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Arena – Summer 2021

In This Issue

President’s Report – Summer 2021

Phillip Marriott, Adelaide, SA 

Happy New Year and I sincerely hope you have all had a good Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season.

As one year draws to a close and and another one starts, and as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, let’s hope we will start moving towards some semblance of normality. However, now that the new Omicron variant is throwing a spanner in the works, it remains to be seen whether we can “live with the virus” or not. I feel that in the big picture society, to some degree has been changed forever. I get a sense that we are moving in the right direction, even though sometimes it may seem like a swinging pendulum.

We have had our annual conference which was somewhat modified but nonetheless a success. (See a full report further on in this newsletter.) Thank you to the Sydney group for organising this event. Hopefully our next annual conference in Tasmania will be back to a normal in-person gathering.

From where I sit, I see and hear that there are many study groups happening across Australia and New Zealand. It would be great to reach out to them all now and again so we may get to know one another and share how our study groups are faring.

Personally, I am involved in two study groups: the Mona Vale monthly Sydney study group and the online weekly group hosted by myself. Occasionally I attend the Canberra Study Group online.

Our weekly online group has on average four attendees, though lately we have had seven to eight, all from various places including Tasmania, Adelaide, Newcastle, Sydney, Albert, and Canberra. The Mona Vale Sydney group usually has an average of seven in-person and another six or seven virtual regular attendees.

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 ANZURA Study Group list on our website at: Also view the international Urantia Study Group Directory. You can simply Google “Urantia Study Group directory” or use this link

We publish two to three Arena’s each year which contain interesting information on news and events in our region as well as study articles written by students of The Urantia Book. I hope you enjoy reading this summer issue which contains some of the presentations held at our recent virtual annual conference.

If you have anything you would like to contribute to the Arena please contact us. Also if you would like to take more of an active role in ANZURA please contact us and let us know how you would like to help.

May you all have a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year and enjoy your festivities with friends and family. 

In service and faithfully
Phillip Marriott

2022 Anzura Annual Conference

Conference Committee

21 to 24 October 2022

After two years of virtual conferences, we are optimistic and delighted to invite you to this year’s annual ANZURA conference which is being held as a face-to-face event in October of this year in the stunning tourist destination of Port Arthur in Tasmania. So dust off those unused travel bags and treat yourselves to a long weekend of inspiring experiences and socialising with kindred spirits.

The venue has changed since our first announcement. Instead of holding the conference at the Fox & Hounds Inn we will now be meeting at Stewarts Bay Lodge which is set in a stunning waterfront location and is nestled in a world heritage listed national park. It is within walking distance to Port Arthur’s Historic Site. Stewarts Bay Lodge offers a variety of quality self-contained cabin and chalet accommodation with restaurant, function rooms and recreation facilities all surrounded by a white-sand beach, crystal clear ocean waters and beautiful woodlands.

Theme: Walking the ROPE - An Invitation to Intimacy with God

The ‘ROPE’ in the theme title is an acronym for the Religion OPersonal Experience so the full meaning of the theme title translates to ‘Walking the Religion of Personal Experience – An Invitation to Intimacy with God’. We hope that this will be a truly enriching spiritual experience for all who attend, either in person or via Zoom. We will be talking about the ultimate human experience.

The Urantia Book is replete with awe-inspiring quotes reminding us that personal, intimate fellowship with God is within reach of us all!

It is high time that man had a religious experience so personal and so sublime that it could be realized and expressed only by “feelings that lie too deep for words.” [Paper 99:5.9; page 1091.8]


Stewarts Bay Lodge, 6955 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, Tasmania. Accommodation will be in a variety of quality self-contained cabin and chalet type dwellings with restaurant, function rooms and recreation facilities all surrounded by a white-sand beach, crystal clear ocean waters and beautiful woodlands.

If you’re thinking of incorporating the conference with a family holiday Stewarts Bay Lodge is the ideal base from which to explore Tasmania’s famous Tasman Peninsula with its world-renowned historic site and its many natural wonders that delight families, tourists and nature lovers.

(To book for dates outside of the conference times check out this venue at:


The exquisite “On the Bay” restaurant is part of the same central facility as our conference room. It is a fully licensed waterfront restaurant, is air conditioned, and has two log fires for all year comfort.

All meals are provided from Friday dinner to Monday breakfast along with morning teas. On Friday evening there will be a pre-dinner “meet and greet” happy hour.

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 catered for.


Full Conference: $450 – includes 3 nights of twin-share accommodation and all meals from Friday dinner to Monday breakfast.

Daily Rate $100 – includes lunch and dinner.
Daily Rate $50 – includes lunch only.


Stewarts Bay Lodge is just 90 minutes from Hobart in the beautiful region known as the Tasman Peninsula. There are a variety of airport shuttle bus services and alternative transport options. You can check them out and even book some of them at:


Click on the image below for the PDF of the Information Brochure that has the Registration form. You may print out the form and fill out your details. (See below the image for more details.)

Please send completed registration forms to:
Via email:
Regular mail: ANZURA, PO Box 1581, Warriewood NSW 2102, Australia


For further information please contact ANZURA:
Phone: 0431 285 943


2021 ANZURA Virtual Conference Report

Kathleen Swadling, Sydney NSW

This year’s 2021 ANZURA conference, hosted by our Sydney team was held as a virtual Zoom conference on 2nd October. Once again, for all the “new normal” reasons we had to cancel our in-person event. We had high hopes all year that we could meet face-to-face as we saw our case numbers rapidly diminish to almost zero and then… as we all know, Delta hit and cases soared, so it was back to square one. Nevertheless, since we are told that disappointment is actually good for us, we joyfully knuckled down to figure out how we could adjust our plans accordingly.

As this was our second year of lockdowns, many of us were becoming old hands at holding conferences, meetings, and study groups via Zoom. Even though 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 in-depth Urantia Book presentations and discussions. This method has proven to be a surprisingly effective alternative in keeping us all connected and has even had the very positive outcome of allowing many who could not previously attend study groups or gatherings because of distance, to participate from the comfort of their living rooms.

Merindi Belarski was our MC, and our team of presenters were Julian Martin, Nigel Nunn, Phillip Marriott, Andrew Swadling, Merindi Belarski, Daniel Swadling, Robert Coenraads, Vern Verass and Rita Schaad.

We had a couple of musical interludes thanks to a live performance from Jim Neal and a pre-recorded video clip of a song by Trevor Swadling. We closed with a video clip of what is becoming a conference all-time favorite; Pray Tell Me How (written by Rebecca Oswald and Michael Hanian). Here is a list of the presentation topics:

Living in the Flesh – Julian Martin
We Are Because I AM – Nigel Nunn
Courageous Loyalty – Phillip Marriott
How is Truth Coherent? – Daniel Swadling
How is Beauty Attractive? – Merindi Belarski
How is Goodness Stabilizing? – Andrew Swadling
The Benefits of Factual Mediation – Robert Coenraads
Fountainhead of Creative Thinking – Vern Verass
Closing Worship – Rita Schaad

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.

Thank you to all the silent worker-bees who made this event happen. We hope we will see everyone in October of 2022 in Tasmania for what we hope will be an in-person conference.

Living In the Flesh

Julian Martin, Sydney NSW

(Summary of Julian Martin's opening presentation of ANZURA’s Virtual 2021 Annual Conference)

Julian opened his presentation by acknowledging that he felt privileged and humbled to be a part of this wonderful group of Urantia Book students. To set the tone of the conference theme he asked everyone to join him as he read a passage from The Urantia Book.

Before reading he explained that this particular passage had had a tremendous impact on him just a couple of weeks before he was asked to serve on the conference planning committee. After he shared the passage with the planning group they all agreed that it was just right to help us connect with our indwelling Spirit as it captures the ‘heart-of-the matter’ that Jesus expressed as he addressed his apostles before their ordination.

The passage is section one of Paper 140, The Ordination of the Twelve. Julian felt that this first section, Preliminary Instruction, is so full of priceless gems that we ought to reflect upon them as we start each day and indeed, every time we meet for a conference like this as we embark on the path of faith of our onward journey towards God. Jesus’ first objective was always “seek ye first the Kingdom of God.”

When looking for the Truth – our truth, our purpose in life – we often get overwhelmed by the immense vastness of the difficulties and complexities facing us within this world; our questions about what we are supposed to do – what the Master desires of us – can best be answered when we open our heart and allow Jesus to establish his kingdom as a personal relationship within us. In this way we enter the ‘slip stream of God’ and will find our purpose by following the insights we gain.

Julian felt that this passage brings him home to where Jesus resides, it keeps reminding him that his kingdom is ruled with love rather than might and power. By having chosen God – by having allowed him to enter our innermost sanctum – it’s not by force but by our surrendering that he effects those mighty changes in us and fills us with his gracious love which brings our heart to overflowing, enabling us to share that personal gift with others.

Sharing our inner-world enables God to expand his kingdom as we connect as a group and express our faith. May we all remember this as we go through this day and may we open our hearts to one another.

We Are, Because I AM

Nigel Nunn, ACT

(Presentation from ANZURA’s Virtual 2021 Annual Conference)

There’s an old insight about village life: “I am because we are.” I, as an individual, get to live a worthwhile life because of the security and relationships that my village provides. “I am because we are.” I think we’d all agree there’s truth in this very human point of view.

But The Urantia Book shows humans from another perspective. From our Father’s point of view,

Because I AM  –  Because I Love  –  We Are.

In other words, “We are because I AM.”

Of course, this is not at all straightforward, and requires something called “the Master Universe Age”. But for the Father, the end result is an almost infinite family of Ones like himself, and thus a guarantee that Eternity will be almost infinitely interesting. As to how our Father “makes it so”, the authors of The Urantia Book reveal that this infinite eventuation, this beautification of eternity, is motivated and mediated by Love, the prime mover, the essential, compelling motivation.

Notice, all this is very deeply personal. “I AM” is not only our “premier philosophic postulate” [105:1.3, 1152.6], it’s also the most personal possible experience: I AM. We Are. From this perspective, the universe becomes a Family Affair. We’ll get back to this. But for now, I just want to set up this idea, that Love is the motivator, the mediator, quite literally the Light & Life of all interactions unfolding in the Father’s personal domain.

