Death - we all will face it sooner or later. Perhaps you are even now facing death, or are dealing with the loss of a loved one. This short study featuring a collection of Urantia Book references regarding death may help you discover a new way to frame death, and give you new hope to come to peace with it.
The Urantia Book shines a welcome light into the traditional gloom of death. We learn that death is "only the beginning," a transition from one world to the next. It is the only way that we can escape earth to begin our "real life, the ascending life."
Please click through on any of the links for an expanded understanding of the referenced quote. You may also wish to read the complete section on The Phenomenon of Death
Love of adventure, curiosity, and dread of monotony—these traits inherent in evolving human nature—were not put there just to aggravate and annoy you during your short sojourn on earth, but rather to suggest to you that death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery. ~ The Urantia Book, (14:5.10)
Urantians generally recognize only one kind of death, the physical cessation of life energies; but concerning personality survival there are really three kinds:
- Spiritual (soul) death. If and when mortal man has finally rejected survival, when he has been pronounced spiritually insolvent, morontially bankrupt, in the conjoint opinion of the Adjuster and the surviving seraphim, when such co-ordinate advice has been recorded on Uversa, and after the Censors and their reflective associates have verified these findings, thereupon do the rulers of Orvonton order the immediate release of the indwelling Monitor. But this release of the Adjuster in no way affects the duties of the personal or group seraphim concerned with that Adjuster-abandoned individual. This kind of death is final in its significance irrespective of the temporary continuation of the living energies of the physical and mind mechanisms. From the cosmic standpoint the mortal is already dead; the continuing life merely indicates the persistence of the material momentum of cosmic energies.
- Intellectual (mind) death. When the vital circuits of higher adjutant ministry are disrupted through the aberrations of intellect or because of the partial destruction of the mechanism of the brain, and if these conditions pass a certain critical point of irreparability, the indwelling Adjuster is immediately released to depart for Divinington. On the universe records a mortal personality is considered to have met with death whenever the essential mind circuits of human will-action have been destroyed. And again, this is death, irrespective of the continuing function of the living mechanism of the physical body. The body minus the volitional mind is no longer human, but according to the prior choosing of the human will, the soul of such an individual may survive.
- Physical (body and mind) death. When death overtakes a human being, the Adjuster remains in the citadel of the mind until it ceases to function as an intelligent mechanism, about the time that the measurable brain energies cease their rhythmic vital pulsations. Following this dissolution the Adjuster takes leave of the vanishing mind, just as unceremoniously as entry was made years before, and proceeds to Divinington by way of Uversa. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:3.1)
Death added nothing to the intellectual possession or to the spiritual endowment, but it did add to the experiential status the consciousness of survival. ~ The Urantia Book, (48:7.25)
On the universe records a mortal personality is considered to have met with death whenever the essential mind circuits of human will-action have been destroyed. And again, this is death, irrespective of the continuing function of the living mechanism of the physical body. The body minus the volitional mind is no longer human, but according to the prior choosing of the human will, the soul of such an individual may survive. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:3.3)
Census Directors register the existence of a new will creature when the first act of will is performed; they indicate the death of a will creature when the last act of will takes place. ~ The Urantia Book, (24:2.8)
The Soul Survives Death
The soul of man is an experiential acquirement. As a mortal creature chooses to "do the will of the Father in heaven," so the indwelling spirit becomes the father of a new reality in human experience. The mortal and material mind is the mother of this same emerging reality. The substance of this new reality is neither material nor spiritual—it is morontial. This is the emerging and immortal soul which is destined to survive mortal death and begin the Paradise ascension. ~ The Urantia Book, (0:5.10)
The material self, the ego-entity of human identity, is dependent during the physical life on the continuing function of the material life vehicle, on the continued existence of the unbalanced equilibrium of energies and intellect which, on Urantia, has been given the name life. But selfhood of survival value, selfhood that can transcend the experience of death, is only evolved by establishing a potential transfer of the seat of the identity of the evolving personality from the transient life vehicle—the material body—to the more enduring and immortal nature of the morontia soul and on beyond to those levels whereon the soul becomes infused with, and eventually attains the status of, spirit reality. This actual transfer from material association to morontia identification is effected by the sincerity, persistence, and steadfastness of the God-seeking decisions of the human creature. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:2.20)
