Introduction and Overview
Prepared by Halbert Katzen, J.D.
The Urantia Book was first published in 1955. There is no longer a copyright on the original English version of the text; it has been in the public domain since 2001. There are over a dozen translations of The Urantia Book in print. It can be read for free online by clicking the link above. The "Search" box can be used to locate topics of interest both within The Urantia Book and on this website
A not for profit foundation--Urantia Foundation--was created to be, among other things, the original publisher of The Urantia Book. Information published by Urantia Foundation indicates that this book was produced under mysterious circumstances and that those persons most closely associated with the process were sworn to secrecy regarding much of what transpired. The person from (or through) whom this material came (the "sleeping subject") is said to have had no recollection of the events. This person chose to remain anonymous and there is good evidence to suggest that the book was not published until this person died. The handful of people who knew the identity of the sleeping subject were all sworn to secrecy regarding the his identity (though he was identified as male). These few people, the "Contact Commission") have all died and they kept their secret to the grave. Apparently, the manuscript was burned after the printing plates were made.
There is reasonable evidence suggesting that the material did come through in the mid 1930’s as the book claims. Records exist that indicate a printer was hired in the early 1940's and that the printing plates were probably completed sometime during the late 1940's.
The Urantia Book claims that numerous orders of "angels" were the actual authors of the book and that they used a human “channel” to transmit the information. Different types of beings were used for the different parts of The Urantia Book, depending on the subject matter. For instance, guardian angels assigned to some of the Apostles are said to have been involved with the presentation of Jesus' life. “Life Carriers,” which bring life to a planet when it is ready for the evolutionary process, are said to been involved with the presentation of the history of our planet.
The text is approximately 2100 pages.
The first third addresses issues related to God; the various types of spiritual beings that exist in the universe; how the universe is physically organized; what happens after we die; God's general plan for life; and why things on this world may seem so inconsistent with the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, and loving God.
The second third provides a history of our planet. It starts with the birth of the solar system and the formation of the planet. Asserting that evolution is God's technique of creation, it covers the implantation of life, the evolution of plant life into animal life, the evolution of animal life into human life, and the development of human civilization. This section of the book is richly detailed with a wide variety of scientific and historic information.
The last third of The Urantia Book covers the life and teachings of Jesus. It gives the entire story of his life and teachings and also gives extensive background information on that time period and the primary people associated with his life. The Urantia Book does assert that Jesus uniquely had a combined divine and human nature. Many aspects of the story of his life are consistent with Christianity. In many ways it is inconsistent with Christian beliefs. For instance, it does not support the belief in a virgin birth or the atonement doctrine. It does say that Jesus taught and ordained women to spread the gospel, notwithstanding that this was a bit too progressive for many of his close associates, the early Christian leadership, and those involved with writing the New Testament.
There is a unique quality of credibility that has now come to be associated with The Urantia Book. When it was first published some of the scientific and historic information it provided was aligned with scientific discoveries and scholarship and some of the information was unaligned or not yet given considered. Within a decade after its publication advances in science and scholarship started to verify and corroborate the scientific and historic information provided in The Urantia Book. This process has been unfolding in increasingly dramatic ways ever since.
Reports on these corroborations, written for people who are unfamiliar with The Urantia Book and who do not have a background in science, can be found at www.UBtheNEWS.com.
Notwithstanding The Urantia Book's depiction of the trinity aspect of God, Jesus is not the second person of the Trinity according to The Urantia Book. The Urantia Book asserts that the eternal and infinite Trinity personalities create an order of children to do the work of creation in the realms of time and space. And it says that the realms of time and space are divided into many sectors¾a grand universe, super universes, major sections, minor sections, and local universes¾ and that Jesus is the Creator of our local universe.
The quickest access to appreciating the trinity nature of the eternal God is to consider that life is created as a reflection of God. Because everyone's life is predicated on the existence of two other persons, a father and mother, in this sense we all have an experiential relationship to the essence of life as being comprised of three persons.
The Urantia Book is both precise and creative in its use of language. It uses words on its own terms, without deference to cultural biases. Much could be said about the use of the word “Father” for the first person of the Trinity. But the most direct line to understanding the use of this terminology is to appreciate the degree to which freewill choice is a fundamental theme throughout the book because the reality of love is predicated on freewill. The volitional quality of God is essential to appreciating the love of God. Reflecting on the fact that mothers always know that they are mothers and that fathers must choose to stay involved in order to experience their fatherhood provides an inroad to appreciating the use of this terminology and how it is being used in a way that is not aggrandizing masculinity over femininity. Men and women equally have the endowment of freewill, but as regards their relationship to children, men must exercise this quality in a way that is distinct from role that women play in relationship to children. It can also be said that a child has to choose to believe who their father is, whereas there is a direct experiential relationship to one's mother. In this sense having faith/belief in God more directly parallels our relationship to our fathers than our mothers.
Notwithstanding that The Urantia Book has been around for over fifty years, people associated with the book have not thus far created anything that much resembles a religion. There is no charismatic leader or clergy (though it has been around long enough and reached enough people that some, to varying degrees, have “gone off the deep end” with it). There are no authorities, except to the extent that a degree of social organization has occurred which has given rise to the types of officers and committees that most any organization develops over time. There are no formalized ritualistic practices. People interested in socializing their experiences tend to meet in homes in relatively small groups to study the book in a manner of their own choosing. Region, national, and international conferences do occur.
It is hard to say how many people are “believers.” The Urantia Book tends to attract people who have concerns about the pitfalls of institutional religion, notwithstanding that The Urantia Book encourages the socialization of spiritual experience. Many people who believe, appreciate, and have been influenced by the book often do not talk about it much because of the social awkwardness related to being associated with a relatively new book “written by angels.” This awkwardness has diminished over time with the publishing of so many other “channeled” writings. The unique quality of credibility that has been emerging recently, rather quickly and powerfully, regarding the corroboration of scientific and historic information is making people much more comfortable and enthusiastic about sharing the value they have gotten from reading The Urantia Book.
Direct quotes in this syllabus come after reference numbers that give the chapter (referred to in The Urantia Book as a “Paper”), section, and paragraph number. As an example, 0:1.2 would mean the Forward, section 1, paragraph 2. A zero indicates the quote comes from the Forward of The Urantia Book or the forward of a chapter, if used after the colon.
On rare occasions brackets will be used in this syllabus to provide restatements of terminology that would be needless cumbersome to define and is not crucial to an understanding of the material being presented. With some of the selections, where an exact definition of terminology is not crucial for a general understanding of the material and the context provides for an “intuitive” appreciation, no further commentary is made.
The Urantia Book uses invented terminology as necessary to denominate certain things and concepts that do not otherwise find expression in the English language. These terms are generally derived from Latin and old English roots. In some cases Sanskrit roots are also used. To facilitate appreciation for the material presented in this syllabus, a short “glossary” of some of the terminology is being provided:
Urantia simply means earth. The root origins of the word Urantia roughly translate to “our place in heaven.”
0:5.12 Morontia is a term designating a vast level intervening between the material and the spiritual. It may designate personal or impersonal realities, living or nonliving energies. The warp of morontia is spiritual; its woof is physical.
0:5.5 The Universal Father is the secret of the reality of personality, the bestowal of personality, and the destiny of personality. The Eternal Son is the absolute personality, the secret of spiritual energy, morontia spirits, and perfected spirits. The Conjoint Actor [known as the “Spirit” in Christian theology] is the spirit-mind personality, the source of intelligence, reason, and the universal mind. But the Isle of Paradise is nonpersonal and extraspiritual, being the essence of the universal body, the source and center of physical matter, and the absolute master pattern of universal material reality.
The Urantia Book uses the name Michael to refer to Jesus' existence prior to incarnating on this planet and after his ascension from this planet.
The Urantia Book interchangeably uses the words “Thought Adjuster,” “Adjuster,” “Mystery Monitor,” and “Monitor” to refer to the indwelling spirit that comes from God the Father. This is a “prepersonal” guiding spirit that can be thought of as the spiritual parallel to receiving unique genes from one's parents.
0:5.10 Soul. The soul of man is an experiential acquirement. As a mortal creature chooses to “do the will of the Father in heaven,” so the indwelling spirit becomes the father of a new reality in human experience. The mortal and material mind is the mother of this same emerging reality. The substance of this new reality is neither material nor spiritual—it is morontial. This is the emerging and immortal soul which is destined to survive mortal death and begin the Paradise ascension.
0:5.11 Personality. The personality of mortal man is neither body, mind, nor spirit; neither is it the soul. Personality is the one changeless reality in an otherwise ever-changing creature experience; and it unifies all other associated factors of individuality. The personality is the unique bestowal which the Universal Father makes upon the living and associated energies of matter, mind, and spirit, and which survives with the survival of the morontial soul.
Selected Readings from The Urantia Book
- Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee
- Sec. 6: The Second Discourse on Religion
- Paper 108: The Mission and Ministry of Thought Adjusters
- Sec. 6: God in Man
- Paper 110: Relation of Adjusters to Individual Mortals
- Sec. 1: Indwelling the Mortal Mind
- Sec. 3: Co-operation with the Adjuster
- Paper 118: Supreme and Ultimate – Time and Space
- Sec. 1: Time and Eternity
- Paper 30: Personalities of the Grand Universe
- Sec. 4: The Ascending Mortals
- Paper 48: The Morontia Life
- Sec. 1: Morontia Materials
- Paper 53: The Lucifer Rebellion
- Sec. 3: The Lucifer Mainfesto
- Paper 54: Problems of the Lucifer Rebellion
- Sec. 1: True and False Liberty
- Sec. 2: The Theft of Liberty
- Sec. 3: The Time Lag of Justice
- Paper 188: The Time of the Tomb
- Sec. 4: Meaning of the Death on the Cross
- Sec. 5: Lessons from the Cross
- Paper 100: Religion in Human Experience
- Sec. 4: Problems of Growth
- Paper 103: The Reality of Religious Experience
- Sec. 2: Religion and the Individual
- Paper 99: The Social Problems of Religion
- Sec. 1: Religion and Social Reconstruction
- Paper 100: Religion in Human Experience
- Sec. 1: Religious Growth
- Paper 196: The Faith of Jesus
- Sec. 3: The Supremacy of Religion
Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee
Sec. 6: The Second Discourse on Religion
155:6.1 And so, while they paused in the shade of the hillside, Jesus continued to teach them regarding the religion of the spirit, in substance saying:
155:6.2 You have come out from among those of your fellows who choose to remain satisfied with a religion of mind, who crave security and prefer conformity. You have elected to exchange your feelings of authoritative certainty for the assurances of the spirit of adventurous and progressive faith. You have dared to protest against the grueling bondage of institutional religion and to reject the authority of the traditions of record which are now regarded as the word of God. Our Father did indeed speak through Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea, but he did not cease to minister words of truth to the world when these prophets of old made an end of their utterances. My Father is no respecter of races or generations in that the word of truth is vouchsafed one age and withheld from another. Commit not the folly of calling that divine which is wholly human, and fail not to discern the words of truth which come not through the traditional oracles of supposed inspiration.
