Bill's Books 'n' Beyond

Art of Living

Contents of Part I

Habits to Foster Spiritual Growth

Kaye Cooper and William Cooper

Fostering the following habits in yourself will favor growth toward spiritual maturity.

Cultivate sensitivity to divine values.See Bill’s Book of Values at BillsBooks”N” for lists of higher values such as love, service, mercy, tolerance, respect, or forgiveness. Also see Cultivate a Value” at BillsBooks”N” for a technique for cultivation of values.

Recognize and appreciate religious living in others.See Personal Spirituality” at BillsBooks”N” for a description of religious living.

Meditate reflectively on cosmic meanings.Reflective meditation is relaxed, deep thinking and values sensing. Meanings are revealed by exploring the why of things. Cosmic meanings are the really big meanings like the answers to the question ”Why would God have something be the way this seems to be? “Why is this life so important?” “What is my eternal destiny?”

Solve problems with God’s help in worship.Talk back and forth with God regarding your problems while you commune in worship. Employ your imagination for God’s response.

Share your spiritual life with others. Talk about your experiences of God’s presence.

Avoid selfishness.

Refuse to presume on divine mercy.Do not intentionally think or act contrary to your understanding of God’s will on the presumption that God will not notice or will forgive you.

Live as if you are in the presence of God. In fact, you are.

Be kind. Be loving. Respect and love God. Love and benefit all other beings.


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Prepare the Path

Kaye Cooper

Story of Kaye, Mom and compassion: About 3 years before my mother’s death, she was hospitalized with an electrolyte imbalance and when she got out of the hospital, all of a sudden, she was showing signs of dementia. I really had trouble with this turn of events. I hated the way I was responding to the onset of my Mother’s dementia. I was frustrated, exasperated, exhausted, overwhelmed by the responsibility, and most of all, fearful that all of my goals and ambitions were going to fall by the wayside with the increased demands on my time and energy.

Using what Sharon Porter had taught me about cultivating values, I realized that what I needed was to remember the wonderful person my mother had been to me all those years of my life. I could use that loving memory to call up compassion for the problems she was having. I cultivated compassion and put it in my path into the hall that led toward her room at the facility where she lived. The next time I walked down that hall, I opened myself to the compassion I had put there. And my negative, dreading feelings were transformed into compassion (concern for mother’s suffering and desire to help).

Preparing the Path: Preparing the Path involves selecting values that you will need in the coming day or for a specific event that is approaching and then projecting those values into the future place and time. Preparing the Path is done when you have time alone to prepare for the day or for the event. It involves setting your intentions and projecting those intentions into your own future. Preparing the Path puts your own mind, body and spirit on alert. It is a commitment to Spirit that you will be especially receptive to spiritual guidance and support at the time you are planning for. It is almost a physical thing you place in your day at a certain point. You make a commitment and dedicate yourself to your intention. This allows you to enter the situation with poise and ease.

You may already have a good idea of what value will be most important at that time. But as you are Preparing the Path, you may also discover values that will benefit you. New values may just float in like feathers settling to the ground. If you will open to Spirit, you will be guided.

Preparing the Path for our work: In fact, when Sharon and I are going to meet to work on our retreats, one or both of us will Prepare the Path repeatedly in the days before we meet. We are especially vigilant about asking for receptivity to spirit. We always want to be led.

Here is what I wrote in my journal before one meeting: “Receptive: Open to Spirit. Open to each other. Trusting in our inner leading. Trusting in the beauty we create together. No fear. Resting in trusting expectation. Imbued with faith. Living in faith. Following in faith.”

Choose an event to prepare for: We are going to try Preparing the Path, so right now please think over the next week or so of your life. Is there an event, a problem you anticipate, a challenge you will face that you can Prepare the Path for?


I’m going to explain how to Prepare the Path and then I will lead you through it.

Ways to Prepare the Path: Projecting a value into a future time involves first of all cultivating the value—getting a really good sense of what the value is, allowing the value to fill you vividly. Then you imagine what it will be like when you are living the value. Do not see yourself from the outside, but be in the situation. Experience yourself expressing that value. How will you behave? And very important, how will you feel when you are living your value? Get a really good feeling of experiencing your value.

The final touch in Prepare the Path is to send the value you want to place in the situation on a stream of your spiritual energy to the point in your future where you will need it. You beam it into the time and place where you will need it.

Get your journal and pen. Think of the situation you chose earlier. Jot that down very briefly in your journal or on your paper.



Slip into Spirit….Breathe and rest in your heart…Feel your gratitude begin to grow. Feel your appreciation grow and grow….

Allow 30 sec.

Now, think about the value you chose.Get a really good sense of what the value is. What does it mean to you? Now, breathe the value in; allow it to fill you vividly; feel that value in yourself. Become that value. Next, in your imagination, live the value. Imagine yourself in the situation you chose, expressing the value you chose. How are you behaving? What are you saying? And very important, how are you feeling as you live your value? Get a really good feeling of experiencing your value. Feel it grow strong and sure. Take a little time here to feel the satisfaction of living your value.

***Allow 1 min.

Project: Now from your heart send a stream of your spiritual energy; send that value on your stream of spiritual energy to the point in your life where you will need it. Beam the value (what it means and how it feels) into the time and place you need it.

Allow 1 min.


Share: any comments or questions? Do you see places in your life where you can use Prepare the Path?

Allow sharing.

***Receptivity: In some cases you may not be able to discern what value you need. In that case, the value you project or rehearse is receptivity—openness to Spirit. It could actually become a standard beginning to your day, unless you have identified a specific need.

How It Works

Intellectual Effects: Prepare the Path is a type of Pre-Event Visualization, similar to what is commonly used in sports. Pre-Event Visualization involves visualizing yourself successfully practicing your sport. Studies of it show that visualizing successful practice can be more effective at improving your ability to play the sport than physical practice. So when you imagine yourself living your values, you are using a highly effective technique. Remember to imagine yourself from the inside, as if you are experiencing the event and living the values. That element of experiencing from the inside was crucial in the sports studies.

Physical Effects: You get a physical trail in the brain that makes you more likely to live the value. Except that with Prepare the Path you are expending more time and energy on the process than if you were physically rehearsing or practicing.

Spiritual Effects: Spiritually, Prepare the Path seems to have a multiplier effect because you are focusing on the specific place, time and people that can be your cues to shift into the value.

Review: Prepare the Path is a phenomenal method of infusing your life with true values. As you begin to actually live out some of the values you have been cultivating, their beauty, their practicality, and their power will make you fall further in love with them.


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Spiritual Practices

Sharon Porter at 2nd Joyful Living Retreat
Belton, TX 2011

Spiritual practices are anything you do intentionally to help you grow spiritually. The following list of useful spiritual practices was generated at a Joyful Living retreat at Belton, Texas in 2011. These practices are useful for contemplation. Also, you can pick one and “test” it for a day or a week to see what experience it brings.

  1. Enjoy spiritual poetry. Read, write, or memorize and recite.
  2. Enjoy inspirational music. Listen, play, or sing.
  3. Pray for spiritual progress for yourself and others. Imagine how that progress would change motives and actions.
  4. Adore God’s qualities. Desire them deeply for yourself and others.
  5. Meditate and encourage receptivity to spirit.
  6. Read spiritual teachings and think deeply about them.
  7. Memorize sayings or “scripture”.
  8. Schedule time for spiritual focus and keep the appointment.
  9. Journal (write) your inner feelings and thoughts.
  10. Nature walk to observe and reflect.
  11. Commune with nature. Feel more than think. Appreciate.
  12. Make a habit of looking for good in others.
  13. Pray silent, brief prayers in the moment of need or gratefulness.
  14. Clear bad feelings and lift spirits by counting blessings.
  15. Apply creativity to imagine what would be best.
  16. Produce inspirational art or music.
  17. Garden as cooperation with the spirit of life.
  18. Commune with your Spirit Within.
  19. Engage frequently in conversations with your Inner Spirit.
  20. Think of spirit as unseen but real, and contactable.
  21. Treat everything as sacred and entitled to respect.
  22. Contemplate the spiritual impact of what you do.
  23. Spend some “porch time” daydreaming and letting ideas drift in freely.
  24. Think deeply on the meaning/purpose of life and its activities. What is it for? What are we supposed to learn from it?
  25. Cultivate values.
  26. Contemplate values for the meaning they add to life. Why does it matter to you if you care about others?
  27. Prepare the path with spiritual values to be used in the future. (See BillsBooks”N” Activities – “Prepare the Path”.)
  28. Listen and respond with spiritual motivation (kindness.)
  29. Go about giving mental love hugs. Be gentle.
  30. Serve others unselfishly.
  31. Physically dance while imagining the spirit to be your partner.
  32. Move with music while communing with spirit.
  33. Practice intentional empathy. (Empathy is understanding how another is feeling.)
  34. Practice intentional compassion. (Compassion is
  35. sympathy for the suffering of another and a desire to help.)
  36. Greet your new day with joy and optimism. Expect new insights.
  37. Acknowledge the involvement of celestial persons in your life.
  38. Explore spiritual living by thought, feeling and action.
  39. Express your gratitude to spirit for life’s gifts and opportunities.
  40. Make a commitment each day on awakening to find and express goodness in that day’s events.
  41. Enjoy gentle and polite humor.
  42. Visualize spiritual reality.
  43. Trust and have faith in spirit.
  44. Engage in spiritual speculation. Why would God do it that way?
  45. Love, respect, and appreciate yourself and others.
  46. Let God love you. Feel God’s presence.
  47. “Soak” in values.
  48. Engage in intentional forgiving.
  49. Predict spiritual consequences.
  50. Act on your service urges.
  51. Seek spiritual guidance, listen and respond.
  52. Contemplate the immensity and the miracle of the cosmos.
  53. Spend some time in rapt attention to what you are experiencing. Mindfulness of what you feel physically and spiritually.
  54. Let go of what is bothering you, especially guilt.
  55. Review and contemplate a list of spiritual practices.
  56. Surrender control to spirit.
  57. Celebrate spiritual success and insight.
  58. Look for and plan service opportunities.
  59. Contemplate the meaning of love repeatedly.
  60. Play with spirit.
  61. Soak in spiritual practices.
  62. Trust and confide in others.
  63. Feel your soul and the Spirit Within.
  64. Share your goals and sense of purpose with your Inner Spirit as well as with other people.
  65. Remind yourself and others “Everything you do in this world matters”, even though it may not have the result you expect or want.
  66. Contemplate how love would behave in various situations.


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Philosophy of Living Principles

Prepared 2007 by William Cooper

In The Urantia Book (UB 1098:4 / 100:5.1) a high spiritual personality comments: “Too few have learned how to install a philosophy of living in the place of religious authority.”  This is recommending that we abandon religious authority as a guide to living our lives and instead develop and follow a philosophy of living that promotes a noble character. 

As one of our activities at the July 27-29, 2007 Spiritual Living Conference at Belton, Texas we undertook to start defining a philosophy of living which would guide our lives. 

The dictionary definition of philosophy is a beginning point. 

Philosophy is a system for guiding life, as a body of principles of conduct, religious beliefs or traditions. 

This definition could include inflexible theology, dogma and religious laws and rules.  Since The Urantia Book advocates a personal religion of following the leading of the fragment of God who inhabits our soul, we can be certain that fossilized rules of righteousness are not part of the philosophy of living recommended. 

Our personal philosophy of living can draw upon any source of wisdom.  The Urantia Book is a good source but it is not the only source of truth.  Ultimately the best sources of truth for your philosophy of living are the sources which the Spirit Within can use to enlighten your mind and soul. 

A philosophy of living includes such things as:

How do you see the world and your place in it? 

frightening, exciting, threatening, growing, dying, a contest, a school, a marvelous adventure a pointless game, material/emotional, spiritual? 

How do you view difficulties and challenges? 

to be avoided whenever possible?  To be faced with graciousness, 

goodness and charm? As opportunities to learn good spiritual habits? 

How and what do you think of other people and even of yourself?  Is it Godlike to forgive and to be tolerant, just and even merciful? Do you evaluate people in terms of the best they are capable of or of the worst? Do You relate to other people for the purpose of benefiting yourself or do you seek to serve their real spiritual, emotional and material needs? 

What place do wealth, power and prestige have in your philosophy? Is that as it should be? 

Where privilege, advantage, and power for change are concerned, what is fair? 

Conference participants undertook to explore several Urantia Book passages and to extract philosophy of living principles as best we could; then we added some principles from unidentified sources.  You could look at these principles and say these are just sayings or facts or maybe even truths.  This is correct because they do not become part of your philosophy of living until you give them that high status and allow them to guide your thoughts and behavior.  Would you like for these to be part of your system for guiding your life? 

The following children of God were attending and contributing to this effort. 

