Paper 4 : Godˆ’s Relation to the Universeˆ
4:0.1 THE Universal Fatherˆ has an eternalˆ purpose pertaining to the material, intellectual, and spiritˆual phenomena of the universeˆ of universesˆ, which he is executing throughout all time. Godˆ created the universesˆ of his own free and sovereign will, and he created them in accordance with his all-wise and eternalˆ purpose. It is doubtful whether anyone except the Paradiseˆ Deitiesˆ and their highest associates really knows very much about the eternalˆ purpose of Godˆ. Even the exalted citizens of Paradiseˆ hold very diverse opinions about the nature of the eternalˆ purpose of the Deities.
4:0.2 It is easy to deduce that the purpose in creating the perfectˆ central universeˆˆ of Havonaˆ was purely the satisfaction of the divineˆ nature. Havonaˆ may serve as the patternˆ creation for all other universesˆ and as the finishing school for the pilgrimsˆ of time on their way to Paradiseˆ; however, such a supernal creation must exist primarily for the pleasure and satisfaction of the perfectˆ and infinite Creatorsˆ.
4:0.3 The amazing plan for perfectˆing evolutionaryˆ mortalsˆ and, after their attainment of Paradiseˆ and the Corps of the Finalityˆ, providing further training for some undisclosed future work, does seem to be, at present, one of the chief concerns of the seven superuniversesˆ and their many subdivisions; but this ascensionˆ scheme for spiritˆualizing and training the mortalsˆ of time and spaceˆ is by no means the exclusive occupation of the universeˆ intelligences. There are, indeed, many other fascinating pursuits which occupy the time and enlist the energies of the celestialˆ hosts.
1. The Universeˆ Attitude of the Father
4:1.1 For ages the inhabitants of Urantiaˆ have misunderstood the providenceˆ of Godˆ. There is a providenceˆ of divineˆ outworking on your world, but it is not the childish, arbitrary, and material ministry many mortalsˆ have conceived it to be. The providenceˆ of Godˆ consists in the interlocking activities of the celestialˆ beings and the divineˆ spiritsˆ who, in accordance with cosmic law, unceasingly labor for the honor of Godˆ and for the spiritˆual advancement of his universeˆ children.
4:1.2 Can you not advance in your concept of Godˆ’s dealing with man to that level where you recognize that the watchword of the universeˆ is progress? Through long ages the human race has struggled to reach its present position. Throughout all these millenniums Providenceˆ has been working out the plan of progressive evolution. The two thoughts are not opposed in practice, only in man’s mistaken concepts. Divineˆ providenceˆ is never arrayed in opposition to true human progress, either temporal or spiritˆual. Providenceˆ is always consistent with the unchanging and perfectˆ nature of the supremeˆ Lawmaker.
4:1.3 “Godˆ is faithful” and “all his commandments are just.” “His faithfulness is established in the very skies.” “Forever, O Lordˆ, your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness is to all generations; you have established the earth and it abides.” “He is a faithful Creatorˆ.”
4:1.4 There is no limitation of the forcesˆ and personalities which the Father may use to uphold his purpose and sustain his creatures. “The eternalˆ Godˆ is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almightyˆ.” “Behold, he who keeps us shall neither slumber nor sleep.” “We know that all things work together for good to those who love Godˆ,” “for the eyes of the Lordˆ are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers.”
4:1.5 Godˆ upholds “all things by the word of his powerˆ.” And when new worlds are born, he “sends forth his Sons and they are created.” Godˆ not only creates, but he “preserves them all.” Godˆ constantly upholds all things material and all beings spiritˆual. The universesˆ are eternallˆy stable. There is stability in the midst of apparent instability. There is an underlying order and security in the midst of the energyˆ upheavals and the physical cataclysms of the starry realms.
4:1.6 The Universal Fatherˆ has not withdrawn from the management of the universes; he is not an inactive Deityˆ. If Godˆ should retire as the present upholder of all creation, there would immediately occur a universal collapse. Except for Godˆ, there would be no such thing as reality. At this very moment, as during the remote ages of the past and in the eternalˆ future, Godˆ continues to uphold. The divineˆ reach extends around the circle of eternityˆˆ. The universeˆ is not wound up like a clock to run just so long and then cease to function; all things are constantly being renewed. The Father unceasingly pours forth energyˆ, light, and life. The work of Godˆ is literal as well as spiritˆual. “He stretches out the north over the empty spaceˆ and hangs the earth upon nothing.”