155:6.3 I have called upon you to be born again, to be born of the spirit. I have called you out of the darkness of authority and the lethargy of tradition into the transcendent light of the realization of the possibility of making for yourselves the greatest discovery possible for the human soul to make—the supernal experience of finding God for yourself, in yourself, and of yourself, and of doing all this as a fact in your own personal experience. And so may you pass from death to life, from the authority of tradition to the experience of knowing God; thus will you pass from darkness to light, from a racial faith inherited to a personal faith achieved by actual experience; and thereby will you progress from a theology of mind handed down by your ancestors to a true religion of spirit which shall be built up in your souls as an eternal endowment.
155:6.4 Your religion shall change from the mere intellectual belief in traditional authority to the actual experience of that living faith which is able to grasp the reality of God and all that relates to the divine spirit of the Father. The religion of the mind ties you hopelessly to the past; the religion of the spirit consists in progressive revelation and ever beckons you on toward higher and holier achievements in spiritual ideals and eternal realities.
155:6.5 While the religion of authority may impart a present feeling of settled security, you pay for such a transient satisfaction the price of the loss of your spiritual freedom and religious liberty. My Father does not require of you as the price of entering the kingdom of heaven that you should force yourself to subscribe to a belief in things which are spiritually repugnant, unholy, and untruthful. It is not required of you that your own sense of mercy, justice, and truth should be outraged by submission to an outworn system of religious forms and ceremonies. The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you. And who can judge—perhaps this spirit may have something to impart to this generation which other generations have refused to hear?
155:6.6 Shame on those false religious teachers who would drag hungry souls back into the dim and distant past and there leave them! And so are these unfortunate persons doomed to become frightened by every new discovery, while they are discomfited by every new revelation of truth. The prophet who said, “He will be kept in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God,” was not a mere intellectual believer in authoritative theology. This truth-knowing human had discovered God; he was not merely talking about God.
155:6.7 I admonish you to give up the practice of always quoting the prophets of old and praising the heroes of Israel, and instead aspire to become living prophets of the Most High and spiritual heroes of the coming kingdom. To honor the God-knowing leaders of the past may indeed be worth while, but why, in so doing, should you sacrifice the supreme experience of human existence: finding God for yourselves and knowing him in your own souls?
155:6.8 Every race of mankind has its own mental outlook upon human existence; therefore must the religion of the mind ever run true to these various racial viewpoints. Never can the religions of authority come to unification. Human unity and mortal brotherhood can be achieved only by and through the superendowment of the religion of the spirit. Racial minds may differ, but all mankind is indwelt by the same divine and eternal spirit. The hope of human brotherhood can only be realized when, and as, the divergent mind religions of authority become impregnated with, and overshadowed by, the unifying and ennobling religion of the spirit—the religion of personal spiritual experience.
155:6.9 The religions of authority can only divide men and set them in conscientious array against each other; the religion of the spirit will progressively draw men together and cause them to become understandingly sympathetic with one another. The religions of authority require of men uniformity in belief, but this is impossible of realization in the present state of the world. The religion of the spirit requires only unity of experience—uniformity of destiny—making full allowance for diversity of belief. The religion of the spirit requires only uniformity of insight, not uniformity of viewpoint and outlook. The religion of the spirit does not demand uniformity of intellectual views, only unity of spirit feeling. The religions of authority crystallize into lifeless creeds; the religion of the spirit grows into the increasing joy and liberty of ennobling deeds of loving service and merciful ministration.
155:6.10 But watch, lest any of you look with disdain upon the children of Abraham because they have fallen on these evil days of traditional barrenness. Our forefathers gave themselves up to the persistent and passionate search for God, and they found him as no other whole race of men have ever known him since the times of Adam, who knew much of this as he was himself a Son of God. My Father has not failed to mark the long and untiring struggle of Israel, ever since the days of Moses, to find God and to know God. For weary generations the Jews have not ceased to toil, sweat, groan, travail, and endure the sufferings and experience the sorrows of a misunderstood and despised people, all in order that they might come a little nearer the discovery of the truth about God. And, notwithstanding all the failures and falterings of Israel, our fathers progressively, from Moses to the times of Amos and Hosea, did reveal increasingly to the whole world an ever clearer and more truthful picture of the eternal God. And so was the way prepared for the still greater revelation of the Father which you have been called to share.
155:6.11 Never forget there is only one adventure which is more satisfying and thrilling than the attempt to discover the will of the living God, and that is the supreme experience of honestly trying to do that divine will. And fail not to remember that the will of God can be done in any earthly occupation. Some callings are not holy and others secular. All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led; that is, subordinated to truth, ennobled by love, dominated by mercy, and restrained by fairness—justice. The spirit which my Father and I shall send into the world is not only the Spirit of Truth but also the spirit of idealistic beauty.
155:6.12 You must cease to seek for the word of God only on the pages of the olden records of theologic authority. Those who are born of the spirit of God shall henceforth discern the word of God regardless of whence it appears to take origin. Divine truth must not be discounted because the channel of its bestowal is apparently human. Many of your brethren have minds which accept the theory of God while they spiritually fail to realize the presence of God. And that is just the reason why I have so often taught you that the kingdom of heaven can best be realized by acquiring the spiritual attitude of a sincere child. It is not the mental immaturity of the child that I commend to you but rather the spiritual simplicity of such an easy-believing and fully-trusting little one. It is not so important that you should know about the fact of God as that you should increasingly grow in the ability to feel the presence of God.
155:6.13 When you once begin to find God in your soul, presently you will begin to discover him in other men's souls and eventually in all the creatures and creations of a mighty universe. But what chance does the Father have to appear as a God of supreme loyalties and divine ideals in the souls of men who give little or no time to the thoughtful contemplation of such eternal realities? While the mind is not the seat of the spiritual nature, it is indeed the gateway thereto.
155:6.14 But do not make the mistake of trying to prove to other men that you have found God; you cannot consciously produce such valid proof, albeit there are two positive and powerful demonstrations of the fact that you are God-knowing, and they are:
155:6.15 The fruits of the spirit of God showing forth in your daily routine life.
155:6.16 The fact that your entire life plan furnishes positive proof that you have unreservedly risked everything you are and have on the adventure of survival after death in the pursuit of the hope of finding the God of eternity, whose presence you have foretasted in time.
155:6.17 Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith. He takes note of the physical and superstitious emotions of the primitive man. And with those honest but fearful souls whose faith is so weak that it amounts to little more than an intellectual conformity to a passive attitude of assent to religions of authority, the Father is ever alert to honor and foster even all such feeble attempts to reach out for him. But you who have been called out of darkness into the light are expected to believe with a whole heart; your faith shall dominate the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit.
155:6.18 You are my apostles, and to you religion shall not become a theologic shelter to which you may flee in fear of facing the rugged realities of spiritual progress and idealistic adventure; but rather shall your religion become the fact of real experience which testifies that God has found you, idealized, ennobled, and spiritualized you, and that you have enlisted in the eternal adventure of finding the God who has thus found and sonshipped you.
155:6.19 And when Jesus had finished speaking, he beckoned to Andrew and, pointing to the west toward Phoenicia, said: “Let us be on our way.”
Paper 108: The Mission and Ministry of Thought Adjusters
Sec. 6: God in Man
108:6.1 It is indeed a marvel of divine condescension for the exalted and perfect Adjusters to offer themselves for actual existence in the minds of material creatures, such as the mortals of Urantia, really to consummate a probationary union with the animal-origin beings of earth.
108:6.2 No matter what the previous status of the inhabitants of a world, subsequent to the bestowal of a divine Son and after the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth upon all humans, the Adjusters flock to such a world to indwell the minds of all normal will creatures. Following the completion of the mission of a Paradise bestowal Son, these Monitors truly become the “kingdom of heaven within you.” Through the bestowal of the divine gifts the Father makes the closest possible approach to sin and evil, for it is literally true that the Adjuster must coexist in the mortal mind even in the very midst of human unrighteousness. The indwelling Adjusters are particularly tormented by those thoughts which are purely sordid and selfish; they are distressed by irreverence for that which is beautiful and divine, and they are virtually thwarted in their work by many of man's foolish animal fears and childish anxieties.
108:6.3 The Mystery Monitors are undoubtedly the bestowal of the Universal Father, the reflection of the image of God abroad in the universe. A great teacher once admonished men that they should be renewed in the spirit of their minds; that they become new men who, like God, are created in righteousness and in the completion of truth. The Adjuster is the mark of divinity, the presence of God. The “image of God” does not refer to physical likeness nor to the circumscribed limitations of material creature endowment but rather to the gift of the spirit presence of the Universal Father in the supernal bestowal of the Thought Adjusters upon the humble creatures of the universes.
108:6.4 The Adjuster is the wellspring of spiritual attainment and the hope of divine character within you. He is the power, privilege, and the possibility of survival, which so fully and forever distinguishes you from mere animal creatures. He is the higher and truly internal spiritual stimulus of thought in contrast with the external and physical stimulus, which reaches the mind over the nerve-energy mechanism of the material body.
108:6.5 These faithful custodians of the future career unfailingly duplicate every mental creation with a spiritual counterpart; they are thus slowly and surely re-creating you as you really are (only spiritually) for resurrection on the survival worlds. And all of these exquisite spirit re-creations are being preserved in the emerging reality of your evolving and immortal soul, your morontia self. These realities are actually there, notwithstanding that the Adjuster is seldom able to exalt these duplicate creations sufficiently to exhibit them to the light of consciousness.
108:6.6 And as you are the human parent, so is the Adjuster the divine parent of the real you, your higher and advancing self, your better morontial and future spiritual self. And it is this evolving morontial soul that the judges and censors discern when they decree your survival and pass you upward to new worlds and never-ending existence in eternal liaison with your faithful partner—God, the Adjuster.
108:6.7 The Adjusters are the eternal ancestors, the divine originals, of your evolving immortal souls; they are the unceasing urge that leads man to attempt the mastery of the material and present existence in the light of the spiritual and future career. The Monitors are the prisoners of undying hope, the founts of everlasting progression. And how they do enjoy communicating with their subjects in more or less direct channels! How they rejoice when they can dispense with symbols and other methods of indirection and flash their messages straight to the intellects of their human partners!
108:6.8 You humans have begun an endless unfolding of an almost infinite panorama, a limitless expanding of never-ending, ever-widening spheres of opportunity for exhilarating service, matchless adventure, sublime uncertainty, and boundless attainment. When the clouds gather overhead, your faith should accept the fact of the presence of the indwelling Adjuster, and thus you should be able to look beyond the mists of mortal uncertainty into the clear shining of the sun of eternal righteousness. . .
Paper 110: Relation of Adjuster to Individual Mortals
110:0.1 The endowment of imperfect beings with freedom entails inevitable tragedy, and it is the nature of the perfect ancestral Deity to universally and affectionately share these sufferings in loving companionship.
110:0.2 As far as I am conversant with the affairs of a universe, I regard the love and devotion of a Thought Adjuster as the most truly divine affection in all creation. The love of the Sons in their ministry to the races is superb, but the devotion of an Adjuster to the individual is touchingly sublime, divinely Fatherlike. The Paradise Father has apparently reserved this form of personal contact with his individual creatures as an exclusive Creator prerogative. And there is nothing in all the universe of universes exactly comparable to the marvelous ministry of these impersonal entities that so fascinatingly indwell the children of the evolutionary planets.
