What is it that makes something feel true? In our “mind arena of choice”, when we choose to believe that something is true, what’s really going on?
Let’s discount the gullible (who fall for whatever they’re told) and think instead about the best of our scientists and philosophers, the most inspiring of our poets and religionists. In their private inner world, where they can safely admit that their perception of reality is limited and subjective, what makes it possible for them to commit to a conclusion that something is “real”? And the other side of that coin: how is it possible for equally sincere and sophisticated souls to reach such distinctly different conclusions about what the real thing is?
Throughout history, this real thing has been called (the equivalent of) truth. Our groups and tribes are almost defined by what those in the group believe about truth. But things get slippery when we try to describe our experience of truth. For scientists, truth is somehow tied up with facts. For philosophers, truth is something woven into the frames in which we think. For others, it’s those “feelings too deep for words”. Sadly, each of these groups tend to think that only their view, their own experience of truth, is… well, true. So we find mystics stuck on their islands of illumination, and materialists dismissing anything they can’t measure.
What causes this great divide between materialist and religionist? Why do the satisfactions that quench the thirst of one leave the other parched? What could possibly explain such specialization and polarization, yet allow both camps to declare, with equal conviction, that their business is “getting to the truth”, and that they “love what they do”? Assuming such motivation and feelings of validity are felt in the mind, we have to wonder: what is it about our minds that enables such response? What makes possible, and so powerful, this intuitive validation? Among psychologists, discussion about such things has grown stale. But this fifth epochal revelation stirs the pot, revealing some surprising things about our human minds:
[…]. In the mortal experience the human intellect resides in the rhythmic pulsations of the adjutant mind-spirits and effects its decisions within the arena produced by encircuitment within this ministry. […] [Paper 117:5.7, page 1286.5]
This is new. This is something other than the biochemistry of neurons, and something more than chakras spinning. Human mind as an arena, designed and sustained? Ok, by what?
The seven adjutant mind-spirits always accompany the Life Carriers to a new planet, but they should not be regarded as entities; they are more like circuits. The spirits of the seven universe adjutants do not function as personalities apart from the universe presence of the Divine Minister; they are in fact a level of consciousness of the Divine Minister and are always subordinate to the action and presence of their creative mother. [Paper 36;5.4, page 402.1]
If this is true, then a whole lot of territory has just been opened up for psychologists to explore. But wait, there’s more. This adjutant-induced arena is intended simply to help us make a start, like training wheels on a child’s bike. Once we’ve found our balance, as we progress though “psychic circles” of personality realization, we are weaned quickly onto more substantial stuff. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. To get a clearer picture of what’s going on, let’s take a look behind the scenes, and remind ourselves how our “mind arena of choice” was made.
For us, the story begins about 200 billion years ago (654.3, 57:3.10). Michael and his Beloved, the Divine Minister, had been enjoying their own personal family affair for about 100 billion years, age upon age when it was just these two Paradise pioneers together with their family of splendid sons and angelic daughters. 100 billion years of orderly progress and organization, free of those complications sure to arise once humans are involved. But then one day, Michael announced to his realm, to his beautiful family, that the time had come for him “to be about his father’s work”:
And then, when such a universe has been so completely organized and so repletely manned, does the Creator Son enter into the Father’s proposal to create mortal man in their divine image. [Paper 32:2.8, page 359.5]
“Let us make mortal man…” Easier said than done. Sure, native science can follow how evolution might turn salty fluids into living tissue, but how to tickle up emotion in biochemistry? How to turn emotion into choice, and then heroic deeds? To get this process started, the Divine Minister broadcasts throughout Nebadon “a level of her consciousness” as a set of circuits, the adjutant mind spirits. These serve as targets for each team of Life Carriers, whose challenge is to evolve animals that can respond – biochemically and psychologically – to this adjutant urge.
The adjutant mind circuits, a “level of consciousness of the Divine Minister”, inducing an arena for animal mind.
As the UB reveals, that animal which can respond to all seven of these rhythmically pulsating circuits is called “human”.
The game-changers: wisdom and worship. Upon these potentials for wisdom and worship, fostered by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth can act. And then, with our “mind arena of choice” all set up and our personality bestowed, an Adjuster arrives to begin the great adventure-romance: of weaving – for us – a soul.
