Spiritual Fellowship Journal - The Urantia Book Fellowship

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Spiritual Fellowship Journal - The Urantia Book Fellowship
.
Spiritual FellowshipJournal
Fall & Winter,2001
Volume 11,Number2
The Spiritual FellowshiP
Dr. Meredith Sprunger
The Spiritual FellowshiP- WhY Now?
SherilynHenry
The Famity - Birthplace of cosmic citizenship
Paul Snider
Identity in the Modern Renaissance
Dr. BruceR. Jackson
A Sincere"spiritual Attitude"
= ttPositive Doingtt
Nancy Bigelow
The Ttrrning Point - Part I
Arthur Nash
The Religion Humankind Fears
Larry Mullins
Real Life Outreach
Forgotten Urantians
lnterface: A l'{ew Urgency?
The Spiritual Fellowship of Students of The (Jrantia Book
A JournalEstablishedto PromoteTheological,Philosophical,and Polity DiscussionsGermaneto An
AppropriateSymbolismand SocioreligiousExpressionof the Fifth EpochalRevelation.
Guiding Principles (Seepage 966 o.fthe Urantia Papers)
An AppropriateSymbolismandSocioreligious
Expression
of theFifth EpochalRevelation
Should:
l.
2.
3.
4.
Be basedon the Fatherhoodof God and the brother-sisterhood
of humankind.
Be the outgrowthof love.
Fostersentiment,satisfyemcltions,and promoteloyalty.
Facilitatespiritualprogressthroughcosmic meanings,moral values,social
. development,and personalliving.
5. Provide supremegoalsof living that are both temporaland eternal.
6. Be basedon the biologic,social,and religioussignilicanceof the family.
7. Symbolizethe permanentin the midst of unceasingchange.
8. Glorify that which respectsand unifies the diversitiesof society.
9. Promotehigher meanings,beautifulrelationships,and the highestvalues.
10. Embody somemasterfulmystery and connotesomeworthful unattainable.
11. Be meaningfuland serviceableto both the individual and the group.
12. Serveas the skeletalstructurefor dynamic personalexperience.
The Purpose of Religious Institutions is to:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Dramatizethe loyaltiesof spiritualexperience.
Magnify the lures of truth, beauty,and goodness-supremevalues.
Enhancethe serviceof unselfishI'ellowship.
Glorify the potentialsof family life.
Promotereligious education.
Providewise counseland spiritualguidance.
Furnish and promotegroup worship.
Encouragefriendship,neighborhoodwelfare,and moral values.
Spreadthe gospelof eternalsalvation.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
1.
8.
Fixation of ritual and theology.
Developingvestedinterestsand secularinvolvernent.
Servingthe institution insteadof servingGod and ministeringto people.
Forming competitivesectsand developinga "chosenpeople" attitude.
Developingauthoritarianism,dogmatism,and false ideasof sacredness.
Veneratingthe past while ignoring presentneedsand timely spiritualinterpretations.
Failing to hold the interestof youth and grow with the times.
Losing sight of spiritualministry and the savingmessageof salvation.
Religious Institutions Should Avoid Dangers, Such As:
Central Objective
The central objective of a group of people interestedin initiating a new religious organizationbasedon the
teachingsof the Fifth Epochal Revelationshould be to create a polity rvith maximum flexibility that would
function with small groupsor largecongregations,
utilize lay leadershipand/orordainedclergy,havecrosscultural
adaptability,and broad theologicalinclusiveness.
Such an institution would be "a gatheringof personswho have acceptedA common purpose,and a common
discipline to guide the pursuit of that purpose,to the end that eachinvolved personreacheshigher fulfillment as
a person,through serving and being servedby the common venture,than would be achievedalone or in a less
committed relationship." I
'RobertK. Greenleaf,
ServantLeadership,
PaulistPress,NewYork,1977,p.237,
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
The Spiritual
Fellowship
Journal
Foundedby
Dr. Meredith Justin Sprunger
FALL & WINTER 2OO1
Volume 11' No.2
Editor
Lany Mullins
AssociateEditor
JoanBatsonMullins
Editorial Consultants
Meredith Sprunger
Merlyn Cox
Merritt Horn
Eric Cosh
RoseyLiesky
Andre Radatus
Resource Consultants
David Biggs
David Kantor
Victor McGonegal
Angel F. S6nchez-Eicobar
The Spiritual Fellowship
Journal is an ecumenical
publicationpublishedtwice
yearlyby the Religious
PublicationsDivision of
PenumbraPress.
The publicationis non-political
and unaffiliated with any other
organization.Unlessotherwise
noted, all material published in
the Fellowship Journal is @
Copyright 2001 by Penumbra
Press,Boulder Co., and all
rights are reserved.
donations.
Subscriptions.
articlesand
address,
changesof
editorial correspondence
shouldbe sentto:
PENUMBRA PRESS
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
BOX 11248
BOULDER, CO
80301
annualdonation:$10.
Suggested
Pleasemakecheckspayableto
Press.
Penumbra
Fall & Winter, 2001
Editoriul
6
"Invisible, Loving Human Forces"
"l atn done *'ith great things and big plans, great institutions
I am for those tiny, invisible, loving human
and big successes.
frtrcesthat work.fromindividual to individual,creepingthroughthe
cranniesof the world like so many rootlets,or like the capillary
oozing,ot''water,yet, if given time, will rend the hardestmonuments
of humanpride."
William James
Books of Significance
The Art of Possibitity - RosamundStone Zandet
BeniaminZander
Practicing His Presence - Frank Laubach
Articles
7
7
The Spiritual Fellowship Dr. MeredithSprunger
10
The Spiiitual Feil6wship - Why Now? sherilvnHenry
12
The Family - Birthplace of Cosmic Citizenship PaulSnider
13
"The iorldrvide mission ol The Spiritual Fellowship is to teach, motivate,
empower,and supportall peoplein their growing relationshipwith God and to
encburagetheir loving serviceto humankind."
"Christ tells us: 'You are commissioned to preach this gospel of the
kingdom...andyou must not allow anythingto divert your devotionto this one
dut!. Let all mankind benefit from the-overflow of .your loving spiritual
ministry, enlighteningintellectualcommunion,and uplifting socialservice; but
non" of thesihumanitarian labors, nor all of them, should be permitted to take
the place of proclaiming the gospel.'[1931] Isn't it high time we start
proclaimingthe gospel?"
"We bring a child into the world. A simple and ordinary thing, but wonderfully
complex."Whetherwe know it or not, we have now become engagedin the
supremeresponsibilityof human existence."
Identity in the Modern Renaissance Dr.BruceR.Jackson
20
"I believethat containedwithin the pagesof The Urantia Book is the kernel that
is needed to give the modern renaiisance direction and focus: a complete
description of ascendantlife. No other single piece of- information has the
potentialto changethe human condition on a massivescale."
A Sincere ,,spiritual Attitude" = "Positive Doing" NancyBigelow23
"What do you sayto a four or hve yearold who looks u.pintoyour eyesand asks:
"What tloes God look like?" I think the worst possibleresponseis: "I don't
know."
The Ttrrning Point - Part I Arthur Nash
29
" 'BrotherNash,I want to ask you a question.ln view of the expositionyou.have
just given the ciass,do you b-elieveihatMrs. d'Arcambal can be saved?'The
qu"rilon hit me as would a blow planted squarely-between the eyes. Up to that
rnoment,possibly,I had never venturedorra really independentthought in the
whole courseof my life."
The Relieionthat HumankindFears LarryMullins
35
"The founding of The Spiritual Fellowship is a mile-stonein the Urantia
Movement.It ls the first ciearly religious organizationof any magnitudeto be
associatedwith the Urantia Papers."
Feqtures
Mission Statement of the Spiritual Fellowship Journal
Interface: A New UrgencY?
Forgotten Urantians - Don Deam
Real Life Outreach
4
8
8
9,34
5
orua
"Invisible, Loving Human Forces"
William Jameswrote,nearthe beginningof the
last century: "I am done with great things and big
plans, great institutions and big successes.I am for
those tiny, invisible, loving human forces that work
from individual to individual, creeping through the
crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the
capillarl- ooz,ingof water, yet, if given time, will rend
the hardestmonumentsof humanpride."
It has been said. and written. that the Urantia
Movement is a fragmented,inbred, visionlessfailure.
This would be true, perhaps,if you acceptthe premise
that humanorganizationsare directing the Revelation.
However,I suggestthat humansonly appearto be in
chargeof, and to have authority over, one aspector
anotherof the Fifth EpochalRevelation.The real work
is not so visible nor so heralded.
A Revelationis somethingthat takesplace while
the prideful and the entitled postureand debateabout
it. A Revelationis taking placenow, as I write. It is the
genius of the people that drives the invisible, loving
humanforcesthat will shapethe destinyof our planet.
Too many great Urantians,those who are the part
of the gatheringpower of a greatnew Revelation,have
neverbeen askedto speakat conferences,nor written
about in Urantia publications,nor seatedat "official"
meetings in which the fate of the Revelation is
pondered.They do not claim to have specialspiritual
connections,or spiritual privilege.Rather,thesefolks,
unknown and unheralded,simply do the works.
Indeed,it is not mortals, but the angelswho are
directingthe mighty spiritualenterprisethat is at hand.
From their transcendentvantagepoint, surely they see
the magnificent tapestry of light, the tenuous
connectionsreachingfrom Urantian to Urantian.The
Celestial Architects strive to make and strengthen
thoseconnectionsbetweenthe kindred spirits who are
doing the real work. Surely those angelic beings are
not striving to contributeto the polite deceit of social
graces, but rather to augment the most powerful
energiesin the universe:spiritual power and unselfish
service.
Having readthis, one might be movedto ask:why
then do we need anotherhuman organizationsuch as
The Spiritual Fellowship?Because,it is my fondest
hope, The Spiritual Fellowship will occupy itself in
serving the people, and in helping the genius of the
peoplefunction and connect.In the samelight, it is my
hopethat the Spiritual FellowshipJournalwill continue
to be ajournal ofaction,recordingserviceand outreach
activities and triumphs, not simply theories and
expositionsand rhetoricabouta Book. It is my hopethe
Journalwill attractthe attentionof Urantianswho have
not beenheardfrom. Who haveturnedsadlyaway from
controversyand politics, and who form the growing
invisible f-ellowshipof believers.It is my hope that
thesesilent Urantianswill be induced to write articles
and to contributeideasfor the Journal.
I do not underestimate
the difficulties ahead.Many
will protest that the time is not right for a spiritual
movement to be launched. In answer, I off-er the
following story.
It hasbeenwritten that, many yearsago,a group of
travelerssought to climb a mighty mountain. They
were making good progressin their climb, and soon
camein sight of the summit of the mountain. About the
same time, they noted that a tremendousstorm was
raging just above them, and they would have to pass
throughit to reachtheir goal.
Fortunately,the travelersobservedthat there was a
cabin close by. They entered,and were delighted to
find that it was warm and comfortable and was well
stockedwith fbod. They decidedit would be wise to
delaytheir trip until the storm abated,andthen continue
on.
The touristsenjoyedthe securityand serenityof the
cabin, and several days went by. When they went
outside, they noted the shining pinnacle of the
mountain,bright in the sunlight abovethe storm. But,
althoughthe greatgoal beckonedthem, the storm raged
on.
After several weeks, an old native to the area
happenedby. He askedthem why they were living in
the cabin. The travelers explained that they were
waiting for the storm near the summit of the mountain
to end, so that they could continuetheir journey.
The native smiled. He told the pilgrims that there
is alwaysa storm nearthe summit of the mountain.
Fellow pilgrims, there will never come a more
fortuitous interval when there is no storm to block our
way. There is always a storm at the fringes of a new
frontier-or more appropriate:a new world. We are but
discoveringthis new world, thereareuntold richesto be
revealed.One day, writers will tell of the wondrous
daysthat are barely dawning.The accountswill, in my
judgment, be similar to the one that follows, which
describesthe discoveryof anothernew world, just over
500 yearsago:
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
"Everything that has happened since the
marvellous discovery of the Americas has been so
extraordinary that the whole story remains quite
incredible to anyone who has not experiencedit at first
hand. Indeed, it seemsto overshadowall the deeds of
famous
-silencepeople in the past, no matter how heroic, and to
atl talk of other wonders of the world."
[Bartolome de las Casas, "A Short Account of the
Destructionof the Indies," 1542.1
For us, now, these are the remarkable days of the
Fifth Epochal Revelation, and this is the hour for the
"new and everlastingreligion of Jesus."This is the time
of the genius of the people, the ordinary folks-the
youth, the silent and unsung Urantians, the army of lay
persons who will again make Jesusvisible to a truthhungry world.
". . . what is now most neededis Jesus.The world
needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the
experienceof spirit-born mortals who ffictively reveal
the Master to all men . . . Modern culture must become
spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' hfe
and illuminated with a new understandingof his gospel
of eternal salvation.And when Jesusbecomesthus lifted
up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus' disciples
should be more than conquerors, even overflowing
sourcesof inspiration and enhancedliving to all men.
Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made
divine by the discovery of the reality of the presenceof
L.M.
God in personal experience."12084par. ll
Practicing His Presence
Frank Laubach
"Can I bring the ktrd back in my mind-flow every few
secondsso that God shall always be in my mind? I choose
to make the rest of my ltft an experiment in answering this
p.l0
question."
Frank Laubach's great "experiment" started in a
missionary outpost in 1929. His letters chronicling his
attempt to live every moment in the presenceof God are
startling in their depth and simplicity.
fhe SeedSowerspublishing house has combined the
letters of Frank Laubach and a new updated version of
Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God,
into one book entitled Practicing His Presence. The
experiencesof thesetwo men, one from the 17th century and
the other from the 20th, in their quest for unbroken
communion, will kindle hope in all those who aspire to this
seemingly unobtainablegoal. Since many of us are familiar
with Brother Lawrence's three hundred year old classic,
which has never been out of print, we'll focus on a few of
Frank Laubach'sdiscoveries.
"As I analyzemyselfI find severalthings happening
to me as a result of ... strenuous effort to keep the Lord in
mind every minute. This concentration on God is strenuous,
but everything else has ceased to be so. I think more
clearly, I forget lessfrequently. Things which I did with a
strain before,I now do easily and with no effort whatever I
worry about nothing...I no longer feel in a hurry about
anything.Everythinggoes right." p- 15
In the Urantia Paperswe are told of Jesus:"The secret
of
of his unparalleledreligious life was this consciousness
prayer
the presenceof God; and he attained it by intelligent
and sincere worship-unbroken communion with God..'"
[Page 2089 par. 0]. And we are encouragedto attempt it
ourselves:" ... the divine bestowalsmay flow to the hearts
and souls of those who thus rememberto maintain unbroken
The Art of PossibilitY
communion with their Maker..." lPage2066 par 01. Laubach
RosamundStoneZandet & Benjamin Zander
respondsto the question of how one is to remember: "By
When a poet and a scientist combine forces in an
a new habit! All thought employs silent words and
insightful and enlightened way, the result is an excellent forming
is really conversationwith your inner self. Instead of talking
book. "Ben" Zander is conductor of the Boston
to yourself, form the habit of talking to Christ...when evil
'Lord, thesethoughtsare not
Philharmonic Orchestra,and "Ros" is a family therapistand
thoughtsof any kind come,say,
last
the
be
may
of
conductor
role
painter.
The
landscape
my
fit to discusswith you. Lord, you do the thinking. Renew
bastion of the total dictator, but not for Zander. He is a
mind by your presence."'P.32
genius at combining strong leadership and compassion. I
Laubach shareshow his relationships have become
found his methods and insights very helpful, especially for
imbued with a new affection: "I choose to look at people
pragmaticapplication to professionaldemandson a creative
through God, using God as my glasses, colored with His
own
personality. Zander discovered that his
love for them." p.25. Frank Laubach went on to become a
ionductorAeader'spower was directly linked to how much
world renowned educator,writing over 50 books, receiving
greatnesshe was willing to grant others. A remarkable
many honors, and living "one of the fullest lives ever lived
example is his vignette: "Leading from any Chair." The
by one of Christ's followers." P. xiv
Zanders invite us to all become compassionate
"And if you should forget Him for minutes or even
communicators,leaders and performers whose lives radiate
days, do not groan or repent, but begin anew with a smile'
possibility to the world. Then, they show us how to do it!
J.B.M'
Eiery minutecan be afrish beginning."p.37
L.M.
Booksof Significance
Fall & Winter,2O0l
Interface
A New Urgency?
Recenteventshaveliterally brought home the need
for the world to hearthe Good News, and hear it apart
from cultural bias and conflict. The conditions that
give rise to hatred and prejudice and intolerance are
complex economically and culturally, but simple in
terms of basic human nature. Such conditions will
always exist as long as we fail to recognizeothers as
brothers and sisters in the human family of the one
divine Creator-Father. Readersof The Urantia Book
no doubt feel a new urgencyin sharingthe messageof
the Fifth EpochalRevelation.
At the sametime, as we reflect back on the history
of our world, it's hard to flnd a time when that wasn't
the case. Few generationshave existed without the
destructive forces of human nature breaking in upon
their lives from beyondthe homeboundariesof nationstates. The Good News has always been urgently
needed,but the consequencesof a world failing to
understandit keepsgetting higher. In a post-coldwar
age, many of us had hoped that a new age was
dawning, a veritable spring time of international
cooperation compared to the conflicts of every
generationbefore us. Now it seemsthat a new era of
conflict has arisen,built on long standinginequalities
and prejudice, as well as pride, alrogance,and self
deceit. And no side can lay claim to purity of motive
and actionin the long history of eventsleadingus here.
A new stagein the agendafor mankind is emerging.
All the more need for sharing the Fifth Epochal
Revelation.
At the same time, along with the urgency, comes
the need for patience. I've always marveled at how
patient Jesuswas in the face of the burden he carried.
His was a task far beyond that of any other mortal.
How could he maintain suchsublimecomposurewhile
faced not only with the hostility of the world around
him, but the slow comprehensionof his own followers?
But he did. The urgencyof his task was alwaysthere,
but so was the patience,the un-hurriednessof his day
to day living. I can only attribute it to a sublime
confidencein God's wisdom and over-control,and the
certainty, even fore-knowledge, of the outcome.
So as we go about our tasks,I pray for both a sense
of urgency and patience, for as ambassadorsof the
Fifth Epochal Revelation, I believe we will need
both-in equalmeasure.
