Richard E WarrenParticipant
PERSONALITY IN THE URANTIA BOOK
Years ago a French reader, the late Jean Royer, did a fascinating study of Personality in the revelation, even if it is “impossible”. It includes 12 conclusions by Jean.
Personality, Identity, Self, and Selfhood
A study of personality is an impossible task since: Personality is one of the unsolved mysteries of the universes. 5:6.2 (70.3)
Nevertheless the word is so important, (it is found 1425 times in the book, whereas identity is only found 138 times, self 160 times that does not include compounds such as self-conscious, self-realization etc selfhood 40 times) that , even if we do not fully comprehend the real nature of the personality itself, we may hope to form adequate concepts of the factors entering into the make up of various orders and levels of personality. ( cf 70:3)As usual, the Urantia Book uses the words in several senses, sometimes in conformity with the traditional senses to be found in dictionaries and sometimes with an entirely new meaning.
Before examining what the book can tell us about those words it may be useful to revise our traditional knowlege by looking at what the Webster offers us.
(Our reference is Webster’s New twentieth Century Dictionary unabridged (1975).)
For personality, out of the 7 senses we can probably eliminate n° 4, 6 and 7 and we have :
1) the quality or fact of being a person,
2) the quality or fact of being a particular person; personal identity; individuality,
3) habitual patterns and qualities of behavior of any individual as expressed by physical and mental activities and attitudes; distinctive individual qualities of a person, considered collectively
4) a person; especially, a notable person; a personage.
1) The condition or fact of being the same in all qualities under consideration; sameness; oneness,
2) a) the condition or fact of being some specific person or thing; individuality; 📷 the condition of being the same as something or someone assumed, described, or claimed.
N.B. It’s worth noting that the word individuality is, in one instance, used as a synonym for both personality and identity.
For self: (we can probably eliminate sense3)
1) the identity, character, or essential qualities of any person or thing,
2) the identity, personality, individuality etc. of a given person; one’s own person as distinct from all others,
3) one’s own welfare, interest or advantage;selfishness; as, people concerned only with thought of self.
N.B. Sense 2 does not make distinctions very easy for us.
1) all the things that make a person what he is; personality; individuality,
2) the condition of being self-centered; selfishness.
N.B. In confusion worse confounded?
We have willfully eliminated the word ‘ego’ which belongs to the same series in traditional language, as can be seen by the Webster’s definition.
1) the self; the individual as aware of himself,
2) egotism; conceit,
3) in philosophy the self, variously conceived…
4) in psychoanalysis…
N.B. In the Urantia Book, the word ego is used for the lower self, or material self.(cf:1229 :7 The material self, the ego-entity of human identity )
Let us now look at what the Urantia Book can tell us of these words.
- a level of deified reality. (8:1)
- the gift of the Paradise Father.(8:4)
- the unique bestowal which the Universal Father makes upon the living and associated energies of matter, mind, and spirit, and which survives with the survival of the morontial soul.(9:1)
- that quality and value in cosmic reality which is exclusively bestowed by God the Father upon these living systems of the associated and co-ordinated energies of matter, mind, and spirit.(70:4) But…all personality reality is proportional to its divinity relationships. (613:6)
- that quality in reality which is bestowed by the Universal Father himself or by the Conjoint Actor, acting for the Father.(1225:3)
- the exclusive gift of the Universal Father.(77:6)
- a direct bestowal of the Universal Father. (89:3)
- designed and bestowed by the Universal Father.(236:4)
- the sole bestowal of the Father; (367:4)
- the sovereign freewill bestowal of the Universal Father.(1201:2)
- that quality in reality which is bestowed by the Universal Father himself or by the Conjoint Actor, acting for the Father. (1225:3)
- bestowed by the Universal Father upon his creatures as a potentially eternal endowment.(1226:5)
- one of the unsolved mysteries of the universes. (70:3)
- superimposed upon energy, and it is associated only with living energy systems.(8:4)
That is why:
Since animals cannot communicate ideas to each other, they cannot develop personality. (1775:3)
- basic to all progressing experience with spiritual reality; (141:2)
- diverse, original, and exclusive. (194:3)
- that feature of an individual which we know, and which enables us to identify such a being at some future time regardless of the nature and extent of changes in form, mind, or spirit status. (194:4)
- that part of any individual which enables us to recognize and positively identify that person as the one we have previously known, no matter how much he may have changed because of the modification of the vehicle of expression and manifestation of his personality. (194:4)
- the one changeless reality in an otherwise ever-changing creature experience; and it unifies all other associated factors of individuality. (9:1)
- changeless in the presence of change. (1225:9)
- is that cosmic endowment, that phase of universal reality, which can coexist with unlimited change and at the same time retain its identity in the very presence of all such changes, and forever afterward. (1434:5)
- basically changeless; that which changes–grows–is the moral character. (1572:7)
- a unique endowment of original nature whose existence is independent of, and antecedent to, the bestowal of the Thought Adjuster. (194:3)
- unique, absolutely unique: It is unique in time and space; it is unique in eternity and on Paradise; it is unique when bestowed –there are no duplicates; it is unique during every moment of existence; it is unique in relation to God. (1225:12)
- uniquely conscious of time. (1226:4)
- inherently creative, but it thus functions only in the inner life of the individual. (1220:4)
- responsive to gravity–to the Father’s exclusive circuit. (131:4)
It discloses only qualitative response to the personality circuit in contradistinction to the three energies which show both qualitative and quantitative response to gravity. (1225:8) )
- one thing which can be added to spirit (1226:2)
- characterized by morality–awareness of relativity of relationship with other persons (1225:11)
- craving to be like God. (24:4)
(in the supreme sense) the revelation of God to the universe of universes. (29:3)
- one of the great manifestations of the acts of the First Source and Center. (1148:14)
- self-conscious, (relatively) self-determinative and self-creative. (cf.71:1)
1st conclusion: With a possible relative restriction for the last item all the preceding qualifications concern the original gift of the Father, and the meaning of personality is to be taken in that specific urantian sense, which is not found in Webster or any other traditional dictionary. Since it is a level of deified reality it is no wonder, we material, finite men can’t satisfactorily comprehend it.
If, at this stage, we wanted to give a global definition , in dictionary form, we could say: Personality is a gift from the Father of a unique quality of deified reality, it is associated with life, changeless, self-conscious and relatively self-creative.
Question: Does that really help us understand what personality is?
Most of these characteristics have a restrictive value,in that they help us eliminate rather than choose.It is somewhat as if you were trying to explain what a mobile home is to a primitive who does not even know what a wheel is.
Personality is not:
- body, mind,nor spirit;neither is it the soul.(9:1)
- simply an attribute of God (29:3)
- necessarily a concomitant of mind. (325:6)
Nevertheless, one can understand that when personality is associated with mind the general tendency of that individuality is toward unity since Mind, in its essence, is functional unity (1217:5) But we may also remember that there are no personalities of “pure mind”; no entity has personality unless he is endowed with it by God who is spirit. Any mind entity that is not associated with either spiritual or physical energy is not a personality. (334:7)
- [ by its presence phenomenon as such] a manifestation of energy, either physical, mindal, or spiritual. (483:9)
- wholly subject to the fetters of antecedent causation. (1225:5)
Personality is never spontaneous. (8:4)
2nd conclusion: Of course the negative clauses reinforce that impression of elimination and mystery. We are getting close to the Principle of Elusiveness.
- a goal : The goal of personality existence is spiritual. (189:7)
- a perfected range of cosmic dimensional performance. (1226:9)
.( The dimensions * of finite personality are three, and they are roughly functional as follows: (length, vertical depth, breadth). (cf.1226:9)
- the prerogative of exercising volitional choice of reality identification. (1301:4)
- insight in advance of experience. (193:2)
- its seat of identity in the material-intellect system (cf.1233:0)
- its seat of identity transferred to the morontia-soul system (cf.1233:0)
- decision-determining powers. (757:0)
- an inherent cosmic quality which may be called “the evolution of dominance,” the expansion of the control of both itself and its environment. (1229:2)
. limits of …choice. (cf.1301:5)
- unify the identity of any living energy system.(1225:7) The concept of personality means much more than the integration of relationships;it signifies the unification of all factors of reality as well as co-ordination of relationships. (cf.1227:7)
- know what it is doing before it does it.( 193:2)
- look before it leaps and can therefore learn from looking as well as from leaping.(193:2)
- experience the universe (30:6)
- act as the cosmic cause of such [time-space] events. (135:10)
- examine the goal itself and pass judgment on its worth-whileness, its value.(193:3)
- arbitrate the multiform contentions of the ego cravings and the budding social consciousness.(1134:2) [if it is fairly well unified]
- be experientially realized in the progressive realms of the material, the morontial, and the spiritual.(1226:8)
- truly destroy individuality of creaturehood. (1283:6)
- knowingly resist cosmic reality, that is sin (cf.754:5) [iniquity is indicative of vanishing personality control.] (755:1)
- be adjusted to the will of Deity. (1001:6)
- manifest will, volition, choice, and love. (cf. 1183:7)
3rd conclusion : We can feel that somewhere the meaning of personality has changed from the pure original divine gift to the material side. Here, sense 3 of Webster could perhaps be applied or at least be included as part of the meaning. This could be the second level and in some cases the third level of personality manifestation in Jacques Dupont’s classification. (see Hypothesis*)
NB: In one instance at least, the word personality seems devoid of the urantian sense, and to refer only to sense 2 of Webster it is : Animals do, in a crude way, communicate with each other, but there is little or no personality in such primitive contact. (1198:5)
Sense 4 is also present in the following quotation, but it does not preclude other senses:
Jesus decided that he would not utilize a single personality of this vast assemblage. (1516:2)
What it does:
- It responds to the personality circuit of the Father. (cf:9:3)
- Personality responds directly to other-personality presence.(1226:1)
And every true relationship of mortal man with other persons, human or divine, is an end itself. (cf.1228:3)
- Personality functions equally efficiently in the local universe, in the superuniverse, and in the central universe. (1226:6)
The personality unification of the energy-controlling mind with the spirit-co-ordinated intellect [is responsible for] the total evolution of the entire grand universe. (cf.1274:5)
The goal of the evolutionary universes is the subjugation of energy-matter by mind, the co-ordination of mind with spirit, and all of this by virtue of the creative and unifying presence of personality. (1275:
- Personality performs effectively on the levels of the finite, the absonite, and even as impinging upon the absolute. (1226:7)
- It unifies all other associated factors of individuality.(9:1)
- Matter, mind, and spirit are unified by creature personality. (cf.136:3)
- Personality inherently reaches out to unify all constituent realities.(640:1)
- Mortal personality unifies the human experience with matter, mind, and spirit.(647:6)
- In the human system it is the personality which unifies all activities and in turn imparts the qualities of identity *(see that word) and creativity. (1227:9)
- The personality imparts value of identity and meanings of continuity to this organismal-environmental association.(1227:3)
- It possesses the power of transferring its seat of identity from the passing material-intellect system to the higher morontia-soul system ( cf.1233:0)· Personality creates a unique time sense out of insight into Reality plus a consciousness of presence and an awareness of duration. (135:8)
4th conclusion : Since the main action of personality seems to be unification, it is no wonder that it creates a unique sense of time and an awareness of duration. We normaly perceive time by analysis and personality produces a sort of synthesis which gives us a time-space perceptibility.
