Arena – Autumn 2019
Welcome to the very first edition of the Arena newsletter in an online format. To print a hard copy simply click the “Print Version” button above. After the print version appears, right-click into any white space and choose “Print.”
In This Issue
Julian McGarry, Tasmania
The recent tragic events in Christchurch underline how quickly our lives can change and how turbulent our times have become. The global phenomenon of the 24-hour news cycle and the proliferation of social media have certainly contributed to the increasing incidence of social unease and distress. At such times, isn’t it wonderful that we, as students of The Urantia Book, can be comforted by these promises:
And throughout every trial and in the presence of every hardship, spirit-born souls are sustained by that hope which transcends all fear because the love of God is shed abroad in all hearts by the presence of the divine Spirit. [Paper 34:6.13; page 381.7]
Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus’ life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus’ disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience. [Paper 195:10.1; page 2084.1]
What a magnificent Master we have! His good news, the gospel of Jesus, is the message our troubled world needs to hear!
Back in late February, I organized an interfaith festival here in Hobart which was an amazing experience. I sent out invitations to state, federal and local government representatives, which more often than not, were received and answered by their personal assistants or secretaries. Only once or twice did I ever get direct access to the VIP. This is understandable of course but it made me appreciate how extraordinary it is that we can get access to our loving Father and our divine brother at any time of day or night without having to use a go-between or make an appointment. Moreover, isn’t it breathtaking that our Universal Father yearns to fellowship with us!
Our Father is not in hiding; he is not in arbitrary seclusion. He has mobilized the resources of divine wisdom in a never-ending effort to reveal himself to the children of his universal domains. There is an infinite grandeur and an inexpressible generosity connected with the majesty of his love which causes him to yearn for the association of every created being who can comprehend, love, or approach him. [Paper 5:1.2; page 62.4]
“I have come to show you that, while you are seeking to find God, God is likewise seeking to find you.” [Paper 169:1.2; page 1850.9]
I sincerely hope that we at ANZURA can be more accessible and approachable to you members in the Australasian and Oceanic region. ANZURA is a service organization. It is made up of volunteers who are here to serve members and readers. If there is anyway that we can do this better, if there’s anything that you need more of or less of, please let us know. We are always receptive to constructive feedback. I can be contacted at my email address: [email protected].
A few small changes are on the horizon which will make it easier for those who are unable to attend the national conference to have live as well as post-conference access to the program; other opportunities for coming together are also in the pipeline. More about these in the next newsletter.
Please don’t forget our two major events of the year:
- The International Study Day will take place this year on the weekend of the 1st of June. We will be studying Paper 9: Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe. If you’re not able to attend a study group in your local area, consider joining an online group or alternatively, you could participate in the discussion on the Urantia Association’s discussion at https://urantia-association.org/forums/topic/2019-international-study-day.
- The National Conference in Canberra from the 27th to the 30th of September 2019. Our Canberra crew have come up with a fascinating theme: Mind over matter – Spirit over Mind. More about this later in this edition of Arena.
In closing, I want to thank all those people who have contributed to this edition of Arena. You will notice we are now able to produce the Arena as an online publication which is interactive with our new website. This streamlines the way we produce the newsletter as it cuts down the amount of hours it takes for our volunteers to get it to you. A lot of work goes into making this the high-quality journal that it is. I would like to especially thank Vern Verass for his (as always) marvelous graphic design work on the PDF version and to Rita Schaad for her timely reminders and for bringing it all together.
So sit back and enjoy this autumn edition of Arena!
Blessings to you all!
September 27 – 30, 2019
This year the ANZURA conference returns to the nation’s capital, this time in a bush setting on the north bank of the Murrumbidgee River. The conference will be hosted by the very capable “Canberra Crew” and our keynote speaker will be astrophysicist and long-time reader, Nigel Nunn.
Theme: Mind Over Matter—Spirit Over Mind
In the evolutionary superuniverses energy-matter is dominant except in personality, where spirit through the mediation of mind is struggling for the mastery. The goal of the evolutionary universes is the subjugation of energy-matter by mind, the co-ordination of mind with spirit, and all of this by virtue of the creative and unifying presence of personality. [Paper 116:6.1, page 1275.1]
It is pretty obvious that in the 21st Century there is considerable understanding of the ways in which the human mind has been subjugating matter. The industrial and technological advances of the previous couple of centuries have resulted in modern men becoming virtual worshipers of science, and many suggest that this will lead eventually to mankind’s complete understanding of the material world.
However, we need to remember that the Supreme requires that matter be subjected to spirit, and that mind is only the means to this end. This leaves science with the job only partially done, and unless that mind with which matter has been partially subdued is itself directed by spirit, with the motivation of personality, then nothing like complete understanding is possible.
Our object in this conference is to highlight this distinction.
