Arena – Winter 2019
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In This Issue
Julian McGarry, TASWarm greetings to all our readers and students of The Urantia Book. The National Conference is fast approaching! From the 27th to the 30th of September, we will be gathering at the Green Hills Conference Centre at Stromlo in Canberra to discuss the intriguing theme: “Mind Over Matter, Spirit Over Mind.” Our Canberran team of mighty workers has been busy preparing a banquet of spiritual, philosophical, and scientific dishes for our holistic edification. If you’ve never been to a conference before, or haven’t attended one for a long time, why not give serious consideration to coming along. It truly is a delight to feast on the teachings of The Urantia Book in the company of fellow readers for a whole weekend. It’s also a wonderful way to make new friendships and renew old ones.
Of course, the board understands that not everyone is able to attend our conferences. Some will find the cost prohibitive; some may not be able to take time off work or from their studies; some will have major family commitments. For this reason, this year we are endeavouring to make the conference accessible on-line via a series of Zoom sessions, which will mean that the programme could be enjoyed from the comfort of your home. Please stay tuned as more information will be forthcoming closer to the date.
Vern Verass, ACTIf you’re planning on attending this year’s annual conference and haven’t registered yet, please do so as soon as possible. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, time is running out!
Here’s an update on the program from Vern Verass:
Our conference in Canberra is only a couple of months away—27 to 30 September—and we’ve got the program ready for you to get an appreciation of what’s in store.
The theme of Mind over Matter ~ Spirit over Mind gives ample opportunity to reflect on the fact that
…Universe causes cannot be lower than universe effects. The source of the streams of universe life and of the cosmic mind must be above the levels of their manifestation. The human mind cannot be consistently explained in terms of the lower orders of existence. Man’s mind can be truly comprehended only by recognizing the reality of higher orders of thought and purposive will. [Paper 3:6.3, page 53.1]
We evolutionary mortals are prone to look upon mind as a cosmic mediation between spirit and matter, for that is indeed the principal ministry of mind as discernible by us. Yet the Thought Adjuster is pure spirit who is volitional and active in mind. Your Thought Adjuster is always waiting to act decisively in accordance with your human choice, and all these choices are highly volitional reactions. In all situations not concerned with the domain of the human will, this Divine Spirit unquestionably exhibits conduct which betokens the exercise of powers in every sense the equivalent of will, maximated decision.
Study Day Service GroupWhen ANZURA arranges an International Study Day, the hope is to provide an opportunity for students of The Urantia Book to participate in a specially formed study group in their regional areas so that reads are meeting on the same day studying the same paper all over the world.
The value of meeting with other readers is not to be underestimated—after all, our personal growth and religious experiences are best fostered while we are relating—inter-acting—with other personalities—other people!
In this way ANZURA attempts to foster a sense of belonging and cohesion amongst Urantia Book readers across the vast oceans! Very importantly, such events can also encourage leadership and outreach as practical involvement in study groups can strengthen our resolve and dedication to fulfil the mandate of disseminating the Urantia revelation with a personal approach.
Groups met around over the weekend of 1st June to study Paper 9: Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe. The following articles contain some reflections from some who met.
Susan Hemmingsen, Auckland NZ
The Christchurch Terror Attacks
Living in New Zealand, we didn’t really think we’d be touched by terrorism, but touched we were. The despicable act of a lone extreme right-wing terrorist who took the lives of 51 Islamic New Zealanders had repercussions right around the country.
As an aside, this is a link to an interview by Radio NZ re why people come to hold such extreme views and is worth a listen: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018695720/deeyah-khan-up-close-and-personal-with-extremists
Some years ago, the original Auckland Study group learnt the Morontia Motas by heart and over the years they pop into my mind when they seem to fit the situation. While I watched the aftermath of this horrendous and cowardly attack, the following Morontia Motas came to mind.
