Time is the One Talent
Time is the one universal endowment of all will creatures; it is the "one talent" intrusted to all intelligent beings. You all have time in which to insure your survival; and time is fatally squandered only when it is buried in neglect, when you fail so to utilize it as to make certain the survival of your soul. Failure to improve one's time to the fullest extent possible does not impose fatal penalties; it merely retards the pilgrim of time in his journey of ascent. If survival is gained, all other losses can be retrieved. ~ The Urantia Book, (28:6.9)
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 Genesis of Time
With the appearance of relative and qualified reality there comes into being a new cycle of reality—the growth cycle—a majestic downsweep from the heights of infinity to the domain of the finite, forever swinging inward to Paradise and Deity, always seeking those high destinies commensurate with an infinity source.
These inconceivable transactions mark the beginning of universe history, mark the coming into existence of time itself. To a creature, the beginning of the finite is the genesis of reality; as viewed by creature mind, there is no actuality conceivable prior to the finite. This newly appearing finite reality exists in two original phases:
- Primary maximums, the supremely perfect reality, the Havona type of universe and creature.
- Secondary maximums, the supremely perfected reality, the superuniverse type of creature and creation.
These, then, are the two original manifestations: the constitutively perfect and the evolutionally perfected. The two are co-ordinate in eternity relationships, but within the limits of time they are seemingly different. A time factor means growth to that which grows; secondary finites grow; hence those that are growing must appear as incomplete in time. But these differences, which are so important this side of Paradise, are nonexistent in eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (105:5.5)
We are the Children of Time, Destined for Eternity
...The transcendent goal of the children of time is to find the eternal God, to comprehend the divine nature, to recognize the Universal Father. God-knowing creatures have only one supreme ambition, just one consuming desire, and that is to become, as they are in their spheres, like him as he is in his Paradise perfection of personality and in his universal sphere of righteous supremacy. From the Universal Father who inhabits eternity there has gone forth the supreme mandate, "Be you perfect, even as I am perfect." In love and mercy the messengers of Paradise have carried this divine exhortation down through the ages and out through the universes, even to such lowly animal-origin creatures as the human races of Urantia. ~ The Urantia Book, (1:0.3)
Not until you traverse the last of the Havona circuits and visit the last of the Havona worlds, will the tonic of adventure and the stimulus of curiosity disappear from your career. And then will the urge, the forward impulse of eternity, replace its forerunner, the adventure lure of time. ~ The Urantia Book, (14:5.7)
In so far as man's evolving morontia soul becomes permeated by truth, beauty, and goodness as the value-realization of God-consciousness, such a resultant being becomes indestructible. If there is no survival of eternal values in the evolving soul of man, then mortal existence is without meaning, and life itself is a tragic illusion. But it is forever true: What you begin in time you will assuredly finish in eternity—if it is worth finishing. ~ The Urantia Book, (111:3.7)
Our Status in Time and Eternity
The concept of God as a king-judge, although it fostered a high moral standard and created a law-respecting people as a group, left the individual believer in a sad position of insecurity respecting his status in time and in eternity. The later Hebrew prophets proclaimed God to be a Father to Israel; Jesus revealed God as the Father of each human being. The entire mortal concept of God is transcendently illuminated by the life of Jesus. Selflessness is inherent in parental love. God loves not like a father, but as a father. He is the Paradise Father of every universe personality. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:6.4)
Time and Eternity
It is helpful to man's cosmic orientation to attain all possible comprehension of Deity's relation to the cosmos. While absolute Deity is eternal in nature, the Gods are related to time as an experience in eternity. In the evolutionary universes eternity is temporal everlastingness—the everlasting now.
The personality of the mortal creature may eternalize by self-identification with the indwelling spirit through the technique of choosing to do the will of the Father. Such a consecration of will is tantamount to the realization of eternity-reality of purpose. This means that the purpose of the creature has become fixed with regard to the succession of moments; stated otherwise, that the succession of moments will witness no change in creature purpose. A million or a billion moments makes no difference. Number has ceased to have meaning with regard to the creature's purpose. Thus does creature choice plus God's choice eventuate in the eternal realities of the never-ending union of the spirit of God and the nature of man in the everlasting service of the children of God and of their Paradise Father.
There is a direct relationship between maturity and the unit of time consciousness in any given intellect. The time unit may be a day, a year, or a longer period, but inevitably it is the criterion by which the conscious self evaluates the circumstances of life, and by which the conceiving intellect measures and evaluates the facts of temporal existence.
Experience, wisdom, and judgment are the concomitants of the lengthening of the time unit in mortal experience. As the human mind reckons backward into the past, it is evaluating past experience for the purpose of bringing it to bear on a present situation. As mind reaches out into the future, it is attempting to evaluate the future significance of possible action. And having thus reckoned with both experience and wisdom, the human will exercises judgment-decision in the present, and the plan of action thus born of the past and the future becomes existent.
