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Fear and Faith

Helena Sprague
The Urantian Journal of Urantia Brotherhood
Winter, 1977

A major component of human development is fear, both the instinctive responses coming out of the dim ages of the struggle for physical survival, and the learned reactions of our cultural endowment, particularly psychosocial, intellectual, and sometimes spiritual. The Urantia Book teachings about fear and growth are both profound and practical. They can be considered from four viewpoints.

Fear is a Universal Human Experience

First, fear is a universal experience of the creatures of time and space. There are racial variations: Adamic children are not so subject to fear as the children of evolution. Personal experience confirms the universality of fear; no one has been free of it. Simple scrutiny turns it up in all arenas of human activity, among them business, politics, economics, family, the arts, recreation, international relations. In some human behavior fear may be subtle. Take elitism, for instance: it is not popular to be "elitist"; most of us react negatively to this, yet I submit some would find the array of personalities in the universe- sovereigns and princes and staffs and workers elitist. There is a simple and complete difference between mortals and supermortals in reaction to a pyramidal organization chart: their response involves no fear.

Second, certain fears are destructive. Fear girds us for fight or flight (if we are healthy), and inherent in these is the considerable chance of poor decisions. "A false fear of sacredness has prevented religion from being safeguarded by common sense. Fear of the authority of the sacred writing of the past effectively prevents the honest souls of today from accepting the new light . . . " [159:4.9] "The Jewish leaders were increasingly blinded by fear and prejudice.... When men shut off the appeal to the spirit that dwells within them there is little that can be done to modify their attitude." [149:3.2] About our seraphic guardians: "The only emotion actuating you which is somewhat difficult for them to comprehend is the legacy of animal fear that bulks so large in the mental life of the average inhabitant of Urantia. The angels really find it hard to understand why you will so persistently allow your higher intellectual powers, even your religious faith, to be so dominated by fear, so thoroughly demoralized by the thoughtless panic of dread and anxiety." [113:2.5]

The third viewpoint is that fear is ultimately constructive. One of the inevitabilities asks, "Is hope-the grandeur of trust- desirable? Then human existence must constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties." [3:5.8] Fear was the entering wedge into man's consciousness for the development of his spiritual nature. "Ghost fear was the fountainhead of all world religion." [87:4.1] A Brilliant Evening Star tells us that ghost fear led to recognition of higher types of spirits, later to dual spiritism, (good and bad spirits), then to supermortal forces that were consistent in behavior. He emphasizes that " . . . this was one of the most momentous discoveries of truth in the entire history of the evolution of religion and in the expansion of human philosophy." [87:4.5] The same Evening Star of Nebadon writes: "Primitive religion prepared the soil of the human mind, by the powerful and awesome force of false fear, for the bestowal of a bona fide spiritual force of supernatural origin, the Thought Adjuster. And the divine Adjusters have ever since labored to transmute God-fear into God-love." [86:7.6]

The Antidote for Fear is Faith

Fourth, the antidote for fear is faith. "The feelings of insecurity arising from the fear of personality isolation in the universe should be antidoted by faith contemplation of the Father and the attempted realization of the Supreme." [143:7.3] Dealing with our fears which are personal, often private, sometimes lonely experiences, requires effort, overt action. "The Thought Adjusters would like to change your feelings of fear to convictions of love and confidence; but they cannot mechanically and arbitrarily do such things; that is your task." [108:5.8]

Jesus' whole mission really related to faith; his revelation of God to man a gift to make man's faith more possible for spiritually immature beings; his revelation of man to God an inspiring example of practical ways confused humans might relate to Deity.

Jesus knew no fear; he was prudent, and though fearless, he was not willing to take unproductive risks. " . . . courage was the very heart of his teachings. 'Fear not' was his watchword . . . " [140:8.20]

For us to translate this directive into action, The Urantia Book gives practical recommendations: ". . . forthwith, will this faith vanquish fear of men by the compelling presence of that new and all-dominating love of your fellows. " [130:6.3] And, "In executing those decisions which deliver you from the fetters of fear, you literally supply the psychic fulcrum on which the Adjuster may subsequently apply a spiritual lever of uplifting and advancing illumination." [108:5.8]

All decisions can be evaluated by whether they are fear or faith inspired, because fear and faith are two fundamental techniques by which we deal with reality. Both are necessary for survival.

God is the greatest human experience. He is within us disclosing all that we can absorb, and the limit of this comprehension is contingent upon the quality of our faith, that quality which is measured by our desire to comprehend.

Our Universal Father gives us all that we have, all that we are and all that we may become. He asks of us growth toward perfection, growth to be nurtured by faith and actualized in the Supreme.

© The Urantia Book Fellowship, Inc.