Welcome to the May 2022 edition of the Urantia Association’s Journal, a publication dedicated to the thoughts, observations, and experiences of Urantia Book students from around the world. Our contributors explore a wide range of topics, including personal stories of spiritual discovery, finding new meanings and values, and enhancing spiritual perception. Others write about cosmology, science, and ways to improve global civilization. Throughout all these articles, we see an extraordinary diversity of thought and a spirited unity of purpose.
Our first article, Legacy and Inspiration by Neal Waldrop, addresses the long-debated topic about how The Urantia Book should be disseminated in contemporary society. Neal argues that the evangelical, mass-marketing method of spreading the teachings is ineffective in the present age, primarily because it is difficult to attract people who are just not interested in spirituality, philosophy, or cosmology. He maintains that we should continue “to rely on person-to-person contact and other techniques that are consensual and informal.” Neal takes a unique perspective by contrasting the ways in which Christianity was forcibly spread in Europe during the early Middle Ages as opposed to more recent methods of evangelical work in Western civilization in the 19th and 20th centuries. He argues that neither method would work effectively today, hence the need to patiently continue with the consensual approach.
The second article, The What Book? by Christopher Ross, is a light-hearted account of how he came across The Urantia Book in 2009 after decades of exploring an array of spiritual avenues in his persistent search for truth. Many of us can relate to his initial experiences, a mix of wonder, intrigue, bafflement, and uncertainty. But as he wisely observes, “nothing can really prepare one for The Urantia Book, … except an open mind and a willingness to set aside all previous personal cosmologies and entertain the notion that perhaps this book is true—is Truth.” His open attitude of mind, so essential to any progress, eventually culminated in a eureka moment of truth, “Many months later, I came out the other side. From hope to certainty. From isolation to connection.”
The third article, The Hazards of a Decimal Planet by Claude Flibotte, is a foray into the failures and accomplishments that have transpired over time on the experimental world of Urantia. Claude’s list includes a number of biological upsets as well as upsides, but he also notes the defaults and victories of planetary administration. He points out that, before the advent of mankind, there were two evolutionary forces at work—natural selection and the environmental manipulations of the Life Carriers. But after the appearance of humans, Life Carriers could no longer interfere, although there has been considerable input in other ways, such as The Urantia Book revelation. But the question is—can we adapt, cope, and survive this revelation?
Our final article, Why Participate in a Study Group? by Gaétan Charland, is a thoughtful and probing insight into the spiritual value of study groups. Gaétan spent a number of years leading the Association’s Study Group Committee and has much experience with the organization and methods of study groups, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the benefits and strengths of active and engaged groups. He outlines some of the dangers of reading the book in isolation, including misconceptions due to incomplete readings of the book. A study group not only counters this isolation through beneficial social contact but, by listening to the diverse views and interpretations of others, it “protects us from the crystallization of concepts and perceptions, helps us to clarify, broaden, and deepen our understanding of the concepts and truths revealed in The Urantia Book.” Gaétan reminds us of the mission, philosophy, and purpose of study groups, an understanding that invigorates growth by fostering a sense of brotherhood as well as an awareness of cosmic consciousness.
Future generations shall know also the radiance of our joy, the buoyance of our good will, and the inspiration of our good humor. – Jesus [159:3.10]