The Urantia Book, a Review

     THE URANTIA BOOK

The Urantia Book (1955). Chicago, Illinois: Urantia Foundation. 2097 Pages.

Reviewed

 by

 Ozodi Osuji

      An American physician, psychiatrist and surgeon called William Samuel Sadler (1875-1969), upon hearing of Sigmund Freud and his Psychoanalysis, went to Europe to understudy psychoanalysis in 1910. He studied under Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Carl Jung, the three founders of Psychoanalysis (before each went his separate ways). 

     Upon coming back to Chicago in 1911, he began injecting insights from psychoanalysis into his medical practice. The story says that a female patient told him that her husband has a habit that he, as an analyst, ought to explore. The man would go to sleep and in his sleep talk about visitors from celestial regions talking to him.

     Dr. Sadler visited the man and observed what the wife said and began taking notes. Initially, he believed that the man was a medium; during this time in the USA there were mediums everywhere, and he wanted to expose him as a charlatan. Indeed, he even wrote a book debunking mediumship and their claimed spirits talking through them. 

     Apparently, something in this man caught his attention and he kept visiting him. Some claim that if there ever was such a man that he was a relative of “the Kellogg”, the creator of corn flakes; he, Sadler, was married to one of the Kellogg’s women.

     By 1925 he and his wife, also a medical doctor, formed a small group of about thirty people, and they would meet in his house and give him questions and he would take the questions to the sleeping medium and ask him the questions. This way several questions were asked and answered by the folks from the celestial regions.

      Altogether, 196 papers were written from the medium’s answers (the book contains 196 papers, if you like, 196 chapters, arranged into four parts; it is 2097 pages long).

     None of the other members of the group ever got to meet the medium; this gave rise to speculation that Dr. Sadler made the whole thing up.

      By 1935, apparently, they had exhausted their questions and answers and many of the members of the group gradually drifted away; the group was officially disbanded in 1942.

      Dr Sadler edited the 196 books and by 1950 formed the Urantia Foundation to gather people, again, to study the book and publish it. A friend of his put-up the money with which the book was published in 1955. 

     Subsequently, folks meet all over the USA and the entire world to study what the book says. It claims to have clarified what Jesus taught during his earthly sojourn, two thousand years ago.

     The book is a mix of Christianity, Pop History, Anthropology, and Science (science before the 1950s). It reads like science fiction but apparently some folks believe that it is true.

     The book is divided into four parts; part one talked about God and his abode, called The Central Universe, aka Paradise; it described this central universe of universes and what goes on in it in detail; it talked about the Father God, the Universal God and the eternal son of God, and the Spirit Adjuster (the Holy Spirit?), the three Gods in one God, the Holy Trinity,  the Triune of Christian theology.

     God the father is described as Christians normally describe God, as omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent; as having infinite knowledge and power; he is also said to have a personality that although is like ours is more than it etc.

      Surrounding the central universe are many other universes, in concentric circles, the closer ones to paradise are more spiritually enlightened. 

      Our universe is called Nebadon; it contains many stars and planets; our planet earth is called Urantia. The capital of Nebadon is Salvington; the head god of Nebadon is Michael (he incarnated as Jesus). 

     The book talked about the various universes close to God and finally explained how our universe came into being; it engaged in a rather fanciful explanation of planet earth, how it came into being; it talked about the evolution of animals, from single cells to multicellular organisms like human beings and then talked about people spreading to all corners of the earth.

     Whereas the Book accepted Charles Darwin’s notion of evolution of species, from simple to complex organisms, it says that this evolution was guided by the gods (life carriers).  It rejects all notions of accidental evolution of plants, animals and people; it talked about how every step-in evolution was guided by the gods in charge of producing intelligent life on earth. The Book fits nicely into what is these days called Intelligent Design (ID).

     It should be noted that Dr Sadler was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and edited some of its publications. At some point he broke with Ellen White, the founder of that Church, but remained a staunch Christian all his life.

