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Arena – Spring 2020

In This Issue

President’s Report – Spring 2020

Julian McGarry, TAS

My Dear Friends and Fellow Students of The Urantia Book,

I hope you are all doing well! It has been a tumultuous year. Many of you may be feeling psychologically bruised or wounded with the circumstances of the lockdown as you live with the ever-present possibility of catching COVID-19. It has been a particularly stressful time for our friends living in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Figuratively speaking, we’ve had to fasten our seatbelts and put on our crash helmets; it’s been quite a rough ride for many of us.

In the face of this worldwide pandemic, humans have been remarkably resilient. We seem to be astonishingly adaptable to profound changes in our environment. Last century, we had to endure two world wars, a great depression, and a host of other lesser catastrophes. And we have survived, perhaps even thrived, in spite of or perhaps because of these great adversities.

The Urantia Book describes in vivid detail how we have evolved to become the dominant species on our world. This was no accident and it seems that hardship and suffering have been the major stimuli for this extraordinary process.

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

The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. [Paper 48:7.14, page 556.14]

You cannot perceive spiritual truth until you feelingly experience it, and many truths are not really felt except in adversity. [Paper 48:7.18, page 557.2]

History suggests that humans usually have to learn lessons the hard way. It’s as if each new generation has to go through the painful and laborious process of experiencing hardship and calamity afresh rather than learning from the successes and mistakes of the past. But this doesn’t always have to be the case! If one looks with a discerning eye, it is possible to see the stirrings of a nascent movement whose primary ethic is based on the original teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, aka Michael of Nebadon. Once again, this is no accident! The Urantia Book foretells such a pivotal moment in mortal history:

So long as the rulers of earthly governments seek to exercise the authority of religious dictators, you who believe this gospel can expect only trouble, persecution, and even death. But the very light which you bear to the world, and even the very manner in which you will suffer and die for this gospel of the kingdom, will, in themselves, eventually enlighten the whole world and result in the gradual divorcement of politics and religion. The persistent preaching of this gospel of the kingdom will some day bring to all nations a new and unbelievable liberation, intellectual freedom, and religious liberty. [Paper 178:1.9, page 1930.6] emphasis added

What an inspiring promise this is! In the midst of all the doom and gloom, we have something truly remarkable to buoy our spirits and guide our actions. Let us become beacons of hope as we preach this gospel message by “walk(ing) in the clear light of living truth.” (140:3.18, 571.5)

Some more good news to lift our spirits is the rapidly approaching ANZURA National Conference which is to be held on Saturday the 10th October from 10.00am to 4.00pm Australian Eastern time. Our dear Kiwi brothers and sisters have lived up to the old adage that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Due to the travel restrictions necessitated by the coronavirus, this will be the first time that we won’t be meeting in person but instead will be congregating via a Zoom link. I would like to extend a big thank you to the organizing committee for making this possible. The silver lining behind the dark cloud of these travel restrictions is that many who would not be able to afford to travel to New Zealand for the conference will hopefully be able to join us for this virtual conference. What a joyful occasion this promises to be!

As a footnote, I would like to draw attention to the wonderful phenomenon of the 24-hour Urantiathon. This year there have been three worldwide Zoom gatherings and they are proving to be a brilliant way of bringing us all together as one big planetary family. This is a great example of adversity inspiring the very best of human endeavour. I would personally like to congratulate our Urantia Association International President Chris Wood and his International Service Board team for these marvelous initiatives. They have also been a useful vehicle for joint programs involving Urantia Association, the Urantia Book Fellowship and Urantia Foundation. This is a significant forward step for greater unity and collaboration.

In closing, I want to mention the fabulous work done by Rita Schaad and Kathleen Swadling in compiling and editing the articles for the Arena. Thank you both so much!!

Now sit back and enjoy!

Warm wishes!
Julian McGarry
President, ANZURA

Virtual ANZURA Annual Conference 2020

Anzura Admin

10 October 2020

Post COVID Spiritual Life

Long ago in 2018 when we first started to plan this conference, we picked a theme based on 2020 representing perfect vision, and were looking forward to exploring the hindsight, insight and foresight offered by The Urantia Book. Sadly, we were not given the foresight to predict COVID, and we live in a much-altered world now.

Along with changes in our lives around work, travel, and socialisation, how we live our spiritual lives will necessarily also be affected to a greater or lesser degree. The most obvious change is the online format of this conference, which hopefully will still allow us to share our spiritual perspectives, and to enjoy the virtual fellowship of like-minded souls.

The format of this conference will also be slightly different, in that there can only ever be one person talking at a time, which certainly is not the case in face to face events.

The presenters will explore different aspects of spiritual and practical life after COVID, from lessons we can learn from this experience, to the need to communicate sensitively with others, and the challenge to Truth in our online world, as well as a look at some interesting study aids and the new ANZURA website. We hope to see many of you online Saturday 10th October as we explore this different way of gathering together.

Another reminder along with the Zoom link to this conference will be sent closer to the actual conference time.

Regards,
NZ Conference Committee

PROGRAM

Start Time
(New Zealand)
Start Time
(Eastern Australia)
Presenter Presentation Title
12:00 PM 10:00 AM Ian Campbell Welcome
12:05 PM 10:05 AM Neville Twist Prayer & Dedication
12:10 PM 10:10 AM Norman Weiss,
Diana Whakapapa

Introduction (Lockdown's Bright Side)

1:00 PM 11:00 AM Julian McGarry

The Personal & Collective Lessons we can Learn
from COVID-19

2:00 PM 12:00 PM Marion Steward Language Matters
3:00 PM 1:00 PM Rita Schaad,
Kathleen Swadling
A Tour of the New ANZURA Website
4:00 PM 2:00 PM Susan Hemmingsen Truth in Relation to COVID-19
5:00 PM 3:00 PM Hara Davis A Brief Review of Hara's Beautiful
Study Aids
5:50 PM 3:50 PM Ian Campbell Close & Goodbye
       
       

For more information contact us by emailing either Ian Campbell at: [email protected]  or the Anzura admins at: [email protected]

The Parable of the Sower

Wednesday Evening Online Study Group

In Paper 151, Tarrying and Teaching by the Seaside, Jesus started to change his teaching methods by using parables to transmit the truths he wanted to convey. The Apostles all had a go at interpreting the Parable of the Sower and ended up with very different interpretations. Then, at the end of Section 3 (More About Parables) Jesus said to the apostles:

“Now will I tell you the last of the parable of the sower. I would test you to know how you will receive this: The kingdom of heaven is also like a man who cast good seed upon the earth; and while he slept by night and went about his business by day, the seed sprang up and grew, and although the man knew not how it came about, the plant came to fruit. First there was the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And then when the grain was ripe, he put forth the sickle, and the harvest was finished. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear.” [Paper 151:3.15, page 1693.5]

In the next paragraph we are told:

Many times did the apostles turn this saying over in their minds, but the Master never made further mention of the addition to the parable of the sower.  [Paper 151:3.16, page 1693.6]

In the study group we decided to experiment with this exercise of interpreting parables by attempting to find the meaning of what Jesus intended by this last parable of the sower. Each of us had a go at it and this is what we shared the following week:

Verona Armstrong, Bateman’s Bay

“The kingdom of heaven…”: Jesus, himself in the last parable of the sower is himself the sower. The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man is the important truth about the Gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached. Jesus drew on his discourse to the apostles in Paper 147:4.9 The Spiritual Level of The Rule of Living and emphasised it over the other five rules of living as a rule by which they should live. Always Jesus instructed his apostles that he was not here to establish an earthly kingdom.

“…good seed upon the earth…”: Jesus came to sow the word of God, the good Seed upon the earth, in the hearts of his apostles in order to establish the gospel of the Kingdom of heaven so that they would be enabled to continue his teaching upon the earth after his departure back to the Father. They were not to be afraid as he would send his spirit to be with them always.

Jesus’s teachings about the earlier parables of the Sower explained to his apostles and his followers that there were also four different categories of persons where the seed might fall other than that sown by the good sower, that they should be wary of:

  1. The hard heart
  2. The shallow heart
  3. The crowded heart
  4. The fruitful heart

The Fruitful Heart. In this last parable of the sower Jesus spoke to his apostles privately concerning the fruitful heart and his remarks were directed specifically to them. Jesus had already established that each of his apostles’ hearts were in the right place. So he knew that their hearts were receptive and that his sowing of the word of God fell on fertile soil which in turn would be nourished by the apostles enabled by his spirit.  Jesus anticipated that the seed – the Word of God – would send down roots and be nurtured by his apostles and would bear good fruit.

Jesus’s daily conferences with his father about his apostles and his teaching drew on his own life’s experiences and his astute observations of nature and the great differences in humanity as he encountered them in his daily life. Thus did Jesus use the parables of the sower to impart a comprehensive overview of what they could expect from their own teaching experience.

“…he slept by night and went about his business by day, the seed sprang up and grew,…”: Jesus was not ignorant of the way the seed (the word of God) would grow nor was he about to teach his apostles about the seed’s maturation process. He had so often communed with his father in prayer and had no concern about the truth of what he taught the apostles hence he had a clear conscience and slept well and went about his daily business similarly confident. He was not concerned about how the apostles would fare after he left them, he knew them to be resourceful, intelligent and that they would be guided by the spirit. They all loved Jesus and did not doubt his word. They were also aware that it was their responsibility to plan, each to his own ability his method of teaching in fulfilling the work of the Master after he left.

“…and although the man knew not how it came about, the plant came to fruit.”: Jesus had absolute faith in the consultations he had had with his father and absolute faith in his chosen apostles (except one) who followed him so faithfully. He was without fear about the messages he taught and without fear that his apostles would convey in whatever way they knew, the truth about the kingdom of God to their followers, after Jesus’ death.

It was Jesus, the sower: In the last parable of the sower it was Jesus who was the sower; also it was Jesus who would put forth the sickle and reaped the harvest. Jesus’ expectation was that the fruit of the harvest – the abundance of grain – would feed the family and produce enough seed for future harvests. So also would it happen that the apostles’ efforts would be rewarded by increasing numbers who would be drawn to follow the Master and form the religion of Christianity.

“First there was the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.”: It was not Jesus’ intention to embark on further explanation or discussion about the last parable of the sower. The parable itself drew to its conclusion. Similarly Jesus as the sower would say no more on the matter.

Vern Verass, Canberra

These are fruits of the spirit as civilisation evolves. We know Thought Adjusters have flocked to Urantia since Jesus was here and in combined ministry with Michael’s Spirit of Truth mortals will respond positively to spirit leading. Agondonters will believe without seeing and progress by informed faith. The seed takes root and the soul grows – the lure of the eternal faith-adventure carries the child of time to meet the sower of all life in the universe of Nebadon our father/brother who has prepared the way.

Cecilia Bendall, Tasmania

To me the message of the parable is that the gospel Jesus had come to declare, will one day rule Urantia. I feel that what Jesus talked on in the parable he spoke of in plain English earlier when going through Samaria:

After Jesus had heard similar objections to the gospel of the kingdom presented by Thomas, Nathaniel, Simon Zelotes, and Matthew, he said to the twelve:

“I have come into this world to do the will of my Father and to reveal his loving character to all mankind. That, my brethren, is my mission. And this one thing I will do, regardless of the misunderstanding of my teachings by Jews or gentiles of this day or of another generation. But you should not overlook the fact that even divine love has its severe disciplines. A father’s love for his son oftentimes impels the father to restrain the unwise acts of his thoughtless offspring. The child does not always comprehend the wise and loving motives of the father’s restraining discipline. But I declare to you that my Father in Paradise does rule a universe of universes by the compelling power of his love. Love is the greatest of all spirit realities. Truth is a liberating revelation, but love is the supreme relationship. And no matter what blunders your fellow men make in their world management of today, in an age to come the gospel which I declare to you will rule this very world. The ultimate goal of human progress is the reverent recognition of the fatherhood of God and the loving materialization of the brotherhood of man.’ [Paper 143:1.3-4, page 1605.5-1608.1]

William Wentworth, Canberra

The Parable of the Sower – the unexplained conclusion:

The single principal idea. The message of the kingdom is destined to grow, flourish, and achieve its purpose. We can be quite confident that once the message has taken root, it will successfully proceed to its conclusion.

Explanation. Just as the wheat plant will grow to maturity when once the seed germinates on good soil, so will the spiritual message likewise flourish and reach maturity when early recipients of the message receive and believe it. Just as in nature a plant grows even when the sower is not in attendance, so in spiritual reality spiritual growth occurs even when the teacher is not present.

Rita Schaad, Newcastle

After two years of teaching and feeling over and over again that the meaning of the kingdom fails to get through to the wider public and especially even to his apostles, Jesus decided to use parables from this time onward.

The truth that is hidden therein… a parable’s focus is to convey a Truth – it seems to me to be trust and faith – and in this case, patience! – that we should hold when going about our lives with sincerity; that things will unfold and progress according to the Fathers will regardless how unfinished and fragmented the world may look, and that the teachings of Jesus – the kingdom of heaven – will come to pass.

And like the sower, we will choose the best (seed) we can muster, our knowledge about weather and seasonal variants and apply it with the utmost care – and then, step back and let God….!

Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail. [Paper 196:3.33, page 2097.1]

Kim McKenzie, Brisbane

I was particularly struck with reference to ‘hearing’ and ‘ears’ and wondered if it was referring to the growth of ‘clairaudience’ and the ability to hear the voice of God from within.

Phillip Marriott, Adelaide

I keep thinking it is about Jesus’ mission to sow the seeds – the Gospel – and the future. When it will come to full fruit, the results will be varied. It could even mean all the way to the stage of a Finaliter. The Eternal Son’s Spirit Gravity will bring us all back together…. eventually (bringing in the full harvest!).                                                    

Where are the Daughters of God?

Marion Steward, New Zealand

(Editor’s note: this was presented by Marion at the 1997 Conference in Sydney)

Our mission here on this planet is to strive to become Godlike, but the leap from mortal kind like us to God is unimaginably huge, as the authors of The Urantia Book never tire of reminding us! We are told that the most useful thing any of us could do here on Urantia is to study the life of Jesus. Christ Michael, in his bestowal mission here, was and is the ultimate role model for all of us ascenders.

He named himself the Son of Man, and the Son of God.

The Universe is teeming with Sons of God, starting with the Eternal Son, then all the descending Sons, the Paradise Sons of God—Creator Sons, Magisterial Sons, and Trinity Teacher Sons; then the Local Universe Sons of God–Melchizedek Sons, Vorondadek Sons, Lanonandek Sons, and the Life Carriers; and numerous, unrevealed orders of Trinitized Sons.  Then we have the ascending Sons—Father-fused, Son-fused and Spirit-fused mortals, evolutionary seraphim, ascending Material Sons, Translated Midwayers, personalized Adjusters.

A reader could easily come to the conclusion, then, that to be Godlike means to become a Son of God—but for those of us who find it difficult to see ourselves as sons, this poses a certain difficulty.

Of course, it may merely be a question of language. In the 1930’s there was no such thing as being politically correct, and avoiding sexist and racist language. Perhaps the word ‘son’ was used because there is no word in English for ‘adult child.’ A Child of God, the Children of God—in English, the word has definite implications of immaturity, and while we certainly can be so regarded in terms of our entire universe career, nevertheless we do reach maturity at each stage of our lives. On those occasions when we are referred to as children, it is usually then followed by some reference to growing up to become Sons of God.

The authors frequently bemoan the paucity of the English language, and the constraints they suffered in rendering this revelation into print—limitations imposed both by deficiencies in the language, and by the lack of advanced spiritual concepts on Urantia. When we start to learn ‘Nebadon-ese’ and ‘Satanian-ese’ as we progress through the mansion worlds, then we will undoubtedly discover a whole new range of useful vocabulary items, which we will need to express our enlarged ideas of the universe.  I look forward to reaching Havona, where …one hour’s instruction is the equivalent of 10,000 years of the word-memory methods of Urantia. (27:6.4, 303.2)

However, I tend to believe that they deliberately used ‘son’ and other such gender-specific words to represent roles and function, rather than physical descriptions. In one telling sentence, the Eternal Son is also called the Universal Mother, a statement which clearly goes far beyond issues of sex differentiation.

On reading further, some light is shed upon this. In the papers dealing with seraphim, there is the statement:

...in dealing with sex creatures it is our custom to speak of those beings of more direct descent from the Father and the Son as the sons of God, while referring to the children of the Spirit as the daughters of God. [Paper 38:2.2, page 419.2]

This is good news—the universe is revealed as being also teeming with daughters! The lists of all the children of the Spirit are very long—all the Higher Personalities of the spirit, the Universe Power Directors, the Messenger Hosts of space, the Ministering Spirits of the Superuniverses and of the Local Universes—a vast array of beings undertaking an incomprehensible number of vitally important tasks.

So what are these Daughters of God like? Do they behave differently to Sons? Can we mortal daughters learn from them? How do Daughters of God relate to Sons?

The most notable of all these, as far as we mortals are concerned, the daughter highest in status to whom we can relate, is the Creative Daughter Spirit, that individualization of the Infinite Spirit who comes and works with each Creator Son in the creation of and administration of a local universe. She is variously named as the Divine Minister, the Holy Spirit of the Local Universe, or the Local Universe Mother Spirit.

The Spirit …enacts the role of a mother, always assisting the Son and being everlastingly indispensable to the administration of the universe….no Son could hope for final success without the incessant co-operation of the Divine Minister and her spirit helpers, the daughters of God. [Paper 33:3.4, page 368.4]

A study of the sections dealing with the Creator Son and the Daughter Spirit reveals a very close relationship of interdependence. Michael relies on the Spirit for her omnipresence, and she through him compensates for being bound by time. Together they can transcend both time and space. In the whole creation of the local universe, she is totally indispensable—she provides the mind for each creature, she provides the life spark, she creates the Seven Adjutant Spirits who foster the mind development of all creatures, and she ministers to all human beings through her own Holy Spirit.

This Daughter of God has many attributes which I would dearly love to emulate, but unfortunately, God has not organized the universe like that.  We cannot hope to be omnipresent, useful though it would be, and neither can we ever aspire to be able to bestow mind, physical matter, or the vital life spark on other beings in the same way that she does—though clearly, those of us who are lucky enough to be mothers have some pale experience of this in a human way in the administration of our homes and families.

As far as the relationship between this Daughter and Son is concerned, at the enthronement of Michael as a Master Son, our universe’s Creative Daughter Spirit acknowledged her subordination to him, and pledged fidelity and obedience. In return, Michael acknowledged his eternal dependence on her, and declared her to be co-ruler of his universe, and equal with him in personality and divine attributes.
This relationship is described as the …high ideal of the family and the human institution of voluntary marriage...(33:3.6, 369.1]

What are the issues here for daughters to reflect on? Publicly declaring one’s subordination and vowing loyalty and obedience to one’s husband is not a modern attitude, to put it mildly, but then neither is it common, as far as I am aware, for husbands to acknowledge their dependence on their wives, though our society has been grappling with the equality question for some time now, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

So, what about other Daughters in the Universe? On a level far closer to ours, there are the Material Daughters, all the Eves. Though seldom in the Book are any Eves talked about on their own—almost always are they referred to as “the Material Son and Daughter.” On page 828 we read:

The Material Sons and Daughters always serve together. It is the essence of their service at all times and in all places never to be separated.  They are designed to work in pairs; seldom do they function alone. [Paper 74:0.1, page 828.1]

Their chief task is to multiply and uplift the children of time and they contribute to the improvement of the races by cultural education, particularly in the physical, scientific and economic realms. They lead very much by example.

Take the command “to multiply.” Our own Eve had 32 daughters and 32 sons before the default, and 42 children after leaving the Garden. It is not specified but it seems clear that the balance of girls to boys is always even. She had already had 50 sons and 50 daughters before coming to Urantia, so when it came to multiplying, she certainly met her responsibilities–206 children! Given our much shorter life span, I don’t think we are expected to perform quite up to those standards!

