Deity, God and Reality: Some Thoughts and Comments on Paper 105
by Jim Mills
This paper sustains the same relation to the Urantia Book as the first chapter of the Book of Genesis does to the Bible. (All quotations, unless otherwise noted, will be from the Urantia Book)1 Both contain answers, consistent with their own level of enlightenment, answers to that very old philosophic question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Both show the source-relationship of deity to reality.
We may assume with good reason that man has been curious about the origin of reality almost since Andon and Fonta started their northward trek 993,456 years ago. But for ages he lacked the ability to provide his own answers. It was not until 1,000 BC, that the best known work of Vedic Literature, the Satapatha-Brahmana, appeared in India. It contained the first "speculation of the Brahman or the Absolute Principle" coupled with an attempt at a cosmogony.2 About fifty years later the first Hebrew writings appeared which were destined to be grouped with others to form the Book of Genesis. In these works impersonal deity, The Brahman, and personal deity, God, were linked to the origin of reality; both concepts were anthropomorphic and possibly influenced by the residual teachings of Melchizedek. In these works we observe a concern about a relationship: that of the one, deity, and the many, reality.
About the middle of the sixth century BC courageous Greek thinkers began to throw off the yoke of mythology and to look about them in the visible world for solutions to a problem which they also called "the one and the many." Their tool was pure reason based upon observation; the results became Greek philosophy, of which, Frederick Copleston was to say, "This philosophy of the Greeks was really their own achievement, the fruit of their vigor and freshness of mind..."3
Uninfluenced by religion it might be called "abstract materialism" a term suggested by Copleston.4 With its materialistic orientation it has had a tremendous influence on the Western individual and collective consciousness. It was modified by Christianity, and nearly submerged in medieval scholasticism only to emerge with new vigor sixty years ago as logical positivism. This latter development and its consequents have done much to sterilize British and American philosophy since then.
It has taken a revelation, the Urantia Book, to present a clear, coherent and self-consistent account of the origin and proliferation of reality in which a new and enlarged concept of God is presented as instigator. We now have a new and dynamic view of the one and of the many, Deity and Reality.
The author of Paper 105, a Melchizedek of Nebadon, recognizes the many difficulties inherent in the attempt to portray the totality of reality, all reality, to our finite minds. He says -- frankly, "reality totality IS infinity and therefore can never be fully comprehended by any mind that is subinifinite in concept capacity."5 Now here is a hint; if you want to think about infinity, just think about all the reality that you can imagine, material, mindal, spiritual, including truth, beauty and goodness in the domains of science, philosophy and religion, then add the incomprehensible vastness of all that you don't know and you will find yourself pointed in the direction of infinity.
It is doubtful that regardless of our future development-growth we will ever encompass infinity. "No matter how much you may grow in Father comprehension, your mind will always be staggered by the unrevealed infinity of the Father-I Am..."6 Don't let that discourage you, because, the human mind has the ability to form concept-reference frameworks in which it can think, speculate and theorize about anything; including infinity. Otherwise, how do you suppose philosophy, theology and other abstract systems of thought ever came about? Our Melchizedek author is taking advantage of this fact to present to us the idea of an infinite I AM as the source of all reality.
Right at the outset it is obvious that we are going to be asked to greatly expand our current concept of God without losing any of those qualitative characteristics we now believe he possesses. We are going to become much more philosophically sophisticated, unless you are a Hindu.
Our Melchizedek mentor warns us that this new expanded concept of God, called the I Am, is very remote from everyday human understanding. So much so, that he specifically reminds us in section one that regardless of how much this new concept may include elements which appear impersonal, indifferent to the human condition on the surface, that the "I Am is in all personality meanings and values, synonymous with the First Person of Deity, the Universal Father of all personalities."7
So, no matter how abstractly philosophical we may become, ever keep in mind that: "When all is said and done, the Father idea is still the highest human concept of God."8 And, in section two of this paper he says, "The face which the Infinite turns toward all universe personalities is the face of a Father, the Universal Father of Love."9
To give us some idea of the magnitude of the I Am who is still our Universal Father, our Melchizedek Teacher does something quite unusual for emphasis; he presents us with the longest statement in italics in the Urantia Book. It reads: "Your experiential worshipful concept of the Universal Father must always be less than your philosophic postulate of the infinity of the First Source and Center, the I AM."10 I can see the morontia forms of Meister Eckhart, Nicholas of Cusa, Plotinus, Jakob Boehme, Paul Tillich and all the Hindu philosophers at a gathering on one of the mansion worlds toasting the Urantia Revelation with the words "at last our concepts have been given recognition."
Once more, to keep us in perspective, and to support the timid souls among us, our Melchizedek friend says, "Ever remember that man's comprehension of the Universal Father is a personal experience."11 "When we speak of the Father, we mean God as he is understandable by his creatures high and low, but there is much more of Deity which is not comprehensible to universe creatures."12 It is this muchmoreness of God which we have to deal with in this paper. Now I can well imagine some of you beginning to groan inwardly and say, "why all of this?"
My answer is that the Urantia revelation presents a cosmogony which is well-nigh limitless and it HAS to have a God bigger than itself. Secondly, the philosophers have a true statement, "ex nihilo nihil fit," which means "out of nothing, nothing is made;" which brings us right back to our original concern over the relationship between deity and reality. This is a source relationship. The I AM is presented in this paper as the ultimate source of all reality. As a modern philosopher-theologian, Paul Tillich, would have said it, "God is the ground of all being." Our Melchizedek teacher says in this paper from his viewpoint, "When you stand in awe of the magnitude of the master Universe, pause to consider that even this inconceivable creation can be no more than a partial revelation of the Infinite."13 The Infinite in totality is the I AM.
We are given the I AM concept in this paper because we mortals must have a starting point for reality. If you want to have some fun with your own mind, ask it to conjure up for you a concept of something that had no beginning. Things without endings can easily be conceived; not so with those without beginnings. So out of a spirit of cooperation with the limitations of the human mind, our teacher says in effect, "you imagine that there is such a thing as past infinity." No problem there; it is humanly conceivable. Why? Because it can be considered to be a thing even if it is unqualified.
Next he says, "now as a concession to your sense of beginnings, let us imagine that there was a hypothetical moment in this past eternity when the only thing that existed was something that was totally undifferentiated and ineffable." Unspeakable, in the sense that is incapable of any description. It cannot be described. We now have the I AM.
You and I are now in the process of building a concept of God which contains first the Father as we can know and love him and be loved in return; he proved this through Jesus. But it must also be big enough to have contained all past and present reality without exception and still big enough to contain the potential for all future reality for all eternity without the loss of anything of itself. Perhaps if we call it the Absolute of Absolutes, the Ground of all Being, then we can understand how it can bear a source-relationship to such Absolutes as those denoted in the Urantia Book as Unqualified, Deity and Universal Absolutes. Generally speaking, it is as much their Father as it is ultimately ours. Literally, the I AM is, was, and will be the ultimate source of all reality. Sections two, three and four proceed to show how all of this was done, is being and will be done.
Looking at what we are told has happened according to the author of Paper 105, it might be helpful to our understanding of the hypothecated process if we could place ourselves, in imagination, within the I AM at this hypothetical past eternity-moment in which the magnificent volition of the I AM is looking for the means to do what it already has decided to do, namely: "escape the awful limitations of infinity." Our individual ability to form reference frameworks now comes into use.
We look about us and in this hypothetical moment we see total nothingness; no actualities, no potentials, not even prepotentials or prepersonals. Yet, we intuitively know that we are in the presence of both thing and no-thing, cause and effect, volition and response - and we sense that something of infinite importance is about to happen. Where? Whatever happens can happen only within the I AM itself; for at this moment it is the only reality even if this appears as nothingness. Forsaking our imaginative position within the I AM, let's move outside and become rational spectators of the tremendous steps in a process about to take place, one culmination of which is planet Earth and all of its inhabitants, even you and I.
