Arena – Summer 2020
In This Issue
- President’s Report – Summer 2020 – Phillip Marriott, Adelaide, SA
- 2021 Annual Conference in Sydney – Sydney Conference Committee
- 2020 Annual Conference Report – NZ Conference Committee
- Language Matters – Marion Steward, NZ
- Post Covid 19 Spirituality – Norman Weiss and Diana Whakapapa, NZ
- A Bit of History – Rita Schaad, NSW
- Ancient Orvonton, and a Young Cosmic Web – Nigel Nunn, ACT
- Universal Ethics – Concepts from The Urantia Book – Neil Francey, QLD
- Think Alike – Necessary or Unnecessary? – Cecilia Ann Bendall, TAS
- The Mind Arena of Choice – Chris Moseley, England
- Amarantos – Robert Venosa
- About ANZURA – Anzura Admin
- About the Arena Newsletter – Anzura Admin
- The UB Endeavour – Anzura Admin
- Study Group Contacts – Anzura Admin
Phillip Marriott, Adelaide, SA
Dear Friends and Readers of The Urantia Book,
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge and recognise the original and traditional custodians of this planet, The United Midwayers.
This is my first Arena report as President of ANZURA. Our AGM was held virtually via Zoom on 21 November 2020 and elections were held for the positions of President and Secretary. Graeme Chapman was elected for a second term as Secretary, and I was elected as President. Thank you to our members for your confidence, and thank you to my predecessor, Julian McGarry who served us well as our former President. Julian continues to serve the revelation in many different ways.
As we know, ANZURA’s annual conference for 2020 was planned to be held in New Zealand. However, it was held virtually via Zoom because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Thank you to the New Zealand team who ably adapted to the situation and stepped up to organise an engaging six-hour virtual conference. (You will find several articles of presentations given at that conference in this issue of the Arena.)
This year’s conference is being planned to go ahead as a face-to-face event (Covid willing of course). A venue has been booked in Pymble, Sydney for 1—4 October 2021. See the article in this issue for more information.
At the AGM it was agreed to expand ANZURA’s study aid and resource library by investing in a selection of derivative works from CosmicCreations (a reputable Urantia-product distribution centre in the United States.) Those items have arrived and will be made available at conferences and via the website. In addition, we have acquired several thumb-drives that contain recordings of talks from the 1970’s that were given by Vern Grimsley from Spiritual Renaissance Broadcast.
Some International News:
Elections were held by the International Service Board (ISB) of Urantia Association International. On 1st of April, 2021 Chris Wood (who is stepping down after completing his two four-year terms) will be replaced by the new President, Enrique Traver from Brasil who will be at the helm for at least the next four years and possibly four more. We look forward to hearing of his plans and guidance.
Over the last year there has been four 24-hour global conference events (webinars) which have proved to be very popular. Some of our own folks from this region of the world have stepped up to help with presenting and hosting the event during the Asia/Pacific daylight hours. No doubt there will be many more of these events.
The number of study groups have grown and morphed into hybrid meetings with a mix of face-to-face and online participation. If you are looking for a Study Group in your local area or time zone, then refer to the online Urantia Book Study Group Directory. Just google “Urantia Study Group directory” or use this link https://www.urantiastudygroup.org. If you are looking for hosts in the Australia/New Zealand region we also have a local study group guide on the website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups/
The ISB Study Group Committee (of which I am a member) has been meeting and continues to meet on a regular basis. Current activity is to improve the Study Group Guide with an update for online (virtual) meetings.
Your very own ANZURA committee (the Governing Board) is currently in discussions on the following topics.
- Additional events for the ANZURA community outside of the annual conference. The nature of, frequency, etc.
- What more can we do to support readers and help to keep them in touch, given the current environment with Covid-19?
- Possible outreach activities to surrounding countries and regions such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, China, Japan, the Philippines, Fiji, and other Pacific Island regions.
We are currently also doing some succession planning. If you have not yet stepped up and would like to take a more active role in the running of ANZURA, then please make contact, put your name forward and let us know how you would like to help.
In service and faithfully,
Sydney Conference Committee
THIS CONFERENCE HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 AND CONVERTED TO A VIRTUAL EVENT.
SEE https://anzura.urantia-association.org/2021/09/07/anzura-conference-virtual-experience/ FOR DETAILS
The Goodness of Love – a Keystone to Reality
We invite you to join us at the 2021 ANZURA Annual Conference that will be held 1 – 4 October at the Peter Canisius House in Pymble, Sydney.
Registration is Now Open!
Registration Brochure & Information
Click Here for just the Registration Form. Simply print and fill out the form and send it back to us with your payment. (See our address and contact details below.)
About the Theme
Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personality experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty. [Paper 2:7.12, page 43.5]
When we embark on the quest for the highest value and eliminate the selfish qualities of love, we have the potential to contribute to the creation of finite reality in our own incredibly unique ways. When we become more real—more balanced in our personalities—we come close to understanding that the keystone to reality is the highest value of all—the Goodness of Love.
…man’s nearest and dearest approach to God is by and through love, for God is love. [Paper 3:4.7, page 50.5]
Peter Canisius House is a retreat centre conveniently located on a gorgeous five-acre site on Sydney’s North Shore. The site is steeped in history and was established by the Jesuits. Their vision is to “Provide outstanding hospitality to our guests to share and experience a spirit of quiet and a sacred place to engage in spiritual conversations.”
All meals are provided from Friday dinner to Monday lunch along with morning teas. The meals are prepared daily by in-house chefs. Morning teas are freshly baked. Special dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, coeliac- and lactose-free meal options are available upon request. (Please indicate on the registration form.) Other food allergies and requirements may be able to be catered for.
Full Conference: $450 – includes 3 nights of twin-share accommodation and all meals from Friday dinner to Monday lunch.
Daily Rate: $100 – includes lunch and dinner.
Daily Rate: $50 – includes lunch only.
Peter Canisius House is located at 102 Mona Vale Road, Pymble NSW
By Car: The conference centre can be accessed via Mona Vale Road. If heading south towards St Ives it is just past the traffic lights at the intersection of Telegraph Road which is the nearest cross street.
By Public Transport: If travelling by train or bus from Central Station, catch a train on the North Shore Line to Gordon, which is the nearest train station with good bus links to the venue. Most buses go straight past the venue.
Via Taxi or Uber: From the Airport, a taxi may cost in excess of $100. There are taxis available from Gordon Station if you catch the train. The taxi from Gordon to the venue will take 5-10 minutes and should cost about $20.
Enquiries and Registrations
For further information please contact ANZURA:
Phone: 0431 285 943
Mailing Address: PO Box 1581, Warriewood NSW 2102
Enjoy this gallery with some snippets of the venue…
NZ Conference Committee
Last year’s 2020 ANZURA conference, hosted by our New Zealand team was held as a virtual Zoom conference on 10th October. For all the reasons we’re only too familiar with by now, the theme was aptly titled Post COVID Spiritual Life. This was a “first” for ANZURA and while the virtual format is not as good as our face-to-face conferences, it was still wonderful to be with everyone virtually for a good six hours of Urantia Book presentations and discussions.