5. Difficulties may challenge mediocrity and defeat the fearful, but they only stimulate the true children of the Most Highs. [Paper 48:7.7, page 556.7]
12. The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. [Paper 48:7.14, page 556.14]
13. Stars are best discerned from the lonely isolation of experiential depths, not from the illuminated and ecstatic mountain tops. [Paper 48:7.15, page 556.15]
16. You cannot perceive spiritual truth until you feelingly experience it, and many truths are not really felt except in adversity. [Paper 48:7.18, page 557.2]
Sadly, before the attack, the general view was that all Muslims were terrorists, and this community suffered by being shunned, discriminated against, and generally being totally misunderstood, and just as there are many aspects of Islam which need updating the same can be said for Christianity.
Kathleen Swadling, NSWUrantia lost yet another outstanding individual recently. Mark Bloomfield, just 54, died of injuries after a tragic incident in Swansea, Wales. The matter is still under investigation with the police.
The BBC News reported:
A charity worker who worked with Mother Teresa in India has died after an alleged attack in Swansea. Mark Bloomfield, 54, died on Saturday after he was found injured in High Street in the city centre last Thursday. A man has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm. The family of Mr Bloomfield, originally from Stratford Upon Avon, paid tribute to his charity work across the world saying he “had built a legacy”. They said that as a special assistant to Mother Teresa in Calcutta, he was an essential contributor to her mission.
Mark was a Field Representative of Urantia Foundation in the late 90’s early 2000’s. He was highly skilled in placing Urantia Books in public libraries, seminaries, universities and other places of learning. He was renowned in The Urantia Book reader community for his extraordinary and tireless service to the revelation by personally hand-seeding around 9,000 Urantia Books throughout the world. He was particularly inspired to seed the revelation in developing countries where he’d lived and worked for many years as a humanitarian missionary. Having experienced firsthand the heart wrenching and atrocious plight of women and children, he decided to devote his life to treating the cause of the world’s problems rather than the symptoms. This extract from one of Mark’s reports sums up his reasons for being so driven to get the Urantia revelation seeded in places where innocent millions were caught up in the cycle of ignorance and poverty:
David Elders, USA(Editor’s note: This was presented at the Urantia Book Seminar on Education held 23—26 March 2017 at Urantia Foundation)
The purpose of this essay is to offer for consideration a number of educational imperatives to guide us, as early recipients of the new truths revealed in The Urantia Book, in the implementation of an educational strategy designed to foster the transition in human consciousness from our fourth revelatory epoch to the fifth. One aspect of this educational strategy addresses how we choose to deal with the risk typically associated with the challenge of integrating new revelatory truth while minimizing its dilution and contamination by past religious beliefs, symbols, practices, and institutions. A Melchizedek observes:
You who today enjoy the advantages of the art of printing little understand how difficult it was to perpetuate truth during these earlier times; how easy it was to lose sight of a new doctrine from one generation to another. There was always a tendency for the new doctrine to become absorbed into the older body of religious teaching and magical practice. A new revelation is always contaminated by the older evolutionary beliefs. [Paper 93:7.4, page 1022.2] emphasis added
Premise: An Educational Strategy for The Fifth Epoch
It is the purpose of our educational initiatives to develop and implement the means and mechanisms whereby existing human consciousness on our planet—individual and collective—can be challenged by new truth to transition from its fourth to the fifth epoch of revealed truth to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception. The revealed gospel of the fourth epoch is the Fatherhood of God, universal sonship, and the spiritual brotherhood of man. The “gospel” of the fifth revelatory epoch might be defined as our personality-will decision to respond to the Father’s inescapable command to become perfect in our realm as the Father is in his, facilitated by the expanded cosmic consciousness and enhanced spiritual perception delivered in our new epochal revelation of truth. This gospel is intended to augment, not replace, the fourth epochal gospel as revealed to us by Michael of Nebadon’s final bestowal incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth. One dimension of Michael’s bestowal career was his planned revelation of the various wills of the Paradise Deities and the synthetic will of the Supreme Being on and to all levels and to all personalities in his local universe realm, and perhaps beyond. Applying this pattern to planetary illumination and spiritual growth, whereas Michael/Jesus revealed the will of the Father during the fourth epoch, The Urantia Book may be a revelation of the will of the Conjoint Actor, the God of Mind, during the fifth.
J. Wattles, USA(Presented at Urantia Association International Conference in the Netherlands, April 2018
Stand under the waterfall. Allow yourselves to be drenched by the beauty of Jesus’ many-sided gospel. Some of these sides are in this mini-sermon that I sent this morning by spirit email to every European.