Now the Infinite does nothing without first providing an absolute foundation for it. It builds only on eternity footings, because, that which survives is to have eternal existence. We are concerned then first with seeing how, according to Paper 105, these eternity foundations evolve, from whence they come and their purpose in the total scheme of reality - the Master Universe.
We now turn again to that hypothetical moment in eternity when the Universal Father as the I AM makes that first move towards striking off the shackles of infinity. "...A postulated theoretical moment of 'first' volitional expression and 'first' repercussional reaction" within the I AM.14 The first repercussion reaction begins a long process which to our consciousness culminates in the universe as we know it. All process can be broken up into stages and we are only at stage one.
At this point, stage one can be likened to simple cell division. First you have one, now you have two. Here the analogy ends. Neither cell is exactly like the other and the original cell is still intact. In fact, all of this has taken place within the first and only cell so we can now have three cells. The paper calls each separate cell by different names. The original cell was and still is the Infinity, the I AM, unchanged; one of the new cells is called "The Infinite One" and the other new one is called "The Infinitude," and all are different from each other.
But before we discuss the multitude of relations which arise out of this primary self-differentiation, let's quickly glance at what it makes possible. Where we have three things, the possibility of establishing seven relationships, (more easily understood as combinations) is obvious. Simply, the I AM is now in a position to enter into seven self-relationships within itself. And these same self-relationships each assume their own individual identity - ultimately as the Seven Absolutes of Infinity, which in total are the fundamental premise of all reality; the necessary absolute foundations upon which all reality is grounded. The paper says, "The seven prime relationships within the I AM eternalize as the Seven Absolutes of Infinity."15
Now, let us trace how this came about. The primary differentiation within the I AM into the Infinite One and the Infinitude becomes recognized as primal Infinite Personality and primal Infinite Non-Personality - or primal Infinite Impersonal Being - or perhaps more clearly understood as primal Infinite THING. Now the reality of the Father-I AM has always been in a theoretical non-dynamic state, but, now this reality can function in a dynamic father-son relationship as the I AM becomes father of the absolute personality, The Eternal Son, who in turn becomes the spiritual revelation of the personality of the Father Infinite.
This sounds circular philosophically, except that the Universal Father is father personality, the source, bestower and cause of personality and the Eternal Son is absolute personality, pattern personality whose total unity cannot be broken by the bestowal of fragments of itself. If this seems a little difficult of understanding, remember a complete (absolute) pattern cannot be broken up without the loss of something of itself which in turn destroys the absolute pattern. Whereas an Infinite source never runs dry. One other way of looking at pattern is to consider it a unity of an infinite number of completely unique parts, the loss of any single one, being sufficient cause for the destruction of the original unity of the pattern itself. Pattern, by its nature, is unchangeable. We have carried the Infinite One to this point, let's leave him for a moment and turn our attention to the Infinitude, the primal impersonal portion of the first segmentation of the I AM.
The Universal Father-I AM must now turn his attention to providing an absolute basis and pattern for all non-personal being. While its extension is much broader, we humans can conceive this best as energy-matter, though that is only one phase of it. Speaking in analogy, if we, you and I, are to become actors on a vast stage, the master universe, the preliminaries necessary to its construction must first be attended to.
Thus the self-relationship which is concerned with this portion of the total process, is the I AM as Universal Controller and cause of eternal Paradise. As the Eternal Son is to become the pattern of all personality realities, so "this relationship establishes the potential of form-configuration -- and determines the master pattern of impersonal and non spiritual relationship - the master pattern from which all copies are made."16 Thus, the Eternal Son and Paradise are related to each other as the relationship sustained by the Infinite One to The Infinitude. The relationship between personal and impersonal being.
The third self-relationship within the I AM is that established with the Union of I AM with the Eternal Son, in which the I AM becomes one with the Eternal Son and is seen by subsequent appearing universes as The Universal Creator. This union initiates the creative cycle. In this union, the Father-I AM and the Eternal Son exist as absolute oneness. This union insures the ultimate appearance, in a time sense, of the Conjoint Actor and his counterpoise the Havona creation as the culmination of the creative cycle initiated by the union itself. The foundations for the eventual appearance of the Triodity of Actuality and the Paradise Trinity are now laid. But, Parenthetically, remember; both are from eternity.