Matt & Peter Callac Sharon Porter & Ted Lanie   Carol & Skip Weatherford 

Mitzie & Michael Dentler Jean-Pierre & Nickla Heudier    Nancy Johnson 

Kaye & Bill Cooper Jeannie & Brad Wall     Diana Drake

Mary Huggins

Thanks to Carol Weatherford for very promptly typing up our hand-written principles.

This is the report of what we came up with.  No sources are specifically referenced because the authority for one’s philosophy of living should be the Spirit of Truth which ministers to each of us, the Inner Spirit (the spark of God within each of us) and the truth instinct of human mind.  The list of potential principles got long.  Feel free to approach it in pieces to prevent your mind from wandering away from the material. It is worth your time and attention. 

Exercise One:

Ask yourself what would be the consequences in your life if you really believed and practiced these principles?  In doing this I was brought face-to-face with some spiritual deficiencies.  I think that is healthy.

Choose any three of these principles randomly by number (1-281), Note the numbers so you have them available for reference in your reflection, and then think deeply about having those three as part of your philosophy of living, your personal guiding principles. How would that affect your attitude toward life? How would it affect your interactions with others? How would it affect your role in the cosmic family? Would you be a better, happier person? 

In reflecting on these principles, think deeply on their meanings and their consequences. Don’t just read quickly and pass on. The numbers are for reference only. They do not indicate importance or hierarchy of principles.

Exercise Two:

Engage in a cooperative game with your Inner Spirit. The way this game works is that you choose one principle to consider meditatively and in depth (not hurriedly). You remain alert to thoughts or impressions that come to you. Consider whether you agree with the statement and the ways the principle is true. The object is to have fun discovering new insights into the possible meanings and applications of the passage. Things that a quick reading would miss. Expect to discover values embedded in the passage. Expect to be surprised by new meanings, new truth, new beauty, and new goodness. My Inner Spirit and I really enjoy playing this game together. 

