A Study of the Master Universe:
A Development of Concepts in the Urantia Book
Bill Sadler (William S. Sadler, Jr.)
Copyright 1968 Second Society Foundation
Chapter 11: Beginning of the Final Antithesis
- 1. The Post-Ultimate Age
- 2. The Adjustment to Eternity
- 3. Post-Ultimate Growth: The Transcendence of Old Limits
- 4. The Capacities of Finaliters
- 5. The Concept of the Cosmos Infinite: The Unending Cytoplasm
- 6. The Adjustment to Infinity: An Analogy
When we begin our study of the Final Antithesis, we are, for the first time, lacking certain familiar guideposts that have been very helpful in the past. We have passed beyond the confines of the outermost space level and beyond the times of the Sixth Universe Age. There are no Architects of the Master Universe to serve as guides to our thinking about that which is outside of the master universe. Again, we must devise terms to deal with these times and places that are so very far removed from Here and Now.
Those events that take place after the eternity-appearance of the central creation are denominated "post-Havona." In like manner, we have designated the events that follow the completion of the grand universe and the emergence of the Supreme Being as "post-Supreme." Now that we are dealing with post-master universe events (those transactions that take place after the final emergence of God the Ultimate) it would appear proper to designate them as "post-Ultimate."
1. The Post-Ultimate Age
We have observed that the universe ages differ quantitatively; they seem to become longer as we follow them, in sequence, from the Second to the Sixth Age. Some of them also differ qualitatively; the Second Age is uniquely different from those that follow, it is the age of the growth of the Supreme. The four ages of the outer space levels are qualitatively alike; we have called them the post-Supreme ages, they are the ages after the emergence of the Supreme, the ages of the experiential growth of the Ultimate. Now, in the post-Ultimate age, we have reached a new era, one that is qualitatively different from all that has gone before. Suppose we take inventory of just how it differs from the post-Supreme ages: (Appendix 20, Section 1)
- (1) The master universe has completed its growth.
- (2) The Supreme has completed his post-finite (absonite) growth.
- (3) The First Experiential Trinity has become fully unified.
- (4) God the Ultimate has finally emerged.
- (5) The Second Experiential Trinity has formed as a factual reality.
- (6) Absonite growth-potential has become exhausted.
- (7) The Absonite quest for the Father as Ultimate has been completed.
There is another manner in which the post-Ultimate age will differ from the other universe ages: it apparently has no ending in time. Perhaps we might think of it as the Final Age. In this respect it is like the First Age - both are eternal. The First Age has no beginning in time, although it ends in time; the Final Age has no ending in time, although it begins in time.
Post-Ultimate epochs. An eternal age does not necessarily have to be a "grey blur" of monotonous, endless, unpunctuated time - something that just goes on, and on, and on! We believe it likely the Final Age will have many epochs that will present successive goals that actually will be attainable - but each of these attainable goals will unfold to reveal a new and more distant goal to be attained.
The seven Planetary Mortal Epochs are the major divisions of the history of an inhabited world. The seventh epoch is designated "The Era of Light and Life" - apparently it goes on and on. But, when the Papers examine this final epoch in detail, we discover that it is divided into seven stages - the seven stages of progressive advancement in the era of light and life. We venture that a more detailed study of the seventh stage of light and life would disclose that it, too, has subdivisions - perhaps it is also divided into seven units - seven substages of progressive growth.
This is how we visualize the post-Ultimate age: it is a period of unfolding epochs, each one of which will originate and will terminate, will begin and end - all but the very last one of a given series. This final epoch will always introduce a new series of growth-stages that will point to a new and larger horizon of goal attainment.
2. The Adjustment To Eternity
The Papers tell us when mortal ascenders (in the Second Age) pass through the final transit sleep, between the inner Havona circuit and the Isle of Paradise, they become the "children of eternity." Then, they are no longer creatures of time. This seems like a reasonable introduction to the quality of eternity, but hardly an adequate basis for a comprehension of the quantity of eternity.
We would suggest that a feeling for the quantity of eternity may grow as a slow evolutionary process in the consciousness of mortals, ascenders, and finaliters. We believe this process starts Here and Now. Consider the following line of reasoning:
Objective time (time-by-the-clock) is one thing; it goes on, sixty-seconds-to-be-minute and sixty-minutes-to-the-hour, day after day - never changing. Subjective time (time-in-our-consciousness) is something very different; this sort of time is a variable - not a constant. When we get bored, time drags; when we are experiencing pleasure, time is speeded up - it passes quickly.