We are all part of a world-wide family, evolving toward a high destiny, now going through a difficult and dangerous transition, leading to a new civilization based on post-materialistic meanings and values. Many people are lost, fearful, and angry; but we find the truth and joy and love that we need most in the Source of all creation—because within us is the spirit of God, our Father and our friend. In God we experience motherly love as well as fatherly love, so we have all the more reason to feel free to choose the name for God that fits our personal discovery.
OK. That’s the sermon.
We want the whole world to know the teachings of Jesus, and we know how to proclaim. Jesus bestowed his life upon us; and we shall bestow our lives upon others. We fill our hearts with love, serve as we are able, and speak truth as the opportunity arises. But these opportunities do not arise as often as they could, because society resists the gospel in various ways, and because we have our own difficulties in proclaiming.
So my question for this talk is: How shall we rise to the level of power where our living becomes a proclaiming to the 21st Century?
Publications Service GroupMining 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 by publishing them on websites and newsletters.
Each issue of the Arena usually has one “gem” published but for this issue we have two: the first, by the late Ken Glasziou was”mined” from the Fellowship’s Journal 1994, and the second, by William Wentworth, is from the Arena Newsletter, Autumn 2004 and was the preamble on the Canberra Conference theme—”Echoes of Eden.” Enjoy!
Ken Glasziou, Sunshine Coast QLD
Mining the Archives
(“Mined” from the Urantia Book Fellowship’s Journal 1994)
After many years of introducing both Christian laity and ministers to The Urantia Book, I am increasingly faced with the realization that one of the major obstacles preventing them from a serious examination of the book is its claim to revelatory status. Most people who grew up in the nurture of the Christian faith have consciously or unconsciously developed a fundamentalist attitude toward the Bible: “This is the word of God and should not be questioned or doubted.” This impression is reinforced in the book’s concluding verses which threaten anyone adding or taking away from the book with plagues and other terrible consequences. (It is not widely known that this kind of threat was once very common, a forerunner of what we now know as copyright.)
Because of this cultural conditioning, many church members assume that all authentic revelation ceased with the Book of Revelation. We should not be surprised, therefore, if such people automatically recoil from any suggestion of new revelation.
Some of us quickly learn that when introducing church members to The Urantia Book, one needs to alleviate fear by saying something to the effect that, “The book purports to be revelatory, but read it critically like any other book. You will find that it contains some excellent spiritual insights.” Interestingly, this is the method of evaluating revelation recommended by the authors of The Urantia Book. The only way revelation can be validated, they tell us, is through the truths we have acquired in personal experience.
William Wentworth, Australia
Mining the Archives
(“Mined” from the Autumn Arena 2004)
We are familiar with the assertion made sometimes by religious believers: “To the unbeliever no demonstration is possible, to the believer none is necessary.” If you don’t know God, there is no explanation or proof which can convince you of his reality. Spiritual realities are not susceptible to intellectual demonstration. Similarly, if you don’t know God, you have no need of any intellectual verification.
This being the case, why are we so interested in explanations? Isn’t it enough that we know God and try to live our lives in ways we think he approves of? Our mortal minds are so feeble that we couldn’t expect to understand much anyway. As mere babes in the cosmos what can we hope to comprehend anyway about God’s universe? Why bother to try to do what we can never achieve? Why not keep it simple and wait until we have developed the mental capacity to deal with the big questions before attempting to understand? After all, on the Mansion Worlds we will be morontia beings, with enlarged mental capacity, and access to morontia mota. Why not leave it until then?
Well, to be brief, some of us don’t want to leave it “till then”. So, part of October’s conference will involve an attempt to do what we all know we cannot do.
On page 54 of The Urantia Book a Divine Counselor points out that the watchword of the universe is progress. We are not expected to remain stagnant. And on page 1105 a Melchizedek teaches that it is our thoughts, not our beliefs or feelings, that lead us Godward, by the discovery of new meanings in known facts.