Green Hills Conference Centre, Stromlo, Canberra, ACT 2611.
Greenhills Centre is only fifteen minutes from Parliament House, yet there by the Murrumbidgee River you will feel far from the hustle and bustle of politics, out in the country, relaxed in a beautiful bush setting with views over the Brindabella Ranges. The ideal setting for delving into Mind Over Matter – Spirit Over Mind.
It is also just a short distance from the Cotter Dam recreation reserve and Mt Stromlo Observatory.
Full conference $300 — includes 3 nights of twin-share accommodation with ensuite bathroom, bed linen and all meals from Friday night dinner to Monday breakfast. (If you do not wish to share a room please indicate on the registration form. Additional charges will apply.)
Daily Rate $70 — includes both lunch and dinner.
Daily Rate $40 — includes lunch only.
For more information and registration details click on the Conference Brochure
or email us at [email protected]
This year’s National Study Day, where you can participate in a study group in your local area and read the same paper on the same day as other readers, will be held on Saturday 1 June, 2019. We’ll be studying Paper 9: Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe.
The Infinite Spirit, the Conjoint Creator, is a universal and divine minister. The Spirit unceasingly ministers the Son’s mercy and the Father’s love, even in harmony with the stable, unvarying, and righteous justice of the Paradise Trinity. His influence and personalities are ever near you; they really know and truly understand you. [Paper 9:0.3, page: 98.3]
We have once again invited the international readership to join us so that we may be united in Spirit with students of The Urantia Book across the entire globe.
Finding a Study Group Near You
You will find contact details of the Study Group Hosts at https://anzura.urantia-association.org/2019/05/07/contacts-national-study-day-june-2019. Simply contact the host nearest to you for details of how the day will be structured.
What if there are no groups in your area?
If you are a solitary student with no other readers nearby, you may want to consider joining the online International Study Day on Urantia Association’s Forum at https://urantia-association.org/forums/topic/2019-international-study-day/. Another option is to join a “virtual” study group via Zoom.
For more information on virtual study groups contact ANZURA by either calling us on 0431 285 943 or emailing us at: [email protected]
(Presented at the ANZURA Conference in Mooloolaba QLD, October 2018)
Based on a presentation at the ANZURA Conference 2018, here is another attempt to build bridges between modern science and traditional religion, concentrating mostly on their differing approaches to knowledge. Science is fundamentally about more knowledge and its test for value is how well the knowledge works in the physical world. Religion is also a knowledge-seeking activity but more in the sense of an individual, internal “knowing” whose value lies more in its God-like and God-conscious qualities.
After working the science-religion problem for a while it eventually becomes clear that the points of difference are real and fundamental. They do not arise merely from people being difficult with each other. The knowledge-seeker who does the hard work of designing ever more demanding experiments will always be at odds with one who claims to “just know”. And the God-knower will always be disturbed when the knowledge-seeker demonstrates God-like powers apparently by peeking inside the universe’s box of tricks without permission.
Yet somehow The Urantia Book manages to cross routinely between the scientific, religious and philosophical viewpoints, treating them like islands with bridges between. Importantly there is not much attempt to dilute or transform these viewpoints, only to appreciate their usefulness and exercise the reader in using these bridges freely and frequently; to be aware of the style of thinking required at any moment and always be ready to move to an island where thinking is done that way. The hope seems to be that proficiency at making such crossings is a worthy accomplishment perhaps even contributing towards a truly advanced form of religion.
Inspired by this Urantia Book approach I would like to take an example from the quantum theories of modern science and make it an exercise to interpret a variety of religious and philosophical implications.
It will help to appreciate how very important the term “cosmic background” is to science whereby the usual starry-sky meaning of “cosmic” is also taken to imply a degree of order just as “chaotic” can imply disorder. This is the sense in which “Cosmos” was used as the title of Carl Sagan’s well-known television series and book.
With cosmos on its side, the operation of science is smooth and easy to describe. The universe operates according to rules.
These rules are reliable enough to permit observation and experiment in one time and place to be applicable in another time and place. Hence the knowledge builds up steadily into a semblance of understanding. And the proof of such understanding is an ever improving ability to deal with phenomena; those happenings which are observable and measurable. The word “background” quite nicely captures the idea that some workings of the universe are outside the reach of science: too big or too small, too fast or too slow, too far away, too subtle and so on. In other words those workings don’t quite qualify as phenomena and we just have to accept it for the time being. But the possibility that the universe might be too unreliable, that cosmos might fail, is completely outside of science, by definition.
It will also help to appreciate that the phenomena of science span a size range so vast that to approach the interesting quantum conditions at the point of cosmos failure is almost impossible.
