URANTIA READERS INTERNATIONAL (URI)
QUARTERLY REPORT—APRIL-MAY-JUNE 2013

           
THE EXPERIENCE OF RELIGION (RELIGION, WORSHIP, PRAYER)

Our effort here is to present material on religion that is found throughout the Urantia book
revealed by Melchizedeks, Divine Counselors and others to inform the readers of information
not revealed in any other source outside the Book itself, and something we hope is of interest
to all readers. The following information may well be know on other more advanced worlds, but
on Urantia there appears much confusion regarding terms mentioned herein, especially terms
extracted from the foreword which have found original written expression only in the last 80
years.

While the Urantia revelation discusses religion, the life and teachings of Jesus; the revelation
as a whole is basically a history book revealing facts on how to sustain a culture, data on
successful societies, a myriad of information on a variety of entities who rule and serve the
universes, space dimensions, how and when our world came about, and where we go from
here; and, of course, subjects regarding God and his subordinates who function throughout the
universe, the history of religion and what we should know about all of the above.

Much of the report will come directly from the Urantia book and pieced together from various
chapters relating to our topic. Our hope is that it ends up in a coherent structure since we have
had to omit much of our revelatory material to keep the report succinct. Since religion is a
spiritual topic we attempt to lend some meaning as to what constitutes religious growth, how the
soul evolves, marks of religious living, problems concerning growth, the real nature of religion,
as well as the concept of the recognition of spiritual life as transcendent over the material.

It is only appropriate to commence our discoveries of the spirit with the highest source in the
universe capable of revealing the nature of God, the spiritual domain and the real nature of
religion—a Divine Counselor who speaks as follows:

“God is spirit.” He is a universal spiritual presence. The Universal Father is an infinite spiritual
reality; he is “the sovereign, eternal, immortal, invisible, and only true God.” Even though you
are “the offspring of God,” you ought not to think that the Father is like yourselves in form and
physique because you are said to be created “in his image”—indwelt by Mystery Monitors
dispatched from the central abode of his eternal presence. Spirit beings are real,
notwithstanding they are invisible to human eyes; even though they have not flesh and blood.”

“The universal Father is not invisible because he is hiding himself away from the lowly
creatures of materialistic handicaps and limited spiritual endowments. The situation rather is:
“you cannot see my face, for no mortal can see me and live.” No material man could behold the
spirit God and preserve his mortal existence. The glory and the spiritual brilliance of the divine
personality presence is impossible of approach by the lower groups of spirit beings or by any
order of material personalities. The spiritual luminosity of the Father’s personal presence is a
“light” which no mortal man can approach; which no material creature has seen or can see.”
But it is not necessary to see God with the eyes of the flesh in order to discern him by the faith-
vision of the spiritualized mind.”

“The spirit nature of the Universal Father is shared fully with his coexistent self, the Eternal Son
of Paradise. Both the Father and the Son in like manner share the universal and eternal spirit
fully and unreservedly with their conjoint personality co-ordinate, the Infinite Spirit. God’s spirit
is, in and of himself, absolute; in the Son it is unqualified, in the Spirit, universal and in and by
all of them, infinite.”

“God is a universal spirit; God is the universal person. The supreme personal reality of the
finite creation is spirit; the ultimate reality of the personal cosmos is absonite spirit. Only the
levels of infinity are absolute, and only on such levels is there finality of oneness between
matter, mind, and spirit.” (Pg. 25)

“In the inner experience of man, mind is joined to matter. Such material-linked minds cannot
survive mortal death. The technique of survival is embraced in those adjustments of the human
will and those transformations in the mortal mind whereby such a God-conscious intellect
gradually becomes spirit taught and eventually spirit led. This evolution of the human mind from
matter association to spirit union results in the transmutation of the potentially spirit phases of
the mortal mind into the morontia realities of the immortal soul. Mortal mind subservient to
matter is destined to become increasingly material and consequently to suffer eventual
personality extinction; mind yielded to spirit is destined to become increasingly spiritual and
ultimately to achieve oneness with the surviving and guiding divine spirit and in this way to
attain survival and eternity of personality existence.”

