A Study of the Master Universe: Appendices
A Development of Concepts in The Urantia Book

Bill Sadler (William S. Sadler, Jr.)

Table of Contents for This Study

Appendix 7: Mechanisms Of Experiential Growth

Author's Introductory Comments

Existential reality does not (of itself) grow; experiential reality does. The growth of experiential reality implies the partnership of creator and creature. To grow is characteristic of experiential deity. [116:0.3] The growth of experiential reality is expansive; it may induce growth in pre-existent and non-growing existential reality.

As we view the present process of experiential growth, it appears to have a dual relationship - a relationship to that which came before it, and a relationship to that which will follow it. The present mechanisms of experiential growth seem to govern in the post-Havona ages of the master universe. These mechanisms do not seem to have been operative in relation to the eternity-appearance of the central creation. Still other mechanisms will probably become operative in the ages after the completion of the entire master universe. As we perceive these three different mechanisms, they may be described as follows:

The existential mechanism. This is the mechanism which is presumed to have been operative in the First Universe Age, the age of Havona. For example: We are told that the universes of time and space have their beginnings when Force Organizers work in and on the space potency of the Unqualified Absolute, the source of all physical reality. (See Appendix 9, Section 1; Ultimate Physical Beginnings) But it is doubtful that either the Force Organizers or the Unqualified Absolute had anything to do with the physical appearance of the central universe. (See Appendix 2, Section 2; The Paradise Bestowal of Space Potency) If this is correct, present mechanisms of growth were non-operative in the First Universe Age. Havona appears to be reflective of what we presume is the existential mechanism of deity. (See Appendix 6, Section 4; The Existential Mechanism)

Mechanisms Of Experiential Growth

These are the operational techniques that are the subject of study in this Appendix; these are the growth mechanisms that are functional in the post-Havona ages of the master universe. But these mechanisms, while seemingly applicable only to these post Havona ages, are not thus restricted to the post-Havona universes. Havona, itself, is a part of the grand universe and the master universe and, as such, participates (or will participate) in growth cycles. Apparently there are two of these cycles:

Existential-experiential mechanism. We advance the opinion that an entirely new mechanism of growth will become operative in the post-ultimate age - after the completion of the master universe and the emergence of the Ultimate. This mechanism would appear to be existential-experiential in nature and would seem to govern the post-ultimate cycles of growth, Such growth seems to be on a level that could not be classified as subabsolute. If our previous conceptions of the scope of growth are correct, this kind of post-ultimate growth will characterize the Cosmos Infinite and will eventually become operative throughout the whole of the master universe - from Peripheral Paradise to the outward-expanding perimeter of creation.

In the following Appendix, "Transformative Techniques," we will examine certain of the several methods whereby reality is converted from the potential to the actual state. In the present Appendix we are undertaking the study of those mechanisms that underlie, and make possible, these transformative techniques of an experiential nature - the mechanisms of experiential growth.

1. The Sources Of Growth: Original, Actual And Potential

In the last analysis, everything that is real (at least all experiential reality) comes from the Seven Absolutes of Infinity. [0:3.8]

There are several ways in which these Absolutes can be classified. One way is to place them in three categories: Original, Actual, and Potential. [115:3.5] We are informed that the interaction of the Original, the Actual, and the Potential accounts for growth on all levels - Sevenfold, Supreme, and Ultimate. We will accordingly consider these Absolutes as follows:

The Potential consists of the three Absolutes: the Deity Absolute, the Universal Absolute, and the Unqualified Absolute. These are the sources of new spirit, new mind, and new matter. All such new realities emerge from these limitless sources. When associated, these three Absolutes are designated the Triodity of Potentiality. Growth, whether creative or evolutional, is not a process of getting something for nothing, or something from nothing. Growth involves a transformative transaction concerning the transfer of reality from a potential level of existence to an actual level of existence. Concerning these transactions, the Papers say:

