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The Urantia Book FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who wrote The Urantia Book?
At the end of each of the 196 papers the authors identify themselves as one of various orders of beings, ranging from those of divine origin to those closer to the level of human beings. The chief of the “revelatory commission” says that they are part of the “Corps of Superuniverse Personalities assigned to portray on Urantia [Earth] the truth concerning the Paradise Deities and the universes of universes.”
The papers were transmitted in the early part of the twentieth century through a man living in the Chicago area, although the process itself is not fully understood. The person who took charge of recording and organizing the material being received, Dr. William Sadler, assembled a group of individuals from all walks of life who discussed and provided feedback about the information that was being received; this process helped to shape the material into what we now have as The Urantia Book, first published in 1955 [TOP ].
2. The book is so large. How do I start reading?
In the book the suggestion is to read from beginning to end. The authors state: “The human mind would ordinarily crave to approach the cosmic philosophy portrayed in these revelations by proceeding from the simple and the finite to the complex and the infinite, from human origins to divine destinies. But that path does not lead to spiritual wisdom. Such a procedure is the easiest path to a certain form of genetic knowledge, but at best it can only reveal man’s origin; it reveals little or nothing about his divine destiny.”
Many people have also found it helpful to join a study group as they deepen their understanding through interaction with others. [TOP ]
3. Can you summarize The Urantia Book’s main message in a paragraph or two?
The Urantia Book is a 2,097 page text containing beautiful spiritual teachings, including a unique perspective on deity.
It integrates science and philosophy with religion, in a way that has never been done.
The book depicts the history of our universe, our planet and civilization and it contains the most profound, in-depth account of the life and teachings of Jesus–far beyond what has ever been written.
The Urantia Book illuminates how lasting world peace can best be realized. [TOP ]
4. Is The Urantia Book considered a New Age work?
Not in the sense that this term has come to be understood. Over the years there has been an emergence of various forms of practices related to channeling, mystics, avatars, and such. Many of these contain an esoteric approach to spirituality, and some become cult-like, often with various rituals, practices and doctrines to be adhered to. If “New Age” were to be defined this way then The Urantia Book would not thus be categorized. The book was published in 1955, before the modern New Age movement began. Also, the book stresses that we do not have to be mystics with esoteric knowledge in order to live a spiritually meaningful life. The Urantia Book maintains, as in the New Testament, that “God is no respecter of persons” and that an average human being can attain high levels of spiritual understanding, and that this spiritual wisdom will shine forth in their daily life.
The Urantia Book does refer to the times we live in, and are about to enter into, as a “new age,” but this is in a context that relates directly to the book’s teachings on the times that are close at hand.
What The Urantia Book authors say is that the information they have provided us is the 5th Epochal Revelation to our planet. If a person reads the pages with an open heart and a searching mind he or she should be able to find within its inspiring message what is most personally significant. [TOP ]
5. Is there a church or organization behind The Urantia Book?
Readers of The Urantia Book do not belong to an organized religious organization. Some readers do come together study groups in their area in order to read and study the book with others. Some larger organizations, such as The Urantia Book Fellowship and the Urantia Foundation, have formed in order to organize and coordinate activities such as helping to make the book more widely available [TOP ].
6. What does The Urantia Book say about reincarnation?
The Urantia Book does not support the concept of reincarnation, but explains how this belief originated during an early period of human history. [TOP ]
7. Is The Urantia Book a Christian doctrine or a rewriting of the Bible?
The Urantia Book enlarges upon the mission and teachings of Jesus, as given in the New Testament, but diverges from tenets of Christianity like sacrifice and atonement. The view of Jesus given in The Urantia Book is one that emphasizes the life and teachings of a divine Son of God, rather than seeking to present him mainly as an object of worship. [TOP ]
8. The Bible says there can be no other gospel. How can The Urantia Book be valid?
Sincere seekers after truth will find no contradiction between the central message of the Bible and that found in The Urantia Book. [TOP ]
9. What distinguishes a reader of The Urantia Book?
People who have discovered and cherish The Urantia Book and its message come from all backgrounds, economic classes, nationalities and ethnicities. Some prefer to read it on their own, while others have formed deep relationships with fellow readers that have lasted for many years. There is no single way to define someone who reads The Urantia Book, although many of those who have taken its message to heart have made a conscious effort to transform their lives in response to the ennobling teachings found in its pages. [TOP ]
10. Are there any rituals, doctrines or practices?
Religion is a personal experience. The expression of that experience finds as many varieties as there are people on this planet. Although our personal practices in worship and personal communion will likely change over time as we change, there isn’t any set form of how readers must experience their personal religion. Many readers experience a heartfelt desire to live by the sublime teachings found within The Urantia Book’s pages. These teachings lead us to the desire to become more spiritual individuals, an effort that will necessarily have a positive impact on those around us. In addition, many readers utilize meditation, worship, music, art and prayer, as many faiths do, to experience the expansion of the spirit within. [TOP ]
11. What does The Urantia Book say about life after death?
The authors of the book give a detailed and thrilling account of our progressive journey as we travel through higher levels of existence, a journey that causes us to grow spiritually and intellectually as we pursue our own inner perfection. There is in fact a passage in the Bible in which Jesus says, “My Father has many mansions,” something depicted in The Urantia Book as referring to the “mansion worlds,” spheres of learning that individuals traverse after the life in the flesh has been completed here on Earth. The book does talk about reunions with our loved ones in the life to come and tells us that we will meet many diverse beings who, just like us, are ascending towards perfection. What’s more, we will meet many fascinating divine beings who will assist us in our progressive journey.
All evolutionary beings of time and space who are in accord with God’s plan for their continuing development are being prepared to grow in spirit and mind and to mature in personality through the experience of each realm of creation. The created universe, the book tells us, was actually set up as vast training ground for ascending will creatures to perfect themselves as they travel ever inward toward God, eventually culminating in service opportunities throughout the Grand Universe. Our Creator does not limit His creatures to just one experience in space and time; just as loving parents want their children to develop to their full potential, so we are given every opportunity to develop ourselves into cosmic citizens, attain perfection within our own realm and embark on the sublime adventure open to all who place faith in God our Father. [TOP ]
12. What is unique about the book’s teachings?`
There are several sections that could be considered unique, either as entirely new concepts or as innovative approaches to existing knowledge. Probably the most unique or new concept is on an aspect of deity called “God the Supreme.” This is an aspect of God which is actually evolving as all experiential beings, such as ourselves, are evolving towards perfection. Every action, thought, and decision that has spiritual value actually contributes to the evolving of God the Supreme. What is significant about this is that it will take the entire family of humankind, on this world and others, to bring the full completion of God the Supreme to fruition. With this realization we can find great meaning in our actions in this life and we are encouraged to do our part in serving others and empowering them spiritually.
Another new concept described in The Urantia Book is that of the thought adjuster, a spirit fragment of God that indwells the mind. Although most religions speak of the inner presence of God, the Urantia book goes into great detail about this part of God that is bestowed on human beings. The thought adjuster is what allows God to maintain close contact and provide spiritual guidance to human beings.
Also included are advanced teachings on the nature of deity, the Trinity, and a previously unrevealed view of the physical structure of the universe in which we live.
The Urantia Book also talks about reality on the cosmic level of progression. There is information in The Urantia Book that has not been previously revealed, such as God’s attributes and personality and our Creator’s potential ascension plan for human beings. We are helped to understand the purpose of our existence and why our understanding can be so limited, a perspective that often contributes to our notion that life seems unfair. This can free up one’s thinking and elevate the individual to a superconscious level where there may begin the recognition of the light of truth, and of beauty and goodness. A challenging and rewarding reading experience is available for adventure-seekers who can discover an enlarged way of living and loving. [TOP ]
13. Does The Urantia Book comment on the conditions of the world we live in?
Absolutely! There is timely information on the problems of our, largely, materialistic society and ways that solutions can be approached. The book’s authors examine the reasons for the fragmentation that exists in our religious institutions and delineate the steps necessary to achieve world unity. [TOP ]
14. What does The Urantia Book say about the presence of evil in the world?
The Urantia Book describes two key setbacks in our planetary history, leadership defaults that explain much of the disorder that we see in the world today. These two events are referred to in the book as the “Lucifer rebellion” as well as the “default” of this world’s “Material Son and Daughter,” Adam and Eve (though not described in the book as the world’s first two human beings). According to The Urantia Book, despite these two damaging planetary events individual human beings still enjoy all the avenues available to a normally developing planet for spiritual advancement. [TOP ]
15. Is The Urantia Book considered an “inspired” work?
The authors refer to their writings as a revelation, that is, information that was not known previously by human beings. In the process of compiling the information in the book the revelators say that as many human concepts as possible were used to present the information, that revelatory information was supplied only when no human concept existed for what they wished to convey. While some other religions claim exclusive ownership to truth, the revelators explain that the information contained in The Urantia Book will one day need to be revised to correspond with the higher level of comprehension of future generations. This makes evident that revelation is an ongoing process that must occur anew when humanity progresses to higher levels of comprehension. [TOP ]
16. Is The Urantia Book similar to the Course in Miracles?
Yes and no. The Course in Miracles also claims to be transmitted through superhuman sources. However, people with knowledge of both bodies of information feel that the Course focuses on individual healing, personal transformation, and the individual experience of spirituality, and that while the Urantia Book has much to offer in these areas, it also contains a universal group perspective and gives us a broad picture of the universe of which we are a part. [TOP ]
17. Is this a cult?
If you define the word “cult” as a group with a charismatic leader, specific rituals and practices, and a doctrine to be adhered to or else risk being excommunicated, then, no, this is not a cult. [TOP ]
18. What does The Urantia Book say about the existence of so many religions?
The book says that religions emerged out of the need for the individual to socialize and share their personal spiritual experience with others. The Urantia Book emphasizes that individuals interpret religion based on their own unique personality and inner experience of God. The Urantia Book asserts that most religions contain important truth that can significantly contribute to other religions. The book goes on to say that only when religions transfer their spiritual sovereignty to God will peace prevail among all religions. [TOP ]
19. Will I have to change my religion to embrace the teachings of The Urantia Book?
Nowhere in The Urantia Book does it require individuals to abandon their chosen faiths. If anything the information in the book will cause a greater understanding and appreciation of true religion. Many readers continue to participate in their respective faiths during their study of The Urantia Book. [TOP ]
20. Does The Urantia Book claim to contain all truth and be the last source of truth for all time?
In this consideration it’s important to distinguish between truth that is eternal with God and the truth that we as evolving humans are beginning to grasp in this life. In The Urantia Book the authors state that they are revealing the highest level of spiritual truth that is available to us based on our current level of receptivity. Since this receptivity capacity evolves over time the spiritual truth made available must also keep step with this evolution. Therefore, the authors of The Urantia Book do not claim that this is the highest level of truth we will ever be given, that revelation from various sources will continue to be made in the future. In that respect The Urantia Book differs from religions that claim their knowledge is final and complete. [TOP ]
21. How many people read The Urantia Book currently?
This is difficult to say, but as of this moment (June, 2011) there are over 700,000 books in print worldwide, not including electronic editions and audio books [TOP ].
22. Is The Urantia Book read in countries other than the United States?
Yes, the book has been translated into a number of languages, including Spanish, French, Korean, German, Russian, Dutch, with other translations in progress. [TOP ]