Paper 1 : The Universal Fatherˆ

1:0.1 THE Universal Fatherˆ is the Godˆ of all creation, the First Source and Centerˆ of all things and beings. First think of Godˆ as a creatorˆ, then as a controller, and lastly as an infinite upholder. The truth about the Universal Fatherˆ had begun to dawn upon mankind when the prophet said: “You, Godˆ, are alone; there is none beside you. You have created the heaven and the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts; you preserve and control them. By the Sons of Godˆ were the universesˆ made. The Creatorˆ covers himself with light as with a garment and stretches out the heavens as a curtain.” Only the concept of the Universal Fatherˆ — one Godˆ in the place of many gods — enabled mortalˆ man to comprehend the Father as divineˆ creatorˆ and infinite controller.

1:0.2 The myriads of planetary systems were all made to be eventually inhabited by many different types of intelligent creatures, beings who could know Godˆ, receive the divineˆ affection, and love him in return. The  universeˆ of universesˆ is the work of Godˆ and the dwelling place of his diverse creatures. “Godˆ created the heavens and formed the earth; he established the universeˆ and created this world not in vain; he formed it to be inhabited.”

1:0.3 The enlightened worlds all recognize and worship the Universal Fatherˆ, the eternalˆ maker and infinite upholder of all creation. The will creatures of universeˆ upon universeˆ have embarked upon the long, long Paradiseˆ journey, the fascinating struggle of the eternalˆ adventure of attaining  Godˆ the Fatherˆ. The transcendent goal of the children of time is to find the eternalˆ Godˆ, to comprehend the divineˆ nature, to recognize the Universal Fatherˆ. God-knowingˆ creatures have only one supremeˆ ambition, just one consuming desire, and that is to become, as they are in their spheres, like him as he is in his Paradiseˆ perfectˆion of personalityˆ and in his universal sphere of righteous supremacyˆ. From the Universal Fatherˆ who inhabits eternityˆ there has gone forth the supremeˆ mandate, “Be you perfectˆ, even as I am perfectˆ.” In love and mercy the messengers of Paradiseˆ have carried this divineˆ exhortation down through the ages and out through the universesˆ, even to such lowly animal-origin creatures as the human races of Urantiaˆ.

1:0.4 This magnificent and universal injunction to strive for the attainment of the perfectˆion of divinityˆ is the first duty, and should be the highest ambition, of all the struggling creature creation of the Godˆ of perfectˆion. This possibility of the attainment of divineˆ perfectˆion is the final and certain destinyˆ of all man’s eternalˆ spiritˆual progress.

1:0.5 Urantiaˆ mortalsˆ can hardly hope to be perfectˆ in the infinite sense, but it is entirely possible for human beings, starting out as they do on this planet, to attain the supernal and divineˆ goal which the infinite Godˆ has setˆ for mortalˆ man; and when they do achieve this destinyˆ, they will, in all that pertains to self-realization and mindˆ attainment, be just as replete in their sphere of divineˆ perfectˆion as Godˆ himself is in his sphere of infinity and eternityˆ. Such perfectˆion may not be universal in the material sense, unlimited in intellectual grasp, or final in spiritˆual experience, but it is final and complete in all finiteˆ aspects of divinityˆ of will, perfectˆion of personalityˆ motivation, and God-consciousness.

1:0.6 This is the true meaning of that divineˆ command, “Be you perfectˆ, even as I am perfectˆ,” which ever urges mortalˆ man onward and beckons him inward in that long and fascinating struggle for the attainment of higher and higher levels of spiritˆual values and true universeˆ meanings. This sublime search for the Godˆ of universesˆ is the supremeˆ adventure of the inhabitants of all the worlds of time and spaceˆ.

1. The Father’s Name

1:1.1 Of all the names by which  Godˆ the Fatherˆ is known throughout the universesˆ, those which designate him as the First Source and the Universeˆ Center are most often encountered. The First Father is known by various names in different universesˆ and in different sectors of the same universeˆ. The names which the creature assigns to the Creatorˆ are much dependent on the creature’s concept of the Creatorˆ. The First Source and Universeˆ Center has never revealed himself by name, only by nature. If we believe that we are the children of this Creatorˆ, it is only natural that we should eventually call him Father. But this is the name of our own choosing, and it grows out of the recognition of our personal relationship with the First Source and Centerˆ.