Ok. With this idea in place, let’s get back down to earth and see what we can learn about Love.  What is it, and how does it work?

Back in 1965, a young Mick Jagger expressed, quite eloquently, the central problem of human life:

“I can’t get no… satisfaction”. Even though he tried. And he tried.

A few years later, when I was about 8 years old, I had a strange introduction to “satisfaction”. My older brother and I were walking to school, a beautiful sunny morning, and we found a new $20 note. Just sitting there, on the footpath. We looked around for someone who might have dropped it, but… no one in sight. Now, back in those days $20 was a lot of money (especially for an 8-year-old!), so we both got quite excited, and anxious about what to do.

As it turns out, our way to school passed by the local Police Station. And by the time we’d got that far, my brother and I had decided that the simplest thing to do – the only thing we COULD do – was to take this $20 into the Police station, so that they could return it to whoever had lost it.

Afterwards, as we walked on to school, the thrill of understanding what we’d done got stronger and stronger. Someone had lost a lot of money, and we were helping them to get it back.

Now we all know how impressionable young children can be, so it’s easy to dismiss this episode as just one of those “educational moments” we all experience growing up. But the depth of satisfaction I felt from that simple free-will moral act was raw, and burning, and powerful. Might even say… compelling.

And that feeling stayed with me, becoming a kind of benchmark against which to measure other things.

For example: I was about 17, and one day (suddenly, much to my surprise), I noticed that the usual satisfactions – from sex and drugs, from money, food or fame – all seemed, well, trivial when compared with that “remembered satisfaction” that came from simply doing something good for someone else, from allowing our inherent “desire to do good to others” to take its course.

But “the desire to do good to others” is one way The Urantia Book defines Love. From Paper 56 section 10, Love is the desire to do good to others.  [56:10.21, 648.4]

So what’s this got to do with that eloquent cry from a young Mick Jagger? Turns out that Michael of Nebadon knew that many of us would bump into this same problem, of seeking and failing to find the sort of satisfaction that could quench an intolerable thirst. So he lived that life as Jesus, in which he revealed, and demonstrated, a short-cut to satisfactions of the deepest kind.

So what is this satisfaction that can quench a thirsty soul? Well obviously, it has something to do with Love; with the joy of falling in Love; with the strength and motivation that comes from being in Love. But why are we so moved by love?

As we know, the experience of Love is the heart and soul of the fourth epochal revelation, the life of Jesus. But this fifth epochal revelation, The Urantia Book, helps us to understand what love actually is. So, “What is Love?”

To help us make a start, and to provoke a few ideas, see from time 2:43 in Part 2 in our series of our ANZURA videos:

“The Phenomenon of Man” – Personality lit up by Love.

In that short clip, we meet the idea, unique to The Urantia Book, of four distinct domains, each with its absolute “Source & Center”; each with its characteristic kind of light. And I mentioned an idea, that each of these “forms of light” serves as the currency in the economy of its domain. In other words, that interactions within each of these domains are motivated (and mediated!) by its peculiar kind of light.

For example, in the material domain, interactions between atoms are due to the way they share photons – particles of material light. Material light is literally the currency in the economy of the material domain. And as indicated in the video, likewise for Mind and Spirit. Which leads us to the idea… that in the Personal domain, the currency is Love; that all true interactions between Persons are mediated by that characteristic light: the light and life of Love.

But wait, there’s more:

The Adjusters are the actuality of the Father’s love incarnate in the souls of men; [Paper 107:0.2 page 1176.2]

The Father’s Love, incarnate in our souls. Not only is Love something peculiar to the domain of Personality, in some exhilarating sense, the Adjusters are that Love, incarnate within us.

Here some might complain “But isn’t Love a spiritual thing?” Indeed, from our human perspective Love comes to us from the spiritual side. But from the Father’s point of view, when he bestows Personality into or upon some “spirit stuff”, that atom of personality brings with it the phenomenon of Love.

Clearly Love is more than the source of our deepest satisfactions, something more than “the desire to do good to others”. Love is real, and fundamental, and with regard to Persons, Love has a compelling power. As someone once said: “Energy and faith may move mountains, but personality is moved only by Love.”

In fact, it was this power, the power to move persons, that got Jesus so worked up that day in Archelais. To help set the scene, see from time 2:22 in Part 3 of our series of ANZURA videos,

This clip begins: “But what if some of our assumptions, about cosmological red-shift, about the God concept, about ourselves, are wrong? What do we tell the children?”

And ends (at time 5:30) with the punch line:

[…] my Father in Paradise does rule a universe of universes by the compelling power of his love.” [Paper 143:1.4, page 1608.1]

“By the compelling power of his Love.” Whenever I hear people talking about Love, I can’t help but see Jesus as he spoke, that day in Archelais when he got so agitated, so emotionally worked up. You recall the scene: The apostles had been trying to convince crowds of Greeks and Romans that love was the greatest thing since sliced bread; and they got laughed at. Those sophisticated gentiles explained to the apostles that such a gospel of love was fit only for weaklings and slaves. When the apostles, downhearted and deflated, returned to Jesus and told what had happened, this was too much. From paper 143 section 1,

[…] This was one of the most impassioned addresses which Jesus ever delivered to the twelve. Seldom did the Master speak to his apostles with evident strong feeling, but this was one of those few occasions when he spoke with manifest earnestness, accompanied by marked emotion. [Paper 143:1.8, page 1608.5]

What was going on here? Why this outburst, this “marked emotion”?

