Functional Gender Designation in The Urantia Book
By Stuart Kerr III
The Wrightwood Series on Gender ~ June 1995
Sponsored by The Urantia Book Fellowship
Table of Contents
Revelation and Compromise The Universal Father
The Eternal Mother Son
The Infinite Mother Spirit
The Creator Son/Mother Spirit Liaison
The Material Sons and Daughters
The Angelic Hosts
Mortal Ascent and the Supreme Being
The inspired word of the Bible is written in very human language -- this language was inexorably conditioned by the society and culture in which its translation to sacred text took place. The ancient patriarchal traditions which influenced the Bible's origins have served to place cultural limitations and social biases into the gender-exclusive language of its scripture. This resulting gender- biased language permeates present-day Judeo-Christian theology -- it has become the focus of a major communications gender gap in the Christian community. There is a growing desire for developing new modes of thinking, new systems of values, new expressions of spiritual imagery, and these shifts in religious attitude must be inclusive of both male and female spiritual desires.
The concept of a personal God is expansive beyond our finite capabilities to characterize him. Because of our remoteness from the absolute level of consciousness, his infinite nature cannot be captured by our finite level of comprehension -- human language will always prove incapable of fully discovering the inscrutable mystery of the Godhead. Our human language is utterly inadequate for fulfilling this task. From our experiential, finite perspective, we can only perceive the existential, eternity reality of God as a time-space conditioned relativity. Our circumscribed viewpoint, our inability to grasp the concept of unqualified eternity, must be supplemented by the revealed eternity viewpoint.
There is inherent risk in our attempts to reduce the essential nature of God to our finite level of human comprehension. God is ultimately beyond all attempts to categorize him. If we use our understanding of gendered terms to describe God's personal nature, if we use these terms for ascribing to God the human qualities that we understand as masculine and feminine character traits, we are in danger of metaphorically putting the cart before the horse. Rather, we are better served by realizing that the essential nature of humanity is fundamentally dependent upon God as the true First Source and Center of all realities.
If we truly wish to discover the quintessential nature basis that characterizes the mortal estate, if we wish to discover the underlying purpose and design that gives rise to the male and female derivation of human gender, we must first seek for insights into the expansive nature of God that conceptually transcend the level of the finite material mind. We can aspire to this elevated conceptual grasp because we are assured, by faith, that a fragment of this same personal God actually indwells our minds. God partners with us to spiritually elevate our thoughts and desires -- he incessantly inspires us to rise above the mortal estate, to courageously enter into the spiritual "kingdom of heaven," and he himself is the very scaffolding that enables us to achieve this very goal.
The presenters of the papers contained within The Urantia Book have resisted following a revelatory path that completely divorces itself from the traditional language and symbology as embodied by Judeo-Christian theologic conventions. However, in so doing, they have resourcefully decided to infuse these human concepts with new and transcendent functional meanings. By means of theologic compromise and strategic concessions to established norms of terminology, they have maintained a necessary and vital tie to the past.
By deriving gender relationships from higher functional and cosmic patterns, we may begin to understand how men and women are truly complemental to one another by creative design. We can learn much about this creative design by investigating those instances where the revelators of The Urantia Book break the sexual gender convention as in those examples involving the seraphim, cherubim, and sanobim who are personally gendered as positive and negative (see UB: 420, 422, 938), and the midwayers who are differentiated along lines of maleness and femaleness (see UB: 864).
The main thrust of the following investigation is the pursuit of a more comprehensive and transcendent understanding, from a cosmic perspective, of the basic design that establishes the purposed duality of male and female who are regarded as operating on the mating, complemental, or partnership basis. Rather than concentrate on culturally superficial or qualifiedly historical influences on the sexes as they co-exist on our isolated planet, for these influences may vary dramatically on other planets of mortal habitation, I have chosen to pursue cosmic insights into our planet's sexual duality by examining the potent techniques of functional gender terminology as they are practiced by the various presenters of the papers contained within The Urantia Book.
