I was raised in the Irish Catholic tradition. Good, loving parents nestled us, their seven kids, close to the Church and Roman Catholic values. I attended Catholic schools right through college. I was devout and active in the Church and even had thoughts of becoming a priest - until love for a pretty girl and the '60s got hold of me.
One night in 1974 a bunch of us mellow hippie types were gathered in E.K. and Beth's apartment. E.K. was a house painter and Beth an elementary school teacher. She was also a serious astrologer and had many New Age books on her shelves. We were playing guitars and singing soft harmonies, drinking beer and wine and passing joints, talking about Man, God and the Law. While I was playing guitar, I kept staring at a big blue book on one of the bookshelves. During a break in the music I went over and got it down and opened it. I'd never seen or heard the word "Urantia" before. I sat on the floor and perused the table of contents.
As I began to recognize names like Melchizedek and Adam and Eve and Gabriel and saw how the book was divided into four astonishing parts, my eyes got bigger and low whistles puckered my lips. For a few years I'd been investigating things like Buddhist chanting (nam yoho renge kyo)\ the Divine Light Mission of Guru Mahara Ji; the doors of perception (with the aid of LSD); mystical poetry and all kinds of etceteras. I had studied Teilhard de Chardin's The Phenomenon of Man at the Jesuit college I'd attended, but when I tossed the Church out of my life at age 20, I tossed Teilhard out, too. (Later, parts of the Urantia Book would remind me of his writings.) But this blue book thoroughly intrigued me. I asked Beth if I could borrow it. She said sure. She had glimpsed through it but hadn't been grabbed by it.
I took it home and gradually, attentively, struggled through large, difficult chunks of it. I found myself astonished and more astonished, and astonished that I comprehended what was astonishing me. It took me five years to finally believe that it was an actual revelation, but suddenly, with a liquid clarity and overflow of joy, I did.
One of the ways The Urantia Book has helped me in my growing of a soul is that it inspired me to go to Alcoholics Anonymous to confront the disease that has plagued me since a teenager. I find many parallels between the teachings of the big blue UBook and the big blue book of AA.
I'm grateful that The Urantia Book came to me, and gratefully enjoying the journey of inward ascension it so exquisitely describes and explains. The book has banished lonesomeness from my life forever.