In studying the way of life of Adam and Eve, the theme of working together in equal partnership which we saw between Michael and the Divine Minister, is strongly reinforced. On page 831, where the arrival of our Material Son and Daughter is described in much detail, The Urantia Book states:

Take note! women as well as men were in this group (a council selected to assume responsibilities in the new administration of world affairs). It was an astounding innovation to behold Eve, a woman, sharing the honors and responsibilities of world affairs with a man. [Paper 74:3.5, page 831.2]

 Adam endeavored to teach the races sex equality. The way Eve worked by the side of her husband made a profound impression upon all dwellers in the Garden. Adam definitely taught them that the woman, equally with the man, contributes those life factors which unite to form a new being. [Paper 74:7.22, page 836.11]

This was a new idea for humans in those days, and who knows what sort of society we would all be living in now if it had not been for the default.

The Material Sons and Daughters live permanently, of course, on the system capitals, and there are certainly a lot of them! At last count, there were 161,432,840 Material Sons and Daughters in Nebadon, and they all play a major part in the administration of those spheres and in the further training of mortal ascenders. They run the probationary nurseries on the finaliters’ world and take ascenders to live with them in their homes.  They model …the ideals of the union of man and woman in the bonds of marriage and for the purpose of procreating and rearing offspring. (83:8.5, 930.1)

So we now have two ideals of marriage, and this study of daughters is becoming also an examination of males and females, and the way they relate to each other.  What does the book have to say about male and female?

Male and female are… two distinct varieties of the same species….Their viewpoints and entire life reactions are essentially different, they are wholly incapable of full and real comprehension of each other.”  This statement would strike a chord with most couples on this planet. . [Paper 84:6.3, page 938.7]

This statement would strike a chord with most couples on this planet.

Many orders of universe creatures are created in dual phases of personality manifestation. Among mortals, material sons, and midsoniters, this difference is described as male and female; among seraphim, cherubim and morontia companions, it has been denominated positive or aggressive and negative and retiring. [Paper 84:6.5, page 938.9]

The key point here is the use of the word ‘personality manifestation.’ Jesus described this too: “…in the kingdom of heaven there is neither rich nor poor, free nor bond, male nor female, all are equally the sons and daughters of God.” [Paper 150:1.3, page 1679.2]

So even once the male and female part has gone, we are still daughters and sons, and …the differences in viewpoint…persist…throughout the local and superuniverse ascensions. [Paper 84:6.6, page 939.1]

The question occurs as to why the Universal Father created us male and female—in what way or ways is this better than being, say, hermaphroditic and simply reproducing ourselves? One possible answer may be that in a small, small way, in the experience of working together, the daughters and sons on Urantia can get a slight inkling of how God the Father works together with the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit.

Sharing is Godlike—divine. God shares all with the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, while they, in turn, share all things with the divine Sons and spirit Daughters of the universes.  [Paper 111:5.1, page 1221.2]

This may perhaps be stretching the point slightly, but the essential idea is that it is the pattern, the example, that matters. In our own small ways, in our own small spheres of operation and influence, we can attempt to model this pattern of sharing.

With the Son and in the Spirit did God project eternal Havona, and ever since has there obtained the eternal pattern of co-ordinate participation in creation—sharing. This pattern of sharing is the master design for every one of the Sons and Daughters of God who go out into space to engage in the attempt to duplicate in time the central universe of eternal perfection. [Paper 53:2.1, page 614.6]

And Michael himself, our own Creator Son who has worked with our own Creative Daughter Spirit for eons in the creation and administering of our own local universe, encouraged us to follow this example in our lives on Urantia. He stunned and amazed everybody in his advocating of the equality of women and in his equal treatment of them. Time after time the apostles would come across him talking to a woman by a well, or in the street, often a woman of less than desirable reputation, giving words of comfort and encouragement to these daughters of God.  Despite this, they were still utterly astonished when he set up the women’s corps of evangelists and issued an emancipation proclamation—so similar to the proclamation of equality with the Universe Mother Spirit which he issued at the termination of his bestowal on Urantia.

In talks about marriage and divorce, he said:

“…it is the divine will that men and women should find their highest service and consequent joy in the establishment of homes for the reception and training of children, in the creation of whom these parents become copartners with the Makers of heaven and earth.” [Paper 167;5.6, page 1839.4]

And what is possibly the most picturesque moment of all—his little chat to the man he saw berating his wife on the wharf at Tarentum during his return from Rome:

“Do you not know that men and women are partners with God in that they co-operate to create beings who grow up to possess themselves of the potential of immortal souls? The Father in heaven treats the Spirit Mother of the children of the universe as one equal to himself. It is Godlike to share your life and all that relates thereto on equal terms with the mother partner who so fully shares with you that divine experience of reproducing yourselves in the lives of your children.”
[Paper 133:2.2, page 1471.1]

Where, then, are the Daughters of God? They are everywhere—the spirit beings created by the Infinite Spirit and his children, sometimes working in pairs, sometimes alone. The Spirit Daughters who become Mothers in each Local Universe, and work hard in close co-operation with the Creator Sons, attempting to model the divine pattern of sharing in their own spheres. And the Material Daughters, equal with the Material Sons, show humans the superior achievements possible by a woman and a man working together. God has made it possible for even we mortals here on Urantia, on the very bottom rung of the ascension ladder, to do this too, and perhaps in so doing, come to a better understanding of what it means to be God-like.

Editor’s Notebook

Nigel Nunn, Canberra

(Editor’s note: This was written by Nigel Nunn when he was editor of the Arena, September 1995)

A shiver of satisfaction ripples through the Supreme when a human becomes dependable. But when a group of agondonter humans rises out of the mire of self-interest, cultural bondage and planetary delusions, and commits itself to gather dependably for a methodical examination of The Urantia Book, schemes can be hatched. The midwayers and planetary guardians can begin to set up the serendipitous, the Nebadon administration can project their plans, and the Deities themselves turn their collective eye to watch things unfold.

Consider how much effort goes into preparing a human so that they can first want to read, and secondly, endure the reading of, The Urantia Book. Then consider what it means, to those fostering our planet’s development, to have a group of such husbanded humans choose to gather regularly to read this book. Our study groups are just such, and thus can be considered invaluable.

Of course, the future of Urantia does not depend on the success or expansion of our study groups. Planetary progress is being made in hundreds of disconnected and surprising places. But where else can the administrators of Nebadon engage in direct education, rather than resorting to phenomena and ad hoc schemes? Without The Urantia Book, and study groups to complement it, they may work for years with a single attuned soul to plant the idea of a non-absolute spacetime-limited creator deity (Creator Sons), to suggest that fragments of absolute deity indwell the otherwise unspirited human animal (Thought Adjusters), to inspire the idea of a plane of existence midway between the incarnate and the spiritual (Morontia).

