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Earth at the convergence of gold light with blue sky

What is Matter?

Any and all things responding to the personality circuit of the Father, we call personal. Any and all things responding to the spirit circuit of the Son, we call spirit. Any and all that responds to the mind circuit of the Conjoint Actor, we call mind, mind as an attribute of the Infinite Spirit—mind in all its phases. Any and all that responds to the material-gravity circuit centering in nether Paradise, we call matter—energy-matter in all its metamorphic states.

ENERGY we use as an all-inclusive term applied to spiritual, mindal, and material realms. Force is also thus broadly used. Power is ordinarily limited to the designation of the electronic level of material or linear-gravity-responsive matter in the grand universe. Power is also employed to designate sovereignty. We cannot follow your generally accepted definitions of force, energy, and power. There is such paucity of language that we must assign multiple meanings to these terms.

Physical energy is a term denoting all phases and forms of phenomenal motion, action, and potential.

In discussing physical-energy manifestations, we generally use the terms cosmic force, emergent energy, and universe power. These are often employed as follows:

  1. Cosmic force embraces all energies deriving from the Unqualified Absolute but which are as yet unresponsive to Paradise gravity.
  2. Emergent energy embraces those energies which are responsive to Paradise gravity but are as yet unresponsive to local or linear gravity. This is the pre-electronic level of energy-matter.
  3. Universe power includes all forms of energy which, while still responding to Paradise gravity, are directly responsive to linear gravity. This is the electronic level of energy-matter and all subsequent evolutions thereof. ~ The Urantia Book, (0:6.1)

Mind and Matter

In the inner experience of man, mind is joined to matter. Such material-linked minds cannot survive mortal death. The technique of survival is embraced in those adjustments of the human will and those transformations in the mortal mind whereby such a God-conscious intellect gradually becomes spirit taught and eventually spirit led. This evolution of the human mind from matter association to spirit union results in the transmutation of the potentially spirit phases of the mortal mind into the morontia realities of the immortal soul. Mortal mind subservient to matter is destined to become increasingly material and consequently to suffer eventual personality extinction; mind yielded to spirit is destined to become increasingly spiritual and ultimately to achieve oneness with the surviving and guiding divine spirit and in this way to attain survival and eternity of personality existence. ~ The Urantia Book, (1:3.7)

The endless sweep of relative cosmic reality from the absoluteness of Paradise monota to the absoluteness of space potency, is suggestive of certain evolutions of relationship in the nonspiritual realities of the First Source and Center—those realities which are concealed in space potency, revealed in monota, and provisionally disclosed on intervening cosmic levels. This eternal cycle of energy, being circuited in the Father of universes, is absolute and, being absolute, is expansile in neither fact nor value; nevertheless the Primal Father is even now—as always—self-realizing of an ever-expanding arena of time-space, and of time-space-transcended, meanings, an arena of changing relationships wherein energy-matter is being progressively subjected to the overcontrol of living and divine spirit through the experiential striving of living and personal mind. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:10.1)

Since ancient man regarded himself and his material environment as being directly responsive to the whims of the ghosts and the fancies of the spirits, it is not strange that his religion should have been so exclusively concerned with material affairs. Modern man attacks his material problems directly; he recognizes that matter is responsive to the intelligent manipulation of mind. Primitive man likewise desired to modify and even to control the life and energies of the physical domains; and since his limited comprehension of the cosmos led him to the belief that ghosts, spirits, and gods were personally and immediately concerned with the detailed control of life and matter, he logically directed his efforts to winning the favor and support of these superhuman agencies. ~ The Urantia Book, (90:3.1)

In the evolutionary superuniverses energy-matter is dominant except in personality, where spirit through the mediation of mind is struggling for the mastery. The goal of the evolutionary universes is the subjugation of energy-matter by mind, the co-ordination of mind with spirit, and all of this by virtue of the creative and unifying presence of personality. Thus, in relation to personality, do physical systems become subordinate; mind systems, co-ordinate; and spirit systems, directive. ~ The Urantia Book, (116:6.1)

