Forever Free

taraI’m delighted for the opportunity to speak on spiritual unity.  I’m a second generation reader but have only recently discovered this Fellowship of Urantia Book believers.  I write this for two purposes:  one, I simply want you to know me; I want to share my feelings and beliefs within a community that is important to me; and two, the concepts of Unity, acceptance and unconditional Love are so dear to me because life has forced me to accept people and situations which don’t seem humanly possible.  My ego wants to resent, fear and condemn.  But with Jesus by my side I am able to Love these people and graciously accept these situations without fear and it is incredible to experience!  I went down a painful path for many years, but that darkness was a Gift because God allowed me to learn lessons of eternal value; it deepened my Faith beyond description and I realized there is no need to fear any path – God is always there.

The path that led me astray was full of mountains and valleys.  During this time I was blessed to become a mother and embraced my role as a homemaker.  But I had given up my own power – I put my life in the hands of man instead of God.  My family worried about me and there were many difficult moments.  But, once I began to pray again God came in to my life in the most magnificent way.  It was a tumultuous and confusing struggle to leave the situation, but now here I am!  God has brought me here to share my lessons and to say that though I “went astray” so to speak, this was the GREATEST GIFT I CAN IMAGINE!   I know God in a deeper way than ever before; my faith is eternal, it’s palpable!  And I have experienced Forgiveness from the Father and my family and friends for my great mistakes, which is an indescribable gift.  The Urantia book says: “…you may rest secure in the eternal assurance that such tribulations are transient afflictions…all things work together for good to all beings who know God, love to do his will, and are ascending Paradiseward according to his eternal plan and divine purpose.”  This applies even to the Lucifer rebellion!  I’m so thankful for that…

I feel compelled to let go of all fear and judgement in my heart about any other belief system, and urge you to join me in releasing every drop of fear we hold in our hearts and embrace the glorious peace which that kind of Faith inspires.  The Love we will feel for all other people will be immense – and this our goal.  This is Unity.

We all make grand claims about what is true.  And daily we ALL fall short of our own ideals in some way, and give glory to God in other ways.  I can never judge another person, for the beams in my own eyes…And I certainly can’t claim the UB sounds any less grandiose than the claims in the Book of Mormon, the Quran, the Bible – the list goes on.  My personal belief is that the Spirit of Truth tries to find its way in to EVERY book, and it is the INDIVIDUAL’S experience with the Spirit of Truth in their own lives which is important.  The UB says, “The great and immediate service of true religion is the establishment of an enduring unity in human experience, a lasting peace and a profound assurance.”

I believe we must have Faith that transcends even our own beliefs.  By this, I mean that even though we believe the UB is true and would improve the lives of every individual, we must have the courage to let go of those expectations and accept with Faith that it’s not imperative that anyone read the UB.  Beliefs are of the mind, Faith is of the Spirit.  We know there is a Living Spirit of Truth!   Jesus said that God will find us where we are.   The Urantia book speaks to my heart and applies to my life.  I am in awe and overwhelmed with gratitude when I read it.  It feels true to me!  For others that will never be the case, but that in no way prevents them from knowing God. And in spirit feelings can we find common ground.  The UB says, “Never can religions of authority come together in unification…the hope of human brotherhood can only be realized…by the unification and ennobling religion of the spirit – the religion of personal spiritual experience….it is not so important that you should know about the fact of God as that you should increasingly grow in ability to feel the presence of God.”  That is Unity.

Should the details of a belief system be important to someone outside that group?  I don’t believe so.  So many of my loved ones are amazing, spiritual people but they would never agree with the UB.  Honestly, does it matter if someone else believes that Lanonandeks are out there assisting in the universe?  It may console our spirits and enlighten our minds, but it does nothing to further our connection to God.  It all sounds pretty wacky to an outsider!  And we must have the courage to accept that and let it go.

I’m reminded of how the apostles would go on to squabble about who would be greatest in the new coming kingdom.  How could they with Jesus right there?!  Then I cringe when I imagine the description of ourselves as seen from above: these mortals were given a Revelation of a Living Truth, that an actual fragment of God was in them, and yet, as their brethren before them, they did not fully grasp the insights given to them and went on to squabble amongst themselves as to who was “right” and attempted to crystalize the truth and limit it to the pages of a book.  With all the divinely inspired books in the world the debate about “trueness” is futile.  All that matters is what is inspired in the hearts and minds of those following any given set of beliefs.  It would be beautiful if we could revel in that, and smile more.  Be of good cheer, as the Master would say.

