Journal – November 2020
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In This Issue
Suzanne Kelly, USA
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!
Richard Jernigan, USA
How Do We Reconcile Living in the Kingdom and Living in the World?
(Editor's note: This is from a presentation given at the 2018 Urantia Association International conference in the Netherlands)
Politics are an intense and unavoidable part of being human. Each day, politics intrudes into our news feeds and our daily lives. Political awareness and opinion are just as diverse and impassioned among Urantia Book readers as they are throughout the rest of the world. Just look at Urantia Book reader comments on social media to get a taste of that.
So as readers, how do the teachings of The Urantia Book inform our politics? How should they inform our politics?
Jesus was fully cognizant of his world’s political and economic problems. In a conference one day on the Sea of Galilee with Peter, James, and John, he had a frank conversation about how his apostles should deal with politics, economics, and social issues. “He recognized the need for social justice and industrial fairness, but he offered no rules for their attainment” [140:8.15]. The writers in this section say Jesus was not a political reformer, and we should “never make the mistake of associating Jesus with a particular political or economic theory, with any social or industrial system” [140:8.10]. Jesus instead sought to “make all men Godlike and then stand by sympathetically while these sons of God solve their own political, social, and economic problems” [140:8.18]. Jesus’ great focus was to teach us without qualification that God is our loving father and that we are all brothers and sisters. Regardless of who we are and what we believe, the universe is one vast family.
Jesus did not offer rules or methods for social justice and industrial fairness, because whatever he might have offered as a solution would only work for that time and those circumstances. This does not mean we ignore these issues. After all, the text says, “he did frequently call attention to the injustice of the unequal distribution of wealth” [140:8.15].
While the first goal of Jesus’ teachings and the teachings of The Urantia Book itself is our personal spiritual transformation, it follows that we need to be good citizens in our communities; our provinces, regions, landers, and states; our nations, and our world.
Social justice and industrial fairness: what do they look like in terms of Jesus’ teachings?
For starters, we can look at a statement appearing in the section on Jesus’ Urmia lectures. The Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of men, and their goal is “to foster the greatest good to the greatest number of all men” (and yes, this includes women and children!) “and for the greatest length of time” [134:5.4].
The greatest good, for the greatest number of all people, and for the greatest length of time.
A powerful statement for two reasons: it includes all people, and for the greatest period of time. We don’t just divide up all the cash and make everyone happy for a few days. This is about sustainable solutions. Long lasting solutions. Systemic solutions that benefit humanity for great stretches of time. This involves political action and setting up governments that facilitate this work in an organized, systematic, predictable way, so that we indeed help achieve the greatest good, for the greatest number of people, for the greatest period of time.
In Paper 71, The Urantia Book clearly frames the features of progressive civilization and the ideal state. It makes targeted statements about ensuring both personal liberties and the common good, about building an effective society that facilitates human self-realization and augments cosmic insight. The paper makes clear statements about ideal government being of the people, controlled by the people, and benefiting the people. It clearly measures progress in terms of abolition of slavery, enactment of public education, full employment, freedom of expression, promotion of science, care of the unfortunate, and many other attributes most of us enjoy to a greater or lesser degree in each of our native countries.
The reality disclosed by The Urantia Book is one of justice, fairness, compassion, and mercy. For all people. Regardless of one’s religion or lack of religion, wealth or poverty, intellectual strength or weakness. Each of us has a personality “without duplicate in infinity … irreplaceable in all eternity” [12:7.9].
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.
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]
Fortunately, no one today is dealing with the dictatorial Caesars of Jesus’ time. But we aren’t far from the time in which dictators ruled nations on this continent. The developed nations that most of us here live in today, more or less, are by the people and for the people. Hooray for that. With that working in our favor we, as Urantia Book readers and followers of Jesus, have ample opportunity to influence governments toward the greater good, and, for that matter, toward light and life.
Jesus went on to say in this passage that it was his followers’ duty to get close to the politicians and governors and be models of social service.
Sonship in the kingdom, from the standpoint of advancing civilization, should assist you in becoming the ideal citizens of the kingdoms of this world since brotherhood and service are the cornerstones of the gospel of the kingdom. The love call of the spiritual kingdom should prove to be the effective destroyer of the hate urge of the unbelieving and war-minded citizens of the earthly kingdoms. But these material-minded sons in darkness will never know of your spiritual light of truth unless you draw very near them with that unselfish social service which is the natural outgrowth of the bearing of the fruits of the spirit in the life experience of each individual believer. [Paper 178:1.4, page 1930.1]
As we engage in politics, and many of us do, including myself, I see three responsibilities as students of The Urantia Book.
- We have a responsibility to engage in politics with intelligence. To be informed. To know how to distinguish between solid news and propaganda. To know what is real science and what is a conspiracy theory or an urban myth.
- We have a responsibility to do this with civility. Regardless of our positions, and of the passion with which we hold our views, we express them with facts, with reason, and with respect for anyone holding an opposing view. Because they are a beloved child of God.
- And we have a responsibility to do this with compassion. “Jesus’ compassion was boundless, his sympathy was practical, personal, and constructive” [171:7.3].
The Urantia Book is out in the world, freely and easily available. Each of us who have been changed by this book are ambassadors of this book. How we live our lives reflects on the teachings. Each of our acts of divinity grows our souls. Each of our acts of truth, beauty, and goodness nudges us toward life and life.
Along with many millions of others, we represent Jesus in the world.
Jeffrey Wattles, USA
(Editor's note: This is from a presentation given at the 2018 Urantia Association International conference in the Netherlands)
Stand under the waterfall … Allow yourselves to be drenched in the beauty of Jesus’ many-sided gospel. We can know God as a loving and merciful Father, who has sent his spirit to live within us. We are free to use our own language to name him in the way that expresses our own spiritual discovery. We know that we are part of a world-wide family that is slowly evolving toward a high destiny in a process that is now going through a difficult and dangerous transition, one that will eventually lead to a new civilization based upon post-materialistic meanings and values.