Matter is the Shadow of Spirit

Spirit realities respond to the drawing power of the center of spiritual gravity in accordance with their qualitative value, their actual degree of spirit nature. Spirit substance (quality) is just as responsive to spirit gravity as the organized energy of physical matter (quantity) is responsive to physical gravity. Spiritual values and spirit forces are real. From the viewpoint of personality, spirit is the soul of creation; matter is the shadowy physical body. ~ The Urantia Book, (7:1.3)

Physical matter is the time-space shadow of the Paradise energy-shining of the absolute Deities. Truth meanings are the mortal-intellect repercussions of the eternal word of Deity—the time-space comprehension of supreme concepts. The goodness values of divinity are the merciful ministries of the spirit personalities of the Universal, the Eternal, and the Infinite to the time-space finite creatures of the evolutionary spheres. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:10.18)

Mankind is slow to perceive that, in all that is personal, matter is the skeleton of morontia, and that both are the reflected shadow of enduring spirit reality. How long before you will regard time as the moving image of eternity and space as the fleeting shadow of Paradise realities? ~ The Urantia Book, (189:1.3)

The Infinite Spirit (Third Person of the Trinity) and Matter

The Infinite Spirit is amazingly universal and unbelievably versatile in all his operations. He performs in the spheres of mind, matter, and spirit. ~ The Urantia Book, (8:3.5)

Energy-matter is dominated by the Infinite Spirit. Before any new forms of things, great or small, may be created, before any new transformations of energy-matter may be attempted, a Creator Son must secure the consent and working co-operation of the Infinite Spirit. ~ The Urantia Book, (21:2.4)

Force, Energy and Matter are One

All physical force, energy and matter are one. All force-energy originally proceeded from nether Paradise and will eventually return thereto following the completion of its space circuit. But the energies and material organizations of the universe of universes did not all come from nether Paradise in their present phenomenal states; space is the womb of several forms of matter and prematter. ~ The Urantia Book, (11:5.9)

Matter—energy—for they are but diverse manifestations of the same cosmic reality, as a universe phenomenon is inherent in the Universal Father." In him all things consist." Matter may appear to manifest inherent energy and to exhibit self-contained powers, but the lines of gravity involved in the energies concerned in all these physical phenomena are derived from, and are dependent on, Paradise. The ultimaton, the first measurable form of energy, has Paradise as its nucleus.

There is innate in matter and present in universal space a form of energy not known on Urantia. When this discovery is finally made, then will physicists feel that they have solved, almost at least, the mystery of matter. And so will they have approached one step nearer the Creator; so will they have mastered one more phase of the divine technique; but in no sense will they have found God, neither will they have established the existence of matter or the operation of natural laws apart from the cosmic technique of Paradise and the motivating purpose of the Universal Father. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:1.2)

Universe power. Space-force has been changed into space-energy and thence into the energy of gravity control. Thus has physical energy been ripened to that point where it can be directed into channels of power and made to serve the manifold purposes of the universe Creators. This work is carried on by the versatile directors, centers, and controllers of physical energy in the grand universe—the organized and inhabited creations. These Universe Power Directors assume the more or less complete control of twenty-one of the thirty phases of energy constituting the present energy system of the seven superuniverses. This domain of power-energy-matter is the realm of the intelligent activities of the Sevenfold, functioning under the time-space overcontrol of the Supreme. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:2.14)

Paradise and Matter

Paradise is the absolute source and the eternal focal point of all energy-matter in the universe of universes. ~ The Urantia Book, (11:8.9)

On Paradise the three energies, physical, mindal, and spiritual, are co-ordinate. In the evolutionary cosmos energy-matter is dominant except in personality, where spirit, through the mediation of mind, is striving for the mastery. Spirit is the fundamental reality of the personality experience of all creatures because God is spirit. Spirit is unchanging, and therefore, in all personality relations, it transcends both mind and matter, which are experiential variables of progressive attainment.

In cosmic evolution matter becomes a philosophic shadow cast by mind in the presence of spirit luminosity of divine enlightenment, but this does not invalidate the reality of matter-energy. Mind, matter, and spirit are equally real, but they are not of equal value to personality in the attainment of divinity. Consciousness of divinity is a progressive spiritual experience. ~ The Urantia Book, (12:8.14)

The Blazing Suns and Matter

The trillions upon trillions of years that an ordinary sun will continue to give out heat and light well illustrates the vast store of energy which each unit of matter contains. The actual energy stored in these invisible particles of physical matter is well-nigh unimaginable. And this energy becomes almost wholly available as light when subjected to the tremendous heat pressure and the associated energy activities which prevail in the interior of the blazing suns. Still other conditions enable these suns to transform and send forth much of the energy of space which comes their way in the established space circuits. Many phases of physical energy and all forms of matter are attracted to, and subsequently distributed by, the solar dynamos. In this way the suns serve as local accelerators of energy circulation, acting as automatic power-control stations. ~ The Urantia Book, (15:6.4)

The Dark Islands of Space

The Dark Islands of Space. These are the dead suns and other large aggregations of matter devoid of light and heat. The dark islands are sometimes enormous in mass and exert a powerful influence in universe equilibrium and energy manipulation. The density of some of these large masses is well-nigh unbelievable. And this great concentration of mass enables these dark islands to function as powerful balance wheels, holding large neighboring systems in effective leash. They hold the gravity balance of power in many constellations; many physical systems which would otherwise speedily dive to destruction in near-by suns are held securely in the gravity grasp of these guardian dark islands. It is because of this function that we can locate them accurately. We have measured the gravity pull of the luminous bodies, and we can therefore calculate the exact size and location of the dark islands of space which so effectively function to hold a given system steady in its course.

Minor Space Bodies. The meteors and other small particles of matter circulating and evolving in space constitute an enormous aggregate of energy and material substance. ~ The Urantia Book, (15:6.6)


The Planets. These are the larger aggregations of matter which follow an orbit around a sun or some other space body; they range in size from planetesimals to enormous gaseous, liquid, or solid spheres. The cold worlds which have been built up by the assemblage of floating space material, when they happen to be in proper relation to a near-by sun, are the more ideal planets to harbor intelligent inhabitants. The dead suns are not, as a rule, suited to life; they are usually too far away from a living, blazing sun, and further, they are altogether too massive; gravity is tremendous at the surface. ~ The Urantia Book, (15:6.9)

The Universe Power Directors

The universal plan for the maintenance of equilibrium between matter and energy necessitates the everlasting making and unmaking of the lesser material units. The Universe Power Directors have the ability to condense and detain, or to expand and liberate, varying quantities of energy.

Given a sufficient duration of retarding influence, gravity would eventually convert all energy into matter were it not for two factors: First, because of the antigravity influences of the energy controllers, and second, because organized matter tends to disintegrate under certain conditions found in very hot stars and under certain peculiar conditions in space near highly energized cold bodies of condensed matter. ~ The Urantia Book, (15:8.4)

Primary Associators - Catalytic Agents of Matter

5. Primary Associators. These interesting and invaluable entities are masterly energy conservators and custodians. Somewhat as a plant stores solar light, so do these living organisms store energy during times of plus manifestations. They work on a gigantic scale, converting the energies of space into a physical state not known on Urantia. They are also able to carry forward these transformations to the point of producing some of the primitive units of material existence. These beings simply act by their presence. They are in no way exhausted or depleted by this function; they act like living catalytic agents.

During seasons of minus manifestations they are empowered to release these accumulated energies. But your knowledge of energy and matter is not sufficiently advanced to make it possible to explain the technique of this phase of their work. They always labor in compliance with universal law, handling and manipulating atoms, electrons, and ultimatons much as you maneuver adjustable type to make the same alphabetical symbols tell vastly different stories. ~ The Urantia Book, (29:4.25)

Calcium - The Building Block of Matter

Calcium is, in fact, the chief element of the matter-permeation of space throughout Orvonton. Our whole superuniverse is sprinkled with minutely pulverized stone. Stone is literally the basic building matter for the planets and spheres of space. The cosmic cloud, the great space blanket, consists for the most part of the modified atoms of calcium. The stone atom is one of the most prevalent and persistent of the elements. It not only endures solar ionization—splitting—but persists in an associative identity even after it has been battered by the destructive X rays and shattered by the high solar temperatures. Calcium possesses an individuality and a longevity excelling all of the more common forms of matter. ~ The Urantia Book, (41:6.2)

The Grand Divisions of Matter

Matter in all universes, excepting in the central universe, is identical. Matter in its physical properties depends on the revolutionary rates of its component members, the number and size of the revolving members, their distance from the nuclear body or the space content of matter, as well as on the presence of certain forces as yet undiscovered on Urantia.

In the varied suns, planets, and space bodies there are ten grand divisions of matter:

  1. Ultimatonic matter—the prime physical units of material existence, the energy particles which go to make up electrons.
  2. Subelectronic matter—the explosive and repellent stage of the solar supergases.
  3. Electronic matter—the electrical stage of material differentiation—electrons, protons, and various other units entering into the varied constitution of the electronic groups.
  4. Subatomic matter—matter existing extensively in the interior of the hot suns.
  5. Shattered atoms—found in the cooling suns and throughout space.
  6. Ionized matter—individual atoms stripped of their outer (chemically active) electrons by electrical, thermal, or X-ray activities and by solvents.
  7. Atomic matter—the chemical stage of elemental organization, the component units of molecular or visible matter.
  8. The molecular stage of matter—matter as it exists on Urantia in a state of relatively stable materialization under ordinary conditions.
  9. Radioactive matter—the disorganizing tendency and activity of the heavier elements under conditions of moderate heat and diminished gravity pressure.
  10. Collapsed matter—the relatively stationary matter found in the interior of the cold or dead suns. This form of matter is not really stationary; there is still some ultimatonic even electronic activity, but these units are in very close proximity, and their rates of revolution are greatly diminished. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:3.1)

"Empty Space" and Matter

Gravity presence and action is what prevents the appearance of the theoretical absolute zero, for interstellar space does not have the temperature of absolute zero. Throughout all organized space there are gravity-responding energy currents, power circuits, and ultimatonic activities, as well as organizing electronic energies. Practically speaking, space is not empty. Even the atmosphere of Urantia thins out increasingly until at about three thousand miles it begins to shade off into the average space matter in this section of the universe. The most nearly empty space known in Nebadon would yield about one hundred ultimatons—the equivalent of one electron—in each cubic inch. Such scarcity of matter is regarded as practically empty space. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:4.6)

The Science of Matter

The increase of mass in matter is equal to the increase of energy divided by the square of the velocity of light. In a dynamic sense the work which resting matter can perform is equal to the energy expended in bringing its parts together from Paradise minus the resistance of the forces overcome in transit and the attraction exerted by the parts of matter on one another.

The existence of pre-electronic forms of matter is indicated by the two atomic weights of lead. The lead of original formation weighs slightly more than that produced through uranium disintegration by way of radium emanations; and this difference in atomic weight represents the actual loss of energy in the atomic breakup.

The relative integrity of matter is assured by the fact that energy can be absorbed or released only in those exact amounts which Urantia scientists have designated quanta. This wise provision in the material realms serves to maintain the universes as going concerns. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:4.11)

Atomic Organization and the Solar System

The formation of all matter is on the order of the solar system. There is at the center of every minute universe of energy a relatively stable, comparatively stationary, nuclear portion of material existence. This central unit is endowed with a threefold possibility of manifestation. Surrounding this energy center there whirl, in endless profusion but in fluctuating circuits, the energy units which are faintly comparable to the planets encircling the sun of some starry group like your own solar system. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:7.1)

God is the Eternal Cause

Matter and spirit and the state intervening between them are three interrelated and interassociated levels of the true unity of the real universe. Regardless of how divergent the universe phenomena of fact and value may appear to be, they are, after all, unified in the Supreme.

Reality of material existence attaches to unrecognized energy as well as to visible matter. When the energies of the universe are so slowed down that they acquire the requisite degree of motion, then, under favorable conditions, these same energies become mass. And forget not, the mind which can alone perceive the presence of apparent realities is itself also real. And the fundamental cause of this universe of energy-mass, mind, and spirit, is eternal—it exists and consists in the nature and reactions of the Universal Father and his absolute co-ordinates. ~ The Urantia Book, (133:5.9)

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