It had been half a year since Jesus ordained this group of twelve to be public preachers of his gospel. And it was upon this group of men that Jesus would depend to carry his Good News. Some of them had been with Jesus for 18 months, and yet still they had no idea, no real understanding of the nature, the power and purpose of Love. The time had come to sort this out. And so he did. Paper 143 section 1 tells the story, but suffice to say:

[…]; from that very day their message took on a new note of courageous dominance. The twelve continued to acquire the spirit of positive aggression in the new gospel of the kingdom. [Paper 143:1.9, page 1609.1]

This episode of being taken lightly, and then getting a shot of fresh insight about the power and purpose of Love, effectively inoculated the apostles against the virus of despair. But getting back to this idea, of the Universal Father ruling a universe of universes by the compelling power of his Love, are we to take this literally? Does the Father’s technique – for ruling a universe of universes – actually depend… on Love ?

“A simple way to see what’s going on…” is to see this third clip, again from Part 3 of our video series, from time 7:28 [ ]. Here we see how The Urantia Book sets the stage. Our Father gives us this moment, this time and place in which to personalize his Adjuster, to choose to zip together our atom of Personality with the fragment of his Love Incarnate in our soul, …

Assuming success, we emerge from this extraordinary womb of space and time, ready to engage a larger universe in a non-trivial way.

Nigel Nunn, October 2021

[ PS: The Urantia Book presents a story 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.]

The Stability of Goodness

Daniel Swadling, Sydney NSW

(Presentation from ANZURA’s Virtual 2021 Annual Conference)

How Is Goodness Stabilizing?

The time-space creation is one vast fragmentation of an infinite God into individual expressions of which we are but one (and our great universe adventure is one of reunification back with that God). Yet the oneness of God persists. All his constituent parts are unified in the personality of the Father in his eternal perfection. And our personality, as an exclusive and direct endowment of God, likewise has the potential of unifying all our constituent elements, just as God’s personality unifies his. (56:4.3)

Personality implies will. It is our will that makes those choices that either help or hinder our growth. It is our will that can choose to embrace the divine values that leads to spiritual growth, bringing us closer and eventually to God. Divine values I expect are nigh on infinite, but for the purpose of living for now on this world, can be distilled into the concepts of truth, beauty and goodness. These concepts represent our best attempt at discerning God in mind, matter and spirit, as we study them in philosophy, cosmology and religion. (56:10.2)

Taking these concepts to their highest levels:

The meanings of eternal truth make a combined appeal to the intellectual and spiritual natures of mortal man. Universal beauty embraces the harmonious relations and rhythms of the cosmic creation … and leads towards unified and synchronous comprehension of the material universe. Divine goodness represents the revelation of infinite values to the finite mind, therein to be perceived and elevated to the very threshold of the spiritual level of human comprehension. [Paper 56:10.9, page 646.10 emphasis mine]

“Divine goodness represents the revelation of infinite values to the finite mind.” So the goodness of God reveals something that is eternal, to us that is finite. If you shift from the temporal, which is limited by its very nature and must eventually pass, to the infinite which will persist into eternity, could anything be more stabilizing than that?

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, there are many examples of goodness stabilizing right here on the finite level as well.

I was paddling my kayak across Sydney Harbour heads in a big swell, when I encountered a particularly turbulent section at Middle Head where the swell was rebounding off the rocks back into my path. One of these rebounds hit me and I almost rolled completely over. It was not a great place to be falling out. A couple of waves would have smashed me up against the rocks before I had time to drain the flooded cockpit. So I instinctively moved my body weight to counteract the wave and pulled the boat back up, overcorrected and nearly spilled out the other way, but managed to level it and paddled out of danger. Now, I have to say that it was good that I reacted to keep the kayak upright, it had a stabilizing effect on the boat and quite likely saved me from harm, keeping the rest of my life stabilized as well.

How else is goodness stabilizing?

On a Physical level:

    On a Mental level:

      On a Spiritual level:

        Consider for a moment the contrasting life without any goodness. Much instability comes from living with the consequences of evil and bad choices. Situations never end well and compound from bad to worse in a downward spiral.

        How Do We Define Goodness?

        But what do we mean when we use the term goodness? Generally speaking, it means the state or quality of being good, (i.e., adding the suffix ‘-ness’ onto the word ‘good’). If you said, ‘this is a good apple, because it has goodness within it,’ you’d be describing a quality embedded within the apple that makes it good, such as its flavour or nourishing elements.

        So then what does ‘good’ mean? We take it for granted that we know what it means and use the term every day. People generally know what others mean when they use the term ‘good’ to describe something. For example, if you say you’re having a good day, you mean all things are going well for you.