Publications Service Group(Editor’s Note: There are many interesting people who are popping up on the Internet and are lecturing via YouTube videos and Podcasts. The Arena editors have decided to create a section in this newsletter to share some of the “Pearls of Wisdom” circulating around the world that may be of interest. One such individual who has grabbed the attention of many Urantia Book readers is Jordan Peterson. But first… Who Is Jordan Peterson?…)
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist and the author of the multi-million copy bestseller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
With his students and colleagues, Dr. Peterson has published more than a hundred scientific papers, advancing the modern understanding of creativity, competence and personality, while his now-classic book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (released in June 2018 as a now bestselling author-read audiobook) transformed the psychology of religion. He was nominated for five consecutive years as one of Ontario’s Best University Lecturers, and is one of only three profs rated as “life changing” in the U of T’s underground student handbook of course ratings.
In 2016, shortly before the publication of 12 Rules, several of Dr. Peterson’s online lectures, videos and interviews went viral, launching him into unprecedented international prominence as a public intellectual and educator. His work, public postings and discussions are featured at:
Jordan Peterson Videos, on YouTube, features Dr. Peterson’s university and public lectures (including a highly-viewed 15-part biblical series on Genesis, slated to continue with the Exodus stories in 2019), responses to the polarizing political crises of today, has 1.8 million subscribers, with 90 million views; videos derived from his online content by others have been viewed more than half a billion times.
Read on for an article by Jordan Peterson on “Existentialism in Australia and New Zealand“
Dr. Jordan B Peterson, CanadaI have been touring in Australia and New Zealand since 5th February 2019, speaking in most of the major cities in both countries, to audiences ranging in size from 1500 to 5500. This tour, based on my most recent book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is part of a lecture schedule that has now encompassed 126 cities in more than a dozen countries. More are planned for Southern and Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. The book, by the way, has sold about 3 million copies, and is slated for translation into 50 languages, which are pretty much all the languages in the world that have a sizable book market.
In total, now, I have spoken live to about 300,000 people. With each lecture, concentrating nominally on one of more the aforementioned 12 Rules, I also try to formulate a problem, so that I can articulate it clearly, and address in a manner that brings the audience along for the journey, so to speak, and furthers my thinking about the topic.
Pádraig Ó Tuama(Editor’s note: this poem was originally published in Sorry for your Troubles [Canterbury Press, 2013. Copyright © 2013 by Pádraig Ó Tuama.] Reprinted with the permission of the poet.)
Because what’s the alternative?
Because of courage.
Because of loved ones lost.
Because no more.
Because it’s a small thing; shaking hands; it happens every day.
Because I heard of one man whose hands haven’t stopped shaking since a market day in Omagh.
Because it takes a second to say hate, but it takes longer, much longer, to be a great leader.
Much, much longer.
Because shared space without human touching doesn’t amount to much.
Because it’s easier to speak to your own than to hold the hand of someone whose side has been previously described, proscribed, denied.
Because it is tough.
Because it is tough.
Because it is meant to be tough, and this is the stuff of memory, the stuff of hope, the stuff of gesture, and meaning and leading.
Because it has taken so, so long.
Because it has taken land and money and languages and barrels and barrels of blood.
Because lives have been lost.
Because lives have been taken.
Because to be bereaved is to be troubled by grief.
Because more than two troubled peoples live here.
Because I know a woman whose hand hasn’t been shaken since she was a man.
Because shaking a hand is only a part of the start.
Because I know a woman whose touch calmed a man whose heart was breaking.
Because privilege is not to be taken lightly.
Because this just might be good.
Because who said that this would be easy?
Because some people love what you stand for, and for some, if you can, they can.
Because solidarity means a common hand.
Because a hand is only a hand; so hang onto it.
So join your much discussed hands.
We need this; for one small second.
Anzura AdminThe 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view current and past issues of the Arena click here or on the image above.
ANZURA’s Contact Details
P.O. Box 1581
Warriewood, NSW 2102
Phone: 0431 285 943 (from Australia) or +61 431 285 943 (international)
Anzura AdminANZURA’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.)
Anzura AdminANZURA maintains a contact list for study group hosts.
Not all these hosts actually run a regular study group but all of them are willing to host one for anyone who would like to meet.
You can view the list of contacts on the website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups