Report on Conference
(From 606 Nov/Dec 1990)
An Australian meeting of URANTIA Book readers was held on Melbourne Cup weekend, Saturday November 3 to Tuesday November 6. We journeyed to Warburton East, about 80 km east of Melbourne, at the foot of the Great Dividing Range. Springtime weather – three warm sunny days and one fine cloudy day – let us enjoy the charm and amenities of the 12 acre property and the beauty of the whole area.
The favoured local attractions seemed to be the fauna sanctuary at Healesville, the Upper Yarra Dam, and the magical short walk through the beautiful rain forest alongside Cement Creek (located about halfway to the summit of Mount Donna Buang).
Forty-seven people participated in the conference, plus three visitors who met old friends and then joined us for the Happy Hour on Monday evening.
Australians traveled from as far away as Queensland and Western Australia, and three overseas travellers joined us from the U.S.A. Fifteen people took advantage of early arrival on Friday evening, to socialise and enjoy the area through Saturday morning. The next three nights saw 44, 39, and 38 people in residence – some could only stay for a two-day weekend. The numbers were comfortable for the venue, rather than crowded, and we broke even financially.
We opened with Saturday lunch together, followed by a reporting session where thirteen people contributed. Having thus founded the conference on fellowship and individual initiative, the group maintained them throughout.
For the conference theme of “Living as we are meant to live”, we used the focus offered in The URANTIA Book on page 526:5
The activities of such a world are of three distinct varieties: work, progress, and play. Stated otherwise, they are: service, study, and relaxation. The composite activities consist of social intercourse, group entertainment, and divine worship.
For “work/service”, there was a forum discussion on URANTIA Book distribution in Australia. Of the many issues, consensus emerged on two points (both of which require agreement from URANTIA Foundation):
1) continue the personalised distribution networks,
2) appoint a distributor so the book will be listed in catalogues held by bookstores.
Also on “service/work”, there was an assignment to incorporate into the free afternoon on Monday. For “progress/study”, a forum allowed individuals to share their thoughts on the development of their relationship with God (without relationship itself). Like all but one or two sessions, this was held in the garden under the trees.
“Play/relaxation” was emphasised by extensive periods of free time. As I wrote in the July/August Six-O-Six: ” People told me they liked recent conferences becuase of the ‘atmosphere’, because of the friendship and fellowship…”
On Sunday night, individuals and small groups were free to organise to their own tastes, which ranged from study groups to indoor games to videos to chatting to early in bed.
The idea of a half-day bus excursion, though successful in 1988 (bus) and in 1989 (boat), was dropped in favour of private car trips on free afternoons, or evenings between dinner and entertainment. People grouped and re-grouped, and went when and where they chose.
“Social intercourse” was inevitably emphasised along with “Play/relaxation”. It was further emphasised by three unhurried sit -down serviced meals each day, plus half-hour breaks for morning and afternoon teas, and supper arrangements. It was prompted by the variety of settings to meet and chat, both indoors and outdoors. It was the focus of small group workshops, followed by a report-back to the whole group. (The question posed to each individual was: “What is social intercourse for you, or what does it actually mean to you now?”)
A second question asked for URANTIA Book inspiration or insight in this area, but drew surprisingly little feedback – most groups seemed to focus directly on their own experience. “Group entertainment” saw a sing-along around the campfire on Saturday night, with guitarists Verner Verass and Kathleen and Trevor Swadling, and banjo player Richard Keeler (said to be a refugee from the great state of Wyoming). Several families sharing the site joined us for this highlight. Will Wentworth and Tony Rudd contributed some torchlight readings of Australian bush poetry.
The musicians fired up again on Monday night for an Australian bush dance, preceded by a recital by Trevor and Kathleen notable for Trevor’s own compositions including spiritual themes.
“Divine worship” was, in the end, largely left to the individual. We did precede our closing barbecue with a simple but sensitive direct reading of the remembrance supper, courtesy Sue Webb and Simon Barber. The three early-morning meditations were generously designed and led by Maggie Chandler, Richard Keeler, and Martin Myers.
Though the whole conference was blessed by the weather, my most vivid picture is of Monday morning’s meditation in the “fairy dell” on the hill, the sun about to break over the trees, and low clouds skidding across the stunning views of Mount Donna Buang.
