I have concluded after four decades of study that the purported celestial authors of the Urantia Revelation performed a colossal feat: they architected a “co-creative” revelatory scripture for the postmodern world that unifies science, philosophy, history, and religion.
Among the many vital ideas contained in the Urantia Revelation, and the one that has always stood out for me, is its description of the soul’s nature, origin, evolution, and destiny. In particular, The Urantia Book teaches that a “sacred trinity” (a simplifying phrase I have coined) lies at the very heart of the self. This three-fold endowment is the core of our “God-given” human design. It is comprised of the evolving soul, the indwelling spirit, and a“unique personality”—each of them very distinct entities.
Nevertheless, our inner trinity works together as one, not unlike the classic conception of the divine Trinity, which is threefold yet operates as one undivided God. Seen from the human point of view, our evolving soul is the central and most decisive feature of the inner trinity, and its growth is largely under our control because of our precious endowment of free will.
According to the account offered in the Urantia Revelation, our soul is a nonphysical record of the valuable elements of our experience; it is slowly co-created on a daily basis by virtue of transactions within our sacred trinity. In addition, the soul is able to survive death. In fact, it is the only purely personal asset that we possess going forward into eternity, if we choose to go on to the higher realms.
Following the Urantia Revelation, I prefer to describe these domains as a nested hierarchy of “heavenly places.” In actuality, these worlds are increasingly more advanced educational spheres upon which we sojourn in a life of richness beyond any possible description, and during which time we eventually achieve perfection—a status that qualifies us for even more advanced challenges in our eternal life.
Meanwhile, here on earth our chief evolutionary duty, and in fact our highest joy, is to engage in what I like to call “soul synthesis” or “soul-making.” An intermediate step on our way to the far-off goal of ultimate perfection is the soul’s fusion with the other two endowments of the inner trinity: the indwelling spirit of God and the God-given unique personality.
While the eternal Trinity is existentially one, the inner trinity must achieve unity of function by devoted effort and evolutionary experience. Through our achievements, we contribute toward what Teilhard de Chardin called the “omega point”—the far-distant culmination of all of cosmic evolution in its final completion by means of the exhaustion of the realization of all possible experiential values. We are perfectible beings, in other words, but the journey to perfection described in The Urantia Book (or UB) is far, far more complex, engaging, and lengthy than that conceived of in any previous cosmology.
Along the way, the evolutionary import of each of our decisions and each personal experience is, we are told, preserved as our soul by the divine action of our indwelling spirit; all meaningful experience that is based on choosing true values gets incorporated into this “personal container” called the soul as an eternal possession.
Consider the fact that you and I are always in search of more—more truth, more beauty, more love and goodness. Informing and motivating this search is the impulse of evolution, an apt phrase used often by evolutionary thinker Barbara Marx Hubbard. As she would put it, our evolving soul is powered by this all-encompassing urge. She further points out that this very same impulse animates the spacetime universe as a whole.
But this picture of things is not pantheistic—that being the typical metaphysical commitment of so many of today’s evolutionary theorists. It is rather panentheistic in its theology. I conceive of the Divine Person as the transcendent, all-loving, and self-aware Creator who at the same time is a full-time resident in his master universe by virtue of his choice to literally indwell each of us with a pure fragment of Godself. God as Father is the hyper-dimensional “still point” at the eternal source and center of the cosmos, but God as Mother is omnipresent in all points and all dimensions.
Underlying this theology is the claim that our self-system as a whole is a reflection, a true microcosm, of this much greater macrocosm. Our inner trinity blends both evolutionary and eternal realities. It reflects life on an evolving planet as well as attributes stemming from its origin in an eternal central universe, a term soon to be defined in this series of blogs. As you will see, the Urantia Revelation provides a crucial description of the dialectical encounter of eternity and time—if you will, the yin of that which is perfect and the yang of that which is in the process of perfecting. And this is the greatest dance of this universe age.
Ultimately, our progress in soul synthesis, this highly personal act of literally growing or making an immortal soul, depends on our free-will choices within the arena of our mental life—our inspiration and our willingness to evolve upward and inward through states and levels of consciousness, and lines of personal development, as integral theorists would put it. Our crucial work, according to the Urantia text, is the effort to engage in soul-making and eventual self-perfecting by working with the attributes and powers of each aspect of the inner trinity.
In essence, the Urantia Revelation explains the source, growth, and destiny of the soul in terms of our experiential relationship to the unique self and the spirit-self endowment, as chosen in the mind and as worked out in our life experience. Our evolving soul is the ultimate repository of these experiences. The labor of soul-making is the quest to evolve an immortal soul that is rich in quality and broad in extent—an evolving and absolutely unique entity that contributes to the evolution of all other selves and souls, here and throughout the universe, and into an endless future.