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Arena – Autumn 2020

In This Issue

President’s Report

Julian McGarry, Hobart

Dear friends and students of The Urantia Book,

I hope and pray that you are all keeping well and in good spirits. We find ourselves in momentous times! We are constantly confronted with news about the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept our globe in the space of a month or two. We are alarmed at the rapid rate of infection and the rising death toll, particularly among our brothers and sisters in countries like the United States, Italy, Spain, the UK, and China. We are reminded of our fragility and our innate vulnerability as mere mortals on this planet. Disturbing images may raise questions in our minds concerning our personal preparedness for death. We don’t know the day nor the hour of our deaths. Indeed, we often take our health for granted. Notwithstanding The Urantia Book’s amazingly positive description of life beyond our existence here on Urantia, we may still harbour a fear of death and/or dying.

Fear is a very human problem; it is something that we are all familiar with. Paradoxically, it is also something that has enabled us to survive and thrive as a species on this planet. However, when our fear is unreasoned or unreasonable, then it seriously detracts from our peace and joy. I have written an article for this edition of Arena, entitled “Fear not”, which explores the evolutionary origins of fear and then highlights the Master’s exhortation to his disciples to “fear not” when confronted with personal and global crises. I hope you all find it inspiring and comforting.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has necessitated the cancellation of the national conference, which was scheduled for Auckland, New Zealand in October. However, on a happier note, the New Zealand organising committee has decided to hold a virtual conference via a Zoom session sometime in October. We have recently enjoyed two remarkably successful 24-hour global Zoom events sponsored by Urantia Association and co-sponsored by the Urantia Book Fellowship and the Urantia Foundation. These were made possible at very short notice by a wonderful team of hard workers which included the Association President Chris Wood, the Education Chair Jeannie Vazquez de Abreu, and our very own Kathleen Swadling, who is the Communications Chair. Congratulations to everyone who was involved in making these events so rewarding. This just goes to show what can be done when necessity dictates! I’m sure we can do likewise later this year.

Another casualty of the pandemic is the unfortunate cancellation of both the Urantia Global Experience conference in Vancouver which was scheduled for the 28th July this year and the International conference in Peru which was scheduled for early next year. Both organizing committees are planning to stage some alternative online virtual events.

I hope you all enjoy the autumn Arena! A big thank you to all the contributors, including our dynamic duo, Rita Schaad and Kathleen Swadling, whose behind the scenes work always seems to make everything run smoothly. Apologies to anyone whom I may have missed!

As winter approaches, I want to urge you all to stay safe and well! And may I close with this timely reminder:

All the worlds of every universe are constantly within the consciousness of God. He also says: “I have surely seen the affliction of my people, I have heard their cry, and I know their sorrows.” For “the Lord looks from heaven; he beholds all the sons of men; from the place of his habitation he looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth.” Every creature child may truly say: “He knows the way I take, and when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” “God knows our downsittings and our uprisings; he understands our thoughts afar off and is acquainted with all our ways.” “All things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” And it should be a real comfort to every human being to understand that “he knows your frame; he remembers that you are dust.” Jesus, speaking of the living God, said, “Your Father knows what you have need of even before you ask him. [Paper 3:3.2, page 49.1]

Peace and love!

Julian McGarry,
President, ANZURA

Annual Conference in New Zealand Cancelled

ANZURA Admins

Due to the global Covid-19 crisis we regret to say that the New Zealand conference hosts have decided to cancel the physical ANZURA conference that was scheduled for October this year in Auckland, New Zealand. However, they have arranged with the venue to hold our non-refundable deposit, already paid, until 2022, which effectively postpones the physical New Zealand conference for another two years.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand conference committee will be meeting online to discuss the idea of holding an Australasian virtual ANZURA Conference in October 2020, running it along the lines of the online “Urantiathons” held recently by Urantia Association International. Presentations could be scheduled hourly with occasional breaks for discussion groups.

Stay tuned for more information…

Virtual Study Groups and Conferences

Kathleen Swadling, Sydney

The era of virtual study groups and conferences is upon us! With the entire world in lockdown due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, unexpected opportunities have been arising in the Urantia Book reader communities. Readers are discovering how easy it is to meet with other readers from all over the world from the comfort of their own homes! Thanks to conference calling programs such as Zoom, study groups and conferences are happening with very little organisation at virtually no cost.

Urantiathons

“Urantiathon” is a new phrase that’s been coined to describe events like the two recent online 24-hour conferences that were held via Zoom and sponsored by Urantia Association International—one on 21st March and the other on 2nd May of this year. Various volunteers around the world took shifts in hosting different segments of the meeting according to their time-zones. Each host acted as an MC where they introduced the speakers, facilitated discussion times, and basically kept things running smoothly.

Those who were able to check in during their “awake” hours would have seen how they operate; 24 hourly presentations were scheduled where the presenter would share their material just as they would in a face-to-face meeting. They were able to present graphics, videos, and Power Point presentations just as they would in a physical meeting, as well as conducting interactive discussions. For those who chose to keep their videos turned on meant that people could see and talk with one an another. So many marvelled at being able to see and catch up with old friends they hadn’t seen in years.

The presentations were recorded and the ones from the first meeting have been uploaded to Urantia Association’s YouTube channel (the second batch are in the process of being prepared for uploading.) Check them out in the Play Lists!

Study Groups

Several regular study groups around Australia and New Zealand have become virtual due to the isolation rules, so now more people are joining in who previously were unable to travel to a group. For information on study groups in our region see the Study Group Contact List on ANZURA’s website.

Personality cannot very well perform in isolation. Man is innately a social creature; he is dominated by the craving of belongingness. It is literally true, “No man lives unto himself.” [Paper 112:1.16, page 1227.6]

Short seasons of retreat from the busy scenes of life may not be seriously dangerous, but prolonged isolation of personality is most undesirable. [Paper 100:5.8, page 1099.6]

Workshop Summary: Spirit in Society, Overcoming Resistance

Dylan Roberts, ACT

At the 2019 Canberra Urantia Conference, I facilitated a workshop titled Spirit in Society – Overcoming Resistance, where the intention was to look at some common atheistic objections (in the form of questions),  and see what we could come up with in terms of what The Urantia Book teaches on these problems and what we could potentially say when facing such objections.

The attendees were divided into three groups, and each group attempted to answer one of the common objections, given 30 minutes to do so. Afterwards, the group leaders were given an opportunity to report back to everybody.  I’ll now attempt to summarize the group answers produced during the workshop:

Group A

Why does God choose to remain unannounced to many?
The Atheist Says: Why has God never said ‘hello’ to me?

  • God delegates everything he can to subordinates. The assumption is that a God does,
    or should do, everything. God delegates choice to  us, and one of those is to believe
    or not believe.
  • When a prayer does not appear to have been answered, bitterness might ensue. Are our expectations of God reasonable though?
  • We are the custodians of the planet so it’s up to us to improve conditions.
  • Faith (believing without seeing and hearing) is of great value.
  • Cause and effect are in operation in the physical universe. Prayer does not usually alter
    the processes of cause and effect in the physical.
  • The Urantia Book teaches us to pray for values rather than material things. Spiritual goals
    can be achieved regardless of material circumstances.
  • One’s upbringing and genetics influence the capacity to communicate with God and may
    influence the interest in the spiritual.
  • Has a person truly reached out to God? Is a person afraid of a life-transformative
    relationship with the Creator? 

Group B

Why does God allow bad things to happen?
The Atheist Says: If God is there, why does he allow bad or even terrible things to happen?

  • Consider the stories of atheists who become believers. Can their stories help?
  • If a building collapses, it is because of the laws of material things, not because of God?
  • Consider what happens when free will is gone, i.e. the ugliness of a dictatorship?
  • Atheists are ignorant of the true qualities of God and of the divine plan.
  • An arena of choice would not be very functional if God constantly intervened in it.
  • Atheists may not recognise the time lag of justice.
  • The bad situations on Urantia are still very much a result of the rebellion, rather than God’s will.
  • A cosmic perspective removes most of the un-bearableness of difficult life situations experienced on Urantia.

Group C

Why is faith a valid approach to reality, as opposed to the scientific method?
The Atheist Says: Isn’t faith too subjective and unreliable? How do you know you’re not making it up?

  • Faith can be based on reason and does not have to be blind.
  • Truth extends beyond facts (the pursuit of science).
  • Tested faith is scientific.
  • Truth = faith + reason + wisdom.
  • Science can’t answer the “Why” questions.
  • Belief in an intelligent universe is reasonable.
  • Faith connects us to the goodness of values.
  • A counter question may be asked: How do you know that I don’t know?
  • Even a so-called delusional faith may produce good results for life.
  • Science can’t explore all aspects of life.
  • Rather than getting into an argument with someone, why not ask a good question?
  • Fundamentalism is perhaps a bad example of faith, there are healthier kinds.

I hope these summaries of our workshop discussions were useful.

Kind regards,

Dylan Roberts,
Canberra

Other and Higher Frames

Nigel Nunn, VIC

Faith most willingly carries reason along as far as reason can go and then goes on with wisdom to the full philosophic limit; and then it dares to launch out upon the limitless and never-ending universe journey in the sole company of TRUTH. [Paper 103:9.7, page 1141.5]

“Reason” has helped scientists to write some compelling tales about the history of the universe:  inflationary Big Bangs, colliding branes, a multiverse. Problem is, each of these histories involve assumptions that lie beyond our capacity to disprove. These stories do however all share one feature: an attempt to replace faith with facts in their assumptions.

Which is where they all bump into a wall. The facts within reach – like the redshifts and rotations of galaxies, like the quantized interaction of particles – are proving inadequate to explain what astronomers are beginning to observe. As our tools and techniques improve, assumptions which prop up our currently competing cosmologies have become increasingly strained – constrained by increasingly inconvenient facts. Thus “Wisdom” (and common sense) requires that we review those assumptions. But wisdom also is constrained, by the frames within which we think. Which is where The Urantia Book comes in:

[…]. Man must think in a mortal universe frame, but that does not mean that he cannot envision other and higher frames within which thought can take place. [Paper 115:1.2, page 1260.3]

“Other and higher frames…” At the very same time that Schrodinger & Dirac, Heisenberg & Pauli were wrestling with quantized mechanics, simultaneous with Lemaitre and Hubble attempting to map motion in the cosmos, The Urantia Book was presented – a glimpse from “another and higher frame”. This glimpse includes insights tuned to shift our current standard models – of physics and cosmology – beyond the confusion in which they’re now stuck.

For those interested in such things, we now have a set of videos that walk us through this aspect of the fifth epochal revelation, showing how The Urantia Book gently extends the best work of human science. For example, it explains why a Higgs-type mechanism works so well, how ultimatonic axions solve the strong CP problem, and the real reason why redshift is proportional to distance. And that’s just the appetizer!

You find the whole series of ‘Introduction to The Urantia Book’ on ANZURA’s website:

https://anzura.urantia-association.org/2017/10/20/video-introduction-to-urantia-book/ – or

Here are links to the videos (on YouTube), plus their (PDF) scripts:

Part 4A – Foundations (v2)   ( Script for Part 4A )

Part 4B1 – Mass and MatterPart 4B2 – Mass and Matter   ( Script for Part 4B )

Part 4C – Exploding Dark Islands (v2)   ( Script for Part 4C )

The two links below are a draft script for the final video (Part 4D). This last part remains a work in progress, as I try to accommodate current developments in mainstream cosmology. Recording of this final video is expected to coincide with some surprising developments in astronomy!

Part 4 D (i) Orvonton
Part 4 D (ii) Issues

The Urantia Book – a gift to those future souls who will dare to launch beyond where reason and wisdom can go!

Disease and Immunity in Relation to the Urantia Book

Susan Hemmingsen, New Zealand

This being the topic of the moment, I decided to put together some Urantia Book quotes to see what was said, about health, disease, what happened in the past, how this reflects on what is happening today, and what can be expected in the future.  I have put them into four different categories:

  • The celestial help available now
  • How ancient man dealt with disease
  • The influence (or lack of) of Adam and Eve on our health
  • The future; what we can expect when we’re more advanced evolutionally, spiritually and scientifically.

1.   The Celestial Help Available Now

The Ministering Angels function in many areas, but specifically for this topic, we have continuous help by way of the ministry of the Angels of Health.

These are the seraphic ministers assigned to the assistance of those mortal agencies dedicated to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. The present corps is the sixth group to serve during this dispensation. [Paper 114:6.12 8, Page 1256.2]

In Paper 65, The Overcontrol of Evolution we are told:

Many features of human life afford abundant evidence that the phenomenon of mortal existence was intelligently planned, that organic evolution is not a mere cosmic accident. When a living cell is injured, it possesses the ability to elaborate certain chemical substances which are empowered so to stimulate and activate the neighboring normal cells that they immediately begin the secretion of certain substances which facilitate healing processes in the wound; and at the same time these normal and uninjured cells begin to proliferate — they actually start to work creating new cells to replace any fellow cells which may have been destroyed by the accident. [Paper 65:4.3, page 735.2]

2 .  How Ancient Man Dealt with Disease

Ancient man had his own way of dealing with disease, and although many on our planet have evolved out of this phase, some have not. However, it is heart-warming to see, regardless of absence of scientific knowledge, how sincere the ancients were.

Fasting, dieting, and counter-irritants were often used as remedial measures. Human secretions, being definitely magical, were highly regarded; blood and urine were thus among the earliest medicines and were soon augmented by roots and various salts. The shamans believed that disease spirits could be driven out of the body by foul-smelling and bad-tasting medicines. Purging very early became a routine treatment, and the values of raw cocoa and quinine were among the earliest pharmaceutical discoveries. [Paper 90:4.8, page 991.7]

Among some people disease was thought to be caused by a wicked conspiracy between spirits and animals. This gave rise to the belief that there existed a beneficent plant remedy for every animal-caused disease. The red men were especially devoted to the plant theory of universal remedies; they always put a drop of blood in the root hole left when the plant was pulled up.
[Paper 90:4.7, page 991.7]

Some of our current religious groups believe that faith is all that is required to heal, but in Paper 90, Shamanism–Medicine Men and PriestsThe Urantia Book says:

The faith required to get well under the foolish ministrations of one of these ancient shamans was, after all, not materially different from that which is required to experience healing at the hands of some of his later-day successors who engage in the non-scientific treatment of disease. [Paper 90:4.2, page 991.1]

But, we must also remember:

When you presume to sit in critical judgment on the primitive religion of man (or on the religion of primitive man), you should remember to judge such savages and to evaluate their religious experience in accordance with their enlightenment and status of conscience. Do not make the mistake of judging another’s religion by your own standards of knowledge and truth. [Paper 101:9.2, page 1115.3].

There are many ways we humans try to overcome disease, so efficacious and some not, but during Jesus’ third preaching tour, there was a thoroughgoing discussion on the whole subject of human superstition and one of the things Jesus said was:

Charms and relics are impotent to heal disease, ward off disaster, or influence evil spirits; the belief in all such material means of influencing the spiritual world is nothing but gross. [Paper 150:3.7, page 1681.1]

3.   The Influence (or lack of) of Adam and Eve on Our Health

Why are we so ravaged by this Covdi-19 virus? Is this the same on other planets?

The Life Carriers said in Paper 65, The Overcontrol of Evolution:

But throughout all of this biologic adventure our greatest disappointment grew out of the reversion of certain primitive plant life to the prechlorophyll levels of parasitic bacteria on such an extensive and unexpected scale. This eventuality in plant-life evolution caused many distressful diseases in the higher mammals, particularly in the more vulnerable human species. When we were confronted with this perplexing situation, we somewhat discounted the difficulties involved because we knew that the subsequent admixture of the Adamic life plasm would so reinforce the resisting powers of the resulting blended race as to make it practically immune to all diseases produced by the vegetable type of organism. But our hopes were doomed to disappointment owing to the misfortune of the Adamic default. [Paper 65:5.2, page 736.5]

It is also interesting to observe how some can be exposed to disease, but because of having more Adamic blood, they are naturally more resistant. Scientists do observe the differences in people’s immune systems to disease, but most are not aware of the Adamic source of this immunity.

The body cells of the Material Sons and their progeny are far more resistant to disease than are those of the evolutionary beings indigenous to the planet. The body cells of the native races are akin to the living disease-producing microscopic and ultramicroscopic organisms of the realm. These facts explain why the Urantia peoples must do so much by way of scientific effort to withstand so many physical disorders. You would be far more disease resistant if your races carried more of the Adamic life. [Paper 76:4.7, page 851.5]

Each country has reacted differently to Covid-19, some with very strict lockdown conditions and little contact, (e.g. New Zealand) and others (e.g.Sweden) with a completely opposite approach, so when this pandemic is over, a study of who has better immunity might not yield much. We do know however that:

The so-called white races of Urantia are the descendants of these blue men as they were first modified by slight mixture with yellow and red, and as they were later greatly up-stepped by assimilating the greater portion of the violet race. [Paper 64:6.24, page 725.5]

4.   The Future: What We Can Expect When We’re More Advanced Evolutionally, Spiritually and Scientifically

In Paper 71, Development of the State, under section 4: Progressive Civilization, one of the points indicating a progressive civilisation says:

Economics, society, and government must evolve if they are to remain. Static conditions on an evolutionary world are indicative of decay; only those institutions which move forward with the evolutionary stream persist….  [Paper 71:4.1, page 804.1].

On a normal planet:

During this era the problems of disease and delinquency are virtually solved. Degeneracy has already been largely eliminated by selective reproduction. Disease has been practically mastered through the high resistant qualities of the Adamic strains and by the intelligent and world-wide application of the discoveries of the physical sciences of preceding ages. The average length of life, during this period, climbs well above the equivalent of three hundred years of Urantia time. [Paper 52:5.9, page 596.7]

We can all witness the vast efforts of all the virologists, immunologists, geneticists and other scientists around the world, communicating with each other in an unprecedented way, and sharing their research to help overcome this pandemic.

We hope that all this collaboration will result in an effective and safe vaccination, plus other medicines which may be effective in curing Covid-19. I imagine that these are the “discoveries of the physical sciences” mentioned above?

