So this posting will be somewhat different, hopefully not too many of you will be antagonized. There will be photographs, but there have not been any exciting new places and or study groups since Salt Lake City and there may not be any before going south next month. If anybody has suggestions for stopping places along the way, please let me know. There will be stops in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida. Before parking in Dade City in late November, there will be a tour along the east coast of Florida with members of UA Florida, meeting with study groups in that region, stay tuned for details. There may also be a visit to the Miami Book Fair in November.
First a photograph, there was a quick trip to Cook’s Forrest to visit my vacationing sister and about ten members of her family. While hiking along a trail into the woods I found this tree growing around a rock. There is certainly a commentary here about the persistence of life when faced with an immovable object.
The interview mentioned above was issued by Stratfor, whose main focus is Geopolitics, the idea that the politics of a given country or group is strongly influenced by its geography, see www.stratfor.com for further information. In the interview Dr. Friedman is discussing the recent turmoil in the global financial markets and concludes with the following.
“Well, the failure of the financial regulatory system and its failure to clear it up is not the cause, it’s the symptom. No regulatory system works if it is not enforced…. The crisis is not that new regulation is not emerging, it’s that they won’t be enforced anyway. I’ll put it this way: this is a crisis in virtue — in the virtue of the political leadership, in the virtue of the financial leaders. There’s expected to be a certain degree of self-restraint and moral probity. You can’t substitute regulations for that, and you can’t worry about whether or not they’re going to be enforced in the future. The heart of the matter is that the integrity, the intelligence, the morality of these elites, have now been called into question…. So we have a crisis I think, not in corruption, but of sheer incompetence and indifference to incompetence, and that is something that is not necessarily unmanageable, but it’s certainly not a question of getting better regulations.” Dr. George Friedman, www.stratfor.com. (Emphasis added)
This failure, this “indifference to incompetence,” is a symptom of society as a whole, for after all these leaders, these politicians and financial regulators are a product of our society. They have been elected and chosen by our society. In the interview Dr. Friedman made it clear that this is a global phenomenon, these observations apply equally to the United States, China and England, the driving engines of our global economy; this is a symptom of our entire social system, which brings us to the following quote.
"A lasting social system without a morality predicated on spiritual realities can no more be maintained than could the solar system without gravity." The Urantia Book (2075.12) (195:5.9)
Our social system appears to be without any morality, this is obvious wherever we look; there are few areas where spiritual realities are even considered. Therefore, this quote states that our social system must collapse, just as would the solar system without gravity, unless this society recognizes spiritual realities and becomes motivated by them and bases its values upon them. This recognition will not come easy and will not be quick.
“The great danger to any civilization — at any one moment — is the threat of breakdown during the time of transition from the established methods of the past to those new and better, but untried, procedures of the future.” The Urantia Book (911.6) (81:6.41)
Time for another photograph, this from gardens at the University of Utah. Each of the scars of life can have a certain appeal, even beauty when observed from the proper perspective.
Throughout history each time a nation has risen to found a new civilization, be it China, Greece, Rome or England, in time that society has been brought low and replaced by another powerful nation. The above quote from The Urantia Book means that these civilizations failed because they were not built on “spiritual realities” and therefore their collapse was merely the inevitable result of spiritual gravity taking over. This is the danger our civilization faces today.
While the founders of these civilizations may have been individually virtuous, the basis of their civilizations quickly became materialistic and nationalistic, sometimes even imperialistic. As long as we as individuals, and as a society, remain focused on material things, meanings and goals, our legacy will be transitory and can evaporate in an instant. It is only when we concentrate on, and base our lives on, eternal goals, true meanings, and spiritual values that we can form a more lasting society.
One final photograph from Salt Lake City. We are as children scampering about on this planet without a care, blithely oblivious to the spiritual realities that surround us and give our existence meaning, even eternal meaning.
“Institutional religion cannot afford inspiration and provide leadership in this impending world-wide social reconstruction and economic reorganization because it has unfortunately become more or less of an organic part of the social order and the economic system which is destined to undergo reconstruction. Only the real religion of personal spiritual experience can function helpfully and creatively in the present crisis of civilization.” The Urantia Book (1087.4) (99:2.1) (Emphasis added)