We want the whole world to know Jesus’ life-giving truth, and we know how to proclaim. As Jesus bestowed his life upon us, we proclaim by our lives of thought, word, and deed. We fill our hearts with love, serve as we are able, and speak truth as the opportunity arises. Yes, we live in difficult times for the gospel. But as we follow Jesus, the “calm and happy laborer," we sustain our poise. So how shall we rise to the level of power where our living becomes a proclaiming to our generation in this 21st century?
Let’s strengthen ourselves by learning to love God and the neighbor fully.
What does it mean to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?
The heart is the center of our motivation. So, to reinforce our love for God, we pursue every other value or project in a way that harmonizes with our first love. But what will move us to do so? One answer is found in the teaching that we can “know God, receive the divine affection, and love him in return” [1:0.2]. To work with this teaching, we begin by taking the time to bring to mind God as we truly know him, not only our knowledge about God, for example, that he is a creator, controller, and upholder.
Knowing our Father arises from his intimate and personal relationship with us, so we put our knowledge about him into that context. We don’t stare at the idea of a controller, but we gaze into our Father’s presence, delighting that he establishes wise laws for every level of creation. Knowing God feels good. In the friendly energies, we recognize the divine affection. As we abide in our Father’s love, the realization grows on us that we can love, too, and the heart’s motivation to love him in return grows naturally. I call this the first circuit of love.
Jesus once defined the soul as the part of us which is “self-reflective, truth-discerning, and spirit-perceiving” [133:6.5]. So, for example, when our moral self-consciousness tells us that our love needs an upgrade, we pause to discern the truth for our situation. And when truth dawns in its beauty and goodness, we turn to spirit and pour forth new love.
|Artist: Carlos Rubinsky|
To love God with all our mind, we sharpen our powers of intuition into material, intellectual, and spiritual reality. The more we know the Creator and the creation, the more we mobilize the mind in our supreme desire to do the Father’s will.
To love God with all our strength involves will power and determination, so that our good decisions have the “force and constancy” that they need to shape our character. And there is moral strength, the power of righteousness, the gift of God. And we also mobilize physical strength for “the task immediately in hand."
In the first circuit of love, another realization grows on us: our Father loves everyone. And the love that we receive from him is what we are to give to others. This realization leads us into the second circuit of love, “the great circuit of love … from the Father, through sons to brothers, and hence to the Supreme” [117:6.10].
In order to love the neighbor fully, let’s look at the golden rule—Do to others as you want others to do to you. This rule, as Jesus’ explained, can be interpreted on six levels [147:4.1].
The first level, the level of the flesh, we can take as an occasion to acknowledge our own unbeautifulness, arising from our animal-origin nature and inherited urges. When some of this ugliness begins to creep into our relations with another person, we can ask, “If I were that person, how would I like to be treated?” This question sends us back to Jesus’ teachings on self-mastery [143:2.4].
Next comes the level of the feelings, specifically sympathy and pity. Jesus expressed both of these in a way that was uplifting and consistent with each of the higher levels. And he developed sympathy by going to extraordinary lengths to get to know people.
Next, the level of mind brings in reason and experience. Jesus required the apostles to gain experience in personal ministry before preaching publicly on social media. And just as Jesus led them in the study of the scriptures, we should look for gems in other people’s sources of inspiration—religious, New Age, and secular.
The level of brotherly love is:
… wholehearted social service growing out of the consciousness of the fatherhood of God and the consequent recognition of the brotherhood of man”. Brotherly love is prepared to serve anyone; and Jesus had special regard for “overburdened, anxious, and dejected mortals. [Paper 132:4.2, page 1460.6]
Next comes the moral level. We can be sympathetic, intelligent, and beautifully motivated to serve … without being wise. In the moral level, our perspective grows when we “attain true philosophic levels of interpretation, … have real insight into the rightness and wrongness of things, … perceive the eternal fitness of human relationships” [147:4.8].
Jesus lived and taught a wise principle of teaching that connects with two universal moral teachings. First, we are always to show adequate respect for the experience and endowments of our seniors and superiors. Our loyal superiors in every epochal revelation have honored a cosmic principle of teaching truth. As Jesus said to the miller, “In your living and loving ministry serve spiritual food in attractive form and suited to the capacity of receptivity of each of your inquirers” [133:4.2]. I call this the receptivity principle.
Don’t overteach. Don’t try to show the beauties of the temple to people who are not in the temple. This principle illustrates a second moral teaching, that we are always to be considerate of the limitations and inexperience of our juniors and subordinates. For Jesus, the receptivity principle was a way of life. He became “expert in the divine art of revealing his Paradise Father to all ages and stages of mortal creatures” [127:6.15]. This principle implies that we normally make sure that someone is in the spiritual family of God through faith in some gospel truths before we introduce The Urantia Book.
Now we are ready for level six, the spiritual level—to treat others as we conceive God would treat them, in other words, to do to all men that which we know that Jesus would do to them in like circumstances.
When circumstances require it, fatherly love can speak with great power. Perhaps we need it now. Jesus once said, “Even divine love has its severe disciplines” [143:1.4].
This was part of:
“…one of the most impassioned addresses which Jesus ever delivered to the twelve. Seldom did the Master speak to his apostles with evident strong feeling, but this was one of those few occasions when he spoke with manifest earnestness, accompanied by marked emotion.
Or read this passage, where Jesus’ exhorts, not in anger and contempt, but with a love that lifts up his hearers.
The result upon the public preaching and personal ministry of the apostles was immediate; from that very day their message took on a new note of courageous dominance. The twelve continued to acquire the spirit of positive aggression in the new gospel of the kingdom.” [Paper 143:1.8-9, pages 1608-1608]
You who have professed entrance into the kingdom of heaven are altogether too vacillating and indefinite in your teaching conduct. The heathen strike directly for their objectives; you are guilty of too much chronic yearning. If you desire to enter the kingdom, why do you not take it by spiritual assault even as the heathen take a city they lay siege to? You are hardly worthy of the kingdom when your service consists so largely in an attitude of regretting the past, whining over the present, and vainly hoping for the future. Why do the heathen rage? Because they know not the truth. Why do you languish in futile yearning? Because you obey not the truth. Cease your useless yearning and go forth bravely doing that which concerns the establishment of the kingdom. [Paper 155:1.3, page 1725.4]
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’s 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].
