THE ORIGIN OF THE Urantia BOOK
by Jacques Weiss
Printed in "Lights in the Night", July-August 1967
During the year 1926, an American citizen that we will call the "contact personality" began to speak to those around him on such questions as the creation of the universe, the other inhabited worlds, the personality of God, the Lucifer Rebellion, the coming of Adam and Eve to Earth, the life of Jesus between the age of 13 and 30 years, etc. He expressed himself with such an authority and his words were so interesting that a small group soon formed to listen to him. Among the members of this group was a banker of Chicago who wished to make a positive inquiry to know if the revelations of this contact personality were due to occultism, to trances, to the use of drugs, to a mysterious exploitation, or to an effective contact with the spiritual hierarchy who rules the invisible world.
This banker consulted Dr. Wm. S. Sadler, President of Psychiatrists and Surgeons of America, an eminent psychologist of the class of Freud and Jung and who had by the way studied a long time ago with these two people. Dr. Sadler , then aged 51, listened a long time to the contact person and subjected him to numerous tests. He concluded formally that the last hypothesis was the only valid one and that it was a matter of authentic revelations of origin from the beyond transmitted in full conscious wakefulness by a personality having exceptional qualities of high-fidelity receptor. His messages were not colored either by his sentiments, or by his feelings, or by his intellect, or by his prejudices.
On the face of this consultation, the banker decided to pay a secretary as long as it was necessary to take down in shorthand the revelations of the contact personality. These revelations lasted 9 years and resulted in 1935 in the writing of the complete manuscript of the Urantia Book in English.
Dr. Sadler took a deep interest in the adventure and did not delay in forming a study group to which he offered for headquarters his magnificent private residence at 533 Diversey Parkway in Chicago, which afterwards he left to be used by a non-profit organization called the Urantia Foundation.
The manuscript was typed in two copies and carefully locked in a strong box placed in a bank vault in Chicago. They would take it out on Friday afternoons to permit the group to study it Saturdays and Sundays and they placed it in its box on Monday mornings. When they took it again the next Friday, the mistakes of the text had been corrected by invisible hands, so that the message represented very exactly the thought of the spiritual hierarchy which wished to give it to the world.
Their purpose was as follows: Seeing that the idea of God was progressively lost in the materialistic civilization, humanity must not be left without a beacon in the form of a Bible of the 21st century, well adapted to modern times. It was necessary to rectify the contradictions, the errors and the gaps of the Holy Scriptures more or less correctly transmitted 19 centuries ago. At the same time, the spiritual beings responsible for the message gave the formal order not to publish it before the time that they would indicate and in the meantime to keep a complete silence towards the outsiders.
Among the approximately 80 persons who studied this typed message between 1935 and 1955 was found a certain Miss Brown, a very well informed spiritualist with whom I had had long conversations in New York during the winter 1947-1948, but who had never alluded to the existence of the Urantia Papers. In 1955 the time for publication came finally in the form of a message saying more or less: "Now that the planetary communications permit the rapid spread of news on all the planet, the number of potential readers has become sufficient to justify the publication of the message in English with an initial printing of 10,000 copies, so much the more that there will be found a translator in another language to make it a truly world wide work on the earth. "
On Christmas 1955 as soon as the book appeared in English under the title of "The Urantia Book," Miss Brown sent me a copy of it telling me that the message, which I did not know existed, might be for me. It took me the first months of 1956 to read it, after which I recognized the characteristic manner of operation of the Spiritual Hierarchy. They propose to a man, who remains always free to accept or refuse, to accomplish a task that they desire to see done. If the man refuses, they look for another and wait to find him. If he accepts, they tell him the way to accomplish the task and give him the means. There results from doing it an assurance, an inner joy, and sometimes a major spiritual enrichment.
I knew from 30 years of experience that many French were searching truth under this form of joining science and religion, a theme which has always been dear to me. On the other hand, I well understood the colossal effort which the translation and publication represented. I decided then to consider myself from that time on as invested with a mission and I approached the work, translating everything by hand on 29 large notebooks. I received constantly an immense aid from the invisible world, collaboration, health, inspiration and money.
When the manuscript was well on the way, I asked my secretary to undertake the typing. Then I wrote to the Urantia Foundation that I had translated the book and asked permission to publish it in French. There followed an endless period of negotiations and controls which resulted finally in an agreement for which it was necessary to go to Chicago in 1960. I chose naturally the date of the 21st of August that Urantians always celebrate, the true birthday of Jesus, seven years before the Christian era.
On arriving in Chicago the 21st of August in the middle of an assembly of around 60 to 80 Urantians, Dr. Sadler presented me in the following manner, " Sirs," said he to the assembly, "you remember that in 1955 we received the order to publish the Urantia Book because the time had come and because there would be a translator. I introduce to you today this translator of which the spiritual world knew the potential before the translator himself knew of the existence of the work."
Naturally these exceptional circumstances led me to form a great friendship with Dr. Sadler in 1960. He was then 86 years old. In leaving him I asked of him his promise to remain in life until I could come again to see him and bring him personally the international fruit of the work. He kept his word in spite of four cardiac crises, and I have then made my arrangements to pay him an ultimate visit this summer in Chicago.