Paper 2 : The Nature of Godˆ
2:0.1 INASMUCH as man’s highest possible concept of Godˆ is embraced within the human idea and ideal of a primal and infinite personalityˆ, it is permissible, and may prove helpful, to study certain characteristics of the divineˆ nature which constitute the character of Deityˆ. The nature of Godˆ can best be understood by the revelation of the Father which Michael of Nebadonˆˆ unfolded in his manifold teachings and in his superb mortalˆ life in the flesh. The divineˆ nature can also be better understood by man if he regards himself as a child of Godˆ and looks up to the Paradiseˆ Creatorˆ as a true spiritˆual Father.
2:0.2 The nature of Godˆ can be studied in a revelation of supremeˆ ideas, the divineˆ character can be envisaged as a portrayal of supernal ideals, but the most enlightening and spiritˆually edifying of all revelations of the divineˆ nature is to be found in the comprehension of the religious life of Jesusˆ of Nazarethˆˆ, both before and after his attainment of full consciousness of divinityˆ. If the incarnated life of Michael is taken as the background of the revelation of Godˆ to man, we may attempt to put in human word symbols certain ideas and ideals concerning the divineˆ nature which may possibly contribute to a further illumination and unification of the human concept of the nature and the character of the personalityˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ.
2:0.3 In all our efforts to enlarge and spiritˆualize the human concept of Godˆ, we are tremendously handicapped by the limited capacity of the mortalˆ mindˆ. We are also seriously handicapped in the execution of our assignment by the limitations of language and by the poverty of material which can be utilized for purposes of illustration or comparison in our efforts to portray divineˆ values and to present spiritˆual meanings to the finiteˆ, mortalˆ mindˆ of man. All our efforts to enlarge the human concept of Godˆ would be well-nigh futile except for the fact that the mortalˆ mindˆ is indwelt by the bestowed Adjusterˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ and is pervaded by the Truth Spiritˆ of the Creatorˆ Sonˆ. Depending, therefore, on the presence of these divineˆ spiritsˆ within the heart of man for assistance in the enlargement of the concept of Godˆ, I cheerfully undertake the execution of my mandate to attempt the further portrayal of the nature of Godˆ to the mindˆ of man.
1. The Infinity of Godˆ
2:1.1 “Touching the Infinite, we cannot find him out. The divineˆ footsteps are not known.” “His understanding is infinite and his greatness is unsearchable.” The blinding light of the Father’s presence is such that to his lowly creatures he apparently “dwells in the thick darkness.” Not only are his thoughts and plans unsearchable, but “he does great and marvelous things without number.” “Godˆ is great; we comprehend him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.” “Will Godˆ indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven (universeˆ) and the heaven of heavens ( universeˆ of universesˆ) cannot contain him.” “How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!”
2:1.2 “There is but one Godˆ, the infinite Father, who is also a faithful Creatorˆ.” “The divineˆ Creatorˆ is also the Universal Disposer, the source and destinyˆ of souls. He is the Supremeˆ Soulˆ, the Primal Mindˆ, and the Unlimited Spiritˆ of all creation.” “The great Controller makes no mistakes. He is resplendent in majesty and glory.” “The Creatorˆ Godˆ is wholly devoid of fear and enmity. He is immortal, eternalˆ, self-existent, divineˆ, and bountiful.” “How pure and beautiful, how deep and unfathomable is the supernal Ancestor of all things!” “The Infinite is most excellent in that he imparts himself to men. He is the beginning and the end, the Father of every good and perfectˆ purpose.” “With Godˆ all things are possible; the eternalˆ Creatorˆ is the cause of causes.”
2:1.3 Notwithstanding the infinity of the stupendous manifestations of the Father’s eternalˆ and universal personalityˆ, he is unqualifiedlyˆ self-conscious of both his infinity and eternityˆ; likewise he knows fully his perfectˆion and powerˆ. He is the only being in the universeˆ, aside from his divineˆ co-ordinates, who experiences a perfectˆ, proper, and complete appraisal of himself.
