Exactly How do Seraphim Work?
Supplementary Appendix for a study of Urantian Spirituality
The School of Meanings and Values
March 27, 1999
In the text below, the bracketed numbers refer to [Paper:Section.Paragraph]
and the numbers in Parentheses refer to (Page,Paragraph) as used in the first print edition of the text.
"The universe is a whole; no thing or being exists or lives in isolation. Cosmic socialization constitutes the highest form of personality unification." [56:10.14](647,5)
What do Seraphim do? Exactly how do they work? Where do they work?
Seraphim "effect a personal co-ordination of the numerous impersonal spirit influences which indwell, surround, and impinge upon the mind and soul of the evolving material creature." [113:3.1] (1244,2) They are "mind stimulators," continually seeking to promote circle-making decisions in the mortal mind. They "operate from the outside inward, working through the social, ethical and moral environment of human beings." [113:4.1] (1245,1) Values "always depend on the fact of relationships" [100:3.5](1097,2) and when we're talking about spiritual values, the "fact of relationships" refers to the relationships between personalities, human and divine; thus "the social, ethical and moral environment" as the locus of seraphic ministry.
We can view relationships between persons as living expressions of the values held by the personalities constituting the relationship. But at [196:3.10](2094,9) we find that, "The human mind does not create real values; human experience does not yield universe insight. Concerning insight, the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose." (Review the four levels of value realization at [5:5.2](68,5).)
How, then, does mortal man come into contact with these universe meanings and values, so that discovery, recognition, interpretation and choosing might take place?
The master seraphim of planetary supervision apparently provide specialized meaning-value mediation to mortals who are aggregated in social groups. In reviewing this appendix, especially the material which deals with seraphic ministry on the evolutionary worlds, note the degree to which the various orders of ministering angels are involved in the mediation of spiritual meanings and values to ascenders in the context of mortal socialization.
Upon mortal death, the guardian seraphim becomes the personal custodian of "the mind patterns, memory formulas, and soul realities of the mortal survivor..." [113:3.4](1244,5) This is because, as a result of the seraphim's experience in coordinating spiritual ministry and mediating spiritual meanings and values to her ward during the mortal lifetime, she has become intimately familiar with her ward's mind patterns of response to such realities--the essence of the survival character. These patterns constitute the nature of the mortal's interaction with other persons. Remember that circle attainment has to do with cosmic socialization and the realization of universe citizenship. [110:6.16] (1209, section 6) Immediate resurrection is directly related to cosmic socialization--are you sufficiently socialized to fit into mansion world activities without a lot of special attention, or will you have to wait until a series of remedial services are scheduled in conjunction with dispensational classes? Note that our first assignment on the mansion worlds will be as assistants to the seraphim in the work immediately at hand. [113:7.3] (1284,3)
In the following material related to the various orders of angelic ministers, consider the nature of their tasks. What is it that they are attempting to accomplish? What are the realities which they are attempting to manipulate or foster?
Supernaphim in the central universe
"...co-ordinate a diversity of activities involving personalities of differing orders..." [26:3.4](288,4)
"...contribute enormously to the mutual understanding of the pilgrims of time and the pilgrims of eternity..." [26:3.4](288,4)
Upon reaching Havona, "...a pilgrim of space is always tutored by secondary supernaphim..." [26:4.3](289,13) They are referred to as "the helper hosts of the universal scheme of survival" [26:4.6](289,15) (For more on their general educational work in the central universe, see Paper 26, section 5 through the end of the Paper.)
Note some of the classifications of Primary Supernaphim (Paper 27):
Seconaphim in the superuniverses
Primary seconaphim -- Reflectivity ministers to the Ancients of Days; function by helping the Ancients of Days understand the viewpoints of various celestial agencies -- the Infinite Spirit, the Seven Master Spirits, the Creator Sons, the Angelic Hosts, etc. [28:4](307)
Secondary seconaphim [28:5](310) -- Reflectivity ministers to the co-ordinate Trinity associates of the Ancients of Days -- reflect Paradise meanings and values into the superuniverses.
Tertiary Seconaphim [28:6](313)
In ministry, the Seconaphim "range from the shores of Paradise to the evolutionary worlds of space." Read [28:7.2-4](317,4)
Seraphim in the Local Universes
Note that on the level of the local universe and particularly on the planetary level, the seraphim are heavily involved in fostering a more spiritual order of socialization.
Universe Orientators -- Facilitate the passage of ascenders from the attained to the unattained level of universe service, helping them to make the requisite adjustments in the comprehension of meanings and values related to this transition. [39:1.10](428,5)
Seraphic Guardians of Destiny [Paper 113]
They influence us "in every possible manner consistent with the dignity of...personality. Under no circumstances do these angels interfere with the free action of the human will." [113:5.1](1245,7) As noted earlier, they are "mind stimulators", continually seeking to promote circle-making decisions in the mortal mind. They "operate from the outside inward, working through the social, ethical and moral environment of human beings." [113:4.1](1245,1)
It appears that seraphim somehow work within the context of interpersonal relationships. It might be helpful to imagine that when we are interacting with other persons--during the time in which we are actually engaged in the process of interaction, we are providing a temporary universe context in which seraphic stimulation and teaching may occur. If this is indeed the case, what attitudes of mind and soul might help facilitate this process?
