My curiosity in Urantia, (curiosity, not to be mistaken with interest), was entirely due to their very tidy-looking book. I’ve been interested in cult theories, the occult, and all other things arcane or esoteric for a few years now. Most of the books look like they were made by Ren Faire workers. This whole Mystical Swirly Magical Grimoire thing that ends up on the bare white paper that outs the self- and low-quality publishers of today’s literary landscape. The Urantia Book is crazy sharp in comparison.
So the book, titled The Urantia Book, is also referred to as The Urantia Papers or The Fifth Epochal Revelation. It self-categorizes as a spiritual, philosophical, and religious book, also known as a weirdo book. It was first published in Chicago somewhere between 1924 and 1955. No author is named, but there are two strong theories about the identity of this mystery penman. I won’t go into them here. Search Urantia and your top results will be a couple of outrage articles re-wording the same sentences. Those go into detail about the potential Terrible Man. But they’re easily the dullest part of the story and have the same degree of authoritativeness as a high vocabulary stoner that just saw Donnie Darko for the first time.
The authorship of this tome is credited to numerous celestial beings that have been appointed to the task of providing an “epochal” religious revelation. Urantia is their name for the planet Earth. The stated intent of The Urantia Book is to “present enlarged concepts and advanced truth”. It’s just over 2000 pages long, divided into 196 “papers”. These are organized in four parts with a beefy introduction.
Part One, The Central and Superuniverses, concerns the highest levels of creation, the eternal and infinite Universal Father, Trinity associates, and the Isle of Paradise.
Part Two, The Local Universe, concerns the origin, administration, and personalities of the local universe, Nebadon, and the part of the cosmos where the Earth resides. Additionally, there are narratives on the inhabitants of local universes and their work.
Part Three, The History of Urantia, is a broad history of Earth; the origin, evolution, and destiny of the world and its inhabitants. There is also information about Adam and Eve, Melchizedek, the Thought Adjuster, and Personality Survival.
Part Four, The Life and Teachings of Jesus, is the largest portion, taking up 775 pages. It contains a detailed biography of Jesus Christ covering his childhood, teen years, family life, and public ministry, as well as the events leading to his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. It concludes with the continued sightings of Christ after he rose, Pentecost, and faith.
The core theories are fun in a way, though they’re clearly modeled on an aspect of Theosophy, Hinduism, and Seventh Day Adventism. Modeled is a generous term. It’s like if the Ancient Aliens guy remixed any of these sects. There are four of these to understand before getting into the dirty bits of this pulp.
First, is the Nature of God, as according to the divine celestial social workers. God is the creator and upholder of all reality. The human concept that most closely resembles the nature of God is that of the father figure.
The face which the Infinite turns toward all universe personalities is the face of a Father, the Universal Father of Love.The Urantia Book
God is a single Deity who functions on a range of different levels of reality. God is taught to exist in a Trinity of three perfectly individualized persons who are co-equal: God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit. These are also named the Universal Father, Eternal Son, and Infinite Spirit, respectively.
The three personalities of Paradise Deity are, in all universe reality reactions and in all creature relations, as one.The Urantia Book
An additional three persons Deity are “experiential”, or incomplete, and in the process of actualizing: God the Supreme, God the Ultimate, and God the Absolute. God the Supreme is the person of Deity evolving in order to unify finite reality and the infinite. The Ultimate and The Absolute are too vast to describe in human terms.
Several types of celestial beings are enumerated, one being the joint “offspring” of the Universal Father and Eternal Son, called a Creator Son. Jesus of Nazareth is one of these.
Next, God and the Individual. God is the father of each individual, and through the direct gift of a fragment of his eternal spirit, called a Thought Adjuster, is able to guide the individual toward an increased understanding of him. The Thought Adjuster is also known as the Mystery Monitor, the Indwelling Presence, and the Divine Spark. Each person receives one fragment at the time of their first independent moral decision, between ten months and five years old, on average. The degree to which a human mind chooses to accept its Adjuster’s guidance becomes the degree to which a person’s soul “grows” and becomes a reality that can survive death.
Persistently embracing sin is the same as rejecting the leadings of the Adjuster. Constant selfishness and sin lead to iniquity and full identification with unrighteousness, and since unrighteousness is unreal, it results in the eventual annihilation of the individual’s identity.
Interesting note, there a no concepts of hell or reincarnation in the texts.
Ultimately, a person is destined to fuse with their divine fragment and become one inseparable entity. Uniting with the adjuster fragment is the reward of the ages, the moment when a human personality has successfully and unalterably won eternal life. After one is fused with their fragment “then will begin your real life, the ascending life, to which your present mortal state is but the vestibule.” A person continues as an ascending citizen in the universe and travels through numerous worlds on a long pilgrimage of growth and learning that eventually leads to God and residence on Paradise. Mortals who reach this stage are called Finaliters. Human life on Earth is considered a short and intense test, and the afterlife is a continuation of training that begins in material life.