In the study group, and by means of The Urantia Book, they have put in place a mechanism which allows them to pour these concepts into the thirsty souls of both new and veteran readers. Safely. Efficiently. Reliably. And once such a group is established, with its core of resilient dependability in place, it can be used to trigger developments in these early days of the Fifth Epoch: a casual visitor adjusted at just the right moment; a lover of God being ignited by the knowledge that it was Michael of Nebadon who had satisfied the desire of his ages; the sceptical logician seeing that the universe is both lovely and rational. Those sincere readers with less tenacity or need, who may pass briefly through such a group, will at the very least receive the notion of Michael, a sub-absolute deity ruling in Nebadon. This surprising and remarkable discovery will be sitting in the back of their mind when next they consider the problem of Jesus, or wonder “So just who is running the show?

“The gospel of Jesus is for saving souls. The Urantia Papers can orient those saved souls.”

 

The Temple Deep Clean

Cecilia Ann Bendall, TAS

As a boy of 13 he was now to see for the first time the Holy City. His heart beat fast with joyous anticipation of soon beholding the city and house of his heavenly Father. His dad told him it was just beyond the ridge of the Mount of Olives. From the time of leaving home (Nazareth) with his mum and dad (Mary and Joseph), until he reached the summit of the Mount of Olives, Jesus experienced …one long stress of expectant anticipation… (125.0.3, 1377.3)

Hurrying on their journey to Jerusalem for the Passover week, on this Thursday afternoon as they passed through Bethany, they were invited for refreshment by a man called Simon, and met his three children – Mary, Martha and Lazarus. They were about Jesus’ age and a lifelong friendship instantly sprang up between the two families.

Not stopping for long, as they wanted to get to Jerusalem before nightfall, they reached the brink of Olivet.

At no time in his life did Jesus ever experience such as purely human thrill as that which at this time so completely enthralled him as he stood there on this April afternoon on the Mount of Olives, drinking in his first view of Jerusalem. [Paper 142:6.10, page 1375.4]

As it was late in the afternoon, they decided to go to their accommodation straight away, and sight see the next day. They passed the temple and on closer inspection from the outside the temple was all and more than Jesus had expected. They soon reached where they were to stay for the week, the large home of a well-to-do relative of Jesus’ mum.

The next day arrived and Jesus was …profoundly impressed by the temple and all the associated services and other activities. (124:6.14, 1375.8) However, …when he once entered its sacred portals, the great disillusionment began. (125:0.3, 1377.3) He said little, and the few questions asked of his dad, such as why it was that the heavenly Father required the mass slaughter of “innocent and helpless” animals, indicated his disappointment.

The emotional impact of being in Jerusalem this first time was so intense that on the day before the Passover Sabbath, that …flood tides of spiritual illumination swept through the mortal mind of Jesus and filled his human heart to overflowing with affectionate pity for the spiritually blind and morally ignorant multitudes assembled for the celebration of the ancient Passover commemoration. (124:6.15, 1375.1)

In actual truth and fact …this was one of the most extraordinary days that the Son of God spent in the flesh. (124:6.15, 1376.1)

Though many of the temple rituals very touchingly impressed his sense of the beautiful and the symbolic he was always disappointed by the real meaning of these ceremonies…. [Paper 125.06, page 1378.1]

However, it was when he went through the temple courts that …he was shocked and sickened by the spirit of irreverence which he observed. He deemed the conduct of the temple throngs to be inconsistent with their presence in “his Father’s house”. (125:1.1, 1378.3)

And by the time he got to the priest’ courts, with the killing of droves of animals, blood-stained hands of the slaughter priests, and the sounds of dying animals, the boy was sickened, and clutching his dad’s arm he begged to be taken away. That night …he had revolting dreams of slaughter and suffering. His mind was distraught and his heart torn by the inconsistencies and absurdities of the theology of the whole Jewish ceremonial system… (125:2.4, 1379.5)

And so the Passover week proceeded. Again and again his parents would find him sitting off by himself with his youthful head in his hands, profoundly thinking. (125:2.9, 1380.4)

One major highlight for Jesus during that week was meeting scores of boys about his age, fellow candidates for consecration, in total he met …and more or less extensively interviewed, more than one hundred and fifty. He was particularly interested in those who hailed from the Far-Eastern and the remote Western countries. (125:2.12, 1380.7)

Rather than wander too far off the topic of deep cleaning, suffice to say, that by the end of the week Jesus’ parents were relieved to be going home to Nazareth.

So off Joseph and Mary went, each assuming that the other had Jesus in tow. Men and women being required to travel separately, it was only at a night stopover in Jericho that they realised that Jesus had been left behind in Jerusalem. He had remained in the temple listening to the discussions and “enjoying the more quiet and decorous atmosphere, the great crowds of the Passover week having about disappeared”. It appears that he was so preoccupied, that his being abandoned was of little concern to him. When temple discussions ended, he went to the home of his Bethany friends who were thrilled to have him stay. We are told that …early next day Jesus was up and on his way to the temple. On the bow of Olivetthis 13 year old boy …paused and wept over the sight his eyes beheld – a spiritually impoverished people, tradition bound, and living under the surveillance  of the Roman legions. (125:4.2, 1381.4)

And for the next three days he took part in the discussions with the scribes and teachers in the temple, in effect asking questions and ending up confusing the “wise men of the law”. All ended abruptly on the fourth day when his parents found him.

And they immediately left for the three-day journey back home to Nazareth. Jesus and his parents paused briefly on the way to Jericho for the first night’s stay, on the brow of Olivet. There …the lad raised  his staff aloft and, quivering from head to foot  under the surging  of intense emotion, said: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, and the people thereof, what slaves you are – subservient to the Roman yoke and victims of your own traditions – but I will return  to cleans yonder temple and deliver  my people from this bondage!” (125:6.9, 1384.5)

It could be regarded that this was the histrionics of a young adolescent, particularly as no temple cleaning urge was mentioned by Jesus thereafter. All that was observed by those who knew him well was that by the time he was 20 he had developed …a strange and increasing aversion to this Herod-built temple with its politically appointed priesthood. (12:6.5, 1404.4)

And then, about 23 years after his promise, with only four more days of life as a man of Urantia, the urge to deep clean again erupted, catching all of us by total surprise.