The Urantia community must bear the Fruits we wish to see in others; we must be an example of acceptance and unconditional Love;   We must embrace and appreciate, as well as transcend, our differences.  We can’t live in Fear! Jesus said to his apostles: “And for a long time there will live on earth those timid, fearful, and hesitant individuals who will prefer thus to secure their religious consolations, even though, in casting their lot with religious authority, they compromise the sovereignty of personality, debase the dignity of self-respect, and utterly surrender the right to participate in that most thrilling and inspiring of all possible human experiences: the personal quest for truth, the exhilaration of facing the perils of intellectual discovery, the determination to explore the realities of personal religious experience, the supreme satisfaction of experiencing the personal triumph of the actual realization of the victory of spiritual faith over intellectual doubt as it is honestly won in the supreme adventure of all human existence – man seeking God, for himself and as himself, and finding him.” [emphasis added!]

What a glorious gift!  What a relief!  We do not have to agree!  We do not need to intellectually understand!  Only to meet in spiritual Unity in our own personal experience with God…the Divine is in us all and that is the way, the truth and the light…Thank you for letting me share what is on my heart and mind.  I hope one day to meet all of you and find Unity in God’s Love together.

“The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you.” – Jesus, The Urantia Book, (155:6.5)

Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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16 thoughts on “Forever Free”

  1. Well said, Tara. Unity in diversity is NOT easy. Tolerance, cooperation and love do not naturally evolve. These things require effort, intelligent, wise and persistent effort. Congratulations on surviving (even benefiting from) the roller coaster ride of younger daze, emerging into the sunlight of God’s goodness and grace.

  2. Hi Tara,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    “Should the details of a belief system be important to someone outside that group? I don’t believe so.”

    Belief systems influence behavior. What if a detail of a belief system includes the veneration of a leader who claims divine (ecclesiastical) authority and uses that claim to abuse his followers? We should just stand back and say “it’s cool, that’s your belief system so I have no right to criticize”? Jesus did not look with approval on such an attitude:

    (1891.1) 173:1.11 This cleansing of the temple discloses the Master’s attitude toward commercializing the practices of religion as well as his detestation of all forms of unfairness and profiteering at the expense of the poor and the unlearned. This episode also demonstrates that Jesus did not look with approval upon the refusal to employ force to protect the majority of any given human group against the unfair and enslaving practices of unjust minorities who may be able to entrench themselves behind political, financial, or ecclesiastical power. Shrewd, wicked, and designing men are not to be permitted to organize themselves for the exploitation and oppression of those who, because of their idealism, are not disposed to resort to force for self-protection or for the furtherance of their laudable life projects.

    1. Hi Richard,

      I can appreciate your input, and sharing that quote definitely brings a sense of obligation to the reader as well. However, we are not Jesus. We are not here to judge men, we are here to share friendship with God. Surely the Master never intended for us to turn up the tables, and establishments of all those that we deem as unjust minorities either. No doubt I error many times in my life, and for that one day I will require mercy, and in anticipation of that I choose to judge and need be error on the side of mercy.

      Do we have an obligation to protect our youth? Absolutely, in my opinion you should share your message ambivalently with those youths parents, and if you have a personal relationship with that youth, then minister personally, but whats missing from your good intentions is the personal ministry to the individual.

      Making valid points online, while not conveying that personal concern is like simply leaving your comments in the suggestion box. If you want something done right, get up and do it, participate, come to these events, meet these young men and women, see for yourself what it’s like to be a young person in these days and times.

      I can see your message making progress, and even encouraging others if you become a second miler… The choice is yours.

      1. Hi Dave,

        We are not expected to suspend all judgement. Obviously, the judgements of men’s souls and true intent is up to God, but that doesn’t mean we give everyone a pass on everything.

        We should judge in the manner that we would wish to be judged, and refrain from attempting to judge unseen or unknowable motivations.