Of course the Adjuster plays a role in our apprehension of values as well. At [196:3.13](2094,15) we find the comment that, "Unless an evaluator dwelt with man, he could not possibly appraise moral values and recognize spiritual meanings." The Adjuster is referred to as a "spirit-value sorter", an "indwelling interpreter and unifier." [196:3.14](2095,1). In prayerful and worshipful problem solving we can reflect on the memory of our interactions with other personalities and provide our Adjusters with an additional context within which further progress might take place. The context in which the Adjusters function is "amid and upon the ideas, ideals, insights and spirit strivings of the evolving sons of God." [101:1.3](1104,6)
Postulate: Spiritual life is a potential contained within the process taking place as personalities interact with each other. "Morality is the essential pre-existent soil of personal God-consciousness, the personal realization of the Adjuster's inner presence." [196:3.22](2096,1) Morality is the first level of self-management implemented by personalities discovering themselves functioning as social creatures in a personal universe. (Consider the social concomitants of the four techniques for augmenting Adjuster harmony at [110:3.6-10](1206,4).)
Seraphim "function as teachers of men by guiding the footsteps of the human personality into paths of new and progressive experiences." If you accept this guidance, you will encounter "the rugged hills of moral choosing and spiritual progress." [113:4.3](1245,3) Implicit in this comment is the understanding that these "new and progressive experiences" will be social in nature and will involve moral and ethical dilemmas.
The Master Seraphim of Planetary Supervision [114:6](1254)
Note that these angels work with social groupings of mortals. These are associations of mortal personalities focused on specific social processes which persist over time. Again, seraphic work here seems to be in the area of promoting the realization of higher spiritual values within the context of the shared meanings and values which classify these mortals together in the first place. Note also that they don't inject new and higher conceptions into human minds, but they often act to intensify some higher ideal which has already appeared within a human intellect. [114:6.19]
The Transition Ministers
No study of seraphic ministry would be complete without consideration of the Transition Ministers. [48:6](551,6) The morontia life of an ascending mortal is really initiated on the inhabited worlds at the conception of the soul; these angels are devoted to facilitating the transit of mortal creatures from the initial life in the flesh into the early stages of morontia existence on the mansion worlds. What sorts of experiences might these angels lead us into as a means of preparing us for the mansion world life?
Some of the groups among them whose functions extend to the evolutionary worlds are: The Seraphic Evangels: "Dedicated to the proclamation of the gospel of eternal progression..." [48:6.7](552,5) The Racial Interpreters: They are the "skillful sociologists and the wise ethnic advisers of the first heaven." They function on the evolutionary worlds to further the efforts of the race commissioners to harmonize the varied viewpoints of the mortal races. [48:6.11](553,4) Review the seven divisions of Transition Ministers and consider the nature of seraphic ministry in the transition zone between material mortal creaturehood and the morontia life. [48:6](551,6)
Given an understanding of this angelic ministry which seeks to prepare mortals for life on the mansion worlds, what might be some of the implications for the way in which we approach our own outreach efforts? What might be some of the implications for the way in which we manage our own lives here on our world of origin relative to the impending mansion world sojourn?
By studying The Urantia Book we can arrive at a fairly clear understanding of the goals and methods used by seraphic ministers in their efforts to stimulate spiritual growth and foster planetary social advancement--they already have a functioning, highly developed global educational infrastructure in place.
Given this, and recognizing that "man cannot cause growth, but he can supply favorable conditions" [100:3.7](1097,4), what might constitute a cosmically meaningful (and value revealing) model of mortal participation in this effort?
Postulate: We, as mortals, can most effectively engage in spiritual outreach by developing a model of ministry whose purpose is to support and reinforce the seraphic ministry which is being promulgated on a massive planetary scale and which already touches the life of every living person.
This ministry is understood to be related to the mortal realization of spiritual meanings and values in the context of interpersonal relationships. "Cosmic socialization constitutes the highest form of personality unification. Said Jesus: 'He who would be greatest among you, let him become server of all.'" [56:10.14](647,5)
In what ways might we facilitate seraphic processes in our personal relationships, in the various human communities of which we are a part, and in our attempts to promulgate the revelation?
For further study:
What are values? Where do they come from and where do they exist?
How do the "four levels of the realization of values and the enjoyment of universe fellowship" described at [5:5.2](68,5) influence our understanding of the nature of values?
The Infinite Spirit is sometimes referred to as "the Universal Organizer" or the "Personality Co-ordinator." Note that the destiny of personality in the universe is not simply individual attainment but rather the exploration of the associative potentials of personality.[8:2.3](92), [112:1.9](1226,13), [F:V.4](8,4), [31:0.3](345,3) Seraphim work with us during mortal life to begin developing and enhancing the associative potentials of our personalities--our integration in cosmically meaningful ways with our fellow ascenders. How does this relate to the emphasis placed by The Urantia Book on unselfish service? What role do values play in the actualization of the associative potentials of personality?
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship