The Urantia Book Fellowship

The Supreme Being In My Life

by Yvon Gagne; Translated by Matthew Block

1. Introduction

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with humility that I speak to you on a subject as noble as that of the action of the Supreme in my life.

The Urantia Book portrays the role of the Supreme on such a magnificent scale that it is often difficult to see how each of us fits personally within this gigantic process, a process of universal proportions. My aim is to share with you my understanding and personal experience of how the Supreme enters into our active lives. My remarks reflect more my own ways of thinking, living and expressing myself than any particular teaching. Although the teachings of The Urantia Book are basic to my account, I will endeavor to relate what I feel in my deepest self in response to the phrase "the consciousness of the Supreme."

1.1 Definition of the Supreme

Before elaborating on the different states of consciousness that may evoke the Supreme in the human mind, I will briefly define the Supreme in the cosmos.

First, the Supreme is not a God in the proper sense of the term. The Supreme is rather a Deity issuing from the Paradise Trinity. The Supreme is a super-personality who encompasses all the developing universes. He is the "project manager" of all the stellar infrastructures, coordinating the physical, intellectual and spiritual activities of the grand universe. The Supreme therefore has a global vision of the plans and the final outworking of the universes of time.

Descending directly from the Paradise Trinity, the Supreme enjoys a rather privileged status. He is independent of the three great administrative structures stemming from the three Paradise Deities. He takes his orders solely from the Trinity which acts (by way of comparison) as his Thought Adjuster. He enjoys uncontested legitimacy and complete autonomy throughout the universe.

No one can communicate directly with the Supreme or seek to act upon him in any way. Although our relationship with the Supreme is impersonal, we are born in him, grow in him, and emerge from him as sons and daughters of the universe.

1.2 The Divine Mother

The Supreme plays such a primal role that his presence resembles that of a divine Mother, a mother who carries within herself all the universes of time and space. The influence of the divine Mother is so omnipresent that even the Thought Adjusters, resembling the Father in nature and in divinity, become similar to the Supreme when they penetrate into the cosmos. This transformation of the Thought Adjusters leaves no doubt that the Father's will as expressed in the time-space universes is truly unified in the Supreme.

1.3 The Evolutionary God

The Supreme is not a perfect deity but rather an experiential deity undergoing the evolutionary process. The personalities in charge of the physical control of the universe, work ceaselessly to master matter so as to create stability and harmony in the physical domains. Other personalities work to perfect their knowledge of all areas, to grow in wisdom and experience. Far from resembling a monolith, the Supreme appears rather as a mosaic whose unity has yet to be achieved.

The incessant efforts of the Supreme to unify the realms of spirit, mind and matter, are reflected in the microcosmic level in the emergence of creative forces within the mind itself. These are the creative forces which impel volitional personalities of the universe to devote themselves to the construction of organized and spiritualized worlds. All the mindal circuits are surcharged by creative forces which stimulate personalities-including mortals--to develop the material, morontial and spiritual domains of our planet. Thanks to this relationship of cosmic interdependence, the divine Mother grows with the creatures of time. In the same way, human parents grow with their children in the experience of parenting.

1.4 The Discovery of the Personality of the Supreme

The Thought Adjuster is a gift of the Universal Father to the human mind, serving as an active spiritual presence in the background of human consciousness. As well as stimulating our profoundest experiences, the Adjuster acts as a beacon to the mind in situations involving moral and spiritual choosing. He is the source of the inner dynamic of personality and of the desire for perfection. On a still higher level, the Adjuster is the personal contact with the Father--the reassuring relationship in prayer and the ecstatic light in worship.

I have been asked: "If the Supreme is a personality, then why can't we contact him personally?" We know, on the one hand, that the Supreme has not completed his evolution, and it is this incomplete growth of the Supreme Soul that renders his personality inaccessible. But one day, in the eternal future, all creatures will be able to participate simultaneously in the discovery of the personality of the Supreme when his perfection will have been universally attained.

1.5 Other Names of the Supreme

In The Urantia Book, there are other terms to designate the different evolutionary phases of the Supreme, for example: the Supreme Being, the Almighty Supreme, and God the Supreme. In the course of this lecture I will use the word Supreme as the general term to designate the evolutionary God of time and space.