In terms of size it is sometimes said of humans that we stand at the “centre of immensities” (origin of quote unknown). An individual human is smaller than the diameter of the known universe by the 25th power of ten and bigger than an electron by about the 15th power of ten. Something about 100 km across would be quite near the centre of the size range; about the size of the familiar space we live in and drive around in. Compared to the stars we are small but not inconsiderable. Compared to the atoms we are large but still capable of subtle observations, almost to the point at which matter becomes indefinite.
Incidentally, Roger Penrose’s book, “The Large, The Small and The Human Mind”, asserts that consciousness as we know it also happens near the middle of the size scale.
Now with a grasp of how many orders of magnitude we must reach down, it comes as a pleasant surprise that use of a conventional microscope grants access to a wondrous world of living things and also to the spectacle of tiny particles like pollen grains being buffeted about by the molecules of their watery medium, an effect called “Brownian”, after its discovery by Robert Brown in 1827.
And Brownian motion is of particular interest because it is nearly an example of God playing dice with the universe and because it was the subject of some early work by Albert Einstein. Molecules are truly infinitesimal compared to pollen grains and only their immense speeds and definite trajectories make them effective. It was not possible to derive the grain motion from individual molecule motions so Einstein used a mathematical method called statistical mechanics. However the unsettling need for statistics in this case is only a mathematical necessity done with a lively expectation that the motion of all the molecules could be known in principle. Here it is only the humans who play dice and science is spared any humiliation.
It is remarkable how Albert Einstein had so many close encounters with the edge of science. His work on Brownian motion gave him real experience in unveiling strange-seeming statistical phenomena. Perhaps this helps to explain why his confidence in the cosmic background was so firm when presented with the irreducible strangeness of quantum phenomena.
A Quantum Mystery
The quantum mystery, in which order really does seem to break down, is illustrated dramatically in the famous “double-slit” thought experiment, bringing together in the mind as one what was actually a variety of separate experiments in the laboratory.
When a beam of light passes through a hole about as small as the wavelength of that light, it spreads out as if it came from a new little light source. And when there are two holes very close together the waves coming through one hole over-ride the waves coming through the other to make a pattern of lighter and darker regions which can be seen if the light is allowed to fall onto a wall or, even better, onto a photographic film, to make a permanent record. Double-slit is just another term for the two holes and the pattern is the evidence that light is made of waves.
The first hint of strangeness arises when the intensity of the light is reduced until photons of light are entering the experiment only one at a time and hitting the wall one tiny speck at a time. The surprise is that after a while the pattern that eventually builds up on the photographic film is the same as the one from the beam of light. Even though each individual photon would be expected to go through only one of the holes, somehow it is capable of statistically generating the pattern of a wave going through both holes.
The quantum states, the uncertainties and the wave-like propagation can be described precisely in mathematics but it remains an impenetrable mystery exactly how the quantum particle is getting into these states, almost disappearing from reality and how the necessary information is being passed around to satisfy the statistics. This is the other big occasion in Albert Einstein’s experience when physics went statistical, this time rather more deeply. Where it refers to quantum experiments like this one, Einstein’s remark is partly an admonition for science to try harder, instead of settling for a statistical theory, and partly an expression of confidence born of experience that God’s universe is an orderly one in which such an effort will be rewarded eventually.
Just to round out an appreciation of the double-slit experiment, consider what happens when we detect which hole each photon is passing through. Well, each detection is also a confirmation that a photon is behaving as an ordinary particle and indeed the pattern on the film does not appear. And finally, if we suppose the photon detector is itself photon-based it becomes possible, at least in principle, to perform the detection with some chosen amount of uncertainty by lengthening the wavelength of the detector photon. The pattern then improves when certainty is low and it worsens when certainty is high.
A whole range of similar creative thought experiments have been invented to elaborate quantum concepts. But having once understood how fundamental the quantum strangeness was, science was never the same and strongly materialistic philosophical viewpoints have had to soften, all to the betterment of the scientific enterprise and to individuals who care to explore such ideas.
Science and The Urantia Book
Upon return from the brink of scientific understanding, it is time to look for something of philosophical or religious value, for there is a long history of spirit values being attached to each new understanding in the physical world, most obviously in the objects of worship or veneration including the brilliant sun, the benign, watchful moon, the fertile earth, the startling thunder, the destructive volcano, the starry, passing comet and the heaven-sent meteorite.
While such worship behaviour does have a superstitious quality, in many cases there is probably more to it. I think most humans while worshipping the sun, for example, will at the same time be aware that the sun symbol is only partly capturing the idea of God and therefore will be receptive to an enlargement of the symbol. In keeping with the teaching style described in The Urantia Book, Jesus might respect the admiration of such a beautiful, powerful object as the sun and then he might go on to gently suggest that the concept should be enlarged to include another God-like property, such as personality.