The ecological crisis makes it difficult to believe in an evolutionary process with a high destiny for our future. The masses of immigrants and refugees exemplifies mass human suffering that make people wonder where God is; diverse social, economic and political antagonisms make it hard to believe in the brotherhood of man; and blind and ignorant rejection of religion make it hard to communicate the Fatherhood of God. Intellectually, we have answers, and the power to live and proclaim them comes from the Spirit.
Pentecost endowed mortal man with the power to forgive personal injuries, to keep sweet in the midst of the gravest injustice, to remain unmoved in the face of appalling danger, and to challenge the evils of hate and anger by the fearless acts of love and forbearance. [Paper 194:3.12, page 2064.4]
Next, I pose this one question for you: What is your greatest difficulty in proclaiming, and how do you find that these teachings help with that difficulty?
André Radatus, Canada
(Editor's note: This is from a presentation given at the 2018 Urantia Association International conference in the Netherlands)
Everyone knows the futility of preaching about things that are desirable, yet the general helplessness in this situation is so great, and the need so dire, that one prefers to repeat the old mistake instead of racking one’s brains over a subjective problem. Besides, it is always a question of treating one single individual only and not ten thousand, where the trouble one takes would ostensibly have more impressive results, though one knows well enough that nothing has happened at all unless the individual changes.
The effect on all individuals, which one would like to see realized, may not set in for hundreds of years, for the spiritual transformation of mankind follows the slow tread of the centuries and cannot be hurried or held up by any rational process of reflection, let alone brought to fruition in one generation. -Carl Gustav Jung, The Undiscovered Self, 1958
The Swiss psychiatrist and father of analytical psychology, Carl 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.
Youth are often “inartful” in teaching all the truth they’ve acquired but haven’t yet lived.
My experience encountering The Urantia Book in Canada is a testament to that. More pain could have been avoided had I understood that even good words can fall on deaf ears, especially when experience is not there to back them up.
Of course, my enthusiasm for newfound truth had me set like a bear trap, ready to ensnare any unsuspecting target on whom I projected the slightest interest in spiritual things. This is like marching one’s queen onto the chessboard in the first several moves, or kicking the football toward the goal from the other end of the field. Instant “solutions” are rarely successful propositions.
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.
Were you one of the privileged few who experienced at least one masterful teacher in your life? What created admiration for that teacher? What words and actions of this teacher do you carry forward day by day? What made their teaching memorable? Livable? Worthy to emulate?
Consider that much of Michael of Nebadon’s love for you manifests as teaching. Why does Jesus’ masterful teaching resonate with us? In worshipful communion with his heavenly Father, was he not always talking over his problems? Jesus’ behavior has allowed us the privilege of witnessing in The Urantia Book the acme of human life and religious living only because Jesus’ character growth was never impeded by a self-centered will.
In his outer life, he paid close attention to the world in which he lived and to its people. He developed expertise at every task he undertook that he might the better be able to serve. By those skills and character acquirements, his credibility was established for those who appraised it with honesty.
The revelation that Jesus' unbroken communion led to his ceaseless progress in doing the will of the Father in heaven is a golden key to the living of our lives. We grow our souls by sharing our inner life with God as he did. The Master knew that living in the presence of God with faith is living present to true reality. We only realize we are living in our Father’s presence if we act as if we are in God’s presence.
The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God … [111:5.1] ...and... The imitation of God is the key to perfection … [111:5.2]
Unlike the Master, by our often inadvertent and sometimes willful broken relations with our Divine Parent, we must be shown what we are losing by temporarily living in the ensuing spiritual isolation.
… sometimes your most disappointing disappointments have become your greatest blessings. Sometimes the planting of a seed necessitates its death, the death of your fondest hopes, before it can be reborn to bear the fruits of new life and new opportunity. [Paper 48:6.36, page 555.4]
The Master’s life amply illustrates that, while doing the will of God in human life leads to joy, it also leads to more of the right kind of disappointments; those that become instructive, leading to the most creative solutions to the obstacles we encounter in trying to live a good life.
Joshua ben Joseph lived his many trials in God’s presence. His dynamic morality centered on a positive appreciation of the will of his Father. His adaptation to every new service opportunity or problem grew the wisdom born of outer–life experience brought into his inner life. To teach that to others, we must strive for that same creative worship-service balance in life.
Will we not also have greater effect with each person with whom we grow a personal relationship? a friendship of growing mutual reciprocal knowledge and love of the other? Jesus allowed his influence to develop through the friendship of a master teacher with his willing students, be they apostles or tax collectors.
Can we take Jesus’ approach to teaching and preaching and apply it as is to our circumstances today? We are told that,
… at the time of his birth Urantia was experiencing such a revival of spiritual thinking and religious living as it had not known in all its previous post-Adamic history nor has experienced in any era since. [Paper 121:1.1, page 1332.2]
Few today on our world will receive Jesus’ gospel message in any direct manner. How to attract people to living truth is the problem to be solved by every culture. It is different in every society. What works in one locale may or may not work in another. 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. [Paper 195:10.1, page 2084.1]
then women and men must be determined in their desire to experience the human condition as he did.
Let me emphatically state this eternal truth: If you, by truth co-ordination, learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your fellow men will then seek after you that they may gain what you have so acquired. The measure wherewith truth seekers are drawn to you represents the measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness. The extent to which you have to go with your message to the people is, in a way, the measure of your failure to live the whole or righteous life, the truth-co-ordinated life. [Paper 155:1.5, 1726.2]
Whatever this series of steps to your full human-service potential is, the next step is in front of you. Are we not being continually shown, if only we had the eyes to see? Might we not just be the one to make that difference that is needed and right for our little part of our corner of our disordered world? If not you, who?
True and good teachers are needed!
(Consider that this revelation needs teachers and leaders and that the nascent Urantia Book Internet School, Urantia University Institute, and International Center for Urantia Studies have interest in students and in those who would teach them.)
