Our Arena of Creative Living
One of the key traits that define us as human is our creativity. When we think about creativity we are likely to conjure up images of artistic pursuits such as painting, composing music, designing clothes or buildings, or writing poetry. However, The Urantia Book uses the word in a more neutral sense: as humans, we are capable of creating things of great beauty or, alternatively, things that are ugly and perverse. Moreover, the authors reveal that the source of our creativity is our thinking and that the arena of our thinking is our mind.
Our thoughts are innately powerful and deterministic. Consider the following:
The divine spirit makes contact with mortal man, not by feelings or emotions, but in the realm of the highest and most spiritualized thinking. It is your thoughts, not your feelings, that lead you Godward. The divine nature may be perceived only with the eyes of the mind. [P.1104:6, P.1105:0]
At first life was a struggle for existence; now, for a standard of living; next it will be for quality of thinking, the coming earthly goal of human existence. [P.910:1]
Consider also why the Revelators chose the term “Thought Adjuster” rather than “Feeling Adjuster” or “Behaviour Adjuster” to describe the indwelling fragment of the Father’s spirit. Thinking is the critical faculty by which we create our destinies. And it is within the God-given arena of our minds that this extraordinary process takes place.
The Ultimate Creative Act: the Evolution of Our Soul
It is our soul that ultimately survives this earthly plane. The creation of our soul is a task of monumental complexity which fundamentally involves the intimate collaboration of the human will and the Divine will; and it all takes place within the busy, and at times gladiatorial arena of the human mind.
The material mind of mortal man is the cosmic loom that carries the morontia fabrics on which the indwelling Thought Adjuster threads the spirit patterns of a universe character of enduring values and divine meanings – a surviving soul of ultimate destiny and unending career, a potential finaliter. [P.1217:6]
The human personality is identified with mind and spirit held together in functional relationship by life in a material body. This functioning relationship of such mind and spirit does not result in some combination of the qualities or attributes of mind and spirit but rather in an entirely new, original, and unique universe value of potentially eternal endurance, the soul. [P.1218:1]
But before mind and spirit can weave together this “unique universe value”, a considerable degree of preparation is required within our minds to make us receptive to the urges and leadings of the spirit:
This supernal transaction of evolving the immortal soul is made possible because the mortal mind is first personal and second is in contact with superanimal realities; it possesses a supermaterial endowment of cosmic ministry which insures the evolution of a moral nature capable of making moral decisions, thereby effecting a bona fide creative contact with the associated spiritual ministries and with the indwelling Thought Adjuster. [P.1218:7]
The Adjusters cannot invade the mortal mind until it has been duly prepared by the indwelling ministry of the adjutant mind-spirits and encircuited in the Holy Spirit. And it requires the co-ordinate function of all seven adjutants to thus qualify the human mind for the reception of an Adjuster. Creature mind must exhibit the worship outreach and indicate wisdom function by exhibiting the ability to choose between the emerging values of good and evil – moral choice. [P.1187:1]
When mind is thus endowed with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it possesses the capacity for (consciously or unconsciously) choosing the spiritual presence of the Universal Father – the Thought Adjuster. But it is not until a bestowal Son has liberated the Spirit of Truth for planetary ministry to all mortals that all normal minds are automatically prepared for the reception of the Thought Adjusters.
The Spirit of Truth works as one with the presence of the spirit of the Divine Minister. This dual spirit liaison hovers over the worlds, seeking to teach truth and to spiritually enlighten the minds of men, to inspire the souls of the creatures of the ascending races, and to lead the peoples dwelling on the evolutionary planets ever towards their Paradise goal of divine destiny. [P.379:4]
The inevitable result of such a contactual spiritualization of the human mind is the gradual birth of a soul, the joint offspring of an adjutant mind dominated by a human will that craves to know God, working in liaison with the spiritual forces of the universe which are under the overcontrol of an actual fragment of the very God of all creation – the Mystery Monitor. And thus does the material and mortal reality of the self transcend the temporal limitations of the physical-life machine and attain a new expression and a new identification in the evolving vehicle for selfhood continuity, the morontia and immortal soul. [P.1218:8]
This breathtaking description of the “spiritualization of the human mind” reveals five essential ingredients for the creation of a human soul:
A human life machine with a material mind that has evolved through the ministry of the 7 adjutant mind spirits
The Holy Spirit – the spirit of the Universe Mother Spirit
The Spirit of Truth – the spirit of the Universe Creator Son
The Thought Adjuster – the spirit of the Universal Father
The gift of personality from the Universal Father
The remainder of this article will focus on the first and last of these ingredients: the Divine gifts of mind and personality and the crucial role they play in the cosmic drama of creative living.