Sec. 1: Indwelling the Mortal Mind
110:1.1 Adjusters should not be thought of as living in the material brains of human beings. They are not organic parts of the physical creatures of the realms. The Thought Adjuster may more properly be envisaged as indwelling the mortal mind of man rather than as existing within the confines of a single physical organ. And indirectly and unrecognized the Adjuster is constantly communicating with the human subject, especially during those sublime experiences of the worshipful contact of mind with spirit in the superconsciousness.
110:1.2 I wish it were possible for me to help evolving mortals to achieve a better understanding and attain a fuller appreciation of the unselfish and superb work of the Adjusters living within them, who are so devoutly faithful to the task of fostering man's spiritual welfare. These Monitors are efficient ministers to the higher phases of men's minds; they are wise and experienced manipulators of the spiritual potential of the human intellect. These heavenly helpers are dedicated to the stupendous task of guiding you safely inward and upward to the celestial haven of happiness. These tireless toilers are consecrated to the future personification of the triumph of divine truth in your life everlasting. They are the watchful workers who pilot the God-conscious human mind away from the shoals of evil while expertly guiding the evolving soul of man toward the divine harbors of perfection on far-distant and eternal shores. The Adjusters are loving leaders, your safe and sure guides through the dark and uncertain mazes of your short earthly career; they are the patient teachers who so constantly urge their subjects forward in the paths of progressive perfection. They are the careful custodians of the sublime values of creature character. I wish you could love them more, co-operate with them more fully, and cherish them more affectionately.
110:1.3 Although the divine indwellers are chiefly concerned with your spiritual preparation for the next stage of the never-ending existence, they are also deeply interested in your temporal welfare and in your real achievements on earth. They are delighted to contribute to your health, happiness, and true prosperity. They are not indifferent to your success in all matters of planetary advancement which are not inimical to your future life of eternal progress.
110:1.4 Adjusters are interested in, and concerned with, your daily doings and the manifold details of your life just to the extent that these are influential in the determination of your significant temporal choices and vital spiritual decisions and, hence, are factors in the solution of your problem of soul survival and eternal progress. The Adjuster, while passive regarding purely temporal welfare, is divinely active concerning all the affairs of your eternal future.
110:1.5 The Adjuster remains with you in all disaster and through every sickness which does not wholly destroy the mentality. But how unkind knowingly to defile or otherwise deliberately to pollute the physical body, which must serve as the earthly tabernacle of this marvelous gift from God. All physical poisons greatly retard the efforts of the Adjuster to exalt the material mind, while the mental poisons of fear, anger, envy, jealousy, suspicion, and intolerance likewise tremendously interfere with the spiritual progress of the evolving soul.
110:1.6 Today you are passing through the period of the courtship of your Adjuster; and if you only prove faithful to the trust reposed in you by the divine spirit who seeks your mind and soul in eternal union, there will eventually ensue that morontia oneness, that supernal harmony, that cosmic co-ordination, that divine attunement, that celestial fusion, that never-ending blending of identity, that oneness of being which is so perfect and final that even the most experienced personalities can never segregate or recognize as separate identities the fusion partners—mortal man and divine Adjuster.
Sec. 3: Co-operation with the Adjuster
110:3.1 Adjusters are playing the sacred and superb game of the ages; they are engaged in one of the supreme adventures of time in space. And how happy they are when your co-operation permits them to lend assistance in your short struggles of time as they continue to prosecute their larger tasks of eternity. But usually, when your Adjuster attempts to communicate with you, the message is lost in the material currents of the energy streams of human mind; only occasionally do you catch an echo, a faint and distant echo, of the divine voice.
110:3.2 The success of your Adjuster in the enterprise of piloting you through the mortal life and bringing about your survival depends not so much on the theories of your beliefs as upon your decisions, determinations, and steadfast faith. All these movements of personality growth become powerful influences aiding in your advancement because they help you to co-operate with the Adjuster; they assist you in ceasing to resist. Thought Adjusters succeed or apparently fail in their terrestrial undertakings just in so far as mortals succeed or fail to co-operate with the scheme whereby they are to be advanced along the ascending path of perfection attainment. The secret of survival is wrapped up in the supreme human desire to be Godlike and in the associated willingness to do and be any and all things which are essential to the final attainment of that overmastering desire.
110:3.3 When we speak of an Adjuster's success or failure, we are speaking in terms of human survival. Adjusters never fail; they are of the divine essence, and they always emerge triumphant in each of their undertakings.
110:3.4 I cannot but observe that so many of you spend so much time and thought on mere trifles of living, while you almost wholly overlook the more essential realities of everlasting import, those very accomplishments which are concerned with the development of a more harmonious working agreement between you and your Adjusters. The great goal of human existence is to attune to the divinity of the indwelling Adjuster; the great achievement of mortal life is the attainment of a true and understanding consecration to the eternal aims of the divine spirit who waits and works within your mind. But a devoted and determined effort to realize eternal destiny is wholly compatible with a light-hearted and joyous life and with a successful and honorable career on earth. Co-operation with the Thought Adjuster does not entail self-torture, mock piety, or hypocritical and ostentatious self-abasement; the ideal life is one of loving service rather than an existence of fearful apprehension.
110:3.5 Confusion, being puzzled, even sometimes discouraged and distracted, does not necessarily signify resistance to the leadings of the indwelling Adjuster. Such attitudes may sometimes connote lack of active co-operation with the divine Monitor and may, therefore, somewhat delay spiritual progress, but such intellectual emotional difficulties do not in the least interfere with the certain survival of the God-knowing soul. Ignorance alone can never prevent survival; neither can confusional doubts nor fearful uncertainty. Only conscious resistance to the Adjuster's leading can prevent the survival of the evolving immortal soul.
110:3.6 You must not regard co-operation with your Adjuster as a particularly conscious process, for it is not; but your motives and your decisions, your faithful determinations and your supreme desires, do constitute real and effective co-operation. You can consciously augment Adjuster harmony by:
110:3.7 Choosing to respond to divine leading; sincerely basing the human life on the highest consciousness of truth, beauty, and goodness, and then co-ordinating these qualities of divinity through wisdom, worship, faith, and love.
110:3.8 Loving God and desiring to be like him—genuine recognition of the divine fatherhood and loving worship of the heavenly Parent.
110:3.9 Loving man and sincerely desiring to serve him—wholehearted recognition of the brotherhood of man coupled with an intelligent and wise affection for each of your fellow mortals.
110:3.10 Joyful acceptance of cosmic citizenship—honest recognition of your progressive obligations to the Supreme Being, awareness of the interdependence of evolutionary man and evolving Deity. This is the birth of cosmic morality and the dawning realization of universal duty.
Paper 118: Supreme and Ultimate – Time and Space
Sec. 1: Time and Eternity
118:1.1 It is helpful to man's cosmic orientation to attain all possible comprehension of Deity's relation to the cosmos. While absolute Deity is eternal in nature, the Gods are related to time as an experience in eternity. In the evolutionary universes eternity is temporal everlastingness—the everlasting now.
118:1.2 The personality of the mortal creature may eternalize by self-identification with the indwelling spirit through the technique of choosing to do the will of the Father. Such a consecration of will is tantamount to the realization of eternity-reality of purpose. This means that the purpose of the creature has become fixed with regard to the succession of moments; stated otherwise, that the succession of moments will witness no change in creature purpose. A million or a billion moments makes no difference. Number has ceased to have meaning with regard to the creature's purpose. Thus does creature choice plus God's choice eventuate in the eternal realities of the never-ending union of the spirit of God and the nature of man in the everlasting service of the children of God and of their Paradise Father.
118:1.3 There is a direct relationship between maturity and the unit of time consciousness in any given intellect. The time unit may be a day, a year, or a longer period, but inevitably it is the criterion by which the conscious self evaluates the circumstances of life, and by which the conceiving intellect measures and evaluates the facts of temporal existence.
118:1.4 Experience, wisdom, and judgment are the concomitants of the lengthening of the time unit in mortal experience. As the human mind reckons backward into the past, it is evaluating past experience for the purpose of bringing it to bear on a present situation. As mind reaches out into the future, it is attempting to evaluate the future significance of possible action. And having thus reckoned with both experience and wisdom, the human will exercises judgment-decision in the present, and the plan of action thus born of the past and the future becomes existent.
118:1.5 In the maturity of the developing self, the past and future are brought together to illuminate the true meaning of the present. As the self matures, it reaches further and further back into the past for experience, while its wisdom forecasts seek to penetrate deeper and deeper into the unknown future. And as the conceiving self extends this reach ever further into both past and future, so does judgment become less and less dependent on the momentary present. In this way does decision-action begin to escape from the fetters of the moving present, while it begins to take on the aspects of past-future significance.
118:1.6 Patience is exercised by those mortals whose time units are short; true maturity transcends patience by a forbearance born of real understanding.
118:1.7 To become mature is to live more intensely in the present, at the same time escaping from the limitations of the present. The plans of maturity, founded on past experience, are coming into being in the present in such manner as to enhance the values of the future.
118:1.8 The time unit of immaturity concentrates meaning-value into the present moment in such a way as to divorce the present of its true relationship to the not-present—the past-future. The time unit of maturity is proportioned so to reveal the co-ordinate relationship of past-present-future that the self begins to gain insight into the wholeness of events, begins to view the landscape of time from the panoramic perspective of broadened horizons, begins perhaps to suspect the nonbeginning, nonending eternal continuum, the fragments of which are called time.
118:1.9 On the levels of the infinite and the absolute the moment of the present contains all of the past as well as all of the future. I AM signifies also I WAS and I WILL BE. And this represents our best concept of eternity and the eternal.
118:1.10 On the absolute and eternal level, potential reality is just as meaningful as actual reality. Only on the finite level and to time-bound creatures does there appear to be such a vast difference. To God, as absolute, an ascending mortal who has made the eternal decision is already a Paradise finaliter. But the Universal Father, through the indwelling Thought Adjuster, is not thus limited in awareness but can also know of, and participate in, every temporal struggle with the problems of the creature ascent from animallike to Godlike levels of existence.
Paper 30: Personalities of the Grand Universe
Sec. 4: The Ascending Mortals
30:4.1 While the mortal survivors of time and space are denominated ascending pilgrims when accredited for the progressive ascent to Paradise, these evolutionary creatures occupy such an important place in these narratives that we here desire to present a synopsis of the following seven stages of the ascending universe career:
- Planetary Mortals.
- Sleeping Survivors.
- Mansion World Students.
- Morontia Progressors.
- Superuniverse Wards.
- Havona Pilgrims.
- Paradise Arrivals.
30:4.2 The following narrative presents the universe career of an Adjuster-indwelt mortal. The Son- and Spirit-fused mortals share portions of this career, but we have elected to tell this story as it pertains to the Adjuster-fused mortals, for such a destiny may be anticipated by all of the human races of Urantia.