Those, who would patiently and personally guide you are in short supply when compared with those who expect you to accept whatever they have to say without condition or without any critical reflection whatsoever. While master teachers must be trained and must teach to gain the experience to achieve mastery, they must also be grown, in partnership with God, from the inside out. Jung understood the unconscious nature of such personal growth and its subtle influence on others:
What does lie within our reach, however, is the change in individuals who have, or create, an opportunity to influence others of like mind in their circle of acquaintance. I do not mean by persuading or preaching – I am thinking, rather, of the well-known fact that anyone who has insight into his own actions, and has thus found access to the unconscious, involuntarily exercises an influence on his environment. … It is an unintentional influence on the unconscious of others, a sort of unconscious prestige, and its effect lasts only so long as it is not disturbed by conscious intention.
Juxtaposed with our revelation:
Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self
… Graciousness is the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul. [Paper 171:7.1, page 1874.4]
Our love for God and compassionate desire to serve and teach our brothers and sisters, will plumb the depths of our own unique God-given creativity. The stimulating challenge of seeking to understand and love our fellows is an impetus to masterful service of humanity. It just begins with grasping our Father’s strong and loving hand and taking one more step towards the next right thing to do. Who knows where it will lead?
One of the original members of the Forum, Clyde Bedell, had a simple dictum: “Big things start small.”
Look no further than the fields outside this room to see the fruition of Carolus Clusius’s first planting of tulips at Leiden 425 years ago! Or inside these walls to see the results of Henry, Bauk, and Nienke Begemann’s Dutch translation of Het Urantia Boek more than fifty years ago! Who could have imagined this fruit back then: this inspiring conference?
Good and plentiful harvests eventuate from the good, simple choices we lovingly pursue.
What will begin from your next step?
Mark Kurtz, USA
Ability to comprehend is the mortal passport to Paradise. Willingness to believe is the key to Havona. The acceptance of sonship, co-operation with the indwelling Adjuster, is the price of evolutionary survival [26:4.15].
Comprehending God to enter Paradise? We have little idea what Paradise is and what to expect and now we are informed we must comprehend to enter! Urantia Book authors are giving us advance notice there is work to do. Paradise is not automatic; we must grow into qualifying for Paradise. Comprehension advances brilliance and we may assume it also energizes curiosity and desire to know the Father. Gaining brilliance is a growth process over an “eternity of time!” We start simply on our nativity sphere.
Very early we recognize but do not understand authority. As a child we did not comprehend our parents were our first exposure to authority and law, but later we likely comprehended why and how they applied their home law. Later, we begin questioning through an adjustment period leading to maybe greater understanding. We eventually comprehend someone special likes us and wants to spend time with us! Do you recall this neat moment? It is really nice to become aware someone loves us. As we age we comprehend more of life and later we comprehend there is more to the planet. We begin to comprehend more even though we understand there is continuing mystery. Our progress varies according to many factors. The “golden years” could be the best planetary experiences if we worked on comprehending situations, life, purposes and the God of our imagination! Similarly and on a grand scale, we must comprehend more as we progress toward Paradise.
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.
We’d be wise to do our best to understand their hints and comments about future plans and intentions. What is the real meaning of “Settled in Light and Life?” We’d be wise to attempt a better understanding of divine methods and style for planning and achieving such a high planetary spiritual state.
“Ah ha!” moments are wonderful sometimes. They are very satisfying when you’ve been working on something for a while and were approaching distaste and impatience. Those insight moments lead to understanding what to do next for a project or they may lead a person to see what was wrong or to understand someone’s bad behavior.
We are told in the quote above we must have ability to comprehend before we arrive at Paradise. We must be a willing believer, and accepting sonship is vital for survival. We see that Jesus is helping us achieve greater understanding of the Father, although he was keenly aware of our planetary difficulties. Even as earthly mortals of animalistic origin, we are able to understand more through revelation.
We could dismiss the big Urantia Book as too difficult to understand, at least some portions. Given the fact we are told progress is required for each mortal and that comprehension is required, we could assume it wise to begin serious attempts at comprehending the Cosmos and the Father’s purposes while we are yet Urantians and as new information is presented to this planet. The authors inform us we must comprehend what we are now doing and also where we are going. We may expect marvelous new insights and greater comprehension of the Father’s purposes and methods as we attempt to presently move inward to the center of all life! We are told to be willing to make an effort and also informed we have work to perform. The authors laid out a vision of divine expectations for ascenders. Comprehension is sufficiently vital for the book’s authors mention it in the opening lines: In the hope of facilitating comprehension… [0:0.3] and Jesus’ parables are designed to help us see the Father in Spirit and to comprehend his nature.
We teach you how best to execute the things we command you to do. [Paper 37:6.4, page 412.4]
We gain brilliance with help from brilliant teachers!
Our realization of available, loving help ought to remove much of the fear we may experience while anticipating the “other side” and of what is expected. We are told the Father’s Universe and purposes are friendly and his Sons will befriend us throughout our Paradise ascent. Our Master Son in Jesus told people “Fear not”; he knew of the Father’s friendship and plans.
The reasons for comprehending the Urantia revelation teachings are important. Let me highlight a few:
- …expand cosmic consciousness... [0.2, 1.2]
- …revelation of God to man… which may possibly contribute to a further illumination and unification of the human concept of the nature and the character of the personality of the Universal Father [2:0.2, 33.2].
- …comprehension of the personality of the Eternal Son… [6:8.6, 80.3]
- … spiritual comprehension of the Father-Son partnership… [26:5.2, 291.2]
- …comprehension of the Supreme Being… [26:6.4, 292.4]
This is hard work for all of us. Taken in tiny steps, this long journey is surmountable with kind and loving teachers and companion guides.
There are easier concepts during our mortal life state; we know of heaven, angels, Jesus the Christ, and by faith we know of God. We simplify and hold these dear. The simpler details of many religions are known and we have immortalized them well, considering planetary setbacks. The angels and many other teachers will not leave us unattended or unguided. We might be tempted to say to ourselves, “This is too much” when considering the enormous amount of information given us in The Urantia Book. We are not alone. Consider the many honest admissions of several of the book’s authors who tell us they don’t understand everything. We are to be faithful in our works and trust the Father for everything just as they do. This article is intended as a cheering piece to urge readers to try sincere efforts to comprehend the deep importance of understanding who we are and what our Divine friends expect of us now and for next life stages. Surely they would also expect us to understand why the revelation was offered.