        “And now do I appeal to every one of you: Judge not according to outward appearances but rather judge by the true spirit of these teachings; judge righteously.”

        And how ironic that you would tell me not to judge while judging me. Apparently my efforts aren’t good enough, or fail to qualify me as a “second miler” in your eyes. You don’t know my situation, so please don’t be so unkind as to criticize my efforts as inadequate.

        1. You’re absolutely right Richard, I owe you an apology. I was reacting out of emotion, the very thing I was asking others to be professional about I am guilty of doing. I’ve taken my frustrations out on you, and for that I ask you please accept my apology.

          1. No worries Dave! Of course I accept your apology. I’ve also found this to be an emotional issue, and struggled to stay civil at times.

            At some point I want to try and clarify the whole judgment vs non-judgment thing. The UB sometimes tells us to judge, and sometimes not to judge, so it seems that that there are some things we should judge and other things we shouldn’t. It’s just a matter of figuring out which is which.

        2. Hi Richard! Thank you for your post. I have always felt the need to stand up to injustice; I hear you with regards to your concerns – corrupt governments especially get under my skin! There is something to be said for standing up for what we believe but it can be an overwhelming task. From my experience I have discovered I am not cut out for taking on a whole institution or group; I prefer taking one person at a time; but I still care deeply about how those in a position of power treat those under their authority. It is a heavy duty issue for sure. I was recently reminded to think globally and act locally, which reminds me of a great Plato quote: when Socrates was asked if it was really possible to have his ideal state of perfect Justice, he responded, “In heaven, there is laid up a pattern of it, methinks, which he who desires may behold, and beholding, may set his own house in order…” It’s great advice…

          Your question: what do we judge and what do we not judge? Is such an important question! I really wish we could talk in person, to figure this out together – perhaps one of these days!

  3. 160:4.14.Success may generate courage and promote confidence, but wisdom comes only from the experiences of adjustment to the results of one’s failures. Men who prefer optimistic illusions to reality can never become wise. Only those who face facts and adjust them to ideals can achieve wisdom. Wisdom embraces both the fact and the ideal and therefore saves its devotees from both of those barren extremes of philosophy—the man whose idealism excludes facts and the materialist who is devoid of spiritual outlook. Those timid souls who can only keep up the struggle of life by the aid of continuous false illusions of success are doomed to suffer failure and experience defeat as they ultimately awaken from the dream world of their own imaginations.

    “Only those who face facts and adjust them to ideals can achieve wisdom”. “Wisdom embraces both the fact and the ideal”.

    IE. We need to use both eyes to see reality (material and spiritual).

  4. Laurence, thank you for that post. I suppose that really is the challenge and what we are to strive for…it’s kind of a balancing act – there is so much to learn! I take that kind of advice to heart and will keep it in my prayers. I was reflecting on all the responses and I just had one thing to add. Have any of you seen the movie “Gettysburg” (amazing movie, I highly recommend it!!)? Anyway, there is a scene where one of the sergeants says, “any man who judges but the group is a peawit. You take men one at a time.” It might not sound very eloquent but it’s so charming the way he says it in the movie and it always stuck with me. I feel we need to focus on each individual’s situation. Pray for them as needed, offer advice and service when they are receptive…but I suppose that is also more of my strength, where as taking on a whole group or organization is very daunting to me. I do pray for wisdom that’s for sure. Thank you all for taking the time to read the piece and I look forward to hopefully meeting you, or at least many more good conversations ahead 🙂

  5. Hi Tara I appreciate your warm response. I suspect that a cosmic consciousness is just a matter of taking that loving embrace from the Father, and mixing it with the facts of the 5th epochal revelation. I could be wrong but I have found a plethora of quotes that suggest this in TUB. Obviously we all want a enlightened spiritual consciousness, but just how important do the facts revealed in TUB play into actually evolving our spiritual consciousness?…… Is it even possible to actually cultivate a cosmic consciousness without integrating all the facts?

    1. I don’t know the answers to your questions, but here is something which may be applicable from the UB, paper 112:

      “Accordingly does science give way to philosophy, while philosophy must surrender to the conclusions inherent in genuine spiritual experience. Thinking surrenders to wisdom, and wisdom is lost in enlightened and reflective worship.”