Ian Campbell hosted and introduced the conference and Neville Twist began with a prayer and dedication. Here is list of the presenters and topics discussed:
- Norman Weiss and Diana Whakapapa – Lockdown’s Bright Side
- Julian McGarry – The Personal and Collective Lessons We Can Learn from COVID-19
- Marion Steward – Language Matters
- Rita Schaad – A Tour of the New ANZURA Website
- Susan Hemmingsen – Truth in Relation to Covid-19
- Hara Davis – A Brief Review of Hara’s Beautiful Study Aids
The conference was recorded, and the presentations will eventually be uploaded to YouTube. (Be patient for that. We will announce when they are available.) You will also find a few of the presentations as articles in this issue of the Arena.
The New Zealanders have reserved the original conference venue for 2022 so stay tuned for information on that one.
Marion Steward, NZ
A Reflection on ‘Insensitive’ Words in The Urantia Book
(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA conference)
The focus of this article is on language – and specifically on what I am calling ‘insensitive’ language. This labelling is, by definition, subjective and words that might offend one person do not have the same effect on another. This subjectivity is part of what I want to explore in this article. I was motivated to prepare this article by observing my reaction in a study group a few months ago to particular words, when I realised that these words were triggering a somewhat emotional and negative response in me, and I found myself querying the other people in the group, about what exactly these words meant in today’s world. To my surprise, I found that I was the only person having this response.
This set me to thinking about other words in The Urantia Book that triggered a similar response in me, why I felt they were inappropriate in modern society, why my fellow readers did not have the same response, and what that might mean to those of us who were keen on sharing the ideas in The Urantia Book with others.
Basic Communication Theory
This image expresses the key aspects of communication. Person A has a thought/idea that s/he wants to share with Person B. The thought must be encoded into language and then passed over to Person B who hopefully will end up with an accurate idea of what Person A was trying to communicate. Experts in the field of communication frequently refer to the fact that “communication is rarely completely understood” (Barnett & O’Rourke, 2011, p. 32).
This is explained as follows:
Words cannot carry thoughts and feelings, because these occur inside people. We can only try to encode these into words, but we will each have developed our own unique meanings for all words through our own experiences. (Barnett & O’Rourke, 201, p. 33).
This aspect of communication to me is one of the most challenging – that each person has their own understanding of what words mean, which has been influenced by things they have experienced in their lives, and, most importantly, they do not realise that other people have a different understanding. It is not hard to see how this easily leads to miscommunication and misunderstandings.
The Changing Nature of Language
Not only are there individual interpretations of words, in the wider group/society, general meanings also change. Words change their meanings over time. For example, the word ‘awful’ used to mean ‘full of awe” – as in ‘the awful majesty of God’. The word ‘computer’ used to mean a person who did a lot of calculations. The word ‘fantastic’ used to mean something only in the imagination.
Words can also fall out of fashion, and fall into disuse, either because what they refer to becomes less common, or changing values and practices makes the words less acceptable. Words that refer to different racial groups, for example, or words such as ‘apothecary’, for chemist, or ‘bedlam’ for a mental hospital.
Language Trends Today
The move towards using more sensitive and non-discriminatory language began some decades ago and is ongoing. Sensitive language is defined as “language free of implied judgements based on race or ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or age.” (Language Matters, 2013).
From my perspective, it began with gender. I can recall when I was a trainee teacher in the late 1970s, that there was a focus on replacing ‘Man’ with “the human race” to refer to all people. The stylistic challenge of always writing ‘he or she’ to be gender inclusive has led to the current situation where it is grammatically acceptable to use ‘they’ as a neutral singular pronoun, in the absence of such a word in the English language.
This focus on using more sensitive language is continuing. An article on the Internet in August 2020 had the headline: “IBM, Microsoft staff rally to remove racially insensitive language from products. These efforts follow similar actions taken by Twitter, Git Hub, the Linus kernel, MySQL, and Open BSD team” (Cimpanu, 2020). An African American woman who was doing coding for Microsoft really struggled with the words “master” and “slave” in the coding language, because it just reminded her of her terrible family history. Microsoft have replaced “master-slave” with “primary-secondary”, and “whitelist” and “blacklist” with “allowlist” and “denylist”.
I would note though that these trends are mainly evident in professional and public contexts, in businesses who do not want to inadvertently offend their customers both current and potential, and public service contexts, particularly education and health.
The context matters in regard to what words are acceptable to use. When people are communicating with others in well-defined and familiar contexts, it does not present a problem, as generally they will know what words may or may not cause offence or harm to others in this familiar circle, and they do not have to choose their words carefully.
It is when people are communicating with people they do not know, that issues can arise. It is impossible to predict which words might upset someone, if nothing is known about their background or their experiences in life. However, some things should be fairly obvious even in this kind of situation, such as gender, ethnic background, nationality and perhaps profession.
Paradigm Shift in Society Regarding Eugenics
At the time when the Urantia papers were being received, in the 1920s to 1950s, eugenics was very popular in certain circles of US society, and consequently words related to eugenics were used frequently. William and Lena Sadler were strongly supportive of eugenics goals and often spoke about them at conferences (Oliva, 2013). Eugenics was also supported by some in New Zealand at a similar time. The Mental Defectives Amendment Act in 1928 included a number of these words, such as “feeble-minded, the “unfit”, “degenerates”, “imbecile children” and those with “mental defects” (Harvie, 2018).
Modern society has a very different view of eugenics post World War II and a very different view of the kind of people who were described by these terms.
In the Education sector, in particular, there has been significant change. In New Zealand, what are now called “special needs” children were integrated into mainstream schools in the 1980s and 1990s, and the special schools they previously attended were closed. Teacher training/education since then has focused strongly on ensuring that these children are not discriminated against, so inclusive and sensitive language has become the norm. Most teachers would recoil at the use of words that previously were quite common, such as “handicapped” or “crippled”.
In the Health sector, a similar approach to the use of sensitive and non-discriminatory language prevails, perhaps even more so, particularly because of the diversity of the population in New Zealand. Additionally, and quite crucially, if patients feel discriminated against by the use of particular words, then they will refuse treatment, which generally does not have a good outcome.
Sample of “Insensitive” Words in The Urantia Book
Research into some of these words can reveal the drop in use over the past few decades. Patterns of use can be shown by generating an Ngram – this is a software tool developed by Google to track the usage of a word over time. Google has extremely large databases of texts both written and spoken, and the Ngram software tracks how often words are used at different time periods.
Word 1: “feeble-minded”
Definition: lacking the normal mental powers. Medicine/Medical. (no longer in technical use) mentally deficient, stupid or foolish; not sensible: feeble–minded remarks. (www.dictionary.com) [5 mentions in The Urantia Book]
As this Ngram shows, ‘feeble-minded’ was used a lot in the 1920s, but then started decreasing and pretty much disappeared from use around 2005.
Word 2: “defective”
Definition: (from Google):
- imperfect or faulty. 2. dated offensive – having mental disabilities. [17 mentions in The Urantia Book]
There is a slightly different pattern of use for this word, as it is used to describe machinery, as well as people, and thus took longer to become the apparently obsolete word it is today.
Word 3: “degenerate”
Definition: an immoral or corrupt person. (Google) [14 mentions in The Urantia Book]
As a noun, this word refers to an immoral person. As a verb it is still used in technology and health e.g. “her condition degenerated”.
Modern Perspectives on These Words
- “feeble-minded”. A quick consultation with my 25-year old daughter about this word came up with the response: ‘we just don’t say this anymore”. This of course does not mean that there are not people with intellectual disabilities, but current knowledge of the wide range of cognitive disorders is much more advanced, and terminology is more precise.
