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By Dean White
Does The Urantia Book teach reincarnation? This question is always asked by visitors from "new age" groups and from many who visit our booth at the Expos. For many students of Urantia the answer is usually an unequivocal no. Some of our friends who are obviously on a spiritual journey and searching for new revelation are convinced that "past lives" are a part of their spiritual experience, so our answer is sometimes perceived as an attack on their belief. Can we as students of Urantia accept that our revelation may support consciousness of past lives and yet deny reincarnation?
Before studying our revelation I had read other materials, such as: the Seth books, the Edgar Cayce materials, and some Eastern philosophies; so I also believed in reincarnation. Without new revelation, I think that reincarnation can logically account for many of our experiences. As I studied our revelation I had to come to terms with some of our revelators strong statements. I did not understand why a Melchizedek told us the belief was a philosophically debilitating one,(1029:2) or an Evening Star called the belief an absurd doctrine of twentieth-century barbarianism.(953:5)
Since Urantia had thrown so much light on some previous conflicts about faintly perceived truths, such as: creation-evolution, God imminent-God transcendent, unitarian-trinitarian concepts, and many, many more; I decided they had not lied to us but had really challenged us to search for new light and an expanded view of what reincarnation means. So this paper explores some of my thoughts in trying to help myself and others view the past life experiences of others more positively. Instead of stating my own conclusions, however, I am mainly asking myself and other Urantia students some questions?
The revelators say over and over again that they cannot tell us much. They are restrained by their revelatory mandate, our limited ability as mere mortals, and our paucity of language. Much of what they tell us is a philosophical concession, can be distorted, or will soon be outdated when we discover new truths in science. So what in our revelation can allow for eelings and memories of past lives and not be reincarnation as it was perceived when our revelation was given to us. As I understand it, reincarnation actually means to return to this planet in another carnal body as the same personality.
There are several possibilities revealed to us that could convince someone they had lived before. The first experience that seems the most obvious is the one concerning The Reserve Corp of Destiny. A Chief of Seraphim tells us:
Many times, upon the death of a reservist a transfer of certain vital data from the mind of the dying reservist to a younger successor is made by a liaison of the two Thought Adjusters. The Adjusters undoubtedly function in many other ways unknown to us, in connection with these reserve corps.(1258:2)
Could this transfer of mind data from a reservist to a successor lead the successor to feel they had lived before on this planet or had some kind of previous experience here?
Another possibility concerns our Guardian Seraphim. We are told they do not seek directly to influence us and their actual contact with us is very rare,(1246:3) but we do have examples both in the Bible and The Urantia Book where an angel "whispered in the night" to their human subject.(553:2) A Solitary Messenger tells us:
Seraphim are the personal custodian of the mind patterns, memory formulas, and soul realities of the mortal survivor during that interval between physical death and morontia resurrection. (1234:5)
Personal Guardians whose subjects do not go immediately to the mansion worlds do not tarry there in idleness awaiting the dispensational roll calls of judgment; they are reassigned to numerous ministering missions throughout the universe.(1247:2)
Can our Guardian Seraphim make us aware of any mind memories of those not going to the mansion worlds immediately? Seems unlikely since they say over and over that this is a custodial trusteeship and every identifiable factor of personality is safeguarded in their custody.(1234:4) However, when humans fail to fuse with their adjusters, their guardians may repeatedly serve in a similar capacity on the same planet.(1247:1) Can some sense of having lived before be given us by these guardians if they had served before in a similar capacity and their trusteeship did not survive as a fusion candidate?
How do we experience our souls? Before our revelation many of us did not view our souls and the Spirit of God within as being different aspects of who we are. Some of the main concepts revealed about souls are: they are the joint child of our human personality and our Adjuster, they constitute the surviving elements that are resurrected on the mansion worlds,(1234:1) they are immortal, and the embryo of the future morontia vehicle.
(1219:2) They leave the body at death, or may be taken our of our bodies by our seraphim. We are an evolving morontial soul, and this morontia material is outside our range of seeing with material eyes. Our Adjuster can leave our body during sleep, so is it also possible our evolving soul may travel with our Adjuster and actually have out-of-body experiences also? Many near death experiences seem to support this. While out of the body can they contact other super-material beings, perhaps midwayers or angels, and thereby gain feelings and memories from them? A Solitary Messenger seems a little frustrated at being forbidden to tell us many interesting details about our souls.(1233:7)
I think it very likely that our Thought Adjuster can make us conscious of other lives. A Divine Counselor says: "On a material world you think of a body as having a spirit, but we regard the spirit as having a body..."(483:5) Michael wanted us to identify with this Spirit, he told his apostles to view themselves as Sons of God, already citizens of the Fathers Kingdom. For me this means identifying with our Adjuster, our real and better Self.(2078:8) However, when considering our Adjuster as a source of previous experiences we first have to exclude any previous experience on Urantia at the time of our revelation. They tell us the adjuster who indwelt Michael was the only one that had indwelt two minds on Urantia.(1116:1) Also, during the current dispensation our adjusters do not come back as the being of former indwelling, and any contact by those going on to the mansions worlds is forbidden until after completion of survival.(1230:5) Does fusion with our Adjuster constitute completion of survival?
Concerning our Adjusters A Solitary Messenger says:
On two brained worlds, such as Urantia, subsequent to a bestowal son, virgin adjusters are seldom assigned to persons who have unquestioned ability for survival. It is our belief that on such worlds all adjusters indwelling intelligent men and women of survival capacity belong to the advanced or to the supreme type.(1198:1)
Regarding supreme and advanced types:
Advanced Adjusters, those who have served one or more seasons with will creatures on worlds where the final fusion takes place between the identity of the creature of time and an individualized portion of the spirit of the local universe manifestation of the Third Source and Center.(1178:4)
Supreme Adjusters, those Monitors that have served in the adventures of time on the evolutionary worlds, but whose human partners for some reason declined survival, and those who have been subsequently assigned to other adventures in other mortals on other evolving worlds...(1178:5)
We are told by a Universal Censor that if we fail to survive as a fusion candidate then the real spiritual part of any experience survives as a part of the continuing experience of our Adjuster. (195:5) When a spirit-fused mortal awakens on the mansion world, their Adjuster can then indwell others, but the Adjuster of a sleeping survivor must wait for re-personalization and cannot indwell another until a new dispensation. (1231:1,3)
Our adjusters have all gained valuable experience on planets of the loan order,(1212:4) so does this reendwelling of our mind provide us with feelings and memories of past experiences? I think so since we are told that celestial artisans come to our planet from time to time to help naturally gifted ones who possess adjusters of special and precious experience.(507:6) An Archangel says:
In addition to this natural ability, or rather supplemental thereto, there may be contributed the leading of the Thought Adjuster in those individuals whose indwelling Adjuster may have had bona fide experiences along such lines on other worlds and in other mortal creatures.(508:0)
Considering these statements, I think our Adjusters have all definitely had previous experience and they can contribute to our minds. Would this be considered reincarnation by our revelators? Without new revelation we would likely call this reincarnation. However, we are told over and over that our Adjuster is not a part of physical matter, (1203:2) they indwell our minds. If our Adjuster goes back to a world to indwell another mind and form a relationship with another personality, this would be reendwelling of a mind, not reincarnating into another physical body. If our Adjusters do not incarnate then they certainly do not reincarnate. Can this be an enhanced perspective that reduces the fear of returning to our dark and dismal planet in a Karma like existence? Meditating on these thoughts, I began to think about coming back to Urantia as a Melchizadek might think of it, somewhat debilitating. Especially when I compare it to the view they give us of our ascension career in God's Universe of Universes.
What part does personality play in providing consciousness of past experience. It must be personality that identifies us in any incarnate experience. We know that Michael evolved a soul while on Urantia,(2015:40) an Adjuster was loaned to his mind, but he personally incarnated as a human. Can we in any way have actual memory of another personality? About personality we are told: it is a direct bestowal from the Universal Father, it is unique and unchangeable amidst change, it is personality that recognizes personality, it unifies all aspects of who we are, and it is characterized by consciousness and free will.(1225:2)
A Universal Censor says:
If mortal man fails to survive natural death, the real spiritual value of his human experience survives as a part of the continuing experience of the Thought Adjuster. The personality values of such a non-survivor persist as a factor in the personality of the actualizing Supreme Being. Such persisting qualities of personality are deprived of identity, but not of experiential value accumulated during the mortal life in the flesh. (195:5)
A Solitary Messenger says:
Man's personality is eternal, but with regard to identity a conditioned eternal reality. Having appeared in response to the Father's will, personality will attain Deity destiny, but man must choose whether or not he will be present at the attainment of such destiny. In default of such choice personality attains experiential Deity directly, becoming a part of the Supreme Being. (232:3)
If we do not choose to survive with our Adjuster and our personality loses identity but not experiential value, yet these personality values persist as a factor in the personality of the Supreme Being, can we in any way experience any of these memories via the Supreme Being? We too are an actualizing part of the Supreme, so are these persisting qualities of personality a part of our mind also?
This brings us to some questions concerning Cosmic mind. Absolute mind is the mind of the Infinite Spirit and the mind endowment of the Seven Master Spirits which is distributed to the Super Universes is called the cosmic mind.(102:3) Cosmic mind encompasses all finite-mind levels and co-ordinates experientially with the Supreme mind.(481:3) Our morontia mind evolves by direct contact with the cosmic mind, as this cosmic mind has been modified by and translated by our Divine Minister.(1236:4) A Divine Counselor tells us:
The Conjoint Actor is the ancestor of the cosmic mind, and the mind of man is an individualized circuit, an impersonal portion, of that cosmic mind as it is bestowed in a local universe by a Creative Daughter of the Third Source and Center.(103:2)
All this tells us that mind reality is an impersonal reality and in our local universe a down stepping from the Infinite mind to the Divine mind, which is the source of our individualized circuit of mind. When trying to understand what this means and realizing that nothing of value is ever lost in the cosmos, "anything that has cosmic value will always persist,"(1235:4) then what of the mind factors of those personalities who did not continue as an individualized circuit and their personalities became a part of the supreme as a drop of water in the ocean?
(1284:0) Can we tune into the Cosmic Mind via that part of the Divine mind that is our individualized circuit? Can we in some way tap into this mind material, or perhaps tune into the mind of others. Is this the concept Carl Jung was searching for in his concept of the superconscious and the collective unconscious. Since we are all a part of this cosmic mind and we have within the universes a process of reflectivity that transcends both time and space, does our so called "mind travel" to both past and future events seem possible? We are told that mind and personality both transcend the material sequence of temporal events.(1439:2) From transcended time-space any view we may have of reincarnation is distorted. Are we actually living an infinite number of lives in an infinite number of parallel universes as Fred A. Wolff describes in Parallel Universes?
Students of Urantia are familiar with the statement, which seems to conflict with science, made by a Vorondek son:
On planets such as yours the highest form of life is reproduced by a life-carrying bundle which possesses twenty-four pattern units. (And since the intellectual life grows out of, and upon the foundation of, the physical, there come into existence the four and twenty basic orders of psychic organization.(398:3)
The statement in parenthesis seems to only hint at psychic inherited patterns. Are they telling us that we also inherit something akin to twenty-four basic psychic units? Since mind itself is added to matter the intellectual life growing out of the physical must refer to the mind-brain process of interaction. Is this an interaction between psychic genes and biological genes, or is psychic experience dependent on our biologically inherited genes? Is it even remotely possible that feelings and memories of past ancestral experiences can be sensed through our genetic codes? Betty Eadie in Embraced by The Light describes her near death experience in which she had a vision of Jesus telling her: "We do not have repeated lives on this earth; when we seem to 'remember' a past life we are actually recalling memories contained in the cells". (93)
The last possibility I will explore in this paper was mentioned to me by another student of Urantia. A Mighty Messenger in talking about light and life says:
When a settled world progresses beyond the third stage of light and life, all ascenders are destined before attaining the minor sector, to receive some sort of transient assignment on a planet passing through the earlier stages of evolution. (625:6)
If this personality is to receive actual experience, would it be a valid one if they did not incarnate and they were not unconscious of being from a higher realm? To receive actual ce, Jesus did incarnated as a baby and he did temporarily give up consciousness of who he was.
Many other interesting questions can be asked about experiences of past lives. Was the Caligastia one hundred an incarnate experience? This would certainly be a visit from a previous dispensation and not on the same planet. But, can the reference to Spornagia as the only creature in Nebadon that experiences reincarnation be qualified to account for these one time mortals returning to a planet in a carnal body?
After exploring some of these questions I am now more inclined to answer any questions about reincarnation with a more positive statement about many lifetimes in an ascension plan similar to reincarnation, or with an affirmation that Urantia does allow for experiences of previous lives. It certainly challenges us to search for enhanced perspective on all our conflicts.
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