(Editor’s note: this was presented by Marion at the 1997 Conference in Sydney)
Our mission here on this planet is to strive to become Godlike, but the leap from mortal kind like us to God is unimaginably huge, as the authors of The Urantia Book never tire of reminding us! We are told that the most useful thing any of us could do here on Urantia is to study the life of Jesus. Christ Michael, in his bestowal mission here, was and is the ultimate role model for all of us ascenders.
He named himself the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
The Universe is teeming with Sons of God, starting with the Eternal Son, then all the descending Sons, the Paradise Sons of God—Creator Sons, Magisterial Sons, and Trinity Teacher Sons; then the Local Universe Sons of God–Melchizedek Sons, Vorondadek Sons, Lanonandek Sons, and the Life Carriers; and numerous, unrevealed orders of Trinitized Sons. Then we have the ascending Sons—Father-fused, Son-fused and Spirit-fused mortals, evolutionary seraphim, ascending Material Sons, Translated Midwayers, personalized Adjusters.
A reader could easily come to the conclusion, then, that to be Godlike means to become a Son of God—but for those of us who find it difficult to see ourselves as sons, this poses a certain difficulty.
Of course, it may merely be a question of language. In the 1930’s there was no such thing as being politically correct, and avoiding sexist and racist language. Perhaps the word ‘son’ was used because there is no word in English for ‘adult child.’ A Child of God, the Children of God—in English, the word has definite implications of immaturity, and while we certainly can be so regarded in terms of our entire universe career, nevertheless we do reach maturity at each stage of our lives. On those occasions when we are referred to as children, it is usually then followed by some reference to growing up to become Sons of God.
The authors frequently bemoan the paucity of the English language, and the constraints they suffered in rendering this revelation into print—limitations imposed both by deficiencies in the language, and by the lack of advanced spiritual concepts on Urantia. When we start to learn ‘Nebadon-ese’ and ‘Satanian-ese’ as we progress through the mansion worlds, then we will undoubtedly discover a whole new range of useful vocabulary items, which we will need to express our enlarged ideas of the universe. I look forward to reaching Havona, where …one hour’s instruction is the equivalent of 10,000 years of the word-memory methods of Urantia. (27:6.4, 303.2)
However, I tend to believe that they deliberately used ‘son’ and other such gender-specific words to represent roles and function, rather than physical descriptions. In one telling sentence, the Eternal Son is also called the Universal Mother, a statement which clearly goes far beyond issues of sex differentiation.
On reading further, some light is shed upon this. In the papers dealing with seraphim, there is the statement:
...in dealing with sex creatures it is our custom to speak of those beings of more direct descent from the Father and the Son as the sons of God, while referring to the children of the Spirit as the daughters of God. [Paper 38:2.2, page 419.2]
This is good news—the universe is revealed as being also teeming with daughters! The lists of all the children of the Spirit are very long—all the Higher Personalities of the spirit, the Universe Power Directors, the Messenger Hosts of space, the Ministering Spirits of the Superuniverses and of the Local Universes—a vast array of beings undertaking an incomprehensible number of vitally important tasks.
So what are these Daughters of God like? Do they behave differently to Sons? Can we mortal daughters learn from them? How do Daughters of God relate to Sons?
The most notable of all these, as far as we mortals are concerned, the daughter highest in status to whom we can relate, is the Creative Daughter Spirit, that individualization of the Infinite Spirit who comes and works with each Creator Son in the creation of and administration of a local universe. She is variously named as the Divine Minister, the Holy Spirit of the Local Universe, or the Local Universe Mother Spirit.
The Spirit …enacts the role of a mother, always assisting the Son and being everlastingly indispensable to the administration of the universe….no Son could hope for final success without the incessant co-operation of the Divine Minister and her spirit helpers, the daughters of God. [Paper 33:3.4, page 368.4]
A study of the sections dealing with the Creator Son and the Daughter Spirit reveals a very close relationship of interdependence. Michael relies on the Spirit for her omnipresence, and she through him compensates for being bound by time. Together they can transcend both time and space. In the whole creation of the local universe, she is totally indispensable—she provides the mind for each creature, she provides the life spark, she creates the Seven Adjutant Spirits who foster the mind development of all creatures, and she ministers to all human beings through her own Holy Spirit.
