eternal oblivion and soul extinction. Nameless despair is man's only reward for living and toiling under the temporal sun of mortal existence. Each day of life slowly and surely tightens the grasp of a pitiless doom which a hostile and relentless universe of matter has decreed shall be the crowning insult to everything in human desire which is beautiful, noble, lofty, and good.” (1118.1) 102:0.1

1. Proposition. Religious experience can never be fully understood by the material mind.

"Religious experience, being essentially spiritual, can never be fully understood by the material mind; hence the function of theology, the psychology of religion." (69.1) 5:5.6

2. Proposition. There are three great satisfactions in religious experience.

"Mortal man secures three great satisfactions from religious experience, even in the days of his temporal sojourn on earth:

"1. Intellectually he acquires the satisfactions of a more unified human consciousness.

"2. Philosophically he enjoys the substantiation of his ideals of moral values.

"3. Spiritually he thrives in the experience of divine companionship, in the spiritual satisfactions of true worship." (69.2) 5:5.7

3. Proposition. Religious experience ranges from the primitive to the superb consciousness of sonship with God.

"Religion, as a human experience, ranges from the primitive fear slavery of the evolving savage up to the sublime and magnificent faith liberty of those civilized mortals who are superbly conscious of sonship with the eternal God."(1104.1) 101:0.1

4. Proposition. Avoid allowing your religious experience to become egocentric.

"While your religion is a matter of personal experience, it is most important that you should be exposed to the knowledge of a vast number of other religious experiences (the diverse interpretations of other and diverse mortals) to the end that you may prevent your religious life from becoming egocentric — circumscribed, selfish, and unsocial."(1130.2) 103:1.3

5. Proposition. Spiritual birth may be either complacent or ”stormy."

"Religion is functional in the human mind and has been realized in experience prior to its appearance in human consciousness. A child has been in existence about nine months before it experiences birth. But the "birth" of religion is not sudden; it is rather a gradual emergence. Nevertheless, sooner or later there is a 'birth day.' You do not enter the kingdom of heaven unless you have been 'born again' — born of the Spirit. Many spiritual births are accompanied by much anguish of spirit and marked psychological perturbations, as many physical births are characterized by a 'stormy labor' and other abnormalities of 'delivery.' Other spiritual births are a natural and normal growth of the recognition of supreme values with an enhancement of spiritual experience, albeit no religious development occurs without conscious effort and positive and individual determinations. Religion is never a passive experience, a negative attitude. What is termed the 'birth of religion' is not directly associated with so-called conversion experiences which usually characterize religious episodes occurring later in life as a result of mental conflict, emotional repression, and temperamental upheavals." (1130.6) 103:2.1

6. Proposition. The experiencing of God may be valid, even when its theology is fallacious.

"The confusion about the experience of the certainty of God arises out of the dissimilar interpretations and relations of that experience by separate individuals and by different races of men. The experiencing of God may be wholly valid, but the discourse about God, being intellectual and philosophical, is divergent and oftentimes confusingly fallacious." (1140.2) 103:8.2

7. Proposition. A man's love for his wife cannot be judged by a psychological examination on marital affection.

“A good and noble man may be consummately in love with his wife but utterly unable to pass a satisfactory written examination on the psychology of marital love. Another man, having little or no love for his spouse, might pass such an examination most acceptably. The imperfection of the lover's insight into the true nature of the beloved does not in the least invalidate either the reality or sincerity of his love.“(1140.3) 103:8.3

8. Proposition. Faith is uninfluenced by the cavilings and doubtings of science and philosophy.

"If you truly believe in God — by faith know him and love him — do not permit the reality of such an experience to be in any way lessened or detracted from by the doubting insinuations of science, the caviling of logic, the postulates of philosophy, or the clever suggestions of well-meaning souls who would create a religion without God.“(1140.4) 103:8.4

9. Proposition. The reality of religious experience transcends reason, science, philosophy, and wisdom.

"There is a reality in religious experience that is proportional to the spiritual content, and such a reality is transcendent to reason, science, philosophy, wisdom, and all other human achievements. The convictions of such an experience are unassailable; the logic of religious living is incontrovertible; the certainty of such knowledge is superhuman; the satisfactions are superbly divine, the courage indomitable, the devotions unquestioning, the loyalties supreme, and the destinies final — eternal, ultimate, and universal." (1142.3) 103:9.12

