August 12, 2012
“Mantras work,” the gurus tell us. And they do, for a while. Eventually, though, they get old and stale. The wheels come off, and we need a new one.
But what if we could find the ultimate mantra? A mantra that contained revelatory words that are timeless and inspired, that would awaken the spirit within? What if we could find a mantra that was “unfailing?” One that could “overcome the world” and restore our faith? Would we say this mantra daily, or better, several times a day? What if such a gift had been given us by the revelators? And what if it was hiding in plain sight in the pages of The Urantia Book?
“The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absolute of the universe of universes. And that is ‘the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith.’” [P.59 - §5; 4.4.9]
July 25, 2012
July 12, 2012
On page 1777 of The Urantia Book [160.3.2], Rodan lays out a perfect program for spiritual development:
“Jesus has taught us that God lives in man; then how can we induce man to release these soul-bound powers of divinity and infinity? How shall we induce men to let go of God that he may spring forth to the refreshment of our own souls while in transit outward and then to serve the purpose of enlightening, uplifting, and blessing countless other souls? How best can I awaken these latent powers for good which lie dormant in your souls? One thing I am sure of: Emotional excitement is not the ideal spiritual stimulus. Excitement does not augment energy; it rather exhausts the powers of both mind and body. Whence then comes the energy to do these great things? Look to your Master. Even now he is out in the hills taking in power while we are here giving out energy. The secret of all this problem is wrapped up in spiritual communion, in worship. From the human standpoint it is a question of combined meditation and relaxation. Meditation makes the contact of mind with spirit; relaxation determines the capacity for spiritual receptivity. And this interchange of strength for weakness, courage for fear, the will of God for the mind of self, constitutes worship …
“When these experiences are frequently repeated, they crystallize into habits, strength-giving and worshipful habits, and such habits eventually formulate themselves into a spiritual character, and such a character is finally recognized by one’s fellows as a mature personality. These practices are difficult and time-consuming at first, but when they become habitual, they are at once restful and time-saving. The more complex society becomes, and the more the lures of civilization multiply, the more urgent will become the necessity for God-knowing individuals to form such protective habitual practices designed to conserve and augment their spiritual energies.”
Practicing this process each day is not difficult. My problem has always been the ebb and flow of spiritual energies. Then it dawned on me that spiritual character is an edifice that we must rebuild each day, having faith that each renewal will be stronger and better than the day before.
Then we can confidently greet the dawn with the mantra: “Today is a day that surpasses all other days, for each day surpasses the day before, and all lapse into magnificence. Because, that’s the way things are.”
June 30, 2012
ARE THERE SPIRITUAL BEINGS OF higher intelligence in the vast universe? Do they take any notice of us? Presuming there are such intelligences and they do care about us, would they ever try to communicate with us and attempt to assist us? In other words, is the concept of revelation a valid premise? What would, or what could, higher, more mature intelligences of greater spiritual development safely reveal to us?
If you have pondered the plausibility of such things, the story of the Urantia Papers will interest you. (“Urantia” is the name given in the Papers to identify the planet Earth.) The story of the Urantia Papers spans a period from approximately 1906 to 1955, culminating in the publication of The Urantia Book. Although there are over a half-million copies of The Urantia Book in print, an appropriately documented and complete presentation of the story behind them has never before been presented. Yet, this virtually unknown epic is perhaps the most remarkable of the turbulent twentieth century.
The first and most common question about The Urantia Book is: “Who wrote this?” Sometimes even a casual reader, with no intention of studying the material, is stimulated to curiosity. The over one million words of the Urantia Papers are nothing less than an unprecedented attempt to establish an immense integration of three bodies of knowledge: . Scientific fact; . Spiritual realities; and . Philosophical truth.
Traditionally, the three great disciplines have been restricted to logic-tight compartments and dealt with separately. Each of these disciplines, science, religion, and philosophy, contains essential, but inadequate, information about who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. The Urantia Papers drew upon the highest human knowledge available up to the time of their writing to propose extraordinary new relationships between the key disciplines. The Papers suggest fresh possibilities and augment their ideas with original revelatory information. The result is an uplifting vision for humankind that is without parallel or precedent in literature.