Love,  Bill Cooper       2-8-2008

Philosophy of Living Principles

  1. Jesus’ commandment to his followers was 1) Love and worship God and 2) Love and serve your fellows.  Your philosophy of living should adhere to this commandment.
  2. Jesus’ assessment of the value of anything was based on whether it brought man to God and God to man.  He sought by prayer and meditation to determine God’s way and then to do it.  He used prayer to determine God’s will and how to do it.
  3. It is God’s will that we should join him in building his family of the children of God, whose business is helping each other manifest the loving goodness of God.
  4. This life is the beginning of your eternal spiritual growth and education.  It is a unique opportunity.  Make the best spiritual use of it you can.
  5. The powers and possessions of material existence are meaningless unless they are used justly and unselfishly. It is the effort to be just and unselfish that has meaning, not the powers and possessions.
  6. Welcome and pursue the experience of dynamic and active religious living (living by values and spiritual leading) because it will transform you into a personality of idealistic power.
  7. Confide and trust in one another.  Spiritual growth is mutually stimulated by intimate association with other religionists.  Everyone is richer when spiritual gifts are shared.
  8. Pursuing higher values and spirit leading ennobles the commonplace drudgery of daily living.  It provides purpose.
  9. Be alert, the chief inhibitors of growth are one’s own prejudice and ignorance.
  10. Everyone needs to grow his own individual religious experience arising from trying to do the will of God.
  11. Children are permanently impressed only by the loyalties of their adult associates.  Rules or even examples are not lastingly influential.
  12. All normal mortals have certain drives toward self realization and growth.  The certain technique of fostering these is to maintain an attitude of wholehearted devotion to supreme values.
  13. Fostering the following habits in yourself will favor spiritual growth.
    • Cultivate sensitivity to divine values.  Devine values are those we see as qualities of the character of God.
    • Recognize religious living in others.  Living loyal to higher values.
    • Meditate reflectively on cosmic meanings – meanings related to truth, beauty, and goodness..
    • Solve problems with God’s help in worship.
    • Share your spiritual life with others.
    • Avoid selfishness.
    • Refuse to presume on divine mercy.  Don’t choose to do wrong knowing that you will be forgiven anyway.
    • Live as you are in the presence of God while knowing that in fact you are.
  14. Maintain a living and continuous spiritual connection with true spiritual forces.  Bear fruits of the spirit – minister to your fellows of what you have received from your spiritual benefactors.
  15. Recognition of your own spiritual short-comings is good because it is a prerequisite of spiritual progress as is the desire to know God and to be like him.  Repentance not only regrets mistakes but it also resolves to reform.
  16. The capacity for spiritual development is proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love.
  17. Deity attainment is attunement with the spirit within your soul and is never ending, always expanding.  Eternal life is the endless quest for infinite values.
  18. The goal of self realization should be spiritual.  The only realities worth striving for are divine, spiritual and eternal derivatives of love, truth, beauty and goodness.
  19. Material securities are vulnerable but spiritual sureties are impregnable.  The citadel of the spirit is absolutely unassailable for one who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to his Indwelling Spirit.
  20. Religion is inherently personal because it consists of the values you are loyal to.  Real religion of the spirit-led person is an impulse for organizing the soul for dynamic service.  It is the enlistment of the total self in the loyal service of loving God and loving and serving humanity.
  21. Human likes and dislikes do not define good and evil.  Moral values (understanding right and wrong) do not grow out of selfish concerns for rewards or satisfaction of your urges and appetites.  The most reliable guide to right versus wrong is whether the other person is being treated as you would want to be treated in that situation.
  22. The supreme value of human life consists in growth of values and progress in meanings with realization of the cosmic interrelatedness of both of these experiences.  Such a realization is the equivalent of God consciousness.
  23. Evolution of values and meanings is a cosmic technique of growth.  Positive change in personal values and meanings is desirable.  Resisting change to preserve the “old way” may be error.
  24. Living faith is the mobilization of the total of the powers of one’s personality – physical, mental and spiritual powers in the pursuit of achieving what you trust is real and true.
  25. Religious living is devoted, creative, original, and spontaneous.  It is alive, purposeful, exciting, and adventurous
  26. New religious insights arise out of conflicts which initiate the choosing of new and superior reaction patterns.  New meanings only emerge amid conflict of old ways and meanings with emerging new ones.
  27. There can be no spiritual growth without mental conflict and spiritual agitation.
  28. Feast, fatten and enthuse on adversity because it motivates reflection and therefore is an opportunity for spiritual progress.
  29. It requires effort to clarify spiritual vision and to enhance cosmic insight into meanings.
  30. The great problem of religious living consists in the task of unifying the soul powers of personality by the dominance of LOVE – uniting all of one’s talents and attributes in the service of love for everything and everyone.
  31. The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress.  Spiritual growth yields lasting joy, peace which passes all understanding.  Seek first spiritual growth.
  32. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor’s motives and sentiments.  Looking for good motives is on the path of friendship and love.
  33. The pathway for loving another is:
    • Sympathetically seek to understand his motives for his conduct.
    • Understanding leads to tolerance.
    • Tolerance leads to friendship.
    • Friendship leads to love.
  34. Only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious.  Love is more contagious than hate when it is intelligent and wise.
  35. Being skillful, intelligent, expert, ingenious or quick of mind is no substitute for character and does not signify possession of spiritual capacity.
  36. You have great faith resources if you will keep unreasoned fear from constraining your faith.  Trust your higher motivations (love and kindness) and act on them.
  37. Inherent capacities cannot be exceeded, so patience and tolerance are needed in an imperfect world.
  38. >Personality bestowal brings relative creative consciousness and free will control thereof.  Few mortals ever dare to draw anything like all of their personality credits (potential for expression of love, kindness, compassion and more) established by nature and grace.  Most impoverished souls are truly rich, but they refuse to believe it.
  39. Difficulties stimulate true children of the Most Highs.
  40. It is appropriate for you to aspire for yourself and to grant to others
    • privilege without abuse
    • liberty without license
    • power without self-aggrandizement
  41. Celestial beings do not assist lower beings who refuse to act on their light of truth.
  42. There is no happiness without effort.
  43. Action achieves strength.  Moderation eventuates in charm.  Act but be kind.
  44. Righteousness has far reaching consequences.  The act is yours the consequences are God’s when you act to do good.
  45. The weak resolve.  The strong act.
  46. Tribulation (error and apparent failure) is a blessing.  It is the only process for the birth of wisdom.
  47. Give advice only when asked.
  48. Affectation seeks to cover up weakness.  Be strong and be genuine.
  49. You cannot perceive spiritual truth until you feelingly experience it and many truths are not really felt except in adversity.  Look for the benefits in adversity and rejoice when you find them.
  50. You have not truly acquired any virtue until you reliably display it in your actions.
  51. Impatience is a spirit poison and anger like a stone thrown into a hornet’s nest.
  52. Anxiety and worry must be abandoned. They are debilitating and useless.
  53. The evolving soul is made divine and noble by what it strives to do, not only by what it achieves.
  54. The acts of today are the destiny of tomorrow. Consider the consequences, the ripple effects.
  55. Greatness lies in making wise and divine use of such strength or power as we may have.
  56. Knowledge is possessed by sharing, safeguarded by wisdom, and socialized by love.
  57. Progress demands development of individuality; mediocrity seeks perpetuation in standardization.
  58. The argumentative defense of any position is inversely proportional to the truth contained.
  59. Strong character is acquired by converting from material motivations (wealth, power, etc.) to spiritual motivations (love, compassion, truth, beauty, goodness, service).
  60. Dare to pursue a life of adventurous art (creative solutions) and uncertain logic (attempting the unproven), but make no mistake, you must expect to suffer the hazards of emotional casualties – conflicts, unhappiness, and uncertainties.
  61. A mature person soon begins to see all other mortals with feelings of tenderness and with emotions of tolerance.
  62. You must have wisdom of mind and charm of personality. You must have tact and tolerance to gain the cooperation of your fellows.
  63. Worshipful meditation is the greatest of all methods of problem solving.
  64. Worship brings relaxation, illumination, courage, self understanding, consciousness of union with divinity, relieves tension, removes conflict, and mightily augments the total resources of the personality.
  65. Prejudice and fear blind the soul to the recognition of truth.
  66. It is not good for man to be alone. Many noble human impulses die because there is no one to hear their expression. Some degree of recognition and a certain amount of appreciation are essential to the development of human character.
  67. Fear, envy, and conceit can be prevented only by intimate contact with other minds.
  68. Isolation tends to exhaust the energy charge of the soul.
  69. Among religionists, great spiritual power for unity and peace is inherent in the consciousness of wholehearted devotion to a common cause—mutual loyalty to a cosmic deity.
  70. Worship-communion augments energy to do spiritual work by transforming weakness to strength, fear to courage, and a mind of self to the will of God.
  71. Worshipful practices, when persisted in, become habits. Habits become character. Character becomes maturity (Godlikeness).
  72. All too often when we battle for the right, it turns out that both the victor and the vanquished have sustained defeat. Such hidden defeat is to be expected when we resort to physical or legal force instead of tact, tolerance, and love.
  73. Wisdom comes only from the experiences of adjustment to the results of one’s failures.
  74. Failure is simply an educational episode. For a God knowing and God assisted mortal, defeat is but a new tool for the achievement of higher levels of universe reality.
  75. To achieve courage requires dealing with hardships and disappointments.
  76. Altruism develops in response to situations of social inequality so reflect on social inequality, privilege, unfairness, and discrimination.
  77. There can be no recognition of hope without insecurities and uncertainties.
  78. Faith arises because you can always believe more than you can know.
  79. To love the truth and be willing to follow it, the contrasts of error and falsehood are necessary.
  80. Idealism and perfection-hunger are fed by your realization that your environment of compromised goodness and beauty can be improved upon.
  81. Recognition of the possibility of betrayal and desertion are essential to the growth of loyalty.
  82. You can not meaningfully choose the divine unselfish life without the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor.
  83. If happiness is desirable, then you must live in a world where pain and suffering are possibilities.
  84. Evolving man must be fallible if he is to be free. Free and inexperienced intelligence cannot possibly at first be uniformly wise. It will inevitably make mistakes.
  85. Unreasoned fear separates us from the Spirit. Fear not.
  86. You can’t force more understanding, insight, etc. on a person (including yourself) than his current capacity. Give him what he needs now. As he grows in understanding so will his capacity.
  87. We have all the ability, strength, courage, etc. that we ever need. It is our lack of belief (education, faith) that limits us.
  88. We are able to overcome fear when we are spiritually connected and recognize our position as beloved children of God – heirs to the kingdom of God.
  89. The excellent civilization is marked by humility, self-control, and equality. The high civilization enjoys the fruits of civilization without greed and selfishness.
  90. Many difficulties in our lives have their origin in our not acting on the truth we have.
  91. Happiness requires intelligent effort.
  92. Be of good cheer in all circumstances.
  93. Be full of grace.
  94. Speak and act graciously. Graciousness is the friendliness that comes from a love saturated soul.
  95. Saturate your soul with love. Give and receive love freely and with joy.
  96. Goodness is effective only when it is attractive. It is universally attractive only when it is gracious.
  97. Goodness always compels respect but when it lacks grace, it often repels affection.
  98. Help those suffering and in distress. Don’t merely feel their pain.
  99. Be sincere in your feelings for another’s sorrow or hardship and let this lead you to help.
  100. Do not indulge over much in tender or sorrowful feeling or emotion aroused by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another. Act to help rather than fruitlessly feeling sorry for their plight.
  101. Be a keen observer and comprehend human need. Detect human longings.
  102. Never be in a hurry. Take time to comfort others as you pass by. Comfort others with faith – in themselves, in other persons, in success and in God.
  103. Make your friends feel at ease.
  104. Be a charming listener. It is a gift, a service.
  105. Do not be a meddlesome prober into other people’s souls. Invite but do not press them to share. Treat what they share as a confidence.
  106. Have great faith in others. There is goodness in everyone.
  107. Don’t direct, manage or follow up on others. God wants them to have freedom of choice.
  108. Inspire profound self confidence and courage in others.
  109. Be severe when the occasion demands such discipline but do not punish.
  110. Asking others for help elicits interest and appeals to the better things in human nature.
  111. The needs of the individual are more important than the message to the multitude.
  112. Do unselfish good as you go about your daily life.
  113. Accept and proclaim spiritual liberty.
  114. Encourage joy to those who live in fear.
  115. Heal the sick as God wills.
  116. Encourage those who are in distress.
  117. Do not forcibly resist injustice either by physical or legal resistance. Be willing to suffer injustice rather than to sue each other.
  118. Use spiritual weapons of love, not physical or legal force to transform your world.
  119. In kindness and in mercy minister to all who are in need.
  120. Love your enemies.
  121. Do good to those who hate you.
  122. Bless those who curse you.
  123. Pray for those who use you selfishly for their purposes.
  124. Do unto others as Jesus would do unto them.
  125. You are a child of God. Behave accordingly.
  126. Your task is to salvage men and women not to judge them. Show mercy to all.
  127. Discern the truth of the power of love clearly. Live the righteous life fearlessly. Display and propagate peace and goodness.
  128. Show just judgment and keen wisdom in whom you present the gospel to.
  129. By their fruits you can distinguish the true from the false and the good from the bad.
  130. In the spirit, it is the motive that counts. God judges us by our inner longings and our sincere intentions.
  131. Strong character is derived from actually doing right not from avoiding doing wrong. In this it is the motive of what you attempt rather than what you achieve that counts.
  132. Unselfishness is the badge of human greatness.
  133. The highest levels of self realization are attained by worship and service.
  134. The happy and effective person is motivated by the love of right doing not the fear of wrongdoing. Fear of wrongdoing is more of a restraint on the righteous than it is on the evil doer.
  135. Fear and shame are unworthy motives for religious living. Love, mercy and service are righteous motives.
  136. Without a worthy goal, life becomes aimless and unprofitable and much unhappiness results. Set worthy goals of loving service for others.
  137. Faith and love strengthen moral character and create happiness. Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness.
  138. Seekers after truth / God / spiritual wealth; do not have to wait into the distant future for their rewards. They are rewarded now for they find the joy of the kingdom of heaven within their own hearts.
  139. Only the humble seek for divine strength and crave spiritual power to overcome spiritual shortcomings.
  140. Doing right is a pleasure, not a burden. Jesus’ righteousness is a dynamic (acting, alive, adapting) love. It is both Parental and brotherly affection.
  141. Genuine meekness is desirable. It is an attitude of a person cooperating with God. “Your will be done.” It is motivated by an unshakable faith in a lawful and friendly universe. It masters all temptations to rebel against the divine leading.
  142. Purity of heart refers more to the faith a person should have in his fellows. It is the faith a parent has in his child. It need not pamper and does not condone but it is always anticynical. Parental love always looks for the best in man.
  143. To experience God by faith is the acquisition of true spiritual insight and this enhances Inner Spirit guidance and ultimately God consciousness.
  144. In dealing with children, avoid deception and do not suggest suspicion. Wisely help them choose their heroes and select their life’s work.
  145. Being perfect as God is perfect is loving as God loves.
  146. God-like love is tenderhearted. It is sympathetic to the suffering and hardship of others.
  147. Loving kindness is active and dynamic. It is helpful, not just sympathetic. It is supremely parental.
  148. Inner peace is the peace of Jesus and results from wholeheartedly wanting to do God’s will. Personal peace integrates personality. Social peace prevents fear, greed and anger. Political peace prevents race antagonisms, national suspicions and war. Peacemaking is the cure of distrust and suspicion.
  149. Fatherly love can endure persecution and lay down life for the beloved child. Fatherly love delights in doing good in retaliation for injustice (returning good for evil).
  150. The good choice, the right action is recognized by the truth seeker and has spiritual ramifications in the Supreme. (in the universe) (far beyond the event)
  151. Don’t waste your efforts merely yearning, planning, and reasoning. You have only the present. Act to accomplish something real, something advancing truth, beauty or goodness!
  152. We need to do our day’s work so God has something to use in motivating our fellows to righteous living.
  153. Difficulties, even tribulations, are of great value. From them we learn wisdom.
  154. Enlightenment comes through pain processing, as well as from euphoric experience. Some things we only learn when we are in difficulty.
  155. Create an interest in truth so when a person asks for help, you can give what is needed. (Not just what you want to give or what you think he needs.)
  156. Let LOVE saturate your soul.
  157. I open myself to Father’s love. I have little talks with my Father as I pass by.
  158. Goodness, gracious, attractive, and practical sympathy.
  159. I serve others respectfully. I listen to others.
  160. Appeal to the better things in human nature. Stimulate the goodness in others to act.
  161. Have faith in people. There is goodness in everyone.
  162. I believe in the inherent goodness of others.
  163. I focus on individual others in daily life.
  164. I love, therefore I serve.
  165. I pour my affection out like water to fill the empty spaces.
  166. God is each person’s individual Parent. Since this is true, there are inevitable consequences. Since this is true, we will become like God as we mature.
  167. We have the tools to change the world, starting with ourselves.
  168. We find the good in others and ourselves.
  169. By loving God, we want to be more like God and we want to share that experience with others.
  170. Who you are is what you teach.
  171. We are social creatures, loving and confiding in others and growing in grace and love by sharing with those we love.
  172. We should live in harmony with the destiny God has ordained for us. What is that destiny?
  173. The spiritual forces we need to attain our destiny are truly within us, powers of divinity and infinity.
  174. The spiritual forces within us are slumbering, latent, and only potential, until they are awakened and activated by our choices to cooperate with them.
  175. Jesus’ good news of the family relationship among celestials and humanity presents us with strong incentives, new concepts of our eternal destiny, our life purpose beginning here and now to serve the family.
  176. Worship is one of the best daily practices to gather spiritual energy to do spiritual work.
  177. Through worship we can both renew our energies and gain greater spiritual perspective.
  178. Willingness to cooperate with others (according to the pattern of sharing and cooperation established by God) is a manifestation of spiritual “maturity”.
  179. Developing tact and tolerance is part of the spiritually desirable attitude of cooperation.
  180. Mutual appreciation of values of others is essential to the development of character.
  181. It is important to be in intimate contact with people different from you in order to augment your spiritual values by gaining the insight of the other.
  182. Sharing of spiritual knowledge & experiences elevates spiritual values and advances love, trust, and altruism.
  183. There is spiritual power in working together for a common cause— Godlikeness and the enlargement of the spiritual family.
  184. There is great spiritual power in working together for a common cause and acknowledging the individual’s contribution thereto.
  185. Remember, you are not alone in your trouble; your friends (mortal and celestial) lighten the burden if you trust and confide in them.
  186. Selfless love is the key to committed, lasting relationships.
  187. Patience is exercised by immature individuals; true maturity transcends patience by a forbearance born of real understanding.
  188. Live your relationship with God to be a light for others to pursue their friendship with God.
  189. Bloom where you are planted. There is plenty to achieve where you are.
  190. Protect each other like brothers and sisters, even like fathers and mothers.
  191. Nurture each other like mothers and fathers nurture their children.
  192. Faith and love strengthen moral character and create happiness.
  193. Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness.
  194. Relish the knowledge of poverty in spirit for it leads you to be taught by the Spirit here and now.
  195. Love is a pleasure not a burden. Yes, even loving your enemies is a pleasure.
  196. Not my will, but God’s will be done. It actually is my will that God’s will of unification by the attractiveness of love shall be done.
  197. Always look for the best in other persons and love them with a parental as well as a brotherly / sisterly affection.
  198. Being sensitive and responsive to human need generates genuine and lasting happiness.
  199. Show mercy to all of your brethren in the flesh.
  200. Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends in service.
  201. Responding as spiritual beings to the negative experiences of life allows us to create our own unique divinity. God delights in that.
  202. Love is the desire to do good to others. Love is the most powerful force in the universe.
  203. You are a child of God and God will gradually and gently lead you through every trial and hardship along the pathway of becoming Godlike.
  204. Through darkness and light the Spirit of Truth (the spirit of Jesus) will always speak saying “This is the way.”
  205. Reach for and use the highest concepts drawn from many different human sources and inspired / inner creative sources.
  206. You may be certain that your spiritual helpers will use your life situations to provide opportunities for spiritual growth.
  207. Learn to grow the values of cosmic or supreme loyalty to all the ways of truth, beauty, and goodness.
  208. Always be open to enhanced values.
  209. Keep the door to the Spirit always open to receive inspiration. Hear and be open. Pray always for openness and tolerance and to know and follow the will of God.
  210. Seek to live a life true to the values that experience and the Spirit Within present to you.
  211. Your real security lies in your inner self. Pray that you recognize that you are rich in spiritual realities.
  212. Gather and dispense strength, hope, courage, joy, and support in your new world of spiritual reality.
  213. Live in your real self, your values-centered soul-self.
  214. My goal of attainment is spiritual, divine, and eternal.
  215. My whole-hearted devotion to supreme values enables me to attend to my spiritual growth and overcome non-spiritual tendencies.
  216. Failure, disappointment, and conflict prepare the soil of my soul for spiritual growth.
  217. Let the spirit lead me to be a whole person as directed by God, to be balanced, to be open, to be curious, to be teachable.
  218. My hunger for truth, beauty and goodness leads to my spiritual growth.
  219. My true connection to God through worship results in my producing spiritual fruits which lead me to loving service.
  220. I must remain always open and teachable and aware that there is always much more to experience and know spirtually. I will cultivate divine values and trust without doubt that spiritual growth is occurring.
  221. Nobility of character through cosmic growth is my goal!
  222. Be remotivated in life after a catastrophe, for it heralds the opportunity for a new and more noble level of universe attainment. Destruction of the old makes realization of the new much more achievable.
  223. To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash? Reality is in the spiritual, not the material.
  224. The only realities worth striving for are divine, spiritual, and eternal.
  225. Selfish love must be eliminated, otherwise it blocks the capacity for spiritual development.
  226. Maintaining a spiritual connection and continuous bearing of spiritual fruit are necessary for spiritual development. Humility and desire to be like God and wholehearted purpose to do the will of God are necessary for spiritual progress.
  227. Religious habits of thinking and acting contribute to spiritual growth, which is itself unconscious.
  228. Nobility of character is a result of cosmic growth, arising from the accumulation of meanings and elevation of values.
  229. Spiritual progression is not markedly influenced by physical health, inherited temperament, or social environment so long as one maintains an attitude of wholehearted devotion to supreme values.
  230. Be loyal to your supreme values and spiritual growth and inspiration will result.
  231. Every child needs an opportunity to grow on his own. His growth is evidenced by enhancement of ideals, appreciation of values, new meanings of values, and augmented loyalty to supreme values. We are all spiritual children.
  232. Take time for God. Listen and grow in wisdom. Avoid prejudice and ignorance because they are a barrier to spirit leading.
  233. Be loyal to the best you know, always reach for the highest concept of wisdom in any life experience.
  234. The truth you perceive is not absolute truth. It is relative truth at best.
  235. Be tolerant and curious. Be open to understanding others.
  236. The wise, mature person pursues higher meanings rather than personal pleasure.
  237. The mature person is loyal to the highest concepts of life and cosmic relations.
  238. Do not be too busy to grow. Make time for growth. Guard against prejudice and ignorance because they inhibit growth.
  239. Spiritual growth is the supreme purpose of life.
  240. Real growth leads to enhancement of ideals, increased appreciation of values, new meanings of values and augmented loyalty to supreme values. (Real growth focuses on ideals, meanings, and values.)
  241. Living loyally to your supreme values brings spiritual growth to you and inspiration and spiritual opportunity to those who observe that you are being loyal to your values.
  242. Religious growth involves these consequences which you are entitled to ask for in fair measure.
    • Progressive self-realization.
    • Balance.
    • Curiosity and adventure.
    • Experiencing satisfaction.
    • Fear stimulus of attention and awareness.
    • Wonder-lure.
    • Humility – sense of smallness.
    • Self-criticism/conscience.
  243. Wholehearted devotion to supreme values assures spiritual growth despite physical, social and temperamental handicaps.
  244. Nobility of character like our Father is my goal.
  245. I aspire to manifest in my life:
  246. +++
    • Sensitivity to divine values.
    • Appreciation of religious living in others.
    • Meditation on cosmic meanings.
    • Avoidance of selfishness.
    • Refusal to presume on divine mercy.
    • Living as in the presence of God.
  247. Both worship/meditation and loving service are essential for spiritual development. Humility and desire to be like God are also essential.
  248. Selfish love stunts spiritual development.
  249. The only realities worth striving for are divine, spiritual, and eternal.
  250. Look for the spiritual blessing arising from all events, even from material / emotional catastrophe. The blessing is there. All things work together for the good of those who retain their focus on doing the will of God.
  251. The body will die. The spirit, mind and character will live. Invest yourself where it matters.
  252. Your anxieties and sorrows, trials and disappointments are part of the divine plan and are necessary to the development of strong, noble and experienced character. Feast, fatten and enthuse on these essential learning opportunities.
  253. Everyone who seeks spiritual enlightenment and growth will receive it.
  254. Your Inner Spirit must come to dominate and control every phase of your experience. It is your choice to permit this or to prevent it.
  255. Worship causes you to become like what you worship.
  256. Whenever you consciously and joyously recognize and acknowledge the truth and fact of your intimate and personal relationship with the Creator, you are worshipping God. Relationship in both the sense of being a child of God and in the sense of having an active friendship and contact with God.
  257. Many perplexities are, in reality, nonexistent. Many pressing troubles are creations of exaggerated fear and the offspring of augmented apprehension. Fear not. Abandon anxiety.
  258. Much of your sorrow is born of the disappointment of your ambitions and the wounding of your pride. Sincerely exert yourself and then cheerfully accept your lot and exercise ingenuity in making the most of what has fallen to your hands.
  259. Optimism encourages hope and action toward realization of your ideals. Pessimism undermines both hope and values driven action.
  260. Take delight in cultivating courageous and independent cosmic thinking about reality and cosmic meanings.
  261. Ignorance of the thought of your fellows breeds suspicion and suspicion is incompatible with the essential attitude of sympathy and love. Study and find opportunities to learn first-hand what your fellows are genuinely thinking.
  262. Religion is genuine and worthwhile 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 then through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with God.
  263. God will give me hills to climb and strength for climbing and educate me by the process.
  264. We never become truly spiritual by sitting down and wishing to become so. We must undertake something so great that we cannot accomplish it unaided.
  265. What would we do with ourselves if something did not stand in our way?
  266. A ship in harbor is safe but that is not the purpose a ship is built for.
  267. The search for God is the unstinted bestowal of love attended by amazing discoveries of new and greater love to be bestowed.
  268. All true love is from God, and man receives the divine affection as he himself bestows this love on his fellows.
  269. Love is dynamic. It can never be captured; it is alive, free, thrilling and always moving. Man can never take the love of the Father and imprison it within his heart.
  270. The Father’s love can become real to a human only by passing through that person’s personality as he in turn bestows that love upon his fellows.
  271. The love of the Father appears in the mortal personality by the ministry of the indwelling Adjuster.
  272. A soft answer turns away wrath.
  273. When light is not honestly received and lived up to, it tends to become darkness within the soul.
  274. The purpose of this life is the building of righteous character – a personality who lives to do good. The heart of righteous character is developing ever more worthy values, living loyal to those values and with reverence for truth, beauty and goodness.
  275. Give first priority to what is most important.
  276. Michael has been building Nebadon for 300 billion years. 300 billion years from now I am going to be a whole lot more like him than I am now.
  277. God is patient beyond imagination, but progress is essential.
  278. Superstition is man-made and imposes bondage.
  279. Catastrophes of nature and accidents are not visitations of divine judgment nor dispensations of Providence.
  280. Avoid destructive criticism of self or of others.
  281. Progressive evolution, not destructive revolution, is the way to positive and lasting change.
  282. The task of spiritual progression to Godlikeness is eternal and often seems from your perspective to be hopelessly slow. But what you will surely achieve is beyond anything you can possibly imagine. Therefore, strive with yourself to live according to your highest values, to seek meaning and to honor beauty in all its manifestations. Then have faith in the Spirit Within to lead you and be patient with yourself and others. As a child of God, you are being educated. Your school is a vast and exciting place. Your heavenly associates want you to enjoy and be thrilled by your experience. Never fear, not once in eternity will your journey be boring, once you learn to explore it for its spiritual consequences.