“I come forth from the Eternal, and I have repeatedly returned to the presence of the Universal
Father. I know of the actuality and personality of the first Source and Center, the Eternal and
Universal Father. I know that, while the great God is absolute, eternal, and infinite, he is also
good, divine, and gracious. I know the truth of the great declarations:” God is spirit” and “God is
love”, and these two attributes are most completely revealed to the universe in the Eternal Son.”
(Pg. 26)

It has now been almost 60 years since the publication of the Urantia revelation and since 1955
over one million people have purchased the book and many are still unable to put it away on a
shelf with the rest of their books—they are hooked on the phenomenon of revelatory truth and
to them the above paragraph without question is an absolute truth. Those who are not studying
the truths of this the most amazing revelation ever set forth on the planet are in a certain sense
unwittingly among the legion of lost souls and have no way apart from valid revelation of
determining the reality of what is presented in this the latest Bible recently given to the planet. If
the revelation had not affected the lives of those who are avidly pursuing these truths it would
soon be lost to the world but these messages while 100 years in advance of their time are just
beginning to sweep the planet and as we are informed destined to last for a thousand years.

“Mechanical inventions and the dissemination of knowledge are modifying civilization; certain
economic adjustments and social changes are imperative if cultural disaster is to be avoided.
This new and oncoming social order will not settle down complacently for a millennium. The
human race must become reconciled to a procession of changes, adjustments, and
readjustments. Mankind is on the march toward a new and unrevealed planetary destiny.” (Pg.
1086)

“Religion must become a forceful influence for moral stability and spiritual progression
functioning dynamically in the midst of these ever-changing conditions and never-ending
economic adjustments.”

“Urantia society can never hope to settle down as in past ages. The social ship has steamed
out of the sheltered bays of established tradition and has begun its cruise upon the high seas
of evolutionary destiny; and the soul of man, as never before in the world’s history, needs
carefully to scrutinize its charts of morality and painstakingly to observe the compass of
religious guidance. The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the
ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from some phase of civilization to
another, from one level of culture to another.”

“Religion has no new duties to perform, but is urgently called upon to function as a wise guide
and experienced counselor in all of these new and rapidly changing human situations. Society
is becoming more mechanical, more compact, more complex and more critically interdependent.
Religion must function to prevent these new and intimate interassociations from becoming
mutually retrogressive or even destructive. Religion must act as the cosmic salt which prevents
the ferments of progression from destroying the cultural savor of civilization. These new social
and economic upheavals can result in lasting brotherhood only by the ministry of religion.”(Pg.
1087)(Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon)

PERSONALITY OF THE UNIVERSAL FATHER
Do not permit the magnitude of God, his infinity, either to obscure or eclipse his personality.
“He who planned the ear, shall he not hear? He who formed the eye, shall he not see?” The
Universal Father is the acme of divine personality; he is the origin and destiny of personality
throughout all creation. God is both infinite and personal; he is an infinite personality. The
Father is truly a personality, notwith- standing that the infinity of his person places him forever
beyond the full comprehension of material and finite beings.

God is much more than a personality as personality is understood by the human mind; he is
even far more than any possible concept of a superpersonality. But it is utterly futile to discuss
such incomprehensible concepts of divine personality with the minds of material creatures
whose maximum concept of reality of being consists in the idea and ideal of personality. The
material creature’s highest possible concept of the Universal Creator is embraced within the
spiritual ideals of the exalted idea of divine personality. Therefore although you may know that
God must be much more than the human conception of personality, you equally well know that
the Universal Father cannot possibly be anything less than an eternal, infinite, true, good and
beautiful personality.”

