This is a response to your comments posted October 11 under the subject, "Further Dialogue with David Kantor." Your comments seemed to relate to two primary areas of concern -- support of your beliefs that JANR should not be published, and allusions to the belief that trustees of Urantia Foundation are heirs to specific instructions provided by the revelators which relate to publishing the book, protecting the text, and keeping it whole. I will attempt to be brief in my response but would be happy to look more deeply into the issues with you.
In providing arguments from the text which support your contention that JANR should not be published you offer quotes from two sections of The Urantia Book -- comments made by a Divine Counselor in 19:1, and comments made relating to the Adamic default in Paper 75. By using the arguments of 19:1 to support a view that it is wrong to publish JANR you are asking us to view such publication as being equivalent to "a segmentalized conception of reality and divinity" and thus productive of "the evil inherent" in such a view; that by reading JANR alone a reader would be in "great danger of succumbing to the error of circumscribed viewpoint." The revelators then list "four errors of reasoning" which result from such a "circumscribed viewpoint." Can you show how any one of these errors would result from a reading of JANR apart from the rest of The Urantia Book?
The comment that Jesus' life was to be the "inspiration for all lives upon all Nebadon worlds throughout all generations for all ages to come" hardly sounds like a "circumscribed viewpoint." [120:2.7]
In addition the revelators, when commenting on our study of the far-flung spiritual administration of the Eternal Son, tell us that that we will more fully understand these matters as we "meditate on the revelation of these divine attributes which was made in loving service by your own Creator Sone, onetime Son of Man on earth, now the exalted sovereign of your local universe -- the Son of Man and the Son of God. [7:7.6]
This does not sound like a "circumscribed viewpoint" either.
The revelators tell us that, "As time passed, the mystery of the incarnation became, to all of us, more and more unfathomable. We could hardly comprehend that this lad of Nazareth was the creator of all Nebadon. Neither do we nowadays understand how the spirit of this same Creator Son and the spirit of his Paradise Father are associated with the souls of mankind. With the passing of time, we could see that his human mind was increasingly discerning that, while he lived his life in the flesh, in spirit on his shoulders rested the responsibility of a universe." [124:6.17]
This description of the impact of Jesus' life on the minds of the celestial hosts does not strike me as the "supreme philosophical blunder of oversimplifying cosmic evolutionary reality." Neither am I willing to accept the belief that JANR would lead to "...distortion of facts, to the perversion of truth, and to the misconception of destinies" in the minds of readers. As early as Paper 2 the revelators comment that "the greatest revelation of the Father's love is seen in the bestowal life of his Son Michael as he lived on earth the ideal spiritual life." [2:5.10]
We are also told that, "...the personality of Jesus demonstrated the personality of God, while it proved conclusively the presence of God in man." [161:1.8] Given these observations by the revelators, the view that reading JANR cannot lead to an intelligent understanding of the present status and true character of Michael does not seem very viable. The revelators further comment that, "...the evolution of a local universe is a long narrative. Papers dealing with the superuniverse introduce this subject, those of this section, treating of the local creations, continue it, while those to follow, touching upon the history and destiny of Urantia, complete the story. But you can adequately comprehend the destiny of the mortals of such a local creation only by a perusal of the narratives of the life and teachings of your Creator Son as he once lived the life of man, in the likeness of mortal flesh, on your own evolutionary world." [32:2.13]
In Paper 3 the revelators provide a list of attributes of the Universal Father and conclude with the comment that "...all these personal traits of the Father can be better understood by observing them as they were revealed in the bestowal life of Michael, your Creator Son, while he was incarnated on Urantia." [3:6.7]
I would contend that in JANR we are given a comprehensive understanding of the final effects revealed by divine causes. Clearly, from the perspective of the revelators, it is a study of JANR which is necessary for the acquisition of the fullest understanding of destiny. Dave, I do not see how a single one of these "four errors of reasoning" can be associated with JANR, even allowing for a significant stretch of meaning. I fail to see how this passage from Paper 19 supports the contention that JANR should not be published; I believe it is really irrelevant to the issue.
The purpose of your second use of the text in support of your primary argument is an attempted creation of a correspondence between the story of the Adamic default in Paper 75 (specifically the comments at 75:3.5) and the publication of JANR. I would contend that these two situations are so different in nature that the assumed parallels you would have us accept are simply not valid. The Adamic mission was focused on the management of specific potentials contained within the planet's genome. The genome unfolds on a relatively deterministic level of reality in which clearly understood sequences of expression take place over time. It thus lends itself to the kind of intelligent management plan with which the Adamic pair were entrusted.
On a scale of ascending realities, the planet's genome constitutes the last frontier of material reality prior to the appearance of personality with its associated endowment of free will. Beyond the genome the evolution of supremacy is characterized by free will choices of values and the transmutation of meaning by mind. In the domain of personality, evolution consists of a continuing progression of meanings and values, freely chosen by participant personalities. Here personality evolution is probabalistic rather than deterministic. And it is this domain of non-deterministic realities which is addressed by all epochal revelations subsequent to the Adamic missions. Not until an evolutionary planet is settled in light and life do celestial agencies again become involved in the development of human institutions.
It appears from a reading of The Urantia Book that celestial agencies use the relatively deterministic genome as a basis for projecting the probabilities of occurrences in the domains of free will choice and furthermore, that they use these projections as a basis for planning their ministry to mortals. But this ministry has to do with the illumination of higher values; nowhere is there any indication that these celestial agencies initiate and foster specific human institutions as a mechanism for supporting their plans.
