Let us know what you think.
Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:24 pm +0000
Hello fellow Urantians,
I'm new here, so I wish to proceed with caution and ask for your opinions.
I perused the Urantia Book and felt that it mainly promoted Christianity...so...I edited and condensed it into a 502 page book called Urantia United - (subtitle) Tapping Into The Mind Of God - For Religious Equality.
I would love to have some feedback on it ...and it is free to anyone who wishes to receive it...by emailing me at email@example.com
Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:16 am +0000
Howdy Kurt. I'll take a look.
You might try looking at "The Story of Everything"
As told in The Urantia Book an overview by Michelle Klimish
Published by Square Circles Publishing, Inc. Glendale Ca. http://squarecircles.com/
Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:43 am +0000
You've asked for opinions and this topic about interpreting The Urantia Book is a good one to bring up.
If you've ever read a Reader's Digest Condensed novel you could conclude that you had just read the real thing until you checked the number of pages and found out that what you'd read was about two thirds the size of the original. If the original author was a good one some of the richness may have been lost but for the most part the story would be as satisfying as the original. So, if this were a book like all the others that have been printed then any form of condensation could prove meaningful.
The Urantia Book wasn't produced to be a satisfying read. And in the first 3 paragraphs of the Foreword the authors explain in effect that English was the chosen language because of its richness of vocabulary and expression of thought and in fact the Foreword, the most difficult to understand Paper in the book, is more than likely the most valuable and necessary one; it sets out to define precisely how particular words and concepts will be used and what they will mean when they are used, giving them interpretation and scope beyond their usual usage. Still, the revelators use phrases like "It is indeed difficult to find suitable words in the English language whereby to designate and wherewith to describe ..."
The more one reads and studies this book the more one comes to recognize that the language construction conveys concepts that the words themselves don't hold. There are some students of the book who will say that in their opinion there is hardly one superfluous word in all the 1.1 million used. This is not a book of words relating facts as much as it is a book of words relating truths which are beyond the meanings of the words themselves; facts are essentially cold and dead while truths are living and warm. The Urantia Book is not simply a fact book, it is a truth book because it is an epochal revelation of truth, much as if you were able to physically sit at the side of Jesus and talk with him you would be having the experience of receiving epochal revelation.
A number of condensations of Urantia Book concepts and teachings have been written in the past in an attempt to help those unfamiliar with the book understand it. I can say with some assurance that not one person who has read anything "about" The Urantia Book has ever understood its revelatory mission. They have garnered new facts, maybe sufficient new facts to make them interested in reading the book, but they've not received the revelation because that lies between and outside the words; one has to sit with the book on one's lap and read the book itself in order to participate in the fifth epochal revelation to the world. The recently printed book, "The Story of Everything" by Michelle Klimesh is an excellent condensation, paragraph by paragraph and Paper by Paper of the book — it provides the facts but has lost the revelation. There is no substitute for reading the book for oneself — it's too important to do half-heartedly.
Hopefully you personally have received benefit by doing the work of condensing the book — there is value in the mental processes required for such an undertaking. Just as the book says that the easiest path to understanding would be for us to read from simple and finite to complex and infinite, from human origins to divine destinies it also says that procedure does not lead to wisdom or divine destiny and therefore the book is written in a more complex fashion. As close as The Urantia Book can come to being infallible it doesn't claim that distinction and goes on to say that "nothing which human nature has touched can be regarded as infallible. Through the mind of man divine truth may indeed shine forth, but always of relative purity and partial divinity." So if one is looking for truth I would wonder at the purpose of reading 600 pages of human construction versus a book by celestial beings who knew of what they spoke.
This is also one of the reasons translations of The Urantia Book may be of marginal spiritual value. One of Adam and Eve's many aborted tasks was to establish a world-wide language. Languages express concepts in different ways — accurately converting words from English into Spanish will not necessarily convey the desired concept. Perhaps English is becoming the one-world language to take the place of whatever Adam and Eve would have provided, but in any case English was the language chosen by the revelators. Translations can bring forth the facts, which in The Urantia Book are highly impressive, but the truth content will be diminished and much of the value of the revelation will be lost through any translation because of the great care taken by the revelators in the use of English to convey new meanings and values. Your perusal of The Urantia Book led you to the incorrect assumption that it mainly promoted Christianity and I assume that English is your native language. Consider how difficult it is to convert even more obscure concepts into a non-English language without interjecting additional incorrect assumptions.
Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:28 am +0000
kkawohl wrote:I perused the Urantia Book and felt that it mainly promoted Christianity...
I disagree with the viewpoint that the UB promotes Christianity. Certainly one could argue that Jesus seems to be the central figure of both the New Testament and the UB, but once you go beyond that issue it is comparing apples to oranges. All throughout the UB it consistently informs us that any particular denomination is no more important than any other. It is the spiritual truth which is important. The UB even informs us that "The many religions of Urantia are all good to the extent that they bring man to God and bring the realization of the Father to man."[92:7.3]. It informs us that "religion" is simply one person's personal relationship with God. These two concepts can hardly be considered promotion of Christianity and these concepts are representative of the consistent message presented throughout the whole book. The UB is a revelation, not a religion. It can be used to enhance one's current religion or it can help one develop a personal religion, but again I don't believe it promotes any particular denomination.
Finally, I agree with Larry that with this particular volume, condensation would very drastically reduce the amount of truth and understanding one could glean compared to reading the unabridged text. Companion works are inevitable and welcome, but they are certainly not an adequate substitute for the original source.
Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:08 am +0000
I agree that Christianity and Jesusonian religion share similarities on the surface which would lead one who does not look deeply into the subject to tend to equate them. However, the truth of religious living does not belong to any particular practice or belief system. All religions of merit share the basic concept of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
The Urantia Papers promote FOGBOM. The fact that Christianity may be closer to the truth because of its close real life association with Michael will tend to at first point toward Christianity as more valid than other possible religious choices. Should one decide to be a follower rather than a practitioner of religion Christianity may be the best choice today. This is not a fault of the Papers.
As to the translations, I agree with Larry. The text seems to be, by design, capable of growing with the reader. I do not believe humans are capable of translating this feature. I believe every word in the revelation was particularly chosen. There was a precision beyond the ability of a human (at least this human) to comprehend in these choices as evidenced by the changing nature of personal comprehension with repeated reperusals.
I cannot state that the Spirit of Truth is incapable of compensation for this lack in condensations or translations. I would think the Spirit capable of overcoming this difficulty, but the human subject factor plays a part in this question. Can environmental and cultural factors be surmounted? Possibly, I do not know.
Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:17 am +0000
The UB is absolutely beautifully written...but it was written in 1934 when phrases like "superior races" and inferior races" were acceptable...and Jesus was promoted and favored as the "Son of God" over God's other children...this leads to religious prejudice.
The condensed version is what was confirmed by my own spiritual experiences. (see my web)
I sincerely appreciate your comments.
Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:20 am +0000
Political correctness does not equal truth.
Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:27 am +0000
The Ultimate Truth is indecipherable by the human mind and can only be divulged to the spirit which also often misinterprets its meaning, hence we have various religions and beliefs.
IMHO, most of God's messages may have been misinterpreted slightly due to the messengers' conditioning or any prior superstitious belief.
Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:52 pm +0000
There is no question that the UB is a book geared toward the Judeo-Christian perspective, if only for the fact of the story of Jesus, the creator of our local universe.
Melchizedek fostered Abraham who fostered Judaism which received Jesus who, as a boy, was steeped in the Hebrew scriptures; he quoted from the Koran as a teacher and preacher of the new revelation. It is scant wonder that people look at the UBook and see Christian influence all over it. Were it not for the segments at the very end of the Book (Christianity's Problem and The Future, in particular) it would be difficult to tell if it had not been published by a new Christian sect.
Yes, I can see where somebody who was impressed with the cosmology of the Urantia Papers, discussions of the ministering spirits and myriad sons of God, as well as the history of the planet would benefit; it would be very mind-expanding to that 3/4 of the world's population who may not look kindly on Christ, Christianity, Jesus, or the white man's religion since our popularity (Judeo-Christian) is rightfully besmirched.
I can also see where someday someone will re-write the UB with less focus on the prejudicial aspects of "Jesus the Christ" -- although his life as a man and his teachings are worthy of note, along with the lives and teachings of other great religious men throughout history.
Alas, I do think Christian Urantia Book readers tend to continue to see themselves as somehow superior, just because they followed the original biblical scriptures into a new revelation. It is a huge hurdle that will need to be overcome.
I personally adore Jesus, precisely because I came to know him through the Urantia Papers, but I am sure he would not mind if we overlooked the story of his bestowal experience if we could effectuate the gospel of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man -- ALL mankind, not just the Judeo-Christian sector.
Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:03 pm +0000
Gerdean, that was beautifully paraphrased and I am in total agreement with you. It is for that exact purpose that I edited and condensed the UB.
The Foreword starts with:
The goals of most religions are the same, a deserved, appropriate, just finale. As time passes and when people eventually transcend their religious prejudices they will assign equal validity to all religions that promote peace, love and compassion for others. Righteous living will determine the continuity and destiny of our soul. Our goal in life should be to acquire knowledge, gather positive experiences and live righteously so that our soul can be a part of, and add to the glory of God.
"Follow the religion that is in your heart", be it Bahaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, etc. "Every religion leads to the same divine goal. The three basic principles are: Truth, Simplicity, and Love". ~ Babaji
Pope John Paul described heaven as “neither an abstraction nor a physical place among the clouds, but a blessed community”. His interpretation was based on his insight and intellect and if we continue to build on that premise, religious discord can be subdued and eventually eliminated. A community is a group that shares common characteristics or interests. In order to give equal weight to all beliefs one has to admit that the ultimate truth is indecipherable by the human mind and can only be divulged to the spirit which also often misinterprets its meaning, hence we have various religions and beliefs.
"The Messengers of God are the principal and the first teachers. Whenever this world becomes dark, and divided in its opinions and indifferent, God will send one of His Holy Messengers...." and "Therefore we must follow and adore the virtues revealed in the Messengers of God whether in Abraham, Moses, Jesus" Muhammad "or other prophets but we must not adhere to and adore the lamp. We must recognize the sun no matter from what dawning-point it may shine forth, be it Mosaic, Abrahamic or any personal point of orientation whatever, for we are lovers of sunlight and not of orientation". ~ Abdu'l-Baha
Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:26 pm +0000
Precisely. By our fruits we shall be known. Not by our tenets or our holy books.
Oh, and I do appreciate Abdu'l-Baha. He is such a charming blend of contemporary and traditional.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:39 am +0000
No the Urantia Papers should not be edited at all. It was presented that way and should be studied as a whole.
Thats exactly what the early priests did with the bible and the book of revelation leading to a lost of information.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:42 am +0000
What a task! Congratulations. I am sure it will help someone. As a long-time Baha'i, I see the UB as a Book given to us on earth to give a huge panoramic view of Reality. A view above and beyond religion. A view that appreciates and includes religion.
I would rather tackle a hard read by a Messenger of God than read a re-write by a 'normal person.' In some way, the UB can be taken to be very anti-Christian. It presents Itself as a Revelation beyond the Holy Bible ! Not
nice for 90+% of Christians.
Thanks for your efforts.
Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:39 pm +0000
fatboy2 wrote:Hi Kurt,
I would rather tackle a hard read by a Messenger of God
than read a re-write by a 'normal person.'
Please see http://transcendentalists.org
Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:07 am +0000
I buy what you say. "Message greater than the Messenger?" In general, I do agree with you. The message is the deal. Taken to the highest level, I believe it can be seem differently. God is God the Father even if He Chooses to Give no message.
He is. His Message comes after a stage in evolution is reached. The stage where listeners and hearers can handle some of the Message.
love from FB2
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
phpBB Mobile / SEO by Artodia.