1:1.2 The Universal Fatherˆ never imposes any form of arbitrary recognition, formal worship, or slavish service upon the intelligent will creatures of the universesˆ. The evolutionaryˆ inhabitants of the worlds of time and spaceˆ must of themselves — in their own hearts — recognize, love, and voluntarily worship him. The Creatorˆ refuses to coerce or compel the submission of the spiritˆual free wills of his material creatures. The affectionate dedication of the human will to the doing of the Father’s will is man’s choicest gift to God; in fact, such a consecration of creature will constitutes man’s only possible gift of true value to the  Paradiseˆ Fatherˆ. In Godˆ, man lives, moves, and has his being; there is nothing which man can give to Godˆ except this choosing to abide by the Father’s will, and such decisions, effected by the intelligent will creatures of the universesˆ, constitute the reality of that true worship which is so satisfying to the love-dominated nature of the Creatorˆ Father.

1:1.3 When you have once become truly God-conscious, after you really discover the majestic Creatorˆ and begin to experience the realization of the indwellˆing presence of the divineˆ controller, then, in accordance with your enlightenment and in accordance with the manner and method by which the divineˆ Sons reveal Godˆ, you will find a name for the Universal Fatherˆ which will be adequately expressive of your concept of the First Great Source and Center. And so, on different worlds and in various universesˆ, the Creatorˆ becomes known by numerous appellations, in spiritˆ of relationship all meaning the same but, in words and symbols, each name standing for the degree, the depth, of his enthronement in the hearts of his creatures of any given realm.

1:1.4 Near the center of the  universeˆ of universesˆ, the Universal Fatherˆ is generally known by names which may be regarded as meaning the First Source. Farther out in the universesˆ of spaceˆ, the terms employed to designate the Universal Fatherˆ more often mean the Universal Center. Still farther out in the starry creation, he is known, as on the headquarters world of your local universeˆˆ, as the First Creative Source and Divineˆ Center. In one near-by constellationˆ Godˆ is called the Father of Universesˆ. In another, the Infinite Upholder, and to the east, the Divineˆ Controller. He has also been designated the Father of Lights, the Gift of Life, and the All-powerful One.

1:1.5 On those worlds where a Paradiseˆ Son has lived a bestowalˆ life, Godˆ is generally known by some name indicative of personal relationship, tender affection, and fatherly devotion. On your constellationˆ headquarters Godˆ is referred to as the Universal Fatherˆ, and on different planets in your local systemˆ of inhabited worlds he is variously known as the Father of Fathers, the  Paradiseˆ Fatherˆ, the Havonaˆ Father, and the Spiritˆ Father. Those who know Godˆ through the revelations of the bestowalsˆ of the Paradiseˆ Sons, eventually yield to the sentimental appeal of the touching relationship of the creature-Creator association and refer to Godˆ as “our Father.”

1:1.6 On a planet of sex creatures, in a world where the impulses of parental emotion are inherent in the hearts of its intelligent beings, the term Father becomes a very expressive and appropriate name for the eternalˆ Godˆ. He is best known, most universally acknowledged, on your planet, Urantiaˆ, by the name  Godˆ. The name he is given is of little importance; the significant thing is that you should know him and aspire to be like him. Your prophets of old truly called him “the everlasting God” and referred to him as the one who “inhabits eternityˆ.”

2. The Reality of Godˆ

1:2.1 Godˆ is primal reality in the spiritˆ world; Godˆ is the source of truth in the mindˆ spheres; Godˆ overshadows all throughout the material realms. To all created intelligences Godˆ is a personalityˆ, and to the  universeˆ of universesˆ he is the First Source and Centerˆ of eternalˆ reality. Godˆ is neither manlike nor machinelike. The First Father is universal spiritˆ, eternalˆ truth, infinite reality, and father personalityˆ.

1:2.2 The eternalˆ Godˆ is infinitely more than reality idealized or the universeˆ personalized. Godˆ is not simply the supremeˆ desire of man, the mortalˆ quest objectified. Neither is Godˆ merely a concept, the powerˆ-potential of righteousness. The Universal Fatherˆ is not a synonym for nature, neither is he natural law personified. Godˆ is a transcendent reality, not merely man’s traditional concept of supremeˆ values. Godˆ is not a psychological focalization of spiritˆual meanings, neither is he “the noblest work of man.” Godˆ may be any or all of these concepts in the minds of men, but he is more. He is a saving person and a loving Father to all who enjoy spiritˆual peace on earth, and who crave to experience personalityˆ survival in death.

1:2.3 The actualˆity of the existence of Godˆ is demonstrated in human experience by the indwellˆing of the divineˆ presence, the spiritˆ Monitor sent from Paradiseˆ to live in the mortalˆ mindˆ of man and there to assist in evolving the immortal soulˆ of eternalˆ survival. The presence of this divineˆ Adjusterˆ in the human mindˆ is disclosed by three experientialˆ phenomena:

1:2.4 1. The intellectual capacity for knowing Godˆ — God-consciousness.

