The Harmonious Balance of our Physical, Mental and Spiritual Energies
The Papers in The Urantia Book teach personal growth as the proportional expansion of the whole self. This creates the balance necessary to make progress towards self-mastery in all aspects of our living and being. That is, the harmonious balance of our physical, mental, and spiritual energies.
Books and courses which offer self-development are usually limited in their scope, omitting the appeal to, and nourishment for, our spiritual natures. This course corrects that deficiency as it incorporates the spiritual dimensions as portrayed in the revelation.
True Success collates text in a study format by topic. This allows readers to gain an appreciation of some of the key concepts in the revelation. Preference is given to quotations that are relative to our everyday activities.
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge and recognise the original and traditional custodians of this planet, The United Midwayers.
This is my first Arena report as President of ANZURA. Our AGM was held virtually via Zoom on 21 November 2020 and elections were held for the positions of President and Secretary. Graeme Chapman was elected for a second term as Secretary, and I was elected as President. Thank you to our members for your confidence, and thank you to my predecessor, Julian McGarry who served us well as our former President. Julian continues to serve the revelation in many different ways.
As we know, ANZURA’s annual conference for 2020 was planned to be held in New Zealand. However, it was held virtually via Zoom because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Thank you to the New Zealand team who ably adapted to the situation and stepped up to organise an engaging six-hour virtual conference. (You will find several articles of presentations given at that conference in this issue of the Arena.)
This year’s conference is being planned to go ahead as a face-to-face event (Covid willing of course). A venue has been booked in Pymble, Sydney for 1—4 October 2021. See the article in this issue for more information.
We are pleased to announce that the 2021 ANZURA Annual Conference is being planned to go ahead as an in-person conference 1 – 4 October this year at the Peter Canisius House in Pymble, Sydney.
About the Theme
Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personality experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty. [Paper 2:7.12, page 43.5]
Click on the image for Registration Brochure
The Urantia Book tells us that …health, sanity, and happiness are integrations of truth, beauty, and goodness as they are blended in human experience (2:7.11, 43.4). At the conference we will be exploring how we examine and process the wonderfully mysterious universe that embodies and surrounds us. When we understand that …truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing, and when we wholeheartedly embrace these values into our personal experiences, they can be likened to vitamins contained in a healthy balanced diet as they boost the immune system of the soul and help to ward off dysfunctional diseases that stunt our spiritual growth.
When we embark on the quest for the highest value and eliminate the selfish qualities of love, we have the potential to contribute to the creation of finite reality in our own incredibly unique ways. When we become more real—more balanced in our personalities—we come close to understanding that the keystone to reality is the highest value of all—the Goodness of Love.
…man’s nearest and dearest approach to God is by and through love, for God is love. [Paper 3:4.7, page 50.5]
The highest moral choice is the choice of the highest possible value—to choose to do the will of God. [Paper 39:4.14, page 435.7]
Peter Canisius House is a retreat centre conveniently located on a five-acre site on Sydney’s North Shore at 102 Mona Vale Road, Pymble NSW. Although it’s situated in the heart of suburbia you wouldn’t know it. As you drive into the property you might think you were out in the country. The site is steeped in history and was established by the Order of the Society of Jesus which is better known as the Jesuits. Their vision is to “Provide outstanding hospitality to our guests to share and experience a spirit of quiet and a sacred place to engage in spiritual conversations.”
All meals are provided from Friday dinner to Monday lunch along with morning and afternoon teas. The meals are prepared daily by in-house chefs and lunch and dinner are buffet style hot dishes, salads, and desserts. Morning and afternoon tea are freshly baked. Tea and coffee are available 24 hours a day.
Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, coeliac- and lactose-free meal options are available upon request. (Please indicate on the registration form.) Other food allergies and requirements may be able to be catered for.
Full Conference: $450 – includes 3 nights of twin-share accommodation and all meals from Friday dinner to Monday lunch. Daily Rate: $100 – includes lunch and dinner. Daily Rate: $50 – includes lunch only.