This Daughter of God has many attributes which I would dearly love to emulate, but unfortunately, God has not organized the universe like that. We cannot hope to be omnipresent, useful though it would be, and neither can we ever aspire to be able to bestow mind, physical matter, or the vital life spark on other beings in the same way that she does—though clearly, those of us who are lucky enough to be mothers have some pale experience of this in a human way in the administration of our homes and families.
As far as the relationship between this Daughter and Son is concerned, at the enthronement of Michael as a Master Son, our universe’s Creative Daughter Spirit acknowledged her subordination to him, and pledged fidelity and obedience. In return, Michael acknowledged his eternal dependence on her, and declared her to be co-ruler of his universe, and equal with him in personality and divine attributes.
This relationship is described as the …high ideal of the family and the human institution of voluntary marriage...(33:3.6, 369.1]
What are the issues here for daughters to reflect on? Publicly declaring one’s subordination and vowing loyalty and obedience to one’s husband is not a modern attitude, to put it mildly, but then neither is it common, as far as I am aware, for husbands to acknowledge their dependence on their wives, though our society has been grappling with the equality question for some time now, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
So, what about other Daughters in the Universe? On a level far closer to ours, there are the Material Daughters, all the Eves. Though seldom in the Book are any Eves talked about on their own—almost always are they referred to as “the Material Son and Daughter.” On page 828 we read:
The Material Sons and Daughters always serve together. It is the essence of their service at all times and in all places never to be separated. They are designed to work in pairs; seldom do they function alone. [Paper 74:0.1, page 828.1]
Their chief task is to multiply and uplift the children of time and they contribute to the improvement of the races by cultural education, particularly in the physical, scientific and economic realms. They lead very much by example.
Take the command “to multiply.” Our own Eve had 32 daughters and 32 sons before the default, and 42 children after leaving the Garden. It is not specified but it seems clear that the balance of girls to boys is always even. She had already had 50 sons and 50 daughters before coming to Urantia, so when it came to multiplying, she certainly met her responsibilities–206 children! Given our much shorter life span, I don’t think we are expected to perform quite up to those standards!
In studying the way of life of Adam and Eve, the theme of working together in equal partnership which we saw between Michael and the Divine Minister, is strongly reinforced. On page 831, where the arrival of our Material Son and Daughter is described in much detail, The Urantia Book states:
Take note! women as well as men were in this group (a council selected to assume responsibilities in the new administration of world affairs). It was an astounding innovation to behold Eve, a woman, sharing the honors and responsibilities of world affairs with a man. [Paper 74:3.5, page 831.2]
Adam endeavored to teach the races sex equality. The way Eve worked by the side of her husband made a profound impression upon all dwellers in the Garden. Adam definitely taught them that the woman, equally with the man, contributes those life factors which unite to form a new being. [Paper 74:7.22, page 836.11]
This was a new idea for humans in those days, and who knows what sort of society we would all be living in now if it had not been for the default.
The Material Sons and Daughters live permanently, of course, on the system capitals, and there are certainly a lot of them! At last count, there were 161,432,840 Material Sons and Daughters in Nebadon, and they all play a major part in the administration of those spheres and in the further training of mortal ascenders. They run the probationary nurseries on the finaliters’ world and take ascenders to live with them in their homes. They model …the ideals of the union of man and woman in the bonds of marriage and for the purpose of procreating and rearing offspring. (83:8.5, 930.1)
So we now have two ideals of marriage, and this study of daughters is becoming also an examination of males and females, and the way they relate to each other. What does the book have to say about male and female?
