A Study of the Master Universe:
A Development of Concepts in the Urantia Book
Bill Sadler (William S. Sadler, Jr.)
Second Epilogue: The Depths of the Final Age
- Contents of this chapter:
- 1. The Third Experiential Trinity
- 2. The Experiential Growth of God the Absolute
- 3. The Final Associations of Dual Deity
- 4. The Final Levels of Total Deity Function
The trinitization of God the Absolute, and the massive break-through into the Cosmos Infinite, opens unending vistas of growth and progress beyond the confines of the master universe - out into the final expanse of the limitless universe. The breaching of The Barrier of Infinity opens all future eternity to endless speculation; so much so, that it becomes needful to build some conceptual dykes lest we be flooded by a veritable ocean of speculative and subjunctive possibilities - "ifs" - that could go on and on into final absurdity. In an effort to make the Final Age and the Cosmos Infinite somewhat intelligible we propose to establish three concept-boundaries to our thinking;
Stage One. The first stage of the Cosmos Infinite we identify with its innermost zone, that part of the endless universe that factualizes actualizes) as a repercussion of the trinitized appearance of God the Absolute. We also associate this phase of development with the Dual-Deity association of the Supreme-Ultimate.
Stage Two. We visualize the second stage of the Cosmos Infinite as an intermediate stage of development, a stage following the factualization of the innermost zone. This phase of intermediate development may, or may not have an end, a conclusion. We associate "stage two" with the Dual-Deity partnership of the Ultimate-Absolute.
Stage Three. This final stage of the expansive growth of the never-ending cosmos may be a purely theoretical consideration. However, if it never becomes a factual reality, it still may be a valid concept. We associate this final stage with the final association of Dual Deity, the association of Absolute and Father-Infinite - the "completion" of the cycle of reality.
What we are trying to do, in establishing these classifications of three stages of progress, is to create some framework for thinking about the endless universe. It is conceptually unimportant as to whether there are three, or seven, or a million divisions. We elect three classifications because it is the minimum number that will accommodate the presentation of the concept of beginnings, intermediaries, and destinies - of inception, realization, and consummation.
For concept purposes we believe three categories of thinking are necessary. There may be, and probably will be, any number of additional categories that will characterize and punctuate the progress of the events of the Final Age and the unfolding development of the final universe.
1. The Third Experiential Trinity
Let us go back to our study of the formation of the Trinity of Trinities and look once more at the Second Level of this multiple Trinity. On the First Level there are three Trinities: existential, first-experiential, and second-experiential. On the Second Level we have the Supreme, Ultimate, and the trinitized expression of God the Absolute. We advance the proposition that this Second Level of the Trinity of Trinities is also a trinity - that it is the Third Experiential Trinity.
If we look again at the origin of the Paradise Trinity we will find it has a striking resemblance to the origin of the Third Experiential Trinity:
In the beginning, God the Father and God the Son unite as the Father-Son in trinitizing God the Spirit, the Third Person of existential Deity. The three persons of existential Deity then unite as the existential Trinity - the Paradise Trinity. At the ending, God the Supreme and God the Ultimate unite as the Supreme-Ultimate in trinitizing God the Absolute, the Third Person of experiential Deity. The three persons of experiential Deity then unite in the final experiential Trinity - the Third Experiential Trinity.
This comparison is too striking to be ignored! It certainly appears that God the Absolute sustains a relationship to the Supreme-Ultimate that is analogous but not homologous) to the relationship of the Infinite Spirit to the Father-Son, Much as God the Spirit completes the final existential actualization of Deity, so does God the Absolute begin the final experiential actualization of Deity.
Here is a vital difference: The Spirit completes the existential actualization of Deity; the trinitized expression of the Absolute begins the final experiential actualization of Deity.
What is the significance of this difference? It is just this: The original deity-trinitization by the Father-Son) is an infinity-action; it is an action that has no limits, no bounds. The final deity-trinitization by the Supreme-Ultimate) is an action that is qualitatively absolute, but is not quantitatively infinite. The trinitized expression of God the Spirit is actually infinite; the trinitized expression of God the Absolute may be potentially infinite, but it is actually less than infinite because neither the Supreme nor the Ultimate nor even the Supreme-Ultimate) are factually infinite.