2:1.4 The Father constantly and unfailingly meets the need of the differential of demand for himself as it changes from time to time in various sections of his master universeˆˆ. The great Godˆ knows and understands himself; he is infinitely self-conscious of all his primal attributes of perfectˆion. Godˆ is not a cosmic accident; neither is he a universeˆ experimenter. The Universeˆ Sovereigns may engage in adventure; the Constellationˆ Fathers may experiment; the system heads may practice; but the Universal Fatherˆ sees the end from the beginning, and his divineˆ plan and eternalˆ purpose actuallˆy embrace and comprehend all the experiments and all the adventures of all his subordinates in every world, system, and constellationˆ in every universeˆ of his vast domains.
2:1.5 No thing is new to Godˆ, and no cosmic event ever comes as a surprise; he inhabits the circle of eternityˆˆ. He is without beginning or end of days. To Godˆ there is no past, present, or future; all time is present at any given moment. He is the great and only I AM.
2:1.6 The Universal Fatherˆ is absolutelˆy and without qualification infinite in all his attributes; and this fact, in and of itself, automatically shuts him off from all direct personal communication with finiteˆ material beings and other lowly created intelligences.
2:1.7 And all this necessitates such arrangements for contact and communication with his manifold creatures as have been ordained, first, in the personalities of the Paradiseˆ Sons of Godˆ, who, although perfectˆ in divinityˆ, also often partake of the nature of the very flesh and blood of the planetary races, becoming one of you and one with you; thus, as it were, Godˆ becomes man, as occurred in the bestowalˆ of Michael, who was called interchangeably the Son of Godˆ and the Son of Manˆ. And second, there are the personalities of the Infinite Spiritˆˆˆ, the various orders of the seraphicˆ hosts and other celestialˆ intelligences who draw near to the material beings of lowly origin and in so many ways minister to them and serve them. And third, there are the impersonal Mystery Monitorsˆˆ, Thought Adjustersˆ, the actualˆ gift of the great Godˆ himself sent to indwellˆ such as the humans of Urantiaˆ, sent without announcement and without explanation. In endless profusion they descend from the heights of glory to grace and indwellˆ the humble minds of those mortalsˆ who possess the capacity for God-consciousness or the potential therefor.
2:1.8 In these ways and in many others, in ways unknown to you and utterly beyond finiteˆ comprehension, does the Paradiseˆ Fatherˆ lovingly and willingly downstep and otherwise modify, dilute, and attenuate his infinity in order that he may be able to draw nearer the finiteˆ minds of his creature children. And so, through a series of personalityˆ distributions which are diminishingly absoluteˆ, the infinite Father is enabled to enjoy close contact with the diverse intelligences of the many realms of his far-flung universeˆ.
2:1.9 All this he has done and now does, and evermore will continue to do, without in the least detracting from the fact and reality of his infinity, eternityˆ, and primacy. And these things are absolutelˆy true, notwithstanding the difficulty of their comprehension, the mystery in which they are enshrouded, or the impossibility of their being fully understood by creatures such as dwell on Urantiaˆ.
2:1.10 Because the First Father is infinite in his plans and eternalˆ in his purposes, it is inherently impossible for any finiteˆ being ever to grasp or comprehend these divineˆ plans and purposes in their fullness. Mortalˆ man can glimpse the Father’s purposes only now and then, here and there, as they are revealed in relation to the outworking of the plan of creature ascensionˆ on its successive levels of universeˆ progression. Though man cannot encompass the significance of infinity, the infinite Father does most certainly fully comprehend and lovingly embrace all the finity of all his children in all universesˆ.
2:1.11 Divinityˆ and eternityˆ the Father shares with large numbers of the higher Paradiseˆ beings, but we question whether infinity and consequent universal primacy is fully shared with any save his co-ordinate associates of the Paradiseˆ Trinityˆ. Infinity of personalityˆ must, perforce, embrace all finitude of personalityˆ; hence the truth — literal truth — of the teaching which declares that “In Him we live and move and have our being.” That fragment of the pure Deityˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ which indwellsˆ mortalˆ man is a part of the infinity of the First Great Source and Center, the Father of Fathers.
2. The Father’s Eternalˆ Perfectˆion
2:2.1 Even your olden prophets understood the eternalˆ, never-beginning, never-ending, circular nature of the Universal Fatherˆ. Godˆ is literally and eternallˆy present in his universeˆ of universesˆ. He inhabits the present moment with all his absoluteˆ majesty and eternalˆ greatness. “The Father has life in himself, and this life is eternalˆ life.” Throughout the eternalˆ ages it has been the Father who “gives to all life.” There is infinite perfectˆion in the divineˆ integrity. “I am the Lord; I change not.” Our knowledge of the universeˆ of universesˆ discloses not only that he is the Father of lights, but also that in his conduct of interplanetary affairs there “is no variableness neither shadow of changˆing.” He “declares the end from the beginning.” He says: “My counsel shall stand; I will do all my pleasures” “according to the eternalˆ purpose which I purposed in my Son.” Thus are the plans and purposes of the First Source and Centerˆ like himself: eternalˆ, perfectˆ, and forever changeless.
2:2.2 There is finality of completeness and perfectˆion of repleteness in the mandates of the Father. “Whatsoever Godˆ does, it shall be forever; nothing can be added to it nor anything taken from it.” The Universal Fatherˆ does not repent of his original purposes of wisdom and perfectˆion. His plans are steadfast, his counsel immutable, while his acts are divineˆ and infallible. “A thousand years in his sight are but as yesterday when it is past and as a watch in the night.” The perfectˆion of divinityˆ and the magnitude of eternityˆ are forever beyond the full grasp of the circumscribed mindˆ of mortalˆ man.
2:2.3 The reactions of a changeless Godˆ, in the execution of his eternalˆ purpose, may seem to vary in accordance with the changˆing attitude and the shifting minds of his created intelligences; that is, they may apparently and superficially vary; but underneath the surface and beneath all outward manifestations, there is still present the changeless purpose, the everlasting plan, of the eternalˆ Godˆ.
2:2.4 Out in the universesˆ, perfectˆion must necessarily be a relative term, but in the central universeˆˆ and especially on Paradiseˆ, perfectˆion is undiluted; in certain phases it is even absoluteˆ. Trinityˆ manifestations vary the exhibition of the divineˆ perfectˆion but do not attenuate it.
2:2.5 Godˆ’s primal perfectˆion consists not in an assumed righteousness but rather in the inherent perfectˆion of the goodness of his divineˆ nature. He is final, complete, and perfectˆ. There is no thing lacking in the beauty and perfectˆion of his righteous character. And the whole scheme of living existences on the worlds of spaceˆ is centered in the divineˆ purpose of elevating all will creatures to the high destinyˆ of the experience of sharing the Father’s Paradiseˆ perfectˆion. Godˆ is neither self-centered nor self-contained; he never ceases to bestow himself upon all self-conscious creatures of the vast universeˆ of universesˆ.
2:2.6 Godˆ is eternallˆy and infinitely perfectˆ, he cannot personally know imperfection as his own experience, but he does share the consciousness of all the experience of imperfectness of all the struggling creatures of the evolutionaryˆ universesˆ of all the Paradiseˆ Creatorˆ Sonsˆ. The personal and liberating touch of the Godˆ of perfectˆion overshadows the hearts and encircuits the natures of all those mortalˆ creatures who have ascended to the universeˆ level of moralˆ discernment. In this manner, as well as through the contacts of the divineˆ presence, the Universal Fatherˆ actuallˆy participates in the experience with immaturity and imperfection in the evolving career of every moralˆ being of the entire universeˆ.
2:2.7 Human limitations, potential evil, are not a part of the divineˆ nature, but mortalˆ experience with evil and all man’s relations thereto are most certainly a part of Godˆ’s ever-expanding self-realization in the children of time — creatures of moralˆ responsibility who have been created or evolved by every Creatorˆ Sonˆ going out from Paradiseˆ.
3. Justice and Righteousness
2:3.1 Godˆ is righteous; therefore is he just. “The Lordˆ is righteous in all his ways.” “‘I have not done without cause all that I have done,’ says the Lordˆ.” “The judgments of the Lordˆ are true and righteous altogether.” The justice of the Universal Fatherˆ cannot be influenced by the acts and performances of his creatures, “for there is no iniquityˆ with the Lordˆ our Godˆ, no respect of persons, no taking of gifts.”