What Slowly Increasing Comprehension Has Done for Me
I have increasingly felt greater conviction and confidence in The Urantia Book teachings and relating to Jesus and our Paradise Father as a result of new understandings. This new and still increasing comprehension has given me greater power and determination to work for God and to team with Michael. This humble feeling and confidence is not unique, for Michael desires all his creatures to know the Father. We will experience increasing joyful confidence at each heavenly advancement stage. Learning the universe of universes is friendly has removed fear and anxiety; there is no grudging feeling of obligation. Learning a little more about the friendship of God is warming and attractive in my soul. And now, after reading almost continuously since 1968, the gifts of increasing comprehension are very much appreciated.
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]
Now we see we cannot gain a true perspective of life, the cosmos or any other problem without understanding more of destiny! Mercy me—I never thought of that before! This insight removes a lot of guessing and is a “compass correction” for life.
Much greater new comprehension of Jesus is gained by reading about him in Part IV. Not only have many Christians been correct about accepting him, but now we are told more of what he actually said and how he lived his marvelous life example. We have much more information than what is found in the New Testament. He really was a nice guy! He really was a brave and courageous servant who really was loyal to the Paradise Father’s purposes! Great new affirmation from this revelation has confirmed new reasons for relating to him! It has created a strong desire to be on his team.
Comprehending God’s wonderful provisions continues to be a joy when I realize each of us is highly valued on high. This continues to be a major power energizer for any mission work I want to do henceforth. I sign many letters and emails with IAITUBMUMLUB, an acronym which stands for: I Am In This Urantia Book Movement Until My Last Urantian Breath.
Comprehending more of the Father’s purposes and our Master Son Michael’s life modeling has been and continues to be an energizing force within. This is available to anyone! Your experiences are vital for you and you are divinely loved on high. Even angels watch us and love to lead us for they comprehend the Father’s many purposes, at least partially and certainly to greater levels than mortals.
Comprehension increases as we participate with others in study and this is one important reason for study groups. Thought Adjusters apparently know how to help one another as they serve in the deep mind. Therefore, as Adjusters are gathered with you in study group teaming together there is profound benefit to everyone in the group! Many times I was humbled on hearing another person’s interpretation, realizing I was too confident in an earlier understanding. I understood how important it is to listen.
Not Interested? Please Reconsider
At this point we could consider what are the limitations or restraints for persons who have no interest in greater learning or of progressive comprehension. We are told the advancements we receive beyond this native sphere are based on testing. Perhaps a crude analogy (as compared to the universe) would be school grade levels. What wise teacher would pass a failing student to the next grade knowing such an action could be harmful to a student? Lovingly, a good teacher would augment efforts to inspire and teach a student for reaching higher and achieving a better education. We may extrapolate this familiar provision to loving Divine Parents who want each person to advance, although they understand rate of movement varies widely. We are told something of vast provisions of the mortal ascension plan! We accept sonship and then get to work at progressing spiritually inward. We do not advance unless we comprehend each level and we must sincerely desire progress. Advancement means breaking down all the undesirables of human nature including prejudice, hate, anger, jealousy, laziness, and pride. The Creators require us to understand with increasing new insight we must decrease in human nature and take on divine nature like God!
Like Urantian first graders withheld, we likely will be held back until we reach comprehension levels sufficient to understand reasons and life at each new level. Progress through the heavenly portals and spheres will not happen unless a soul desires and cooperates with God. If this is lacking and if a soul moves too far by choices in the wrong direction, there is real danger of permanent isolation and soul death. Why take the risk of such a fate? Recall the authors record that present status is not as important as the direction in which we are moving.
The message is clear: we will not be advanced without effort. Again, it seems wise while we are mortals to exert great effort to attain greater comprehension of the authors’ messages.
Another reason I think comprehension is so vital is the fact the authors tell us of power mobilizations in the outer space levels beyond the grand universe and they hint we might have service opportunities in the far distant future on these space levels! Imagine how important becomes our present beginnings of comprehension efforts. We could get a head start! Why would anyone turn down these potential opportunities?
We have been wrong on some details in many of world religions. Let’s take a look at the aforementioned quote from Paper 19, Section 1 wherein a Divine Counselor kindly calls attention to errors of a strictly mortal viewpoint: “The human mind would ordinarily crave to approach the cosmic philosophy portrayed in these revelations by proceeding from the simple and the finite to the complex and the infinite, from human origins to divine destinies. But that path does not lead to spiritual wisdom. Such a procedure is the easiest path to a certain form of genetic knowledge, but at best it can only reveal man's origin; it reveals little or nothing about his divine destiny."
Even in the study of man's biologic evolution on Urantia, there are grave objections to the exclusive historic approach to his present-day status and his current problems. 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 emphasis added]
We may understand from this counsel that we cannot correctly comprehend what we do not properly observe. In the new revelation we are invited to new insights of reality and therefore the authors are participating with Michael and the Paradise Father for upgrading our comprehension potential. Do we not comprehend these divine actions as great gifts of love? Does it not feel really good to be valued on high? Do we comprehend correction is vital for advancing our understandings?
New comprehension is a gift on receiving clarifying new information! What are your feelings on suddenly realizing a new concept of heaven? Did you and do you feel good inside? The benefits of new insight may accumulate throughout our Paradise journey. We are told there are even greater insights and delights in helping our fellows advance their comprehension and enlightenment. We will be amazed and awed to profound levels from new learning and dazzling insight for soul invigorating inspiration for wanting more of the Father! Greater comprehension and living understanding are by-products of service and sharing.