During the Golden Ages:

During this age of light and life the world increasingly prospers under the fatherly rule of the Planetary Sovereign. By this time the worlds are progressing under the momentum of one language, one religion, and, on normal spheres, one race. But this age is not perfect. These worlds still have well-appointed hospitals, homes for the care of the sick. There still remain the problems of caring for accidental injuries and the inescapable infirmities attendant upon the decrepitude of old age and the disorders of senility. Disease has not been entirely vanquished, neither have the earth animals been subdued in perfection; but such worlds are like Paradise in comparison with the early times of primitive man during the pre-Planetary Prince age. You would instinctively describe such a realm — could you be suddenly transported to a planet in this stage of development — as heaven on earth. [Paper 55:3.1, page 624.7]

The quote below portrays what happens on a normal planet after the arrival of the Post Bestowal Son. Of course, we have benefited from the bestowal of  Jesus, our Post Bestowal Son, but as we were not at the usual stage of evolution that exists on a normal planet for this bestowal, the advancements in the quote below are not ours.

During this era the problems of disease and delinquency are virtually solved. Degeneracy has already been largely eliminated by selective reproduction. Disease has been practically mastered through the high resistant qualities of the Adamic strains and by the intelligent and world-wide application of the discoveries of the physical sciences of preceding ages. The average length of life, during this period, climbs well above the equivalent of three hundred years of Urantia time. Paper 53:5.9, page 596.7]

The great handicap confronting Urantia in the matter of attaining the high planetary destiny of light and life is embraced in the problems of disease, degeneracy, war, multicolored races, and multilingualism. [Paper 55:3.21, page 626.1]

In the Province of Prayer:

Prayer is not a technique for curing real and organic diseases, but it has contributed enormously to the enjoyment of abundant health and to the cure of numerous mental, emotional, and nervous ailments. And even in actual bacterial disease, prayer has many times added to the efficacy of other remedial procedures. Prayer has turned many an irritable and complaining invalid into a paragon of patience and made him an inspiration to all other human sufferers. [Paper 91.6.2, page 999.5]

All who have faith in God and are trying to live the Golden Rule have the benefit of a wider view along with more comfort and reassurance during this unusual time…

Personal, spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. True religion unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements. Religious faith — the positive leading of the indwelling divine presence — unfailingly enables the God-knowing man to bridge that gulf existing between the intellectual logic which recognizes the Universal First Cause as It and those positive affirmations of the soul which aver this First Cause is He, the heavenly Father of Jesus’ gospel, the personal God of human salvation.
[Paper 196:3.1, page 2093.6].

Fear Not

Julian McGarry – Hobart, Tasmania

(This is a presentation that was given at the 24-hour Online Urantia Event on 21 March, 2020)

Few persons live up to the faith which they really have. Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud practiced upon the evolving mortal soul. [Paper 48:7.4, page 556.4]

The world is in the grip of fear! People are afraid. What are they afraid of? As a clinical psychologist I’m aware that my clients present with so many things that make them fearful! It seems that there is a lot to be afraid of.

Fear is so human. We all experience fear, some a lot more than others. Is all fear dysfunctional, to be avoided? And what was Jesus referring to when he exhorted his disciples to “fear not”?

Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the most common sources of fear. The following list is just a sample; I’m aware that many more could be added.

  • Pain – physical and emotional
  • Sickness – physical and psychological
  • Homelessness
  • Violence
  • Crime
  • Starvation
  • Wars
  • Natural disasters: earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, floods, drought, famine, plagues
  • Painful memories
  • Losing loved ones in death
  • Being a failure
  • Growing old
  • Being socially rejected – being ostracised
  • Losing control
  • Looking foolish
  • Losing your job
  • Financial hardship
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • End of the world scenarios

At the root of most of our fears, is the fear of death. The Bible says at Hebrews 2:15 that the fear of death can subject us to lifelong slavery!

Globally, we are now challenged by two potentially catastrophic phenomena: climate change and COVID-19. Should we be fearful of these major threats to our collective survival? My answer would be ‘yes’….and ‘no’. I hope that the rest of my article will clarify this somewhat ambiguous response.

What is “Unreasoned Fear”?

My initial quote from The Urantia Book at the beginning of this article specifically says that “unreasoned fear” is a fraud. Not all fear is unreasoned. Sometimes fear is reasonable and appropriate. For most of us for example, encountering a poisonous snake or spider provokes fear. We may fear contracting the coronavirus so we implement sensible health measures. This is useful because it leads us to act in a way that keeps us alive.  So what is this unreasoned fear all about?

“Fear is man’s chief enslaver and pride his great weakness; will you betray yourself into bondage to both of these destroyers of joy and liberty?” [Paper 142:0.2, page 1596.2] emphasis added

It is our bondage to fear that enslaves us. When fear captures our hearts and minds, it robs us of joy and liberty. For example, people with agoraphobia have a terrible fear of public places. They are terrified that they will have a panic attack, that they will become a public spectacle, and they won’t be able to escape from the situation. Their solution is to avoid public spaces, which usually means staying home. Their fears are real but are usually not based on solid evidence or rational thought processes. Succumbing to agoraphobia is truly to be in bondage; these unfortunate people are truly robbed of joy and liberty.

All physical poisons greatly retard the efforts of the Adjuster to exalt the material mind, while the mental poisons of fear, anger, envy, jealousy, suspicion, and intolerance likewise tremendously interfere with the spiritual progress of the evolving soul. [Paper 110:1.5, page 1204.3] emphasis added

Fear is a mental poison that tremendously interferes with our spiritual progress. Unbridled or unreasoned fear can cause us to behave in ways that are contrary to God’s will for us. This greatly retards the efforts of our Adjusters.

And yet, fear has been responsible for our survival, even our civilization!

Fear as a Unifier and Civilizer

Urantia civilization was literally forged out between the anvil of necessity and the hammers of fear. [Paper 66:5.13, page 747.3]

Primitive society was thus founded on the reciprocity of necessity and on the enhanced safety of association. And human society has evolved in agelong cycles as a result of this isolation fear and by means of reluctant
co-operation.
[Paper 68:1.3, page 763.6] emphasis added

We are gregarious by nature…we need one another!…loneliness is something that people fear….being isolated threatens our survival….it is detrimental to our physical, psychological and emotional well-being.

And so society was born, not of mere association of numbers, but rather as a result of the organization of intelligent co-operators. But co-operation is not a natural trait of man; he learns to co-operate first through fear and then later because he discovers it is most beneficial in meeting the difficulties of time and guarding against the supposed perils of eternity. [Paper 68:1.4, page 763.7] emphasis added

Fear and dread of isolation has forced us to co-operate with one another…reluctantly! Usually this happens as a result of the emergence of a common enemy or problem. It took two world wars to bring about the formation of international bodies like the League of Nations and the United Nations. Fear of mutual annihilation or destruction was the driving force behind these historical initiatives. In a similar way, the nations of the world have mounted a united response to the coronavirus, principally through organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO). Of course, this is not just fear-driven; it makes scientific sense for nations to cooperate in dealing with a pandemic.