10. Proposition. Personal religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties.

"Personal, spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. True religion unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements. Religious faith — the positive leading of the indwelling divine presence — unfailingly enables the God-knowing man to bridge that gulf existing between the intellectual logic which recognizes the Universal First Cause as It and those positive affirmations of the soul which aver this First Cause is He, the heavenly Father of Jesus' gospel, the personal God of human salvation.”(2093.6) 196:3.1

11. Proposition. Human survival is a matter of choosing divine values.

“Moral evaluation with a religious meaning — spiritual insight — connotes the individual's choice between good and evil, truth and error, material and spiritual, human and divine, time and eternity. Human survival is in great measure dependent on consecrating the human will to the choosing of those values selected by this spirit-value sorter — the indwelling interpreter and unifier. Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit. Through oversophistication or as a result of the irreligious conduct of professed religionists, a man, or even a generation of men, may elect to suspend their efforts to discover the God who indwells them; they may fail to progress in and attain the divine revelation. But such attitudes of spiritual nonprogression cannot long persist because of the presence and influence of the indwelling Thought Adjusters.” (2095.1) 196:3.17

1. Proposition. Religious experience knows God as a Father, and man as a brother.

”While religion is exclusively a personal spiritual experience — knowing God as a Father — the corollary of this experience — knowing man as a brother — entails the adjustment of the self to other selves, and that involves the social or group aspect of religious life. Religion is first an inner or personal adjustment, and then it becomes a matter of social service or group adjustment.“
(1090.10) 99:5.1

2. Proposition. Dynamic religion transforms the mediocre individual into a person of idealistic power.

"The experience of dynamic religious living transforms the mediocre individual into a personality of idealistic power. Religion ministers to the progress of all through fostering the progress of each individual, and the progress of each is augmented through the achievement of all." (1095.2) 100:1.7

3. Proposition. Religion is a personal experience - it cannot be learned, loaned, or lost.

"Religion cannot be bestowed, received, loaned, learned, or lost. It is a personal experience which grows proportionally to the growing quest for final values. Cosmic growth thus attends on the accumulation of meanings and the ever-expanding elevation of values. But nobility itself is always an unconscious growth."(1094.1) 100:0.1

4. Proposition. Religion is the experience of experiencing the reality of believing in God as the reality of such a purely personal experience.

"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. 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, and as far as such an experience is definable in terms of psychology, it is simply the experience of experiencing the reality of believing in God as the reality of such a purely personal experience."
(1105.1) 101:1.4

5. Proposition. By religious experience, man's concepts of ideality are endowed with reality.

"The purpose of religion is not to satisfy curiosity about God but rather to afford intellectual constancy and philosophic security, to stabilize and enrich human living by blending the mortal with the divine, the partial with the perfect, man and God. It is through religious experience that man's concepts of ideality are endowed with reality."(1116.6) 101:10.5

6. Proposition. Reason and logic can never validate the values of religious experience.

"Never can there be either scientific or logical proofs of divinity. Reason alone can never validate the values and goodnesses of religious experience. But it will always remain true: Whosoever wills to do the will of God shall comprehend the validity of spiritual values. This is the nearest approach that can be made on the mortal level to offering proofs of the reality of religious experience." (1116.7) 101:10.6

7. Proposition. In the triumphant struggle of the faith son, "Even time itself becomes but the shadow of eternity cast by Paradise realities upon the moving panoply of space."

“Now, rather, are the sons of God enlisted together in fighting the battle of reality's triumph over the partial shadows of existence. At last all creatures become conscious of the fact that God and all the divine hosts of a well-nigh limitless universe are on their side in the supernal struggle to attain eternity of life and divinity of status. Such faith-liberated sons have certainly enlisted in the struggles of time on the side of the supreme forces and divine personalities of eternity; even the stars in their courses are now doing battle for them; at last they gaze upon the universe from within, from God's viewpoint, and all is transformed from the uncertainties of material isolation to the sureties of eternal spiritual progression. Even time itself becomes but the shadow of eternity cast by Paradise realities upon the moving panoply of space." (1117.3) 101:10.9

8. Proposition. Religionists live as if already in the presence of the Eternal.

”It is difficult to identify and analyze the factors of a religious experience, but it is not difficult to observe that such religious practitioners live and carry on as if already in the presence of the Eternal. Believers react to this temporal life as if immortality already were within their grasp." (1119.8) 102:2.3

9. Proposition. The highest evidence of the reality of religion consists in the fact of transformed human experience.

"The highest evidence of the reality and efficacy of religion consists in the fact of human experience; namely, that man, naturally fearful and suspicious, innately endowed with a strong instinct of self-preservation and craving survival after death, is willing fully to trust the deepest interests of his present and future to the keeping and direction of that power and person designated by his faith as God. That is the one central truth of all religion. As to what that power or person requires of man in return for this watchcare and final salvation, no two religions agree; in fact, they all more or less disagree." (1127.5) 102:8.1

10. Proposition. There are three ways of knowing that the Adjuster lives within us.

"The mind of man can attain high levels of spiritual insight and corresponding spheres of divinity of values because it is not wholly material. There is a spirit nucleus in the mind of man — the Adjuster of the divine presence. There are three separate evidences of this spirit indwelling of the human mind:

"1. Humanitarian fellowship — love. The purely animal mind may be gregarious for self-protection, but only the spirit-indwelt intellect is unselfishly altruistic and unconditionally loving.

"2. Interpretation of the universe — wisdom. Only the spirit-indwelt mind can comprehend that the universe is friendly to the individual.

“3. Spiritual evaluation of life — worship. Only the spirit-indwelt man can realize the divine presence and seek to attain a fuller experience in and with this foretaste of divinity." (2094.5) 196:3.6

11. Proposition. The great challenge to man is to achieve better communion with the indwelling Monitor.

"The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind. Man's greatest adventure in the flesh consists in the well-balanced and sane effort to advance the borders of self-consciousness out through the dim realms of embryonic soul-consciousness in a wholehearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness — contact with the divine presence. Such an experience constitutes God-consciousness, an experience mightily confirmative of the pre-existent truth of the religious experience of knowing God. Such spirit-consciousness is the equivalent of the knowledge of the actuality of sonship with God. Otherwise, the assurance of sonship is the experience of faith."
(2097.2) 196:3.34

1. Proposition. Neither science nor philosophy can validate the personality of God, only the personal experience of faith sons.

"Ultimate universe reality cannot be grasped by mathematics, logic, or philosophy, only by personal experience in progressive conformity to the divine will of a personal God. Neither science, philosophy, nor theology can validate the personality of God. Only the personal experience of the faith sons of the heavenly Father can effect the actual spiritual realization of the personality of God." (31.5) 1:7.5

2. Proposition. However men view God, the religionist believes in a God who fosters survival.

“The fact-seeking scientist conceives of God as the First Cause, a God of force. The emotional artist sees God as the ideal of beauty, a God of aesthetics. The reasoning philosopher is sometimes inclined to posit a God of universal unity, even a pantheistic Deity. The religionist of faith believes in a God who fosters survival, the Father in heaven, the God of love." (68.6) 5:5.3

3. Proposition. Nature does not afford ground for believing in human survival.

"Nature does not afford ground for logical belief in human-personality survival. The religious man who finds God in nature has already and first found this same personal God in his own soul."
(1106.8) 101:2.9

4. Proposition. To science and philosophy God may be possible and probable, but to religion he is a certainty.

"To science God is a possibility, to psychology a desirability, to philosophy a probability, to religion a certainty, an actuality of religious experience. Reason demands that a philosophy which cannot find the God of probability should be very respectful of that religious faith which can and does find the God of certitude. Neither should science discount religious experience on grounds of credulity, not so long as it persists in the assumption that man's intellectual and philosophic endowments emerged from increasingly lesser intelligences the further back they go, finally taking origin in primitive life which was utterly devoid of all thinking and feeling." (1125.3) 102:6.8

5. Proposition. There is no religion without God - and in personal experience he must be a personal God.

"Those who would invent a religion without God are like those who would gather fruit without trees, have children without parents. You cannot have effects without causes; only the I AM is causeless. The fact of religious experience implies God, and such a God of personal experience must be a personal Deity. You cannot pray to a chemical formula, supplicate a mathematical equation, worship a hypothesis, confide in a postulate, commune with a process, serve an abstraction, or hold loving fellowship with a law.“ (1126.3) 102:7.3

1. Proposition. Religion becomes the unification of all that is good, true, and beautiful in human experience.

”The Zoroastrians had a religion of morals; the Hindus a religion of metaphysics; the Confucianists a religion of ethics. Jesus lived a religion of service. All these religions are of value in that they are valid approaches to the religion of Jesus. Religion is destined to become the reality of the spiritual unification of all that is good, beautiful, and true in human experience.“ (67.5) 5:4.7

2. Proposition. Religion is an independent realm of human response to life situations.

“Religion is not grounded in the facts of science, the obligations of society, the assumptions of philosophy, or the implied duties of morality. Religion is an independent realm of human response to life situations..." (68.5) 5:5.2