I have come to realize that those proponents who would indiscriminately neuter the sexually descriptive terminology as it is structurally applied throughout The Urantia Bookrun the risk of obscuring and eliminating many subtle levels of cosmic understanding and interpretation. For example, it is understandably awkward for a woman to comprehend the term "sons of God" as entailing a non-sexual, historically functional definition that equates this designation to meaning "those children of inheritance" (e.g., of the kingdom of heaven) -- but there is good theologic precedent for exactly this interpretation. Jesus' usage of this term is consistently inclusive of both men and women -- he did not exclude women from any of his statements when referring to humanity as potential sons of the Father. He did, however, conform to the patriarchal linguistic norms of contemporary Judaic society, but with a crucially astute twist -- he focused his conceptual semantics around the higher idealization of the family: "The family occupied the very center of Jesus' philosophy of life -- here and hereafter. He based his teachings about God on the family....He taught the new and larger brotherhood of man -- the sons of God." [UB: 1581] The apostle Paul very specifically uses the word son in a spiritually functional sense: "And because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father.
"Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." [Ga. 4:6,7] If this term were to be arbitrarily altered to read the "sons and daughters of God", we would lose sight of the functional usage of son as implying spiritual inheritance. This altered phrase could only then be properly understood in the context of an inclusive gendered connotation, and the notion of men and women being spiritual heirs of the kingdom would then have to be indirectly implied.
Many of the following studies are related examinations into the functional arena of divine and temporal relationships. It is hoped that these will shed needed light on the wisdom and skill that the revelators of The Urantia Book have creatively exercised in their efforts to strategically establish this epochal revelation on the world today. It is hoped that the reader will seek for the truth of this matter as well as for the historical facts. We should take heart, for we are told that if we "learn to water the gardens of our hearts" as well as to "seek for the dry sands of knowledge," we can expect to "expand our souls as well as our minds." [UB: 554]
The following study, prepared for the Wrightwood Series Seminars, explores two primary insights:1. The male and female derivations of human gender are truly equal but differential -- hence complemental -- to one another by creative design.
In its full and essential nature, humankind is dually differentiated according to function, awareness, and behavior response. Practically regarded, men and women are representative of "two distinct varieties of the same species living in close and intimate association." Male and female are perfectly equal in mind endowment and spiritual status, but they remain individually supreme in their own personal domains of activity as these are "determined by biologic differentiation and by mental dissimilarity."2. The supreme dependence of men and women on shared co-operation is divinely intended to greatly enhance their mutual potentials for social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth.
The differences of nature, reaction, viewpoint, and thinking between man and woman provide for partnership associations that greatly "multiply functional versatility." This enhancement of possibilities for personal attainment and accomplishment provides a means for overcoming the many inherent limitations incumbent on the imperfect status of finite being. Throughout our ascendent careers, men and women will beneficially cooperate "in the solution of perplexing universe problems and in the overcoming of manifold cosmic difficulties."
Men and women must be encouraged to develop a loving tolerance and understanding for one another, to experientially learn to feel and respect the deepest concerns and aspirations of the other, and to create a culture that promotes new modes of thinking, new systems of values, and new expressions of spiritual imagery that must be inclusive of both male and female spiritual desires.
On this world of mortal habitation, gender characteristics have shaped the conceptual imagery central to religious language -- this custom directly affects the way in which men and women experience their respective existences. For example, the Judeo-Christian tradition has elevated the concept of an exclusively male, patriarchal representation of God as the sole Creator of the heavens. This tradition has permeated present-day theology, bringing about a corresponding repression of feminine imagery of the divine roles of worship. Judeo-Christian doctrine has shaped the traditional cultural images that have been perceived by women as degrading and suppressing -- this tradition has served to alienate women from mainstream religion. This same tradition has also served to estrange men from cultivating those acquired maternal skills that would help them to foster a more balanced personality.
Western religion tends to designate God with masculine titles far more than it ever uses feminine titles. Using masculine terms like He or Father to refer to God has evolved to its present usage as a natural extension of a religion born of a society where men were the traditional ruling class, educators, and leaders. Today, we are beginning to realize that if you think of God only as Father, you have an inadequate notion of God.
