The Spiritual Teachings of The Urantia Book: Synopsis, Part 1
The Universal Father
First and last—eternally—the infinite God is a Father. God is a Father in the highest possible sense of that term. He is eternally motivated by the perfect idealism of divine love and tender nature that finds its strongest expression and greatest satisfaction in loving and being loved.
Selflessness is inherent in parental love. God loves not like a father but as a father.
The First Father is universal spirit, eternal truth, infinite reality, and father personality-a transcendent reality. But God is even more. He is a saving person and a loving Father to all who enjoy spiritual peace on Earth, and who crave to experience personality survival in death.
The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration, except for the God-consciousness of the human mind and the presence of the God-Spirit that indwells the mortal intellect-and is bestowed as the free gift of the Universal Father. It is not there by right of possession, but it is designed to be so for all those who choose to survive the mortal existence.
The Personality of God
The Universal Father is the acme of divine personality; he is the origin and destiny of all personality; he is infinite personality. But although God is much more than a personality as it is understood by man, we equally well know he cannot be anything less than holy, just and great, an eternal, infinite, true, beautiful, loving, and good personality.
Only through a personality approach can we begin to comprehend the unity of God. To deny the personality of the First Source and Center leaves only the choice between two philosophical dilemmas-materialism or pantheism.
God is spirit-spirit personality; man is also spirit-potential spirit personality. Jesus of Nazareth attained the full realization of man's spirit potential. Therefore his life of achieving the Father's will becomes man's most real and ideal revelation of the personality of God.
The Spirit Within
There sojourns within each mortal being a fragment of God, a part and parcel of divinity, the Spirit of God that indwells each individual. And the presence of this indwelling Spirit of God is evidenced by:
- The intellectual capacity for knowing God-God-consciousness.
- The spiritual urge to find God.
- The personality craving to be like God-the whole-hearted desire to do the Father's will.
When the mind believes God and the soul knows God and when, with the fostering of the indwelling Spirit, they all desire God, then is survival of the individual assured.
The material self has personality and identity, temporal identity. The pre-personal indwelling God-Spirit also has identity, eternal identity. Together, the material personality and the spirit pre-personality are capable of so uniting their creative attributes so as to bring into existence the surviving entity-the immortal soul.
The Nature of God
The nature of God can be best understood by the revelation of the Father that Jesus of Nazareth unfolded in his manifold teachings and in his superb life in the flesh.
The divine nature can also be better understood by mankind if individuals regard themselves as children of God-and look up to the Creator as a true and spiritual Father.
God's primal perfection consists in the inherent perfection of the goodness of his divine nature. And God's attributes of love, truth, beauty, and goodness are definitive of the meaning of all such terms.
The creature's need is wholly sufficient to ensure the full flow of the Father's tender mercies and saving grace.
The Love of God
The greatest evidence of the goodness of God and the supreme reason for loving him is the indwelling of his Spirit-the Spirit that so patiently awaits the hour when you both shall, eternally, become as one.
When man loses sight of the love of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes, at best, merely the kingdom of good. Love is the dominant characteristic of all God's personal dealings with his creatures.
It is the indwelling Spirit of God that individualizes the love of God to each human soul. And man's nearest and dearest approach to God is by and through love-for God is love.
The Goodness of God
In the physical universe we may see divine beauty, in the intellectual world we may discern eternal truth, but the goodness of God is found only in the spiritual world of personal religious experience.
In its true essence, religion is a faith trust in the goodness of God.
In philosophy, God could be great and absolute, somehow even intelligent and personal, but in religion God must also be moral, he must be good. Man may fear a great God, but he loves and trust only a good God. Therefore, to be lovable, God must be good.
This goodness of God is part of the personality of God. Its full revelation appears only in the personal religious experience of the believing children of God. The entire mortal concept of God is transcendently illuminated by the revelatory life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Divine Truth and Beauty
Truth is beautiful because it is both replete and symmetrical. When man searches for truth, he pursues the divinely real.
Divine truth is best known by its spiritual flavor.
Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing.
The Attributes of God
Within the bounds of that which is consistent with the divine nature, it is literally true, with God all things are possible.
God is all and in all. But even that is not all of God.
The creature not only exists in God, but God also lives in the creature-and in wrongdoing we torment the indwelling Spirit of God for it needs must go through the consequences of our evil thinking with the human mind of its own incarceration.
To you, the creature, many of the acts of the all powerful Creator seem to be heartless and cruel. But this is not true. God's doings are all purposeful, intelligent, wise, kind, and eternally considerate of the best good, not always of the individual, but for the welfare and best good of all concerned from the lowest to the highest. But many things do occur on the evolutionary worlds that are not the personal doings of the Universal Father.
God's Universal Knowledge
God knows all things. The divine mind is conscious of, and conversant with, the thought of all creation. His knowledge of events is universal and perfect.
The Father's Primacy
The infinite and eternal Ruler of the universes is power, form, energy, process, pattern, principle, presence, and idealized reality. But he is more. He is personal. And he exercises a sovereign will, experiences self-consciousness of divinity, executes the mandates of a creative mind, pursues the satisfaction of the realization of an eternal purpose, and manifests a Father's love and affection for his universe children.
God's Supreme Rule
In the hearts of men the Universal Father may not always have his way; but in the conduct and destiny of a planet the divine plan prevails; the eternal purpose of wisdom and love always triumphs.
God's Relation to the Universe
If God should retire as the upholder of all creation, there would immediately occur a universal collapse. Except for God, there would be no such thing as reality.
God's Relation to the Individual
The Father desires all his creatures to be in personal communion with him. Therefore settle in your philosophy now: God is approachable; the way is open.
Likewise is man's final destiny assured when individuals become as one with their indwelling God-Spirit thereby proclaiming to the universe that such an ascender has made an irrevocable decision to forever live the Father's will.
The Presence of God
The divine presence cannot be discovered anywhere more certainly than in your attempted communion with the indwelling God-Spirit. What a mistake to dream of a God far off in the skies when the Universal Father lives within your mind.
As the soul of joint mind and God-Spirit creation becomes more existent, there also evolves a new phase of soul consciousness which is increasingly capable both of experiencing the presence and recognizing the spirit leadings of the indwelling Spirit-of-God.