Ian Esmore prepared and chaired an open forum discussion on world government, titled “Current Middle East Conflict and the United Nations”. Les Sheridan delivered a paper on “the Right and Left Brain” .
Terry Hovaghimian followed Les with a reflective presentation that shared his own life.
Leith Luckett offered a reflection which seemed to summarise our weekend. Carl Sarelius presented a paper on his epic solo walk from Melbourne to Sydney. It was a fitting finale for the conference, interweaving physical and emotional experiences with mental observations and insights, in a real spiritual sharing by Carl. I thought that this symbolized what so many attendees brought to the whole of this conference.
Martin McBurney, Melbourne
Talk given by Les Sheridan at the 1990 Australian
Annual Conference for Readers of The URANTIA Book
The Right and Left Brain
We do not express our true potential. We use but a fraction of our brain. The brain is in two sections, the right and left hemispheres.
THE RIGHT BRAIN is the realm of genius, intuition, visionaries and seers and it is here that contact with a higher degree of universal knowledge is made. It is receptive, and subjective, recording diligently all communications without analysis or discrimination. It is innocent of guile. This is the realm of intuition, inner tuition. The female aspect.
THE LEFT BRAIN is the realm of logic, reason, intellect and choice, and it is here that contact is made through the senses with the outer material world. It is in the left brain that we plan, formulate and adjust continually to survive in this transient material world of changing values, laws and circumstances. It is objective, aggressive and insistent. The male aspect.
One cannot plan and build with certainty on this sand of constantly changing values, theories and political assurances.
For example, Dr. Lardner (1793-1889) Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College London said … “Rail travel at high speed is not possible, passengers being unable to breathe, would die.” He also said … “No large steamship would ever cross the Atlantic because it would require more coal than it could carry.” The ‘Great Western’ crossed two years later.
Ernest Mach (1838-1916) Professor of Physics at the University of Vienna, said … “I can accept the theory of relativity as little as I can accept the existence of atoms and other such dogmas.” Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) after he had split the atom for the first time said … “the energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a poor kind of a thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine” etc. etc.
Joining the right and left brain are bridges of nerve matter – the medulla (lower) and the corpus callosum (upper). Thought patterns pass over these bridges … I believe the outer material left brain thoughts use the lower bridge, whilst the higher universal right brain thoughts pass over the upper bridge. In this material age, the left brain using the lower bridge is more active with local material issues than the right brain using the upper bridge to passover higher universal issues. There is imbalance, and it manifests in disharmony, discord, distress and disease at personal, communal and national levels.
How often when labouring the mind with plans, arbitrary agreements, reports and theories, have you massaged the base of your skull, the area of this lower bridge, the base or lower bridge for base or lower thought patterns, and similarly, having exhausted your logic and the advice of men, lowered your head into your hand, the hand on top, in despair.
You are intuitively being shown the way through your problem. For don’t the ancient writings say … “I am your God. I will instruct you in the way that you will go.”
The truth of an individual life is within, wanting to get out. It is not outside trying to get in. The oak is within the acorn, and so it is with all forms of life.
The way of course, is to listen to your right female mind, to receive this altogether wonderful truth of your life. Look into it, hear it, acknowledge it as worthy of your total dedication and commitment, and act on it, obeying it to the letter. Do this in every ongoing situation. Put it into effect by using your God-given skills and talents to express it in the material world. You will then be building on a sure rock foundation. You will be manifesting or creating true.
So, we have the female aspect receiving the higher ideals of your life from the high or grand mind, the universal mind, and wanting to present, to passover this precious truth to the practical, objective male aspect for it to be established in the material world. Here is the voice of intuition, the inner tutor, the still small voice of the supreme Architect and Teacher. The voice of intuition flies in the face of logic (steam trains, steam ships, nuclear energy are fact despite the logic of Lardner, Mach and Rutherford) .
The authority for what I am saying is … God said, “let us create man in our image … male and female created he them and called their names Adam and Eve (mortal)”.
The right and left brain in balance, is entrance to higher degrees of knowledge.
Leave, with these thoughts and assurances … the area of the corpus callosum is the fontanelle, which means font or fountain. Fountain of higher life, higher knowledge. The fairy or star at the top of the Christmas tree. The seat or throne of spirituality in a mortal. The kingdom of life is within.
I stand at the door and knock (it is an inner door). The wisdom of God is foolish in the eyes of man, the wisdom of man is foolish in the eyes of God.
