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Part II. The Local Universe
10. Truth, Beauty, And Goodness
P646:2, 56:10.1 As the worlds settled in life and light progress from the initial stage to the seventh epoch, they successively grasp for the realization of the reality of God the Sevenfold, ranging from the adoration of the Creator Son to the worship of his Paradise Father. Throughout the continuing seventh stage of such a world's history the ever-progressing mortals grow in the knowledge of God the Supreme, while they vaguely discern the reality of the overshadowing ministry of God the Ultimate.
P646:3, 56:10.2 Throughout this glorious age the chief pursuit of the ever-advancing mortals is the quest for a better understanding and a fuller realization of the comprehensible elements of Deity -- truth, beauty, and goodness. This represents man's effort to discern God in mind, matter, and spirit. And as the mortal pursues this quest, he finds himself increasingly absorbed in the experiential study of philosophy, cosmology, and divinity.
P646:4, 56:10.3 Philosophy you somewhat grasp, and divinity you comprehend in worship, social service, and personal spiritual experience, but the pursuit of beauty -- cosmology -- you all too often limit to the study of man's crude artistic endeavors. Beauty, art, is largely a matter of the unification of contrasts. Variety is essential to the concept of beauty. The supreme beauty, the height of finite art, is the drama of the unification of the vastness of the cosmic extremes of Creator and creature. Man finding God and God finding man -- the creature becoming perfect as is the Creator -- that is the supernal achievement of the supremely beautiful, the attainment of the apex of cosmic art.
P646:5, 56:10.4 Hence materialism, atheism, is the maximation of ugliness, the climax of the finite antithesis of the beautiful. Highest beauty consists in the panorama of the unification of the variations which have been born of pre-existent harmonious reality.
P646:6, 56:10.5 The attainment of cosmologic levels of thought includes:
P646:9, 56:10.8 3. Ethic sensitivity. Through the realization of truth the appreciation of beauty leads to the sense of the eternal fitness of those things which impinge upon the recognition of divine goodness in Deity relations with all beings; and thus even cosmology leads to the pursuit of divine reality values -- to God-consciousness.
P646:10, 56:10.9 The worlds settled in light and life are so fully concerned with the comprehension of truth, beauty, and goodness because these quality values embrace the revelation of Deity to the realms of time and space. The meanings of eternal truth make a combined appeal to the intellectual and spiritual natures of mortal man. Universal beauty embraces the harmonious relations and rhythms of the cosmic creation; this is more distinctly the intellectual appeal and leads towards unified and synchronous comprehension of the material universe. Divine goodness represents the revelation of infinite values to the finite mind, therein to be perceived and elevated to the very threshold of the spiritual level of human comprehension.
P647:1, 56:10.10 Truth is the basis of science and philosophy, presenting the intellectual foundation of religion. Beauty sponsors art, music, and the meaningful rhythms of all human experience. Goodness embraces the sense of ethics, morality, and religion -- experiential perfection-hunger.
P647:2, 56:10.11 The existence of beauty implies the presence of appreciative creature mind just as certainly as the fact of progressive evolution indicates the dominance of the Supreme Mind. Beauty is the intellectual recognition of the harmonious time-space synthesis of the far-flung diversification of phenomenal reality, all of which stems from pre-existent and eternal oneness.
P647:3, 56:10.12 Goodness is the mental recognition of the relative values of the diverse levels of divine perfection. The recognition of goodness implies a mind of moral status, a personal mind with ability to discriminate between good and evil. But the possession of goodness, greatness, is the measure of real divinity attainment.
P647:4, 56:10.13 The recognition of true relations implies a mind competent to discriminate between truth and error. The bestowal Spirit of Truth which invests the human minds of Urantia is unerringly responsive to truth -- the living spirit relationship of all things and all beings as they are co-ordinated in the eternal ascent Godward.
P647:5, 56:10.14 Every impulse of every electron, thought, or spirit is an acting unit in the whole universe. Only sin is isolated and evil gravity resisting on the mental and spiritual levels. The universe is a whole; no thing or being exists or lives in isolation. Self-realization is potentially evil if it is antisocial. It is literally true: "No man lives by himself." Cosmic socialization constitutes the highest form of personality unification. Said Jesus: "He who would be greatest among you, let him become server of all."
P647:6, 56:10.15 Even truth, beauty, and goodness -- man's intellectual approach to the universe of mind, matter, and spirit -- must be combined into one unified concept of a divine and supreme ideal. As mortal personality unifies the human experience with matter, mind, and spirit, so does this divine and supreme ideal become power-unified in Supremacy and then personalized as a God of fatherly love.
P647:7, 56:10.16 All insight into the relations of the parts to any given whole requires an understanding grasp of the relation of all parts to that whole; and in the universe this means the relation of created parts to the Creative Whole. Deity thus becomes the transcendental, even the infinite, goal of universal and eternal attainment.
P647:8, 56:10.17 Universal beauty is the recognition of the reflection of the Isle of Paradise in the material creation, while eternal truth is the special ministry of the Paradise Sons who not only bestow themselves upon the mortal races but even pour out their Spirit of Truth upon all peoples. Divine goodness is more fully shown forth in the loving ministry of the manifold personalities of the Infinite Spirit. But love, the sum total of these three qualities, is man's perception of God as his spirit Father.
P648:1, 56:10.18 Physical matter is the time-space shadow of the Paradise energy-shining of the absolute Deities. Truth meanings are the mortal-intellect repercussions of the eternal word of Deity -- the time-space comprehension of supreme concepts. The goodness values of divinity are the merciful ministries of the spirit personalities of the Universal, the Eternal, and the Infinite to the time-space finite creatures of the evolutionary spheres.
P648:2, 56:10.19 These meaningful reality values of divinity are blended in the Father's relation with each personal creature as divine love. They are co-ordinated in the Son and his Sons as divine mercy. They manifest their qualities through the Spirit and his spirit children as divine ministry, the portrayal of loving mercy to the children of time. These three divinities are primarily manifested by the Supreme Being as power-personality synthesis. They are variously shown forth by God the Sevenfold in seven differing associations of divine meanings and values on seven ascending levels.
P648:3, 56:10.20 To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love-comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom. The advanced mortals on a world in the seventh stage of light and life have learned that love is the greatest thing in the universe -- and they know that God is love.
P648:5, 56:10.22 [Presented by a Mighty Messenger visiting on Urantia, by request of the Nebadon Revelatory Corps and in collaboration with a certain Melchizedek, the vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia.]
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P648:6, 56:10.23 This paper on Universal Unity is the twenty-fifth of a series of presentations by various authors, having been sponsored as a group by a commission of Nebadon personalities numbering twelve and acting under the direction of Mantutia Melchizedek. We indited these narratives and put them in the English language, by a technique authorized by our superiors, in the year 1934 of Urantia time.