By Car: Peter Canisius House can be accessed via Mona Vale Road if heading south towards St Ives. It is just past the traffic lights at the intersection of Telegraph Road which is the nearest cross street. Alternatively, if driving south along Mona Vale Road, turn right into Telegraph Road and then take the first right into Ganmain Road and look out for the 4th driveway on the right (it should have the Peter Canisius House sign.) There is ample free parking on site which is on the tennis court at the front of the property.
By Public Transport: There are excellent transport links. Gordon Train station is about a five-minute bus trip away and there is a bus stop directly out the front of the venue’s driveway on Mona Vale Road. If travelling via train or bus from Central Station, it is best to catch a train on the North Shore Line to Gordon as buses leave regularly from Gordon Station. When you alight from your train at Gordon turn left at the top of the station stairs and head straight across the road to the bus stop. Forest Coach Line bus 195 runs from Gordon Station to St Ives, 196 and 197 from Gordon Station to Mona Vale. Ask for a ticket to the Telegraph Road bus stop. If another member of your group is picking you up from the train station the closest train station is Pymble. There are not any bus routes from there.
Via Taxi or Uber: From the Airport, a taxi may cost in excess of $100. There are taxis available from Gordon Station if you catch the train to Gordon. The taxi from Gordon to the venue will take 5-10 minutes and should cost about $20.
Last year’s 2020 ANZURA conference, hosted by our New Zealand team was held as a virtual Zoom conference on 10th October. For all the reasons we’re only too familiar with by now, the theme was aptly titled Post COVID Spiritual Life. This was a “first” for ANZURA and while the virtual format is not as good as our face-to-face conferences, it was still wonderful to be with everyone virtually for a good six hours of Urantia Book presentations and discussions.
Ian Campbell hosted and introduced the conference and Neville Twist began with a prayer and dedication. Here is list of the presenters and topics discussed:
Norman Weiss and Diana Whakapapa – Lockdown’s Bright Side
Julian McGarry – The Personal and Collective Lessons We Can Learn from COVID-19
Marion Steward – Language Matters
Rita Schaad – A Tour of the New ANZURA Website
Susan Hemmingsen – Truth in Relation to Covid-19
Hara Davis – A Brief Review of Hara’s Beautiful Study Aids
The conference was recorded, and the presentations will eventually be uploaded to YouTube. (Be patient for that. We will announce when they are available.) You will also find a few of the presentations as articles in this issue of the Arena.
The New Zealanders have reserved the original conference venue for 2022 so stay tuned for information on that one.
A Reflection on ‘Insensitive’ Words in The Urantia Book
(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA conference)
The focus of this article is on language – and specifically on what I am calling ‘insensitive’ language. This labelling is, by definition, subjective and words that might offend one person do not have the same effect on another. This subjectivity is part of what I want to explore in this article. I was motivated to prepare this article by observing my reaction in a study group a few months ago to particular words, when I realised that these words were triggering a somewhat emotional and negative response in me, and I found myself querying the other people in the group, about what exactly these words meant in today’s world. To my surprise, I found that I was the only person having this response.
This set me to thinking about other words in The Urantia Book that triggered a similar response in me, why I felt they were inappropriate in modern society, why my fellow readers did not have the same response, and what that might mean to those of us who were keen on sharing the ideas in The Urantia Book with others.
(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA conference)
COVID 19 has put the entire world through a period of great challenge. One of the reasons a virus like this is such a challenge is because it affects peoples’ lives in a very mortal sense. The threat of dying suddenly raises deep anxiety in people. They think, am I ready? Am I prepared? What about those I leave behind? Have I done enough to earn my place in the ascension scheme? While others are more worried about their government placing limiting sanctions on their freedom. There is also great concern about how the extended lockdowns have impacted our economic life.
In short, this COVID 19 episode has threatened modern society with the uncertainties of life. The Urantia Book tells us that, All creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. (3:5.5) We cannot avoid the vicissitudes of existence, nor the uncertainties of life.
