Attunement Equals Peace
Matthew Block, Chicago Il
In Paper 39, Section 5, p. 5-6 of The Urantia Book (437, 1955 edition), we are introduced to a group of seraphim, called the "Souls of Peace." These angels belong to the order of Planetary Helpers, who begin their ministry on an inhabited world during the Adamic regime. As well as helping to foster the realization of "peace on earth and good will among men," we are told that: "In the more advanced epochs of planetary evolution these seraphim are instrumental in supplanting the atonement idea by the concept of divine attunement as a philosophy of mortal survival."
This description of their ministry is intriguing in its linking of peace and attunement. For years I've wondered why the supplanting of the atonement doctrine was so vital and relevant to the achievement of planetary peace.
Last spring the meaning of this linkage was illuminated by the discovery of a book called The Christ of the Indian Road, by E. Stanley Jones. First published in 1925, the book recounts the lessons learned through his experiences as a Christian missionary in India. After meeting resistance from Indians who were resentful of Christianity's close association with the perceived evils of the West, Jones made the decision to preach Jesus rather than Christianity. In its new emphasis on the life and character of Jesus, Jones' ministry immediately became vitalized and far more effective. He soon realized that Christianity will be immeasurably enhanced by the insights of Indians who approach Jesus from an already rich spiritual heritage. The book's title refers to Christ as he is becoming "naturalized upon the Indian Road"--free from Western accretions.
The following paragraphs are drawn from pp. 204-6 of the chapter, "The Indian Interpretation of Jesus." Emphasis has been added to draw attention to parallels with the above mentioned passages in The Urantia Book.
"Every nation has its peculiar contribution to make to the interpretation of Christianity. The Son of Man is too great to be expressed by any one portion of humanity. Those that differ from us most will probably contribute most to our expression of Christianity....
"The followers of the Christ of the Indian Road will show us the real meaning of a spiritual life. They will sit lightly to earthly things and abandon themselves to the spirit.
"Along with that will come the sense of the unity and harmony running through things. 'Don't you think atonement would mean attunement?' said a Hindu to me one day. He felt his life was 'like sweet bells jangled out of tune' by sin and evil, and to his mind, craving inward peace and harmony, atonement would bring attunement to the nature of God--music instead of discord. No wonder peace has been the great thought and craving of India. Anything like losing one's temper is thought to be utterly incompatible with the truly religious life. 'I know I haven't salvation yet,' said a villager to me one day, 'for while I have conquered everything else anger still remains, I haven't got it yet.' The followers of the Christ of the Indian Road will be harmonized and peaceful. Meditation to them will be real. Religion will mean quiet realization.
It is highly likely that the Melchizedek who wrote about the Souls of Peace found in these paragraphs both a clear indication of their influence and a cogent way of describing one aspect of their ministry. We are told that, while unable to inject new conceptions into our minds, seraphim often act to intensify some higher ideal that has already appeared.
Perhaps India's quest for inner peace, conditioned by future contact with the real religion of Jesus, will be intensified until it culminates in a growing acceptance of Jesus as the Prince of Inner Peace.
The Christ of the Indian Road contains other parallels with The Urantia Book, too complicated to be detailed here. Though out of print, it probably can be found in larger libraries and secondhand bookshops. Urantians involved in interfaith ministry will no doubt find it of great value, as will those interested in examining how the revelators utilized human-source concepts.