What two things are Thought Adjusters famous for? The idea behind our theme, “A Moment of Opportunity”, is two sided. Not only is this brief life our moment of opportunity to engage our Thought Adjuster, it also becomes a moment of opportunity for the First Source and Center to become Father of something absolutely unique: us—children “without duplicate in infinity”, will creatures “irreplaceable in all eternity.”[Paper 12:7.9, page 138.4]
The more we appreciate what these Thought Adjusters are, the more we understand what our freewill Personality is, the more extraordinary our mere mortal lives become. Vern’s logo is an attempt to symbolize what’s going on: the zipping together of complementary absolutes, Adjuster and Person.
But remember that little tab which makes it possible for a zipper to work (without which it cannot work!): even though the two sides are perfectly designed, and intended, to come together, it requires that we grip and pull that little mechanism for the plan to work. It requires our freewill choice to start the process of making these two one, the loving and willful
at-one-ment… of baby Person and eternal Adjuster.
The resulting transition of Personality, from mortal to Paradise Finaliter, is an absolute response to the Father’s request for a special addition to His Family: “Let us make mortal man in our own image.”
This technique—of using mortal life to give birth to Paradise Finaliters by a sequence of butterfly-like transformations— must be extraordinary in so many ways, because even Solitary Messengers are impressed:
What an adventure! What a romance! […] these personalized and humanized Adjusters, these Adjusterized and eternalized mortals, these mysterious combinations and eternal associations of the highest known manifestation of the essence of the First Source and Center and the lowest form of intelligent life capable of comprehending and attaining the Universal Father. [Paper 112:7.18, page 1239.7]
Clearly, we cannot hope to understand much about the plans our Father has for us, or what on earth our Thought Adjusters are really up to. But one thing we can do is try to understand what the revelators are telling us about these things. Thus we dedicate this weekend to exploring the presence of our Father within: our Thought Adjusters.
And it all begins with… Persons interacting.
Vern tells the story: how as a young man travelling across the USA, he could land on any Urantia Book reader’s doorstep, and at the mere mention of ‘Thought Adjusters’, or ‘Michael of Nebadon’, two strangers become close friends, no small-talk required; the feeling of meeting a brother springing up between them. What made this moment possible? What made this personal and beautiful interaction so easy? A common response to the Spirit of Truth? A shared and familiar experience of the Father within?
As readers, they shared (more or less) a common understanding of the purpose of life. They shared a set of deeply felt meanings and values. They shared a “Urantia jargon”. They shared a frame in which to think.
For years, we have been tossing around the idea of how the Urantia papers might serve in this way: how they provide fresh perspective onto familiar ideas; how they might serve as a “vocabulary” of metaphysical concepts, extending our language with insight into those “feelings that lie too deep for words”. For example, the way they repackage and “re–present” a new conception of the soul; how they utterly redefine the whole idea of mind. And of course, their complete re-coining of the concept of Personality. Can such an enhanced “conceptual vocabulary” help us to share, mind to mind, those experiences we once felt were “too deep for words”? Does having a dozen different words for snow allow Eskimos to share more deeply their experience of snow? Would having sharper and clearer words for “feelings” allow us to share more deeply our experience of these feelings? What about Love and Truth? If the revelators can enhance our understanding of Love and Truth, would we be better able to share our experiences of them? What two things are Thought Adjusters famous for?
Love & Truth
What two things are we humans most moved by? What two things most deeply engage our attention, and most easily win our allegiance? The first—ask any Rock-Star, grand-ma, accountant, footballer, artist, teenager, even politician—the first is surely Love. We are all moved by Love. Love is something we truly love to live for. And Love is something we even freely die for. So what’s the other thing? What else moves us so deeply that one exposure can affect the rest of our life? What is that other secret sauce that makes life delicious, and so worth living? What else is worth dying for?
As we know, Truth and Love are experienced and have been described in all sorts of ways. Poets and priests, mothers, mathematicians, all come at these concepts from their particular points of view. What about the Urantia papers? How do their authors wield these concepts? For my own benefit, I’ve sketched out a little map of where Love and Truth seem to fit into the picture painted by the revelators (see below).