How it is manifested:
- In forms which are patterns resultant from energy (physical,spiritual,or mindal) but not inherent therein.(10:4)
For example: To a certain extent, the appearance of the material body-form is responsive to the character of the personality identity*; the physical body does, to a limited degree, reflect something of the inherent nature of the personality. (1236:1)
Another example is the reassembling of the hundred Jerusemites, members of Caligastia’s staff: they were held enseraphimed until they could be provided with personality forms of the dual nature of special planetary service, literal bodies consisting of flesh and blood but also attuned to the life circuits of the system. (742:5)
- The personality of the spirit Son is the master pattern for all personality throughout all universes. (1263:1)
- The personality form is the pattern aspect of a living being; it connotes the arrangement of energies, and this, plus life and motion, is the mechanism of creature existence.(483:9)
- Even the highest type of spirit personalities have forms–personality presences in every sense analogous to Urantia mortal bodies. (483:10)
- Personality may be material or spiritual, but there either is personality or there is no personality. (70:4) (The other-than-personal never attains the level of the personal except by the direct act of the Paradise Father.) ibid.
- In a new vehicle (the morontia-soul system), which, in association with the Thought Adjuster, is created… for personality manifestation. (cf1233:0)
- self consciousness* and free-will (see creature personality *)
the manifestation of personality is further conditioned and qualified by the nature and qualities of the associated energies of a material, mindal, and spiritual nature which constitute the organismal vehicle for personality manifestation.(cf.194:3)
5th conclusion: The difference between what personality can do and what it does is the change from potential to actual. To us, the potential can be identified with the Son, whom we know to be the pattern personality. As for the actual, we can only grasp it by means of the mind or by mind interpretation of physical manifestations, whence the confusion ,so easily made between identity and personality.
The Universal Father is the secret of the reality of personality, the bestowal of personality, and the destiny of personality. (8:5)
The Universal Father is the acme of divine personality; he is the origin and destiny of personality throughout all creation. (27:3)
And the Paradise Father is likewise the destiny of all those finite personalities who wholeheartedly choose to do the divine will, those who love God and long to be like him.(70:2)
Having appeared in response to the Father’s will, personality will attain Deity destiny.(1232:3)
God must be a personality since he is the Creator of all personality and the destiny of all personality.(1784:7)
…all forms of reality, Deity, divinity, personality, and energy–spiritual, mindal, or material.
All share Paradise as the place of origin, function, and destiny, as regards values, meanings, and factual existence. (cf.7:9)
The Michael and other Paradise Sons view Paradise and Havona as the divine destiny of the children of time. (162:3)
The immortal personality which must transcend space, vanquish time, and achieve the eternal destiny of divine perfection and finaliter service. (cf.1096:3)
This finite personality possess the potential of the divine and the eternal and aspire to a destiny akin to the Ultimate, even reaching out for a realization of the Absolute. (cf.70:6)
But man has everything to do with determining his own destiny. (cf.1232:4)
Finite personality is not self-created, but in the superuniverse arena of choice it does self-determine destiny.(1301:2)
NB.We can however note that the Personalized Adjusters seem to be destined to something different from personality, they are omnipersonal therefore they have a superpersonality destiny. They are thus both [Personalized Adjuster and existential prepersonal Adjuster] destined to the future eternal superpersonality of the transcendental ministry of the absonite realms of the Ultimate, the Supreme-Ultimate, even to the levels of the Ultimate-Absolute. (cf.1201:6)
6th conclusion : The origin of personality being the Father and the action of personality being unification, it seems reasonable that it would lead us back to the source. However, this destiny is for the present age and does not preclude a possible superpersonality in future ages.
Types of personality
Personality follows types but is always unique.(1220:5)
There are creator personalities and creature personalities, and in addition to these two fundamental types there are personalities of the Third Source and Center. (106:7)
[We are here not really concerned with personalities of the Third Source and Center, who are contactable but not part of the Father’s personality circuit . We shall just note down that the primary personalities of the Third Source and Center are experiential and seven in number. (110:5) ]
- a) about creator personality:
- the divine personality is defined as consisting in spirit and manifesting himself to the universes as love. (59:2)
- the concept of the divine personality can be grasped only by the spiritual insight of genuine personal religious experience. (30:3)
- The concept of the personality of Deity facilitates fellowship. (31:1)
- The personality of the Paradise Son is absolute and purely spiritual, and this absolute personality is also the divine and eternal pattern, first, of the Father’s bestowal of personality upon the Conjoint Actor and, subsequently, of his bestowal of personality upon the myriads of his creatures throughout a far-flung universe. (79:2)
- To you, Michael, the Creator Son, is the supreme personality; to you, the Eternal Son is supersupreme–an infinite Deity personality. (367:1)
- Divine personality is not self-centered. (109:1)
- The Father’s personality is absolutely unified. (638:2)
- The Universal Father is a divinely unified personality; (639:7)In the Second Source and Center spirit is unqualified while personality is absolute.(1155:7)
About creature personality:
- Personality is potential in all creatures who possess a mind endowment ranging from the minimum of self-consciousness* to the maximum of God-consciousness. (70:4)
- The human personality is not merely a concomitant of time-and-space events; the human personality can also act as the cosmic cause of such events. (135:10)
- Urantia human beings are endowed with personality of the finite-mortal type, functioning on the level of the ascending sons of God. (194:1)
The Urantia type of human personality may be viewed as functioning in a physical mechanism consisting of the planetary modification of the Nebadon type of organism belonging to the electrochemical order of life activation and endowed with the Nebadon order of the Orvonton series of the cosmic mind of parental reproductive pattern. The bestowal of the divine gift of personality upon such a mind-endowed mortal mechanism confers the dignity of cosmic citizenship and enables such a mortal creature forthwith to become reactive to the constitutive recognition of the three basic mind realities of the cosmos: uniformity of physical causation, obligation of moral conduct, worship of Deity + loving service of humanity. (195:2)
The human personality is identified with mind and spirit held together in functional relationship by life* in a material body. (1218:1)
* the continuing function of the material life vehicle, … the continued existence of the unbalanced equilibrium of energies and intellect which, on Urantia, has been given the name life… (cf.1229:7)
Life is really a process which takes place between the organism (selfhood) and its environment. (1227:3)
- Morality, virtue, is indigenous to human personality. (192:8)
- Creature personality is distinguished by two self-manifesting and characteristic phenomena of mortal reactive behavior: self-consciousness* and associated relative free will. (194:5)
Self-consciousness* consists in intellectual awareness of personality actuality; it includes the ability to recognize the reality of other personalities. It indicates capacity for individualized experience in and with cosmic realities, equivalating to the attainment of identity status in the personality relationships of the universe. Self-consciousness connotes recognition of the actuality of mind ministration and the realization of relative independence of creative and determinative free will. (194:6)
The relative free will which characterizes the self-consciousness* of human personality is involved in: (194:7)
P.194 – §8 1. Moral decision, highest wisdom.
P.194 – §9 2. Spiritual choice, truth discernment.
P.194 – §10 3. Unselfish love, brotherhood service.
P.194 – §11 4. Purposeful co-operation, group loyalty.
P.194 – §12 5. Cosmic insight, the grasp of universe meanings.
P.194 – §13 6. Personality dedication, wholehearted devotion to doing the Father’s will.
P.195 – §1 7. Worship, the sincere pursuit of divine values and the wholehearted love of the divine Value-Giver.
- The human personality [is dominated ] by the mother influence throughout the local universe childhood of the growing soul. (cf.1288:4)
- The human soul (personality) of man survives mortal death by identity association with this indwelling spark of divinity, which is immortal, and which functions to perpetuate the human personality upon a continuing and higher level of progressive universe existence. (1459:6)
- After death and following the mansion world resurrection, the human personality is completely identified with the morontia self. (1219:1)
- Personality may survive mortal death with identity in the surviving soul (1226:3)
- Man’s personality is eternal but with regard to identity a conditioned eternal reality. (1232:3)
- Finite personality is not self-created, but in the superuniverse arena of choice it does self-determine destiny. (1301:2)
- Human personality is the time-space image-shadow cast by the divine Creator personality. (29:7)
7th conclusion : Most of what we can actually know of personality in the urantian sense can be found in the above chapter which would require a much vaster development than we can offer here.
- It coordinates reality:
Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personality experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty. (43:5)
- Personality shares with spirit its changelessness:
Spirit is the fundamental reality of the personality experience of all creatures because God is spirit. Spirit is unchanging, and therefore, in all personality relations, it transcends both mind and matter, which are experiential variables of progressive attainment. (140:10)
- The Father, the Son and the Spirit are three Abolutes but they are also personal, God the Supreme is also a personal being as will be the Supreme Being, that’s why one can say:
Spirit is the basic personal reality in the universes, and personality is basic to all progressing experience with spiritual reality. Every phase of personality experience on every successive level of universe progression swarms with clues to the discovery of alluring personal realities. (141:2)
- In and with the bestowal Sons, the personality experience shows a unity of the divine and the human.
The Paradise bestowal Sons … are, in every phase of personality experience, God and man. (cf. 217:6)
- It is spirit, and for us the Holy Spirit, which incites our human mind to reach out for God. Although the worship urge is present with the higher mind adjutants and it is reinforced by the leadings of the thought Adjuters (cf. 1245:4)
The Holy Spirit–this is the initial supermind bestowal, and it unfailingly appears in all bona fide human personalities. This ministry to a worship-craving and wisdom-desiring mind creates the capacity to self-realize the postulate of human survival, both in theologic concept and as an actual and factual personality experience. (1003:4)
- It gives a purely spiritual vision of the universe:
Viewed exclusively from the insideness of personality experience, all creation appears to be spiritual in nature. (cf.1135:5)
- In man, this experience is realized by and through the psychic circles:
The sum total of personality realization on a material world is contained within the successive conquest of the seven psychic circles of mortal potentiality. (1209:1)
The seven circles embrace mortal experience extending from the highest purely animal level to the lowest actual contactual morontia level of self-consciousness* as a personality experience. (1211:6)
- It is something different from objective reality:
A cosmic reality can be nonexistent in personality experience. (141:1)
- Human experience and divine experience are complementary on the level of the Supreme:
Ever bear in mind–God and men need each other. They are mutually necessary to the full and final attainment of eternal personality experience in the divine destiny of universe finality. (2084:3)
8th conclusion: There is a paradox in the fact that something changeless can be associated with the word experience, but this is the whole story of the subabsolutes such as the Supreme and the Ultimate. We should know that a paradox is simply due to a lack of scope or scale or dimension, in our case, we finite beings have difficulties seeing preexperiential and postexperiential realities.
Attributes of personality:
- The divine omnipotence is perfectly co-ordinated with the other attributes of the personality of God. (48:3)
- will, volition, choice and love. (cf. 1183:7)
- relative creative consciousness and the freewill control thereof. (cf.70:5)
- Morality, virtue, is indigenous to human personality. (192:8)
- spiritual responsibility. (1431:3)
We could perhaps also include in these attributes:
- self-determination, self-evolution, and self-identification with a fusion spirit of Deity. (cf.1301:3)
N.B. We have just alluded to the divine attributes but we won’t expand further here, attributes like creative attributes or omnipotence (quoted as an example), omniscience, omnipresence, etc.are beyond the scope of this essay. As for human personality attributes we could also include many of the qualifications included in Personality is *
- The type of personality bestowed upon Urantia mortals has a potentiality of seven dimensions of self-expression or person-realization. These dimensional phenomena are realizable as three on the finite level, three on the absonite level, and one on the absolute level. On subabsolute levels this seventh or totality dimension is experiencible as the fact of personality. . This supreme dimension is an associable absolute and, while not infinite, is dimensionally potential for subinfinite penetration of the absolute. (1226:13)
- Personality has a perfected range of cosmic dimensional performance. The dimensions of finite personality are three, and they are roughly functional as follows: (length, vertical depth, breadth) (cf.1226:9)
Length represents direction and nature of progression–movement through space and according to time–evolution.
Vertical depth embraces the organismal drives and attitudes, the varying levels of self-realization and the general phenomenon of reaction to environment.
Breadth embraces the domain of co-ordination, association, and selfhood organization. (1226:10-12)
The finite dimensions of personality have to do with cosmic length, depth, and breadth. Length denotes meaning; depth signifies value; breadth embraces insight–the capacity to experience unchallengeable consciousness of cosmic reality. (1226:14)
- On the morontia level all of these finite dimensions of the material level are greatly enhanced, and certain new dimensional values are realizable. All these enlarged dimensional experiences of the morontia level are marvelously articulated with the supreme or personality dimension through the influence of mota and also because of the contribution of morontia mathematics. (1227:1)
- Much trouble experienced by mortals in their study of human personality could be avoided if the finite creature would remember that dimensional levels and spiritual levels are not co-ordinated in experiential personality realization. (1227:2)
9th Conclusion: The study of personality dimensions will be an important part of our education on the mansion worlds, but luckily we shall then benefit from morontia mota.
Factors included in personality:
We are able to form adequate concepts of the factors entering into the make-up of various orders and levels of personality, but we do not fully comprehend the real nature of the personality itself. We clearly perceive the numerous factors which, when put together, constitute the vehicle for human personality, but we do not fully comprehend the nature and significance of such a finite personality. (70:3)
The phenomenon of personality is dependent on the persistence of the identity of selfhood reaction to universe environment; and this can only be effected through the medium of mind. (1235:2)
We are cognizant of the constituent parts of personality which must necessarily be present for the reassembly of the self on the mansion worlds:
The reassembly of the constituent parts of a onetime material personality involves:
- The fabrication of a suitable form, a morontia energy pattern, in which the new survivor can make contact with nonspiritual reality, and within which the morontia variant of the cosmic mind can be encircuited.
2)The return of the Adjuster to the waiting morontia creature. The Adjuster is the eternal custodian of your ascending identity; (cf 1234:5)
3)The seraphic custodian of the potentialities of the slumbering immortal soul, with the assistance of numerous cosmic personalities, bestows this morontia entity upon and in the awaiting morontia mind-body form while committing this evolutionary child of the Supreme to eternal association with the waiting Adjuster. And this completes the repersonalization, reassembly of memory, insight, and consciousness–identity. (1234:5-1235:1)
10th conclusion: We would expect that knowing the ingredients of personality we can now understand it. But we should remember that a sum of anything is rarely equivalent to a totality. Even knowing the taste of flour and water and yeast will not tell you what your bread or cake will taste like.
Prerequisites to personality or Potential versus functional:
It would seem that a minimum of brain capacity is required for the cosmic mind (in fact, the local Mother Spirit) to have a chance to operate. To use a crude comparison, you can’t expect to download a one gigabit programme if your computer only has a 500 megabit disk. Technically, I would say that the brain must be big enough and in working order to have ‘capacity for human personality’. Now, we know that if the brain is anatomically nearly complete at birth, the formation of neuronic connexions is then far from being finished. There are more modifications of the cortex in the first six months after birth than in any other period .That is probably why the revelators tell us:
But the experiential personality of mortal man is not observable as an active and functional reality until after the material life vehicle of the mortal creature has been touched by the liberating divinity of the Universal Father, being thus launched upon the seas of experience as a self-conscious and a (relatively) self-determinative and self-creative personality. (71:1)
Question: Is that touch of “liberating divinity of the Universal Father” the time of the bestowal of the personality?
It seems easier for us to understand the end side than the beginning side of either identity or personality: At death the functional identity associated with the human personality is disrupted through the cessation of vital motion. Human personality, while transcending its constituent parts, is dependent on them for functional identity. (1234:3)
Question: Could we advance that personality is prepotential before birth and becomes potential after birth knowing that Thought Adjuster fusion imparts eternal actualities to personality which were previously only potential ? (1237:3)
Personality versus identity
- What makes up identity is: memory, insight, and consciousness (cf:1235:1)
Man may , through mind, become aware of both identity and personality.
- Mind has been given to mortals wherewith they may become self-conscious of identity and personality. (1276:4)
- Personality is associated only with living energy systems; identity can be associated with nonliving energy patterns. (8:4)
- But the presence phenomenon of a personality or the pattern of an identity, as such, is not a manifestation of energy, either physical, mindal, or spiritual. (483:9)
- [In case of iniquity] the living energy factors of identity are resolved by the transformations of time and the metamorphoses of space into the cosmic potentials whence they once emerged. As for the personality of the iniquitous one, it is deprived of a continuing life vehicle. (cf.37:2)
- The material self has personality and identity, temporal identity. (71:2)
- Such qualities of the self are expressed by the material mind as it functions in the energy system of the intellect. (1232:5)
This identity is subordinated to personality:
- When it is said that man has identity, it is recognized that he is in possession of a mind circuit which has been placed in subordination to the acts and choosing of the will of the human personality. But this is a material and purely temporary manifestation, just as the human embryo is a transient parasitic stage of human life. (1232:5)
- Personality may survive mortal death with identity in the surviving soul.(1226:3)
- Mortal identity is a transient time-life condition in the universe (1232:4)
It is sometimes identified with mind as in 141:1 — mind (identity) or, after death, with the soul as in 451:2 — within the soul (identity), but the soul is also identified as the morontia self (cf.1216:6 — and the soul–the morontia self–will faithfully portray the harvest of the temporal decisions which the mortal self is making.)
- Ultimately, surviving mortals achieve identity in a seven-dimensional universe.(1439:5)
Question: What does that seven-dimensional universe allude to? The seven Absolutes ? The seven superuniverses ? The seven dimensions of personality of page 1226:13 (three on the finite level, three on the absonite leven and one on the absolute level) ? The seven stages of a perfected spirit? Or…?
The role of the Adjuster is vital, we are told that:
The arrival of an Adjuster constitutes identity in the eyes of the universe. (569:6)
Your individual Adjusters work to spiritize you in the hope of eternalizing your temporal identity. (1182:4)
This means fusion:
…celestial fusion, that never-ending blending of identity, that oneness of being which is so perfect and final that even the most experienced personalities can never segregate or recognize as separate identities the fusion partners–mortal man and divine Adjuster. (1204:4)
However, before fusion, usually both man and the Adjuster must go through the time of death during which the Thought Adjuster temporarily loses personality, but not identity; the human subject temporarily loses identity, but not personality. (cf.1230:5)
In several places, and in apparent contradiction with 1225:7 (Personality, while devoid of identity…) the Urantia Book uses the phrase “personality identity”, what does it mean? It means that “per se” personality has no identity but it can be conjoined to different levels of identity such as the temporal identity of mortal man, the morontial identity of progressing man or even the spiritual or eternal identity of the Thought Adjuster. It is also to be found at the infinite level.
Personality identity survives in and by the survival of the soul. (195:9)
The soul is thus the embryo of the future morontia vehicle of personality identity. (1219:1)
To a certain extent, the appearance of the material body-form is responsive to the character of the personality identity; the physical body does, to a limited degree, reflect something of the inherent nature of the personality. (1236:1)
The material self has …identity, temporal identity. (71:2)
The new individual constitutes the resurrection of the old personality, the survival of the evolving morontia identity of the soul. (341:5)
The prepersonal spirit Adjuster also has identity, eternal identity. (71:2)
Our Creator Son is the personification of the 611,121st original concept of infinite identity. (366:2)
That personality identity can be destroyed by self-concept (pride?) :
Real trouble, lasting disappointment, serious defeat, or inescapable death can come only after self-concepts presume fully to displace the governing power of the central spirit nucleus, thereby disrupting the cosmic scheme of personality identity. (142:1)
The human personality can truly destroy individuality of creaturehood, and though all that was worth while in the life of such a cosmic suicide will persist, these qualities will not persist as an individual creature. (1283:6)
Who is responsible for what?
The seraphim is responsible for the soul, the mind must provide a body, the Adjuster is the custodian of the identity.
The assigned seraphim is the keeper of the surviving identity–the immortal soul–as far as it has evolved (341:5)
The mind endowment of an individual animal, mortal, morontian, spirit ascender, or finality attainer is always competent to produce a suitable and serviceable body for the living creature identity. (483:9)
In fact, what the guardian seems to keep is what they call “the static formulas of identity”, and somewhere else, the records or identity specifications, and that must be why the seraphim are “indispensable” to the reassembly of personality (cf. 1230:4):
These phases and forms of soul, these once kinetic but now static formulas of identity, are essential to repersonalization on the morontia worlds. ( 1230:3)
Upon your death, your records, identity specifications, and the morontia entity of the human soul–conjointly evolved by the ministry of mortal mind and the divine Adjuster–are faithfully conserved by the destiny guardian together with all other values related to your future existence, everything that constitutes you, the real you. (1246:5)
The revelators make a distinction between these records, these identity specifications and the identity of continuing existence which is left with the Adjuster.
…the identity of continuing existence represented by the departing Adjuster and the actuality of personality. (1246:5)
As for the “actuality of personality” it seems no one knows where it may be and who is responsible for it then. (see: 1234:4)
The Adjuster is the eternal custodian of your ascending identity. (1234:7)
They [seraphim + Thought Adjusters.] have established your personality identities. (cf.1248:4)
Constitutive factors of the self
Parts of the self may function in numerous ways–thinking, feeling, wishing–but only the co-ordinated attributes of the whole personality are focused in intelligent action. (1228:2)
The possibility of the unification of the evolving self is inherent in the qualities of its constitutive factors: the basic energies, the master tissues, the fundamental chemical overcontrol, the supreme ideas, the supreme motives, the supreme goals, and the divine spirit of Paradise bestowal–the secret of the self-consciousness of man’s spiritual nature. (1229:1)
The self is more than the sum of one’s sensations.(1479:7) and that is why : Ideas are not simply a record of sensations; ideas are sensations plus the reflective interpretations of the personal self. (1479:7) There begins to be something of an approach to unity in an evolving selfhood, and that unity is derived from the indwelling presence of a part of absolute unity which spiritually activates such a self-conscious animal-origin mind. (1479:7)
Neither is the human self merely the sum of the successive states of consciousness. Without the effective functioning of a consciousness sorter and associater there would not exist sufficient unity to warrant the designation of a selfhood. (1480:1)
Question: One might have thought that Jesus’ speech (restated in modern phraseology) was alluding to personality here, but he uses the phrase the indwelling spirit of the Father which is normally used only to designate the Thought Adjuster, so, can he also mean personality?
Self and Selfhood
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the use of self from selfhood, although it may be worth remembering that the ‘hood’ suffix means condition or state. Let us have a look at a few references to see if we can make something out of it.
Self is variously qualified, it may be human or divine (147:2) or even Universal (1030:3) it can be finite (311:3) and material (71:1) (311:3) morontial (1193:4), spiritualizing (63:1) (66:4) or spirit (127:1). It must become united(67:1) thus immortal (71:3) and eternal (139:3).