In modern times superstition and worship are replaced by ordinary enthusiasm. A couple of centuries ago science was very enthusiastic about the clock because it is an excellent metaphor for universe complexity and the deterministic, cyclic regularity of planetary motion; a mechanical cosmic background. Now similar enthusiasm is bestowed upon a newcomer called the computer whose place is still being worked out.
The computational ability to simulate reality takes some interesting philosophical turns, although use of self-contradictory terms like “virtual reality” makes it hard to agree on what ordinary reality might be. Similarly, the computational ability to simulate intelligence is sometimes discussed in connection with consciousness, which doesn’t make those terms any easier to deal with either.
But more troubling is that what initially seem to be promising bridges from science to philosophy and religion eventually lead back into yet another form of materialism. This difficult thing, materialism, can be thought of as a general unwillingness to consider any aspect of reality beyond the physically observable. It is possible to keep a spiritual viewpoint even while working with materials and trying to understand them as anyone in the physical world must. And I suppose it is also possible to construct virtual realities and artificial intelligence without being much of a materialist. Yet I’m equally sure that mostly these activities are done with a view to demonstrating the completeness of physical reality which puts them fundamentally on the materialist agenda.
So it seems that the materialist is a far more difficult subject than the sun-worshipper mentioned earlier, who is at least amenable to greater spiritual knowledge. For now I prescribe regular exposure to more quantum theory, especially its renowned “spookiness”.
But, apart from the most difficult materialist, no truth seeking, science-influenced human, needs to be left out of the spiritual experience. In terms described in the Urantia Book those who are already familiar with some cosmic realities should be amenable to receiving further spirit values and mind meanings. For this purpose I identify a huge opportunity to explore the wealth of value-laden knowledge that already exists in science. For a great deal of what is understood in physical terms can be re-stated with an emphasis on spirit values. Or, working backwards, imagine having a grasp of religion and philosophy that can be traced right back to physical experiments. Here are a few, formative ideas on how to imbue scientific understanding with spirit values.
Perhaps consider the order in the universe that permits science to occur. This is so elementary that it is usually overlooked altogether. Only the occasional scientist like Carl Sagan ever mentions it. Surely there is spirit value in taking notice of the cosmic background. It’s God’s work even if the word God isn’t used.
Or perhaps compare the sense of wonder in scientific discovery to that described by various prophets, poets, artists and musicians.
Or perhaps consider how the unifying principles of science compare to unifying principles in general, which are always associated with divinity.
I know these ideas are too general to inspire directly, so I continue to look for tiny, specific, but powerful ways to bump them along: Brownian motion for the mind.
Neil Francey, Queensland
The Plan of the Spirit
(Presented at Urantia Association’s International Conference in Dourdan, France, July 2002)
With your spiritual eyes anointed, you would see the heavens open and behold the angels of God ascending and descending. And many of us, while functioning in the government of the Father and the universes of the Sons, are assigned to the service of the human races. We have ministered on Urantia since the earliest times of human intelligence. We inform heaven about this remote part of the universe. We are the angels of heaven. In the words of Jesus, we are ministering spirits. [Paper 167:7.4, page 1841.3]
In recent days we have learnt of the brilliant plans of the Father and of the Son. Now we shall see the correlation of these plans with the plan of the Infinite Spirit.
The Adjuster is the presence of the Father; the Spirit of Truth, the presence of the Sons. [Paper 113:3.3, page 1244.4]
These divine endowments are coordinated on the levels of human spiritual experience by the Ministering Spirits, who combine the love of the Father and the mercy of the Son, in their ministry to you and to me. They do this on behalf of the Infinite Spirit. The three plans are in fact the one unified plan.
Initially, God the Father created the Infinite Spirit in order to be free from the bonds of centralized perfection. In turn, the Infinite Spirit liberates God through three grand divisions, one of which is the Ministering Spirits of Time. These Ministering Spirits are:
- The supernaphim, the angelic hosts of the central universe
- The seconaphim, the ministering spirits of the superuniverses
- The seraphim, hosts of the local universes
…children of the Infinite spirit, are perfect beings. They are servants to the Deities on the Central Isle of Paradise. Yet they ever attend us, from this origin world of Urantia, until we are finally mustered into the Mortal Corps of the Finality.
…act as living mirrors to the Ancients of Days who are positioned midway between the inhabited worlds and Paradise—between man and God. Thus, the Ancient of Days
…can instantly look both ways, hear both ways, and know both ways. [Paper 28:4.2, page 308.1]
The seconaphim interpret the mind of the Infinite Spirit to the Ancients of Days. They are the personal representatives of the Third Source and Center. They can also reflect the minds of the Creator Sons. For example, if the Ancients of Days want to know Michael’s attitude about a certain matter,
…they need only call for the Chief of Nebadon Voices, who, upon request, will present the Michael seconaphim of record; and right then and there the Ancients of Days will perceive the voice of the Master Son of Nebadon. [Paper 28:4.2, page 309.0]
The Father’s will for the administrative affairs of Urantia is thereby perfectly known.
