In this presentation I speak briefly about my background with The Urantia Book, my favourite parts of the book, and how it has changed by life. This document outlines a general summary of the main points of my presentation.
How I Initially Came Across The Urantia Book
From a very young age (roughly eight to ten years old) I was introduced to The Urantia Book by my father who had been a reader for several years prior. Almost every Sunday we had a reading, focusing on short sections, and paraphrased according to my capacity to receive the teachings of the book. I always enjoyed these study sessions and remember asking countless questions to the point that we would often not complete a single section of a paper. This continued on for a few years, on and off.
What Motivated Me to Read and Study the Book?
Having reached adulthood, at the end of twenty-one, I felt a great need to deepen my understanding of life and all its complexities. I would say that my general fears and anxieties about life were naturally starting to become apparent, as is normal at this time in one’s life. This was part of my motivation to begin reading The Urantia Book, as it was always at the back of my mind. Other than that, I felt the need deepen my relationship with God, which was largely limited beforehand. It took me roughly six months to finish reading it, and by the end I felt greatly satisfied by what I’d discovered.
or…”How We Get to Heaven”
Firstly, I would like to thank the Canberra group for this conference and its intriguing theme of Mind Over Matter—Sprit Over Mind, and for inviting me to contribute! I would also like to thank the custodians of this revelation and in particular the authors of Papers 111, 112 & 40 that have guided me through this topic.
It was an historic day when Jesus laid down his carpentry tools in the boat shed for the last time, after hearing that John the Baptist had been arrested, and went into the temple to begin his public teaching ministry and preached on the ‘kingdom within’ where he said:
This kingdom is an everlasting dominion. Those who enter the kingdom shall ascend to my Father; they will certainly attain the right hand of his glory in Paradise. And all who enter the kingdom of heaven shall become the sons of God, and in the age to come so shall they ascend to the Father. And I have not come to call the would-be righteous but sinners and all who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of divine perfection. [Paper 137:8.16, page 1537.3]
I’ll come back to this but first (since it’s the day for footy Grand Finals!) I want to talk a bit about goals.
I have been touring in Australia and New Zealand since 5th February 2019, speaking in most of the major cities in both countries, to audiences ranging in size from 1500 to 5500. This tour, based on my most recent book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is part of a lecture schedule that has now encompassed 126 cities in more than a dozen countries. More are planned for Southern and Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. The book, by the way, has sold about 3 million copies, and is slated for translation into 50 languages, which are pretty much all the languages in the world that have a sizable book market.
In total, now, I have spoken live to about 300,000 people. With each lecture, concentrating nominally on one of more the aforementioned 12 Rules, I also try to formulate a problem, so that I can articulate it clearly, and address in a manner that brings the audience along for the journey, so to speak, and furthers my thinking about the topic.
An online study group was held as part of the International Study Day on Urantia Association’s Forum. Here is a summary extract of some of the discussion compiled by Nigel Nunn, VIC
Following on from this year’s International Study Day, the online discussion began to explore the role of the local universe Divine Minister in the actual creation of human souls. This question arose while considering the role of the Infinite Spirit in making possible our transformation, from tadpole to Finaliter.
As Source and Center for both (a) material engineering and (b) personal spiritual ministry, the Infinite Spirit not only makes the arena in which we live, but also makes possible our progress within that arena. Crucial to such progress is accommodating (and managing!) the phenomenon of change. For us humans, one of the most interesting of changes is the shifting of our seat of identity, from material association to morontia identification:
This actual transfer from material association to morontia identification is effected by the sincerity, persistence, and steadfastness of the God-seeking decisions of the human creature. [Paper 112:2.20, page 1229.7]
Which led us to wonder about the various systems of mind required to make possible such transformation. For example, regarding our first type of mind, in Paper 117 section 5, the author writes:
Warm greetings to all our readers and students of The Urantia Book. The National Conference is fast approaching! From the 27th to the 30th of September, we will be gathering at the Green Hills Conference Centre at Stromlo in Canberra to discuss the intriguing theme: “Mind Over Matter, Spirit Over Mind.” Our Canberran team of mighty workers has been busy preparing a banquet of spiritual, philosophical, and scientific dishes for our holistic edification. If you’ve never been to a conference before, or haven’t attended one for a long time, why not give serious consideration to coming along. It truly is a delight to feast on the teachings of The Urantia Book in the company of fellow readers for a whole weekend. It’s also a wonderful way to make new friendships and renew old ones.
