A talk at the A & NZ UB Readers Conference by Ken Glasziou
The Urantia Book informs us that the quality of our worship is determined by the depth of our perception which, in turn, varies in proportion to the depth of our knowledge of God. It follows that our worship experience may be enhanced in two ways, firstly by increasing our understanding of ourselves and secondly by increasing our knowledge of God. So let's make a start by attempting to know more about ourselves.
How can we know anything at all? How do we differentiate between dreams and reality, real and false memory, conscious sight and blind sight, a real image from an optical illusion, or a cause and effect kind of mechanical mind from a mind endowed with self-consciousness and freewill choice? How can we know which is which? How can we really know anything? Maybe this is an area where we can learn much more from revelation than we can from an empirical science that assumed, until recently, all things visible and invisible have a mechanistic explanation.
Mind, the Papers tell us, is derived from the Infinite Spirit, the source of Cosmic Mind. Therefore mind cannot be simply an electrochemical phenomenon. In actuality, it is a universe mystery. We have it, but we don't know what it is. Cosmic Mind comes to the creatures of the universes via one of the seven Master Spirits thence via the Universe Mother Spirit who bestows it upon the local universe creatures.
Mind, we are told, is a gift that comes tailored specifically for the needs of the creature. The minds of our nearest cousins, the secondary midwayers, differ from ours. And their minds differ from primary midwayers whose minds are of the angelic type. Like bodies, minds are disposable. Our earthly minds are disposed of when we move on to the Mansion worlds where we will be equipped with a different variation of Cosmic Mind.
All types of universe mind have certain properties in common that are derived directly from Cosmic Mind. Nevertheless, each variant is tailored for the benefit of the individual creature, according to their need. The three major classes of attribute deriving from Cosmic Mind that are held in common are classified under the headings of Causation, Duty, and Worship.
Causation covers those traits of mind that operate in the domain of the physical senses and are concerned with the differentiation of fact from non-fact, and the striving for meaning. We can observe this urge to strive to discover meaning quite readily in ourselves, and even in animals as they attempt to make sense of the signals invading their minds from the surrounding environment.
The Cosmic Mind's attribute termed "duty" includes our innate sense of moral values and our ability to differentiate between relative right and wrong. It is interesting that, to date, all civilisations appear to have assumed that individuals are congenitally equipped to distinguish between relative right and wrong, rather than making the alternative assumption that right and wrong are defined solely by authoritarian decree.
Worship is another innate component of Cosmic Mind. Among other attributes, worship is concerned with the fostering of a personal realization of divine fellowship and our recognition of spiritual values. But it is not an attribute that is universally distributed. For the evolutionary creatures of a planet like ours, it comes only to those creatures that have evolved the quality of self-consciousness. ("When any animal becomes self-conscious it becomes a primitive man." p. 1479)
Having minds with the capacity to reason, to distinguish relative right and wrong, and to recognize spiritual values is only the first part of the human story. Along with what comes with Cosmic Mind, we also have the gift of "personality" directly from the Universal Father. With it comes the dual characteristics of relative free will and the capacity to utilize qualities indigenous to Cosmic Mind. The Cosmic Mind has them. Personality uses them. This combination of personality and Cosmic Mind is then adequate for the initiation of moral decisions, the very first of which initiates Adjuster indwelling.
"Personality is one of the unsolved mysteries of the universes." So says a Divine Counselor. There are more than a thousand references to the term "personality" in the Urantia Papers. We can only cover what appear to be the most important for understanding ourselves. The Eternal Son, we are told, is the master pattern for all personality and Havona is the home of the personality pattern of every mortal type. Shades of Plato!! Once we start to think of personality as pattern, we are on our way to understanding some of apparently anomalous statements about it--for example we are informed that personality is changeless and is devoid of identity.
We are born with a gift from the Universal Father of a unique personality pattern already assigned to us. But just as with the basic pattern for a car or an item of clothing, the user of the pattern may modify it in many ways. The personality pattern we each have is there for our use. The pattern is fixed. Its use is not. Similarly, for example, the pattern of a dress is just the pattern, it is not the dress. The dress has its own identity. With that puzzle out of the road, let's go through a listing of some other important things about personality.
It is a gift of the Father that is independent of and antecedent to bestowal of the Thought Adjuster.