I was living in a college dorm. It was a Saturday morning, and there was no weekend cafeteria service. My brother had invited me to his house for a breakfast of apple pancakes. His girlfriends big blue book was lying on the coffee table. I opened it and fell right in. It is now more than thirty years later and I am still exploring the universe of facts, ideas, and challenges presented in The Urantia Book.
The girlfriend cooking the apple cakes was Patti, now my sister-in-law - Patti the artist and truth seeker, painter of grand alien landscapes and mosaics of organic cellular wonderlands. She told me to take the book home.
For months I jumped about in the blue book. In school I was studying comparative religions, and The Urantia Book helped me piece together all the myths and ancient history, serving as an all- purpose Cliff's Notes for any test the teacher could dream up.
I was captivated by the sweeping story of mans attempts to build a civilization - the incredible 200,000-year struggle of Van the Steadfast to keep the idea of the one God alive, he alone pitted against a rebellion of powerful angels; Adam and Eve's disillusionment when faced with the primitive warring tribes; the steady hand of Machiventa Melchizedek to bring earth back into the fold; the succession of prophets and Pharaohs each pushing the envelope out further to evolve the concept of God from wrathful to forgiving to loving and eternal. I was mystified by this book and wondered what man or men could have dreamed up this wonderful saga.
I distinctly remember the day it dawned on me that this book was truth. Patti was painting and I was reading the paper on "The Resurrection of Lazarus" aloud to her as she worked. It was cool, the windows were open to a bright afternoon. The smell of herbal tea and honey filled the room. There was another guy there and we took turns reading. I felt a warmth sweep over me. This was really Jesus talking! This was what really happened two thousand years ago!
From then on the blue book changed from being just a history book to being a spiritual touchstone. I then discovered the papers on the Thought Adjuster. I read and reread them, savoring the idea that we each had a piece of God within us. But along with the sudden liberation from all the Catholic guilt came the realization that it was my responsibility alone to discern the Father's will.
A few weeks later I was lying down on a huge open field that the Louisiana State University Tigers band used for practice. It was after midnight. The only sound that could be heard was the distant whump of an industrial-size cooling fan. I lay there flat on my back, my arms stretched out, looking up for shooting stars. I began to imagine that I could feel the earth swiftly turning below me and I was holding on for dear life. The sound of that far-off machine was really the big engine underground thumping away to keep the earth in motion. I felt as if I were on a planet hurtling headlong through space. I then realized I really was a part of it now. I would never be alone anymore. My spirit was with me and we were traveling through the universe, through time. I had arrived.