Cosmology is the third core tenant. At the center of the cosmos is the stationary Isle of Paradise, the dwelling place of God. Surrounding this is Havona, an eternal universe containing a billion perfect worlds. Around this are seven incomplete and evolutionary superuniverses. A superuniverse is roughly the size of a galaxy. The seven superuniverses along with Paradise-Havona are together designated as the grand universe. A local universe is a portion of a superuniverse. Beyond the seven superuniverses is an uninhabited outer space. Master Universe refers to the total of all of these.
Urantia is located in a remote local universe named Nebadon, which is part of superuniverse number seven, also called Orvonton. Urantia is planet number 606 of a planetary group named Satania, the headquarters of which is Jerusem. There’s a lot about these names that remind me of pulp paperbacks.
Finally, perhaps most key of the core values is the History and Future of the World. The Urantia Book describes the world’s physical development as having started 4.5 billion years ago. These were the gradual changes in environmental conditions that allowed life to develop, and long ages of organic evolution that started with microscopic marine life and led to plant and animal life in the oceans, and later on land. The emergence of humans is said to have occurred about a million years ago from a branch of superior primates originating from a lemur ancestor. The first humans were a pair of male and female twins named Andon and Fonta.
Side note: This is a ladies’ website, a blog of nobility. Pirating cool television shows is not the way to conduct oneself as a woman of grace and class. That being said, I managed to find that Carl Sagan show from the seventies and the first episode gives the same summary of the history of the world, including the lemurs.
The book teaches not only biological evolution, but that human society and spiritual understandings evolve by slow progression, subject both to periods of rapid improvement and the possibility of retrogression. Progress is said to follow a divine plan that includes periodic gifts of revelation and ministry by heavenly teachers, which will eventually lead to an ideal world status of “light and life” in the far distant future.
Although there is an ideal and divine plan of progression, it is said to be fostered and administered by various orders of celestial beings who are not always perfect. Urantia is said to be a markedly confused and disordered planet that is greatly stunted in all phases of intellectual progress and spiritual attainment compared to more typical inhabited worlds. This is due to an unusually severe history of rebellion and default by its Spiritual Supervisors.
An example of this line of thinking is best exampled in the Adamic Technique. This is the title of Adam and Eve’s role in the Earth’s history. Adam and Eve get deployed to inhabited worlds as they cross a certain landmark in life development. Once the primordial ooze has set and there are people kicking about, Adam and Eve show up to level everyone up. Their progeny mate with the acceptable inhabitants of the planet and inferior stocks are eliminated by biologic disfellowshipping. Because the Adamic Technique on Earth failed to achieve biological renovation, the problem must be solved by human methods of adaption and control.
If it wasn’t obvious, this subject particular matter is what almost any negative article about this group is yelling about. Anyone familiar with Theosophy and its founder, Helena Blavatsky, may be familiar with the way this book frames “races”. For those that don’t, they’re color-coded like crayon flavors. But the explainer isn’t exactly pointing at a specific existing race. The titles will quite literally be red, blue, indigo, orange, yellow, etc. And their definitions usually involve some kind of far-out time and space origins. I’m a bit tired so here’s a bit from the Theosophy wiki that will at least illustrate the way this language is used.
It is important to keep in mind that the term Root-Races does not refer to ethnicities. They are different evolutionary stages humanity as a whole goes through successively. Besides, the same individuals that compose the current humanity have been reborn in all the previous Root-Races. In H. P. Blavatsky‘s words: “The mankind of the First Root-Race is the mankind of the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc.https://theosophy.wiki/en/Root-Race
I have a second part to this about the Celestial Seasonings connection. Which, to the unaware or non-western, is the company that makes the cutesy-bear knockout tea. I’ll finish it next week.
I like that this is a noble blog. Very few of those about. As to urantia, it’s like someone sat down to write the silmarillion, only with more rules and less romance and based around earth. A sincere and imaginative effort but a bit pointless?
Agreed. It’s too big a book to be a “fun” read, but it’s very inventive in some places. It borrows heavily from other alt-spiritualist groups. I’ve never read into it, but I imagine it’s not dissimilar from those L. Ron Hubbard books. Inventive in a pulpy way. A lot of the stuff reminded me of an Isaac Asimov novel where the characters get whatever name is picked from a hat and the place names are all familiar shortenings of known names. “Jerusem” and “Satania” in particular. Ultimately, it seems like the hippies from Celestial Seasonings read Stranger in a Strange Land and combined that vocabulary with a Bible remix.