William Sadler Jnr. was one of the 5 Contact Commissioners and Forum member—this is transcript of a tape recording of one of his many lectures to readers in the 1960’s
How does the modern sophisticated soul deal with truth, let alone revelations about truth? In the following article we try to frame the question, to illustrate the problem, and to see where students of the Urantia Papers may fit in.
I want to be useful in the teaching of this book, or—what’s even more important—useful to your fellow man in the service of God. And this book is only a part of it, by no means all of it.
Show people that you like them. Be kind to them. Be expressive of your feelings of friendship. I think it is almost immoral to conceal affection. There’s so little of it in the world. Sure, you need to be gracious in your expression, or you could give offense. But if you like people, show them that you like them. Tell them that you like them. If you have love, don’t make a secret out of it. What did Jesus say about the city that’s set upon a hill? It’s difficult to camouflage. If you’ve got feelings, broadcast them. And then, if you want to use this book in helping your fellow men, you really ought to know what’s in it, shouldn’t you? You really ought to know what’s in it.
This book is not religion. This book is a cosmology, a philosophy, a metaphysics, a theology. Anything which is in written language is not religion. It’s intellectual. That should be very, very clear.
But this book is attempting to make an intellectual approach, a philosophic approach, to the religious nature of man. And if you encounter a person who is not philosophical, don’t rub his nose in Part One of this book, and the Foreword, and everything else. Give him the spiritual heart of this book. I don’t think he has to know anything about the Trinity of Trinities to qualify for the first mansion world. It says you have to accept sonship with God, that’s all.
But there are a lot of people who are curious. I am. As the papers point out, one of the things that’s wrong with Christianity is that—from a philosophical standpoint—it’s a pretty sterile religion. Pretty sterile. You want to know something? Mahayana Buddhism offers a great deal to a thinking God-seeker which Christianity does not offer. It’s a much broader religion, with a richer philosophy. Arnold Toynbee well says that the two best religions on earth today are Christianity and the Mahayana form of Buddhism. And I think he’s very discerning when he further says, in his judgment, neither of them are good enough.
If you find a person who is hungry to understand more about the universe, to take the findings of science and attempt to reconcile them with the spiritual longings of his heart—and this is the function of philosophy—then you better either know this book and be able to discuss it with him, or pass him on to one of your philosophic-minded colleagues who can do this. Everybody does not have to do all of these things.
You know, if I catch someone who wants to be exhorted and labored with, I’ll pass him onto someone who’s a good exhorter, a good preacher, because this character is not my pigeon. You know? This sort of presentation is not in me.
This is my idea of how to teach this book, how to present this book. But please, all of our work for this book is merely a part of a larger work. Don’t ever let the service of the book take precedence over the service of the Boss. And don’t ever let the presentation of the book interfere with your service of the Boss’ children and with your enhancement of the relationship between the Boss’ children and the Boss.
This book is a tool. Use it when you need it, but if you don’t need it, in heaven’s name, don’t bring it into the picture. It’s sort of like the guy that’s using a pitchfork, and he finds it such a handy tool that he takes it with him wherever he goes, including to a tea party. Do you follow me? Don’t drag the blue book into the situation by main force and sheer awkwardness. I many times discuss God with men, and I seldom mention The Urantia Book, unless I sense that this tool is needed to complete this job. And then I get it going with everything I have. In presenting this book, have patience. There is a time interval between seed-sowing and harvest. Don’t dragoon people, you know? Plant seeds, and wait. Wait for the sprouting. If you plant in the fall, I guess they don’t come up until springtime, do they?
In presenting this book, be philosophical. Jesus told a parable of the sower, which Peter interpreted as an allegory. Peter’s interpretation is in the Bible. And then Nathaniel interpreted the parable differently, also as an allegory. And the twelve got into quite a rhubarb choosing up sides and vigorously debating as to was Peter right or was Nathaniel right. And as I recall, Jesus waited until the controversy had passed its peak—no use trying to shut one of these off until some steam has come out—then he called for silence.
And he said, “Does anyone else have an interpretation?” And if my memory serves me, it was Thomas who spoke up, and said, “Yes, I think they’re both wrong. This is not an allegory. This is a parable.”
And Jesus said, “What’s your interpretation?” And Thomas said, “The parable of the sower simply means this: Those who work in the spreading of the gospel are going to discover that the results of their efforts vary largely because of circumstances beyond their control.” So given diligence, given patience, then I would recommend a philosophic attitude.
There was a sower who went forth to sow, and as he sowed, some of his seed fell on barren ground, and did not gather root. And still other seed was snatched by the birds of heaven, who carried it away, and some seed fell on shallow ground, and sprung up, but in the heat of the day, it withered and died. But still other seed fell on rich ground, and yielded fruit, some bearing thirty fold, some sixty fold, and some a hundred fold. And he who has an ear to hear, let him hear.
Be philosophical. And always remember, if you find yourself defending your presentation, what do we know about argumentative defence? It’s inversely proportional to the truth contained. If you discover that you’re arguing about this book, you are not presenting truth to your prospect. There’s something wrong with your presentation, or there’s something wrong with his condition of ripeness, with his level of receptivity.
Be yourself, first of all. Be good-humoured. Know what the devil you’re doing. Be diligent. Be patient. Be philosophical. This is my concept of how to work—not only in the propagation of this book—but this is how I think any of us should work for the Boss in the service of the Boss’ kids.