“Where are the limits?” – Originally I titled the paper, Where are the Limits—to Being and Doing the Extraordinary?
My description of the subject matter became its subtitle in the program. However, I would like you to think of being and doing the extraordinary in your life. When I talk to people about The Urantia Book, I am frequently asked “who wrote it?” and “is it true?” My reply is that it is a series of papers in four parts dealing with: The whole of creation; that part of the universe where we are located; our planet, its origin and purpose; and the
life of Christ from his birth to death. I maintain that the authority of the book is the book itself, as the authority of Christ was Christ himself. The answers to their questions will be found in the book. If it is the truth, then nothing (certainly not opinions) can make it untrue. Likewise if it is not what it says it is, nothing can make it so. It is just what it is. To me truth is a subjective thing. Fact is inalienable— it is, full stop. Our belief in our interpretation of fact is called truth for us. People observing the same fact but with different beliefs and backgrounds may have completely different interpretations. For example, it was once believed that the world is flat, and from some points of view, it still is.
You probably have fresh in your memories the accomplishments of the athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Limits of accomplishments were extended every day. Swimmers swam new records pushing the limits further and further out. Weight lifters lifted weights greater than their body weights and then some! These extensions of the accepted limits were illustrated in all sports and athletes rightly became heroes.
Let us consider today what our limits are in the day to day living of our lives. What boundaries restrict us in
what we would like to achieve?
An aside: A patient and I were discussing the state of the world. He had a very negative attitude towards it.
Everything was wrong—the government wasn’t doing anything, young people have no respect any more, politicians are only there for their superannuation payouts—tragedy was everywhere and the world was going to pot. I agreed that we could do with a lot fewer politicians and just a couple of dedicated statesmen, and observed that the two most important jobs in the country demanded no qualification—them being politics and parenting.
I would not agree that the world was doomed, rather that it was progressing according to a plan and mistakes were inherent in any progressive works. Mistakes did not make it wrong or impossible, they just added to the learning time.
Then he said, “well, it is not up to me, I can’t do anything about it”, and again I hastened to disagree. (I get argumentative sometimes—blame it on advancing age!) “Yes, you can” I said. “What?” said he. “You can be those things you want others to be. Those who agree with you sentiments will be encouraged to stand up for them also; enough will do this to make the change. A country is not rich unless its citizens are rich. It is people being rich that make the country a rich one. If you want to have a tolerant society you should be the first one to be tolerant. It will not be so unless you are.”
We are here today to consider “Being and Doing according to The Urantia Book.” Not only should we look at what we are to be and do—it is comparatively easy to advise what one should do—but knowing how to be and do depends on the understanding of it. Author Napoleon Hill in his “Master Key to Riches”, non-spiritual book aimed at success in the world of business, unconsciously employs spiritual principles called by other names. He does not refer to God, but ‘Universal Intelligence’. He maintains that “we are not what we think we are, we are what we think”, and by selfmastery and correct thought can achieve things extraordinary.
I wonder how many of us fully understand the potential of the power within us, and what its source is? To appreciate what extraordinary powers we have access to, let us refer to Paper 111 on ” The Adjuster and the Soul” which discusses ‘The consecration of Choice’. May I share it with you?
The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God—with the very God who has made such a creature life of inner meaning-value possible.
Sharing is Godlike—divine. God shares all with the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, while they, in turn, share all things with the divine Sons and spirit Daughters of the universes.
The imitation of God is the key to perfection; the doing of his will is the secret of survival and of perfection in survival. Mortals live in God, and so God has willed to live in mortals. As men trust themselves to him, so has he—and first—trusted a part of himself to be with men; has consented to live in men and to indwell men subject to the human will.Peace in this life, survival in death, perfection in the next life, service in eternity—all these are achieved (in spirit) now when the creature personality consents— chooses—to subject the creature will to the Father’s will.
And already has the Father chosen to make a fragment of himself subject to the will of the creature personality.
Such a creature choice is not a surrender of will. It is a consecration of will, an expansion of will, a glorification of will, a perfecting of will; and such choosing raises the creature will from the level of temporal significance to that higher estate wherein the personality of the creature son communes with the personality of the spirit Father. [Paper 11.5, page 1221:2-6]
It goes on to explain that such choosing does not consist in a negation of will such as ‘not my will but yours be done’ but instead ‘it is my will that yours be done’. Our freedom of choice is not compromised.
Freedom of Choice
I have maintained that our greatest asset, freedom of choice, can also be our greatest liability. We defend our freedom of choice as a right, but it is not impressed on usthat every action has a consequence. God does not punish us for our wrongdoings and punishment we receive is inherent in the action. If our actions are godlike, the blessing is inherent in the doing. If our actions are offensive we may not welcome the consequences of them. Our heaven and hell are of our own making.
So what does this mean? To me it means that if my choice is in harmony with God’s will then I must succeed, for what cannot be accomplished by the power of God that I have within me and can utilize? It also means that I must be very careful in my choices, because negative endeavours will also succeed but the consequences may be catastrophic. What could have been accomplished if the organising and planning abilities that resulted in the September 11 attack had been directed, to say, relief of drought victims in Africa? How can I be sure? All I have to do is ask!! The explanation on the effectiveness of prayer is discussed at length in The Urantia Book and could well be the subject of another paper.
Personally, I find the best ‘how to’ assistance in the words of the prayer on page 1622. I have adopted it as a guide and a source of affirmations to keep me on track when challenges confront me.
Our perfect and righteous heavenly Father,
This day guide and direct our journey.
Sanctify our steps and co-ordinate our thoughts.
Ever lead us in the ways of eternal progress.
Fill us with wisdom to the fullness of power
And vitalize us with your infinite energy.
Inspire us with the divine consciousness of
The presence and guidance of the seraphic hosts.
Guide us ever upward in the pathway of light;
Justify us fully in the day of the great judgment.
Make us like yourself in eternal glory
And receive us into your endless service on high.
A perfect guide for spiritual living, for thought control and action evaluation, is it not?
We indeed have extraordinary potential. What we are and what we do is completely in our own hands. We can choose to be ordinary and let life carry us along according to the whims and fancies of the world. OR we can choose to align ourselves with God, make responsible use of our gifts and be EXTRAordinary as God empowered us to be. The only limits are self imposed ones that restrict our choices and actions. Let us extend our horizons beyond our present vision, communicate with the powers within us, BE what we believe we ought to be, and DO what we believe we were meant to do. There are no limits where there is belief and faith.
Happiness ensues from the recognition of truth because it can be acted out; it can be lived [Paper 2:7.6, page 42:7]