Fear-based Religion Versus Love-based Religion

Fear was also the prime progenitor of evolutionary religion. It was fear that originally inspired humans to develop a system of beliefs that explained or made sense of the forces of nature and the random events that seemed to befall their lives.

Evolutionary religion is born of a simple and all-powerful fear, the fear which surges through the human mind when confronted with the unknown, the inexplicable, and the incomprehensible.

This is human nature! We fear what we don’t know…what we perceive as different. It is this fear of what is perceived as alien that fuels tribalism, racism and prejudice.
However, there is an effective antidote to that surging fear!

Religion eventually achieves the profoundly simple realization of an all-powerful love, the love which sweeps irresistibly through the human soul when awakened to the conception of the limitless affection of the Universal Father for the sons of the universe.  [Paper 90:0.3, page 986.3] emphasis added

Our fear is replaced with love when we realize that the Universal Father loves us as his sons and daughters!

RELIGION, as a human experience, ranges from the primitive fear slavery of the evolving savage up to the sublime and magnificent faith liberty of those civilized mortals who are superbly conscious of sonship with the eternal God. [Paper 101:0.1, page 1104.1] emphasis added

Religion in it’s primitive form is based on fear! Fear has been the driving force in the evolution of religion; fear of the unknown, fear of natural forces, and ghost fear. Through the periodic influence of revelation, religion ultimately evolves to sublime and magnificent faith liberty based on love and sonship with God.

Evolutionary religion is sentimental, not logical. It is man’s reaction to belief in a hypothetical ghost-spirit world — the human belief-reflex, excited by the realization and fear of the unknown. Revelatory religion is propounded by the real spiritual world; it is the response of the superintellectual cosmos to the mortal hunger to believe in, and depend upon, the universal Deities. Evolutionary religion pictures the circuitous gropings of humanity in quest of truth; revelatory religion is that very truth. [Paper 92:4.3, page 1007.3] emphasis added

The Thought Adjusters would like to change your feelings of fear to convictions of love and confidence; but they cannot mechanically and arbitrarily do such things; that is your task. In executing those decisions which deliver you from the fetters of fear, you literally supply the psychic fulcrum on which the Adjuster may subsequently apply a spiritual lever of uplifting and advancing illumination. [Paper 108:5.8, page 1192.3] emphasis added

When we swap fear for love through our conscious decision-making and the positive choices we make, our Thought Adjusters are enabled to spiritually uplift and illuminate us.

Fear Not!

He (Jesus) placed great value upon sincerity–a pure heart. Fidelity was a cardinal virtue in his estimate of character, while courage was the very heart of his teachings. “Fear not” was his watchword, and patient endurance his ideal of strength of character. [Paper 140:8.20, page 1582.1] emphasis added

Jesus came to liberate us from fear: “Fear not!” he said. He realized that fear was a real problem for us mortals. Because he shared our nature, he knew that humans were naturally prone to be fearful. Fear has been useful in our evolution but now it needs to be replaced with a higher motivation.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And yet, when these birds flit about in quest of their sustenance, not one of them exists without the knowledge of the Father, the source of all life. To the seraphic guardians the very hairs of your head are numbered. And if all of this is true, why should you live in fear of the many trifles which come up in your daily lives? I say to you: Fear not; you are of much more value than many sparrows. [Paper 165:3.4, page 1820.3] emphasis added

Do we grasp the simplicity and profundity of this lesson from nature? How often are our fears the result of making a mountain out of a molehill! But what about major global catastrophes like COVID-19? Aren’t we justified in fearing the dire consequences of such epic calamities? Surely global economic collapse, the potential loss of loved ones, and the possibility of our own sickness and death….surely these are circumstances that we are entitled to be fearful of!

Jesus portrayed the profound surety of the God-knowing mortal when he said: “To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash?” Temporal securities are vulnerable, but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God. [Paper 100:2.7, page 1096.4] emphasis added

Doesn’t it appear right now that “all things earthly” are crashing? And yet Jesus challenges us with the question: So what does that matter to you, who claim to be God-knowing kingdom believers? Where does our security lie? In the temporal institutions of this material world…or in the profound and sure promises of the God who dwells within us? Are we not safe-guarded by the unassailable citadel of the spirit!!

After such spiritual attainment, whether secured by gradual growth or specific crisis, there occurs a new orientation of personality as well as the development of a new standard of values. Such spirit-born individuals are so remotivated in life that they can calmly stand by while their fondest ambitions perish and their keenest hopes crash; they positively know that such catastrophes are but the redirecting cataclysms which wreck one’s temporal creations preliminary to the rearing of the more noble and enduring realities of a new and more sublime level of universe attainment. [Paper 100:2.8, page 1096.5] emphasis added

Have we developed this new standard of values? How would we feel if our fondest ambitions perished and our keenest hopes crashed? Would we recognise and discern the silver lining? Remember…

“the apparent cruelty of a perverse fate that heaps tribulation upon some suffering mortal may in reality be the tempering fire that is transmuting the soft iron of immature personality into the tempered steel of real character.” [Paper 118:10.9, page 1305.4]

Like the apostles, we need to be reminded that we are children of God. Isn’t this the good news that the world needs?

“And even you, Thomas, fail to comprehend what I have been saying. Have I not all this time taught you that your connection with the kingdom is spiritual and individual, wholly a matter of personal experience in the spirit by the faith-realization that you are a son of God? What more shall I say? The downfall of nations, the crash of empires, the destruction of the unbelieving Jews, the end of an age, even the end of the world, what have these things to do with one who believes this gospel, and who has hid his life in the surety of the eternal kingdom? You who are God-knowing and gospel-believing have already received the assurances of eternal life. Since your lives have been lived in the spirit and for the Father, nothing can be of serious concern to you. Kingdom builders, the accredited citizens of the heavenly worlds, are not to be disturbed by temporal upheavals or perturbed by terrestrial cataclysms. What does it matter to you who believe this gospel of the kingdom if nations overturn, the age ends, or all things visible crash, since you know that your life is the gift of the Son, and that it is eternally secure in the Father? [Paper 176:3.2, page 1916.2] emphasis added

If we claim to have faith in God’s promises, to be gospel-believing, then nothing of this world can disturb us. Do we understand what it means to believe in this gospel of the kingdom? We have already been given the gift of eternal life, secure in the Father.

