Open Letter to the Readership Community from Al Wolf
November 19, 1999
This is an OPEN LETTER TO THE ENTIRE Urantia BOOK READING COMMUNITY, but it's also, in particular, an appeal to each one of the Urantia Foundation Trustees, and to Harry McMullan, for a new attempt at spiritual unity.
My dear friends and brothers/sisters in God, one and all:
Many of you I know, many more of you I don't yet. But in spirit and intent, I truly believe we're all one, members of one family through God, as our dear Master taught us. Many people around the world now (not just in the UB-reading community, of course!) are beginning to realize that these times we're all living in are some of the most exciting, challenging and important in the ages of this planet thus far. We are, truly, on the cusp of a new more spiritual age for all of humankind, world-wide, an age that is coming on more clearly and strongly every day now!
Throughout the whole world, in every different culture, religion and discipline, those intending towards unity are growing in number, inner strength, purpose and vision, through God. Within our own still relatively small but important and expanding community of Urantia Book readers around the world, this movement towards spiritual unity is growing exponentially of late, according to God's will for us. We each need to recognize, accept and become part of, as much as we're able, this very real joyous mercy-dance of God's living, growing spirit of love and understanding unity within and between us. The more we're all able to do so together, the sooner will come the day when a God-sent personal example of compassion-filled, true righteous living will manifest directly among us all again. I personally feel this coming on more clearly and surely almost every day and moment of communing lately.
But of course there are problems. Problems that we all have to reckon with, look at as spiritual opportunities, and grow from through learning better to ask for and allow God's will to lead us through, together.
As we travel our many individual paths towards ultimate spiritual unity with God, what I find most needed now is a two-fold reality, of ourselves joining fully in with God's creative will for us, in the emerging, smiling Supreme. We need, within ourselves, to more fully and deeply, each experientially know more truly, more moment-by-moment even, God's presence directly. And we need, between us, to allow ourselves to experience God's direct loving and understanding, personal presence within *each other* as much as in ourselves. Each one of us advances the reality of the Supreme as we join in with others in personally and directly experienced understanding and loving communion with God, and as we *together as one* offer our lives in direct service to others in spirit unity.
This is happening, many of us know, on many different fronts now. Just look at what's happening with the RetreatNetwork lately (and this is just one example!) --among Foundation, Fellowship, IUA, Teaching Mission, and non-organizationally connectioned independent readers-- and you'll get at least a hint of what's ahead for us all, as we learn to allow God's will to truly be foremost, in our hearts-minds-wills-souls-and-lives as one.
One very big potential pitfall, however, for the whole of our movement now, I believe, is the impass politically between the Foundation Trustees and Harry McMullan, over the separate publication of the last 76 of the Urantia Papers. If the continued stong growth of very real spirit unity, which so many of us know now, directly and experientially, within and between us all regardless of background, since IC99, is allowed to even temporarily be set back or cut off --as a long-term continuing battle especially legally (!) between these parties most probably would-- it will not just be the "losing" side legally that ultimately will lose out... It will be us all.
Not that the glorious, *overall* movement and dance of God's will currently, of planet-wide spiritual uplift for us all, will be halted or even severely damaged by this process, if things do continue getting uglier... As those many of us fully committed to doing God's will in our lives in any case, will move on in joy with and within God, regardless; as will many other spirit-led people world-wide, in movements not UB-related! But there will be a definite lack --of potential unity *even now* among our UB reading community, as well as of potential real leadership capability of our movement as a whole for the whole world-- if we have to endure another needless political, even legal battle among us, which ultimately will affect *all* of us in some way, whether we're directly involved in this conflict or not.
Jesus, when advising his disciples about how to deal with conflicts among themselves or among any of their fellows, I believe advised a two-step process. The first step is to always try to resolve things directly between those in conflict. If there's no success there after several honest tries, the next step is to take the conflict to the larger communty of believers, while of course asking for God's assistance at every step along the way.
I think this second step is of vital importance, and one that in my view has not been taken in a committed enough manner in the instance of this current conflict. Litigation, or taking the issue to the courts of the land, is a step *far beyond* that of taking the issue in any clear, organized, fair-minded way, to our immediate community of fellow believers or knowing faith-children of God. If an impass has been reached between some of the Foundation Trustees and Harry --which seems to be the case-- shouldn't the next step be going, in an open-hearted, trusting-in-God attitude, to our faith community as a whole with the issue? --I don't believe this has yet really been done, at least to my albeit possibly limited knowledge or perception.
Over this past week-end at the RetreatNetwork gathering in Oklahoma, I had the opportunity, among other blessings, to have a couple of conversations with Larry Geis, whom I'm sure many of you know. Larry, in my opinion, is a good representative of many of us in the UB readership --who many times do not seem to hold much sway, however-- who is connected to or at least in good contact with, members of all the major current UB-related organizations (the Foundation, Fellowship, IUA and Teaching Mission), as well as with new and long-term UB readers not associated with any of those organizations.
In this regard, I believe he represents what is actually the majority now --though probably too quiet of one-- of our current, world-wide UB readership.
Larry has what I consider to be an excellent plan already well-formed, to offer as that all-important 'second step', of Jesus' advice to us on how to proceed in resolving conflicts among ourselves, before litigation is seriously considered (probably already?) because of the impass between Harry and the majority of Foundation Trustees.
It involves, as I understand it, a kind of "internal jury of our fellow faith brothers and sisters", composed of respected long-term readers not holding current positions of any kind in any of the organizations involved in this conflict, a set number of UB readers to be picked and agreed on by each side (the Foundation Trustees and Harry) which would necessarily include other-organizational or non-organizationally involved long-term UB readers. This multi-faceted voluntary "jury" of our faith-peers, then, would "hear" the case as presented by both sides, *not* in a legal way (hopefully!) but rather in a "highest spiritual viewpoint" presentation, of how the matter and issue at hand might affect God's revelation, and the ultimate possible progress towards unity of the whole family of humankind through God, from the perspective of both sides.
The catch is, of course, that both sides would have to agree ahead of time, that any "solution" come to by the "jury" would be accepted by all at the end.
But then the whole purpose of this would be to truly *dialogue* for a change, openly and honestly with each other, in front of and with even those peers we're in conflict with (for possibly the first time?), and to actually *listen* *in spirit* to and with each other, enough so that --hopefully-- no solution would have to be imposed by this jury of spirit-peers. Rather, understanding and agreement would hopefully be reached quite naturally through the process at some point, through taking together the spiritually unitive step of asking for and allowing Michael's personal presence, God's spirit of forgiveness, mercy, understanding and love, to be with us and lead us all through this as one, providing us with a larger spirit viewpoint to this very human conflict at hand. (--Idealistic, or simply very hopeful, I know... But also, perhaps, the *necessary* attitude in this case?)
So. My brothers Richard, Georges, Kwan, Mo, Gard and Harry, if you haven't yet heard this proposal from Larry Geis, I believe youshould, and soon. Our movement as a significant, overall positive leading force, in the whole of the world-wide current movement of allhumanity towards spiritual unity, in and through God --a movement of the spirit that's *clearly* happening now, and moving forward all the time... with or without our UB organizations' participation!-- may just be at stake? --On one level, I suggest this as a very real possibility.
If, after hearing from Larry more details of this proposal, of a way to put into practice that all-inportant second step of Jesus' advice to us all on how to resolve conflicts among us, you do decide that there is possible light in this proposal, and agree to go forward with such a step --necessarily *prior to* *anyone* beginning litigation in the courts, however!-- please know that I'm with you and will support your efforts in any way that I can, as I have full faith that the majority of our world-wide UB readership would as well! I believe this process just could help us to find a way, finally, to a position of forgiveness, acceptance and healing here, that would benefit not only our entire community, but ultimately the whole world as well. (Also, if this model were to work, it might just prove replicable in other or future conflict situations among us?)
And to all you many other, varied and beautiful UB readers also possibly reading this, if you feel this proposal just may be worth pursuing, for the good of us all... Perhaps you should let your voice be heard, very simply and positively, on whichever list you read this letter, so the parties in conflict can hear from you also?
We *need* *spiritual unity*, folks, if we're to participate together in God's will for us all, in helping to bring this planet more close to Light and Life! I believe following Jesus' lead in this matter would benefit us all!May God's love and understanding, forgiveness and mercy, and ultimate real immediate spiritual peace and unity, be with us all!
From your brother and other self in God, with thanks,