If any celestial passers-by were to look in upon us this morning, what would they see? As individuals, we are an unspectacular lot. As a group, we have no real claim to fame. In fact, we are remarkably average, and surprisingly normal. So what might catch the interest of those who may be watching?
Those interested watchers – those student observers who happen to be present; the seraphim of progress who have sponsored us in unsuspected ways; the Lanonondek administrators, one of whose concerns we are; the Vorondadek Most Highs to whom we are a very special project; the embrace of seraphic oversight and watchcare that has sustained us all; Michael of Nebadon who holds us closer than we can imagine – all these would be interested in this phenomenon of this group of normal people, interrupting their lives to intensify their collaboration. Why? Why should anybody, let alone our celestial benefactors and local universe administration, care that we have gathered here today?
One reason might be this: for over 2000 years, for the duration of the entire 4th epoch of our world, agents of our administration have teased out from a wild and crude humanity hundreds of millions of baby souls engaged with the Spirit of Truth, young lovers of the king of Nebadon. The sincerity of these millions needs no adjustment. The target of their devotion is already correct.the one who is the source of the Spirit of Truth. Their potential is without measure.as baby Finaliters, these millions will number among the trillions involved in ripening the absonite heart that beats in the bosom of eternity. Grand cultivation has occurred in this lonely distant vineyard. And its vines are heavy with the finest fruit.
A small adjustment to mankind’s inner world, a simple tweaking of the universe frame we all use, a Jerusem-like perspective onto our context and circumstance, would be sufficient to shift our various stagnant dogmas and replace them with the larger truths of Nebadon.
And just such a significant but simple adjustment can be triggered by the perspective, the enlarged universe frame, presented in the Urantia Papers. Successfully evolving a world from habitation into Light and Life would provide deep satisfaction to the administrators responsible. And such success must be a source of much joy to the Supreme. But another predictable success, when added to a million others, may lack a certain something. Is this why the Master Architects and Orvonton planned the decimal worlds? But even the risk and adventures implied by these subtle experiments are bound by parameters and regulations. So think what Urantia must mean to all these reliable administrators, trustworthy creators and transcendent overseers. A world whose conceptual soil has been abused and poisoned for 200,000 years, a world whose genetic foundations were never lifted beyond the threat of retrograde bacteria, a world even whose very air and water now suffer damage. A world where a Creator Son could experience being washed away by injustice.
A thousand years ago, even a seasoned Lanonandek might have predicted that we were a lost cause. Yet look at the harvest ready to reap: “the sincerity of millions needs no adjustment, the target of their devotion is correct”. Jesus, our Michael, already shines as a superstar on the Urantian mindscape. The millions who adore our Source and Creator need only a subtle adjustment to their beliefs. The entire Christian world needs only a skilful, loving touch and it could take flight. Millions from every faith stand quivering on the brink. Given a less restricted cage, imagine how their wings might unfurl.
So here we are, spending three days pondering and probing this business of Deity gently adjusting the flow of mundane life, of the Ancients of Days and our Most Highs adjusting, by means of their Urantia Papers, the conceptual framework of our world. During this time together we will explore the epic frame being put in place for the human minds of Urantia.s fifth age. A worst case scenario is that we all have a few pleasant days spent in the company of friends. A best case scenario is that we will stumble onto insights and understandings that will make us more valuable in the task of moving humanity into its fifth epoch.
Between William’s presentation and our break for morning tea, we will take a few minutes to discuss housekeeping matters- mealtimes and other arrangements. But noting that such things have to do with the “trifles of living” let us move straight to the business at hand – life at the threshold of the fifth epoch: what is our role, what is our opportunity, what is personality, what is love, and what is teamwork – that symptom of successful love.
First we require some perspective. So let us consider this threshold on which we stand.
“Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment” [Paper 195: 9.2, p.2082.6]
From 1908 to 1933, a relationship was worked out between the Revelators entrusted with delivering the Urantia Papers, and a handful of sincere but unremarkable natives. Over these 25 years, a core group of humans were gently adjusted to receive a revelation. The appearance of the Papers during 1934/35 represented the completion of stage one.a stable human configuration able to receive and maintain the successfully delivered Papers. This small group had in common the experience of dealing with the Revelators. They were focused on the same goals, and full of appreciation for what had happened.
From this initial point of fragile stability began the first expansion. The next twenty years, as the circle of readers grew, saw a predictable progression unfold – from an initial breathless excitement and deep thankfulness on the part of all those introduced; to simple disagreements; to the friction of strong opinions, frustrations and internal conflict. But eventually a working arrangement was achieved, born of maturity and broadened perspectives.
It seems the Revelators used this period to allow the people involved to adjust. After all, by receiving the Urantia Papers, these folks were being asked to accommodate a new description of reality. No matter how sincere and enthusiastic a person might be, the business of shifting realities is fraught with difficulty. We may never know the struggles and anguish that transpired within this group, but they spent 20 years getting used to the fit of this new thing.
By 1955, the Forum core had stabilized sufficiently to allow a second expansion. – and a transition into the uncertainties and destabilization implied by publication of the text.
Over the next thirty years, the circle of readers grew to include a few thousand natives, each characterized by their capacity to be roused sufficiently to read 2,097 pages of difficult text, and to survive such a radical and voluntary adjustment of their inner world.
This tilling of a small plot of the Urantian mindscape was slow and unspectacular work. More interesting has been the decade of organizational exercises just past. These recent years of internal debate have allowed this second, larger, core to safely explore the problems of managing disagreements between equally sincere and intelligent fellow idealists. The strength and maturity gained from such lessons has forged us into a team able to assist with the process of shifting forward the millions standing on the threshold between epochs.
Urantia has arrived at a point where the Most Highs can attempt a third expansion. The implications of this situation are the focus of our explorations this weekend.
Those of us who were part of the second wave of readers find ourselves arranged, waiting on the brink of that inflexion when revelation meets Urantias increasing capacity to respond.
This is a collaboration. We are all in the same position of trying to make sense of our role in the scheme of things, where we fit in, what we might be able to contribute to facilitate this dawning of Urantia’s fifth epoch. Therefore, the sessions this morning are intended to stimulate [or annoy] us sufficiently that we will be moved to respond. We have reserved the session after lunch today to accommodate those responses. We hope this after-lunch session will prove to be the most valuable of the weekend. It will be an opportunity for all of us to share any insights we have had into this business of up-stepping the inner world of mankind – of terra forming the mindscape of Urantia. We also hope that you will help criticise the morning’s presentations.
There is much deep experience and wisdom tucked away in the recesses of the minds of those gathered here today. So let us make use of this opportunity. As you listen to the following presentations, and over lunch, please gather your thoughts so that you might share this hard-won evolutionary wisdom and insight. With that need and opportunity in the back of our minds, I now call upon William Wentworth to start us on our way -by painting the big picture.