2018 Study Day Reflections

This year groups met around the world over the weekend of 19th May 2018 to study Paper 36: The Life Carriers.

The following are reflections from some of those groups who met:

Canberra Study Group

  1. William Wentworth, ACT

Two members of the Canberra Study Group met on the afternoon of Saturday, 19th May to read and consider Paper 36—The Life Carriers.

We took note of the fact that the superuniverse is involved in the creation of Life Carriers, because only the Ancients of Days of Orvonton can extinguish life created in Nebadon by Michael and his consort. But everything else about Life Carriers is decided from within Nebadon. Though not a fully self-governing order, they are substantially so with the concurrence of Gabriel of Salvington and the Father Melchizedek.

We also noted that the three different forms of life—explained in paper 49:5.10 (page 565.11)—the Normal Group, the Radical Adjustment Group and the Experimental Group—inhabit correspondingly different planets. Urantia of course belongs to the experimental group.

The description of the Life Carrier worlds in the Salvington circuits, and the description of life implantation on material worlds seemed very straightforward to us although we spent some time discussing the vital spark originating in the Divine Minister of Nebadon and its bestowal through the catalytic presence of the Life Carriers. And we noted that this phenomenon is still a mystery to the Vorondadek author of the paper.

It is the nature and function of the adjutant mind spirits which took up much of our discussion. We noted their connection with the Life Carriers and the fact that their “central emplacement” is situated on the Life Carriers’ planet in Salvington. As the foundation of animal, and thus human mind, the adjutants are themselves evolutionary as they learn to make contact with evolving mind, and as they are a derivative of the Divine Minister who is herself evolving.

We were interested in the characterisation of life as both vitalistic and mechanistic, and spent some time discussing (and failing to agree!) on the meaning of the sentence: “Pattern is also nonresponsive to gravity, being a configuration of energies that have already fulfilled all gravity-responsive obligations.”

An enjoyable and informative study.

  1. Jocelyn, ACT

My own understanding on section 6 of the Life Carriers Paper is, that when a Cosmic pattern has been firmly established in the evolution of the Cosmos, which comprises the material, the mindal and the spiritual, a cosmic habit or groove—a direction for life to move into—has been firmly established and it is no longer an emergent pattern. I understand it to be no longer responsive to gravity as The Urantia Book so states, meaning that the material, mindal and spiritual are our own foundations on which evolution takes place.

The Cosmic habit has already been segregated and therefore the pattern is no longer responsive to gravity, being a configuration of energies that have already fulfilled all gravity-responsive obligations.

We speak of life as “energy” and as “force,” but it is really neither. Force-energy is variously gravity responsive; life is not. Pattern is also nonresponsive to gravity, being a configuration of energies that have already fulfilled all gravity-responsive obligations. Life, as such, constitutes the animation of some pattern-configured or otherwise segregated system of energy—material, mindal, or spiritual. [Paper 36:6,6, page 404.4]

The Urantia Book further says that the Life Carriers can construct the form of life, but it is the Spirit of God who really contributes the vital spark. Life as such, constitutes the animation of some pattern, configured or otherwise segregated system of energy—material, mindal or spiritual.

Life Carriers can organize the material forms, or physical patterns, of living beings, but the Spirit provides the initial spark of life and bestows the endowment of mind. Even the living forms of experimental life which the Life Carriers organize on their Salvington worlds are always devoid of reproductive powers. When the life formulas and the vital patterns are correctly assembled and properly organized, the presence of a Life Carrier is sufficient to initiate life, but all such living organisms are lacking in two essential attributes—mind endowment and reproductive powers. Animal mind and human mind are gifts of the local universe Mother Spirit, functioning through the seven adjutant mind-spirits, while creature ability to reproduce is the specific and personal impartation of the Universe Spirit to the ancestral life plasm inaugurated by the Life Carriers. [Paper 36:6,3 page 404.1]

Sydney Study Group

Kathleen Swadling

We had a wonderful turn out for this year’s Study Day in Sydney. Apart from several of our regular study group members who attend the monthly meetings in Mona Vale, others traveled from Newcastle, the Central Coast and Western Sydney to join us for a day of study and socialising. In addition, we were thrilled to see two long-time friends who used to attend the study group but due to work and study commitments, have been unable to attend for many years. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of them in the future.

The discussion on the Life Carriers paper was lively, thoughtful and stimulating. The emphasised phrases and sentences in the following two paragraphs captured the essence of our discussions.