Many women very naturally desire to cultivate and formulate new identities and ideologies in light of emerging new revelations. They seek to engender a more holistic image and an expanded understanding of the meaning of life. They seek full equality and dignity for their concerns in every aspect of life -- in religion, ideology, and identity, as well as in the more practical social and cultural spheres of private and public life. They search for methods by which patriarchal religion might be reshaped to overcome its inherently unjust and often debilitating effects on women. Their task is to find spiritual imagery that transcends gender- specific capacities and awareness.
Historically, certain enlightened individuals within the feminist movement have come to believe that the Bible itself was not necessarily the primary source of women's oppression. 1 The real problem was more directly attributed to the bias of male translators and interpreters. Subsequent efforts therefore concentrated on reinterpreting the Bible. This approach opened up the possibility of providing a focus on the human element in biblical texts, on questions of authorship and historical development, and on literary aspects of the Bible. It was believed that the Bible should be investigated like any other historical document and then interpreted on the basis of the evidence.
[1 "Feminist Interpretations of the Bible: Then and Now" Pamela J. Milne, Bible Review, October, 1992]
The Bible itself is certainly not void of positively reinforcing statements. These can ultimately provide powerful sources of self- affirmation for women in their search for a natural ground in the cosmic scheme of things. One of the most powerful affirmations of woman's integral role in God's creation is stated quite plainly at the beginning of the very first page of the Old Testament: "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them." (Ge. 1:27) Woman is, along with man, the direct and intentional creation of God and the crown of his creation; man and woman were made for each other by divine purpose. Together, they constitute humankind, which is, in its full and essential nature, dually gendered: "Male and female are, practically regarded, two distinct varieties of the same species living in close and intimate association." [UB: 938]
Compared to the Old Testament, the New Testament represents a major advancement in theological thinking and presentation. Here we have an example of a critical paradigm shift in the manner in which men and women are regarded respecting their mutual purposes and destinies. The role that women play in this new scheme of things, though far from ideal, represented a major advancement in a culture that was previously immersed in the theology and ethics embodied within the central core of the Old Testament.
Jesus himself was particularly quite positive in his attitudes towards women. He freely conversed with them, assigned them key roles in his public ministry, and numbered them among his friends and close followers. Jesus strove to present women as complete human beings, in all ways spiritually equal to men. This attitude was truly revolutionary for his time, and it consequently became a source of much of his ministerial difficulties and instructional rejection by the leaders of the old vanguard, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. "Before the teachings of Jesus which culminated in Pentecost, women had little or no spiritual standing in the tenets of the older religions. After Pentecost, in the brotherhood of the kingdom woman stood before God on an equality with man. Among the one hundred and twenty who received this special visitation of the spirit were many of the women disciples, and they shared these blessings equally with the men believers." [UB: 2065]
Even the apostle Paul, who has inherited an unsavory reputation regarding his attitudes towards women, still possessed the positive frame of mind to make some remarkably powerful statements about the spiritual equality of women: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Jesus Christ." [Ga. 3:28] God is beyond gender; our conception of God is intuited from God's own revelation of himself. However, we develop an inadequate understanding of the true nature of our relationship to a personal God because we participate in this relationship as sexually gendered persons -- we have difficulty in separating our own finite natures from God's eternal nature. We tend to anthropomorphize God in our own image.
Paul has been routinely castigated for his avowed subordination of women. In all fairness to his detractors, Paul did erroneously understand women as occupying a distinctly subordinate role in society -- but this biased assessment of his was in harmony with the social norms and the historical context of his culture. As a result of recent investigations by scholars of the New Testament, opinions are being formulated that cast Paul in a relatively more sensitive light.2 His views are being re-evaluated as being well ahead of his times. He is being recognized for his willingness to work closely with women and for his habit of regularly extolling their spiritual virtues within the framework of the embryonic churches that were emerging throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Taking into account the patriarchal environment affecting the culture and religion of his times, Paul's expressed views on the spiritual equality of women were decidedly radical and progressive. Men and women were enforced to build their relationships on a foundation of mutuality and love. There is put forward an insistent degree of reciprocity between men and women. By virtue of their baptism into the Church, women obtained a new standing of equality. Men and women stood before God in the same relation; both are born into sin, but with the identical opportunity for salvation.