30:4.3 1. Planetary Mortals. Mortals are all animal-origin evolutionary beings of ascendant potential. In origin, nature, and destiny these various groups and types of human beings are not wholly unlike the Urantia peoples. The human races of each world receive the same ministry of the Sons of God and enjoy the presence of the ministering spirits of time. After natural death all types of ascenders fraternize as one morontia family on the mansion worlds.
30:4.4 2. Sleeping Survivors. All mortals of survival status, in the custody of personal guardians of destiny, pass through the portals of natural death and, on the third period, personalize on the mansion worlds. Those accredited beings who have, for any reason, been unable to attain that level of intelligence mastery and endowment of spirituality which would entitle them to personal guardians, cannot thus immediately and directly go to the mansion worlds. Such surviving souls must rest in unconscious sleep until the judgment day of a new epoch, a new dispensation, the coming of a Son of God to call the rolls of the age and adjudicate the realm, and this is the general practice throughout all Nebadon [the name of our local universe]. It was said of Christ Michael that, when he ascended on high at the conclusion of his work on earth, “He led a great multitude of captives.” And these captives were the sleeping survivors from the days of Adam to the day of the Master's resurrection on Urantia.
30:4.5 The passing of time is of no moment to sleeping mortals; they are wholly unconscious and oblivious to the length of their rest. On reassembly of personality at the end of an age, those who have slept five thousand years will react no differently than those who have rested five days. Aside from this time delay these survivors pass on through the ascension regime identically with those who avoid the longer or shorter sleep of death.
30:4.6 These dispensational classes of world pilgrims are utilized for group morontia activities in the work of the local universes. There is a great advantage in the mobilization of such enormous groups; they are thus kept together for long periods of effective service.
30:4.7 3. Mansion World Students. All surviving mortals who reawaken on the mansion worlds belong to this class.
30:4.8 The physical body of mortal flesh is not a part of the reassembly of the sleeping survivor; the physical body has returned to dust. The seraphim of assignment [a type of angel] sponsors the new body, the morontia form, as the new life vehicle for the immortal soul and for the indwelling of the returned Adjuster. The Adjuster is the custodian of the spirit transcript of the mind of the sleeping survivor. The assigned seraphim is the keeper of the surviving identity—the immortal soul—as far as it has evolved. And when these two, the Adjuster and the seraphim, reunite their personality trusts, the new individual constitutes the resurrection of the old personality, the survival of the evolving morontia identity of the soul. Such a reassociation of soul and Adjuster is quite properly called a resurrection, a reassembly of personality factors; but even this does not entirely explain the reappearance of the surviving personality. Though you will probably never understand the fact of such an inexplicable transaction, you will sometime experientially know the truth of it if you do not reject the plan of mortal survival.
30:4.9 The plan of initial mortal detention on seven worlds of progressive training is nearly universal in Orvonton [our superuniverse, one of seven such superuniverses]. In each local system of approximately one thousand inhabited planets there are seven mansion worlds, usually satellites or subsatellites of the system capital. They are the receiving worlds for the majority of ascending mortals.
30:4.10 Sometimes all training worlds of mortal residence are called universe “mansions,” and it was to such spheres that Jesus alluded when he said: “In my Father's house are many mansions.” From here on, within a given group of spheres like the mansion worlds, ascenders will progress individually from one sphere to another and from one phase of life to another, but they will always advance from one stage of universe study to another in class formation.
30:4.11 4. Morontia Progressors. From the mansion worlds on up through the spheres of the system, constellation, and the universe, mortals are classed as morontia progressors; they are traversing the transition spheres of mortal ascension. As the ascending mortals progress from the lower to the higher of the morontia worlds, they serve on countless assignments in association with their teachers and in company with their more advanced and senior brethren.
30:4.12 Morontia progression pertains to continuing advancement of intellect, spirit, and personality form. Survivors are still three-natured beings. Throughout the entire morontia experience they are wards of the local universe. The regime of the superuniverse does not function until the spirit career begins.
30:4.13 Mortals acquire real spirit identity just before they leave the local universe headquarters for the receiving worlds of the minor sectors of the superuniverse. Passing from the final morontia stage to the first or lowest spirit status is but a slight transition. The mind, personality, and character are unchanged by such an advance; only does the form undergo modification. But the spirit form is just as real as the morontia body, and it is equally discernible.
30:4.14 Before departing from their native local universes for the superuniverse receiving worlds, the mortals of time are recipients of spirit confirmation from the Creator Son [Christ Michael/Jesus] and the local universe Mother Spirit [Michael's wife, essentially]. From this point on, the status of the ascending mortal is forever settled. Superuniverse wards have never been known to go astray. Ascending seraphim are also advanced in angelic standing at the time of their departure from the local universes.
30:4.15 5. Superuniverse Wards. All ascenders arriving on the training worlds of the superuniverses become the wards of the Ancients of Days [a very high order of Paradise beings]; they have traversed the morontia life of the local universe and are now accredited spirits. As young spirits they begin the ascension of the superuniverse system of training and culture, extending from the receiving spheres of their minor sector in through the study worlds of the ten major sectors and on to the higher cultural spheres of the superuniverse headquarters.
30:4.16 There are three orders of student spirits in accordance with their sojourn upon the minor sector, major sectors, and the superuniverse headquarters worlds of spirit progression. As morontia ascenders studied and worked on the worlds of the local universe, so spirit ascenders continue to master new worlds while they practice at giving out to others that which they have imbibed at the experiential founts of wisdom. But going to school as a spirit being in the superuniverse career is very unlike anything that has ever entered the imaginative realms of the material mind of man.
30:4.17 Before leaving the superuniverse for Havona [the one billion existentially perfect worlds surrounding Paradise, with their own unique hosts of perfect spirit beings], these ascending spirits receive the same thorough course in superuniverse management that they received during their morontia experience in local universe supervision. Before spirit mortals reach Havona, their chief study, but not exclusive occupation, is the mastery of local and superuniverse administration. The reason for all of this experience is not now fully apparent, but no doubt such training is wise and necessary in view of their possible future destiny as members of the Corps of the Finality [the final status destiny of mortal ascenders].
30:4.18 The superuniverse regime is not the same for all ascending mortals. They receive the same general education, but special groups and classes are carried through special courses of instruction and are put through specific courses of training.
30:4.19 6. Havona Pilgrims. When spirit development is complete, even though not replete, then the surviving mortal prepares for the long flight to Havona, the haven of evolutionary spirits. On earth you were a creature of flesh and blood; through the local universe you were a morontia being; through the superuniverse you were an evolving spirit; with your arrival on the receiving worlds of Havona your spiritual education begins in reality and in earnest; your eventual appearance on Paradise will be as a perfected spirit.
30:4.20 The journey from the superuniverse headquarters to the Havona receiving spheres is always made alone. From now on no more class or group instruction will be administered. You are through with the technical and administrative training of the evolutionary worlds of time and space. Now begins your personal education, your individual spiritual training. From first to last, throughout all Havona, the instruction is personal and threefold in nature: intellectual, spiritual, and experiential.
30:4.21 The first act of your Havona career will be to recognize and thank your transport seconaphim for the long and safe journey. Then you are presented to those beings who will sponsor your early Havona activities. Next you go to register your arrival and prepare your message of thanksgiving and adoration for dispatch to the Creator Son of your local universe, the universe Father who made possible your sonship career. This concludes the formalities of the Havona arrival; whereupon you are accorded a long period of leisure for free observation, and this affords opportunity for looking up your friends, fellows, and associates of the long ascension experience. You may also consult the broadcasts to ascertain who of your fellow pilgrims have departed for Havona since the time of your leaving Uversa [the superuniverse capital].
30:4.22 The fact of your arrival on the receiving worlds of Havona will be duly transmitted to the headquarters of your local universe and personally conveyed to your seraphic guardian, wherever that seraphim may chance to be.
30:4.23 The ascendant mortals have been thoroughly trained in the affairs of the evolutionary worlds of space; now they begin their long and profitable contact with the created spheres of perfection. What a preparation for some future work is afforded by this combined, unique, and extraordinary experience! But I cannot tell you about Havona; you must see these worlds to appreciate their glory or to understand their grandeur.
30:4.24 7. Paradise Arrivals. On reaching Paradise with residential status, you begin the progressive course in divinity and absonity [this word is a form of “absonite,” an invented word connoting the combination of absolute and finite characteristics]. Your residence on Paradise signifies that you have found God, and that you are to be mustered into the Mortal Corps of the Finality. Of all the creatures of the grand universe, only those who are Father fused are mustered into the Mortal Corps of the Finality. Only such individuals take the finaliter oath. Other beings of Paradise perfection or attainment may be temporarily attached to this finality corps, but they are not of eternal assignment to the unknown and unrevealed mission of this accumulating host of the evolutionary and perfected veterans of time and space.
30:4.25 Paradise arrivals are accorded a period of freedom, after which they begin their associations with the seven groups of the primary supernaphim. They are designated Paradise graduates when they have finished their course with the conductors of worship and then, as finaliters, are assigned on observational and co-operative service to the ends of the far-flung creation. As yet there seems to be no specific or settled employment for the Mortal Corps of Finaliters, though they serve in many capacities on worlds settled in light and life.
30:4.26 If there should be no future or unrevealed destiny for the Mortal Corps of the Finality, the present assignment of these ascendant beings would be altogether adequate and glorious. Their present destiny wholly justifies the universal plan of evolutionary ascent. But the future ages of the evolution of the spheres of outer space will undoubtedly further elaborate, and with more repleteness divinely illuminate, the wisdom and loving-kindness of the Gods in the execution of their divine plan of human survival and mortal ascension.
30:4.27 This narrative, together with what has been revealed to you and with what you may acquire in connection with instruction respecting your own world, presents an outline of the career of an ascending mortal. The story varies considerably in the different superuniverses, but this recital affords a glimpse of the average plan of mortal progression as it is operative in the local universe of Nebadon and in the seventh segment of the grand universe, the superuniverse of Orvonton.
Paper 48: The Morontia Life
48:0.1 The Gods cannot—at least they do not—transform a creature of gross animal nature into a perfected spirit by some mysterious act of creative magic. When the Creators desire to produce perfect beings, they do so by direct and original creation, but they never undertake to convert animal-origin and material creatures into beings of perfection in a single step.
48:0.2 The morontia life, extending as it does over the various stages of the local universe career, is the only possible approach whereby material mortals could attain the threshold of the spirit world. What magic could death, the natural dissolution of the material body, hold that such a simple step should instantly transform the mortal and material mind into an immortal and perfected spirit? Such beliefs are but ignorant superstitions and pleasing fables.
48:0.3 Always this morontia transition intervenes between the mortal estate and the subsequent spirit status of surviving human beings. This intermediate state of universe progress differs markedly in the various local creations, but in intent and purpose they are all quite similar. The arrangement of the mansion and higher morontia worlds in Nebadon is fairly typical of the morontia transition regimes in this part of Orvonton.
Sec. 1: Morontia Materials
48:1.1 The morontia realms are the local universe liaison spheres between the material and spiritual levels of creature existence. This morontia life has been known on Urantia since the early days of the Planetary Prince [an administrator assigned in the early stages of the evolution of mortal beings on a planet]. From time to time this transition state has been taught to mortals, and the concept, in distorted form, has found a place in present-day religions.