2.0 The Recognition of the Supreme
2.1 The Supreme and Other Spiritual Influences

As the aim of my talk is to focus on the consciousness of the Supreme in human experience, I am led to ponder the following question: How do we relate the consciousness of the Supreme to the various influences which surround us, such as the Thought Adjuster, the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit? I will respond by saying that the spiritual influences which surround us, both internally and externally, have diverse origins and act differently. They influence us in different ways. Below is a brief description.

2.1.1 The Thought Adjuster

The Thought Adjuster is a gift of the Universal Father to the human mind, serving as an active sprititual presence in the background of human consciousness. As well as stimulating our profoundest experiences, the Adjuster acts as a beacon to the mind in situations involving moral and spiritual choosing. He is the source of the inner dynamic of personality and of the desire for perfection. On a still higher level, the Adjuster is the personal contact with the Father--the reassuring relationship in prayer and the ecstatic light in worship.

2.1.2 The Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of Truth is defined in The Urantia Book as the bestowal of the Creator Son in our local universe. While the Thought Adjuster operates on the active level of thought, the Spirit of Truth operates on the reactive level, on a whole gamut of positive or negative impressions, true or false, beautiful or ugly, good or bad, or yet again on states of the soul which are characterized by interior conviction, spiritual sensitivity, the sentiment of communion and profound peace. Collectively, the Spirit of Truth harmonizes values as they evolve not only on any single inhabited planet but in the whole local universe. The Spirit of Truth is the schema of common references bringing to bear a vision of values which we accept at once as our own and share among ourselves.

2.1.3 The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit derives from the Spirit Mother of our local universe, The Urantia Book tells us that the Holy Spirit is spiritual reason and the intelligence of the soul. We understand spiritual intelligence to mean the emergence of a mind capable of both conceptual order and abstract thinking with regard to the spiritual world. If the Thought Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth are the source of our most profound aspirations, the Holy Spirit translates them into meanings for the reason and with finality for the soul. The Holy Sprit stimulates reflection on values and authorizes self-criticism, thus allowing us to reach the level of personal and authentic thought.

2.1.4 Other Personalized Influences

Other influences operate externally, for instance the guardian angels, the midwayers and others who stand ready to assist those individuals who have attained a certain degree of spiritual consciousness and autonomy--those whose functions direct them toward a personal destiny.

It is definitely possible to become aware of each of these great influences through deep meditation. Certain people may be more gifted than others in such discernment owing to the nature of their character or because of certain personality traits.

On the other hand, if one leaves aside this diversity of origin and allows these agencies to act in us as a single influence, as is generally done, this spiritual experience then becomes the ministry of the Supreme in our daily life. The Supreme is thus defined in our inner life as being the unified ministry of all the spiritual influences that operate directly or indirectly within us and upon us.

2.2 The Effects of the Supreme in Us

The unified functioning of these spiritual influences, which we refer to as the Supreme in us, generates attitudes of the soul which are sublime and rather difficult to define. For example:

  • a profound feeling of personal unity
  • a state of profound and dynamic peace
  • a sense of exceptional moral responsibility
  • a great desire for accomplishment, even a certainty of having a personal destiny or a special task to fulfil
  • a special type of discernment bordering on the visionary; a sensitivity to the great ethical, moral and spiritual questions
  • a strongly marked sense of justice and equity; a feeling of belonging to the cosmic community
  • an over-passing generosity
  • vital energy
  • and much more

The sum total of these states of the soul denotes an intense and dynamic spiritual sensitivity, accompanied by a desire to surpass oneself.

2.3 Preconditions of the recognition of the Supreme

Though we all bask in the spiritual ambiance of the Supreme, there are many of us for whom this subtle atmosphere remains inaccessible. What then are the spiritual preconditions of the recognition of the Supreme? I would say first of all that there are many. I will limit myself, however, to my own personal experience and to the behavior of certain of my contemporaries who stand out as living exemplars.

2.3.1 Faith

The first precondition of the recognition & the Supreme is, without doubt, faith. Faith demonstrates that the relation with the Father is living and that the spiritual forces are acting in the consciousness of the believer. Faith is truly the basis of conscious spiritual experience.

2.3.2 Love of Neighbor

The second precondition of the awareness of the Supreme is the love of one's neighbor. We are not speaking here of the affection one has for longtime friends and acquaintances. We refer rather to love in the broadest sense of the term--to brotherly attraction and goodwill. This type of love springs from the recognition of the cosmic reality of the whole person.

2.3.3 The Sense of Responsibility

As the third precondition I would mention the sense of responsibility. There is no more desirable and essential complement to love than the sense of responsibility. Love without this sense is nothing more than an ephemeral phantasm which, often enough, does more harm than good. Personally, and I'm not alone in this, I judge the authenticity of a person's love by the amount of responsibility that accompanies it. Without a doubt, the sense of responsibility is the most visible indicator of the awareness of the Supreme.

2.3.4 Open-Mindedness

I would add a final precondition, more subtle this time, but one that appears invariably in the conduct of those individuals who have sufficiently elevated their minds to the point where they begin to perceive unity in diversity. This condition is open-mindedness: Open-mindedness to others, to the world and to the universe in general. First there is the type of open-mindedness manifesting as tolerance, which allows one to form friendly relationships with people coming from other ethnic and racial backgrounds and having interpretations and lifestyles different from one's own. Then there is the type of explorative open-mindedness, expressing itself in openness to change and eagerness to learn and understand everything that happens around us.

One thing is certain: Open-mindedness determines our degree of adaptation to universal realities. Open-mindedness decompartmentalizes personality and brings people closer together. Open-mindedness attracts opportunities of all kinds and creates a climate of universality. It joins with all the other preconditions, and confers on the personality the marks of nobility and grandeur.

3.0 The Relationships With The Supreme
3.1 The Urantia Book's Definition

Now that we have considered the conditions necessary for the recognition of the Supreme, we shall try to define more clearly what we mean by the relationship with the Supreme. Such a relation must surely rest on unchanging and universal foundations. In searching The Urantia Book for information that would shed light on this relationship, I found the following passage which puts the finger on the matter. I quote:

"The temporal relation of man to the Supreme is the foundation for cosmic morality, the universal sensitivity to, and acceptance of, duty. This is a morality which transcends the temporal sense of relative right and wrong; it is a morality directly predicated on the self-conscious creature's appreciation of experiential obligation to experiential Deity." (P. 1284).

3.2 Cosmic Morality

It is affirmed then that the relation with the Supreme is the foundation for cosmic morality, the universal sensitivity to duty, and its acceptance. But in what, then, does this new concept of cosmic morality consist?

Cosmic morality is not what one might think at first, i.e., a doctrine which teaches us what to do and what not to do. Quite the contrary, cosmic morality aims to determine the supreme ends of life and to exercise faith in commitment to these ends. It may merge with religious morality or popular ethics when its aims become the vehicle of truly altruistic values.

In its purest state, cosmic morality expresses itself in powerful appeals to the conscience, in situations appealing to moral duty and to the sense of responsibility. These appeals to conscience are felt everywhere in our personal lives: in our family life, our social life and our work life. In the expanded horizon conveyed by open-mindedness, the appeals to conscience embrace the great ethical, moral and spiritual questions confronting our own day and age.

Cosmic morality also reveals a universal sensitivity to duty, a sensitivity which transcends the strict family and social milieu, a sensitivity which crosses religious, cultural and language barriers. Cosmic morality encompasses these problems and sees humanity as a whole. Seen as a mobilizing force, cosmic morality finds expression as the total volitional power of which a person is capable.

3.3 Obligation Towards Deity

The last part of the quotation from The Urantia Book reveals the spirit in which cosmic morality is to be applied and lived out: "[I]t is a morality directly predicated on the self-conscious creature's appreciation of experiential obligation to experiential Deity."

If one tries to decode this rather cryptic sentence (presented in the book by a Mighty Messenger sojourning temporarily on Urantia), one may arrive at a simpler formulation: cosmic morality is based on the privilege, and the honor, and the profound and irresistible desire, to give oneself to the cause of the Supreme.

Well then! I believe we have now penetrated to the heart of the relation with the Supreme. We are now about to touch the mysterious flame which animates the relation with the Supreme. Rather than appearing as an obligation which one has no taste for, the relation with the Supreme is exhibited as a desire to live, a desire to grow, a desire to build, a desire to give oneself to the cause which causes our very being to resonate. The essence of the relation with the Supreme is found then in the total energy mobilized to promote living values within us.

Take for example the case of a person who works without pay for a cause, for the simple reason that the work gives him great inner satisfaction. The inner fullness which that person experiences is his cosmic morality. Observe the case of another person being called to assist in a situation of need. The satisfaction of mission accomplished which that person will experience following her intervention will be her cosmic morality.

One last example, more concrete this time: Someone travels to a very poor country where he witnesses great human misery. This person may react in a variety of ways to the situation:

First, he may find a thousand and one ways to exploit the misery of others -second, he may flee the place because he is unable to bear the misery- third, he may remain indifferent to everything he sees- fourth, he may develop a certain moral obligation to the human misery and try to do something.

The moral obligation which that person develops as a sign of human solidarity is another good example of cosmic morality. These examples merely aim to show that the consciousness of the Supreme is not some high-voltage spiritual capacity reserved for a few, but is simply an attitude of openness, compassion and solidarity towards our fellows; qualities of the soul which are present in the most simple and humble of people.

When I read of the life of Mother Teresa, who has devoted her life to care for the ill, to fight poverty, and to work in the midst of extremely difficult conditions ... well, I feel that I am in the presence of one of the most beautiful manifestations of the consciousness of the Supreme which is given us to behold on the contemporary scene.

Who among us has never felt called, directly or indirectly, to a situation of need? Recall those experiences which brought us the satisfaction of a duty fulfilled, the feeling of fullness and nobility that floods our souls and impels us to begin again. All this spiritual energy which fills and connects us, which sometimes even electrifies us, is the fruit of the growth of our souls interacting directly with the Supreme. It is the acknowledgment and gratitude of the whole universe telling us Thank You!

3.4 False Obligations

In contrast to these entirely new concepts of cosmic morality, we have in the past become accustomed to emphasizing certain other types of obligation, such as fasting, ritual observances, and rules of conduct to be applied at all times and places. All before a God of laws--laws which often have nothing to do with God. This cosmic burden which so weighs down religions often has the effect of entirely automatizing spiritual activity. It compels one to constantly reestablish a relation to the divine, which in reality demands expression only in relationships with others.

3.5 Will

The relation with the Supreme is fraught with pitfalls, and we naturally encounter a great deal of internal resistance to acting responsibly. This resistance consists in escaping from problems: for instance, saying that we can do nothing because the situation is too complex, or because it's none of our business, or because it's too late to do anything. What faculty within us allows us to surmount this resistance to responsible action? The question is not easy, for it leads us back to the foundation of the cosmic mind: will.

We do not always realize that will manifests in the child from the moment it consents to become responsible. Not only does will introduce in the child the obligation to act reflectively, it establishes the possibility of a moral life. The power of volition raises the human being to the level of potential universe citizenship and confers on him or her the status of a unique personality within the Supreme.

If there were a single word to define the Supreme on both the macrocosmic and personal levels, I would immediately think of the word "will." If there were a single word to collectively define love, action, and growth, I would again use the word "will." In man, will is not limited to the recognition of the God of love seen as an existential person. Will extends, on the one hand, to the recognition of the function of God in the universe personified by the Supreme and, on the other hand, to the acceptance of an active role within this ever-changing universe. Viewed in this light, will is defined as the acceptance of our moral responsibilities in response to our realization of God, life and the Supreme!

I would use the term irresponsibility to describe the opposite of will. Irresponsibility derives from thoughtlessness. It is a form of primitive life which is disconnected from the awareness of the Supreme and the evolutionary process. Irresponsibility shrinks from all voluntary participation in the construction of a personal life within the personalized universe.

3.6 Parental Responsibilities

I prefer to compare the relation with the Supreme with family experience. The infant suckling its mother's breast, the small child being consoled by her father, the adolescent beginning to appreciate the tireless work of his parents.... These everyday events are all so many beautiful experiences of parental relations which will influence the future life of the child.

By contrast, the adult who becomes the support of a family experiences a whole other dimension of family life. First, he or she is distinguished from the other family members by autonomous and responsible behavior. He gives more than he receives. She is aware of her role and accepts it with love. Our relation with the Supreme is similar. Taken in the broad sense, all our spiritual experiences flow directly or indirectly from our relation with the Supreme. On the other hand, there are different degrees of awareness of the Supreme. The highest degrees are those where behavior is autonomous, voluntary and responsible towards cosmic Deity.