The Mind Arena
Material mind is the arena in which human personalities live, are self-conscious, make decisions, choose God or forsake him, eternalize or destroy themselves. [P.1216:4]
What a profound statement this is, confronting and sobering! Our mind is essentially the place where we live, where we make decisions, where we impose our will, where we make choices that ultimately eternalize or destroy us. And why describe the mind as an “arena”? A little self-reflection should give us the answer. Arenas are often busy places, where participants engage in competitive activities sometimes involving intense conflict. Images of an Olympic stadium, a football grand final, or the Roman Colosseum may come to mind. There are times when my mind fits that description perfectly!
But let’s take a closer look at what happens in this mind arena:
Material evolution has provided you a life machine, your body; the Father himself has endowed you with the purest spirit reality known in the universe, your Thought Adjuster. But into your hands, subject to your own decisions, has been given mind, and it is by mind that you live or die. It is within this mind and with this mind that you make those moral decisions which enable you to achieve Adjusterlikeness, and that is Godlikeness. [P.1216:5]
Mortal mind is a temporary intellect system loaned to human beings for use during a material lifetime, and as they use this mind, they are either accepting or rejecting the potential of eternal existence. Mind is about all you have of universe reality that is subject to your will, and the soul – the morontia self – will faithfully portray the harvest of the temporal decisions which the mortal self is making…..
So here is revealed the two key participants in our mind arena: our Thought Adjuster and our will. Personality manifests in the mind as Self, exercising will or volition. It is what Self does with mind that determines our future. Self experiences mind as consciousness and as we shall see, consciousness exists as a continuum.
……Human consciousness rests gently upon the electrochemical mechanism below and delicately touches the spirit-morontia energy system above. Of neither of these two systems is the human being ever completely conscious in his mortal life; therefore must he work in mind, of which he is conscious. [P.1216:6]
This is a remarkable revelation! Our consciousness is gently and delicately positioned between and in contact with two entirely different mind systems: our material, mortal, electrochemical or adjutant mind and our spirit-morontia mind. In a limited fashion, we can be conscious of both of these systems. Moreover, we are told that mind is about all that exists that is subject to our will. It is up to us what we do with our mind.
Mind is the cosmic instrument on which the human will can play the discords of destruction, or upon which this same human will can bring forth the exquisite melodies of God identification and consequent eternal survival. The Adjuster bestowed upon man is, in the last analysis, impervious to evil and incapable of sin, but mortal mind can actually be twisted, distorted, and rendered evil and ugly by the sinful machinations of a perverse and self-seeking human will. Likewise can this mind be made noble, beautiful, true, and good – actually great – in accordance with the spirit-illuminated will of a God-knowing human being. [P.1217:1]
And here is the punchline!
The Adjusters manipulate but never dominate man’s mind against his will; to the Adjusters the human will is supreme. And they so regard and respect it while they strive to achieve the spiritual goals of thought adjustment and character transformation in the almost limitless arena of the evolving human intellect.
Mind is your ship, the Adjuster is your pilot, the human will is captain. [P.1217:3,4]
The Universal Father (via our Adjuster) has the utmost respect for our will….the freedom exercised by our personality. We are the captain of our own ship….our mind….the arena of choice.
The Inner Life: the Realm of True Creativity
The life we live in our minds could be described as the “inner life” or “being” life. It is the realm of our thinking, the source of creative living. It is here that we can choose to develop “a universe character of enduring values and divine meanings”. (P1218:0)
Meanings and values are only perceived in the inner or supermaterial spheres of human experience. The advances of true civilization are all born in this inner world of mankind. It is only the inner life that is truly creative. Civilization can hardly progress when the majority of the youth of any generation devote their interests and energies to the materialistic pursuits of the sensory or outer world….
There is a warning for us here!
The inner and the outer worlds have a different set of values. Any civilization is in jeopardy when three quarters of its youth enter materialistic professions and devote themselves to the pursuit of the sensory activities of the outer world. Civilization is in danger when youth neglect to interest themselves in ethics, sociology, eugenics, philosophy, the fine arts, religion, and cosmology.
Only in the higher levels of the superconscious mind as it impinges upon the spirit realm of human experience can you find those higher concepts in association with effective master patterns which will contribute to the building of a better and more enduring civilization.
