2019 International Study Day

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  • #34498
    Kathleen
    Kathleen
    Keymaster

    Dear Friends,

    This year’s International Study Day will be held over the weekend of the 1st to 2nd June, 2019. The paper to be studied will be:

    Paper 9: Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe. 

    The Infinite Spirit, the Conjoint Creator, is a universal and divine minister. The Spirit unceasingly ministers the Son’s mercy and the Father’s love, even in harmony with the stable, unvarying, and righteous justice of the Paradise Trinity. His influence and personalities are ever near you; they really know and truly understand you. [Paper 9:0.3, page: 98.3]

    If you wish to participate simply join this Forum thread at the designated time and be sure to “subscribe” to the thread so you receive notifications of any followup posts. A host will introduce the discussions and conduct the study group all weekend. Stay tuned for more information.

    From Sydney, Australia

    #35509
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    ISD was created so readers everywhere on Urantia can, once a year, study the same Paper on the same day. Please join me (the host) next weekend for ISD 2019, right here on the Association’s Forum. Although it’s called International Study DAY, a section at a time will be posted over three days every 7-8 hours, beginning Friday night (US time). To read along, you don’t need to do anything. If you wish to join the conversation, you need only become a Forum member. Paper nine is all about the God of Mind, the Third Source and Center, the highest divine minister and the source of angels. What a great topic! See you here. Much love, Rick

    .

    #35591
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    Greetings World!

    Welcome to the Forum’s annual one-Paper-on-one-day-all-over-Urantia presentation. Not everyone participating in this year’s International Study Day will appear here, tho they may be studying Paper 9 in the privacy of their local or zoom Study Group. That is the case, I believe, with readers in Australia. And it is they who began the ISD tradition… must be six or seven years ago already. I hosted the first two or three. Anyway, it’s an honor to once again host the ISD (which will in fact span three days here on the Forum, offering one Section at a time with your and my comments). I am delighted to welcome all to the study of an absolutely fascinating revelation on how the third member of the Paradise Trinity relates and ministers to the universal family. Paper 9 is the second of two Papers on the Infinite Spirit, it has an introduction and eight Sections. Please don’t hesitate to make comments and offer insights, revelation only becomes replete when we study and reflect as a group.

    It’s already June 1 in ANZURA land, so let ISD 2019 begin! And thanks for joining the study even if you don’t post. The post after this one will be the intro to Paper 9. Questions, reflections, and insights are whole-heartedly encouraged! Love, Rick

     

    *Take this link to join the Association’s Forum.

     

    .

    #35592
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    The Urantia Book

    Paper 9

    Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe

           A STRANGE thing occurred when, in the presence of Paradise, the Universal Father and the Eternal Son unite to personalize themselves. Nothing in this eternity situation foreshadows that the Conjoint Actor would personalize as an unlimited spirituality co-ordinated with absolute mind and endowed with unique prerogatives of energy manipulation. His coming into being completes the Father’s liberation from the bonds of centralized perfection and from the fetters of personality absolutism. And this liberation is disclosed in the amazing power of the Conjoint Creator to create beings well adapted to serve as ministering spirits even to the material creatures of the subsequently evolving universes.

    9:0.2 (98.2) The Father is infinite in love and volition, in spiritual thought and purpose; he is the universal upholder. The Son is infinite in wisdom and truth, in spiritual expression and interpretation; he is the universal revealer. Paradise is infinite in potential for force endowment and in capacity for energy dominance; it is the universal stabilizer. The Conjoint Actor possesses unique prerogatives of synthesis, infinite capacity to co-ordinate all existing universe energies, all actual universe spirits, and all real universe intellects; the Third Source and Center is the universal unifier of the manifold energies and diverse creations which have appeared in consequence of the divine plan and the eternal purpose of the Universal Father.

    9:0.3 (98.3) The Infinite Spirit, the Conjoint Creator, is a universal and divine minister. The Spirit unceasingly ministers the Son’s mercy and the Father’s love, even in harmony with the stable, unvarying, and righteous justice of the Paradise Trinity. His influence and personalities are ever near you; they really know and truly understand you.

    9:0.4 (98.4) Throughout the universes the agencies of the Conjoint Actor ceaselessly manipulate the forces and energies of all space. Like the First Source and Center, the Third is responsive to both the spiritual and the material. The Conjoint Actor is the revelation of the unity of God, in whom all things consist—things, meanings, and values; energies, minds, and spirits.

    9:0.5 (98.5) The Infinite Spirit pervades all space; he indwells the circle of eternity; and the Spirit, like the Father and the Son, is perfect and changeless—absolute.

    #35593
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    The first paragraph gives us enough to chew on for a couple decades, doesn’t it? But the Divine Counselor from Uversa author begins with a fairly short definition of the God of Mind, the personification of  “…an unlimited spirituality co-ordinated with absolute mind and endowed with unique prerogatives of energy manipulation.”

    But the first sentence begins with a seemingly odd declaration of strangeness about the appearance of such an absolute and eternal being (who never wasn’t–it’s a paradox). 

    Then the second sentence makes the statement about nothing foreshadowing the appearance/non-appearance. Surely the First Source knew, just wasn’t telling apparently.

    So, the intro seems to be saying, the Infinite Spirit is the “man in the middle” without whom eternity and finitude cannot connect, also one of the Seven Absolutes and an indispensable unifer.

     

    .

    #35594
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    1. Attributes of the Third Source and Center

    9:1.1 (98.6) The Third Source and Center is known by many names, all designative of relationship and in recognition of function: As God the Spirit, he is the personality co-ordinate and divine equal of God the Son and God the Father. As the Infinite Spirit, he is an omnipresent spiritual influence. As the Universal Manipulator, he is the ancestor of the power-control creatures and the activator of the cosmic forces of space. As the Conjoint Actor, he is the joint representative and partnership executive of the Father-Son. As the Absolute Mind, he is the source of the endowment of intellect throughout the universes. As the God of Action, he is the apparent ancestor of motion, change, and relationship.

    9:1.2 (99.1) Some of the attributes of the Third Source and Center are derived from the Father, some from the Son, while still others are not observed to be actively and personally present in either the Father or the Son—attributes that can hardly be explained except by assuming that the Father-Son partnership which eternalizes the Third Source and Center consistently functions in consonance with, and in recognition of, the eternal fact of the absoluteness of Paradise. The Conjoint Creator embodies the fullness of the combined and infinite concepts of the First and Second Persons of Deity.

    9:1.3 (99.2) While you envisage the Father as an original creator and the Son as a spiritual administrator, you should think of the Third Source and Center as a universal co-ordinator, a minister of unlimited co-operation. The Conjoint Actor is the correlator of all actual reality; he is the Deity repository of the Father’s thought and the Son’s word and in action is eternally regardful of the material absoluteness of the central Isle. The Paradise Trinity has ordained the universal order of progress, and the providence of God is the domain of the Conjoint Creator and the evolving Supreme Being. No actual or actualizing reality can escape eventual relationship with the Third Source and Center.

    9:1.4 (99.3) The Universal Father presides over the realms of pre-energy, prespirit, and personality; the Eternal Son dominates the spheres of spiritual activities; the presence of the Isle of Paradise unifies the domain of physical energy and materializing power; the Conjoint Actor operates not only as an infinite spirit representing the Son but also as a universal manipulator of the forces and energies of Paradise, thus bringing into existence the universal and absolute mind. The Conjoint Actor functions throughout the grand universe as a positive and distinct personality, especially in the higher spheres of spiritual values, physical-energy relationships, and true mind meanings. He functions specifically wherever and whenever energy and spirit associate and interact; he dominates all reactions with mind, wields great power in the spiritual world, and exerts a mighty influence over energy and matter. At all times the Third Source is expressive of the nature of the First Source and Center.

    9:1.5 (99.4) The Third Source and Center perfectly and without qualification shares the omnipresence of the First Source and Center, sometimes being called the Omnipresent Spirit. In a peculiar and very personal manner the God of mind shares the omniscience of the Universal Father and his Eternal Son; the knowledge of the Spirit is profound and complete. The Conjoint Creator manifests certain phases of the omnipotence of the Universal Father but is actually omnipotent only in the domain of mind. The Third Person of Deity is the intellectual center and the universal administrator of the mind realms; herein is he absolute—his sovereignty is unqualified.

    9:1.6 (99.5) The Conjoint Actor seems to be motivated by the Father-Son partnership, but all his actions appear to recognize the Father-Paradise relationship. At times and in certain functions he seems to compensate for the incompleteness of the development of the experiential Deities—God the Supreme and God the Ultimate.

    9:1.7 (100.1) And herein is an infinite mystery: That the Infinite simultaneously revealed his infinity in the Son and as Paradise, and then there springs into existence a being equal to God in divinity, reflective of the Son’s spiritual nature, and capable of activating the Paradise pattern, a being provisionally subordinate in sovereignty but in many ways apparently the most versatile in action. And such apparent superiority in action is disclosed in an attribute of the Third Source and Center which is superior even to physical gravity—the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise.

    9:1.8 (100.2) In addition to this supercontrol of energy and things physical, the Infinite Spirit is superbly endowed with those attributes of patience, mercy, and love which are so exquisitely revealed in his spiritual ministry. The Spirit is supremely competent to minister love and to overshadow justice with mercy. God the Spirit possesses all the supernal kindness and merciful affection of the Original and Eternal Son. The universe of your origin is being forged out between the anvil of justice and the hammer of suffering; but those who wield the hammer are the children of mercy, the spirit offspring of the Infinite Spirit.

    #35595
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant
    Notes on Section 1:
    .
    Another definition: …a minister of unlimited co-operation.
    .
    Not sure I understand how the absoluteness of Paradise figures in. You? The author sites it twice:
    .
    …is eternally regardful of the material absoluteness of the central Isle.
    .

    …consistently functions in consonance with, and in recognition of, the eternal fact of the absoluteness of Paradise.

    .
    /
    Ok, so the Infinite Spirit has a dual role, mind coordinator and physical manipulator. But just for the universe :)
    .

    Aha! He has limitations:

    …is actually omnipotent only in the domain of mind.
    .

    Hmmm…Does this sound like the Infinite Spirit created the Isle of Paradise?

    …And such apparent superiority in action is disclosed in an attribute of the Third Source and Center which is superior even to physical gravity—the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise.
    .

    This first Section contains one of those quotes that stick with readers, the mental image is so, uh, striking:

    …The universe of your origin is being forged out between the anvil of justice and the hammer of suffering; but those who wield the hammer are the children of mercy, the spirit offspring of the Infinite Spirit.
    That’s always good to remember when you’re suffering, or sinning.
    #35596
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    Ten years ago Bill Martin (tireless toiler for the revelation and recently graduated) posted this question in the OPAD study forum as we studied Paper 9, Section 1:

    Posted 22 October 2009 – 07:25 PM

    I am going to ask a question that many of the 27,000 hits this OPAD gets every month is probably asking. I don’ really understand this passage:

    And such apparent superiority in action is disclosed in an attribute of the Third Source and Center which is superior even to physical gravity–the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise.

    I know being a long time reader that I should get this. I guess that the Infinite Spirit is the one controlling the nether Paradise locus wherefrom emanates all energy. Being an Absolute, I just assumed Paradise was ‘self-regulating” but being non personal it would take a mind, even an Absolute Mind to interverne and mediate.

    Any help out there? Bill

    .
    #35597
    Avatar
    Nigel Nunn
    Participant

    Thanks Rick for getting us started!

    My first reaction was to be surprised by the first sentence:

    (9:0.1) “A STRANGE thing occurred when, in the presence of Paradise, the Universal Father and the Eternal Son unite to personalize themselves.”

    Even allowing for the “strangeness” you mentioned, about “the appearance of a being who never is not“, and the “STRANGE thing” that occurred, even stranger is the idea of the Universal Father and the Eternal Son uniting “to personalize themselves” !?

    Does this have something to do with the idea that, with the Son absolutely distinct from the I AM, this aspect of the I AM — the phenomenon of Personality — can be exposed?

    About that “STRANGE thing” (9:0.1) which occurs — that personalization of an unlimited spirituality co-ordinated with absolute mind together with the capacity to activate, manipulate and coordinate all possible manifestations of material energy — the picture gets filled in a bit in 9:1.4 and 9:1.6, where “motivations” and “relationships” are mentioned:

    (9:1.4) “The Universal Father presides over the realms of pre-energy, prespirit, and personality; the Eternal Son dominates the spheres of spiritual activities; the presence of the Isle of Paradise unifies the domain of physical energy and materializing power;

    (9:1.6) “The Conjoint Actor seems to be motivated by the Father-Son partnership, but all his actions appear to recognize the Father-Paradise relationship.”

    In 9:1.4, we have the Source and Center of Personality presiding over “prespirit” and “pre-energy“. What follows conjures an image of “prespirit” and “pre-energy” serving as a pair of lenses, through which the Father-I AM looks into his depths…

    • The Eternal Son exists when Father-I AM looks (projects) through his lens of prespirit;
    • Paradise exists when Father-I AM looks (projects) through his lens of pre-energy.

    And then that “STRANGE thing” (9:0.1). With the actual absolutes of spirit and matter already on stage, the coordinator of both is found to be there too  :good:

    Paragraph (9:1.6) then mentions motivation and accommodation — partnership and relationship.

    • The Father-Son “partnership” is set up by the Father looking (projecting) through his lens of prespirit. This actualizes (makes real) the domain of love, and value.
    • The Father-Paradise relationship is set up by the Father looking (projecting) through his lens of pre-energy. This actualizes (makes real) the domain of action, and change.

    And now for that motivation and accommodation:

    (9:1.6) “The Conjoint Actor seems to be motivated by the Father-Son partnership, but all his actions appear to recognize the Father-Paradise relationship.”

    While the desires of the Father-Son serve as motivation, and the material constraints of the Father-Paradise relationship are accommodated, this same third person also spans the chasm of potential that awaits realization via experience:

    (9:1.6) “At times and in certain functions he seems to compensate for the incompleteness of the development of the experiential Deities — God the Supreme and God the Ultimate.”

    Here we have the phenomena of “experiential deity” appearing on that same eternal stage.

    And Paper 9 has only just begun!

    (9:1.3) “The Paradise Trinity has ordained the universal order of progress, and the providence of God is the domain of the Conjoint Creator and the evolving Supreme Being. No actual or actualizing reality can escape eventual relationship with the Third Source and Center.”

    Adaptability and progress; meanings and values. So much absolutely dependent on this Coordinator and Integrator of all things.

     

    PS: Regarding Bill Martin’s question, I see (9:1.7) as saying simply that the 3rd Source and Center, as activator of the Paradise pattern, has what it takes to manipulate what he activates. Hence he is not subject to the material control of Paradise (material) gravity:

    (9:1.7) “[…] And such apparent superiority in action is disclosed in an attribute of the Third Source and Center which is superior even to physical gravity — the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise.”

    Here I read (physical gravity) = (the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise). So this “superiority in action” refers to his freedom from control by that which he activates?

    Nigel

    #35598
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    Thanks Rick for getting us started! My first reaction was to be surprised by the first sentence:

    (9:0.1) “A STRANGE thing occurred when, in the presence of Paradise, the Universal Father and the Eternal Son unite to personalize themselves.”

    Even allowing for the “strangeness” you mentioned, about “the appearance of a being who never is not“, and the “STRANGE thing” that occurred, even stranger is the idea of the Universal Father and the Eternal Son uniting “to personalize themselves” !? Does this have something to do with the idea that, with the Son absolutely distinct from the I AM, this aspect of the I AM — the phenomenon of Personality — can be exposed? About that “STRANGE thing” (9:0.1) which occurs — that personalization of an unlimited spirituality co-ordinated with absolute mind together with the capacity to activate, manipulate and coordinate all possible manifestations of material energy — the picture gets filled in a bit in 9:1.4 and 9:1.6, where “motivations” and “relationships” are mentioned:

    (9:1.4) “The Universal Father presides over the realms of pre-energy, prespirit, and personality; the Eternal Son dominates the spheres of spiritual activities; the presence of the Isle of Paradise unifies the domain of physical energy and materializing power; (9:1.6) “The Conjoint Actor seems to be motivated by the Father-Son partnership, but all his actions appear to recognize the Father-Paradise relationship.”

    In 9:1.4, we have the Source and Center of Personality presiding over “prespirit” and “pre-energy“. What follows conjures an image of “prespirit” and “pre-energy” serving as a pair of lenses, through which the Father-I AM looks into his depths…

    • The Eternal Son exists when Father-I AM looks (projects) through his lens of prespirit;
    • Paradise exists when Father-I AM looks (projects) through his lens of pre-energy.

    And then that “STRANGE thing” (9:0.1). With the actual absolutes of spirit and matter already on stage, the coordinator of both is found to be there too :good: Paragraph (9:1.6) then mentions motivation and accommodation — partnership and relationship.

    • The Father-Son “partnership” is set up by the Father looking (projecting) through his lens of prespirit. This actualizes (makes real) the domain of love, and value.
    • The Father-Paradise relationship is set up by the Father looking (projecting) through his lens of pre-energy. This actualizes (makes real) the domain of action, and change.

    And now for that motivation and accommodation:

    (9:1.6) “The Conjoint Actor seems to be motivated by the Father-Son partnership, but all his actions appear to recognize the Father-Paradise relationship.”

    While the desires of the Father-Son serve as motivation, and the material constraints of the Father-Paradise relationship are accommodated, this same third person also spans the chasm of potential that awaits realization via experience:

    (9:1.6) “At times and in certain functions he seems to compensate for the incompleteness of the development of the experiential Deities — God the Supreme and God the Ultimate.”

    Here we have the phenomena of “experiential deity” appearing on that same eternal stage. And Paper 9 has only just begun!

    (9:1.3) “The Paradise Trinity has ordained the universal order of progress, and the providence of God is the domain of the Conjoint Creator and the evolving Supreme Being. No actual or actualizing reality can escape eventual relationship with the Third Source and Center.”

    Adaptability and progress; meanings and values. So much absolutely dependent on this Coordinator and Integrator of all things. PS: Regarding Bill Martin’s question, I see (9:1.7) as saying simply that the 3rd Source and Center, as activator of the Paradise pattern, has what it takes to manipulate what he activates. Hence he is not subject to the material control of Paradise (material) gravity:

    (9:1.7) “[…] And such apparent superiority in action is disclosed in an attribute of the Third Source and Center which is superior even to physical gravity — the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise.”

    Here I read (physical gravity) = (the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise). So this “superiority in action” refers to his freedom from control by that which he activates? Nigel

    Thank you, Nigel, for those marvelously comprehensive comments on Paper 9’s intro and Section 1. And you ended with a question I’m not sure I can grasp, but can’t help thinking: The Third Source and Center, being a member of the Trinity, is inherently superior to matter (pre-Paradise?) in origin and manifestation. And all this might make more sense if the universe was sequential in appearance, but the Trinity and Paradise are eternal, having no beginning or end… Lord, send me a bigger brain :-)  

    .

    .

    #35599
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    2. The Omnipresent Spirit

    9:2.1 (100.3) God is spirit in a threefold sense: He himself is spirit; in his Son he appears as spirit without qualification; in the Conjoint Actor, as spirit allied with mind. And in addition to these spiritual realities, we think we discern levels of experiential spirit phenomena—the spirits of the Supreme Being, Ultimate Deity, and Deity Absolute.

    9:2.2 (100.4) The Infinite Spirit is just as much a complement of the Eternal Son as the Son is a complement of the Universal Father. The Eternal Son is a spiritualized personalization of the Father; the Infinite Spirit is a personalized spiritualization of the Eternal Son and the Universal Father.