In my personal life, I have been inspired by a number of examples of responsible behavior, but the one which has impressed me the most is the love, commitment and self-forgetfulness displayed by my mother throughout her life. One day I asked my mother, who raised nine children under rather difficult circumstances, this question: "What were your greatest concerns in all your years of looking after the family?" Looking me in the eyes she responded, "My main concerns--the ones that haunted me during my difficult moments, in my prayers, meditations, moments of solitude and even my nights--were these: Where am I going with my family? What can I do to prepare for my children's future? What will they do later?"

"Now," she continued, "I can say that I really did all that I could to prepare you all adequately for life, and I did it with the means I had at my disposal at that time."

It was moving for me to realize that her own quality of life took second place to these personal concerns. As a matter of fact, her spiritual vision and consecrated life led her into bitter and frustrating encounters with an unjust social system. My mother's life showed me once and for all that genuine love consists in altruistic vision accompanied by firm commitment; and commitment can only be effected by responsible persons.

My mother is not my only model of exemplary family life. I can remember plenty of others--uncles, aunts, other relatives and friends here and there--who voluntarily gave up opportunities, even at the cost of great sacrifice, in order to provide a fuller life for their children, to allow them to develop both materially and spiritually.

3.7 Social Involvements

The Supreme embraces all phases of temporal life. I will not broach all of these phases here today; I myself am familiar with very few, and I certainly don't want to affect the role of a sage-that's not my line!

Another domain which brings the function of the Supreme to bear in the field of human activity is that of social involvement. Social involvements are great avenues leading to the Supreme. They awaken grandeur of the soul and firmness of intention. They urge us to forge ahead in life, to build and remake the world day after day. They arouse in us a new sentiment--an appreciation of the nobility of work. Social involvements channel our mental, spiritual and physical energies into social, political or humanitarian causes. In fact, they are the great schools of human solidarity.

3.8 Personal Experiences

Of all my life experiences, the ones which have contributed the most to the formation of my spiritual character and which have been strongest in generating survival values are social involvements. Becoming firmly committed to causes, projects and responsibilities has enabled me to discover my potentials and to express the best that is in me.

In my opinion, great aspirations form the most propitious soil for the blossoming of the consciousness of the Supreme. When the desire for accomplishment attains a certain maturity, it becomes a desire of the whole person. This personal approach to the Supreme leads us inevitably to think deeply and to participate in causes which harmonize with our highest aspirations.

4.0 The Consciousness of the Supreme
4.1 A Universal Force

The consciousness of the Supreme is not a novelty which made its appearance on earth in the wake of a new revelation. The consciousness of the Supreme has always fuelled the spiritual energies of the great leaders in history as they worked for the betterment of their community, their race, or, better still, for the amelioration of the human condition. Just as it is not necessary to be familiar with the concept of the Thought Adjuster in order to communicate with him, so it is with the Supreme. We need not be aware of his name in order to recognize his call of duty and to enthusiastically assume his tasks. While the Urantia revelation provides us with a universal conceptual framework, we must not forget that the Spirit has always acted in a unified fashion in human consciousness. The Spirit disregards intellectual formulations. The Spirit always energizes and enriches whatever is most beautiful, true and noble in all human motives. For example:

the Supreme may be seen as God engaging man in the tireless work of improving the material and spiritual conditions of life on earth the Supreme may be defined as a sublime cosmic ideal which dominates the soul the Supreme may appear to be the God of brotherly love energizing the whole universe the Supreme may also manifest as the inner need to lose ourselves in others to touch the world with all the human solidarity required by the brotherhood of the sons and daughters of God.

In certain cases, the consciousness of the Supreme may even urge the most zealous among us to engage in personal missions which may, in the eyes of most, seem to be lost causes.

Every day, one can regularly observe people trying to put an end to pollution-causing enterprises, others working body and soul to promote peace in moments of crisis, and some even struggling to avert planetary disaster. One wonders how these people can summon the energy to continue to struggle on in the face of such demoralizing conditions, where the whole world seems affected by senselessness. These volunteers-artists, scientists, doctors, statesmen, religionists, laborers, possessed of boundless vision--risk much to safeguard our common interests.

