Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Seven Evolutionary Epochs of Spiritual Evolution -- Excerpt from the Urantia Book Paper 50: The Planetary Princes

(Stillness in the Storm Editor) The following excerpt from Urantia Paper 50: The Planetary Princes discusses the successive ages of evolutionary development, once the biological conditions have been met that allow for the beginning of the mental and spiritualizing ages of human beings. 

The Urantia Book is a little known and rarely understood work. Many view it's rather forthright appraisals of our earthly conditions as "negative"—but is that an accurate description? 

Consider that to one who lacks mental, emotional, or spiritual maturity, to hear of their short comings often evinces a reaction of dismissal—that to make light of a person's mistakes is a harsh and cruel assessment. But is it not, in the first place, a true statement, and in the second place, a great gift to become aware of one's lack of attainment—that we've missed the mark? How are we to grow into our full potential if we don't take the time to hold up the mirror of self-reflection and evaluation so that we might become all we came here to be?

On the question of whether the Urantia Book is a "true" account of the universe, its nature, and the history of our planet, I cannot confirm or deny anything with concrete certainty. But what I can say is that in the seven years I have been studying this material, it continues to stimulate my consciousness and propel me forward in my mental, emotional, and spiritual evolution. 

In this sense, I can definitely say, the Urantia Book can be regarded as a fable, myth, or legend—it doesn't have to be true in order to impart supernal wisdom and unmatched catalyzing effects on one's consciousness. 

Like all works of this type, passive reading rarely imparts the reader with much, other than a little entertainment. But to one of a truth-centric disposition, they will eventually realize the concepts and ideas enshrined within this work are a great wealth to be unearthed. This book, like so many other works throughout the ages, is a vehicle of ideas that can be so rewarding to those willing to set aside prejudice in favor of seeking the one truth in all things. 

I hope you enjoy, and allow, the concepts presented below to stimulate your thinking, to activate your philosophic muscles, and to actualize the spiritual potentials inherent within the evolving nature of your being. 

For myself, I can share that no other work, save a small handful, has ever so propelled me forward in the seeking of spiritual knowledge and cosmic insight. It was this book and the Law of One material that finally allowed me to shed the prejudice of atheistic belief. To this day, after reading the work several times, I continue to be enlightened by actively thinking about the things contained within the Urantia Book. 

Beautification of mind, through the study of works of this sort, is a kind of spiritual nourishment, rarely, if ever, partaken of by the peoples of earth. But to those who do take the time to drink from the cup of beauty kindle that fire of inspiration, which yields ever increasing capacity to be cheerful and loving in times of hardship, to see great insight and wisdom where others see only negativity. 

To provide some context, the Urantia Book claims that our world suffers from spiritual isolation—quarantine—due to the rebellious acts of a being named Lucifer—a system sovereign that oversees hundreds of inhabited worlds. On earth, Calagastia is our planetary prince, a high order of divine son that is meant to slowly and compassionately guide humanity in the development of enlightened society, which often takes countless ages of time. But this being of spiritual origin joined Lucifer in his rebelion against the Creator of all things hundreds of thousands of years ago, and in doing so, plunged our world into isolation. 

Despite the seemingly negative overtones of this story, there is an incredible and uplifting perspective that can be gleaned. 

Even in the face of isolation, the human spirit forges ahead, continuing to grow wise through struggling against tempation, finding love and upliftment through seeking for and following the truth, even when it seems all things have turned to lies and deception. 

Likely those of you who are reading these words are what the Urantia Book calls, the Faith Sons of God who are Agondonters—those spiritually guided and truth-centric beings who, despite the hardships of spiritual isolation, have forged an evolving soul of amazing determination and strength. Those who are at the forefront of the spiritual revolution taking place at this moment, are regarded in the Urantia Book cosmology, as being some of the most gifted and spiritually stalwart beings in the whole of creation. 

Whether the book is true or not, it shouldn't deter you from recognizing this amazing fact. That even when darkness seems to have washed over everything on our little blue world, the light of a spiritually gifted crop of individuals continue to shine brightly, even undoing ages upon ages of suffering and hardship. 

This fills me with great joy and undying gratitude for a universe that is so lovingly and wisely made that no matter how dark things appear, and often are, there is always the capacity for transmutation—the alchemy of turning darkness into light. And in the act of doing so, we leap forward in our evolutionary potential as evolving souls, bringing light to the darkness that surrounds us. 

- Justin

Source - Urantia

by a Secondary Lanonandek Son of the Reserve Corps, 

5. Progressive Civilization

The loyal princes of the inhabited worlds are permanently attached to the planets of their original assignment. Paradise Sons and their dispensations may come and go, but a successful Planetary Prince continues on as the ruler of his realm. His work is quite independent of the missions of the higher Sons, being designed to foster the development of planetary civilization.

The progress of civilization is hardly alike on any two planets. The details of the unfoldment of mortal evolution are very different on numerous dissimilar worlds. Notwithstanding these many diversifications of planetary development along physical, intellectual, and social lines, all evolutionary spheres progress in certain well-defined directions.

Under the benign rule of a Planetary Prince, augmented by the Material Sons and punctuated by the periodic missions of the Paradise Sons, the mortal races on an average world of time and space will successively pass through the following seven developmental epochs:
1. The nutrition epoch. The prehuman creatures and the dawn races of primitive man are chiefly concerned with food problems. These evolving beings spend their waking hours either in seeking food or in fighting, offensively or defensively. The food quest is paramount in the minds of these early ancestors of subsequent civilization.

2. The security age. Just as soon as the primitive hunter can spare any time from the search for food, he turns this leisure to augmenting his security. More and more attention is devoted to the technique of war. Homes are fortified, and the clans are solidified by mutual fear and by the inculcation of hate for foreign groups. Self-preservation is a pursuit which always follows self-maintenance.

3. The material-comfort era. After food problems have been partially solved and some degree of security has been attained, the additional leisure is utilized to promote personal comfort. Luxury vies with necessity in occupying the center of the stage of human activities. Such an age is all too often characterized by tyranny, intolerance, gluttony, and drunkenness. The weaker elements of the races incline towards excesses and brutality. Gradually these pleasure-seeking weaklings are subjugated by the more strong and truth-loving elements of the advancing civilization.

4. The quest for knowledge and wisdom. Food, security, pleasure, and leisure provide the foundation for the development of culture and the spread of knowledge. The effort to execute knowledge results in wisdom, and when a culture has learned how to profit and improve by experience, civilization has really arrived. Food, security, and material comfort still dominate society, but many forward-looking individuals are hungering for knowledge and thirsting for wisdom. Every child is provided an opportunity to learn by doing; education is the watchword of these ages.

5. The epoch of philosophy and brotherhood. When mortals learn to think and begin to profit by experience, they become philosophical — they start out to reason within themselves and to exercise discriminative judgment. The society of this age becomes ethical, and the mortals of such an era are truly becoming moral beings. Wise moral beings are capable of establishing human brotherhood on such a progressing world. Ethical and moral beings can learn how to live in accordance with the golden rule.

6. The age of spiritual striving. When evolving mortals have passed through the physical, intellectual, and social stages of development, sooner or later they attain those levels of personal insight which impel them to seek for spiritual satisfactions and cosmic understandings. Religion is completing the ascent from the emotional domains of fear and superstition to the high levels of cosmic wisdom and personal spiritual experience. Education aspires to the attainment of meanings, and culture grasps at cosmic relationships and true values. Such evolving mortals are genuinely cultured, truly educated, and exquisitely God-knowing.

7. The era of light and life. This is the flowering of the successive ages of physical security, intellectual expansion, social culture, and spiritual achievement. These human accomplishments are now blended, associated, and co-ordinated in cosmic unity and unselfish service. Within the limitations of finite nature and material endowments there are no bounds set upon the possibilities of evolutionary attainment by the advancing generations who successively live upon these supernal and settled worlds of time and space.
After serving their spheres through successive dispensations of world history and the progressing epochs of planetary progress, the Planetary Princes are elevated to the position of Planetary Sovereigns upon the inauguration of the era of light and life.

6. Planetary Culture

The isolation of Urantia renders it impossible to undertake the presentation of many details of the life and environment of your Satania neighbors. In these presentations we are limited by the planetary quarantine and by the system isolation. We must be guided by these restrictions in all our efforts to enlighten Urantia mortals, but in so far as is permissible, you have been instructed in the progress of an average evolutionary world, and you are able to compare such a world’s career with the present state of Urantia.

The development of civilization on Urantia has not differed so greatly from that of other worlds which have sustained the misfortune of spiritual isolation. But when compared with the loyal worlds of the universe, your planet seems most confused and greatly retarded in all phases of intellectual progress and spiritual attainment.

Because of your planetary misfortunes, Urantians are prevented from understanding very much about the culture of normal worlds. But you should not envisage the evolutionary worlds, even the most ideal, as spheres whereon life is a flowery bed of ease. The initial life of the mortal races is always attended by struggle. Effort and decision are an essential part of the acquirement of survival values.

Culture presupposes quality of mind; culture cannot be enhanced unless mind is elevated. Superior intellect will seek a noble culture and find some way to attain such a goal. Inferior minds will spurn the highest culture even when presented to them ready-made. Much depends, also, upon the successive missions of the divine Sons and upon the extent to which enlightenment is received by the ages of their respective dispensations.

You should not forget that for two hundred thousand years all the worlds of Satania have rested under the spiritual ban of Norlatiadek in consequence of the Lucifer rebellion. And it will require age upon age to retrieve the resultant handicaps of sin and secession. Your world still continues to pursue an irregular and checkered career as a result of the double tragedy of a rebellious Planetary Prince and a defaulting Material Son. Even the bestowal of Christ Michael on Urantia did not immediately set aside the temporal consequences of these serious blunders in the earlier administration of the world.

7. The Rewards of Isolation

On first thought it might appear that Urantia and its associated isolated worlds are most unfortunate in being deprived of the beneficent presence and influence of such superhuman personalities as a Planetary Prince and a Material Son and Daughter. But isolation of these spheres affords their races a unique opportunity for the exercise of faith and for the development of a peculiar quality of confidence in cosmic reliability which is not dependent on sight or any other material consideration. It may turn out, eventually, that mortal creatures hailing from the worlds quarantined in consequence of rebellion are extremely fortunate. We have discovered that such ascenders are very early intrusted with numerous special assignments to cosmic undertakings where unquestioned faith and sublime confidence are essential to achievement.

On Jerusem the ascenders from these isolated worlds occupy a residential sector by themselves and are known as the agondonters, meaning evolutionary will creatures who can believe without seeing, persevere when isolated, and triumph over insuperable difficulties even when alone. This functional grouping of the agondonters persists throughout the ascension of the local universe and the traversal of the superuniverse; it disappears during the sojourn in Havona but promptly reappears upon the attainment of Paradise and definitely persists in the Corps of the Mortal Finality. Tabamantia is an agondonter of finaliter status, having survived from one of the quarantined spheres involved in the first rebellion ever to take place in the universes of time and space.

All through the Paradise career, reward follows effort as the result of causes. Such rewards set off the individual from the average, provide a differential of creature experience, and contribute to the versatility of ultimate performances in the collective body of the finaliters.

[Presented by a Secondary Lanonandek Son of the Reserve Corps.]

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