It would appear at this point that our absolute foundations are well-laid, and they are, as far as they go. But, that is not far enough. We must have another absolute foundation on which we may be assured that everything that ever appears, no matter how far past or future, can be sustained, integrated and exquisitely balanced into an ever-growing universe of personal and impersonal beings, which will endure for all eternity. Here the I AM is seen as self-associative, providing the means to forever balance statics to ensure the integration of the continuous flow of new statics constantly emerging from potentials and at the same time, providing the means to balance and integrate both personal and impersonal potential realities. This means is destined to be called The Universal Absolute.
The next self-relationship results from another volitional self-qualification of the I AM. Paper 105 calls it the infinite Potential. Remember, we have been talking about personal and impersonal realities and we said speaking philosophically, "nothing comes from nothing."17 So far, no provision has been made for all those personal and impersonal realities that have yet to appear on the universe stage in all the eternal future. So far we have discussed only the foundations for existential deity and reality. Future deity and reality cannot come from nothing. However, in the original separation of the Infinite One and the Infinitude by means of which the I AM began to escape the shackles of infinity both the Infinite One and the Infinitude are still present within total Infinity. Because the action of volitional self-limitation is now obvious, it is equally obvious that personality must be diffused through the Infinity. It takes personality to make decisions. The foundation is now laid for the Deity Absolute whose functionality we will see is intimately involved in the preservation of personality potential. The Deity Absolute is sometimes referred to in the papers as The Qualified Absolute.
The sixth self-relationship within the I AM is the I AM Static-reactive; also called the Infinite Capacity. This is one of the easier-to-understand concepts as it is simply the foundation from which is derived the idea of the Unqualified Absolute. To understand this, all we have to do is remember that nothing comes from nothing and then look around us and out the windows. All the physical reality we see about us, including our physical selves, at one time was a part of space potency or The Universe super-gravity presence of the Unqualified Absolute whose absolute foundation is The Infinite Capacity.
The seventh and final self-relationship, at first might appear confusing, until we pause to note that the first six relationships present the I AM as being in a self-qualified relationship or function with someone or something else. In the seventh relationship, we find the I AM related to itself as infinity is related to infinity. This may appear to be a redundancy, until we realize that all of the previously noted relationships have been within the I AM itself as a result of self-limitations.
Remember now, that this paper said.. "but the postulation of this dual relationship must always be expanded to a triune conception by the recognition of the eternal continuum of the Infinity, the I AM."18 To express this very simply is merely to repeat an old mathematical adage "infinity less anything is still infinity." The eternal continuum of the I Am still remains unchanged existentially and potentially. To we humans, it is the Universal Father in the most absolute sense of the term; the Father of everything completely without qualification.
We have spent a lot of time and effort on the first two sections of this paper, which if carried through the remaining five sections would take us a substantial amount of time. Fortunately, this is not necessary. What has been done has shown the absolute foundations for all reality for all time. Sometimes people tend to run into confusion between sections two and three. This is readily cleared up when we recognize that in section two, only foundations are being laid in a time sense which in section three, eternalize in a non-time sense. The time sense of section two is actual only in the sense that the author thus portrays it for the convenience of the human mind. In section three, the eternalization, so-called, of the seven self-relationships within the original I AM brings about the existential being of the Seven Absolutes of Infinity. Again we are cautioned by the following statement, "But though we may portray reality origins and infinity differentiation by a sequential narrative, in fact all seven Absolutes are unqualifiedly and co-ordinately eternal."19
These Seven Absolutes of Infinity are for the human mind the absolute basis of all reality. We know them as:
1. The Universal Father. The I Am as I AM and source of all reality, deity and non-deity. First Source and Center.
2. The Eternal Son. The absolute personal realities of the I AM, and absolute pattern for personality. The Second Source and Center.
3. The Paradise Source and Center. Non-deity pattern; basis for physical gravity control, absolute non-deity pattern, focus of space.
