THE MATTHEW BLOCK DISCOVERIES -- PART I
On September 22, 1992, occurred one of the most startling disclosures in the history of the Urantia movement. That was the date on which Matthew Block, a young, devout, hopelessly naive Urantian who lives in Chicago, distributed an eye-opening four-page release titled "A Bibliographic Essay on Some Human Books Used in The Urantia Book."
With that statement Martin Gardner
broadcast to the world the information that The Urantia Papers contained
material which had origins in man, and not exclusively in immortal beings.
See his Urantia, the Great Cult
Mystery, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, 1995.
Matthew's release cited fifteen books which, according to his statement,
"were used in the inditement of some of The Urantia Papers. Each of these books contains sentences, sources."
paragraphs or even whole chapters whose phrasing and organization of thought or information are so closely paralleled in the Urantia Papers as to be unmistakable
Subsequent releases by Matthew gave
nineteen, (December, 1992), twenty, (1994), and twenty-seven, (1997). Matthew
spoke at numerous Urantia meetings and conferences; since then he has published
I asked Matthew about the circumstance and date of his first discovery. This is the information he gave me on March 1, 1999:
Well, Matthew certainly had the situation assessed correctly. He let loose a storm of controversy and doubt about the authenticity of a divine Revelation.
My Personal Discovery
I had personally encountered parallels
through my studies. In my paper on Predestination (1984) I had published
I saw eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm as it was bright;
And round beneath it Time,
Henry Vaughan (1622 - 1695)
Even time itself becomes but the shadow of eternity cast by Paradise realities upon the moving panoply of space. pg 1117
Physical matter is the time-space
shadow of the Paradise energy-shining of the absolute Deities. pg 648
. . . the living God is the divine light whose interruptions constitute the creation shadows of all space. pg 1124
Now the nature of the Creator was everlasting, but to bestow this attribute in its fullness upon a creature was impossible. Wherefore he resolved to have a moving image of eternity. When he set the universe in order he caused it to move according to number. The image is not eternal, for it moves by number, while eternity itself rests in unity. This image we call time. There were no days and months and years before the universe was created but when God formed it he created them also. They are all parts of time.
Time, then, was framed after the pattern of the eternal nature, for the pattern exists from eternity, and the Creator has been, is, and will be in all time. Such was the mind and thought of God in the creation of time.
Plato, in Timaeus
How long before you will regard time as the moving image of eternity and space as the fleeting shadow of Paradise realities? pg 2021
Although I was conscious of these parallels when I first did my paper I chalked it up to coincidence in expression. It did not occur to me that the Revelators had built upon these specific human expressions. Not until I saw Block's work did I recognize that I had inadvertently stumbled on concepts from human
sources other than those catalogued by him. These few examples illustrate a profound manipulation of the human sources into divine expression.
Compare these parallels.
The Urantia Papers
"time . . . like a vast shadow moved" (beneath eternity)
"time . . . becomes but the shadow of eternity "
"physical matter is the time-space shadow"
"the creation shadows of all space"
"a great ring of pure and endless light"
"the Paradise energy-shining of the absolute Deities"
"the living God is the divine light"
"a moving image of eternity"
"the moving image of eternity"
|Consider also "a great ring of pure and endless light" with:||
The manner in which the Revelators used
human sources shows that they did not necessarily need human words; rather
they saw the efficiency of human concepts in forms that were familiar to
us. They built their expressions around mental images and verbal phraseologies
which were comfortable to us.
Curiously, they used a common English
translation of Plato, and one with which I was familiar.
On page 364 we find the human concept
of eternity as "a ring of pure and endless light" developed more fully:
I had elsewhere published discussions about the eternal nature of our Creator, who must exist in all time.
As Plato stated:
"the Creator has been, is, and will be in all time"
As The Urantia Papers state:
Michael Sons seem to be able to operate relatively independent of time. A Creator Son is not handicapped by time, but he is conditioned by space;
Michael of Nebadon acts timelessly within his own universe and by reflectivity practically so in the superuniverse. He communicates timelessly with the Eternal Son directly. pg 377
|But on to Matthew Block's discoveries.|
|Matthew Block's Background|
Who is Matthew Block?
In a private letter he stated he was born in Philadelphia in 1958, and raised in a suburb of that city.
He wrote this brief autobiography about himself:
|What the Revelation Has To Say About Human Sources|
All serious students of the book
should have been alerted to the fact that it used human sources in the
formulation of its revelations. It clearly states that it did so, in two
The following remark is made on pages
16 and 17:
The reader may note that this acknowledgment pertains only to Part I of the Papers.
As the revelator's said:
They did not say where they found these human concepts, but we would hope that those concepts had public expression, and were not merely the product of private human rumination. Matthew has now confirmed that hope for us. As they further state:
Here is a very important remark.
They did not use human expressions which were secular, or from minds which
did not know God. Their human sources all knew God; those human mortals
gave expression to their highest concepts of God. The Revelators built
on a body of Godly expression from human mortals, as a foundation for further
revelations about God and Creation.
The Revelators also state that they were under mandate:
An intriguing question is posed
by this remark: Why did the Revelators place such importance on existing
If we examine this remark we find
that the Revelators actually had two purposes. One, to reveal truth. Two,
to co-ordinate essential knowledge. We certainly recognize why they would
be moved to reveal truth. But why would they have a desire to co-ordinate
Several primary reasons exist for
using human concepts.
First, it is not possible to formulate revelations which use the vocabulary and conceptual structures of future ages. Suppose that the Old Testament prophets, or Jesus, had used the scientific vocabulary and conceptual frameworks of the twentieth century. Their audiences would have been more than puzzled; they would have regarded those expressions as weird gibberish. They would have rejected those revelations as nonsense. Hence, all revelations are conditioned by the mental orientation and thought structure of the age in which they are given. If Melchizedek wanted to reveal events about the end of the age, and destruction from nuclear warfare, he could not say it would come from rocket missiles. He was forced to find expression in the vocabulary and intellectual framework of the sixth century BC. He said, "They leap over the tops of the mountains." Jesus used the phrase "abomination of desolation." Then we, who have wider views of expression, might see those old revelations as antique, or even superstitious. But all revelation must be founded on the human concepts and language of the age in which given.
As a corollary we should note that
modern minds, insensitive to truth, and conditioned by the godless conceptual
orientations of this age, reject such truth. Interestingly, in this manner
revelation may be used to attract those with a more sensitive awareness
of God, while repelling more godless minds. Millions of people living today
welcome the old-fashioned expressions because they know those expressions
carry God's truth. If godless minds given any credit to those old revelations
it is merely as "curious religious poetry." Thus old revelations become
a vehicle for screening mankind in the decisions processes of today.
One can see this process by noting
Matthew's remarks. He had difficulty first accepting the Revelation because
it did not fit with his conceptual orientations.
Second, we humans do not have the
sense, or maturity, to cull deposits in our libraries to preserve the highest
and most essential spiritual wealth of humanly created concepts from the
past. We are so purely moved to each preserve his own personal creations
we do not reach the level to be able to judge the importance of created
expressions, or to preserve them in compendiums. We may compile encyclopedias,
or anthologies, but we do not have perspectives to judge enduring religious,
moral, ethical or social creations. In the twentieth century, priorities
are given to secular and materialistic developments. Thus we have libraries
overloaded with useless productions, of no lasting value.
I recall a remark Jonathan Swift once made. In paraphrase, "If all the libraries of Europe were burned there would be little loss."
The Urantia Papers serve to compile the most important human spiritual concepts from this planetary age in one body of work.
From the illustration above you can
how they reached into Plato and Henry Vaughan from the seventeenth century.
Third, if the present godless social
order will be destroyed, we need some vehicle to preserve the most valuable
human intellectual creations of the past. We should have some method to
preserve the cultural developments from our present civilization, on which
future cultures must necessarily depend if they are to continue to build.
If our civilization is doomed, and all institutions and repositories of
knowledge are destroyed, how do we protect those human creations? The Revelators
looked forward to such prospect and used the Revelation as a vehicle for
just such preservation. When the survivors of the nations escape to other
lands, (the wilderness), for practical reasons they will be able to carry
with them only the most precious documents. The two most precious are the
Bible and The Urantia Papers.
These purposes are seen in another
remark about human sources on page 1343:
Again we can see how the midwayer used human knowledge which
If one were to perform an exhaustive
search of all human sources created down through the centuries, and compare
them painstakingly with the text of The Jesus Papers, one might
expect to find nearly two thousand of such expressions.
The most amazing phenomenon is how
Matthew Block was able to find more than seventy-five sources, as he reports.
(Many of these he keeps close to his chest.) He must have an extraordinary
relationship with God to become so productive in finding those human sources.
His work is far more than the accidental
stumbling across old books in old book stores. He must have a sensitivity
to quickly grasp the conceptual center the human author described in his
work, perhaps from the title, or from rapidly scanning the themes expressed
in the book. But far more, Matthew has an exceptional ability to pour over
endless pages of text, while recognizing phrases, words, paragraphs or
other segments which he uncannily remembers from the Revelation.
His ability truly is profound and,
Martin Gardner described Matthew
as "hopelessly naive." I would not so classify Matthew. I have had frequent
exchanges with Matthew on concepts, with debates about origins. I met with
him on several occasions in Chicago. For all the amazing talents Matthew
displays, for his excellent vocabulary and mastery of English expressions,
and for all these discoveries, he also displays an inability to adequately
grasp the practical processes of the real world. He assigns causes and
relationships which more experienced and mature individuals would reject.
I shall later discuss this defect in Matthew's intellectual abilities.
But, like the rest of us, Matthew
I shall now go on to illustrate one of the more spiritually insightful, and more intellectually advanced, parallels from Matthew's discoveries.
|A Striking Example From Matthew Block|
|In 1941 the Chicago firm of Willett, Clark and Company published a book by the philosopher, Charles Hartshorne, entitled Man's Vision of God. Hartshorne had been one of Martin Gardner's teachers at the University of Chicago, (where Matthew||Block later went to school), and a well-known advocate of what has been called "process theology"--the view that God is in time and evolving along with the universe. On page 8 of his book Hartshorne lists seven possible meanings of "absolute perfection."|
Absolute perfection in some respects,
relative perfection in all others.
Absolute perfection, relative perfection,
and "imperfection" (neither absolute nor relative perfection), each in
Absolute perfection in some respects,
imperfection in all others.
Absolute perfection in no respects,
relative in all.
Absolute perfection in no respects,
relative in some, imperfection in the others.
Absolute perfection in no respects, imperfection in all.
From page 3 of The Urantia Papers
2. Absolute perfection in some phases
and relative perfection in all other aspects.
3. Absolute, relative, and imperfect
aspects in varied association.
4. Absolute perfection in some respects,
imperfection in all others.
5. Absolute perfection in no direction,
relative perfection in all other manifestations.
6. Absolute perfection in no phase,
relative in some, imperfect in others.
7. Absolute perfection in no attribute, imperfection in all.
Clearly, the seven meanings of perfection
from Hartshorne are reprinted almost word for word in The Urantia Papers.
As Gardner reported:
I personally reviewed many of the
more relevant writings by Hartshorne, including his Doctoral Thesis published
in 1921. I could find no previous expression of these seven meanings of
perfection in Hartshorne's work. He was a highly productive writer; between
1934 and 1962 eight of his books were published. He also edited the collected
works of Charles Sanders Pierce, and wrote more than one hundred and fifty
papers published in professional journals during his career.
His list appears in Chapter One of his book, entitled The Formally Possible Doctrines. He engaged in a lengthy discussion of the evolution of philosophy about God, and that a revolution in thinking was underway in the first part of the 20th century. Thoughts about God were becoming more rigorous and more systematic. However, in response to the continuing
confusion he found among philosophers, Hartshorne engaged in a rigorous classification of the ways God can be described in terms of his perfection. Theologians confused these by unconsciously describing different aspects of God's perfection but assigning it to only one. In the paragraph preceding his list, he elaborates on the conceptual foundation to his classification of seven levels of perfection. As is evident, his is purely human reasoning.
He presented his seven cases in Table form.
"The seven cases can be arranged, in several different stays, into three main groups.
The following of the possible triadic arrangements seems the most useful":
Absolute perfection in all respects.
Absolute perfection in some respects, relative perfection in all others.
Absolute perfection, relative perfection, and "imperfection" (neither absolute nor relative perfection), each in some respects.
Absolute perfection in some respects, imperfection in all others
Absolute perfection in no respects, relative in all.
Absolute perfection in no respects, relative in some, imperfection in the others.
Absolute perfection in no respects, imperfection in all.
"EXPLANATION OF SYMBOLS:
A stands for absolute perfection.
R for relative perfection.
I for the joint negative of A and R.
X for the negative of A (and thus for the disjunction of R and I).
(A) or (X) for the factors occurring throughout a group."
Hartshorne goes on to remark:
Hartshorne indicates that he here
summarizes and clarifies all previous human discussions on doctrines about
God's perfection. In other words, he is a leading philosopher, in the forefront
of intellectual exploration, for systematizing these thoughts and concepts
We can understand why the Revelators
might want to use Hartshorne's developments. They are placing into the
revelatory record, to be carried into the future, elements which may serve
future human philosophers the opportunity to build on these cultural developments.
They used the most advanced twentieth-century human thought, as expressed
However, you can see the shifting
of concepts by using the words "phases," "attributes," and "manifestations"
not used by Harstshorne. By these choice of words the Revelators condition
the nature of Hartshorne's expression, and thus condition all future reasoning
by their choice of words. The statements in the Revelation will be carried
to the future; Hartshorne's work will not. Future philosophers will have
a great respect for these choices by the Revelators. The choices show an
ability by the Revelators to redirect the nature of human thoughts which
engage in reflection on these philosophies.
The Urantia Papers introduce their list with this statement:
"When we attempt to conceive of perfection in all phases and forms of relativity, we encounter seven conceivable types:
Here the Revelators further condition
future philosophical developments. Intellectual advances, founded on respect
for the Revelation, will depend upon looking at perfection by relativity
to creation; not by God's absoluteness, per se, devoid of his creative
act. In other words, God perfection cannot be absolute in relation to creation
which must be, by inherent necessity, be less than what he himself is.
Thus God's perfection can only be relative with respect to creation. This
was the center of Hartshorne's discussion but Hartshorne himself did not
make this distinction. The Revelators expanded upon Hartshorne's human
limitations in thinking.
Thus, Hartshorne's developments,
and the way in which the Revelators expand upon and further develop these
conceptual kernels, are really part of the discussions on the origins of
reality, part of the definitions of God. Hartshorne's developments and
the Revelator discussions must be understood in such a higher context.
Hence you will find in The Urantia Papers that these definitions
of absolute perfection fall under sections on DEITY and DIVINITY. Consider,
for example, these remarks.
DEITY is personalizable as God, is prepersonal and superpersonal in ways not altogether comprehensible by man. Deity is characterized by the quality of unity -- actual or potential -- on all supermaterial levels of reality; and this unifying quality is best comprehended by creatures as divinity.
What is meant by prepersonal and superpersonal? What is the difference between actual and potential unity? Have these concepts found prior human expression, or were they offered in the Papers for the first time in human history?
And what do they tell us about the
methods used by the Revelators in expanding our conceptual horizons? Consider,
as further example, the following descriptions of functional Deity.
Total Deity is functional on the following seven levels:
1. Static -- self-contained and self-existent Deity.
2. Potential -- self-willed and self-purposive Deity.
3. Associative -- self-personalized and divinely fraternal Deity.
4. Creative -- self-distributive and divinely revealed Deity.
5. Evolutional -- self-expansive and creature-identified Deity.
6. Supreme -- self-experiential and creature-Creator-unifying Deity. Deity functioning on the first creature-identificational level as time-space overcontrollers of the grand universe, sometimes designated the Supremacy of Deity.
7. Ultimate -- self-projected and time-space-transcending Deity. Deity omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Deity functioning on the second level of unifying divinity expression as effective overcontrollers and absonite up-holders of the master universe. As compared with the ministry of the Deities to the grand universe, this absonite function in the master universe is tantamount to universal overcontrol and supersustenance, sometimes called the Ultimacy of Deity.
Again, unless we find human sources,
we must assume that these intellectual constructs are of divine origin,
offered to influence future human philosophers, and not dependent upon
human sources. The Revelators were reaching into human achievements as
foundation for their revelation, but only as an aid, and not as a necessity.
The Revelators continue to build
on conceptual structures before listing the seven absolute perfections.
Deity may be existential, as in the Eternal Son; experiential, as in the Supreme Being; associative, as in God the Sevenfold; undivided, as in the Paradise Trinity.
Deity is the source of all that which is divine. Deity is characteristically and invariably divine, but all that which is divine is not necessarily Deity, though it will be co-ordinated with Deity and will tend towards some phase of unity with Deity-spiritual, mindal, or personal.
DIVINITY is the characteristic, unifying, and co-ordinating quality of Deity.
Divinity is creature comprehensible as truth, beauty, and goodness; correlated in personality as love, mercy, and ministry; disclosed on impersonal levels as justice, power, and sovereignty.
Divinity may be perfect-complete-as
on existential and creator levels of Paradise perfection; it may be imperfect,
as on experiential and creature levels of time-space evolution; or it may
be relative, neither perfect nor imperfect, as on certain Havona levels
of existential-experiential relationships.
Clearly, these classifications of
the attributes of God reach beyond the conceptual range of previous human
constructs. And Hartshorne's list serves to complement and extend those
classifications. Did the other attributes find previous human expression?
We will not know unless some one makes that discovery.
The Revelators found the work from Hartshorne as a convenience to fill out these presentations on Deity and Divinity. Hartshorne was on the way to developing greater intellectual philosophies centered on God. But how many of us could use his work as benefit to our understanding of God?
One of the more curious neologisms
in The Urantia Papers is the word "morontia." It denotes a state
of existence between the purely material and the purely spiritual. This
state is the celestial body to which we will awake on the mansion worlds.
See Paul's discussion in I Cor 15. Also see the remarks of Jesus in John
14: 2. This state was previously unrevealed; the Revelators needed a word
to designate it.
As part of the discussion on the
morontia state of existence we are informed that part of our training will
be in "morontia mota."
On this third mansion world the survivors really begin their progressive morontia culture. The chief purpose of this training is to enhance the understanding of the correlation of morontia mota and mortal logic, the co-ordination of morontia mota and human philosophy. Surviving mortals now gain practical insight into true metaphysics. This is the real introduction to the intelligent comprehension of cosmic meanings and universe interrelationships. Page 536.
Then, on page 556, the following
remarks are made.
On the first mansion world it is the practice to teach the less advanced students by the parallel technique; that is, in one column are presented the more simple concepts of mota meanings, and in the opposite column citation is made of analogous statements of mortal philosophy.
Not long since, while executing an assignment on the first mansion world of Satania, I had occasion to observe this method of teaching; and though I may not undertake to
present the mota content of the lesson, I am permitted to record the twenty-eight statements of human philosophy which this morontia instructor was utilizing as illustrative material designed to assist these new mansion world sojourners in their early efforts to grasp the significance and meaning of mota. These illustrations of human philosophy were:
Matthew published these parallels
in 1993 in a document entitled Morontia Mota with his copyright
notice provided at the beginning of his list. He stated that he had obtained
these parallels from The New Dictionary of Thought, originally compiled
by Tryon Edwards. Matthew used a 1954 reprint of a 1936 edition, that had
revisions and enlargement by C. N. Catrevas and Jonathan Edwards . I compared
Matthew's selections from an earlier 1927 edition I found in my local library,
also revised and enlarged by Catrevas. The book has seen many editions;
I found one reference dated 1966.
The Dictionary is an anthology
of brief quotes of human attributes and relationships from many different
authors, both ancient and modern, listed in alphabetical order. The first
few are "ability," "absence," "abstinence," and so on. Many authors are
quoted repeatedly with different sentiments under different categories.
The 1927 edition is 750 pages.
Martin Gardner reported these parallels in his review of Matthew's work.
The Urantia Papers
New Dictionary of Thought
1. A display of specialized skill does not signify possession of spiritual capacity. Cleverness is not a substitute for true character.
1. We should be on our guard against the temptation to argue directly from skill to capacity, and to assume when a man displays skill in some feat, his capacity is therefore considerable. Tom H. Pear (p. 1)
|Curiously, this quote does not appear in the 1927 edition. Furthermore, the human remark does not capture the spirit of the revelation statement. "Spiritual capacity" is emphasized.||The idea of "true character" does not appear in the human expression. Thus the Revelators once again expand upon the limited human expression.|
2. Few persons live up to the faith
which they really have. Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud
practiced upon the evolving mortal soul.
3. Inherent capacities cannot be exceeded; a pint can never hold a quart. The spirit concept cannot be mechanically forced into the material memory mold.
2. The ablest men in all walks of
modern life are men of faith. Most of them have much more faith than they
themselves realize. Bruce Barton (p. 1)
3. A pint can't hold a quart--if it holds a pint it is doing all that can be expected of it. Margaretta W. Deland (p. 1)
Again the revelation statements provide
far more than the human. The human expressions were used merely as a key
to open the door to greater spiritual perception.
Again, these two parallels do not exist in the 1927 edition. The use of a 1954 (1936) edition shows that the Revelators resorted to material which was not catalogued when the Revelation was "completed and certified" in 1934 and 1935.
This raises a very important concern.
Did Sadler make changes to the Revelation after it was "completed and certified?"
I shall later discuss this concern, and review the subsequent course of
events at 533 Diversey Parkway.
I shall not add further comment about the difference between the highly spiritual emphasis of the statements from The Urantia Papers when compared with the human expressions. You may note them as you proceed through the list.
4. Few mortals ever dare to draw anything like the sum of personality credits established by the combined ministries of nature and grace. The majority of impoverished souls are truly rich, but they refuse to believe it.
5. Difficulties may challenge mediocrity and defeat the fearful, but they only stimulate the true children of the Most Highs.
4. Men are often capable of greater
things then they perform.--They are sent into the world with bills of credit,
and seldom draw to their full extent. Horace Walpole (p. 1)
5. Afflictions sent by providence melt the constancy of the noble minded, but confirm the obduracy of the vile, as the same furnace that liquefies the gold, hardens the clay. P. Sidney (p. 7)
6.To enjoy privilege without abuse, to have liberty without license, to possess power and steadfastly refuse to use it for self-aggrandizement - these are the marks of high civilization.
Neither Matthew, Gardner, nor myself
were able to find a similar quote in our respective editions of the Dictionary.
Matthew noted a similarity to statements made on page 613 of The Urantia Papers.
p. 613 "Unbridled self-will and unregulated self-expression equal unmitigated selfishness, the acme of ungodliness. Liberty without the associated and ever-increasing conquest of self is a figment of egoistic mortal imagination. Self-motivated liberty is a conceptual illusion, a cruel deception. License masquerading in the garments of liberty is the forerunner of abject bondage."
|p. 614 "True liberty is the associate of genuine self-respect; false liberty is the consort of self-admiration. True liberty is the fruit of self-control; false liberty, the assumption of self-assertion. Self-control leads to altruistic service; self-admiration tends towards the exploitation of others for the selfish aggrandizement of such a mistaken individual as is willing to sacrifice righteous attainment for the sake of possessing unjust power over his fellow beings."|
7. Blind and unforeseen accidents do not occur in the cosmos.
Neither do the celestial beings assist
the lower being who refuses to act upon his light of truth.
8. Effort does not always produce joy, but there is no happiness without intelligent effort.
7. What men call accident is the doing of God's providence. Longfellow (p. 3)
Heaven never helps the man who will
not act. Sophocles (p. 3)
8. Action may not always bring happiness;
but there is no happiness without action. Disraeli
9. Action achieves strength; moderation
eventuates in charm.
10.Righteousness strikes the harmony chords of truth, and the melody vibrates throughout the cosmos, even to the recognition of the Infinite.
9. Only actions give to life its strength, as only moderation gives it its oration eventuates in charm. Richter (p. 3)
10. Every action of our lives touches
on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. P. Francis(p. 5)
A right act strikes a chord that extends through the whole universe, touches all moral intelligence, visits every world, vibrates along its whole extent, and conveys its vibrations to the very bosom of God! T. Binney (p. 4)
|Matthew notes that the Binney quote was deleted in later editions. Therefore, it would appear that the 1936 edition was used for these human sources.||This fact confirms the supposition that the Revelators used a human source which post dates the 1934-1935 closing of the Revelation.|
11. The weak indulge in resolutions,
but the strong act.
Life is but a day's work - do it
The act is ours; the consequences
12. The greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation.
11. I have never heard anything
about the resolutions of the apostles, but a great deal about their acts.
Horace Mann (p. 4)
Life, though short, is a working
day. Hannah More (p. 4)
Actions are ours; their consequences
belong to heaven. P. Francis (p. 5)
12. The greatest affliction of life is never to have been afflicted. Anonymous (p. 5)
13. Stars are best discerned from
the lonely isolation of experiential depths, not from the illuminated and
ecstatic mountain tops.
14. Whet the appetites of your associates for truth; give advice only when it is asked for.
13. Stars may be seen from the bottom
of a deep well, when they cannot be discerned from the top of a mountain.
So are many things learned in adversity which the prosperous man dreams
not of. Spurgeon (p. 6)
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice; take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Shakespeare (p. 9)
Matthew could find no direct quote
to No. 14. Gardner quoted the above, which I found in the 1927 edition.
Gardner also quoted the following two:
14. Advice and reprehension require the utmost delicacy; painful truths should be delivered in the softest terms' and expressed no farther than is necessary to produce their due effect. A courteous man will mix what is conciliating with what is offensive; praise with censure; deference and respect with the authority of admonition, so far as can be done in consistence with probity and honor. The mind revolts against all censorian power which displays pride or pleasure in finding fault; but advice, divested of the harshness, and yet retaining the honest warmth of truth, is like honey put round the brim of a vessel full of wormwood.--Even this, however, is sometimes insufficient to conceal the bitterness of the draught. Percival (p. 9)
14. Giving advice is sometimes only
showing our wisdom at the expense of another. Shaftesbury (p. 9)
Matthew also referred to Rosilind
Fergusson's Penguin Book of Proverbs:
14. Give neither counsel nor salt
till you are asked for it. English proverb.
However, none of these reflect the divine exhortation to whet the appetites of our associates.
15. Affectation is the ridiculous effort of the ignorant to appear wise, the attempt of the barren soul to appear rich.
16. You cannot perceive spiritual truth until you feelingly experience it, and many truths are not really felt except in adversity.
15. All affectation is the vain
and ridiculous attempt of poverty to appear rich. Lavater (p. 9)
16. That which thou dost not understand when thou readest, thou shalt understand in the day of thy visitation; for many secrets of religion are not perceived till they be felt, and are not felt but in the day of calamity. Jeremy Taylor (p. 11)
Gardner offered the following:
16. Adversity is the trial of principle.--Without it a man hardly knows whether he is honest or not. Fielding (p. 6)
|You can see how the Revelators edited the human expression to make it more succinct, pithy, and spiritual.|
17. Ambition is dangerous until
it is fully socialized. You have not truly acquired any virtue until your
acts make you worthy of it.
18. Impatience is a spirit poison;
anger is like a stone hurled into a hornet's nest.
17. We should not be so taken up
in the search for truth, as to neglect the needful duties of active life;
for it is only action that gives a true value and commendation to virtue.
Cicero (p. 4)
18. The sharpest sting of adversity it borrows from its one impatience. George Horne (p. 7)
Anger is as a stone cast into a wasp's nest. Malabar Proverb (p. 24)
|Matthew noted how the Revelators pulled from separated subjects,||ADVERSITY and ANGER, to associate the thoughts of impatience and anger.|
19. Anxiety must be abandoned. The
disappointments hardest to bear are those which never come.
20. Only a poet can discern poetry in the commonplace prose of routine existence.
19. One of the most useless of all things is to take a deal of trouble in providing against dangers that never come. W. Jay (p. 26)
Let us be of good cheer, remembering
that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come. J. R.
Lowell (p. 26)
20. You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some with you. Joubert (p. 28)
|19. Neither Matthew nor Gardner note the parallel from Jay. It may be that||
it did not occur in the 1936 or 1957
editions of the Dictionary.
20. Gardner quotes a similar remark on page 488.
21. The high mission of any art is, by its illusions, to foreshadow a higher universe reality, to crystallize the emotions of time into the thought of eternity.
22. The evolving soul is not made divine by what it does, but by what it strives to do.
21. The highest problem of any art
is to cause by appearance the illusion of a higher reality. Goethe (p.
22. 'tis not what man does which exalts him, but what man would do! Browning (p. 33)
|Personally, I am continually impressed by the manner in which the Revelators took a human expression, then uplifted it and ennobled it to far loftier perspectives of time and eternity.||I don't know that there is a parallel to "the emotions of time into the thought of eternity." What human mortal would achieve such lofty sweeps of vision?|
23. Death added nothing to the intellectual possession or to the spiritual endowment, but it did add to the experiential status the consciousness of survival.
24. The destiny of eternity is determined
moment by moment by the achievements of the day by day living.
The acts of today are the destiny of tomorrow.
24. The acts of this life are the
destiny of the next. Lavater (p. 5)
Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action for all eternity. Eastern proverb (p. 4)
Neither Matthew nor Gardner nor I
were able to locate a parallel to No. 23.
In his Morontia Mota paper
Matthew remarks, "NOT FOUND - for obvious reasons; mortal survival is not
part and parcel of human philosophy as we know it!" He then refers to page
1136 in The Urantia Papers.
But this remark is simply untrue. Two thousand years of Christianity have emphasized mortal survival. Paul offered discussions on "celestial bodies," I Cor 15:40, foreshadowing presentations in the Papers. Jesus mentioned "many mansions" he was preparing that human mortals might be where he was, John 14:3. The philosophies and theologies of a multitude of Christians over the centuries have centered on speculations of the next life. Even the ancient Egyptians looked forward to survival on seven mansions. Refer to my documents on The Egyptian Book of Life and the Christian parallels.
This is an example of what I meant earlier about Matthew's inability to connect with the practical processes of the real world.
Matthew later expostulated with me about my assessment of his statement. He felt I did not accurately portray his meaning. In attempt to extract from him exactly what he meant, I finally determined that his reference was to the phrase, "Death . . . did add to the experiential status the consciousness of survival," where no human philosopher had previously expressed that thought. With that I agree. That is why we not could find an exact parallel.
25. Greatness lies not so much in
possessing strength as in making a wise and divine use of such strength.
26. Knowledge is possessed only by sharing; it is safeguarded by wisdom and socialized by love.
25. Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right use of strength.-- Bryant (Page 249). [On page 251 the same statement is credited to Henry Ward Beecher.]
26. If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others.--Tryon Edwards (p. 333)
I could not confirm Gardner's assertion
that the same statement is credited to Henry Ward Beecher on page 251.
Neither is the statement by Bryant found in the 1927 edition.
Matthew noted that the first twenty-four
statements were based on human expressions found in the first thirty-two
pages of the Dictionary. This is the first case which went so far
into the Dictionary.
Does this fact have significance?
I believe it does. First, a wealth of instruction is available from simple terms. Complex or sophisticated intellectual insights are not necessary to gain lofty spiritual values. If this kind of instruction is available from such little suggestion, what might be plumbed from further stretches of teaching?
Second, one might believe the Revelators
awaited the discovery of these connections by Matthew or some other human
mortal. Why not make it easier for discovery, while providing such masterful
spiritual insights? Thus they would not only be following their mandate
to use human concepts wherever possible, but also working hand in glove
with us human mortals to come to recognize the manner in which they expanded
upon human developments.
This method would then give us a clue to how they estimate the limitation of our abilities. They smoothed the path for us, so to speak. Then all they needed was a Matthew Block to come along and make the connection.
27.Progress demands development of individuality; mediocrity seeks perpetuation in standardization.
28.The argumentative defense of any proposition is inversely proportional to the truth contained.
27. Individuality is either the mark of genius or the reverse. Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. Frederick E. Crane (p. 728)
28. He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak. Montaigne (p. 29)
Gardner cited page 302 on #27 but
I could find no reference in the 1927 edition. Matthew noted that this
reference was in an Appendix to the Dictionary. He asked if it was
included this way in pre-1935 editions. The answer is yes; it was included
in an Appendix to the 1927 edition.
The Urantia Papers go on to note:
Such is the work of the beginners on the first mansion world while the more advanced pupils on the later worlds are mastering the higher levels of cosmic insight and morontia mota.
We would be amiss of the mark if we did not note an important element to the mota list.
All of the examples, except for two or three, are drawn from known human sources. In most cases the expressions are ennobled and uplifted to higher spiritual perceptions.
This means that current advanced
human thought approaches the teachings of the first mansion world. Many
human mortals of ages past, and of today, may have approached these levels
of religious, moral, and spiritual insight. Therefore, it is possible that
their term of schooling on the first mansion world may be cut short. On
the opposite extreme, many deficient human mortals who survive to the mansion
worlds may need this compensation to reach the level of their more advanced
Furthermore, if the schooling of the later mansion worlds is designed for "mastering the higher levels of cosmic insight and morontia mota" we probably have not approached those levels on our world. Future ages will do so, but for now the mansion world regime is necessary to take the current citizens of this world to those levels.