Merlyn Cox
ForgottenUrantians
Don Deam
During the 1970's and 80's Don Deam was often
seen at Urantia Conferencesquietly smoking a pipe
and observingthe goingson. He was alwaysan active
Urantian, and hosted a study group and his own
regional conference in Topeka, Kansas before he
retired from his law practice and moved to Arkansas.
Don was especiallysupportiveand helpful to me in
various Urantia projects over the years. But, I really
didn't know Don's remarkablebackgroundand service
to his country until one quiet afternoon in his study.
There, reluctantly-at my urging-he unfolded events
and spun stories,and showedme unique artifactsand
clippings from his adventures.
The world held its breathon June6,1944 asAllied
troops began to storm the beaches of Normandy,
France. But the untold story really began the night
before, when American paratroopers were dropped
behind German lines. Don Deem was one of those
brave men, a First Sergeantof the 501st Parachute
Infantry of the l0lst Airborne Division, the famous
"ScreamingEagles."Their missionwas to land behind
enemy lines in the dark, assemble(at the sound of a
cow bell which the division commanderwould drg),
and to drive backward toward Omaha Beach and link
up with the 4th Infantry Division. What actually
happenedthat night was vastly different. Deam said: "I
never did hear any cow bell."
To begin with, the 18 year old, 125 pound Deem
landed in frigid canal waters and was promptly
dragged to the bottom by his heavy gear. He cut
himself loose, and struggled up a muddy bank,
clutchinghis Tommy gun. His comradeswere nowhere
in sight. After a few minutes he found a Corporal from
another division hanging helplessly in a tree. While
cutting him down, in the corner of his eye he spotted
two Germans with fixed bayonets approaching.
Swiftly he hit the ground and opened fire. They
droppedsilently to the ground. Deam crawled over and
discoveredhe had killed a cow. The "bayonets"that he
thought he saw were the star-crossedanimal's horns
flashins in the moonlisht.
The Spiritual Fellowship Journal
In the course of that golden afternoon Donald
Deam told me other stories,including being trappedin
Bastogneduring the Battle of the Bulge, and "seeing
lots of good men die there" under withering Nazi SS
fire. But Bastogne held. Deam recalled watching
Patton arrive shortly after Bastogne was relieved,
waving from his tank, his fancy pistols gleaming in the
sun. What Don did not tell me that day was later
revealedin a fading newspaperclipping. The story told
of his heroism, and how he came to be awarded a
Purple Heart and the coveted Silver Star for his
gallantry in battle during those terrible days of
uncertaintybehind German lines. As "ranking officer"'
Deam took charge of 200 men and evacuatedthem
safely to link up with the main body of troops. The
clipping read:
"Directing the withdrawal, First Sgt. Deam
superviseda streamcrossingby all 200 men which he
accomplishedwith precision and a minimum number
of casualties,despite intensefire by the enemy. In the
march that followed, Deam went from man to man,
encouraging them not to be afraid and to keep low.
Shot three times through the arm during the stream
crossing, he ignored his own wounds and exposed
himself continually to fire as he aided and supervised
the group. He finally succeededin leading them to
Major Richard J, Allen . . .and with this additional
strength Maj. Allen was able to capture BeuzeAddeville and later form part of the Sroup who ...
seized and held the I'a Barquette locks, a regimental
mission."
Don now lives alone in a retirement center in
Topeka.His sight is failing, but he managesto read
with the aid of modern technology. He loves to hear
from Urantians,old and young. Drop him a few words
of encouragementat: Donald L. Deam, 35i,5SW 6th,
Apt. 228, Topeka,KS.66606. Or pick up thephone and
give him a call: (755) 235-5909' Don loves to hear
L.M.
from Urantians.
Real Life Outreac
(JrantiansShareInner Lfe Experiences
The Cleaning LadY
I'm a professionalwoman who usually works late
at the office. Much as most any woman,in the back of
my mind I am always,on somelevel, consciousof my
physical safety. In the evening a black woman cleans
our offices after work. At first she made me very
uncomfortable. I thought there was something
Fall & Winter,200l
mentally wrong with her. She is large,has huge teeth
and is missing a few, her back is curved and she's
alwaysrubbing her face as if she'sexhausted.I greet
her every time I seeher. The other evening she was in
the lunch room with her headon the table. I spoketo
her but shewas so tired shecouldn't lift her head'
The next night shewas much better. I askedher if
she worked more than one job. Yes, she said.I asked
her if shegot a nap today becauseshelooked like she
felt better. Yes, she said.And I told her I was happy
shewas ableto get somerest. Then shetold me about
her otherjob. Shepackslunchesfor the lessfortunate!
Understandthat this woman is poor, shewearstattered
clothing, she is not educated.Yet, she's an angel to
peoplelessfortunatethan her!
The next night I gave her some cucumbersfrom
the gardenand she was so excited. She told me all
aboutthe saladshewas going to make.By this simple
action I connected with her on a new level. The
of separationand discomfortI had was
consciousness
dispelled, and replaced by something differentsomethingprecious.
I now have someidea of how the Master did not
measurepeople by some code of status-in fact-he
did not measurethem at all. He could "see" all people
as his brothersand sisters:"The Master looked upon
men as the sonsof God and foresaw a magnificent and
eternalfuture for thosewho chosesurvival. He was not
a moral skeptic; he viewed man positively, not
negatively. He saw most men as weak rather than
wicked, more distraught than depraved.But no matter
what their status,they were all God's children and his
brethren." 12093par. 3l
S.C.C.
"Jesus was never in a hurry. He had time to
'as he passedby.' And he
comfort his fellow men
always made his friends feel at ease. He was a
charming listener. He never engaged in the
meddlesomeprobing of the souls of his associates."
[Page1874]
"Most of the really important things which Jesus
'as he passed
said or did seemedto happencasually,
by.' There was so little of the professional,the wellpianned,or the premeditatedin the Master's earthly
ministry. He dispensedhealth and scatteredhappiness
naturally and gracefully as he journeyed through life.
'He went about doing good.' "
It was literally true,
[Page1875]
The Spiritual Fellowship
Spiritual Fellowship over the next few years. The
Founding Directors are Sherilyn Henry, Nancy Long,
Larry Mullins, Irene Sprunger, Meredith Sprunger,
During the past 45 years there has been a
and Sue Tennant.The Theological and Philosophical
difference of opinion regarding the nature of the
Principles Committee is chaired by Nancy Long; the
Urantia movement. Some have regarded it as a
Manual On Ministry Committee is chaired by
religious movement; others have viewed it as an
Gregory Young; the Liturgy and Rituals Committee
educationalmovementwith a religious purpose.The
chair is Michael Melody; the Compositionof sacred
official organizations-Urantia Foundation, The
Music and Revision of Hymns Committee is chaired
Urantia Book Fellowship, and the International
by Bud Bromley; the Education Committee chair is
Urantia Association-have all denied that they are
Merlyn Cox; the EvangelismCommittee is chaired by
religious organizations.They have lost much of the
Christopher Lepine; our Website Committee is
dynamic of outreach ministry and are instead
chaired by Robert Hurt; the Finance and Stewardship
engagedin political power struggles.
Committee chair is Sherilyn Henry; and the
There is no group exclusively dedicated to the
Administrative and Planning Committee chair is
disseminationof the Fifth Epochal Revelation as a
Meredith Sprunger.
religious mission. While religion is fundamentally
Our Mission Statementis: "The worldwide mission
an individual experience of values, this individual
of The Spiritual Fellowship is to teach, motivate,
experience inevitably results in
empower,and support all people
social expression. This social
in their growing relationship
expressionis important if our world
The worldwide mission of The
with God and to encouragetheir
society is to evolve in an
loving serviceto humankind."
Spiritual Fell.owship is to teach,
enlightened,positivedirection.
Our Preamble highlights the
motivate, ernpower,and support
The history of religion showsthat
seven most important concepts
spiritual value systems are always
all people in their growing
that The Spiritual Fellowship
established and promoted through
attemptsto promote and live:
relationship with God and to
somekind of religiousorganization.
1. The loving Parenthoodof
encourage their loving semice
When I first discoveredthe Urantia
God and the spiritual brother
Papers,I thought they were ideally
/sisterhoodof all people are our
to humankind.
suitedto upstepChristianity and the
guiding
two
foundational
other relisions of the world. I still
principles. We acknowledgeas
believe this will eventually happen. For over 40
kindred spirits, all individuals and traditions, past and
yearsI have been interfacing with the leadersof the
present,who recognizethesetwo principles.
Christian Church and this experience has made it
2. We rejoice that all people are God's beloved
quite clear that it will take considerabletime before
children and that, as the ultimate authority, a fragment
they will seriously examine the Urantia Papers.So
of God'sspirit indwells eachperson,guiding us, if we
after much thought and soul searching,I believe it is
are willing, to our highest spiritual good.
time, probably past time, to actualize a bona fide
3. The Spiritual Fellowship affirms that true
religious organizationinspired by the Fifth Epochal
religion is the spiritual experience of personally
Revelation.
knowing God. We believe that the supernal quest of
Early this year Sherilyn Henry and I, along with
all people is that of discoveringGod, and that the path
around 40 other students of the Urantia Papers,
of finding and doing God's will is an individual
startedorganizing a new religious organization,The
responsibility and personalexperience.
Spiritual Fellowship. This organization is based
4. The Spiritual Fellowship recognizes as the
upon the teachings of Jesus in the Fifth Epochal
spiritual ideal for human living, the life and teachings
Revelation. The Spiritual Fellowship is being
of Jesusas confirmed and expandedin The Urantia
incorporatedin the Stateof California. It will also be
Book. To this end, we utilize all sacred scriptures
incorporatedin Canada.
portraying spiritual truth and wisdom harmonious
Currently, ten researchand consulting committees
with this guideline for spiritual living.
havebeenorganizedto study variousaspectsofThe
5. The Spiritual Fellowship welcomes all people
Dr. Meredith Sprunger
t0
The Spiritual Fellowship Journal
into membership who recognize the parenthood of
God and the spiritual kinship of all people, and who
endeavorto live a God-centeredlife striving to give
selfless,loving serviceto others.
6. The Spiritual Fellowship challenges each
member to strive towards consistent, God-centered
living and thus supports, honors, and encourages
spiritual transformation and enhancedvalues for the
individual, the family, and the community in all
aspectsof life: physical, social, psychological,and
spiritual.
7. The Spiritual Fellowship is growth-focused.It
will be in constant self-generatedimprovement
without sacrificing its essentialvision, purpose,and
nature of principles.
The Industrial Age was primarily an extension of
muscle-power.The Information Age is an extension
of mental power. The Chaordic Agex promisesto be
an extension of spiritual influence, insight, and
transformation.We hope The Spiritual Fellowship is
the beginning of a religious institution that will cany
the religion of Jesus and the Fifth Epochal
Revelationthroughout the world.
"It is difficult for religion to survive as the private
practiceof isolated individuals.This has ever been
the error of the religious leaders:Seeingthe evils of
institutionalized religion, they seek to destroy the
technique of group functioning. In place of
destroying all ritual, they would do better to reform
it." [Page1076.)
"While it is true that the institutionalization of
religion has usually detracted from its spiritual
quality, it is also a fact that no religion has thus far
succeeded in surviving without the aid of
institutional organizationof some degree,greater or
lesser."[Pg. 1083.]
"Regardless of the drawbacks and handicaps'
everynew revelationof truth has given rise to a new
cult, and eventhe restatementof the religion of Jesus
must develop a new and appropriatesymbolism."
[Page966.]
"Notwithstanding that the new cult has always
retarded social progress,it is regrettablethat so
many modern believers in moral standardsand
spiritual ideals have no adequate symbolismnothing to belong to." [Pg. 965]
"There is a real pulpose in the socializationof
religion. It is the purpose of group religious
activities to dramatizethe loyalties of religion; to
magnify the lures of truth, beauty,and goodness;to
foster the attractivenessof supreme values; to
enhance the service of unselfish fellowship; to
glorify the potentials of family life; to promote
religious education; to provide wise counsel and
spiritual guidance; and to encourage group
worship." [Page1092.1
The Spiritual Fellowship is a God-centered
spiritual vision striving to develop an appropriate
symbolism and socioreligious expression of the
Fifth Epochal Revelation. We invite you to
participatein this new spiritual adventurein various
ways that seemappropriatefor you, such as:
-The ChaordicAqe:Whenan innovativeindividualby the name of
Dee Hock was- CEO of VISA International,he introduced
principles which enabled people and institutionsof .every
bonceivablelanguage,culture,currency,race,and economicand
politicalpersuadion-iounitein a commonlyownedorganizationin
i,vnicnmembers simultaneouslyengaged in the most intense
cooperationand fiercecompetition.In attemptingto explainthese
credtiveorinciples,Hockfound no word that adequatelyportrayed
these orinciplbs.so he coined a word from chaos and orderadaptive,
self-governing,
chaord.A ctiaord is any self-organizing,
nonlinear, complex ilrganism, organization,com.munityor
svstem. the behavioi of which harmoniously blends
charact6risticsof both chaos and order. lt is an entity whose
behavior exhibits observable patterns and probabilitiesnot
qovernedor explained by the iules that govern or explain its
6onstituentpartd.tt is chaiacteristicof the fundamentalorganizing
principlesoi evolutionand nature.Many experts believewe are
bnterino into a Chaordic Aqe, in which the most successful
accordingto Chaordicprinciples.
will be develop-ed
orqaniz-ations
Sde Dee Hock,"Birth of the ChaordicAge."
We believeThe SpiritualFellowshipwill cany the
religion of Jesusand the Fifth Epochal Revelation
throughout the world. We invite you to join this
spiritual adventureinto the future.
Fall & Winter,2001
1. Pray that we may faithfully follow God's will
and wisdom.
2. Become a Spiritual Fellowship leader in your
community by encouraging your study group,
friends, and associatesto start a home-based
fellowship.
3. Volunteeryour time, creativity,and resourcesto
this endeavor.
4. Considerformal training to becomea Spiritual
Fellowshipordainedminister or certified teacher.
Dr Meredith Sprunger is Founder and Editor
Emeritusof the Spiritual FellowshipJournal' He has
beenan activeand dedicatedUrantianfor overfour
decades, serving in numerous capacities' He is
author of "spiritual Psychology"(Jemenon,1992),
coauthor of "A Histrtrlt of the Urantia Papers"'
(PenumbraPress, 2000) and countlessstudy aids
and papers relating to the Urantia Papers.
ll
rhet
f
you judge. Someof the critics againstTSF are simply
itl'#Lil',llr"*shiP
lazy and do not wish to be kingdom builders. They
Sherilyn Henry
look back in history and say,"It can't be donebecause
"I admonish you ever to remember that your
it's neverbeen done before."Yet, with God all things
mission among men is to proclaim the gospelof the
are possible.Others suggestthat there are too many
kingdom ...You are to go forth preachingthe love of
problems- "a mountain of obstacles."This, in my
God and the serviceof man." [Pg. 193par.O].
opinion is anothercop-out,for: "Difficulty whets the
Dear reader,you have likely heardor read by now
ardor of the truth lover,while obstaclesonly challenge
about the beginning stepstowards the formation of
the exertionsof the undauntedkingdom builder." [56]
The Spiritual Fellowship. Meredith Sprungerand I
Still others have a personal agenda of maintaining
are so very pleasedand privileged to be co-founding control and use arbitrary excusessuch as "The world
this religious organization.
isn't ready for the Fifth Epochal Revelation"or "No
Over 40 volunteersare dedicatedto building this
religious institution should ever be organizedaround
vision into a viable organization. Meredith and I
the Urantia Papers." Some have even self-appointed
invite you and hope that you will
themselvesto aggressivelythwart
Christ tells us: "You are
join the ranks of this historic
such actions in the past. This
commissionedto preach this
endeavor.
The
Spiritual
article is not for them. But for
gospelof the kingdom...and you
Fellowship(TSF) is dedicatedto
those readerswith valid concerns
must not allow anything to divert
servingall peoplein their growing
and an open mind, I ask you to
relationship with God. TSF your devotion to this one duty. Let
spend a moment seriously
all mankind benefit from the
embracesthe philosophyof living
evaluatingTSF: Why Now? Ask
overflow of your loving spiritual
that boldly dares to suggestthat
yourself the following questions
minis try, enlighte ning intellectual
active living faith in the Loving
and see what the Spirit of Truth
communion,and uplffing soci.al
Parenthood of God and the
revealsto you.
service;but none of these
spiritual kinship of all people is
1). Do you think that Christ
humanitarinn
labors,
nor
all
of
the purpose of living and the
Michael would eventually want
them, should be permitted to take
supremereality. TSF will be a
one religious worldwide faiththe pl.aceof proclaiming the
structure that supports those
family that, while celebrating
gospel;' U931] Isn't it high time
wishing to leaventhis dark planet
diversity,lives in respectfulunity
we start proclaiming the gospel?
by proclaiming the Gospel of
here on Urantia? If yes, when do
God's personaland intimate love
you think he might wish this to
and the good news of our eternalsalvationpotential.
happen?
TSF encouragesthe building of local faith-families
2).In your opinion, doesany current world religion
worldwide where God is celebrated,children are or religiousorganizationhavethe potentialto become
raisedin community, seekersare invited to sharein
that unifying factor?If your answeris no,
this spiritual life of hope, love and service, and
3). What would be the indicatorsthat it is now time
membersare inspired to becomekingdom builders. to "construct a new and appealing philosophy of
TSF is answeringJesus'mandate:"I admonishyou
living?" [43]
everto rememberthat your mission amongmen is to
4). Who shoulddetermine"the right time?"
proclaim the gospel of the kingdom ...You are to go
5). Once deemed"the right time," whethertoday or
forth preachingthe love of God and the service of
15 centuries from now, what are the necessary
m a n "[ 1 9 3 ] .
organizational first steps towards the eventual
There are many who criticize our efforts. Many
attainmentof a religious faith community that would
have sincerelyexpresseddoubt that this is the right
be capableof proclaimingthis gospel?
time in Urantia history to develop and initiate a
6). Who are the "right people" and how might these
religious organizationlike The Spiritual Fellowship. leadersbe chosento begin this historic endeavor?