…are equally reflective as their primary fellows. They serve the associates of the Ancients of Days, and are known to us by beautiful names such as:
- the Voices of Wisdom
- the Souls of Philosophy
- the Hearts of Counsel
- the Joys of Existence
- the Satisfactions of Service
……are everlasting guideposts…at the crossroads of time, there to guide the feet of anxious pilgrims in moments of great perplexity and spiritual uncertainty. [Paper 28:7.4, page 318.1]
We are certainly blessed. The ministrations of these spirits comfort us in our long journey inwards through space.
The Seraphim Cherubim and Sanobim
…are the Ministering Spirits in a Local Universe. They are the offspring of the Universe Mother Spirit. What is the main purpose for their creation? The seraphim and their assistants, along with the midwayers, perfectly bridge the gap between the material and spiritual worlds, between mortal man and spirit beings. (Paper 38:9.9)
At the time of the writing of the Urantia Papers there were just over five hundred million pairs of seraphim. That is over one billion individual angels. And there are about the same number of cherubim. (Paper 114:0.2) We are truly blessed with assistance from above.
On the spiritual level, seraphim are coordinators. On the intellectual level they are interpreters of mind. And on the physical level they manipulate terrestrial environment through the Master Physical Controllers and the midway creatures. (Paper 113:3.5)
They are referred to as ‘angels’ and are largely concerned with the operation of the plans of mortal survival. Seraphim also assist the superhuman government of a planet, especially worlds like Urantia which have been isolated by rebellion. The angels, assisted again by the midwayers, function here as supermaterial ministers and execute the mandates of the resident governor general. (Paper 114:0.3)
But how does such a subordinate angelic personality, created but a little above the universe level of humanity, do such difficult and complex things? [Paper 113:3.6, page 1244.7]
The Chief of Seraphim stationed on Urantia admits that she really does not know, but conjectures that this phenomenal ministry is facilitated by the unrevealed working of the Supreme Being, the actualizing Deity of the evolving universes of time and space.
It is indeed a most remarkable plan. God has devised a vast scheme of survival through spiritual progression. We are all taking part in this plan.
What Exactly Do Seraphim Do?
- They lead us into paths of new and progressive experiences. We are told this ‘rarely means attaining a life of ease’. (Paper 113:4.3) It sounds like it is possible but it is rare. I’ve yet to meet that person who says it has been easy.
- They manipulate the mortal environment so that we have a greater realization of the presence of our indwelling Adjuster. (Paper 113:4.4)
- With the assistance of the midway creatures, they can ‘make actual contact with mankind, but such occurrences are very unusual’. (Paper 113:5.5)
- We receive the undivided assistance of these personal guardians of destiny ‘to finish the third circle, traverse the second, and attain the first’. (Paper 113:1.8) What do they do? They stimulate our minds so we can make decisions that get us from one circle to the next. How do they do this? They work through our ‘social, ethical, and moral environment’. (Paper 113:4.1)
- Finally the seraphim unify their vast ministries of the Infinite Spirit on mansonia, correlating the influence of the Conjoint Actor with the spirit presences of the Father and the Son.
How Can We Best Work with the Ministering Spirits?
(We do need each other)
- Understand how alike we are to these spirit beings;
- Give recognition to their presence and serendipitous ways;
- Endeavor to reciprocate the warm affection they feel for us;
- Allow your higher intellectual powers to overcome ‘the thoughtless panic of dread and anxiety’. (Paper 113:2.4)
What Can Better Cooperation Achieve?
(We need to work together)
- The successful custody of the Urantia Papers;
- Greater responsiveness to the leadings of the Thought Adjuster;
- A more fulfilling life by ‘staying on track’ with the preferred ascension career;
- The emergence of the Supreme Being and the era of Light and Life;
Guardian angels are seraphim devoted to the ministry to individual mortals. They are only assigned as guardian seraphim when appointed to a human soul who has realized one or more of three achievements:
- ‘has made a supreme decision to become Godlike,
- has entered the third circle, or
- has been mustered into one of the reserve corps of destiny.’(Paper 113:2.1)
I would like to mention a story about Jesus to illustrate their ministering role. Remember when he ascended the mountain for the final showdown with Lucifer? A remarkable incident took place. He asked his Father to send back the guardian seraphim to “be with Tiglath”. He wanted to deal with this last mortal struggle alone. ‘He went into the great test with only his indwelling Adjuster to guide and sustain him’. (Paper 134:8.2) And it is revealed that ‘when the trying ordeal was finished, the detached guardian seraphim returned to Jesus’ side and ministered to him’. (Paper 134:8.8)
Ministered to him, the seraphim was able to console Jesus at this most distressing time. What a remarkable coordination of spirit energies. If seraphim can deal with that mission, I’m sure they can brilliantly attend to us in our earthly battles.
Cherubim and Sanobim
The Ministering Spirits of the Local Universes embrace the seraphim and their assistants, the cherubim. Mortal ascenders have our initial contact with these offspring of the Universe Mother Spirit.
Cherubim and sanobim are very near the morontia level of existence, and they are most efficient in ‘the physical, morontial, and spiritual domains’.(Paper 38:7.6) As required they work in liaison with the midway creatures.
Advanced ‘cherubim and sanobim are re-embraced by the Universe Mother Spirit’ and ‘emerge as full-fledged seraphim’.(Paper 38:8.6) Henceforth, the role of seraphim, with all of its Paradise possibilities, is open to such reborn cherubim and sanobim. These angels can be assigned as guardians of destiny to mortal beings.
We now see how the many orders of spirit beings interrelate within their hierarchy, and how they interact with the mortals of time and space. Their organization ‘works’ – there is order and logic. We are to go and do likewise. It is indeed quite a plan.
The midway creatures, the permanent citizens of Urantia, are functionally grouped with the ministering spirits, but are not really of the angelic order.
At the last adjudication, the midwayers numbered 10,992. They are known as the United Midwayers of Urantia. (Paper 77:8.1)
Midwayers are indispensable to the seraphim in their role as personal guardians to mortals and compensate that gap between the material and spiritual affairs of Urantia.
The Service Role of the United Midwayers of Urantia
- They assist with quick and reliable personal communication.
- They guard and patrol the invisible spirit realm of the planet on behalf of the supernatural beings
- They are essential in contact liaisons between the spiritual and the material levels.
- The more spiritual act as assistants to the various orders of seraphim.
The primary midwayers usually minister to the spiritual forces resident on the planet. Secondary midwayers are nearer man than angel and are therefore very understanding in their contact with human beings. They exist just outside the range of mortal vision and ‘have certain definite powers over the things of time and space’. (Paper 77:8.7)
The 1,111 loyal secondary midwayers are engaged in important missions on earth. ‘Their chief work today is that of unperceived personal-liaison associates of those men and women who constitute the planetary reserve corps of destiny.’ (Paper 77:8.9)
Actions Taken by Midwayers
The midwayers in association with certain spirit personalities have been involved in great moments in history:
- Sufficient numbers demonstrated loyalty during the defaults of the Planetary Prince and Adam and Eve. They are a rebellion-tested corps;
- Loyal cherubim and seraphim and three faithful midwayers assumed custody of the tree of life at the time of the rebellion;
- When Jesus turned the water into wine at Cana;
- At the death and resurrection of Jesus;
- Instrumental in the co-ordination of personalities and circumstances on Urantia which finally convinced the planetary supervisors to initiate the Urantia Papers.
Now that we have spoken about each of the Ministering Spirits attached to the Infinite Spirit, let us see how they inter-relate through the Father and the Son.
The God presence of the indwelling Adjuster, the encircuited action of the Holy Spirit,and the Son-consciousness of the Spirit of Truth,correlate into a unity of spiritual ministry to a mortal personality, through the ministering personality of the guardian seraphim. These celestial influences integrate in the evolving presence of the Supreme Being.(Paper 113:4.6)
And in the personal experience of an individual mortal these diverse levels are unified
and made meaningful by the ‘mysterious operations of the divine Thought Adjuster’. (Paper 38:9.9)
We live with spirit beings. One day we shall all celebrate the era of Light and Life. For now we are beginning to see how divinity pervades time and space. The plans of eternity are being revealed to us. Through these means, God is potentially present on the headquarters of the super and local universes. He is also potentially present in our hearts and in our minds. He truly does walk every moment and every mile with us.
In closing, I would like to ask you: What do you think your guardian angel would like to say to you? I think they would seek better cooperation for spiritual progression. On Urantia, a message transmitted by a guardian angel for their human associate, might be introduced as follows:
Please make record of this my personal message.
Much of my difficulty is due to the unending conflict between your two natures:
the ideals of a superior people crossed by the instincts of an inferior race, the view of a far-seeing Monitor counteracted by the nearsightedness of a creature of time, the plans of an ascending being modified by the desires of a material nature, the urge of angels opposed by the emotions of an animal, the joys of living ever threatened by the sorrows of death. Such a life on such a planet! (Paper 111:7.5)
Such a life on such a planet! – Little did that angel realize her immortal words would one day make a great screen saver!!