It can be disciplined : morality becomes the discipline of self. (1012:6) It can be active and questioning. (1123:2) The self has rights as well as one’s neighbors. (1134:2). Exceptionally the Urantia Book will refer to the higher self, as either meaning the morontial self (1193:5) or the divine spirit. (1134:3) (1193:5) at least once called the better self.(2078:8)
There is no such thing as a lower self but that role seems to be devoted to the ‘ego’ concept, thus, the ego desire of the self.(1134:3) (also cf. Humor is the divine antidote for exaltation of ego.) However, the ego is not always perceived negatively as we can see in 995:7 Prayer has always indicated positive action by the praying ego. Although the mortal self is also a personal self; it has personality, (1205:2) although the self [can be devoted] to the service of meaningful and supreme values, (1012:6) the religion of Jesus is salvation from self (67:3)
After death and following the mansion world resurrection, the human personality is completely identified with the morontia self. (cf.1219:1)
The morontia self must have the same basic qualities or attributes as the material personality (will,volition, choice and love…), plus new ones. Chapter 5 of pages 1235-1236-1237 tells us that we will be endowed with morontia patterns of personality manifestability, but these are investments which, in the last analysis, are beyond our comprehension (cf.1235:6-1236:0). We know that with mortal death we are no longer under the influence of the adjutant mind-spirits, but in direct contact with the cosmic mind and guided by the character patterns inherited from the human life and by the action of morontia mota—morontia wisdom. (cf.1236:3-4)
11th Conclusion: If on the material level the self seems to be something wider than personality, the morontia self seems to make one with personality, probably because the morontia form is more and more reflective of the soul.
Selfhood seems to be that particular state of individuality, the self, which can nonetheless be part of a greater organism.
Selfhood is a cosmic reality whether material, morontial, or spiritual… To say that a being is personal is to recognize the relative individuation of such a being within the cosmic organism. (1232:2)
Question: Is that an allusion to the grand universe? (cf. The grand universe is not only a material creation of physical grandeur, spirit sublimity, and intellectual magnitude, it is also a magnificent and responsive living organism.(1276:2)
In at least two places the revelators give us a clue as to the special meaning they attach to the word selfhood; at 1227:3 — Life is really a process which takes place between the organism (selfhood) and its environment. and also at 1227:8— In the human organism the summation of its parts constitutes selfhood–individuality–but such a process has nothing whatever to do with personality.
If the summation has nothing to do with personality, not so with selfhood itself. We learn that: The fundamental attributes of human selfhood, as well as the absolute Adjuster nucleus of the human personality, are the bestowals of the Universal Father, acting in his exclusively personal domain of cosmic ministry. (70:5)
Question: If these fundamental attributes do not include personality, what is it that the Universal Father bestows upon man ?
In other places we could think that the word selfhood is equivalent to personality : Personality reality. The degree of selfhood reality is directly determined by circle conquest.(1210:5)
The soul of survival value faithfully reflects both the qualitative and the quantitative actions and motivations of the material intellect, the former seat of the identity of selfhood. (1237:1)
This particular meaning is completely established in the following:
Selfhood persists in spite of a continuous change in all the factor components of self; in the physical life the change is gradual; at death and upon repersonalization the change is sudden. The true reality of all selfhood (personality) is able to function responsively to universe conditions by virtue of the unceasing changing of its constituent parts. (1235:2)
However, with these exceptions the word selfhood seems to be used in a regular manner. Everyone will recognize the Ciceronian Nosce te ipsum borrowed from the Greek Gnôthi seauton,Gnvqi seautÏn, Know thyself in: Growth is also predicated on the discovery of selfhood accompanied by self-criticism. (1095:0)
But selfhood of survival value, selfhood that can transcend the experience of death, is only evolved by establishing a potential transfer of the seat of the identity of the evolving personality from the transient life vehicle–the material body–to the more enduring and immortal nature of the morontia soul and on beyond to those levels whereon the soul becomes infused with, and eventually attains the status of, spirit reality. (1229:7)
Selfhood sometimes seem to refer to the organism or to the individuality as in: The persistence of memory is proof of the retention of the identity of original selfhood (1236:6) or, The phenomenon of personality is dependent on the persistence of the identity of selfhood reaction to universe environment.(1235:2)
The higher concepts of universe personality imply: identity, self-consciousness, self-will, and possibility for self-revelation. (31:6)
Morality has its origin in the reason of self-consciousness; it is superanimal but wholly evolutionary. (68:4)
Personality of the finite-creature variety is characterized by: … . Subjective self-consciousness. (106:5)
Self-consciousness consists in intellectual awareness of personality actuality; it includes the ability to recognize the reality of other personalities. It indicates capacity for individualized experience in and with cosmic realities, equivalating to the attainment of identity status in the personality relationships of the universe. Self-consciousness connotes recognition of the actuality of mind ministration and the realization of relative independence of creative and determinative free will.(194:6)
Human self-consciousness implies the recognition of the reality of selves other than the conscious self and further implies that such awareness is mutual; that the self is known as it knows. (195:10)
Man’s own personality awareness, self-consciousness, is also directly dependent on this very fact of innate other-awareness. (196:3)
P.196 – §5 Self-consciousness is in essence a communal consciousness: God and man, Father and son, Creator and creature. In human self-consciousness four universe-reality realizations are latent and inherent:
The quest for knowledge, the logic of science.
The quest for moral values, the sense of duty.
The quest for spiritual values, the religious experience.