That never-to-be-forgotten Monday morning, there he was in the temple on the teaching platform trying to teach the gospel of the heavenly kingdom one moment and the next, with an enthusiasm, zeal, and expertise that astounded us, executed the deep clean of the temple. It didn’t take him more than a few minutes to perfectly complete the task, after which he immediately returned to the teaching platform and resumed his teaching. (p.1890.2)

To my knowledge no more deep cleans of the temple in Jerusalem were undertaken for the next 70 years, give or take a few, when any further cleaning issues were successfully resolved by the Romans demolishing the temple.

Thus ends the story of the Jerusalem temple deep clean.

Creative Imagination in Prayer and Worship

George Park, USA

The manner in which the Universal Father sojourns with the creatures of time is the most profound of all universe mysteries; the divine presence in the mind of man is the mystery of mysteries. [Paper 1:4.1, page 26.3]

The technique whereby the Thought Adjuster is able to make his eternal presence known to the material mind is a mystery. The method in which the spirit registers the reality of eternity in the material mind as an experience of “the everlasting now” is a philosophic miracle beyond our understanding. (1295:1) However, the technique used by the material mind in its reach upward and inward for the experience of the presence of God, the psychological behavior of the human mind in fostering its own spiritualization, is not completely beyond our grasp.

Without intention of intruding upon the supremely personal and sacred domain of spiritual experience, this essay will attempt to outline the psychological evolution of religious experience as it is revealed in the progressive development of prayer and worship with a special regard for the role of the creative imagination in the spiritualization of the mind of man. Philosophical discussion and description of spiritual experience reduces such living experience to the levels of psychology with the intention of enlightening thought and with the hope that this enlightenment will contribute to the further growth of spiritual character.

While the mind is not the seat of the spiritual nature, it is indeed the gateway thereto. [Paper 155:6.13, page 1733:2]

The Alter-ego Concept

Children, when first learning to make use of language, are prone to think out loud, to express their thoughts in words, even if no one is present to hear them. With the dawn of the creative imagination they evince a tendency to converse with imaginary companions. In this way a budding ego seeks to hold communion with a fictitious alter ego. By this technique the child early learns to convert his monologue conversations into pseudo dialogues in which this alter ego makes replies to his verbal thinking and wish expression. Very much of an adult’s thinking is mentally carried on in conversational form. [Paper 91:3.1, page 996:8]

In time the alter-ego concept is exalted to a superior status of divine dignity, and prayer as an agency of religion has appeared. [Paper 91:3.2, page 996.9]

…It is altogether fitting that man, when he prays, should strive to grasp the concept of the Universal Father on Paradise; but the more effective technique for most practical purposes will be to revert to the concept of a near-by alter ego, just as the primitive mind was wont to do, and then to recognize that the idea of this alter ego has evolved from a mere fiction to the truth of God’s indwelling mortal man in the factual presence of the Adjuster. . .  [Paper 91:3.6, page 997:5]

The conversational form of language is the dominant form of thought: to think reflectively usually means to think in the verbal forms of conversation. With the dawn of the creative imagination the child then begins to converse with an alter ego. And this alter ego, the son of the creative imagination, may evolve toward a status of divine dignity, eventually becoming the experiential fact of the eternal presence of God in the temporal mind of man. The divinely ordained (but not necessarily inevitable) destiny of the alter ego from its moment of conception can only signify the direct intervention of spirit influences, circuits, and entities in the creative imagination and upon the concept of the alter ego.

Adjuster Communication Through the Creative Imagination

It is the action of these spirit forces in the creative imagination which is partially responsible for the mysterious, vital, and dynamic power of the creative imagination. Psychologists are usually prone to declaring that unconscious levels and phases of mind find expression in the self-conscious mind through the imagination. This is the modern explanation for dreams, compulsive behavior, and other psychological behavior. Our spiritual teachers confirm this conclusion, as far as it goes, but make some additional comments regarding the creative imagination.

Supreme and self-acting Adjusters are often able to contribute factors of spiritual import to the human mind when it flows freely in the liberated but controlled channels of creative imagination. [Paper 109:5.1, page 1199.2]

Certain abrupt presentations of thoughts, conclusions, and other pictures of mind are sometimes the direct or indirect work of the Adjuster. . . [Paper 110:4.3, page 1207.3]

The races on some worlds have one gland, on others two, as do Urantians, while on still other spheres the races have three of these unique bodies. The inherent imagination and spiritual receptivity is definitely influenced by this differential chemical endowment. [Paper 49:5.11, page 566.7]

The volunteering Adjuster is … interested in … Spiritual perception. The prospects of reverential development, the birth and growth of the religious nature. What is the potential of soul, the probable spiritual capacity of receptivity?  [Paper 108:1.3, page 1186.1]

…We do observe that the more experienced Adjuster is often the indweller of the higher type of human mind; human inheritance must therefore be a considerable factor in determining selection and assignment. [Paper 108:1.1, page 1185.3)

True religious worship is not a futile monologue of self-deception. Worship is a personal communion with that which is divinely real, with that which is the very source of reality. [Paper 196:3.22, page 2095.6]

Worship is the act of the son’s personal communion with the divine Father, the assumption of refreshing, creative, fraternal, and romantic attitudes by the human soul-spirit. [Paper 143:7.8, page 1616.10]

The human Jesus saw God as being holy, just, and great, as well as being true, beautiful, and good. All of these attributes of divinity he focused in his mind as the will of the Father in heaven. [Paper 196:0.2, page 2087.2]

The Thought Adjuster does attempt to communicate, however obliquely or subtly, with the material mind through the creative imagination. This, in fact, seems to be the primary channel of communication with the material mind, since one of the mind attributes in which the Adjuster is very interested is the capacity for spiritual receptivity, which is definitely linked to the human imagination, and which, in turn, is directly influenced by the chemical function of genetic endowment. Worship is not a delusion of the imagination, but a communion with a divine alter ego which is actually indwelt by the spirit of God, the loving gift which the Father makes of himself to the least of his children. Although this spirit may be more or less invisible beneath the surface of the various forms of this divine alter ego, nevertheless, …the faith-grasp of the God-knowing mortal can achieve the philosophic miracle of the recognition of the Infinite by the finite, the discernment of the eternal God. (1:4.7, 27.2)

Combined Psychologic and Spiritual Techniques

While we do not understand the spirit technique that directs and adjusts the directionization of the growth of the alter ego towards the actuality of the presence of God, we know that this growth does take place in the creative imagination as far as self-conscious experience is concerned, and in the morontia soul as far as superconscious experience is concerned.

Prayer ever has been and ever will be a twofold human experience: a psychologic procedure interassociated with a spiritual technique. And these two functions of prayer can never be fully separated. [Paper 91:3.6, page 997.4]

The psychologic procedure is the intentional focusing of the creative imagination on the reality of God, which faith identifies as the concept/ideal of the divine alter ego. The spiritual technique results in the gradual and evolutionary exaltation of this ideal alter ego in the creative imagination towards ever-ascending levels of perfection – even to the very presence of God. And these two functions can never be fully separated any more than water can be separated from the cells of a living organism. The psychologic procedure and the spirit technique are unified in the creative imagination, in the inner life, in the heart of man, in a living and growing experience.