The Urantia Papers claim to be an epochal revelation; yet they take the unique revelatory position of disclaiming infallibility. The Papers are unquestionably profoundly religious, yet they do not attempt to establish a new religion. Rather, they seek to philosophically integrate evolutionary scientific knowledge with spiritual truth. Although some of the scientific content of the Urantia Papers is dated, if the most modern scientific data were to be substituted in its place, the broad philosophical synthesis would still work. The Papers are essentially an exposition and expansion of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth placed in a splendid cosmological context ¾ on a scale that has never before been attempted on this planet. Perhaps the suspicions of any thinking person will be aroused by such sweeping claims. However, an honest mind will also discover that there are far too many substantial and original concepts in the Urantia Papers for them to be brushed off as an esoteric fabrication.
Although the claim of Revelation is made, the Papers disclaim infallibility: “The Urantia Papers . . . of which this is one, constitute the most recent presentation of truth to the mortals of Urantia. These papers differ from all previous revelations, for they are not the work of a single universe personality but a composite presentation by many beings. But no revelation short of the attainment of the Universal Father can ever be complete. All other celestial ministrations are no more than partial, transient, and practically adapted to local conditions in time and space. While such admissions as this may possibly detract from the immediate force and authority of all revelations, the time has arrived on Urantia when it is advisable to make such frank statements, even at the risk of weakening the future influence and authority of this, the most recent of the revelations of truth to the mortal races of Urantia.” [1008 – par. 2]
May 10, 2012
NOTE: Meredith wanted his affidavit regarding the authenticity of the Urantia Papers to be published in our History. I included part of his affidavit in the obituary I wrote for him. Some people wanted the full text, so here it is. Surely it is a historical document every Urantian should read. Larry Mullins
MEREDITH J. SPRUNGER
4109 PLAZA DR
FORT WAYNE, IN 46806
Oct. 24, 1998
I declare, under penalty of perjury, that the following are my recollections about the authorship, and the issues surrounding the authorship, of The Urantia Book.
Following my discovery of The Urantia Book in December of 1955, and after introducing it to a number of clerical colleagues and friends, I spent years researching with them the historical aspects of the book. We quickly discovered the Urantia Papers were received by a small group of people in Chicago. Their leader was Dr. William S. Sadler. Dr. Sadler was a highly respected psychiatrist and college teacher in the graduate school of medicine at the University of Chicago. For almost thirty years Dr. Sadler was also a lecturer in Pastoral Counseling at McCormick Theological Seminary.
On May 7, 1958, our group of ministers had an appointment with Dr. Sadler to discuss the phenomena associated with the origin of the Urantia Papers. My personal association with Dr. Sadler continued until his death in 1969. In the course of this friendship, we had many candid conversations about the materialization of the Foreword and the 196 Papers that were eventually published as the text of The Urantia Book. It is important to point out that in this regard Dr. Sadler was a professional researcher of unquestioned integrity.
Dr. Sadler categorically declared that there was no known psychic phenomena attached to the origin of the Urantia Papers. The final text of the Urantia Papers was materialized in written form, but it was not channeled or spoken, nor was it the product of automatic writing. Dr. Sadler stated that although the Thought Adjuster (a fragment of God that indwells all normal human minds) of the “contact personality” was somehow engaged in the materialization process by spiritual beings, the contact person was totally unaware of this activity. Neither this contact person, nor any other human, wrote any of the text nor authored or originated any material used in the revelatory text of the Urantia Papers, which consist of the Foreword and the 196 Papers.
Although Dr. Sadler was emphatic that no known psychic phenomena were associated in any way with the authorship of the Urantia Papers, he admitted that he was baffled as to precisely how the text of the Urantia Papers was materialized into the English language. He was very clear in his conviction that no human being edited, selected, or had any creative input whatever into the authorship of the Urantia Papers, nor in the arrangement of the text of The Urantia Book, which consists of the Foreword and Papers one through 196. Dr. Sadler was crystal clear that the members of the contact commission had no editorial authority whatever, and their responsibility was confined to spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Members of the forum were not even permitted to see the original materialized documents, and they had no input in their authorship. Dr. Sadler was convinced that the Urantia Papers are exactly what they purport themselves to be, an epochal revelation authored solely by celestial beings.