4. The Infinite Spirit. The God of Action. Perfect co-ordinator of the motives of will and the mechanics of force. Revelator of mercy; weaver of the patterns of Paradise into the energies of space. Perfect expression of the purposes and plans of the Father and Son. Source of mind. The Third Source and Center.
5. the Deity Absolute. The unbounded reservoir of all Deity potential. That personality potential segregated by the Universal Father from total infinity. Those personal and spiritual realities existing now as potential future realization.
6. The Unqualified Absolute. The unrevealed cosmic potential of the I AM. Total impersonal potential. Cosmic potential co-ordinate with Paradise. Source of universes. Humanly conceivable as the undifferentiated force-charge of space. Space potency. Reservoir of all impersonal potential.
7. The Universal Absolute. The great tension resolver. Capacity for resolving tensions between the personal and impersonal, absolute and relative, deified and undeified.
Section four is basically a recapitulation of all that has been presented in detail so far. Most or any questions arising in the study of section four can be answered by careful re-study of sections one, two and three.
Let us now turn attention to sections five and six jointly; Promulgation of Finite Reality, and Repercussions of Finite Reality. The foregoing part of this paper has been more explanatory than in the nature of commentary. We can now begin to consider our subject matter in commentary form.
So far we have focused on the "how" in the genesis of reality. We have seen the beginning of a process which, for us, culminates in the appearance of the finite level of things and beings. Man, we observe, is literally "far out" from God in both time and space. But the Father has commanded man saying, "be you perfect even as I am perfect," and has extended the hand of mercy and ministry all the way out to man to help him to bring himself to God and gain incomparable experience while doing so. God has provided as pilot for this long journey a discrete fragment of himself. A fragment that quietly says, "this is the way," when man stands irresolutely at each crossroads.
Let us now ask "why?" "Why am I here? Why is there something rather than nothing?" The papers answer these questions by simply saying, "because God wills it." This being a volitional act of Deity, then the appearance of the finite would be the inevitable consequence of the decision-act of God.
We can make a speculative case for the non-inevitability of the finite if we assume that finite experience without the existence of the finite itself could be possible to God should he will it. However, we have been told that God cannot do the undoable. We note that so far the principle that "nothing comes from nothing" has been strictly adhered to. This raises the question: What does the finite mean to the Universal Father?
Seeking the answer, we can look only into the finite itself. We are told that there are seven purposes seeking satisfaction within the finite continuum. Only one, the ascendant plan, is disclosed to us. This is where we will have to look.
The ascendant plan becomes necessary because of the creation of a whole class of incomplete finites; you and me. We are faced with the Deity command to seek perfection and the only avenue open to that goal is to be found in time and space. It is the avenue of lived-experience. Experience becomes all important to us; is it important to God? It must be, because we are told, ...God doe not acquire experience as finite man might conjecture or comprehend, but he does, within the realms of his own eternal personality, enjoy those continuous expansions of self-realization which are in certain ways comparable to, and analogous with the acquirement of new experience by the finite creatures of the evolutionary worlds.
The absolute perfection of the infinite God would cause him to suffer the awful limitations of unqualified finality of perfectness were it not a fact that the Universal Father directly participates in the personality struggle of every imperfect soul in the wide universe who seeks, by divine aid, to ascend to the spiritually perfect worlds on high. The progressive experience of every spirit being and every mortal creature throughout the universe of universes is a part of the Father's ever-expanding Deity-Consciousness of the never-ending divine circle of ceaseless self-realization.
It is literally true: "In all your afflictions he is afflicted... In all your triumphs he triumphs in and with you." His prepersonal divine spirit is a real part of you... The Universal Father realizes in the fullness of the divine consciousness all the individual experience of the progressive struggles of the expanding minds and the ascending spirits of every entity, being, and personality of the whole evolutionary creation of time and space. And all of this is literally true, for "In Him we all live and move and have our being."20
The author of the foregoing is a Divine Counselor and the quotation is taken from Paper One, The Universal Father.