Revelation and Compromise
The revelators of The Urantia Book plainly acknowledge that every divine revelation of truth strives for an appropriate and adequate symbolism within which to frame new and expanding ideas, ideals, and loyalties: "We are fully cognizant of the difficulties of our assignment; we recognize the impossibility of fully translating the language of the concepts of divinity and eternity into the symbols of the language of the finite concepts of the human mind." [UB: 17] This developing symbolism must co-evolve with the practiced enhancement of religious living and spiritual experience that is generated by this potent infusion of revelation. Unfortunately, the social impact of a major new revelation is often compromised by having to make costly concessions to the established norms and practices of the preceding religious and moral establishment. Even such a divine revelation as is presented in The Urantia Book must necessarily submit "to the graduated control of evolution." [UB: 984]
The Urantia Book itself poses a theologic compromise by supporting a continuity of male-gender-oriented language in its presentation of the elevated concepts of God's eternal purpose for creation and the perfecting harmony within this cosmic arena of time and space. Acknowledging this, we can be relatively assured that this approach was permitted "...for the sake of the safe transit of moral values from one epoch to another...all the while seeking to translate from one generation to another the imperishable values of the old and passing forms into the new and therefore less stabilized patterns of thought and conduct." [UB: 1255] Humankind is involved in an agelong struggle to elevate the planetary status of mortal dwelling. This effort requires constant struggles, appraisals, and readjustments that are necessary for a smooth transition from the "sheltered bays of established tradition" to the "high seas of evolutionary destiny."
A key function of an established religion during these trying times is to provide a critical degree of traditional stability and religious guidance: "The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civilization to another, from one level of culture to another." [UB: 1086] In the times of Melchizedek's covenant with Abraham regarding the promotional concept of one God as universal Deity "...there was always the tendency for the new doctrine to become absorbed into the older body of religious teaching and magical practice. A new revelation is always contaminated by the older evolutionary techniques." [UB: 1022] This awareness, though, should not necessarily motivate us to completely disregard established conventions and beliefs -- too radical a break with cultural and religious tradition supplies its own dangers and pitfalls. There always lurks the recognized threat of subsequent cultural breakdown that accompanies each "...transition from the established methods of the past to those new and better, but untried, procedures of the future." [UB: 911]
Other examples are presented in The Urantia Book to illustrate the process by which a new theology inevitably yields, in some degree, to an older and more established religion in order to salvage its higher values of moral thought and spiritual insight. In the life and teachings of Jesus, we are taught that we are the children of God, and this acknowledgement thereby establishes the ultimate reality of the "brotherhood of man." Over time, this revelation became subtly couched within the concept of "the kingdom of heaven" as a concession to those listeners of Jesus' message who were immobilized by their limited understanding of divine purposes and relationships. These potential followers could more easily understand the idea of God and his universe in terms of a heavenly kingdom -many of them lived out their lives under the auspices of a temporal king. "At the time Jesus lived on earth and taught in the flesh, the people of Urantia knew mostly of kings and emperors in the governments of nations, and the Jews had long contemplated the coming of the kingdom of God. For these and other reasons, the Master thought best to designate the spiritual brotherhood as the Father in heaven." [UB: 1855] Jesus himself could not fully escape the persistent expectations for the coming Messiah that occupied the thoughts and aspirations of his followers.
