Reality Roars Bentley
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The Urantia Book The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book The Urantia Book

Love

Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. (p. 2018) “Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world.” (p. 2047) “Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful.” (p. 2047) The Father’s love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man’s personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows. (p. 1289) The secret of a better civilization is bound up in the Master’s teachings of the brotherhood of man, the good will of love and mutual trust. (p. 2065)

Prayer

Prayer is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict. (p. 1002) The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard. … (p. 1639) God answers man’s prayer by giving him an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness. (p. 1002) …Never forget that the sincere prayer of faith is a mighty force for the promotion of personal happiness, individual self-control, social harmony, moral progress, and spiritual attainment. (p. 999)

Suffering

There is a great and glorious purpose in the march of the universes through space. All of your mortal struggling is not in vain. (p. 364) Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. (p. 556)

Angels

The angels of all orders are distinct personalities and are highly individualized. (p. 285) Angels....are fully cognizant of your moral struggles and spiritual difficulties. They love human beings, and only good can result from your efforts to understand and love them. (p. 419)

Our Divine Destiny

If you are a willing learner, if you want to attain spirit levels and reach divine heights, if you sincerely desire to reach the eternal goal, then the divine Spirit will gently and lovingly lead you along the pathway of sonship and spiritual progress. (p. 381) …They who know that God is enthroned in the human heart are destined to become like him—immortal. (p. 1449) God is not only the determiner of destiny; he is man’s eternal destination. (p. 67)

Family

Almost everything of lasting value in civilization has its roots in the family. (p. 765) The family is man’s greatest purely human achievement. ... (p. 939)

Faith

…Faith will expand the mind, ennoble the soul, reinforce the personality, augment the happiness, deepen the spirit perception, and enhance the power to love and be loved. (p. 1766) “Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith.” (p. 1733)

History/Science

The story of man’s ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. (p. 731) 2,500,000,000 years ago… Urantia was a well developed sphere about one tenth its present mass. … (p. 658) 1,000,000,000 years ago is the date of the actual beginning of Urantia [Earth] history. (p. 660) 450,000,000 years ago the transition from vegetable to animal life occurred. (p. 669) From the year A.D. 1934 back to the birth of the first two human beings is just 993,419 years. (p. 707) About five hundred thousand years ago…there were almost one-half billion primitive human beings on earth. … (p. 741) Adam and Eve arrived on Urantia, from the year A.D. 1934, 37,848 years ago. (p. 828)

From the Inside Flap

What’s Inside?

Parts I and II

God, the inhabited universes, life after death, angels and other beings, the war in heaven.

Part III

The history of the world, science and evolution, Adam and Eve, development of civilization, marriage and family, personal spiritual growth.

Part IV

The life and teachings of Jesus including the missing years. AND MUCH MORE…

Excerpts

God, …God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true. (p. 1431) If you truly want to find God, that desire is in itself evidence that you have already found him. (p. 1440) When man goes in partnership with God, great things may, and do, happen. (p. 1467)

The Origin of Human Life, The universe is not an accident... (p. 53) The universe of universes is the work of God and the dwelling place of his diverse creatures. (p. 21) The evolutionary planets are the spheres of human origin…Urantia [Earth] is your starting point. … (p. 1225) In God, man lives, moves, and has his being. (p. 22)

The Purpose of Life, There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. (p. 365) This new gospel of the kingdom… presents a new and exalted goal of destiny, a supreme life purpose. (p. 1778)

Jesus, The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. (p. 1091) What an awakening the world would experience if it could only see Jesus as he really lived on earth and know, firsthand, his life-giving teachings! (p. 2083)

Science, Science, guided by wisdom, may become man’s great social liberator. (p. 909) Mortal man is not an evolutionary accident. There is a precise system, a universal law, which determines the unfolding of the planetary life plan on the spheres of space. (p. 560)

Life after Death, God’s love is universal… He is “not willing that any should perish.” (p. 39) Your short sojourn on Urantia [Earth]…is only a single link, the very first in the long chain that is to stretch across universes and through the eternal ages. (p. 435) …Death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery. (p. 159)

About the Author

The text of The Urantia Book was provided by one or more anonymous contributors working with a small staff which provided editorial and administrative support during the book's creation. The book bears no particular credentials (from a human viewpoint), relying instead on the power and beauty of the writing itself to persuade the reader of its authenticity.

Leather Bound: 2097 pages
Publisher: Urantia Foundation; Box Lea edition (August 25, 2015)

Introduction
to the
World's Religions

for Readers of The Urantia Book:
A study by Dr. Meredith Sprunger


VII. Shinto



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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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An Introduction to Shinto

Dr. Meredith Sprunger

This document contains a brief introduction to Shinto and a description of its influence in shaping Buddhism in Japan. Basic beliefs of Shintoism are described as well as a brief outline of present day Shinto.

VII. Shinto

The Religion of Nature Worship, Emperor Worship, and Purity

Shinto (the way of the gods), traditionally dating back to 660 B. C., is a loosely organized religion of the Japanese people embracing a wide variety of beliefs and practices. In its most basic sense Shinto is a religious form of Japanese patriotism. The mythology of Shintoism teaches that Japan and the Japanese people were brought into being by special divine creation and that their emperors were literally descendants of the Sun Goddess. In Japan a person may in good conscience be a Buddhist, a Confucian, and a member of a Shinto sect at the same time. Today (1982) Shintoism reports 57,154,200 members.