     One can speculate that what the Urantia Book is really all about is Dr. Sadler’s effort to present to himself and to the world what real Christianity means; he rejected what Paul, he said, made of Jesus; Paul, he said, transformed Jesus into Christianity that has no bearing on the struggle by the man Jesus to find his way back to union with God.

        Though Jesus was Michael of Nebadon, a minor son of God heading a universe, he manifested on earth, Urantia, as a full human being and apparently, like all of us, forgot that he was a god and while on earth used his religious faith to find his way back to God. The point been made is that each of us can find his way back to oneness with God.

      The book’s explanation of how people spread around the earth is not like anything they teach you in the contemporary world on the origin of people in Africa, their spread to Eurasia, the Americas and Oceania. You cannot help but say that the writer is engaged in elaborate conjectures. 

      The fourth part of the book is devoted to the history and work of Jesus on earth. It is almost a thousand pages long; it gave elaborations on familiar biblical stories of Jesus and apparently believes that it is giving the reader a more accurate representation of who Jesus was and what he did rather than what the scant four gospels said about him.

      You might say that the section on Jesus is religious or biblical fiction; it is interesting but there is not an iota of proven fact in it. Yet, the various people who came from the celestial world to explain phenomena gave the impression that they were speaking the truth. 

    The book’s description of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is fascinating. Jesus was crucified, ala the New Testament part of the Bible; his body was laid in the sepulcher.  He did not resurrect as we were told that he did.

      Instead, while his body was in the grave, some gods from “Morontia,” unseen by human eyes, came and deployed vibrational energy over the grave and resurrected Jesus and took him out in a different body (a body that he can make to be seen by people or make not seen by people); throughout all these goings-on the guards over the grave did not notice any commotion.

      Later, the same gods came back, lifted away the stone covering the grave, and made Jesus’ body evaporate, dissolve into nothingness.

     Our bodies ordinarily decay into nothingness but does so over billions of years, but the decay of the body of Jesus was accelerated, made to dissolve on Easter morning.

      The resurrected Jesus (in another body) thereafter showed that new body to his disciples, as narrated in the bible; thereafter, he returned to the Central Universe, Paradise, where his father, the Eternal Son of God, welcomed him back; God the father, the universal God, was pleased with him.

     Jesus thereafter joined forces with some of the lower gods working with people on earth and trying to increase their spiritual development.

      The whole story seems incredible. You ask yourself, how do some human beings come up with these elaborate write ups on spirituality that cannot be demonstrated as true?

     The human mind can really make up weird stories; think of the stuff written by Stephen King; Stephen King’s mind makes up those elaborate stories he writes!

     Then think of Jane Robert’s Seth Speaks, Helen Schucman’s A course in Miracles, and Robert Monroe’s out of body journeys, each provided what seems plausible story of the nature of reality except that you cannot prove any of them as true; you are left only one option: believe them on faith or reject them.

     Why should you believe anything on faith? What is in it for you, why should you have faith in an apparent fiction?

       People have a need to believe in God and will believe whoever tells them that he got his story from God and that his story is the most accurate story on God and his creations.

     The Urantia book is worth reading if for nothing else but to kill time immersed in good literature. It is better to read something than to be bored staring at the walls in your house.

       Is the book telling the reader the truth? It did not tell me the truth and I do not know what the truth is. Do you know what is the truth? You don’t know what the truth is; so, let us satisfy ourselves with not knowing rather than tell us elaborate make belief stories and call them the truth.

      Even what science tells us is not the truth; science has a saving grace because it limits itself to physical phenomena; it talks about what all of us can observe, see as there, verify, experiment on and don’t have to argue about what we see.

      However, when you talk about spiritual matters none of us really can prove spiritual matters as real; in not knowing we are open to quacks and charlatans who claim to know but are merely expressing their opinions on God and life after death.

     If you would like to read an interesting opinion on God and Jesus, this book might be good for you to read.

     This does not mean that there is no God or life after our physical death; it means that one must exercise extreme caution in accepting what folks say on that subject.

Ozodi Osuji

September 25, 2022

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