ANZURA’s presentation of The Urantia Book at the Parliament of the World’s Religions December 3–9, Melbourne, Australia 2009
Good afternoon and thanks for coming along to our workshop: “The Urantia Papers—What’s Love got to do it?” The theme for this Parliament of the World’s Religions is “Make a World of Difference: Hearing Each Other, Healing the Earth.” No doubt most of us attending this event do so because we care, because we desire to make a difference. And unless we really desire to make a difference, unless we desire to help, to hear and to heal, then we won’t.
But where does this desire come from? How does one move beyond old attitudes and narrow motivations? How do we get to that place where we become truly interested in one another? And how does this interest become friendship and ripen into love? Well if we can answer this, we’ve found the key; for once we love someone, the desire wells up to help, to hear and to heal.
But where does this desire to love one another come from? It appears naturally enough among family and friends; it builds between neighbours who work together; and it begins between strangers once trust is won. And why is Love so powerful and so efficient at resolving knots in our relationships? To understand this we need to know more about what and who we are.
The Urantia Papers offer new answers to these age old questions. As well as providing a larger frame in which to think—one that may satisfy scientists, philosophers and religionists alike—the Urantia Papers reveal a fresh perspective on Personality. They then trace for us the rise and role of Love, from the eternal core of the Absolute directly into the human heart.
This afternoon we’d like to share with you a little bit about The Urantia Book—a book that many people from every walk of life and from every cultural and religious background are finding truly inspiring. They are finding the teachings have profoundly impressed and changed their lives, stimulating them to new levels of spiritual growth and enlightened living. I’ll introduce our main speakers to you in just a few moments, but first a very brief overview of this 2,097 page book.
The Urantia Book was first published in 1955 in the United States by the Urantia Foundation. The first two questions people usually ask is who wrote this book and what does Urantia mean?
To be receptive to the teachings of this book, it’s advisable to be open minded to the assumption that the universe is teaming with highly intelligent life and that it’s possible that from time to time some of these super mortal personalities find ways of revealing information to us that may assist us in our spiritual journey. This is what we believe happened with The Urantia Book.
The story of how the book came about over several decades in the early part of the 20th century is intriguing but is not the subject of today’s workshop. Suffice to say there are no human authors of this book. It is a compilation of information given to us by a variety of universe personalities. They tell us that much of the time they’ve drawn from the highest levels of human philosophical thought. We’re told that Urantia is the name they have given to our world—to our planet. We are told about the origin, history and destiny of our world and of the human race.
They’ve given us first hand accounts of familiar stories, stories that have survived in fragmented legendary forms, such as Adam and Eve, the downfall of Lucifer, the role of Melchizedek who was around in the times of Abraham, and the life and teachings of Jesus. Historical information is presented to us against a backdrop of an amazingly broadened view of the universe, of spiritual reality, and of the nature and character of God.
Close on a million books are now in circulation since its beginnings in the 1950’s. It has been translated and published into 11 of the world’s major languages with around 14 translations into other languages in progress. The entire text is on the internet and an audio version is available on MP3 and can be downloaded from the internet for free for anyone to hear.
The authors don’t describe or advocate a new religion, rather they build on the religious heritage of the past and present, encouraging a personal and living religion based on service to one’s fellows. The central message is that all human beings are one family, the sons and daughters of a loving God whose attitude toward his creation is that of a Universal Father. He’s given us a fragment of himself to indwell us and if we so choose to follow the leadings of that indwelling spirit then there’s an amazing voyage of eternal discovery ahead of us.
Here are a couple of quotes from the book:
There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. And the infinite treasures of such a matchless career are yours for the striving! The goal of eternity is ahead! The adventure of divinity attainment lies before you! [Paper 32:5.8, page 365.3]
There is a great and glorious purpose in the march of the universes through space. All of your mortal struggling is not in vain. We are all part of an immense plan, a gigantic enterprise, and it is the vastness of the undertaking that renders it impossible to see very much of it at any one time and during any one life. We are all a part of an eternal project which the Gods are supervising and outworking. The whole marvellous and universal mechanism moves on majestically through space to the music of the meter of the infi nite thought and the eternal purpose of the First Great Source and Center. [Paper 32:5.1, 364.3]
I’d like to introduce you now to our main speakers William Wentworth from Towamba on south coast of NSW, and then Nigel Nunn from Canberra. William and Nigel are long time students of the book and have some interesting insights to share with you.