“God is not hiding from any of his creatures. He is unapproachable to so many orders of beings
only because he “dwells in a light which no material creature can approach.” The immensity
and grandeur of the divine personality is beyond the grasp of the unperfected mind of
evolutionary mortals. (Pg.27)

“When Jesus talked about “the living God,” he referred to personal Deity—the Father in
heaven. The concept of the Personality of Deity facilitates fellowship; it favors intelligent
worship; it promotes refreshing trustfulness. Interactions can be had between non personal
things but not fellowship. The fellowship relation of father and son, as between God and man,
cannot be enjoyed unless both are persons. Only personalities can commune with each other,
albeit this personal communion may be greatly facilitated by the presence of just such an
impersonal entity as the Thought Adjuster.”

“Man does not achieve union with God as a drop of water might find unity with the ocean. Man
attains divine union by progressive reciprocal spiritual communion, by personality intercourse
with the personal God, by increasingly attaining the divine nature through wholehearted and
intelligent conformity to the divine will. Such a sublime relationship can exist only between
personalities.”(Pg.31)

THE NATURE OF GOD (Pg. 33)
“Inasmuch as man’s highest possible concept of God is embraced within the human idea and
ideal of a primal and infinite personality, it is permissible, and may prove helpful, to study
certain characteristics of the divine nature which constitute the character of Deity. The nature
of God can best be understood by the revelation of the Father which Michael of Nebadon
unfolded in his manifold teachings and in his superb mortal life in the flesh. The divine nature
can also be better understood by man if he regards himself as a child of God and looks up to
the Paradise Creator as a true spiritual Father.”

“The nature of God can be studied in a revelation of supreme ideas, the divine character can
be envisaged as a portrayal of supernal ideals, but the most enlightening and spiritually
edifying of all revelations of the divine nature is to be found in the comprehension of the
religious life of Jesus of Nazareth, both before and after his attainment of full consciousness of
divinity. If the incarnated life of Michael is taken as the background of the revelation of God to
man, we may attempt to put in human word symbols certain ideas and ideals concerning the
divine nature which may possibly contribute to a further illumination and unification of the
human concept of the nature and character of the personality of the Universal Father.”

“When man loses sight of the love of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes merely the
kingdom of good. Notwithstanding the infinite unity of the divine nature, love is the dominant
characteristic of all God’s personal dealings with his creatures”

CONVERSION AND MYSTICISM (Pg. 1098)
“The world is filled with lost souls, not lost in the theologic sense but lost in the directional
meaning, wandering about in confusion among the isms and cults of frustrated philosophic era.
Too few have learned how to install a philosophy of living in the place of religious authority.
(The symbols of socialized religion are not to be despised as channels of growth, albeit the
river bed is not the river.)

The progression of religious growth leads from stagnation through conflict to co-ordination,
from security to undoubting faith, from confusion of cosmic consciousness to unification of
personality, from temporal objective to the eternal, from the bondage of fear to the liberty of
divine sonship.”

In contrast with conversion-seeking, the better approach to the morontia zones of possible
contact with the Thought Adjuster would be through living faith and sincere worship,
wholehearted and unselfish prayer. Altogether too much of the uprush of the memories of the
unconscious levels of the human mind has been mistaken for divine revelations and spirit
leadings.

There is great danger associated with the habitual practice of religious daydreaming; mysticism
may become a technique of reality avoidance, albeit it has sometimes been a means of
genuine spiritual communion. Short seasons of retreat from the busy scenes of life may not be
seriously dangerous, but prolonged isolation of personality is most undesirable. Under no
circumstances should the trancelike state of visionary consciousness be cultivated as a
religious experience.”

MARKS OF RELIGIOUS LIVING (Pg. 1100)
“Evolutionary religions and revelatory religions may differ markedly in method, but in motive
there is great similarity. Religion is not a specific function of life; rather is it a mode of living.
True religion is a wholehearted devotion to some reality which the religionist deems to be of
supreme value to himself and for all mankind. And the outstanding characteristics of all
religions are: unquestioning loyalty and wholehearted devotion to supreme values. This
religious devotion to supreme values is shown in the relation of the supposedly irreligious
mother to her child and in the fervent loyalty of nonreligionists to an espoused cause.