The quest for personality values, the ability to recognize the reality of God as a personality and the concurrent realization of our fraternal relationship with fellow personalities. (196:5-10)
The fact of experience is found in self-consciousness plus other-existences–other-thingness, other-mindness, and other-spiritness. (1123:2)
The possession of personality identifies man as a spiritual being since the unity of selfhood and the self-consciousness of personality are endowments of the supermaterial world. (1228:4)
Causation in the physical world, self-consciousness in the intellectual world, and progressing selfhood in the spirit world–these realities, projected on a universal scale, combined in eternal relatedness, and experienced with perfection of quality and divinity of value–constitute the reality of the Supreme. (1434:1)
Self-consciousness, in and of itself, is not the soul. Moral self-consciousness is true human self-realization and constitutes the foundation of the human soul. (1478:4)
All forms of soul conflict consist in the lack of harmony between the moral, or spiritual, self-consciousness and the purely intellectual self-consciousness. (1478:5)
Self-consciousness is a reality. (1479:6)
No mere animal could possess a time self-consciousness.(1479:8)
Man’s greatest adventure in the flesh consists in the well-balanced and sane effort to advance the borders of self-consciousness out through the dim realms of embryonic soul-consciousness in a wholehearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness–contact with the divine presence. (2097:2)
General conclusion: This essay adds practically no personal contribution to what can be found about personality in The Urantia Book. Its main advantage lies in a different perspective which brings together concepts which are found in separate places in the book. Some readers may regret the way some sentences have been cut, but they always can complete them and thus find new interpretations. This essay also shows that , any study of the book is sure to raise more questions than it solves.
We have voluntarily limited ourselves to the creature aspect of personality, leaving aside many items which are nevertheless basic such as power-personality synthesis, emerging personality of the the Supreme Being or of the Mother Spirit of a local universe or even the complementary nature of personality and trinity, in fact everything related to divine personality.
There is still plenty to be done…
Hypothesis: The following hypothesis was developed by Jacques Dupont in his essay on personality (1999) : There are three different uses of the word personality in the Urantia Book:
1) which he calls “P” is the changeless personality bestowed by the Father
2) which he calls “p” is the varying level of manifestation of P on an individual who is not yet born of the spirit and
3) which he calls “p”is the varying level of manifestation of P on an individual who is born of the spirit.
FAQ: Probably the most frequently asked question is :When exactly is personality bestowed ? The answer is not given in the Urantia Book but, once more, we have a few clues which should be attentively studied before a personal interpretation be considered.
1) Seen from the Father’s side, the question is irrelevant since he is without time.
2) Seen from the evolving Supreme, of which we are a part, we should consider
- a) the passive or dormant gift, which we could also call potential personality ( or even, sometimes, prepotential personality), the active or functional personality
Among these clues we find:
P.409 – §4 The Worlds of the Archangels. The seventh group of the encircling Salvington worlds, with their associated satellites, is assigned to the archangels. Sphere number one and all of its six tributary satellites are occupied by the personality record keepers. This enormous corps of recorders busy themselves with keeping straight the record of each mortal of time from the moment of birth up through the universe career until such an individual either leaves Salvington for the superuniverse regime or is “blotted out of recorded existence” by the mandate of the Ancients of Days.
P.413 – §7 The Nebadon Census Director, Salsatia, maintains headquarters within the Gabriel sector of Salvington. He is automatically cognizant of the birth and death of will and currently registers the exact number of will creatures functioning in the local universe.
P.71 – §1 Capacity for divine personality is inherent in the prepersonal Adjuster; capacity for human personality is potential in the cosmic-mind endowment of the human being. But the experiential personality of mortal man is not observable as an active and functional reality until after the material life vehicle of the mortal creature has been touched by the liberating divinity of the Universal Father, being thus launched upon the seas of experience as a self-conscious and a (relatively) self-determinative and self-creative personality. The material self is truly and unqualifiedly personal.
P.1130 – §6 Religion is functional in the human mind and has been realized in experience prior to its appearance in human consciousness. A child has been in existence about nine months before it experiences birth. But the “birth” of religion is not sudden; it is rather a gradual emergence. Nevertheless, sooner or later there is a “birth day.”
P.1209 – §1 The sum total of personality realization on a material world is contained within the successive conquest of the seven psychic circles of mortal potentiality. Entrance upon the seventh circle marks the beginning of true human personality function.
P.1210 – §8 The seventh circle. This level is entered when human beings develop the powers of personal choice, individual decision, moral responsibility, and the capacity for the attainment of spiritual individuality. This signifies the united function of the seven adjutant mind-spirits under the direction of the spirit of wisdom, the encircuitment of the mortal creature in the influence of the Holy Spirit, and, on Urantia, the first functioning of the Spirit of Truth, together with the reception of a Thought Adjuster in the mortal mind. Entrance upon the seventh circle constitutes a mortal creature a truly potential citizen of the local universe.
P.1237 – §3 Thought Adjuster fusion imparts eternal actualities to personality which were previously only potential. Among these new endowments may be mentioned: fixation of divinity quality, past-eternity experience and memory, immortality, and a phase of qualified potential absoluteness.
One should make a difference between existent (living) and personal.
When The Urantia Book says a child has been in existence for nine months before it experiences birth, the reference is to physical life. No one will deny that as soon as a spermatozoid (which by itself is alive) meets an ovum (which by itself is alive) the immediate result is a new living being. The true question which should be asked by those arguing for or against abortion is whether such an existence is endowed with personality or not.
When quoting 71:1: “The material self is truly and unqualifiedly personal”, one should not separate the quote from its context and let people believe that the allusion is to a material self of origin, whereas the contextual paragraph says 1) that the human being must first be endowed with the cosmic mind just for capacity (and how could it be before the brain has been formed? and 2) that it is an active and functioning reality only after it has been touched by the liberating divinity of the Universal Father. Does that mean the gift of personality?
All the references here given show that before birth (and probably even after birth) personality is not functional. It becomes functional with the entrance into the 7th psychic circle. it may be prepotential before birth. (see potential versus functional*)
A possible exception could be Jesus whose birth is announced to Mary one day after conception.(cf.1347:2): But that belongs to the mystery of incarnation and nothing can be inferred from that as concerns ordinary mortals.
That should be sufficient for you to find out when personality is bestowed !!!
Richard E Warren
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