Often without knowing it, these ambassadors of the Supreme bring us into touch with ourselves and cause us to reflect on our roles within the community, on the future of our societies and on the destiny of humanity.

4.2 The Planetary Consciousness

One other question comes to mind when I glimpse the Supreme in the perspective of the future: "What are the signs that the consciousness of the Supreme is evolving on a planet such as ours?" The discovery of the physical laws which govern the material world has gradually liberated us from the metaphysics of fear, superstition and guilt. This awareness has led to new foundations in the comprehension of the universe and in spiritual experience. On the humanitarian level, where are these new foundations leading us?

In the future, it won't be so much that humanity will change as that our vision of society, our vision of humanity, our vision of the planet and our vision of the universe, will change. This new vision is indispensable to the emergence of a more extended planetary consciousness in which the majority of people share the profound conviction that the future of man belongs to human beings. An embryonic form of planetary consciousness is now growing, and is leading us to the stage of conscious and collective responsibility. Already, public opinion is making itself felt more and more on all levels of activity. We are more informed and more aware of our responsibility than earlier generations, and it is from this new foundation that we are engaged in trying to solve the great problems that hinder planetary evolution. The most important and awaited step needed to finally harmonize the planet with the highest cosmic plan is for man to become a collaborator in the acts of providence. Providence becomes a truly harmonious and sustained process when it is taken on by the two extremes of the living cosmos: the Supreme and man himself.

There is also the phenomenon of the interdependence of all individuals and peoples of earth. This interdependence is leading to the realization of planetary consciousness. Evolution is working in such a way that social problems are now seen to be dependent on factors which lie beyond regional limits or national boundaries. It is incumbent on us now to approach all the great issues which permeate the modern scene--politics, the economy, the environment, peace, demography, the Third World and many others--with a great open-mindedness, with a global vision accompanied by a real desire for change.

This will to change will become truly perceptible when we collectively agree to turn away from a lifestyle based solely on profit and individual well-being; when we orient ourselves to altruistic goals in our efforts to establish economic and social equity. Yes--this new vision of humanity will be able to solve the problems of poverty, racism, violence...indeed, all the problems which constitute the challenge of living together.

The challenge of living together. This is the challenge of the Supreme--the appeal launched by the Supreme to all civilizations. Are we willing to show that we are cosmically suited to live and develop in this organized and spiritualizing, universe? Or do we choose to deliberately create chaos? Let us recall Dr. Martin Luther King, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, when he made the following declaration: "We must learn to live together like brothers. If not, we will die together like fools."

5.0 Conclusion
5.1 Personal Conclusions

There are a number of conclusions to be drawn from this talk. I am sure that you have many interesting ones and I hope you will be able to share them in your individual meetings. The conclusions which I personally draw are as follows:

The consciousness of the Supreme is not a value that is added to the individual spiritual life. It is rather the sentiment of human solidarity which seeks to spread to all individuals and peoples of the world. It is not solely the individual that lives and grows but also humanity expresses itself in us.

The consciousness of the Supreme does not emerge in our minds to complicate our peaceful lives but rather to solve problems related to our individual and collective growth.

The consciousness of the Supreme, lived out courageously in the realities of daily life, signifies spiritual maturity, depth of thought, a discernment of cosmic reality and the effective growth of the soul.

The consciousness of the Supreme renders us spiritual pillars in the service of the Reserve Corps of Destiny, composed of volunteers and thinkers who are sincerely devoted to the service of the human fraternity. These responsible people are the spearheads of planetary progress, as our planet slowly advances toward the age of light and life.

5.2. Morality

Because of the vital role we play in the very growth of the universe, the Supreme confers on each of us the status of potential universe citizen; a citizen with virtually boundless rights and privileges, but also with duties and responsibility worthy of the most beautiful of destinies offered in this age.

May we rise to the heights of our very reason for being. May we enact a love characterized by the richness and nobility of soul which is its essence. May we become artisans of our own lives, of our own destinies and that of others, so as to raise ourselves to the level of sons and daughters of light, dedicated to the realization of the Supreme Being.

A service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship
Serving the Readership since 1955