(from Innerface International – Jan/Feb 1998)
Report from the annual conference of ANZURA in Sydney 1997
The secret of survival is wrapped up in the supreme human desire to be Godlike and in the associated willingness to do and be any and all things essential to the final attainment of that overmastering desire. [Paper 110:3.2, page 1206.0]
The theme for the recent annual meeting of Australian and New Zealand Urantia Book readers in Sydney was “Dare to be Godlike.” During the course of the three day meeting, this theme was to be the catalyst that would give birth to many significant thoughts and comments from participants. Later, these were brought together in a session ably chaired by Neil Francey whose diplomatic skills were instrumental in moderating potential un-Godlike behaviour where apostasy threatened. At this session, Neil asked individuals to voice their ideas on how the principle of daring to be Godlike could be put into effect. Since no notes were kept on who said what, this report will simply attempt to recall some of those ideas with no attempt to attach names to them–for, in any case, many such ideas were a synthesis of group contributions.
One of the suggestions was that we should become entirely reliant upon the incomparable teachings of Jesus as recorded for us in The Urantia Book. The book informs us that:
Human survival is, in great measure, dependent on consecrating the human will to the choosing of those values selected by this spirit-value sorter–the indwelling interpreter and unifier. Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit.
[Paper 196:3.13, page 2095.1]
So if we are to become reliant upon the incomparable teachings of Jesus, first we need to be familiar with them so that we can recover (discover) them from our memory banks, then we need the guidance of our indwelling interpreters, the Thought Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth, to help us select the right teaching and the right action in a specific circumstance.
A new problem arose. Most of us have difficulty in placing sufficient reliance upon the spirit guidance available to us. One suggestion to keep us on the Godlike track was to introspect on recent performance and let ourselves know if our actions fell short of being “Godlike”–but also to permit ourselves a self-administered pat on the back if we felt that they met that standard. Another suggestion was to find ourselves a beeper device that would beep on the hour and half-hour to remind us of the book’s exhortation that, “The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind.” (2097) These thoughts conjured up the remark from another reader on the urgent need for many of us to enhance our own self-discipline.
At this point it appeared to one participant that too much introspection is not necessarily a good thing, and maybe the practical way to become Godlike was to lose ourselves in service. So what does The Urantia Book have to say about the two thousand year old topic of the relative merits of faith and works. On this topic, James, the brother of Jesus, had this to say, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:18,20)
At first sight The Urantia Book may appear to contradict James: “Heretofore it had been believed that salvation could be secured only by works…salvation, favor with God, is to be had by faith.” (1020) and “He (Jesus) taught…faith was the only requisite to entering the Father’s kingdom.” (1545) Furthermore, “Salvation is the reward of faith, not merely of works.” (1801) However, Jesus also says, “Faith alone will pass you through its portals (i.e. doors to the kingdom), but you must bring forth the fruits of my Father’s spirit if you would continue…” (1569) Finally, after a listing of the fruits of the spirit, Jesus states, “If professed believers bear not these fruits of the divine spirit, they are dead;…(2054)
So faith without works is dead and works without faith are also dead. Note though that the fruits of the spirit that Jesus refers to are the fruits of the Father’s spirit, and not good works (fruits) selected by ourselves. Our fruit must be the result of spirit-leading and, in daring to be Godlike, we must be responding to the urgings of our indwelling spirit presences. Hence we must learn to communicate with those spirit presences.
How do we learn to communicate with spirit forces that appear not to have mouths to speak nor ears to hear? For most of us, it seems probable that the best way is that used by Jesus as a child, to speak to God as we would to the “alter ego” of our childhood behavior (Paper 91, Section 3). In other words, speak to our indwelling spirits, and believe they hear us. We then leave it to them to find the way to respond.
Prayer, even as a purely human practice, a dialogue with one’s alter ego, constitutes a technique of the most efficient approach to the realization of those reserve powers of human nature which are stored and conserved in the unconscious realms of the human mind. [Paper 91:6.4, page 999.6]
From this point, the discussion took a right angle turn to a topic discoursed upon in The Urantia Book. How can our daring to be Godlike help (or hinder) others towards a knowledge of the God revealed by Jesus? And what is it really like to dare to be Godlike? Many Christians have looked upon the task of following Jesus as living a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Thus, some come to view as unfair, the parable of the laborers in the vineyard in which the men hired at the beginning of the day receive only the same reward as those hired at the last hour. Is a life spent in daring to be Godlike one of self denial and self sacrifice; or does a life, spent serving as we pass by, bring its own rewards?
One way of answering this question is to take at face value the statement in the book that, “the existence of God cannot be proved by scientific experiment or by the pure reason of logical deduction.” (24) So what if we are wrong? What if there is no God and the promise of our Paradise career is mythical? How would that affect our decision to dare to be Godlike–which, for a Urantia Book reader, means to dare to be like Jesus? It takes time to ponder this question.
If, after doing so, we can answer that yes, we would still continue to attempt to be like Jesus and continue to live so as to serve him as we pass by, then surely we have discovered that such a life is truly its own reward. But if we cannot answer yes, maybe we have a problem to resolve. So thought some.
And then last, but greatest of all, we attain the level of spirit insight and spiritual interpretation which impels us to recognize in this rule of life the divine command to treat all men as we conceive that God would treat them. This is the universal ideal of human relationships. [Paper 147:4.8, page 1651.3]
Where are the daughters of God by Marion Stewart, new Zealand
‘Quantum’ Consciousness by Ken Glasziou, Maleny QLD
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