The original and eternal Paradise Trinity is existential and was inevitable. This never-beginning Trinity was inherent in the fact of the differentiation of the personal and the nonpersonal by the Father's unfettered will and factualized when his personal will co-ordinated these dual realities by mind. ~ The Urantia Book, (0:12.1)
The Paradise Trinity—the eternal Deity union of the Universal Father, the Eternal Son, and the Infinite Spirit—is existential in actuality, but all potentials are experiential. Therefore does this Trinity constitute the only Deity reality embracing infinity, and therefore do there occur the universe phenomena of the actualization of God the Supreme, God the Ultimate, and God the Absolute. ~ The Urantia Book, (0:12.2)
The philosophers of the universes postulate a Trinity of Trinities, an existential-experiential Trinity Infinite, but they are not able to envisage its personalization; possibly it would equivalate to the person of the Universal Father on the conceptual level of the I AM. But irrespective of all this, the original Paradise Trinity is potentially infinite since the Universal Father actually is infinite. ~ The Urantia Book, (0:12.9)
The fact of the Paradise Trinity in no manner violates the truth of the divine unity. The three personalities of Paradise Deity are, in all universe reality reactions and in all creature relations, as one. Neither does the existence of these three eternal persons violate the truth of the indivisibility of Deity. I am fully aware that I have at my command no language adequate to make clear to the mortal mind how these universe problems appear to us. But you should not become discouraged; not all of these things are wholly clear to even the high personalities belonging to my group of Paradise beings. Ever bear in mind that these profound truths pertaining to Deity will increasingly clarify as your minds become progressively spiritualized during the successive epochs of the long mortal ascent to Paradise. ~ The Urantia Book, (1:7.8)
Divinity and eternity the Father shares with large numbers of the higher Paradise beings, but we question whether infinity and consequent universal primacy is fully shared with any save his co-ordinate associates of the Paradise Trinity. Infinity of personality must, perforce, embrace all finitude of personality; hence the truth—literal truth—of the teaching which declares that "In him we live and move and have our being." That fragment of the pure Deity of the Universal Father which indwells mortal man is a part of the infinity of the First Great Source and Center, the Father of Fathers. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:1.11)
Divine mercy represents a fairness technique of adjustment between the universe levels of perfection and imperfection. Mercy is the justice of Supremacy adapted to the situations of the evolving finite, the righteousness of eternity modified to meet the highest interests and universe welfare of the children of time. Mercy is not a contravention of justice but rather an understanding interpretation of the demands of supreme justice as it is fairly applied to the subordinate spiritual beings and to the material creatures of the evolving universes. Mercy is the justice of the Paradise Trinity wisely and lovingly visited upon the manifold intelligences of the creations of time and space as it is formulated by divine wisdom and determined by the all-knowing mind and the sovereign free will of the Universal Father and all his associated Creators. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:4.5)
God is never wrathful, vengeful, or angry. It is true that wisdom does often restrain his love, while justice conditions his rejected mercy. His love of righteousness cannot help being exhibited as equal hatred for sin. The Father is not an inconsistent personality; the divine unity is perfect. In the Paradise Trinity there is absolute unity despite the eternal identities of the co-ordinates of God. ~ The Urantia Book, (2:6.7)
God is unlimited in power, divine in nature, final in will, infinite in attributes, eternal in wisdom, and absolute in reality. But all these characteristics of the Universal Father are unified in Deity and universally expressed in the Paradise Trinity and in the divine Sons of the Trinity. ~ The Urantia Book, (3:2.12)
One of the greatest sources of confusion on Urantia concerning the nature of God grows out of the failure of your sacred books clearly to distinguish between the personalities of the Paradise Trinity and between Paradise Deity and the local universe creators and administrators. During the past dispensations of partial understanding, your priests and prophets failed clearly to differentiate between Planetary Princes, System Sovereigns, Constellation Fathers, Creator Sons, Superuniverse Rulers, the Supreme Being, and the Universal Father. Many of the messages of subordinate personalities, such as Life Carriers and various orders of angels, have been, in your records, presented as coming from God himself. Urantian religious thought still confuses the associate personalities of Deity with the Universal Father himself, so that all are included under one appellation. ~ The Urantia Book, (4:5.2)
In an effort to enable the finite mind of time to form some sequential concept of the relationships of the eternal and infinite beings of the Paradise Trinity, we utilize such license of conception as to refer to the "Father's first personal, universal, and infinite concept." It is impossible for me to convey to the human mind any adequate idea of the eternal relations of the Deities; therefore do I employ such terms as will afford the finite mind something of an idea of the relationship of these eternal beings in the subsequent eras of time. We believe the Son sprang from the Father; we are taught that both are unqualifiedly eternal. It is apparent, therefore, that no time creature can ever fully comprehend this mystery of a Son who is derived from the Father, and yet who is co-ordinately eternal with the Father himself. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:0.4)
Why The Paradise Trinity?
THE PARADISE TRINITY of eternal Deities facilitates the Father's escape from personality absolutism. The Trinity perfectly associates the limitless expression of God's infinite personal will with the absoluteness of Deity. The Eternal Son and the various Sons of divine origin, together with the Conjoint Actor and his universe children, effectively provide for the Father's liberation from the limitations otherwise inherent in primacy, perfection, changelessness, eternity, universality, absoluteness, and infinity.
The Paradise Trinity effectively provides for the full expression and perfect revelation of the eternal nature of Deity. The Stationary Sons of the Trinity likewise afford a full and perfect revelation of divine justice. The Trinity is Deity unity, and this unity rests eternally upon the absolute foundations of the divine oneness of the three original and co-ordinate and coexistent personalities, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.
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. Given the Paradise Trinity, we can postulate alternate or even multiple ways of doing all things, but without the Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit we are unable to conceive how the Infinite could achieve threefold and co-ordinate personalization in the face of the absolute oneness of Deity. No other concept of creation measures up to the Trinity standards of the completeness of the absoluteness inherent in Deity unity coupled with the repleteness of volitional liberation inherent in the threefold personalization of Deity. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:0.1)
I am of origin in the Paradise Trinity. I know the Trinity as unified Deity; I also know that the Father, Son, and Spirit exist and act in their definite personal capacities. I positively know that they not only act personally and collectively, but that they also co-ordinate their performances in various groupings, so that in the end they function in seven different singular and plural capacities. And since these seven associations exhaust the possibilities for such divinity combination, it is inevitable that the realities of the universe shall appear in seven variations of values, meanings, and personality.
(Statement of a Universal Censor acting by authority from the Ancients of Days, and author of Paper 10) ~ The Urantia Book, (10:2.8)
God is the Father-Absolute of all personalities in the universe of universes. The Father is personally absolute in liberty of action, but in the universes of time and space, made, in the making, and yet to be made, the Father is not discernibly absolute as total Deity except in the Paradise Trinity. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:3.8)
The Trinity Union Of Deity
Of all absolute associations, the Paradise Trinity (the first triunity) is unique as an exclusive association of personal Deity. God functions as God only in relation to God and to those who can know God, but as absolute Deity only in the Paradise Trinity and in relation to universe totality.
Eternal Deity is perfectly unified; nevertheless there are three perfectly individualized persons of Deity. The Paradise Trinity makes possible the simultaneous expression of all the diversity of the character traits and infinite powers of the First Source and Center and his eternal co-ordinates and of all the divine unity of the universe functions of undivided Deity.
The Trinity is an association of infinite persons functioning in a nonpersonal capacity but not in contravention of personality. The illustration is crude, but a father, son, and grandson could form a corporate entity which would be nonpersonal but nonetheless subject to their personal wills.
The Paradise Trinity is real. It exists as the Deity union of Father, Son, and Spirit; yet the Father, the Son, or the Spirit, or any two of them, can function in relation to this selfsame Paradise Trinity. The Father, Son, and Spirit can collaborate in a non-Trinity manner, but not as three Deities. As persons they can collaborate as they choose, but that is not the Trinity.
Ever remember that what the Infinite Spirit does is the function of the Conjoint Actor. Both the Father and the Son are functioning in and through and as him. But it would be futile to attempt to elucidate the Trinity mystery: three as one and in one, and one as two and acting for two.
The Trinity is so related to total universe affairs that it must be reckoned with in our attempts to explain the totality of any isolated cosmic event or personality relationship. The Trinity functions on all levels of the cosmos, and mortal man is limited to the finite level; therefore must man be content with a finite concept of the Trinity as the Trinity.
As a mortal in the flesh you should view the Trinity in accordance with your individual enlightenment and in harmony with the reactions of your mind and soul. You can know very little of the absoluteness of the Trinity, but as you ascend Paradiseward, you will many times experience astonishment at successive revelations and unexpected discoveries of Trinity supremacy and ultimacy, if not of absoluteness. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:4.1)
The functions of the Paradise Trinity are not simply the sum of the Father's apparent endowment of divinity plus those specialized attributes that are unique in the personal existence of the Son and the Spirit. The Trinity association of the three Paradise Deities results in the evolution, eventuation, and deitization of new meanings, values, powers, and capacities for universal revelation, action, and administration. Living associations, human families, social groups, or the Paradise Trinity are not augmented by mere arithmetical summation. The group potential is always far in excess of the simple sum of the attributes of the component individuals. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:5.2)
But I do not command language which would enable me to convey to the limited human mind the full truth and the eternal significance of the Paradise Trinity and the nature of the never-ending interassociation of the three beings of infinite perfection. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:5.8)
As a son of God you can discern the personal attitude of love in all the acts of God the Father. But you will not always be able to understand how many of the universe acts of the Paradise Trinity redound to the good of the individual mortal on the evolutionary worlds of space. In the progress of eternity the acts of the Trinity will be revealed as altogether meaningful and considerate, but they do not always so appear to the creatures of time. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:7.6)
The Universal Father, the Eternal Son, and the Infinite Spirit are, in a certain sense, the constituent personalities of total Deity. Their union in the Paradise Trinity and the absolute function of the Trinity equivalate to the function of total Deity. ~ The Urantia Book, (10:8.3)
Urantia belongs to a local universe whose sovereign is the God-man of Nebadon, Jesus of Nazareth and Michael of Salvington. And all of Michael's plans for this local universe were fully approved by the Paradise Trinity before he ever embarked upon the supreme adventure of space. ~ The Urantia Book, (32:0.3)
Our Creator Son is not the Eternal Son, the existential Paradise associate of the Universal Father and the Infinite Spirit. Michael of Nebadon is not a member of the Paradise Trinity. Nevertheless our Master Son possesses in his realm all of the divine attributes and powers that the Eternal Son himself would manifest were he actually to be present on Salvington and functioning in Nebadon. Michael possesses even additional power and authority, for he not only personifies the Eternal Son but also fully represents and actually embodies the personality presence of the Universal Father to and in this local universe. He even represents the Father-Son. These relationships constitute a Creator Son the most powerful, versatile, and influential of all divine beings who are capable of direct administration of evolutionary universes and of personality contact with immature creature beings. ~ The Urantia Book, (33:1.2)
The oneness, the indivisibility, of Paradise Deity is existential and absolute. There are three eternal personalizations of Deity—the Universal Father, the Eternal Son, and the Infinite Spirit—but in the Paradise Trinity they are actually one Deity, undivided and indivisible. ~ The Urantia Book, (56:5.1)
When the three eternal persons of Deity function as undivided Deity in the Paradise Trinity, they achieve perfect unity; likewise, when they create, either associatively or severally, their Paradise progeny exhibit the characteristic unity of divinity. ~ The Urantia Book, (56:6.1)
On first thought, a concept of the Absolute as ancestor to all things—even the Trinity—seems to afford transitory satisfaction of consistency gratification and philosophic unification, but any such conclusion is invalidated by the actuality of the eternity of the Paradise Trinity. We are taught, and we believe, that the Universal Father and his Trinity associates are eternal in nature and existence. There is, then, but one consistent philosophic conclusion, and that is: The Absolute is, to all universe intelligences, the impersonal and co-ordinate reaction of the Trinity (of Trinities) to all basic and primary space situations, intrauniversal and extrauniversal. To all personality intelligences of the grand universe the Paradise Trinity forever stands in finality, eternity, supremacy, and ultimacy and, for all practical purposes of personal comprehension and creature realization, as absolute.
(Comment by a Mighty Messenger, author of Paper 56) ~ The Urantia Book, (56:9.4)
Some History of the Trinity Concept in Human Development
As early as 16,000 B.C. a company of one hundred Sethite priests entered India and very nearly achieved the religious conquest of the western half of that polyglot people. But their religion did not persist. Within five thousand years their doctrines of the Paradise Trinity had degenerated into the triune symbol of the fire god. ~ The Urantia Book, (79:3.4)
In personal appearance, Melchizedek resembled the then blended Nodite and Sumerian peoples, being almost six feet in height and possessing a commanding presence. He spoke Chaldean and a half dozen other languages. He dressed much as did the Canaanite priests except that on his breast he wore an emblem of three concentric circles, the Satania symbol of the Paradise Trinity. In the course of his ministry this insignia of three concentric circles became regarded as so sacred by his followers that they never dared to use it, and it was soon forgotten with the passing of a few generations. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:2.5)
The symbol of the three concentric circles, which Melchizedek adopted as the insignia of his bestowal, a majority of the people interpreted as standing for the three kingdoms of men, angels, and God. And they were allowed to continue in that belief; very few of his followers ever knew that these three circles were emblematic of the infinity, eternity, and universality of the Paradise Trinity of divine maintenance and direction; even Abraham rather regarded this symbol as standing for the three Most Highs of Edentia, as he had been instructed that the three Most Highs functioned as one. ~ The Urantia Book, (93:3.3)
Growth Of The Trinity Concept
THE TRINITY CONCEPT of revealed religion must not be confused with the triad beliefs of evolutionary religions. The ideas of triads arose from many suggestive relationships but chiefly because of the three joints of the fingers, because three legs were the fewest which could stabilize a stool, because three support points could keep up a tent; furthermore, primitive man, for a long time, could not count beyond three.
Aside from certain natural couplets, such as past and present, day and night, hot and cold, and male and female, man generally tends to think in triads: yesterday, today, and tomorrow; sunrise, noon, and sunset; father, mother, and child. Three cheers are given the victor. The dead are buried on the third day, and the ghost is placated by three ablutions of water.
As a consequence of these natural associations in human experience, the triad made its appearance in religion, and this long before the Paradise Trinity of Deities, or even any of their representatives, had been revealed to mankind. Later on, the Persians, Hindus, Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, and Scandinavians all had triad gods, but these were still not true trinities. Triad deities all had a natural origin and have appeared at one time or another among most of the intelligent peoples of Urantia. Sometimes the concept of an evolutionary triad has become mixed with that of a revealed Trinity; in these instances it is often impossible to distinguish one from the other. ~ The Urantia Book, (104:0.1)
Urantian (Earth) Trinity Concepts
The first Urantian revelation leading to the comprehension of the Paradise Trinity was made by the staff of Prince Caligastia about one-half million years ago. This earliest Trinity concept was lost to the world in the unsettled times following the planetary rebellion.
The second presentation of the Trinity was made by Adam and Eve in the first and second gardens. These teachings had not been wholly obliterated even in the times of Machiventa Melchizedek about thirty-five thousand years later, for the Trinity concept of the Sethites persisted in both Mesopotamia and Egypt but more especially in India, where it was long perpetuated in Agni, the Vedic three-headed fire god.
The third presentation of the Trinity was made by Machiventa Melchizedek and this doctrine was symbolized by the three concentric circles which the sage of Salem wore on his breast plate. But Machiventa found it very difficult to teach the Palestinian Bedouins about the Universal Father, the Eternal Son, and the Infinite Spirit. Most of his disciples thought that the Trinity consisted of the three Most Highs of Norlatiadek; a few conceived of the Trinity as the System Sovereign, the Constellation Father, and the local universe Creator Deity; still fewer even remotely grasped the idea of the Paradise association of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
Through the activities of the Salem missionaries the Melchizedek teachings of the Trinity gradually spread throughout much of Eurasia and northern Africa. It is often difficult to distinguish between the triads and the trinities in the later Andite and the post-Melchizedek ages, when both concepts to a certain extent intermingled and coalesced.
Among the Hindus the trinitarian concept took root as Being, Intelligence, and Joy. (A later Indian conception was Brahma, Siva, and Vishnu.) While the earlier Trinity portrayals were brought to India by the Sethite priests, the later ideas of the Trinity were imported by the Salem missionaries and were developed by the native intellects of India through a compounding of these doctrines with the evolutionary triad conceptions.
The Buddhist faith developed two doctrines of a trinitarian nature: The earlier was Teacher, Law, and Brotherhood; that was the presentation made by Gautama Siddhartha. The later idea, developing among the northern branch of the followers of Buddha, embraced Supreme Lord, Holy Spirit, and Incarnate Savior.
And these ideas of the Hindus and Buddhists were real trinitarian postulates, that is, the idea of a threefold manifestation of a monotheistic God. A true trinity conception is not just a grouping together of three separate gods.
The Hebrews knew about the Trinity from the Kenite traditions of the days of Melchizedek, but their monotheistic zeal for the one God, Yahweh, so eclipsed all such teachings that by the time of Jesus' appearance the Elohim doctrine had been practically eradicated from Jewish theology. The Hebrew mind could not reconcile the trinitarian concept with the monotheistic belief in the One Lord, the God of Israel.
The followers of the Islam faith likewise failed to grasp the idea of the Trinity. It is always difficult for an emerging monotheism to tolerate trinitarianism when confronted by polytheism. The trinity idea takes best hold of those religions which have a firm monotheistic tradition coupled with doctrinal elasticity. The great monotheists, the Hebrews and Mohammedans, found it difficult to distinguish between worshiping three gods, polytheism, and trinitarianism, the worship of one Deity existing in a triune manifestation of divinity and personality.
Jesus taught his apostles the truth regarding the persons of the Paradise Trinity, but they thought he spoke figuratively and symbolically. Having been nurtured in Hebraic monotheism, they found it difficult to entertain any belief that seemed to conflict with their dominating concept of Yahweh. And the early Christians inherited the Hebraic prejudice against the Trinity concept.
The first Trinity of Christianity was proclaimed at Antioch and consisted of God, his Word, and his Wisdom. Paul knew of the Paradise Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit, but he seldom preached about it and made mention thereof in only a few of his letters to the newly forming churches. Even then, as did his fellow apostles, Paul confused Jesus, the Creator Son of the local universe, with the Second Person of Deity, the Eternal Son of Paradise.
The Christian concept of the Trinity, which began to gain recognition near the close of the first century after Christ, was composed of the Universal Father, the Creator Son of Nebadon, and the Divine Minister of Salvington—Mother Spirit of the local universe and creative consort of the Creator Son.
Not since the times of Jesus has the factual identity of the Paradise Trinity been known on Urantia (except by a few individuals to whom it was especially revealed) until its presentation in these revelatory disclosures. But though the Christian concept of the Trinity erred in fact, it was practically true with respect to spiritual relationships. Only in its philosophic implications and cosmological consequences did this concept suffer embarrassment: It has been difficult for many who are cosmic minded to believe that the Second Person of Deity, the second member of an infinite Trinity, once dwelt on Urantia; and while in spirit this is true, in actuality it is not a fact. The Michael Creators fully embody the divinity of the Eternal Son, but they are not the absolute personality. ~ The Urantia Book, (104:1.1)
Trinity Unity And Deity Plurality
Monotheism arose as a philosophic protest against the inconsistency of polytheism. It developed first through pantheon organizations with the departmentalization of supernatural activities, then through the henotheistic exaltation of one god above the many, and finally through the exclusion of all but the One God of final value.
Trinitarianism grows out of the experiential protest against the impossibility of conceiving the oneness of a deanthropomorphized solitary Deity of unrelated universe significance. Given a sufficient time, philosophy tends to abstract the personal qualities from the Deity concept of pure monotheism, thus reducing this idea of an unrelated God to the status of a pantheistic Absolute. It has always been difficult to understand the personal nature of a God who has no personal relationships in equality with other and co-ordinate personal beings. Personality in Deity demands that such Deity exist in relation to other and equal personal Deity.
Through the recognition of the Trinity concept the mind of man can hope to grasp something of the interrelationship of love and law in the time-space creations. Through spiritual faith man gains insight into the love of God but soon discovers that this spiritual faith has no influence on the ordained laws of the material universe. Irrespective of the firmness of man's belief in God as his Paradise Father, expanding cosmic horizons demand that he also give recognition to the reality of Paradise Deity as universal law, that he recognize the Trinity sovereignty extending outward from Paradise and overshadowing even the evolving local universes of the Creator Sons and Creative Daughters of the three eternal persons whose deity union is the fact and reality and eternal indivisibility of the Paradise Trinity.
And this selfsame Paradise Trinity is a real entity—not a personality but nonetheless a true and absolute reality; not a personality but nonetheless compatible with coexistent personalities—the personalities of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The Trinity is a supersummative Deity reality eventuating out of the conjoining of the three Paradise Deities. The qualities, characteristics, and functions of the Trinity are not the simple sum of the attributes of the three Paradise Deities; Trinity functions are something unique, original, and not wholly predictable from an analysis of the attributes of Father, Son, and Spirit.
For example: The Master, when on earth, admonished his followers that justice is never a personal act; it is always a group function. Neither do the Gods, as persons, administer justice. But they perform this very function as a collective whole, as the Paradise Trinity.
The conceptual grasp of the Trinity association of Father, Son, and Spirit prepares the human mind for the further presentation of certain other threefold relationships. Theological reason may be fully satisfied by the concept of the Paradise Trinity, but philosophical and cosmological reason demand the recognition of the other triune associations of the First Source and Center, those triunities in which the Infinite functions in various non-Father capacities of universal manifestation—the relationships of the God of force, energy, power, causation, reaction, potentiality, actuality, gravity, tension, pattern, principle, and unity. ~ The Urantia Book, (104:2.1)
The Universal Father in the Paradise Trinity is the I AM of the Trinity of Trinities, and the failure to experience the Father as infinite is due to finite limitations. The concept of the existential, solitary, pre-Trinity nonattainable I AM and the postulate of the experiential post-Trinity of Trinities and attainable I AM are one and the same hypothesis; no actual change has taken place in the Infinite; all apparent developments are due to increased capacities for reality reception and cosmic appreciation.
The I AM, in the final analysis, must exist before all existentials and after all experientials. While these ideas may not clarify the paradoxes of eternity and infinity in the human mind, they should at least stimulate such finite intellects to grapple anew with these never-ending problems, problems which will continue to intrigue you on Salvington and later as finaliters and on throughout the unending future of your eternal careers in the wide-spreading universes. ~ The Urantia Book, (106:9.9)