RACE AND THE Urantia BOOK
Earlene A. Green
I was recently reminded of the difficult time I passed through when I reached sections in The Urantia Book which dealt with the races. I had loaned a copy of the Book to a girlfriend. After a week or two, she called to say to me that whoever wrote Paper 64 was prejudiced. Those were my exact sentiments upon my initial reading.
I also recalled to mind the fact that only seven black adults attended the conference in Wisconsin the summer of 1978. The combination of these two events has led me to feel that if more black people are to benefit from the teaching of The Urantia Book, perhaps they will have to be gingerly guided over certain portions, as I was.
To obtain an objective view on the relationship of black people to The Urantia Book, I have read and re-read Papers 51, 52, and 64 many times. This is in addition to having completed one reading of the entire book and being three-fourths of the way through on a second reading. Focused attention on one particular subject such as race, without full knowledge of how and why it fits into the whole, may have a tendency to reduce ordinary reasoning to an emotional exercise in futility.
During my first reading of the Book, I placed "X" marks opposite several paragraphs to indicate my displeasure. Now, however, after a period of careful attention, I feel that my original interpretation lacked reasoning. It is my hope that the statement I make here will ease the passage across these papers for those serious readers who would initially find them offensive. I will venture to proffer that there are few blacks in America today who have not experienced racial discrimination. Hence, the overly sensitive response to certain words and phrases such as misfit, backward, you people, degenerate, boy, inferior, etc.
Under Parts II and III of The Urantia Book, some of these words appear repeatedly. Consequently, emotions gradually displace concentrated reading and objectivity takes a vacation. At such moments of frustration, one can feel that even God is not on his side, and a deep sense of helplessness follows. How can this lack of objectivity be overcome? "The true perspective of any reality problem…can be had only by the full and unprejudiced study and correlation of three phases of universe reality: origin, history, and destiny…The study of causation is the perusal of history. But the knowledge of how a being becomes does not necessarily provide an intelligent understanding of the present status and true character of such a being." (*215)
For an individual to gain an understanding of The Urantia Book and of his relationship to the environment he lives in as well as to the universe, it would be helpful to seriously consider:
- (1) Completion of the book as a basis of understanding; (
- 2) God’s purpose for six evolutionary races of color;
- (3) The time factor regarding the six evolutionary races;
- (4) The defaults of the Planetary Prince and Adam and Eve, and
- (5) An understanding of the Supreme Being and our relationship to him.
We are twentieth century beings who are intelligent, curious, well-rounded and spiritually motivated enough to be interested in the contents of The Urantia Book. Personal emotions are a waste of energy when we are considering what our racial status on earth was nearly one-half million years ago – the time period referred to in Paper 64 This was about the time of the arrival of the Planetary Prince and long before the arrival of Adam and Eve. Equality, as we perceive it today, did not exist among early evolutionary people. At that time, a great majority of the people did not have thought adjusters, that individual spark from God which makes us all spiritually equal. Papers 51, 52 and 64 discuss the progress of the six, or sometimes three, evolutionary races of color which are found on an average evolutionary world, and from this information we can measure our own progress.