The vital spark — the mystery of life — is bestowed through the Life Carriers, not by them. They do indeed supervise such transactions, they formulate the life plasm itself, but it is the Universe Mother Spirit who supplies the essential factor of the living plasm. From the Creative Daughter of the Infinite Spirit comes that energy spark which enlivens the body and presages the mind. [Paper 36:3.4, page 399.6 emphasis added]  

Things material may enjoy an independent existence, but life springs only from life. Mind can be derived only from pre-existent mind. Spirit takes origin only from spirit ancestors. The creature may produce the forms of life, but only a creator personality or a creative force can supply the activating living spark. [Paper 36:6.2, page 403.7 emphasis added]

In my opinion, these facts should extinguish any debate about whether the creator of all things and beings in the universe is a personality or not. “Nothing comes from nothing…”

These pictures below tell the story of our day: 

The Forum Discussion Group (an Extract)

Urantia Association International’s Website: https://urantia-association.org/forums/topic/2018-international-study-day/

Hosts: Bonita Shapiro and Bradly Tharp

Welcome to the annual International Study Day sponsored by ANZURA, The Australia and New Zealand Urantia Association. As previously announced, we will be studying Paper 36, The Life Carriers, which will be posted in six instalments over the course of the weekend. The first will be posted later today because it is already tomorrow Down Under.

This year Bradly and I have been asked to host the event and we are both absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to learn more about this unique, and as the author describes them, “peculiar group of universe Sons”. Paper 36 is not only a rich source of information about Life Carriers but also an introduction to the adjutant mind spirits and midsonite creatures. Papers 17, 34 and 65 are additional treasure troves of information for anyone desiring to expand their study.

It is our hope that after reading each section you might take a moment to join us and share your reflections, thoughts, ideas and observations. Feel free to enrich the discussion with information from the entire book as well as from your own research. We sincerely hope you enjoy this exploration into the revelation of the Life Carriers provided for us by a Vorondadek Son, and we very much look forward to hearing from you.

Bonita wrote:

  1. Life Transplantation – (Read section 3 on page 399)


Besides being a decimal, or experimental planet with a different life formula, Urantia also differs in that the Life Carriers did not actually carry life here. They brought the original design then assembled life patterns according to that formula from the existing organic material and energy on the planet.

It is interesting that it’s not the organic chemicals and substrates which are catalysed into life, but the actual life patterns themselves after they’ve been formulated, which explains why scientists will never be able to generate life from lifeless organic material no matter how much they manipulate it. But what is the spark of life? It is described in 36:3.4 as an energy spark, but what kind of energy? Life energy? Is Life energy different from other types of energy? How are ‘life spark’, ‘breath of life’, ‘life plasm’ and ‘germ plasm’ related, or are they all the same thing?

I’ve always wondered where the life comes from when we plant seeds. Seeds must contain some form of dormant life in addition to their DNA life patterns, which I guess is one reason why very old seeds generally won’t germinate. Life springs only from life (36:6.2). The DNA might be present, but life may or may not be present. Did anyone read the story about the 2000 year old seeds found in the Masada Fortress? One of them did germinate into a date palm. I don’t know how the plant faired but previously a 1300 year old Chinese lotus seed was also germinated but proved to have serious genetic abnormalities, which I guess means that even though it’s life force was intact, all it’s DNA life patterns were not. Given that, I can certainly understand people who only want to eat living things, but I sincerely doubt the life force itself is actually consumable, maybe not even in the “tree of life”. The tree of life had antidotal life currents in its fruit (66:4.13), but is that life, energy, or some other thing? The use of the word antidotal makes you wonder what toxin it’s counteracting, or maybe I’m reading too much into it?

The actual life force in this universe can only come from the Creative Spirit which then goes through the Life Carriers who catalyse the otherwise inert elements of the life patterns. This vital spark of life is said to enliven the physical body and presage the mind. I’m not sure of the meaning of the word presage in this context, but I think it means to signal the mind to activate life. Life animates and mind activates. But what about this directionizing of evolution? The Life Carriers directionalize biological evolution but elsewhere we’re told that the adjutants are not concerned with physical or biological evolution (65:7.2), so it must be that mind evolution is the domain of the adjutants, and in turn, mind evolution has an effect on physical evolution.