My point here is that it is possible to have a plan for the management of deterministic sequences of reality, but no such plan is possible for domains characterized by free will choice. This is particularly true of a planet going through a situation such as that which exists on Urantia today -- the number of individuals making free will choices is rapidly increasing. The amount of information available to condition those choices is also rapidly increasing. This results in a situation wherein the temporal range of useful projections which our unseen friends can make is increasingly shortened. Thus the management of such a situation falls to the Adjusters and the Seraphim, all of whom focus on the illumination of values discovered by freewill choosers during each moment of time.
In this situation the reserve corps of destiny becomes a more critical component of any management effort because destiny reservists are individuals who can be relied upon to make choices relative to higher values in critical situations which impact large numbers of individuals. This functioning of the destiny reservists thus provides a crucial element of relative predictability in an otherwise nearly unpredictable environment.
As personalities, we are temporarily attached to material forms which are conditioned by the determinism of the genome. But the environment of personality growth is a dynamic mileu of meanings and values. Human institutions -- churches, political systems, social ideologies -- all are the result of attempts to freeze specific sets of meanings and values in time and make them permanent. While these creations of mind provide temporary structures with which immature personalities can stabilize themselves and synthesize temporary but functional identity, such structures are not conducive to growth because growth requires a continual development of the very meanings and values whose crystallization provides the basis for the existence of these institutions.
Nowhere in The Urantia Book do I find any indication that the creation of such crystallizations of meaning and value constitute part of any epochal revelation. Indeed, the repercussions which would attend upon the creation of such crystallizations by celestial agencies would violate the very integrity of supremacy by conditioning the free will choices of all subsequently appearing personalities.
The initiation of new unfolding sequences within Supremacy in the superuniverses is a father-like function and appears to be the sole responsibility of the descending Sons of God -- the Creator Sons, the Magisterial Sons, the Trinity Teacher Sons, the Melchizedeks, the Vorondadeks, the Lanonandeks, and the Life Carriers. I think it is safe to say that all other orders of celestial life described in The Urantia Book concern themselves with the fostering of those potentials which emerge from the creative action of these father-like orders of sonship.
This seems to be a very carefully managed approach to fostering the growth of the Supreme in the present universe age. The members of the two descending orders of sonship who initiate social processes on the evolutionary worlds -- the Vorondadeks and the Lanonandeks -- all undergo extensive training in the Melchizedek university. Yet these orders of sonship appear to have played a minor role in preparing the Urantia papers. The Adamic sons and daughters are also subject to extensive training prior to embarking on their missions.
The key feature of both ER1 and ER2 is the establishment of continuity of administration over time by highly trained personalities supplemented by a trained staff. The key features of ER3, ER4 and ER5 are attempts to stimulate better integration of personality with spiritual agencies. Given this view, the belief that the revelators would mandate the creation of a human institution in conjunction with ER5 is inconsistent with the world view provided by the revelation itself. The domains of meaning and value into which the revelation has been introduced have no deterministic elements to which the kind of management plan you suggest has been mandated could be applied. I do not see how such a plan could be implemented from a functional standpoint and I don't see how it would be philosophically consistent with the understanding of the Supreme which the book provides.
The ordering principle toward which ER5 directs our attention is not loyalty to a static array of meanings and values, but rather a living, dynamic seeking of the Father's will in every choice-making situation we encounter. In terms of planetary advancement, a plan whereby a small group of self-appointed mortals would be mandated to perpetuate a static array of meanings and values would represent a regression of religious progress to that state of affairs which existed prior to the Protestant reformation -- a group of self-chosen individuals who claim divine authority to control the use of a sacred text. I don't think that such a plan is likely to have been a key component of ER5.
Neither is there any basis in the revelation itself by which a plan such as that which Urantia Foundation trustees insist has been mandated to their caretaking can be justified. I would hold that their approach represents the circumscribed viewpoint -- the attempt to manage a divine revelation with human inventions. I would urge us to approach our problems from a universe viewpoint, from an understanding of Supremacy as well as insight into the creative work of the descending orders of divine sonship to the children of the evolutionary worlds.
In conclusion I would like to question the value of a discussion regarding whether or not JANR should be published. It has already been done and new potentials for revelation workers have been actualized as a result. As always, we must ask ourselves, "What are the highest values which I can actualize given present potentials?" And I ask you, does the reinforcement of militant opposition embody the highest values which your spiritualized creative imagination is capable of envisioning given this changed situation? What about the new tools now available to kingdom builders and revelation workers? What about the potentials for bringing more people into the kingdom which this publication creates? What about the new potentials for interesting a wider range of people in The Urantia Book?
Is the criteria used by Jesus not useful in this situation? "As the years passed, this young carpenter of Nazareth increasingly measured every institution of society and every usage of religion by the unvarying test: What does it do for the human soul? does it bring God to man? does it bring man to God?" [126:2.5] Later in his life he taught that, "An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one's fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster, all of which lead directly to an increased desire to do the Father's will, thereby fostering the divine passion to find God and to be more like him." [132:2.5]
I would contend that the publication of JANR is conducive to an experience of all of these desirable effects in the lives of readers and thus meets the criteria set forth by Michael himself for the evaluation of such matters.
Dave, I thank you for taking time to consider these ideas. I also thank you for working to create and sustain an environment in which dialog on these important issues might be fostered.