Just what is the difference between being potentially infinite and being actually infinite? It is the difference between growth and non-growth. The Infinite Spirit is eternalized as a "finished being." God the Absolute is trinitized as an actualization of a part of the infinity of the Deity Absolute, the Qualified Absolute, which we studied in the Second Prologue, The Infinite Spirit could hardly grow; God the Absolute, as trinitized, stands on the threshold of limitless growth - eternal growth into infinity.
The trinitized appearance of God the Absolute begins the unification of the Third Experiential Trinity; just as the analogous appearance of God the Spirit completes the unification of the existential Trinity, the Paradise Trinity. We believe the Third Experiential Trinity represents the last experiential outreach as trinity) toward infinity and the Infinite. This Trinity, like each of the Trinities, is unique - different. It is the only one that is composed of experiential Deity and nothing else. It is like the Paradise Trinity in that its third member is trinitized; it is unlike the Paradise Trinity in that it is a growing, expanding, and unifying Trinity. It is experiential like the Trinity Ultimate, but it is not unified like the Trinity Ultimate. This Third Experiential Trinity must be absolute, like the Second Experiential Trinity, but it sustains a unique relation to the Second because this Second Trinity is the one whose unification is supposed to bring God the Absolute into being. Having been trinitized, God the Absolute is now in a position to collaborate with this non-unified Second Experiential Trinity, whose unification is an experiential prerequisite to his origin. Finally, the Third Experiential Trinity is the only one that is internal to another, being the Second Level of the Trinity of Trinities.
2. The Experiential Growth of God the Absolute
The trinitized appearance of the third experiential Deity gives us additional ground for conjecture as concerns further growth of an experiential nature. We project three such relationships of growth:
- a) The Trinity Absolute. The relationship between the trinitized expression of God the Absolute and the Second Experiential Trinity is unique. Here we have the factual personalization of God the Absolute. Obviously, this Deity should not be in existence prior to the unification of the Trinity Absolute; however, by the technique of trinitization God the Absolute comes into being and is now collaborating with the non-unified ancestral Trinity - the Second Experiential Trinity.
- b) The Supreme- Ultimate. Much as the Spirit is intensively expressive of the Father-Son partnership, so do we believe the trinitized expression of the Absolute will be extensively expressive of the Supreme-Ultimate partnership. God the Absolute will respond when the Supreme-Ultimate functions and will grow in collaborative relationship with this Dual-Deity association.
- c) The Deity Absolute. The most unique growth relationship of all is that which may be sustained between God the Absolute and the Deity Absolute. We should recall that the potentials of the Absolutes are infinite. We should further recall that the trinitized expression of God the Absolute is sub-infinite. This means God the Absolute has been actualized out of a part, but not all, of the infinity potential of the Deity Absolute. What, then, is the relationship of God the Absolute to that infinite) portion of the Deity Absolute which was untouched by the trinitizing-outreach of the Supreme-Ultimate?
We visualize this peculiar relationship as follows:
God the Absolute is real, factual, and actual. He exists in relation to much reality that is external to himself, but which is not yet real, not yet factual, and not yet actual. This external reality as deity reality) is the potential of the Deity Absolute and as undeified reality) the potential of the Unqualified Absolute. God the Absolute will expand outward into this potential. This expansion is the equivalent of growth. Since the external potential the room for growth) is infinite, such growth is unending - eternal. Since this growth is unending, it can never be completed; this means that experiential growth can never be completed.
We deduce that God the Absolute will grow; that his efforts to grow experientially will augment the experiential efforts of the Supreme-Ultimate and will contribute to the unification of the Trinity Absolute. Since God the Absolute is, in essence, an existential-experiential Deity, his efforts to grow will also augment the efforts to unify on the part of the existential-experiential Trinity - the Trinity of Trinities.
3. The Final Associations of Dual-Deity
We have, all along in this study, observed the working of a basic principle which might be expressed as follows-
Dual-Deity pioneers; Trinity consolidates.