3. Proposition. Religion becomes real as it emerges from the slavery of fear and the bondage of superstition.

"Your religion is becoming real because it is emerging from the slavery of fear and the bondage of superstition. Your philosophy struggles for emancipation from dogma and tradition. Your science is engaged in the agelong contest between truth and error while it fights for deliverance from the bondage of abstraction, the slavery of mathematics, and the relative blindness of mechanistic materialism.“ (141.6) 12:9.5

4. Proposition. Courage is required to invade new levels and unknown realms of experience.

"Moral cowards never achieve high planes of philosophic thinking; it requires courage to invade new levels of experience and to attempt the exploration of unknown realms of intellectual living." (1113.8) 101:7.2

5. Proposition. Philosophy transforms primitive religion into ascending values of reality.

"Philosophy transforms that primitive religion which was largely a fairy tale of conscience into a living experience in the ascending values of cosmic reality." (1114.4) 101:7.6

6. Proposition. Mortals can experience spiritual unity, but not philosophical uniformity.

“A group of mortals can experience spiritual unity, but they can never attain philosophic uniformity. And this diversity of the interpretation of religious thought and experience is shown by the fact that twentieth-century theologians and philosophers have formulated upward of five hundred different definitions of religion. In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all other human beings.“(1129.8) 103:1.1

7. Proposition. Both science and religion are predicated on the assumption of certain validities.

“All divisions of human thought are predicated on certain assumptions which are accepted, though unproved, by the constitutive reality sensitivity of the mind endowment of man. Science starts out on its vaunted career of reasoning by assuming the reality of three things: matter, motion, and life. Religion starts out with the assumption of the validity of three things: mind, spirit, and the universe — the Supreme Being.” (1139.3) 103:7.11

8. Proposition. Reason, logic, and faith all have their place in human experience.

"Reason is the act of recognizing the conclusions of consciousness with regard to the experience in and with the physical world of energy and matter. Faith is the act of recognizing the validity of spiritual consciousness — something which is incapable of other mortal proof. Logic is the synthetic truth-seeking progression of the unity of faith and reason and is founded on the constitutive mind endowments of mortal beings, the innate recognition of things, meanings, and values."(1139.5) 103:7.13

9. Proposition. When theology masters religion, religion dies. Reason, wisdom, and faith introduce man to facts, truth, and religion.

"When theology masters religion, religion dies; it becomes a doctrine instead of a life. The mission of theology is merely to facilitate the self-consciousness of personal spiritual experience. Theology constitutes the religious effort to define, clarify, expound, and justify the experiential claims of religion, which, in the last analysis, can be validated only by living faith. In the higher philosophy of the universe, wisdom, like reason, becomes allied to faith. Reason, wisdom, and faith are man's highest human attainments. Reason introduces man to the world of facts, to things; wisdom introduces him to a world of truth, to relationships; faith initiates him into a world of divinity, spiritual experience." (1141.4) 103:9.6

10. Proposition. Faith goes along with reason and wisdom to their full limit, and then proceeds in the sole company of truth.

”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

1. Proposition. The religious soul of spiritual illumination knows, and knows now.

"Time is an invariable element in the attainment of knowledge; religion makes its endowments immediately available, albeit there is the important factor of growth in grace, definite advancement in all phases of religious experience. Knowledge is an eternal quest; always are you learning, but never are you able to arrive at the full knowledge of absolute truth. In knowledge alone there can never be absolute certainty, only increasing probability of approximation; but the religious soul of spiritual illumination knows, and knows now. And yet this profound and positive certitude does not lead such a sound-minded religionist to take any less interest in the ups and downs of the progress of human wisdom, which is bound up on its material end with the developments of slow-moving science.“ (1120.1) 102:2.4

2. Proposition. It is the mission of religion to prepare man for bravely and heroically facing the vicissitudes of life.

"When certain vacillating and timid mortals attempt to escape from the incessant pressure of evolutionary life, religion, as they conceive it, seems to present the nearest refuge, the best avenue of escape. But it is the mission of religion to prepare man for bravely, even heroically, facing the vicissitudes of life.” (1121.1) 102:2.8

3. Proposition. Religion stands above science, art, morals, and philosophy, but not independent of them.

"Religion stands above science, art, philosophy, ethics, and morals, but not independent of them. They are all indissolubly interrelated in human experience, personal and social. Religion is man's supreme experience in the mortal nature, but finite language makes it forever impossible for theology ever adequately to depict real religious experience." (2096.4) 196:3.28

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