- “defective”. Today this covers a wide range of very different disabilities, physical and intellectual, and this term is simply not used.
- “degenerate”. This referred to immoral behaviour, and there are very different moral standards today compared with the early part of the 20th Century. Again, the word has become obsolete in this meaning.
Possible effect on Urantia Book Outreach
When Urantia Book readers introduce the book and interact with new readers, they are often asked questions about these and other words that they find offensive. This is a common occurrence and has been dealt with many times by writers of articles in Urantia Book journals and presenters at conferences. I have quite a lengthy text on “Race and The Urantia Book”, and recently came across a YouTube video in which the speaker strongly condemned The Urantia Book as being a ‘racist eugenics’ book.
It can be challenging to explain some of the more contentious concepts, particularly when words such as those described above, and others, have caused someone to feel offended and hurt.
One approach could be to highlight the timeframe of the book, and to stress that it uses words and thinking acceptable at the time, but that there have been many changes in society 70 years on. In some ways The Urantia Book can be seen as an historical text, and perhaps not ‘judged’ from a modern perspective.
In terms of the use of insensitive language, the book has this to say, from Paper 81, Development of Modern Civilization:
Effectiveness of language. …Live and growing languages insure the expansion of civilised thinking and planning…Today there is great need for further linguistic development to facilitate the expression of evolving thought. [Paper 81:6.16, page 908.5]
I would add that the increase in the use of inclusive and non-discriminatory language are also improving the way differently abled people are viewed and treated. Jesus demonstrated his perspective on this in the cleansing of the Temple, as described below:
As Jesus was about to begin his address, two things happened to arrest his attention. At the money table of a near-by exchanger a violent and heated argument had arisen over the alleged overcharging of a Jew from Alexandria, while at the same moment the air was rent by the bellowing of a drove of some one hundred bullocks which was being driven from one section of the animal pens to another. As Jesus paused, silently but thoughtfully contemplating this scene of commerce and confusion, close by he beheld a simple-minded Galilean, a man he had once talked with in Iron, being ridiculed and jostled about by supercilious and would-be superior Judeans; and all of this combined to produce one of those strange and periodic uprisings of indignant emotion in the soul of Jesus. [Paper 173:1.6. page 1890.1 emphasis added).
In the end, communication is mostly between individuals, and I feel that here we simply need to pay heed to what Jesus felt when he observed how this person was treated, and make sure to treat every person, no matter what their level of ableness, as a spiritual sister or brother, and choose our words with care so that we do not cause any harm.
Barnett, S. & O’Rourke, s. (2011). Communication, Organisation and Innovation (3rd Edn.). Pearson New Zealand.
Cimpanu, C. (2020, August). IBM, Microsoft staff rally to remove racially insensitive language from products. ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-microsoft-staff-rally-to-remove-racially-insensitive-language-from-products/
Harvie, W. (2018). Flashback: NZ almost legalises eugenic sterilisation. Stuff. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/101587899/flashback-nz-almost-legalises-eugenic-sterilisation
Language Matters: The Importance of Sensitivity in Writing: Part 1. (2013). https://en-author-services.edanz.com/blogs/language-matters-importance-sensitivity-writing-part-1
Oliva, Sioux (2013). The Sadlers and Eugenics. http://legacyhistory.com/blog/the-sadlers-and-eugenics
Norman Weiss and Diana Whakapapa, NZ
(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA conference)
COVID 19 has put the entire world through a period of great challenge. One of the reasons a virus like this is such a challenge is because it affects peoples’ lives in a very mortal sense. The threat of dying suddenly raises deep anxiety in people. They think, am I ready? Am I prepared? What about those I leave behind? Have I done enough to earn my place in the ascension scheme? While others are more worried about their government placing limiting sanctions on their freedom. There is also great concern about how the extended lockdowns have impacted our economic life.
In short, this COVID 19 episode has threatened modern society with the uncertainties of life. The Urantia Book tells us that, All creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. (3:5.5) We cannot avoid the vicissitudes of existence, nor the uncertainties of life.
We live in an imperfect world and sometimes bad things happen but The Urantia Book tells us that these uncertainties and vicissitudes provide us mortals with the opportunities to develop qualities such as, courage, hope, faith, idealism, loyalty and unselfishness. Challenging times such as these can often ripen in us the “Fruits of the Spirit.” So, I would like you to consider that, because of COVID 19, we have the possibility of implementing changes for a better future once all this has passed.
The lockdowns that came in response to COVID 19 forced most people to stop the maddening pace of their lives. People had the opportunity to reconsidered what is really important in life. We’ve heard many people say, “Why did it take a pandemic to force us to slow down?” People discovered that slowing down felt good. Lockdown gave people time to pay attention to family, to their health, to their homes and gardens and to other important things in their lives. And hopefully, to decide to do some things differently in the future. For many of those we know, being in our bubbles was refreshing. It gave some a break from the onward march of materialistic pursuits. It was a great opportunity to focus inward.
Suddenly, there was more time for something that is sadly lacking in life, spirituality. Of the three aspects of being – body, mind and spirit – spirit is the side of our lives that gets put aside because often it seems that there just isn’t enough time for it. When asked a common question, “How was Lock down for you?” almost everyone we spoke to here in New Zealand described their experiences during lock down as wonderful, relaxing, enjoyable, a break from the fast pace of life, giving them time to enjoy the kids, to slow down and to reflect on the things that really matter to them.
The Urantia Book states that the family is the master civilizer of humans. It’s the place where we learn life’s most important lessons – physically, emotionally and spiritually. When things are going hay-wire in the world, as it has been with COVID 19, it becomes so gratifying to get involved in domestic life. Family life lends a distinct perspective to everything else – a robust sense of proportion. As we know, family life can also be demanding and sometimes exhausting. But it is also supremely constructive and purposeful. When home life interactions are good, it makes one feel emboldened and heartened. Love is the underlying vibration of family life. And love is what spirituality is all about as well.
Urantia Book readers focus on spirituality and develop a much broader perspective about life. We learn that the inner life, or our spiritual connection with our Thought Adjusters, is of prime importance. Lockdown gave us a break from the frantic pace of life. Perhaps some of us took that opportunity to focus more on our inner life and to connect more wholeheartedly and frequently with our Thought Adjusters. This inner perspective helps people realise that there are alternatives to a return to “business as usual”.
So, during this Covid experience you may have asked yourself, “What can I do to make myself and the world a better place?” It’s hard to make changes in our lives because we get stuck in our behavioural ruts and just keep on doing what we’ve always done. Sometimes it takes a pandemic to get us moving. Then with insight and a strong intention to move
forward we can successfully make the changes necessary to get us from where we are to where we want to go.
So I for one asked, “What can be done to create the spiritual balance that is so lacking in the world today?” I can’t change other people so I have to change something inside myself. The answer for me required setting aside time each day for doing things that enrich my spiritual connection. Reading spiritual writings is certainly one of the things that inspires me and gives me guidance. But if I’m honest, I’ve noticed that reading alone usually didn’t cause me to make the positive changes that I want for myself. It is daily routines such as prayer, meditation, contemplation, and worship that establishes in me a life that begins to be dominated by spirit. Establishing these routines is hard at first but with perseverance and an honest look at priorities in one’s life, I found that these spiritual practices become automatic. And for me, it is in them that I, from time to time, have had personal religious experiences.