1:2.5 2. The spiritˆual urge to find Godˆ — God-seeking.

1:2.6 3. The personalityˆ craving to be like Godˆ — the wholehearted desire to do the Father’s will.

1:2.7 The existence of Godˆ can never be proved by scientific experiment or by the pure reason of logical deduction. Godˆ can be realized only in the realms of human experience; nevertheless, the true concept of the reality of Godˆ is reasonable to logic, plausible to philosophy, essential to religion, and indispensable to any hope of personalityˆ survival.

1:2.8 Those who know Godˆ have experienced the fact of his presence; such God-knowingˆ mortalsˆ hold in their personal experience the only positive proof of the existence of the living Godˆ which one human being can offer to another. The existence of Godˆ is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mindˆ and the God-presence of the Thought Adjusterˆˆ that indwellsˆ the mortalˆ intellect and is bestowed upon man as the free gift of the Universal Fatherˆ.

1:2.9 In theory you may think of Godˆ as the Creatorˆ, and he is the personal creatorˆ of Paradiseˆ and the central universeˆˆ of perfectˆion, but the universesˆ of time and spaceˆ are all created and organized by the Paradiseˆ corps of the  Creatorˆ Sonsˆ. The Universal Fatherˆ is not the personal creatorˆ of the local universeˆˆ of Nebadonˆ; the universeˆ in which you live is the creation of his Son Michael. Though the Father does not personally create the evolutionaryˆ universesˆ, he does control them in many of their universal relationships and in certain of their manifestations of physical, mindal, and spiritˆual energies.  Godˆ the Fatherˆ is the personal creatorˆ of the Paradiseˆ universeˆ and, in association with the  Eternalˆ Sonˆ, the creatorˆ of all other personal universeˆ Creatorsˆ.

1:2.10 As a physical controller in the material  universeˆ of universesˆ, the First Source and Centerˆ functions in the patternsˆ of the eternalˆ Isle of Paradiseˆˆ, and through this absoluteˆ gravityˆ center the eternalˆ Godˆ exercises cosmic overcontrol of the physical level equally in the central universeˆˆ and throughout the  universeˆ of universesˆ. As mindˆ, Godˆ functions in the Deityˆ of the Infinite Spiritˆˆ; as spiritˆ, Godˆ is manifest in the person of the  Eternalˆ Sonˆ and in the persons of the divineˆ children of the  Eternalˆ Sonˆ. This interrelation of the First Source and Centerˆ with the co-ordinate Persons and Absolutesˆ of Paradiseˆ does not in the least preclude the direct personal action of the Universal Fatherˆ throughout all creation and on all levels thereof. Through the presence of his fragmentized spiritˆ the Creatorˆ Father maintains immediate contact with his creature children and his created universesˆ.

3. Godˆ is a Universal Spiritˆ

1:3.1 Godˆ is spiritˆ.” He is a universal spiritˆual presence. The Universal Fatherˆ is an infinite spiritˆˆual reality; he is “the sovereign, eternalˆ, immortal, invisible, and only true Godˆ.” Even though you are “the offspring of Godˆ,” you ought not to think that the Father is like yourselves in form and physique because you are said to be created “in his image” — indwelt by Mystery Monitorsˆˆ dispatched from the central abode of his eternalˆ presence. Spiritˆ beings are real, notwithstanding they are invisible to human eyes; even though they have not flesh and blood.

1:3.2 Said the seer of old: “Lo, he goes by me, and I see him not; he passes on also, but I perceive him not.” We may constantly observe the works of Godˆ, we may be highly conscious of the material evidences of his majestic conduct, but rarely may we gaze upon the visible manifestation of his divinityˆ, not even to behold the presence of his delegated spiritˆ of human indwellˆing.

1:3.3 The Universal Fatherˆ is not invisible because he is hiding himself away from the lowly creatures of materialistic handicaps and limited spiritˆual endowments. The situation rather is: “You cannot see my face, for no mortalˆ can see me and live.” No material man could behold the spiritˆ Godˆ and preserve his mortalˆ existence. The glory and the spiritˆual brilliance of the divineˆ personalityˆ presence is impossible of approach by the lower groups of spiritˆ beings or by any order of material personalities. The spiritˆual luminosity of the Father’s personal presence is a “light which no mortalˆ man can approach; which no material creature has seen or can see.” But it is not necessary to see Godˆ with the eyes of the flesh in order to discern him by the faithˆ-vision of the spiritˆualized mindˆ.

1:3.4 The spiritˆ nature of the Universal Fatherˆ is shared fully with his coexistent self, the  Eternalˆ Sonˆ of Paradiseˆ. Both the Father and the Son in like manner share the universal and eternalˆ spiritˆ fully and unreservedly with their conjoint personalityˆ co-ordinate, the Infinite Spiritˆˆ. Godˆ’s spiritˆ is, in and of himself, absoluteˆ; in the Son it is unqualified, in the Spiritˆ, universal, and in and by all of them, infinite.

1:3.5 Godˆ is a universal spiritˆ; Godˆ is the universal person. The supremeˆ personal reality of the finiteˆ creation is spiritˆ; the ultimateˆ reality of the personal cosmos is absoniteˆ spiritˆ. Only the levels of infinity are absoluteˆ, and only on such levels is there finality of oneness between matter, mindˆ, and spiritˆ.

1:3.6 In the universesˆ  Godˆ the Fatherˆ is, in potential, the overcontroller of matter, mindˆ, and spiritˆ. Only by means of his far-flung  personalityˆ circuitˆˆ does Godˆ deal directly with the personalities of his vast creation of will creatures, but he is contactable (outside of Paradiseˆ) only in the presences of his fragmented entities, the will of Godˆ abroad in the universesˆ. This Paradiseˆ spiritˆ that indwellsˆ the minds of the mortalsˆ of time and there fosters the evolution of the immortal soulˆ of the surviving creature is of the nature and divinityˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ. But the minds of such evolutionaryˆ creatures originate in the local universesˆ and must gain divineˆ perfectˆion by achieving those experientialˆ transformations of spiritˆual attainment which are the inevitable result of a creature’s choosing to do the will of the Father in heaven.

1:3.7 In the inner experience of man, mindˆ is joined to matter. Such material-linked minds cannot survive mortalˆ death. The technique of survival is embraced in those adjustments of the human will and those transformations in the mortalˆ mindˆ whereby such a God-conscious intellect gradually becomes spiritˆ taught and eventually spiritˆ led. This evolution of the human mindˆ from matter association to spiritˆ union results in the transmutation of the potentially spiritˆ phases of the mortalˆ mindˆ into the morontiaˆ realities of the immortal soulˆ. Mortalˆ mindˆ subservient to matter is destined to become increasingly material and consequently to suffer eventual personalityˆ extinction; mindˆ yielded to spiritˆ is destined to become increasingly spiritˆual and ultimatelˆy to achieve oneness with the surviving and guiding divineˆ spiritˆ and in this way to attain survival and eternityˆ of personalityˆ existence.

1:3.8 I come forth from the Eternalˆ, and I have repeatedly returned to the presence of the Universal Fatherˆ. I know of the actualˆity and personalityˆ of the First Source and Centerˆ, the Eternalˆ and Universal Fatherˆ. I know that, while the great Godˆ is absoluteˆ, eternalˆ, and infinite, he is also good, divineˆ, and gracious. I know the truth of the great declarations: “Godˆ is spirit” and “Godˆ is love,” and these two attributes are most completely revealed to the universeˆ in the  Eternalˆ Sonˆ.

4. The Mystery of Godˆ

1:4.1 The infinity of the perfectˆion of Godˆ is such that it eternallˆy constitutes him mystery. And the greatest of all the unfathomable mysteries of Godˆ is the phenomenon of the divineˆ indwellˆing of mortalˆ minds. The manner in which the Universal Fatherˆ sojourns with the creatures of time is the most profound of all universeˆ mysteries; the divineˆ presence in the mindˆ of man is the mystery of mysteries.

1:4.2 The physical bodies of mortalsˆ are “the temples of Godˆ.” Notwithstanding that the Sovereign  Creatorˆ Sonsˆ come near the creatures of their inhabited worlds and “draw all men to themselves”; though they “stand at the door” of consciousness “and knock” and delight to come in to all who will “open the doors of their hearts”; although there does exist this intimate personal communion between the  Creatorˆ Sonsˆ and their mortalˆ creatures, nevertheless, mortalˆ men have something from Godˆ himself which actuallˆy dwells within them; their bodies are the temples thereof.

1:4.3 When you are through down here, when your course has been run in temporary form on earth, when your trial trip in the flesh is finished, when the dust that composes the mortalˆ tabernacle “returns to the earth whence it came”; then, it is revealed, the indwellˆing “Spiritˆ shall return to Godˆ who gave it.” There sojourns within each moralˆ being of this planet a fragment of Godˆ, a part and parcel of divinityˆ. It is not yet yours by right of possession, but it is designedly intended to be one with you if you survive the mortalˆ existence.