"Spirit emerges from the potential of the Deity Absolute; it evolves in conjunction with the Supreme and the Ultimate, and is finally grasped by the spirit-gravity circuit centering in the Eternal Son." [7:1.11]

Cosmic force emerges from the space presence of the Unqualified Absolute and becomes subject to the absolute gravity grasp of the Isle of Paradise. In the intermediate stages of the emergence of energy, it is influenced by the Ultimate and by the Supreme. [0:6.6]

Concerning mind: The circuit of mind gravity coming from the Conjoint Actor is dependable, but not all mind is predictable. This may be due, among other things, to the "function of the Universal Absolute." There is a large area in which ". . the Conjoint Actor and the Universal Absolute may possibly be tangent." [9:6.9] We should note that the statements concerning mind are not as definite as those relating to the emergence of spirit and matter.

"The final dynamics of the cosmos have to do with the continual transfer of reality from potentiality to actuality." [115:3.17] All new things (spiritual, mindal, or physical) emerge from the Potential by creative or evolutional processes and are eventually grasped by one (or more) of the gravity circuits centering in the Actual. (For the purposes of this discussion this statement is virtually true, but there is some obscurity concerning the emergence of mind, and there are more than two - creative and evolutional - transformative techniques. (See Appendix 8, Transformative Techniques)

2. The Maturation Of Potentials

Growth in the master universe is a subabsolute process; it is taking place on the finite level (in time and space) and on the absonite level (in transcended time and space). This means that something, or someone, has to operate on the potentials of the Absolutes in order to down-step them to the point where they become responsive to the actions of subabsolute beings functioning on subabsolute levels. Concerning this process, the following statements are made in the Papers:

We can now set forth our concept of the mechanisms of experiential growth: The basic potentials are absolute, and they must somehow be reduced to subabsolute potentials before they can become serviceable to finite (and absonite) levels of activity. This work of down-stepping absolute potentials is performed by the Supreme and the Ultimate. When they have done this work, then these modified and matured potentials become serviceable to the creators and the controllers of the time-space universes. In the larger sense, an act of creation is an act of transformation; it is the transformation of a "matured potential" into a new actual - some new thing or some new being.

As an illustration of this: We are informed [38:1.1] that a local universe Creative Spirit usually creates seraphim ". . . in unit formation -- 41,472 at a time . . ." As we visualize this episode, at one moment there are no seraphim present and the next moment, there they are - all 41,472 of them! But this unit of seraphim did not come from nothing or nowhere; they came (emerged) from something that was somewhere. The "something" was a matured potential, and the "somewhere" must have been the presence of the Supreme - the presence in which the matured potential was held in a state of suspense.

(In case this seems to be altogether simple and clear, it can be complicated just a little: The Infinite Spirit and the Master Spirits are, in some manner, involved in certain phases of this process of maturing potentials. [42:2.8]; [16:4.11] This is true concerning the maturation of physical force into emergent energy and then to the levels of universe power. And, if this is true of the maturation of the potentials of a physical nature, it may also be true concerning the maturation of potentials of a spiritual and a mindal nature.)

3. The Conditioning Of Growth By Experiential Deity

The experiential deities do something more than simply down-step absolute potentials to those subabsolute levels on which such potentials become responsive to the acts of the creators and organizers of the presently evolving universes. In this process the experiential deities impart qualities of their respective natures to these maturing potentials. Such potentialities are, so to speak, held in suspense within the presences of the experiential deities - the master-universe everywhere-presence (omnipresence) of the Ultimate [118:2.2] and the grand-universe many-where-presences (ubiquity) of the Supreme. [118:2.4] With regard to this conditioning of maturing potentials, the Papers state:

The presence of the Supreme makes possible the growth of all finite creatures; his nature seems to determine the basic natures of these same creatures - they become like the Supreme. Something analogous to this happens on a slightly smaller scale in each superuniverse; each of the supercreations is pervaded by the Master Spirit of jurisdiction. The unique nature of this supervising Spirit so permeates his superuniverse that all native beings ". . . will forever bear this badge of natal identification." [16:5] In like manner does the Supreme pervade and condition the growth in the grand universe. So, in turn, must the Ultimate condition all growth in the entire master universe.

4. The Growth Of The Supreme: Growth In The Present Age

Growth in the present universe age is inseparable from the evolutionary growth of the Supreme Being. To understand more about our own growth we must understand something about his growth. If we associate certain statements that are made in the Papers, we may clarify our thinking concerning the origin, functions, growth, and unification of the Supreme Being.

The Supreme derives his spirit person from the Trinity and his almighty power from the Sevenfold, and these are united by Supreme Mind. His acts are related to Trinity functions. But the actual "stuff' from which, and with which, he grows is derived from the Absolute Potential and is based on the Absolute Actual; the Supreme is accordingly in dual motion in the direction of both.

[115:4.7] Total finite reality (and this is Supreme Reality) is growing dynamically between the Absolutes of Potentiality in outer space, and the Absolutes of Actuality at the Paradise center.

All of this growth of the Supreme is a transaction involving the transfer of reality from the potential to the actual. From something can come something; from nothing can come only nothing.

We may logically deduce all the growth that is characteristic of the present age is due to the incompleteness of the Supreme, and to the fact that we are all participating in, and contributing to, his growth. [117:2.9] Finite experience with imperfect choice is possible only because we are participants in the growth of Supremacy.

[118:7.3] "Error in finite choosing is time bound and time limited. It can exist only in time and within the evolving presence of the Supreme Being."

This type of growth, growth in and with the Supreme, is peculiar to the Second Age. It began when the Supreme began to grow; it will end when his growth has come to an end.

[31:10.5] Sometime the Supreme will have completed his growth and the chance to be a participant in this experience will be forever gone.

Evolutionary growth, as we know it, is a very temporary condition in the master universe. It did not exist in the First Universe Age, the age of non-growing Havona. It will not exist in the post-supreme ages, the ages of the outer space universes.

5. Growth: Past, Present Future And Remote-Future

Does the growth pattern of the evolutionary Supreme completely pervade the grand universe of the present age? The general answer to that question would be, "Yes." But, if we ask, "Are there exceptions?" the answer would also be, "Yes."

The inhabitants of the present grand universe appear to classify into four major divisions as they are related to the typical evolutionary growth characteristic of the Second Age - growth with and in the Supreme Being.

(a) Status as of the previous universe age. Those beings who classify in this category include many of the Trinity-origin beings, like the Stationary Sons of the Trinity, together with their Trinity-embraced associates. These beings are outside the sphere of evolutionary growth; the Divine Counselors do not grow, neither do Mighty Messengers. [117:4]

(b) Status as of the present universe age. This category obviously includes most of the personalities of the seven superuniverses - creatures like human beings, midwayers, seraphim, and others - beings who are in and of the present age and who are fully participating in the evolutionary growth of the Supreme Being. [117:2.5] This classification also includes creators, such as the local universe Sons and Spirits. [116:4.8] And finally, this group even includes central-universers, such as the Havona natives who have become participants in the growth cycle of the Second Universe Age. [14:4.7]; [31:1.2]

(c ) Status as of the post-supreme ages. Beings in this category include the creature-trinitized sons; they are in, but not of, the present universe age. They are non-growing in the present age, being held in reserve for growth of a post-supreme nature in future ages. [22:7.11]; [22:9.8]; [117:2.3]

(d) Status as of the post-ultimate age. The only beings we know who fall in this category are the Trinitized Sons of Destiny. They are super-creational (hence post-ultimate) and represent a level of values in the master universe having to do with the sometime function of the Supreme-Ultimate in the master creation. [22:7.14] The nature of these Sons of Destiny is so very far removed from the present affairs of the grand universe that they are withdrawn from all activities therein and are segregated on Vicegerington. [22:7.10]

This is the picture of the overlap of all four growth techniques: The First Age type of non-growth, involving the existential mechanism - the age of non-growing Havona perfection. The Second Age type of growth, the age of grand universe participation in the evolutionary growth of the Supreme Being and including all finite-growing creatures and creators. The post-supreme type of growth, including those beings who are not growing at present because they "are not in the Supreme" in the sense of sharing his growth; beings held in reserve in order to participate in the post-supreme growth of the outer space universes. And finally, the post-ultimate beings whose natures are so remote from the affairs of the present age that they are non-participating in the events of the grand universe.

6. Post-Supreme Growth: In The Outer Universes

As we pass from the age of Havona to the present universe age there is a change in the growth potential of the central creation. In the First Age, Havona was entirely non-growing, non-evolutionary. In the Second Age, Havona entered into grand universe relationships, and since then, has taken on some of the characteristics of the evolutionary growth of the superuniverses. How did this come about? If we can better understand this change, then we can better forecast what may happen in the grand universe at the end of the current age, when we enter upon the events of the universe ages of the outer space levels. The growth of the present age is associated with the growth of the incomplete-Supreme [117:2.9]; the growth of the future ages of the outer universes will be characterized by a growth process that is post-supreme in nature. [117:2.7] This is growth after the completion of the Supreme - after his emergence.

The static condition of non-growth in existential and eternal Havona was interrupted by the free will choice of God, who instituted the "growth cycle." [105:5.5] The deity response to this act is the appearance of the potential of the Supreme [105:6.1] and the deity presence of the Ultimate. [105:7.6] Basically, this means the establishment of the presently-operating mechanisms of experiential growth. Stated otherwise, it appears to be an act that establishes the seven levels on which Total Deity functions in the present universe age. [0:1.4] As we view the changes that follow the completed evolution and the final emergence of the Supreme Being, we submit they will cause a modification of these seven levels of Total Deity function, These changes are suggested in the comparative tabulation below:

Present Levels Post-Supreme Levels
1. Static 1. Static
2. Potential 2. Potential
3. Associative 3. Associative
4. Creative 4. Creative
5. Evolutional 5. Super-evolutional
6. Supreme 6. Post-Supreme
7. Ultimate 7. Ultimate

We are instructed [105:7.1] that transcendental growth is superfinite and supercreatural," and is ". . super-experience as such is meaningful to creatures." It does involve experiential and expanding development, but it is "super-evolutional." This being the case, we submit that the fifth level of the function of Total Deity will shift from the "evolutional" to the "super-evolutional."

We believe that the sixth level will also shift from a Supreme function (which includes the power-personality synthesis of the Supreme) to a post supreme function of participation in transcendental growth. The Supreme Being is no longer an incomplete and emerging experiential deity; he has emerged and he is now a personal participant in the post finite growth process on transcendental levels.

As an emerged experiential deity, we believe the Supreme no longer operates on the Potential side of the "cosmic ledger." He has now become operative on the Actual side of the "ledger" - like the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit. He no longer conditions potentials within his emerging presence; he now works with these potentials as they have been creatively organized by the Ultimate. [12:7.2]

It is this emergence of the Supreme from the Potential to the Actual side of Reality that forever changes the whole potential for growth in the post-supreme ages of the outer space levels. Whatever it is that he does, here and now, in modifying and down-stepping potentials, then and there he will no longer do. And this means the end of all finite-experiential-evolutionary growth. The mechanisms of experiential growth will have entered upon their second phase of operation and experiential growth will have embarked on its second cycle. This must be the growth-cycle in which all concerned will work directly with potentials, as creatively organized by the Ultimate. This then, is post finite growth, post-ereatural growth, post-supreme growth. It is absonite growth, transcendental growth, growth pointing toward eventual ultimate status.

We may go back to recapitulate our study of the functions of the Actual and the Potential (triodities) in relation to the transcendental domains of the Ultimate. We observed that the Actual functions "in and upon the Ultimate," and the Potential is manifest "with the Ultimate," and both (triodities) are concerned with the appearance of experiential deity -including the Ultimate. To recapitulate:

So much is characteristic of the present universe age and would appear to remain unchanged by the emergence of the Supreme, but -

[115:2.3] Experiential creation and evolution is, in essence, the conversion of potentialities into actualities. This is accomplished by ".... experiential evolution in the finite and experiential eventuation in the absonite."

We have a continuation of the mechanisms of experiential growth, but one step in the maturation of potentials has been removed - the former function of the emerging Supreme. The principle of experiential growth remains the same, but the absonite method differs from the finite technique. On the finite level it is experiential-evolution; on the absonite level it is experiential-eventuation (a super-evolutionary, super-experiential process, that is super-creatural).

We know what post-supreme growth will not be. It will not be the kind of growth that characterizes the present universe age; that kind of growth is a part of the growth of the Supreme, and it will stop whenever he stops growing - when he has finally emerged as an actuality. [117:2.6] When finite-creature-growth-within-the-Supreme comes to an end, then what will post-supreme growth be? We are informed that:

But we still do not know what post-supreme growth will be like. We may find it just as difficult to visualize post-supreme growth as did a Havona native who might have tried to conceive of evolutionary growth prior to the arrival of Grandfanda in the central universe. Neither we nor the Havoner can actually imagine outside the concept-frames inherent in our respective experiences. Perhaps the Havona native had to meet the mortal ascenders before he could actually conceive that such evolutionary creatures could actually exist. And we will probably have to meet the outer-spacers in order to be able to conceive of them.

We can, however, be sure of one thing: Post-supreme growth will be something entirely new in the universe; it will be unlike anything that has ever happened in the First or the Second Age. We cannot visualize post-supreme growth, but we can take inventory of the potentials that will be operative in the outer space regions. These would logically include the following: post-finite, post-supreme, tertiary-supreme, absonite, transcendental, Ultimate, and pre-absolute.

Growth in the outer universes will have a meaning for finaliters, and quite likely, for their colleagues as well. Concerning ascending mortals, the Papers state:

[112:1.10] Urantia mortals have a type of personality that contains three dimensions of "self-expression or person-realization" that are realizable on the absonite level.

Our growth in the Supreme has to do with the realization of the first three dimensions of personality. (ibid.) Our post-supreme growth will have to do with the unfolding of these three additional dimensions of personality - dimensions for which there is no possible expression in the present age of the evolutionary growth of the Supreme.

Footnote: Mechanisms Of Post-Ultimate Growth

When we attempt a consideration of post-ultimate growth we are leaving behind the "mechanisms of experiential growth," as we have studied them in this Appendix. Post-ultimate growth seems to involve a completely new alignment of the levels of Total Deity function - an existential-experiential mechanism of growth. Technically, such operational methods fall outside the purview of this Appendix and are considered in their proper context in Appendix 20, Section 5, The Post-Ultimate Change in Growth Potential, and in Appendix 27, Section 3, The Existential-Experiential Mechanism of Deity Functions.

Technically, post-ultimate growth cannot be subabsolute. Perhaps the best definition of this level is given in the Papers (p. 1163, par. 1) in the definition of the coabsolute level of reality. This level is defined as a "projection of experientials" beyond the master universe onto a larger field of expansion. This definition is elsewhere amplified:

Post-supreme growth is difficult enough to imagine, post-ultimate growth is even more difficult. Nevertheless, the finaliters are likely to find themselves involved in this kind of growth in the most-remote future. Consider the statements:

Mortals have a potential of destiny that is absolute in value.

We are informed [0:5.2] that the potential for change and growth of nonpersonal reality is "definitely limited," but there is no known limit to the progressive growth of personality - of personal creatures.