The core of Jesus' mission was integrally influenced by his compromise to acknowledge for himself the titles of the Son of Man and the Son of God. This theologic concession eventually helped to bring about the submersion of the religion of Jesus into a religion about Jesus, a religion that embodies the: "...mystic conception of the person of Jesus as the Redeemer- Creator and spiritual head of a socialized religious community. In this way a formal and instiutional church became the substitute for the individually spirit-led brotherhood of the kingdom." [UB: 1864] Even Jesus' apostles found it both necessary and prudent to offer concessions to the followers of John the Baptist, under the leadership of Abner, as the price for continued unity. By accepting the practice of baptism into their mutual ministry to the common people, the apostles were able to secure the good will and devoted efforts of these fervent followers of the Baptist.
This concession was relatively minor considering that: "John's followers, in joining Jesus' followers, gave up just about everything except water baptism." [UB: 1626] The real religion of Jesus awaits a new revolutionary rebirth -- it is ready to resurrect itself from the shell of institutionalized Christianity which, admittedly, is heavily oriented towards a patriarchal mind-set and language. If The Urantia Book is to lend support to the resurrection of the true religion of Jesus, it will need to be mindful of its cautious reminder to respectfully consider the true potentials that are currently lying dormant within traditional Christianity: "Christianity contains enough of Jesus' teachings to immortalize it." [UB: 2086] We should try to gain insights into these recorded accounts of theologic compromises and concessions that have influenced attempts at revealing higher levels of thought and more progressive ideals for living the perfecting life.
If we are successful, we may be in a position to be more sympathetic to the final decision of the revelators of the papers within The Urantia Book to choose our traditional conventions of gender-oriented terminology in their attempts to explain functional personality relationships -- both divine and temporal. They purposefully chose to do so to make the complicated intricacies regarding the portrayal of these relationships more effectively understandable to a planet of sex creatures.
In addition, they shrewdly provide us with new and transcendent meanings for their chosen "sex gender" designations. For example, although a case could be reasonably presented for naming the personality of the First Source and Center the Universal Father, there is much that can be learned from the functional ramifications engendered by naming the personality of the Second Source and Center as the Original Mother Son (see UB: 76:1, 79:5, 87:3, 88:5). On first reading, this appellation of the Eternal Son appears to be inherently paradoxical; but if one approaches this gender terminology in a functional and transcendent sense, as opposed to a derivative and directly sexual/material sense, great insights abound.
In our attempt to comprehend the revelatory disclosures contained within The Urantia Book, we are admonished to recognize the conceptual forest before we attempt to distinguish between the individual and derivative trees. God's eternal purpose for his creation, which includes men and women as integral participants, is presented in The Urantia Book by beginning with the nature of God himself first and foremost. The subsequent papers proceed from this apex of revealed divinity to progressively more derivative revealment into the experiential levels of reality that progressively rely more and more on God as their existential ground. The Urantia Book is purposely structured to reveal the foundation of God's existential basis, and then to proceed from this existential foundation to progressively more derivative and dependent relationships: "In such a far-flung universe there is always great danger of succumbing to the error of the circumscribed viewpoint, to the evil inherently in a segmentalized conception of reality and divinity.
"For example: the human mind would ordinarily crave to approach the cosmic philosophy portrayed in these revelations by proceeding from the simple and the finite to the complex and the infinite, from human origins to divine destinies. But that path does not lead to spiritual wisdom.
Such a procedure is the easiest path to a certain form of genetic knowledge, but at best it can only reveal man's origin; it reveals little or nothing about his divine destiny." [UB: 215]
The Universal Father
"When you have once become truly God-conscious, after you really discover the majestic Creator and begin to experience the realization of the indwelling presence of the divine controller, then, in accordance with the manner and method by which the divine Sons reveal God, you will find a name for the Universal Father which will be adequately expressive of your concept of the First Source and Center." [UB: 22] The Urantia Book very clearly states that the First Source and Center has never revealed himself by name. However, considering that we are a planet of sex creatures and that we have good reason to believe that we are children of this personal Creator, the chosen term Father is a very expressive and appropriate name for God: "But this is the name of our own choosing, and it grows out of the recognition of our personal relationship with the First Source and Center." [UB: 22]
The personalization of God as Father has an immediate appeal to the parental instincts of humanity; that phase of the infinite God that we have come to know as Father is experientially real and personally meaningful to us in our life experiences as members within the human family -- both as children and as parents: "First and last -- eternally -- the infinite God is a Father. Of all the possible titles by which he might appropriately be known, I [a Divine Counselor of Uversa] have been instructed to portray the God of all creation as the Universal Father." [UB: 59] God as Father is that aspect of infinite Deity that is experientially real to mortal beings as a personal reality. Still, we should strive to understand the term Father in its largest possible sense - we should strive to transcend the human concept of the divine Father as he becomes known during the course of mortal existence in order to reach a higher level of comprehension of that same God who is expansive beyond the Father concept. We are told that the word God itself cannot adequately be conveyed to finite creatures in its full capacity to represent the infinite concept of existential Deity.