This is why Jesus always endeavored to teach others to pray from the heart instead of reciting set prayers. Only reluctantly did he teach his apostles formal prayers. Ritual may stimulate the creative imagination in a religious direction initially, but religious formalizations inevitably stagnate and lose their vitality unless the religionist discovers the factual presence of the Father in personal experience.

It is not so important that you should know about the fact of God as that you should increasingly grow in the ability to feel the presence of God. [Paper 155:6.12, page 1732.5]

This living and personal conversation/communion between the mind of man and the spirit of God through the channel of the alter ego in the creative imagination is entirely dependent upon the choosings of the mortal will. And when an individual chooses to enthrone God in the center of his or her inner life, that individual chooses the will of the Father.

The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God – with the very God who has made such a creature life of inner meaning-value possible. Sharing is Godlike – divine. [Paper 111:5.1, page 1221:2]

To know the idea of God is one thing. To worship the ideal of God is another. And to share the temporal, experiential, finite reality of God with the eternal, existential, and absolute Thought Adjuster is still another thing altogether.

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Anne Bendall, QLD

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 Six-O-Six Newsletter July/August 1990)

Well, sit down, open up your heart and pour it all out to Michael! Open up the channel to his Spirit of Truth and he can act as he desires, as the most sympathetic, empathetic friend you have in the universe and he knows what it is all about, so the two of you can compare notes.

There has never walked this earth, and there never will walk this planet another individual who has experienced the  loneliness and shattering of every conceivable dream, such as Jesus experienced. Every other planet in his local universe benefited from his bestowal but potentially, none so much as ours.

As a result we are released from all of the deleterious effects of being quarantined, all the damage done by the Caligastia rebellion, and the Adamic default. That is, providing we wish to take advantage of The Spirit of Truth. All of the revelators refer to The Spirit of Truth as an impersonal channel. It is carefully explained that it does not provide a one-to-one communication link, that is everyone, except Jesus. He refers to it as “he”. Note whenever he refers to the coming of the Spirit of Truth of “myself and my Father” he unfailingly says and “when he comes” and “he” will do this and that!

Michael regards the Spirit of Truth in very personal terms. And in reading The Urantia Book – which we are blessed to discover is a wondrous source of information – we discover our links to the Creator of this Universe, who has walked every inch of the pathway we will ever traverse, before us. Michael knows the power of fear, the danger of pride. He worked with people, trying to help them overcome these characteristics/traits. He knows all about lost dreams, the trauma of all plans being shattered in a split second of tragedy. He knows what it is like to plan to buy a little farm as an idyllic lifestyle in which to rear his family, and have the funds wrongfully refused by a “fox”. He also knows the pleasure of cuddling and playing with a puppy dog (as soon as finances permitted, the Nazareth family purchase a dog. [126:5.11, 1394.0])

He knows what duty and responsibilities are all about, and how, at times, we are confronted with conflict in being torn between two loves. He knows the power of persuasion of a human love, and the extreme battle in opting for God’s will, and the attendant sadness at the eventuation of the anticipated rejection. He knows the hurt of injustice plus incredible sadness, on the human level.

Recall the night in Gethsemane (read his hour before the crucifixion) the sadness before going on his last important preaching tour – no one will ever endure what he endured as part of his life in human flesh. And yet, so many of us sadden him by not taking his proffered hand in our periods of loneliness. How that must hurt him!

Loneliness has been defined as a negative state experienced when there is a discrepancy between an individual’s desires and achieved interpersonal relationships. There are two types – emotional loneliness which is related to the lack of close, intimate attachment to another person; and social loneliness, which results from lack of friendship with people who share common interests and activities.

Providing we do not have any low self-esteem problems in believing that we are unlovable, social loneliness is overcome by seeking groups and clubs with like-minded people. And so with us Urantia Book readers, we mix with fellow readers and form study groups which help overcome our feeling of social isolation as people with strongly held beliefs and faith. Study groups can also be of assistance to our spiritual growth, depending upon our group interaction and the aspirations of each of the members of the groups.

But emotional loneliness is beyond our control to satisfy, for it requires the decision of another person and this is where Michael is at his most understanding, for it appears to me, practically all of the sadness he experienced to the point of crying, was associated with his loneliness. There was no human being whom he could pour out his heart to, no one who could listen and understand. Great lover as he is, he refused to marry, for he knew the intolerable grief that Rebecca would experience. He had the opportunity and refused in the purity of his loneliness, his unselfish heart.

And for some of us today, we are not presented with the opportunity of a loving companion, someone to share our tears and laughter with. The Urantia Book tells us of God’s plan, that man and woman are not meant to be alone. We totally agree with God, but where is our mate? For my part I went through a dreadful state whilst I felt incomplete without a partner. I would be alone and my laughter would echo and unnerve me. I felt that God maybe thought no man was safe near me, that a little more socialization may have to be undertaken, a few more edges knocked of my rugged individuality, and at times, I would cry to him to speed up the process. Every poor unsuspecting man who stumbled across my pathway was put under the microscope of my need. I had no check list, no essential attributes, and seeing I loved him before I met him, as I do all my brothers and sisters and as I also had the delightfully simplistic philosophy of ‘love conquers all’, I was on the pathway to disaster.

And then one day, I grew a little and sadly left behind my illusions. I was wrong in my belief that life was incomplete without a mate, that I needed a companion by my side. I do not need such a companion, for in any situation God provides me with all that’s necessary. He may also want to provide me with a few non-essentials, but when it comes to a mate, all he can do is, assuming we are both responsive to guidance, put the right people in the right place at the right time and let their free will do the rest.

I read the chapters of The Urantia Book on the benefits of a partnership, how men and women can and do complement each other, gain all the advantage of companionship and know one day that I will experience this. What does it matter if it is not until the mansion worlds, Uversa or Paradise? God has promised that none of us will reach Paradise with a sense of deprivation. Those of our heart’s desire, in accordance with his wish (and relationships of a twosome nature are most definitely his plan) will be enjoyed to the full by all of us, if not on Urantia, then at some point in our ascension career.

Life is no longer sad. Now I accept reality. I think of Grandfanda, he made the trip to Paradise alone. There was no Mrs Grandfanda accompanying him. Maybe she flunked the last leg of the trip and had to sit the exam once again, in which instance they would be reunited on her successful second attempt. But maybe, Grandfanda did the whole trip alone, apart from seraphim, guides, well wishers, pupils and teachers!