1:4.4 We are constantly confronted with this mystery of God; we are nonplused by the increasing unfolding of the endless panorama of the truth of his infinite goodness, endless mercy, matchless wisdom, and superb character.

1:4.5 The divineˆ mystery consists in the inherent difference which exists between the finiteˆ and the infinite, the temporal and the eternalˆ, the time-space creature and the Universal Creatorˆ, the material and the spiritˆual, the imperfection of man and the perfectˆion of Paradiseˆ Deityˆ. The Godˆ of universal love unfailingly manifests himself to every one of his creatures up to the fullness of that creature’s capacity to spiritˆually grasp the qualities of divineˆ truth, beauty, and goodness.

1:4.6 To every spiritˆ being and to every mortalˆ creature in every sphere and on every world of the  universeˆ of universesˆ, the Universal Fatherˆ reveals all of his gracious and divineˆ self that can be discerned or comprehended by such spiritˆ beings and by such mortalˆ creatures. Godˆ is no respecter of persons, either spiritˆual or material. The divineˆ presence which any child of the universeˆ enjoys at any given moment is limited only by the capacity of such a creature to receive and to discern the spiritˆ actualˆities of the supermaterial world.

1:4.7 As a reality in human spiritˆual experience Godˆ is not a mystery. But when an attempt is made to make plain the realities of the spiritˆ world to the physical minds of the material order, mystery appears: mysteries so subtle and so profound that only the faithˆ-grasp of the God-knowingˆ mortalˆ can achieve the philosophic miracle of the recognition of the Infinite by the finiteˆ, the discernment of the eternalˆ Godˆ by the evolving mortalsˆ of the material worlds of time and spaceˆ.

5. Personalityˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ

1:5.1 Do not permit the magnitude of Godˆ, his infinity, either to obscure or eclipse his personalityˆ. “He who planned the ear, shall he not hear? He who formed the eye, shall he not see?” The Universal Fatherˆ is the acme of divineˆ personalityˆ; he is the origin and destinyˆ of personalityˆ throughout all creation. Godˆ is both infinite and personal; he is an infinite personalityˆ. The Father is truly a personalityˆ, notwithstanding that the infinity of his person places him forever beyond the full comprehension of material and finiteˆ beings.

1:5.2 Godˆ is much more than a personalityˆ as personalityˆ is understood by the human mind; he is even far more than any possible concept of a superpersonalˆity. But it is utterly futile to discuss such incomprehensible concepts of divineˆ personalityˆ with the minds of material creatures whose maximum concept of the reality of being consists in the idea and ideal of personalityˆ. The material creature’s highest possible concept of the Universal Creatorˆ is embraced within the spiritˆual ideals of the exalted idea of divineˆ personalityˆ. Therefore, although you may know that Godˆ must be much more than the human conception of personalityˆ, you equally well know that the Universal Fatherˆ cannot possibly be anything less than an eternalˆ, infinite, true, good, and beautiful personalityˆ.

1:5.3 Godˆ is not hiding from any of his creatures. He is unapproachable to so many orders of beings only because he “dwells in a light which no material creature can approach.” The immensity and grandeur of the divineˆ personalityˆ is beyond the grasp of the unperfected mindˆ of evolutionaryˆ mortalsˆ. He “measures the waters in the hollow of his hand, measures a universeˆ with the span of his hand. It is he who sits on the circle of the earth, who stretches out the heavens as a curtain and spreads them out as a universeˆ to dwell in.” “Lift up your eyes on high and behold who has created all these things, who brings out their worlds by number and calls them all by their names”; and so it is true that “the invisible things of Godˆ are partially understood by the things which are made.” Today, and as you are, you must discern the invisible Maker through his manifold and diverse creation, as well as through the revelation and ministration of his Sons and their numerous subordinates.

1:5.4 Even though material mortalsˆ cannot see the person of Godˆ, they should rejoice in the assurance that he is a person; by faithˆ accept the truth which portrays that the Universal Fatherˆ so loved the world as to provide for the eternalˆ spiritˆual progression of its lowly inhabitants; that he “delights in his children.” Godˆ is lacking in none of those superhumanˆ and divineˆ attributes which constitute a perfectˆ, eternalˆ, loving, and infinite Creatorˆ personalityˆ.

1:5.5 In the local creations (excepting the personnel of the superuniverses) Godˆ has no personal or residential manifestation aside from the Paradiseˆ  Creatorˆ Sonsˆ who are the fathers of the inhabited worlds and the sovereigns of the local universesˆ. If the faithˆ of the creature were perfectˆ, he would assuredly know that when he had seen a  Creatorˆ Sonˆ he had seen the Universal Fatherˆ; in seeking for the Father, he would not ask nor expect to see other than the Son. Mortalˆ man simply cannot see Godˆ until he achieves completed spiritˆ transformation and actuallˆy attains Paradiseˆ.