        Philosophers over the ages have attempted to define ‘The Good’, and promote ‘good living’ in answer to the ancient question, “how then should we live?” And some useful ethics and understandings have emerged from this. For example:

          The Hebrew religion connected goodness with God and godliness (holiness). In Genesis, God created everything in the universe, and saw that it was good; i.e. the universe has purpose and value according to the will of God. They held commandments and developed laws that directed human behaviour in the direction of the divine; such that ethical behaviour is choosing the good over the bad (evil) and brings one closer to God. For example, ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God, am holy.’ (Lev 19.2) and ‘love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways.’ (Deut 11.22). Individual and social order was much improved by this. They understood the stability that goodness provided. Said the Psalmist: ‘Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good spirit lead me on level ground.’ (Psalm 143:10)

          And the New Testament record holds just enough of Jesus’ teaching about goodness to see us through to the present day. Such as:

            And here today, we have come to understand goodness as a divine value. It is one of the most important principles to guide your life by if you’re interested in survival after death. When you apply a standard of goodness to everything in your life, everything stabilizes and improves, enabling growth, including soul growth. When you’re building anything that needs to last, you have to start with a good foundation and good materials. Solid, strong, reliable, the right substance, correctly located. When you have this, what you are building will be of quality and will be stabilized. Likewise in building your soul: …goodness leads to greatness, and greatness develops survival character (28:6.22). The foundations are laid with moral choices, i.e., choosing good over bad—over evil. This creates a stable beginning upon which to grow a soul. This is what they meant when they said repent! Jesus said when people believe his teaching, “…which is a revelation of the goodness of God, they will be led to voluntary repentance of all known sin,” (150:5.5, 1683.2) which lays a pathway to the salvation of their soul.

            Unification Through Personality

            We are told that:

            The religious challenge of this age is … to construct a new and appealing philosophy of living out of the enlarged and exquisitely integrated modern concepts of cosmic truth, universe beauty, and divine goodness. Such a new and righteous vision of morality will attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge that which is best in the human soul. Truth, beauty, and goodness are divine realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritual living, these supreme qualities of the Eternal become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in God, who is love. [Paper 2:7.10, page 43.3]

            The nature of God is infinite, eternal, perfect, infallible, forever changeless. Out here in the universes, perfection is relative; we are evolving, growing, and striving for that ideal. God’s perfection consists in the inherent perfection of the goodness of his divine nature. And the whole scheme of universe life is for elevating us into sharing that perfection of the Father in heaven (2:2.5). Our health, sanity, and happiness are “…integrations of truth, beauty, and goodness as they are blended in human experience … through the unification of energy systems, idea systems, and spirit systems.” (2:7.11, emphasis mine) And “The real purpose of all universe education is to effect the better co-ordination of the isolated child of the worlds with the larger realities of his expanding experience.” (2:7.12, emphasis mine)

            “The eternal quest is for unification, for divine coherence.” (2:7.7) The physical, intellectual and spiritual aspects of our great universe are aiming for coherence. We the isolated mortals of time and space cohere in God the Father through the direct relationship between him and the spirit fragment he sent to indwell us… this fragment everlastingly seeks for divine unification. (2:7.7) This is what the metaphor “the kingdom of heaven is within you,” means.

            So in summary, it is our personality that does the choosing, when confronted by and exposed to the persistent challenging stimuli this life offers, to align ourselves with divine values. It is our personality that discerns truth, appreciates beauty, retains good/rejects evil – retains what is worthwhile, valuable and can contribute to growth, and rejects whatever doesn’t. “These divine qualities are perfectly and absolutely unified in God. And every God-knowing man … possesses the potential of unlimited self-expression on ever-progressive levels of unified self-realization by … the experiential blending in the evolutionary experience of eternal truth, universal beauty, and divine goodness.” The technique of the never-ending achievement of Godlikeness. [Paper 44:7.4, page 507.5 emphasis mine]

            Jesus taught

            …the soul that survives time and emerges into eternity must make a living and personal choice between good and evil as they are determined by the true values of the spiritual standards established by the divine spirit which the Father in heaven has sent to dwell within the heart of man. [Paper 132:2.2, page 1457.5]

            Goodness is always growing toward new levels of the increasing liberty of moral self-realization and spiritual personality attainment — the discovery of, and identification with, the indwelling Adjuster. An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one’s fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling spirit, all of which lead directly to an increased desire to do the Father’s will, thereby fostering the divine passion to find God and to be more like him. [Paper 132:2.5, page 1458. 2]

            So next time you’re sitting around the campfire and the only thing you have to worry about is when to turn your fresh catch over the coals, you’re relaxed with a nice drink in your hand and you forget about the troubles of the world, you could be tempted to say, “it’s all good mate!” And it’s nice to have that for a while, but really you know it’s only temporary. With God who is eternal, it’s all good all the time. You can either have “the good life” of material comfort or grow spiritually and aim for eternal life. The choice is yours.

            Where Are They All?

            William Wentworth, Canberra ACT

            Recently, an article in Mighty Messenger, Spring 2021 attracted my attention. Written by Gary Tonge, an American reader, it was pointing out that the Lucifer Rebellion did not claim any of the ascendent personalities who were Jerusem citizens at the time. These numbered 187,432, 811.

