The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 118: Supreme and Ultimate--Time and Space
In the evolutionary universes, eternity is the everlasting NOW. We become eternal by identifying with the indwelling spirit. We identify with the indwelling spirit by choosing to do the will of the Father. Complete consecration of will is the guarantee that no future event will change our intention to serve God.
There is a direct relationship between maturity and the mortal unit of time consciousness. Experience, wisdom, and judgment help to lengthen a person's reckoning of time; the older one gets, the less dependent they are on making judgments based on the present moment. Past experiences and future possibilities illuminate the true meaning of daily life. On the absolute and eternal level, potential reality is as meaningful as actual reality; only time-bound creatures perceive a vast difference between potential and actual.
Truth is radiantly alive. When truth becomes linked with fact, time and space condition its meaning. Such truth-facts become relative reality. The absolute truth of the Creator linked with the factual experience of the finite creature eventuates new values in the Supreme.
Space comes nearest of all nonabsolute things to being absolute. Material bodies exist in space, but space also exists in material bodies. On material levels, patterns occupy space, but spirit patterns do not occupy, displace, or contain space. Ideas do not contain space, but it is not safe to postulate that the immaterial is always nonspatial.
Difficulties arise when subordinate Divinity and Deity are assigned infinite attributes. It is true that there is a First Cause, but there are also a host of coordinate, subordinate, associate, and secondary causes. Causation has three functions: to activate static potential, to eventuate universe capacities, and to create and evolve universe actualities.
The omnipotence of Deity does not imply the power to do the undoable; God cannot create square circles or produce evil that is inherently good. God cannot do an ungodlike thing. Also, God is not omnificent-he does not personally do all that is done.
Only the Father-I AM possesses finality of volition; there is but one uncaused Cause in the universe. This fact does not deny the free will of the myriads of children of God scattered throughout the universe. Mortal volition is not absolute, but it is relatively final concerning the destiny of the individual concerned. Volition on any level below God himself includes inherent limitations; for example, a human cannot choose to be something other than human. The entire range of human will is limited to the finite except when we choose to find God and to be like him.
There are no limitations for partnerships between God and man. That God has foreknowledge-makes full allowance for all finite choice-does not in any way abrogate human free will. A mature human may accurately forecast a decision of a younger person, but this foreknowledge takes nothing away from the genuineness of the younger person's decision.
Sin occurs when immature creatures accept the freedom of volition while failing to perceive the obligations and duties of cosmic citizenship. If a person has the prerogative to choose his very existence, and if this is a true and free choice, then that evolving person must also have the possible choice of destroying himself. The possibility of cosmic self-destruction cannot be avoided if the person is to be truly free to exercise his finite will.
We are rooted in the physical world. Human beings are machines-living mechanisms. But we are also much more than machines. We are endowed with mind and indwelt by spirit. During the material life, mortals cannot escape the chemical and electrical mechanisms of existence, but we can increasingly learn how to subordinate our physical mechanism by consecrating our minds to the spiritual urging of the indwelling Adjuster.
Biologic evolution makes it impossible for primitive people to appear with any large endowment of self-restraint. External restraints such as time, space, hunger, and fear effectively limit the range of choices for early humans. As we gain experiential wisdom, internal restraints begin to balance diminishing external restraints. Systems settled in light and life are allowed liberties that would prove destructive to men of earlier eras.
Basic universe mechanisms exist in response to the will of the First Source and Center. Time and space are a conjoined mechanism whereby finite creatures are enabled to coexist in the cosmos with the Infinite. The grand universe is a living mechanism activated by Supreme Mind and coordinated by Supreme Spirit. Even the human body is a mechanism, one which can never be perfectly controlled by man himself since it is the product of supermortal creation.
There is providence in the universe, and it can be discovered only if a mortal has attained capacity to perceive the purpose of the universes. Most of what a mortal would call providence is not; much of what we call good luck may really be bad luck. Fortune that bestows unearned leisure and undeserved wealth may be the greatest of human afflictions. Similarly, seemingly cruel tribulation may be the method by which an immature person develops real character.
It is true that the love of the Father operates directly in the heart of each individual, but the impersonal presence of Deity is concerned for the whole of creation rather than its parts. Providence in the overcontrol of the Supreme becomes increasingly apparent as each part of the universe progresses. Providence becomes increasingly discernible as ascenders reach upward from the material to the spiritual. Although much that happens on an evolving world is hard to understand, the human viewpoint can be modified by understanding, vision, increased control of physical surroundings, and harmony with the Paradise Trinity and the Supreme Being.