I have studied The Urantia Book in depth for over forty years, and I am likewise convinced that the authorship of the text was superhuman, and that it was materialized by unprecedented means that are not fully understood. In my best professional and personal opinion, I am absolutely convinced there was no human authorship or creative input, and there were no human
editorial decisions involved with the materialization of the Urantia Papers. I believe the truth of what Dr. Sadler wrote‑and personally disclosed to me numerous times: the Urantia Papers were published just as received, and the contact commission had no editorial authority whatever, and its role was confined solely to the clerical tasks of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Neither did the forum members contribute to the creative contents of the Urantia Papers. The forum was similar to a modem focus group in that they were used by the celestial authors solely as a gauge to measure human understanding.
Dr. Sadler was also absolutely clear about two related things: (1). Absolutely no human name or names should ever be attached to the authorship or materialization of the Urantia Papers and the publication of The Urantia Book. Even the printer, R. R. Donnelly and Sons, was not permitted to place an indicia in the first edition which stated their identity. (2.) No human being knows, or ever knew, the exact method by which the Urantia Papers were materialized. We can only be categorically certain that there was no human authorship, no human editorial involvement, nor any human activity in creating, selecting and/or arranging the Urantia Papers, which consist of the Foreword and Papers one through 196 inclusive, and which constitute the text of The Urantia Book.
Dr. Sadler made it plain to me that the revelators, held total authority over the process by which the Urantia Papers were materialized. The revelators suggested the submission of questions, and, at one point after the contact commission and forum had read some of the papers, requested that more significant questions be developed and asked by the contact commission. Dr. Sadler said that in a particular session a celestial personality who claimed to be a student visitor to our planet stated to the commission: “If you people realized what a high spiritual source you are now associating with you would stop making these puerile investigations to detect fraud and would ask some significant questions about the nature and reality of the universe.” It was at this point the forum was engaged by Dr. Sadler to help him formulate appropriate questions in answer to the challenge of the revelators.
The forum had originally been assembled by the Sadler family as an group of lay persons who gathered together in Dr. Sadler’s home for tea and an hour or two of informal discussion and social exchange. The revelators soon answered the questions the forum had asked, and these answers were presented to the forum by the contact commission. Shortly after this the revelators directed Dr. Sadler and the contact commission to make the forum a closed group, and required each member to take a vow of secrecy about their knowledge of what the contact commission was doing and what information the revelators had disclosed to the forum through the contact commission “The forum, as it were, was taken away from us” wrote Dr. Sadler. He was indicating that the general discussions in the forum ceased, and the revelators henceforth directed the agenda of the group through the contact commission, and used the forum essentially as a focus group for the Urantia Papers.
Dr. Sadler said no forum member except members of the contact commission, was ever present during any of the contacts with the revelators. He also said that only one “sleeping subject,” or person was involved throughout the entire process of materializing the text of the Urantia Papers.
Dr. Sadler told me that at one point he and his son Bill wrote a draft for an introduction to the Urantia Papers, and submitted it to the revelators. At a contact session with the revelators they were told that although they meant well, such submissions were not acceptable, and the revelators made the comment, referring to the introduction written by Dr. Sadler and Bill Sadler, Jr.: “A candle cannot light the sun.” At the proper time, the humans were assured, an introduction to the book would be materialized. When the revelators produced the Foreword to the Urantia Papers, Dr. Sadler stated that he and his son realized the inadequacy of their own attempt to write an introduction.
Dr. Sadler and his son were, however, given permission to compose a Table of Contents for The Urantia Book. Bill Sadler compiled the titles as they appeared in the Papers, and the section headings from the Papers, and he briefly outlined some of the material that was originated in the Urantia Papers, and incorporated it into a Table of Contents for The Urantia Book. Dr. Sadler and other members of the contact commission assured me that no human wrote, edited, or arranged any of the text of the Urantia Papers, which consist of the Foreword and all of the Papers from Paper one through Paper 196 inclusive. Dr. Sadler told me that one individual, not a member of the contact commission but rather a member of the forum, who made suggestions to “improve” the Urantia Papers was vigorously informed by the revelators (through the contact commission) that no human additions to the Urantia Papers would be allowed. Dr. Sadler said that every possible precaution was taken to see that the text of the Urantia Papers was presented just as the revelators had authored and materialized it.