Then might follow a beautifully touching and appealing petition of appreciation:
I first served as an observer on the lowest of the evolutionary worlds. Then I began my advanced studies on the architectural worlds in the Nebadon system. When fully prepared I was commissioned as a Ministering Spirit of Time to serve with you on this planet Urantia. (Paper 38:5.3)
I now guard you; I do not seek directly to influence you. You must chart your own course, but I then ‘act to make the best possible use of the course you have chosen’. (Paper 113:5.4)
This has been achieved quite independently of your direct appeals and your prayers; I execute the mandates of my superiors. (Paper 113:5.3)
I now transmit to you my sincere appreciation for our association.
You will be assisting me to rise from these lowly origins to the heights of glory, one day to serve the incarnated Paradise Sons. (Paper 39:9.1)
Through you, I am having experiences that compensate for the greater divinity of the ministering spirits of the central and superuniverses.
Thank you for your sincere co-operation, your cheerful endurance of our tasks, your faithfulness in carrying out the program arranged for us, for patiently going through the trials of your Thought Adjuster’s selection.
Remember, as we strive for divine perfection, that the guardian angels, together with all the faithful ministering spirits of time, are always and forever your true friends and unfailing helpers all the way to Havona, even on Paradise. (Paper 39:9.1)
Let us trust that we are meeting the approval of the chiefs of our kind. Step by step you and I are passing on to judgment. May we await with pleasure and without apprehension, the roll call of destiny. (Paper 110:7.10)
The plans for ‘the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail’. [Paper 196:3.33)
Matt Hall, New Zealand
Into 2019 and it’s been a year that we could easily call “stormy” so far. The world seems to be tossing and turning more violently than ever before, and down in Aotearoa it seems as though the war has been power-punched into our own breadbasket with the recent tragedy in Christchurch.
But I’ve been reminded how lucky I am not to be alone as a Urantia Book reader anymore. It can be hard when we speak a very specific language, but we have no one we feel understands it. I reached out recently to a local reader and friend when I was having my own mini crisis, my own gnashing of teeth and she responded. We spoke later at our regular Kiwi Zoom meeting, but the weight had already been lifted somewhat by her willingness just to have a chat.
It feels like we Kiwi’s who have found the Fifth Epocal Revelation are still few and far between and I guess our situation reflects a microcosm of our readership’s slow growth on an international scale. But I’ve found that one willing listener with a common spiritual toolset, with common word symbols at the ready, is enough.
We continue with our regular Zoom calls and the Auckland readership still gathers face-to-face providing a solid nucleus for what I believe is an excellent foundation from which new readers can reach out and develop genuine relationships. That’s what it’s all about after all. We also hope to meet for another regional gathering in Taupo this year. In addition, plans for the 2020 ANZURA conference in Auckland is well underway.
I’m in a better place because I have connected with local readers this way. And I would recommend that if you haven’t reached out to truth seekers in your local area yet, make sure you do. It’s worth it.
Martin McBurney, VIC
(Editor’s Note: Mining the Archives is a collection of articles that have been published in various newsletters over the years and have been lying buried in the archives. A team of volunteers have been “mining the archives” for the gems, so now we can bring them into the light of day to share using modern-day technology.)
From the Six-O-Six Newsletter , Sept-Oct 1988
Oftentimes Australians like to find the easy way to do things.
There is the story of the Australian fisherman who worked out an easy way to catch fish in a stream, using his horse and cart. He drove his horse and cart right into the stream. He poured honey onto the horse’s tail. Flies came to feed on the honey. The fish came and jumped up to catch the flies. Then the horse kicked the fish onto the cart.
The history of Urantia reads like a comedy of errors. Frequently, much of the progress that was made has been lost, and has had to be achieved all over again. I have been wondering if there is an easier way for Urantia to progress and if it is really possible to achieve it. And I have also been wondering whether I can help and in a significant way.
Michael’s own commitment, during his bestowal on Urantia, was to reveal the will of the Father. And his life on Urantia was an extraordinary demonstration of desire to attune to the will of the Father.
Personal outcomes are linked to my own act of will. A Thought Adjuster was bestowed in response to my first moral personality decision. And the Thought Adjuster, who demonstrates such divine love and extraordinary resourcefulness, is always subservient to my will.
Planetary outcomes are linked to acts of will. The decision of Andon and Fonta to flee home was observed by every celestial intelligence stationed on Urantia and they were all greatly concerned with what Andon and Fonta were planning. The happy outcome was celebrated on the system and constellation and universe headquarters. It resulted in a new circuitry for Urantia and it changed the nature of the supervision of the planet.
I feel that an act of will is an important beginning in helping Urantia.
Love of Michael
During Michael’s bestowal on Urantia, his apostles and followers often failed to fully understand or appreciate his teaching. They were often bewildered and even demoralised. Yet most of his apostles and many of his followers went on to remarkable and productive careers.
What was the key thing that supported their wills and carried them forward? Their love of Michael. And after Pentecost, Michael’s Spirit of Truth. When they could not comprehend, their love of Michael was sufficient.