The two most important sacred books of Shintoism are the Kojiki (Chronicles of Ancient Events) and the Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan). The Kojiki mythology reports that in the beginning were the kami (gods, mana, occult force). Two of these primeval kami or deities were Izanagi (male-who-invites) and Izanami (female who-invites). After giving birth to the land of Japan they produced many other kami.

Izanami died after giving birth to the kami of fire. Izanagi journeyed to Hades to find her. Finding her decayed body crawling with maggots he fled in horror back to the land of the living. To purify himself he entered a body of water and when he washed his left eye there came into existence the Sun Goddess, the Great Kami Amaterasu; and when he washed his right eye Tsukiyom the Moon Kami, emerged. After years of struggle the Japanese people were waring against each other and the Sun Goddess sent her grandson, Ninigi, to become the first emperor of Japan. Shinto is unique among the religions of the world in representing the Supreme Being as feminine in gender.

Although mythological tradition has the first Japanese emperor enthroned in the seventh century B.C., modern scholars think the actual history of Japan did not begin until the third century A. D. After the fourth century A. D. the Japanese came under the influence of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. By the end of the sixth century Mahayana Buddhism had taken a firm foothold on Japan. It was at this time that the term "Shinto" was introduced to distinguish the native Japanese religion from the new foreign religion.

Little by little the boundaries between Buddhism and Shintoism were obliterated. The concerns of day-to-day life became the domain of the Shinto side of religion while the concerns of the afterlife were served by the Buddhists.. The Japanese developed distinctive forms of Buddhism such as Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren.

Shinto almost died out as a viable religion but in the seventeenth century it was revitalized by tough-minded military leaders. A combination of Shinto and Confucianism was used to develop the warrior code of Bushido. The samurai (knights) who followed this code emphasized loyalty, gratitude, courage, justice, truthfulness, politeness, reserve, and honor. In Japan suicide has often been encouraged to avoid dishonor, escape from a bad life situation, or as a means of protest. When dishonored the Bushido warrior was expected to kill himself by hara-kiri (disembowelment).

Shinto teaches the importance of personal cleanliness and the sense of communal guilt. Apart from subservience to the Emperor, Shintoism has no definite set of theological beliefs or code of morality. Morality and theology are naturalistic. Motoori (1730-1801), one of the most important scholars in the history of Shintoism, explains the lack of ethics in Shintoism: "It is because the Japanese were truly moral in their practice that they require no theory of morals."

After Commodore Perry in the mid nineteenth century opened Japan to outside influence sweeping changes have occurred in the country. The Constitution of 1889 established a state supported Shinto but other religions were allowed to exist and propagate. State Shinto supported thousands of shrines and priests. The grand imperial shrine at Ise was dedicated to the mother goddess of Japan, Amaterasu. Every loyal Japanese citizen wishes to visit the Ise Shrine at least once in their life time.

There are many Shinto sects which tend to be oriented in three major categories. First, those whose emphasis is on mountain or nature worship. Second, those who stress shamanism, divination, and faith healing such as the Tenri-kyo (Teachings of Divine Reason) sect. The third type of sectarian Shinto is more in tune with historic Shinto, reviving the myths of the origin of Japan, stressing purification rites, fasting, breath control, and other techniques similar to the Yoga cults of Hinduism. Domestic Shinto is practiced in many homes. The kami-dana (god shelf) is found in residences. Flowers or food may be placed before this altar daily or brief prayers and devotions may take place.

Shinto had become such an inseparable part of Japanese militarism the American occupation forces felt it necessary to direct the abolition of state support of Shinto in December of 1945. New Year's Day 1946 Emperor Hirohito disavowed the belief in his divine nature and complete religious freedom was guaranteed to every citizen.




TABLE OF CONTENTS



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Disclaimer

Disclaimer:
Some material presented will contain links, quotes, ideologies, etc., the contents of which should be understood to first, in their whole, reflect the views or opinions of their editors, and second, are used in my personal research as "fair use" sources only, and not espousement one way or the other. Researching for 'truth' leads one all over the place...a piece here, a piece there. As a researcher, I hunt, gather and disassemble resources, trying to put all the pieces into a coherent and logical whole. I encourage you to do the same. And please remember, these pages are only my effort to collect all the pieces I can find and see if they properly fit into the 'reality aggregate'.

Personal Position

Personal Position:
I've come to realize that 'truth' boils down to what we 'believe' the facts we've gathered point to. We only 'know' what we've 'experienced' firsthand. Everything else - what we read, what we watch, what we hear - is what someone else's gathered facts point to and 'they' 'believe' is 'truth', so that 'truth' seems to change in direct proportion to newly gathered facts divided by applied plausibility. Though I believe there is 'truth', until someone celestial who 'knows' all the facts parts the heavens and throws us a scroll titled "Here Are ALL The Facts And Lies In The Order They Happened," I can't know for sure exactly what "the whole truth' on any given subject is, and what applies to me applies to everyone.
~Gail Bird Allen

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