In the maturity of the developing self, the past and future are brought together to illuminate the true meaning of the present. As the self matures, it reaches further and further back into the past for experience, while its wisdom forecasts seek to penetrate deeper and deeper into the unknown future. And as the conceiving self extends this reach ever further into both past and future, so does judgment become less and less dependent on the momentary present. In this way does decision-action begin to escape from the fetters of the moving present, while it begins to take on the aspects of past-future significance.
Patience is exercised by those mortals whose time units are short; true maturity transcends patience by a forbearance born of real understanding.
To become mature is to live more intensely in the present, at the same time escaping from the limitations of the present. The plans of maturity, founded on past experience, are coming into being in the present in such manner as to enhance the values of the future.
The time unit of immaturity concentrates meaning-value into the present moment in such a way as to divorce the present of its true relationship to the not-present—the past-future. The time unit of maturity is proportioned so to reveal the co-ordinate relationship of past-present-future that the self begins to gain insight into the wholeness of events, begins to view the landscape of time from the panoramic perspective of broadened horizons, begins perhaps to suspect the nonbeginning, nonending eternal continuum, the fragments of which are called time.
On the levels of the infinite and the absolute the moment of the present contains all of the past as well as all of the future. I AM signifies also I WAS and I WILL BE. And this represents our best concept of eternity and the eternal.
On the absolute and eternal level, potential reality is just as meaningful as actual reality. Only on the finite level and to time-bound creatures does there appear to be such a vast difference. To God, as absolute, an ascending mortal who has made the eternal decision is already a Paradise finaliter. But the Universal Father, through the indwelling Thought Adjuster, is not thus limited in awareness but can also know of, and participate in, every temporal struggle with the problems of the creature ascent from animallike to Godlike levels of existence. ~ The Urantia Book, (118:1.1)
Jesus' Discourse on Time and Space
At Carthage Jesus had a long and memorable talk with a Mithraic priest about immortality, about time and eternity. This Persian had been educated at Alexandria, and he really desired to learn from Jesus. Put into the words of today, in substance Jesus said in answer to his many questions:
Time is the stream of flowing temporal events perceived by creature consciousness. Time is a name given to the succession-arrangement whereby events are recognized and segregated. The universe of space is a time-related phenomenon as it is viewed from any interior position outside of the fixed abode of Paradise. The motion of time is only revealed in relation to something which does not move in space as a time phenomenon. In the universe of universes Paradise and its Deities transcend both time and space. On the inhabited worlds, human personality (indwelt and oriented by the Paradise Father's spirit) is the only physically related reality which can transcend the material sequence of temporal events.
Animals do not sense time as does man, and even to man, because of his sectional and circumscribed view, time appears as a succession of events; but as man ascends, as he progresses inward, the enlarging view of this event procession is such that it is discerned more and more in its wholeness. That which formerly appeared as a succession of events then will be viewed as a whole and perfectly related cycle; in this way will circular simultaneity increasingly displace the onetime consciousness of the linear sequence of events.
There are seven different conceptions of space as it is conditioned by time. Space is measured by time, not time by space. The confusion of the scientist grows out of failure to recognize the reality of space. Space is not merely an intellectual concept of the variation in relatedness of universe objects. Space is not empty, and the only thing man knows which can even partially transcend space is mind. Mind can function independently of the concept of the space-relatedness of material objects. Space is relatively and comparatively finite to all beings of creature status. The nearer consciousness approaches the awareness of seven cosmic dimensions, the more does the concept of potential space approach ultimacy. But the space potential is truly ultimate only on the absolute level.
It must be apparent that universal reality has an expanding and always relative meaning on the ascending and perfecting levels of the cosmos. Ultimately, surviving mortals achieve identity in a seven-dimensional universe.
The time-space concept of a mind of material origin is destined to undergo successive enlargements as the conscious and conceiving personality ascends the levels of the universes. When man attains the mind intervening between the material and the spiritual planes of existence, his ideas of time-space will be enormously expanded both as to quality of perception and quantity of experience. The enlarging cosmic conceptions of an advancing spirit personality are due to augmentations of both depth of insight and scope of consciousness. And as personality passes on, upward and inward, to the transcendental levels of Deity-likeness, the time-space concept will increasingly approximate the timeless and spaceless concepts of the Absolutes. Relatively, and in accordance with transcendental attainment, these concepts of the absolute level are to be envisioned by the children of ultimate destiny. ~ The Urantia Book, (130:7.1)
The I AM
The concept of the I AM is a philosophic concession which we make to the time-bound, space-fettered, finite mind of man, to the impossibility of creature comprehension of eternity existences—nonbeginning, nonending realities and relationships. To the time-space creature, all things must have a beginning save only the ONE UNCAUSED—the primeval cause of causes. Therefore do we conceptualize this philosophic value-level as the I AM, at the same time instructing all creatures that the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit are coeternal with the I AM; in other words, that there never was a time when the I AM was not the Father of the Son and, with him, of the Spirit. ~ The Urantia Book, (0:3.16)
No thing is new to God, and no cosmic event ever comes as a surprise; he inhabits the circle of eternity. He is without beginning or end of days. To God there is no past, present, or future; all time is present at any given moment. He is the great and only I AM. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:1.5)
The I AM is the Infinite; the I AM is also infinity. From the sequential, time viewpoint, all reality has its origin in the infinite I AM, whose solitary existence in past infinite eternity must be a finite creature's premier philosophic postulate. The concept of the I AM connotes unqualified infinity, the undifferentiated reality of all that could ever be in all of an infinite eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (105:1.3)
In considering the genesis of reality, ever bear in mind that all absolute reality is from eternity and is without beginning of existence. By absolute reality we refer to the three existential persons of Deity, the Isle of Paradise, and the three Absolutes. These seven realities are co-ordinately eternal, notwithstanding that we resort to time-space language in presenting their sequential origins to human beings. ~ The Urantia Book, (105:2.1)
It is a truth that the Absolutes are manifestations of the I AM-First Source and Center; it is a fact that these Absolutes never had a beginning but are co-ordinate eternals with the First Source and Center. The relationships of absolutes in eternity cannot always be presented without involving paradoxes in the language of time and in the concept patterns of space. But regardless of any confusion concerning the origin of the Seven Absolutes of Infinity, it is both fact and truth that all reality is predicated upon their eternity existence and infinity relationships. ~ The Urantia Book, (105:3.10)
When finite creatures attempt to conceive of infinite unification on the finality levels of consummated eternity, they are face to face with intellect limitations inherent in their finite existences. Time, space, and experience constitute barriers to creature concept; and yet, without time, apart from space, and except for experience, no creature could achieve even a limited comprehension of universe reality. Without time sensitivity, no evolutionary creature could possibly perceive the relations of sequence. Without space perception, no creature could fathom the relations of simultaneity. Without experience, no evolutionary creature could even exist; only the Seven Absolutes of Infinity really transcend experience, and even these may be experiential in certain phases.
Time, space, and experience are man's greatest aids to relative reality perception and yet his most formidable obstacles to complete reality perception. Mortals and many other universe creatures find it necessary to think of potentials as being actualized in space and evolving to fruition in time, but this entire process is a time-space phenomenon which does not actually take place on Paradise and in eternity. On the absolute level there is neither time nor space; all potentials may be there perceived as actuals. ~ The Urantia Book, (106:9.2)
The Creator Sons
GOD IS EVERYWHERE present; the Universal Father rules the circle of eternity. But he rules in the local universes in the persons of his Paradise Creator Sons, even as he bestows life through these Sons. "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Sons." These Creator Sons of God are the personal expression of himself in the sectors of time and to the children of the whirling planets of the evolving universes of space. ~ The Urantia Book, (3:0.1)
The Creator Sons go out from Paradise into the universes of time and, with the co-operation of the controlling and creative agencies of the Third Source and Center, complete the organization of the local universes of progressive evolution ~ The Urantia Book, (7:6.4)
The Eternal Son
We speak of God's "first" thought and allude to an impossible time origin of the Eternal Son for the purpose of gaining access to the thought channels of the human intellect. Such distortions of language represent our best efforts at contact-compromise with the time-bound minds of mortal creatures. In the sequential sense the Universal Father never could have had a first thought, nor could the Eternal Son ever have had a beginning. But I was instructed to portray the realities of eternity to the time-limited minds of mortals by such symbols of thought and to designate the relationships of eternity by such time concepts of sequentiality. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:0.2)
Time and the Trinity
From the present situation on the circle of eternity, looking backward into the endless past, we can discover only one inescapable inevitability in universe affairs, and that is the Paradise Trinity. I deem the Trinity to have been inevitable. As I view the past, present, and future of time, I consider nothing else in all the universe of universes to have been inevitable. The present master universe, viewed in retrospect or in prospect, is unthinkable without the Trinity. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:0.3)
The First Source and Center is the infinite father-personality, the unlimited source personality. The Eternal Son is the unqualified personality-absolute, that divine being who stands throughout all time and eternity as the perfect revelation of the personal nature of God. The Infinite Spirit is the conjoint personality, the unique personal consequence of the everlasting Father-Son union. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:2.4)
We are taught that the Son and the Spirit sustain the same and equal relations to the Father in the Trinity association. In eternity and as Deities they undoubtedly do, but in time and as personalities they certainly disclose relationships of a very diverse nature. Looking from Paradise out on the universes, these relationships do seem to be very similar, but when viewed from the domains of space, they appear to be quite different. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:3.2)
Time, Space and Mind
Cosmic force responds to mind even as cosmic mind responds to spirit. Spirit is divine purpose, and spirit mind is divine purpose in action. Energy is thing, mind is meaning, spirit is value. Even in time and space, mind establishes those relative relationships between energy and spirit which are suggestive of mutual kinship in eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (9:4.5)
"A human mind, built up solely out of the consciousness of physical sensations, could never attain spiritual levels; this kind of material mind would be utterly lacking in a sense of moral values and would be without a guiding sense of spiritual dominance which is so essential to achieving harmonious personality unity in time, and which is inseparable from personality survival in eternity. " ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (133:7.10)
Creations of Time
The central universe is the creation of eternity; the seven superuniverses are the creations of time; the four outer space levels are undoubtedly destined to eventuate-evolve the ultimacy of creation. ~ The Urantia Book, (12:1.10)
The Material Creation
The physical or material creation is not infinite, but it is perfectly co-ordinated. There are force, energy, and power, but they are all one in origin. The seven superuniverses are seemingly dual; the central universe, triune; but Paradise is of single constitution. And Paradise is the actual source of all material universes—past, present, and future. But this cosmic derivation is an eternity event; at no time—past, present, or future—does either space or the material cosmos come forth from the nuclear Isle of Light. As the cosmic source, Paradise functions prior to space and before time; hence would its derivations seem to be orphaned in time and space did they not emerge through the Unqualified Absolute, their ultimate repository in space and their revealer and regulator in time. ~ The Urantia Book, (56:1.1)
The Absolute of Time
Space is not infinite, even though it takes origin from Paradise; not absolute, for it is pervaded by the Unqualified Absolute. We do not know the absolute limits of space, but we do know that the absolute of time is eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (12:5.2)
Solitary Messengers and Time
Immediately following the creation of the Seven Spirits of the Havona Circuits the Infinite Spirit brought into being the vast corps of Solitary Messengers. There is no part of the universal creation which is pre-existent to the Solitary Messengers except Paradise and the Havona circuits; they have functioned throughout the grand universe from near eternity. They are fundamental to the divine technique of the Infinite Spirit for self-revelation to, and personal contact with, the far-flung creations of time and space.
Notwithstanding that these messengers are existent from the near times of eternity, they are all aware of a beginning of selfhood. They are conscious of time, being the first of the creation of the Infinite Spirit to possess such a time consciousness. They are the first-born creatures of the Infinite Spirit to be personalized in time and spiritualized in space. ~ The Urantia Book, (23:1.1)
The Infinite Spirit pervades all space and indwells the circle of eternity. Still, in their personal contact with the children of time, the personalities of the Infinite Spirit must often reckon with temporal elements, though not so much with space. Many mind ministries ignore space but suffer a time lag in effecting co-ordination of diverse levels of universe reality. A Solitary Messenger is virtually independent of space except that time is actually required in traveling from one location to another; and there are similar entities unknown to you. ~ The Urantia Book, (34:3.2)
When a finaliter and a Paradise Citizen co-operate in the trinitization of a "child of time and eternity"—a transaction involving the unrevealed mind potentials of the Supreme-Ultimate—and when such an unclassified personality is dispatched to Vicegerington, a Solitary Messenger (a conjectured personality repercussion of the bestowal of such deity mind) is always assigned as guardian-companion to such a creature-trinitized son. This messenger accompanies the new son of destiny to the world of his assignment and nevermore leaves Vicegerington. When thus attached to the destinies of a child of time and eternity, a Solitary Messenger is forever transferred to the sole supervision of the Architects of the Master Universe. What the future of such an extraordinary association may be, we do not know. For ages these partnerships of unique personalities have continued to forgather on Vicegerington, but not even a single pair has ever gone forth therefrom. ~ The Urantia Book, (23:4.3)
The Graduate Guides in Our Eternal Career
The Graduate Guides are engaged in piloting the pilgrims of time through the seven circuits of Havona worlds. The guide who greets you upon your arrival on the receiving world of the outer Havona circuit will remain with you throughout your entire career on the heavenly circuits. Though you will associate with countless other personalities during your sojourn on a billion worlds, your Graduate Guide will follow you to the end of your Havona progression and will witness your entrance into the terminal slumber of time, the sleep of eternity transit to the Paradise goal, where, upon awakening, you will be greeted by the Paradise Companion assigned to welcome you and perhaps to remain with you until you are initiated as a member of the Mortal Corps of the Finality.
The number of Graduate Guides is beyond the power of human minds to grasp, and they continue to appear. Their origin is something of a mystery. They have not existed from eternity; they mysteriously appear as they are needed. There is no record of a Graduate Guide in all the realms of the central universe until that far-distant day when the first mortal pilgrim of all time made his way to the outer belt of the central creation. The instant he arrived on the pilot world of the outer circuit, he was met with friendly greetings by Malvorian, the first of the Graduate Guides and now the chief of their supreme council and the director of their vast educational organization. ~ The Urantia Book, (24:6.3)
When, through and by the ministry of all the helper hosts of the universal scheme of survival, you are finally deposited on the receiving world of Havona, you arrive with only one sort of perfection—perfection of purpose. Your purpose has been thoroughly proved; your faith has been tested. You are known to be disappointment proof. Not even the failure to discern the Universal Father can shake the faith or seriously disturb the trust of an ascendant mortal who has passed through the experience that all must traverse in order to attain the perfect spheres of Havona. By the time you reach Havona, your sincerity has become sublime. Perfection of purpose and divinity of desire, with steadfastness of faith, have secured your entrance to the settled abodes of eternity; your deliverance from the uncertainties of time is full and complete; and now must you come face to face with the problems of Havona and the immensities of Paradise, to meet which you have so long been in training in the experiential epochs of time on the world schools of space. ~ The Urantia Book, (26:4.6)
The attainment of the Universal Father is the passport to eternity, notwithstanding the remaining circuits to be traversed. It is therefore a momentous occasion on the pilot world of circle number three when the transit trio announce that the last venture of time is about to ensue; that another creature of space seeks entry to Paradise through the portals of eternity.
The test of time is almost over; the race for eternity has been all but run. The days of uncertainty are ending; the temptation to doubt is vanishing; the injunction to be perfect has been obeyed. From the very bottom of intelligent existence the creature of time and material personality has ascended the evolutionary spheres of space, thus proving the feasibility of the ascension plan while forever demonstrating the justice and righteousness of the command of the Universal Father to his lowly creatures of the worlds: "Be you perfect, even as I am perfect."
Step by step, life by life, world by world, the ascendant career has been mastered, and the goal of Deity has been attained. Survival is complete in perfection, and perfection is replete in the supremacy of divinity. Time is lost in eternity; space is swallowed up in worshipful identity and harmony with the Universal Father. The broadcasts of Havona flash forth the space reports of glory, the good news that in very truth the conscientious creatures of animal nature and material origin have, through evolutionary ascension, become in reality and eternally the perfected sons of God. ~ The Urantia Book, (26:9.2)
Service—purposeful service, not slavery—is productive of the highest satisfaction and is expressive of the divinest dignity. Service—more service, increased service, difficult service, adventurous service, and at last divine and perfect service—is the goal of time and the destination of space. But ever will the play cycles of time alternate with the service cycles of progress. And after the service of time there follows the superservice of eternity. During the play of time you should envision the work of eternity, even as you will, during the service of eternity, reminisce the play of time. ~ The Urantia Book, (28:6.17)
...You know of the innermost circle of Havona and that, after the pilgrims of space have traversed the preceding circles, they must be inducted into the long and revivifying rest of Paradise. This is not only a technical requirement of transit from the career of time to the service of eternity, but it is also a necessity, a form of rest required to replenish the energy losses incident to the final steps of the ascendant experience and to store reserves of spirit power for the next stage of the endless career. ~ The Urantia Book, (44:5.9)
Mortal death is a technique of escape from the material life in the flesh; and the mansonia experience of progressive life through seven worlds of corrective training and cultural education represents the introduction of mortal survivors to the morontia career, the transition life which intervenes between the evolutionary material existence and the higher spirit attainment of the ascenders of time who are destined to achieve the portals of eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (47:10.7)
The Adjuster is man's eternity possibility; man is the Adjuster's personality possibility. Your individual Adjusters work to spiritize you in the hope of eternalizing your temporal identity. The Adjusters are saturated with the beautiful and self-bestowing love of the Father of spirits. They truly and divinely love you; they are the prisoners of spirit hope confined within the minds of men. They long for the divinity attainment of your mortal minds that their loneliness may end, that they may be delivered with you from the limitations of material investiture and the habiliments of time. ~ The Urantia Book, (107:6.2)
In time, thinking leads to wisdom and wisdom leads to worship; in eternity, worship leads to wisdom, and wisdom eventuates in the finality of thought. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:2.13)
The Thought Adjusters and Time
Personalized Thought Adjusters are the untrammeled, unassigned, and sovereign stabilizers and compensators of the far-flung universe of universes. They combine the Creator and creature experience—existential and experiential. They are conjoint time and eternity beings. They associate the prepersonal and the personal in universe administration. ~ The Urantia Book, (109:7.2)
Adjusters are playing the sacred and superb game of the ages; they are engaged in one of the supreme adventures of time in space. And how happy they are when your co-operation permits them to lend assistance in your short struggles of time as they continue to prosecute their larger tasks of eternity. But usually, when your Adjuster attempts to communicate with you, the message is lost in the material currents of the energy streams of human mind; only occasionally do you catch an echo, a faint and distant echo, of the divine voice. ~ The Urantia Book, (110:3.1)
Throughout all this magnificent ascent the Thought Adjuster is the divine pledge of the future and full spiritual stabilization of the ascending mortal. Meanwhile the presence of the mortal free will affords the Adjuster an eternal channel for the liberation of the divine and infinite nature. Now have these two identities become one; no event of time or of eternity can ever separate man and Adjuster; they are inseparable, eternally fused. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:7.10)
The Eternal and Divine Purpose
There is a great and glorious purpose in the march of the universes through space. All of your mortal struggling is not in vain. We are all part of an immense plan, a gigantic enterprise, and it is the vastness of the undertaking that renders it impossible to see very much of it at any one time and during any one life. We are all a part of an eternal project which the Gods are supervising and outworking. The whole marvelous and universal mechanism moves on majestically through space to the music of the meter of the infinite thought and the eternal purpose of the First Great Source and Center.
The eternal purpose of the eternal God is a high spiritual ideal. The events of time and the struggles of material existence are but the transient scaffolding which bridges over to the other side, to the promised land of spiritual reality and supernal existence. Of course, you mortals find it difficult to grasp the idea of an eternal purpose; you are virtually unable to comprehend the thought of eternity, something never beginning and never ending. Everything familiar to you has an end.
As regards an individual life, the duration of a realm, or the chronology of any connected series of events, it would seem that we are dealing with an isolated stretch of time; everything seems to have a beginning and an end. And it would appear that a series of such experiences, lives, ages, or epochs, when successively arranged, constitutes a straightaway drive, an isolated event of time flashing momentarily across the infinite face of eternity. But when we look at all this from behind the scenes, a more comprehensive view and a more complete understanding suggest that such an explanation is inadequate, disconnected, and wholly unsuited properly to account for, and otherwise to correlate, the transactions of time with the underlying purposes and basic reactions of eternity.
To me it seems more fitting, for purposes of explanation to the mortal mind, to conceive of eternity as a cycle and the eternal purpose as an endless circle, a cycle of eternity in some way synchronized with the transient material cycles of time. As regards the sectors of time connected with, and forming a part of, the cycle of eternity, we are forced to recognize that such temporary epochs are born, live, and die just as the temporary beings of time are born, live, and die. Most human beings die because, having failed to achieve the spirit level of Adjuster fusion, the metamorphosis of death constitutes the only possible procedure whereby they may escape the fetters of time and the bonds of material creation, thereby being enabled to strike spiritual step with the progressive procession of eternity. Having survived the trial life of time and material existence, it becomes possible for you to continue on in touch with, even as a part of, eternity, swinging on forever with the worlds of space around the circle of the eternal ages.
The sectors of time are like the flashes of personality in temporal form; they appear for a season, and then they are lost to human sight, only to reappear as new actors and continuing factors in the higher life of the endless swing around the eternal circle. Eternity can hardly be conceived as a straightaway drive, in view of our belief in a delimited universe moving over a vast, elongated circle around the central dwelling place of the Universal Father.
Frankly, eternity is incomprehensible to the finite mind of time. You simply cannot grasp it; you cannot comprehend it. I do not completely visualize it, and even if I did, it would be impossible for me to convey my concept to the human mind. Nevertheless, I have done my best to portray something of our viewpoint, to tell you somewhat of our understanding of things eternal. I am endeavoring to aid you in the crystallization of your thoughts about these values which are of infinite nature and eternal import.
There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. And the infinite treasures of such a matchless career are yours for the striving!
The goal of eternity is ahead! The adventure of divinity attainment lies before you! The race for perfection is on! whosoever will may enter, and certain victory will crown the efforts of every human being who will run the race of faith and trust, depending every step of the way on the leading of the indwelling Adjuster and on the guidance of that good spirit of the Universe Son, which so freely has been poured out upon all flesh. ~ The Urantia Book, (32:5.1)
We are Father-Fused Mortals
These are the mortals who have been commanded by the Universal Father, "Be you perfect, even as I am perfect." The Father has bestowed himself upon you, placed his own spirit within you; therefore does he demand ultimate perfection of you. The narrative of human ascent from the mortal spheres of time to the divine realms of eternity constitutes an intriguing recital not included in my assignment, but this supernal adventure should be the supreme study of mortal man. ~ The Urantia Book, (40:7.4)
See The Ascension Plan for further study
When the evolving soul and the divine Adjuster are finally and eternally fused, each gains all of the experiencible qualities of the other. This co-ordinate personality possesses all of the experiential memory of survival once held by the ancestral mortal mind and then resident in the morontia soul, and in addition thereto this potential finaliter embraces all the experiential memory of the Adjuster throughout the mortal indwellings of all time. But it will require an eternity of the future for an Adjuster ever completely to endow the personality partnership with the meanings and values which the divine Monitor carries forward from the eternity of the past. ~ The Urantia Book, (110:7.5)
The Mission of Art
The high mission of any art is, by its illusions, to foreshadow a higher universe reality, to crystallize the emotions of time into the thought of eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (48:7.23)
In a high civilization, art humanizes science, while in turn it is spiritualized by true religion —insight into spiritual and eternal values. Art represents the human and time-space evaluation of reality. Religion is the divine embrace of cosmic values and connotes eternal progression in spiritual ascension and expansion. The art of time is dangerous only when it becomes blind to the spirit standards of the divine patterns which eternity reflects as the reality shadows of time. True art is the effective manipulation of the material things of life; religion is the ennobling transformation of the material facts of life, and it never ceases in its spiritual evaluation of art. ~ The Urantia Book, (195:7.16)
Time and Evolution
The individual's yardstick for time measurement is the length of his life. All creatures are thus time conditioned, and therefore do they regard evolution as being a long-drawn-out process. To those of us whose life span is not limited by a temporal existence, evolution does not seem to be such a protracted transaction. On Paradise, where time is nonexistent, these things are all present in the mind of Infinity and the acts of Eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (65:8.3)
The Faith of Jesus
Through the appropriation of the faith of Jesus, mortal man can foretaste in time the realities of eternity. Jesus made the discovery, in human experience, of the Final Father, and his brothers in the flesh of mortal life can follow him along this same experience of Father discovery. They can even attain, as they are, the same satisfaction in this experience with the Father as did Jesus as he was. New potentials were actualized in the universe of Nebadon consequent upon the terminal bestowal of Michael, and one of these was the new illumination of the path of eternity that leads to the Father of all, and which can be traversed even by the mortals of material flesh and blood in the initial life on the planets of space. Jesus was and is the new and living way whereby man can come into the divine inheritance which the Father has decreed shall be his for but the asking. In Jesus there is abundantly demonstrated both the beginnings and endings of the faith experience of humanity, even of divine humanity. ~ The Urantia Book, (101:6.17)
Religion as Man's Liberator
Now, rather, are the sons of God enlisted together in fighting the battle of reality's triumph over the partial shadows of existence. At last all creatures become conscious of the fact that God and all the divine hosts of a well-nigh limitless universe are on their side in the supernal struggle to attain eternity of life and divinity of status. Such faith-liberated sons have certainly enlisted in the struggles of time on the side of the supreme forces and divine personalities of eternity; even the stars in their courses are now doing battle for them; at last they gaze upon the universe from within, from God's viewpoint, and all is transformed from the uncertainties of material isolation to the sureties of eternal spiritual progression. Even time itself becomes but the shadow of eternity cast by Paradise realities upon the moving panoply of space. ~ The Urantia Book, (110:10.9)
The reason of science is based on the observable facts of time; the faith of religion argues from the spirit program of eternity. What knowledge and reason cannot do for us, true wisdom admonishes us to allow faith to accomplish through religious insight and spiritual transformation. ~ The Urantia Book, (102:1.2)
...You have been endowed with a perfect guide; therefore, if you will sincerely run the race of time and gain the final goal of faith, the reward of the ages shall be yours; you will be eternally united with your indwelling Adjuster. Then will begin your real life, the ascending life, to which your present mortal state is but the vestibule. Then will begin your exalted and p rogressive mission as finaliters in the eternity which stretches out before you. And throughout all of these successive ages and stages of evolutionary growth, there is one part of you that remains absolutely unaltered, and that is personality—permanence in the presence of change. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:0.1)
Personality is unique, absolutely unique: It is unique in time and space; it is unique in eternity and on Paradise; it is unique when bestowed—there are no duplicates; it is unique during every moment of existence; it is unique in relation to God—he is no respecter of persons, but neither does he add them together, for they are nonaddable—they are associable but nontotalable. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:0.12)
Actual and Potential
From the time viewpoint, the Actual is that which was and is; the Potential is that which is becoming and will be; the Original is that which is. From the eternity viewpoint, the differences between the Original, the Actual, and the Potential are not thus apparent. These triune qualities are not so distinguished on Paradise-eternity levels. In eternity all is—only has all not yet been revealed in time and space. ~ The Urantia Book, (115:3.11)
God the Supreme and Time
In the Deity of the Supreme the Father-I AM has achieved relatively complete liberation from the limitations inherent in infinity of status, eternity of being, and absoluteness of nature. But God the Supreme has been freed from all existential limitations only by having become subject to experiential qualifications of universal function. In attaining capacity for experience, the finite God also becomes subject to the necessity therefor; in achieving liberation from eternity, the Almighty encounters the barriers of time; and the Supreme could only know growth and development as a consequence of partiality of existence and incompleteness of nature, nonabsoluteness of being. ~ The Urantia Book, (115:7.1)
God the Supreme is not the Paradise Trinity, neither is he any one or all of those superuniverse Creators whose functional activities actually synthesize his evolving almighty power. God the Supreme, while of origin in the Trinity, becomes manifest to evolutionary creatures as a personality of power only through the co-ordinated functions of the first three levels of God the Sevenfold. The Almighty Supreme is now factualizing in time and space through the activities of the Supreme Creator Personalities, even as in eternity the Conjoint Actor flashed into being by the will of the Universal Father and the Eternal Son. These beings of the first three levels of God the Sevenfold are the very nature and source of the power of the Almighty Supreme; therefore must they ever accompany and sustain his administrative acts. ~ The Urantia Book, (116:2.14)
The great struggle of this universe age is between the potential and the actual—the seeking for actualization by all that is as yet unexpressed. If mortal man proceeds upon the Paradise adventure, he is following the motions of time, which flow as currents within the stream of eternity; if mortal man rejects the eternal career, he is moving counter to the stream of events in the finite universes. The mechanical creation moves on inexorably in accordance with the unfolding purpose of the Paradise Father , but the volitional creation has the choice of accepting or of rejecting the role of personality participation in the adventure of eternity. Mortal man cannot destroy the supreme values of human existence, but he can very definitely prevent the evolution of these values in his own personal experience. To the extent that the human self thus refuses to take part in the Paradise ascent, to just that extent is the Supreme delayed in achieving divinity expression in the grand universe. ~ The Urantia Book, (117:4.11)