            It was over two years of system time from the beginning of the “war in heaven” until the installation of Lucifer’s successor. But at last the new Sovereign came, landing on the sea of glass with his staff. I was among the reserves mobilized on Edentia by Gabriel, and I well remember the first message of Lanaforge to the Constellation Father of Norlatiadek. It read: “Not a single Jerusem citizen was lost. Every ascendant mortal survived the fiery trial and emerged from the crucial test triumphant and altogether victorious.” And on to Salvington, Uversa, and Paradise went this message of assurance that the survival experience of mortal ascension is the greatest security against rebellion and the surest safeguard against sin. This noble Jerusem band of faithful mortals numbered just 187,432,811. [ Paper 53:7.12, page 608.8]

            When I first read this paragraph many years ago, my reaction was: “where are all the others?” After all, in a system of 606 inhabited worlds, most of which have been inhabited much longer than Urantia, there must be many more survivors that that. Even making the most pessimistic estimate of the average survival rate, 606 planets should yield more than a paltry few hundred million achieving citizenship on Jerusem, even allowing for the fact that they would be moving on to Edentia in due course. Surely the number would be in the billions, or even trillions, wouldn’t it? True there would be many on the mansion worlds, and ascenders leave Jerusem for Edentia periodically, but even so, there should be more than that on Jerusem.

            Gary’s insight gave the clue. He pointed out that any ascender who had fused with his adjuster would have been rebellion-proof. Adjuster fusion guarantees that the fused personality would be incapable of rebelling against the Creator Son of the Universal Father. So fused personalities could not have been included in the 187,432,811 Jerusem citizens referred to by Manovandet Melchizedek in the above quote. The Jerusem citizens referred to would be those who had achieved Jerusem citizenship before adjuster fusion. They would be those very few ascenders who had not fused on the mansion worlds.

            While practically all surviving mortals are fused with their Adjusters on one of the mansion worlds or immediately upon their arrival on the higher morontia spheres, there are certain cases of delayed fusion, some not experiencing this final surety of survival until they reach the last educational worlds of the universe headquarters; … [ Paper 40:8.1, page 449.4]

            This explains why there are so very few of them on Jerusem, and also emphasises the significance of the ascendant culture, because these unfused ascenders were resistant to the sophistries of Lucifer, even though not fused with their adjusters. The experience of the ascendant culture, together with the influence of their indwelling adjusters kept them sane. And this is what Manovandet is so pleased about.

            In this regard, it is worth noting that the members of the Planetary Prince’s staff were not adjuster indwelt. Their adjusters had been detained on Jerusem. They were all Jerusem citizens who had not fused with their adjusters on the mansion worlds, in a similar position to those 187,432,811 who so successfully resisted Lucifer’s influence. But whereas the group on Jerusem still retained adjusters, the Prince’s staff did not.

            2. The one hundred were material but superhuman beings, having been reconstituted on Urantia as unique men and women of a high and special order.

            This group, while enjoying provisional citizenship on Jerusem, were as yet unfused with their Thought Adjusters; and when they volunteered and were accepted for planetary service in liaison with the descending orders of sonship, their Adjusters were detached. But these Jerusemites were superhuman beings — they possessed souls of ascendant growth. During the mortal life in the flesh the soul is of embryonic estate; it is born (resurrected) in the morontia life and experiences growth through the successive morontia worlds. And the souls of the Caligastia one hundred had thus expanded through the progressive experiences of the seven mansion worlds to citizenship status on Jerusem. [Paper 66:4.9, page 744.8]

            As a result of their lack of adjusters, sixty of the one hundred members of Caligastis’s staff fell into rebellion. Unlike the 187,432,811 on Jerusem who still retained their adjusters, they did not have the extra guidance which their adjusters would have provided, and so they fell. This was a tragedy for them, and their situation remains unclear. Their adjusters wait on Jerusem.

            When the staff of one hundred came to Urantia, they were temporarily detached from their Thought Adjusters. Immediately upon the arrival of the Melchizedek receivers the loyal personalities (except Van) were returned to Jerusem and were reunited with their waiting Adjusters. We know not the fate of the sixty staff rebels; their Adjusters still tarry on Jerusem. Matters will undoubtedly rest as they now are until the entire Lucifer rebellion is finally adjudicated and the fate of all participants decreed. [Paper 67:4.6, page 758.3]

            The situation will only be clarified when the ramifications of the rebellion are disposed of.

            The 40 members of Caligastia’s staff who remained loyal to Michael’s administration under the leadership of Van were translated to Jerusem, and were re-united with their adjusters, when the Melchizedek receivers took control following the rebellion.

            The story of the modified Andonite associates of the Prince’s staff was rather different. 44 of the one hundred modified Andonites followed Nod and the rebels, but 56 stood firm with Van, and this included 16 who did not follow their associated staff member, a remarkable feat.

            We need to recall that all of the one hundred modified Andonites held adjusters. This after all is how they were assembled in the first place.

