“…where two or three believers are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them.”
December 3rd marks my discovery of The Urantia Book 45 years ago. I still take a chunk of the day to reflect on what has happened in my life, since that momentous discovery. It was the beginning of Christmas break at the university I was attending. A friend of my roommate, a total stranger, was in our apartment when I returned from class; we were listening to a radio blurb about some “born-again Christians” who were evangelizing on a San Francisco street corner, and were assaulted for their efforts. I rudely and thoughtlessly expressed my disdain for the Christians. She studied me a moment, and asked me if I had ever heard of The Urantia Book. I had not; she gave me a slight smile and said, “I think you’ll like it.” She said she had a copy down in their van. A moment later I was reading the white paper jacket on a seriously hefty blue book, and not prepared for what happened next.
Spiritual experiences are, for lack of a better word, ineffable.
It took me many months of reflection on just what happened in that moment; how it was possible to hear that spiritual alarm that went off in my . . . head? . . . a foreign sound that was not a sound. A tap on the shoulder of my soul.
December 3rd, 2015 also marks the day my uncle Benny graduated this life to eventually reawaken in a higher plane of existence. But in this life, he was very much an atheist, with an easily aroused loathing and even anger towards the very idea of a God. Yet I tell you he’ll be overwhelmingly surprised someday— not to mention eternally grateful— when he wakes in the next world, to know, and be known, with his very same unique personality housed in a marvelously new and non-material body; to take up life anew in a startling and unimaginable universe of eternal progress and adventure.
Unfortunately, it was simply impossible to even talk to him about such ideas here, in this life, because for whatever reason(s), he was closed to the very notion of eternal life. I point this out because even that sort of intellectual error won’t prevent his re-awakening, and one day, we’ll have that talk we couldn’t have here; but it will be very different.
Still, it’s true: it’s very difficult to adequately explain to anyone, for numerous reasons, just how important the personal discovery of “epochal revelation” can be. At one level, it is the difference between being woke in reality, or being virtually asleep in an automatic dream world. At another, and higher level, it’s the fundamental and genuine awareness of knowing who you are, what you are, where you are, and why you are here; as opposed to not really thinking about any of those questions, let alone the answer to them.
The majority of people on this planet go through their entire lives assuming that the answers to those vital questions can never truly be known, so no reason to labor over them. Their lives are filled with more or less systemic confusion, which manifests itself in every major decision they must make, in every single relationship they have. Death remains a great and increasingly ominous mystery to those who even dare to reflect on their own mortality, and often merely a glib ignorance of the basic nature of reality to those who do not.
But life and death are common daily experiences on our world; new souls coming into it every day, while other souls are constantly leaving their mortal coil behind them as they head into the vast unknown. It’s safe to say that even young adults have experienced a funeral of someone near or dear to them, and likely have been introduced to a newborn child of friends or family. And it is this very commonness of these profound events that often allows us to overlook their cosmic significance in the real experiential wonder of living life as a sentient, spiritual, and potentially eternal being.
So. If you’re open-minded enough to wonder and investigate unknown realities, if you crave to understand the mystery of living and possess genuine intellectual integrity— then this annual plea is for you: read The Urantia Book while you are still on Urantia.
Someday you will be glad— joyful— far beyond words, that you did.