Paper 34 of The Urantia Book, in section 6 it tells us:
“You are the temple of God and God dwells in you.” It is not enough that this spirit be poured out upon you; the divine Spirit must dominate and control every phase of human experience. [Paper 34:6.7, page 381.1]
Getting to that stage requires me to dip into the spiritual waters each day. Going inward allows me to more easily align with God’s will. We have an inner life and an outer life.
Taking time to slow down and partake of the inner life, helps us to be open to spirit leading. This is when God’s true light can shine on us through our Thought Adjuster.
So please join me in a short, prayerful, guided meditation together:
Sit up straight, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Your breath will lead you inwards.
Make your breath long, slow, and relaxed. Have the intention of connecting with your Thought Adjuster.
Now take your focus to your chest, the area around your heart. This place is where we feel our connection to spirit and where we feel love coming into us or emanating out from us.
As you inhale, breath in divine love. Bring it into your chest.
Once your heart and chest are filled with love; let the love overflow and fill your belly and your whole body. Bring it especially to those areas that are troubling you.
Notice how the love you breathe into your body begins to soften and relax tensions, pressures, or pains. Keep breathing in love on long, slow breaths that keep you focused in your body.
Now, bring the love into your mind. Ask your Thought Adjuster to connect you to the spirit mind, gravity circuits.
Continue breathing in love and notice how this is making you feel. Feel your gratitude for this amazing grace that our Thought Adjuster freely pours out to us. Give thanks. This love is freely given. We freely receive it. Now we can bestow love on everyone we come in contact with throughout our day.
Make a commitment to God, and to your Thought Adjuster to connect often in this way and in other ways that feel natural to you.
A daily routine of connecting will make your life a reflection of your everlasting Self, your Soul Self and to the pursuit of Truth, Beauty and Goodness in your life. God’s love helps manifest these intentions. Dive in daily and fill yourself up.
Take a minute now and go back to your natural breathing. Feel your gratitude. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.
Thank you for participating in this connecting with Spirit experience.
Rita Schaad, NSW
Urantia Activities in Australia and New Zealand
(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA Conference)
Much on ANZURA’s website – like other websites – is an archive, and I hope you will agree, a very valuable resource – both for aiding in study and for keeping our memories alive.
Good memories can be energizing especially in these times of turmoil. They can bring to the fore those values we desperately need to hang on to if we want – for us and the next generations – to get safely through “the high seas of constant change” and end up in a safe harbor once more.
- It all started with some people – scattered hither and yonder across Australia and New Zealand.
- Then there came the first Newsletter – aptly named “Six-O-Six” – spearheaded by Neil Francey and amongst others, Ian Esmore (at a meeting in the Macedon ranges in Victoria I believe).
- And then more meetings and conferences, where action plans were devised and most importantly, relationships were sealed.
Looking through those early issues of the Six-O-Six newsletters gave me an insight into the amount of effort that was made and leadership that was shown by those early reader/believers of The Urantia Book. They have extended the way they learned to discuss and fight for a standard we now accept as a given.
These were our pioneers – they were spearheading – literally – what is now ANZURA. They were visionaries – strategically and grounded clear thinkers (thank God for that…).
And it was all done by sitting down at their typewriters, some might have already owned a word processor of sorts in the nineties – churning out a Newsletter, a one-pager at first, but then it grew and more pages were filled….
But the engagement to initiate and keep the discussion alive and their perseverance to achieve an outcome is truly praise worthy – I have kept mumbling to myself over and over “W-O-W”.
There were some bumpy rides along the way, some ‘really strange teachers’ out and about and the struggle between tolerance and ‘the right or better way’ – always challenging! I Hope those of you that were there in those times, know now that it was all worth it. Thank you all!
The first ever conference was held in Narrabeen, Sydney, at the home of Kathleen and Trevor Swadling in October 1983 with eight earnest Urantia adherents in attendance. And this is where the first project for the Library Book Placement project and other general book distribution issues were discussed. Thank God once more for that because I did find The Urantia Book in my Newcastle library in 1987!
The second conference in Melbourne in 1984 saw 40 readers coming together and Neil Francey commented in his talk:
“In my closing words, I would like to say, ‘these are great days’. I say that because there are tough days ahead – days of criticism, vested interests, and confusion. We will be prepared for that, so enjoy our small effort of initial progress, which is going to prove of immense value. This will change, and we must of necessity move with the times and adjust our efforts accordingly: but for today, ‘these are great days.’”
Amongst these first ‘movers and shakers’ were:
Neil Francey, William Wentworth, Kathleen and Trevor Swadling, Steve Shanahan, Tom and Pam Reynolds and Ian Esmore – they were the signatories on a letter to John Hales in November 1984 (the Executive Director of the former Urantia Brotherhood) stating the desire for, and making inquiries about, a legal structure to be formed for readers of The Urantia Book in Australia. This legal structure eventually came into being in 1990 and was first known as the “Australian Association for Students of The Urantia Book” (AASUB) then, after connecting with our New Zealand family of readers across the Tasman, and joining the newly formed Urantia Association International in 1992 it became known as the “Australia and New Zealand Urantia Association” (ANZURA)
To see a year-by-year record of conferences from 1983 to 2013 visit the website at:
In the last couple of months a combined effort has been underway that has included Neil Francey, Tony Rudd, Steve Shanahan, William Wentworth, and myself – to collect, transcribe, and scan all the Six-O-Six’s from 1980 to 1993 – for well – eternal safe-keeping!! If you use Dropbox you may find them at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vuk0m3ke8xowvpu/AADYi8yxLqESUT19vlrKtcb1a?dl=0
This Dropbox folder has been made available for us to access courtesy of Tony Rudd in Perth. Here you will find the earliest issues of The Six-0-Six Newsletter.
(They are being stored in a Drop box folder because scanning renders them excessively large – 40 GB mostly. I’m working on downsizing them, but they are still too big to populate a website.)
All that and more is to come to the website and internet once we have finalized this combined effort of transcribing and saving these old newsletters, dating from 1980 to 1993. In addition we are collecting the Innerface International, which many of you remember was a newsletter created by Ken Glasziou from 1994 to 2004.
And for an extensive archive of our current newsletter/publication: The Arena visit:
Here you find now, that this brings you straight into our fabulous website that has been in the making for several years now under the watchful eye and skillful management of the current Urantia Association International’s Communications chair – Kathleen Swadling.
Searching through some of the older Arena issues going back 20 years or so, I came across some articles I wished could be more ‘out there’ rather than hidden away in a newsletter pdf and this started yet another project of ‘lifting’ these gems and introducing them again, or just simply archiving them on the website under various categories. In this venture Susan Hemmingsen from New Zealand has a knack of converting old style into new formats – yea! To view the list of topics our articles have been categorized in visit: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/topical-index-study-aids/
Amongst these many categories is the permanent feature since 2007 of the New Zealand corner and the President’s Report. To revisit these essays gives us another historic timeline of both our National Association but also the comprehension of the various writers at the time of the current situation – just sweet treats they are – especially if you are personally acquainted with these people! See:
Now this brings us once more to the subject of:
From the first conference in 1983 at Narrabeen comes a prediction…
“This inaugural conference has paved the way for the future. No doubt in the years to come conferences will be held in other capital cities of Australia…”
A wonderful prediction – apart from this one – imagine! Conferencing via the internet (Zoom) was unheard of nor imagined back then!