            Accordingly, fifty males and fifty females of the Andon and Fonta posterity, representing the survival of the best strains of that unique race, were chosen by the Life Carriers. With one or two exceptions these Andonite contributors to the advancement of the race were strangers to one another. They were assembled from widely separated places by co-ordinated Thought Adjuster direction and seraphic guidance at the threshold of the planetary headquarters of the Prince. [Paper 66:2.7, page 742.7]

            Their adjusters seem to have stimulated this 16 to refuse to follow their staff associates. The 44 who followed Nod into rebellion, even though adjuster indwelt, lived their lives out as mortals, but we are not told about their fate. Probably most of them resumed response to their adjusters as time passed, and responded to them but who knows?

            The 56 who stood with Van, all adjuster indwelt, were translated when the loyal members of the staff ascended to Jerusem, except for Amadon who remained with Van, using the tree of life to sustain themselves.

            In addition to the 56, there were 88 Andonites who had not been modified, and we do not know if they were adjuster indwelt or not. But they worked with Van and Amadon for the term of their natural lifespan, bearing in mind that they had not been given the complement of the system circuits which would have enabled them to benefit from the tree of life.

            So we see in conclusion that it was probably the presence of adjusters which allowed the 187,432,811 Jerusem citizens to remain unmoved by Lucifer’s proclamation. And it was because of the absence of adjusters within Caligastia’s staff which allowed so many of them to be taken in by the sophistries of the fallen Prince. And the presence of adjusters led to all of the loyal staffs’ associates remaining loyal, and even allowing 16 of the associates of the disloyal staff to desert their associates and remain loyal to Michael.

            And we also see why the 187,432,811 Jerusem citizens were so few.

            Video Part 4D: Ancient Orvonton, and a Young Cosmic Web

            Nigel Nunn, Canberra, 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, the authors pour cold water over our expectations.

            …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 the “Limitations of Revelation” discussed in Paper 101. Immediately after stating that they were limited in what scientific facts they could reveal, they go on to list a number of things they were permitted to do. The first of these is especially interesting.

            1. 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.

            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 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 for students of The Urantia Book to present a model of the cosmos that can explain all the data and anomalies that (increasingly) confuse and contradict current mainstream assumptions. One attempt at sketching such a model can be found at this link:

            Playlist – Urantia Book Cosmology

            Regarding the final video in that series (Part 4D), the James Webb Space Telescope was recently. Given what this infrared-optimized space telescope might reveal, video Part 4D was tuned to predict a few simple but game-changing facts about our home spiral of stars, the ancient Milky Way. Stay tuned!

            New Zealand Corner

            Marion Steward, Auckland, NZ

            How to describe 2021 in New Zealand? I have seen it described as a year of two halves.  January to July was almost normal — we went about our daily lives with very few restrictions. We had face-to-face meetings of our study group in Auckland once a month, we met online once a fortnight with other readers up and down the country, and felt somewhat insulated from the effects of Covid 19 outside our borders. 

            This all changed in August, and those of us in Auckland went into lockdown for four long months.  December got a little better, and we were finally able to leave Auckland just before Christmas, and mostly celebrate this festive season as usual. 

            As I write this, we are in that hiatus between Christmas and New Year — perhaps recovering from overindulgence in rich fare at the Christmas table, enjoying time with family and friends, at home, at the beach, and in other towns finally visiting loved ones we had only seen onscreen for so many months. 

            These few days are often a time of reflection — looking back and evaluating events and personal achievements and growth, and also a time of anticipation — looking ahead to 2022, wondering what will happen, making plans vague or firm, depending on the sphere of influence. I, for example, plan to go for a walk every morning but I cannot plan whether I will then go to work onsite or have to work from home, as external factors are outside my sphere of influence. 

            As ascenders making our way towards Paradise, we are told that on this journey we will learn to “feast upon uncertainty” (26:5.3), and in the past two years we have certainly been presented with many opportunities to develop this personality attribute! I suspect that 2022 will continue in this vein.

            Our online study group has continued to meet throughout all the change and uncertainty of the past year, through health challenges and moving house. Our meetings have provided a stable anchor of spiritual communion and fellowship along with stimulating discussion of spiritual themes. 

            We finished the year with an examination of Paper 170, The Kingdom of Heaven, which was a wonderful reminder that another world exists in the inner life. It emphasised "the pre-eminence of the spiritual compared with the material" (170:2.4) and enabled us to lift our perspectives above the transitory difficulties of daily life in our current world. We enjoyed contemplating the higher possibilities inherent in our efforts to exercise our individual will in "spiritual fellowship with God the Father" (170:4.3) and look for opportunities to provide service to our brothers and sisters.

            So we end one year and begin the next with hope and an expectation that we will continue feasting upon uncertainty! 

            The Tree of Life – Myth or Fact

            Ann Bendall, Tasmania

            The “Tree of Life” is one of many images that I love, such as rainbows, and lightning and a magnificent sunrise or sunset, or eagles soaring. Without reading anything about the tree of life for some reason it always appealed to me as ‘The Family of Mankind’. It was akin to, but not the same as, Jesus who symbolically described himself to his apostles and others in many ways such as that he was the vine, and we are the fruit.

            Since knowing The Urantia Book, I like to see it as The Brotherhood of Man and our spiritual family and friends, under the Fatherhood of God.