Having started out on the way of life everlasting, having accepted the assignment and received your orders to advance, do not fear the dangers of human forgetfulness and mortal inconstancy, do not be troubled with doubts of failure or by perplexing confusion, do not falter and question your status and standing, for in every dark hour, at every crossroad in the forward struggle, the Spirit of Truth will always speak, saying, “This is the way.”
[Paper 34:7.8, page 383.2] emphasis added

Even in the midst of worldwide panic and confusion, Jesus, the Spirit of Truth, will always show us the way forward.

Faith Versus Fear

It is a solemn and supernal fact that such lowly and material creatures as Urantia human beings are the sons of God, faith children of the Highest. “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.” “As many as received him, to them gave he the power to recognize that they are the sons of God.” While “it does not yet appear what you shall be,” even now “you are the faith sons of God”; “for you have not received the
spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship,
whereby you cry, ‘our Father.’”
[Paper 40:6.2, page 448.1] emphasis added

Our Father has given us the power to recognize our sonship with him. This is our faith! It is our faith that will prevent us from succumbing to the bondage of fear.

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] emphasis added

“Your sonship is grounded in faith, and you are to remain unmoved by fear. Your joy is born of trust in the divine word, and you shall not therefore be led to doubt the reality of the Father’s love and mercy. And if you are the children of this living faith, you are no longer the bondslaves of self but rather the triumphant masters of yourselves, the liberated sons of God.” [Paper 143:2.7, page 1610.2] emphasis added

Here we have the cause and the effect: sonship grounded in faith enables us to remain unmoved by fear.

“The issues of life and death are being set before you — the sinful pleasures of time against the righteous realities of eternity. Even now you should begin to find deliverance from the bondage of fear and doubt as you enter upon the living of the new life of faith and hope. And when the feelings of service for your fellow men arise within your soul, do not stifle them; when the emotions of love for your neighbor well up within your heart, give expression to such urges of affection in intelligent ministry to the real needs of your fellows.” [Paper 157:2.2, page 1745.1] emphasis added

This is the practice of the religion of Jesus! This is the ministry of the gospel of Jesus! And it is this ministry that will ultimately bring true unity to the nations of the world.

Perhaps our faith is not strong enough to deliver us from the doubts and bondage that arise from fear. Then we can follow the example of the father who implored Jesus to heal his son but realized that he lacked faith. We can pray for more faith:

And then James of Safed spoke those long-to-be-remembered words of commingled faith and doubt, “Lord, I believe. I pray you help my unbelief.” [Paper 158:5.2, page 1757.2]

Jesus is ever willing to meet us at our point of need. A notable example of this is when he encountered the young man who was fearful and depressed. As you read these words of the Master, imagine that he is directing them to you!

“My friend, arise! Stand up like a man! You may be surrounded with small enemies and be retarded by many obstacles, but the big things and the real things of this world and the universe are on your side. The sun rises every morning to salute you just as it does the most powerful and prosperous man on earth. Look — you have a strong body and powerful muscles — your physical equipment is better than the average. Of course, it is just about useless while you sit out here on the mountainside and grieve over your misfortunes, real and fancied. But you could do great things with your body if you would hasten off to where great things are waiting to be done. You are trying to run away from your unhappy self, but it cannot be done. You and your problems of living are real; you cannot escape them as long as you live. But look again, your mind is clear and capable. Your strong body has an intelligent mind to direct it. Set your mind at work to solve its problems; teach your intellect to work for you; refuse longer to be dominated by fear like an unthinking animal. Your mind should be your courageous ally in the solution of your life problems rather than your being, as you have been, its abject fear-slave and the bond servant of depression and defeat. But most valuable of all, your potential of real achievement is the spirit which lives within you, and which will stimulate and inspire your mind to control itself and activate the body if you will release it from the fetters of fear and thus enable your spiritual nature to begin your deliverance from the evils of inaction by the power-presence of living faith. And then, forthwith, will this faith vanquish fear of men by the compelling presence of that new and all-dominating love of your fellows which will so soon fill your soul to overflowing because of the consciousness which has been born in your heart that you are a child of God. [Paper 130:6.3, page 1437.3] emphasis added

“This day, my son, you are to be reborn, re-established as a man of faith, courage, and devoted service to man, for God’s sake. And when you become so readjusted to life within yourself, you become likewise readjusted to the universe; you have been born again — born of the spirit — and henceforth will your whole life become one of victorious accomplishment. Trouble will invigorate you; disappointment will spur you on; difficulties will challenge you; and obstacles will stimulate you. Arise, young man! Say farewell to the life of cringing fear and fleeing cowardice. Hasten back to duty and live your life in the flesh as a son of God, a mortal dedicated to the ennobling service of man on earth and destined to the superb and eternal service of God in eternity.” [Paper 130:6.4, page 1438.1] emphasis added

Faith is the antidote to fear! However, in a materialistic, secular world, faith is indeed a very precious possession. Hence we need to safeguard our faith and not take it for granted. How can we be the light of the world if we have lost our faith?

Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. There is but one struggle for those who enter the kingdom, and that is to fight the good fight of faith. The believer has only one battle, and that is against doubt — unbelief. [Paper 159:3.8, page 1766.4]

The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absolute of the universe of universes. And that is “the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith.” [Paper 4:4.9, page 59.5] emphasis added

To my beloved brothers and sisters: Fear not! Have faith!

New Zealand Corner – Autumn 2020

Susan Hemmingsen, New Zealand

After my daughter expressed that she wanted to live alone, we agreed to sell our house. I temporarily moved to a studio, so we could present the house for sale without my room being an office, sewing room as well as a bedroom. Then came 26th March, and lockdown. Being over 70 I’m strongly advised to stay put, so here I am, by myself in a tiny studio apartment.

Like all of you, we in New Zealand are experiencing the effects of the Covid-19 virus and our lockdown has just been changed from Level 4 to Level 3. This means essential workers and businesses are able to operate, as well as other businesses who are able to maintain safe distancing.

