Greetings fellow Urantians and welcome to the final Journal of 2020, and my final editorial for the Journal as Chief Editor. I have been extremely fortunate to have been the Chief Editor in for this publication for over a decade and have enjoyed every minute of it. There have been so many wonderful and enlightening essays from around the world that we have shared and translated and I foresee many, many more from new and seasoned readers that will expand our understanding of this incredible tome, The Urantia Book!
The new Chief Editor will be Mark Blackham from Canada. Mark was introduced to The Urantia Book in 1973 when it was pointed out to him by a homeless man he met in a library. Since then, the book has always played a vital role in his life, serving as a spiritual guide and a divine inspiration. He is currently the Vice President of the Urantia Association of Canada and serves on the Public Relations and Publications Committees of Urantia Association International, where he helps with editing and graphic design. On another project, he assists the Urantia University Institute with online curriculum design. Mark will take the Chief Editorial reins in 2021 and continue to introduce works of discovery and interpretation of the truths found within The Urantia Book by sharing them with the Urantia audience living such a life on such a planet.
On a personal note, I would like to provide an update on the work being done on the upcoming Mandarin translation, which will bring the knowledge of God, mankind, and the universe to millions of readers in China. I have been collaborating with Vicki Yang on this since I lived with her in 1992 when I took a copy of The Urantia Book with me to Taipei. Many of you may have read Urantia Foundation’s latest newsletter that contained a report on the dedicated and tireless efforts of Richard Zhu and Vicki Yang to bring this extensive work to fruition. We had our first Chinese Urantia conference last month and the reception was outstanding. I will continue to assist them in this immense endeavor and hopefully go back to Taipei with Vicki and the final printed version of the Mandarin Urantia Book.
Our first timely essay comes from a long-time reader, study group associate, and friend Richard Jernigan; Jesus and Politics: How do we Reconcile Living in the Kingdom and Living in the World? Richard has put forth an in-depth review of Jesus’ teachings regarding politics which is sorely needed at this time. He understands that “As faithful students of this text, this should have profound repercussions on our political, social, and economic attitudes. We should be active in pursuing justice, fairness, and equity in every realm of our lives. We have a duty to be good citizens of our world.” Providing us with an example of the wisdom Jesus espoused on this subject he recalls, “Wednesday before Jesus was arrested, he sat down with fifty of his followers and talked with them about how they should interact with civil government. Certainly, as apostles and disciples, their first loyalty was to the kingdom of God but, in modern language, he told these men and women:
There is nothing incompatible between sonship in the spiritual kingdom and citizenship in the secular or civil government. It is the believer’s duty to render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and to God the things which are God’s. There cannot be any disagreement between these two requirements, the one being material and the other spiritual, unless it should develop that a Caesar presumes to usurp the prerogatives of God and demand that spiritual homage and supreme worship be rendered to him.” [Paper 178:1.3, page 1929.4]
The second article is by our resident Professor and another long-time reader and friend Jeffrey Wattles; Living the Gospel and Proclaiming with Power in the 21st Century. Jeff takes us on a virtual spiritual expedition, examining the six levels of the Golden Rule exquisitely. Speaking to us personally and wisely, he opines that “If we spend as much of our free time as we can on The Urantia Book movement and flee from the difficulties of the gospel movement apart from that, we need to be shaken up with the Spirit of Truth that was poured out on Pentecost.” Said Jesus: “In the gospel resides the mighty Spirit of Truth” [178:1.3]. There is the power we need. We don’t know how dark the storms that are brewing will become, nor when the spiritual renaissance will break forth, but we shall trust Jesus and “depend wholly on him for safe conduct throughout the unrevealed vicissitudes” of the 21st century” [120:1.3].
Jeffrey, I humbly concur with your elucidation and directives.
Our third contributor, André Radatus, instructs us on How to Be as Masterful a Teacher as the Master. Andre proficiently quotes one of my favorite philosophers of all time, Carl Jung, “The Swiss psychiatrist and father of analytical psychology. Jung reminds us that the world needs fewer preachers and better teachers.” Students of The Urantia Book know as well that the mass of humanity progresses one person at a time, not by teaching them en masse, but as they are ready to grow.”
Speaking from experience, André goes on to outline the best way to teach and/or instruct student teachers, “Teaching is not preaching. We recognize the difference easily. In the latter, we are told what is true by virtue of supposed authority. In the former, in its best form, we are presented with an opportunity to learn through the authority of experience, best of all, our own experience and, thereby, we become the authors of our own lives.”
André is consummate in his approach, deducing Jesus’ way of enlightening spiritual truth and translating it into modern practice, “If our world is to …see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men [195:10.1], then women and men must be determined in their desire to experience the human condition as he did.”
Our next essay, Comprehension: Advancing Brilliance from Insight is by Mark Kurtz, who is another longtime student and Journal contributor. Mark succinctly outlines his message in this pronouncement, “The purpose of this essay is to call attention to the vital requirement for progressive advancement, at least a vital one for life stages beyond human. The authors use the words ‘comprehension’ and ‘comprehend’ many times in the book, which indicates there is very important news to share. We must advance our understanding and comprehension of life, the Father, Michael’s purposes, and a whole view of Creation. We would be wise to begin now as we are able to comprehend The Urantia Book and to attempt deeper understanding of why this is a grand gift to humanity.”
Mark frames his personal approach and understanding of “slowly comprehending the teachings within The Urantia Book when he states, “There are too many quotes that could be listed here for examples of new confidence from clarity of purposes and methods. This one ‘hit me between the eyes’ in a sudden insight moment one day:
The true perspective of any reality problem—human or divine, terrestrial or cosmic—can be had only by the full and unprejudiced study and correlation of three phases of universe reality: origin, history, and destiny. The proper understanding of these three experiential realities affords the basis for a wise estimate of the current status.” [Paper 19:1.6, page 215.3]
Mark leaves us with a cogent message from The Urantia Book—”Ability to comprehend is the mortal passport to Paradise” [26:4.15].
Our final article for 2020 comes from Claude Flibotte and entitled Implantation of Life on a Planet. Claude begins his exploration of life at the beginning as it unfolds on each and every inhabited world throughout the universe of universes.
The story of man’s ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. Man’s primordial ancestors were literally the slime and ooze of the ocean bed in the sluggish and warm-water bays and lagoons of the vast shorelines of the ancient inland seas… [Paper 65:2.1, page 731.5]
As Claude continues his evaluation of the life plasm so necessary for all life, he construes, “For each system, a standard model of life is projected, but for each planet this model must be adapted to the prevailing conditions. For decimal planets like ours, these modifications are more important. They must not only adapt the living conditions to the planet, but also seek to improve them!”
… The original life plasm of an evolutionary world must contain the full potential for all future developmental variations and for all subsequent evolutionary changes and modifications. [Paper 36:2.17, page 398.4]
In keeping with the questions each of us has asked at some point in the study of the teachings within The Urantia Book he astutely concludes, “Although we cannot define life, we know what it represents and allows since we are living beings. We know where it comes from. Thanks to the revelators, we have learned how this is made possible and how the process occurs. So, it is natural for humans to seek to know and meet the author of this wonderful reality that is life!”
Each article the Journal presents to our readers are exquisite perspectives on personality actualization, and each one gives us another viewpoint on who we are, where we are going, and what we are doing here. The image in which we are cast is our ability to conceive and to create—not only for ourselves but also for the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God.
Thoughts create energy, energy creates mass, and mass creates reality!
And for one final time I invite you all to happy and enlightened reading!