48:1.2 The morontia spheres are the transition phases of mortal ascension through the progression worlds of the local universe. Only the seven worlds surrounding the finaliters' sphere of the local systems are called mansion worlds, but all fifty-six of the system transition abodes, in common with the higher spheres around the constellations and the universe headquarters, are called morontia worlds. These creations partake of the physical beauty and the morontia grandeur of the local universe headquarters spheres.
48:1.3 All of these worlds are architectural spheres, and they have just double the number of elements of the evolved planets. Such made-to-order worlds not only abound in the heavy metals and crystals, having one hundred physical elements, but likewise have exactly one hundred forms of a unique energy organization called morontia material. The Master Physical Controllers and the Morontia Power Supervisors are able so to modify the revolutions of the primary units of matter and at the same time so to transform these associations of energy as to create this new substance.
48:1.4 The early morontia life in the local systems is very much like that of your present material world, becoming less physical and more truly morontial on the constellation study worlds. And as you advance to the Salvington [the local universe headquarters] spheres, you increasingly attain spiritual levels.
48:1.5 The Morontia Power Supervisors are able to effect a union of material and of spiritual energies, thereby organizing a morontia form of materialization which is receptive to the superimposition of a controlling spirit. When you traverse the morontia life of Nebadon, these same patient and skillful Morontia Power Supervisors will successively provide you with 570 morontia bodies, each one a phase of your progressive transformation. From the time of leaving the material worlds until you are constituted a first-stage spirit on Salvington, you will undergo just 570 separate and ascending morontia changes. Eight of these occur in the system, seventy-one in the constellation, and 491 during the sojourn on the spheres of Salvington.
48:1.6 In the days of the mortal flesh the divine spirit indwells you, almost as a thing apart—in reality an invasion of man by the bestowed spirit of the Universal Father. But in the morontia life the spirit will become a real part of your personality, and as you successively pass through the 570 progressive transformations, you ascend from the material to the spiritual estate of creature life.
48:1.7 Paul learned of the existence of the morontia worlds and of the reality of morontia materials, for he wrote, “They have in heaven a better and more enduring substance.” And these morontia materials are real, literal, even as in “the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” And each of these marvelous spheres is “a better country, that is, a heavenly one.”
Paper 53: The Lucifer Rebellion
Sec. 3: The Lucifer Mainfesto
53:3.1 Whatever the early origins of trouble in the hearts of Lucifer and Satan [administrators who went astray, reeking havoc in our system, a subdivision of the local universe], the final outbreak took form as the Lucifer Declaration of Liberty. The cause of the rebels was stated under three heads:
53:3.2 1. The reality of the Universal Father. Lucifer charged that the Universal Father did not really exist, that physical gravity and space-energy were inherent in the universe, and that the Father was a myth invented by the Paradise Sons to enable them to maintain the rule of the universes in the Father's name. He denied that personality was a gift of the Universal Father. He even intimated that the finaliters were in collusion with the Paradise Sons to foist fraud upon all creation since they never brought back a very clear-cut idea of the Father's actual personality as it is discernible on Paradise. He traded on reverence as ignorance. The charge was sweeping, terrible, and blasphemous. It was this veiled attack upon the finaliters that no doubt influenced the ascendant citizens then on Jerusem to stand firm and remain steadfast in resistance to all the rebel's proposals.
53:3.3 2. The universe government of the Creator Son—Michael. Lucifer contended that the local systems should be autonomous. He protested against the right of Michael, the Creator Son, to assume sovereignty of Nebadon in the name of a hypothetical Paradise Father and require all personalities to acknowledge allegiance to this unseen Father. He asserted that the whole plan of worship was a clever scheme to aggrandize the Paradise Sons. He was willing to acknowledge Michael as his Creator-father but not as his God and rightful ruler.
53:3.4 Most bitterly did he attack the right of the Ancients of Days—“foreign potentates”—to interfere in the affairs of the local systems and universes. These rulers he denounced as tyrants and usurpers. He exhorted his followers to believe that none of these rulers could do aught to interfere with the operation of complete home rule if men and angels only had the courage to assert themselves and boldly claim their rights.
53:3.5 He contended that the executioners of the Ancients of Days could be debarred from functioning in the local systems if the native beings would only assert their independence. He maintained that immortality was inherent in the system personalities, that resurrection was natural and automatic, and that all beings would live eternally except for the arbitrary and unjust acts of the executioners of the Ancients of Days.
53:3.6 3. The attack upon the universal plan of ascendant mortal training. Lucifer maintained that far too much time and energy were expended upon the scheme of so thoroughly training ascending mortals in the principles of universe administration, principles which he alleged were unethical and unsound. He protested against the agelong program for preparing the mortals of space for some unknown destiny and pointed to the presence of the finaliter corps on Jerusem [the capital of our local system] as proof that these mortals had spent ages of preparation for some destiny of pure fiction. With derision he pointed out that the finaliters had encountered a destiny no more glorious than to be returned to humble spheres similar to those of their origin. He intimated that they had been debauched by overmuch discipline and prolonged training, and that they were in reality traitors to their mortal fellows since they were now co-operating with the scheme of enslaving all creation to the fictions of a mythical eternal destiny for ascending mortals. He advocated that ascenders should enjoy the liberty of individual self-determination. He challenged and condemned the entire plan of mortal ascension as sponsored by the Paradise Sons of God and supported by the Infinite Spirit.
53:3.7 And it was with such a Declaration of Liberty that Lucifer launched his orgy of darkness and death.
Paper 54: Problems of the Lucifer Rebellion
54:0.1 Evolutionary man finds it difficult fully to comprehend the significance and to grasp the meanings of evil, error, sin, and iniquity. Man is slow to perceive that contrastive perfection and imperfection produce potential evil; that conflicting truth and falsehood create confusing error; that the divine endowment of freewill choice eventuates in the divergent realms of sin and righteousness; that the persistent pursuit of divinity leads to the kingdom of God as contrasted with its continuous rejection, which leads to the domains of iniquity.
54:0.2 The Gods neither create evil nor permit sin and rebellion. Potential evil is time-existent in a universe embracing differential levels of perfection meanings and values. Sin is potential in all realms where imperfect beings are endowed with the ability to choose between good and evil. The very conflicting presence of truth and untruth, fact and falsehood, constitutes the potentiality of error. The deliberate choice of evil constitutes sin; the willful rejection of truth is error; the persistent pursuit of sin and error is iniquity.
Sec. 1: True and False Liberty
54:1.1 Of all the perplexing problems growing out of the Lucifer rebellion, none has occasioned more difficulty than the failure of immature evolutionary mortals to distinguish between true and false liberty.
54:1.2 True liberty is the quest of the ages and the reward of evolutionary progress. False liberty is the subtle deception of the error of time and the evil of space. Enduring liberty is predicated on the reality of justice—intelligence, maturity, fraternity, and equity.
54:1.3 Liberty is a self-destroying technique of cosmic existence when its motivation is unintelligent, unconditioned, and uncontrolled. True liberty is progressively related to reality and is ever regardful of social equity, cosmic fairness, universe fraternity, and divine obligations.
54:1.4 Liberty is suicidal when divorced from material justice, intellectual fairness, social forbearance, moral duty, and spiritual values. Liberty is nonexistent apart from cosmic reality, and all personality reality is proportional to its divinity relationships.
54:1.5 Unbridled self-will and unregulated self-expression equal unmitigated selfishness, the acme of ungodliness. Liberty without the associated and ever-increasing conquest of self is a figment of egoistic mortal imagination. Self-motivated liberty is a conceptual illusion, a cruel deception. License masquerading in the garments of liberty is the forerunner of abject bondage.
54:1.6 True liberty is the associate of genuine self-respect; false liberty is the consort of self-admiration. True liberty is the fruit of self-control; false liberty, the assumption of self-assertion. Self-control leads to altruistic service; self-admiration tends towards the exploitation of others for the selfish aggrandizement of such a mistaken individual as is willing to sacrifice righteous attainment for the sake of possessing unjust power over his fellow beings.
54:1.7 Even wisdom is divine and safe only when it is cosmic in scope and spiritual in motivation.
54:1.8 There is no error greater than that species of self-deception which leads intelligent beings to crave the exercise of power over other beings for the purpose of depriving these persons of their natural liberties. The golden rule of human fairness cries out against all such fraud, unfairness, selfishness, and unrighteousness. Only true and genuine liberty is compatible with the reign of love and the ministry of mercy.
54:1.9 How dare the self-willed creature encroach upon the rights of his fellows in the name of personal liberty when the Supreme Rulers of the universe stand back in merciful respect for these prerogatives of will and potentials of personality! No being, in the exercise of his supposed personal liberty, has a right to deprive any other being of those privileges of existence conferred by the Creators and duly respected by all their loyal associates, subordinates, and subjects.
54:1.10 Evolutionary man may have to contend for his material liberties with tyrants and oppressors on a world of sin and iniquity or during the early times of a primitive evolving sphere, but not so on the morontia worlds or on the spirit spheres. War is the heritage of early evolutionary man, but on worlds of normal advancing civilization physical combat as a technique of adjusting racial misunderstandings has long since fallen into disrepute.
Sec. 2: The Theft of Liberty
54:2.1 With the Son and in the Spirit did God project eternal Havona, and ever since has there obtained the eternal pattern of co-ordinate participation in creation—sharing. This pattern of sharing is the master design for every one of the Sons and Daughters of God who go out into space to engage in the attempt to duplicate in time the central universe of eternal perfection.
54:2.2 Every creature of every evolving universe who aspires to do the Father's will is destined to become the partner of the time-space Creators in this magnificent adventure of experiential perfection attainment. Were this not true, the Father would have hardly endowed such creatures with creative free will, neither would he indwell them, actually go into partnership with them by means of his own spirit.
54:2.3 Lucifer' s folly was the attempt to do the nondoable, to short-circuit time in an experiential universe. Lucifer's crime was the attempted creative disenfranchisement of every personality in Satania [our local system in Nebadon], the unrecognized abridgment of the creature's personal participation—freewill participation—in the long evolutionary struggle to attain the status of light and life both individually and collectively. In so doing, this onetime Sovereign of your system set the temporal purpose of his own will directly athwart the eternal purpose of God's will as it is revealed in the bestowal of free will upon all personal creatures. The Lucifer rebellion thus threatened the maximum possible infringement of the freewill choice of the ascenders and servers of the system of Satania—a threat forevermore to deprive every one of these beings of the thrilling experience of contributing something personal and unique to the slowly erecting monument to experiential wisdom which will sometime exist as the perfected system of Satania. Thus does the Lucifer manifesto, masquerading in the habiliments of liberty, stand forth in the clear light of reason as a monumental threat to consummate the theft of personal liberty and to do it on a scale that has been approached only twice in all the history of Nebadon.
54:2.4 In short, what God had given men and angels Lucifer would have taken away from them, that is, the divine privilege of participating in the creation of their own destinies and of the destiny of this local system of inhabited worlds.
54:2.5 No being in all the universe has the rightful liberty to deprive any other being of true liberty, the right to love and be loved, the privilege of worshiping God and of serving his fellows.
Sec. 3: The Time Lag of Justice
54:3.1 The moral will creatures of the evolutionary worlds are always bothered with the unthinking question as to why the all-wise Creators permit evil and sin. They fail to comprehend that both are inevitable if the creature is to be truly free. The free will of evolving man or exquisite angel is not a mere philosophic concept, a symbolic ideal. Man's ability to choose good or evil is a universe reality. This liberty to choose for oneself is an endowment of the Supreme Rulers, and they will not permit any being or group of beings to deprive a single personality in the wide universe of this divinely bestowed liberty—not even to satisfy such misguided and ignorant beings in the enjoyment of this misnamed personal liberty.
54:3.2 Although conscious and wholehearted identification with evil (sin) is the equivalent of nonexistence (annihilation), there must always intervene between the time of such personal identification with sin and the execution of the penalty—the automatic result of such a willful embrace of evil—a period of time of sufficient length to allow for such an adjudication of such an individual's universe status as will prove entirely satisfactory to all related universe personalities, and which will be so fair and just as to win the approval of the sinner himself.
54:3.3 But if this universe rebel against the reality of truth and goodness refuses to approve the verdict, and if the guilty one knows in his heart the justice of his condemnation but refuses to make such confession, then must the execution of sentence be delayed in accordance with the discretion of the Ancients of Days. And the Ancients of Days refuse to annihilate any being until all moral values and all spiritual realities are extinct, both in the evildoer and in all related supporters and possible sympathizers.
Paper 188: The Time of the Tomb
Sec. 4: Meaning of the Death on the Cross
188:4.1 Although Jesus did not die this death on the cross to atone for the racial guilt of mortal man nor to provide some sort of effective approach to an otherwise offended and unforgiving God; even though the Son of Man did not offer himself as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God and to open the way for sinful man to obtain salvation; notwithstanding that these ideas of atonement and propitiation are erroneous, nonetheless, there are significances attached to this death of Jesus on the cross which should not be overlooked. It is a fact that Urantia has become known among other neighboring inhabited planets as the “World of the Cross.”
188:4.2 Jesus desired to live a full mortal life in the flesh on Urantia. Death is, ordinarily, a part of life. Death is the last act in the mortal drama. In your well-meant efforts to escape the superstitious errors of the false interpretation of the meaning of the death on the cross, you should be careful not to make the great mistake of failing to perceive the true significance and the genuine import of the Master's death.
188:4.3 Mortal man was never the property of the archdeceivers. Jesus did not die to ransom man from the clutch of the apostate rulers and fallen princes of the spheres. The Father in heaven never conceived of such crass injustice as damning a mortal soul because of the evildoing of his ancestors. Neither was the Master's death on the cross a sacrifice which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to owe him.
188:4.4 Before Jesus lived on earth, you might possibly have been justified in believing in such a God, but not since the Master lived and died among your fellow mortals. Moses taught the dignity and justice of a Creator God; but Jesus portrayed the love and mercy of a heavenly Father.
188:4.5 The animal nature—the tendency toward evil-doing—may be hereditary, but sin is not transmitted from parent to child. Sin is the act of conscious and deliberate rebellion against the Father's will and the Sons' laws by an individual will creature.
188:4.6 Jesus lived and died for a whole universe, not just for the races of this one world. While the mortals of the realms had salvation even before Jesus lived and died on Urantia, it is nevertheless a fact that his bestowal on this world greatly illuminated the way of salvation; his death did much to make forever plain the certainty of mortal survival after death in the flesh.
188:4.7 Though it is hardly proper to speak of Jesus as a sacrificer, a ransomer, or a redeemer, it is wholly correct to refer to him as a savior. He forever made the way of salvation (survival) more clear and certain; he did better and more surely show the way of salvation for all the mortals of all the worlds of the universe of Nebadon.
188:4.8 When once you grasp the idea of God as a true and loving Father, the only concept which Jesus ever taught, you must forthwith, in all consistency, utterly abandon all those primitive notions about God as an offended monarch, a stern and all-powerful ruler whose chief delight is to detect his subjects in wrongdoing and to see that they are adequately punished, unless some being almost equal to himself should volunteer to suffer for them, to die as a substitute and in their stead. The whole idea of ransom and atonement is incompatible with the concept of God as it was taught and exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. The infinite love of God is not secondary to anything in the divine nature.
188:4.9 All this concept of atonement and sacrificial salvation is rooted and grounded in selfishness. Jesus taught that service to one's fellows is the highest concept of the brotherhood of spirit believers. Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God. The believer's chief concern should not be the selfish desire for personal salvation but rather the unselfish urge to love and, therefore, serve one's fellows even as Jesus loved and served mortal men.
188:4.10 Neither do genuine believers trouble themselves so much about the future punishment of sin. The real believer is only concerned about present separation from God. True, wise fathers may chasten their sons, but they do all this in love and for corrective purposes. They do not punish in anger, neither do they chastise in retribution.
188:4.11 Even if God were the stern and legal monarch of a universe in which justice ruled supreme, he certainly would not be satisfied with the childish scheme of substituting an innocent sufferer for a guilty offender.
188:4.12 The great thing about the death of Jesus, as it is related to the enrichment of human experience and the enlargement of the way of salvation, is not the fact of his death but rather the superb manner and the matchless spirit in which he met death.
188:4.13 This entire idea of the ransom of the atonement places salvation upon a plane of unreality; such a concept is purely philosophic. Human salvation is real; it is based on two realities which may be grasped by the creature's faith and thereby become incorporated into individual human experience: the fact of the fatherhood of God and its correlated truth, the brotherhood of man. It is true, after all, that you are to be “forgiven your debts, even as you forgive your debtors.”
Sec. 5: Lessons from the Cross
188:5.1 The cross of Jesus portrays the full measure of the supreme devotion of the true shepherd for even the unworthy members of his flock. It forever places all relations between God and man upon the family basis. God is the Father; man is his son. Love, the love of a father for his son, becomes the central truth in the universe relations of Creator and creature—not the justice of a king which seeks satisfaction in the sufferings and punishment of the evil-doing subject.
188:5.2 The cross forever shows that the attitude of Jesus toward sinners was neither condemnation nor condonation, but rather eternal and loving salvation. Jesus is truly a savior in the sense that his life and death do win men over to goodness and righteous survival. Jesus loves men so much that his love awakens the response of love in the human heart. Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. Jesus' death on the cross exemplifies a love which is sufficiently strong and divine to forgive sin and swallow up all evil-doing. Jesus disclosed to this world a higher quality of righteousness than justice—mere technical right and wrong. Divine love does not merely forgive wrongs; it absorbs and actually destroys them. The forgiveness of love utterly transcends the forgiveness of mercy. Mercy sets the guilt of evil-doing to one side; but love destroys forever the sin and all weakness resulting therefrom. Jesus brought a new method of living to Urantia. He taught us not to resist evil but to find through him a goodness which effectually destroys evil. The forgiveness of Jesus is not condonation; it is salvation from condemnation. Salvation does not slight wrongs; it makes them right. True love does not compromise nor condone hate; it destroys it. The love of Jesus is never satisfied with mere forgiveness. The Master's love implies rehabilitation, eternal survival. It is altogether proper to speak of salvation as redemption if you mean this eternal rehabilitation.
188:5.3 Jesus, by the power of his personal love for men, could break the hold of sin and evil. He thereby set men free to choose better ways of living. Jesus portrayed a deliverance from the past which in itself promised a triumph for the future. Forgiveness thus provided salvation. The beauty of divine love, once fully admitted to the human heart, forever destroys the charm of sin and the power of evil.
188:5.4 The sufferings of Jesus were not confined to the crucifixion. In reality, Jesus of Nazareth spent upward of twenty-five years on the cross of a real and intense mortal existence. The real value of the cross consists in the fact that it was the supreme and final expression of his love, the completed revelation of his mercy.
188:5.5 On millions of inhabited worlds, tens of trillions of evolving creatures who may have been tempted to give up the moral struggle and abandon the good fight of faith, have taken one more look at Jesus on the cross and then have forged on ahead, inspired by the sight of God's laying down his incarnate life in devotion to the unselfish service of man.
188:5.6 The triumph of the death on the cross is all summed up in the spirit of Jesus' attitude toward those who assailed him. He made the cross an eternal symbol of the triumph of love over hate and the victory of truth over evil when he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That devotion of love was contagious throughout a vast universe; the disciples caught it from their Master. The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, “Lay not this sin to their charge.”
188:5.7 The cross makes a supreme appeal to the best in man because it discloses one who was willing to lay down his life in the service of his fellow men. Greater love no man can have than this: that he would be willing to lay down his life for his friends—and Jesus had such a love that he was willing to lay down his life for his enemies, a love greater than any which had hitherto been known on earth.
188:5.8 On other worlds, as well as on Urantia, this sublime spectacle of the death of the human Jesus on the cross of Golgotha has stirred the emotions of mortals, while it has aroused the highest devotion of the angels.
188:5.9 The cross is that high symbol of sacred service, the devotion of one's life to the welfare and salvation of one's fellows. The cross is not the symbol of the sacrifice of the innocent Son of God in the place of guilty sinners and in order to appease the wrath of an offended God, but it does stand forever, on earth and throughout a vast universe, as a sacred symbol of the good bestowing themselves upon the evil and thereby saving them by this very devotion of love. The cross does stand as the token of the highest form of unselfish service, the supreme devotion of the full bestowal of a righteous life in the service of wholehearted ministry, even in death, the death of the cross. And the very sight of this great symbol of the bestowal life of Jesus truly inspires all of us to want to go and do likewise.
188:5.10 When thinking men and women look upon Jesus as he offers up his life on the cross, they will hardly again permit themselves to complain at even the severest hardships of life, much less at petty harassments and their many purely fictitious grievances. His life was so glorious and his death so triumphant that we are all enticed to a willingness to share both. There is true drawing power in the whole bestowal of Michael, from the days of his youth to this overwhelming spectacle of his death on the cross.
188:5.11 Make sure, then, that when you view the cross as a revelation of God, you do not look with the eyes of the primitive man nor with the viewpoint of the later barbarian, both of whom regarded God as a relentless Sovereign of stern justice and rigid law-enforcement. Rather, make sure that you see in the cross the final manifestation of the love and devotion of Jesus to his life mission of bestowal upon the mortal races of his vast universe. See in the death of the Son of Man the climax of the unfolding of the Father's divine love for his sons of the mortal spheres. The cross thus portrays the devotion of willing affection and the bestowal of voluntary salvation upon those who are willing to receive such gifts and devotion. There was nothing in the cross which the Father required—only that which Jesus so willingly gave, and which he refused to avoid.
188:5.12 If man cannot otherwise appreciate Jesus and understand the meaning of his bestowal on earth, he can at least comprehend the fellowship of his mortal sufferings. No man can ever fear that the Creator does not know the nature or extent of his temporal afflictions.
188:5.13 We know that the death on the cross was not to effect man's reconciliation to God but to stimulate man's realization of the Father's eternal love and his Son's unending mercy, and to broadcast these universal truths to a whole universe.
Paper 100: Religion in Human Experience
Sec. 4: Problems of Growth
100:4.1 Religious living is devoted living, and devoted living is creative living, original and spontaneous. New religious insights arise out of conflicts which initiate the choosing of new and better reaction habits in the place of older and inferior reaction patterns. New meanings only emerge amid conflict; and conflict persists only in the face of refusal to espouse the higher values connoted in superior meanings.
100:4.2 Religious perplexities are inevitable; there can be no growth without psychic conflict and spiritual agitation. The organization of a philosophic standard of living entails considerable commotion in the philosophic realms of the mind. Loyalties are not exercised in behalf of the great, the good, the true, and the noble without a struggle. Effort is attendant upon clarification of spiritual vision and enhancement of cosmic insight. And the human intellect protests against being weaned from subsisting upon the nonspiritual energies of temporal existence. The slothful animal mind rebels at the effort required to wrestle with cosmic problem solving.
100:4.3 But the great problem of religious living consists in the task of unifying the soul powers of the personality by the dominance of LOVE. Health, mental efficiency, and happiness arise from the unification of physical systems, mind systems, and spirit systems. Of health and sanity man understands much, but of happiness he has truly realized very little. The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress. Spiritual growth yields lasting joy, peace which passes all understanding.
100:4.4 In physical life the senses tell of the existence of things; mind discovers the reality of meanings; but the spiritual experience reveals to the individual the true values of life. These high levels of human living are attained in the supreme love of God and in the unselfish love of man. If you love your fellow men, you must have discovered their values. Jesus loved men so much because he placed such a high value upon them. You can best discover values in your associates by discovering their motivation. If some one irritates you, causes feelings of resentment, you should sympathetically seek to discern his viewpoint, his reasons for such objectionable conduct. If once you understand your neighbor, you will become tolerant, and this tolerance will grow into friendship and ripen into love.
100:4.5 In the mind's eye conjure up a picture of one of your primitive ancestors of cave-dwelling times—a short, misshapen, filthy, snarling hulk of a man standing, legs spread, club upraised, breathing hate and animosity as he looks fiercely just ahead. Such a picture hardly depicts the divine dignity of man. But allow us to enlarge the picture. In front of this animated human crouches a saber-toothed tiger. Behind him, a woman and two children. Immediately you recognize that such a picture stands for the beginnings of much that is fine and noble in the human race, but the man is the same in both pictures. Only in the second sketch you are favored with a widened horizon. You therein discern the motivation of this evolving mortal. His attitude becomes praiseworthy because you understand him. If you could only fathom the motives of your associates, how much better you would understand them. If you could only know your fellows, you would eventually fall in love with them.
100:4.6 You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor's motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man.
Paper 103: The Reality of Religious Experience
Sec. 2: Religion and the Individual
103:2.1 Religion is functional in the human mind and has been realized in experience prior to its appearance in human consciousness. A child has been in existence about nine months before it experiences birth. But the “birth” of religion is not sudden; it is rather a gradual emergence. Nevertheless, sooner or later there is a “birth day.” You do not enter the kingdom of heaven unless you have been “born again”—born of the Spirit. Many spiritual births are accompanied by much anguish of spirit and marked psychological perturbations, as many physical births are characterized by a “stormy labor” and other abnormalities of “delivery.” Other spiritual births are a natural and normal growth of the recognition of supreme values with an enhancement of spiritual experience, albeit no religious development occurs without conscious effort and positive and individual determinations. Religion is never a passive experience, a negative attitude. What is termed the “birth of religion” is not directly associated with so-called conversion experiences which usually characterize religious episodes occurring later in life as a result of mental conflict, emotional repression, and temperamental upheavals.
103:2.2 But those persons who were so reared by their parents that they grew up in the consciousness of being children of a loving heavenly Father, should not look askance at their fellow mortals who could only attain such consciousness of fellowship with God through a psychological crisis, an emotional upheaval.
103:2.3 The evolutionary soil in the mind of man in which the seed of revealed religion germinates is the moral nature that so early gives origin to a social consciousness. The first promptings of a child's moral nature have not to do with sex, guilt, or personal pride, but rather with impulses of justice, fairness, and urges to kindness—helpful ministry to one's fellows. And when such early moral awakenings are nurtured, there occurs a gradual development of the religious life which is comparatively free from conflicts, upheavals, and crises.
103:2.4 Every human being very early experiences something of a conflict between his self-seeking and his altruistic impulses, and many times the first experience of God-consciousness may be attained as the result of seeking for superhuman help in the task of resolving such moral conflicts.
103:2.5 The psychology of a child is naturally positive, not negative. So many mortals are negative because they were so trained. When it is said that the child is positive, reference is made to his moral impulses, those powers of mind whose emergence signals the arrival of the Thought Adjuster.
103:2.6 In the absence of wrong teaching, the mind of the normal child moves positively, in the emergence of religious consciousness, toward moral righteousness and social ministry, rather than negatively, away from sin and guilt. There may or may not be conflict in the development of religious experience, but there are always present the inevitable decisions, effort, and function of the human will.
103:2.7 Moral choosing is usually accompanied by more or less moral conflict. And this very first conflict in the child mind is between the urges of egoism and the impulses of altruism. The Thought Adjuster does not disregard the personality values of the egoistic motive but does operate to place a slight preference upon the altruistic impulse as leading to the goal of human happiness and to the joys of the kingdom of heaven.
103:2.8 When a moral being chooses to be unselfish when confronted by the urge to be selfish, that is primitive religious experience. No animal can make such a choice; such a decision is both human and religious. It embraces the fact of God-consciousness and exhibits the impulse of social service, the basis of the brotherhood of man. When mind chooses a right moral judgment by an act of the free will, such a decision constitutes a religious experience.
103:2.9 But before a child has developed sufficiently to acquire moral capacity and therefore to be able to choose altruistic service, he has already developed a strong and well-unified egoistic nature. And it is this factual situation that gives rise to the theory of the struggle between the “higher” and the “lower” natures, between the “old man of sin” and the “new nature” of grace. Very early in life the normal child begins to learn that it is “more blessed to give than to receive.”
103:2.10 Man tends to identify the urge to be self-serving with his ego—himself. In contrast he is inclined to identify the will to be altruistic with some influence outside himself—God. And indeed is such a judgment right, for all such nonself desires do actually have their origin in the leadings of the indwelling Thought Adjuster, and this Adjuster is a fragment of God. The impulse of the spirit Monitor is realized in human consciousness as the urge to be altruistic, fellow-creature minded. At least this is the early and fundamental experience of the child mind. When the growing child fails of personality unification, the altruistic drive may become so overdeveloped as to work serious injury to the welfare of the self. A misguided conscience can become responsible for much conflict, worry, sorrow, and no end of human unhappiness.
Paper 99: The Social Problems of Religion
99:0.1 Religion achieves its highest social ministry when it has least connection with the secular institutions of society. In past ages, since social reforms were largely confined to the moral realms, religion did not have to adjust its attitude to extensive changes in economic and political systems. The chief problem of religion was the endeavor to replace evil with good within the existing social order of political and economic culture. Religion has thus indirectly tended to perpetuate the established order of society, to foster the maintenance of the existent type of civilization.
99:0.2 But religion should not be directly concerned either with the creation of new social orders or with the preservation of old ones. True religion does oppose violence as a technique of social evolution, but it does not oppose the intelligent efforts of society to adapt its usages and adjust its institutions to new economic conditions and cultural requirements.
99:0.3 Religion did approve the occasional social reforms of past centuries, but in the twentieth century it is of necessity called upon to face adjustment to extensive and continuing social reconstruction. Conditions of living alter so rapidly that institutional modifications must be greatly accelerated, and religion must accordingly quicken its adaptation to this new and ever-changing social order.
Sec. 1: Religion and Social Reconstruction
99:1.1 Mechanical inventions and the dissemination of knowledge are modifying civilization; certain economic adjustments and social changes are imperative if cultural disaster is to be avoided. This new and oncoming social order will not settle down complacently for a millennium. The human race must become reconciled to a procession of changes, adjustments, and readjustments. Mankind is on the march toward a new and unrevealed planetary destiny.
99:1.2 Religion must become a forceful influence for moral stability and spiritual progression functioning dynamically in the midst of these ever-changing conditions and never-ending economic adjustments.
99:1.3 Urantia society can never hope to settle down as in past ages. The social ship has steamed out of the sheltered bays of established tradition and has begun its cruise upon the high seas of evolutionary destiny; and the soul of man, as never before in the world's history, needs carefully to scrutinize its charts of morality and painstakingly to observe the compass of religious guidance. The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civilization to another, from one level of culture to another.
99:1.4 Religion has no new duties to perform, but it is urgently called upon to function as a wise guide and experienced counselor in all of these new and rapidly changing human situations. Society is becoming more mechanical, more compact, more complex, and more critically interdependent. Religion must function to prevent these new and intimate interassociations from becoming mutually retrogressive or even destructive. Religion must act as the cosmic salt which prevents the ferments of progression from destroying the cultural savor of civilization. These new social relations and economic upheavals can result in lasting brotherhood only by the ministry of religion.
99:1.5 A godless humanitarianism is, humanly speaking, a noble gesture, but true religion is the only power which can lastingly increase the responsiveness of one social group to the needs and sufferings of other groups. In the past, institutional religion could remain passive while the upper strata of society turned a deaf ear to the sufferings and oppression of the helpless lower strata, but in modern times these lower social orders are no longer so abjectly ignorant nor so politically helpless.
99:1.6 Religion must not become organically involved in the secular work of social reconstruction and economic reorganization. But it must actively keep pace with all these advances in civilization by making clear-cut and vigorous restatements of its moral mandates and spiritual precepts, its progressive philosophy of human living and transcendent survival. The spirit of religion is eternal, but the form of its expression must be restated every time the dictionary of human language is revised.
Paper 100: Religion in Human Experience
Sec. 1: Religious Growth
100:1.1 While religion produces growth of meanings and enhancement of values, evil always results when purely personal evaluations are elevated to the levels of absolutes. A child evaluates experience in accordance with the content of pleasure; maturity is proportional to the substitution of higher meanings for personal pleasure, even loyalties to the highest concepts of diversified life situations and cosmic relations.
100:1.2 Some persons are too busy to grow and are therefore in grave danger of spiritual fixation. Provision must be made for growth of meanings at differing ages, in successive cultures, and in the passing stages of advancing civilization. The chief inhibitors of growth are prejudice and ignorance.
100:1.3 Give every developing child a chance to grow his own religious experience; do not force a ready-made adult experience upon him. Remember, year-by-year progress through an established educational regime does not necessarily mean intellectual progress, much less spiritual growth. Enlargement of vocabulary does not signify development of character. Growth is not truly indicated by mere products but rather by progress. Real educational growth is indicated by enhancement of ideals, increased appreciation of values, new meanings of values, and augmented loyalty to supreme values.
100:1.4 Children are permanently impressed only by the loyalties of their adult associates; precept or even example is not lastingly influential. Loyal persons are growing persons, and growth is an impressive and inspiring reality. Live loyally today—grow—and tomorrow will attend to itself. The quickest way for a tadpole to become a frog is to live loyally each moment as a tadpole.
