Tuesday, May 15, 2012
About Civilization, Social Values & Population Growth : Some Facts You May Find Difficulty in Digesting !
In this blog I would like to present to my readers a few passages from Paper-68 of the Urantia Book which describes the evolution of civilization on earth and the factors that governs human evolutionary progress. Those intellectually keen and desirous to understand would be surprised to notice some hints given in the passages informing how the Divine Powers subtly oversee and monitor the human evolution without actually interfering with it directly.
The author of the Paper is a Melchizedek, an order of celestial beings who function in our universe. They are told as involved in providing education, training and knowledge to evolving intelligent life including human beings. Such kind of knowledge imparted by these celestial beings are defined as revelatory knowledge or revelations in contrast to the knowledge gained by human beings through evolutionary development over the ages.
Incidentally the Urantia Book also reveals much details about the Melchizedek order of celestial beings in a few other Papers dealing with this subject. It is also revealed in this book that the human biblical character named Melchizedek who lived on earth during the times of Abraham some 5000 years ago was a member of this order of beings ( This Melchizedek lived on earth in human form for nearly 100 years to impart various kinds of knowledge, mostly spiritual, to some people of earth who were capable of understanding his teachings to some extent. You may read my blog " Melchizedek: A Name Most Revered and Least Understood!")
Now coming to the passages which I selected for those interested to read. You may please note that these are information told to us human beings by some order of intelligence superior to us, who have been observing human development ever since life originated on earth.
Please read carefully :
" Civilization is a racial acquirement; it is not biologically inherent; hence must all children be reared in an environment of culture, while each succeeding generation of youth must receive anew its education. The superior qualities of civilization—scientific, philosophic, and religious—are not transmitted from one generation to another by direct inheritance. These cultural achievements are preserved only by the enlightened conservation of social inheritance."
" When brought closely together, men often learn to like one another, but primitive man was not naturally overflowing with the spirit of brotherly feeling and the desire for social contact with his fellows. Rather did the early races learn by sad experience that "in union there is strength"; and it is this lack of natural brotherly attraction that now stands in the way of immediate realization of the brotherhood of man on Urantia (earth) ".
" Association early became the price of survival. The lone man was helpless unless he bore a tribal mark which testified that he belonged to a group which would certainly avenge any assault made upon him. Even in the days of Cain it was fatal to go abroad alone without some mark of group association. Civilization has become man's insurance against violent death, while the premiums are paid by submission to society's numerous law demands."
" That contemporary cultural society is a rather recent phenomenon is well shown by the present-day survival of such primitive social conditions as characterize the Australian natives and the Bushmen and Pygmies of Africa. Among these backward peoples may be observed something of the early group hostility, personal suspicion, and other highly antisocial traits which were so characteristic of all primitive races. These miserable remnants of the nonsocial peoples of ancient times bear eloquent testimony to the fact that the natural individualistic tendency of man cannot successfully compete with the more potent and powerful organizations and associations of social progression. These backward and suspicious antisocial races that speak a different dialect every forty or fifty miles illustrate what a world you might now be living in but for the combined teachings (of some celestials) and the later labors of the racial uplifters (of the Adamic groups)."
" While the level of intelligence has contributed considerably to the rate of cultural progress, society is essentially designed to lessen the risk element in the individual's mode of living, and it has progressed just as fast as it has succeeded in lessening pain and increasing the pleasure element in life. Thus does the whole social body push on slowly toward the goal of destiny—extinction or survival—depending on whether that goal is self-maintenance or self-gratification. Self-maintenance originates society, while excessive self-gratification destroys civilization."
" History is but the record of man's age-long food struggle. Primitive man only thought when he was hungry; food saving was his first self-denial, self-discipline. With the growth of society, food hunger ceased to be the only incentive for mutual association. Numerous other sorts of hunger, the realization of various needs, all led to the closer association of mankind. But today society is top-heavy with the overgrowth of supposed human needs. Occidental civilization of the twentieth century groans wearily under the tremendous overload of luxury and the inordinate multiplication of human desires and longings. Modern society is enduring the strain of one of its most dangerous phases of far-flung inter- association and highly complicated interdependence."
" Hunger, vanity, and ghost fear were continuous in their social pressure, but sex gratification was transient and spasmodic. The sex urge alone did not impel primitive men and women to assume the heavy burdens of home maintenance. The early home was founded upon the sex restlessness of the male when deprived of frequent gratification and upon that devoted mother love of the human female, which in measure she shares with the females of all the higher animals. The presence of a helpless baby determined the early differentiation of male and female activities; the woman had to maintain a settled residence where she could cultivate the soil. And from earliest times, where woman was has always been regarded as the home."