In section 3 paragraph 6, we read:

The Life Carriers of a planetary corps are given a certain period in which to establish life on a new world, approximately one-half million years of the time of that planet. At the termination of this period, indicated by certain developmental attainments of the planetary life, they cease implantation efforts, and they may not subsequently add anything new or supplemental to the life of that planet. [Paper 36:3.6, page 400.1]

I was curious about how much time it took until the appearance of humans so I looked up the timeline:

  • 900,000,000 BC- scouting party sent to ascertain Urantia as a life experiment plant (57:8.7)
  • 600,000,000 BC Life Carriers commissioned to Urantia (58:1.1)
  • 550,000,000 BC Life implantation occurred in three places (58:4.2)
  • 1,000,000 BC Mesopotamian dawn mammals appear (62:2.1)
  • 991,485 BC Humans appear (62:5.1)

It took about 549,000,000 years for evolution to produce a human with free will.

Once human will appears, the will of the Life Carriers to manipulate the life environment can no longer function. I guess human will is left to determine the direction of further evolution on the planet, but I don’t think it’s biological evolution so much as mental and spiritual evolution. Mind over matter; spirit over mind.

I am grateful that some Life Carriers volunteered to stay on our planet after humans appeared. I wonder why they stayed. Did they somehow know that things would eventually go awry? Or did they think their life patterns were especially delicate, or were they simply curious about how their experimental life forms would fare? I guess we will have to wait to find out.


These antidotal complements of the Satania life currents were derived from the fruit of the tree of life, a shrub of Edentia which was sent to Urantia by the Most Highs of Norlatiadek at the time of Caligastia’s arrival. In the days of Dalamatia this tree grew in the central courtyard of the temple of the unseen Father, and it was the fruit of the tree of life that enabled the material and otherwise mortal beings of the Prince’s staff to live on indefinitely as long as they had access to it. [Paper 66:4.13, page 745.3]

On an evolutionary world much, very much, depends on the work of these seven adjutants. But they are mind ministers; they are not concerned in physical evolution, the domain of the Life Carriers. [Paper 65:7.2, page 738.5]

Bradley wrote:

I have been studying the roles of the Life Carriers beyond evolutionary material life forms and those appear very limited. I think the Life Carriers are engaged with and vital to only the temporal life forms of materialism—those systems that are bio/chemical life expressions. They do not seem to be involved with the morontial materialism or life forms. They work with the origins, evolutionary development, and ultimate achievement of material life forms culminating in the human body and mind of self awareness and volition engaged by all 7 adjutants. The LC’s deliver the seeds of eternal potential by each such being born by their evolutionary process and nurturing ministry.

But I did confirm that the Life Carriers are involved in certain semi- or non-material transformative events—the resurrection of mortals on the Mansion Worlds (but NOT the 570 form transitions thereafter for each of us); the materialization of the Prince’s staff, the Material Sons and Daughters, any Teacher/Magisterial/Creator/Melchizadek Sons on evolutionary spheres; the dematerialization of the same beings; the rematerializations of the same beings; the creation/birth of Midwayers; and the humanization of the Midwayers, Guardian Angels, Material Sons and Daughters and their progeny. So far in my studies it appears the Life Carriers are only involved in material, evolutionary life forms AND the interface between the morontial life and the material, evolutionary life. The “humanization” of celestials remains significantly unrevealed in its details in The Urantia Book but is fascinating in its implications!

The work and ministry of the Life Carriers (and the Adjutant circuit and collaboration) is the creation of a unique and fully integrated system on each of 7 trillion worlds. Given the huge number of variables these chemists and bio engineers and artists have to work with and choose from in their toolkits and palettes and bag-of-tricks and magic powers, when these are combined with the ever-growing skill and experience acquired over the creation of all the inhabited material worlds in each Local Universe (and whatever those corps might share with others in the Super Universes of time—if any), it’s no wonder that every world is a unique expression of creationism; unique in its physical formations (if not in the basic forces and materials of that formation—still is every recipe and outcome individually unique compared to all others) and also unique in initial implantations and in evolutionary development. Much of the outcomes upon each world depends on who/what jumped where when and how quickly… and who/what did not… not to mention asteroids!! There is an excruciating amount of serendipity and its opposite in the outcomes of the Life Carriers work.

Imagine!! To work and plan and hope for 500,000 years and all for naught… a complete fizzle and failure!! Or to work for many millions of years only to be setback and have to reboot or await progress from another direction altogether for a few million more. So many unpredictable, unexpected, fortuitous and calamitous intersections of achievement and defeat!! Uncertainty indeed! And WE think life is uncertain… Hahaha! My wife and I have worked with our family’s genealogy enough to have discovered dozens of stories in multiple family blood lines of bare survival of some ancestor, closer than a whisker or razor’s edge. Anyone of those which might have failed would result in me not being here and/or not being me. And so many tree branches ended so abruptly to interrupt all potential by that failure to survive (mortally and genetically speaking).