Now that we have passed beyond the confines of the master universe does this principle still hold? Does it still apply when we enter the domains of infinity? When we enter the never-ending universe? In attempting to answer this question let us go back and recapitulate what we know what we have been told) about the partnerships of Dual-Deity. We are informed that there are or will be) six of these interesting dual associations:
- 1) The Father-Son partnership
- 2) The Son-Spirit partnership
- 3) The Spirit-Supreme partnership
- 4) The Supreme-Ultimate partnership
- 5) The Ultimate-Absolute partnership
- 6) The association of Absolute and Father-Infinite
These six associations of Dual-Deity can be classified in four possible categories: eternal, master universe, post-master-universe, and future-eternal. These associations start as existential, become increasingly experiential, then move in the direction of experiential-existential. We would classify the first association, the Father-Son, as eternal. The next two partnerships, Son-Spirit and Spirit-Supreme, relate to the post-Havona creations of the master universe. The next two, Supreme-Ultimate and Ultimate-Absolute, appear to be post-master-universe. And the final association, Absolute and Father-Infinite, would seem to be a future-eternal association.
At this point in our study we would like to coin a term - a term that is expressive of this series of Dual-Deity associations. We believe this series is expressive of something that might be called "The Processional of Initiative." The thought we are trying to convey is this: God seems to be concerned with sharing the initiative of creative self-expression with his co-ordinates, to the fullness of their capacity to function.
God initiates Reality by becoming the Father of the Original Son, then joins with this Original Son in the creation of Creator Sons. These Creators, as Sons, enjoy the full experience of sonship in relation to the Paradise Deities, but they are also destined to experience the relationship of fatherhood, they become experiential Fathers in their evolutionary universes.
In the original relationship of Father-Son) the Spirit personalizes as the cooperative creative agency for the Havona-expression of the Father-Son union.
In the next relationship of Son-Spirit) the Spirit, through his Creative Spirits, becomes the "seconding creator" in relation to the evolutionary local universes. Thus do the Creator Sons of God experience the relationship of Father in and to their local universes; while the Spirits of the Spirit enact the role of concurrent, co-operative, and co-ordinate creators in these same realms - thus experiencing in time and space what the Eternal Son "experienced" in eternity and on Paradise.
The third phase of "The Processional of Initiative" in the partnership of Dual-Deity appears to relate to the post-Supreme ages of the outer space levels of the master universe. Since this relationship is enshrouded in the unknown future of time, we cannot be sure as to the ultimate results of this partnership - the partnership of Spirit-Supreme. It would appear, however, that in the outer space levels the Spirit is to assume a new and primary initiative; and this initiating Spirit is to be seconded in all creative efforts by the Supreme. At this time, the Supreme Being will have completed his evolutionary growth and will be fully active as an actualized experiential Deity.) We have not speculated as to the end results of this Dual-Deity association, because the Papers give us no warrant for such speculation. But we doubt not that the unrevealed fruits of this partnership will be meaningful to the further growth of the universes, and to the outworking of God's multiple plans.
We were unable to trace the associations of Dual-Deity beyond the partnership of the Spirit-Supreme within the confines of the master universe. The Conclusion to our study proper, recognized this limitation. However, in this Epilogue we are presuming to look far beyond the master creation; and with such a widened horizon of concept we can attempt to go further in the examination of these intriguing dual-associations.
Let us, then, consider the final associations of Dual-Deity. These last three partnerships are post-master-universe because the very first involves the Ultimate, and the Ultimate does not make his factual appearance on the space-stage of action until after the completion of the entire master creation. It would appear that these three partnerships will "pioneer" the expanding creative frontier as it continues to push outward into the depths of uncharted space.
a) The Supreme-UltimateWe regard this Dual-Deity partnership as analogous but not homologous) to the partnership of the Father-Son. The Supreme-Ultimate is like the Father-Son in the following ways:
- 1) This Dual-Deity association trinitizes the Third Person of Experiential Deity; the Father-Son partnership trinitizes the Third Person of Existential Deity.
- 2) The trinitizing action of the Supreme-Ultimate probably) initiates the beginning of the universe of infinity; the father-Son partnership actualizes the universe of eternity.
- 3) The Supreme-Ultimate joins with God the Absolute to form the final experiential Trinity; the Father-Son unites with God the Spirit to form the existential Trinity - the Paradise Trinity.
The partnership of the Supreme and Ultimate is unlike the partnership of the Father and Son in a most important particular: The Father-Son partnership initiates the personalization of existential Deity, realizes the factualization of the existential universe, and consummates the unification of the existential Trinity; The Supreme-Ultimate partnership initiates analogous things in the experiential sense) but does not fully realize them, and by no means consummates them. The Father-Son begins, realizes, and consummates; the Supreme-Ultimate begins, may partially realize. but does not consummate.
We associate the Supreme-Ultimate with Stage One in the development of the Cosmos Infinite, and picture this stage as one in which the vast core of the endless universe will make its appearance. We visualize this newly-appearing domain as coming into existence concomitant with the trinitizinig of God the Absolute, and believe this gigantic realm will utterly dwarf the master universe in size. We have the opinion that this innermost zone of the Cosmos Infinite will relate in size) to the master universe, as the master universe relates to its nucleus - the grand universe.
We submit the idea that the appearance of God the Absolute and the materializing of the innermost zone of the Cosmos Infinite will constitute Stage One in the Final Universe Age. We further suggest that the duration of Stage One of the Final Age may be very long - even in terms of the universe as we have computed. In other words, when we leave the master universe and embark upon the final adventure - the Absolute Adventure -we are likely to encounter magnitudes that are unprecedented. It is unlikely we can do very much about trying to visualize such magnitudes. It would be much like a machinist who works to one ten-thousandth of an inch in precision, and who is suddenly asked to consider the relative dimensions of the outer galaxies that may be millions of light-years away. One ten-thousandth of an inch is one order of magnitude; a million light-years is something quite different.
b) The Ultimate-AbsoluteWe have now come so very far from the Here and Now of reality that it becomes most difficult even to conjecture about the association of Ultimate and Absolute - presumably the partnership of God the Ultimate and God the Absolute. Nevertheless, we can still reason or speculate) by analogy. We have likened the partnership of the Supreme-Ultimate to that of the Father-Son. Can we then liken the extensive projection of God the Absolute to the intensive personalization of the Infinite Spirit? Will the trinitized) Absolute sustain the same relationship to the Ultimate in Stage Two of the Final Age) that the Ultimate sustains to the Supreme in Stage One)? Is this the possible meaning of the partnership of Ultimate-Absolute? Here we are drawing a parallel between the Ultimate-Absolute and the Son-Spirit, where each association may develop out of the preceding partnership - Supreme-Ultimate in the first instance, and Father-Son in the second.)
If the Supreme-Ultimate is the initiator of the Cosmos Infinite, then we deduce that the Ultimate-Absolute could well function in the intermediate phases of this domain as a partnership that is concerned with the fuller "realization" of the unending universe. We have no way of suggesting any possible limit to this association - one partner is inseparable from the Absolutes of Potentiality, and these Absolutes are, in turn, inseparable from infinity.
We can see a beginning, realization, and qualitative) consummation of the Supreme-Ultimate partnership. It is conjoined, finds limited realization in the factualization of the innermost zone of the Cosmos infinite, and is qualitatively) consummated in the trinitized appearance of God the Absolute. But, the partnership of the Ultimate and Absolute can hardly attain even a qualitative destiny, much less a quantitative destination. The Dual-Deity association of Ultimate and Absolute can start, can begin, but can attain only partial realization. We do not believe it can be consummated.
We associate this dual-association with the development of the infinite Cosmos that may take place after the factualization of the innermost zone. We feel this innermost zone may, in some respects, be analogous to Havona in the manner of its appearance, its factualization. It may make its appearance as a repercussion of Deity-trinitization - it may appear suddenly. If we continue to reason by analogy, the growth of the Cosmos Infinite may be sequential; and if it is sequential, then it is endless. Therefore, we do not know how to place a conceptual limit on the "realization" phase of the Ultimate-Absolute association, much less how to suggest a "consummation" of this partnership.