Most have valid concerns that are important to
7). When we investigatethe question of whether
dialogueupon. I ask you who sincerelyseekto do
now is the time to initiate this endeavor,what are the
God's will, give us the 2-3 year projected factorsthat both supportthis effort and/or discourage
developmenttime. See what TSF becomesbefore ir?
t2
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
'
The FamilY
8). Is there qualitativeevidencethat now is not the
Birthplace of CosmicCitizenshiP
right time?
that
any
church
Paul Snider
for
"There
great
hope
is
learn,
9). We
of
brotherhood
the
ss, Uruntia Book-feJlowship'
Addre
'P-lenary
-lnie
worshipsthe living God, validates
Conference.I 999
iiaii-oiAl
its
man, and daresto remove all creedalpressurefrom
members."tl1351. If TSF is faithful to this mandate
We bring a child into the world' A simple and
creedal
removing
by
liberty
religious
and encouraging
ordinary thing, but wonderfully complex. Whether we
hope?
promise
of
dictates,then isn't this a
know it or not, we have now becomeengagedin the
preach
10).Christtells us: "You arecornmissionedto
supremeresponsibilityof human existence.'We have
this gospelof the kingdom...andyou must not allow
now begun the process of nurturing and shaping a
anything to divert your devotion to this one duty. Let
cosmic citizen.What faith the Father in heavenhas in
your
loving
of
overflow
all mankind benefit from the
us to allow us the privilege of doing this.'To entrust
intellectual
enlightening
ministry,
spiritual
His children to our watchcare.3Of all human trusts,
cbmmunion, and uplifting social service;but none of
this is the most sacred,oour highest human duty.5
be
should
them,
of
nor
all
labors,
humanitarian
these
Whether we know it or not, theseare the facts of life.
gospel."
proclaiming
the
place
of
permittedto take the
What is it about the idea of family that makes it so
the
profoundly important? Why does The Urantia Book
1193U Isn't it high time we start proclaiming
gospel?
saythat almosteverythingof lastingvaluehasits roots
in the family,6that the home is civilization's only hope
Finally, dear reader, I challenge you with "Why
of survival?'Why is it that the family occupied the
not?" We cannot fail in attempting to create a
very center of Jesus'
noncreedal supportive organization -we fail
philosophyof life, here and
With someassistance
only if we fail to try now. If it is not God's will
from
hereafter?'Whatis it in this
to support The Spiritual Fellowship, it will
friends, neighbors,and
simple notion that resonates
wither on the vine. But wouldn't it be far wiser
communifit,the truefamilY
from here to Paradise and
to sidewith Gamaliel insteadof the Sadducees
teachesmostof what is reallY beyond?
on this question?Gamalielsaid,"Refrain from
I think we can find
essentialin W. This is what
[thwarting] thesemen and let them alone, for if
of the answers by
some
this counselor this work is of men, it will be
The Urantia Book tells us.
looking at what families do.
overthrown;but if it is of God, you will not be
This is whqt our own
Every family is unique. No
ableto overthrowthem,lest haply you be found
confirms.
experience
two have exactly the same
evento be fighting againstGod." [2068]We are
dynamics.And yet, families
mandated by our Creator Son through our
lesserskill.
belovedscripturesto go outsideof our own community all do the samethings,with greateror
In family life we are like sharprough-edgedstones
and boldly proclaimthis gospel,"... go you now into all
all thrown together.We continuously toss againsteach
the world preaching this gospel of the kingdom of
other in the river of time. After all the rubbing and
heavento all men" (193:0.5).
rubbing the sharp edges begin to disappear.We
So when all is said and done, "What do you
becomesmoothpebbles.We adjust our antagonisms.
recommend we do today?" I hope that you feel
We teachthe pursuitsof peaceto our children.uThe
inspiredenoughto join us, now, if only to pray that we
may clearly discern God's will for The Spiritual family is the mastercivilizer.n
With some assistancefrom friends, neighbors,and
Fellowship.If you wish to sharethoughts.questions,or
community, the true family teachesmost of what is
would like to help create TSF, please write me
really
essentialin life. This is what The Urantia Book
personally at: [email protected] bless
tells us. This is what our own experienceconfirms.
you!
Well, what are the essentialsof life?
Sherityn Henry is a licensed Marriage Family
First and foremost, we begin to learn about love,
Therapistand has practicedfor over 12 years' She is
how to love, how to be loved.All of the foundationsof
now attending seminary at The Pacific School of
cosmic citizenship are built upon the enduring baseof
Religion in Berkeley.Sheand her husbandDoug live in
The Family - Birthplace of Cosmic Citizenship
Fairfield, CA.
@ Copyright 1999by Paul Snider. Nl ngfus reserved'
Fall & Winter, 2001
l3
The Family - Birthpluce of Cosmic'Citizenship (continued)
love.Without love we are nothing.Without love there rise or fall with each other . . . Somewherethe thought
is no place for us in the universe.In the way we love recursagainand againin my mind: It is the Father'swill
our children we begin to get a glimmer - we actually that none shouldbe lost.
begin to experience-the way God relates to His
Six months after I discoveredGod I discoveredZhe
universechildren.And at the sametime-if we get it
Book. This was in i965, and Mary has been
Urantia
right-we portray to our children the first of a long
with
me
in this sincethe beginning.I can't begin to tell
seriesof ascendingdisclosuresof the love of God for
you how valuablethat has been.
all universe children.'oWe begin to portray
The Urantia Book made us aware of a presence,
unconditional
love.
within
our reach, of a sphere of life infinitely more
Second, we learn about mercy. I have so often
valuable
than the naturallife of humankind.'7
We wanted
receivedmercy that I did not deserve,that I havecome
to
find
out
more
about
this,
explore
its
higher pathways
to define mercy as what you extendto someonewho
doesn'tdeserveit. If it's deserved,it's not mercy,it's whereverthey would lead. We wantedto introduce our
children to the majestic cosmic framework of the
justice.
Someoneonce told me that home is where you go Urantiateachings.But how?This was no easyquestion.
Not knowing what else to do, we plunged ahead.We
when you can't go anywhereelse.When I think about
that,when I think aboutall the childrenwho can't ever madeevery mistakewe could think of, and a few more.
We tried reading passagesfrom
go home again-when
I
the book at dinnertime.We tried
imagine their eyes-it tearsmy
. . . it was the dinner table that turned
formal lessons,with lessonplans
heart out. Mercy is what you
the tide. Sitting around the table we
and diagrams,the whole works.
extendto someonewho doesn't
began to tell storiesfrom The Urantia
A certain telltale glaze would
deserveit. Home is where we
Book. Wedidn't plan this as a teaching
come over the children's eyes.
first begin to learn about mercy exercise.Itjust unfolded naturally from
We
tried to make a family study
and forgiveness. Mercy is
our enthusinsm. Webegan to tell stories
group.We tried a few disastrous
appliedlove."
about the Garden of Eden, Adamson
family councils. We weren't
Third. we learn about
and Ratta, the fandors, the mi.dwayers,
connecting. One day, at the
ministry. A
true parent the goings on in Dalamati.a,the Lucifer
mention of Jesus,we observed
continuously ministers to the
rebellion, Van and Amadon, W on a
about 7 or 8 secondsof pure,
child.r'?And ministry does not
neighboringplanet ... Jesuson Mount
apprehensivesilence among the
mean indulgence. Just the
Hermon, Jesus and Rebecca-so many
Then one of them said:
children.
opposite. Ministry focuses on Jesus stories. The Urantia Book has lots
"Here comes another brainy
things that build character.In
of good stories. Some of them
lecture."
time, children come to
are spectacular.
That stopped us in our
recognizethis and appreciateit.
tracks.
We felt like total failures.
And this serviceenduresas lons
For
more
than
six
months
we
made no mention of the
as thereis a parent-childrelationship.You never stop
book or the teachings.And then we beganaccidentally
being a father.You never stop being a mother.
The list could go on and on. So many other things. to stumbleforward into the light.
The family teachesculture to the next generation.i3 What beganto work was quite simple and practical.It
The family teaches patience, altruism, tolerance, startedat the dinner table. Over the months and years
that followed, we did otherthings-we did a lot of study
forbearance.'o
And it alsoteachesduty, responsibility,
group activity, alw,ayswith children who were free to
discipline,consequences.
It teachesus that we are all
pleased.We took part for years
bound together,that we rise or fall, a little bit or a lot, wanderin and out asthey
in
a
beautiful
meeting
for
worship in an organized
with the actionsof each member.'5It's not like a big
corporationin which you can say:We're having some religion. But it was the dinner table that turnedthe tide.
Mzry and I had both taken stepsto arrangeour lives
financial problemsthis year.We'll have to downsize.
so
that we could have family sit-down dinners. No
Sorry,but we'll haveto let a few of you kids go. Good
televisicln.
No distractions.I restrictedmy travel to only
luck.'6
a
few
days
a year.Sitting aroundthe table we beganto
No way. In a family you can't lay off or fire anyone.
tell storiesfromThe Urantia Book. We didn't plan this
The family teaches:We are all in this together.We will
as a teachingexercise.It just unfolded naturally from
I4
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
our enthusiasm.We began to tell stories about the
Gardenof Eden,Adamsonand Ratta,the fandors,the
midwayers,the goings on in Dalamatia,the Lucifer
rebellion, Van and Amadon, life on a neighboring
planet,what happenswhen you awakenafter mortal
death,the morontiajourney,Jesuson Mount Hermon,
Jesus and Rebecca-so many Jesus stories. The
Urantia Bookl'taslots of good stories.Someof them
are spectacular.
The children found these stories f-ascinating,and
would ask questions. It was a natural and easy
transitionto move beyondthe storiesinto teaching.In
the normal conversationsaboutthe eventsof the day,
issues would always arise from which the
perspectivesof the Urantia Paperscould shed some
larger illumination.
Much of what we tried to teachcamein responseto
questions.All of the childrenhavegreatcuriosity and
lively imaginations.But in the beginning,we tended
to over-teach,to say too much. We quickly found we
had to learn a fundamentallesson,which was this:
The child must remain in control of the learning
process,and feel in control.
Becauseof your own enthusiasmfor the teachings,
you may not always watch closely enoughfor body
languagethat tells you the point hasbeenmadeor the
lessonhas ended.You have a great urge to add one
more thought to round out the concept,to list one or
two additional facts, to give one more example,to
offer one more cogentobservation.' . Don't.
When the look in the eye saysstop,when the body
languagesaysstop,bite your tongueand stop.Let the
child remainin contol. This makesall the difference.
It keepsthings relaxed.It stimulatesthe child to keep
on asking questions.. . I can remembernights when
we never left the dinner table until midnight. Two
childrenon one knee,anotherchild on the other knee.
Questions,questions,questions.It was exhilarating.
Thereis one other thing I shouldmentionaboutthe
dinner table discussions.Mary and I quite often see
things in different ways. We sharethe samevalues,
but our perceptionscome in from different angles'I
shouldalso mention that Mary-bless her heart-has
neverbeenhesitantto speakher mind. Over the years
there were many times when Mary and I would
present different interpretations of some of the
Urantia teachings.At the time I thought to myself:
My God, we are really going to confusethe kids. It
was not until many years later that we learnedthey
weren't confusedat all. What they took away from
Fall & Winter.
theseexchangeswas this: Thereis no dogma.You are
free to haveyour own opinion.For a young mind, this
was a liberatingrevelation.
In our yearsof child rearingthere were two things
we were consciouslytrying to do. More than anything
else, we wanted each of our children to develop a
personal, private, powerful relationship with God,
and a desireto follow the inspirationof Jesus'life and
teachingswhereverit would lead them.
Second,we wantedto help our children developa
framework for living their mortal lives that would be
fully consistentwith all phasesof living anywherein
the universe beyond - through all the morontia
progressions,even to the realms of Paradise'We
wantedour children to feel at home in the universe,''
to know we havefriends on other worlds.
We didn't call this cosmic citizenshipthen, but in
retrospectthat's what we often talked about.Except
for the Supreme.We just nibbled aroundthe edgesof
the Supreme.Cosmic citizenshipdoes not begin in
the mansionworlds. It beginshere and now. One of
the major purposesof The [Jrantia Book rs to tell us
that. Beyond its purposeof spiritual transformation,
the revelationintroducesus to the idea that we are
entry-levelparticipantsin an immenseenterprise.It
says in effect: Folks, this is the way the universe
works. It's time you knew it. These are the facts of
universereality. Start getting usedto it.
We live and move and have our being within the
Supreme Being'e-the evolving Mother God,'o the
finite God,'' the God of Time and Space,"the God of
Experience."We can only approachthe Supremeby
We
We haveto do something.2t
meansof experience.2*
Supreme
The
the
Supreme.
without
evolve
cannot
probablycannotevolvewithout us.tuThus, we have a
duty to the Supreme." Out duty is to help build
spirituality into
dynamic levels of experience-based
is a big job. It
This
Supreme."
the
of
immanence
the
haveto work
grand
universe.t'We
involvesthe entire
togetherto do our tiny, tiny, tiny irreplaceablepart.30
Where do we start?How do we begin?I am going
to suggesteight typesof action,eight modesof living,
that repercussin the Supreme,that not only help us
evolve,but also help the Supremeevolve.There are
many, many more things we can do in addition to
these eight ideas, but these eight are illustrative of
how we can proceedas individuals.I won't even try
to suggesthow we can proceed as groups' But as
individuals,theseare the kinds of things that begin to
build an enduringfoundationfor cosmic citizenship'
The Famil-v-- Birthplace of Cosmic Citizenship (continued)
In more extendeddetail, thesewere the kinds of things
universe.Jesusproved that over and over again in his
we discussedover the yearsaroundthe dinner table.
life. And the more fully we progress as cosmic
The first action is to stayfocased.
citizens, the more fully we will come actually to
Eachof us hasto makea decisionaboutsurvivaland
experiencethe truth of this statement.
continuing growth, to become ever more godlike. We
The second action is to s/ay relaxed.
have to want to go forward. Mary and I gave absolute
I don't mean lounging around in your bathrobes.I
assurancesto the children that none of them would
meaninwardly relaxed.Spirituallyrelaxed.Don't keep
ever be dragged kicking and screaming into higher
feeling your spiritualpulse.The action nucleusof this
statesof being.When life getsyou down, stayfocused
idea comes in moving from a state of tension to
on the larger schemeof things.
somethingapproachingspiritual serenity.We will have
Staying focused means staying focused on the
to do this long into the future. You can't grow when
Father'swill as the singular enduringprinciple of all
you're tense.
existence, the sure pathway to progress now and
The most spirituallyrelaxing story I everheardgrew
forever.
out of a meeting long ago between George Foxx,
But there is an important companionword. We have
founder of the Quakers,and William Penn, before he
to stay intelligently focused.What this does not mean
moved to Philadelphia.As the story was told to me,
is saying:Hey, boss,tell me what to
Penn was then a young
do and I'll do it.3' You can't get There is one phrase, just part of a
Englishman,a pretty tough guy, a
anywhere near Paradise with that
sentencein The Urantin Book,
sword-carrying swashbuckler.He
attitude.You need to supply some
that clearly teachesthat the will
was becoming interested in the
real volitional horsepower.
of God extends even into the
Quakers and was thinking of
What it does mean is intelligent
smallest details of W, that at
joining their religious society.But
partnership,always knowing who
everymoment of our conscious
he was hesitant. So he met with
the senior partner is. Intelligent being, we have the opportunity to
GeorgeFoxx.
focus meanswe expressagain and
. Penn said: If I become a
chooseHis will . . . I think this is
again-forever-within
our mind,
the most powerful sentencein
Quaker, how long can I carry my
the full volitional power of the
The Urantia Book.
sword?
personality prerogativesGod has
. Foxx said: Let's sit down and
given us: Father,I will to do your will. I chooseyour
pray togetheraboutthat.
will. I understandits supernalvalue.
. They prayed togetherfor a good period of time.
Many people believe the Father'swill appliesonly
Then finall!, Foxx looked up and said: As long as you
to big decisions,major actions.They think God is too
can.
busy to get involved in the small and commonplace
I think this story revealsGod's attitude toward us.
details of daily living. Those who hold this view
Go
forward with your whole self. Don't keep looking
simply do not understandthat God is truly infinite.
back
at the baggageyou left behind.Cany your sword
There is one phrase,just part of a sentencein The
as
long
as you can. But when you put it down, when
Urantia Book, that clearly teachesthat the will of God
just
it's
not you anymore,put it down forever.
extends even into the smallest details of life, that at
The
third
action is to stay balanced.
every moment of our consciousbeing, we have the
Just
because
we study The (Jrantia Book doesn't
opportunity to choose His will. The sentenceis on
mean
we
are in a halfway house to heaven.All it
page 1555, in the middle of paragraph 2, in a
means
is
that
we have expandedpotential.We are not
descriptionof the Apostle John.
people.
chosen
We arenot special.What we haveis the
I think this is the most powerful sentencein The
sustenance
of
a far-flung cosmic perspective.33
Our
Urantia Book.It says that Jesusalways deferredftis
challenge
is
to
translate
potential
into
actual-into
slightest wish to the will of the Father in heaven.
living the teachingswe have begun to comprehend.
To the casualmind,"commitment at this level-the
But the road from here to there is long and difficult.
l00Va level-would be terribly restrictive, like a
Always, we emphasized:Use common sense.Keep
straidacket. It would turn us into spiritual zombies.
things
in proportion, even The Urantia Book.
The fact is, it would lead to just the opposite.The
Assimilate the wholenessof the teachings.Don't get
Father's will is the greatest liberating force in the
lost in a singlepart.
The Spiritual Fellowship Journal
Yearafteryear,as a family, we witnessedindividuals
walking around with Urantia Books, but who had
clearly lost their balanceand were becomingstrange.
Someof them seemedto do it all by themselves.Some
of them seemedto fall victim to the distractionsthat
interlacethe Urantia movement.
We consistentlytaught the children that there is
inherentdignity and worth in every other person,that
in time we will all become brothers and sisters of
destiny.And we often told our ihildren that we can
neverknow where, or when, or how the light of God
will illuminate anothermind. The only thing we can
know for sure is that God always works in strikingly
original ways. So we should listen carefully to what
otherssay,try to remain spiritually aware.
Over the years,all of us had to weigh theseteachings
necessaryto
againstthe observationsand assessments
presence
of truth, or
in
the
were
we
determine when
exaggerated
when we were in the presenceof an
religiousego.to
are
With Jesusasyour role model,theseassessments
of
Jesus'
symmetry
The
make.
to
much easier
personalityis balancein its most exquisiteform' We
are clearly taughtthat "...the secretof his unparalleled
of the presenceof
religiouslife was his consciousness
prayer and
intelligent
it
by
he
attained
and
God;
with
God sincereworship unbroken communion
and not by leadings,voices,visions, or extraordinary
That saysit all.
religiouspractices."35
is
to s/ay loyal.
action
The fourth
Stay loyal to the highest values you can
comprehend. We have been taught that human
Our
loyalties, once mobihzed, are hard to change.36
of
actions
the
underlie
profound
loyalties
most
everythingwe do.