I know the Thought Adjusters have an uncertain and frustrating experience in their ministry… but really, nothing compared to the Life Carriers. How they must watch and hope and anticipate and feel exhilaration and the deflation of frustration. And yet, like all great scientists and inventors, they persist, ever seeking that tweak and adjustment which might sustain and evolve to the next level of success in the chain of life they create, link together, and build into the culminating life form known as US—the dual natured mortals, the children of time. Consider how long that chain of life is on each of the 7 trillion inhabited worlds! Consider the experience of the Life Carriers who tarried and worked on this world for 600,000,000 years! And here? After the success of the Life Carriers comes rebellion and the Adamic default… are you kidding me??!!

Consider the love and affection and tender regard the Life Carriers have for each menagerie of their creation! Each a gem and treasure of a collection of unique and glorious life forms and integrated ecologies which are entirely co-dependent in a self perpetuating system of life that is also a singular organism!! Wondrous!! What an achievement!! What a glorious expression of God’s greatness and goodness delivered by the Life Carriers as beautiful gifts of wonderment and the very source of the mortal ascenders and Spiritualized and Spiritized children of time who can transcend this physical and evolutionary origin to become the Finaliters of the Eternal Future and the Corps of Adventure in the next phase of God’s expressionism of his love!

Perhaps no other being has such an investment and vested interest in the outcome of a world and the care and nurturing of a world than the Life Carriers do?! For who has given more to our origin and progress—and to our potential as a world—than have they?

Thank you Bonita… it will take a long while yet to consider all your observations and questions and reflect upon these marvellous beings who serve God’s purpose, power, and plans so magnificently!! And to think we will partner with them in time to come for other adventures in the expression of creationism!! So inspiring  🙂

Nigel Nunn wrote:

Bonita and Bradley, thanks for getting us off to such a great start!

The first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that both the Architects of Being and the Ancients of Days have intimate connections not only with what the Life Carriers are, but also with what Life Carriers do. This was a timely reminder of just how unimaginably wonderful is the creation of human life. Then again, we should not be surprised, because Michael himself refers to this making of man “in their divine image” as what he was sent into space to do:

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]

Also interesting is the fact that Life Carriers, like the Lanonandeks, have to be “graded” by their Melchizedek teachers. This highlights a characteristic Life Carriers share with Lanonandeks—their ability to work at the very coal face in this outlandish project—of personalizing Adjusters by the human technique.

Regarding your question about expanding “factualization” (vs. actualization), by using the Latin root concept for “make” {facio, facare, feci, factum}, the author emphasizes the concept of “making” (vs. eventuation); which adds a connection to the idea of perfection (as in “be you therefor perfect”), since perfect (or per-fect) literally means “thoroughly made”. And nothing will be more thoroughly made (“per-fected”) than the Supreme Being!

Also, I noticed for the first time that reference to “other adjutant functionings”:

The seven adjutant spirits are more circuitlike than entitylike, and on ordinary worlds they are encircuited with other adjutant functionings throughout the local universe. On life-experiment planets, however, they are relatively isolated. [Paper 65:7.3, page 738.6]

Regarding those midsoniters needing “a spirit nucleus for immortality”, your reference to “three primal and essentially different life plans” (36:2.11) got me wondering if these might imply some connection with different types of personality. Since Third Source personality seems somehow different to First Source personality, maybe these two types are accommodated by 2 of those 3 “life plans”? As for the 3rd, that bit about the “transcendental and eternal spirit of absonity by God the Ultimate” being bestowed on Midsoniters made me “pause to consider…” !

[…], we do know that every local universe in Orvonton harbors such an accumulating corps of these mysterious beings. It is the belief of the Melchizedek life carriers that their midsonite children will some day be endowed with the transcendental and eternal spirit of absonity by God the Ultimate. [Paper 36:4.8, page 401.4]

With regard to mind “directionizing the course of biologic evolution”, since the Life Carriers literally target the adjutant circuits as they adjust (“directionize”?) the evolution of their implants, such purposeful steering could be part of what the author had in mind?

*     *     *

During the weeks following this weekend of study, the discussion went deep and long. In particular, Bonita and Nigel explored the fascinating relationship between Life Carriers and the Seven Adjutant Mind Spirits. For those interested in the details and speculations, please do go to Urantia Association’s forum and check out what these feisty minds came up with. A good place to start is on page 3: https://urantia-association.org/forums/topic/2018-international-study-day/page/3/