And another reflection:
From Dennis Clampitt, NZ, after the South Pacific meeting in 1988 (Six-O-Six Jan/Feb 1989)
All of the New Zealanders who attended the South Pacific Meeting agreed, that it was a success. We appreciated the relaxed approach in the time-table which allowed for such adjustments as inevitably resulted from rescheduling so many activities over four days.
“It is to be hoped that we New Zealanders can match such an effort in the future, should we host such a broadly based South Pacific conference. True to its theme, we certainly had a unity in cultural diversity.”
From these comments I can taste the joy we are experiencing when meeting, socializing and studying at these events. Let’s hope it won’t be too long before we can again travel and gather in numbers face-to-face!
Just another little snipped in honor of our present NZ conference organizers. Consider your beginnings….
A report and a New Zealand meeting from Six-O-Six, June 1981:
“There’s good news from across the Tasman in New Zealand. The Urantia Book is well represented there by a nucleus of readers who also share a strong interest in music.
“A recent letter from Mark McEwan in Auckland tells of their latest news. It is of particular interest for fellow readers in Australia, and we’d like to present relevant details for your enjoyment:
“The scene in New Zealand, as far as readers of The Urantia Book goes, is still in the early stages with a hard core of about seven or eight (it varies), based in Wellington, and two readers in Auckland. The study group in Wellington has been functioning for over two years now and has had its share of conflicts, but if not continuing formally, it certainly continues informally.
“One recent undertaking which is becoming a very successful enterprise is the development of the New Zealand Jazz Foundation. Colin Hemmingsen, one of our readers, was elected president, and his wife Susan is putting in many hours of unpaid work to function as secretary and behind-the-scenes organiser. Other readers are involved with this Foundation in various ways, but the important thing is that this organization has ‘clout’, and can open our education system to aspiring creative musicians. The Hemmingsen’s also ran a ‘Creative Music School’ for some years and were responsible for the introduction of the National Jazz Clinics to New Zealand, which entailed some twenty odd faculties from the U.S.A. visiting and passing on their approach and philosophies.
“I can see the results, not only in the positive repercussions on fellow musicians, but also in the enhancement of life that sincere believers, with direction and intelligent effort, have brought to this small part of the world.”
Six-O-Six March/April 1990. Does anyone remember your first gathering?
By Marion Steward, Auckland:
“Last year some of the readers in New Zealand got together for a weekend meeting, a first for most of us here, and a very valuable experience. We met at Neville and Trish Twist’s house in Auckland, on the 14th and 15th October 1989, and comprised the Auckland Study Group plus Susan and Colin Hemmingsen from Wellington. A group of readers from Hamilton had been invited, but were unable to make it this time.
“The meeting started with a presentation by Mark McEwan, who gave us a very concise overview of life according to The Urantia Book from an individual point of view, describing all the myriad of spiritual influences on each of us and how it all interacts, complete with diagrams. This was followed by a very thought-provoking presentation from Neville dealing with apparent inconsistencies in the book regarding seraphic velocities.
“We spent the afternoon reading the paper on Christianity’s problem, which generated much discussion, as we all come from varying religious backgrounds, and have quite different viewpoints.
“The day was rounded off by listening to some of the Sadler tapes, which we have acquired thanks to Trevor and Kathleen Swadling, and which I for one find utterly fascinating, coming as they do from the very beginnings of The Urantia Book. Most of the group then indulged in a meal from the local Indian takeaway place, which by all accounts turned into quite a test of one’s tolerance for high spice levels!
“On Sunday morning we were just discussing what paper to read, when two visitors arrived, and at their request we read from ‘Government on a Neighbouring Planet’, and some quite intriguing ideas came forth on how part of this paper could be applied to modern Urantia. Our visitors were quite new to the book but were also keen to promote their own particular interests and turned the discussion to astral travel and channelling. I would like to share this with other readers, as I think it happens quite a lot, and we as a group have discussed it several times before i.e. the appropriate way of relating to people who express an interest in the book but see it as one of many sources of truth and wisdom, and who investigate everything.
“In The Urantia Book we are encouraged to find out about other religions and to take the best from them all, but do we do this in the context of a study group or is it best done individually? We would welcome any comment on this.
Our meeting progressed through Sunday lunch, followed by a short discussion and multi-cultural and multi-lingual aspects, and winding up with a general agreement that the weekend had been very successful and we must do it again soon! Hopefully, next time we will be joined by the group in Hamilton and rally start to sow the seeds of a New Zealand Urantia Book fraternity.”
(end Marion’s article)
Another visual treat was planned for presentation in form of a small PowerPoint presentation with photos from the 2014 Conference at Long Bay, Auckland New Zealand, but there were technical difficulties with that. In any case it is our intention to make conference photos available in some format on the Website as yet another archival stroll down Memory lane.
Rita Schaad, Newcastle NSW
Nigel Nunn, ACT
The Urantia Book presents a cosmology that stirs the soul: a central and perfect universe, fringed by spacetime shallows in which finaliters are born; finaliters, destined to launch from this cosmic continental shelf into oceanic depths, seeding the light and life of personality throughout nested levels of outer space.
Soul stirring indeed! A cosmology pervaded by meaning and value, eclipsing in its scope our finest Sci-fi. What a relief from the consensus materialist models that native science has managed to evolve.
However, right after having thus stirred our souls, these authors pour cold water over our expectations. From Paper 101 section 4:
…within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision… [Paper 101:4.2, page 1109.3]
“Will stand in need of revision”. When compared with current consensus cosmology, of a young universe beginning with a hot Big Bang, the cosmology of The Urantia Book is so unorthodox, and so apparently wrong, that some students of these papers now see this cosmology as little more than decoration for the book’s more important themes: its spiritual and philosophical revelations. But take another look at those “Limitations of Revelation” discussed in Paper 101. Immediately after stating that, with regard to scientific facts they were limited in what could reveal, they go on to list a number of things they were permitted to do. The first of these is especially interesting. Again, from Paper 101 section 4:
The reduction of confusion by the authoritative elimination of error. [Paper 101:4.6, page 1109.7]
“[T]he authoritative elimination of error.” As far as I can tell, there is only one place where the authors point explicitly to one of our scientific assumptions, and tell us bluntly that it’s wrong. This is in Paper 12, regarding the use of redshift to determine the distance to galaxies in outer space. From Paper 12 section 4,
…But this apparent speed of recession is not real;… [Paper 12:4.14, page 134.3]
Recall that the “apparent speed of recession” of distant galaxies forms the foundation of our current consensus cosmology, that the universe began with a hot big bang a mere 14 billion years ago. So if this “apparent speed of recession” is in fact “not real”, then this single assumption (about “Hubble’s Law”) is indeed responsible for an awful lot of confusion! And so the authors would be well within their rights to attempt some “reduction of confusion by the authoritative elimination of error”.
Which opens the door to an opportunity: that students of The Urantia Book present a model of the cosmos that explains all the data and anomalies that (increasingly!) confuse and contradict current mainstream assumptions. One attempt to sketch the outlines of such a model is taking shape at this link:
Playlist – Urantia Book Cosmology
Regarding the (missing) final video in this series, the James Webb Space Telescope is due to be launched late this year (November 2021). Given what this (infrared-optimized) space telescope might reveal, video Part 4D is being tuned to predict a few simple but game-changing facts about our home spiral of stars, the ancient Milky Way. Stay tuned!