Jesusplaceda very high premium on loyalty.And so
does the human race. The Urantia Paperstell us that
children are permanently impressed only by our
primary loyalties." And children cannot be fooled
about this. We wanted our children to find pathways
that would lead to the deepest ranges of soul
mobilization.
When we have establishedthe sovereigntyof truth,
we will nurture it
beauty,and goodnessin our heart,38
and supportit whereverwe find it. We will be loyal to
what thesevaluesrepresent.
People tend to say truth, beauty, and goodness
almost as a singular phrase.They grasp what truth
means.They understandgoodness.But too oftenmuch too often-people forget that beauty is the
Fall & Winter. 2001
middle word, of equal value with the other two.
Beautyis a primary aspectof God we too often ignore.
Not only the beautyof things physicaland material,
but also the beauty of relationships in which the
integrity of the relationship is honored and never
violated or betrayed.Beauty of the spirit of things.
Cosmic levels of beauty.Beauty that rises within the
great spiritual power of wholehearteddevotion to a
commoncause,mutual loyalty to a cosmic Deity."
The great thing we can teach our children is hope
and faith in the ultimate goodness,truth and beautyof
creation.
God-centeredloyalty is fundamental. Loyalty to
truth, beauty, and goodness is fundamental. Our
primary loyaltieswill be testedover and over againin
our godward adventure.And these tests will usually
come out of ambush, to catch us when we're not
looking, to capturewhat is the real spontaneousand
reactionof the heart.
instantaneous
The fifth action is to slay determined.
Persevere.Grow to the maximum of your being.
Don't ever stop,exceptfor an occasionalrest. Use the
talentsyou were given. Use it or lose it40-that's the
law of the universe.
Life will knock you down again and again' Get up
strongereach time. Pick yourself up and go forward.
Learn from your mistakes. Become better for the
experience.
One of my favorite stories comes from the boxer.
Archie Moore. Archie Moore had remarkable
enduranceas a fighter. He was 45 years old and still
knocking ZZ-yearolds out of the ring'
One night Archie was up against a tough young
fighter in a l5-rounder.Archie was holding his own
right into the 15th round when his opponentknocked
him to the canvas.The refereebeganthe count.At the
count of nine Archie got up, and quickly proceededto
knock the other guy out of the ring.
In the dressing room some reporters crowded
around Archie. You know how reporters aresometimes they ask really dumb questions. But
sometimesthe dumb questionsproduce remarkable
answers.One of the reportersasked:Archie,when you
were down for the nine-count,what were you thinking
about?
Archie thought for a few moments, then he said:
"Well, I kind of got to thinking-like he's got all
afternoon-if I don't get up off the mat, I'm gonna
lose the fight."
That story has inspired our whole family for 30
t1
The Family - Birthplace of Cosmic Citizenship (conttnued)
years.When times are really tough, when you have motive behind the act.
worked to the point of utter exhaustionand there is
Canutewas angeredby the constantflattery of those
still more to do, when you're up againstan impossible around him. They kept telling him he was so powerful
deadlineand all the energyseemsgone,when the odds he was capableof any achievement.He neededto teach
againstyou seemoverwhelming,just say to yourself: them a lessonthey would never forget.
'After
If I don't get up off the mat, I'm gonnalose the fight.
ordering back the seaand getting his feet wet,
Then get up off the mat and win the fight.
Canute then said: 'Let all men know how empty and
The sixth action is to stay nonjudgmental.
worthless is the power of kings, for there is none
This is an action becauseyou usually have to work worthy of the namebut He whom heavenand earth and
at it. It doesn't just pop into your head naturally as sea obey by eternal laws.' Afterward, Canute never
your first response,unless you have become very againwore his crown. He hung it insteadin Winchester
spiritual.
Cathedral."
Staying nonjudgmental means we have to be
So what looked like ego and intoxication of power to
cautiousaboutmakingjudgmentsaboutother people, a false historian was in truth a demonstration of
especiallyabout their motives.I'm surethat all of us, profound humility to a true historian. Let us not
at one time or anotherhavefound ourselvesaccusedof
becomefalse historians,even in the small details of our
motives that were the exact
daily lives and interactions.This is
opposite of what we were
a lessonfor all time.
If we're not already cooperative
thinking. So we all understandthe
The seventh action is to s/ay
in nature, we had better start
socialdanger.
driven.
learning fast. One of the most
To be judgmental is to be quick
Stay driven to excel in whatever
important lessonswe learn on
to condemn, quick to assign
you
undertake.You can't get to
this planet is teamwork, how to
motives, quick to assume a work effectively with other people,
Paradise with half-hearted effort.
superiormorality; quick to gossip,
The universe is a place of whole
especiallypeople who are not at
quick to mistrust.I think we can all
hearts. Might as well learn that
all like us. Once we learn the
imagine that life in the cosmos transcendent value
right
now. Always do your best.
of teamwork,
cannotproceedon this basis.So it
Whatever is worth doing is worth
we will begin to get a glimpse of
is best we start learningthe lesson
doing well. Put your heart into it.
what is really going on in the
now, that we begin to place a high
These
are not clich6s. This is
universe.
value on accuracy.To give others
Reality 101.
the benefit of the doubt. To
We havebeentaughtthat "...it is
approachlife situationswith a nonjudgmentalattitude. repugnant to the divine nature to suffer any sort of
Sometimeswhat you think you see is not what deterioration or ever to permit the execution of any
you're seeingat all. The Urantia Book portrait of our purely personal act in an inferior way."o,The work of
snarlingprimitive ancestorfacing a sabre-toothtiger is this world is of paramountimportance,but important as
only one of countlessexampleswe could use. What it is, the work itself is not nearly so important as the
we are instructedto look for is the truth content in way we do this work.o'
what is going on.
As cosmic citizens, the questfor perfection-relaxed
Here is one of my favorite examples.arAbout a perfection-must become the underlying urge for
thousand years ago King Canute the Great united everything we do.
Denmark, Norway, Southern Sweden, and England
The eighth action is to s/ay cooperative.
into a Viking empire.The history books you probably
If we're not already cooperative in nature, we had
read told you that Canutehad a massiveego and was better start learning fast. One of the most important
so intoxicatedwith power he did a strangething. He lessonswe learn on this planet is teamwork,ahow to
took his throne chair to the edge of the sea and work effectively with other people, especially people
commandedthe wavesto stop.This is the story of the who are not at all like us. Once we learn the
false historian.
transcendent
value of teamwork,we will begin to get a
The true historian would tell you this. Yes, Canute glimpseof what is really going on in the universe.
did takehis thronechair to the edgeof the sea.yes, he
So much to do. So many things to keep in mind. And
did commandthe wavesto stop. But let's look at the
this is not evenbasictraining - it's just the introduction
l8
The Spiritual Fellowship Journal
to our basic training as citizens of a universeteeming
with life and purpose.
Fortunately, The Urantia Book comes to our
rescue. It provides a basic model for universe
progression - a primary progression technique for
cosmic problem solving. And it also reveals a
primary progression attitude. These two things
togetherwill get you from here to there.
The progression techniqueis very simple, and you
always have it with you wherever you are. The
technique is to trade your mind for the mind of
Jesus"-the Jesusof The Urantia Book. The Jesus
we have come to know as having a superblybalanced
character,a wonderful symmetry of toughness and
compassion,an unflinching dedicationto seekingand
doing the Father'swill.
As you face decisions,actions,situations,think to
yourself:What would Jesusdo?Your honestanswers
to that questionwill begin to guide your actions with
great spiritual power. Once you have done this with
real success the first time-once you actually
experiencethe mind of Jesus,however briefly, you
will neverwant to go back to your old ways.
The primary progressionattitude is equally simple.
A Melchizedek revelator tells us that the keys to the
kingdom of heavenare: sincerity,more sincerity, and
more sincerity. All of us have these keys within us,
and we use them by decisions,by more decisions,
and by more decisions.'uIn time, we build up a
gatheringmomentum that carries us ever godward.
Mary and I taught our children that The Urantia
Book is not the end of the search, but only the
beginning. Everything in life becomes more
fascinating in the cosmic glow of the Urantia
teachings. The first time I read the book cover to
cover was in 1967.I discoveredthe majesticbeauty
of the writing, the supernal character of the
philosophical observations,the symphonic quality in
the way the revelation unfolds. I have often said: I
havebeenbored only four times since 1967.
We live in a dangerousworld, but one that is alive
with promise. All through the world, even now we
can feel the stirrings for love and beauty,o'the hunger
for truth and righteousnessrising in the human heart'
Let each of us, each day give nourishment to these
splendidhungers.
We who believe in the Urantia teachingsare called
voluntarily to a higher standard of conduct and
action. We are now called upon to act out the
meaningsof what we have discovered.But how?
Fall & Winter,2001
What would Jesusdo?
God bless you my friends, my brothers and sisters
of destiny,and keep you in His love forever.
References(Unless otherwise indicated, all referencesare from
The Urantia Book.)
3. p.20672
2. pp.79:5;939:6,7
l. p.941:3
6 .p . 7 6 5 : 5
5. p. 1389-90
4. p. l4O3:2
9. p.913:2,3
8 .p . 1 5 8 1 ; 1
7.p.943:2
12.p.941:4
l1 p. 75:10
10.p.942:l
1 5 .p . 6 1 9 : l
14.p.941:6
13.p. 909:5
- Can'trecall
16.An old cartoon?
of ReligionandEthics,Vol. 1l p. 808
17.Encyclopedia
19.pp.1280:5;1283:2
18.p. lllT:2
20.p. 1288:2 2I.pp. 1266:3;1283:4
22.pp. 1266:2;1268:5;I280:I; 1285:3;1296:'7
24. p. 1289:5 25.P. 1260:1
23 p. 1304:5
l30l:2
1284:5,6:
26.p. 1284:6 27.pp. 126O:5;
29.p. 1218:4
2 8 . p p l. 2 7 l : 3 ; 1 2 7 8 : l
31.p. 1589:1 32.P. 1097:7
30.p. 138:5
33.p. lO92:7 34.p.2088:2 35.p. 2089:1
36.p. 1488:7 37.p. 1094:6 38.pp. 1089:7;1219:6
39.p.1776:3 40.pp. 1916-11
41. The Vikings, by Howard La Fay, National Geographic
Amazing
Stories,
D.C.,1972;andStrange
Washington,
Society,
N.Y.' 1976
Pleasantville,
DigestAssociation,
Facts.Reader's
44.P.3122
43.p. 435:7
42. p. 137:5
46. p. 435:8
45. p. 553:7
4'7.Max Lerner,New York Post columnist,June6, 196l
Paul Snider lives in Wilmete, Illinois with his wife Mary. Both
have served the Urantia Revelationfor many years. Paul is a
past President of Urantia Brotherhood. Among other activities,
he is currently assisting (Jrantia Foundation in developing
translations of the Urantia Papers.
"My little children, I am going away, going back
to my Father.In a little while you will not see me
as you do here,asflesh and blood. In avery
short time I am going to sendyou my spirit, iust
like me exceptfor this material body. This new
teacher is the Spirit of Truth who will live with
each one of you, in your hearts,and so will all
the children of light be made one and be drawn
toward one another.And in this very mannerwill
my Father and I be able to live in the souls of
each one of you and also in the hearts of all other
men who love us and make that love real in their
experiencesby loving one another, evenas I am
now loving you."
[Pg. 1949 Par.l]
t9
Identity in the Modern Renaissance
A renaissanceis a time when the explorationof
new
ideasis influencedby a relatively small group of
Dr. Bruce R. Jackson
people who are in close communicationwith each
Are WeLiving in a Renaissance?
other. Throughouthistory this fact has not been lost
I teach a college coursein humanities. In this
on many eageryoung intellectuals. One has only to
course I suggestto my studentsthat our planet is
look at the Sistine Chapel to yearn fbr those heady
currently engagedin a renaissance
that will be much
yearsof creativityand artistic flourishing. History is
larger and have a greaterimpact on the world than the
littered with claimantsto a period of renaissancewho
EuropeanRenaissance(ca. 1350 - 1600). Most
wish themselvesinto the creative frenzy that entitles
people are aware of the European Renaissance them to the vauntedhistoricalstatus.
through suchfamiliar icons as the Mona Lisa and the
So are we making the claim that we are living in
Last Supper,the music of Luther and Palestrina,and
an age of renaissance?
Without question.The internathe writings of Patrarch, Machiavelli, and tionalization of language,the worldwide spread of
Shakespeare.Yet to understandthe historical impact
connected communications, the unparalleled
of the EuropeanRenaissanceone must examinethe
publication of ideas, the recognition of traditional
emergence of humanism and individualism, the
values,the challengesof the environment,the public
scholarly investigation of classical thought, the
revulsion at war and genocide,and the pressuresof
evolution of modern scientific
the world economy clearly
methodology,and the other great
indicate
a renaissanceof global
The conflict initiatedon
movementsin intellectualhistory
proportions.
SeptemberII will be signift.cantly
that gave birth to modern
The Kernel of Thought for
dffirent from any other war in
religious, educational,economic,
Our Renaissance
history . . . This conflict will force
and governmentalsystems.
Every renaissancehas at its
governments
the
of the world to
Defining a renaissanceis
core
a concept that shapes the
be sensitiveto diversity,
difficult. It involves a creative
direction
of human thought. For
particularly in dealing with a
flowering of new ideas with a
the European Renaissancethis
varietyof religiousfaiths.
rebirth of the better values of the
idea was "humanism." This kernel
past. It is a time of extraordinary
of thought becamethe foundation
change at all levels of society. It is driven by the
of the Protestant Reformation, the cornerstone of
combination of human suffering, social upheaval, scientific method, and the
watchword of human
rapid technologicaldevelopment,the reemergence
of
creative activitv.
the better traditional ideals, and the developmentof
Discovering the modern kernel of thought is key to
exciting new ideas that contain the potential for
understandingour renaissance.It is increasinglyclear
profound social change.
that the modern renaissanceis about "diversity." The
A renaissance
is a very tricky period of history to
old pluralistic systems are breaking down. For
understandwhen you areliving in it. The intellectuals example,George Orwell, in his
classic novel 1984,
of the EuropeanRenaissancewere so consciousof
missedthe boat becausehe viewed the evolution of
their unique place in history that they gave their era
governmentin classictotalitarianterms.
the title "renaissance."Yet it is clear that they had
Modern political systemsare being forced to move
difficulty in understandingjust what that meant in
away from the traditional models because of the
terms of successfullydivining the near future. The
power of diversity as the new operationalmethod.
sameis true for us. Neither futuristsnor economists For example,war on a massive
scaledemonstratedin
are particularly good at making effective predictions the two world wars is increasingly
becomingobsolete
concerningthe movementof current social history. becauseit is bad for business: the
enemy of today
The turmoil, upheaval, and confusion of a
may necessarilybe the customersof tomorrow. The
renaissance is characterized by paradox and the
conflict initiated on September 11 will be
unforeseenconsequences
of invention. Fundamental significantly different from any other war in history.
societal belief systems change rapidly during a
As war is an immensely powerful engine of social
renaissance,and much of this is driven by new
changeduring a renaissance,this new type of warfare
technologiesthat quickly disperseinformationacross will changethe way governments,
social institutions,
cultures.
20
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
individuai with the responsibilityto
and religious organizations interface with each life presentsthe
ucquire new and increasingly powerful information'
other.This conflict will force the governmentsof the
This informationincludessuchthings as knowledgeof
world to be sensitive to diversity, particularly in
the universal kingdom, understandingof the direct
dealingwith a variety of religiousfaiths.
connection with the Heavenly Father through the
Diversity is inherentlydiffrcult to define. While
ThoughtAdjuster,an experienceof the guidanceof th9
an intellectuallyappealingdemocraticidea,the very
Holy Spirit, recognition of the role of other spiritual
breadthof the conceptoffers modern thinkers a very
activity,knowledgeof the teachingsof
slippery slope. Diversity threatens to destroy beingsin human
acceptanceof tenantsof the
inteilectualprogressbecauseits acceptanceplaces our universal sovereign,
Religion of JesusChrist, and experientiallyliving the
on the table all kinds of ideas that are in conflict
spiritually driven life of an ascendantbeing.
with each other. As human intellectual history has
The limitationsof mortal living are well understood
been largely Darwinian in the selection of ideas,
and acceptingthe gift of ascendantlife is very easy'
giving equal statusto ideas different from "ours" is
being demandsa very different
Offi.utt for "us." Acceptanceof diversity demands Living as an asc"ndant
of the processof ascendant
Knowledge
perspective.
tolerance of foreign cultures. Therefore, in the
iife er.rpo*ers the individual to live at very high levels
geopoliticalarena,the acceptanceof the conceptof
Ascendantliving changesthe
of cosmicconsciousness.
diversitywill evolve slowlY.
very foundationsof daily life' For
The problem with diversitYis
I believe that contained within the example, the human interPersonal
that it does not contain an
relationshipschangewhen a mortal
pages of The Urantin Book is the
elementalfactor that can drive a
becomes an ascendant being
renaissance.Though accePtance kernel that is neededto give the
modern renaissancedirection and becausehe or sherecognizesthat all
of diversity would change the
fellow human beings are ascendant
focus: a completedescriPtion of
face of this planet, it does not
beings. We are all the free will sons
ascendant W. No other single
strike at the verY core of each
and daughters of the HeavenlY
piece of information has the
individual. Humanism was
Father.
potential to change the human
important to the EuroPeans
The Urantia Book makesit clear
condition on a massivescale.
becauseit changedhuman life
that ascendantliving is qualitatively
on a personallevel. This new
different from narrow earthbound perspectives. The
valuation of human worth is at the very core of every
book suggeststhat if enoughindividualstruly become
socialchangein the EuropeanRenaissance.
ascendanibeings, the very face of this earth will
I believethat containedwithin the pagesof The
change. This is why the synergisticcoincidenceof our
(Jrantia Book ts the kernel that is neededto give the
epochal revelation
directionand focus: a complete modern renaissanceand the fifth
modernrenaissance
promisesto make great social changesin the not-todescriptionof ascendantlife. No other singlepiece
distant future.
of infbrmation has the potential to change the
and Ascendant Living
Persecution
teachings
If
the
humanconditionon a massivescale.
in the Modern Renuissance
of Jesuswere enough, then the authors of the fifth
The choiceof living as a mortal or ascendantbeing
epochalrevelationwould havegiven us PartsIII and
is entirelythe free will choiceof eachindividual. What
IV only. It is the totality of the messageof the fifth
Book importantis that it placesinto
epochalrevelationthat has the potential to change makesthe Urantia
the handsof the readerthe certaintyof that knowledge'
the very foundation of human perception. This
Spiritualliving no longer is the soleprovinceof "blind
kernel can be summedup as follows: every human
faith." Ascendantliving is experientialand shapesthe
being is a free will ascendantbeing living in Christ
of cause
individualsunderstandingof the consequences
Michael's universe.
and effect. Ascendantliving changesthe way human
I believe that the modern kernel of knowledge
beingsrelateto eachother. Ascendantliving is a new
that will fuel our renaissancewill be a new
understandingof ascendantlife. Thoughrecognition vision of life itself.