In some manner the experience derivables from the events of time and space and of a nature peculiar only to time and space, have their part in adding to the Father's self-consciousness of new finite experientials as they pass from potential to actual; from the grasp of the Absolutes of potentiality to the grasp of the Father, Eternal Son and Paradise in both personal-spiritual and non-personal realms.
The appearance of sub-absolute levels of reality means that these levels can exist only as qualified or relative states of being. Nevertheless, it does not appear to be consistent with the nature of existential deity to permit these levels to forever remain partial, incomplete or immature. Existential deity has issued the challenge to the finite to, "Be you perfect even as I am perfect." This challenge is for the partial to seek completion, the incomplete to attain fullness of being and the immature to find maturity.
A vast cosmic mechanism has been established to facilitate the process. The challenge can be met and overcome only through effort and decisions. In turn, these are productive of knowledge and experience whose synthesis yields wisdom. When wisdom appears we may be confident that the experiential attainments of any individual have become permanent.
But those attainments are not buried within the individual. The ever-present prepersonal fragment of God, dwelling within the mind of every human being, provides the technique whereby man's experience becomes God's experience in deity self realization. In man, it is personal self realization. In the Adjuster, it is the vindication of its confidence in the person of its choice, and in The Supreme Being one more step toward final reality for itself.
There are, in addition to personal responses to the appearance of the finite, several large scale responses of great universe significance. These as discussed in section six are:
The deity response which brings about the appearance of the spirit person of the Supreme Being in Havona as a personal actuality which can experience and grasp every value - yielding experience in the vast regions of time and space; adding these to itself by the unifying nature of its own divinity.
A second feature of the deity response is the slow emergence of the Almighty Supreme. The Almighty Supreme at present is not a person in our sense of personality; it is an evolving focus of power-control which is dependent upon the Supreme Creator Personalities, the Seven Master Spirits, The Ancients of Days and the Creator Sons, as each seek to bring the sometimes apparently uncoordinated physical power of the spheres and energies of space under the control of mind which will lead to eventual stability in all space realms; a stability of fixed and stable orbits and balanced energies such as is now seen in the Central Universe.
The third feature is the now developing Supreme Mind of eventual master universe function, whereby the Supreme Being and the Almighty Supreme become one as God the Supreme.
Section six also mentions the divinity response and some may say, "how do deity response and divinity response differ?" The answer simply is that a deity response is a direct action of deity such as the action of the Paradise Trinity in the creation of the spirit person of the Supreme Being. Deity of course can respond individually in unities or as trinity.
A divinity response is one which is aimed at enhancing unity in that which already exists or is projected. It is recognized in a personal being as the perfect correlation of love, mercy and ministry and on impersonal levels of being as justice, power and sovereignty. It is best seen in time and space as the function of God The Sevenfold.
Perhaps as far as the human mind is concerned, we may have laid a rational foundation for the inevitability of the finite. Certainly it is here and none of us want it to go away. It appears to be a tremendous stage loaded with activity, all of which has meaning and value for all other levels of reality in the master universe.
As individuals we can only stand humbly before the realities which this master revelation is revealing to us. Today, still concealed within it, are a multitude of secondary revelations which will come to light only as science, philosophy and theology gain new insights from direct human experience. The Urantia Book is not only for today. For centuries yet to come it will shed new light and revelation on human experience and serve to interpret it within a cosmic whole. We have barely made a beginning.
- (1) The Urantia Book, Uversa Press, 2008.
- (2) Louis Renou, Ed., Hinduish. N.Y. George Braziller, Inc., 1961, PP 81-85.
- (3) Copleston, F. A History of Philosophy. Search Press, Ltd, 1946. Newman Press, 1976. 9 Vol., Vol I. Page 11
- (4) P. 21 (5) P. 1152 (6) P. 1169 (7) P. 1152. (8) P. 2097 (9) P. 1153 (10) P. 1153 (11) P. 1153 (12) P. 1153 (13) P. 1153 (14) P. 1154 (15) P. 1155 (16) P. 1154 (17) P. 10 (18) P. 1154 (19) P. 1155 (20) P. 29