Home/ Dave Holt

Student Visitors

Monday, December 04, 2017    

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Religious Assurance and Cultural Confidence

Wednesday, November 15, 2017    

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Practicing the Presence of God

Sunday, November 05, 2017    

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“This is the Way; Walk Therein”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017    

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A Well-Balanced Personality

Wednesday, September 27, 2017    

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The Apostolic Mission to India: Was it Thomas or Nathaniel?

Friday, August 25, 2017    

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Pacific Coast Tide Pool

Tuesday, August 15, 2017    

I decided to respond to the Atlantic magazine’s recent survey. “Tell us: have you been part of a new religious movement,” https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2017/08/new-religious-movement/534513/. I was trying to finish a poem about a visit to tide pools on the Pacific Coast, when I accidentally revisited a phase of my life in my notebooks of 1977. I saw how far I had fallen. It was the same year I was introduced to The Urantia Book. Along with the friendships I made in sharing the teachings, The UB saved my life. Like Jonah who sought “God and his goodness,” I was offered new possibilities for the future. “The evil circumstances of life will spew [disheartened souls] out upon the dry land of fresh opportunities for renewed service and wiser living." (130:1.2)

Soon after Chappell introduced me to The UB, she took me to Salmon Creek beach on the Sonoma Coast to show me the friendly universe she’d told me about. I knew these beaches well. In my early days traveling through California, looking for a place to live and play music, my friends and I had camped there. We’d written songs to the constellations, sung Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” around the campfire on the, “windy beach far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow,” danced “beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, silhouetted by the sea.”

Here I was again, where sea meets sky and earth, with my new love. The incoming tide reflected billowing clouds where kelp forest and sea grass were washed flat by wave, whoosh and swirl. When the surge of tidewater paused and subsided, such moments of calm offered pictures of clarity in the many hued tide pools, where, like descending angels, the stars had left the wide open blue of empty sky to reincarnate as ochraceous starfish.

My soul mingled with the purple sea urchins, and scuttled with the hermit crabs dragging their borrowed shells, wiser ones hiding under shelves of stone or in waving tentacles of green anemones. I too had a shell like crab, too much like it, full of terror, hiding, protecting myself from the hurt, the reality, of being in love. A friend’s voice was singing to me, “let the seas rush in, let the sea gulls fly;” and I prayed that earth’s glory would meet my struggle for words to speak what this stumbling heart was feeling. Let there be a place for my devotion; may I find righteous deeds to do.

The tide washing in and out symbolized my old view of an impersonal universe. It represented the alternating conditions of good and evil where Good only randomly triumphed before Evil overcame it.

“The will of God is divine truth, living love; therefore are the perfecting creations of the evolutionary universes characterized by goodness—nearness to divinity … “ (3:6.2)

The UB saved my life, rescued me from the old reality that was not serving me well. In my volunteer work at the Family of God Foundation, I benefited from its teachings and learned to pray to a personal god, my Father.

Perhaps terror shows its face in nature, poses dangers in pounding surf, rip tides, and raging water. Yet sky, sea, beach, stars, fish, kelp combine to show me their true and beautiful intention, a loving panorama of the cosmos. In my deep mind, new possibilities were born for the future where I believed I had run out of opportunities and had none left. My life was about to change for the better.

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The Usefulness of Dreams

Thursday, June 22, 2017    

Though we are urged in The Urantia Book (The UB) to progress beyond the primitive human tendency to read significance into our dreams, some of us still love to discover a guiding message, perhaps supernatural or providential, in our night visions. The warning we get is that it is “extremely dangerous to postulate as to the Adjuster content” of our dreams, even though they “do work during sleep.” (The UB, 110:5.5) In spite of these disclaimers, there are many examples of how dreams served an important function in our religious evolution, bringing changes that we should all feel grateful for: there is, “The dream origin of the belief in a future existence … [that] began effectively to antidote the death fear;” (86:4.2) and the story of the prophet Zoroaster who, “as the result of a dream while in Ur, … settled upon a program of returning to his northern home to undertake the remodeling of the religion of his people.” (95:6.2)

The dreams that took place at the birth of Jesus may have been instigated by seraphim rather than an indwelling spirit monitor (Adjuster). “Joseph did not become reconciled to the idea that Mary was to become the mother of an extraordinary child until after he had experienced a very impressive dream.” (122:4.1) Also, Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, only believed Elizabeth’s account of Gabriel’s visit, “after he had an unusual dream.” (135:0.1) These dream messages kept peace in the family and guided the men, who were perhaps feeling left out of such important events, to come to terms with their fate.

The famous “wise men” of song and story were guided by a religious teacher of Mesopotamia who “had a dream in which he was informed that "the light of life" was about to appear on earth as a babe and among the Jews.” (122:8.6)

I have never been one to devote myself very much to dream interpretation, though I admit I’ve attempted it once in a while (see previous blog, http://www.urantiabook.org/dave-holt/dreams-celestial-messengers-and-the-light-of-life). So it was, that with my alternating mental backdrop of doubt and belief, on the night before Father’s Day (June 18th this year), I experienced one of those, “disordered and garbled” dreams we are cautioned against interpreting or speculating on by an Archangel of Nebadon, the author of paper 44:4.7.

My night visitation started out with a frightening scene on a high freeway overpass where I watched a man who, in turn, was watching his burned car (fire out, smoldering). There wasn’t much I could do, yet my service motive was obviously operating in low gear (I don’t remember offering help) – not such a noble beginning to what became a visionary experience. Soon after this traumatic beginning, I drove to San Francisco from Oakland and came upon what I was told in my dream was the River Thames. Many seasons of watching British television have familiarized me with the broad, impressive features of the Thames. I knew clearly this was not London, England’s river. Rather this was something far grander, more Paradise-like than that. The brilliant greens of the riverbanks, the dazzling blues of the summer sky, the sparkling waters that flowed and danced over the rocks, the people enjoying the park-like setting, the horses grazing nearby, created a vision of great beauty that declared the glory of God. “This is a glorification of God” was the very thought in my mind as I woke up on Father’s Day morning.

I sat down and wrote a tribute to my father in honor of the day, filled with this spirit of honoring his love, glorifying God my divine Father and Bob, my earthly father, at the same time.

Now here’s the irony, and I know Dr. Jung, interpreter of dreams, would appreciate the synchronicity. My father was born in London, Ontario, not far from the Canadian River Thames flowing through that city. However, it was not even the smaller version of the Thames in my dream. I believed it was a stream flowing out of the high heavens.

This is part of my Father’s Day Facebook post about Dad’s youth that brought many reactions in honor of his memory, “The Great Depression was the pivotal event for my dad, years when he was forced, or maybe chose (to be less of a burden on the family), to wander through the cold Canadian provinces seeking work. These were his teenage years—a transient and homeless time for him, as with many. … Like many survivors of the Dirty Thirties, Dad sang through the hard times; songs sustained him … I imagined him sitting atop the rolling boxcars, singing to high heaven while riding the rails, and I bet he got the other men to join in. He had a way of doing that.” https://www.facebook.com/OjibwayDescendant/posts/10154510800741078?pnref=story

Many people praised my father’s “triumph when others would have crumbled;” “he was a brave and courageous man;” “wise beyond his years;” “amazing person … he brought himself up.”

Namaste, Dad. “The god within me honors the god within you,"

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