The great failing of most of the world religions is
of the Heavenly Father is the only condition
that while they promise eternal life, their practitioners
necessaryto obtain ascendantlife status,much more
of it on a personallevel' It
is possible. Accepting the challengeof ascendant haveno real understanding
people to understandthe
most
for
is very difficult
Fall & Winter. 2001
2l
Identity in the Modem Renaissance(continued)
consequencesof life beyond mortal death. It is not Identity in the Modern Renaissance
until after resurrection that many truly begin to
During the EuropeanRenaissancethe Protestants
understand the nature of ascendant life. This were able to developa public identity becauseof the
expansionof human vision is a potentially powerful confluenceof a number of factors: the philosophical
kernel in the modern renaissance because it
and political groundworkwas alreadyestablished,the
representsan entirely new understandingof the role emergenceof a powerful new technology enabled
each individual has in the universe. This communicationsto cross geographicborders,and the
understanding is directly experiential, is truly life
obsessivepersecutionof the establishedchurch. While
changing, and leads to citizenship in a universal the first two of these conditions are in place today,
kingdom that is very real.
nobody is actively seeking to initiate a modern
The problem with any intellectual kernel is that it
inquisition. If The Urantia Book rs to be effectively
threatens traditional systems. Throughout human presentedto the world, we will need to develop an
history every kernel that changesthe foundations of identity that is uniquely our own. We cannotcount on
human behaviorhas met with significantresistance. the persecutionby the establishedchurch to place our
During the European Renaissance the Roman name on the map of human consciousness.In many
Catholic Church was not at all
ways this is a more difficult order
excited about the concept of
It should not surprise us that
than the challenge faced by the
Humanism. Their reaction to the
ProtestantReformation.
after 46 years of publication
Protestant Reformation was one
A study of the Harlem
Christian theologians, clergy and
of persecutionand bloodshed.
Renaissance(ca. 1920 -1935)
intellectuals have rejected The
While the fact of ascendant
offers us a modern solution: the
life is understoodby most of the
Urantia Book using the most
developmentof a clearly defined
major religions, the practical contemporary
self-identity. During this short and
persecution
form of
implications of ascendantliving
very
localized renaissanceAfrican
the world has to offer:
as presentedinThe Urantia Book
Americans were struggling to
indffirenc e and ambivalence.
is threatening to orthodoxy. It
develop a public identity that
should not surprise us that after
clearly expressedtheir creative
46 yearsof publicationChristiantheologians,clergy uniqueness,
their heritage,and their culture to a largely
and intellectuals have rejected The Urantia Book hostilewhite world. They did this with new music,art,
using the most contemporaryform of persecutionthe and literature that presentedtheir case in their own
world has to offer: indifference and ambivalence. terms. They changedthe music industry through the
Most religionists in the modern world would like to establishmentof a new form of popularmusic:jazz. ln
see the fifth epochal revelation simply disappearby art they introduced the world to the images of Africa
attempting to ignore it. Therefore,many who preach combined with a fresh new urban attitude. In literature
in the name of JesusChrist are unable to embracethe they developedthe philosophicalgroundwork for the
new revelation of Christ's universe because to civil rights movement.
recognizeits existencethreatensto do what they fear
The Urantia Book clearly states that the Fifth
the most: change them and alter some of the basic EpochalRevelationwill spreadin a surprisingfashion.
tenantsof their faith.
A study of renaissanceindicatesthat it will take the
I too have sufferedpersecutionat the handsof the cooperativeefforts of many artisansto do this. Our
church, and I do not find their teeth to be particularly musicians,artists,writers, philosophers,and scholars
sharp. Though I could hardly compare my suffering must labor together to shape the identity of the fifth
to the tortured souls burned at the stake, the new epochalrevelationinto a sharply focused and simple
renaissance offers the opportunity for all of the kernel that the rest of the world will be able to
citizens of Christ's universe to rise up from our understand.This high level of communicationbetween
wounds, learn, and work even harder for Jesus' artisansis found in everyrenaissance
and is absolutely
universalkingdom. The movementworking withThe essentialfor the establishmentof a public identity.
Urantia Book will have ample opportunity to learn
the lessons that will enable us to overcome any Concluding with Cooperation
persecutionthe church and society can dish out while
Cooperationamongstthe readersof The (Jrantia
I Booft is essentialfor the presentationof Zhe Uranria
becoming effective ambassadorsfor the kingdom.
22
The Spiritual Fellowship Journal
-
Sincere"spiritual Attitude" [1733]
Book to the larger world. If we are divided we will
'oPositiveDoing" [1769]
remain weak and will continue to be ignored. We
our
out
of
working
methods
must develop effective
Nancy Bigelow
variousopinions and beliefs through a celebrationof
What do you say to a four or five year old who
our diversity. This is what the book means by
looks up into your eyes and asks: "What does God
developingunity of purposewithout a uniformity of
look like?" I think the worst possibleresponseis: "I
method.
don't know." I believetelling a child "I don't know"
In promoting a cooperativespirit we must learn
suggestsan I don't care attitude. "I don't care" is
how to communicatewith each'other in a way that
antitheticalto any known conceptaboutthe God who
strengthensour cause. We must learn to control our
propensity to refuse to cooperateand compromise caresfor eachofus so deeplyhe sentour CreatorSon
iirnply becauseit might violate some "fundamental to Urantia to teach us how to ascend.Attitude is
everything if a mortal is ever to set foot(?) on
principle" that we hold dear.
Paradise.I discovered(while watching a TV news
If we are to have any hope of being heard in the
clip about model aircraft) that even a lawn mower
"mega din" of the modern world, we must forge our
understandable
easily
wiil ascend and actually fly if it attains the right
messageinto a simple and
attitude. which leads me to
conceptthat communicatestruthsthat every
think a genuinely positive
What do you say to a four or
alreadY intuitivelY
being
human
attitude might motivate a
understandsbut may interpret differently. five year old who looks uP into
mortal to actually DO "the
is
that
missions
One of the basic tenantsof
your eyesand asks:"What does
will of the ParadiseFather."
those who hear the new messagetend to
the
I
think
like?"
look
God
[1331]
reinterpret it into their own terms. The
is:
possible
response
My preferredresponse
to
worst
out
turn
may
effbtt
missionary
result of a
question:"What does
the
to
be
to
be what the missionary considers
"I don't know."
like?" is: "God
look
God
"heresy."
looks like the way Jesusacts' This will or will not
We must learn to acceptthe fact that the kernel of
satisfy a child, depending;if a child's face brightens
truth that we wish to sharewith the world is already
world.
of
the
religions
with recognitionof moral duty toward one's fellows,
inherent in most of the
not
this is a good sign-that child may alreadypossessa
Acceptanceof the truth we offer the world may
Mystery Monitor. If the child expressespassive
require any knowledge of The Urantia Book' Just
or demandsto know abouteyesand ears
acceptance,
getting the kernel of ascendant life into the
parts,it could be the opportunetime
is
challenge
body
other
and
mainstream of human consciousness
to introduce those creature comprehensible
enough.
attitudes/attributes of divinity known as "infinite
This is indeed a tall order. Are we ready to make
goodness,endlessmercy, matchlesswisdom, superb
the effort? The fields are white with the harvest but
are
artisans
pray
our
that
character,"[26] beauty,and truth' After all, you and I
the laborers are few. Let us
walk around each and every day canying a live
up for the monumentaltask that is at hand"Creatorattribute" tI330] within our minds. (Makes
me wonder why so many Urantiansmake so many
Bruce Jacksonis AssistantProfessorof Humanities
and
performs
off-kilter decisions.)
at Lincoln Universityof Missouri' He
In our family, God looks pretty much like we're
composes
ictzz,popular and churchmusicfor his
going to look in a few million years(minus material
family band with his threesons(17, 15,and 12).
bodies)if everyonedevelopsa better attitudeabout
This native of Arkonsascurrently lives in Columbia,
Brusselssprouts,and beginsbehavinglike Jesusand
MO.
his brothers and sisters behaved when they were
growing up. "The human Jesus saw God as being
holy, just, and great as well as being true, beautiful
and good. All theseattributesof divinity he focused
'will of the Father in heaven.'"
in his mind as the
l208tl
(or
Our dictionaries do not analogize _attribute
-.--'
EiiaWinterJOm
z-)
Sincere"Spiritual Anitude" U7331 = "PositiveDoing" U7691 (Continued)
attitude) with will, but it seemsto me that had God
featuresof God's personality. The Urantia Papers
not had a positive,purposefulattitude,he would not
teachthat God's personalityrepresentseverythinghe
have willed the Eternal Son (and his attendant will everbe (andmuch,much more!).
attributes)into existence,and they in turn would not
"Personalityis that featureof an individual which
have willed the Infinite Spirit in order to actively
we know, and which enablesus to identify such a
express God's volition within and throughout the
being at somefuture time regardlessof the natureand
totality of his Creation.
extent of changesin form, mind, or spirit status."
On a TV show The Golden Girls, the most-golden [194] Noah Websterdefinesfeature: 1. a. The make,
matriarchis wont to say: "Picture this," and she then
form, or appearance,esp. of a person.b. Formerly,
goes on to evoke a verbal vignette more picturesque physicalbeauty. 2. The makeor castof a humanface
than the real thing. Humanson Urantia have usually
or of its parts; facial aspect. (Synonym, characpictured their gods as having distinctiveheads. One
teristic.) It would appearthat who I am as a PERSON
of the most unusual looking Egyptian deities is the
definitely conditions how other people will picture
one with the Price-PfisterPfaucetnameThoth. (Only
me, and I have learnedfrom the Papersthat my very
a mothercould love that face!) But
own
absolutely
unique
even Thoth has human arms and I recall the time someoneon one of "prerogativesof personality"[85]
the cyber-lists sai.dshefelt
legs. In the mannerhumansseem
representeverything I can ever
God hugging her . . . what we
to needa beginningfor everything,
hope to be via my God-givenfree
mortals term the mind's eye,
I think we also like to think a god
will. (Seems to me personal
can place a caring hand on a
is capable of experiencing
attitude can make or break a
shoulder,or literally walk on water.
person'simage.)
a God-hugging without
I recall the time someoneon one of
Jesus supposedly asked his
physically seeing or
the cyber-lists said she felt God
"Why do you call me
Apostles:
any
arms
of
feeling
hugging her. "The actuality of the
good?"
Well,
for one thing, if
any description.
existenceof God is demonstrated
Jesusreally is a manifestationof
in human experienceby the indwelling of the divine
God, he can't ever be less than genuinelyvery good
presence,the spirit Monitor sentfrom Paradiseto live
becauseGod personifiesa perfectlygood personfrom
in the mortal mind of man and there to assist in
the get-go;God tells us that, Jesustold us that, and I
evolvingthe immortal soul of eternalsurvival."l24lIt
believeit. Only a perfectlyrighteousGod would have
a mortal imaginesGod is huggingher, it's no wonder
whomped-upa salvationschemewhose ONLY real
she envisionsGod with arms; that's how the human
requirementfor eternalsurvival is that I, as a person,
mind works. The brain storesan image(afterthe first
will strive to be as perfect in my sphereof existence
hug) complete with arms and even the feeling of
as God is on Paradise.Becomingthe Fatherand Son
being hugged. However, "it is not necessaryto see coexistentwith the Infinite Spirit, God's personalself
God with the eyesof the flesh in order to discernhim
is realized; he's the first real and fully-aware-of-itby the faith-vision of the spiritualized [perfected] person, and therein lies his primary purpose for
mind." [25]
creating Creation, "ceaselessself-realization" [29]
In other words, what we mortals term the mind's
within a masteruniverse,where personslike us have
eye, is capable of experiencing a God-hugging a "first duty" to "strive for the attainmentof the
without physically seeingor feeling any arms of any
perfectionof fthe Master's] divinity." l22l
description.
"The term God always denotespersonality." 14]
God has never named himself (accordingto the
God is the face of fettered causality. Personality
Urantia Papers),but names attached to attributes, identifies "the absolute unity of Deity." t28l
attitudes,and actionscan help to explainan object (or
"Personalityin the supremesenseis the revelationof
person's image), simply becausenames (over the
God to the universe of universes." [29] Prior to
years)havecome to reflect characteristics,
meanings. unification (personalization)as the original Trinity,
and even values. Millions of people on our planet
Deity's "image" is unfetteredvolition (albeit, perfect
believe JESUS has to look at least somethinglike
and purposefulwill). In that stateof "infinity of will,"
God, not only becausethey believehe is God's only
[6] Father-Infiniteis able to fragmenthis prepersonal
begotten Son, but they believe Jesus acts-out the
Mystery Monitors becauseDeity is pure essenceof
24
The Spiritual FellowshipJoun.ral
'Adjusters are
I did so becauseyou were only childrenin the spirit."
presence rather than a persona.
1
l83l
gravity."
of
t
fragments of the ancestor
U952] "You can argueover opinions about God, but
experience with him and in him exists above and
Impersonal (prepersonal) spirit entities are without
beyond all human controversy and mere intellectual
personal reference or identity (yet!). My Fatherlogic." [30] Isn't our experiencewith our Monitor
Monitor is a part of eternity-infinity prior to Father's
here-and-now,
in
the
and
experienceIN God?
personalizationon Paradise,
possess
Like Father, like Son; personality look-alikes;
neitherNancy B. nor her Thought Controller
mirror-imageswho reflect themselves(to us) via a
a unified personality,so both of us are "prepersonal"
Conjoint Actor acting on a stageknown as the grand
in one sense.
"there
is
person;
perfect
universe.Looks to me like it's God's infinite, positive,
portrays
a
The name God
his
perfection
of
purposeful (willful) attitude-in-mind that begot his
no thing lacking in the beauty and
Son, and they (in turn, utilizing original mind and
righteous character."[36] More important, from my
infinite volition), gave expressionto the power of
mortal point of view, "the perfect and imperfect are
one
by
"absolutely
controlled
expressionitself, the Infinite Spirit. Therefore,on our
truly interrelated" and
current level of reality, divine
infinite mind," and "therefore may
attitude = divine acting, and divine
the finite evolutionary creature
"Jesus' religion consistednot
acting equivalateswith divine doing.
ascendto Paradisein obedienceto
merely in believing, but in
"Jesus'religion consistednot merely
mandate:
the Universal Father's
actually doing, those things
'Be you perfect, even as I am
\n believing, but in actuallY doing,
which the gospel required.."
those things which the gosPel
perfect."' 16311 "God is a
[1769] Think like Jesus,you'll
universal spirit; God is the end-up acting just like Jesusday required." 11769l Think like Jesus,
you'll end-up acting just like Jesus
universalperson."[25] God is the
after day doing the Father's
day after day doing the Father's will
universal FATHER. "When all is
will without even reallY
without evenreally thinking about it.
said and done, the Father idea is
it.
about
thinking
The three faces of God on
still the highesthuman concePtof
are "FATHER, (Creator,
Paradise
God
words,
God." 120911In other
SON, (Co-ordinate
Upholder)
words
and
Controller,
is our real father in every senseof the human
Spiritual
and
Controller,
Creator, Spirit
father and person. How do I know that? I know it
Administrator) and SPIRIT (Conjoint Actor,
becauseI love God. "Only a person can love and be
from
divorced
be
would
UniversalIntegrator,and Mind Bestower").[4] Well'
truth
loved. Even beauty and
personal
a
at leastI know who to look for even if I don't know
survival hope if they were not attributesof
exactly what God looks like. (If he dressesas
God, a loving Father."[31]
uniquely as the personalitieshe bestows,it will be a
And "the spirit nature of the Universal Father is
piece of cake to find him. Besides,by the time I get
sharedfully with his coexistent self, the Eternal Son
and
Father
io Paradise,I will be seeingvia the faith-visionof my
of Paradise." I'm thinking that if God the
mind's eye not my eyes of the flesh. In my mind,
God the Son sharea nature,they also sharethe same
seeingwith a material eye of the flesh leads only to a
attitudes and attributes; they probably look a whole
faith-BELIEF; seeingwith the mind's eye leadsto the
lot alike in terms of image (maybeeven figuratively).
share
actualfaith of Jesus!)
And "both the Father and Son in like manner
"The Creator covers himself with light as with a
the universal and eternal spirit fully and unreservedly
gafinent and stretchesout the heavensas a curtain."
with their conjoint personality co-ordinate, the
'Lo, he goesby me, and I
in
"The
reflects
Spirit
Infinite
Infinite Spirit." [25]
[21] "Said the seerof old:
seehim not; he passeson also,but I perceivehim not.'
perfection not only the nature of the ParadiseFather
We may constantly observethe works of God, we
but also the nature of the Original Son." [92]
may be highly consciousof the material evidencesof
Has anyone else noticed how meaningful the
his majesticconduct,but rarely may we gazeupon the
prefix and word "in" is in the Papers?Indwelling and
"In
visible manifestation of his divinity, not even to
infinite Father fragment; "in reality;" [1753]
'As I havelived with you in person,
behold the presenceof his delegatedspirit of human
personality."[9]
indwelling," t25l known variously as a Mystery
then shall I live in you." [1948] "Down here I have
Monitor, Thought Changer, Thought Adjuster,
taught you in proverbsand spokento you in parables.
Fall & Winter. 2001
25
Sincere"SpiritualAttitude" [1733] = "PositiveDoing" []7691 (Continued)
are pre-fusionin the samesenseDeity was pre-fusion
ThoughtController,or FatherFragment. "'The eyes
(unification)prior to the original Trinity. The Adjuster
"
place.'
of the Lord are in every
[48] In a very real
allows me to qualify for perfectionof personalityin
sense,the pure energyfragmentindwelling my mind
almost the same senseDeity qualified itself at that
is God looking right at me every moment of the day
moment of the frst "absolutedivinity-tension."l6f
and night. God seesme, why can't I seehim?