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Jesus on True Religion

Prepared by William Cooper

Jesus’ discourse on true religion (UB p.1728) was delivered ten months before his crucifixion. The Urantia Book describes it as one of the most remarkable addresses which his apostles ever listened to throughout all their years of association with him. I think it is still very remarkable even after 2000 years of Christianity. His comments were prompted by a question from the apostle Thomas, which was “Master, I would really like to know just what is wrong with the religion of our enemies at Jerusalem? What is the real difference between their religion and ours? Why is it we are at such diversity of belief when we all profess to serve the same God?”

I am going to present Jesus’ response in seven sub-topics. I have indicated my comments and questions by presenting them in italics.  An asterisk after a word indicates the word is defined at the end of the article.  My seven sub-topics are:

  1. Distinguishing the Forms of Religious Devotion
  2. Freedom*, Liberty*, Heroes* and Prophets*
  3. Unifying Effect of Religion of the Spirit
  4. All Things Are Sacred
  5. Proof You Are God Knowing
  6. Reassurance of Salvation
  7. Fruits of the Spirit, Consequences of Being Spirit Led*

I.  Distinguishing the Forms of Religious Devotion

At any one time and among any one people there are to be found three distinct and coexisting forms of religious devotion. And these three are:

  1. Primitive religion. The semi natural and instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship* superior forces. It is chiefly a religion of fear.
  2. religion of civilization. This consists of the advancing religious concepts and practices of the civilizing races. It is the religion of the mind – the intellectual theology of established religious tradition. All organized religious traditions are in this category.
  3. True religion. This is the religion of revelation to your soul [by your personal Spirit Within and the spirit of Jesus].What these spirits reveal is supernatural* values*, even a partial insightinto eternal realities*. This is the religion of the spirit, whose truth* is demonstrated* in human experience*.

What are supernatural* values? (Look at fruits of the spirit, and spiritual weapons, below) What does “demonstrated in human experience” mean? In what forms does such experience come to us? Consider both inner experience and social or outer experience as well as sudden insight versus slow realization. Are the events in other people’s lives part of our experience if we view them with compassion and empathy?

The great difference between the religion of the mind and the religion of the spirit is that, while religion of the mind is upheld by ecclesiastical (churchly) authority, religion of the spirit is wholly based on human experience of spirit inspired insights into supernatural values, eternal realities, and our Heavenly Parent’s character. We must educate ourselves to know that we should accept the spirit’s leading.

[See fruits of the spirit, spiritual weapons, etc. below.] This experience of spirit inspired insights can come suddenly or as slow, accumulated recognition, what we might call the growth of wisdom.
The religion of the spirit means effort, struggle, conflict, faith*, determination, love*, loyalty*, and progress. The religion of the mind –the theology of authority – requires little or none of these exertions from its formal believers.

Why effort, struggle, and conflict? Can’t we avoid that? Maybe it is because this is what meaningful human experience consists of. These efforts, struggles, and conflicts are between higher values and immaturities in one’s self. These deal with our efforts to achieve self-mastery—to deal with life by faith and by trust in goodness. These are efforts and struggles in everyone’s life. These struggles and conflicts are contests within ourselves to establish reliable self-discipline to live according to higher values even when no other human knows the tendencies we struggle to control. The outcomes of these struggles determine our character which in turn has immense consequences in building our souls.

Jesus described his teachings as a new and very different religion that makes its chief appeal* to the divine spirit of our Heavenly Parent which resides in the mind of each person.

Why does religion of the spirit make its chief appeal to the Spirit Within and how? Perhaps it is because we get an attraction response to truth through the Spirit Within. Educating ourselves to identify that nudge gives us a way to recognize truth and God’s way.

This new religion will derive its authority*, it’s proof, from the spiritual fruits of its acceptance* that will so certainly appear in the personal experience* of all who really and truly become believers in the truths of this higher spiritual communion*. [See fruits of the spirit, below.]

Jesus calls upon us to be born again, to be brought into spiritual life by the experience of personal communion with the spirit of God within. [What will the experience of personal communion with God be like? Extraordinary or not?] Jesus has called us out of the darkness of authoritarian and traditional religion into the transcendent* light of the realization of making for ourselves the greatest discovery possible for the human soul to make – the supernal (celestial, heavenly) experience of finding God for* ourselves, in* ourselves, and of* ourselves, and of doing all this as a fact in our own personal experience*. [What do “for, in and of ourselves connote?]

The religion of the mind ties you hopelessly to the past; the religion of the spirit consists in progressive revelation and ever beckons you on toward higher and holier achievements in spiritual ideals* and eternal realities*. [See fruits of the spirit, spiritual weapons, etc. below for an identification of spiritual ideals and eternal realities.]

To summarize Jesus’ remarks on forms of religious devotion: Primitive religion is based on fear. The religion of civilization is founded on intellectual theology, tradition and rules. Religion of the spirit is constantly renewed by inner spirit revelation as clarified by the Spirit of Jesus. All three forms coexist in a culture and probably even in an individual’s spiritual life. The validity of the meanings and values revealed by your Inner Spirit is proved by the fruits of actually living such meanings and values. So, not actually living our meanings and values deprives our world and time of the spiritual fruits which would demonstrate their validity. The fruits flow from the living, not from the mere knowledge of meanings and values. There is power in our living this way because the Inner Spirit of each witness calls this behavior to its subject’s attention with approval and attraction.

II. Freedom, Liberty, Heroes and Prophets

While the religion of authority may impart a present feeling of settled security, you pay for such a temporary satisfaction the price of the loss of your spiritual freedom* and religious liberty*. The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you. And be assured, this spirit has many things to impart to each generation which other generations have refused to hear.

Our Paradise Parent did indeed speak through Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Amos and Hosea, but did not cease to minister words of truth to the world when these prophets of old made an end of their utterances. Our Creator Parent is no respecter of races or generations in that the truth is provided in one age and withheld from another.

Jesus admonishes us to give up the practice of always quoting the prophets of old and of praising historical spiritual heroes, and instead to aspire to become living prophets* of the Most High and spiritual heroes* of the coming kingdom of loving service and mutual encouragement and compassion. [What is a living prophet and what is spiritual heroism?]

We must cease to seek for the word of God only on the pages of the olden records of theological authority. Those who are born of the spirit of God shall discern the word of God regardless of where it appears to take origin. Divine truth* must not be discounted because the channel of its bestowal is apparently human. But all of the ways of knowing about the fact of God are less important than increasingly growing in the ability to feel the presence of God.

What does it mean “fact of God” and “feel the presence of God?” How is feeling the presence of God more revelatory of divine truth than knowing the facts about God? Doesn’t this suggest that one who feels the presence of God and responds, even without knowledge of the fact of God, is practicing religion of the spirit?

Summarizing Sub Section II: Religion of the Spirit liberates us from all restraints including religious traditions, holy books, priests and human teachers and prophets. We are encouraged to become living spokespersons for God and persons of courage and nobility of purpose regarding the coming kingdom of loving service and mutual encouragement.

III. Unifying Effect of Religion of the Spirit

Every race of mankind has its own outlook on human existence; therefore must the religions of the mind ever run true to these various racial viewpoints. Never can the religions of authority come to unification. Human unity and mortal brotherhood can be achieved only through the super endowment of the religion of the spirit. Racial minds differ, but all humanity is indwelt by the same divine and eternal spirit. The hope of human mutual encouragement and compassion can only be realized as the divergent mind religions of authority become impregnated with and overshadowed by the unifying and ennobling religion of the spirit – the religion of direct, personal spiritual experience. [What is spiritual experience as distinguished from nonspiritual experience? Look at fruits of the spirit and consequences of the spirit listed below for insights into spiritual experience.]

The religions of authority can only divide men and set them in conscientious array against each other; the religion of the spirit will progressively draw men together and cause them to become understandingly sympathetic* with one another. The religions of authority crystallize into lifeless creeds*; the religion of the spirit grows into the increasing joy* and liberty* of ennobling* deeds* of loving service and merciful* ministration.

