Richard S. Omura
What is the purpose of the revelators in bringing us The Urantia Book? On the very first page of the Foreword, it says, “in our endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception…” This is about as close to a purpose statement as any I found in the book. But what does it mean?
What is cosmic consciousness? What is spiritual perception?
The phrase “cosmic consciousness” has been around for a while. It sort of brings to my mind the sixties counter culture movement and the efforts to expand the mind in all its permutations, from psychedelic drugs to meditation to religion to psychotherapy. But I don’t think its very clear to many people as to what it really is. So here’s my two cents in clarifying the phrase.
First, the word cosmic, which is derived from the word cosmos. I am going to use Dictionary.com’s definition of cosmos:
1. The world or universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious system.
2. A complete, orderly, harmonious system.
3. Order; harmony.
1150–1200; Middle English < Greek kósmos order, form, arrangement, the world or universe
So cosmic consciousness would be the consciousness of the orderly, harmonious system of the universe or world. Basically, how the universe is arranged. Since the universe is more than material, cosmic consciousness would entail awareness of more than just physical cosmology. Cosmic consciousness is more than knowledge of the geography of the universe; it is also awareness of the personalities involved. And it is consciousness of the whole, not just one part of the universe. Not just outer space, but also what goes on here on planet Urantia. So, to have cosmic consciousness, one must be aware of ourselves and our part in the bigger picture. In that sense, even knowing how our bodies work and to keep it healthy and a functioning part of society is part of being cosmically consciousness. Any information that adds to our knowledge on how we fit in to the cosmos is part of cosmic consciousness. Even knowledge of what is going on in the world, economically, politically, socially, religiously, would all be a part of this consciousness.
What is spiritual perception? It is perception and understanding of spiritual reality. What is that? What is spirit?
1. The principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
2. The incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.
So according to the above definition, one can say that spiritual reality is the reality of the animating, incorporeal part of humans, i.e. the reality of the spirit.
The Urantia Book tells us what spirit is as in the spirit within us, the adjutant mind spirits, etc. but does not give us a ready made definition of spiritual reality. However, it gives us clues. It tells us that life can be explained in these terms:
(133:5.7) Quantity may be identified as a fact, thus becoming a scientific uniformity. Quality, being a matter of mind interpretation, represents an estimate of values, and must, therefore, remain an experience of the individual.
(7:1.3) Spirit realities respond to the drawing power of the center of spiritual gravity in accordance with their qualitative value, their actual degree of spirit nature. Spirit substance (quality) is just as responsive to spirit gravity as the organized energy of physical matter (quantity) is responsive to physical gravity.
So a better understanding of spirit reality may be had by seeing it as quality. Spiritual perception is the ability to see quality, your personal experience of seeing the intangible values in yourself and other people.
Going by the above, I can now paraphrase the revelators endeavor to say they gave us the book in order to expand our awareness of the universe and to enhance our understanding of the essential qualities and values of life.
That was the revelator’s intention. What is ours?
If it is to help the revelator’s in their endeavor, one must first learn from them. One must gain cosmic consciousness and have spiritual perception, not just by studying the UB but by studying and experiencing all those things the revelator’s incorporated in the book as being essential: science, philosophy, religion, and the disciplines that go with those fields, such as the scientific method, logical thinking, prayer and meditation, exercise, ethics, and healthy living.
There are so many people on this planet that cannot read the Urantia Book. There are over 7 billion people on this planet. How many can read the book? Even those that can read it barely understand it. In evangelizing your true personal religion, (not The Urantia Book religion) one must gauge the capacity of the person you are evangelizing too. Do you just evangelize to those who can read English at a high level and have an interest in the book? How about the rest, the 99.9%? Everybody can benefit from cosmic consciousness and spiritual perception, but only a small fraction can read and understand the book. It is up to us to digest the information in the book and make it our own, so that we can apply it to each individual case as it pertains to their capacity for understanding. One person might benefit from reading the UB, another from reading the Bible, another from reading the Course In Miracles, another from reading Lao Tse, or Emerson, or Shakespeare. Another from learning how to meditate, to be still, to exercise, to playing music, to living healthfully. Or another from just having a friendly voice talk to them and give them encouragement. To evangelize one’s personal religion, the direct and conscious relationship with God, is to share with others the love that you got from that relationship. That is all. If you have such a relationship with God, you cannot help but share that love. If that love is not forthcoming, maybe you don’t have such a relationship and that is what you need to work on. And you can work on it by expanding your cosmic consciousness and enhancing your spiritual perception. The Urantia Book is an inspiration. Rather than to just read it, we can use it as an impetus to learn more about people, the world, and the universe, to keep seeking, within and without. The seeking path can end with the book, or it can begin with the book. Such a journey in such a universe!