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From the Supreme to the Three person’d God: Seven Levels of Total Deity

Saturday, April 07, 2018    

 

How do we put it together in our minds that the absolute, unchanging God can also be a growing, evolving God, manifesting in new ways? In conversations with my Catholic cousin, he had a great deal of trouble unifying these seemingly contradictory ideas of Deity, not to say I didn’t. We can do it if we begin to accept the fundamental idea that not only life continues to evolve but also God is evolving, to meet with the needs brought about by changes in the earth, the universe, and transformations initiated by human beings. That is why The Urantia Book (The UB) offers us its new vision, a revelation of a Supreme Being. “Action, completion of decisions, is essential to the evolutionary attainment of ... progressive kinship with ... the Supreme Being.” (pg. 1211; 110.6.17)

Talking about God as The Supreme is not new. Asian religions have used the term in their sacred writings. When I was a yoga student, it was the first term for God that I learned from the Hindu tradition. "How universal is the Supreme—he is on all sides! The limitless things of creation depend on his presence for life, and none are refused." Those of us who are students of history know about Robespierre’s establishment of a Cult of the Supreme Being to replace Roman Catholicism during the French Revolution.

The Supreme is perhaps the biggest upgrade to our language in The UB of the many that the authors attempted. It’s not just another name for God; it is classified as one of the Seven levels of Total Deity and, as The Supreme Being of the Sevenfold God, is the fourth step in our approach to the Paradise Trinity.

Philosophers, thinkers and theologians have often tried to harmonize a god of “Being,” with a god still “Becoming.” The UB refers to the Static, Potential, Associative aspects of Deity, “This incomprehensible aspect of Deity may be static, potential, and associative but is not experientially creative or evolutional as concerns the intelligent personalities now functioning in the master universe,” (0:11.14). It is what Tillich and others described as “the Absolute ground of Being.” The god who is becoming, whose creative nature is still expanding, unfolding, growing, and developing is Associative, Creative, Evolutional, and becoming a personality, God the Supreme.

In a class I attended years ago, workshop leader and teacher of The UB, David Glass, came up with the mnemonic device SPACE-SU (IT added to make it a word easy to memorize) to teach the Seven levels of Deity in the Foreword (The UB, 0:1.3, pg 2; Foreword.I.1-4) . I still regularly use it to help me remember them.

Static:“We may choose something like a star to stay our minds on and be staid.” (Robert Frost)

Potential: “The Tao … is like the eternal void; filled with infinite possibilities. It is hidden but

always present.I don’t know who gave birth to it.It is older than God.” (Tao Te Ching #4)

Associative: “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. (John 17: 21-26)

“The universe is triune … there is nothing that is not a unity of potentiality, actuality and connecting motion.” (Nicholas of Cusa, De Docta Ignorantia, circa 1450)

Creative: “Where there is creation there is progress. Where there is no creation, there is no

progress.” (Chandogya Upanishad 7.16-25, Trans. by Juan Mascaro)

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51)

Evolutional: “God is a verb.” (Buckminster Fuller)

Supreme: “Supreme reality … is in process of dynamic growth between the unqualified potentials of outer space and the unqualified actuals at the center of all things.” (UB, pg. 1264; 115. sec 4)

Ultimate:“time-space-transcending Deity.” (The UB, pg. 2)

In paper 94:3.3 (The UB) we read about the advances made in Hindu religion: "Had the philosophers of those days been able to make this next advance in deity conception, had they been able to conceive of the Brahman as associative and creative, as a personality approachable by created and evolving beings, then might such a teaching have become the most advanced portraiture of Deity on Urantia since it would have encompassed the first five levels of total deity function and might possibly have envisioned the remaining two."

The Supreme Being is also the fourth step in “our sevenfold approach to Deity,” (0:8.1) by which, “the finite attains the embrace of the infinite.” (0:8.11)

Jesus’ teaching about the approachability to God (through the Supreme) is one that survived in Christianity. “Come to me, all you that are weary, and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8)

Michael Meade envisioned the reciprocal creation, our participation in the evolution of the Supreme through our own creative actions; he puts it this way, “The genius of human nature involves innate capacities for creation and invention that are important in the life of each individual and essential to the balance of the world. The true individual, by virtue of being himself or herself, enters a state of partnership with the ongoing acts of creation and thereby adds something to life that was not there before.” (Michael Meade, The Genius Myth, p. 14)

We as artists, musicians, writers, and others who seek to reveal the Supreme through our creative work, or as parents, community leaders, organizers work to effect such a revelation in our actions, we are discovering more new pathways for doing God’s will. It’s a path to mutual love of God and humanity in conjoined action, a path to Joy.

 


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