Subjective time varies from day to day, depending on what we are doing and how we feel; but it also exhibits a long-term trend: it goes faster the longer we live. This is because we interpret subjective time. We evaluate it. We "feel" this kind of time, and we feel it in terms of how long we have lived. We also feel it in terms of how far ahead we can look, can look with "feeling" into the future. When a human being has lived forty years, or more, he can look back into the past for at least thirty years with remembrance and feeling. This equips him to look forward for an equal amount of time - he has a "feeling" for a future time-span of thirty years. This should give him a time-base of sixty years with which to evaluate the passing present moment - thirty years back, plus thirty years forward.
From this standpoint, our ability to comprehend time and to deal with time is growing at twice the rate of the actual passage of time - the passage of time-by-the-clock. This is reflected in the long-term change in our "feeling" for time, time-in-our-consciousness; this kind of time seems to go faster as we grow older. A summer vacation is a "small slice out of eternity" to a ten-year old; three months is a rather short time to a person of forty.
We have all had this experience, there is nothing new about it. What may surprise us, later on, is the doubling-up of this rate of change after Adjuster-fusion. We are informed that, among other things, the Adjuster contributes to the partnership something that is called experience and-memory of past eternity. With this in mind, let us consider an ascender who has just recently fused with his Adjuster. There is all of this unending memory of total past eternity and experience that is suddenly open to his consciousness. What can he do about it? We believe that he will be able to absorb only as much of this as he has capacity to absorb. In other words, how much of it can he understand? How much time has he consciously experienced? If he is on the mansion worlds and is one thousand years old, then he should be able to comprehend an additional thousand years of past eternity experience and memory from the Adjuster. If he can do this, then he can reach back two thousand years into the past. This should give him a feeling for an equal length of future time - two thousand years. He now has a four-thousand-year time-base with which to deal with time - two thousand years in the past, plus two thousand years in the future. But this ascender has consciously lived for only one thousand years. This means that his feeling for time, his ability to evaluate the present in terms of the combined past-future, is growing at four times the rate of the actual passage of time.
We submit the theory that finite creatures are completely time-bound only to the extent that they are completely imprisoned within the present moment. We begin to escape from the limitations of time as we are able to associate the present moment with more of the past and the future; as we draw upon the past for experience; as we forecast the consequences of conduct into the future; and as we combine these estimates of the past-future into wisdom - wisdom which is exercised in the making of decisions that lead to action in the "present" of time. If there is any merit to this line of reasoning, then we, as human beings, are escaping from time at a rate that is twice as great as the passage of time. As Adjuster-fused ascenders, our rate of escape may be doubled; it may be four times as fast as the passage of time.
When we are a million years old we should have a time-base (a past-future comprehension) that is four million years. When we are a trillion years old (about as old as the Andronover nebula that gave origin to our sun) we will have a four-trillion year time-base. When we enter the Post Ultimate age we may be five trillion times as old as Andronover - five trillion-trillions of years old. We should then have a time comprehension that is four times as great as this. This is the age we have calculated for the entire master universe - five trillion-trillions of years - and when we have lived through it we should be able to comprehend something that is four times as long.
If we can grow in our comprehension of time at a rate that is four times as fast as its actual passage, then, given long enough time even the quantity of eternity is going to become partially comprehensible - at least it will be a good deal less formidable.
3. Post-Ultimate Growth: The Transcendence Of Old Limits
Experiential growth beyond the Ultimate level of reality is a real break-through as concerns all preceding growth limits. This would also be the third time that such growth limits have been transcended. Each of these episodes has been caused because God has subtracted something from pre-existent conditions. Let us go back and re-examine the three instances in which God has challenged existing creation by the establishment of a new need in a new experiential domain:
(a) Post-Havona Needs. The first challenge that issued from God to all creation was when he promulgated the superuniverses and subtracted inherent perfection from them - when he started them as finite and imperfect creations. This was the challenge to Paradise and Havona and, at the same time, the opportunity for the perfect beings of the eternal realms to engage in the adventure of new service-ministry in the imperfect superuniverses. In meeting this challenge, Havona rose above the limitations of inherent perfection and added evolutionary growth and experience to its original and divine perfection.
(b) Post-Supreme Needs. The second challenge that God made to (then) total creation was the challenge to the citizens of the grand universe, when he opened the outer space levels and subtracted from these domains all possibility for finite experience. In the meeting of this challenge, the grand-universers rose above the limitations of finite growth and entered upon the progression of post-Supreme growth - absonite growth.