Harmonization of the Urantia races has slowly proceeded but not through the prescribed technique. The Book further states that our planet "…is a full dispensation and more behind the average planetary schedule".(*593) And further, that on a normal inhabited world the races are practically blended by the end of the Adamic dispensation. Remember, the period of time referred to in Paper 64 is after the arrival of the Planetary Prince and long before the arrival of Adam and Eve. The shortest paragraph of Paper 64 is the most troublesome: "Not withstanding their backwardness, these indigo peoples have exactly the same standing before the celestial powers as any other earthly race." (*725)
It is my personal opinion that this paragraph is quite unnecessary, but the real fault is one of tense. This statement might appropriately refer to that time long ago, yet it is written as though its application is always current, as it could have been read then, can be read now, and will continue to be read fifty to one hundred years from now when the status of the black man will, no doubt, be a record of continuous advancement. "However wise it may be to glean wisdom from the past, it is folly to regard the past as the exclusive source of truth..." (*888)
Again, it should be borne in mind when reading the sentences that contain some of those "touchy words" that cause social reflex flinching, that unfit and inferior strains are found in all races of people just as higher strains are found in all races. These differences sometimes manifest themselves within the same family: "…all human beings are not born equal." (*774) Some are superior at one thing and perform at unacceptable levels at other things. Mankind is now divided into approximately three classes: The Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and the Negroid, the first two groups containing some secondary Sangik mixture. (*905) Mankind is further intellectually divided into three classes: the subnormal minded, the average, normal type of human mind; and the supernormal mind. (*1241)
We must think of ourselves as one part of a whole people we are to become. "There are no pure races in the world today. (*919) There are only two races representative of early evolutionary people of color. –the yellow man and the black man—and they are admixed with extinct colored peoples. Even our modern white race contains much less than one- eighth of one-sixth percentage of the blood of Adam which characterized the Mesopotamian Andites over eight thousand years ago. (*871)
Paper 80 could be just as disturbing to certain groups of whites as Paper 64 is disturbing to blacks, in that it is stated in more than one place that whites absorbed a considerable amount of secondary Sangik blood through the Saharans who were the superior group of the indigo race. Indeed the white race has been blended too much to be classified as Nordic, Alpine, or Mediterranean. The Urantia Book states that "Race mixture is always advantageous in that it favors versatility of culture and makes for a progressive civilization…" (*880) The Book further states, among other things, that "Race mixtures of the average or superior strata of various peoples greatly increases creative potential, as is shown in the present population of the United States in North America…The chief troubles of ‘half-breeds’ are due to social prejudices…" and "Mixtures of the white and black races are not so desirable in their immediate results…" (*920) Immediate results in North and South America as well as on the nearby Caribbean Islands were during the height of slavery.
Lerone Bennett, Jr., in "Before the Mayflower (p.24) wrote that most black slaves came from an area bordering a 3,000 mile stretch of the West coast of Africa. They were a bewildering mixture of various stocks. Centuries of contact and interbreeding had already produced different types. Some of the West Africans were short and broad nosed. Some were tall with straight hair and aquiline noses. They were all colors: chocolate, asphalt, café au lait, persimmon to cream. I am of the opinion that today in the United States of America over half the black population is of mixed ancestry, long since past the stage of hybridization which was an immediate result referred to above. This is not where the harm lies. The Urantia Book says that "the real jeopardy of the human species is to be found in the unrestrained multiplication of inferior and degenerate strains of the various civilized peoples rather than in any supposed danger of their racial interbreeding..." (*920)
It is no longer relevant that the earlier evolutionary races were somewhat superior than the later; that the red man was endowed with a higher intellectual ability; north of the Rio Grande, he is all but extinct. (Shades of an inverted version of the parable: The Talents and the Servants.) And about eight percent of the Chinese population are peasants because of China’s underdeveloped agrarian economy. At this period of time on Urantia, intellectual ability seems to be relative to one’s environment. As a result of slavery and wars, the modern day black man’s presence and influence is now firmly rooted in four continents. Here in America, numerous blacks live around, nearby and with whites and other ethnic groups. Through the mechanism of slavery, the black man developed a unique insight into the psyche of the white man, which contributed greatly to his ability to survive.
In general, the white man has not availed himself of opportunities to know the black man in a similar manner. Only lately have some whites made overt overtures to blacks, often being rebuffed in so doing. The cause and solution to this problem, however, is not the subject of this narrative. Students of The Urantia Book have learned that there exists a unique opportunity to reconcile some of the existing social problems during this phase of life, thereby greatly enhancing the prospects for advancement on the Mansion worlds where we will be "..mingling with diverse groups of personalities, orders very different from one’s own fellows." (*526).
The one great truth Jesus taught was the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. It is personally debilitating and ungodly for any one of us to rebuff another who is earnestly seeking knowledge through us to enhance his or her personal growth. Each of us must willingly serve our fellowman to fulfill our duty to God the Supreme. Some of us, as individuals or as a group, have difficult tasks to perform. On the whole, and from our limited perspective, it might seem quite unfair. But remember, our attainments are the result of individual effort and actual living. Finally, it is the task of each of us to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and be led to glorify the Father who is in heaven.
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship