I first came into contact with The Urantia Book in November, 1970, when I was 21 years old and living in a little town near Vail, Colorado. I had recently befriended a local grade- school teacher. One day he told me he was going to Colorado Springs to visit his family and pick up a book that had been described to him as "amazing." Other than this vague but enthusiastic recommendation, he knew nothing about the book. I gave him $15 and asked him to buy a copy for me, too. To this day I do not know why I did that. He and I weren't close buddies, and I had no particular reason to trust his taste in literature.
But in light of what happened next, I wonder if some unseen helper influenced me to reach for my wallet. I got the book and began reading it. I was not the kind of person to read big books, but I was not put off by this one. Since it was obvious that the first part of the book was well over my head, I did as many others have done - I read the book backwards, Part IV first and Part I last.
I was an eager reader and was more than halfway through The Urantia Book when, in January of 1971, disaster struck. Jenny, the woman I was living with in common-law marriage, died in a freak accident. I was devastated. When such a crisis occurs, all but the core of one's essence is stripped away. I had to examine my reality in its purest state. (I had felt this before when I was 13 and almost died in a ditch. I had grabbed a live wire, was severely shocked, then passed out face down in shallow water and almost drowned.)
As I had just begun reading The Urantia Book, not as many of its teachings had been integrated into my universe as they now are. Yet, I did have an interesting experience. On the night of Jenny's death, as I grieved and prayed, thrown into a trance by the emotional crisis, I found myself in a void. There was no light or dark, no matter or substance. Whether it was purely mental, or whether I was being spiritually influenced, I do not know.
I asked (or, more accurately, I felt), "How can this be?" My plea was for answers from the foundation of primal reality; it spanned the complete void as well as total existence, including all of life and death. The answer came back from within and without: "Because I Am." It was then that I knew I would be fine. I knew that I would grow to understand, accept, and eventually deal with Jenny's death, and everything else for that matter, sooner or later.
Since then I have tried to live the teachings of The Urantia Book, to grow and become more than I am. I realized then, as I do now, that there is a future self that I will become. One can attach the mind to that more complete ideal of one's self which will, by one's choices and experiences, draw oneself forward to that new state of existence. That future self is, of course, the Thought Adjuster, as well as all of one's intermediate selves that occur before fusion.
The teachings of The Urantia Book, and my ever-expanding appreciation of beauty, understanding of truth, and living of goodness, are my religion.