The Kingdom of Heaven
As far as we can tell, except for a social gathering in 1982, this was the first conference of Australian students of The URANTIA Book. About 10 People gathered at the Swadling’s home in Narrabeen, NSW, to discuss outreach. It was agreed to participate in the URANTIA Foundation’s program of library placement and a fund was set up to obtain 20 books (from: 6-0-6, Ten year Anniversary issue, Feb 1990)
This place, the home of Kathleen and Trevor, would also become the HQ for ANZURA and an office for the Urantia Foundation.
Report on Conference – Kathleen Swadling ( July 1983)
It is safe to say the conference was a huge success even though the numbers were few.
It commenced on the Saturday evening with a study group. The topic considered was ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ and this had the effect of putting everyone into a keen state of mind for discussion.
It was a strong reminder of the rewards that await each of us.
The following day, Sunday, was spent discussing other important subjects.
It was decided to implement a campaign to place The Urantia Book in libraries in Australia.
This will be done by individual acting on their own initiative in their local communities. A full report on this issue will appear in next month’s newsletter. (606 Aug 83)
It is an achievement that will have long term practical benefits.
A talk was given on the experience of mingling with Christians and sharing the concepts of the book without revealing the source of those concepts. Emphasis was placed on adding to established beliefs rather than taking away, as Jesus did with his Judean brethren. The only concept that had to be challenged was the nature and character of God.
Papers were then presented on various topics:
- The life of Jesus – the circumscribed and superuniversal viewpoint.
In regard to evangelization general agreement was reached on the quiet approach and it was pointed out, that the Thought Adjuster, Seraphim and Midwayers are also working very hard on the revelation and people are directed to the book relative to their own needs.
Each of the above papers will be presented in future issues of 606.
The conference was concluded with a stroll to the beach, a BBQ and music for everyone. It generated that strong feeling of fellowship that seems to ‘happen’ whenever students of The Urantia Book get together.
This inaugural conference has paved the way for the future. No doubt in the years to come conference will be held in other capital cities of Australia
Evangelization – Trevor and Kathleen Swadling (April 83)
Should The Urantia Book be evangelized? This is a question which is producing a fair amount of controversy within the Urantia movement in the U.S.A.
I feel compelled to state my views on the matter, as evangelization could affect the degree of success of this revelation. Many enthusiastic readers feel frustrated when they see little happening in the spreading of the Urantia movement.
Book sales and study groups aren’t on a rapid increase, so they feel responsible, and quite rightly so. After all, this revelation has been placed in our hands and we all feel an individual responsibility to the Creator to do what we can in spreading the teachings.
The Creator has left it up to us to decide what to do, so we need to do some careful, deep thinking, and try to remain open to the leadings of our thought adjusters.
I feel a strong warning signal when I hear of plans to evangelize – statements like “The world is ready for The Urantia Book now” do not ring true. I believe the world is ready for the teaching of The Urantia Book, but it’s certainly not ready for the book on a mass scale. I don’t even believe the book is intended for all to read, but the essential message of the book is for all mankind.
If the book was to be evangelized, I’m afraid it would be labelled alongside hundreds of other “American cults”, which would immediately prejudice a great percentage of hungry souls who are ready for the teachings of The Urantia Book.
Also, there are very strong Christian groups who have dedicated their lives to destroying movements which are a threat to Christian fundamentals. I’m sure the Urantia movement would be a prime target if it were to be preached to the world on a large scale. Sure, evangelization would succeed in attracting more people to the book, but it would also attract more enemies. ( I believe there will be a confrontation one day, but his movement isn’t strong enough yet to withstand a forceful attack).
The Urantia Book is an integrated statement. It needs to be read from beginning to end to be comprehended fully. Sections can be taken out of the book and blown up to absolutes, which can give a distorted picture of the true meaning.
I fear this would happen with evangelization, which may turn away many, or encourage fanaticism.
It is stated and implied throughout The Urantia Book that Christianity is the cocoon for the real teachings of Jesus.
Christianity has buried the human Jesus under the rubble of dogma and tradition. The human Jesus needs to be resurrected, and his living spirit needs to be proclaimed to the world.
The true teachings of Jesus can be infused into present day Christianity without ever mentioning the words “Urantia Book” or “Michael of Nebadon”.
Jesus has shown to us the real nature and character of the loving Father, and sincere thirsty Christians respond to such things.
There is an invisible brotherhood of Jesus followers and potential Jesus followers who are longing for a more convincing meaning in Christianity which they can relate to.
Rather than challenging the fundamentals of Christianity, it is better to add your understandings of the real nature and character of God.
Jesus never preached against Judaism; rather he took the good from it and added more. He only challenged philosophy that presented a distorted image of the true nature and character of his Father.
I believe the first 3 sections of The Urantia Book are a preparation for the 4th. The 4th section is the real purpose of this revelation. The first 3 sections have given us an outline of the order of the universe and our position in it. It has also given us a glimpse of where we’re going – the endless eternal surprises of an ascension career.
It has given us the true status of Christ Michael – we have a much clearer concept of what is going on out there, instead of a hazy, cloudy view of eternal bliss if we’re good. All this has allowed for a greater impact of section 4.
Knowing just who Jesus really is makes his life and teachings so much more valuable. But how many are really going to sit down and read The Urantia Book from cover to cover – it’s a massive, highly intellectual piece of work, and the masses at large will not accept the task of reading it for themselves.
It’s up to those who’ve received the full message to infuse it into society somehow – it’s up to the individual.
Christians have made the mistake of interpreting “go forth and preach the Gospel” as “go forth and preach the Bible”. I only hope Urantia Book readers don’t make the same mistake. Go forth and preach the Gospel – the true teachings of Jesus. But don’t mistake the book for the Gospel.
People respond to another’s personal experience far more readily than to what a book says.
If a dedicated reader of The Urantia Book is totally frustrated in wanting to share his or her concepts, and can find no social means of infusing them into society, I suggest they go and join their local church and share their concepts of the nature and character of God with their fellow man. After all, adaptability is the meaning of life.
Presentation by William Wentworth ( 606, Sept 83)
The purpose of this presentation is to indicate ways in which readership of The URANTIA Bookmay be extended without overt evangelization. Agreeing, as I do, with the Sydney Study Group that public proselytizing at this time would do more harm than good, I am advocating a quiet approach.
On page 82C and again on 191D we find two passages on ‘kindred spirits’ which underlie this approach. Common goals and values tend to attract people to one another quite apart from direct proselytizing.
Kindred spirits are drawn to one another, recognizing their common aspiration not so much through efforts at propaganda as by appreciation of the quality of their day to day activities.
This is most decidedly NOT the same thing as teaching by example. On page 8 of his
“A monograph on a vital issue” Clyde Bedell accuses conservatives of claiming that “we are supposed to win believer-readers by the examples of the beautiful lives we live.” This criticism is totally unwarranted. The opponents of public evangelizing claim no such thing.
What we are claiming is that the combined spiritual influences on men will lead then to gravitate towards like minded people and influences, so that the more progressive people will encounter the 5th Epochal Revelation, spreading it steadily and without the risk attendant on public proselytizing.
The fact that Southern Californian appears to be entering a public phase is going to have an effect on all students of the book. I am convinced that Australians would be highly suspicious of any attempt to ‘go public’ here. There is just no point in urging the book on people whose interest is shallow, half-hearted or sensational.
People likely to benefit from study of the book will probably be introduced to it through their own efforts at truth-seeking rather than through the urging of others. Making the book available is what is required for this.
On page 1393A and again on 1405B we see how Jesus, himself, notwithstanding the magnitude and urgency of his mission, kept his head. He didn’t panic or become hysterical, but patiently waited for his opportunity, constantly keeping the way clear towards his long term goal by getting on with the task immediately at hand, allowing his abilities to grow as he waited for the situation to ripen.
If we worry less about winning converts and concentrate on improving whatever situation we find ourselves in, possibly opportunities will appear.
We need to remember that our ideal is to do the will of God – not necessarily to win converts. On page 1732D Jesus points out that the will of God can be done in any earthly occupation. And on page 435D a Melchizedek points out, that the work itself may not be as important as the way in which that work is done.
The virtue of patience in all our activities is a constant theme throughout the book, and anxiety about the possibilities of our allowing the 5th Epochal Revelation to ‘fail’ should not blind us to the fact that dramatic gestures are not necessarily the best way to achieve results.
On page 1094D we are reminded that growth is the product of loyalty to supreme values. In some cases, letting well enough alone is the best policy.
Presentation by Neil Francey (606, Nov 83 )
The life of Jesus – The circumscribed and superuniversal viewpoints
A paper prepared for the first URANTIA conference in Australia – June 83
For the serious seeker of truth, after evaluating the many pathways, the ultimate reward is THE URANTIA Book.
The experiences gained along the way assist us in not succumbing to ‘the error of the circumscribed viewpoint.’ We are assisted here in the most unique way.
On the one hand we are able to place Christ Michael in his own local universe, as its Creator Son, with full sovereignty.
We are able to do this through the wonderful stories in the book.
At the same time we are able to identify with the physical life of Jesus, the geographical location of his life, the people, the customs and even the languages of this planet.
He is a part of the living history of this planet.
This latter concept could be limiting, so it is important for us then to juxtapose these two concepts of Jesus .
We do this by remembering that this episode in our history contains the spiritual teaching and inspiration for an entire local universe, not just this planet. And the number of inhabited worlds in Nebadon numbers in the vicinity of 4 million. That is, there are truth seekers on 4 million worlds who only know of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as events that occurred on some far distant planet, millions and millions of miles away.
We know him intimately. As people of the planet URANTIA we have insight into his life. In this we find comfort. Our problems were his problems.
We must project this understanding onto the larger stage for we will take it with us on our own travels across the galaxies.
However, it is well that we do know Jesus in the context f his earthly life. We could walk amongst his hills, his olive trees, fish upon his lake. It helps to overcome the disruptions to the planetary-mortal epochs:
- Our planet prince did not maintain the expected standards of human society and civilization (That’s putting it mildly!)
- Our material son and daughter, biologic uplilfters, failed their mission ( perhaps we could say their viewpoint became circumscribed.)
At this point on normally evolving worlds, the intellectual and ethical progress of a race has reached the limits of evolutionary development. The Material Son and Daughter would be followed by an Avonal Son of Paradise on a magisterial mission.
This in turn would allow the attainment of spiritual status. And the status is followed by the visit of a Paradise bestowal son.
Then, and only then, in the grandeur of intellectual, ethical and spiritual progress, is the Spirit of Truth released, together with the universal coming of the Thought Adjuster.
Yet without such preparedness the people of this world have been grand=ted an audience with the SOvereighn Son. A creator Son at that! We must put this into perspective.
As a result we have the spirit of Truth and the Thought Adjusters striving in a world where human development does not meet the expected evolutionary apex commensurate with such Godly endowments.
So on our planet, still is it true – the hallmark of goodness co-exist with the depth of evil and despair. This human paradox restricts the efficiency of the Monitors to present the majestic destinies awaiting each of us.
The overriding strength then to the turmoil of this world is the presence of Jesus. We have his infinite presence in the Spirit of Truth and the finite presence in the temporary life in the flesh.
The comparison of this universal and circumscribed viewpoints is beautifully presented on p. 2061 of The URANTIA Book, We are told that the apostles made more individual spiritual progress from the presence of the Spirit of Truth in the month after the death of Jesus than they had previously gained in their ‘almost 4 years of personal and loving association with the Master.’
From this comes the deduction that we do not need to walk with Jesus, we are not disadvantaged, the apostles were not advantaged as a chosen few’. We are all blessed with the ever new presentations of truth from this spirit.
This atones to a marked degree for the lack of maturity caused by the planetary disruptions. There is another cautionary note to the fact that we can identify more strongly with Jesus than can other in the local universe.
“Finite origins are helpful, but only divine causes reveal final effects.”
There is a simple way to understand this. Yes we know of the life of Jesus in the flesh, the finite origin…..it’s only a few hours plane ride away in location!
Now compare the divine effect of his life, this cause of destiny – the ascending mortal career….
With the morontia awakening on the shores of the Mansion Worlds we met for the first tie our ever loving angelic companions from earth, the seraphim. We become conscious of the identity and presence of the Thought Adjuster’s of earthly indwelling.
Then with the attainment of the mature morontia estate, we proceed with our seraphim to Jerusem and its associated worlds of culture. Then it’s on to Edentia and its 70 spheres of advanced socialization.
From there, with the memory of the planet URANTIA somewhat faded, our seraphim escort us to the Melchizedeks and the superb career on the inverse headquarters worlds.
Having learnt their wisdom and culture, we are then qualified for Salvington. Here we will stand face to face with the Sovereign of all Nebadon.
To know Nazareth, Jerusalem, the writings of the apostles, the legacy of the established church, Roman History, the wars in his name – to know al these things is merely a viewpoint. And this is the context of our lives.
Because ……..of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest values is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.
What greater inspiration could mortal man have to make the supreme decision to be Godlike. We can achieve that even as Agondonters on an isolated sphere such as this. Our career lies ahead, it has hardly begun. We will have a message to give this universe. We will always be proud.
We are URANTIANS !