It is reasonable to assume Michael came to Urantia to give to Urantians and his entire universe a new level of understanding of mortal spiritual possibilities. He has helped untold numbers of personalities at their life station. He also gave us a new philosophical frame of thinking for relating to God and other of his Sons including angels as new possibilities for spirit insight are now presented for all his planets. Even though angels are not normally visible, he assured us they are real, and in the fifth epochal revelation we are presented with marvelous new detail lending credibility to his teachings. Comprehension is what he had in mind for all of his universe sons! Comprehend… he is asking us to replace old, untrue concepts for the new and better way.
We could select most any of the major topics from the book and of Jesus’ ministry for emphasizing reasons for comprehending relating to God and his many diverse Sons. Let us look at just one here. From the morontia Jesus:
And the fruits of the divine spirit which are yielded in the lives of spirit-born and God-knowing mortals are: loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace. If professed believers bear not these fruits of the divine spirit in their lives, they are dead; the Spirit of Truth is not in them; they are useless branches on the living vine, and they soon will be taken away. [Paper 193:2.2, page 2054.3]
In essence, he said we must advance, increase desire and comprehend the Father’s way. He is clear about what the Father will do if we do not advance: we shall be “trimmed” and ministered to by the Father until we do. If we choose not, then we are dead.
Arming in Spirit for a Possibly Difficult Ascension Career
What shall we comprehend as vitally important from Jesus as he verified and confirmed for spirit advancement? One of the great reasons for becoming divine-like is to better handle disappointment. We are not guaranteed a disappointment-free ascension career, but we may continue in strong faith. As we become more of divine nature, we assume these high ideals of personhood. Comprehend there are high divine ideals for relating to many different beings and we must be progressive to advance. Brilliance in relating is a desirable achievement throughout the Father’s enterprises. A thorough review of Jesus’ life reveals ample evidence of this fact. Reading Part IV we know Jesus had a difficult life; despite his troubles he set a marvelous example of dedicated faith for all his creatures.
We may understand Jesus wants us to do great things and set a path of cooperation to accomplish new levels of growth and understanding. In other words, this is an action universe; we are not to be static or stagnant. Recall Jesus’ parable of the talents! Comprehend our personal decisions and actions are vital for relating to divinity.
We’ve been victimized! Caligastia and Daligastia with Lucifer and others went into insurrection and plummeted Urantia into darkness. We were further deprived of Adam and Eve’s full biologic contribution, which also would have contributed more to spiritual capacity. This failure eventually caused a Melchizedek Son to incarnate with us to teach, to fan a faint flickering remaining light. Jesus didn’t allow his believers to whine and complain because of the past; neither do the authors allow for us to make excuses. Now it’s time to “buck up,” to face reality and learn for good measure we are not less valued because the errors of others, but rather highly valued just as all mortals throughout Nebadon. We are not to whimper and whine of our difficulties, but instead to pick up our load and help one another to comprehend better ways! The fifth epochal revelation is here to help us with new insights of bravery and courage. Yes, comprehend we are working in disadvantage, but reward for faith and loyalty will be profound for honest, loving Urantians on reaching the next light levels. Comprehend that Jesus saw sincerity in people and welcomed them in his fold. Comprehend his teachings are synergistic in that all of his teachings affirm all his other teachings. Comprehend there is a brilliant spiritual career waiting for all believers.
Mortal comprehension is limited, yes, but effort replaces laziness and effort is noted on high for anyone who truly desires the Father. We could simplify and say, “He who works not, eats not.” Comprehend that no effort means no or little understanding of cosmic reality. We may try to be as perfect as is possible while still human mortals even though we cannot absolutely see all perfection. We will understand more as we are in motion toward Paradise. Pick your favorite topics and compare your present understanding of life compared to when you were younger. Are you now able to better comprehend life? Or will we accept a blinded view of complaining and grumbling?
The Original Personality
We can now address personality comprehension; the serious but joyful attempts at comprehending the Father’s marvelous personality! This is a highly important reason we have been gifted with the teachings. There is so much to this topic, but it is educational for us to think of a real Person who truly loves each son. With attention to this truth we can realize that we are valued beyond what we presently comprehend! We are told Jesus could love mortals so much because he values us so much! This is revealed to us in Part IV via midwayer commentary.
We belong in study groups to edify and encourage one another to attempt a greater understanding of the teachings. These groups are for edifying one another as kindly as we are able. Each person who comprehends something we don’t understand is ministered to by a Thought Adjuster and Michael’s Spirit of Truth, which by the way, is actually a ministry of the Father and the Creator Son. Why turn down opportunities to gain greater understanding when so great of ministry and love is available? Recall the authors tell us they regard the love from Thought Adjusters is the greatest. Find your own words to express your understanding of this Father feature!
We end with the four Cs: Communication, Conviction, Cooperation, and Comprehension. These are intended to mean commune with God through prayer—devoted and worshipful meditation. It means strengthening conviction of truth by relating to Michael and his Spirit within, and cooperation means being obedient and willing to transform into a new being, unique in all Creation. It means new delights of understanding comprehension of present knowledge and a willingness to faithfully seek more.
A new purpose may emerge: We are to help each other make it to Paradise! Sing your praises!
Ability to comprehend is the mortal passport to Paradise. [Paper 26:4.15, page 290.5]
Claude Flibotte, Canada
What exactly is life plasm? To my knowledge, blood plasma does not carry the genotype of an individual or a race. So, what else transmits genetic information if not the genes in the chromosomes of the ovule and sperm? Having said that, what did the Life Carriers implant on our planet when we read that they developed the model of life right here on our planet?
550,000,000 years ago, the Life Carrier corps returned to Urantia. In co-operation with spiritual powers and superphysical forces we organized and initiated the original life patterns of this world and planted them in the hospitable waters of the realm. [Paper 58:4.2, page 667.6]
This implantation of the original life patterns (3 implantations) was based on the existence of salt in the sea water. For this reason, the blood that circulates in our body is salty.
The Satania Life Carriers had projected a sodium chloride pattern of life… [Paper 58:1.3, page 664.4]
We can deduce from these quotations that the Life Carriers, by means of their specific peculiarities of existence, used their gifts to manipulate the atoms of matter present in the shallow waters of the inland seas to elaborate a life model, an original cell carrying in its genes the potential of evolutionary development leading to the final appearance of the human being. The silt was used either as the original material to make the cell, or as a fertile nutritional substrate, or both.