On the whole, New Zealanders have taken to this lockdown with the right spirit, and this has led to a lot of cooking and baking and other creative pursuits. A really positive outcome is that it has enabled parents to spend more time with their families than they’re used to, which is beneficial to both. I pray that this additional time with children doesn’t fade with the virus.

So here I am temporarily living by myself, in a small studio apartment, without all the things I’m used to for cooking, sewing and other crafts, with not even a garden to walk around. In the meantime, I have to content myself with my own company and although I can’t shop or see my daughter or grandchildren or visit friends, I am grateful for the internet and the ability to talk with anyone anywhere. And, to top it off, I have my loving father to keep me company.

I have long had the benefit of knowing God is always with me and for me and loves me. Some years ago, over a period of several months, I had panic attacks and at a time when I felt I was only holding on by a thread and I thought my brain would explode; I heard an inner voice telling me that there was something inside me which would always stop me going over the edge. At the time, I was agnostic (pre-Urantia Book days) and didn’t believe in a personal God, but now I know that it was my loving Thought Adjuster, nudging me back to sanity.

But no God-knowing mortal can ever be lonely in his journey through the cosmos, for he knows that the Father walks beside him each step of the way, while the very way that he is traversing is the presence of the Supreme. [Paper 117:6.27, page 1291.4]

and

Kingdom builders, the accredited citizens of the heavenly worlds, are not to be disturbed by temporal upheavals or perturbed by terrestrial cataclysms. [Paper 176:3.2, page 1916.2]

Unfortunately, of course, this fact is not universally known as there are many who do not believe in God at all. Then, there are those who believe God is punishing the human race for past indiscretions and who don’t realise that God is living with them and is personally contactable, and may also believe that communication with God requires interpretation by a third party. I am grateful I can talk to God, my loving father, when I feel a bit lonely, and I’ve been doing quite a bit of this, plus praying more than usual.

Personal, spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. True religion unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements. Religious faith — the positive leading of the indwelling divine presence — unfailingly enables the God-knowing man to bridge that gulf existing between the intellectual logic which recognizes the Universal First Cause as It and those positive affirmations of the soul which aver this First Cause is He, the heavenly Father of Jesus’ gospel, the personal God of human salvation. [Paper 196 3.1, page 2093.6]

There is so much happening in the world to keep my mind fully occupied and one of the things I’m particularly interested in is the leadership in the different countries around the world and ways these different leaders are responding to the pandemic.

I pray for the plight of the refugees, who have fled their own countries mainly because their leaders put their own interest above those of the people they rule. These people are particularly susceptible because of sub-standard living conditions and the inability to maintain the recommended distancing.

I pray for those countries, whose leaders put their own re-election above the best interests of their people, fail to listen to scientific evidence and make important decisions with this as their motivation.

I’m also very thankful that I live in a country with a leader who puts the interests of the people above their own.

The New Zealand Conference Committee was really looking forward to hosting the ANZURA Conference in Auckland this year, and our plans and program were coming along nicely. The theme was going to be 2020 Vision Through a Cosmic Lens—Hindsight, Insight & Foresight which, on this occasion we didn’t have although many scientists did. So, now we will join with Australians to host an online conference, on the lines of the recent ones hosted by Urantia Association International. All going well, the New Zealand Conference will now be held at the same venue, Vaughan Park in 2022.

Perhaps this would be a good time to start a savings plan as its possible airfares may skyrocket. Just putting aside $5 a week will grow into a nice amount between now and the NZ Conference in 2022.

I hope you are all faring well, both health wise, and financially and I look forward to when Trans-Tasman flights are reinstated.

Susan Hemmingsen

The Apostle Matthew

Ari Majurinen, NSW

Mining the Archives

(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. This one is from the Arena Newsletter, Volume 1 No 5, December 1994. It is a presentation by Ari Majurinen from the Elanora Conference in Sydney, 1993)  

The records state that Matthew was the seventh apostle chosen. He came from a family of tax gatherers, and was married with four children.

I would like to give a brief outline of Matthew’s profession, as it will prove to be of later importance for Jesus, the Apostles, others, as well as himself. The tax collectors or publicans, although Jewish, were actually subcontractors for the Roman Empire. They had a poor reputation amongst the populace, for due to the nature of their business they mingled and came in too close a contact with unclean Gentiles. As well, they were commonly suspected of exacting more than the given tax rate and pocketing the difference. They also upset the Zealots who, working towards the expulsion of the Romans, regarded the tax-collectors as leeches working against the Jewish people. On top of all this the Pharisees and Sadducees poured scorn on them for being irreligious and sinners by enacting abridged or contrary versions of festivals and rituals.

Yet all this was possible, for the town of Capernaum, where Matthew lived, was a cross-roads of trade going to all points of the compass and many people of many nationalities passed through there. As a result of this influence the religious practices of the local Jewish population were more flexible. The local synagogue was often accused by Jerusalem of taking liberty with the Scriptures.

So we can see that the tax-collectors were prejudged socially, politically and spiritually; and it was from such a background that Matthew came, and against which he lived.

Matthew was chosen for apostleship by Andrew. Andrew was known as the best judge of men amongst the apostles and he chose well with Matthew. Matthew had been taught well in business matters and social etiquette, and consequently he was the only apostle of any means. We are told on page 1559 that he was gifted with the ability to make friends and to get along smoothly with a great variety of people. Thus he was appointed the financial representative of the apostles. It appears that he went about his work in a quiet manner, yet espoused the teachings of Jesus extremely well, for most of the time the donations he received kept the apostleship afloat. Additionally, he probably presented himself well, since we are told that he obtained most of the funds from the well-to-do.

When Matthew was accepted by Jesus and the apostles, he was overwhelmingly grateful to them, for at last he was regarded as an individual instead of being cast as a member of a despised sub-class of society.

It is of interest why he, with a healthy income, family and good social connections, would turn his back on all this and join a fledgling group of religionists with destiny unknown. For Matthew was a precise man who dealt in facts and figures – that being his trade: everything had to be in balance. Why would he do this?

I can only conclude that although he had a comfortable material life he also possessed a strong spiritual longing for which he could not find any satisfaction.