      “Everything nonspiritual in human experience, excepting personality, is a means to an end. Every true relationship of mortal man with other persons – human or divine – is an end in itself”

      I have been thinking a lot lately about how important each of our unique personalities are, how invaluable our unique perspectives are to each of our growing souls and to the slow, but sure, growth of our planetary consciousness. We need all types! The left brains, right brains, cautious, trusting, all these traits and natural inclinations and tendencies of each of our personalities is vital – and our conversations, interactions, our Love for each other, is an end in itself!! that is so awesome to me!

      Much Love, Tara

  6. When I give an introduction to The Urantia Book I always say “There is no human being exalted in connection with this book.” The Celestial Revelators were careful to make sure of that. Great pains were taken throughout the implementation of this amazing revelation to assure that no human being be thought of as enlightened or superior to, or God forbid, part of the writing of this magnificent volume.
    If we were to embrace the Avalon Community we muddy the waters of that commitment to make sure this movement does not become about a person. Already we have the unfortunate experience of finding ‘Gabriel of Urantia’ popping up when someone does a search on the word Urantia. The very thing that we were supposed to avoid is now becoming an issue.
    Do I understand wanting to befriend these young readers from Avalon? Yes, I do. There is an old song that we would sing in church “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love…” I understand that urge to love all people unconditionally and to forgive mistakes. Believe me I have needed that in my own life. However we are talking about an organization, The Fellowship, who has every right to protect themselves from splinter groups that do not align with their mission and in fact go against the very mandates that were initiated and followed when this book started to become manifest to this world.
    Please, I beg any of you who are sympathetic to the urge to be friends with the Avalon members, go and be friends. But please understand the position that The Fellowship is in with regards to this. If you have any respect for this wonderful organization do not try and dismantle it with your love. It’s very similar to what happened 200,000 years ago when Lucifer wanted to make life better for everyone. He was the ‘friend of man and angels’.
    If you don’t understand how progress, revolution, and liberty can be dangerous please listen to the broadcast on the Lucifer Rebellion. It’s of utmost importance to understand what is being said in the book.

    Part 2 is also amazing as it talks about what happens when people elevate themselves to a level where they consider themselves a demi-God.

    There is always two factors at work in the universe, facts and values. To ignore one is to put all of us at great risk.
    The following is from the first radio broadcast where Chris Halvorsen says this: “It’s all important that one soberly recognize that the moment you choose to engage genuine spiritual energy you have to take on the same responsibility that a spirit being has to take on. Because spirit energy is powerful and it can lead you greatly astray. Geometrically astray. So it’s so important to not put the story of the betrayal on high that is so clearly articulated in The Urantia Book off at some remote distance. To think this story does not have any relevance to us today is a mistake. To imagine you have a ‘spiritual consciousness’ and therefore think you could never do anything like– that is simply not true, in fact only people with a spiritual consciousness can do that.
    We have so materialized the notion of the devil/satan/Lucifer that it’s lost it’s recognition of relevance. If all Lucifer had was a material consciousness he wouldn’t have done any of this. It’s only because he had *spiritual consciousness* that he could so deceive himself. He so overwhelmed his critical thinking with the brilliance of spirit luminosity. He became a wash in his spirit self and lost the cosmos, lost his insight. Insight…. Foresight –these are important qualities in those who set themselves up as a leader.
    It bears repeating. Spirit is not innately divine. It’s just an energy.
    Please take the time to review some very important information.

  7. Dear Andrea, I’ve been looking forward to hearing from you, having read some of your posts elsewhere 😉

    Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to write that. That’s very deep and powerful stuff…several people of late have referenced this and I take it to heart. As a high-spirited person, I am reminded to give my will to the Father, so I don’t get too caught up in my own spiritual excitement with out the balance of God’s hand in my decisions. Also, the message of Patience has been so powerful and integral to my life right now, I feel God has spoken through you to remind me of this and I’m very thankful for that. I do look forward to many conversations about these things and more; I am certain there is so much I can learn from you.

    I know you are passionate about discussing these things and I agree, it does no good to push difficult issues under the rug; it can lead to unresolved tension. However, there comes a time to let things go as well.