Beyond the designation of Father, the best that can be achieved for giving us a flavor of the essential nature of infinite Deity is theorized in the hypothetical concept of the I AM: "The I AM ever remains as our hypothesis of all that we feel is knowable of the First Source and Center. And even that hypothesis probably falls short of the unfathomed infinity of original reality." [UB: 1153] As revealed by The Urantia Book, in conceptual wording suitable for time-space conditioned beings, the Father I AM breaks free from his eternity confinement by the exercise of his absolute free will, thus achieving Deity liberation from the fetters of unqualified infinity. This primal act repercusses in an infinity that is now dynamic, and this produces a coordinated divinity-tension in conjunction with the static infinity of the original unqualified absolute. The I AM, as the stasis or self-relationship of infinity, as the eternal fact and universal truth of infinite reality, as the unity of unqualified infinity, upholds this divinity-tension by his eternity act of free will. Through this relationship of the original I AM to his free will act of eternity, the I AM becomes discernible as free-willed personality; he reveals himself as the divine creator of all personality. Through this primal free will act, the original I AM creates room within all-encompassing infinity for finite creatures to coexist.
The Urantia Book proceeds to elucidate many revealing reality functions that ultimately rely on this expanded concept of the Father-I AM as the essential and primal source and center of functional unity (UB: 1147). These cosmic aspects of the Universal Father encompass both personal/spiritual and nonpersonal/material Deity functions:
Essence of Infinity
At the level of Deity, personality implies identity, self- consciousness, self-will, and possibility for self-revelation. It is by virtue of these characteristics that the Universal Father is revealed, that the possibility for fellowship with other and equal personalities is enacted. Even though the perfect unity of the Father is characterized by an all-pervading unity of Being, the indivisibility of his personality does not interfere with his capacity to be a Father to other self-willed personalities, divine or human: "In the worshipful experience of the personal contact of every worshipping personality throughout the master universe, God is one; and that unified and personal Deity is our Paradise parent, God the Father, the bestower, conservator, and Father of all personalities from mortal man on the inhabited worlds to the Eternal Son on the central Isle of Light." [UB: 640] Regarding other inhabited worlds, we are given a glimpse as to alternative designations for God which are also expressive of personal concepts of the First Source and Center. These representative examples are presented to us in variations of the Lord's Prayer as it has become known on other worlds within our local universe. Notice that there is practiced subtle variations on the Father theme that are family oriented and, in one example, gender-inclusive:
Echoing this last designation for God, even the Judaic tradition, into which the child Jesus was born and raised, speaks of the God of Israel as possessing both paternal and maternal qualities: "The Most High is like a loving father and mother; he really loves us, his children on earth." [UB: 1443] Considering that the progressive epochal revelations to this planet have primarily worked with a developing concept of God as designated by the term Father, we might reasonably conjecture that this evolutionary tradition has had an inceptional basis from our historical past; our evolved choice to call God Father may have been quite naturally derived from our planetary experiences with this personal aspect of the First Source and Center, especially as this relationship has been intrinsically peculiar to our own planet and circumstances. If this is so, it reveals much about what constitutes the foundational characteristics of present day culture and civilization on Urantia.