1:5.6 The natures of the Paradiseˆ  Creatorˆ Sonsˆ do not encompass all the unqualified potentials of the universal absoluteness of the infinite nature of the First Great Source and Center, but the Universal Fatherˆ is in every way  divinelˆy present in the  Creatorˆ Sonsˆ. The Father and his Sons are one. These Paradiseˆ Sons of the order of Michael are perfectˆ personalities, even the patternˆ for all local universeˆˆ personalityˆ from that of the Bright and Morning Star down to the lowest human creature of progressing animal evolution.

1:5.7 Without Godˆ and except for his great and central person, there would be no personalityˆ throughout all the vast  universeˆ of universesˆ.  Godˆ is personalityˆ.

1:5.8 Notwithstanding that Godˆ is an eternalˆ powerˆ, a majestic presence, a transcendent ideal, and a glorious spiritˆ, though he is all these and infinitely more, nonetheless, he is truly and everlastingly a perfectˆ Creatorˆ personalityˆ, a person who can “know and be known,” who can “love and be loved,” and one who can befriend us; while you can be known, as other humans have been known, as the friend of Godˆ. He is a real spiritˆ and a spiritˆual reality.

1:5.9 As we see the Universal Fatherˆ revealed throughout his universeˆ; as we discern him indwellˆing his myriads of creatures; as we behold him in the persons of his Sovereign Sons; as we continue to sense his divineˆ presence here and there, near and afar, let us not doubt nor question his personalityˆ primacy. Notwithstanding all these far-flung distributions, he remains a true person and everlastingly maintains personal connection with the countless hosts of his creatures scattered throughout the  universeˆ of universesˆ.

1:5.10 The idea of the personalityˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ is an enlarged and truer concept of Godˆ which has come to mankind chiefly through revelation. Reason, wisdom, and religious experience all infer and imply the personalityˆ of Godˆ, but they do not altogether validate it. Even the indwellˆing Thought Adjusterˆˆ is prepersonal. The truth and maturity of any religion is directly proportional to its concept of the infinite personalityˆ of Godˆ and to its grasp of the absoluteˆ unity of Deityˆ. The idea of a personal Deityˆ becomes, then, the measure of religious maturity after religion has first formulated the concept of the unity of Godˆ.

1:5.11 Primitive religion had many personal gods, and they were fashioned in the image of man. Revelation affirms the validity of the personalityˆ concept of Godˆ which is merely possible in the scientific postulate of a First Cause and is only provisionally suggested in the philosophic idea of Universal Unity. Only by personalityˆ approach can any person begin to comprehend the unity of Godˆ. To deny the personalityˆ of the First Source and Centerˆ leaves one only the choice of two philosophic dilemmas: materialismˆ or pantheismˆ.

1:5.12 In the contemplation of Deityˆ, the concept of personalityˆ must be divested of the idea of corporeality. A material body is not indispensable to personalityˆ in either man or Godˆ. The corporeality errorˆ is shown in both extremes of human philosophy. In materialismˆ, since man loses his body at death, he ceases to exist as a personalityˆ; in pantheismˆ, since Godˆ has no body, he is not, therefore, a person. The superhumanˆ type of progressing personalityˆ functions in a union of mindˆ and spiritˆ.

1:5.13 Personalityˆ is not simply an attribute of God; it rather stands for the totality of the co-ordinated infinite nature and the unified divineˆ will which is exhibited in eternityˆ and universality of perfectˆ expression. Personalityˆ, in the supremeˆ sense, is the revelation of Godˆ to the  universeˆ of universesˆ.

1:5.14 Godˆ, being eternalˆ, universal, absoluteˆ, and infinite, does not grow in knowledge nor increase in wisdom. Godˆ does not acquire experience, as finiteˆ man might conjecture or comprehend, but he does, within the realms of his own eternalˆ personalityˆ, enjoy those continuous expansions of self-realization which are in certain ways comparable to, and analogous with, the acquirement of new experience by the finiteˆ creatures of the evolutionaryˆ worlds.

1:5.15 The absoluteˆ perfectˆion of the infinite Godˆ would cause him to suffer the awful limitations of unqualified finality of perfectness were it not a fact that the Universal Fatherˆ directly participates in the personalityˆ struggle of every imperfect soulˆ in the wide universeˆ who seeks, by divineˆ aid, to ascend to the spiritˆually perfectˆ worlds on high. This progressive experience of every spiritˆ being and every mortalˆ creature throughout the  universeˆ of universesˆ is a part of the Father’s ever-expanding Deityˆ-consciousness of the never-ending divineˆ circle of ceaseless self-realization.