Presentation of the same name by Nigel Nunn at the Scientific Symposium 2019, Urantia Foundations Headquarters, Chicago, USA
Neil Francey, QLD
In this collection of short papers, the study of ethics is taken to a universal level. They apply to the highest forms of behavior relative to progress for each of us in the realms ahead. They go beyond the application of ethics at the mortal level of functioning where they are the basis of our way of life.
By selecting appropriate quotations from The Urantia Book and by directing study to a particular topic, an aspect of the mortal and spiritual natures of man can be addressed. By studying carefully chosen excerpts, related new ideas and insights can be formulated. New understandings can be generated.
Spiritual ethics, post-mortal ethics, universally effect mortal life in transforming ways for society and for the individual. The highest ethics, as truth, impact on personal and group habits and behaviors. And as such, they contribute to the mores, and potentially usher in elevated levels of civil society.
This evolutionary process of revelation is not new. It is in fact, the very way that we have progressed to our current status.
These modules can be used in a teacher facilitated group setting or used as a self-paced personal study. They are designed to be used in conjunction with the full text of The Urantia Book.
To view the entire work click on: Universal Ethics Pdf
Editor’s Note: This is another great study aid by Neil Francey, who has given us ‘SuperMeditation’ and ‘Business on Urantia’ in recent years. You can find more of his works on the website at:
Cecilia Ann Bendall, TAS
One of the few topics that we are told led to Jesus being stirred within his spirit was the inference that we should all see alike. When asked by James Zebedee Master, how shall we learn to see alike and thereby enjoy more harmony among ourselves? (141:5.1) Jesus replied:
“James, James, when did I teach you that you should all see alike? I have come into the world to proclaim spiritual liberty to the end that mortals may be empowered to live individual lives of originality and freedom before God. I do not desire that social harmony and fraternal peace shall be purchased by the sacrifice of free personality and spiritual originality. What I require of you, my apostles, is spirit unity—and that you can experience in the joy of your united dedication to the wholehearted doing of the will of my Father in heaven. You do not have to see alike or feel alike or even think alike in order spiritually to be alike. Spiritual unity is derived from the consciousness that each of you is indwelt, and increasingly dominated, by the spirit gift of the heavenly Father. Your apostolic harmony must grow out of the fact that the spirit hope of each of you is identical in origin, nature, and destiny.
“In this way you may experience a perfected unity of spirit purpose and spirit understanding growing out of the mutual consciousness of the identity of each of your indwelling Paradise spirits; and you may enjoy all of this profound spiritual unity in the very face of the utmost diversity of your individual attitudes of intellectual thinking, temperamental feeling, and social conduct. Your personalities may be refreshingly diverse and markedly different, while your spiritual natures and spirit fruits of divine worship and brotherly love may be so unified that all who behold your lives will of a surety take cognizance of this spirit identity and soul unity; they will recognize that you have been with me and have thereby learned, and acceptably, how to do the will of the Father in heaven. You can achieve the unity of the service of God even while you render such service in accordance with the technique of your own original endowments of mind, body, and soul.
“Your spirit unity implies two things, which always will be found to harmonize in the lives of individual believers: First, you are possessed with a common motive for life service; you all desire above everything to do the will of the Father in heaven. Second, you all have a common goal of existence; you all purpose to find the Father in heaven, thereby proving to the universe that you have become like him.” [ Paper 141:5.1-3, page 1591.6 emphases added]
It seems that Jesus had difficulty in getting this through to the apostles:
Many times during the training of the twelve Jesus reverted to this theme. Repeatedly he told them it was not his desire that those who believed in him should become dogmatized and standardized in accordance with the religious interpretations of even good men. Again and again he warned his apostles against the formulation of creeds and the establishment of traditions as a means of guiding and controlling believers in the gospel of the kingdom. [Paper 141:5.4, page 1592.2]
There is something so comfortable in being with people who appear to think the same way as we do. And with the knowledge gleaned from The Urantia Book we know that Jesus’ message to the whole local universe was the message of his gospel – God is our Universal Father, and we are all his children, attainment of salvation is by faith, and faith alone. Further, God’s desire is for us all to learn to love as Jesus did, and to attune our will to his will for us – to be perfect as our beloved Universal Father is as exemplified by Jesus as the Son of Man – our inspiration as to what a human being totally committed to doing God’s will can become.
The problem arises when we discover that others have a different definition of God, and/or his will for them, their role in relation to others, and other’s role in relation to them, followed by them then regarding the aforementioned as a Universal Truth that should be embraced by all. It is as if ‘the other’ doing so affirms their truth as The Truth.
It is as if we become emotionally and intellectually attached to our definitions and then want to inflict them upon others as The Truth, rather than our truth at this point in time. We have the need to label their differing views as ‘wrong’ or become insecure in the possibility that ours may be ‘wrong’.
We also seem to feel that we need to, (a) suppress our viewpoints as the price of achieving harmony with them, (b) convert them, or (c) dismiss interaction with them, relegating it to be of no value.
As the prime subject of my research into how the human being thinks, I watch myself, again and again, listening to another’s viewpoint on a ‘religious/spiritual’ topic, the certitude or conviction in their tone that they are speaking a universal truth, followed by my expressing my opinion in relation to a topic. On a passionate topic like religion, on many occasions the discussion quickly deteriorates into a significant debate into who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’ with a bias to display absolutely no respect for the other’s current reality, in our need to educate them in the error of their belief.
This is despite Jesus never doing this. To him, “.…the true teacher maintains his intellectual integrity by ever remaining a learner.” (130:3.7, 1433.2)
I amaze myself in how I can so quickly become emotionally attached to my viewpoint and dismiss another’s differing opinion as being born of ignorance, accompanied by a penchant on my part to infer this to them.
And yet if they phrase an opinion on any topic as a universal “everyone believes” I get very much stirred in mind and abruptly interject with “I don’t!” This more often than not is found offensive, constructionistic, uninformed, or adversarial and divisive on my part.
A beautiful example of this human tendency is provided by Simon when he initially interacted with Teherma whom he looked upon (the Persian) as a “fire worshiper,” although Teherma took great pains to explain that fire was only the visible symbol of the Pure and Holy One. (141.6.1). In my current interpretation of The Urantia Book it seems that Simon was not convinced or that Teherma did not think that he was.
Hence when Simon later asked Jesus why it was that Teherma had resisted him but that after talking with Jesus … signified his intention of remaining for several days to hear the teaching and listen to the preaching. (141:6.1, 1592.3)
“Simon, Simon, how many times have I instructed you to refrain from all efforts to take something out of the hearts of those who seek salvation? How often have I told you to labor only to put something into these hungry souls? Lead men into the kingdom, and the great and living truths of the kingdom will presently drive out all serious error. When you have presented to mortal man the good news that God is his Father, you can the easier persuade him that he is in reality a son of God. And having done that, you have brought the light of salvation to the one who sits in darkness. Simon, when the Son of Man came first to you, did he come denouncing Moses and the prophets and proclaiming a new and better way of life? I came not to take away that which you had from your forefathers but to show you the perfected vision of that which your fathers saw only in part.” [Paper 141:6.2, page 1592.4]
After reading The Urantia Book I appreciated how important it was to respect and strive to understand my brothers’ and sisters’ religious philosophy, as recommended by The Urantia Book.
Reared a Catholic I had a rough idea of this religion and, having a friend who decided to convert to Catholicism in the early 2000’s, was able to appreciate the amazing transfer of emphasis from Jesus as the Son of God to Jesus as The Son of Man that has occurred, commencing at around the late 1960’s in this religion (thanks to people such as Thomas Merton).
So, I read on most other religions, including reading their ‘holy books’, plus lots of New Age beliefs. To aid in this process I had the record of Jesus’ and Ganid’s project of seeking the best in holy books and writings. I discovered such gems, such as Jesus being regarded in the Islamic faiths as the most beloved of Allah’s prophets, as exemplified by his being taken to Heaven alive.
I have found that reading about other religions has aided me in respecting that no one needs converting, and how important it is only to give advice if asked for, and phrase it as “this is my current belief”.
And the fact that I am continually learning and will never know The Truth is exhilarating in that I don’t have to change this goal for eternity.
more articles of Cecilia Ann Bendall can be found in the archives of Innerface International
Chris Moseley, England
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, Autumn 1999)
The concept of ‘Mind’ in itself, in the abstract, unlimited sense of the word, does not imply free will, but the individual mind, mortal mind, has freewill as an inseparable, defining component. In the passage on p.1216 entitled The Mind Arena of Choice, there is a striking sentence that almost expresses the kernel of the whole human condition:
Human consciousness rests gently upon the electrochemical mechanism below and delicately touches the spirit-morontia energy system above. [Paper 111:1.5, page 1216.6]
Viewed in these terms, what a finely-tuned creature a human being seems; what a mysterious fragility everyday existence has; and what grave responsibilities are implied for all the choices we make!
Whether undifferentiated, in the sense of infinite or absolute mind, or finite, acting through the ministry of the adjutant mind spirits, all Mind can be ‘superimposed upon energy.’ (p.102) in other words, mind can directionize energies through its own choices. Mind adds meaning to energy.
Another thing we can say about all mind is that it originates from the Third Source and Centre, the Third Person of Deity. But that does not mean that mind is inherently divine. If it were, it would presumably be free of error and misjudgement. Nor would it be distorted by fear and prejudice.
One of the mysterious features of creature mind is that it develops in ways that can’t be accounted for by physical growth or intellectual maturity. Individual minds do aspire upwards, or inwards, to the Third Source and Centre, which attracts them through the mind-gravity circuit. If this were not so, presumably the creature races would never progress, because they would not be able to assimilate values and make choices based on more than mere Things and Meanings. But we, as material beings, can’t view this objectively; being unable to discern mind-gravity at work, we can’t distinguish it from spirit gravity.
Material beings are most familiar with the workings of material gravity. It is the only kind of gravity of which mortals can have objective evidence. In fact, even that gravity is something we have only discovered in the last four centuries of our long existence. Mind, we learn on p.140 of the revelation, is ‘Organized consciousness’ which is not wholly subject to material gravity, and which becomes truly liberated when modified by spirit.
Our choices as mortals, then, are not as free as we might imagine, because of this invisible gravity pull, just as the tides are affected by the pull of the moon.
We must remember that Adjusters have minds of their own (p.1181), but don’t exercise free will; this is the prerogative of the will creatures they indwell (p.1183).
They have indwelt us through an act of volition, but their own free will is sacrificed to ours. The prepersonal is at the disposal of the personal. And this is why it is so dangerous to automatically attribute our moral choices and decisions to adjuster guidance. The adjuster’s leading may be felt in the long term, and maybe seen with hindsight, but, the book tells us (p.1207), it is wiser and safer to attribute our thoughts, choices and decisions to purely mental activity.
So we come to the crux of the problem. What I’ve been saying is just an attempt to prepare for reading The Mind Arena of Choice. *(See Appendix at the end of this article to read the entire section of Paper 111.1.1, page 1216)
Let’s try to comment on each paragraph.
The metaphor of human soil used in the first paragraph implies that mind has nourishing and nurturing properties for the future morontia soul. This is a humbling reminder that minds have more work to do than merely steering us through mortal life.
In the second paragraph, the origin of individual mind, intellectual selves, in the cosmic mind is likened to the origin of nebulae – an awesome simile. This serves to remind us, at the very least, that mortal mental activity is a distant echo of the cosmic destiny that awaits mortals whose minds have been evolving through the ministry of the universe mind-spirits.
The third paragraph likens mind to an arena, a venue for an important and visible performance. In this arena, far-reaching choices must be made.
The fourth paragraph reintroduces and re-emphasises the concept that this is a unique and irredeemable set of choices that our mortal minds must make: on these choices depend our whole future course as ascending beings.
I’ve already commented on the magnificent summary of the human condition that we find as the kernel of the fifth paragraph. Look again, though, at the reinforcing message:
…it is not so much what mind comprehends as what mind desires to comprehend that insures survival. [Paper 111.1.5, page 1216.6]
The sixth paragraph shows us the perils and responsibilities of having a borrowed mental vehicle. Freewill choices are routinely made with short-term gains for the self in mind. But the hard lesson, perhaps the hardest lesson to learn, is how to surrender that will to God’s.
The seventh paragraph seems hard to understand at first, as it implies that the vast majority of mortals are unstable, but this is what they are, if we view their choices as whims, or dependent on certain sets of finite circumstances.
The eighth paragraph restates the relationship of mind to the Adjuster. It is why they are called Adjusters rather than Manipulators or Controllers.
And the final paragraph contains magnificent truths that can’t be distilled into summaries:
Mind is your ship, the Adjuster is your pilot, the human will is captain. [Paper 111:1.9, page 1217.4]
The imagery of shipwreck and peril at sea reminds us again of the heavy onus on mortal beings to make right, Adjuster guided choices.
Consider what imaginative modes of love that we, as Finaliters, may be able to express. Might this indicate something about God’s purpose in permitting eternity?
See the complete newsletter at:
*Appendix – Section in The Urantia Book discussed above:
- The Mind Arena of Choice
(1216.2) 111:1.1 Though the work of Adjusters is spiritual in nature, they must, perforce, do all their work upon an intellectual foundation. Mind is the human soil from which the spirit Monitor must evolve the morontia soul with the co-operation of the indwelt personality.
(1216.3) 111:1.2 There is a cosmic unity in the several mind levels of the universe of universes. Intellectual selves have their origin in the cosmic mind much as nebulae take origin in the cosmic energies of universe space. On the human (hence personal) level of intellectual selves the potential of spirit evolution becomes dominant, with the assent of the mortal mind, because of the spiritual endowments of the human personality together with the creative presence of an entity-point of absolute value in such human selves. But such a spirit dominance of the material mind is conditioned upon two experiences: This mind must have evolved up through the ministry of the seven adjutant mind-spirits, and the material (personal) self must choose to co-operate with the indwelling Adjuster in creating and fostering the morontia self, the evolutionary and potentially immortal soul.
(1216.4) 111:1.3 Material mind is the arena in which human personalities live, are self-conscious, make decisions, choose God or forsake him, eternalize or destroy themselves.
(1216.5) 111:1.4 Material evolution has provided you a life machine, your body; the Father himself has endowed you with the purest spirit reality known in the universe, your Thought Adjuster. But into your hands, subject to your own decisions, has been given mind, and it is by mind that you live or die. It is within this mind and with this mind that you make those moral decisions which enable you to achieve Adjusterlikeness, and that is Godlikeness.