We live in an imperfect world and sometimes bad things happen but The Urantia Book tells us that these uncertainties and vicissitudes provide us mortals with the opportunities to develop qualities such as, courage, hope, faith, idealism, loyalty and unselfishness. Challenging times such as these can often ripen in us the “Fruits of the Spirit.” So, I would like you to consider that, because of COVID 19, we have the possibility of implementing changes for a better future once all this has passed.
(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA Conference)
Much on ANZURA’s website – like other websites – is an archive, and I hope you will agree, a very valuable resource – both for aiding in study and for keeping our memories alive.
Good memories can be energizing especially in these times of turmoil. They can bring to the fore those values we desperately need to hang on to if we want – for us and the next generations – to get safely through “the high seas of constant change” and end up in a safe harbor once more.
It all started with some people – scattered hither and yonder across Australia and New Zealand.
Then there came the first Newsletter – aptly named “Six-O-Six” – spearheaded by Neil Francey and amongst others, Ian Esmore (at a meeting in the Macedon ranges in Victoria I believe).
And then more meetings and conferences, where action plans were devised and most importantly, relationships were sealed.
Looking through those early issues of the Six-O-Six newsletters gave me an insight into the amount of effort that was made and leadership that was shown by those early reader/believers of The Urantia Book. They have extended the way they learned to discuss and fight for a standard we now accept as a given.
The Urantia Book presents a cosmology that stirs the soul: a central and perfect universe, fringed by spacetime shallows in which finaliters are born; finaliters, destined to launch from this cosmic continental shelf into oceanic depths, seeding the light and life of personality throughout nested levels of outer space.
Soul stirring indeed! A cosmology pervaded by meaning and value, eclipsing in its scope our finest Sci-fi. What a relief from the consensus materialist models that native science has managed to evolve.
However, right after having thus stirred our souls, these authors pour cold water over our expectations. From Paper 101 section 4:
…within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision… [Paper 101:4.2, page 1109.3]
“Will stand in need of revision”. When compared with current consensus cosmology, of a young universe beginning with a hot Big Bang, the cosmology of The Urantia Book is so unorthodox, and so apparently wrong, that some students of these papers now see this cosmology as little more than decoration for the book’s more important themes: its spiritual and philosophical revelations. But take another look at those “Limitations of Revelation” discussed in Paper 101. Immediately after stating that, with regard to scientific facts they were limited in what could reveal, they go on to list a number of things they were permitted to do. The first of these is especially interesting. Again, from Paper 101 section 4:
One of the few topics that we are told led to Jesus being stirred within his spirit was the inference that we should all see alike. When asked by James Zebedee Master, how shall we learn to see alike and thereby enjoy more harmony among ourselves? (141:5.1) Jesus replied:
“James, James, when did I teach you that you should all see alike? I have come into the world to proclaim spiritual liberty to the end that mortals may be empowered to live individual lives of originality and freedom before God. I do not desire that social harmony and fraternal peace shall be purchased by the sacrifice of free personality and spiritual originality. What I require of you, my apostles, is spirit unity—and that you can experience in the joy of your united dedication to the wholehearted doing of the will of my Father in heaven. You do not have to see alike or feel alike or even think alike in order spiritually to be alike. Spiritual unity is derived from the consciousness that each of you is indwelt, and increasingly dominated, by the spirit gift of the heavenly Father. Your apostolic harmony must grow out of the fact that the spirit hope of each of you is identical in origin, nature, and destiny.
In this collection of short papers, the study of ethics is taken to a universal level. They apply to the highest forms of behavior relative to progress for each of us in the realms ahead. They go beyond the application of ethics at the mortal level of functioning where they are the basis of our way of life.
By selecting appropriate quotations from The Urantia Book and by directing study to a particular topic, an aspect of the mortal and spiritual natures of man can be addressed. By studying carefully chosen excerpts, related new ideas and insights can be formulated. New understandings can be generated.
Spiritual ethics, post-mortal ethics, universally effect mortal life in transforming ways for society and for the individual. The highest ethics, as truth, impact on personal and group habits and behaviors. And as such, they contribute to the mores, and potentially usher in elevated levels of civil society.