" Almost everything of lasting value in civilization has its roots in the family. The family was the first successful peace group, the man and woman learning how to adjust their antagonisms while at the same time teaching the pursuits of peace to their children."
" If vanity be enlarged to cover pride, ambition, and honor, then we may discern not only how these propensities contribute to the formation of human associations, but how they also hold men together, since such emotions are futile without an audience to parade before. Soon vanity associated with itself other emotions and impulses which required a social arena wherein they might exhibit and gratify themselves. This group of emotions gave origin to the early beginnings of all art, ceremonial, and all forms of sportive games and contests."
" Vanity contributed mightily to the birth of society; but at the time of these revelations the devious strivings of a vainglorious generation threaten to swamp and submerge the whole complicated structure of a highly specialized civilization. Pleasure-want has long since superseded hunger-want; the legitimate social aims of self-maintenance are rapidly translating themselves into base and threatening forms of self-gratification. Self-maintenance builds society; unbridled self-gratification unfailingly destroys civilization."
" Hunger and love drove men together; vanity and ghost fear held them together. But these emotions alone, without the influence of peace-promoting revelations, are unable to endure the strain of the suspicions and irritations of human inter-associations. Without help from superhuman sources the strain of society breaks down upon reaching certain limits, and these very influences of social mobilization—hunger, love, vanity, and fear—conspire to plunge mankind into war and bloodshed."
" The peace tendency of the human race is not a natural endowment; it is derived from the teachings of revealed religion, from the accumulated experience of the progressive races, but more especially from the teachings of Jesus, the Prince of Peace."
" All modern social institutions arise from the evolution of the primitive customs of your savage ancestors; the conventions of today are the modified and expanded customs of yesterday. What habit is to the individual, custom is to the group; and group customs develop into folkways or tribal traditions—mass conventions. From these early beginnings all of the institutions of present-day human society take their humble origin."
" It must be borne in mind that the mores originated in an effort to adjust group living to the conditions of mass existence; the mores were man's first social institution. And all of these tribal reactions grew out of the effort to avoid pain and humiliation while at the same time seeking to enjoy pleasure and power. The origin of folkways, like the origin of languages, is always unconscious and unintentional and therefore always shrouded in mystery."
" The survival of a society depends chiefly on the progressive evolution of its mores. The process of custom evolution grows out of the desire for experimentation; new ideas are put forward—competition ensues. A progressing civilization embraces the progressive idea and endures; time and circumstance finally select the fitter group for survival. But this does not mean that each separate and isolated change in the composition of human society has been for the better. No! indeed no! for there have been many, many retrogressions in the long forward struggle of Urantia (earth) civilization."
" Man is a creature of the soil, a child of nature; no matter how earnestly he may try to escape from the land, in the last reckoning he is certain to fail. "Dust you are and to dust shall you return" is literally true of all mankind. The basic struggle of man was, and is, and ever shall be, for land. The first social associations of primitive human beings were for the purpose of winning these land struggles. The land-man ratio underlies all social civilization."
" Man's intelligence, by means of the arts and sciences, increased the land yield; at the same time the natural increase in offspring was somewhat brought under control, and thus was provided the sustenance and leisure to build a cultural civilization."
" Human society is controlled by a law which decrees that the population must vary directly in accordance with the land arts and inversely with a given standard of living. Throughout these early ages, even more than at present, the law of supply and demand as concerned men and land determined the estimated value of both. During the times of plentiful land—unoccupied territory—the need for men was great, and therefore the value of human life was much enhanced; hence the loss of life was more horrifying. During periods of land scarcity and associated overpopulation, human life became comparatively cheapened so that war, famine, and pestilence were regarded with less concern."
" The size of the family has always been influenced by the standards of living. The higher the standard the smaller the family, up to the point of established status or gradual extinction."
" All down through the ages the standards of living have determined the quality of a surviving population in contrast with mere quantity. Local class standards of living give origin to new social castes, new mores. When standards of living become too complicated or too highly luxurious, they speedily become suicidal. Caste is the direct result of the high social pressure of keen competition produced by dense populations."
" From a world standpoint, overpopulation has never been a serious problem in the past, but if war is lessened and science increasingly controls human diseases, it may become a serious problem in the near future. At such a time the great test of the wisdom of world leadership will present itself."
Hope you had the patience to read this long.
If you had, you could have digested some of those and also have noticed certain things that are food for thought for you. You may also read the Paper-68 in full if you so wish.
Any way to tell you the truth, the revealed knowledge that the Urantia Book authors present to the human beings of the modern era have indeed made my mind awestruck and making it polished day by day.
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