It should be emphasized that there is not now, nor has there ever been, a human authority on the content or the origin of the Urantia Papers. However, Christy often requested that I reply to many of the letters Urantia Foundation received from readers requesting information on the origin of the Urantia Papers. As these requests increased, I produced a paper on the essentials of the origin of the Urantia Papers, which constitute the text of The Urantia Book. This paper was approved by Urantia Foundation, printed, and freely distributed for several years by both Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood.
In regard to outreach efforts by Urantians, the following statement was written by Dr. Sadler under the heading, Distribution of the Urantia Book: “However, one thing should be made clear: While it is the policy of the Brotherhood to work slowly in the distribution of the book, nothing is done to interfere with the energetic and enthusiastic efforts of any individual to introduce The Urantia Book to his friends and associates.”
Meredith Justin Sprunger
May 1, 2012
Dr. Meredith Justin Sprunger was a highly respected Urantian, serving in numerous capacities, including President of the original Urantia Brotherhood. Meredith authored many important Urantia Book derivative works, including, Spiritual Psychology, 1988 and The Abridged Urantia Papers, 2008. Few would dispute that Dr. Sprunger was probably the most reliable source of first-hand information about the intriguing origin and history of the Urantia Papers. Moreover, Meredith became a friend and colleague of Dr. William Sadler (1875-1969), the prominent Chicago psychiatrist who led the Forum, safeguarded the Urantia Papers, and oversaw the publication of The Urantia Book in 1955. He personally knew two other members of the original contact commission.
Meredith had a distinguished career aside from his interest in the Urantia Papers. He earned his Masters from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph. D in psychology from Purdue University. He taught at Elmherst College and the Indiana Institute of Technology where he functioned as the head of the Department of Psychology, Chairman of the Division of Liberal Arts, and as President. Dr. Sprunger was a licensed and practicing psychologist, and an ordained minister with pastorates at United Church of Christ in Indiana.
Dr. Sprunger first met Dr. William Sadler in Chicago on May 7, 1958, shortly after The Urantia Book was published. Meredith led a group of eleven other ministers to Chicago. These men had all read The Urantia Book and wanted to learn more about how it came to be. From that time, Dr. Sprunger served Urantia Foundation, the Urantia Brotherhood, and later the Urantia Book Fellowship as a loyal and dedicated Urantian. Throughout the years of turmoil in the Urantia movement, Meredith held steady as a resolute and judicious leader, and emitted a light that all factions could trust and depend upon.
I first met Meredith in the mid-seventies at a Urantia conference. In those days, the older Urantians were rather secretive about matters concerning the origin of the Urantia Papers. However, I found Meredith quite open and gracious. His wisdom was balanced, his spiritual depth extraordinary, and his knowledge and understanding of the Urantia Papers profound…yet he served with remarkable humility. Over the years I developed a warm relationship with him and Irene, his wife of 66 years who was also a selfless, dedicated Urantian, and who preceded him to the mansion worlds in 2007. Meredith assisted me in many projects, and even conducted the marriage ceremony for Joan and I in 1991. When Joan suggested that I attempt to write an authentic history of the Urantia Papers, I turned to Meredith. Without his help, I knew it would not be possible to shift through the misinformation and bizarre theories about the materialization of the Urantia Papers. His only stipulation was that we would follow and document the truth wherever it led, and so we did. Dr. Sprunger, who was known for his sterling integrity, provided a sworn affidavit regarding the authenticity of the Urantia Papers for our History. I can only offer a portion of it here. It is a testament to Meredith’s unwavering loyalty to the Fifth Epochal Revelation:
“I have studied The Urantia Book in depth for over forty years, and I am likewise convinced that the authorship of the text was superhuman, and that it was materialized by unprecedented means that are not fully understood. In my best professional and personal opinion, I am absolutely convinced there was no human authorship or creative input, and there were no human
editorial decisions involved with the materialization of the Urantia Papers. I believe the truth of what Dr. Sadler wrote–and personally disclosed to me numerous times: the Urantia Papers were published just as received, and the contact commission had no editorial authority whatever, and its role was confined solely to the clerical tasks of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Neither did the forum members contribute to the creative contents of the Urantia Papers. The forum was similar to a modern focus group in that they were used by the celestial authors solely as a gauge to measure human understanding.”
February 14, 2012
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