CHAPTER 19

A HISTORY - PART I


The following text comes from the files of the Urantia Foundation and the original Urantia Brotherhood at 533 Diversey Parkway, Chicago. Two versions are known, one an obvious expansion on the other. The shorter copy is dated 1960; the longer has no date, although internal remarks clearly indicate composition in 1960. They are typewritten documents, with a few hand notations. Except for assigning page numbers from the shorter version, I reproduce the versions exactly as they appear. In all cases I show how the larger version differs from the shorter. I show handwritten notations with italicized brackets. XXX's denote undecipherable words because of repeated reproduction of the copies I had available. The written notations are in at least two different hands

-- not of Dr. William Sadler. The handwritten initials WSSJ (William S. Sadler, Jr.) appear twice in the margins of the shorter, affirming editorial changes. In some segments the documents display the editorial influence of Dr. Sadler. The shorter version has considerable editorial changes; the longer has few and those are mostly grammatical. Where editorial differences between the two versions are minor I show the longer with parentheses. Where substantial expansion was made I offer that as an addendum to the shorter version. Where appropriate I insert notes as explanation of the remarks.  My notes are italicized.

 

Page 1(1):

A HISTORY OF THE URANTIA MOVEMENT(2)

This historical narrative was prepared by a group of Urantian pioneers, assisted by members of the contact commission.

1960

1. This page is missing from the expanded version.

2. Urantia activities never truly developed into a "movement." The fracturing of the organizations prevented cohesive direction.  Secular definitions of purpose prevented dedication to God.

Page 2:

HISTORY OF THE URANTIA MOVEMENT

Several members of the (this) pioneer group(3) who participated in the preliminary contacts(4) which led to the appearance of the Urantia papers had had considerable experience in the investigations of psychic phenomena. This group early arrived at the conclusion that the phenomena connected with the (personality) "subject" who was later associated with the Urantia papers, was in no way similar to any other well-known type of psychic performances -- such as hypnotism, automatic writing, clairvoyance, trances, spirit mediumship, telepathy, or double personality.

 

It should be made clear that the antecedents of the Urantia papers were in no way associated with so-called spiritualism -- with its séances and supposed communication with the spirits of departed human beings(5).

 

3. The attribution of authorship would limit the text to members of the Contact Commission.

4. The remark "preliminary contacts" would place the activity before the creation of the Forum. Available evidence suggests that this pioneer group was composed of more than fifteen members at various times, with the Sadler family maintaining membership throughout. These would include Sadler, his wife Lena, Anna and Wilfred Kellogg, and after 1923, Emma Christensen and William Sadler, Jr. Sadler's consultation with professional experts would place them within this descriptive category, but the statement also suggests repeated association. The identity of those other persons is unknown, although some are hinted in Sadler's books. Sadler respected their professional positions.  We can deduce from his remarks that the consultants included the magicians Howard Thurston and Harry Houdini.  Sadler left no stone unturned in his efforts to explain the phenomenon.
 

5. Note that the statement again fails to distinguish communications that may come from malicious spirit personalities not classifiable under "spiritualism."  Sadler never reached the point of distinguishing between "spiritualism" and "spiritism."

Page 3:

I.

CONTACT ACTIVITIES PRECEDING THE URANTIA PAPERS

As the Urantia Book indicates, the papers were received as follows: Superhuman personalities, the authors of the papers, sometimes called "the revelators," worked through the mind of a human subject(6) , sometimes called "the contact personality." {XXX} Also involved was a small group of human associates, called the "contact commission," who were charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the papers, putting them in typewritten form, etc. {The members of the contact commission are the only human beings who ever saw its original XXXX, all of which have been destroyed at the request of the revelators.}

 

For a number of years before the presentation of the papers, the contact personality and the contact commissioners went through what seemed to be a period of testing and training concerning the technique of communication, etc., thus in a general way setting the stage for the subsequent presentation of the Urantia papers.

 

After some years of these preliminary contacts, during which many questions were asked and new concepts were imparted, the Urantia papers began to appear.

 

The commissioners were the custodians of the Urantia manuscript and they were also charged with full responsibility for {XXXX XXXX XXXX} supervising all the detail connected with the publication of the book, securing the international copyrights, etc.

They were enjoined to refrain from discussing the identity of the contact personality and, after the publication of the book, to make no statement at any time as to whether the subject was still living or was deceased.

 

6. This remark was based on a nebulous theory of the mechanism of transmission. Sadler just did not have a firm grip on the mechanisms.  The statement which influenced the thinking of Sadler and others is on page 1258:  
 

"On many worlds the better adapted secondary midway creatures are able to attain varying degrees of contact with the Thought Adjusters of certain favorably constituted mortals through the skillful penetration of the minds of the latter's indwelling. (And it was by just such a fortuitous combination of cosmic adjustments that these revelations were materialized in the English language on Urantia.)"

 

As I discuss elsewhere, this was a false application. The mind of the Sleeping Subject was never used. Furthermore, this statement was edited out of the expanded version.




 

EXPANDED VERSION

It would seem that, during these early years, our unseen friends were engaged in a thoroughgoing testing of the contact personality, rehearsing the technique of communication, selecting the Contact Commissioners -- in fact, in a general way -- setting the stage for the subsequent initiation of the presentation of The Urantia Papers.

 

During these early years we were introduced to many new and, to us, somewhat strange concepts of the universe of universes and as concerned man and his life on earth.

 

Among these numerous ideas of cosmology and philosophy, the following may be mentioned:

 

1. New concept of a far-flung cosmos.

2. Millions of inhabited worlds.

3. Introduction to scores of different and varied echelons of celestial personalities.

4. Confirmation of evolutionary origin of humankind -- even of an evolutionary cosmos.

5. Intimation of multiple Creator Deities.

6. Tentative testing of our theologic concepts. Patient determination of how far we might possibly go in the direction of modifying our theologic beliefs and philosophical opinions.

7. Without realizing it, over a period of twenty years, our fundamental religious views and attitudes had been considerably changed.

8. We had been familiarized with such terms as The First Source and Center, Havona, superuniverses, and the Supreme Being -- but we had but meager ideas as to the real meaning of these names.

9. We also heard such words as Master Spirits, outer space, and Power Directors. But again, we understood little as to their meaning. We also learned about numerous orders of angels.

10. We heard about Thought Adjusters, but our concept of the meaning of the term was vague and indefinite.

11. We had acquired a fuzzy concept of the morontia level of existence -- but we never heard the word morontia used until the Papers started(7).

12. The midwayers were very real to us -- we frequently talked with them during our varied "contacts." We quite fully understood that the secondary midwayers supervised the contacts(8).

13. We heard some things about the Lucifer rebellion, but got little information about Adam and Eve.

14. We gained the impression that there were special reasons for Jesus' bestowal on Urantia, but we had little or no idea as to the nature of these unrevealed reasons.

15. We listened to occasional references to Jesus' life and teachings -- but they were very cautious about the introduction of any new concepts regarding Michael's Urantia bestowal. Of all the Urantia Revelation the Jesus Papers were the biggest surprise(9).

16. While we did not hear the term "Corps of The Finality," we did pick up a hazy idea that Paradise might be the destination of surviving mortals.
 

Our superhuman friends thus spent upward of two decades in extending our cosmic horizons, enlarging our theologic concepts, and expanding our over-all philosophy(10).

 

We never realized how much our religious thinking had been expanded until the Papers began to arrive. As the Revelation progressed we came more fully to appreciate how we had been prepared for the vast alteration of our religious beliefs by these preliminary contacts extending over a period of twenty years of pre-education(11).

 

Our apprenticeship training for subsequent service in association with the presentation of The Urantia Papers was facilitated by the fact that, except for contacts with the midwayers, no two contacts were alike. Seldom did we meet the visiting personalities more than once. Every contact was entirely different from any and all that had gone before. And all of this experience was an extensive and liberal preparatory educational training in the expansion of our cosmology, theology, and philosophy -- not to mention our introduction to new ideas and concepts concerning a vast array of more mundane subjects.(12)

 

The limited discussions of Jesus' life and teachings during these pre-revelatory contacts might be explained by the fact that the midwayers were a bit dubious as to how much authority they had in such matters -- as shown later on when a whole year was consumed in the clarification of their right to retell the story of Michael's bestowal(13).

 

Those of us who early attended upon these nocturnal vigils never suspected that we were in contact with anything supernatural.

 

During these early years, all of our observations and investigations utterly failed to reveal the (psychic XXXX XXX) technique of reducing messages to writing(14).

7. The word "morontia" is used more than 600 times in the text of The Urantia Papers, from the beginning to the end, including the Jesus Papers. This was an essential concept. Lack of use of the word in the preliminary contacts suggests a severe limit on the depth of information imparted until the initial Papers began to arrive.
 

8. One of the more mysterious secrets held by the Contact Commission was the form of midwayer communication. Use of the phrase "they were very real to us" suggests that they never saw visible images of the midwayers. "Frequently talking with them" again does not distinguish between written conversations back and forth through the Sleeping Subject, or actual audible voices, emanating from thin air. There is no reason to assume the latter. Later, when the actual revelation began to appear, messages and instructions also could have been given in written form without audible communication.

 

9. This statement suggests that they did not receive any material resembling the Jesus Papers during the preliminary contacts, or in the communications with the Forum. Anecdotal descriptions from various individuals suggest the Jesus Papers were revealed after the first three parts of the Urantia Papers were complete, and through a different mechanism. The first three parts were in handwriting; the Jesus Papers may have been in typewritten form.

 

10. This remark would date the actual revelation later than 1928. The long list of important concepts lacking in the preliminary contacts shows that the process was one of preparation, and not revelation.

 

11. This is an important remark regarding the psychological and religious preparation required to accustom Sadler and the other members of the Contact Commission, as well as the Forum, to these new concepts. Without this preparation the Revelation might have been rejected.

 

12. This extended preparatory training, covering twenty years, shows a marked difference from the communications offered by Caligastia. He does not take the time to prepare his students philosophically and theologically after penetration of their minds. When once he has them captured he proceeds immediately to his purpose. Invariably he jumps quickly to "revelation." It is important to his methods that his students not have the luxury of thoughtful appraisal of his materials. His purpose is to overpower them with the seeming miraculous, and to keep the conceptual framework confused. He cannot afford analytical evaluation. Were he to do so his students would eventually come to recognize his logical inconsistencies, and thence to suspicions of origins. Only superficial minds, incapable of theological depth, are subject to his machinations. (Note that many of his candidates are highly trained professionals, but only in the mechanics of their trades. They never learned how to think with deeper insights.)

 

13. This paragraph is speculative; it is an attempt to bring understanding to the long delay in transmitting the Jesus' Papers, and the strange maneuvering of the celestial personalities. Two human elements should be considered in this delay: A) how the story of Jesus' life and teachings might (or might not) be received by human mortals with heavy cultural conditioning and, B) how it might have stimulated premature exposure of the revelatory material. The Jesus Papers were and are an attractive place to introduce others to the Revelation. They are the most compatible with Christian ideas. These two elements were opposite horns of acceptance which, as explained in the above text, required time to prepare.

 

14. The last two remarks show the puzzle which faced Sadler in explaining the strange activities of the Sleeping Subject. At that early period he believed the phenomenon was strictly psychological, deriving out of the sub-conscious of SS. On the other hand he could find no memory of the events or details of the material within the mind of SS. Hypnosis, intensive comparison, and other techniques failed to discover how the written materials could have materialized, since the mind of SS seemed to be totally divorced from the materials. Little did Sadler appreciate that the written and oral materials were produced directly by the midwayers, through mechanical manipulation of the voice and muscles of SS. Even to the end of his life Sadler had difficulty understanding this process, and conceived of a torturous method  involving the midwayers making contact with the Thought Adjuster of SS.  Refer to earlier remarks.

 

 

How The Urantia Papers Started

After about twenty years of contact experience, an alleged student-visitor, speaking through this sleeping subject during one of these nocturnal vigils, in answer to one of our questions, said, "If you only knew what you are in contact with you would not ask such trivial questions. You would rather ask such questions as might elicit answers of supreme value to the human race."

This was something of a shock, as well as a mild rebuke, and caused all of us to look upon this unique experience in a new

and different way. Later on that night, one of our number said, "Now they have asked for it -- let us give them questions that no human being can answer(15)."

 

Now it is best to let matters rest here while we shift this narrative to a new and different settings.
 

15. Twenty years would place this remark in 1928, five years after the start of the Forum.


 

Page 4(16):

II.

REASONS FOR SILENCE RESPECTING DETAILS OF THE ORIGIN
OF THE URANTIA BOOK

Just about all that is known or can be told about the origin of the Urantia papers is found in various places in the Urantia Book. A list of such references will be found on the dust jacket of the book(17).

 

Among the several reasons given for not discussing (given us at the time we were requested not to discuss) the details of personal experiences associated with the origin of the Urantia Book, the two major reasons were the following(18):

 

1. The main reason for not revealing the identity of the contact personality is that the (Celestial) revelators do not want any human being -- any human name -- ever to be associated with the Urantia Book. They want this revelation to stand on its own declaration and teachings. They are determined that future generations shall have the book wholly free from all mortal connections -- they do not want a Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Luther, Calvin, or Wesley. The book does not even bear the imprint of the printer who brought the book into being(19).

 

2. (Unknown Features) There is much connected with the appearance of the Urantia papers which no human being fully understands. No one really knows just how this phenomenon was executed. There are numerous missing links in the story of how this revelation came to appear in written English. If anyone should tell all he really knows about the technique and methods employed throughout the years of getting this revelation, such a narration would satisfy no one -- there are too many missing links(20).

(Remember: You could appreciate a good poem -- even if you did not know the author. Likewise, you could enjoy a symphony even if you were ignorant of the composer.)
 

16. This section is relocated in the expanded version to the section entitled How We Got The Urantia Papers.

 

17. This paragraph is missing from the expanded version. The reason is fairly clear. Sadler and the other Contact Commissioners could have revealed many details of the strange transactions but felt under sacred obligation not to do so.

 

18. The two numbered paragraphs have editorial arrows on the shorter version which show an intent to reverse their positions. This relocation is followed in the expanded version.

 

19. This remark does not capture the gamut of possible reasons for not revealing the name of the Sleeping Subject.  Veneration is one.  Perhaps his human associations might have detracted from the authenticity of the divine nature of the Revelation.  Perhaps there was concern that members of his personal family might have become involved, contrary to his wishes.  Other reasons may exist.

 

20.  Here Sadler and his family are disingenious.  This was their method for avoiding further inquiries.  They could have offered many details had they felt it wise.

 

Page 5 and 6:

III.

THE FORUM

Many years ago a small group began meeting to discuss matters of health, mental hygiene, religion, psychology, and so on. One of the group opened his home to these meetings(21). This group came to consist of professional men and women -- doctors, lawyers, dentists, ministers, teachers -- together with individuals from all walks of life -- farmers, housewives, secretaries, and common laborers.

 

During a discussion of psychic phenomena, mention was made of a contact which did not fit into any of the known categories. As a result of questions, the group began to obtain {via the contact commission} information not previously known on this planet. Although many new concepts were implanted during these early years, the revelators suggested to the contact commission that questions of a serious nature should be asked in order to elicit answers of supreme value to the human race. This suggestion was passed on to the discussion group -- then called the Forum. Questions in writing concerning Deity, creation, evolution, and so on, were formulated, and as a result, the Urantia papers began to appear(22).

 

At about this time instructions were received from the revelators to form a closed group. Membership tickets were issued and the charter membership numbered 30. From time to time new members were received into the Forum, after being interviewed by the officers and after signing the same pledge that was signed by the original charter members. This pledge read: "We acknowledge our pledge of secrecy, renewing our promise not to discuss the Urantia revelations or their subject matter with anyone save active Forum members, and to take no notes of such matter as is read or discussed at public sessions, or to make copies of notes of what is personally read(23)."

 

The first group of papers numbered 57(24). The revelators then suggested that since the Forum could now ask more intelligent questions, they would undertake to enlarge the revelation and to expand the papers in accordance with new questions(25).

 

The procedure was to read a paper on Sunday afternoons and the following Sunday the new questions would be presented {XXXX XXX XXXing their questions on the paper read the previous Sunday.} These would be sorted, classified, and duplicates eliminated. This program covered several years and ultimately resulted in the presentation of 196 papers as now found in the Urantia Book. {Throughout the entire operation, only one subject or contact personality (see p865-2) was involved.}

 

The last meeting of the Forum as a genetic assembly was held on May 31, 1942. During its existence the membership figure mounted to a total of 486. From this date in 1942(26) the Forum continued as a study group to the time of the organization of the First Urantia Society in 1956(27).

21. The meetings took place in the home of William and Lena Sadler at 533 Diversey Parkway in Chicago.

 

22. According to the chronology described in this document, the statement about submitting more elevated questions came about 1928, twenty years after first contact, and five years after the first formation of the Forum. The task of formal questions then led to the first appearance of formal Papers, although these were not the final versions. The system of Papers appearing in response to questions brought the Forum members to intimate relationship with the Revelators, and developed emotional and religious bonds to the Revelation. The final drafts of the Papers, which composed the actual Revelation, did not appear until 1934 and 1935. This process of interaction was designed by the Revelators to ensure the safety of the Revelation when it was released to the world. This need was at two levels: A) To motivate the Forum members to financial contribution for publication; and B) to guard against perversion that might take place among members of the Contact Commission, consciously or inadvertently. As I shall show, the latter danger appeared early in the 1940's.

 

23. The chronologies show that the Forum became a closed group about the time of the first question-and-answer arrangement. Hence, 1928, or thereabouts, marks a definite demarcation from earlier arrangements.

 

24. This number would cover the first two parts of The Urantia Papers, including The Central and Superuniverses, and The Local Universe.

 

25. Again, this shows that the first draft of the Papers was not the final version.

 

26. A marginal notation states "Out" with the initials WSSJ.

 

27. Later claims to membership in the Forum were amiss. Thus Harold Sherman may have been the last person who technically could be called a member. Sherman's actions may have triggered Sadler's decision to terminate the Forum as a genetic assembly. One the other hand, Sadler stated that he was instructed to terminate the Forum.

 

 

EXPANDED VERSION

How The Forum Started

Dr. William S. Sadler, a member of this early group of observers and investigators, tells the following story regarding the origin of that group of interested individuals which later became known as the "Forum." He says, "On my way to the University of Kansas to deliver some lectures on Gestalt psychology, I wrote a letter to my son(28) saying that I thought doctors should try to maintain some contact with their old patients. I suggested that he talk with his mother about the feasibility of inviting some of our old friends to meet with us on Sunday afternoons for an hour or two of informal discussion and social exchange.

 

"When I returned to Chicago one Sunday morning I found that my wife had invited a group of our old patients to meet at our house that afternoon at three o'clock. It was the plan to

conduct these Sunday afternoon gatherings somewhat as follows: First have a talk on some health topic -- such as the treatment of common colds, the cause and cure of worry, and then, after a cup of tea, engage in informal discussions -- asking and answering questions.

 

"As time passed, this group became a cosmopolitan gathering consisting of professional men and women -- doctors, lawyers, dentists, ministers, teachers -- together with individuals from all walks of life: farmers, housewives, secretaries, office workers, and common laborers."
 

28. William Sadler, Jr. would have been sixteen years of age at that time.


 

Introduction Of The Forum To The "Contacts"

(The doctor continues his narrative:) "Presently, I was asked to give a series of talks on 'Mental Hygiene' or 'Psychic Phenomena.' At the beginning of my first talk, I said, 'With one or two exceptions, all of the psychic phenomena which I have investigated have turned out to be either conscious or unconscious frauds. Some were deliberate frauds -- others were those peculiar cases in which the performer was a victim of the deceptions of his own subconscious mind(29).'

"I had no more than said this, when one of the group spoke up, saying, 'Doctor, if you have contacted something which you have been unable to solve -- it would be interesting -- tell us more about it.'

 

"I asked Dr. Lena to get some notes she had taken at a recent 'contact' and read them to the group. It should be understood that up to this time there was no secrecy connected with the case. The Urantia Papers had not begun to appear.

 

"It was at about this time that this group meeting at our house on Sunday afternoons began to be called the 'Forum(30).'

"The group manifested such an interest in this case that I never did get around to giving any of the health talks such as had been planned.

 

"It was while these informal discussion were going on from week to week that the challenge came to us suggesting that if we would ask more serious questions we might get information of value to all mankind(31)."

 

29. Refer to previous discussions on Sadler's attitude about psychic phenomena.

 

30. From this remark it appears that  the name "Forum" was an early application, at about the time of the first meetings in 1923 or perhaps 1924.

 

31. This again confirms that the "question-and-answer" routines did not start until several years after the first meetings of the Forum. The Urantia Papers had not yet begun to appear.

 

 

The Forum Begins To Ask Questions(32)

"We told the Forum all about this and invited them to join us in the preparation of questions. We decided to start out with questions pertaining to the origin of the cosmos, Deity, creation, and such other subjects as were far beyond the present-day knowledge of mankind.

 

"The following Sunday several hundred questions were brought in. We sorted through these questions, discarding duplicates, and in a general way, clarifying them. Shortly thereafter, the first Urantia Paper appeared in answer to these questions. From first to last, when the Papers appeared, the questions disappeared(33).

"This was the procedure followed throughout the many years(34) of the reception of The Urantia Papers. No questions -- no Papers."

32. It should be recognized that the Forum members would quickly have come to recognize Sadler's position on psychic phenomena, spiritualism, and "channeling." Those individuals who wished to espouse "spiritualism" or psychic theories would have quickly found themselves in a hostile environment, as Harold Sherman did later. They would have been unwelcome in the group. Thus Sadler's philosophical position served to screen the members of the Forum to more conservative minds.

 

33. This remark is an all-important clue to the interplay between the Forum and the Revelators. It also is an important comment on the "miracle" of the Revelation. This would date "miraculous" appearance of Papers to this period. It would also date the miraculous "disappearance" of the questions to the same time.  The exact circumstances of "appearance" and "disappearance" is unknown.  From this evidence the miraculous exchange of questions and answers took place before the actual revelation in 1934 and 1935.

 

34. The phrase "many years" would have included the time from approximately 1928, and the first questions of the Forum, to 1934, the time of the actual revelation. Thus "many years" would have been limited to approximately six.

 

 

The Forum Becomes A Closed Group

About this time, the Forum, as it were, was taken away from us. We were instructed to form a "closed group" -- requiring each member to sign a pledge of secrecy and to discuss the Papers and all matters pertaining thereto with only those persons who were members of the Forum.

 

Membership tickets were issued and the Charter membership numbered Thirty. The date of this organization was September, 1925. Seventeen of these Charter Members are still living(35).

 

The individuals charged with the responsibility of gathering up the questions and comparing the typewritten text with the original handwritten manuscript, came to be known as "Contact Commissioners." From that date forward only these Contact Commissioners attended "contacts" and received written communications through the contact personality(36).

 

From time to time new members were received into the Forum, after being interviewed by the officers and after signing the same pledge that was signed by the original Charter Members. This pledge read: "We acknowledge our pledge of secrecy, renewing our promise not to discuss the Urantia Revelations or their subject matter with any one save active

Forum members, and to take no notes of such matter as is read or discussed at the public sessions, and to make copies or notes of what we personally read."

 

The last meeting of the Forum as a genetic assembly was held on May 31st, 1942. During 17 years of official existence the Forum attained a total membership of 486. Since this date in 1942, the Forum continued as a study group to the time of the organization of the First Urantia Society.

 

During the period of the reception of The Urantia Papers upward of 300 different persons participated in asking these genetic questions. With but few exceptions, all of The Urantia Papers were given in response to such questions(37).
 

35.  There appears to be a discrepancy in dates.  The formal constitution of the Forum probably began in 1925 while the question and answer routines did not begin until 1928.

 

36. We are unsure if all oral communications had ceased at this point. It appears so.

 

37. The exceptions would be the Jesus Papers, certainly more than a few.


 

The First Urantia Papers

The first group of Papers numbered 57. We then received a communication suggesting that since we could now ask many and much more intelligent questions, the superhuman agencies and personalities responsible for transmitting the 57 Papers would engage to enlarge the revelation and to expand the Papers in accordance with our new questions.

This was the plan: We would read a Paper on Sunday afternoon and the following Sunday the new questions would be presented. Again, these would be sorted, classified, etc. This program covered several years and ultimately resulted in the presentation of the 196 Papers as now found in the Urantia Book(38).

38. It is important to note that a process of one Paper per week, for 196 Papers, would have required more than four years. Giving regard for vacations, and postponements for various causes, a required period of five years is more likely. If the Jesus Papers were not part of the interchange between the Forum members and the Revelators, if they came as a surprise, then this time frame is reduced to 120 weeks, perhaps about three years. Since the Forum as a genetic group, did not begin until 1928, no more than two complete cycles of study and questions on the first 119 Papers could have been accomplished by 1934, the year of actual revelation.


 

Receiving The Completed Papers

In a way, there was a third presentation. After receiving these 196 Papers, we were told that the "Revelatory Commission" would be pleased to have us go over the Papers once more and ask questions concerning the "Clarification of Concepts" and the "Removal of Ambiguities." This program again covered several years. During this period very little new information was imparted. Only minor changes were made in any of the Papers. Some matter was added -- some removed -- but there was little revision or amplification of the text.

 

What has just been recorded refers more particularly to Parts I, II, and III of the Urantia Book. Part IV -- The Jesus Papers -- had a little different origin. They were produced by a midwayer commission and were completed one year later than the other Papers. The first three parts were completed and certified to us in A. D. 1934. The Jesus Papers were not so delivered to us until 1935(39).

39.  A contradiction exists in these remarks. If the Jesus Papers were not received until 1935 they could not have been part of the 196 Papers which were included in the question and answer cycle. As clearly stated, the first three parts were completed and certified in 1934.  I emphasize that the first three parts, Papers 1 through 119, were "completed and certified" in 1934.  There were no changes to the Papers after that date.  Therefore, only the 119 Papers of the first three parts of The Urantia Papers could have been in that cycle.

 

Also, if the first three parts were "completed and certified" in 1934, there could have been no question and answer routine after that date.  As Bob Burton, an early member of the Forum, stated in a 1975 document, no changes were made to The Urantia Papers after final reception in 1934 and 1935.  Therefore, the apparent chronology is inaccurate, and was written at a late date, probably in 1960, the date of this document.

 

The evidence shows that memories became hazy.  Paper 119, "Bestowals of Christ Michael," with a date of 1935 given in the text, should have been placed with the Jesus Papers, not with the History of Urantia.  This placement has always puzzled me, and many others familiar with the Papers.  The paragraph containing this date connects it to the preceding 67 papers, not the following Jesus Papers.  Thus an apparent contradiction exists in the date, or the placement, or both.  The reason for this contradiction is unknown.

 

 

The Delay In Receiving The Jesus Papers

The delay of one year in the reception of the Jesus Papers -- Part IV of the Urantia Book -- may be explained as follows: The midwayers were a bit apprehensive about becoming involved in the suit pending in the Universe Courts -- Gabriel vs. Lucifer -- and they hesitated to complete their project until they were assured that they had full authority to retell the story of Jesus' life on earth.

 

After some months' waiting there came the mandate from Uversa directing the United Midwayers of Urantia to proceed with their project of revealing the story of the life and teachings of Michael when incarnated on Urantia, and not only assuring them that they were not in "contempt" of the Uversa Courts, but instead granting them a mandate to do this service and admonishing any and all persons connected therewith to refrain from interfering with, or in any way hindering, the execution of such an undertaking.

 

And this is the explanation of why the Jesus Papers appear one year after the other Papers had been completed(40)-(41).

40. Again, as noted above, this is speculative commentary. Perhaps the midwayers indicated their apprehension, but the human reasons for this delay are not mentioned.  Rather what we have here is a biting commentary on the shortness of vision of human kind.  One year in the process of the Revelation was minor compared to an exercise that ran from 1908 to 1955.

This expansion on the timing of the Jesus Papers confirms the suggestion that they were not involved in the question and answer cycle, and reinforces the contradiction noted above.

 

41. At this point the section entitled REASONS FOR SILENCE RESPECTING DETAILS . . . follows in the expanded version.


How We Got The Urantia Papers

Just about all that is known or could be told about the origin of the Urantia Papers is to be found, here and there, in the Urantia Book. A list of such references is to be found on the back of the dust jacket of the Book.

 

Let us take a brief look at these citations.

 

1. Page 1, par. 2. This passage refers to the difficulty of presenting expanded spiritual concepts when restricted to circumscribed human language, such as English.

2. Page 1, par. 4. An Orvonton Commission participated in the revelation and prepared this Forward.

3. Page 17, par. 1. In presenting this revelation of augmented spiritual values and universe meanings, more than one thousand human concepts were drawn from the minds of human beings of the present and the past.

4. Page 16, par. 8. P. 1343, par. 1. In all revelation of truth, preference is given to the highest existing human concepts of ideality and reality. Only in the absence of the human concept is superhuman knowledge revealed.

5. Page 1109, par. 4. Revelators are seldom at liberty to anticipate scientific discoveries. Truth is timeless, but the teachings respecting the physical sciences and certain phases of cosmology will become partially obsolescent as the result of the new discoveries of advancing scientific investigations. The cosmology of the Urantia Revelation is not inspired. Human wisdom must evolve(42).

6. Page 215, par. 2-9. Human pedagogy proceeds from the simple to the complex. The Urantia Revelation begins with the more complex and goes on to the consideration of the more simple. Instead of beginning with man reaching up to God, The Urantia Papers begin with God -- reaching down and finding man.

7. Page 865, par. 6,7. The narrative of the midwayers function in initiating and carrying forward the completion of the Urantia Revelation.

8. Page 865, par. 2, P. 1208, par. 7. Midway creatures are always employed in the phenomena of communication with material beings through the technique of "Contact Personalities." The "subject" through whom The Urantia Papers were bestowed had a highly experienced Thought Adjuster. The "subject's" relative indifference and unconcern regarding the work of his indwelling Adjuster was in every way favorable to the execution and completion of this revelatory project(43).

9. Page 1258, par. 1. The contact personality was a member of the Urantia Reserve Corps of Destiny. This was just one of several conditions favoring the impartation of the Urantia Revelation(44).

10. Page 1008, par. 3. The Urantia Revelation is unique in that it is presented by multiple authors. The Urantia Revelation, like its predecessors, is not inspired(45).

11. Page 32, par. 2. A Divine Counselor "portrays the reality and nature of the Father with unchallengeable authority."

12. Page 17, par. 2. The Revelators depend upon the indwelling Adjusters and the Spirit of Truth to help us in the appropriation of the truth of the Urantia Revelation.

13. Page 1007, par. 1. Revelation keeps in touch with evolution. Revelation is adapted to the age of its bestowal. New revelation maintains contact with preceding revelations.

 

42. Refer to discussion in later chapters on the deeper reasons behind this condition of restraint.

 

43. Refer to discussion on the confusion between the "Sleeping Subject" who expressed little interest in the material "coming through" him, and the "forward looking" "contact personality," who was not the "Sleeping Subject."

 

44. Again, care should be taken to avoid confusion between the "Sleeping Subject" and the "contact personality." Little did Sadler realize, or anyone since, that he was the "contact personality," and thus the mentioned member of the Reserve Corps of Destiny.

 

45. The authors of this present paper, including Sadler and other members of the "Contact Commission" who may have had a hand in editing, had an obvious confusion between "The cosmology of these revelations is not inspired," a statement by the revelators, and "The Urantia Revelation is not inspired," a statement by the authors of this paper. This is a most notable error, and shows the limits of understanding among the members. Refer to later discussion.

 

 

How We Did Not Get The Urantia Book

Recently, a group of ministers from northern Indiana, who were engaged in studying the Urantia Book, spent the day with us and, during the evening, Dr. Sadler led a discussion on "How We Did Not Get the Urantia Book(46).

The following is the gist of that presentation.
 

1. Automatic Writing.
2. Automatic Talking.

a. Speaking with "tongues."
b. Trance Mediums.
c. Spirit Mediums.
d. Catalepsy.

3. Automatic Hearing--Clairaudience.

Hearing "voices."

4. Automatic Seeing.

a. Dream States--Twilight Mentation.
b. Visions--Automatic Dramatization.
c. Hallucinations. (Shifting "Reality" Feelings.)

5. Automatic Thinking.

a. Automatic Fearing--Anxiety Neurosis.
b. Automatic Ideation--Mental Compulsions.
c. Automatic Judgments--Intuitions, Hunches.
d. Automatic Association of Ideas--Premonitions.
e. Automatic Guessing--E.S.P. (Extra-Sensory Perception)
f. Automatic Deductions--Delusions--Paranoia.
g. Dominance of Marginal Consciousness--Dreams and Hypnosis.

6. Automatic Remembering.

a. Clairvoyance--Automatic Memory Associations.
b. Telepathy--Mind Reading.
c. Fortune Telling (Largely Fraudulent.)
d. Musical and Mathematical Marvels.

7. Automatic Acting.

a. Automatic Behavior--(Major Hysteria. Witchcraft.)
b. Automatic Motion--Motor Compulsions.
c. Automatic Overdrives--Manic Episodes.
d. Automatic Walking-Somnambulism.

8. Automatic Personalization.

a. Automatic Forgetting--Amnesia
b. Automatic Dissociation--Double and Multiple Personality
c. Schizophrenia--Split Personality.

9. Combined and Associated Psychic States.
 

Note: The technique of the reception of the Urantia Book in English in no way parallels or impinges upon any of the above phenomena of the marginal consciousness.
 

46. As far as I can determine, Dr. Sadler was the only person from the Contact Commission who attended these discussions. Therefore, "us" must mean him.   He was a humble man who did not pretend to great personal honor.