Personality is inherently creative, but it thus functions only in the inner life of the individual. P.1220:1-4
What is the quality of our inner life? What are we creating there? That which endures or that which is destined to perish upon the dissolution of our mortal life? And what is this “superconscious mind” that we can tap into?
You cannot completely control the external world – environment. It is the creativity of the inner world that is most subject to your direction because there your personality is so largely liberated from the fetters of the laws of antecedent causation. There is associated with personality a limited sovereignty of will. Since this inner life of man is truly creative, there rests upon each person the responsibility of choosing as to whether this creativity shall be spontaneous and wholly haphazard or controlled, directed, and constructive. How can a creative imagination produce worthy children when the stage whereon it functions is already preoccupied by prejudice, hate, fears, resentments, revenge, and bigotries? [P.1220:7,8]
This is the problem: If freewill man is endowed with the powers of creativity in the inner man, then must we recognize that freewill creativity embraces the potential of freewill destructivity. And when creativity is turned to destructivity, you are face to face with the devastation of evil and sin – oppression, war, and destruction. Evil is a partiality of creativity which tends toward disintegration and eventual destruction. All conflict is evil in that it inhibits the creative function of the inner life – it is a species of civil war in the personality. [P.1220:10]
So here we are presented with humankind’s existential dilemma, stark and unambiguous: we are the authors of our own destiny, a fact that can surely inspire fear and trepidation. But it needn’t do so if we take to heart the following words of encouragement:
In every mortal there exists a dual nature: the inheritance of animal tendencies and the high urge of spirit endowment. During the short life you live on Urantia, these two diverse and opposing urges can seldom be fully reconciled; they can hardly be harmonized and unified; but throughout your lifetime the combined Spirit ever ministers to assist you in subjecting the flesh more and more to the leading of the Spirit. Even though you must live your material life through, even though you cannot escape the body and its necessities, nonetheless, in purpose and ideals you are empowered increasingly to subject the animal nature to the mastery of the Spirit. There truly exists within you a conspiracy of spiritual forces, a confederation of divine powers, whose exclusive purpose is to effect your final deliverance from material bondage and finite handicaps. [P.381:3]
Life in the arena can get pretty tough at times; the competition can be quite fierce. But our minds have been endowed with a “conspiracy of spiritual forces” that will ultimately deliver us from the impediments and handicaps of our finite natures. But we still have to make choices!
Creative Living is Superconscious Living
The Urantia Book indicates that our consciousness can be expanded or augmented; that mortals can “advance the borders of self-consciousness out through the dim realms of embryonic soul-consciousness in a wholehearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness – contact with the divine presence” P.2097:2. Personality can experience a continuum of conscious awareness:
If one is disposed to recognize a theoretical subconscious mind as a practical working hypothesis in the otherwise unified intellectual life, then, to be consistent, one should postulate a similar and corresponding realm of ascending intellectual activity as the superconscious level, the zone of immediate contact with the indwelling spirit entity, the Thought Adjuster. [P.1099:4]
So what is “superconsciousness” and how do we achieve it?
Only in degree does man possess mind above the animal level aside from the higher and quasi-spiritual ministrations of intellect. Therefore animals (not having worship and wisdom) cannot experience superconsciousness, consciousness of consciousness. The animal mind is only conscious of the objective universe. [P.1435:1]
The ministries of the sixth and seventh Adjutant mind spirits have given us the capacity for worship and wisdom, which require and enable us to become conscious of our own consciousness. This potential for higher conscious awareness that differentiates us from other animals, makes it possible for us to literally shift our seat of identity from the material adjutant mind to the spirit-morontia system within the superconscious.
Human beings, from a cosmic perspective, are born, live, and die in a relative instant of time; they are not enduring. But mortal personality, through its own choosing, possesses the power of transferring its seat of identity from the passing material-intellect system to the higher morontia-soul system which, in association with the Thought Adjuster, is created as a new vehicle for personality manifestation.
And it is this very power of choice, the universe insignia of freewill creaturehood, that constitutes man’s greatest opportunity and his supreme cosmic responsibility. [P.1232:5 – 1233:1]
We have been endowed with a conspiracy of spiritual forces but to truly realize and actualise the potential benefits that they have to offer us, we must choose wisely. There is a lot riding on the choices we make:
Upon the integrity of the human volition depends the eternal destiny of the future finaliter….
….upon the sincerity of the mortal free will the divine Adjuster depends for eternal personality….