1:5.16 It is literally true: “In all your afflictions he is afflicted.” “In all your triumphs he triumphs in and with you.” His prepersonal divineˆ spiritˆ is a real part of you. The Isle of Paradiseˆˆ responds to all the physical metamorphoses of the  universeˆ of universesˆ; the  Eternalˆ Sonˆ includes all the spiritˆ impulses of all creation; the Conjoint Actorˆ encompasses all the mindˆ expression of the expanding cosmos. The Universal Fatherˆ realizes in the fullness of the divineˆ consciousness all the individual experience of the progressive struggles of the expanding minds and the ascendingˆ spiritsˆ of every entity, being, and personalityˆ of the whole evolutionaryˆ creation of time and spaceˆ. And all this is literally true, for “in Him we all live and move and have our being.”

6. Personalityˆ in the Universeˆ

1:6.1 Human personalityˆ is the time-space image-shadow cast by the divineˆ Creatorˆ personalityˆ. And no actualˆity can ever be adequately comprehended by an examination of its shadow. Shadows should be interpreted in terms of the true substance.

1:6.2 Godˆ is to science a cause, to philosophy an idea, to religion a person, even the loving heavenly Father. Godˆ is to the scientist a primal forceˆ, to the philosopher a hypothesis of unity, to the religionist a living spiritˆual experience. Man’s inadequate concept of the personalityˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ can be improved only by man’s spiritˆual progress in the universeˆ and will become truly adequate only when the pilgrimsˆ of time and spaceˆ finally attain the divineˆ embrace of the living Godˆ on Paradiseˆ.

1:6.3 Never lose sight of the antipodal viewpoints of personalityˆ as it is conceived by Godˆ and man. Man views and comprehends personalityˆ, looking from the finiteˆ to the infinite; Godˆ looks from the infinite to the finiteˆ. Man possesses the lowest type of personalityˆ; Godˆ, the highest, even supremeˆ, ultimateˆ, and absoluteˆ. Therefore did the better concepts of the divineˆ personalityˆ have patiently to await the appearance of improved ideas of human personalityˆ, especially the enhanced revelation of both human and divineˆ personalityˆ in the Urantian bestowalˆ life of Michael, the  Creatorˆ Sonˆ.

1:6.4 The prepersonal divineˆ spiritˆ which indwellsˆ the mortalˆ mindˆ carries, in its very presence, the valid proof of its actualˆ existence, but the concept of the divineˆ personalityˆ can be grasped only by the spiritˆual insight of genuine personal religious experience. Any person, human or divineˆ, may be known and comprehended quite apart from the external reactions or the material presence of that person.

1:6.5 Some degree of moralˆ affinity and spiritˆual harmony is essential to friendship between two persons; a loving personalityˆ can hardly reveal himself to a loveless person. Even to approach the knowing of a divineˆ personalityˆ, all of man’s personalityˆ endowments must be wholly consecrated to the effort; halfhearted, partial devotion will be unavailing.

1:6.6 The more completely man understands himself and appreciates the personalityˆ values of his fellows, the more he will crave to know the Original Personalityˆ, and the more earnestly such a God-knowingˆ human will strive to become like the Original Personalityˆ. You can argue over opinions about Godˆ, but experience with him and in him exists above and beyond all human controversy and mere intellectual logic. The God-knowingˆ man describes his spiritˆual experiences, not to convince unbelievers, but for the edification and mutual satisfaction of believers.

1:6.7 To assume that the universeˆ can be known, that it is intelligible, is to assume that the universeˆ is mindˆ made and personalityˆ managed. Man’s mindˆ can only perceive the mindˆ phenomena of other minds, be they human or superhumanˆ. If man’s personalityˆ can experience the universeˆ, there is a divineˆ mindˆ and an actualˆ personalityˆ somewhere concealed in that universeˆ.

1:6.8 Godˆ is spiritˆspiritˆ personalityˆ; man is also a spiritˆ — potential spiritˆ personalityˆ.  Jesusˆ of Nazarethˆˆ attained the full realization of this potential of spiritˆ personalityˆ in human experience; therefore his life of achieving the Father’s will becomes man’s most real and ideal revelation of the personalityˆ of Godˆ. Even though the personalityˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ can be grasped only in actualˆ religious experience, in Jesusˆ’ earth life we are inspired by the perfectˆ demonstration of such a realization and revelation of the personalityˆ of Godˆ in a truly human experience.