The accepted supreme value of the religionist may be base or even false, but it is nevertheless
religious. A religion is genuine to just the extent that the value which is held to be supreme is
truly a cosmic reality of genuine spiritual worth.

The marks of human response to the religious impulse embrace the qualities of nobility and
grandeur. The sincere religionist is conscious of universe citizenship and is aware of making
contact with sources of superhuman power. He is thrilled and energized with the assurance of
belonging to a superior and ennobled fellowship of the sons of God. The consciousness of self-
worth has become augmented by the stimulus of the quest for highest universe objectives—
supreme goals.

One of the most amazing earmarks of religious living is that dynamic and sublime peace, that
peace which passes all human understanding, that cosmic poise which betokens the absence
of all doubt and turmoil. Such levels of spiritual stability are immune to disappointment. Such
religionists are like the Apostle Paul, who said: “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor
depth, nor anything else shall be able to separate us from the love of God”

There is a sense of security, associated with the realization of triumphing glory, resident in the
consciousness of the religionist who has grasped the reality of the Supreme, and who pursues
the goal of the ultimate.”

So far we have discussed a little about religion and God and the relationship to mortal man—
how God interacts with us and his focal point throughout the universes as the first source and
center of all reality, inclusive of all energies, gravitational force, mindal energies, as well as all
matter and spiritual energy; and as such maintains residence within the universe as a personal
being, contactable by humans through their Thought Adjusters, and in person on Paradise, in
the far distant future or as soon as they have mastered cosmic living and advanced into a
complete state of perfection, through learning how to react to the cosmic challenge from day to
day. It becomes our duty to grow into perfection over eons of time. Our revelation defines
religion in several ways and elaborates on how mortals through prayer and worship can
enhance their relationship with God. Service to ones fellow man is the essential ingredient in
human happiness and without such service we cannot progress long through the spiritual
domain. Hence, our further discussions will relate to the real nature of religion, inclusive of
definitions and ideas concerning worship and prayer. We must learn to appreciate the divinity
values of truth, beauty, and goodness and incorporate them into our daily lives.

“THE REAL NATURE OF RELIGION (Pg. 1104-Paper 101)
Definitions of Religion:
... Religion is the experiencing of divinity in the consciousness of a moral being of evolutionary
origin.
…Religion is a profoundly deep and actual experience of spiritual communion with the spirit
influences resident within the human mind.
…Religion is faith, trust, and assurance.
…True religion is a meaningful way of living dynamically face to face with the commonplace
realities of everyday life.
…True religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother.
Religion is an impulse for organizing the soul for dynamic service.

…True religion is the act of an individual soul in its self-conscious relations with the Creator;
organized religion is mans attempt to socialize the worship of individual religionists.
…Religion is the enlistment of the totality of selfhood in the loyal service of                     loving
God and serving man.
…True religion is that sublime and profound conviction within the soul which compellingly
admonishes man that it would be wrong for him not to believe in those morontial realities which
constitute his highest ethical and moral concepts, his highest interpretation of life’s greatest
values and the universe’s deepest realities.
…Religion is simply the experience of yielding intellectual loyalty to the highest dictates of
spiritual consciousness.”

What it is:
While religion is exclusively a personal spiritual experience—knowing God as a Father—the
corollary of this experience—knowing man as a brother—entails the adjustment of the self to
other selves, and that involves the social or group aspect of religious life. Religion is first an
inner or personal adjustment, and then it becomes a matter of social service or group
adjustment. The fact of man’s gregariousness perforce determines that religious groups will
come into existence. What happens to these religious groups depends very much on intelligent
leadership

What it is not:
“True religion is not a system of philosophic belief which can be reasoned out and
substantiated by natural proofs, neither is it a fantastic and mystic experience of indescribable
feelings of ecstasy which can be enjoyed only by the romantic devotees of mysticism. Religion
is not the product of reason, but viewed from within, it is altogether reasonable. Religion is not
derived from the logic of human philosophy, but as a mortal experience it is altogether logical. It
represents true experience with eternal realities in time, the realization of spiritual satisfactions
while yet in the flesh.”(Pg.1104)
Religion is not a technique for attaining a static and blissful peace of mind.(Pg.1096)
“If religion is to stimulate individual development of character and augment integration of
personality, it must not be standardized. If it is to stimulate evaluation of experience and serve
as a value-lure, it must not be stereotyped. If religion is to promote supreme loyalties, it must
not be formalized.”

RELIGION IN HUMAN EXPERIENCE (Paper 99-101)
What it does:
“No matter what upheavals may attend the social and economic growth of civilization, religion is
genuine and worth while if it fosters in the individual an experience in which the sovereignty of
truth, beauty, and goodness prevails, for such is the true spiritual concept of supreme reality.
And through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with
God.” (Pg.1089)

“After all, it is what one believes rather than what one knows that determines conduct and
dominates personal performances. Purely factual knowledge exerts very little influence upon
the average man unless it becomes emotionally activated. But the activation of religion is super-
emotional, unifying the entire human experience on transcendent levels through contact with,
and release of, spiritual energies in the mortal life.” (Pg.1090)

“The experience of dynamic religious living transforms the mediocre individual into a personality
of idealistic power. Religion ministers to the progress of all through fostering the progress of
each individual, and the progress of each is augmented through the achievement of all.” Pg.
1094)

RELIGIOUS-SPIRITUAL GROWTH
“Spiritual growth is mutually stimulated by intimate association with other religionists. Love
supplies the soil for religious growth—an objective lure in the place of subjective gratification—
yet it yields the supreme subjective satisfaction. And religion ennobles the commonplace
drudgery of daily living.” (Pg. 1094)

“While religion produces growth of meanings and enhancement of values, evil always results
when purely personal evaluations are elevated to the levels of absolutes. A child evaluates
experience in accordance with the content of pleasure; maturity is proportional to the
substitution of higher meanings for personal pleasure, even loyalties to the highest concepts of
diversified life situations and cosmic relations.”

“Some persons are too busy to grow and are therefore in grave danger of spiritual fixation.
Provision must be made for growth of meanings at differing ages, in successive cultures, and in
the passing stages of advancing civilization. The chief inhibitors of growth are prejudice and
ignorance.”

“Religious experience is markedly influenced by physical health, inherited temperament, and
social environment. But these temporal conditions do not inhibit inner spiritual progress by a
soul dedicated to the doing of will of the Father in heaven. There are present in all normal
mortals certain innate drives toward growth and self-realization which function if they are not
specifically inhibited. The certain technique of fostering this constitutive endowment of the
potential of spiritual growth is to maintain an attitude of wholehearted devotion to supreme
values.”

“Religious habits of thinking and acting are contributory to the economy of spiritual growth. One
can develop religious predispositions toward favorable reaction to spiritual stimuli, a sort of
conditioned spiritual reflex. Habits which favor religious growth embrace cultivated sensitivity to
divine values, recognition of religious living in others, reflective meditation on cosmic meanings,
worshipful problem solving, sharing one’s spiritual life with one’s fellows, avoidance of
selfishness, refusal to presume on divine mercy, living as in the presence of God. The factors
of religious growth may be intentional, but growth itself is unvaryingly unconscious.” (Pg. 1095)


THE FACT OF RELIGION (1107)
“Revelation as an epochal phenomenon is periodic; as a personal human experience it is
continuous. Divinity functions in mortal personality as the Adjuster gift of the Father, as the
Spirit of Truth of the Son, and as the Holy Spirit of the Universe Spirit, while these three
supermortal endowments are unified in human experiential evolution as the ministry of the
Supreme.”

“True religion is an insight into reality, the faith-child of the moral consciousness, and not a
mere intellectual assent to any body of dogmatic doctrines. True religion consists in the
experience that “the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.”
Religion consists not in theologic propositions but in spiritual insight and the sublimity of the
soul’s trust.”

“The realization of religion never has been, and never will be, dependent on great learning or
clever logic. It is spiritual insight, and that is just the reason why some of the world’s greatest
religious teachers, even the prophets, have sometimes possessed so little of the wisdom of the
world. Religious faith is available alike to the learned and the unlearned.”

“Evolutionary man does not naturally relish hard work. To keep pace in his life experience with
the impelling demands and the compelling urges of a growing religious experience means
incessant activity in spiritual growth, intellectual expansion, factual enlargement, and social
service. There is no real religion apart from a highly active personality. Therefore do the more
indolent of men often seek to escape the rigors of truly religious activities by a species of
ingenious self-deception through resorting to a retreat to the false shelter of stereotyped
religious doctrines and dogmas. But true religion is alive. Intellectual crystallization of religious
concepts is the equivalent of spiritual death. You cannot conceive of religion without ideas, but
when religion once becomes reduced only to an idea, it is no longer religion; it has become
merely a species of human philosophy.” (Pg. 1120)

Before we move on to the meanings attached to prayer and worship I think everyone should
soon consider the proclamation of John the Baptist when he exhorted mankind to: “Repent for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. It was no passing fancy that we decided to include a
statement on the necessity of getting it right with God before the time runs out on each
individual. In the fourth paragraph of the second page of this report we essentially reiterated
John’s metaphor of: “Flee from the wrath to come” when we quoted a Divine Counselor who
stated that material minds linked to matter cannot survive mortal death. If, in our brief lifetimes
we cannot make the link to spiritual values by placing an emphasis on the transcendence of the
spiritual over the material, we will never be spirit led, subjecting our mortal selves to a singular
existence with absolutely no chance for eternal survival—and according to the Counselor, that’
s it for the secularist—one has to displace the order of importance between the material and
the spiritual. This does not mean we should give up our material pursuits and no longer enjoy
the comforts of a modern society by taking vows of poverty and/or relegating our lifestyles so
as to enter the poor-house, but it does mean that we better soon get it together by recognizing
the significance of a transcendent domain—the spiritual pursuit towards eternity, and the
recognition that God is in charge of everything, in spite of what the ACLU might think. (URI)

TEACHINGS ABOUT PRAYER AND WORSHIP (Pg. 1616)
(Extractions from an evening conference with Jesus on Mount Gerizim chronicled by the Midway
entities on the planet approximately 2,000 years ago)

“Worship—contemplation of the spiritual—must alternate with service, contact with material
reality. Work should alternate with play; religion should be balanced by humor. Profound
philosophy should be relieved by rhythmic poetry. The strain of living—the time tension of
personality—should be relaxed by the restfulness of worship. The feelings of insecurity arising
from the fear of personality isolation in the universe should be antidoted by the faith
contemplation of the Father and by the attempted realization of the Supreme.”

“Prayer is designed to make man less thinking but more realizing; it is not designed to increase
knowledge but rather to expand insight.”

“Worship is intended to anticipate the better life ahead and then to reflect these new spiritual
significances back onto the life which now is. Prayer is spiritually sustaining, but worship is
divinely creative.”

“Worship is the technique of looking to the One for the inspiration of service to the many.
Worship is the yardstick which measures the extent of the soul’s detachment from the material
universe and its simultaneous and secure attachment to the spiritual realities of all creation.”

“Prayer is self-reminding—sublime thinking; worship is self-forgetting—superthinking. Worship
is effortless attention, true and ideal soul rest, a form of restful spiritual exertion.”

Worship is the act of a part identifying itself with the Whole; the finite with the Infinite; the son
with the Father; time in the act of striking step with eternity.

Urantia Readers International (URI) Contact us at Dickziglar@comcast.net
Staff:    Dick Ziglar—President,   Baker Jordan—Vice President,
           Dr. Jeanette Francis—Secretary/Web-Master  Dave Mantz—Treasurer
           Dr. Bruce Thomas—Assist. Vice Pres.  Dr. James Perry—Research Dir.

Website: Urantiareadersintl.com