….upon the faithfulness of mortal choice the Universal Father depends for the realization of a new ascending son….
….upon the steadfastness and wisdom of decision-actions the Supreme Being depends for the actuality of experiential evolution. [P.1233:0,1]
Here is our problem: It is our God-given power of choice that constitutes our greatest opportunity and our supreme cosmic responsibility. But how do we exercise it?
Adjusters are able to receive the continuous stream of cosmic intelligence coming in over the master circuits of time and space; they are in full touch with the spirit intelligence and energy of the universes. But these mighty indwellers are unable to transmit very much of this wealth of wisdom and truth to the minds of their mortal subjects because of the lack of commonness of nature and the absence of responsive recognition. [P.1207:1]
The chief difficulty you experience in contacting with your Adjusters consists in this very inherent material nature. So few mortals are real thinkers; you do not spiritually develop and discipline your minds to the point of favorable liaison with the divine Adjusters. The ear of the human mind is almost deaf to the spiritual pleas which the Adjuster translates from the manifold messages of the universal broadcasts of love proceeding from the Father of mercies. The Adjuster finds it almost impossible to register these inspiring spirit leadings in an animal mind so completely dominated by the chemical and electrical forces inherent in your physical natures. [P.1213:1]
…..every God-knowing man or angel possesses the potential of unlimited self-expression on ever-progressive levels of unified self-realization by the technique of the never-ending achievement of Godlikeness – the experiential blending in the evolutionary experience of eternal truth, universal beauty, and divine goodness. [P.507:5]
I cannot but observe that so many of you spend so much time and thought on mere trifles of living, while you almost wholly overlook the more essential realities of everlasting import, those very accomplishments which are concerned with the development of a more harmonious working agreement between you and your Adjusters. The great goal of human existence is to attune to the divinity of the indwelling Adjuster. [P1206:2]
Once again, this requires us to make a choice! Our Father has provided everything we need to spiritually prosper. But do we avail ourselves of these provisions?
How can we spiritually develop and discipline our minds so that we can enjoy favourable liaison with our Adjusters?
How can we open the ears of our minds so that we can better hear the spiritual pleas of our Adjusters?
….indirectly and unrecognized the Adjuster is constantly communicating with the human subject, especially during those sublime experiences of the worshipful contact of mind with spirit in the superconsciousness. [P.1203:3]
As prayer may be likened to recharging the spiritual batteries of the soul, so worship may be compared to the act of tuning in the soul to catch the universe broadcasts of the infinite spirit of the Universal Father. [P.1621:7]
Jesus taught his followers that, when they had made their prayers to the Father, they should remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship. [P.1641:1]
A Solitary Messenger’s Plea
I stated earlier in this article that our minds constitute an arena of spiritualising activity in which the conspiracy of spiritual forces prepares us for the arrival of our personal Thought Adjuster to partner us in the supernal act of soul creation. I would like to conclude by presenting this impassioned plea of a Solitary Messenger imploring us not to miss this never to be repeated opportunity, to fully cooperate with our Adjuster by engaging in heartfelt prayer, worship, and service.
May I admonish you to heed the distant echo of the Adjuster’s faithful call to your soul? The indwelling Adjuster cannot stop or even materially alter your career struggle of time; the Adjuster cannot lessen the hardships of life as you journey on through this world of toil. The divine indweller can only patiently forbear while you fight the battle of life as it is lived on your planet…
…but you could, if you only would – as you work and worry, as you fight and toil – permit the valiant Adjuster to fight with you and for you. You could be so comforted and inspired, so enthralled and intrigued, if you would only allow the Adjuster constantly to bring forth the pictures of the real motive, the final aim, and the eternal purpose of all this difficult, uphill struggle with the commonplace problems of your present material world.
Why do you not aid the Adjuster in the task of showing you the spiritual counterpart of all these strenuous material efforts? Why do you not allow the Adjuster to strengthen you with the spiritual truths of cosmic power while you wrestle with the temporal difficulties of creature existence? Why do you not encourage the heavenly helper to cheer you with the clear vision of the eternal outlook of universal life as you gaze in perplexity at the problems of the passing hour?
Why do you refuse to be enlightened and inspired by the universe viewpoint while you toil amidst the handicaps of time and flounder in the maze of uncertainties which beset your mortal life journey? Why not allow the Adjuster to spiritualize your thinking, even though your feet must tread the material paths of earthly endeavor? [P.1223:4,5]
Let’s give thanks to the Gods for their priceless gifts of mind, personality, and spirit!