            I have seen the tree of life in paintings, carpets, bronze and other statues and decided to do a Google search. As per Wikipedia:  

            The tree of life is a fundamental widespread myth or archetype in many of the world's mythologies, religious, and philosophical traditions. The tree of knowledge, connecting to heaven and the underworld, and the tree of life, connecting all forms of creation, are both forms of the world tree or cosmic tree, and are portrayed in various religions and philosophies as the same tree.

            For example, in Christianity the tree of life first appears in Genesis 2:9 and 3:22-24 as the source of eternal life in the Garden of Eden, from which access is revoked when man is driven from the garden. It then reappears in the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, and most predominantly in the last chapter of that book (Chapter 22) as a part of the new garden of paradise. Access is then no longer forbidden, for those who "wash their robes" (or as the textual variant in the King James Version has it, "they that do his commandments") "have right to the tree of life" (v.14).

            A similar statement appears in Revelation 2:7, where the tree of life is promised as a reward to those who overcome. Revelation 22 begins with a reference to the "pure river of water of life" which proceeds "out of the throne of God". The river seems to feed two trees of life, one "on either side of the river" which "bear twelve manner of fruits" "and the leaves of the tree were for healing of the nations" (v.1-2)  Or this may indicate that the tree of life is a vine that grows on both sides of the river, as John 15:1 would hint at.

            The Urantia Book mentions the Tree of Life in two contexts:

            1) As referred to by the Life Carriers the tree of life is expressed in relation to:

            nonprogressive specimens, together with the later appearing fish family, today represent the stationary types of early and lower animals, branches of the tree of life which failed to progress. [Paper 65:2.5, page 732.3]

            2)  The shrub called the tree of life:

            a shrub of Edentia which was sent to Urantia by the Most Highs of Norlatiadek at the time of Caligastia's arrival. In the days of Dalamatia this tree grew in the central courtyard of the temple of the unseen Father, and it was the fruit of the tree of life that enabled the material and otherwise mortal beings of the Prince's staff to live on indefinitely as long as they had access to it. [Paper 66:4.13, page 745.3]

            Upon the outbreak of rebellion, loyal cherubim and seraphim, with the aid of three faithful midwayers assumed the custody of the tree of life and permitted only the forty loyalists of the staff and their associated modified mortals to partake of the fruit and leaves of this energy plant. There were fifty-six of these modified Andonite associates of the staff, sixteen of the Andonite attendants of the disloyal staff refusing to go into rebellion with their masters. [67:3.5, page 756.6]

            The tree […of life] was regrown from the central core by Van and his associates in their temporary camp. This Edentia shrub was subsequently taken to their highland retreat, where it served both Van and Amadon for more than one hundred and fifty thousand years. [Paper 73:6.5, page 826.4]

            Urartu is a geographical region commonly used as the exonym for the Iron Age kingdom also known by the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom of Van, centered around Lake Van in the historic Armenian Highlands (present-day eastern Anatolia). 

            In ancient Urartu, the tree of life was a religious symbol and was drawn on walls of fortresses and carved on the armour of warriors. The branches of the tree were equally divided on the right and left sides of the stem, with each branch having one leaf, and one leaf on the apex of the tree. Servants stood on each side of the tree with one of their hands up as if they are taking care of the tree.

            It is no wonder that Myths and symbolism would enshroud the tree, guarded by whoever guarded it during those 150,000 years that Van and Amadon continued living on this planet, never ageing. The last Ice Age came and went, generation after generation  of humans lived and died, but not Van and Amadon, who …were sustained by the technique of the  tree of life in conjunction with the specialized life ministry of the Melchizedeks  [67:6.4, 759.7]

            When Van and his associates made ready the Garden for Adam and Eve, they transplanted the Edentia tree to the Garden of Eden, where, once again, it grew in a central, circular courtyard of another temple to the Father. And Adam and Eve periodically partook of its fruit for the maintenance of their dual form of physical life. [Paper 73:6.6, page 826.3]

            When Adam and his family were forced to leave the garden, a little over one hundred years from their arrival on Urantia (approximately 38,000 years ago), they were not permitted to carry the core of the tree away from the Garden.

            When the Nodites invaded Eden, they were told that they would become as "gods if they partook of the fruit of the tree." Much to their surprise they found it unguarded. They ate freely of the fruit for years, but it did nothing for them; they were all material mortals of the realm; they lacked that endowment which acted as a complement to the fruit of the tree. They became enraged at their inability to benefit from the tree of life, and in connection with one of their internal wars, the temple and the tree were both destroyed by fire; only the stone wall stood until the Garden was subsequently submerged. [Paper 73:6.7, page 826.4] 

            The tree was consumed by fire but the factual reality of the tree of life lived on and continues to live on as a beautiful symbol of eternal life.

            Religion is but one tree with many branches. If you look only upon the branches, then you are tempted to say that there are many religions; but if you look at the whole tree, you understand that there is but one religion.

            Mahatma Gandi

            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
            • 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.

            More Information

            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

            Phone: 0431-285-943,

            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 @

            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.

            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: We also foster the development of study groups both face-to-face and virtual. (See our Study Group Guide at:


            We maintain a website at 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

            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


            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:
              PO Box 1581
              Warriewood, NSW 2102

            For further inquiries phone 0431 285 943 or email:

            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.

            Click here to view the list of contacts on the website.