"In the inner experienceof man, mind is joined to
What do you and I look like? We're createdin
joinery
God's image, but what does that really mean? And,
matter,"but that somewhatcomputer-like
is
why doesGod live within a light so bright, Urantians
toast at the time of mortal demise. "The technique
would be nuked if they got anywhere close to
of survival is embracedin those adjustmentsof the
Paradise?(I guessif a personlives on the most perfect
human will and thosetransformationsin the mortal
island in the middle of everything,and that island is
mind whereby such a God-consciousintellect
the actual sourceof "all forms of reality," [7] then in
graduallybecomesspirit taughtand eventuallyspirit
truth, God can't help it that he's not exactly a dim
led." [26] Readersof the Urantia Papersknow that
bulb. Besides,there's the "truth-fact" that Deity's
an actual spirit-factor of the Universal Father can
light bulb is a mind with a wattage
live within the humanmind, and we
that thought-upthe idea of Reality in
see in the quote from page 25 that
you
What do
and I look like?
the first place.In my opinion, reality
this "presence" is sometimes We're created in God's image,
-the size of what it turned out to
"beheld." Beheld? Beheld how? I
but what does that really mean?
be-had to have been an absolutely
thoughtspirit wasn't discernibleon
And,
why
does
live
within
a
God
BRILLIANT idea!) "They beheld
our level of reality.
Noah Webster connotes the light so bright, Urantians would Jesusin intimate conversewith two
brilliant beings clothed in the
be nuked if they got anywhere
word beholdwith Lo! and Look! If
"covers
habiliments of the light of the
the Creator
himself with
close to Paradise?
celestialworld. And Jesus'face and
light as with a garment," what sort
form shone with the luminosity of a heavenlylight."
of clothing covers my Controller? "There is a
characteristic light, a spirit luminosity, which
tl7s3]
"The immensity and grandeur of the divine
accompaniesthis divine presence;on Urantia this
personality is beyond the grasp of the unperfected
phenomenonhas sometimesbeenreferredto as that
'true light which lights
mind of evolutionarymortals,"but believeit or don't,
every man who comesinto
" 'the invisible things of God are partially understood
the world."' [1181] Lo! what doesspirit luminosity
by the things which are made.'" l27l "In personality,
Look! like? According to the Divine Counselorwho
mind ever intervenes between spirit and matter;
indited the Foreword of the Urantia Papers.spirit
thereforeis the universeilluminated finterpreted]by
luminosity "connotesthe personalitymanifestation
threekinds of light: materiallight, intellectualinsight,
characteristicof spirit beingsof diverseorders."[10]
and spirit luminosity." [9] And therefore,"today and
As I interpretthat quote, spirit luminosity connotes
as [we] are, [we] must discern the invisible Maker
both my Father fragment and my personality,
through his manifold and diversecreation,as well as
becausethat "kind" of light is how God adjustsl4ll
through the revelationand ministration of his Sons."
his omnipotence, omnipresence, and allIn other words, Father's attributesand attitudes are
knowingnessin relation to my mortal mind.
visible via his Son, thence,via "his Sons and their
In other words, althoughmy Mystery Monitor is
numeroussubordinate
s." 127-281
spokenof as a pre-personalspirit being,he is a form
"The transcendent
goal of the children of time is to
("manifestation")empoweredto grow my soul at the
find
the
eternal
God,
to
comprehendthe divine nature,
sametime he's helping the two of us to becomea
to recognize the Universal Father. God-knowing
brand-newpersonality-in-FACTat the time of our
creatureshave only one supremeambition, just one
fusion. This businessabout the Adjuster being an
consumingdesire,and that is to becomeas they are in
impersonal entity finally makes some sense;our
their spheres, like him as he is in his Paradise
Monitors are pre-personal in that the First Great
perfectionof personalrty."[2ll "I comeforth from the
Source and Center was not yet personalized(on
Eternal,and I haverepeatedlyreturnedto the presence
Paradise) when he fragmented our Mystery
of the Universal Father. I know of the actuality and
Monitors (and similar), and Thought Changerand I
26
The Spiritual Fellowship Journal
his face radiates cosmic beauty; he's full to
personalityof the First Sourceand Center,the Eternal
overflowing with the joy of the "conviction of truth."
and Universal Father. I know that, while the great
I think he looks like a beautif'ul attitude
ll949l
God is absolute,eternal,and infinite, he is also good,
coupledwith a bounteouspersonality,working with a
divine, and gracious. I know the truth of the great
'God is spirit' and 'God is love,' and
mind which appreciates"the eternal fitness of those
declarations:
things which impinge upon the recognitionof divine
these two ATTRIBUTES are most completely
goodnessin Deity relations with all beings." [641]
revealedto the universein the Eternal Son." [26]
Eddie is living his life in the mannerof Jesus,being all
Did anyoneseethe movie Clifford starring Martin
that he can be. The notion that Eddie seemsto see
Short? As a child, Clifford manifests the
divine attributes without the use of material eyes
devil's sonpersona.Martin Shortwore
quintessential
seemsto suggestthat most mortals on Urantia are
that attribute/attitude on his face for the entire movie.
confusedabout the meaning of terms like God and
I think eachand everyone of us wearsand reflectsthe
divinity simply becausethey're hung-up on God's
face of our personality via the way we act and
having to have a physicalimage. What God DID and
especiallythe way we act toward one another. By the
still DOES is what really matters(in
time you and I have finished the
my mind).
required learning and doing with
(Irantians can't see God in the
I figure the secretof doing the
the Melchizedeks,we will be taken senseof seeing words or
Pictures
perfect
thing is in first trying to have
to Salvingtonwhereeachone of us
on paper or a comPuterscreen,
a near-perfectthought based on the
will stand "face to face with the
but evenblind people can see
way Jesusthinks about things. I can
Sovereignof all Nebadon."[1248] what God's divine attributes look
turn to any page in anY one of the
What will his face reflect? He has
like via the light of intelligent
Jesus Papers and see how Jesus
a perfectpersonality,and is in fact mind. In
I think some blind
fact,
thinks and how those thoughtsplayTHE "pattern for all local universe
people see God much better
out. I figure-strive to be as perfect
personalityfrom that of the Bright
than sightedpeople do.
in my mind as I am able,evenif I am
and Morning Star down to the
unable to be perfect anywhereelse,
lowest human creature of
simply becauseGod is perfect in his mind from the
progressinganimal evolution." t28] Our Master
moment of that first thought which began
Michael probablylooks just like Father,right?
everyTHINGUrantiansultimately ended-upseeingon
Urantians can't see God in the senseof seeing
Urantia. I figure if a personwantsto know what God
words or pictureson paperor a computerscreen,but
looks like as a person,he or she needsto know how
even blind people can see what God's divine
and what God is thinking, which alwaysleadsto how
attributeslook like via the light of intelligent mind'
God acts,and he nevervariesin his "dependableway
In fact, I think some blind people see God much
of divine acting."[1331]
betterthan sightedpeopledo. There is a man named
Jesusteachesgreatstuff aboutbehaviorbecausehe
Eddie (who haswon a good deal of money on the TV
was fully committed to "the teaching of the evershowJeopardy),whosemind and personalityhumble
presentdivine spirit of human guidance,"[1330] his
me every time I see him on that show. As far as I
Adjuster. No questionin my mind that my Thought
know he's been blind from birth, but as I have
Controller has the right attitudes, or I probably
observedhis facial expressionsduring eachcontest,I
wouldn't still be alive. My teenageattitudes were
haveseena mind so illuminatedby the first two types
937o negative,and right up to the time the Urantia
of universallight, I fully expect to see his guardian
Papersleaped-off a library shelf and almost bruised
seraphimpushing the signal button. "The guardian
my toe, my adult attitudes were extremely selfseraphim are not mind, though they do spring from
serving. Now that I'm finally beginningto seevia two
the samesourcethat also givesorigin to mortal mind,
lights of truth (my Mystery Monitor and the Spirit of
the CreativeSpirit. Seraphimare mind stimulators;
Truth), I recognize that right attitude equals right
seraphimfunction as teachersof men by guiding the
attribute which may, in turn, reality-ize my eternal
footstepsof the human personalityinto pathsof new
soul. For example,it is in my power to learn how to
andprogressiveexperiences."ll245l I seeEddie (the
carefor (love) anotherpersonin the very mannerJesus
Jeopardycontestant)as beautiful (as well as good)
taughtthe principle of caring; "Jesusmadethe care of
not becauseof his physical appearance,but because
God for man like the solicitude of a loving father for
Sincere"SpiritualAttitude" [1733] = "PositiveDoing" F7691 (Continued)
of God. And that is just the reasonwhy I have so often
the welfare of his dependentchildren and then made
taught you that the kingdom of heaven can best be
this teachingthe cornerstoneof his religion." 11769)
rcabzed by acquiring the spiritual attitude of a sincere
Our Father always knows the best way to behave,
child.
It is not the mental immaturity of the child that I
and he also always manifestshimself in that "ttsLtal
commend
to you but rather the spiritual simplicity of
way"-in the normal, natural, and dependableway of
suchan easy-believingand fully-trusting little one. It is
divine acting." t13311 Epochal Revelationsalways
not
so important that you should know about the fact of
manifest God in the same miraculous manner;
God
as that you shouldincreasinglygrow in the ability
therefore,if you have seen those divine Sons, you
to
feel the presenceof God." U1331
have glimpsedthe Fatherbecauseyou havewitnessed
Picturethe presenceof Divinity; picture God's only
God's sincerity. The attainmentof goals of sonship,
begotten
Son (or Jesus,whicheveryou prefer.) Picture
service, and salvation is directly proportionate with
your
in
MIND'S
eyethe attitudesand attributesof Jesus
the level of sincerity.
(as
he
lived
the
2000 years ago), because"divine
truth
Not long ago, a Urantia Papers faith-believer
truth is a spirit-discerned reality," ll949l and God's
asked:What was Jesus'secret?I believeJesus'secret
actual reality is discernedvia the "living ministry" [9]
is that he never abandonedthe sincere attitude of a
of the Infinite Spirit and his offspring. The mortal mind
child. We know that during the incarnation,Jesusand
is tremendously influential "as a
our Michael shared the same
personality, so from the moment Not long ago, a Urantia Papers factor in spiritual choosing." U56l
"Why have you lingered so long
Michael left Salvingtonwith a fullyfaith-believer asked:
before
choosingto follow the LIGHT
divine desireto do our Father'swill,
was Jesus'secret?"
"What
of
truth
with a whole heart?" [2032]
he was able to maintain that level of
I
"Light-spirit
believe
is
that
he
luminosity," t10l
Jesus' secret
sincerity for the entire span of his
was/is
the
source
of
Jesus'faith. "His
=
never
abandoned
the
sincere
mortality. Right attitude
right
faith
was
the
out-growth
of the insight
attribute which yields right action,
attitude of a child.
(illumination)
born
of
the
activitv of
"always."
presence,
the divine
his indwelling
"Urantia mortals have varying
Adjuster."
Seems
to
me,
that
in
order
to picture
l2087l
concepts of the miraculous, but to us who live as
deity
and
divinity,
I
need
Look!
no
further
in my
than
citizens of the local universe there are few miracles,
mind.
and of these by far the most intriguing are the
"Come, therefore,all of you into the fellowship of
incarnationalbestowalsof the ParadiseSons. The
the Spirit of Truth in the Father's kingdom." [2032]
appearancein and on your world, by apparently
"Today I can be with you only in person. In the times
natural processes,of a divine Son, we regard as a
to
comeI will be with you and all other men who desire
miracle-the operation of universal laws beyond our
presence,whereveryou may be, and with each of
my
understanding.Jesusof Nazarethwas a miraculous
you at the sametime. Do you not discernthat it is better
person,but make no mistake;Christ Michael was not
a double personality. He was not God in association for me to go away; that I leave you in the flesh so that I
may the better and the more fully be with you in the
with man but, rather, God incarnate in man. Christ
spirit?" t19481 'All true prayers are addressedto
Michael did not progressivelybecomeGod. God did
spiritualbeings,and all suchpetitionsmust be answered
not, at some vital moment in the earth life of Jesus,
in
spiritual terms, and all such answersmust consistin
becomeman. And this God and this man were, and
realities." "Material beings can pray effectively
spiritual
now are, one, eyen as the ParadiseTrinity of three
only when they 'pray IN the SPIRIT."' [1848-49] In the
beingsis in reality Deity." t13311 What does Jesus
spirit is the manner in which a Spiriffused mortal has
look like? Well, in my mind, he certainly looks like
"in spirit obeyed the Father's command, 'Be you
the bestwav to find God.
perfect."'[411]
Picture the presenceof Deity; picture the Father. (I
(Said JudasAlpheus): "If the world SEES you not,
find it helps to envision all that I perceiveis potential
how shall we be certain about you? How will you
in a UNIVERSAL Father's attitude/attributeof love.)
SHOW yourself to us?" t19481 Jesusanswered:"In a
"Divine truth must not be discountedbecausethe
very short time I am going to send you my spirit, just
channelof its bestowalis apparentlyhuman. Many of
LIKE me except for this material body. This new
your brethren have minds which acceptthe theory of
teacheris the Spirit of Truth who will live with eachone
God while they spiritually fail to realize the presence
aa
.o
The Soiritual FellowshioJournal
of you, in your hearts,and so will all the children of
light be made one and be drawn toward one another.
And in this very mannerwill my FatherAND I be able
to live in the souls of each one of you and also in the
heartsof all other men who love us and make that love
real in their experiencesby loving one another,evenas
I am loving you." [1949]
What does God look like? He looks like the way
Jesuslived and taught and loved,-butmore important,
God looks the way our burgeoning,Urantia Papersconditionedsoulsare beginningto look. You and I can
see God clearly any time we want to just by looking
inward at our Monitors. Seehow busy they are? They
never sleep in order that, together,we will sometime
'As a reality in human spiritual
see God on Paradise.
experienceGod is not a mystery." 127) A progressive
soul mirrors God's truth(s)and love and life itself. (Lo!
I don't think I want to know what a static-truthsoul
looks like.)
The Tirrning Point -Part I
Arthur Nash
Excerpted from the book, "The Golden RuIe in
Business," copyright 1923, this material has
significancefor [Jrantian scholarsfor three reasons.It
provirles first-source information about the seminal
religious beliefs of Dr William S' Sadler who, in his
youth was an ordainedSeventhDay Adventistminister
to Nash. Clearly,thesebeliefsare
and contemporaneous
far afield from the [Jrantia Papers' Second,Part I of this
excerpt chronicles Nash'sdevotion to his church, and
the misguidedfundamentalismof the organizationthat
resultedin his expulsion.It is inspiring to read the birth
of personal religion in Nash by means of loving
service-the great gospelof Jesusof Nazareth.Thethird
reasonfor examining Nash's work is that it may well
have beena secondaryhuman sourcefor a key concept
of the (Jrantia Papers,as we shall see in Part II.
Outsideof the fact of its representingsome sort of a
religious system or cult, the term Seventh Day
Nancy Bigelow lives in Hawaii with her husband,Bill'
Adventismcan meanlittle or nothing to many who will
Shedescribedher ltfefor us in her uniqueand creative scan these pages. They regard it as being merely a
style, and with a self-effacing charm that defies the
combinationof vowels and consonants.The character
:
euphemistictouch of editorial embellishment
and content of what its leadersteach and its adherents
believe,is as far beyondthe frontier of their interestas it
'physical identity'
is beyondthat of their knowledge. . . [yet] in view of the
"Achieved what the Papers term
fact that as a SeventhDay Adventist I was reared and
October 10. 1938, Cleveland, Ohio' Lovable, but
grew to manhood,and of the further fact that, as a fully
extremelydefiant child raised by utterly devotedand
accreditedmember of that Church I became a preacher
loving parents. Managed to escape incarceration of its doctrines,it can scarcelybe deemedirrelevantif I
during teenageyears somewhatin the manner of that
outline, briefly, the history and belief of the people
amongwhom I was raised.
Urantia Papersfrog who waltzed around lightning bolts
SeventhDay Adventismoriginatedin the work of one
mankind.
& became the ancestor of Urantian
William Miller, who was born in Pittsfield,
Somehow succeeded in college (all the while
MassachusettsFebruary 15, 1182 and died at Low
maintainingdefiantattitude)and was graduatedwith a
Hampton,New York December20, 1849' A farmer by
degreein zoologyand secondaryeducation-Snaggeda
occupation possessing very limited educational
wonderful man at the same time received teaching advantages,
he becamedeeply interestedin the study of
a
lift
becoming
of
my
bulk
the
spent
certificate& have
prophecy.In 1833 he began to lecture on the Second
Coming of Christ, and predictedthe destructionof the
dilettante. Mission: change dilettante status via the
world in 1843.He made many convertsto his views, in
Fifth Epochal Revelation."
this country,in Canada,and in GreatBritain. They were
called Millerites. The prophet's prediction of doom
havingfailed, he madeother datesfor its consummation.
These failing also, the faith of many of his followers
weakenedand numbersfell away.Yet he still remained
regardedas a man of deep sincerity,great intellectual
abllity, and a devoted Christian, by a large body of
people.
Fall & Winter, 2001
29
The Tuming Point (Continued)
alike, biding the great awakening; that the wicked
In 1846,JamesWhite and his wife, adding certain
together with Satan will be annihilated; that when
tenets to the creed of the Millerites, founded the
Christ comes,for thoseadventthey arehourly waiting,
SeventhDay branch of Adventists.At various times
only one hundredand forty-four thousandof all people
they made their headquartersat Paris, Maine and
then living on this planet will be saved-and, of
Saratoga,Oswego,and Rochester,in the stateof New
course,all of thesewill be SeventhDay Adventists.
York. In the year 1855 they settledin Battle Creek,
. . . In the days of my youth, the theologicalschool
Michigan, which, until recenttimes,formedthe center
Day Adventistswaslocatedin BattleCreek
of
Seventh
of their activities.
Michigan. To that school I was sent, and when I had
The main points of doctrinetaughtby SeventhDay
finishedmy study-courseit was said of me by someof
Adventists, as set forth in their literature, are as
the eldersthat, in their judgment, if the entire text of
follows: They believe in the divine Sonshipof Jesus
the
New Testamentshouldbecomelost, I could replace
Christ; that the seventhday, Saturday,is the Sabbath
it from memory. That, of course, is a pretty tall
of the Lord God; that the keeping of Sunday is the
statement,and I must be permittedto deny everhaving
mark of the beast, the Sabbath having been
claimed the qualificationssuch an extraordinaryfeat
iniquitously changedby the hierarchy of the Roman
would entail. But, this much I have no hesitancyin
CatholicChurch;that the beastsof the Apocalypseare
saying:Did anyone,in thosedays,
to be identified with said Catholic
misquotea passagefrom the King
Church, and that by changing the The elder explained: "There is an
James Version of the New
day set asidefor the observanceof
old lady here in Detroit who
Testamentin my hearing, I could
the Sabbath they establishedthe
maintains a homefor jailbirds.
detectit instantly . . .
mark of their power; that the
Some ministers take turns giving
At the time when I completed
observance of Sunday is that
my course at Battle Creek, the
against which
the terrible
semicesfor them. I supposethis
Seventh Day Adventists had a
pronouncement is made in invitation means that it is our turn.