In our efforts to understand the nature of God as Father, it might be instructive to learn that we will eventually and progressively learn to recognize seven fathers along our ascension pilgrimage to find the Paradise Father (UB: 587):
As we begin our lives as mortal children on an inhabited material world, we acquire our first impression of the universe from the maternal care of our earthly mother. We eventually derive our first conception of the Universal Father from the qualities possessed by our earthly father. These profound and personal insights into God's Fatherhood allow us to better understand what human fatherhood truly is because we will have learned that this divine truth precedes and grounds the human truth.
If we truly wish to discover the personal nature of the Universal Father, who better to turn to for enlightenment than his bestowed Son to this world. Jesus' primary mission for living out his life on this world as a human mortal was to reveal this selfsame Father to mankind. He carried out this exquisite achievement by actually living his life as the personal manifestation of the perfect love of the Father. It was the very life of Jesus, and not necessarily his teachings, that best revealed the Father's divine character and loving personality: "His teaching regarding the Father all centered in the declaration that he and the Father are one; that he who has seen the Son has seen the Father; that the Father, like the Son, knows all things, that only the Son really knows the Father, and he to whom the Son shall reveal him; that he who knows the Son knows also the Father; and that the Father sent him into the world to reveal their combined natures and to show forth their conjoint work." [UB:1855]
When speaking to his followers, Jesus would always refer to the concept of Deity as either God or Father. For the purposes of describing the transcendent and abstract nature of infinite Deity, Jesus would apply the word God. If he made any reference to Deity that touched upon the personal nature of God, he would choose the term Father -- this was the appropriate term for Jesus that best described his own personal experience with the First Source and Center. Jesus expanded the traditional concept of God as Father by exalting and elevating this tradition to include the sublime experience that God personally reveals himself to every mortal willing to become a child of this Father of love: "The God of universes rules the far-flung creation, but it is the Father in heaven who sends forth his spirit to dwell within your minds." [UB: 1857]
Jesus exhorted his apostles to listen to his teachings regarding the Father with a spiritual ear. God the Father is a spiritual being -- the fatherhead of the spiritual kingdom is an infinite and eternal spirit and they, the apostles, are spiritual children in the spirit family of heaven: "Will you not allow me to use the earth family as an illustration of divine relationships without so literally applying my teachings to material affairs?" [UB: 1605] The kingdom of heaven is a divine family with the Universal Father as the "universally recognized and unreservedly worshiped center and head of this far-flung brotherhood of intelligent beings." [UB: 1676] This spiritual kingdom begins with and centers in "the dual concept of the truth of the fatherhood of God and the correlated fact of the brotherhood of man." [UB: 1859]
Between man and God there exists a truly intimate and living relationship that is based on real Father-child affection. This Creator-creature relationship is a uniquely real experience in cosmic sociology. Even the child Jesus knew this as an experiential fact -- he affirmed this truth to his earthly father Joseph when he gave testimony that "the heavenly Father cannot love his children less than you love me." [UB: 1378] As a human father loves his children with the truest and most real affection, the Universal Father can do no less. We are incapable of comprehending his infinite love and sympathy for his spiritually immature and erring children, but we can discover with the certainty of experience that "the Universal Father loves and forever seeks the welfare of his created sons and daughters." [UB: 40]
This love is assured by the supernal fact that this same Father actually sends a fragment of himself to live in the minds of his children: "A part of every father lives in the child. The father enjoys priority and superiority of understanding in all matters connected with the child-parent relationship...with the earthly child and the heavenly Father, the divine parent possesses infinity and divinity of sympathy and capacity for loving understanding." [UB: 1898] Special importance should be attributed to the fact that the very last sentence contained within The Urantia Book makes special reference to the fatherly nature of God -- the very last thought continued within this, the fifth and most recent epochal revelation to mankind, makes it clearly understood that: "When all is said and done, the Father idea is still the highest concept of God." [UB: 2097]
The Eternal Mother Son
"As love is comprehended on a sex planet, the love of God is more comparable to the love of a father while the love of the Eternal Son is more like the affection of a mother. Crude, indeed, are such illustrations, but I [a Divine Counselor] employ them in the hope of conveying to the human mind the thought that there is a difference, not in divine content but in quality and technique of expression, between the love of the Father and the love of the Son." [UB: 76:1] Being personal, God reveals himself to his self-willed creation as the divine Father of all personality; the absolute truth of this revelation of God as Father rests in the absolute person of the Eternal Son. This primal relationship of Father and Son provides the necessary foundation for finite creatures such as ourselves to co-exist and to equally partake of the Fatherhood of God: "The Son is naturally endowed with the life of the Father. Having been endowed with the living spirit of the Father, you are therefore sons of God. You survive your life in the material world of the flesh because you are identified with the Father's living spirit, the gift of eternal life." [UB: 1642] The truth that the I AM is Father to the Eternal Son brings into being the personality relationships of all actualized beings: "The absolute personality of the Son makes absolute the fact of God's fatherhood and establishes the potential sonship of all personalities.