Step 1 in the slow motion personalization of an Adjuster by the human technique
But the plot thickens. This system of adjutants is not so much a system of mind, but a system that serves like mind; a technique for animating our biochemistry. This is the domain of feelings and urges and pre-programmed subjective response. It’s here that understanding first flickers as superstition, where courage and loyalty take root as tribalism, where zeal appears as our first unlovely response to worship. But once we learn to use wisdom to manage the mix, this system of “differential urges” [Paper 36:5.2, page 401:6], [Paper 36:5.11, page 402:8] becomes an integrated ministry, a first interface into the source of mind in Nebadon. This is the coal-face, the cutting edge, where humanity begins to be levered beyond its animal ancestry.What’s missing from this picture? If this were the whole story, then a sceptical materialist would be right to ask: “So what’s different from the Richard Dawkins view? A body built by evolution, animated by a standard set of urges, warmed by a cluster of imaginary friends…?” If this adjutant animation is merely emulating mind to help us make a start, then there’s a puzzle: what is mind, and how does it fit in? Enter a timely revelation. As humans, much of our thinking has to be backwards, from effect to cause. We use the facts we can measure to induce theories to explain those facts. But measuring material facts won’t help us discover non-material causes. Fortunately, those very non-material causes, those agents involved in creating human mind, are well equipped to explain how it works:
Human consciousness rests gently upon the electrochemical mechanism below and delicately touches the spirit-morontia energy system above. [Paper 111:1.5, page 216:6]
Not only does our “mind arena of choice” react to mind-like urges from below, it can respond to another system, imping-ing from above. This is something we’d never work out for ourselves, so the fifth epochal revelators were free to sketch some details. From Paper 16 section 6, The Cosmic Mind:
There exists in all personality associations of the cosmic mind a quality which might be denominated the “reality response.” It is this universal cosmic endowment of will creatures which saves them from becoming helpless victims of the implied a priori assumptions of science, philosophy, and religion. This reality sensitivity of the cosmic mind responds to certain phases of reality just as energy-material responds to gravity. It would be still more correct to say that these supermaterial realities so respond to the mind of the cosmos. [Paper 16:6.4, page191:7]
As free-will persons, apparently part of the deal is access to a more cosmic mind. As the revelators explain, for us pre-fusion humans, this means a first taste of three “cosmic intuitions”:
These scientific, moral, and spiritual insights, these cosmic responses, are innate in the cosmic mind, which endows all will creatures. The experience of living never fails to develop these three cosmic intuitions; they are constitutive in the self-consciousness of reflective thinking.But it is sad to record that so few persons on Urantia take delight in cultivating these qualities of courageous and independent cosmic thinking.
[Paper 16:6.9, page 192.5]
Ok, this too is new. What’s even more surprising is how these intuitions, these “reality responses”, are made accessible to us. As local source and center of the “Nebadon variant of the Orvonton type of cosmic mind”[Paper 9:4.3, page102:3], our local uni-verse mother, the Divine Minister of Salvington, complements Michael’s Spirit of Truth by serving as “Spirit of the Meaning of Facts”; as source of these three intuitions, she enables us not only to to recognize (1) the facts of causality, (2) the facts of relative right and wrong, and (3) the facts of spirit values, but also to sense the meaning of all these facts. [see Paper 16:6.5, page 192:1].
As one level of her consciousness (the adjutants) fosters in us a capacity to believe, in her capacity as Spirit of Fact, she makes it possible for us to know, to discriminate fact from figment.“The cosmic-mind-endowed, Adjuster-indwelt, personal creature possesses innate recognition-realization of energy reality, mind reality, and spirit reality. The will creature is thus equipped to discern the fact, the law, and the love of God. […]” [Paper 16:9.1, page195:7] But what if we fail to discern all three? What if we get hung up on the love of God, and remain blissfully ignorant of his fact (causation) or his law (duty)? What if we take delight in cultivating our first cosmic intuition, revelling in the beauty of nature and the harmonies of mathematics, while completely failing to recognize the source of such beauty and harmony?
[…]. Matter-energy is recognized by the mathematical logic of the senses; mind-reason intuitively knows its moral duty; spirit-faith (worship) is the religion of the reality of spiritual experience. These three basic factors in reflective thinking may be unified and co-ordinated in personality development, or they may become disproportionate and virtually unrelated in their respective functions. But when they become unified, […] [Paper 16:6.10, page 192:6]“
...”disproportionate and virtually unrelated…” This reminds me of how baby kangaroos begin: as near helpless embryos, they crawl from the birth canal into their mother’s pouch, then fiercely attach to the first teat they find. Not unlike us? As humans, we’re equally embryonic, and our shift into our soul is not unlike that climb from birth canal to pouch. So what are the teats to which we so fiercely attach? An intuition about what’s real?
Think how human “specialists” become the way they are: while growing up, the strength of some intuitive recognition stirs a deep response, and they know their life’s calling. Thus a scientist or mystic is born, firmly attached to the first intuition of validity they find (not realizing there are others equally as sweet from which to suck).
These three basic factors in reflective thinking may be unified and co-ordinated in personality development, or they may become disproportionate and virtually unrelated in their respective functions. […] [Paper 16:6.10, page 192:6]
Imagine someone who “takes delight in cultivating” their 3rd cosmic intuition, utterly satisfied by the teat they’ve found (“the reverential and worshipful form of the cosmic discrimination” [Paper 16:6.8, page 192.4] yet remaining ignorant of fact and law. Or picture Richard Dawkins, sucking on the teat of “the mathematical form of the cosmic discrimination” [Paper 16:6;6, page 192.2] taking delight in cultivating his 1st cosmic intuition, fiercely determined to believe he’s found all there is to find.
Clearly, such one-eyed specialisation is just an imbalance and should not be hard to fix. But looking at the bigger picture, once we accept that such “reality response” is fostered by the Divine Minister, the next question is why? Why is it important that we be given access to, and learn to wield, the three cosmic discriminations?
Let us make mortal man in our own image. [Paper 10:3.1, page 78.3],
[Paper 6:5.7, page 78.3]
As the Urantia Book explains, this “making” of us requires Adjusters and souls. The making of souls requires choice. And the making of choice requires? A mind in which to choose. From paper 111:
Though the work of Adjusters is spiritual in nature, they must, perforce, do all their work upon an intellectual foundation. Mind is the human soil from which the spirit Monitor must evolve the morontia soul… [Paper 111:1.1, page 1216.2]
[…]. Concerning insight, the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose. [Paper 196:3.10, page 2094.9]
Ok, so as humans, it’s our business to choose. Which makes sense, because it’s our personal and wilful choices that allow our Adjuster to weave for us a soul. But for us to make free-will, soul-worthy choices, we need some sort of intuition about value and validity; some way to sense what’s real; some way to evaluate and discriminate “things, meanings and values”. Having learned of the cosmic intuitions, we can see how the necessary reality responses are fostered by the Divine Minister – as Spirit of Validity & Meaning & Value. But what do these intuitions have to do with truth? And in particular, the Spirit of Truth:
This bestowed Comforter is the spiritual force which ever draws all truth seekers towards Him who is the personification of truth in the local universe.
[Paper 34:4;5, page 377.9]
The personification of truth in the local universe. For most of us, this sort of truth is new. It’s not philosophical or mathematical, it’s living, personal, and seeks relationship. It’s the truth made accessible by the presence of Michael and Dad within,
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]
And what about the truth in this most wonderful and unforgettable paragraph:
“Faith most willingly carries reason along as far as reason can go and then goes on with wisdom to the full philosophic limit; and then it dares to launch out upon the limitless and never-ending universe journey in the sole company of TRUTH.” [Paper 103:9.7, page 1141.5]
Notice, it’s not faith, but the person wielding faith, that chooses to dare to launch. This kind of “TRUTH” lives beyond that “full philosophic limit”. So how does this relate to those more familiar species of truth which motivate the work of physicists, philosophers and poets? And what about this:
“Increasingly throughout the morontia progression the assurance of truth replaces the assurance of faith. When you are finally mustered into the actual spirit world, then will the assurances of pure spirit insight operate in the place of faith and truth or, rather, in conjunction with, and superimposed upon, these former techniques of personality assurance.” [Paper 101:5.14, page 1111.4]
Truth as “a technique of personality assurance”? So I’m thinking… while the personality assurance made accessible by the Father/Son validates our reality as persons in the personality circuit, it’s this “resonance” with cosmic intuitions (made accessible by Mum) that enables us – as persons – to discover, recognize, interpret and choose.
So here’s the question: is this numinous validation, these “intuitive realizations of validity”, what reflective humans have historically interpreted as truth? If so, should we dismiss such feelingly experienced validation as something less than truth? Or should we help to reveal the good news about another species of truth, a truth that’s personal and life-giving, a distinct and unexpected truth now made accessible by the Spirit of that Truth, the truth Caligastia and Adam were commissioned to plant as the essential motivation in all human cultures: that we are our Father’s children.
Everyone will have their own response to the Urantia Book. For me, it simply offers a bigger frame in which to think; and within this bigger frame, scientists can see the material universe in context, and mystics can understand their experiences in a way that they can share. Let’s not forget, revelation is all about bridging the gulf back to territory evolution has attained.
revised May 2018