(c) Post-ultimate Needs. The third, and (possibly) final challenge issuing from God to all creation, would appear to be his challenge to the citizens of the completed master universe. We believe God will challenge them with the prospect of the Cosmos Infinite - a domain from which he will have subtracted all possibility for finite and absonite growth and experience. If the citizens of the master universe can meet this challenge, then it seems likely they will embark upon the final adventure, the Absolute Adventure; the attempt to compensate the experiential beings native to the final universe for the complete lack of capacity to have both finite and absonite experience. In meeting this challenge the citizens of the master universe may embark upon growth of an absolute nature.
In each instance of the transcendence of old limits, the process starts when God challenges the citizens of a nuclear universe. The transcendence of old limits is accomplished when the citizens of that nucleus respond to the challenge by their successful service-ministry in the new and external cytoplasmic realms.
4. The Capacities of Finaliters
What are the prospects of the finaliters in the post-Ultimate age, the age in which all finite growth and all absonite growth is finished and done with? The mortal finaliters have come a long way from the Paradise ascent in the Second Universe Age, the quest for a finite comprehension of the Universal Father. They have grown and progressed through the post-Supreme ages, through the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Universe Ages -all the way through to the completion of the master universe, the emergence of God the Ultimate, the finding of the Universal Father as an ultimate experience, and to the final exhaustion of all absonite growth potential. What are the prospects for still further growth? The question of "further growth" is really formidable. After finite and absonite growth is finished, then all relative growth is finished; when relative growth is finished, all that could possibly remain is absolute growth.
We submit that the prospects for the finaliters are good. There is not a great deal of evidence for this in the Papers, but there is quite enough to give good support to this opinion. The finaliters have the potential for unending growth--
(a) First of all, they have personality which they have received from God, and such a personality has capacity for expression and growth on the finite level. It also has capacity for expression and growth on the absonite level; and, finally, it has the capacity to penetrate the absolute level - not to encompass this level, but to penetrate it and to grow there.
(b) In addition to these unfolding dimensions of personality, a finaliter has fused with a fragment of God; and when an Adjuster fuses with an ascending mortal, the Adjuster contributes to the partnership an element of absoluteness. This aspect of absoluteness is, at the time of fusion, a potential quality that can hardly be realized or expressed immediately; but it will surely be realized in the distant future. This quality of absoluteness is limited or qualified as to extent. We deduce that this potential of absoluteness is limited as to quantity of external self-expression but not as to quality of internal self-realization.
These two endowments, one inherent in personality, the other deriving from the Adjuster, both come from God - so it is not beyond belief that each could carry the potential for absolute growth. We accordingly deduce that the finaliters certainly do have the capacity to grow in the post-Ultimate age. We further deduce that nothing can ever stop their growth. We finally deduce that they will never complete all the growth possible in this age, from a quantitative standpoint; they will never reach the end of all growth.
Finaliters appear to have the capacity to attain a destiny that is qualitatively absolute, but not quantitatively infinite. We believe that they are destined to find God as absolute, but never to know all of God as absolute - always more, and ever more, but never all.
5. The Concept of the Cosmos Infinite: The Unending Cytoplasm
If Havona is the nucleus of the grand universe, and if the grand universe is the nucleus of the cytoplasmic universes of the four outer space levels, then the master universe is the nucleus - of what? This study submits that the master universe is the potential nucleus of a possible Cosmos Infinite - the unending cytoplasm, the final antithesis.
The Cosmos Infinite would have to be the third and final antithesis. It must be different from, and unlike, everything that has ever appeared before it, from the circuits of Havona to the realms of the Quartan Space Level. The central universe appears to be precreative, the master universe seems to be creative (and evolutional), perhaps the final universe of infinity is super-creative.
We are sure that the postulated unending cosmos will be experiential, but it will also be post-finite and post-absonite. Perhaps it will be existential-experiential. This is not a new concept, for the Deity (Qualified) Absolute is described as being both existential and experiential.
Even the thought of an endless universe is not impossible to reconcile with the concept of the limits of space at a given moment of time. All we have to do is to assume that space is increasing faster than creation, and we can accommodate a limitless creation. We do know that space does extend beyond the present known borders of the master creation.
The Papers do not have very much to say about this potentially infinite universe of the distant future, but they are quite definite in forecasting its sometime appearance.
6. THE ADJUSTMENT TO INFINITY: AN ANALOGY
We advance the opinion that the adjustment to infinity like the adjustment to eternity, is a slow process. We do not suddenly look out over some starry expanse at some distant moment and say, "Well, so this is infinity - at last" We have the belief that we will slowly become used to infinity, although we may be quite well aware of the milestones that will mark our progress from the finite to the super-finite.
When we deal with words that have no meaning - words like absolute, eternal, and infinite - we will do well to sacrifice some fact for more truth; better that we develop a little actual feeling for these concepts than drown in a flood of ponderous language. With this thought in mind, the following story is offered as a concept-Symbol that may possibly add something to our feeling of the way in which a finite creature might become adjusted to infinity.
Suppose that you are a young chap, a student at some fine university. It is a grand experience; you have the feeling of growing and of reaching out into new fields of knowledge and accomplishment. One of the things you most enjoy there is football. The school has a very good team and it is no easy job to become a member, or to win your letter as a member of this team. You show up faithfully for practice, every day, without fail. You work very hard to develop real skill. In time, you qualify for the second team, then as a substitute on the first team, and finally you win a coveted position as a first-string member of the team. It has been a long time coming and it is a great pleasure, a grand feeling of accomplishment, to make the team.
This is the day of the "big game." This is the moment of the crucial play - the play that means victory or defeat. You are the receiver of the long, long forward pass that somehow gets off in spite of the opposition swarming all over the quarterback. It's a good pass and you have the ball. Now there is only one man who could stop you, and somehow you twist sideways and elude the tackle. The field is clear, clear all the way ahead, and you are vaguely conscious of white chalk lines passing underfoot as you carry the ball down the field and across the goal line for a touchdown! The kick for point is made and now the game is over, and all the way to the locker room success and victory are sweet to the taste.
Back in the locker room you experience the warm feeling of closeness and camaraderie that comes when men who have done things together, are together. There is a renewal of the feeling of self-realization and accomplishment, of being a peer among your fellows; like having a seat at the "round table" of the knights of old, and sitting there legitimately. You have earned your place and have won your letter. You have "arrived."
Later, as you are leaving, having showered and changed, the coach taps you on the shoulder and says, "Could you spare a minute? There's something I'd like to show you." Of course you say, "Yes."
Off you go in the twilight together, walking slowly back toward the playing field. By the time you are crossing the field it has gotten quite dark, and finally you are standing on the goal line - just a few yards away from the spot where you made the winning touchdown. You turn to the coach with a question, "What was it you wanted to show me?" "Just a minute," he replies, "I'll turn the light on." Bending over a small hatch that is countersunk in the turf, working at the fastening he finally gets it open, reaches inside and throws a switch. Floodlights go on, and suddenly you perceive that the goal line you crossed for the touchdown is actually the goal line of another playing field, a field that stretches on and on - clear out of sight!
You turn to the coach, "Gosh! How big a field is it?" He replies, "It's a ten-thousand yard field. I thought you'd like to see it - after today." You ask, "Do I have to play this field now?" "No, not until you are ready. You'll probably want to stay with the hundred-yard field you are used to -at least for a while. Besides, I'd like to have you help me as an assistant next year while you're doing graduate work. You can help me get the boys in shape. But, whenever you do feel like it, there's a big field to play on."
And so, for a while, you enjoy being an "old boy." You are a graduate student and most of your time is spent teaching your juniors, and helping the coach with the team. Until - until there comes a day when you get to thinking about that ten-thousand-yard field. It's been most pleasurable being an "old boy," being an assistant coach; but, what would it be like to try out for a team that played on a field like that, a field a hundred times as large as the old one? What would it be like?
Curiosity is the everlasting despoiler of contentment. The urge for adventure will always win, in the long run. There comes that day when you have a little talk with the coach, say goodbye to the undergraduates, have a farewell dinner, and move on to try out for the team that plays on the "big field."
It takes much longer to make this team - ever so much longer. But you are the persevering type, and eventually you do make the first team. In enough time history will repeat itself; and this very thought flashes through your mind as you are running down the field to receive one of the longest passes ever attempted. It comes off cleanly, you have the ball and there is no one ahead. You pound down the field, white chalk line after white chalk line passing underfoot-, and it's over! It's a touchdown!
After the game, back in the locker room, you have that same good feeling of belonging, of accomplishment, of having measured up to a challenge; the same good feeling of being a part of the team, of being a part of something that is bigger than you are, of being worthy to be there, and of having earned it all fair and square. Just as you are leaving the locker room, you have an odd feeling of -having been here before." It is a feeling as though something old and familiar were about to happen. You experience a sensation almost like a release of tension when the coach strikes step with you and says, "Say, there's something I'd like to show you." Walking along in silence together, it becomes apparent that you are retracing your steps to the playing field.
Then you stop, turn to the coach, and say, "This one is a million yards, isn't it?" And the coach replies, "Yes, but how did you know?"