Don’t concern yourself with the things of the world. Seek first the kingdom of life within and all things will be added to you. Don’t you know you are a temple of the Holy Spirit of Life?
The Spirit is a two-edged sword, rightly dividing material from spirit. Don’t build on sand. Call upon me in your day of trouble and I will deliver you. Ask, seek, knock, where? The right mind. The chalice, the cup or container of your truth of life. Truth, life, passover corpus, the way words are used in this address. Do they resonate in your mind as they do in mine?
Les Sheridan, Warburton, Victoria
I thoroughly enjoyed the happy atmosphere and oneness of Spirit. Reflecting on Christ Jesus, on Urantia, becoming the at-one-ment between God and men. Restoring relationships.
May we all be one in the brotherhood of men under the one Fatherhood of God.
I love you all. – Loui de Keizer, Melbourne
Jesus said, the Kingdom of Heaven is not of this world. When I remember this I feel I can overcome my own weaknesses.
When my very quiet friend is able to introduce this spiritual value into my mind I know why he is only measured by the sounds of silence. My nerves were so jangled before this meeting I began to lose faith in finding answers to questions only Jesus could answer.
Jesus looked down and saw this life as only a bridge. The Supreme Being knows what you need but you must strengthen the things that remain by cooperating instead of competing with your quiet friend.
Keith Bacon, Melbourne
This beautiful Poem
was written by Leith Lucket during the 1990 Australian conference
A “Truth Junkie”
Presented at Warburton Conference 1990 by Terry Hovaghimian, Sydney
As usual, since I began expanding my quest for truth with the aid of The URANTIA Book and just attended my second conference, the time together has passed so fulfillingly quickly, with such a delight in events and people sharing a similar basic experience of truth, which we are embracing from all angles of our spiritual intuitive presence and states of America and Australia, that I am no longer surprised by the speed of reply to my questions, especially to questions that I have forgotten to ask whilst at the conference.
All I have to do is to open my eyes and my awareness and my communicating skills with sincere loving trust, and the answer appears there and then, as simple as in the next paragraph of the book, which most of us have so often found while reading. I don’t believe that I am such an unique individual who has any special talents or gifts or who might be different to anyone else that is existing
on this planet. Apart from certain physical and customary individual characteristics, we are all the same. I only want to share my personal discoveries of truth, not only with you but with as many other people as I can, and to be able to discover ways to communicate these and other messages and to be flexible in the use of the limited medium of language, that it becomes extremely frustrating and especially when you the reader have the choice.
It is very comforting to know that TRUTH IS and will be and that we cannot change it – we attempt to but all we do is to distort it or prolong its discovery.
So by slowly introducing a new habit into our lives we can change and start to experience a new, exciting way of living our so called boring, mundane lives that has managed to survive the test of time, and we don’t have to go out of this
There will initially be some costs – firstly you will have to make some time in your daily experiences to include truth. You will have to be careful because it can be addictive, so don’t overdose from the beginning. You can start alone, when no one is watching. You can do it in the privacy of your own room and eventually after you start applying it into your daily life you can move into the next phase which is called sharing. Here you have to be careful who you share it with, because it can cause problems for you and it might mean going out of your way to be with people who are willing to join you in a session of truth and
you might want more and more and develop new friendships with others and then you are eventually labeled a ‘truth junkie’. You find that you might have to
move out of the society that you have fallen into and if you are lucky discover a group who are involved in truth worshiping and occasionally have weekly or fortnightly sessions and perhaps have national and probably international sessions.
If this happens to you, count your blessings because this will be the best experience that will happen to you, especially since it will have cost you the purchase of one book that is filled with over 2000 pages of truth, and if you
are lucky it will take you at least one lifetime to experience all the basics of truth, not to talk about any other side effects such as love, joy, and maybe Godliness and possible perfection.
Having shared a four-day conference at Arrabri Lodge in East Warburton in Victoria with a group of over 50 people from all over Australia and from the USA who are such fascinatingly simple individuals of different ages and experiences who happen to have been brought together through a book called “The URANTIA Book”, I can honestly say that this has been the most rewarding time in my life on so many levels and with so many people in such a short period of time, that the friendships that have been experienced through the Fatherhood of God and in the Brotherhood of Man are everlastingly united in eternal love.
Terry Hovaghimian, Sydney