How to read The Urantia Book
Over the years, we have learned that reading The Urantia Book can be daunting. We understand that this book can be challenging to read and so we have created this helpful guide for you as you embark on the amazing and endless voyage of discovery offered to each person who decides to read The Urantia Book.
This is a truly unique book filled with inspiring, tantalizing, philosophical, complex and beautiful readings that will fill your mind, your soul, and your life with knowledge that is challenging, comforting, insightful, startling and transformative.
The Foreword and Parts I and II of the book are the most difficult to comprehend (Ph.D. level material), but you will find, as you continue reading, that the book gets easier to understand. However, if you find that it’s just too deep in the beginning, don’t get discouraged. Try exploring the book by perusing the Table of Contents or the Index to see what interests you, and then read those parts first. Also, Part IV, The Life and Teachings of Jesus reads like a novel and is very easy to read (12th grade level). Many people read Part IV first, and then go from there.
The truth is, you can read the book in a variety of ways, because there is really no right or wrong way to read it. However, if you want to receive the maximum benefit from it, it’s most powerful to read it from cover to cover at least once. This book is the most comprehensive book you will ever read. It is an unprecedented literary masterpiece that integrates science, religion and philosophy! It can often be over whelming but you will likely find that it is so worth the effort.
To recap, here are a few suggestions on how to read The Urantia Book:
- Many people read Part IV, The Life and Teachings of Jesus, first. This is Jesus’ life and teachings in way you have never experienced
before. It fills in all the years missing from the Biblical account. It is the same Jesus we’ve always known, with parables and teachings
that we love, but so much more! It also clarifies and explains the teachings and parables of Jesus and is so beautifully written. It is
truly inspiring and can provide a wonderful introduction and gateway to the rest of the book. The point is, you can read The Urantia Book
backwards. That is, start with the fourth section and then the third section, etc.
- It is always helpful to peruse the Table of Contents to see all that the book contains and then just pick out topics or chapters that
are appealing and interesting. It is fine to allow yourself to read the book in "bits and pieces” and to skip around in it. If one part
is boring or hard to understand go to another part.
- Clearly, the most difficult part of the book to understand is the Foreword. Even so, give it a try. If you can read it and understand
it, charge into Part I, The Central and Super Universes, you should have no problem reading the entire book!
The Foreword offers definitions of cosmological and theological concepts you have probably never encountered before. It is mostly designed to help you with Part I and it can be used and referred to often for this purpose. There are many layers of understanding in The Urantia Book that few will ever completely uncover. Keep in mind that this book is a revelation for us now, but also for people 1,000 years hence, so be gentle on yourself, you don’t have to understand the entire thing.
- Most of all, simply enjoy it! If you are a student of human nature, you will love the understanding of human nature it provides about
our roots, follies, idiosyncrasies, and especially our immense capacity for growth. Its science and cosmology are mind boggling, its history
insightful, its religion sublime, and the philosophy will never fail to challenge your mind. Just read what you are drawn to. Some people
like to “divine” with it, by asking a question of the universe and then cracking open the book to see what is revealed.
Remember, you can always start by reading what you enjoy. If you don’t care at all about the science - don't read those parts. Although you will probably find that, at some point, you're hungry for its knowledge and ready to read all of it.
- Join a study group. Go to the www.urantiabook.org and on the main menu bar you will find “Study” and under that “Find a Study Group.” This is a simply way to find out if there is a study group in your area. If not, there are many online groups to join, and you may also like to start your own group! Study groups are a wonderfully helpful way to gain understanding and perspective.
- Plan on reading this book for years! It cannot and should not be read quickly. At times the mind can only take in and digest perhaps just one paragraph or even a single sentence. It’s fine to ponder, cogitate, ruminate and meditate on your readings. It’s also a good idea to pray for a greater understanding. Also, seek out other reading materials as well, ones that might add to your understanding. Take your time.
- Question this book. A basic teaching of The Urantia Book is that each individual has the right to seek and find the truth for themselves.
Pray for guidance and insight about this book. It may not be a book that matches your current path, but keep it in mind. Someday, it may
be just what your life needs. Remember, the Truth withstands honest examination!
- This is not a "how to" book on how to be happy or successful or rich, although it will help you find balance in your life. This book
is more of a “how come” book in that teaches important concepts about life, about your spirituality, about how this world is out of step
with the universe, and why people suffer and are confused. It especially illuminates our future destiny and reveals what the afterlife
holds for us. It offers a vision of the great potential of all of humankind as well as of each individual. It is, as stated earlier, a
very Big Book. If you’ve ever asked impossible questions that nobody could answer satisfactorily, questions about God, the cosmos, angels,
Jesus, suffering, death, happiness, Heaven, etc., you’ll likely find that these questions are answered plausibly in The Urantia Book.
- Most importantly, don't be intimidated and don't get discouraged. Keep reading it, it is so worth it! As with anything in life, persistence
is key. There are no negative consequences for not reading it. Like all true knowledge it gives freely to you and takes nothing away, so
feel free to put it down if you need to, maybe for years. It will be there for you if and when the time is right, at which point you can
pick it up and begin right where you left off.