My First Step
There is a song called “What Are You Doing the Test of Your Life.” Well, every day for the rest of my life I intend to say this prayer:
God my Father, it is my will that Urantia achieves progress (as you will) ever more effectively. Michael, I love you.
Do I expect to see real progress during my lifetime? Yes I do! That song is from a motion picture called “The Happy Ending”!
Leith Luckett, Victoria
(Written during the Warburton conference VIC, 1990)
I’m composed and full of feeling
I’m en-wrapped in silent healing
The air flows cool in the Father’s mountains
There isn’t much to say
How we spend each pleasant day,
But know, deep down within,
That God’s Spark is close to Him
Our walks of life take different tolls
Of moods, of thoughts, we’re all different moulds
Sometimes we cry for inner peace
We’re glad to have a part, a piece
of life adjusting—inwardly and outwards
Then the chores of climbing and the upward search
To find a cloud, a rising perch
The pilot watches, waits and prompts us
The waiting seems in patience dwells
We burn the midnight oils of searching
To do the will, within ourselves
I’m looking back on years of thinking
I’m slowly moving, surely not sinking
And while I have the goal in sight,
I’ll carry on my God-ward flight,
Merging, feeling, it’s a pleasant surprise
To grasp, enjoy and embrace all my ties
The Arena newsletter keeps students of The Urantia Book throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in touch with Urantia related news, activities and events from our local region as well as from the global Urantia Book reader community. It also provides interesting articles written by readers on a wide range of subjects from the book which we hope may be helpful in assisting with your studies.
The Arena is published by ANZURA two to three times a year and is dedicated to the promotion of goodwill and understanding among readers of The Urantia Book. Articles and editorial contributions that relate to The Urantia Book and its teachings are welcome from readers all over the world.
If you would like to receive the Arena or submit an article, please send us an email at anzura.urantia @ gmail.com
To view current and past issues of the Arena click here.
ANZURA’s Contact Details
P.O. Box 1581
Warriewood, NSW 2102
Phone: 0431 285 943 (from Australia) or +61 431 285 943 (international)
Email: [email protected]
Please note: Any interpretations, opinions, conclusions, or artistic representations, whether stated or implied, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of ANZURA or the editorial team of the Arena.
ANZURA’s mission is to foster the in-depth study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teachings.
The UB Endeavour is a fundraising initiative to raise funds for ANZURA to help us spread The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region.
Here are some of our programs designed to achieve these objectives:
Book Distribution – Sowing Seeds
We hold a small inventory of Urantia Books and other associated material such as study aids and secondary works that are available to readers for dissemination projects. We sponsor a gift-book program where books are donated to libraries and relevant learning centres as well as study groups and individuals who wish to assist in the book-seeding program.
Bringing People Together
We provide a reader referral service that helps connect readers with others and to let them know of any study groups or reader activities in their towns or regions. Volunteer staff are also available to respond to inquiries about The Urantia Book and associated reader activities.
Each year ANZURA organises two major study events: The National Study Day and an annual Urantia Book Readers’ Conference. (See Events Calendar on our website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/events. We also foster the development of study groups both face-to-face and virtual. (See our Study Group Guide at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups.)
We maintain a website at https://anzura.urantia-association.org that services readers and curious truth-seekers alike with information, study aids, secondary works, and easy links to the entire text of The Urantia Book online with an efficient search engine.
We maintain a resource library containing a collection of study aids and resources. See our Products list at https://anzura.urantia-association.org/2019/05/05/study-aid-products-order-form
A four-part introductory DVD has been developed as a study aid which can be a useful tool to introduce people to The Urantia Book. (See https://anzura.urantia-association.org/2017/10/20/video-introduction-to-urantia-book
Naturally none of this work can be done without an administration centre that requires basic office equipment such as computers, printers, internet access, telephones, postage and stationary.
There is continually much work to be done and all of this requires funds. Would you please consider making a contribution? For the average income-earner we recommend regular small donations such as a dollar-a-day (or $30 per month) automatically debited from bank accounts on a perpetual basis.
Ways to Donate
If you decide to assist us with the promotion and dissemination of The Urantia Book by contributing to the UB Endeavour fund, you may do so by any of the following methods:
- Call us on 0431 285 943 with credit card details that we can take over the phone.
- Direct debit into ANZURA’s bank account:
Account Name: ANZURA
Account Number: 67 899 2437
- Fill out the Donation Form below and return it with your contribution to:
PO Box 1581
Warriewood, NSW 2102
For further inquiries phone 0431 285 943 or email: [email protected]
ANZURA maintains a contact list for study group hosts.
Not all of these hosts actually run a regular study group but all of them are willing to host one for anyone who would like to meet.
Some study groups include virtual participation via Zoom if you cannot meet face-to-face.
You can view the list of contacts on the website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups