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 more sources.

I asked Matthew about the circumstance and date of his first discovery. This is the information he gave me on March 1, 1999:

In the early 90s I decided to delve into the non-fiction of the early 20th century, to see how the teachings of the UB related to what was already here. I wasn't expecting to find really close parallels, just general ones. But in the spring of 1992 I found at least 3 obvious source books, all on the same day. When I first discovered that I'd found an obvious source (Hopkins' "Origin and Evolution of Religion"), I experienced a swirl of mixed emotions: delight and shock. Delight that my years-long desire to find sources was finally being fulfilled. Shock that the parallels were so apparently plagiaristic (although I immediately saw that it wasn't JUST plagiarism, but a creative and ingenious reworking of the material done by an extraordinary type of mind). I knew these finds marked a turning point in my life and a milestone in the Urantia movement. I knew that in a few short years many more sources would be found and that this new knowledge would ultimately be beneficial to the understanding and application of the UB's teachings, despite an initial and inevitable period of disillusionment and confusion on the part of many readers. All of my initial hopes and fears about the effects of these source finds have turned out to be true. I hope my books will contribute to a more informed understanding of the Urantia Papers as well as dispel some wrong interpretations of my findings.


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 these similarities:

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, 
In hours, days, years, 
Driven by the spheres, 
Like a vast shadow moved. 

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.


Human Sources

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: 

pg 47
". . . The light and energy of the eternal God thus
swing on forever around his majestic circuit . . .

pg 34
No thing is new to God, and no cosmic event ever comes
as a surprise; he inhabits the circle of eternity. He is
without beginning or end of days. To God there is no past,
present, or future; all time is present at any given
moment. He is the great and only I AM.



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:

As regards an individual life, the duration of a realm, or the chronology of any connected series of events, it would seem that we are dealing with an isolated stretch of time; everything seems to have a beginning and an end. And it would appear that a series of such experiences, lives, ages, or epochs, when successively arranged, constitutes a straightaway drive,

an isolated event of time flashing momentarily across the infinite face of eternity. But when we look at all this from behind the scenes, a more comprehensive view and a more complete understanding suggests that such an explanation is inadequate, disconnected, and wholly unsuited properly to account for, and otherwise to correlate, the transactions of time with the underlying purposes and basic reactions of eternity.


To me it seems more fitting, for purposes of explanation to the mortal mind, to conceive of eternity as a cycle and the eternal purpose as an endless circle, a cycle of eternity in some way synchronized with the transient material cycles of time. As regards the sectors of time connected with, and forming a part of, the cycle of eternity, we are forced to recognize that such temporary epochs are born, live, and die just as the temporary beings of time are born, live, and die. 


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:

I first came across The Urantia Book in early 1976, while sitting in on a metaphysical class my mother was taking. My mother actually had little interest in metaphysics; she was more interested in the marketing potentials of "pyramid power." I, on the other hand, was obsessed with the esoteric, and as I sat in that class I found myself in my element. At that time, I was a tortured, searching, eighteen-year-old college dropout, (I'd started at sixteen), on my third psychiatrist, and working as a Boy Friday for a well-known Philadelphia psychic.


I don't remember what the lecturer was talking about, but I recall that at one point he held up a copy of The Urantia Book and invited us to look through it after class. At first sight I was lured by its encyclopedic size; I've always viewed encyclopedias and dictionaries as radiant repositories of knowledge. Flipping through the pages, though, I was more repelled than attracted. It seemed to be written too dryly. I was put off by the rosters of superhuman personalities and the neologisms, and cringed at the bizarre chapter titles like "Melchizedek's Teaching in the Occident." The lecturer noticed my reactions and advised me not to dismiss the book too rashly.


Several weeks later, while haunting the bookstores in a new suburban mall, I found it again and decided to delve into it further. Its analytic of style prose still put me off; I'd always supposed that a revelation would real like the Upanishads or Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. But certain passages about God and religious experience -- written with a unique combination of eloquence, fervor, rational intelligence and powerful authoritativeness -- began to appeal to me.

Despite my fascination with the occult, and despite the fact that I'd rejected the Judaism of my childhood when I was twelve, I retained a very strong, liberal Judaeo-Christian sensibility. I never gave up craving communion with a personal God. Since childhood I'd felt drawn to Jesus, but was never able to get a good grasp on him from my Catholic relatives or from reading the New Testament. The Urantia Book was one of the very few

books I'd come across that seemed to be written in a Judaeo-Christian vein and yet had something urgently new to say. I remember feeling a dim excitement at the prospect that The Urantia Book might help lead me to God and perhaps even to Jesus. 


In the weeks that followed I kept going back to that mall, since it was the only place I knew that carried the book. After four or five visits, I finally rushed back to buy a copy after realizing that beneath its stark exterior, the book carried intensely beautiful and inspiring messages about God, life and destiny. The deciding factor, I think, was the "Rodan of Alexandria" paper, one of the few that didn't presuppose familiarity with Urantia terminology. I was inspired by its sound, affirmative, God-centered philosophy, and its message about the precious value of friendship.


Once I'd bought it I felt a tremendous sense of relief. The book seemed to glow as it rested on my desk. But it took several months to integrate the book into my life and thoughts. The pull of astrology and psychic phenomena was still quite strong; I kept thinking of Jesus as a Leo and had trouble squaring Edgar Cayce's account of Jesus with The Urantia Book. Nevertheless, the Urantia philosophy beamed its way through the occult haze, and I gradually stopped thinking in terms of astrology and reincarnation.


Though I thumbed through the book every day, it took me about a year and a half to actually read it from cover to cover. Ironically, the stumbling block for me was the Jesus Papers; while I was intensely interested in Jesus, I simply wasn't ready to follow such a detailed narrative and ws soemwhat put off by the biblical references. For years my favorite part was Part III; but since 1991, as a result of a quiet, Jesus-centered spiritual experience, Part IV is now my preferred "literary gateway" to God. 


In 1977 I decided to return to school, choosing a university in Chicago to be near the Urantia headquarters. Thus began a twenty-plus-year association with the Urantia movement, during which I worked as a volunteer and later, as a paid employee of Urantia Brotherhood (now called the Urantia Fellowship). Since 1992 I've been doing research into the revelator's use of human sources, an endeavor which has immeasurably enriched my understanding of the revelation and of the revelatory process.



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 separate passages.

The following remark is made on pages 16 and 17:


In formulating the succeeding presentations having to do with the portrayal of the character of the Universal Father and the nature of his Paradise associates, together with an attempted description of the perfect central universe and the encircling seven superuniverses, we are to be guided by the mandate of the superuniverse rulers which directs that we shall, in all our efforts to reveal truth and co-ordinate essential knowledge, give preference to the highest existing human concepts pertaining to the subjects to be presented. We may resort to pure revelation only when the concept of presentation has had no adequate previous expression by the human mind.

Successive planetary revelations of divine truth invariably embrace the highest existing concepts of spiritual values as a part of the new and enhanced co-ordination of planetary knowledge. Accordingly in making these presentations about God and his universe associates we have selected as the basis of these papers more than one thousand human concepts representing the highest and most advanced planetary knowledge of spiritual values and universe meanings. Wherein these human concepts, assembled from the God-knowing mortals of the past and the present, are inadequate to portray the truth as we are directed to reveal it, we will unhesitatingly supplement them, for this purpose drawing upon our own superior knowledge of the reality and divinity of the Paradise Deities and their transcendent residential universe. 


The reader may note that this acknowledgment pertains only to Part I of the Papers.

As the revelator's said:

"We have selected as the basis of these papers more than one thousand human concepts representing the highest and most advanced planetary knowledge of spiritual values and universe meanings."

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:

"These human concepts (were) assembled from the God-knowing mortals of the past and the present."

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:  

". . . of the superuniverse rulers which directs that we shall, in all our efforts to reveal truth and co-ordinate essential knowledge, give preference to the highest existing human concepts pertaining to the subjects to be presented."

An intriguing question is posed by this remark: Why did the Revelators place such importance on existing human concepts?

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 knowledge?

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:

Acknowledgment: In carrying out my commission to restate the teachings and retell the doings of Jesus of Nazareth, I have drawn freely upon all sources of record and planetary information. My ruling motive has been to prepare a record which will not only be enlightening to the generation of men now living, but which may also be helpful to all future generations. From the vast store of information made available to me, I have chosen that which is best suited to the accomplishment of this purpose. As far as possible I have derived my information from purely human sources. Only when such sources failed, have I resorted to those records which are superhuman. When ideas and concepts of Jesus' life and teachings have been acceptably expressed by a human mind, I invariably gave preference to such apparently human thought patterns. Although I have sought to adjust the verbal expression the better to conform to our concept of the real meaning and the true import of the Master's life and teachings, as far as possible, I have adhered to the actual human concept and thought pattern in all my narratives. I well know that those concepts which have had origin in the human mind will prove more acceptable and helpful to all other human minds. When unable to find the necessary concepts in the human records or in human expressions, I have next resorted to the memory resources of my own order of earth creatures, the midwayers. And when that secondary source of information proved inadequate, I have unhesitatingly resorted to the superplanetary sources of information.


The memoranda which I have collected, and from which I have prepared this narrative of the life and teachings of Jesus--aside from the memory of the record of the Apostle Andrew--embrace thought gems and superior concepts of Jesus' teachings assembled from more than two thousand human beings who have lived on earth from the days of Jesus down to the time of the inditing of these revelations, more correctly restatements. The revelatory permission has been utilized only when the human record and human concepts failed to supply an adequate thought pattern. My revelatory commission forbade me to resort to extrahuman sources of either information or expression until such a time as I could testify that I had failed in my efforts to find the required conceptual expression in purely human sources.

While I, with the collaboration of my eleven associate fellow midwayers and under the supervision of the Melchizedek of record, have portrayed this narrative in accordance with my concept of its effective arrangement and in response to my choice of immediate expression, nevertheless, the majority of the ideas and even some of the effective expressions which I have thus utilized had their origin in the minds of the men of many races who have lived on earth during the intervening generations, right on down to those who are still alive at the time of this undertaking. In many ways I have served more as a collector and editor than as an original narrator. I have unhesitatingly appropriated those ideas and concepts, preferably human, which would enable me to create the most effective portraiture of Jesus' life, and which would qualify me to restate his matchless teachings in the most strikingly helpful and universally uplifting phraseology. 

In behalf of the Brotherhood of the United Midwayers of Urantia, I most gratefully acknowledge our indebtedness to all sources of record and concept which have been hereinafter utilized in the further elaboration of our restatement of Jesus' life on earth.


Again we can see how the midwayer used human knowledge which  

"embrace thought gems and superior concepts of Jesus' teachings, assembled from more than two thousand human beings who have lived on earth from the days of Jesus down to the time of the inditing of these revelations."

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, frankly, incredible.

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 is human.

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."


From Hartshorne

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.

From page 3 of The Urantia Papers

1. Absolute perfection in all aspects.

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:

Hartshorne assured me in a letter that his seven sentences were not published in any form prior to his 1941 book.


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.


". . . Thus it is proved that the question, Is there a perfect being? is six distinct questions rather than one. Has anyone a right to assure us, in advance of exploration of the other five, that the Anselmian (unconscious) selection of one among the six -- as the faithful rendering either of the religious question or of the most fruitful philosophical one -- is safely established by the fact that the choice has been repeated no less unconsciously by multitudes of theologians? If anyone asserts this, I must doubt his understanding of tile elementary requirements of good 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.


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:

"So far as I know, this is the only rigorous formal classification (which as formal and a mere classification is beyond intelligent controversy) of possible doctrines about God--except mere dichotomies (e.g., God is or is not eternal, one with all reality, etc.), which are never very helpful because only one of the two classes has positive content. Yet, though formal, the classification is relevant to religion, if religion believes in an unsurpassable being. And it certainly is relevant to philosophy; for the seven cases (as formal possibilities) follow automatically from concepts which philosophy is bound to use.


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 about God.

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 by Hartshorne.

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?


Morontia Mota

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:

I shall now list these twenty-eight statements in parallel with Matthew Block's discovery in human literature.


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 
(p. 3)


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 well. 

The act is ours; the consequences God's.

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. 31) 

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 human compatriots.

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.