2:3.2 How futile to make puerile appeals to such a Godˆ to modify his changeless decrees so that we can avoid the just consequences of the operation of his wise natural laws and righteous spiritˆual mandates! “Be not deceived; Godˆ is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.” True, even in the justice of reaping the harvest of wrongdoing, this divineˆ justice is always tempered with mercy. Infinite wisdom is the eternalˆ arbiter which determines the proportions of justice and mercy which shall be meted out in any given circumstance. The greatest punishment (in reality an inevitable consequence) for wrongdoing and deliberate rebellion against the government of Godˆ is loss of existence as an individual subject of that government. The final result of wholehearted sinˆ is annihilation. In the last analysis, such sin-identified individuals have destroyed themselves by becoming wholly unreal through their embrace of iniquityˆ. The factual disappearance of such a creature is, however, always delayed until the ordained order of justice current in that universeˆ has been fully complied with.
2:3.3 Cessation of existence is usually decreed at the dispensational or epochal adjudication of the realm or realms. On a world such as Urantiaˆ it comes at the end of a planetary dispensationˆ. Cessation of existence can be decreed at such times by co-ordinate action of all tribunals of jurisdiction, extending from the planetary council up through the courts of the Creatorˆ Sonˆ to the judgment tribunals of the Ancients of Daysˆ. The mandate of dissolution originates in the higher courts of the superuniverseˆ following an unbroken confirmation of the indictment originating on the sphere of the wrongdoer’s residence; and then, when sentence of extinction has been confirmed on high, the execution is by the direct act of those judges residential on, and operating from, the headquarters of the superuniverseˆ.
2:3.4 When this sentence is finally confirmed, the sin-identified being instantly becomes as though he had not been. There is no resurrection from such a fate; it is everlasting and eternalˆ. The living energyˆ factors of identity are resolved by the transformations of time and the metamorphoses of spaceˆ into the cosmic potentials whence they once emerged. As for the personalityˆ of the iniquitousˆ one, it is deprived of a continuing life vehicleˆ by the creature’s failure to make those choices and final decisions which would have assured eternalˆ life. When the continued embrace of sinˆ by the associated mindˆ culminates in complete self-identification with iniquityˆ, then upon the cessation of life, upon cosmic dissolution, such an isolated personalityˆ is absorbed into the oversoulˆ of creation, becoming a part of the evolving experience of the Supremeˆ Beingˆ. Never again does it appear as a personalityˆ; its identity becomes as though it had never been. In the case of an Adjusterˆ-indwelt personalityˆ, the experientialˆ spiritˆ values survive in the reality of the continuing Adjusterˆ.
2:3.5 In any universeˆ contest between actualˆ levels of reality, the personalityˆ of the higher level will ultimatelˆy triumph over the personalityˆ of the lower level. This inevitable outcome of universeˆ controversy is inherent in the fact that divinityˆ of quality equals the degree of reality or actualˆity of any will creature. Undiluted evil, complete errorˆ, willful sinˆ, and unmitigated iniquityˆ are inherently and automatically suicidal. Such attitudes of cosmic unreality can survive in the universeˆ only because of transient mercy-tolerance pending the action of the justice-determining and fairness-finding mechanisms of the universeˆ tribunals of righteous adjudication.
2:3.6 The rule of the Creatorˆ Sonsˆ in the local universesˆ is one of creation and spiritˆualization. These Sons devote themselves to the effective execution of the Paradiseˆ plan of progressive mortalˆ ascensionˆ, to the rehabilitation of rebels and wrong thinkers, but when all such loving efforts are finally and forever rejected, the final decree of dissolution is executed by forcesˆ acting under the jurisdiction of the Ancients of Daysˆ.
4. The Divineˆ Mercy
2:4.1 Mercy is simply justice tempered by that wisdom which grows out of perfectˆion of knowledge and the full recognition of the natural weaknesses and environmental handicaps of finiteˆ creatures. “Our Godˆ is full of compassion, gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy.” Therefore “whosoever calls upon the Lordˆ shall be saved,” “for he will abundantly pardon.” “The mercy of the Lordˆ is from everlasting to everlasting”; yes, “his mercy endures forever.” “I am the Lordˆ who executes loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight.” “I do not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men,” for I am “the Father of mercies and the Godˆ of all comfort.”
2:4.2 Godˆ is inherently kind, naturally compassionate, and everlastingly merciful. And never is it necessary that any influence be brought to bear upon the Father to call forth his loving-kindness. The creature’s need is wholly sufficient to insure the full flow of the Father’s tender mercies and his saving grace. Since Godˆ knows all about his children, it is easy for him to forgive. The better man understands his neighbor, the easier it will be to forgive him, even to love him.
2:4.3 Only the discernment of infinite wisdom enables a righteous Godˆ to minister justice and mercy at the same time and in any given universeˆ situation. The heavenly Father is never torn by conflicting attitudes towards his universeˆ children; Godˆ is never a victim of attitudinal antagonisms. Godˆ’s all-knowingness unfailingly directs his free will in the choosing of that universeˆ conduct which perfectlˆy, simultaneously, and equally satisfies the demands of all his divineˆ attributes and the infinite qualities of his eternalˆ nature.
2:4.4 Mercy is the natural and inevitable offspring of goodness and love. The good nature of a loving Father could not possibly withhold the wise ministry of mercy to each member of every group of his universeˆ children. Eternalˆ justice and divineˆ mercy together constitute what in human experience would be called fairness.
2:4.5 Divineˆ mercy represents a fairness technique of adjustment between the universeˆ levels of perfectˆion and imperfection. Mercy is the justice of Supremacyˆ adapted to the situations of the evolving finiteˆ, the righteousness of eternityˆ modified to meet the highest interests and universeˆ welfare of the children of time. Mercy is not a contravention of justice but rather an understanding interpretation of the demands of supremeˆ justice as it is fairly applied to the subordinate spiritˆual beings and to the material creatures of the evolving universesˆ. Mercy is the justice of the Paradiseˆ Trinityˆ wisely and lovingly visited upon the manifold intelligences of the creations of time and spaceˆ as it is formulated by divineˆ wisdom and determined by the all-knowing mindˆ and the sovereign free will of the Universal Fatherˆ and all his associated Creatorsˆ.
5. The Love of Godˆ
2:5.1 “Godˆ is love”; therefore his only personal attitude towards the affairs of the universeˆ is always a reaction of divineˆ affection. The Father loves us sufficiently to bestow his life upon us. “He makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
2:5.2 It is wrong to think of Godˆ as being coaxed into loving his children because of the sacrifices of his Sons or the intercession of his subordinate creatures, “for the Father himself loves you.” It is in response to this paternal affection that Godˆ sends the marvelous Adjustersˆ to indwellˆ the minds of men. Godˆ’s love is universal; “whosoever will may come.” He would “have all men be saved by coming into the knowledge of the truth.” He is “not willing that any should perish.”
2:5.3 The Creatorsˆ are the very first to attempt to save man from the disastrous results of his foolish transgression of the divineˆ laws. Godˆ’s love is by nature a fatherly affection; therefore does he sometimes “chasten us for our own profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.” Even during your fiery trials remember that “in all our afflictions he is afflicted with us.”
2:5.4 Godˆ is divinelˆy kind to sinners. When rebels return to righteousness, they are mercifully received, “for our Godˆ will abundantly pardon.” “I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of Godˆ.”
2:5.5 After all, the greatest evidence of the goodness of Godˆ and the supremeˆ reason for loving him is the indwellˆing gift of the Father — the Adjusterˆ who so patiently awaits the hour when you both shall be eternallˆy made one. Though you cannot find Godˆ by searching, if you will submit to the leading of the indwellˆing spiritˆ, you will be unerringly guided, step by step, life by life, through universeˆ upon universeˆ, and age by age, until you finally stand in the presence of the Paradiseˆ personalityˆ of the Universal Fatherˆ.
2:5.6 How unreasonable that you should not worship Godˆ because the limitations of human nature and the handicaps of your material creation make it impossible for you to see him. Between you and Godˆ there is a tremendous distance (physical spaceˆ) to be traversed. There likewise exists a great gulf of spiritˆual differential which must be bridged; but notwithstanding all that physically and spiritˆually separates you from the Paradiseˆ personal presence of Godˆ, stop and ponder the solemn fact that Godˆ lives within you; he has in his own way already bridged the gulf. He has sent of himself, his spiritˆ, to live in you and to toil with you as you pursue your eternalˆ universeˆ career.
2:5.7 I find it easy and pleasant to worship one who is so great and at the same time so affectionately devoted to the uplifting ministry of his lowly creatures. I naturally love one who is so powerful in creation and in the control thereof, and yet who is so perfectˆ in goodness and so faithful in the loving-kindness which constantly overshadows us. I think I would love Godˆ just as much if he were not so great and powerful, as long as he is so good and merciful. We all love the Father more because of his nature than in recognition of his amazing attributes.
2:5.8 When I observe the Creatorˆ Sonsˆ and their subordinate administrators struggling so valiantly with the manifold difficulties of time inherent in the evolution of the universesˆ of spaceˆ, I discover that I bear these lesser rulers of the universesˆ a great and profound affection. After all, I think we all, including the mortalsˆ of the realms, love the Universal Fatherˆ and all other beings, divineˆ or human, because we discern that these personalities truly love us. The experience of loving is very much a direct response to the experience of being loved. Knowing that Godˆ loves me, I should continue to love him supremelˆy, even though he were divested of all his attributes of supremacyˆ, ultimacyˆ, and absoluteness.
2:5.9 The Father’s love follows us now and throughout the endless circle of the eternalˆ ages. As you ponder the loving nature of Godˆ, there is only one reasonable and natural personalityˆ reaction thereto: You will increasingly love your Maker; you will yield to Godˆ an affection analogous to that given by a child to an earthly parent; for, as a father, a real father, a true father, loves his children, so the Universal Fatherˆ loves and forever seeks the welfare of his created sons and daughters.
2:5.10 But the love of Godˆ is an intelligent and farseeing parental affection. The divineˆ love functions in unified association with divineˆ wisdom and all other infinite characteristics of the perfectˆ nature of the Universal Fatherˆ. Godˆ is love, but love is not Godˆ. The greatest manifestation of the divineˆ love for mortalˆ beings is observed in the bestowalˆ of the Thought Adjustersˆ, but your greatest revelation of the Father’s love is seen in the bestowalˆ life of his Son Michael as he lived on earth the ideal spiritˆual life. It is the indwellˆing Adjusterˆ who individualizes the love of Godˆ to each human soulˆ.
2:5.11 At times I am almost pained to be compelled to portray the divineˆ affection of the heavenly Father for his universeˆ children by the employment of the human word symbol love. This term, even though it does connote man’s highest concept of the mortalˆ relations of respect and devotion, is so frequently designative of so much of human relationship that is wholly ignoble and utterly unfit to be known by any word which is also used to indicate the matchless affection of the living Godˆ for his universeˆ creatures! How unfortunate that I cannot make use of some supernal and exclusive term which would convey to the mindˆ of man the true nature and exquisitely beautiful significance of the divineˆ affection of the Paradiseˆ Fatherˆ.
2:5.12 When man loses sight of the love of a personal Godˆ, the kingdom of Godˆ becomes merely the kingdom of good. Notwithstanding the infinite unity of the divineˆ nature, love is the dominant characteristic of all Godˆ’s personal dealings with his creatures.
6. The Goodness of Godˆ
2:6.1 In the physical universeˆ we may see the divineˆ beauty, in the intellectual world we may discern eternalˆ truth, but the goodness of Godˆ is found only in the spiritˆual world of personal religious experience. In its true essence, religion is a faithˆ-trust in the goodness of Godˆ. Godˆ could be great and absoluteˆ, somehow even intelligent and personal, in philosophy, but in religion Godˆ must also be moralˆ; he must be good. Man might fear a great Godˆ, but he trusts and loves only a good Godˆ. This goodness of Godˆ is a part of the personalityˆ of Godˆ, and its full revelation appears only in the personal religious experience of the believing sons of Godˆ.
2:6.2 Religion implies that the superworld of spiritˆ nature is cognizant of, and responsive to, the fundamental needs of the human world. Evolutionaryˆ religion may become ethical, but only revealed religion becomes truly and spiritˆually moralˆ. The olden concept that Godˆ is a Deityˆ dominated by kingly moralˆity was upstepped by Jesusˆ to that affectionately touching level of intimate family moralˆity of the parent-child relationship, than which there is none more tender and beautiful in mortalˆ experience.
2:6.3 The “richness of the goodness of Godˆ leads erring man to repentance.” “Every good gift and every perfectˆ gift comes down from the Father of lights.” “Godˆ is good; he is the eternalˆ refuge of the souls of men.” “The Lordˆ Godˆ is merciful and gracious. He is long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth.” “Taste and see that the Lordˆ is good! Blessed is the man who trusts him.” “The Lordˆ is gracious and full of compassion. He is the Godˆ of salvation.” “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up the wounds of the soulˆ. He is man’s all-powerful benefactor.”
2:6.4 The concept of Godˆ as a king-judge, although it fostered a high moralˆ standard and created a law-respecting people as a group, left the individual believer in a sad position of insecurity respecting his status in time and in eternityˆ. The later Hebrew prophets proclaimed Godˆ to be a Father to Israelˆ; Jesusˆ revealed Godˆ as the Father of each human being. The entire mortalˆ concept of Godˆ is transcendently illuminated by the life of Jesusˆ. Selflessness is inherent in parental love. Godˆ loves not like a father, but as a father. He is the Paradiseˆ Fatherˆ of every universeˆ personalityˆ.
2:6.5 Righteousness implies that Godˆ is the source of the moralˆ law of the universeˆ. Truth exhibits Godˆ as a revealer, as a teacher. But love gives and craves affection, seeks understanding fellowship such as exists between parent and child. Righteousness may be the divineˆ thought, but love is a father’s attitude. The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of Godˆ was irreconcilable with the selfless love of the heavenly Father, presupposed absence of unity in the nature of Deityˆ and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine, which is a philosophic assault upon both the unity and the free-willness of Godˆ.
2:6.6 The affectionate heavenly Father, whose spiritˆ indwellsˆ his children on earth, is not a divided personalityˆ — one of justice and one of mercy — neither does it require a mediator to secure the Father’s favor or forgiveness. Divineˆ righteousness is not dominated by strict retributive justice; Godˆ as a father transcends Godˆ as a judge.
2:6.7 Godˆ is never wrathful, vengeful, or angry. It is true that wisdom does often restrain his love, while justice conditions his rejected mercy. His love of righteousness cannot help being exhibited as equal hatred for sinˆ. The Father is not an inconsistent personalityˆ; the divineˆ unity is perfectˆ. In the Paradiseˆ Trinityˆ there is absoluteˆ unity despite the eternalˆ identities of the co-ordinates of Godˆ.
2:6.8 Godˆ loves the sinner and hates the sin: such a statement is true philosophically, but Godˆ is a transcendent personalityˆ, and persons can only love and hate other persons. Sinˆ is not a person. Godˆ loves the sinner because he is a personalityˆ reality (potentially eternalˆ), while towards sinˆ Godˆ strikes no personal attitude, for sinˆ is not a spiritˆual reality; it is not personal; therefore does only the justice of Godˆ take cognizance of its existence. The love of Godˆ saves the sinner; the law of Godˆ destroys the sinˆ. This attitude of the divineˆ nature would apparently change if the sinner finally identified himself wholly with sinˆ just as the same mortalˆ mindˆ may also fully identify itself with the indwellˆing spiritˆ Adjusterˆ. Such a sin-identified mortalˆ would then become wholly unspiritual in nature (and therefore personally unreal) and would experience eventual extinction of being. Unreality, even incompleteness of creature nature, cannot exist forever in a progressingly real and increasingly spiritˆual universeˆ.
2:6.9 Facing the world of personalityˆ, Godˆ is discovered to be a loving person; facing the spiritˆual world, he is a personal love; in religious experience he is both. Love identifies the volitionalˆ will of Godˆ. The goodness of Godˆ rests at the bottom of the divineˆ free-willness — the universal tendency to love, show mercy, manifest patience, and minister forgiveness.
7. Divineˆ Truth and Beauty
2:7.1 All finiteˆ knowledge and creature understanding are relative. Information and intelligence, gleaned from even high sources, is only relatively complete, locally accurate, and personally true.
2:7.2 Physical facts are fairly uniform, but truth is a living and flexible factor in the philosophy of the universeˆ. Evolving personalities are only partially wise and relatively true in their communications. They can be certain only as far as their personal experience extends. That which apparently may be wholly true in one place may be only relatively true in another segment of creation.
2:7.3 Divineˆ truth, final truth, is uniform and universal, but the story of things spiritˆual, as it is told by numerous individuals hailing from various spheres, may sometimes vary in details owing to this relativity in the completeness of knowledge and in the repleteness of personal experience as well as in the length and extent of that experience. While the laws and decrees, the thoughts and attitudes, of the First Great Source and Center are eternallˆy, infinitely, and universally true; at the same time, their application to, and adjustment for, every universeˆ, system, world, and created intelligence, are in accordance with the plans and technique of the Creatorˆ Sonsˆ as they function in their respective universesˆ, as well as in harmony with the local plans and procedures of the Infinite Spiritˆˆ and of all other associated celestialˆ personalities.
2:7.4 The false science of materialismˆ would sentence mortalˆ man to become an outcast in the universeˆ. Such partial knowledge is potentially evil; it is knowledge composed of both good and evil. Truth is beautiful because it is both replete and symmetrical. When man searches for truth, he pursues the divinelˆy real.
2:7.5 Philosophers commit their gravest errorˆ when they are misled into the fallacy of abstraction, the practice of focusing the attention upon one aspect of reality and then of pronouncing such an isolated aspect to be the whole truth. The wise philosopher will always look for the creative design which is behind, and pre-existent to, all universeˆ phenomena. The creatorˆ thought invariably precedes creative action.
2:7.6 Intellectual self-consciousness can discover the beauty of truth, its spiritˆual quality, not only by the philosophic consistency of its concepts, but more certainly and surely by the unerring response of the ever-present Spiritˆ of Truthˆ. Happiness ensues from the recognition of truth because it can be acted out; it can be lived. Disappointment and sorrow attend upon errorˆ because, not being a reality, it cannot be realized in experience. Divineˆ truth is best known by its spiritˆual flavor.
2:7.7 The eternalˆ quest is for unification, for divineˆ coherence. The far-flung physical universeˆ coheres in the Isle of Paradiseˆˆ; the intellectual universeˆ coheres in the Godˆ of mindˆ, the Conjoint Actorˆ; the spiritˆual universeˆ is coherent in the personalityˆ of the Eternalˆ Sonˆ. But the isolated mortalˆ of time and spaceˆ coheres in Godˆ the Fatherˆ through the direct relationship between the indwellˆing Thought Adjusterˆˆ and the Universal Fatherˆ. Man’s Adjusterˆ is a fragment of Godˆ and everlastingly seeks for divineˆ unification; it coheres with, and in, the Paradiseˆ Deityˆ of the First Source and Centerˆ.
2:7.8 The discernment of supremeˆ beauty is the discovery and integration of reality: The discernment of the divineˆ goodness in the eternalˆ truth, that is ultimateˆ beauty. Even the charm of human art consists in the harmony of its unity.
2:7.9 The great mistake of the Hebrew religion was its failure to associate the goodness of Godˆ with the factual truths of science and the appealing beauty of art. As civilization progressed, and since religion continued to pursue the same unwise course of overemphasizing the goodness of Godˆ to the relative exclusion of truth and neglect of beauty, there developed an increasing tendency for certain types of men to turn away from the abstract and dissociated concept of isolated goodness. The overstressed and isolated moralˆity of modern religion, which fails to hold the devotion and loyalty of many twentieth-century men, would rehabilitate itself if, in addition to its moralˆ mandates, it would give equal consideration to the truths of science, philosophy, and spiritˆual experience, and to the beauties of the physical creation, the charm of intellectual art, and the grandeur of genuine character achievement.
2:7.10 The religious challenge of this age is to those farseeing and forward-looking men and women of spiritˆual insight who will dare to construct a new and appealing philosophy of living out of the enlarged and exquisitely integrated modern concepts of cosmic truth, universeˆ beauty, and divineˆ goodness. Such a new and righteous vision of moralˆity will attract all that is good in the mindˆ of man and challenge that which is best in the human soulˆ. Truth, beauty, and goodness are divineˆ realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritˆual living, these supremeˆ qualities of the Eternalˆ become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in Godˆ, who is love.
2:7.11 All truth — material, philosophic, or spiritˆual — is both beautiful and good. All real beauty — material art or spiritˆual symmetry — is both true and good. All genuine goodness — whether personal moralˆity, social equity, or divineˆ ministry — is equally true and beautiful. Health, sanity, and happiness are integrations of truth, beauty, and goodness as they are blended in human experience. Such levels of efficient living come about through the unification of energyˆ systems, idea systems, and spiritˆ systems.
2:7.12 Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personalityˆ experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty. The real purpose of all universeˆ education is to effect the better co-ordination of the isolated child of the worlds with the larger realities of his expanding experience. Reality is finiteˆ on the human level, infinite and eternalˆ on the higher and divineˆ levels.
2:7.13 [Presented by a Divineˆ Counselor acting by authority of the Ancients of Daysˆ on Uversaˆ.]