7. Spiritˆual Value of the Personalityˆ Concept

1:7.1 When Jesusˆ talked about “the living Godˆ,” he referred to a personal Deityˆ — the Father in heaven. The concept of the personalityˆ of Deityˆ facilitates fellowship; it favors intelligent worship; it promotes refreshing trustfulness. Interactions can be had between nonpersonal things, but not fellowship. The fellowship relation of father and son, as between Godˆ and man, cannot be enjoyed unless both are persons. Only personalities can commune with each other, albeit this personal communion may be greatly facilitated by the presence of just such an impersonal entity as the Thought Adjusterˆˆ.

1:7.2 Man does not achieve union with Godˆ as a drop of water might find unity with the ocean. Man attains divineˆ union by progressive reciprocal spiritˆual communion, by personalityˆ intercourse with the personal Godˆ, by increasingly attaining the divineˆ nature through wholehearted and intelligent conformity to the divineˆ will. Such a sublime relationship can exist only between personalities.

1:7.3 The concept of truth might possibly be entertained apart from personalityˆ, the concept of beauty may exist without personalityˆ, but the concept of divineˆ goodness is understandable only in relation to personalityˆ. Only a person can love and be loved. Even beauty and truth would be divorced from survival hope if they were not attributes of a personal Godˆ, a loving Father.

1:7.4 We cannot fully understand how Godˆ can be primal, changeless, all-powerful, and perfectˆ, and at the same time be surrounded by an ever-changing and apparently law-limited universeˆ, an evolving universeˆ of relative imperfections. But we can know such a truth in our own personal experience since we all maintain identity of personalityˆ and unity of will in spite of the constant changˆing of both ourselves and our environment.

1:7.5 Ultimateˆ universeˆ reality cannot be grasped by mathematics, logic, or philosophy, only by personal experience in progressive conformity to the divineˆ will of a personal Godˆ. Neither science, philosophy, nor theology can validate the personalityˆ of Godˆ. Only the personal experience of the faithˆ sons of the heavenly Father can effect the actualˆ spiritˆual realization of the personalityˆ of Godˆ.

1:7.6 The higher concepts of universeˆ personalityˆ imply: identity, self-consciousness, self-will, and possibility for self-revelation. And these characteristics further imply fellowship with other and equal personalities, such as exists in the personalityˆ associations of the  Paradiseˆ Deitiesˆ. And the absoluteˆ unity of these associations is so perfectˆ that divinityˆ becomes known by indivisibility, by oneness. “The Lordˆ Godˆ is one.” Indivisibility of personalityˆ does not interfere with Godˆ’s bestowing his spiritˆ to live in the hearts of mortalˆ men. Indivisibility of a human father’s personalityˆ does not prevent the reproduction of mortalˆ sons and daughters.

1:7.7 This concept of indivisibility in association with the concept of unity implies transcendenceˆ of both time and spaceˆ by the Ultimacyˆ of Deityˆ; therefore neither spaceˆ nor time can be absoluteˆ or infinite. The First Source and Centerˆ is that infinity who unqualifiedlyˆ transcends all mindˆ, all matter, and all spiritˆ.

1:7.8 The fact of the Paradiseˆ Trinityˆ in no manner violates the truth of the divineˆ unity. The three personalities of Paradiseˆ Deityˆ are, in all universeˆ reality reactions and in all creature relations, as one. Neither does the existence of these three eternalˆ persons violate the truth of the indivisibility of Deityˆ. I am fully aware that I have at my command no language adequate to make clear to the mortalˆ mindˆ how these universeˆ problems appear to us. But you should not become discouraged; not all of these things are wholly clear to even the high personalities belonging to my group of Paradiseˆ beings. Ever bear in mindˆ that these profound truths pertaining to Deityˆ will increasingly clarify as your minds become progressively spiritˆualized during the successive epochsˆ of the long mortalˆ ascent to Paradiseˆ.

1:7.9 [Presented by a Divineˆ Counselor, a member of a group of celestialˆ personalities assigned by the Ancients of Daysˆ on Uversaˆ, the headquarters of the seventh superuniverseˆ, to supervise those portions of this forthcoming revelation which have to do with affairs beyond the borders of the local universeˆˆ of Nebadonˆ. I am commissioned to sponsor those papers portraying the nature and attributes of Godˆ because I represent the highest source of information available for such a purpose on any inhabited world. I have served as a Divineˆ Counselor in all seven of the superuniversesˆ and have long resided at the Paradiseˆ center of all things. Many times have I enjoyed the supremeˆ pleasure of a sojourn in the immediate personal presence of the Universal Fatherˆ. I portray the reality and truth of the Father’s nature and attributes with unchallengeable authority; I know whereof I speak.]