The reality of this partnership as a value-level in the present grand universe should be noted. The Ultimate-Absolute represents a present value-level that constitutes the known limit of the scope of the activities of the Personalized Adjusters. These beings are the personalizations of the same fragments of God with which we fuse. And if the Personalized Adjusters can function on the level of the Ultimate-Absolute, then we believe that the finaliters can also work there - and given enough time and growth, they will!)
c) The First and Last Partnership.The original partnership of Dual-Deity is enshrouded in the mysteries of past-eternity. The dual-association of the Father-Son is a never-beginning and never-ending reality that always exists. We are informed that the final association of Dual-Deity, the partnership of Absolute and Father-Infinite, is the "completion" of the cycle of reality. This should give us pause for thought. When we reach the level of the Absolute, at least the Deity Absolute, we know we have entered upon a domain of the existential and the experiential. The Deity Absolute is one of the Seven Absolutes of Infinity; God the Absolute is experiential and existential) and has an origin in time - at least as we would view such a happening.
What then, is the final relationship between the Absolute and the Father-Infinite? We submit that it is an existential-experiential association. As an existential reality, it is ever-existent; as an experiential reality, it is ever remote; as an existential-experiential reality, it may be a "becoming reality" - a reality that is characterized by increasing actualization, which, in no manner diminishes the unactualized potential that will forever remain unexpressed.
If this dual-association is the "completion" of the cycle of reality, then it may be a pure-eternity relationship, and as such, becomes utterly meaningless in terms of growth) when evaluated in relation to the past or the future of time - or, even the past or the future of eternity. This relationship may not be beyond concept, but it certainly is beyond comprehensible concept.
4. The Final Levels of Total Deity Function
What we have been observing, as we have been trying to follow God's purposes to the ends of time and space, may be the opening of the final levels of the function of total Deity. We have considered these levels from the very beginning of our study. Back in the Second Prologue we considered the static, potential, and associative levels. In the study proper we looked at two outgoing levels, creative and evolutional; then we studied two incoming levels, Supreme and Ultimate. This completes the inventory of the seven levels of the function of total Deity.
But, are these all of the levels? The Ultimate level is the final creative level, but God the Absolute is super-creative. None of these levels is spoken of as absolute, and the absolute level is referred to as one that is existentially attained by the Paradise Trinity. We believe there are only these seven levels, pending the factualization of the experiential Deities. We further believe the factualization of the three experiential Deities will disclose three additional levels of the function of total Deity.
Before we examine these conjectured levels, let us consider what may happen when existential Deity goes back of the creative level - back to the first three levels. As existential Deity moves toward infinity we believe it passes from the associative level back into potentials, and eventually reaches the static level. We believe this is the progression of existential Deity toward infinity. However, we do not believe this is the approach that experiential Deity makes toward infinity.
Existential Deity originates in infinity and seeks to emerge; experiential Deity originates outside of infinity on sub-infinite levels) and seeks to penetrate. Once experiential Deity has factualized and has become capable of working at least qualitatively) on the absolute level of reality, we believe it will disclose an approach to infinity that will be new and different. We have the belief that as experiential Deity tries to approach infinity, it opens three new levels of the action of total Deity - reassociative, actualizing-potential, and static-dynamic.
Let us examine the concept of each of these three levels. It may be helpful to our efforts to understand Future Eternity and the Final Limits and the Final Goal which God has established.
The mirror images of the first and the final levels:
Before we study each of these three new levels in particular it will prove informative to consider all three of them together. Let us compare the last three levels with the first three. The last three appear to be mirror images of the first three.
8) The Reassociative Level <—> 3) The Associative Level
9) The Actualizing-Potential Level <—> 2) The Potential Level
10) The Static-Dynamic Level <—> 1) The Static Level
We believe that Destiny could be thought of as a mirror image of Source, except there is a change in meanings though not in absolute values. The value of the Infinite could hardly change, but the meaning of the Infinite - the relationships of the Infinite - is susceptible to well-nigh infinite change. And this is why we think these last three levels are like mirror images of the first three.
a) Level 8, The Reassociative LevelWe make a connection in concept between the associative level and the reassociative level of the function of total Deity. The best example of the associative level would appear to be the Paradise Trinity - the existential association that absolutely unifies existential Deity. The Trinity of Trinities would appear to be the best example of the reassociative level. In this threefold Trinity there takes place a re-association of all of the multiple actualization of all Deity - existential and experiential. In the threefold Trinity all actual and actualizing Deity is or will be unified.
From the experiential standpoint, the Trinity of Trinities would appear to remain ever-unfinished; still we should not forget that the Paradise Trinity is a constituent member, and the Paradise Trinity is existentially infinite. The original Trinity could, at all "times," compensate the incompletion of the Trinity of Trinities. We can, therefore, visualize the existential-experiential Trinity of Trinities as being fully functional; except, it must depend on the existential Trinity the Paradise Trinity) to make up for its experiential deficiencies. In future eternity, the existential factor can diminish; but the existential compensation for experiential limitations can hardly be eliminated.
The re-associative level would appear to be first activated by the association of the Supreme-Ultimate. When this partnership forms and trinitizes God the Absolute, this factualizes the Second Level of the Trinity of Trinities. All of this constitutes an invasion of the absolute level of reality by experiential Deity.
b) Level 9, The Actualizing-Potential LevelThere is more than one name that might be given to this level. We might call it the "Actualized-Potential Level," but this would imply the "using up" of all potentials, and these potentials cannot be "used up" because there is no end to them. The name "actualizing-potentials" seems best because it does not imply a completion of the process, just a continuation of the actualizing of that which is without end.
When we think about this level we are probably thinking about the function of the Second Stage of post-Ultimate Deity. The First Stage appears to be the Supreme-Ultimate, the second seems to be the Ultimate-Absolute. This level appears to be one that is quality-attained experientially, but does not seem to be attainable in the universal, or quantity-infinite sense. In order to attain this level in the quantitative sense three things would need to occur:
- 1) The capacity of the Unqualified Absolute would have to be exhausted. In other words, the Cosmos Infinite would have to factualize as an actual reality - as an actual universe with no outside, with no end to it.
- 2) The capacity of the Deity Absolute would have to be exhausted. In other words, God the Absolute would have to be completed as the experiential-absolute Person of Deity. This means that he would become the co-ordinate of the Eternal Son, who is the Absolute Personality - the existential-absolute Person of Deity.
- 3) The non-deity expression of infinity the Cosmos Infinite) and the experiential deity-expression of infinity God The Absolute) would have to become completely unified - power-personality synthesized. This, in effect, would be the experiential unification of the Absolutes - the experiential equivalent of what the Universal Absolute actually does, existentially.
We should not be frustrated by the quantitative non-attainability of this level. What would happen if all potentials were to be actualized? This would mean the absolute end of all growth, all change, all adventure It would add up to an experiential static condition, a condition of no change. It would mean an everlasting today - with no tomorrow of widening horizons and new worlds to conquer.
God, in his wisdom, has avoided all of this. Whether this be inherent in infinity, or a part of the plans of the Infinite, is quite beside the point. The fact remains that God's plans seem to provide for a universe that is forever young and growing, for a creation that always hovers on the brink of new adventure, for a cosmos that lives eternally in the fresh dawn of a never-ending springtime.
c) Level 10, The Static-Dynamic LevelThis may well be the final level of the function of total Deity. It is the final level that we present, in concept, for consideration in this study.) What is the significance of this level? We believe it represents the final outreach of experiential Deity - and, perhaps, experiential creatures - toward the Father as Infinite. This is the concept of the Universal Father in the beginning of all things, even in the beginning of beginnings. This is the concept of God as Infinite that is conceived at the heart of the Zero Age, at that point in the theoretical past which the Papers describe as "the hypothetical static moment of eternity."
We are here presenting an analogous concept. We are trying to conceive of a destiny-moment that theoretically exists in future-eternity. This would be the "hypothetical static-dynamic moment of eternity." We believe this is a valid concept even though it may never be attainable as a factual reality. Could we attain this moment, then we might know the Father as Infinite. Since it appears we can never attain this moment, we will never know the Father as Infinite. We shall find him as absolute; we shall search for him as infinite.
Since we will never find God as infinite, it seems likely we will continue to "pursue" the Shadow of Infinity which is cast across the limitlessness of potential reality. We submit the belief that this Shadow is best conceived as the presence of the Universal Absolute. We will doubtless continue to be intrigued, puzzled, and stimulated by the presence and performance of the Universal Absolute whose eternal mystery will continue to grow with the growing universes, and whose eternal complexity may be growing faster than the finaliters will grow.