Of course, the board understands that not everyone is able to attend our conferences. Some will find the cost prohibitive; some may not be able to take time off work or from their studies; some will have major family commitments. For this reason, this year we are endeavouring to make the conference accessible on-line via a series of Zoom sessions, which will mean that the programme could be enjoyed from the comfort of your home. Please stay tuned as more information will be forthcoming closer to the date.
If you’re planning on attending this year’s annual conference and haven’t registered yet, please do so as soon as possible. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, time is running out!
Here’s an update on the program from Vern Verass:
Our conference in Canberra is only a couple of months away—27 to 30 September—and we’ve got the program ready for you to get an appreciation of what’s in store.
The theme of Mind over Matter ~ Spirit over Mind gives ample opportunity to reflect on the fact that
…Universe causes cannot be lower than universe effects. The source of the streams of universe life and of the cosmic mind must be above the levels of their manifestation. The human mind cannot be consistently explained in terms of the lower orders of existence. Man’s mind can be truly comprehended only by recognizing the reality of higher orders of thought and purposive will. [Paper 3:6.3, page 53.1]
We evolutionary mortals are prone to look upon mind as a cosmic mediation between spirit and matter, for that is indeed the principal ministry of mind as discernible by us. Yet the Thought Adjuster is pure spirit who is volitional and active in mind. Your Thought Adjuster is always waiting to act decisively in accordance with your human choice, and all these choices are highly volitional reactions. In all situations not concerned with the domain of the human will, this Divine Spirit unquestionably exhibits conduct which betokens the exercise of powers in every sense the equivalent of will, maximated decision.
When ANZURA arranges an International Study Day, the hope is to provide an opportunity for students of The Urantia Book to participate in a specially formed study group in their regional areas so that reads are meeting on the same day studying the same paper all over the world.
The value of meeting with other readers is not to be underestimated—after all, our personal growth and religious experiences are best fostered while we are relating—inter-acting—with other personalities—other people!
In this way ANZURA attempts to foster a sense of belonging and cohesion amongst Urantia Book readers across the vast oceans! Very importantly, such events can also encourage leadership and outreach as practical involvement in study groups can strengthen our resolve and dedication to fulfil the mandate of disseminating the Urantia revelation with a personal approach.
Groups met around over the weekend of 1st June to study Paper 9: Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe. The following articles contain some reflections from some who met.
The Christchurch Terror Attacks
Living in New Zealand, we didn’t really think we’d be touched by terrorism, but touched we were. The despicable act of a lone extreme right-wing terrorist who took the lives of 51 Islamic New Zealanders had repercussions right around the country.
As an aside, this is a link to an interview by Radio NZ re why people come to hold such extreme views and is worth a listen: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018695720/deeyah-khan-up-close-and-personal-with-extremists
Some years ago, the original Auckland Study group learnt the Morontia Motas by heart and over the years they pop into my mind when they seem to fit the situation. While I watched the aftermath of this horrendous and cowardly attack, the following Morontia Motas came to mind.
5. Difficulties may challenge mediocrity and defeat the fearful, but they only stimulate the true children of the Most Highs. [Paper 48:7.7, page 556.7]
12. The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. [Paper 48:7.14, page 556.14]
13. Stars are best discerned from the lonely isolation of experiential depths, not from the illuminated and ecstatic mountain tops. [Paper 48:7.15, page 556.15]
16. You cannot perceive spiritual truth until you feelingly experience it, and many truths are not really felt except in adversity. [Paper 48:7.18, page 557.2]
Sadly, before the attack, the general view was that all Muslims were terrorists, and this community suffered by being shunned, discriminated against, and generally being totally misunderstood, and just as there are many aspects of Islam which need updating the same can be said for Christianity.
Urantia lost yet another outstanding individual recently. Mark Bloomfield, just 54, died of injuries after a tragic incident in Swansea, Wales. The matter is still under investigation with the police.
The BBC News reported:
A charity worker who worked with Mother Teresa in India has died after an alleged attack in Swansea. Mark Bloomfield, 54, died on Saturday after he was found injured in High Street in the city centre last Thursday. A man has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm. The family of Mr Bloomfield, originally from Stratford Upon Avon, paid tribute to his charity work across the world saying he “had built a legacy”. They said that as a special assistant to Mother Teresa in Calcutta, he was an essential contributor to her mission.
Mark was a Field Representative of Urantia Foundation in the late 90’s early 2000’s. He was highly skilled in placing Urantia Books in public libraries, seminaries, universities and other places of learning. He was renowned in The Urantia Book reader community for his extraordinary and tireless service to the revelation by personally hand-seeding around 9,000 Urantia Books throughout the world. He was particularly inspired to seed the revelation in developing countries where he’d lived and worked for many years as a humanitarian missionary. Having experienced firsthand the heart wrenching and atrocious plight of women and children, he decided to devote his life to treating the cause of the world’s problems rather than the symptoms. This extract from one of Mark’s reports sums up his reasons for being so driven to get the Urantia revelation seeded in places where innocent millions were caught up in the cycle of ignorance and poverty:
(Editor’s note: This was presented at the Urantia Book Seminar on Education held 23—26 March 2017 at Urantia Foundation)
The purpose of this essay is to offer for consideration a number of educational imperatives to guide us, as early recipients of the new truths revealed in The Urantia Book, in the implementation of an educational strategy designed to foster the transition in human consciousness from our fourth revelatory epoch to the fifth. One aspect of this educational strategy addresses how we choose to deal with the risk typically associated with the challenge of integrating new revelatory truth while minimizing its dilution and contamination by past religious beliefs, symbols, practices, and institutions. A Melchizedek observes:
You who today enjoy the advantages of the art of printing little understand how difficult it was to perpetuate truth during these earlier times; how easy it was to lose sight of a new doctrine from one generation to another. There was always a tendency for the new doctrine to become absorbed into the older body of religious teaching and magical practice. A new revelation is always contaminated by the older evolutionary beliefs. [Paper 93:7.4, page 1022.2] emphasis added
Premise: An Educational Strategy for The Fifth Epoch
It is the purpose of our educational initiatives to develop and implement the means and mechanisms whereby existing human consciousness on our planet—individual and collective—can be challenged by new truth to transition from its fourth to the fifth epoch of revealed truth to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception. The revealed gospel of the fourth epoch is the Fatherhood of God, universal sonship, and the spiritual brotherhood of man. The “gospel” of the fifth revelatory epoch might be defined as our personality-will decision to respond to the Father’s inescapable command to become perfect in our realm as the Father is in his, facilitated by the expanded cosmic consciousness and enhanced spiritual perception delivered in our new epochal revelation of truth. This gospel is intended to augment, not replace, the fourth epochal gospel as revealed to us by Michael of Nebadon’s final bestowal incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth. One dimension of Michael’s bestowal career was his planned revelation of the various wills of the Paradise Deities and the synthetic will of the Supreme Being on and to all levels and to all personalities in his local universe realm, and perhaps beyond. Applying this pattern to planetary illumination and spiritual growth, whereas Michael/Jesus revealed the will of the Father during the fourth epoch, The Urantia Book may be a revelation of the will of the Conjoint Actor, the God of Mind, during the fifth.