    I am of the mind that keeping our manners, patience and peace is a good goal – but it is inevitable that emotions will run high at times and passions will get the better of us and we may go over the line occasionally. And just as Dave had the courage to do, a simple recognition of this and an apology goes a long way.

    That being said, I think there is an appropriate time and place for different types of conversations. On public forums, such as this, a certain amount of candor and respect for privacy is important, in my opinion. We must remember that people in other groups are human just like us, with feelings that can be hurt, and a reputation they would like to protect, just as you, Andrea, would like to protect the reputation of The Fellowship. Your example of discretion and respect for diversity, could go a long way. We should be mindful not to slander and spread rumors, even if you believe they are true – it’s not the place. Private blogs, or even better, live conversations, are the appropriate place to hash out these serious and important subjects and questions, especially when our personal opinions are very negative towards another person.

    Since you have brought up Avalon and Gabriel, I will address this briefly. Avalon and Gabriel should not be smeared publicly, period. If you don’t want them presented positively on an associated Fellowship site, that is worth discussing, considering your fear of them, but respect should go both ways.

    One very important, utterly ESSENTIAL, point that is being missed in the (inappropriate) comparison of Gabriel to the Lucifer rebellion is that Lucifer claimed the Eternal Father was a myth! In that one fact, he was compelling individuals to stray from God.

    Gabriel of Avalon says this, “What I have been advocating for more than 20 years, and what is necessary on a worldwide scale, is for people to join the…movement [which] consists of individuals who have come to the realization that they have to obey God over man and trust God over man, trust God over the corporation, trust God over any paycheck anywhere. And they have to seek the Creator’s will, as opposed to their own will or the will of anything or anyone else—including their antiquated religions.” The UB says that ALL things work for good for those who love God – remember, the Good that has come from the Rebellion is now a thousand fold that of any bad which occurred!

    Hello!! What’s to fear??? Gabriel says love God, give it all to God! You may disagree with many other things he says, but what else matters, really, when he says this too? Smile!!! Find joy in this…dear God I pray all of you will release your Fear, your hate, your misplaced judgement! Whew, what a relief!

    Your Faith should free you of any worries of Avalon’s existence, in general, being harmful to the Urantia community. I would guess at least 90% of the population will think the Urantia book is false, dangerous and/or wacky regardless of even knowing whether Gabriel exists or not! Actually, now that I think of it, considering the rising interest in sustainable living, Avalon could actually be an asset to the Fellowship; but that’s not essential, just an idea!

    Our living faith as an example; our deep peace, joy and Love in knowing God; our spiritual interactions with each life we touch will be the greatest influence on what any person will feel toward the book we use as a guide and our community in general.

    I am curious, Andrea, where your fears truly come from and what lesson they are trying to teach you personally, and I pray one day to talk with you in person. I have found that when I feel strong fear, resentment or judgement toward something or someone, this is a good sign for me to reflect within myself to find out what MY issue is! We humans are so apt to project our crap on to others! 😉 Jesus said our Faith will set us free. Free from what? From the fetters of anger, fear, resentment, jealousy, guilt, etc.

    I do believe our community of Urantia book readers, as relatively small as we are, have a great gift in each other. Our unique personalities, our unique relationship with God, gives us each a unique perspective and role to play in sharing the Spirit of Truth and understanding this book, which is so much beyond our understanding – but what a joyous adventure in the attempt!

    In closing, the eternal outlook is that this adversity is a great blessing. The UB says certain lessons of eternal value can ONLY be learned through adversity. So, that eternal view can give us peace. And that peace can help us face the earthly facts with logical minds, but tender hearts as well. In my opinion the best thing to do for someone we think is falling away from God (which can happen in any walk of life) is to pray for them, offer our unconditional Love, and be here for them when they come back and forgive them. That’s the great gift which was given to me…We should offer advice and warning only when they are receptive to it, or else it just pushes them further into the arms of whatever vice they have given their power to – be it drugs, a relationship or whatever myriad of things we find to replace our connection with God.

    One more great Jesus quote, “My people take themselves too seriously; they are just about devoid of an appreciation of humor. The burdensome religion of the Pharisees could never have had origin among a people with a sense of humor…they strain at gnats and swallow camels.” I think we can all learn from this!

    Bless you all; my heart is filled with love for you, and I pray we can work together to find unity with all people and especially those who love God, even though we all falter…

    1. Dear Tara

      I resonate much with your story. I am a 28 year old man who seems to have completed his own major journey out of inner darkness and limitation. May you be blessed with your work. Much love Dylan.

  8. Sharing is God-like Divine


    As sharing is God-like Divine, I’d like to share with you an experience as a follow up to the events that I shared with you previously in regards to darkness and its manifestations almost everywhere.

    A recent experience opened my eyes to how pernicious darkness is and the many ways in which it shows up. In the process of looking at myself earnestly, observing what’s within me as well as observing what’s outside, I began to see how close to home darkness has been in my life.

    With much enthusiasm and a teenager’s joy to see one of my once favorite artists, I attended a drake concert in November. What I thought I would receive was nothing in comparison to what I walked out with.

    Observing from the perspective of wanting to see things for how they really were instead of how I envisioned them to be, or how I used to envision them, this is what I observed:

    Right from the get go, I perceived something I wasn’t prepared for, a first blow to my enthusiasm.
    Like herds of cattle, we rushed into the arena, seeking drinks, food, and as many earthly pleasures that we could add to the list. 10,000 people gathered in an arena not merely to support the image built of a man but to get lost in it.

    The lights, the fog, the music, vanity, pretension, self-importance, fraudulence and ego quickly took us over. Not only did it take us over but we paid (admission price & more) for it to, we asked for it. As a youth I see how easily tricked we can be by giving into the hype of being “famous”, known, “important” and “a somebody”. I had to take a step back as observe how much of this is within me, how much of the desire to “be somebody” ruins any true leadings to be of pure spiritual service? All of the sudden, as if to wake up from a movie I played a role in, I looked around in shock of what I was participating in.

    The experience began to shred the veil I held tightly over my eyes, it uncovered the false perceptions, ideas, and expectations I had of not just an artist, but of music, the generation we live in and all the malevolence of self-importance associated with wanting to be special.

    Curse word after curse word, body language screaming rebellion, resistance, anger, violence, revenge, frustration, confusion, and shameful sexual innuendo’s…the energy in the arena was filled with gloom, and an outcry of unconsciousness. Nevertheless, despite these things coming to mind, I was still seeking to be apart of it, still wanting to be engaged with the crowd and the concert. I watched women yell, rant and rave demeaning lines, men chant words of scorn and all under the veil of “having a good time”. I experienced just how deceptive darkness is, it rides the backs of our weaknesses, and in our own naivety, permeates us like a cancerous poison.

    I had no idea the darkness I was perpetuating. I was not aware of the consequence of my actions but by looking around at masses of my peers dazed and hypnotized by obscurity, I see that I played a role in supporting it and it saddens me deeply. I had no idea the lightlessness I allowed to permeate my mind, my life and my peers by supporting unconsciousness.

    The next morning I awoke with a heaviness that was difficult to shake. I felt a guilty responsibility.

    I observe a permissiveness within that dims and even eradicates the spiritual bravery to stand in alignment with the light. This negligent demeanor dams the courage needed to reject darkness and all of its manifestations. In this we trivialize darkness.

    There’s an over exaggerated lax attitude that we have unhealthily become accustomed to…an attitude that let’s anything pass, let’s everything be permitted, let’s excuses, weak arguments, deception, and ignorance rule, deems error as being ok and no big deal even if we know deep within what’s there. We see the excessive passiveness towards darkness in things like weed smoking, greed, gluttony, bad movies, passions for pleasures, false teachings, idolizing pride and sly over aggrandizing vanity and pretention.

    We shall be aware that the permissiveness we allow to excuse the darkness outside of us is the same permissiveness we will allow to be an excuse for our own darkness.

    May we ask for wisdom, courage and endurance to not merely look at darkness and accept it for what it is but actively counteract it with the light, guidance and diligence manifesting from the Divine Presence within us…all in God, with God & for God and for the spiritual welfare of all.

    This is why I took the action of sharing this with you all.

    – Janelle

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