When the Life Carriers make ready to engage in life implantation, and after they have selected the sites for such an undertaking, they summon the archangel commission of Life Carrier transmutation. This group consists of ten orders of diverse personalities, including the physical controllers and their associates, and is presided over by the chief of archangels, who acts in this capacity by the mandate of Gabriel and with the permission of the Ancients of Days. When these beings are properly encircuited, they can effect such modifications in the Life Carriers as will enable them immediately to function on the physical levels of electrochemistry. [Paper 65:1.6, page 731.1 emphasis added]
When the revelators refer to the vital plasm implanted at the beginning of Urantian life, they are referring to the hereditary power of life transmission contained in these original cells. Well, I have the impression that we are making some progress in our understanding of the beginning and evolution of life! We also learn from the revelators that this life plasm will eventually be enhanced by the Material Son and Daughter.
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 shore lines of the ancient inland seas… [Paper 65:2.1, page 731.5 emphasis added]
What is the Role of Adam and Eve?
Through the blending of the human races with the violet race, they bring to the native life plasm a superior genetic contribution, thus qualifying the biology of the human races in all aspects, physical, intellectual, and increased spiritual receptivity.
‘The Voices of the Garden.’ When the planetary course of human evolution is attaining its highest biologic level, there always appear the Material Sons and Daughters, the Adams and Eves, to augment the further evolution of the races by an actual contribution of their superior life plasm. [Paper 39:5.3, page 437.2]
This improvement of the human races, as we know, almost failed with the Adamic default if it had not been for the contingency plan!
When the Adamic life plasm is imparted to the mortal races, there results an immediate enhancement of their intellectual capacity and an acceleration of their spiritual progress. Physical improvement usually also occurs. [Paper 52:3.6, page 593.5]
After becoming established in the second garden on the Euphrates, Adam elected to leave behind as much of his life plasm as possible to benefit the world after his death. Accordingly, Eve was made the head of a commission of twelve on race improvement, and before Adam died this commission had selected 1,682 of the highest type of women on Urantia, and these women were impregnated with the Adamic life plasm. [Paper 76:4.8, page 851.6 emphasis added ]
How is Life Plasm Brought to the Evolutionary Planets?
The following quote raised this question in my mind. On planets where the Life Carriers carry the life plasm to that planet (which they didn’t do on Urantia) I wonder if that life plasm is physical matter. How would they transport it? The revelators tell us that the aerial machines of the Material Sons attain a speed of up to five hundred miles an hour (46:2.4). If the archangels can dematerialize matter (189:2.1), I wonder if it is possible to reconstitute it as is done for the Material Sons (51:2.2 and 4), thus allowing transportation of this famous life plasm? What do you think?
The corps of Life Carriers commissioned to plant life upon a new world usually consists of one hundred senior carriers, one hundred assistants, and one thousand custodians. The Life Carriers often carry actual life plasm to a new world, but not always. They sometimes organize the life patterns after arriving on the planet of assignment in accordance with formulas previously approved for a new adventure in life establishment. Such was the origin of the planetary life of Urantia. [Paper 36:3.2, page 399.4 emphasis added]
How Do the Life Carriers Transmit Life?
When, in accordance with approved formulas, the physical patterns have been provided, then do the Life Carriers catalyze this lifeless material, imparting through their persons the vital spirit spark; and forthwith do the inert patterns become living matter. [Paper 36:3.3, page 399.5 emphasis added]
The magic word in this quote is "catalyze." The function of a catalyst is to induce a reaction or a possible process without the catalyst being affected or included in the result, only its presence is necessary. But then again, where does life come from?
The vital spark—the mystery of life—is bestowed through the Life Carriers, not by them. They do indeed supervise such transactions, they formulate the life plasm itself, but it is the Universe Mother Spirit who supplies the essential factor of the living plasm. From the Creative Daughter of the Infinite Spirit comes that energy spark which enlivens the body and presages the mind. [Paper 36:3.4, page 399.6 emphasis added]
What Method Do the Life Carriers Use to Implant Life?
Fantastic, the Life Carriers are catalysts in the process of elaborating life on a sphere of space, but how, in fact, do they go about doing it?
In the bestowal of life the Life Carriers transmit nothing of their personal natures, not even on those spheres where new orders of life are projected. At such times they simply initiate and transmit the spark of life, start the required revolutions of matter in accordance with the physical, chemical, and electrical specifications of the ordained plans and patterns. Life Carriers are living catalytic presences which agitate, organize, and vitalize the otherwise inert elements of the material order of existence. [Paper 36:3.5, page 399.7 emphasis added]
Why Do the Life Carriers Elaborate a Different Vital Plasm for Each Planet?
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]
What the Life Carriers Can and Cannot Do!
Once they have projected the ideal model for a planet, what can they do and how much time do they have to do it? What means do they use to direct evolution in a manner favorable to the appearance of man?
The Life Carriers of a planetary corps are given a certain period in which to establish life on a new world, approximately one-half million years of the time of that planet. At the termination of this period, indicated by certain developmental attainments of the planetary life, they cease implantation efforts, and they may not subsequently add anything new or supplemental to the life of that planet. [Paper 36:3.7, page 400.1 emphasis added]
During the ages intervening between life establishment and the emergence of human creatures of moral status, the Life Carriers are permitted to manipulate the life environment and otherwise favorably directionize the course of biologic evolution. And this they do for long periods of time. [Paper 36:3.7, page 400.2 emphasis added]
What Is Life Really All About?
Since Life Carriers do not create life and only promote its emergence, what exactly is life?
Life is both mechanistic and vitalistic—material and spiritual. Ever will Urantia physicists and chemists progress in their understanding of the protoplasmic forms of vegetable and animal life, but never will they be able to produce living organisms. Life is something different from all energy manifestations; even the material life of physical creatures is not inherent in matter. [Paper 36:6.1, page 403.6 emphasis added]
But then again, what is it really?
We speak of life as “energy” and as “force,” but it is really neither. Force-energy is variously gravity responsive; life is not. Pattern is also nonresponsive to gravity, being a configuration of energies that have already fulfilled all gravity-responsive obligations. Life, as such, constitutes the animation of some pattern-configured or otherwise segregated system of energy—material, mindal, or spiritual. [Paper 36:6.6, page 404.4 emphasis added]
Finally, have we a clear answer as to what life is? It seems that even celestial beings do not know either!
There are some things connected with the elaboration of life on the evolutionary planets which are not altogether clear to us. We fully comprehend the physical organization of the electrochemical formulas of the Life Carriers, but we do not wholly understand the nature and source of the ‘life-activation spark.’ We know that life flows from the Father through the Son and by the Spirit. It is more than possible that the Master Spirits are the sevenfold channel of the river of life which is poured out upon all creation. But we do not comprehend the technique whereby the supervising Master Spirit participates in the initial episode of life bestowal on a new planet. The Ancients of Days, we are confident, also have some part in this inauguration of life on a new world, but we are wholly ignorant of the nature thereof. We do know that the Universe Mother Spirit actually vitalizes the lifeless patterns and imparts to such activated plasm the prerogatives of organismal reproduction. We observe that these three are the levels of God the Sevenfold, sometimes designated as the Supreme Creators of time and space; but otherwise we know little more than Urantia mortals—simply that concept is inherent in the Father, expression in the Son, and life realization in the Spirit. [Paper 36:6.7, page 404.5]
What we do know is that we can reproduce ourselves, but ultimately, we do not create life.
… The creature may produce the forms of life, but only a creator personality or a creative force can supply the activating living spark. [Paper 36:6.2, page 403.7 emphasis added]
What is clear is that it is the Divine Minister of the universe who provides creature mind as well as the ability to be alive and to reproduce.
… Animal mind and human mind are gifts of the local universe Mother Spirit, functioning through the seven adjutant mind-spirits, while creature ability to reproduce is the specific and personal impartation of the Universe Spirit to the ancestral life plasm inaugurated by the Life Carriers. [Paper 36:6.3, page 404.1 emphasis added ]
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, isn't it natural for humans to seek to know and meet the author of this wonderful reality that is life!
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First think of God as a creator, then as a controller, and lastly as an infinite upholder. [Paper 1:0.1, page 21.1 emphasis added]
Run-in or In-line Quotes
Run-in quotes form an integral part of your own paragraph. These quotes are in italics and put within quotation marks but require only a short form citation including paper, section, and paragraph. Notice that the citation is included as a part of the quote with the period (full stop) following the quote.
The Urantia Book starts out with a positive assumption, "The Universal Father is the God of all creation” [1:0.1]. No arguments are presented to prove the reality of God. Jesus pursued this same method—he seemed to take it for granted that people believed in God.
Any run-in quote exceeding four lines should be separated out as a block quote. And similar to block quotes, any emphasis added to a run-in quote requires adding "emphasis added" to the citation.
If you paraphrase a quote, or derive information from any paragraph, use the same run-in quotation style.
The Universal Father is portrayed in The Urantia Book as a creator, controller and upholder [1:0.1].
References to other works
If you use quotes from, or make references to, other works, please include a citation in order to avoid plagiarism.
In these cases, mention Author, Title, and Year, either in the text or immediately following a quote. Alternatively, include the citation as a numbered footnote.
Size of Submissions
Please limit the size of your submission to 3,000 words or less. We encourage you to use your own words as much as possible and to avoid overusing quotes from the book. Direct quotations are more effective if they are used sparingly and for emphasis.
We always welcome articles about personal spiritual experiences as well as those with fresh insights and new perspectives. Also of interest are thematic studies and articles that compare, evaluate, or integrate academic research (scientific, social, religious, or otherwise) with the teachings of The Urantia Book.
The world is changing fast and Urantia Association International is in a unique position to foster the Urantia revelation in so many ways. With localized teams in the form of associations springing up across the globe, we are ready to help anyone, anywhere, to study and spread the teachings that we all hold so dear.
|Artist: Carlos Rubinsky|
Also, with the beneficial changes that technology brings, more and more organizations are switching to a subscription model as a way of making donations. Urantia Association has launched the Global Urantia Perspective for those who share a dynamic world vision for The Urantia Book. We are looking for supporters to subscribe for a minimum donation of $10 per month to support programs that work to spread the teachings.
The Association has only one paid staff member to manage and coordinate our worldwide activities. All other services are rendered by devoted students who donate their time (and often their treasure) to the projects that help bring us closer to our heavenly Father. Thank you to our faithful volunteers and donors!
Here is a selection of ways to donate to Urantia Association:
Online by Credit Card or PayPal
Visit our website to access our secure online donation form at: https://urantia-association.org/donate
Unrestricted Giving: Choose General Fund on the online donation form for unrestricted donations that can be used for any purpose, including all administrative costs.
Restricted Giving: Choose one of the Program Funds on the online donation form for restricted donations. Your contribution will be used only for the purpose of that fund. (More details on the Program funds can be found at: https://urantia-association.org/program-funds.)
Check or Money Order
Send your contribution through the mail service to:
Urantia Association International
4000 W. Montrose Ave. #606
Chicago, IL 60641 USA
By Telephone or Email:
Email: [email protected]
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Many different forms of donations and gifts are possible. Urantia Association’s IRS 501(c) (3) tax exempt status allows us to accept gifts that can also serve the financial interests of generous supporters. All direct contributions in all forms may be claimed as tax-deductible charitable contributions on United States Tax Returns. Certain gift forms, such as highly appreciated properties, stocks, or taxable IRAs can also help the donor reduce tax liability while also providing an income tax deduction.
Click here to read more about Planned Giving and to view our Gift Maker’s Guide. The gift forms and strategies described in this guide are well documented and have been used for many years by millions of donors to support thousands of charities, institutions, and non-profit organizations.
In November of 2019 Bradly Tharp, Urantia Association’s Chief Financial Officer (who is also a Certified Financial Planning Practitioner and Chartered Financial Accountant) presented an online seminar on Planned Giving Strategies. Click this link to view the seminar: Planned Giving Strategies Seminar