It may be that on the upper limits of the finite, where time conjoins transcended time, there is some sort of blurring and blending of sequence. It may be that the Supreme is able to forecast his universe presence onto these supertime levels and then to a limited degree anticipate future evolution by reflecting this future forecast back to the created levels as the Immanence of the Projected Incomplete. Such phenomena may be observed wherever finite makes contact with superfinite, as in the experiences of human beings who are indwelt by Thought Adjusters that are veritable predictions of man's future universe attainments throughout all eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (117:7.6)
To realize providence in time, man must accomplish the task of achieving perfection. But man can even now foretaste this providence in its eternity meanings as he ponders the universe fact that all things, be they good or evil, work together for the advancement of God-knowing mortals in their quest for the Father of all. ~ The Urantia Book, (118:10.1)
When men pray for providential intervention in the circumstances of life, many times the answer to their prayer is their own changed attitudes toward life. But providence is not whimsical, neither is it fantastic nor magical. It is the slow and sure emergence of the mighty sovereign of the finite universes, whose majestic presence the evolving creatures occasionally detect in their universe progressions. Providence is the sure and certain march of the galaxies of space and the personalities of time toward the goals of eternity, first in the Supreme, then in the Ultimate, and perhaps in the Absolute. And in infinity we believe there is the same providence, and this is the will, the actions, the purpose of the Paradise Trinity thus motivating the cosmic panorama of universes upon universes. ~ The Urantia Book, (118:10.2)
Jesus is rapidly becoming a man, not just a young man but an adult. He has learned well to bear responsibility. He knows how to carry on in the face of disappointment. He bears up bravely when his plans are thwarted and his purposes temporarily defeated. He has learned how to be fair and just even in the face of injustice. He is learning how to adjust his ideals of spiritual living to the practical demands of earthly existence. He is learning how to plan for the achievement of a higher and distant goal of idealism while he toils earnestly for the attainment of a nearer and immediate goal of necessity. He is steadily acquiring the art of adjusting his aspirations to the commonplace demands of the human occasion. He has very nearly mastered the technique of utilizing the energy of the spiritual drive to turn the mechanism of material achievement. He is slowly learning how to live the heavenly life while he continues on with the earthly existence. More and more he depends upon the ultimate guidance of his heavenly Father while he assumes the fatherly role of guiding and directing the children of his earth family. He is becoming experienced in the skillful wresting of victory from the very jaws of defeat; he is learning how to transform the difficulties of time into the triumphs of eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (127:6.12)
...Jesus is the new and living way from man to God, from the partial to the perfect, from the earthly to the heavenly, from time to eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (129:4.7)
...But the soul that survives time and emerges into eternity must make a living and personal choice between good and evil as they are determined by the true values of the spiritual standards established by the divine spirit which the Father in heaven has sent to dwell within the heart of man. This indwelling spirit is the standard of personality survival. ~ The Urantia Book, (132:2.2)
To the Greek contractor and builder he said: "My friend, as you build the material structures of men, grow a spiritual character in the similitude of the divine spirit within your soul. Do not let your achievement as a temporal builder outrun your attainment as a spiritual son of the kingdom of heaven. While you build the mansions of time for another, neglect not to secure your title to the mansions of eternity for yourself. Ever remember, there is a city whose foundations are righteousness and truth, and whose builder and maker is God." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (133:4.6)
"Always must you recognize the two viewpoints of all mortal conduct— the human and the divine; the ways of the flesh and the way of the spirit; the estimate of time and the viewpoint of eternity." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (140:6.7)
"Because my Father is a God of love and delights in the practice of mercy, do not imbibe the idea that the service of the kingdom is to be one of monotonous ease. The Paradise ascent is the supreme adventure of all time, the rugged achievement of eternity. The service of the kingdom on earth will call for all the courageous manhood that you and your coworkers can muster. " ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (143:1.6)
"...The bonds of time may seem to afflict you, but the God of eternity loves you. And when the time of judgment shall come, fear not, you shall all find, not only justice, but an abundance of mercy. Verily, verily, I say to you: He who hears the gospel of the kingdom and believes in this teaching of sonship with God, has eternal life; already are such believers passing from judgment and death to light and life. And the hour is coming in which even those who are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the resurrection." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, (147:3.3)
Do not become discouraged by the discovery that you are human. Human nature may tend toward evil, but it is not inherently sinful. Be not downcast by your failure wholly to forget some of your regrettable experiences. The mistakes which you fail to forget in time will be forgotten in eternity. Lighten your burdens of soul by speedily acquiring a long-distance view of your destiny, a universe expansion of your career. ~ The Urantia Book, (156:5.8)
The prayers of time, when indited by the spirit and expressed in faith, are often so vast and all-encompassing that they can be answered only in eternity; the finite petition is sometimes so fraught with the grasp of the Infinite that the answer must long be postponed to await the creation of adequate capacity for receptivity; the prayer of faith may be so all-embracing that the answer can be received only on Paradise. ~ The Urantia Book, (168:4.6)