'And
ministers and
school for
Revelationxiv:9-11:
the third
But we neverpa! any
missionariesin the city of Detroit.
angelfollowed them, sayingwith a
attention to them."
To this school,in which therewere
loud voice, if any man worship the
about twenty-five young people
beastandhis image,and receivehis
preparing to become bearers of the "Third Angel's
mark in his forehead.or in his hand. the same shall
Message,"I was sent as an instructor.A short while
drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured
after I enteredon my duties,the elder,who residedat
out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;
the
school in order to keep a watchful eye on both
and he shall be tormentedwith fire and brimstonein
students and instructors, handed me a card of
the presenceof the Lamb: and the smoke of their
invitation, which read as follows: "This will be your
torment ascendethup ever and ever; and they shall
Sunday[naminga datea few weeksahead]to conduct
haveno rest day nor night who worship the beastand
servicesin the afternoonsin the d'Arcambal home."
his image, and whosoeverreceiveththe mark of his
The elder explained: "There is an old lady here in
name."
Detroit who maintains a home for jailbirds. Some
In additionto thesethings,SeventhDay Adventists
ministerstaketurnsgiving servicesfor them.I suppose
believe that their late leader, Ellen G. White, was
this invitation meansthat it is our turn. But we never
precisely
inspiredin
the sameway as were the writers
pay
any attentionto them."
of Holy Scriptures,that the Bible must be interpreted
I made no reply at the time. Later, I talked the
as to harmonizeabsolutelywith her writings; that all
matterover with a young man in the schoolwho was a
the greatpropheciesof Scripture,exceptthoserelating
very accomplishedsinger as well as a progressive
to the end of the world, have already been fulfilled;
student.We decidedwe would like to go and take a
that all should pay tithes; that all churchessaveonly
peepat the d'Arcambaljail-birds.
the SeventhDay Adventists,constituteBabylon and
"Mother" d'Arcambal. the widow of a French
are spurned of God; that they, and they alone, are
was an invalid, yet a woman who was doing a
count,
give
calledto
the last warningof approachingdoom to
wonderful
humanitarianwork in the city of Detroit.
mankind; that this is the very last hour of the world's
She had a representativeof her Home meet every
history; that the deadare unconscious,body and soul
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
dischargedprisonerat the gate of the stateprison at
squarely between the eyes. Up to that moment,
Jackson,and offer him a shelter and an opportunity
possibly,I had neverventuredon a really independent
to makea new startin life. She,and her husband,had
thought in the whole courseof my life. I had accepted
built the Home, and had a rug and broom factory
and takenfor grantedthe impeccabletruth of what my
just
Madame
said,
I
have
As
connectedtherewith.
"spiritual pastors and masters" had taught me. But
possibly
d'Arcambal did a great work, and scores,
right there I was literally jolted by the question,put to
hundreds,of men who, else, had gone down into
me by that stern elder, into some sort of genuine
irretrievable ruin, were by her Christly spirit and
mental action. I knew something of the worth of this
years
of
and
to
society
saved
practical assistance
woman's life of service, of her great heart of
better living. When she died, the whole of the
sympathyand love. I knew of the hand of
religious world of Detroit-Protestant, Catholic,
helpfulnessshe had stretchedout to those who had
Jewish-paid homageto the work and worth of a real
stumbled along life's journey, and had lost the way. I
of
God.
great
servant
a
fallen,
to
friend of the
knew of her faith in God. and, what is more, of her
to
To resume:The young studentand myself went
faith in the possibilities for good surviving
the servicewe had been invited to conduct.After it
somewhere in the deeps of even the worst of
had beenconcluded.Mother d'Arcambal saidto me:
mankind. Mother d'Arcambal not saved?The thing
"Mr. Nash, this appearsto be a
was absurd, utterly unthinkable.
Every feeling within me revolted at
dreadfully busy world. For
The question hit me as woul.da
the idea. So I blurted out: "I want
sometime, as you may know, I
the
planted
between
squarely
blow
to ask you a question. Do You
have been an invalid; and eyes. Up to that moment,PossiblY,I
worthy
good
and
many
think JesusChrist can be saved?"
although
hud,never ventured on a really
people unite in supporting our independent thought in the whole
Now I suppose that was a
thing to say in an
institution they don't come in to
shocking
I
accepted
had
course of my W.
It would be a
school.
Adventist
see me very often, and I get
and takenfor granted the
you
try
thing to
not
shocking,
Won't
if
lonesome.
startling,
awfully
impeccabletruth of what my
to arrangeto come here, once in a
say anywhere. Yet it must be
"spiritual pastors and masters"
remembered that I was but a
while, and read the Scripturesand
had taught me.
youngster at the time, and the
talk with me?"
gladly
acceded,
I
very
request
soul's
To this dear
phrasewas born out of the heartfelt indignation that
one
or
and for the next two or three months I spent
swept over me at the suggestionof a soul like that
two eveningseach week at the bedsideof Agnes L.
which I knew had dwelt in Mother d'Arcambal being
d'Arcambal.I was with her when shebadethe world
consignedto perdition, simply becauseof a question
good-bye,and passedto a higher and largersphereof
which, in essence,relatesonly to a weekly calendar.
service.
But I had most certainly flung a bombshell in our
A few days after the deathof this good woman,I
classthat morning. The elder straightenedhimself up,
was engaged in class instluction in the school,
and fixing me with his eye, replied, "Young man,
"'Third
contained
Message"
Angel's
the
expounding
probably you are not aware that Mrs. d'Arcambal
what,
students
in Revelation xiv, describing to the
once went down to Battle Creek, listened to the great
accordingto the Adventist interpretation,the mark of
truths of the Third Angel's Message from Elder
the beastwas, and what the sealof God, and how the
White, Elder Uriah Smith, and other of our great
one hundred and forty-four thousand, who were to
leaders,and rejected them. Moreover, what right has
general
stand secure from the otherwise
a young, inexperiencedupstart like you to liken this
condemnationupon the sea of glass, must be
woman to JesusChrist?"
observersof the seventh day as the Sabbathof the
My immediate reply was that I did know she had
Lord. When I had finished my lesson, the
been to Battle Creek. I knew, also, that she had
"Brother
place
and
said:
supervisingelderrosein his
listened to expositions of Seventh Day Adventist
Nash, I want to ask you a question.In view of the
doctrine by the great leaders of the Church, but did
exposition you have just given the class, do you
not know she had rejectedthem. However, I was so
believethat Mrs. d'Arcambal can be saved?"
arousedthat I did not even state that fact. I merely
planted
a
blow
The question hit me as would
informed the elder that I did know that she had been
Fall & Winter, 2001
3l
The Tuming Point (Continued)
to Battle Creek. I was not looking for a way to dodge
spirit, reared in an environment where personal
the issueI had raised.
religion playedno part, they have grown to
Well, the upshot of that morning's experiencewas,
maturity completely insensible to the appeal of
that the Conference Committee of the Adventist
anythingwhich doesnot relateimmediatelyto sense
Churchwas notified to conveneto considermy heresy.
and time. With such men, ignoranceis indeed bliss,
The good brethrenwho composedit were scatteredall
or at leastfreedomfrom "the gnawingworm."
over the Stateof Michigan, and it requiredtwo or three
But let a man havebehindhim an upbringingsuch
days' time to bring them together.During that period I
as mine-it matters not what the character of
knew not what sleepmeant.I ponderedand pondered,
teaching he may have been under the influence ofuntil my brain practically refused to function. But
and the caseis altered,instantly.Try as he will, by
beforeI reachedthis mentalimpasse,I had arrivedat a
any sort of known means,laudableor reprehensible
definite irrevocableconclusion.When the Committee
(as the world judges), he will fail to still the
f,nally met, its deliberationswere short,if not sweet.I
mutteringsof conscience,or rid himself of the appeal
went into the room where its memberswere gathered
of the Christian faith. He may aim to find distraction
and said: "Before you enter on a considerationof my
in dissipation,in social,evenpolitical, obligations;in
case,I havejust a dozenwords to say which will clear
love, marriageand the dischargeof family duties;but
the atmospherein better fashion than two hours of
he will still hear the voice-the warning, pleading,
cross-examination.They are these:
condemningvoice-crying: "This
"If people like
"If people like Mother d'Arcambal
is the way, walk thou in it." This is
are doomed to go to hell, I want to
no "call to the unconverted."I am
Mother d'Arcambal
go with them.Goodbye!"
now making no "appeal to
are doomed to go to hell,
Bitter Years
sinners,"but a plain statementof
The very ground on which I had
plain
fact. And so, againI say,my
I want to go with them.
stood hitherto, crumbled beneath
heart always beats in sympathy
Goodbye!"
my feet. Remember, that from my
with any man who, having once
earliestinfancy I had neverheardor
had a vision-no matter how
learned anything of a religious
misleading-of sacred things,
character except the tenets and teachings of
finds himself compelledto turn his face away,only to
Adventism. On their validity, and my acceptanceof
find-confusion and chaos.That is a stretchof life's
journey, along which a man makes his way with
them, the authoritiesof the Holy Scripture,the verities
of the Christian faith, the very fact of God Himself,
bowed head and bleedingfeet. It is a stretchI know
had turned.As I let go of them, I seemed,at the same
well, for I have trodden it with heavy heart and bitter
time, to be letting go of everything-human and
tears . . .
divine. My soul became a rifled chamber, robbed
I left the Adventist school in Detroit and went
ruthlessly of its every treasure. Every laudable
back to my father'shome in Indiana,realizing that I
impulse, and up-reaching desire, died away in my
had flung away every vestige of my faith and had
heart-died swiftly, as a soldiermight die in battle,as
becomean infidel or, at any rate, an agnostic.
a bullet crashesthrough his brain. The light in my
I did my level best to run away from duty, faith,
spiritualfirmamentfadedsuddenlyinto the "blackness
God-and myself. My father strove earnestly with
of darkness;"my sun went down at high noon . . .
me to recantmy heresy,to acknowledgemy having
Men thereare,of whom I havemet thousands,who
turned traitor to the faith of my childhood. Two
are making their way through life untroubled by a
prominenteldersof the AdventistChurchaddedtheir
singleproblem or questionrelating to spiritualthings,
pleading and argument to those of my father, but I
or with anythingrelatingto creedor belief. Not vicious
turned a deaf ear to them all. For me, the lamp of
men, these,not notoriouslyevil.
On the contrary,
faith had splutteredout.
many are to be reckoned as being among the most
I left my homein Indianaand took to the road.For
respectableand respectedmembersof society. Such
four or five years I wanderedabout the Middle West,
mattersas thesesimply have no place in their scheme
doing odd jobs here and there.Often did I go ragged
of things-that is all. Born in homes where no
and hungry. During those years, I never cared two
attentionor significancewas given to the things of the
strawswhich way a fieight train was headedwhen I
J./-
The Spiritual Fellowship Joumal
whetherDeity existedor not, therewere good people
climbed into a box-car,or what it was I did to keep
in the world-people who were not ashamed to
body and soul together. . . Seekingrest and finding
good
all
with
thither
confessthat they found their incentive to aid their
and
none; roaming hither
I
fellows in love for Christ, and in a belief in the
incentiveand desireabsentfrom anythingto which
principleshe increasinglyproclaimed. . .
set my hand,I becameveritably lost . . .
Yet the truth of the old proverb that "shadow
PresentlyI mademy way back to Detroit.The vast
for it was
the
of
proveth
sun" was oncemore demonstrated,
the
activities
form
industrieswhich, to-day,
I am
met
what
I
work
that
relief
while engagedin this
Michigan city were then undeveloped.The whole
was
first
in the habit of calling my Third Angel. The
community was in the throesof a commercialslump,
my mother; the secondwas Agnes d'Arcambal; the
and the poverty and suffering arirong the poor were
My
hand.
every
prevailed
on
third was my wife. (It will be seenthat I was destined
very acute. Distress
to
think
never to escapethe Third Angel part of my early
mind revertedto Agnesd'Arcambal: I began
teaching!)She was, at this time, superintendentof a
of the good she would strive to be doing, were she
Y. W. C. A. boardins school.We were marriedin the
still alive, and out of the thought grew a desire to do
surrounded
which
misery
following spring.
the
something to relieve
The woman I chose for my life-partner was
me on every side.
possessedby a strong, robust faith. Her spiritual
Here, again,was evidenceof how the influenceof
vision was not impaired,aswas mY
a life given over to the serviceof
watching men,
been
I
had.
own, by the glare and glitter of
its
to
exert
humanity continues
ignoring
and
Jesus.
sordid things. The pure in heartpower, long after its owner has
and only the pure in heart-do see
passed from the sphere of
Thefrailties and failures of
God. My association with her
mundane things. Here was I, a
humanity had kept me
to have an altogether
began
to
years
had
striven
man who for
seeing that Christ
from
enheartening
and
uplifting
drive out of my ken and
not,
could
my
earth-wearied
influence on
remembrancethe last recollection
spirit. The work was slow and
and would not,
of everybody and everything of a
yet it was always headed
difficult,
nature,
worthy or ennobling
fail.
right
direction. Eventually,
the
in
finding myself drawn back to the
she convincedme that all my finely-spun theories'
viewpoint of a servantof Jesus,looking with eyesof
and what I had deemedsledge-hammerarguments,
pity on the distressed,and possessedby a desireto
the
on
back
were, in reality, not against Christianity itself, but
doubling
short,
help the needy-in
foster,
to
againsta misinterpretationof it. I had beenwatching
unworthy motives I had striven desperately
men, andignoring Jesus.The frailties and failures of
througha stretchof arid, wastedyears!Yet so it was;
humanity had kept me from seeingthat Christ could
and thus sprung again into the activity the first
that
not, and would not, fail.
say
Christly?-impulse
I
humanitarian-shall
from
After somelittle time had elapsed,I determinedto
had throbbed within me, since my dismissal
re-enter the ministry-this time in the Christian
Adventist school.
Church (Disciples of Christ)-and accepteda small
With the aid of some of the residentsof the city, I
found
which
pastorate
in Bluffton, Ohio. The end of this fresh start
a
laundry
open
to
was enabled
people
poor
the
in definite religious work was, however,destinedto
employment for quite a number of
A kindlycome with almostbewilderingsuddenness.
who were without work, and almost without bread.
hearted,yet professedlyunreligiousman died in the
The church people beganto send us their business,
was
I
get
way.
under
to
communityin which I was laboring.In preachinghis
and the concern soon began
of
memorial serrnon,I eulogized his many virtues in a
also able to get them to donate a carload
way which brought down upon me the censureof my
provisions for distribution among the neediestof the
churchofficials, and my resignationwas called for.
city's residents.It was, I think, while engagedin this
the
Among
myself.
For me the times were once more "out of joint." I
found
more
work, that I once
light.
glimpse
of
the
had no job, and by this time, had a wife and three
shadows,I once more caughta
small children to support. Eventually I became
Here was I, who for yearshad railed againstGod and
acquaintedwith somemen who were sellingclothing
goodness, simply forced to the conclusion that
Fall & Winter, 2001
JJ
The Turning Point (Continued)
among the farming communities, for a house in
seriouslytrieclon a large scale.
Chicago.They invited me to join them; I did so, and
it took but a short time to demonstratethe fact that I
was a far better salesmanthan preacher.
So ended,and began,anotherchapterin my life.
The "active ministry" I left, I suppose,for the last
time. Yet-to
anticipate events-I am today,
addressinglarger audiencesand filling more church
Joan, Claire Thurston and I conduct a
appointmentsby ten-fold than in
the days when I was "one of the One . . .thing I learned during my youth study group for the Urantia
cloth." But that time had not, as second "ministerial term," which Papers. We meet weekly, and the
participantsmustjuggle their homework
yet, arrived. Nor had the vision I have never unlearned . . . the
realization
that
the
inspiration
of the work I was one day to take
for and activities to make space for the
effective Christian servic e
meetings. It is wonderful to see the
up as yet been vouchsafedme. I
sacrificesthis group makes to continue
turned back to commercial life,
is a real, living, vibrant
reading
the Papers. We have almost
but without any bitternessin my
lovefor Jesusheart. One-nay, two things-I
His ideals, His companionship, completedPart II. The age range is 10 17. The group consistsof our daughter,
learned during my second
His purposes.
"ministerial term," which I have
Michelle; Angie Thurston; Jesse
Thurston, and Haley Thurston. Chuck Thurston also
never unlearned.They still form part of my rule of
attends whenever possible. We always have pizza
life. The first is the reahzationthat the inspiration for
effective Christian service is a real, living, vibrant before the meetingsbegin, and we let the young folks
socialize before and after the reading period, which
love for Jesus-His ideals, His companionship,His
pu{poses.The secondis to always"rememberthat our lastsaboutan hour or so.
job and ourselvesare one."
We have encouragedthe group to develop a
Some of my readersmay recall the story of the serviceproject of some kind to give more meaning to
workman employed on the building of one of the their studies.They electedto join Claire on her visits to
great English cathedrals.Day after day, during his the nursing home on Sundays.The idea is to uplift the
dinner-hour, his fellow workmen found him seated spiritsof the folks therewith a bit of conversation.This
closeto the office of works, gazingat a colored sketch can be challenging,becauseat times the folks there
hung on one of its walls. When someof them berated tend to be a bit difficult to conversewith. This led to an
him for not being sociable and mixing in during the amusingincident.One recentSundayI askedMichelle
noon recess,the old man with a curious light in his how the visit went. Shereporledthat Jesseand her had
eyesreplied: "No, fellows, you are wrong aboutthat. spent the hour with a woman who was 97 years old.
That is not the reasonI am sitting here day after day. Michelle saidthe woman was somewhatdepressedthat
I am only an old mortar-mixer on this job, as you day.Shetold the kids: "I'm so old. I'm missingout on
know; but it helps me to mix my mortar betterwhen so many things."Michelle saidJessereplied: "Well, not
as many as you would if you weren't alive." The
I see what a beautiful building I am working on!"
That shouldbe the spirit of everyman who is engaged woman had to chuckle.
