What is Language?
In language, an alphabet represents the mechanism of materialism, while the words expressive of the meaning of a thousand thoughts, grand ideas, and noble ideals—of love and hate, of cowardice and courage—represent the performances of mind within the scope defined by both material and spiritual law, directed by the assertion of the will of personality, and limited by the inherent situational endowment. ~ The Urantia Book, (195:7.21)
The Urantia Revelation - Authorized in the English Language
IN THE MINDS of the mortals of Urantia—that being the name of your world—there exists great confusion respecting the meaning of such terms as God, divinity, and deity. Human beings are still more confused and uncertain about the relationships of the divine personalities designated by these numerous appellations. Because of this conceptual poverty associated with so much ideational confusion, I have been directed to formulate this introductory statement in explanation of the meanings which should be attached to certain word symbols as they may be hereinafter used in those papers which the Orvonton corps of truth revealers have been authorized to translate into the English language of Urantia. ~ The Urantia Book, (0:0.1)
Limitations of Language
It is exceedingly difficult to present enlarged concepts and advanced truth, in our endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception, when we are restricted to the use of a circumscribed language of the realm. But our mandate admonishes us to make every effort to convey our meanings by using the word symbols of the English tongue. ~ The Urantia Book, (0:0.2)
We speak of God's "first" thought and allude to an impossible time origin of the Eternal Son for the purpose of gaining access to the thought channels of the human intellect. Such distortions of language represent our best efforts at contact-compromise with the time-bound minds of mortal creatures. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:0.2)
It is indeed difficult to find suitable words in the English language whereby to designate and wherewith to describe the various levels of force and energy —physical, mindal, or spiritual. These narratives cannot altogether follow your accepted definitions of force, energy, and power. There is such paucity of language that we must use these terms in multiple meanings. ~ The Urantia Book, (42:2.1)
There is no language in the past, present, or future of Urantia adequate to express the reality of infinity or the infinity of reality. Man, a finite creature in an infinite cosmos, must content himself with distorted reflections and attenuated conceptions of that limitless, boundless, never-beginning, never-ending existence the comprehension of which is really beyond his ability. ~ The Urantia Book, (115:3.1)
The Angels Speak our Language
When assigned to a planet, cherubim enter the local courses of training, including a study of planetary usages and languages. The ministering spirits of time are all bilingual, speaking the language of the local universe of their origin and that of their native superuniverse. By study in the schools of the realms they acquire additional tongues. Cherubim and sanobim, like seraphim and all other orders of spirit beings, are continuously engaged in efforts at self-improvement. Only such as the subordinate beings of power control and energy direction are incapable of progression; all creatures having actual or potential personality volition seek new achievements. ~ The Urantia Book, (38:7.5)
Music is the Universal Language
It is literally true, "melody has power a whole world to transform." Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits. Harmony is the speech of Havona. ~ The Urantia Book, (44:1.8)
Language and The Thought Preservers
Thought preservers. These are the artisans dedicated to the preservation of the higher thought of the realms. On the morontia worlds they truly treasure the gems of mentation. Before first coming to Urantia, I saw records and heard broadcasts of the ideation of some of the great minds of this planet. Thought recorders preserve such noble ideas in the tongue of Uversa.
Each superuniverse has its own language, a tongue spoken by its personalities and prevailing throughout its sectors. This is known as the tongue of Uversa in our superuniverse. Each local universe also has its own language. All of the higher orders of Nebadon are bilingual, speaking both the language of Nebadon and the tongue of Uversa. When two individuals from different local universes meet, they communicate in the tongue of Uversa; if, however, one of them hails from another superuniverse, they must have recourse to a translator. In the central universe there is little need of a language; there exists perfect and well-nigh complete understanding; there, only the Gods are not fully comprehended. We are taught that a chance meeting on Paradise reveals more of mutual understanding than could be communicated by a mortal language in a thousand years. Even on Salvington we "know as we are known."
The ability to translate thought into language in the morontia and spirit spheres is beyond mortal comprehension. Our rate of reducing thought to a permanent record can be so speeded up by the expert recorders that the equivalent of over half a million words, or thought symbols, can be registered in one minute of Urantia time. These universe languages are far more replete than the speech of the evolving worlds. The concept symbols of Uversa embrace more than a billion characters, although the basic alphabet contains only seventy symbols. The language of Nebadon is not quite so elaborate, the basic symbols, or alphabet, being forty-eight in number. ~ The Urantia Book, (44:4.2)
Language and The Concept Recorders
Concept recorders. This second group of recorders are concerned with the preservation of concept pictures, idea patterns. This is a form of permanent recording unknown on the material realms, and by this method I could gain more knowledge in one hour of your time than you could gain in one hundred years of perusing ordinary written language. ~ The Urantia Book, (44:4.5)
We Will All Be Bi-Lingual in Eternity
Having mastered the local universe language before leaving the fourth mansion world, you now devote more time to the perfection of the tongue of Uversa to the end that you may be proficient in both languages before arriving on Jerusem with residential status. All ascending mortals are bilingual from the system headquarters up to Havona. And then it is only necessary to enlarge the superuniverse vocabulary, still additional enlargement being required for residence on Paradise. ~ The Urantia Book, (47:7.2)
Interpreters and Translators. During the early mansonia career you will have frequent recourse to the interpreters and the translators. They know and speak all the tongues of a local universe; they are the linguists of the realms.
You will not acquire new languages automatically; you will learn a language over there much as you do down here, and these brilliant beings will be your language teachers. The first study on the mansion worlds will be the tongue of Satania and then the language of Nebadon. And while you are mastering these new tongues, the Morontia Companions will be your efficient interpreters and patient translators. You will never encounter a visitor on any of these worlds but that some one of the Morontia Companions will be able to officiate as interpreter. ~ The Urantia Book, (48:3.12)
We are taught that a chance meeting on Paradise reveals more of mutual understanding than could be communicated by a mortal language in a thousand years. ~ The Urantia Book, (44:4.3)
Language in The Post-Adamic Period (on a Normal World)
The post-Adamic epoch is the dispensation of internationalism. With the near completion of the task of race blending, nationalism wanes, and the brotherhood of man really begins to materialize. Representative government begins to take the place of the monarchial or paternal form of rulership. The educational system becomes world-wide, and gradually the languages of the races give way to the tongue of the violet people. Universal peace and co-operation are seldom attained until the races are fairly well blended, and until they speak a common language. ~ The Urantia Book, (52:3.10)
Language on the Spheres of Light and Life
During this age of light and life the world increasingly prospers under the fatherly rule of the Planetary Sovereign. By this time the worlds are progressing under the momentum of one language, one religion, and, on normal spheres, one race. ~ The Urantia Book, (55:3.1)
No evolutionary world can hope to progress beyond the first stage of settledness in light until it has achieved one language, one religion, and one philosophy. Being of one race greatly facilitates such achievement, but the many peoples of Urantia do not preclude the attainment of higher stages. ~ The Urantia Book, (55:3.15)
The provisions for competitive play, humor, and other phases of personal and group achievement are ample and appropriate. A special feature of the competitive activities on such a highly cultured world concerns the efforts of individuals and groups to excel in the sciences and philosophies of cosmology. Literature and oratory flourish, and language is so improved as to be symbolic of concepts as well as to be expressive of ideas.
We observe that on these highly evolved and long seventh-stage worlds human beings fully learn the local universe language before they are translated; and I have visited a few very old planets where abandonters were teaching the older mortals the tongue of the superuniverse. ~ The Urantia Book, (55:5.6)
The First Human Pair (Andon and Fonta) Develop a Language
Very early they learned to engage in verbal communication; by the age of ten they had worked out an improved sign and word language of almost half a hundred ideas and had greatly improved and expanded the crude communicative technique of their ancestors. But try as hard as they might, they were able to teach only a few of their new signs and symbols to their parents. ~ The Urantia Book, (62:5.7)
Before the extensive dispersion of the Andonic clans a well-developed language had evolved from their early efforts to intercommunicate. This language continued to grow, and almost daily additions were made to it because of the new inventions and adaptations to environment which were developed by these active, restless, and curious people. And this language became the word of Urantia, the tongue of the early human family, until the later appearance of the colored races. ~ The Urantia Book, (63:4.6)
Language and The Caligastia One Hundred
In skin color and language these materialized members of Caligastia's staff followed the Andonic race. ~ The Urantia Book, (66:4.7)
Fad formulated the first alphabet and introduced a writing system. This alphabet contained twenty-five characters. For writing material these early peoples utilized tree barks, clay tablets, stone slabs, a form of parchment made of hammered hides, and a crude form of paperlike material made from wasps' nests. The Dalamatia library, destroyed soon after the Caligastia disaffection, comprised more than two million separate records and was known as the "house of Fad."
The blue man was partial to alphabet writing and made the greatest progress along such lines. The red man preferred pictorial writing, while the yellow races drifted into the use of symbols for words and ideas, much like those they now employ. But the alphabet and much more was subsequently lost to the world during the confusion attendant upon rebellion. The Caligastia defection destroyed the hope of the world for a universal language, at least for untold ages. ~ The Urantia Book, (66:5.9)
Language, Money and Peace
The peace of Urantia will be promoted far more by international trade organizations than by all the sentimental sophistry of visionary peace planning. Trade relations have been facilitated by development of language and by improved methods of communication as well as by better transportation.
The absence of a common language has always impeded the growth of peace groups, but money has become the universal language of modern trade ~ The Urantia Book, (70:3.4)
Language in the Development of the State
The state is a territorial social regulative organization, and the strongest, most efficient, and enduring state is composed of a single nation whose people have a common language, mores, and institutions. ~ The Urantia Book, (71:1.1)
Progress of the State is dependent upon...
The conquest of dialects—the triumph of a universal language. ~ The Urantia Book, (71:8.12)
The Tongue of Eden
The tongue of Eden was an Andonic dialect as spoken by Amadon. Van and Amadon had markedly improved this language by creating a new alphabet of twenty-four letters, and they had hoped to see it become the tongue of Urantia as the Edenic culture would spread throughout the world. Adam and Eve had fully mastered this human dialect before they departed from Jerusem so that this son of Andon heard the exalted ruler of his world address him in his own tongue. ~ The Urantia Book, (74:2.2)
Instead of finding one language ready for adoption, they were confronted by the world-wide confusion of hundreds upon hundreds of local dialects. No Adam of the planetary service was ever set down on a more difficult world; the obstacles seemed insuperable and the problems beyond creature solution. ~ The Urantia Book, (75:1.3)
Language and the Hebrews
The Hebrews had no written language in general usage for a long time after they reached Palestine. They learned the use of an alphabet from the neighboring Philistines, who were political refugees from the higher civilization of Crete. The Hebrews did little writing until about 900 B.C., and having no written language until such a late date, they had several different stories of creation in circulation, but after the Babylonian captivity they inclined more toward accepting a modified Mesopotamian version. ~ The Urantia Book, (74:8.9)
There is so little on record of the great work of Moses because the Hebrews had no written language at the time of the exodus. The record of the times and doings of Moses was derived from the traditions extant more than one thousand years after the death of the great leader. ~ The Urantia Book, (96:5.2)
Priesthoods and Language
The priests have always sought to impress and awe the common people by conducting the religious ritual in an ancient tongue and by sundry magical passes so to mystify the worshipers as to enhance their own piety and authority. The great danger in all this is that the ritual tends to become a substitute for religion. ~ The Urantia Book, (90:5.6)
Religion, the Spirit, Prayer and Language
It was long believed that by reverting to the usages of the more ancient mores the spirits and demigods could be forced into desirable action. Modern man is guilty of the same procedure. You address one another in common, everyday language, but when you engage in prayer, you resort to the older style of another generation, the so-called solemn style. ~ The Urantia Book, (87:6.14)
The spirit of religion is eternal, but the form of its expression must be restated every time the dictionary of human language is revised. ~ The Urantia Book, (99:1.6)
The realization of the recognition of spiritual values is an experience which is superideational. There is no word in any human language which can be employed to designate this "sense," "feeling," "intuition," or "experience" which we have elected to call God-consciousness. ~ The Urantia Book, (103:1.6)
Animals and Language
That afternoon Jesus and Ganid had both enjoyed playing with a very intelligent shepherd dog, and Ganid wanted to know whether the dog had a soul, whether it had a will, and in response to his questions Jesus said: "The dog has a mind which can know material man, his master, but cannot know God, who is spirit; therefore the dog does not possess a spiritual nature and cannot enjoy a spiritual experience. The dog may have a will derived from nature and augmented by training, but such a power of mind is not a spiritual force, neither is it comparable to the human will, inasmuch as it is not reflective—it is not the result of discriminating higher and moral meanings or choosing spiritual and eternal values. It is the possession of such powers of spiritual discrimination and truth choosing that makes mortal man a moral being, a creature endowed with the attributes of spiritual responsibility and the potential of eternal survival." Jesus went on to explain that it is the absence of such mental powers in the animal which makes it forever impossible for the animal world to develop language in time or to experience anything equivalent to personality survival in eternity. As a result of this day's instruction Ganid never again entertained belief in the transmigration of the souls of men into the bodies of animals. ~ The Urantia Book, (130:2.8)
The "Aryan" Mother Tongue
The civilization of Turkestan was constantly being revived and refreshed by the newcomers from Mesopotamia, especially by the later Andite cavalrymen. The so-called Aryan mother tongue was in process of formation in the highlands of Turkestan; it was a blend of the Andonic dialect of that region with the language of the Adamsonites and later Andites. Many modern languages are derived from this early speech of these central Asian tribes who conquered Europe, India, and the upper stretches of the Mesopotamian plains. This ancient language gave the Occidental tongues all of that similarity which is called Aryan. ~ The Urantia Book, (78:5.3)
Language, and Urantian Civilization
Effectiveness of language. The spread of civilization must wait upon language. Live and growing languages insure the expansion of civilized thinking and planning. During the early ages important advances were made in language. Today, there is great need for further linguistic development to facilitate the expression of evolving thought.
Language evolved out of group associations, each local group developing its own system of word exchange. Language grew up through gestures, signs, cries, imitative sounds, intonation, and accent to the vocalization of subsequent alphabets. Language is man's greatest and most serviceable thinking tool, but it never flourished until social groups acquired some leisure. The tendency to play with language develops new words—slang. If the majority adopt the slang, then usage constitutes it language. The origin of dialects is illustrated by the indulgence in "baby talk" in a family group.
Language differences have ever been the great barrier to the extension of peace. The conquest of dialects must precede the spread of a culture throughout a race, over a continent, or to a whole world. A universal language promotes peace, insures culture, and augments happiness. Even when the tongues of a world are reduced to a few, the mastery of these by the leading cultural peoples mightily influences the achievement of world-wide peace and prosperity.
While very little progress has been made on Urantia toward developing an international language, much has been accomplished by the establishment of international commercial exchange. And all these international relations should be fostered, whether they involve language, trade, art, science, competitive play, or religion. ~ The Urantia Book, (81:6.16)
The Language of Superstition
Gradually science is removing the gambling element from life. But if modern methods of education should fail, there would be an almost immediate reversion to the primitive beliefs in magic. These superstitions still linger in the minds of many so-called civilized people. Language contains many fossils which testify that the race has long been steeped in magical superstition, such words as spellbound, ill-starred, possessions, inspiration, spirit away, ingenuity, entrancing, thunderstruck, and astonished. And intelligent human beings still believe in good luck, the evil eye, and astrology. ~ The Urantia Book, (88:6.7)
Language in the Days of Jesus
In the days of Jesus three languages prevailed in Palestine: The common people spoke some dialect of Aramaic; the priests and rabbis spoke Hebrew; the educated classes and the better strata of Jews in general spoke Greek. The early translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek at Alexandria was responsible in no small measure for the subsequent predominance of the Greek wing of Jewish culture and theology. And the writings of the Christian teachers were soon to appear in the same language. The renaissance of Judaism dates from the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. This was a vital influence which later determined the drift of Paul's Christian cult toward the West instead of toward the East. ~ The Urantia Book, (121:6.2)
[Mary] also provided on the roof of the house (the summer bedroom) shallow boxes of sand in which Jesus worked out maps and did much of his early practice at writing Aramaic, Greek, and later on, Hebrew, for in time he learned to read, write, and speak, fluently, all three languages. ~ The Urantia Book, (123:2.14)
Jesus Later Learns the Indian Language
It was while working four months at Damascus that Jesus had picked up the rudiments of the language spoken by Gonod and Ganid. While there he had labored much of the time on translations from Greek into one of the languages of India, being assisted by a native of Gonod's home district. ~ The Urantia Book, (130:0.4)
From the Urmia Lectures:
Under global government the national groups will be afforded a real opportunity to realize and enjoy the personal liberties of genuine democracy. The fallacy of self-determination will be ended. With global regulation of money and trade will come the new era of world-wide peace. Soon may a global language evolve, and there will be at least some hope of sometime having a global religion—or religions with a global viewpoint. ~ The Urantia Book, (134:6.11)
At the Mount of Transfiguration
When the three had been fast asleep for about half an hour, they were suddenly awakened by a near-by crackling sound, and much to their amazement and consternation, on looking about them, they beheld Jesus in intimate converse with two brilliant beings clothed in the habiliments of the light of the celestial world. And Jesus' face and form shone with the luminosity of a heavenly light. These three conversed in a strange language, but from certain things said, Peter erroneously conjectured that the beings with Jesus were Moses and Elijah; in reality, they were Gabriel and the Father Melchizedek. The physical controllers had arranged for the apostles to witness this scene because of Jesus' request. ~ The Urantia Book, (158:1.8)
The Roman Influence and Language
The Romans bodily took over Greek culture, putting representative government in the place of government by lot. And presently this change favored Christianity in that Rome brought into the whole Western world a new tolerance for strange languages, peoples, and even religions. ~ The Urantia Book, (195:2.1)
A succession of Greek-cultural and Roman-political victories had consolidated the Mediterranean lands into one empire, with one language and one culture, and had made the Western world ready for one God. Judaism provided this God, but Judaism was not acceptable as a religion to these Romanized Greeks. Philo helped some to mitigate their objections, but Christianity revealed to them an even better concept of one God, and they embraced it readily. ~ The Urantia Book, (195:2.9)
Christianity came into favor in Rome at a time when there was great contention between the vigorous teachings of the Stoics and the salvation promises of the mystery cults. Christianity came with refreshing comfort and liberating power to a spiritually hungry people whose language had no word for "unselfishness." ~ The Urantia Book, (195:3.3)
World Influence in the First Century After Christ
This entire combination of world influences is well illustrated by the activities of Paul, who, being in religious culture a Hebrew of the Hebrews, proclaimed the gospel of a Jewish Messiah in the Greek tongue, while he himself was a Roman citizen. ~ The Urantia Book, (121:1.2)