Michael has promised that none of us will ever experience personality isolation if we turn to him, and although the warnings about the dangers of such a state in the book are potentially real, if God cannot organize for human companionship because humans refuse to come close to anyone of us, then God and Michael will fill in the personality interaction gap. Their promise!

Marriage – what is the idea in this local universe? When I get to the mansion worlds I am sure that there will be a video of the “jubilee of jubilees” as described on page 368 and I am going to watch that emotional show again and again, with the romance and beauty of the ceremony never failing to bring tears to my eyes.

I often wonder at the intensity of suffering of our Divine Minister as she followed Michael’s last bestowal. What a homecoming! And what a wonderful marriage ceremony!

Next time you feel really lonely and have no one to talk to, remember that, although there is no substitute for the loving companionship of another creature of our own kind, that Michael knows the feeling and he also knows our personal loneliness. Let him and your Thought Adjuster lovingly guide you through the period in the knowledge, that to he or she who experiences deprivation beyond God’s control at this point in time, has the blessed experience of contrast. So when companionship finally is yours, how much more treasured it will be because of the life of walking the pathway alone.

Business on Urantia

Neil Francey, QLD

The Big Picture

This work is dealing with  business concepts  that can be used by any organization or commercial enterprise as a guide for the best possible practices based on the highest human values.

Any enterprise which applies the principles and concepts described in The Urantia Book, is one based on ethics, honesty, the Golden Rule, and fairness, all motivated by the will of God.

If we know God, our real business on earth is so to live as to permit  the Father to reveal himself in our lives … [Paper 132:7.2, page 1466.2]

The specific religious, political, and social pursuits of the individuals of a business are personal matters. However they will in some way reflect on all aspects of their lives. It therefore follows that a Urantia inspired organization will be built on those values held by the individual. If individuals and groups of people act in accordance with natural and spiritual law, there is harmony and improved living in a material sense. 

An organization can be in disguise. Through public relations, advertising, spin, corporate design, sponsors and paid presenters in advertising and marketing, we can be sold a false image. However, the true caliber of its people, particularly those at the top, will inevitably be revealed. They cannot hide, nor can they pretend to live truth, reflect morality, show genuine fairness, promote goodness, and live selflessly.

The world does not always protect those who believe in goodness and truth. This in turn does not auger well for those running a business. It is as though the demands of successful corporate governance are directly at odds with the truly religious life.

Paul Gauguin – Where do we come from? Where are we? Where are we going? 1897

To read and study the entire work  click here for the Pdf

 

Farewell Martin McBurney

Vail – Our good friend Martin. Martin ‘played’ the game of life at an elite level. Smart, witty and generous with time for all those that passed his way. Overflowing humour, an abundance of goodwill, and a penchant for copious note taking were his signature trademarks. Martin’s inner spiritual life burned bright. Few embodied the Gospel like Martin. He will be missed. (Steve Shanahan)

Trevor and I have fond memories of our times spent with Martin as we shared many in-depth discussions on philosophy and religion; we would literally spend hours talking about “life, the universe and everything.” His faith was deep and true and his goodness shone through those glittering eyes and charming smile. I believe he now resides in our heavenly Father’s “house of many mansions”. (Kathleen Swadling)

My sympathies to Martin’s loved ones. I haven’t seen him for a while, but have sweet memories of Martin from way back, 30 years ago. Discussions about the meatier things in life were always respectful and it was never boring to listen to his take on them. That’s what I remember most, how respectful, positive and humble he was, a rare thing these days. Sleep well Martin. (Ryta Kunciunas)

In an article Martin wrote in 1988 titled “Urantia Towards Light and Life” he said:

There is a song called “What Are You Doing the Rest 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”!

August 21 – a Poem

Patrick McNelly, USA

Led by planets in conjunction
Wise men traveled from afar
Seeking light in his reflection
Bearing gifts beneath that star

August winds draped wisdom’s story
Capturing stardust drifts below
Tracing ancient myths in glory
Glistening in the noonday glow

Summer creeps past frosts and sunset
City lights obscure the view
Meteor showers cloak the morning
Hiding in the morning dew

Listen closely as I tell you
Of this wish I dreamed came true
Hosts of angels in the forest
Midway creatures sharing clues

Brightened by this revelation
Eclipsing time and timeless rue
Wise men share a new dimension
Three concentric rings of blue

2000 years of anxious waiting
We are blessed in such an age
Done with our anticipating
Waiting as we turn the page

Love each other in the morning
Care for comfort through the noon
Live each moment in the present
Share his grace beneath the moon

Now we sing in celebration
Around the globe for evermore
Remember that I Lived among you
With spirits from that distant shore

Look around you, feel the moment
Keep alive the solemn plan
The Fatherhood of just one God
The Brotherhood of every man

The Stillness – a Poem

Barry Culligan, Ireland

 

About ANZURA

Anzura Admin

The Australia and New Zealand Urantia Association (ANZURA) is made up of individuals who desire to assist in fostering the study of The Urantia Book and the dissemination of its teachings throughout Australia and New Zealand. It seeks to do this by providing interactive learning environments in which students may deepen and broaden their knowledge of the book and enjoy the interaction and exchange of ideas with fellow students.

It is our intention not to encumber our work for the spreading of The Urantia Book and its teachings with church, temple, or other spiritual institutions. Our members have come to recognise the significance of the book and the integrated beauty of its supernal teachings which encourage us to develop our own philosophy through study, experience, decisions, and actions. Nevertheless, we hold the view, and recognise that collectively there are many valuable projects and programs we can undertake together to achieve our goals.

Some of ANZURA’s functions are to:

  • Encourage a deep understanding of the teachings of The Urantia Book
  • Facilitate the formation of Urantia Book study groups
  • Organise an annual study conference of readers of The Urantia Book
  • Enable readers to make contact with other readers
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  • Ensure that The Urantia Book is readily available
  • Undertake library placement and other gift book programs
  • Provide study aids and derivative works of the Urantia teachings
  • Undertake any other activities that assist the spread of the teachings of The Urantia Book

ANZURA functions under a constitution providing for democratic procedures and participation of members. It is affiliated (as a National Association) with Urantia Association International which consists of readers from many nations and cultures who want to assist the dissemination of The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the world.

Members of ANZURA tend to concentrate on the steady person-to-person approach to dissemination, rather than dramatic publicity. It is recognised that social improvement depends on the prior improvement of those who comprise society, and that while such improvement will be slow, it will rest on a strong foundation.

ANZURA welcomes readers of The Urantia Book who are interested in joining us in our attempts to uplift our world by applying, to our own lives, the supernal teachings of this fifth epochal revelation.

More Information

For detailed information on ANZURA’s Services and Programs click here

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ANZURA Contact details:

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Australia

Phone: 0431-285-943,
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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 or on the image above.

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