4:1.7 A being of my order is able to discover ultimateˆ harmony and to detect far-reaching and profound co-ordination in the routine affairs of universeˆ administration. Much that seems disjointed and haphazard to the mortalˆ mindˆ appears orderly and constructive to my understanding. But there is very much going on in the universesˆ that I do not fully comprehend. I have long been a student of, and am more or less conversant with, the recognized forcesˆ, energies, minds, morontiasˆ, spiritsˆ, and personalities of the local universesˆ and the superuniversesˆ. I have a general understanding of how these agencies and personalities operate, and I am intimately familiar with the workings of the accredited spiritˆ intelligences of the grand universeˆˆ. Notwithstanding my knowledge of the phenomena of the universesˆ, I am constantly confronted with cosmic reactions which I cannot fully fathom. I am continually encountering apparently fortuitous conspiracies of the interassociation of forcesˆ, energies, intellects, and spiritsˆ, which I cannot satisfactorily explain.
4:1.8 I am entirely competent to trace out and to analyze the working of all phenomena directly resulting from the functioning of the Universal Fatherˆ, the Eternalˆ Sonˆ, the Infinite Spiritˆˆ, and, to a large extent, the Isle of Paradiseˆˆ. My perplexity is occasioned by encountering what appears to be the performance of their mysterious co-ordinates, the three Absolutesˆ of potentialityˆˆ. These Absolutesˆ seem to supersede matter, to transcend mindˆ, and to supervene spiritˆ. I am constantly confused and often perplexed by my inability to comprehend these complex transactions which I attribute to the presences and performances of the Unqualified Absoluteˆˆ, the Deityˆ Absoluteˆˆ, and the Universal Absoluteˆˆ.
4:1.9 These Absolutesˆ must be the not-fully-revealed presences abroad in the universeˆ which, in the phenomena of spaceˆ potencyˆ and in the function of other superultimatesˆ, render it impossible for physicists, philosophers, or even religionists to predict with certainty as to just how the primordialsˆ of forceˆ, concept, or spiritˆ will respond to demands made in a complex reality situation involving supremeˆ adjustments and ultimateˆ values.
4:1.10 There is also an organic unity in the universesˆ of time and spaceˆ which seems to underlie the whole fabric of cosmic events. This living presence of the evolving Supremeˆ Beingˆ, this Immanence of the Projected Incomplete, is inexplicably manifested ever and anon by what appears to be an amazingly fortuitous co-ordination of apparently unrelated universeˆ happenings. This must be the function of Providenceˆ — the realm of the Supremeˆ Beingˆ and the Conjoint Actorˆ.
4:1.11 I am inclined to believe that it is this far-flung and generally unrecognizable control of the co-ordination and interassociation of all phases and forms of universeˆ activity that causes such a variegated and apparently hopelessly confused medley of physical, mental, moralˆ, and spiritˆual phenomena so unerringly to work out to the glory of Godˆ and for the good of men and angelsˆ.
4:1.12 But in the larger sense the apparent “accidents” of the cosmos are undoubtedly a part of the finiteˆ drama of the time-space adventure of the Infinite in his eternalˆ manipulation of the Absolutesˆ.
2. Godˆ and Nature
4:2.1 Nature is in a limited sense the physical habit of Godˆ. The conduct, or action, of Godˆ is qualified and provisionally modified by the experimental plans and the evolutionaryˆ patternsˆ of a local universeˆˆ, a constellationˆ, a system, or a planet. Godˆ acts in accordance with a well-defined, unchanging, immutable law throughout the wide-spreading master universeˆˆ; but he modifies the patternsˆ of his action so as to contribute to the co-ordinate and balanced conduct of each universeˆ, constellationˆ, system, planet, and personalityˆ in accordance with the local objects, aims, and plans of the finiteˆ projects of evolutionaryˆ unfolding.
4:2.2 Therefore, nature, as mortalˆ man understands it, presents the underlying foundation and fundamental background of a changeless Deityˆ and his immutable laws, modified by, fluctuating because of, and experiencing upheavals through, the working of the local plans, purposes, patternsˆ, and conditions which have been inaugurated and are being carried out by the local universeˆˆ, constellationˆ, system, and planetary forcesˆ and personalities. For example: As Godˆ’s laws have been ordained in Nebadonˆ, they are modified by the plans established by the Creatorˆ Sonˆ and Creative Spiritˆˆ of this local universeˆˆ; and in addition to all this the operation of these laws has been further influenced by the errorsˆ, defaults, and insurrections of certain beings resident upon your planet and belonging to your immediate planetary system of Satanˆia.
4:2.3 Nature is a time-space resultant of two cosmic factors: first, the immutability, perfectˆion, and rectitude of Paradiseˆ Deityˆ, and second, the experimental plans, executive blunders, insurrectionary errorsˆ, incompleteness of development, and imperfection of wisdom of the extra-Paradise creatures, from the highest to the lowest. Nature therefore carries a uniform, unchanging, majestic, and marvelous thread of perfectˆion from the circle of eternityˆˆ; but in each universeˆ, on each planet, and in each individual life, this nature is modified, qualified, and perchance marred by the acts, the mistakes, and the disloyalties of the creatures of the evolutionaryˆ systems and universes; and therefore must nature ever be of a changˆing mood, whimsical withal, though stable underneath, and varied in accordance with the operating procedures of a local universeˆˆ.
4:2.4 Nature is the perfectˆion of Paradiseˆ divided by the incompletion, evil, and sinˆ of the unfinished universesˆ. This quotient is thus expressive of both the perfectˆ and the partial, of both the eternalˆ and the temporal. Continuing evolution modifies nature by augmenting the content of Paradiseˆ perfectˆion and by diminishing the content of the evil, errorˆ, and disharmony of relative reality.
4:2.5 Godˆ is not personally present in nature or in any of the forcesˆ of nature, for the phenomenon of nature is the superimposition of the imperfections of progressive evolution and, sometimes, the consequences of insurrectionary rebellion, upon the Paradiseˆ foundations of Godˆ’s universal law. As it appears on such a world as Urantiaˆ, nature can never be the adequate expression, the true representation, the faithful portrayal, of an all-wise and infinite Godˆ.
4:2.6 Nature, on your world, is a qualification of the laws of perfectˆion by the evolutionaryˆ plans of the local universeˆˆ. What a travesty to worship nature because it is in a limited, qualified sense pervaded by God; because it is a phase of the universal and, therefore, divineˆ power! Nature also is a manifestation of the unfinished, the incomplete, the imperfect outworkings of the development, growth, and progress of a universeˆ experiment in cosmic evolution.
4:2.7 The apparent defects of the natural world are not indicative of any such corresponding defects in the character of Godˆ. Rather are such observed imperfections merely the inevitable stop-moments in the exhibition of the ever-moving reel of infinity picturization. It is these very defect-interruptions of perfectˆion-continuity which make it possible for the finiteˆ mindˆ of material man to catch a fleeting glimpse of divineˆ reality in time and spaceˆ. The material manifestations of divinityˆ appear defective to the evolutionaryˆ mindˆ of man only because mortalˆ man persists in viewing the phenomena of nature through natural eyes, human vision unaided by morontiaˆ motaˆ or by revelation, its compensatory substitute on the worlds of time.
4:2.8 And nature is marred, her beautiful face is scarred, her features are seared, by the rebellion, the misconduct, the misthinking of the myriads of creatures who are a part of nature, but who have contributed to her disfigurement in time. No, nature is not Godˆ. Nature is not an object of worship.
3. Godˆ’s Unchanging Character
4:3.1 All too long has man thought of Godˆ as one like himself. Godˆ is not, never was, and never will be jealous of man or any other being in the universeˆ of universesˆ. Knowing that the Creatorˆ Sonˆ intended man to be the masterpiece of the planetary creation, to be the ruler of all the earth, the sight of his being dominated by his own baser passions, the spectacle of his bowing down before idols of wood, stone, gold, and selfish ambition — these sordid scenes stir Godˆ and his Sons to be jealous for man, but never of him.
4:3.2 The eternalˆ Godˆ is incapable of wrath and anger in the sense of these human emotions and as man understands such reactions. These sentiments are mean and despicable; they are hardly worthy of being called human, much less divineˆ; and such attitudes are utterly foreign to the perfectˆ nature and gracious character of the Universal Fatherˆ.
4:3.3 Much, very much, of the difficulty which Urantiaˆ mortalsˆ have in understanding Godˆ is due to the far-reaching consequences of the Luciferˆ rebellion and the Caligastiaˆ betrayal. On worlds not segregated by sinˆ, the evolutionaryˆ races are able to formulate far better ideas of the Universal Fatherˆ; they suffer less from confusion, distortion, and perversion of concept.
4:3.4 Godˆ repents of nothing he has ever done, now does, or ever will do. He is all-wise as well as all-powerful. Man’s wisdom grows out of the trials and errorsˆ of human experience; Godˆ’s wisdom consists in the unqualified perfectˆion of his infinite universeˆ insight, and this divineˆ foreknowledge effectively directs the creative free will.
4:3.5 The Universal Fatherˆ never does anything that causes subsequent sorrow or regret, but the will creatures of the planning and making of his Creatorˆ personalitiesˆ in the outlying universesˆ, by their unfortunate choosing, sometimes occasion emotions of divineˆ sorrow in the personalities of their Creatorˆ parents. But though the Father neither makes mistakes, harbors regrets, nor experiences sorrows, he is a being with a father’s affection, and his heart is undoubtedly grieved when his children fail to attain the spiritˆual levels they are capable of reaching with the assistance which has been so freely provided by the spiritˆual-attainment plans and the mortalˆ-ascension policies of the universesˆ.
4:3.6 The infinite goodness of the Father is beyond the comprehension of the finiteˆ mindˆ of time; hence must there always be afforded a contrast with comparative evil (not sin) for the effective exhibition of all phases of relative goodness. Perfectˆion of divineˆ goodness can be discerned by mortalˆ imperfection of insight only because it stands in contrastive association with relative imperfection in the relationships of time and matter in the motions of spaceˆ.
4:3.7 The character of Godˆ is infinitely superhumanˆ; therefore must such a nature of divinityˆ be personalized, as in the divineˆ Sons, before it can even be faithˆ-grasped by the finiteˆ mindˆ of man.
4. The Realization of Godˆ
4:4.1 Godˆ is the only stationary, self-contained, and changeless being in the whole universeˆ of universesˆ, having no outside, no beyond, no past, and no future. Godˆ is purposive energyˆ (creative spiritˆˆ) and absoluteˆ will, and these are self-existent and universal.
4:4.2 Since Godˆ is self-existent, he is absolutelˆy independent. The very identity of Godˆ is inimical to change. “I, the Lordˆ, change not.” Godˆ is immutable; but not until you achieve Paradiseˆ status can you even begin to understand how Godˆ can pass from simplicity to complexity, from identity to variation, from quiescenceˆ to motion, from infinity to finitude, from the divineˆ to the human, and from unity to duality and triunityˆ. And Godˆ can thus modify the manifestations of his absoluteness because divineˆ immutability does not imply immobility; Godˆ has will — he is will.
4:4.3 Godˆ is the being of absoluteˆ self-determination; there are no limits to his universeˆ reactions save those which are self-imposed, and his freewillˆ acts are conditioned only by those divineˆ qualities and perfectˆ attributes which inherently characterize his eternalˆ nature. Therefore is Godˆ related to the universeˆ as the being of final goodness plus a free will of creative infinity.
4:4.4 The Father-Absoluteˆ is the creatorˆ of the central and perfectˆ universeˆ and the Father of all other Creatorsˆ. Personalityˆ, goodness, and numerous other characteristics, Godˆ shares with man and other beings, but infinity of will is his alone. Godˆ is limited in his creative acts only by the sentiments of his eternalˆ nature and by the dictates of his infinite wisdom. Godˆ personally chooses only that which is infinitely perfectˆ, hence the supernal perfectˆion of the central universeˆˆ; and while the Creatorˆ Sonsˆ fully share his divinityˆ, even phases of his absoluteness, they are not altogether limited by that finality of wisdom which directs the Father’s infinity of will. Hence, in the Michael order of sonshipˆ, creative free will becomes even more active, wholly divineˆ and well-nigh ultimateˆ, if not absoluteˆ. The Father is infinite and eternalˆ, but to deny the possibility of his volitionalˆ self-limitation amounts to a denial of this very concept of his volitionalˆ absoluteness.
4:4.5 Godˆ’s absoluteness pervades all seven levels of universeˆ reality. And the whole of this absoluteˆ nature is subject to the relationship of the Creatorˆ to his universeˆ creature family. Precision may characterize trinitarianˆ justice in the universeˆ of universesˆ, but in all his vast family relationship with the creatures of time the Godˆ of universesˆ is governed by divineˆ sentiment. First and last — eternallˆy — the infinite Godˆ is a Father. Of all the possible titles by which he might appropriately be known, I have been instructed to portray the Godˆ of all creation as the Universal Fatherˆ.
4:4.6 In Godˆ the Fatherˆ freewillˆ performances are not ruled by powerˆ, nor are they guided by intellect alone; the divineˆ personalityˆ is defined as consisting in spiritˆ and manifesting himself to the universesˆ as love. Therefore, in all his personal relations with the creature personalities of the universesˆ, the First Source and Centerˆ is always and consistently a loving Father. Godˆ is a Father in the highest sense of the term. He is eternallˆy motivated by the perfectˆ idealism of divineˆ love, and that tender nature finds its strongest expression and greatest satisfaction in loving and being loved.
4:4.7 In science, Godˆ is the First Cause; in religion, the universal and loving Father; in philosophy, the one being who exists by himself, not dependent on any other being for existence but beneficently conferring reality of existence on all things and upon all other beings. But it requires revelation to show that the First Cause of science and the self-existent Unity of philosophy are the Godˆ of religion, full of mercy and goodness and pledged to effect the eternalˆ survival of his children on earth.
4:4.8 We crave the concept of the Infinite, but we worship the experience-idea of Godˆ, our anywhere and any-time capacity to grasp the personalityˆ and divinityˆ factors of our highest concept of Deityˆ.
4:4.9 The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faithˆ which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absoluteˆ of the universeˆ of universesˆ. And that is “the victory which overcomes the world, even your faithˆ.”
5. Erroneous Ideas of Godˆ
4:5.1 Religious tradition is the imperfectly preserved record of the experiences of the God-knowingˆ men of past ages, but such records are untrustworthy as guides for religious living or as the source of true information about the Universal Fatherˆ. Such ancient beliefs have been invariably altered by the fact that primitive man was a mythmaker.
4:5.2 One of the greatest sources of confusion on Urantiaˆ concerning the nature of Godˆ grows out of the failure of your sacred books clearly to distinguish between the personalities of the Paradiseˆ Trinityˆ and between Paradiseˆ Deityˆ and the local universeˆˆ creatorsˆ and administrators. During the past dispensationsˆ of partial understanding, your priests and prophets failed clearly to differentiate between Planetary Princes, System Sovereigns, Constellationˆ Fathers, Creatorˆ Sonsˆ, Superuniverseˆ Rulers, the Supremeˆ Beingˆ, and the Universal Fatherˆ. Many of the messages of subordinate personalities, such as Life Carriersˆ and various orders of angelsˆ, have been, in your records, presented as coming from Godˆ himself. Urantian religious thought still confuses the associate personalities of Deityˆ with the Universal Fatherˆ himself, so that all are included under one appellation.
4:5.3 The people of Urantiaˆ continue to suffer from the influence of primitive concepts of Godˆ. The gods who go on a rampage in the storm; who shake the earth in their wrath and strike down men in their anger; who inflict their judgments of displeasure in times of famine and flood — these are the gods of primitive religion; they are not the Gods who live and rule the universesˆ. Such concepts are a relic of the times when men supposed that the universeˆ was under the guidance and domination of the whims of such imaginary gods. But mortalˆ man is beginning to realize that he lives in a realm of comparative law and order as far as concerns the administrative policies and conduct of the Supremeˆ Creatorsˆ and the Supremeˆ Controllers.
4:5.4 The barbarous idea of appeasing an angry Godˆ, of propitiating an offended Lordˆ, of winning the favor of Deityˆ through sacrifices and penance and even by the shedding of blood, represents a religion wholly puerile and primitive, a philosophy unworthy of an enlightened age of science and truth. Such beliefs are utterly repulsive to the celestialˆ beings and the divineˆ rulers who serve and reign in the universesˆ. It is an affront to Godˆ to believe, hold, or teach that innocent blood must be shed in order to win his favor or to divert the fictitious divineˆ wrath.
4:5.5 The Hebrewsˆ believed that “without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sinˆ.” They had not found deliverance from the old and paganˆ idea that the Gods could not be appeased except by the sight of blood, though Mosesˆ did make a distinct advance when he forbade human sacrifices and substituted therefor, in the primitive minds of his childlike Bedouin followers, the ceremonial sacrifice of animals.
4:5.6 The bestowalˆ of a Paradiseˆ Son on your world was inherent in the situation of closing a planetary age; it was inescapable, and it was not made necessary for the purpose of winning the favor of Godˆ. This bestowalˆ also happened to be the final personal act of a Creatorˆ Sonˆ in the long adventure of earning the experientialˆ sovereignty of his universeˆ. What a travesty upon the infinite character of God! this teaching that his fatherly heart in all its austere coldness and hardness was so untouched by the misfortunes and sorrows of his creatures that his tender mercies were not forthcoming until he saw his blameless Son bleeding and dying upon the cross of Calvary!
4:5.7 But the inhabitants of Urantiaˆ are to find deliverance from these ancient errorsˆ and paganˆ superstitions respecting the nature of the Universal Fatherˆ. The revelation of the truth about Godˆ is appearing, and the human race is destined to know the Universal Fatherˆ in all that beauty of character and loveliness of attributes so magnificently portrayed by the Creatorˆ Sonˆ who sojourned on Urantiaˆ as the Son of Manˆ and the Son of Godˆ.
4:5.8 [Presented by a Divineˆ Counselor of Uversaˆ.]