You wrote: “This sounds like a Urantia cult and sci-fi to me.” Thanks for your comment, which I am going to treat as a question, so that I can respond to you.
The word “cult” is an interesting one…in our modern common usage, the cult usually has either a spiritual element, but more often, a sinister element:
(from the Online Merriam-Webster) noun, often attributive \’k?lt\
Definition of CULT
- formal religious veneration : worship
- a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
- a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
And from the Merriam-Webster Concise Encyclopedia:
Cult: Collective veneration or worship (e.g., the cult of the saints— meaning collective veneration of the saints—in Roman Catholicism). In the West, the term has come to be used for groups that are perceived to have deviated from normative religions in belief and practice. They typically have a charismatic leader and attract followers who are in some way disenfranchised from the mainstream of society. Cults as thus defined are often viewed as foreign or dangerous.
It wasn’t always so. In the 1930s, when The Urantia Book was completed, a dictionary of that day defined “cult” this way:
Cult. Cult n .[F. culte, L. cultus care, culture, fr. colere to cultivate. Cf. Cultus.]
Attentive care; homage; worship.
“Every one is convinced of the reality of a better self, and of the cult or homage which is due to it.” ~ Shaftesbury.
A system of religious belief and worship.
“That which was the religion of Moses is the ceremonial or cult of the religion of Christ.” ~ Coleridge.
There was no hint of anything but goodness associated with the word at that time. And the common usage of the English language of that day was used in delivering the book to us.
I feel certain, of course, that your query as to The Urantia Book being part of a cult is of the more sinister element. But, I can assure you that it is anything but. First of all, readers of The Urantia Book are not especially organized. There is no universally recognized human charismatic leader (unless you want to call Jesus our leader…); sincere reader/believers of the book come from all walks of life and are actively engaged in life as few others are.
The interesting thing I want to share with you is that the book itself discusses cults, and the need for them. Again, bear in mind that the word “cult” as used in 1934 had no element of evil associated with it. You can read about The Nature of Cultism HERE. I hope you’ll find it interesting.
It may be that in generations to come, reader/believers of The Urantia Book may progress to form some kind of benign cult, but we’ll probably have to adopt a new word for it, since the word as commonly used is pretty dismal to describe what this new, inclusive brotherhood of believers is all about.
As for the sci-fi connection—you are not alone in the suspicion that The Urantia Book is all about aliens…a lot of people have this mistaken notion. The book does discuss extraterrestrial beings, but again, not in the sense that aliens are popularly seen and thought of in our modern society. There have been extraterrestrial visitors here; Adam and Eve were extraterrestrials; so was Melchizedek, so are angels. The universe is teeming with life, and The Urantia Book tells us their stories. If you just look at the night sky—if you marvel at the amazing images that we see from our space telescopes—if you wonder about life on other planets out there—well, The Urantia Book will help you put it all into a very sane, reasonable context. It won’t be scary, but inspiring…
There’s no real harm in approaching the book from the sci-fi angle, but if you are looking for scary monsters with grey skin and strange eyes and sinister plans for humanity, you won’t find them in The Urantia Book. We learn that the universe is mind-made and mind-managed, and that it is friendly to mortals. We humans are an integral part of the cosmos, and we have nothing to fear from any being in the universe. In fact, a plan of mortal ascension is in place for us; many celestial personalities take part in this plan in order to assist humans. There’s nothing woo-woo about it—it is just the way it is, and we can be grateful…celestial personalities act as teachers and companions on our eternal adventure, and many even assist us here on earth although they remain unseen to our human sight.
No matter how one approaches the book, if one is sincere, one will eventually become integrated in their understanding of—not only The Urantia Book—but of their personal place in the creation and the thrilling destiny that is theirs for the asking.
Thanks again for this question, and I hope that my reply has been helpful to you…I have provided you with several underlined links which will help you gain a deeper understanding. I hope you’ll take the time to find out more about The Urantia Book. It belongs to you!
Feel free to write again any time!!!
Date published: 2014-06-18 09:53:19
Author: Truthbook Staff