Male and female are… two distinct varieties of the same species….Their viewpoints and entire life reactions are essentially different, they are wholly incapable of full and real comprehension of each other.” This statement would strike a chord with most couples on this planet. . [Paper 84:6.3, page 938.7]
This statement would strike a chord with most couples on this planet.
Many orders of universe creatures are created in dual phases of personality manifestation. Among mortals, material sons, and midsoniters, this difference is described as male and female; among seraphim, cherubim and morontia companions, it has been denominated positive or aggressive and negative and retiring. [Paper 84:6.5, page 938.9]
The key point here is the use of the word ‘personality manifestation.’ Jesus described this too: “…in the kingdom of heaven there is neither rich nor poor, free nor bond, male nor female, all are equally the sons and daughters of God.” [Paper 150:1.3, page 1679.2]
So even once the male and female part has gone, we are still daughters and sons, and …the differences in viewpoint…persist…throughout the local and superuniverse ascensions. [Paper 84:6.6, page 939.1]
The question occurs as to why the Universal Father created us male and female—in what way or ways is this better than being, say, hermaphroditic and simply reproducing ourselves? One possible answer may be that in a small, small way, in the experience of working together, the daughters and sons on Urantia can get a slight inkling of how God the Father works together with the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit.
Sharing is Godlike—divine. God shares all with the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, while they, in turn, share all things with the divine Sons and spirit Daughters of the universes. [Paper 111:5.1, page 1221.2]
This may perhaps be stretching the point slightly, but the essential idea is that it is the pattern, the example, that matters. In our own small ways, in our own small spheres of operation and influence, we can attempt to model this pattern of sharing.
With the Son and in the Spirit did God project eternal Havona, and ever since has there obtained the eternal pattern of co-ordinate participation in creation—sharing. This pattern of sharing is the master design for every one of the Sons and Daughters of God who go out into space to engage in the attempt to duplicate in time the central universe of eternal perfection. [Paper 53:2.1, page 614.6]
And Michael himself, our own Creator Son who has worked with our own Creative Daughter Spirit for eons in the creation and administering of our own local universe, encouraged us to follow this example in our lives on Urantia. He stunned and amazed everybody in his advocating of the equality of women and in his equal treatment of them. Time after time the apostles would come across him talking to a woman by a well, or in the street, often a woman of less than desirable reputation, giving words of comfort and encouragement to these daughters of God. Despite this, they were still utterly astonished when he set up the women’s corps of evangelists and issued an emancipation proclamation—so similar to the proclamation of equality with the Universe Mother Spirit which he issued at the termination of his bestowal on Urantia.
In talks about marriage and divorce, he said:
“…it is the divine will that men and women should find their highest service and consequent joy in the establishment of homes for the reception and training of children, in the creation of whom these parents become copartners with the Makers of heaven and earth.” [Paper 167;5.6, page 1839.4]
And what is possibly the most picturesque moment of all—his little chat to the man he saw berating his wife on the wharf at Tarentum during his return from Rome:
“Do you not know that men and women are partners with God in that they co-operate to create beings who grow up to possess themselves of the potential of immortal souls? The Father in heaven treats the Spirit Mother of the children of the universe as one equal to himself. It is Godlike to share your life and all that relates thereto on equal terms with the mother partner who so fully shares with you that divine experience of reproducing yourselves in the lives of your children.”
[Paper 133:2.2, page 1471.1]
Where, then, are the Daughters of God? They are everywhere—the spirit beings created by the Infinite Spirit and his children, sometimes working in pairs, sometimes alone. The Spirit Daughters who become Mothers in each Local Universe, and work hard in close co-operation with the Creator Sons, attempting to model the divine pattern of sharing in their own spheres. And the Material Daughters, equal with the Material Sons, show humans the superior achievements possible by a woman and a man working together. God has made it possible for even we mortals here on Urantia, on the very bottom rung of the ascension ladder, to do this too, and perhaps in so doing, come to a better understanding of what it means to be God-like.