(1216.6) 111:1.5 Mortal mind is a temporary intellect system loaned to human beings for use during a material lifetime, and as they use this mind, they are either accepting or rejecting the potential of eternal existence. Mind is about all you have of universe reality that is subject to your will, and the soul — the morontia self — will faithfully portray the harvest of the temporal decisions which the mortal self is making. Human consciousness rests gently upon the electrochemical mechanism below and delicately touches the spirit-morontia energy system above. Of neither of these two systems is the human being ever completely conscious in his mortal life; therefore must he work in mind, of which he is conscious. And it is not so much what mind comprehends as what mind desires to comprehend that insures survival; it is not so much what mind is like as what mind is striving to be like that constitutes spirit identification. It is not so much that man is conscious of God as that man yearns for God that results in universe ascension. What you are today is not so important as what you are becoming day by day and in eternity.
(1217.1) 111:1.6 Mind is the cosmic instrument on which the human will can play the discords of destruction, or upon which this same human will can bring forth the exquisite melodies of God identification and consequent eternal survival. The Adjuster bestowed upon man is, in the last analysis, impervious to evil and incapable of sin, but mortal mind can actually be twisted, distorted, and rendered evil and ugly by the sinful machinations of a perverse and self-seeking human will. Likewise can this mind be made noble, beautiful, true, and good — actually great — in accordance with the spirit-illuminated will of a God-knowing human being.
(1217.2) 111:1.7 Evolutionary mind is only fully stable and dependable when manifesting itself upon the two extremes of cosmic intellectuality — the wholly mechanized and the entirely spiritualized. Between the intellectual extremes of pure mechanical control and true spirit nature there intervenes that enormous group of evolving and ascending minds whose stability and tranquillity are dependent upon personality choice and spirit identification.
(1217.3) 111:1.8 But man does not passively, slavishly, surrender his will to the Adjuster. Rather does he actively, positively, and co-operatively choose to follow the Adjuster’s leading when and as such leading consciously differs from the desires and impulses of the natural mortal mind. The Adjusters manipulate but never dominate man’s mind against his will; to the Adjusters the human will is supreme. And they so regard and respect it while they strive to achieve the spiritual goals of thought adjustment and character transformation in the almost limitless arena of the evolving human intellect.
(1217.4) 111:1.9 Mind is your ship, the Adjuster is your pilot, the human will is captain. The master of the mortal vessel should have the wisdom to trust the divine pilot to guide the ascending soul into the morontia harbors of eternal survival. Only by selfishness, slothfulness, and sinfulness can the will of man reject the guidance of such a loving pilot and eventually wreck the mortal career upon the evil shoals of rejected mercy and upon the rocks of embraced sin. With your consent, this faithful pilot will safely carry you across the barriers of time and the handicaps of space to the very source of the divine mind and on beyond, even to the Paradise Father of Adjusters.
(Robert Venosa (1936 -2011) was an artist and also a Urantia Book reader who lived and worked in Boulder, US and in Spain. This poem was taken from his book, Noospheres 1991)
An eternal Light from the infinite source
An idea in motion on an infinite course
Guided by love and powered by light,
One spark erupts illumining the night.
Searching for form in unlimited space
The spark seeks reflection to decide on a face
Expanding itself it shatters apart
And a mirror is born for duality’s start.
The original thought reproduces itself
Releasing the fetters of solitude self.
Spinning in motion in ecstatic embrace
A father of time, a mother of space
In the womb of a wish, fulfilling the need
An embryo forms – the trinity seed.
A fetus of hope, the urge of creation,
A promise of thought in cosmic gestation.
The spirit is born taking nest in the soul
To guide all desire to its infinite goal.
A network of light spirals out and expands
Matter and mind in an energy dance
Sparks turn to atoms and atoms embrace
Expression unfolds saturating all space
Atoms to suns, and suns in their might
Give birth to the worlds and feed them with light.
The cradle is set for love’s gesture supreme;
The god-child appears fulfilling the dream.
From the seed of a thought and an infinite plan
Starting with hope and ending with man
The universe spreads in eternal desire
That in love it return to the heart of its sire.
Parasamgate, Artist Robert Venosa
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
- Publish the Arena newsletter
- 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.
For detailed information on ANZURA’s Services and Programs click here
For information about Membership in ANZURA click here
ANZURA Contact details:
PO Box 1581
Warriewood NSW 2102
The Arena newsletter keeps students of The Urantia Book throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in touch with Urantia related news, activities and events from our local region as well as from the global Urantia Book reader community. It also provides interesting articles written by readers on a wide range of subjects from the book which we hope may be helpful in assisting with your studies.
The Arena is published by ANZURA two to three times a year and is dedicated to the promotion of goodwill and understanding among readers of The Urantia Book. Articles and editorial contributions that relate to The Urantia Book and its teachings are welcome from readers all over the world.
If you would like to receive the Arena or submit an article, please send us an email at anzura.urantia @ gmail.com
To view current and past issues of the Arena click here.
ANZURA’s Contact Details
P.O. Box 1581
Warriewood, NSW 2102
Phone: 0431 285 943 (from Australia) or +61 431 285 943 (international)
Please note: Any interpretations, opinions, conclusions, or artistic representations, whether stated or implied, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of ANZURA or the editorial team of the Arena.
ANZURA’s mission is to foster the in-depth study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teachings.
The UB Endeavour is a fundraising initiative to raise funds for ANZURA to help us spread The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region.
Here are some of our programs designed to achieve these objectives:
Book Distribution – Sowing Seeds
We hold a small inventory of Urantia Books and other associated material such as study aids and secondary works that are available to readers for dissemination projects. We sponsor a gift-book program where books are donated to libraries and relevant learning centres as well as study groups and individuals who wish to assist in the book-seeding program.
Bringing People Together
We provide a reader referral service that helps connect readers with others and to let them know of any study groups or reader activities in their towns or regions. Volunteer staff are also available to respond to inquiries about The Urantia Book and associated reader activities.
Each year ANZURA organises two major study events: The National Study Day and an annual Urantia Book Readers’ Conference. (See Events Calendar on our website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/events. We also foster the development of study groups both face-to-face and virtual. (See our Study Group Guide at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups.)
We maintain a website at https://anzura.urantia-association.org that services readers and curious truth-seekers alike with information, study aids, secondary works, and easy links to the entire text of The Urantia Book online with an efficient search engine.
We maintain a resource library containing a collection of study aids and resources. See our Products list at https://anzura.urantia-association.org/2019/05/05/study-aid-products-order-form
A four-part introductory DVD has been developed as a study aid which can be a useful tool to introduce people to The Urantia Book. (See https://anzura.urantia-association.org/2017/10/20/video-introduction-to-urantia-book
Naturally none of this work can be done without an administration centre that requires basic office equipment such as computers, printers, internet access, telephones, postage and stationary.
There is continually much work to be done and all of this requires funds. Would you please consider making a contribution? For the average income-earner we recommend regular small donations such as a dollar-a-day (or $30 per month) automatically debited from bank accounts on a perpetual basis.
Ways to Donate
If you decide to assist us with the promotion and dissemination of The Urantia Book by contributing to the UB Endeavour fund, you may do so by any of the following methods:
- Call us on 0431 285 943 with credit card details that we can take over the phone.
- Direct debit into ANZURA’s bank account:
Account Name: ANZURA
Account Number: 67 899 2437
- Fill out the Donation Form below and return it with your contribution to:
PO Box 1581
Warriewood, NSW 2102
For further inquiries phone 0431 285 943 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Click here to view the list of contacts on the website.