Summarizing Sub section III: Loving unity is God’s goal. There are racial and authoritarian religious outlooks which interfere with unification of humanity into a spiritual family relationship. Substantial participation in religion of the spirit is the only remedy for this. Religion of the spirit promotes unification of purpose among various religionists at the level of doing God’s will even without agreement as to what God’s will is or how to do it. Creeds, theology and dogma attempt to enforce unity at the orthodox creedal level. That is not possible and involves intolerable interference with spiritual freedom which would itself contradict God’s will that we be free to pursue the truth wherever the spirit leads us.

IV.  All Things Are Sacred

All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led; that is, subordinated* to truth*, ennobled by love*, dominated by mercy*and restrained by fairness– justice. [Did Jesus really mean “all things” are sacred?]

find God in your soul, presently you will begin to discover him in other people’s souls and eventually in all the creatures and creations of a mighty universe. But what chance does the Creator have to appear as a God of supreme loyalties and divine idealsin the souls of people who give little or no time to the thoughtful contemplation of such eternal realities.

Summarizing Sub section IV: We should give thoughtful contemplation to discovering supreme loyalties and divine ideals in all creatures and creations and act accordingly, and consequently all things will become sacred to us. We should remember, regardless of what we are doing, everything we do or say or think matters and should exhibit goodness.

V.  Proof You Are God Knowing

. [Spiritual fruits are treated below.]

unreservedly risked everything you are and have on the adventure of survival after death in pursuit of the hope of finding the God of eternity, whose presence you have foretasted in time.

Summarizing Sub section V:

VI.  Reassurance of Salvation

Now, make no mistake, our Heavenly Parent will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith. God takes note of the physical and superstitious emotions of the primitive man. And with those honest but fearful souls whose faith is so weak that it amounts to little more than an intellectual conformity to a passive attitude of assent to religious authority, our Heavenly Parent is ever alert to honor and foster all such feeble attempts to reach out. But you who have been called out of darkness into the light are expected to believe with a whole heart; your faith* shall dominate* the combined attitudes of body, mind and spirit.

Attitudes of body: The things we apply our physical energies to.

Attitudes of mind: The ideas we apply our intellect to.

Attitudes of Spirit: The goals and values we pursue with our intellect and our physical effort.

VII. Fruits of the Spirit

[What does “born of the spirit” mean? It means brought into spiritual existence. Spiritual birthresults from recognition of God. Spiritual growthresults from appreciating and incorporating the admired qualities of God into our service to others. “Born of the spirit” is a literal, not a figurative, reference.] The Urantia Book provides several lists of the spiritual consequences when you live in cooperation with the spirit. These lists of the consequences of following spiritual leading provide partial answers to some of a religionist’s most basic questions. Such as:

Some fruits of the spirit are: [Modifiers here are very important.  The modifying words all indicate a second mile of involvement for the benefit of the other person]. These are super mortal* ideals dealing with relationships.

  • loving service
  • sincere fairness
  • confiding trust
  • forgiving tolerance
  • courageous loyalty
  • unfailing goodness
  • unselfish devotion
  • enlightened honesty
  • merciful ministry
  • enduring peace
  • undying hope

Intense striving is involved in actively living to achieve these super mortal ideals of service to other persons.  Conflict with self-centered motivations will arise.  Intense striving for the attainment of super mortal* ideals is always characterized by increasing: 

  • patience 
  • forbearance
  • fortitude 
  • tolerance.

The joy* of the Spirit of Jesus when consciously experienced in human life is a:

  • tonic for health 
  • stimulus for mind 
  • energy for the soul

You can consciously experience the joy of the Spirit of Jesus by focusing your attention on your delight in the insights given you by the spirit.  

Spiritual weapons, [These are an endowment of the arrival of the Spirit of Jesus at Pentecost] They are fruits of the spirit too.  Jesus in talking about why the heathen rage said religionists were too timid and should take the spiritual kingdom by spiritual assault.  The spiritual weapons are the power to build the kingdom. They are the way to conquer the world and bring it into the kingdom.  The enemies of the kingdom to be banished with spiritual weapons are evil, hate, anger, and fear.  [Note the superlative modifiers below indicating these qualities are to be demonstrated in superabundant generosity and love.]

 piritual weapons – Only these spiritual weapons have the power to spiritually conquer and transform the world.  They include:

  • unfailing forgiveness
  • matchless good will 
  • abounding love 
  • overwhelming evil with good 
  • vanquishing hate with love [even for your enemies]
  • destroying fear with courageous faith in truth 
  • goodwill of love and mutual trust 
  • being active and positive in love and mercy [Positive refers to enticing or luring with love rather than demanding or forcing with fear, guilt or obligation.]

Fruits of divinity are fruits of the spirit.  As we become more like God, more divine, we exhibit the actions, attitudes and goals of the divine.

As the love comprehension of deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals there are yielded the fruits of divinity which include: 

  • intellectual* peace*
  • social* progress
  • moral* satisfaction
  • spiritual* joy* 
  • cosmic* wisdom*.

As a spirit led person you will choose to be: 

  • subordinated* to truth*
  • ennobled* by love*
  • dominated* by mercy* 
  • restrained by fairness – justice

Religious unity and understanding sympathy are  consequences (fruits) of the religion of following the leading of the Spirit Within.

Twelve spirit-like performanceswhich reveal genuine spiritual faith – genuine active trust in the leadings of the Spirit.

  1. Ethics* and morals* progress
  2. Sublime* trust in the goodness of God
  3. Profound courage* and confidence
  4. Inexplicable poise* and sustaining tranquility
  5. Mysterious poise* and composure of personality
  6. Divine trust in ultimate victory
  7. Unswerving belief in God
  8. Undaunted faith in the soul’s survival
  9. Living and triumphing despite hardships
  10. Altruism* continues to survive
  11. Sublime* belief in universe unity & divine guidance
  12. Goes right on worshiping* God in spite of anything

Jesus on True Religion – Definitions

Acceptance– Undertaking as a responsibility or duty. Taking as true and satisfactory.

Altruism– Unselfish devotion to the interests and welfare of others, especially as a principle of action.

Appeal– To ask for help, sanction or corroboration.

Authority– Rightful influence. Validation. Verification. Reliability.

Communion– A sharing of thoughts or feelings. Intimate talk. Deep sharing.

Cosmic– Of or pertaining to the universe, especially as distinct from earth.

Courage –

Creed– Formal statement of religious belief.

Deed– An act as distinguished from words or thoughts.

Demonstrated– Making evident or proving. Described or illustrated by practical application.

Dominate– To rule over; govern; control. To permeate or characterize.

Ethics– A system of moral principles of right and wrong as applied generally to everyone in a large group.

Ennoble– To make finer or more noble in nature. Dignify. Elevate.

Experience– Active participation in events or activities leading to the accumulation of knowledge, understanding, or skill.

Faith– Dynamic and living trust in the reliability and guidance of God. Faith is beyond intellectual belief. It is belief sufficient that you act accordingly. Your faith becomes part of how you live. Faith is the positive leading of your Adjuster. Positive leadingindicates the use of attractions or lures to virtue rather than motivation from fear or guilt (negative).

For– On behalf of.

Freedom– Lack of restraint.

Hero– One noted for courage or nobility of purpose. One who acts to benefit others especially where personal danger or risk is involved.

Ideal –

In– Identifies where.

Intellectual– Involving the intellect. Mental.

Joy– Feeling of high pleasure or delight. Happiness. Gladness.

Liberty– Right to act in a manner of one’s own choosing.

Love– The desire to do good to others. Friendship. Friendliness. Compassion. Respect. Kindness.

Loyalty– Faithfulness.

Mercy– Kindness beyond what can be claimed or expected and beyond what justice requires. Applied love which sets the guilt of evil doing to one side and forgives. (UB 2018:1)

Moral– Concerned with the judgment of right and wrong in human action or character.

Of –

Peace– Inner freedom from annoyance, distraction or anxiety. Calm. Serenity. Tranquility. Freedom from strife or distress.

Poise – Steadiness, equilibrium, balance, dignity. Self-confident manner. Composure.

Prophet– One who speaks for God by divine inspiration.

Reality– Quality or state of being actual or true.

Social– Living together in communities.

Spirit led– Subordinated to truth, ennobled by love and restrained by fairness – justice.

Spiritual– Concerned with or affecting the soul.

Sublime– The highest degree. Majestic.

Subordinate– Subject to the authority or control of.

Super mortal– Spiritual. Divine.

Supernatural– Above, over or outside the natural.

Sympathetic– Showing kind feelings toward others.

Transcendent– Above and independent of the material universe.

Truth – An understanding of cosmic relationships, universe facts and spiritual values. (UB 1138:6) The living spirit relationship of all things and beings as they are coordinated in the eternal ascent Godward. (UB 647:4)

Value– A principle, quality or standard considered worthwhile or desirable.

Wisdom– Understanding of what is true, right or lasting. Combines insight as to what is real with experience as to how it works.

Worship– Reverent love and allegiance; Ardent, humble devotion. Very deep appreciation and gratitude regarding goodness.


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Spirit Assisted Thinking and Living

By William Cooper  May 2006

Spiritual living is living incorporating the assistance of the Spirit Within us. Our Thought Adjusters are the Spirit Within us and will lead us according to God’s will for our lives. Loyally following the leading of our Thought Adjusters is religion of the Spirit. It is the religion Jesus practiced and the religion he taught and modeled for his Urantia followers and for his universe. To be “religious” about anything is to be loyal, sincere, trustworthy, active, and enthusiastically committed. Reliably and intentionally following the leading of the Spirit constitutes religion of the Spirit and it is spiritual living. Religion of the Spirit is a unique path for each individual and it requires no priest, no church, no theology nor any rules made or interpreted by other humans.

Spirit Assisted Thinking 

Spirit assisted thinking should be an integral part of spiritual living and religion of the Spirit. It is a method for accessing and implementing our Thought Adjuster’s leading. Spirit assisted thinking is thinking aided by the Adjuster. It is a product of communion with one’s Thought Adjuster. It also includes attuning to the truth instincts of the cosmic mind. Spirit assisted thinking involves establishing habits and training and disciplining our minds to receive and use these spiritual / mindal instincts and leadings. The leadings and teachings of our Thought Adjusters need to be brought into our conscious minds in some way in order for us to make decisions and take action on them. Spirit assisted thinking is how we invite these superconscious leadings into our conscious minds. It is precisely the kind of thinking that a child of God who is trying to follow the Spirit’s leading should do. It is talking with and listening to the Spirit to get the Spirit’s suggestions. The kingdom (family) of God is within and that is where the Spirit of God resides and teaches the soul of each human. Spirit assisted thinking incorporates the Spirit of God into our thinking process and allows the inner kingdom to flow into our conscious mind.

Spiritual living is living your life by sincerely trying to follow the leading of your Thought Adjuster in everything you do and think. This connotes communion with your own Inner Spirit and loyalty to the way of love and service which the Spirit will suggest. Your Thought Adjuster is your source and authority regarding the will of God for your life.

This focus on “Spirit assisted thinking” was suggested by two references in The Urantia Book. One of these is found at UB 1213:1 /110:7.6. It says that few mortals are real thinkers and this is a great handicap in reception of the Thought Adjuster’s spiritual pleas translated from the universal broadcasts of love proceeding from the Father. Spirit assisted thinking requires us to spiritually develop and discipline our minds to the point of favorable connection with our Thought Adjuster. Our animal mind is almost completely dominated by chemical and electrical forces inherent in our physical natures. Therefore, we must train our minds to control these forces in order to be receptive to Thought Adjuster leading. Adjusters are constantly communicating to us. It is our failure to connect consciously which prevents real thinking. Our Adjusters long to make direct contact with our conscious, choice making mortal mind and they rejoice when they are successful. 

Reality Response 

The second key reference is found at UB pp. 191-192 / 16:6. It says there is inherent in cosmic mind a quality which can be called the “reality responses”. It is what saves will creatures from being helpless victims of the assumptions of science, philosophy and religion. Cosmic mind unfailingly responds on three levels of universe reality.

  1. Reality domain of the physical senses – differentiation of the factual and the nonfactual – reflective conclusions based on cosmic response. 
  2. Reality domain of morals in the philosophical realm – the recognition of relative right and wrong.
  3. Reality domain of religious experience – personal realization of divine fellowship – recognition of spirit values – awareness of sonship with God.

These cosmic responses are innate in cosmic mind and the experience of living never fails to develop these cosmic intuitions. It is sad however that so few persons on Urantia enjoy cultivating these qualities of courageous and independent cosmic thinking incorporating reality responses into their thinking processes.

Spirit assisted thinking consciously subjects thoughts to these reality tests by sensing for reality or nonreality.

Religion of Jesus 

High gear spiritual performances await the new revelation of the religious life of Jesus and the more general acceptance of the real religion of Jesus. UB 2086:3 / 195:10.4. I presume the new revelation of Jesus’ religious life is delivered by the Urantia Book. The UB says Jesus’ personal religion was religiously following the leading of his Thought Adjuster.

We can look to Jesus’ practices as our model for spirit assisted thinking and for spiritual living. We have two good descriptions of Jesus’ technique of spirit assisted thinking. At UB 2089:0 /196:0.10 there is a list of what prayer was to Jesus. That list tells us how Jesus used prayer to work out answers to his life problems. At UB 1774-1777 / 160:1-2 the philosopher, Rodan, describes how Jesus used his contact with his Inner Spirit to do real thinking. Rodan was a Greek philosopher from Alexandria, Egypt who spent weeks carefully observing Jesus and learning his practices and his teachings from Jesus’ apostles. He was truly a great intellect. His writings have been lost but the Urantia Book recovers his observations about Jesus from the celestial records of our spiritual family.

At UB 1774-1777 / 160:1-2 Rodan says he learned the greatest of all methods of problem solving from Jesus. That method was Jesus’ practice of the isolation of worshipful meditation which was done as follows: Jesus went off by himself. He communed with the Father. He appropriated spiritual energy for the solution of the higher problems of a moral and spiritual nature. He thereby gathered strength and wisdom for the ordinary conflicts of living. Rodan observed that this worshipful problem-solving practice brings:

  • Relaxation that renews the mind.
  • Illumination (spiritual insight) which inspires the soul.
  • Courage to face your problems bravely.
  • Self-understanding which obliterates debilitating fear.

Consciousness of union with divinity which equips you with the assurance enabling you to dare to be like God. [Consciousness of union sounds a lot more intimate and a lot more permanent than just consciousness of contact.]

Rodan also observed that the relaxation of this practice of spiritual communion has wonderful consequences:

  1. Relief of tension.
  2. Removal of conflicts.
  3. Augmentation of the resources of personality [The resources of personality unify spirit, mind and body and enable us to make value choices.] 

As Rodan analyzed it, Jesus’ style of meditation combines meditation and relaxation. Meditation makes the contact of mind with spirit. Relaxation determines the capacity for spiritual receptivity. From the philosopher’s point of view, the meditative interchange of strength for weakness, courage for fear, the will of God for the mind of self – constitutes worship. 

It becomes more urgent as society becomes more complex for God-knowing individuals to form protective habitual practices to conserve and augment their spiritual energies. Jesus’ style of prayer / meditation / worship is a good model of how to do this. 

In his prayer time Jesus engaged in solitary surveys of the problems of living and sought new stores of wisdom and energy for meeting the many demands of social service. Jesus’ prayer practice quickens and deepens the supreme purpose of living by subjecting the total personality [everything you are] to the consequences of contacting divinity. In his prayer / meditation / worship practice, Jesus grasped for new and better methods of adjusting himself to the ever-changing situations of living existence. He effected those vital reconstructions and readjustments of his personal attitudes which are essential to enhanced insight into everything worthwhile and real and he did all this with an eye to consistency with God’s will. Rodan was really impressed.

Jesus’ Use of Prayer as a Spirit Assisted Thinking Mechanism

The following is the list from UB 2089 /196:.0.10 of what prayer was to Jesus. It pretty clearly identifies what topics Jesus was communing about and suggests what he was saying in his prayers. His prayer life was the highest of spirit assisted thinking. These are at the upper edge of what I am able to grasp but if I read them slowly, repeatedly and reflectively, with intent to really understand and participate in each statement, I find I can understand them and can even create and enjoy examples of that application of prayer. But, I have to ask the Spirit a lot of clarifying questions in the process.

To Jesus Prayer Could be Any or All of These:

Sincere expression of spiritual attitude

Declaration of soul loyalty

Recital of personal devotion

Expression of thanksgiving

Avoidance of emotional tension

Prevention of conflict

Exaltation of intellection

Ennoblement of desire

Vindication of moral decision

Enrichment of thought

Invigoration of higher inclinations

Consecration of impulse

Clarification of viewpoint

Declaration of faith

Transcendental surrender of will 

Sublime assertion of confidence 

Revelation of courage 

Proclamation of discovery 

Confession of supreme devotion

Validation of consecration 

Technique for adjustment of difficulties

Mighty mobilization of soul powers to withstand all human tendencies toward selfishness, evil, and sin 

Jesus’ style of worship / communion eliminates prejudice by completely opening to spirit and God’s way and by applying the virtues of God to his considerations. Prejudice is having your mind made up about someone or something before hearing the evidence and even regardless of the evidence. Eliminating or at least avoiding prejudice is important to spiritual thinking because prejudice blinds the soul to the recognition of truth. The only way to eliminate your prejudice is by sincere devotion of the soul to the adoration of a cause that is all embracing and all inclusive of one’s fellows. The kingdom / family of God is where the spirit of God leads the soul of man. It is the will of God in action and experience. It is service, love, forgiveness, tolerance, forbearance and much more. Extending the family of God is the worthy cause that is all inclusive. Extending and empowering the family of God is the adventure God invites us to join. It is God’s fond desire for us to be part of his adventure. 

Avoidance is a temporary patch on prejudice. One method of avoidance of prejudice is to admit that it might be involved and resolve to guard against its effects.

Exercises to Experience and Practice Spirit Assisted Thinking 

Relaxation and meditation technique used by Jesus and observed and recommended by Rodan.

  1. Relax by being mindful of your breathing. As you inhale medium sized breaths, imagine that you are breathing in spiritual strength, vitality and optimism. As you breathe out, imagine that you are exhaling preoccupation, pessimism and physical exhaustion. When your mind is calm and focused, proceed.
  2. Identify the joy or concern you wish to visit with Father about. Describe for Father the significance of the choices involved in the matter you are considering.
  3. Carry out both sides of an imaginary conversation with Father.
  4. The objectives in this are to make it easier for your Adjuster to register ideas in your conscious mind and for you to recognize reality responses and to use them both in making decisions. 

Remember that the voice of the Adjuster is still, small, suggestive, and not powerful or demanding. So, permit the silence to linger and listen into it for your Adjuster’s quiet responses. These are likely to be questions which call for decisions based on values, meanings, and truth. Drift back and forth between prayer / discussion and worship / admiration.

Contemplation of What Prayer Was to Jesus

Relax, as in the preceeding exercise, and leisurely contemplate the individual statements of what prayer was to Jesus. Ask for understanding of how to use prayer in each of the ways Jesus used it. Ask for insights. Talk to Father. Ask him questions. Restate whatever relevant thoughts come to you. Be sure to listen. Thank Jesus for revealing each purpose, use and value of prayer. Thank him for his bestowal and constant present ministry. Discuss, adore, and pursue. Drift back and forth between prayer / discussion and worship / admiration. Meditate on what prayer was to Jesus and how prayer can serve you in that way. 

The term “Worshipful Problem Solving” is descriptive of this process. It means drifting back and forth between high prayer of sincere conversation with our Father about things that concern us and contemplation of the wonderful qualities and behavior of our loving, merciful, generous, forgiving, gracious, tolerant, faithful, and constant Father. The result is a mixture of thanksgiving and prayer for spiritual consequences mixed with worshipful adoration of God’s goodness. 

Direct Approach to Adjuster Communication

Thinking assisted by one’s thought Adjuster is probably less likely to be conscious because we need a fairly high level of spiritual achievement and personality balance to be able to handle such contact. So, the spirit shelters us until we are mature enough to maintain our balance during such conscious Thought Adjuster contact. But you might be ready and not know it. So here is a suggestion for direct approach to your Adjuster. At UB 1213:5 / 110:7.10 we can see part of what an Adjuster said to his human associate about their relationship. It seems safe to assume that your Adjuster would say similar things to you. Your Adjuster voluntarily assumed the task of leading you into realization and understanding of God’s love, mercy, tolerance, inclusiveness, generosity and other noble virtues. In short, to make God known to you. So here is what the Adjuster said, broken down into discrete comments for ease of consideration:

  1. You are the subject of my solicitous devotion.
  2. I would never intend to over chastise or discourage you.
  3. I plead that you more faithfully give me your sincere cooperation.
  4. Please more cheerfully endure the tasks of my emplacement.
  5. More faithfully carry out the program of my arrangement.
  6. More patiently go through the trials of my selection.
  7. More persistently and cheerfully tread the path of my choosing.
  8. I ask you more humbly to receive credit accruing as a result of my ceaseless endeavors.
  9. I bestow on you the supreme devotion and affection of a divine spirit.
  10. I will function with wisdom and power until the very end, until the last earth struggle is over.
  11. I will be true to my personality trust.
  12. I exhort you to survive. Do not disappoint me. Do not deprive me of the reward of my patient and intense struggle.
  13. On the human will my achievement of personality depends. 

Now here is the exercise. Assume that what the Thought Adjuster said above was said to you. I want you to proceed through all the Adjuster’s comments one by one. Relax and meditate on each statement and request for cooperation. Are you ready to make a commitment to your Adjuster regarding his requests? If that is not comfortable, reflect on why not. Ask your mind and your Adjuster to provide insights and help to remedy your withholds and enable your commitments. Remember, your Adjuster and Father’s entire Universe are interested in helping you master your resistances to spiritual thinking and spiritual living. They know you have resistances and do not judge you for them. You can be absolutely honest with Father. There is no punishment for your imperfections.

Exchange Your Mind for the Mind of Jesus

At UB 553:7 / 48:6.16 “Even on Urantia…” we are told “The angels teach the everlasting truth: ‘If your own mind does not serve you well, you can exchange it for the mind of Jesus of Nazareth, who always serves you well’.” How you do that, what happens, and whether you notice a change are all interesting questions to me. I am sorry to say that my experience with this approach is limited and very recent. I am “sorry to say” because my limited and very recent experience of asking for and opening to the mind of Jesus has had surprisingly positive results. Invocation of this change in thinking required nothing special, just a straight-forward and sincere statement of “Yes, I would like to experience exchanging for the mind of Jesus.” The result was immediate and noticeable. It was less like new thoughts and more like the experience of being joined by a beloved companion. It was feeling rather than thought. I am not transformed by having the foreign thoughts of another mind. Instead, what seems to be my own thinking took on a notable advance in optimism and cheerfulness. My trust in the success of God’s will was enhanced. When I think about other people, my attitude is positive and generous. I care for them and I am interested in looking for the goodness in them. This feels like, in cooperation with spirit, there are real possibilities to be achieved. I feel calm, patient, and tolerant. I feel an absence of irritation. “If your mind doesn’t serve you well” doesn’t really require a completely faulty ability to reason. It includes your mind failing to experience truths. It includes even spotty failures among startling achievements. There is a lot which even a capable mind fails or even respectfully refuses to experience. That too is mind not serving you well and can be remedied by exchanging your mind for the mind of Jesus. 

These changes have persisted now for a few days and they are reinforced each time I affirm that I want my conscious mind to benefit from the mind of Jesus. Wow! This exchanging my mind for the mind of Jesus is a wonderful, worshipful experience. It could be transforming if allowed to run continuously. It moves in and puts down its own connections quickly.


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Personal Spirituality

By Kaye Cooper  From the Joyful living Program

Spirituality is the process we follow to discover our values, grasp meanings and develop good, strong and loyal character.  I had better repeat that because I probably took you by surprise.  Spirituality is the process we follow to discover our values, grasp meanings and develop good, strong and loyal character.  Personal spirituality is the individually directed path each person follows in attending to her own spiritual needs.  There lives within each of our minds a perfect spirit who is there to guide us to perfection by enlightening our experience with insights into meaning.  It is entirely our choice whether to pay attention or not.

The most exciting adventure of our mortal lives is to explore our inner experience of the spirit within to find the insights of Spirit, and to bring that influence into our lives progressively so that Spirit’s love saturates everything we think, feel or do.  As we progress in expressing the spirit’s loving nature, the spirit’s courage, integrity, sincerity, fairness, and compassion are reflected in the way we treat others.  This way of life is a self-discovering and self-creating adventure.  We begin with no knowledge of the goal, no knowledge of the techniques of discovery and no knowledge of the certainty of success.  As we succeed in living the Spirit-reflecting life, we come to recognize that we are becoming the person we have dreamed of being by means of our own decisions and loyal expression of our values.  We are fulfilling our own deepest yearnings of what we wish to be.

What does it mean to be spiritual?  It is to lead our lives out of a spiritual core—seeking and following inner wisdom.  Inner wisdom is not just applied experience.  Experience teaches us the rational cause and effect patterns that improve our decision-making.  But what we learn from experience is lifted above knowledge of cause and effect into truth, values and meanings by insight.  Insight is the sense from within ourselves about what is true and right—not just what is factually accurate, but what is true, what harmonizes with our inmost convictions and what is consistent with reality as we know it should be.  

To Be Spiritual

Spiritual living means to encourage growth in ourselves beyond the physical and intellectual.  To be spiritual is to move beyond living life to clothe, feed, and shelter ourselves; to move beyond using our intellects to solve problems and direct our material achievements.  To be spiritual is to live beyond the goal of understanding the rules of the material world around us and manipulating that world to our benefit.  

To be spiritual is to live the adventure of becoming morally the best we can imagine—and then imagining farther to even better and higher selves.  Spirituality is to become the ideals and values that we see and admire.  It is to discover who we really are and who we can become.  To be spiritual is to appreciate beauty—physical and emotional—to recognize truth, that which is God’s will and way, and live it, and to become good—and progressively better.

To grow in spirituality is to let go of the weaknesses, failures and inadequacies we recognize in ourselves so that we may grasp and adopt higher values and meanings.  The human condition requires imperfection so that we can choose to improve.  We will not destroy our faults.  We will outgrow them, leaving our faults behind; discarded, outgrown and eventually forgotten.

Tools to be Used Daily

We call our program Joyful Living.  Joyful Living provides you with the tools to pursue your personal spirituality—tools to be used daily.  If you put the tools to work, you will evolve and grow toward a very achievable goal.

Joyful Living will help you to reach within yourself to make contact with your Spirit Within.  We each have within us a source of spiritual insight and revelation that speaks constantly to us of unselfishness and the urge to help others.  This program will provide you with easy techniques to open yourself to awareness of these insights.  

The Spiritual Family

All of us who pursue the adventure of seeking the wisdom within us and living the spiritual life form a spiritual family. We are, after all, children of Spirit.  This family is based not on our genetics, but on our choices to live out of our spiritual selves.  There is a type of magnetism that emanates from a person who has fallen in love with higher values and is on the path of growth. It is more than our recognition of each other.  It is a divine mystery we are blessed to experience.  The love that develops as the family members recognize each other and grow in relationship is an amazing thing to experience.  It is a love that feeds us with spiritual food and nurtures our spiritual growth.  The love we give and the love we receive becomes our spiritual life-blood. 

 Because we are engaged in growing spiritually, all members of the family strive to treat each other well.  We encourage and support each other in our efforts.  We take great joy in the successes of each other.  And each person we encounter is a potential brother or sister in this spiritual family.  Each person we meet is full of spiritual potential waiting to be discovered and unleashed.  And how gratifying when we are privileged to help someone to discover the spiritual potential within themselves and join the spiritual family. 

Sometimes there are vast differences between family members.  As brothers and sisters, we can enjoy and appreciate these differences as a part of a master plan to enable each of us to have special gifts we can offer to the family.  We brothers and sisters love and value each other despite the differences—sometimes we even appreciate and enjoy the differences.


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One Central Truth

We are All Children of God

By Kaye Cooper

You began as a twinkle in the eye of God. God wanted a child. God dreamed about this precious little one. And loved you before you were even conceived. (God loves you.) God planned for you and made provisions for you. God provided a nursery and furnished it in beauty. And one day, you were spiritually conceived. (Conception) God sent a living part of Godself to live within your human identity and to conceive a new spirit being. (The Thought Adjuster indwells you.) That is who you are: the spirit baby of God.

Relax for a moment. Close your eyes if you like. Imagine Mother God smiling and gently lifting you out of the cradle. She cuddles you close, slowly rocks you back and forth, and hums a lullaby. And as she rocks you, she dreams of who you will become. It is just that intimate and warm, the way God loves you. You are God’s precious baby.

(pause) You may open your eyes.

This is an essential truth as I understand it: God is your spirit parent, and God loves you – individually.

Your Heavenly Mother/Father loves you with an infinite love (and you can experience that truth personally).

Your parent, God, loves you. This is a central truth in our relationship with God – the one strategic and essential experience. That truth which changes all of life. That primary experience from which all other spiritual experience flows.

Reflect with me on ways you may experience God’s love for you. There are times when you will have “aha!” moments in life when your mind is illuminated with wisdom and understanding. At other times you will feel an intuition which leads you to choose the higher alternative. You feel a rightness and satisfaction when you choose a higher way.

You will more and more feel loved by a warm, parental spirit who lives within you. As you grow, you will recognize the signs in your life that you are spiritually fostered, provided for and taken care of. Because you know about the universe plan for your future, you will begin to recognize in that plan a parent’s loving care. In grief and distress, you will come to feel comforted and supported. I’m sure that you recognize God’s love in the actions of some people in your life already.

Faith is the positive leading of the spiritual part of you: The Thought Adjuster. That urge to believe and trust is an endowment of your Inner Spirit. Any of the experiences I just listed (and many others) could be the Adjuster’s leading. This leading of the Adjuster within you is real. It is not a figment of your imagination. It is not simply a product of your active mind. You are a tiny spirit growing and becoming recognizable as this child of God. But more than that, faith is also your choosing to trust that leading of your spirit self. From your trust in what the Spirit leads you to believe arises action and attitudes on your part that are consistent with the Spirit’s leading.

When you believe that something real is going on in these experiences, you are exercising faith. Appreciating and giving thanks for these experiences is your faith in action, too. When you try to make your choices in keeping with the way you think you are led, that’s faith. Notice that I did not say, “in keeping with the way you are led.” Sometimes we mistake God’s leading. But honest errors get counted as faith, too. When you take the initiative to ask for God’s input into your decisions, that’s a faith-step. When you incorporate the insights of your “aha!” moments into your life, you take that action because of your maturing faith. When you appreciate the love expressed by others and understand God as the source, that’s faith.

The result of this faith-relationship is a growing sense of the reality of God as a loving, reliable parent. You are increasingly convinced that God is real, that God loves you as a child and that you are special to God. (I realize: God loves me as God’s child.)

Folded into that sense of the reality of God are three other effects: First, realizing that God loves you as a child also carries with it the opportunity to accept God’s forgiveness. When you first make the realization that God loves you, there is often an associated pain in remembering some of your thoughts and behavior. God’s love is such that God didn’t hold those things against you in the first place. You are a child in God’s eyes and children are expected to make mistakes. But you may feel a need to be forgiven. So, we speak of accepting God’s forgiveness. (I accept God’s forgiveness.) There is a catch. While God has already forgiven you, you can not experience God’s forgiveness until you forgive your fellows.

A second result of coming to realize God’s love for you is that you come to trust in God’s watch-care and guidance. (I recognize: God watches over me) Think for a moment about trusting in God’s watch-care. Physically this is a dangerous world. Very unpleasant things happen to people all the time. It is not a natural act to trust God to watch over you even in a spiritual sense. It is our faith – our response to the Adjuster’s assurance within us – that convinces us that God watches over us. And as we have that faith, we begin to recognize the results of God’s watch-care in our lives.

The third thing which unfolds from experiencing and accepting God’s love for you is this:

You yearn to be like God (i.e., you wholeheartedly want and honestly seek God’s guidance.) (I yearn to be like God.) You probably anticipated with excitement becoming an adult for the very reason that you could make your own decisions. It’s not a natural act to voluntarily become the child again, to ask for God’s advice, and then to take that advice! But that is what will happen… and must happen.

Faith is not natural. Our material, animal nature has no such characteristic. We have faith because it is the gift of God. It is a spiritual import. This sense inside us comes from that very spark of God which makes us a spirit child. Faith is what brings you to this point of spiritual conception. The Adjuster’s love and your acceptance of it as real gives life to the spirit child. You are born of the spirit, born into the family of God. (Birth)

You are born because you have become God conscious. Becoming God conscious is not an intellectual understanding of the fact that God created you. Becoming God conscious is something for which there is no word in any human language. THE URANTIA BOOK describes it as a sense, a feeling, intuition, or an experience – and says that the phrase “God-consciousness” is the closest the revelators could come in English. (UB 1130:5 / 103:1.6)

This faith experience of realizing your place as a beloved spiritual child of a wonderful spiritual parent is a great mystery. It takes place at the very fringes of your consciousness and eludes your limited language. The UB says when you become conscious of having found God, your soul experiences “an indescribable restlessness of triumph in [that] discovery.” (UB 1121 :6 / 102:3.4)

After being born into the spiritual family, there follows a growing up. (Growing Up) That is a very prosaic way of saying that you are transformed and progressively shaped by spirit from a newborn infant (in a spiritual sense) into a toddler and ultimately into the spiritual adult you are to become.

Let’s look for a moment at this process of growing up spiritually: 

    1. First of all, you come to recognize others as your brothers and sisters. (I recognize brothers & sisters) Intellectually, it is obvious that if you are God’s child and I am God’s child, then we are siblings, children of the same parent, a part of the same family. But you experience this truth through feeling and insight. You come to feel kin to others, first to those who share your understanding of and love for God, but later to those who have not yet discovered their spiritual family. Your insight has to do with how you perceive others. When you look at others you begin to see not an enemy or a nuisance, not someone to take advantage of or to avoid. You see someone with problems and weaknesses like you. And as you grow, you begin to see someone you want to get to know, someone you could learn to care for, someone whose welfare you already care about.
    2. Another result of God-consciousness is an “indescribable restlessness of triumph in discovery” which impels you to seek loving service. You have a welling-up of eternal goodness within your soul. Service allows that goodness to overflow into the lives of others (Service urges). Urges to be of service to these newly discovered brothers and sisters bubble up within you. When I say, “newly discovered,” I am not just talking about when you first realize that we are all God’s children. I am talking about the discovery each day of another person to love. Loving men and women happens one person at a time. And as you come to love a person, there bubbles up within you a desire to serve them.
    3. A third outgrowth of your faith-grasp of being a child of God is your love for God. You begin to feel an overflowing love for the spiritual Mother/Father who loves you so much and blesses you so thoroughly. God is so loving, so loyal, so dependable, so constant, that you run out of words. And your appreciation goes beyond words into a realm where your voice is silenced, and your mind is overwhelmed (in the very nicest way). This is worship. (Worship.) The UB describes it as “a natural and spontaneous reaction to the recognition of the Father’s matchless personality and because of his lovable nature and adorable attributes.” (UB 65:5 / 5:3.3)

    And eventually worshiprecognizing others as brothers and sisters, and service urges have an effect on your behavior. As you worship God, each day you become more devoted, more dedicated, more steadfast in your love and appreciation. And you want to contribute to God’s purposes, God’s goals. Your prayer life becomes focused on seeking God’s will. As you come to understand God’s way, you are able to discern what his way would be in the various moments of your life. You do God’s will as best you understand it. (Do God’s will) And that means that you serve your brothers and sisters. It’s really a pretty spontaneous process. Because you see other people as brothers and sisters, you open yourself to relationship with God’s children. And because you are feeling these urges to serve, you follow through—you serve them. (Serve) You don’t just want good, you do good.

    The inevitable result of sharing the inner life with God is action.

    You are growing up spiritually. Becoming more and more like the spiritual parent who gave you life, the one who nurtures and teaches you. The one who envisioned who you are and who you will become, in the future. The parent who delights in every new word you learn and each new step you take. When this happy parent sees you acting just like Daddy, he loves it!! What a joy you are to God.

    All of this would not be complete if I did not mention the repercussions that flow into your life from growing up in this manner.

    1. Increasing joy. (Joy) Spiritual joy surprises you. It turns up in the most unexpected places. The first place I recall recognizing this kind of joy was in the beauty of nature. One day I took a good look and realized that colors were clearer, light was brighter, air felt purer, movement made my heart sing. There was joy in every season, not just spring! There is joy in simply living one more day.
    2. Expansion of your capacity to love. (Love) Feeling loved feeds your ability to love. Loving and serving also enables your love to grow. You find it easier with each day to really see people, to understand them, to come to love them.
    3. Closer and closer identification with God within. You are less and less the material creature you started this mortal life as. You are becoming the spiritual creature who was born of faith. As a faith child, you have an eternal and limitless future. (Eternal Life) You may once have thought that you were a material creature having a spiritual experience. But more and more, you are a spiritual being having a material experience.

This all flows from acceptance of the one central set of truths: Your spirit Parent, God, loves you—individually, has a grand destiny planned for you and has in place an elaborate education system to train you to assume more and more responsibility in his family. 


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Tommy Clendening
Plano, Texas

I hope it did not hurt you when you fell,

From the pedestal I so thoughtlessly placed you on.

It was very heartless of me to have done this to you

and for this I’m truly sorry.

No mere mortal could ever live up to the lofty ideals

I elevated you on.

Why do we place our loved ones on unreal heights in the clouds?

Then, as we grow, the realization is bound to dawn

that, after all,

Those whom we’ve elevated are merely

fallible mortals, too.

My main hope is that your fall didn’t hurt you,

As I recoiled with a sudden, resounding slap,

As the crystal, self built pedestal collapsed.

In my eyes, you with it, until I realized:

You were the same,

it was I who had changed.

Therefore, I hope you realize, I love you still

and more materially now.

As I see you clearer, you’re near, where you

always should have been.


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The Gift of Faith

By Kaye Cooper
Arlington, Texas

I have had a hard time understanding just what it means to have faith in my brothers and sisters. I am not a particularly naive person. I learn from experience, and that includes learning who I can trust and who has failed to exhibit himself worthy of trust. As an adult with these valuable lessons under my belt, I came face to face two or three years ago with the fact that Jesus urged his followers to have faith in one another. (1574:5) It stopped me in my tracks, and I began to ponder what he could mean. Was I supposed to allow unscrupulous people to take advantage of me repeatedly in fulfillment of a rule of conduct? Was I to ignore the obvious evidence of human behavior and become naive? Was I supposed to disregard a person’s apparent bad habits and unreliability and trust him to be and do things that are apparently not a part of his behavior pattern? 

As these questions plagued me, I did what I have found to be the most effective thing in such circumstances. I prayed. Not so much the traditional and specific request in a designated prayer time (although I did that too), but more the investment of my soul’s desire in an intense longing for an answer. When I ask in that way, I do indeed receive. Over the years, insights have occurred, some small, some more outstanding. It is only now that I feel enough of a start on understanding to be able to share some thoughts in writing. 

A Change of Attitude

 To begin with, having faith in someone is not a rule of conduct that one can adhere to. Faith comes from one’s sincere feelings. It cannot be “play-acted.” We can’t force ourselves to have faith in our brothers because we know Jesus said we should. We have to behave out of whatever level of faith we are capable of at the moment. It is very comforting to understand that our ideals of faith are always going to outstrip our current level of faith. Any change in us toward having more faith is a change in attitude. That sincere attitude change results in a change in our actions. Rather than attempt to force ourselves to change behavior, we can more profitably contribute to this growth by praying for a change of attitude, an enlargement of understanding, and an enhancement of faith-power. We can read, think about, and discuss with friends what it means to have faith in others. We can attempt to perceive what it would be for the individual situation we are in at the moment. We can want with all our heart and soul to grow in our trust and faith of others. 

Jesus was not naive. He extended his faith in Judas with full knowledge of the danger he was courting and the odds against success. Naivete would have said, “Everything will work out as I want it to. I just know Judas won’t betray my trust.” But I think Jesus said, “I know that there is a great likelihood that Judas is incapable of responding to my teaching and my relationship with him, but he is worth the risk. I will trust him to respond and grow.” 

Much of Jesus’ expenditure of faith in men resulted in salvaged mortals. As an example, very few would have expected the tax collector Matthew to be interested in or to respond to Jesus, yet Jesus’ faith in him was very successful. Jesus stretched his faith to the limit of reasonability in Judas, and Judas failed to live up to Jesus’ faith in him. (But perhaps that was not the end of the story. Perhaps Judas did respond and grow. Perhaps Judas too has been saved). Faith Is Active. 

At any rate, faith in others is not simply a trusting naivete. It involves seeking to understand the motives of others and consistently looking for and commenting on the best in them. Jesus saw the possibilities in the two prostitutes who propositioned him at Corinth. He saw that their motives were not low, that desperation had driven them to that life. He had faith that they had the capacity and soul desire for growth. The result was two redeemed lives. (pp. 1472-3) Faith in our brothers involves a trust in their ability to grow. We tend to look at people and situations as static. If we project change, it is on the basis of the characteristics which people are displaying at the moment. When one is surrounded by stagnant people, perhaps that is a reasonable expectation. 

Now that my life has become filled with alive and growing people, I am constantly amazed. Situations are always turning out better than I expect. My experience with spiritually growing people justifies relatively optimistic faith in what they can be and become. People repeatedly grow beyond reasonable predictions – before my very eyes! My faith can’t seem to keep up with reality-or maybe my faith in them even causes some of the growth that surprises me. If we think back on situations in which others have had faith in us, we can recognize the effect of one person’s faith in another. Faith in us causes us to want to live up to that faith, inspires in us a belief that we can be more than we are, spurs us to do our best by a sense of responsibility (In the best meaning of that word). Jesus valued people so much and had so much faith in their ability to grow and their sincere desire to do so, that he spent himself in serving them. As a result, people all around him became more than they were, more than they had ever hoped to be. 

Faith Errors

Some of the confusion about having faith in others may stem from two easy-to-make errors. One of these errors is to confuse faith in growth with expectations. To have faith in another’s capacity and desire for growth is a different matter from expecting that a person will behave in a specific way in a particular situation at a definite time. Someone may on occasion fulfill such defined expectations, but more often the behavior of another person does not fit our specified demands. The temptation then is to view that as a failure-even to assume that having faith in people does not do any good (does not have the desired results of getting them to act as we wish). 

Even growing people are not going to grow according to our expectations for their growth. Our faith has to expand beyond those limitations. This type of situation also involves a second misunderstanding about faith. When we have expended faith in our brothers, perhaps time, and again we may eventually come to feel that our faith was wasted or that we were a fool for having faith in that person. Neither of those is true. Our faith is never wasted, nor are we a fool for having it. We may, because of our immature status in the universe, bestow faith in unwise ways; but, after all, everything we do is less than perfect. We can expend our faith and learn and grow from our experiences. Or we can withhold our faith for fear of making an error – and stagnate. We are responsible for acting as wisely, sincerely, and lovingly as we are capable of, and we can leave the out working of those acts to God. 

There are many possibilities for success in giving faith where one’s expectations are not met and one’s faith seems to have been in vain. Some examples: 

  • There may be benefits for our brother which we cannot see. 
  • There may be benefits to someone else. 
  • The positive results may be delayed. 
  • This may be one in a series of similar events which will eventually bear fruit. 
  • We may have been too ambitious, too specific, or inaccurate in our expectations. 
  • We may be the primary beneficiaries of the situation. 

Faith Wisdom

While accepting·that our application of faith is going to be less than perfect, we will want to seek ways to make it as wise as possible. Wisdom indicates that allowing unscrupulous people to take advantage of us or anyone else is in no one’s highest interest. Jesus seemed to distinguish between those who were malicious and those who were making sincere errors. The money changers in the temple are an example of the malicious and sinful. Jesus used force against the money changers to drive them out. The man beating his wife is an example of someone in sincere error. Jesus approached the man to ascertain his motives and what events had led up to this extreme action. He uplifted the man’s understanding of his relationship with his wife and left the man in the faith that he would grow beyond his violent reactions. (pp. 1888-91; 1470-71) 

Even when the situation involves error and not maliciousness, we are not supposed to disregard a person’s apparent bad habits and unreliability and trust him to be and do things that are apparently not part of his behavior patterns. It is our desire that the faith we have in him will empower him to grow. We hope he will live up to a trust placed in him or that failure to do so will stimulate his growth. To have faith that a person be or do something too far beyond his present reach dooms him to failure without even the benefit of learning from that failure. For example, delegation of responsibility involves faith, but it must be dispensed wisely. It is a pattern of the universe to delegate responsibility as soon as maturity warrants. We can more nearly follow this pattern if we watch for the signs of readiness for the responsibility. It is the fourteen-year-old we trust with the lawn mower, not the four year old. Observing the signs of readiness is a wise thing to do. It does not mean one lacks faith in one’s brother. 

We can benefit in our faith-wisdom by recognizing that faith is undermined by fear. It is our animal nature to fear the unknown (and faith always includes the unknown). We have the difficult job of balancing our judgment of readiness with our instinctive fear of the results of taking a faith step. Knowing that we have spiritual help in making our decisions is an extremely important remedy for the dilemma of choosing wisely while being pulled by fear on one side and desire to live by faith on the other. 

The Source of the Faith Gift

It occurs to me that faith in our brothers is also faith in our Father. We can be absolutely confident that he has a plan for each of us, that we can and will grow. We can be certain that we all have helpers on every side and in every situation whose primary aim is to help us grow. We can depend upon him not only to safeguard us spiritually but to guide us constantly. We can step out over the chasm of the unknown, utterly supported by God’s promises: that we can and will grow to be like him, that all things work together for the good of those who love him. It is these assurances – our faith in our Father – which enables us to extend the gift of faith to our brothers. 


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By Bill Cooper
Arlington, Texas

The URANTIA Book tells us that it is all-important for us to bring our creature will into cooperation with our Father’s divine will. At first, even ascertaining our Father’s will seems to be beyond our capacity. But as we progress in understanding the nature of deity, we may begin to suspect that determining, identifying, or predicting our Father’s will even in particular circumstances, is relatively simple. Really, it must be rather simple to recognize His will, since virtually everyone is supposed to be able to do it. Furthermore, as we progress in understanding the nature of God and of all levels of Deity, knowing the Father’s will should become progressively easier.

Our Father’s will for us, generally stated is that we should be perfect even as he is perfect. In personality manifestation the Father wills that we should grow to be like him. In becoming like the Father, we will be involved in an eternal career which will require us to observe, identify and incorporate his qualities. Whether in general or specific circumstances, we may determine the Father’s will by asking and answering this question: How should one who is potential Deity respond to these circumstances? My premise is that these questions of “What is God’s will? and “How do I do it?” can be reliably answered by our recalling and adopting the qualities and values fostered by our Father and his Deity descendants.

We already have a great deal of accurate information about the nature of God presented to us in THE URANTIA BOOK. Our Father is fair, just, and merciful. He values and fosters truth, beauty, and goodness in all their endless manifestations. He is loving above all else and he is kind, patient and generous with all of his children. His love and charity for his children are wise. He does not smooth out all their difficulties, since to do so would deprive them of meaningful choices which provide their spiritual growth opportunities. He serves even us, the least in the hosts of his descendants. He is both the remote source and sustainer of everything and the immediately present and intimate personal counselor of personality progress for each of us. He is all of the higher values and virtues recognized by the best human philosophers and many, many more which we shall learn in the ages of progress ahead of us.

There are at least two ways of becoming more familiar with the nature of Deity. One way – the preferred way – is by experiencing Deity consciousness. By this I mean the intuitive rather than reasoning understanding of the qualities and values of Deity. Another way of knowing such things is by the less mysterious process of studying and learning the nature of the Father and other Deity Persons.

Knowing God’s will in particular circumstances is an art involving an assessment of the circumstances, an analysis of our selfish inclinations toward the choices involved and a testing of the consistency of alternative responses with Deity qualities and values. The more clearly we identify the alternatives and the more thoroughly we identify the selfish or unwise aspects of our alternatives, and the more thoroughly we remember and adopt the Father’s qualities and values, the more reliable our prediction of the Father’s will is going to be.

The Father’s will cannot be inconsistent with his nature.


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By Billie Cooper
Rogers, Arkansas

One of the best techniques for helping your fellow man is to pray that he or she will have the needed strength to cope with life’s situations. You can help people you have never met or someone you know well. 

Several years ago, I was traveling by air between Dallas and Fort Smith, Arkansas. The weather was bad, and the plane was several hours late. I was waiting at the gate in Dallas for the plane to be called for boarding when I noticed a man who looked like he was heartbroken or perhaps had received a severe shock. He sat staring down at his hands. His only movement was an occasional shake of his body. He didn’t seem to know what was going on around him. He looked to me as if he wouldn’t be able to find his way onto the plane. 

When we boarded the plane, I waited until I saw him rise and walk toward the plane before I left my seat. I had planned to take him by the arm and lead him aboard if he needed help, but he made it on his own. After fastening my seat belt, I looked around. Directly across the aisle sat the man. I began to feel his pain very deeply. It was as if the pain was my own. I thought, perhaps I could offer to help. Or perhaps it would help to let him know I cared. Then the cultural programming of my generation “you are one sex, and I am another,” influenced me. I began to think he might misunderstand my concern. I felt that there just wasn’t anything I could do. Then there was the thought “Yes, there is. You can pray.” 

By this time, the plane was in the air. It was rocking from wing to wing. Lightning was flashing off both wings. In the quiet intimacy of the plane, I prayed that this man would have strength to stand his heartache. I had been praying for several minutes when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Looking up I saw the hand belonged to the man for whom I was praying. 

He said, “Thank you for coming to me.” (I had not left my seat.) “My mother died while I was delayed in Dallas. I have traveled thousands of miles to see her.” He reached out and asked me if I would mind holding his hand as he needed strength. ” I travel the world for a TV network,” he continued. ” I am weak tonight. Tomorrow I shall have to be strong for others,” Several times during the trip he reached for my hand as if he were drawing strength from the contact. When we arrived in Fort Smith, he deplaned with a simple, “Thank you.”

I never knew his name nor would I recognize him if I ever saw him again. I cannot even recall his features. To have such an experience makes one know that prayer is answered. What a privilege I was given. 


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