For many Urantians,who may be a bit reluctant
in any kind of work worth doing.
to evangelize,they will discoverUrantianyouth to be a
Part II of Arthur Nash'sstory will be publishedin the willing and energeticaudience.When I told Michelle
Spring & Summeredition of the Spiritual Fellowship that we were going to start reading the Urantia Papers
Journal. In this part Nash demonstrates the with the youth,shereplied:'At last!"
supplanting of the profu motive in businesswith the
" If the Christian church would only dare to espousethe
service motive, as predicted in the Urantia Papers, Master's program, thousandsof apparently indffirent
will one day takeplace . Moreover,Nash may well be youths would rushforwctrd to enlist in such a spiritual
the original human ,sourceof the proclamation that undertaking,and they would not hesitateto go all the
the religion of Jesushas notfailed, it has neverbeen way throughwith this great adventure."[2085]
L.M.
eal Life Outreach
'34
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
2. (a) any specfficsystemrf belief and worship, often
involving a code of ethics ctnd ct philosophy [the
Larry Mullins
Christian religion, the Buddhist religion, etc.l (b) any
"Then exclaimedGanid: 'Teacher,let's you and I
system of beliefs, practices, ethicaL values, etc.
make a new religion, one good enoughfor India and big
resembling,suggestiveof, or likenedto, such a sr-stem.
enough for Rome, and maybe we can trade it to the
[Compton's1997Edition]
Jewsfor Yahweh.'And Jesusreplied: 'Ganid,religions
For most of us, our formal "religion" is an accident
are not made.The religions of men grow up over long
of birth. We may be Catholic,yet if we had beenborn
periodsof time, while the revelationsof God flash upon
into a Jewishfamily, we would likely be Jewish. If we
earth in the lives of the men who reveal God to their
were born in Syria we would more likely be a Moslem.
fellows.'
Thereareexceptions,but this is generallythe case. It is
". . . What a scene for the
similar to being born in Dallas and
celestial intelligencesto behold,
men
rooting
for the Dallas Cowboys, or
and
women
of
"Modern
this spectacleof the Indian lad
in WashingtonD.C. and rooting for
proposing to the Creator of a intelligence evadethe religion of the WashingtonRedskins.
universe that they make a new
As we shall see,the "new and
Jesus becauseof their fears of
religion! And though the young
religion sf Jssus"-1hs
everlasting
what it will do to them
man did not know it, they were
restatementof the life and teachings
-and with them.
making a new and everlasting
of Jesusas presentedin the Urantia
-this
religion right then and there
Papers-is not usually an accident
And all such fears are
new way of salvation,the revelation
of birth. This religron has neverbeen
well founded." [2083]
of God to man through, and in,
"seriously or sincerely or honestly
When man goes in
Jesus
tried out." In fact, the UrantiaPapers
partnershipwith God, great things
tell us that this is the religion that humankindfears.
may, and do, happen."U4671
Why do modern men and women of intelligence fear
The Urantia Papersprovide remarkablerevelatory the religion of Jesus?What the Papers tell us:
information aboutwhat it refersto on page 1467as the
"Primitive man lived a life of superstitiousbondage
"new and everlastingreligion." Before we examinethis
to religious fear. Modern, civilized men dread the
information,it will be helpful to clarify the definition of
thought of falling under the dominance of strong
the word "religion."
religious convictions.Thinking man has always feared
already
have
a
religion"
"I
to be held by a religion. When a strong and moving
Somereaders,when discussinga Urantia religion,
religion threatensto dominatehim, he invariablytries to
haveprotestedthat they "alreadyhavea religion." They
rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it,
claim to be a Catholic, or a Methodist, or a Jew, or
therebyhoping to gain control of it. By suchprocedure,
whatever.However, the Urantia Papersgenerally use even a revealedreligion becomesman-madeand manthe word "religion" in a different context than we are
dominated.Modern men and women of intelligence
accustomed. The Papers most often use the first
evade the religion of Jesusbecauseof their fears of
definition of religion, as it was presentedin dictionaries what it will do to them-and with them. And all such
at the time and in virtually all moderndictionaries:
fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does,
re-li-gion: 1. (a) Belief in ct divine or superhuman indeed, dominate and transform its believers,
power or powers to be obeyedand worshipedas the
demandingthat men dedicatetheir lives to seekingfor
creator(s)and ruler(s) ofthe universe (b) expressionof
a knowledge of the will of the Father in heavenand
suchbelief in conductand ritual.
requiring that the energiesof living be consecratedto
Yet, sometimesthe Papersdo refer to what they
the unselfishserviceof the brotherhoodof man.
call formal religion, or organizedreligion. In this case
"Selfish men and women simply will not pay such
they are generallydiscussingspecific "religions" such a price for even the greatest spiritual treasure ever
as the Jewish,Christian,or other religions.This is the
offeredmortal man." [2083]
common definition most people are accustomedto.
The Spiritual Fellowship is seekingto organizea
This is also what most people think of when the word
new andeverlastingreligion that will be fearedby many
"religion" is used. Formal religion is traditionally people.Is this a necessarystep in the evolution of the
describedin the seconddictionarydefinition:
UrantiaMovement?
The Religion Humankind Fears
Fall & Winter, 2001
35
The Relig,ionHumankind Fears(Continued)
"believers."We thus beganto professour belief in the
Why do'ue need religion? What the Paperstell us:
UrantiaPapersas a revelationof epochalmagnitude.At
"God is not only the determinerof destiny;he is
the time, this seemed to be quite a progression.
man's etemal destination.All nonreligioushuman
However,beforemuch time had passedmore and more
activities seek to bend the universeto the distorting
Urantians wanted to take their understandingof the
serviceof self; the truly religious individual seeksto
religious life of Jesusto yet anotherlevel. For Lls,even
identify the self with the universeand then to dedicate
believingwholeheartedlyin the teachingsof the Urantia
the activities of this unified self to the serviceof the
Papersdid not seemto answerthe "still, small voice
universe family of fellow beings, human and
within."
superhuman."16Tl Since the. existing Urantian
As we began to plan The Spiritual Fellowship
organizationsof note declare themselvesnot to be
someof us beganto assemblequotesfrom the Urantia
religious organizations,doesn't this set the stagefor
Papersto supportand enlargeupon the primary premise
secularandcontentioushumanconflict?Is it not fair to
aboutthe needto know aboutthe religiouslife of Jesus
suggestthat this passageoutlineswhy we need a new
and how he lived it. A compellingchallengeseemedto
organization?
emerge. More than simply knowing aboutthe Master's
The Urantia Papersalso state that: "This world
religious life, and beyond believingin
has never seriouslytried to cany out
the teachingsof Jesuson a large scale, More than simply knowing about him and the task he undertook, it
seemedmore and more clear that we
notwithstanding that halfhearted
the Master's religious ffi,
are being called upon to .follow the
attempts have often been made to
follow the doctrines of so-called and beyondbelievingin him and Master.
"Follow me"
Christianity."ll720l tf the teachings
the task he undertook,
This is a distant cry from
ofJesus are everto be carriedout on a
it seemedmore and more clear anythingmostof us expectedwhen we
large scale, is it not reasonableto
first pickedup the UrantiaPapers.And
proposethat we need some kind of a that we are being called upon
yet, many of us now conclude that,
religious organizationto facilitate the
to follow the Master.
beyondendlessdiscussionsaboutthe
propagationof "the greatestspiritual
religiouslit'e of Jesus,and beyondprofessingour belief
treasure ever offered mortal man?" And, equally
in him andhis mission,the religionof Jesuscompelsus
"truly
religious"
such
a
reasonable,should not
"identify"
to pick up our individual crossesand actually follow
organilation clearly and openly seek to
after the Master.
itself "with the universe and then to dedicate the
Thus,many of us find ourselvesconfrontedwith an
activitiesof this unified" group of individuals "to the
different challenge.Such a belief cannotbe
immensely
human
fellow
beings,
family
of
serviceof the universe
limited
to
what
Christianreligionistshavereferredto as
and superhuman?"
"sunday morning religion." Sucha belief must be acted
More than reading, more than believing
out. It calls upon us to make it a way of life, and it
On page 2090, the Urantia Papers make the
cannot be confined to study groups and feel-good
"Of
is
of
knowledge,
that
which
all
human
declaration:
conferences.Such a belief disruptseverythingthat we
greatestvalue is to know the religiouslife of Jesusand
are doing.
how he lived it." For nearly five decadesmost
Urantians have been generally content to call
"Jesus on Leadership"
- why are man! embarrassed?
"readers."
have
As
readers,
Urantians
themselves
years ago I attemptedto write a book titled
Many
soughtto acquirethis knowledge"of greatestvalue."It
"Jeslrs on Leadership." Eventually I decided that I
is easyenoughto be a "reader,"and to learn aboutthe
didn't know enoughto write it. I still feel that way. But
religious life of Jesusand how he lived it. It is really
I learneda great deal in the attempt.For one thing, I
have
do
so.
We
encourage
others
to
not too difficult to
found myself confrontedby a great deal of resistance
debatedand exchanged"head knowledge" about the
by fundamentalistChristianleadersand alsoby secular
religious life of Jesus for countlesshours in study
This baffled me. I askeda wise Urantian
businessmen.
groups.Yet, somethingwas missing, many Urantians
will gladly
aboutit. I said: "Why is it a businessman
havethirstedfor somethingmore.
the Hun on
title:
Attila
his
desk
with
the
keep
a
book
on
Then, about five years long ago some of us took
tttled
Jesus on
Leadership, yet would hide a book
the more difficult step and beganto declareourselves
-Jt)
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
what he believed,but alsoto believeashe believed.This
Leadership?" The reply was most instructive: "The
is the full significanceof his one supremerequirement.
reasonis, Attila the Hun is dead,and Jesusis alive. A
'Follow me."'
is
he
knows
Jesus
coming
and
seesJesus
120891
businessman
We can now see that the knowledge of "greatest
not going to be satisfiedwith arrangingthe furniture
value" to us is perhapsa meansto an end. It leadsus
and putting in new carpet. He is going to rip out the
rotten timbers and start from scratch.Very few people inevitably to an awarenessof the supremerequirement
are willing to undergoa renovationof that magnitude." of the Master.In a way. we are in a position similar to
There seemsto be but one quote in the Urantia the apostles when Jesus left the planet. They had
learneda greatdeal,but now somethingnew was being
Papersin which the Master used'hisprofessionas a
askedof them.
carpenterto illustrate a point: "But do not make the
"I have taught you much by word of mouth, and I
mistake of the foolish carpenterwho rvastesvaluable
have
lived my life among you. I have done all that can
time squaring, measuring,and smoothing his wormbe doneto enlightenyour minds and liberateyour souls,
eaten and inwardly rotting timber and then, when he
has thus bestowedall of his labor upon the unsound and what you have not been able to get from my
teachings
andmy lile. you mustnow prepareto acquire
beam. must reiect it as unfit to enter into the
at the hand of that master of all
foundationsof the building which
he would constructto withstandthe On the contrary, wefind ourselves teachers-actual experience.And in
all of this new experiencer.vhichnow
assaults of time and storm. Let
back on the sun scorched roads of
every man make sure that the Israel, and through the dusty air we awaitsyou, I will go before you and
the Spirit of Truth shall be with you.
intellectual and moral foundations
seethat wondroussunlit
Fear not; that which you now fail to
of character are such as will
countenanceturn toward us,
comprehend,the new teacher,when
He would probably not ask us:
adequately support the superstructure of the enlarging and "Do you read the Urantia Papers?" he has come, will reveal to you
throughoutthe remainderof your life
nor "Do you believe the
ennoblingspiritualnature,which is
on earth and on through your
thus to transform the mortal mind
Urantia Papers?"
trainingin the eternalages."[961]
and then, in associationwith that More likely the Master might ask:
Ten Cascading Premises
you
me?"
re-createdmind, is to achievethe
"Will
follow
Perhapswhat we have examined
immortal
evolvementof the soul of
by ten short quotesfrom
best
summarized
here
can
be
destiny."[738]
quotes
are of specialnote becausethe
the Papers.These
As we begin to entertainsuch stunningideas,we
understandingof each of them in turn, one after the
may no longerfind so much walmth and comfort in our
other,leadsto a deeperinsight into the religious life of
gatherings,
we
talk
groups
where
and
our
social
study
and how he lived it. Moreovet, these insights
Jesus
aboutthe compellinglife of Jesus.
On the contrary,we find ourselvesback on the sun guide us, stepby step,to a better understandingof the
one supremerequirementof the Master.I call thesethe
scorchedroadsof Israel, and through the dusty air we
"ten cascadingpremises"becausethey gain power as
turn
toward
us.
see that wondrous sunlit countenance
flow one into the other.
they
He would probably not ask us: "Do you read the
Ul. "Of all human knowledge, that which is of
Urantia Papers?" or "Do you believe the Urantia
greatestvalue is to know the religious life of Jesusand
Papers?"More likely the Master might ask: "Will you
he lived it." t20901The following passagesseemto
how
if
we
that
seems
inevitable
me?"
It
almost
follow
define
one possiblepath toward understandingthat life,
acquireknowledgeof the religiouslife of Jesus,sooner
or later we must confront the one supremerequirement how Jesus lived it, and how we - as Urantian
Believers-are calledupon to developand live our own
of the Master,"Follow me."
religiouslives.
"Jesusdoes not require his disciplesto believein
him but ratherto believewith him, believein the reality
I2l. "The secretof his unparalleledreligious life
of the presenceof God; and he
was this consciousness
of the love of God and in full confidenceacceptthe
securityof the assuranceof sonshipwith the heavenly attainedit by intelligent prayer and sincereworshipFather.The Master desiresthat all his followers should unbrokencommunionwith God-and not by leadings,
fully share his transcendent faith. Jesus most voices, visions, or extraordinaryreligious practices."
touchinglychallengedhis followers,not only to believe [208e]
Fall & Winter.2001
JI
TheReligiu'r HumankindFears (Continued)
[3]. "Whence then comes the energy to do these
great things?Look to your Master.Even now he is out
in the hills taking in power while we areheregiving out
energy.The secretof all this problem is wrappedup in
spiritual communion, in worship. From the human
standpointit is a questionof combinedmeditationand
relaxation.Meditation makesthe contactof mind with
spirit; relaxation determinesthe capacity for spiritual
receptivity. And this interchange of strength for
weakness,couragefor fear,the will of God for the mind
of self, constitutesworship.At least,that is the way the
philosopherviewsit." [Rodanspeaking] ll777l
[4]. "Before Pentecostthe apostleshad given up
much for Jesus. They had sacriflced their homes,
families, friends, worldly goods, and positions. At
Pentecostthey gave themselvesto God, and the Father
and the Son respondedby giving themselvesto mansendingtheir spiritsto live within men.This experience
of losing self and finding the spirit was not one of
emotion; it was an act of intelligent self-surrenderand
unreserved
consecration."
[2089]
"But
mistakes
of the intellectin no way
these
[5].
interferedwith the believer'sgreatprogressin growth in
spirit. In less than a month after the bestowalof the
Spirit of Truth, the apostles made more individual
spiritualprogressthan during their almostfour yearsof
personal and loving associationwith the Master."
[20611
[6]. "Do not make the mistake of expecting to
become strongly intellectually conscious of the
outpoured Spirit of Truth. The spirit never createsa
of
of himself, only a consciousness
consciousness
Michael, the Son. From the beginningJesustaughtthat
the spirit would not speak of himself. The proof,
therefore,of your fellowship with the Spirit of Truth is
of this spirit but
not to be found in your consciousness
rather in your experienceof enhancedfellowship with
Michael.
"The spirit also came to help men recall and
understandthe words of the Master as well as to
illuminate and reinterprethis life on earth.
"Next, the Spirit of Truth cameto help the believer
to witnessto the realitiesof Jesus'teachingsand his life
as he lived it in the flesh, and as he now again lives it
anew and afresh in the individual believer of each
passinggenerationof the spirirfilled sonsof God.
"Thus it appearsthat the Spirit of Truth comes
really to lead all believers into all truth, into the
expandingknowledge of the experienceof the living
and growing spiritual consciousnessof the reality of
38
eternaland ascendingsonshipwith God." t206ll
[7]. "Paul and his contemporariesapplied all of
Jesus'spiritual implicationsregardinghimself and the
individual believer to the church as a group of
believers;and in doing this, they strucka deathblowto
Jesus'conceptof the divine kingdom in the heartof the
individualbeliever."[1865]
[8]. "There must come a revival of the actual
teachingsof Jesus,sucha restatementas will undo the
work of his early followers who went aboutto createa
sociophilosophicalsystemof belief regardingthe fact
of Michael's sojournon earth." t20891
[9]. "Christianity has indeed done a great service
for this world, but what is now most neededis Jesus.
The world needsto seeJesusliving again on earth in
the experienceof spirit-born mortals who effectively
revealthe Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a
revival of primitive Christianity;you must go forward
from where you find yourselves.Modern culture must
become spiritually baptizedwith a new revelationof
of
Jesus'lifeandilluminatedwith a new understanding
his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus
becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to
himself. Jesus' disciples should be more than
conquerors,even overflowing sourcesof inspiration
and enhancedliving to all men. Religion is only an
exalted humanism until it is made divine by the
discovery of the reality of the presenceof God in
personalexperience." 12084)
t10. I It is the belief of many of us that this series
of quotes representone way the Urantia Revelation
will: "flash upon earth in the lives of the men who
revealGod to their fellows."This alsois a basisof the
"new and everlastingreligion . . . this new way of
salvation,the revelationof God to man through.and in,
Jesus. . . When man goes in partnershipwith God,
greatthingsmay,and do, happen."11461l
These premises,drawn from the Urantia Papers,
are suggestedas philosophictools by meansof which
we may arrive at certain personalconclusions. They
or conclusions
are by no meansthe only alTangement
that could be developed. To those Urantians who
resonate with them, the cascading pretnises are
intendedto help lead to a deeperunderstandingof the
religiouslife of Jesus,how he lived it, andhow we may
aspireto dare to attemptit ourselves. "The doing of
the will of God is nothing more or less than an
exhibitionof creaturewillingnessto sharethe inner life
with God-the very God who hasmadesucha creature
life of inner meaning-valuepossible." ll22ll
The Spiritual FellowshipJournal
"When the wind blows,you hear the rustle of the leaves,but you do not see
the wind--whence it comes or whither it goes--and so it is with everyone
born of the spirit. With the eyesof the flesh you can behold the
manifestations of the spirit, but you cannot actually discern the spirit."
The Urantia Papers,1602
The ChristianFellowshipof Studentsof the Urantia Book, Inc.
4040 BeecherRoad
Flint, MI48532
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