One of the more astonishing voids in Christian theology is the abject conceptual poverty and shear lack of knowledge about where God supposedly abides: Paradise. There are just three mentions of Paradise in the Bible, and two of those are actually confused references to other places, while the third is a mere mention of Paradise by Jesus to the thief, while dying on the cross.
That sad historical poverty may explain why there are 2,025 occurrences of the word Paradise in The Urantia Book, many of them in declarative statements about Paradise, like:
PARADISE is the eternal center of the universe of universes and the abiding place of the Universal Father, the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, and their divine coordinates and associates.
The central Isle is the most gigantic organized body of cosmic reality in all the master universe.
Paradise is a material sphere as well as a spiritual abode.
Paradise exists without time and has no location in space.
Roughly: space seemingly originates just below nether Paradise; time just above upper Paradise. Time, as you understand it, is not a feature of Paradise existence, though the citizens of the central Isle are fully conscious of nontime sequence of events. Motion is not inherent on Paradise; it is volitional. But the concept of distance, even absolute distance, has very much meaning as it may be applied to relative locations on Paradise. Paradise is nonspatial; hence its areas are absolute and therefore serviceable in many ways beyond the concept of mortal mind.
Yes indeed; way outside your normal thought neighborhood, I’m betting.
Paradise is the pattern of infinity; and, Paradise is the material fulcrum of infinity; and, The Isle of Paradise is the source and substance of physical gravity; and, The eternal Isle is composed of a homogeneous organization of space potency not to be found elsewhere in all the wide universe of universes.
And especially not found in the gray matter of Homo sapiens. But there is new information about Paradise. It’s a shame most of us have never heard anything remotely correct or even interesting about it. But look, there’s no way to extrapolate some “essence” of or about Paradise; so I’ll let you wrestle with some extensive excerpts, and join you after for some thoughts. Start here:
The material beauty of Paradise consists in the magnificence of its physical perfection; the grandeur of the Isle of God is exhibited in the superb intellectual accomplishments and mind development of its inhabitants; the glory of the central Isle is shown forth in the infinite endowment of divine spirit personality— the light of life. But the depths of the spiritual beauty and the wonders of this magnificent ensemble are utterly beyond the comprehension of the finite mind of material creatures. The glory and spiritual splendor of the divine abode are impossible of mortal comprehension. And Paradise is from eternity; there are neither records nor traditions respecting the origin of this nuclear Isle of Light and Life.
“Eye has not seen nor ear heard,
neither has it entered into the mind of mortal man,
the things which the Universal Father has prepared for those who
survive the life in the flesh on the worlds of time and space.”
On upper Paradise there are three grand spheres of activity, the Deity presence, the Most Holy Sphere, and the Holy Area. The vast region immediately surrounding the presence of the Deities is set aside as the Most Holy Sphere and is reserved for the functions of worship, trinitization, and high spiritual attainment. There are no material structures nor purely intellectual creations in this zone; they could not exist there. It is useless for me to undertake to portray to the human mind the divine nature and the beauteous grandeur of the Most Holy Sphere of Paradise. This realm is wholly spiritual, and you are almost wholly material. A purely spiritual reality is, to a purely material being, apparently nonexistent.
While there are no physical materializations in the area of the Most Holy, there are abundant souvenirs of your material days in the Holy Land sectors¹ and still more in the reminiscent historic areas of peripheral Paradise. The Holy Area, the outlying or residential region, is divided into seven concentric zones. Paradise is sometimes called “the Father’s House” since it is his eternal residence, and these seven zones are often designated “the Father’s Paradise mansions.”
The inner or first zone is occupied by Paradise Citizens² and the natives of Havona who may chance to be dwelling on Paradise. The next or second zone is the residential area of the natives of the seven superuniverses of time and space. This second zone is in part subdivided into seven immense divisions, the Paradise home of the spirit beings and ascendant creatures who hail from the universes of evolutionary progression. Each of these sectors is exclusively dedicated to the welfare and advancement of the personalities of a single superuniverse, but these facilities are almost infinitely beyond the requirements of the present seven superuniverses.
Each of the seven sectors of Paradise is subdivided into residential units suitable for the lodgment headquarters of one billion glorified individual working groups. One thousand of these units constitute a division. One hundred thousand divisions equal one congregation. Ten million congregations constitute an assembly. One billion assemblies make one grand unit. And this ascending series continues through the second grand unit, the third, and so on to the seventh grand unit. And seven of the grand units make up the master units, and seven of the master units constitute a superior unit; and thus by sevens the ascending series expands through the superior, supersuperior, celestial, supercelestial, to the supreme units. But even this does not utilize all the space available. This staggering number of residential designations on Paradise, a number beyond your concept, occupies considerably less than one per cent of the assigned area of the Holy Land. There is still plenty of room for those who are on their way inward, even for those who shall not start the Paradise climb until the times of the eternal future.
The central Isle ends abruptly at the periphery, but its size is so enormous that this terminal angle is relatively indiscernible within any circumscribed area. The peripheral surface of Paradise is occupied, in part, by the landing and dispatching fields for various groups of spirit personalities. Since the nonpervaded-space zones nearly impinge upon the periphery, all personality transports destined to Paradise land in these regions. Neither upper nor nether Paradise is approachable by transport supernaphim or other types of space traversers.
The Seven Master Spirits have their personal seats of power and authority on the seven spheres of the Spirit, which circle about Paradise in the space between the shining orbs of the Son and the inner circuit of the Havona worlds, but they maintain force-focal headquarters on the Paradise periphery. Here the slowly circulating presences of the Seven Supreme Power Directors indicate the location of the seven flash stations for certain Paradise energies going forth to the seven superuniverses.
Here on peripheral Paradise are the enormous historic and prophetic exhibit areas assigned to the Creator Sons, dedicated to the local universes of time and space. There are just seven trillion of these historic reservations now set up or in reserve, but these arrangements all together occupy only about four per cent of that portion of the peripheral area thus assigned. We infer that these vast reserves belong to creations sometime to be situated beyond the borders of the present known and inhabited seven superuniverses.
That portion of Paradise which has been designated for the use of the existing universes is occupied only from one to four per cent, while the area assigned to these activities is at least one million times that actually required for such purposes. Paradise is large enough to accommodate the activities of an almost infinite creation. But a further attempt to visualize to you the glories of Paradise would be futile. You must wait, and ascend while you wait, for truly, “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the mind of mortal man, the things which the Universal Father has prepared for those who survive the life in the flesh on the worlds of time and space.”
Concerning nether Paradise, we know only that which is revealed; personalities do not sojourn there. It has nothing whatever to do with the affairs of spirit intelligences, nor does the Deity Absolute there function. We are informed that all physical-energy and cosmic-force circuits have their origin on nether Paradise, and that it is constituted as follows:
1. Directly underneath the location of the Trinity, in the central portion of nether Paradise, is the unknown and unrevealed Zone of Infinity.
2. This Zone is immediately surrounded by an unnamed area.
3. Occupying the outer margins of the under surface is a region having mainly to do with space potency and force-energy. The activities of this vast elliptical force center are not identifiable with the known functions of any triunity, but the primordial force-charge of space appears to be focalized in this area. This center consists of three concentric elliptical zones: The innermost is the focal point of the force-energy activities of Paradise itself; the outermost may possibly be identified with the functions of the Unqualified Absolute, but we are not certain concerning the space functions of the mid-zone.
The inner zone of this force center seems to act as a gigantic heart whose pulsations direct currents to the outermost borders of physical space. It directs and modifies force-energies but hardly drives them. The reality pressure-presence of this primal force is definitely greater at the north end of the Paradise center than in the southern regions; this is a uniformly registered difference. The mother force of space seems to flow in at the south and out at the north through the operation of some unknown circulatory system which is concerned with the diffusion of this basic form of force-energy. From time to time there are also noted differences in the east-west pressures. The forces emanating from this zone are not responsive to observable physical gravity but are always obedient to Paradise gravity.
The mid-zone of the force center immediately surrounds this area. This mid-zone appears to be static except that it expands and contracts through three cycles of activity. The least of these pulsations is in an east-west direction, the next in a north-south direction, while the greatest fluctuation is in every direction, a generalized expansion and contraction. The function of this mid-area has never been really identified, but it must have something to do with reciprocal adjustment between the inner and the outer zones of the force center. It is believed by many that the mid-zone is the control mechanism of the mid-space or quiet zones which separate the successive space levels of the master universe, but no evidence or revelation confirms this. This inference is derived from the knowledge that this mid-area is in some manner related to the functioning of the nonpervaded-space mechanism of the master universe.
The outer zone is the largest and most active of the three concentric and elliptical belts of unidentified space potential. This area is the site of unimagined activities, the central circuit point of emanations which proceed spaceward in every direction to the outermost borders of the seven superuniverses and on beyond to overspread the enormous and incomprehensible domains of all outer space. This space presence is entirely impersonal notwithstanding that in some undisclosed manner it seems to be indirectly responsive to the will and mandates of the infinite Deities when acting as the Trinity. This is believed to be the central focalization, the Paradise center, of the space presence of the Unqualified Absolute.
All forms of force and all phases of energy seem to be encircuited; they circulate throughout the universes and return by definite routes. But with the emanations of the activated zone of the Unqualified Absolute there appears to be either an outgoing or an incoming— never both simultaneously. This outer zone pulsates in agelong cycles of gigantic proportions. For a little more than one billion Urantia years the space-force of this center is outgoing; then for a similar length of time it will be incoming. And the space-force manifestations of this center are universal; they extend throughout all pervadable space.
All physical force, energy, and matter are one. All force-energy originally proceeded from nether Paradise and will eventually return thereto following the completion of its space circuit. But the energies and material organizations of the universe of universes did not all come from nether Paradise in their present phenomenal states; space is the womb of several forms of matter and prematter. Though the outer zone of the Paradise force center is the source of space-energies, space does not originate there. Space is not force, energy, or power. Nor do the pulsations of this zone account for the respiration of space, but the incoming and outgoing phases of this zone are synchronized with the two-billion-year expansion-contraction cycles of space.
THE UNIQUENESS OF PARADISE
Paradise is unique in that it is the realm of primal origin and the final goal of destiny for all spirit personalities. Although it is true that not all of the lower spirit beings of the local universes are immediately destined to Paradise, Paradise still remains the goal of desire for all supermaterial personalities.
Paradise is the geographic center of infinity; it is not a part of universal creation, not even a real part of the eternal Havona universe. We commonly refer to the central Isle as belonging to the divine universe, but it really does not. Paradise is an eternal and exclusive existence.
In the eternity of the past, when the Universal Father gave infinite personality expression of his spirit self in the being of the Eternal Son, simultaneously he revealed the infinity potential of his nonpersonal self as Paradise. Nonpersonal and nonspiritual Paradise appears to have been the inevitable repercussion to the Father’s will and act which eternalized the Original Son. Thus did the Father project reality in two actual phases— the personal and the nonpersonal, the spiritual and the nonspiritual. The tension between them, in the face of will to action by the Father and the Son, gave existence to the Conjoint Actor and the central universe of material worlds and spiritual beings.
When reality is differentiated into the personal and the nonpersonal (Eternal Son and Paradise), it is hardly proper to call that which is nonpersonal “Deity” unless somehow qualified. The energy and material repercussions of the acts of Deity could hardly be called Deity. Deity may cause much that is not Deity, and Paradise is not Deity; neither is it conscious as mortal man could ever possibly understand such a term.
Paradise is not ancestral to any being or living entity; it is not a creator. Personality and mind-spirit relationships are transmissible, but pattern is not. Patterns are never reflections; they are duplications–reproductions. Paradise is the absolute of patterns; Havona is an exhibit of these potentials in actuality.
God’s residence is central and eternal, glorious and ideal. His home is the beauteous pattern for all universe headquarters worlds; and the central universe of his immediate indwelling is the pattern for all universes in their ideals, organization, and ultimate destiny.
Paradise is the universal headquarters of all personality activities and the source-center of all force-space and energy manifestations. Everything which has been, now is, or is yet to be, has come, now comes, or will come forth from this central abiding place of the eternal Gods. Paradise is the center of all creation, the source of all energies, and the place of primal origin of all personalities.
After all, to mortals the most important thing about eternal Paradise is the fact that this perfect abode of the Universal Father is the real and far-distant destiny of the immortal souls of the mortal and material sons of God, the ascending creatures of the evolutionary worlds of time and space. Every God-knowing mortal who has espoused the career of doing the Father’s will has already embarked upon the long, long Paradise trail of divinity pursuit and perfection attainment. And when such an animal-origin being does stand, as countless numbers now do, before the Gods on Paradise, having ascended from the lowly spheres of space, such an achievement represents the reality of a spiritual transformation bordering on the limits of supremacy.
Well. If you got this far without skipping over this description, you should probably click through to Amazon and order The Urantia Book and begin downloading the whole enchilada into your hard-head.
Paradise is a real place. And the sooner you discover that truth for yourself, the better. And no— no— no— you shouldn’t take anyone else’s word for it; not when you can prove it to yourself with a little hardcore investigation into the wonders of The Urantia Book. Remember: “Only a brave person is willing honestly to admit, and fearlessly to face, what a sincere and logical mind discovers.” If you’ve got a sincere and logical mind— and you can scrape up a modicum of courage— it’s time you helped yourself to some seriously awesome revelation.
¹ “Holy Land sectors” is not explained anywhere in The Urantia Book
² “Paradise citizens” There are resident on Paradise numerous groups of superb beings, the Paradise Citizens. They are not directly concerned with the scheme of perfecting ascending will creatures and are not, therefore, fully revealed to Urantia mortals. There are more than three thousand orders of these supernal intelligences, the last group having been personalized simultaneously with the mandate of the Trinity which promulgated the creative plan of the seven superuniverses of time and space.