There is something real, something of human evolution, something additional to the Mystery Monitor, which survives death. This newly appearing entity is the soul, and it survives the death of both your physical body and your material mind. This entity is the conjoint child of the combined life and efforts of the human you in liaison with the divine you, the Adjuster. This child of human and divine parentage constitutes the surviving element of terrestrial origin; it is the morontia self, the immortal soul. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:5.12)
Faith acts to release the superhuman activities of the divine spark, the immortal germ, that lives within the mind of man, and which is the potential of eternal survival. Plants and animals survive in time by the technique of passing on from one generation to another identical particles of themselves. The human soul (personality) of man survives mortal death by identity association with this indwelling spark of divinity, which is immortal, and which functions to perpetuate the human personality upon a continuing and higher level of progressive universe existence. The concealed seed of the human soul is an immortal spirit. The second generation of the soul is the first of a succession of personality manifestations of spiritual and progressing existences, terminating only when this divine entity attains the source of its existence, the personal source of all existence, God, the Universal Father. ~ The Urantia Book, (132:3.6)
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)
Striving for the Ideal Through Real Religion
The pursuit of the ideal—the striving to be Godlike—is a continuous effort before death and after. The life after death is no different in the essentials than the mortal existence. Everything we do in this life which is good contributes directly to the enhancement of the future life. Real religion does not foster moral indolence and spiritual laziness by encouraging the vain hope of having all the virtues of a noble character bestowed upon one as a result of passing through the portals of natural death. True religion does not belittle man's efforts to progress during the mortal lease on life. Every mortal gain is a direct contribution to the enrichment of the first stages of the immortal survival experience. ~ The Urantia Book, (103:5.7)
The highest evidence of the reality and efficacy of religion consists in the fact of human experience; namely, that man, naturally fearful and suspicious, innately endowed with a strong instinct of self-preservation and craving survival after death, is willing fully to trust the deepest interests of his present and future to the keeping and direction of that power and person designated by his faith as God. That is the one central truth of all religion. As to what that power or person requires of man in return for this watchcare and final salvation, no two religions agree; in fact, they all more or less disagree. ~ The Urantia Book, (102:8.1)
What Happens After Death?
...personality records and identification sureties are classified, filed, and preserved during that time which intervenes between mortal death and the hour of repersonalization, the resurrection from death. ~ The Urantia Book, (37:3.8)
For those who do not have personal seraphic guardians, the group custodians faithfully and efficiently perform the same service of identity safekeeping and personality resurrection. The seraphim are indispensable to the reassembly of personality. ~ The Urantia Book, (112:3.6)
The passing of time is of no moment to sleeping mortals; they are wholly unconscious and oblivious to the length of their rest. On reassembly of personality at the end of an age, those who have slept five thousand years will react no differently than those who have rested five days. Aside from this time delay these survivors pass on through the ascension regime identically with those who avoid the longer or shorter sleep of death. ~ The Urantia Book, (30:4.5)
Death and The Mansion World Experience
All mortals of survival status, in the custody of personal guardians of destiny, pass through the portals of natural death and, on the third period, personalize on the mansion worlds. Those accredited beings who have, for any reason, been unable to attain that level of intelligence mastery and endowment of spirituality which would entitle them to personal guardians, cannot thus immediately and directly go to the mansion worlds. Such surviving souls must rest in unconscious sleep until the judgment day of a new epoch, a new dispensation, the coming of a Son of God to call the rolls of the age and adjudicate the realm... ~ The Urantia Book, (30:4.4)
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)
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 Urantia Book, (32:5.4)
Mortals are all animal-origin evolutionary beings of ascendant potential. In origin, nature, and destiny these various groups and types of human beings are not wholly unlike the Urantia peoples. The human races of each world receive the same ministry of the Sons of God and enjoy the presence of the ministering spirits of time. After natural death all types of ascenders fraternize as one morontia family on the mansion worlds. ~ The Urantia Book, (30:4.3)
Though you have morontia bodies, you continue, through all seven of these worlds, to eat, drink, and rest. You partake of the morontia order of food, a kingdom of living energy unknown on the material worlds. Both food and water are fully utilized in the morontia body; there is no residual waste.
You are still a near human and not far removed from the limited viewpoints of mortal life, but each world discloses definite progress. From sphere to sphere you grow less material, more intellectual, and slightly more spiritual. The spiritual progress is greatest on the last three of these seven progressive worlds. ~ The Urantia Book, (47:4.6)
On the mansion worlds the resurrected mortal survivors resume their lives just where they left off when overtaken by death. When you go from Urantia to the first mansion world, you will notice considerable change, but if you had come from a more normal and progressive sphere of time, you would hardly notice the difference except for the fact that you were in possession of a different body; the tabernacle of flesh and blood has been left behind on the world of nativity. ~ The Urantia Book, (47:3.1)
On mansion world number one (or another in case of advanced status) you will resume your intellectual training and spiritual development at the exact level whereon they were interrupted by death. Between the time of planetary death or translation and resurrection on the mansion world, mortal man gains absolutely nothing aside from experiencing the fact of survival. You begin over there right where you leave off down here. ~ The Urantia Book, (47:3.7)
The morontia life, extending as it does over the various stages of the local universe career, is the only possible approach whereby material mortals could attain the threshold of the spirit world. What magic could death, the natural dissolution of the material body, hold that such a simple step should instantly transform the mortal and material mind into an immortal and perfected spirit? Such beliefs are but ignorant superstitions and pleasing fables. ~ The Urantia Book, (48:0.2)
Natural, physical death is not a mortal inevitability. The majority of advanced evolutionary beings, citizens on worlds existing in the final era of light and life, do not die; they are translated directly from the life in the flesh to the morontia existence. ~ The Urantia Book, (55:2.1)
Primitive Human Concepts Of Death
Death was the supreme shock to evolving man, the most perplexing combination of chance and mystery. Not the sanctity of life but the shock of death inspired fear and thus effectively fostered religion. Among savage peoples death was ordinarily due to violence, so that nonviolent death became increasingly mysterious. Death as a natural and expected end of life was not clear to the consciousness of primitive people, and it has required age upon age for man to realize its inevitability.
Early man accepted life as a fact, while he regarded death as a visitation of some sort. All races have their legends of men who did not die, vestigial traditions of the early attitude toward death. Already in the human mind there existed the nebulous concept of a hazy and unorganized spirit world, a domain whence came all that is inexplicable in human life, and death was added to this long list of unexplained phenomena.
All human disease and natural death was at first believed to be due to spirit influence. Even at the present time some civilized races regard disease as having been produced by "the enemy" and depend upon religious ceremonies to effect healing. Later and more complex systems of theology still ascribe death to the action of the spirit world, all of which has led to such doctrines as original sin and the fall of man. ~ The Urantia Book, (86:3.1)
The primitive doctrine of survival after death was not necessarily a belief in immortality. Beings who could not count over twenty could hardly conceive of infinity and eternity; they rather thought of recurring incarnations. ~ The Urantia Book, (86:4.5)
Magic gained such a strong hold upon the savage because he could not grasp the concept of natural death. The later idea of original sin helped much to weaken the grip of magic on the race in that it accounted for natural death. It was at one time not at all uncommon for ten innocent persons to be put to death because of supposed responsibility for one natural death. ~ The Urantia Book, (88:4.7)
As the savage mind evolved to that point where it envisaged both good and bad spirits, and when the taboo received the solemn sanction of evolving religion, the stage was all set for the appearance of the new conception of sin. The idea of sin was universally established in the world before revealed religion ever made its entry. It was only by the concept of sin that natural death became logical to the primitive mind. Sin was the transgression of taboo, and death was the penalty of sin. ~ The Urantia Book, (89:2.2)