100:1.5 The soil essential for religious growth presupposes a progressive life of self-realization, the co-ordination of natural propensities, the exercise of curiosity and the enjoyment of reasonable adventure, the experiencing of feelings of satisfaction, the functioning of the fear stimulus of attention and awareness, the wonder-lure, and a normal consciousness of smallness, humility. Growth is also predicated on the discovery of selfhood accompanied by self-criticism—conscience, for conscience is really the criticism of oneself by one's own value-habits, personal ideals.
100:1.6 Religious experience is markedly influenced by physical health, inherited temperament, and social environment. But these temporal conditions do not inhibit inner spiritual progress by a soul dedicated to the doing of the will of the Father in heaven. There are present in all normal mortals certain innate drives toward growth and self-realization which function if they are not specifically inhibited. The certain technique of fostering this constitutive endowment of the potential of spiritual growth is to maintain an attitude of wholehearted devotion to supreme values.
100:1.7 Religion cannot be bestowed, received, loaned, learned, or lost. It is a personal experience which grows proportionally to the growing quest for final values. Cosmic growth thus attends on the accumulation of meanings and the ever-expanding elevation of values. But nobility itself is always an unconscious growth.
100:1.8 Religious habits of thinking and acting are contributory to the economy of spiritual growth. One can develop religious predispositions toward favorable reaction to spiritual stimuli, a sort of conditioned spiritual reflex. Habits which favor religious growth embrace cultivated sensitivity to divine values, recognition of religious living in others, reflective meditation on cosmic meanings, worshipful problem solving, sharing one's spiritual life with one's fellows, avoidance of selfishness, refusal to presume on divine mercy, living as in the presence of God. The factors of religious growth may be intentional, but the growth itself is unvaryingly unconscious.
100:1.9 The unconscious nature of religious growth does not, however, signify that it is an activity functioning in the supposed subconscious realms of human intellect; rather does it signify creative activities in the superconscious levels of mortal mind. The experience of the realization of the reality of unconscious religious growth is the one positive proof of the functional existence of the superconsciousness.
Paper 196: The Faith of Jesus
Sec. 3: The Supremacy of Religion
196:3.1 Personal, spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. True religion unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements. Religious faith—the positive leading of the indwelling divine presence—unfailingly enables the God-knowing man to bridge that gulf existing between the intellectual logic which recognizes the Universal First Cause as It and those positive affirmations of the soul which aver this First Cause is He, the heavenly Father of Jesus' gospel, the personal God of human salvation.
196:3.2 There are just three elements in universal reality: fact, idea, and relation. The religious consciousness identifies these realities as science, philosophy, and truth. Philosophy would be inclined to view these activities as reason, wisdom, and faith—physical reality, intellectual reality, and spiritual reality. We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value.
196:3.3 The progressive comprehension of reality is the equivalent of approaching God. The finding of God, the consciousness of identity with reality, is the equivalent of the experiencing of self-completion—self-entirety, self-totality. The experiencing of total reality is the full realization of God, the finality of the God-knowing experience.
196:3.4 The full summation of human life is the knowledge that man is educated by fact, ennobled by wisdom, and saved—justified—by religious faith.
196:3.5 Physical certainty consists in the logic of science; moral certainty, in the wisdom of philosophy; spiritual certainty, in the truth of genuine religious experience.
196:3.6 The mind of man can attain high levels of spiritual insight and corresponding spheres of divinity of values because it is not wholly material. There is a spirit nucleus in the mind of man—the Adjuster of the divine presence. There are three separate evidences of this spirit indwelling of the human mind:
196:3.7 Humanitarian fellowship—love. The purely animal mind may be gregarious for self-protection, but only the spirit-indwelt intellect is unselfishly altruistic and unconditionally loving.
196:3.8 Interpretation of the universe—wisdom. Only the spirit-indwelt mind can comprehend that the universe is friendly to the individual.
196:3.9 Spiritual evaluation of life—worship. Only the spirit-indwelt man can realize the divine presence and seek to attain a fuller experience in and with this foretaste of divinity.
196:3.10 The human mind does not create real values; human experience does not yield universe insight. Concerning insight, the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose.
196:3.11 The moral values of the universe become intellectual possessions by the exercise of the three basic judgments, or choices, of the mortal mind:
196:3.12 Thus it appears that all human progress is effected by a technique of conjoint revelational evolution.
196:3.13 Unless a divine lover lived in man, he could not unselfishly and spiritually love. Unless an interpreter lived in the mind, man could not truly realize the unity of the universe. Unless an evaluator dwelt with man, he could not possibly appraise moral values and recognize spiritual meanings. And this lover hails from the very source of infinite love; this interpreter is a part of Universal Unity; this evaluator is the child of the Center and Source of all absolute values of divine and eternal reality.
196:3.14 Moral evaluation with a religious meaning—spiritual insight—connotes the individual's choice between good and evil, truth and error, material and spiritual, human and divine, time and eternity. Human survival is in great measure dependent on consecrating the human will to the choosing of those values selected by this spirit-value sorter—the indwelling interpreter and unifier. Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit. Through oversophistication or as a result of the irreligious conduct of professed religionists, a man, or even a generation of men, may elect to suspend their efforts to discover the God who indwells them; they may fail to progress in and attain the divine revelation. But such attitudes of spiritual nonprogression cannot long persist because of the presence and influence of the indwelling Thought Adjusters.
196:3.15 This profound experience of the reality of the divine indwelling forever transcends the crude materialistic technique of the physical sciences. You cannot put spiritual joy under a microscope; you cannot weigh love in a balance; you cannot measure moral values; neither can you estimate the quality of spiritual worship.
196:3.16 The Hebrews had a religion of moral sublimity; the Greeks evolved a religion of beauty; Paul and his conferees founded a religion of faith, hope, and charity. Jesus revealed and exemplified a religion of love: security in the Father's love, with joy and satisfaction consequent upon sharing this love in the service of the human brotherhood.
196:3.17 Every time man makes a reflective moral choice, he immediately experiences a new divine invasion of his soul. Moral choosing constitutes religion as the motive of inner response to outer conditions. But such a real religion is not a purely subjective experience. It signifies the whole of the subjectivity of the individual engaged in a meaningful and intelligent response to total objectivity—the universe and its Maker.
196:3.18 The exquisite and transcendent experience of loving and being loved is not just a psychic illusion because it is so purely subjective. The one truly divine and objective reality that is associated with mortal beings, the Thought Adjuster, functions to human observation apparently as an exclusively subjective phenomenon. Man's contact with the highest objective reality, God, is only through the purely subjective experience of knowing him, of worshiping him, of realizing sonship with him.
196:3.19 True religious worship is not a futile monologue of self-deception. Worship is a personal communion with that which is divinely real, with that which is the very source of reality. Man aspires by worship to be better and thereby eventually attains the best
196:3.20 The idealization and attempted service of truth, beauty, and goodness is not a substitute for genuine religious experience—spiritual reality. Psychology and idealism are not the equivalent of religious reality. The projections of the human intellect may indeed originate false gods—gods in man's image—but the true God-consciousness does not have such an origin. The God-consciousness is resident in the indwelling spirit. Many of the religious systems of man come from the formulations of the human intellect, but the God-consciousness is not necessarily a part of these grotesque systems of religious slavery.
196:3.21 God is not the mere invention of man's idealism; he is the very source of all such superanimal insights and values. God is not a hypothesis formulated to unify the human concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness; he is the personality of love from whom all of these universe manifestations are derived. The truth, beauty, and goodness of man's world are unified by the increasing spirituality of the experience of mortals ascending toward Paradise realities. The unity of truth, beauty, and goodness can only be realized in the spiritual experience of the God-knowing personality.
196:3.22 Morality is the essential pre-existent soil of personal God-consciousness, the personal realization of the Adjuster's inner presence, but such morality is not the source of religious experience and the resultant spiritual insight. The moral nature is superanimal but subspiritual. Morality is equivalent to the recognition of duty, the realization of the existence of right and wrong. The moral zone intervenes between the animal and the human types of mind as morontia functions between the material and the spiritual spheres of personality attainment.
196:3.23 The evolutionary mind is able to discover law, morals, and ethics; but the bestowed spirit, the indwelling Adjuster, reveals to the evolving human mind the lawgiver, the Father-source of all that is true, beautiful, and good; and such an illuminated man has a religion and is spiritually equipped to begin the long and adventurous search for God.
196:3.24 Morality is not necessarily spiritual; it may be wholly and purely human, albeit real religion enhances all moral values, makes them more meaningful. Morality without religion fails to reveal ultimate goodness, and it also fails to provide for the survival of even its own moral values. Religion provides for the enhancement, glorification, and assured survival of everything morality recognizes and approves.
196:3.25 Religion stands above science, art, philosophy, ethics, and morals, but not independent of them. They are all indissolubly interrelated in human experience, personal and social. Religion is man's supreme experience in the mortal nature, but finite language makes it forever impossible for theology ever adequately to depict real religious experience.
196:3.26 Religious insight possesses the power of turning defeat into higher desires and new determinations. Love is the highest motivation which man may utilize in his universe ascent. But love, divested of truth, beauty, and goodness, is only a sentiment, a philosophic distortion, a psychic illusion, a spiritual deception. Love must always be redefined on successive levels of morontia and spirit progression.
196:3.27 Art results from man's attempt to escape from the lack of beauty in his material environment; it is a gesture toward the morontia level. Science is man's effort to solve the apparent riddles of the material universe. Philosophy is man's attempt at the unification of human experience. Religion is man's supreme gesture, his magnificent reach for final reality, his determination to find God and to be like him.
196:3.28 In the realm of religious experience, spiritual possibility is potential reality. Man's forward spiritual urge is not a psychic illusion. All of man's universe romancing may not be fact, but much, very much, is truth.
196:3.29 Some men's lives are too great and noble to descend to the low level of being merely successful. The animal must adapt itself to the environment, but the religious man transcends his environment and in this way escapes the limitations of the present material world through this insight of divine love. This concept of love generates in the soul of man that superanimal effort to find truth, beauty, and goodness; and when he does find them, he is glorified in their embrace; he is consumed with the desire to live them, to do righteousness.
196:3.30 Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail.
196:3.31 The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind. Man's greatest adventure in the flesh consists in the well-balanced and sane effort to advance the borders of self-consciousness out through the dim realms of embryonic soul-consciousness in a wholehearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness—contact with the divine presence. Such an experience constitutes God-consciousness, an experience mightily confirmative of the pre-existent truth of the religious experience of knowing God. Such spirit-consciousness is the equivalent of the knowledge of the actuality of sonship with God. Otherwise, the assurance of sonship is the experience of faith.
196:3.32 And God-consciousness is equivalent to the integration of the self with the universe, and on its highest levels of spiritual reality. Only the spirit content of any value is imperishable. Even that which is true, beautiful, and good may not perish in human experience. If man does not choose to survive, then does the surviving Adjuster conserve those realities born of love and nurtured in service. And all these things are a part of the Universal Father. The Father is living love, and this life of the Father is in his Sons. And the spirit of the Father is in his Son's sons—mortal men. When all is said and done, the Father idea is still the highest human concept of God.
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