by Chuck Thurston
Part 1 of 4

 

This post is the first of four, published serially over the course of a few weeks.

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Photo by Chuck Thurston. Fun House Entrance, Burning Man 2015, Carnival of Mirrors.

…There really is a true and genuine inner voice, that “true light which lights every man who comes into the world.” (Paper 101:0.3, page 1104:3)

 

Introduction

The Inner Challenge in our relationship with our divine Thought Adjuster:

Finding the You that is True
Finding the me that is You

…the Adjusters… are of God, and as far as we are able to discern, they are God. (Paper 107:1.2, page 177:3)
Subsequent to mortal fusion the Adjusters share your destiny and experience; they are you. (Paper 110:7.4, page 1212:5)

Do you fully appreciate what has been done for you? Do you comprehend the grandeur of the heights of eternal achievement which are spread out before you? (Paper 40:7.5, page 449:3)

Can you really realize the true significance of the Adjuster’s indwelling? Do you really fathom what it means to have an absolute fragment of the absolute and infinite Deity, the Universal Father, indwelling and fusing with your finite mortal natures? (Paper 107:4.7, page 1181:3)

I expect that very few of us could honestly answer “yes” to these questions! Even so, the contemplation of such an unfathomable cosmic endowment leads naturally to questions like these:

How do we find the safest and most effective path to the fulfillment of these potentials? How can I best attune my inner voice to the leadings of my Thought Adjuster?

The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind. Man’s greatest adventure in the flesh consists in the well-balanced and sane effort to advance the borders of self-consciousness… in a whole-hearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit consciousness. (Paper 196:3.34, page 2097:2)

We know that prayer, worship, and service, guided by the desire to do the Father’s will, are essential for spiritual growth. But what exactly is the Father’s will? And how are we able to know the Father well enough to know his will?

The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God… (Paper 111:5.1, page 1221:2)
This choosing of the Father’s will is the spiritual finding of the spirit Father by mortal man… (Paper 111:5.6, page 1221:7)

This choosing of the Father’s will is the spiritual finding of the spirit Father by mortal man… (Paper 111:5.6, page 1221:7)

If sharing my inner life with the Father is the Father’s will, I can see that this has at least two requirements:

1) An attitude of welcoming acceptance of God’s presence in my inner life

2) Willingness to talk to God, openly and honestly, about all matters of concern

…such choosing raises the creature will… to that higher estate wherein the personality of the creature son communes with the personality of the spirit Father. (Paper 111:5.5, page 1221:6)

Such a creature choice is not a surrender of will. It is a consecration of will, an expansion of will, a glorification of will, a perfecting of will… (Paper 111:5.5, page 1221:6)

Talking to God is an act of will, which I can only accomplish through the exercise of my own inner voice. By implication, these passages are telling us that our human voice, as a result of talking to God, has the potential to become consecrated, expanded, glorified and perfected!

Reaching for our spirit Father with a whole heart enables our ability to find and begin to know him—even now. The sincere decision to approach God in the inner life also provides a unique opportunity to discover ourselves as well, and to know ourselves at our best, both in our self-presentation to the Father and in the aspirations that are inspired by the feeling of his presence. This is an active engagement, and it yields positive results in proportion to effort and sincerity.

(Note: For the purposes of this presentation, the human inner “voice” is meant to include all forms of communication and creative expression, both verbal and non-verbal. We have many ways of expressing ourselves, including through music, art, movement, poetry, etc.)

Originality and Initiative

Our approach to the inner possibility of human-divine engagement is conditioned by our beliefs and expectations about God’s manner of communication with us, and his desires for our growth and development. The authors of The Urantia Book give us important new perspectives on these crucial questions.

For example, if the Father’s desires for our personal development are reflected in the character of his universe plans and purposes, as described in The Urantia Book, what can we learn from these descriptions?

Here’s a Big Clue: The Urantia Book tells us that the guiding priorities for this universe age — the age of the Supreme — are originality and individual initiative.

…during the present age of the unfinished evolution of the Supreme, the Ancients of Days provide the co-ordinated and perfect administrative overcontrol of the evolving universes of time and space.  And the wisdom of originality and the initiative of individuality characterize all the decrees and rulings of the Ancients of Days. (Paper 18:3.9, page 210:3)

Industrialism… should be so carried on as to promote initiative… Society should in every way possible foster originality. (Paper 70:2.18, page 786:9)

Jesus wished to develop spiritual insight into eternal realities and to stimulate initiative in the originality of living… (Paper 140:8.31, page 1583:5)

He exhorted his hearers to strive for originality… (Paper 149:4.4, page 1672:4)

These priorities not only guide the progress of evolution on our planet and throughout our superuniverse, they also provide guidance for the evolution of our inner personal relationship with God. Our personality, which gives us the power of will, and our Adjuster, which gives us the potential for divinity, are both endowed with the original nature of the First Source and Center:

Personality is a unique endowment of original nature… (Paper 16:8.3, page 194:3)

…Thought Adjusters are of the essence of original Deity… (Paper 107:1.1, page 1177:2)

The exercise of our human will, with the intention of doing the Father’s will, joins one with the other. The Urantia Book is offering us a new way of thinking about our partnership with God, especially as it pertains to sonship and the doing of the Father’s will: If we supply the personality initiative, our Adjuster will reward our determination with the potential for true originality.

Our Evolving Approach to God

Our world has a history of epochal revelations that have lifted the human approach to God from fear to love. Machiventa Melchizedek taught faith in place of sacrifice. Jesus shows us that we are the sons and daughters of a loving universal Father whose character is perfectly revealed in Jesus’ combined human-divine nature. The Urantia Book crowns these revelations with the concept of Adjuster attunement.

Prior to The Urantia Book, the human desire for communication with God, if God was believed to be personal, led naturally to the practice of listening for God’s voice as a literal manifestation. The Urantia Book, however, warns us that this is “dangerous ground” (Paper 110:5.5-6, page 1208:4-5), and instead gives us the new idea that God’s presence within our minds is prepersonal.

With the introduction of this concept of prepersonality, The Urantia Book offers a startling new way to think about the Father’s presence within us. This concept is unique to The Urantia Book, as far as I know, and is essential to our understanding of how the Father chooses to present himself to us.

The prepersonal nature of Thought Adjusters suggests that we should be developing our own voices, with an understanding that our personality expression can be guided from within by God’s prewill presence in our hearts and minds.

…This immortal spirit is prepersonal—not a personality, though destined to become a part of the personality of the surviving mortal creature. (Paper 0:5.9.3, page 8:9)

…The Adjuster as a prepersonal creature has premind and prewill. …the Adjuster’s prepersonal will attains to personality expression through your decision… (Paper 110:2.5, page 1205:3)

The revelation of the indwelling presence of our Thought Adjusters, combined with this new concept of prepersonality, provides us with a major “upgrade” in our understanding of how the Father is reaching for us. Just like a major operating system upgrade on a computer, this new understanding offers a functional “platform” for spiritual growth potentials that were previously “unsupported,” conceptually speaking.

The following comparisons are illustrations of what I mean:

Inner Voice 1.0: Pre-Urantia Book approaches to God-consciousness:

– Visions
– Dreams
– Inner Stillness
– Automatic writing
– Listening for voices and messages
– Looking for guidance in signs and leadings

Inner Voice 2.0: Urantia Book approaches to God-consciousness:

– Personal initiative
– Creative originality
– Purposeful thought
– Human-divine collaboration
– I find God by becoming more like him
– I am guided by the feeling of God’s presence

1.0:  God’s voice is separate from my voice
2.0:  God speaks through my voice

1.0:  I listen for God to tell me what to do
2.0:  I exercise initiative and figure out what God wants me to do

1.0:  Attitude of sacrifice—I look for God through self-negation and ego displacement
2.0:  Attitude of faith—I find God through sonship, worship, service, and progressive self-realization

1.0:  God’s will replaces my will
2.0:  The Father’s will is the highest possible expression of my will

1.0:  God speaks as a supernatural voice within the human mind
2.0:  God speaks within the human heart, saying: “this is the way”

“…While the speech of God spoken from the whirlwind was a majestic concept for the day of its utterance, you have already learned that the Father does not thus reveal himself, but rather that he speaks within the human heart as a still, small voice, saying, ‘This is the way; walk therein.’ Do you not comprehend that God dwells within you…”  – Jesus (Paper 148:6.10, page 1664:2)

In this excerpt from his Discourse on Job, Jesus has taken the “still, small voice” phrase from I Kings 19:12 and combined it with “this is the way; walk therein” from Isaiah 30:21. He then adds his own qualification to these older teachings by saying that God’s voice speaks, not within the mind, but within the human heart. This is probably as close as he could come to the concept of a prepersonal spirit presence, given the available teachings that could be found within Hebrew scripture.

In other words, I think Jesus is using the preexisting idea of a “still small voice” for its appealing poetic suggestion of God’s quiet presence within our minds, but not as a literal description of a mental phenomenon.

…in every dark hour, at every crossroad in the forward struggle, the Spirit of Truth will always speak, saying, “This is the way.” (Paper 34:7.8, page 383:2)

Jesus never instructed his Apostles to listen in their minds for an inner voice of non-self origin. But he did say this:

“It is not so important that you should know about the fact of God as that you should increasingly grow in the ability to feel the presence of God.”  – Jesus (Paper 155:6.12, page 1732:5)

The midwayers make it clear that this was equally important for Jesus himself:

…The secret of his unparalleled religious life was this consciousness of the presence of God; and he attained it by intelligent prayer and sincere worship—unbroken communion with God—and not by leadings, voices, visions, or extraordinary religious practices. (Paper 196:0.10, page 2088:5)

To be continued…