For us, as Persons, Love and Truth are a special order of experience. As I try to suggest in this map, they are not a mind game; their origins are not in the mind domain. They are not just a species of emotion or insight mediated by the adjutants playing upon our mind. The interactions of Love, and the illumination of Truth touch and resonate directly upon our Personality. So getting back to our Thought Adjusters, what are they really famous for? One fellow who should know is that Solitary Messenger who wrote papers 107 to 111. Of Thought Adjusters he says this:
I regard the love and devotion of a Thought Adjuster as the most truly divine affection in all creation. [Paper 110:0.2, page 1203.2]
The Adjusters are the actuality of the Father’s love incarnate in the souls of men; [Paper 107:0.2, page 1176.2]
Right. So Thought Adjusters are specialists when it comes to Love. What about Truth? In Paper 101, “The Real Nature of Religion”, a Melchizedek has something surprising to say:
Truth is made accessible to the wisdom-endowed individual by the bestowal on such a mind of the spirits of the Father and the Sons, the Thought Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth. [Paper 101:6.4, page 1111.8]
“Truth is made accessible”. Truth is made accessible. To me this seems like a whole new idea. Is this Melchizedek implying that without our Thought Adjuster and the presence of the Spirit Of Truth, we… have no access to Truth? This really made me wonder, what is this thing the revelators are here calling Truth? What is it that the Spirit Of Truth and our Adjuster make accessible? Why is the Spirit bestowed by Jesus—Michael of Nebadon—called the Spirit of Truth? On page 1949:3, the Midwayer author explains:
The new teacher is the conviction of truth,” Meanwhile a Melchizedek explains: Truth is always a revelation: autorevelation when it emerges as a result of the work of the indwelling Adjuster; [Paper 101:4.3, page 1109.4]
The author of paper 34 writes:
…then is the way better prepared for the Spirit of Truth to co-operate with the indwelling Adjuster […] , he will guide you into all truth. [Paper 34:7.1, page 382.1]
And a Solitary Messenger, scratching his head, wonders:
Why do you not allow the Adjuster to strengthen you with the spiritual truths of cosmic power [Paper 111:7.3, page 1223.5]
On that day of Pentecost, think what the Spirit of Truth did for those frightened Apostles: after hiding for 40 days, they are overcome by an unquenchable personal assurance and—for them—the world is new. And think of Cain in the second garden, after that business with Able. Here we get a glimpse of human life with no Spirit of Truth, and no Adjuster; here is raw, utterly unspiritual Man.
But, after…“Fear, and some remorse, led him to repent”[Paper 76:2.8, page 849.2], Cain receives an Adjuster. Material, emotional, intellectual Man, teaming up with Spirit. And again, everything is utterly changed. On page 1111:4, a Melchizedek actually describes Truth as a “technique of personality assurance”[Paper 101:5.14, page 1111.4], highlighting its direct relationship to Personality (and implying its very indirect association with mind). I think it’s time we celebrate something wonderful: the two things by which we post-Pentecost mortals are most moved, and most deeply enjoy—Love and Truth—are precisely what our Adjusters are trying to give.
Service: Love & Truth in action
Given this perfect match, between what our Adjusters offer and what we desire, how does this marriage made in Heaven start to unfold here on earth? Well, in addition to Love and Truth, there is one more thing that touches us too deeply for words. Let’s sneak up on this… We all know someone in pain or in despair, someone in material or psychological distress. Often simply hoping for someone who can help. Think of hungry children getting no education, or people in hospital, or villagers made blind by cataracts. Their relief, their gladness when someone… simply helps, is matched (beautifully!) by the gladness, the Joy! we feel by being able to help, and then helping.
This is the “thrill of loving service”. This is the business of Persons, this is Love in action, helping to weave together children in the Family of all persons—the Brotherhood of Man. “Loving Service” completes a triad of interactions that are all too deep for words, a set of satisfactions that ripple and tickle all Persons in the Father’s Personal circuit. But with Service, notice the crucial thing: that we be free to choose and act—free to choose to help, and free to follow through. And notice one thing more: this freedom to choose and act, this opportunity to engage the personality circuit and lovingly to serve other Persons, depends upon our awareness of the situation, and our capacity to respond. If we do not understand the problem, can we really help? If we do not have the necessary skills, will we just be in the way?
One is free to choose and act only within the realm of one’s consciousness.
[Paper 34:3.8, page 377.4]
If we have no conscious understanding, how can we choose? Without awareness, how can we interact? On the other hand, the more deeply we understand a problem, the more creatively free we are to help solve it. The more completely we understand a system, the more creatively free we are to improve it. We can all think of examples in our own sphere of interest that illustrate what loving service means. I was going to mention a few, but time is short, so I’ll get to the point: the level at which we are able to lovingly serve depends on our capacity. At all levels, our service can be genuine, but as our awareness and skills increase, our loving service can become excellent as well as genuine.
The essence of Service is people understanding a need, then choosing to get involved; people being moved by awareness and love. And mysteriously: the more deeply we understand our chosen arena of service, the deeper our desire to serve becomes, and the deeper the personal satisfaction. But all this depends upon our freedom to choose and act; that our motivation to serve is not snuffed out by ignorance, compulsion or fear.
Now, Humanists may speculate that this triad, of “Love, Truth, and Service” is a sufficient social foundation for this world. But such a scheme leaves out the very cause of our motivation to Love. What is a solar system without gravity? It is not. What are Persons without the Source and Center of Personality? We are not. On this confused and quarantined world, even this most basic, intimate and crucial Truth was almost lost. Until replanted by Melchizedek. And demonstrated by Jesus.
The Author of Reality is our Dad. Sonship with our Father in heaven, our personal Source and Center, is the heart and soul of the 4th epochal revelation, the essence of “the faith of Jesus”. The Urantia papers simply amplify this Truth, and re-present it in a larger frame. The good news was then, and is now, that anyone can experience— feelingly know—this Truth, for free, at any moment. Which brings us to the heart of the matter. On page 1091, a Melchizedek encourages us to meet our true Father:
It is high time that [you] had a religious experience so personal and so sublime that it could be realized and expressed only by “feelings that lie too deep for words.” [Paper 99:5.9, page 1091.8]
This experience of Deity within is direct and Personal. It occurs beyond the mind domain, so no wonder “words fail us”, no wonder we call it “too deep for words”. We feel the assurance, the Truth of this experience not in the mind, but personally.
The hungry soul of man refuses to be satisfied with anything less than the personal realization of the living God.[Paper 102:1.6, page 1119.5]
Logic, and formulas of words, are out of their depth here. So what is our borrowed mortal mind to make of such experience? To what degree is it possible for such experientially felt meaning and value to repercuss in our conscious awareness?
The divine spirit makes contact with mortal man, not by feelings or emotions, but in the realm of the highest and most spiritualized thinking. [. . .] All such inner and spiritual communion is termed spiritual insight. Such religious experiences result from the impress made upon the mind of man by the combined operations of the Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth. [Paper 101:1.3, page 1104.6]
What happens when we glimpse a larger Truth? What are our minds to do when we feelingly experience something too deep for words, too vast to be contained in our local hand-made frames? More and more of us are going deep, stepping outside the old boxes, beyond our full philosophic limits, to indescribable realms. The seeker who sets out on that well-trod, well-mapped Buddhist path, past the squirming of their addictions, past the death of their attachments, all the way to meet their soul and their higher self. They feelingly experience becoming a conduit for some local source of mind; they observe being aware in a mode that is so unlike the old “adjutant” mode. But when they return, what then? Surely they ought not saddle such, pure, deep experience with stale formulas and insufficient beliefs?
The experiencing of God may be wholly valid, but the discourse about God, being intellectual and philosophical, is divergent and oftentimes confusingly fallacious. [Paper 103:8.2, page 1140.2]
Buddha knew God in spirit but failed clearly to discover him in mind; [Paper 132:7.5, page 1467.1]
And as Jesus said to Ganid,
Your Buddha was much better than your Buddhism [Paper 132:7.4, page 1466.4]
The follower of Islam, who surrenders and submits; the sincere agnostic who feels the numinous in nature and the love between Persons; the Christian slain by the spirit and born anew… All these experiences are… too deep for old words; too deep for 4th epoch formulae; too beautiful to be saddled with worn out, tribal concepts. But these old frames for thought, these old boxes we used to live in, served a purpose. As creatures, our minds require some box, some “universe frame in which to think” [Paper 115:1.1, page 1260.2].
But with so many now thinking outside their old cultural boxes, is it time for a bigger one? One big enough to accommodate the next epoch of human discovery and experience? In a sense this is what the revelatory commission offer us in their Urantia papers: a really big box, an adequate conceptual frame, beyond which future generations may aspire to grow.
Man must think in a mortal universe frame, but that does not mean that he cannot envision other and higher frames within which thought can take place. [Paper 115:1.2, page 1260.3]
Eventually, even this big new box will seem small.
And so we have Thought Adjusters, our Lovers and our Illuminators. This is our subjective experience of them. How about an objective description? In Papers 107 – 112, the Revelators tell us everything we could possibly want or need to know about these fragments of the Universal Father. But their description only touches the surface. Our adventure of living with, and becoming, such a being… is the stuff of legend! As humans, we know too well our capacities and limitations. So when we read about the divinity, the origin and nature of our Thought Adjusters, we are staggered by the contrast between what we are, and what we are to be.
The Adjuster is an absolute essence of an infinite being … [Paper 107:0.6, page 1176.6].
Before moving on to the main presentation, let’s take a few minutes to listen to some of the utterly extraordinary things the revelators have revealed about these Mysterious Monitors. [Audience members then read aloud favourite paragraphs about Thought Adjusters, rekindling in our minds some of the breathtaking revelations we have been given about this fragment of our Father within.]