Matthew was one who knocked and entered. His gratitude was emphasised by his loyalty to Jesus and the apostles in his capacity as the financial representative. In fact he did so well that his loyalty and devotedness quickly dispelled any ill-thoughts by the other apostles. At great sacrifice to himself, many times he would be away on his financial errands when Jesus and the apostles partook of enlightening conversations. At other times he stayed to hear Jesus fully knowing that in doing so, he would have to give from his own purse towards the apostolic fund. Wisely the money was given in somebody else’s name so the apostles would not regard it as being tainted. When some of the other apostles were having a go at him, he desired to tell them how much of his own wealth he was giving towards their upkeep, but he couldn’t, and tactfully said nothing.

Now, at times, all the apostles went out with one other to train themselves in preaching and getting to know how others responded to their message. One time, Matthew’s partner was Philip and a notable incident occurred when they were to secure lodging at a Samaritan or gentile village. The villagers intensely resented their presence because of their being Jewish, and were thus chased out unceremoniously. This incident may have contributed to Matthew’s decision to initially preach the gospel of Jesus only to the Jews. Yet this was in spite of Jesus’ first and last commandment to Matthew to love your fellow man, no matter who they may be, and that the gospel was to be given to all peoples. Many times Jesus had to relate to the apostles the story of the Good Samaritan.

Even so his loyalty to Jesus grew into love, and thus his faith grew. Within only two weeks since meeting Jesus for the first time, he could already truly say,

“…the more you truly understand some people, the less you admire them, but of this man, even the less I comprehend him, the more I love him.” [Paper 138:7.6, page 1545:0]

From Jesus he began to realise that faith was all one required to enter the kingdom of God, although the other apostles’ concepts of the kingdom of God varied greatly to what Jesus taught. Faith carried Matthew and the others through many a crisis and dashed expectations. When he saw how faith helped so many downcast individuals, it left an indelible impression on him.

Although Matthew appeared to lead a balanced life in many respects, his spiritual side vacillated wildly. Mainly this manifested itself at times when his idea of biblical prophecy coincided to those actions of Jesus at a given time. He had great trouble seeing that Jesus was not going to be the King of Israel and was not going to sit on the throne of a new Jerusalem, master of all nations. He could not see the kingdom through the eyes of the spirit. His spiritual expectations, as well as his emotional, were particularly highlighted during Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem sitting astride a donkey. When he remembered the scripture in Zecheriah where it is said that the king will enter Jerusalem on a donkey, he became ecstatic with his excitement building up to a crescendo when they reached the temple.

Alas, when nothing came of his expectations, Matthew was spiritually and emotionally drained to such a degree that the confusion and tension left him thoroughly exhausted. This inability to perceive the kingdom plus his religious background and material mindedness may also have helped to bring about his decision to preach only to the Jews at first. His results in acquiring funds from the gentiles were so poor that he apparently didn’t give them much hope of accepting Jesus’ teachings at all. His continuous misconstruing of the gospel made him regard that the Jews only were the lost children of God, and that they were the sinners.

All this Jesus knew very well for he entreated Matthew personally, even up to the very end, to have mercy on all of God’s children and to be firm and consistent always in proclaiming the gospel.

These flaws and the ensuing shock of the crucifixion gave him more trouble than others. Right up to Jesus’ morontia appearances he was too busy in thinking about how to find funds for the apostles. It was not without good reason that Jesus, during his morontia appearance, questioned Matthew whether it… “is in your heart to obey me?” [192:2.12, 2049:3]

Eventually, when the spirit of truth descended on him at the time of Pentecost, he did obey and with renewed vigour preached and baptised throughout the gentile lands.

The most vivid illustration of Matthew’s life is that we can see a person whose life direction changes dramatically when one chooses to follow the teachings of Jesus. Before the start of his apostleship he was spiritually rejected and caught in a materialistic lifestyle, whereas at the end of his apostleship on Earth he had rejected material obligations and supplanted them with a new-found spiritual zeal.

In Matthew’s inclusion as an apostle we will always have an example of God’s mercy in accepting anyone if they have faith in their heart. All social outcasts and the spiritually downhearted found much rejoicing and encouragement when they saw a hated tax-gatherer close to Jesus side.

To future generations, by demonstrating the love of God, the Father and his love of mankind, he gave a good reckoning in how to conduct financial affairs with an ethical basis and all this through an innocence of faith, for that is all he had in the beginning.

Participate in the Divine Life

Jeffrey Wattles, USA

(This is an extract from page 61 of Jeffrey’s book titled: “Living in Truth, Beauty and Goodness”)

If we persist in the quest to understand a meaning, sooner or later our questions become philosophical. And when we carry the inquiry still further to realize the practical implications of our findings, we begin philosophical living, which seeks wisdom, acts on what it finds and lives meaningfully. Philosophical living takes the time needed for the work of sharpening our capacities for intuition, reasoning appreciatively and critically, and maturing key concepts. It forms meaningful connections between fact and value, matter and spirit, science and religion.

The search for wisdom leads ultimately to its source. God is not only the Creator of the universe and its laws, and not only the loving Father known through revelation and experience, but also the God of mind and meaning, inquiry and insight, reason and wisdom.

At its height, wisdom embraces truth, beauty and goodness as qualities anchored in the eternal nature of God. These values evolve in time as we actualize them – and to do this is to participate in the divine life

Paradise Found – a Poem

Trevor Hughes, Nth QLD

 

 

 

 

 

Our souls adrift
Like clouds in the sky
Shall carry us inwards
To our Gods on high

With each one we linger
Our bodies glow bright
Lasting much longer
Becoming more light

Till the shores we wander
Of Paradise found
To live there together
On that Holy Ground

About the Arena Newsletter

Anzura Admin

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

ANZURA
P.O. Box 1581
Warriewood, NSW 2102
Australia

Phone: 0431 285 943 (from Australia) or +61 431 285 943 (international)
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://anzura.urantia-association.org

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.

The UB Endeavour

Anzura Admin

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.

Educational Events

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.)

Website

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.

Study Aids

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

Admin

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.

Please Help

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
    BSB: 082-146
    Account Number: 67 899 2437
  • Fill out the Donation Form below and return it with your contribution to:
    ANZURA
    PO Box 1581
    Warriewood, NSW 2102
    Australia

For further inquiries phone 0431 285 943 or email: [email protected]

Donation Form

Study Group Contacts

Anzura Admin

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