    9:2.3 (100.5) There are many untrammeled lines of spiritual force and sources of supermaterial power linking the people of Urantia directly with the Deities of Paradise. There exist the connection of the Thought Adjusters direct with the Universal Father, the widespread influence of the spiritual-gravity urge of the Eternal Son, and the spiritual presence of the Conjoint Creator. There is a difference in function between the spirit of the Son and the spirit of the Spirit. The Third Person in his spiritual ministry may function as mind plus spirit or as spirit alone.

    9:2.4 (100.6) In addition to these Paradise presences, Urantians benefit by the spiritual influences and activities of the local and the superuniverse, with their almost endless array of loving personalities who ever lead the true of purpose and the honest of heart upward and inward towards the ideals of divinity and the goal of supreme perfection.

    9:2.5 (100.7) The presence of the universal spirit of the Eternal Son we know—we can unmistakably recognize it. The presence of the Infinite Spirit, the Third Person of Deity, even mortal man may know, for material creatures can actually experience the beneficence of this divine influence which functions as the Holy Spirit of local universe bestowal upon the races of mankind. Human beings can also in some degree become conscious of the Adjuster, the impersonal presence of the Universal Father. These divine spirits which work for man’s uplifting and spiritualization all act in unison and in perfect co-operation. They are as one in the spiritual operation of the plans of mortal ascension and perfection attainment.

    #35600
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    The Divine Counselor speaks in the plural (we know not to whom else he/she might be referring) about a commonly held opinion:

    …we think we discern levels of experiential spirit phenomena—the spirits of the Supreme Being, Ultimate Deity, and Deity Absolute.

    In other parts of the UB, the manifestation of those three experiential Deities is predicted as a certainty (see Papers 104-118)

    And in Section 2 we are offered another definition of the Third Source and Center: the Infinite Spirit is a personalized spiritualization of the Eternal Son and the Universal Father.

    .

    Anyone care to comment on this perplexing statement?

    …The Third Person in his spiritual ministry may function as mind plus spirit or as spirit alone.

    What all can an unminded Spirit do?!

    Fascinating to realize our conscious connection with the Infinite Spirit in our (vastly) down-stepped minds. I think therefore I am indwelt by three Paradise Spirits :good: :good: :good:  

    .

     

    #35601
    Bonita
    Bonita
    Participant

    Hmmm…Does this sound like the Infinite Spirit created the Isle of Paradise? …And such apparent superiority in action is disclosed in an attribute of the Third Source and Center which is superior even to physical gravity—the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise.

    It says in the very first sentence that the Infinite Spirit came into existence in the presence of Paradise, meaning it was already there and somehow contributed to the event, right?   I think having superiority in action simply means having control over anything drawn by physical gravity – mind over matter.

    And thanks for hosting.  You’re really good at this.

     

    #35602
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    Hmmm…Does this sound like the Infinite Spirit created the Isle of Paradise? …And such apparent superiority in action is disclosed in an attribute of the Third Source and Center which is superior even to physical gravity—the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise.

    It says in the very first sentence that the Infinite Spirit came into existence in the presence of Paradise, meaning it was already there and somehow contributed to the event, right? I think having superiority in action simply means having control over anything drawn by physical gravity – mind over matter.

    That sounds righter, Bonita. Appreciate the input.

    And thanks for hosting. You’re really good at this.

    Thanks! You’re welcome. I feel inadequate to the task, but relish in the brilliant replies that always appear on ISD.

    #35603
    Bonita
    Bonita
    Participant

    Anyone care to comment on this perplexing statement? …The Third Person in his spiritual ministry may function as mind plus spirit or as spirit alone. What all can a unminded Spirit do?!

    In our local universe the Creative Daughter of the Third Person has a spiritual ministry that functions as both mind and spirit, known as the Holy Spirit.  In our local universe the Creative Spirit also functions as herself as spirit alone, and all spirit is minded.  There is no such thing as un-minded spirit.

    9:4,2 Mind does not have to be added to pure spirit, for spirit is innately conscious and identifying. Spirit is always intelligent, minded in some way. It may be this mind or that mind, it may be premind or supermind, even spirit mind, but it does the equivalent of thinking and knowing. The insight of spirit transcends, supervenes, and theoretically antedates the consciousness of mind.

     

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