This relationship establishes the personality of the Infinite and consummates its spiritual revelation in the personality of the Original Son." [UB: 1154] At the same time, the Father-I AM is one with the Eternal Son because the divine nature that each possesses is eternal. The Son is uncreated, eternal, equally God: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." [Jn. 1:1] The Son shares with the Father his divine character of Deity, for they are forever and inseparably one personal unity of universe presence; and it is by virtue of this mutual omnipresence that all creation rests upon the everywhere active presence of the divine spirit of the Eternal Son. The spirit of the Father is eternally resident in the spirit of his Son, but the Son alone perfectly personalizes the Father's love and mercy.
To the universes of creation, the Son is the living revelation of his loving Father: "As God is love, so the Son is mercy. The Son cannot love more than the Father, but he can show mercy to creatures in one additional way, for he is not only a creator like the Father, but he is also the Eternal Son of that same Father thereby sharing in the sonship experience of all other sons of the Universal Father." [UB: 75] Along with this revelation of the Eternal Son, The Urantia Book introduces for the first time a divine derivation of a feminine- gendered basis of Deity function. The divine concept of the Original Mother Son as presented within The Urantia Book represents a clear break from the patriarchy of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Here we have presented a reality of personal Deity that is definitely flavored by maternal divinity and colored by the warmth of loving mercy:
"Concerning identity, nature, and other attributes of personality, the Eternal Son is the full equal, the perfect complement, and the eternal counterpart of the Universal Father. In the same sense that God is the Universal Father, the Son is the Universal Mother. And all of us, high and low, constitute their universal family." [UB: 79] The Universal Father controls and regulates his creation through the downstepping administration of his descending Sons. This unbroken chain of authority extends downward from Paradise throughout all the levels of his superuniverse domains, starting with the Paradise Sons and ending with the Planetary Princes who carry the responsibility for directing the destinies of the evolutionary spheres. Even though the Paradise Sons are scattered throughout the grand universe, they always maintain a direct and exclusive channel of communication with the Original Mother Son: "All Sons of God who take origin in the persons of the Paradise Deities are in direct and constant communication with the Eternal Mother Son." [UB: 88]
The Infinite Mother Spirit
"The Father in heaven treats the Spirit Mother of the children of the universe as one equal to himself...the Father in heaven honors and exalts the Infinite Spirit, the mother of all the spirit children of a vast universe." [UB: 1471] As the I AM is one with the Eternal Mother Son, this fortuitous union consummates in the appearance of the third person of Deity, the Infinite Mother Spirit. The first act of the Mother Spirit is the inspection and recognition of her divine parents, the Father- Father and the Mother-Son.
This presented sequence of eternity events sets the stage for the Creator prerogatives of the Father, who, in liaison with the Son and Spirit, initiates the evolutionary momentum of time and space: "Therefore is divine creativity unfailingly characterized by unity, and this unity is the outward reflection of the absolute oneness of the duality of the Father-Son and of the Trinity of the Father- Son-Spirit." [UB: 1154] The Father-I Am and the Eternal Mother Son love one another with an eternally boundless love, a love that is personal and living as are the Father and the Son. This personal love proceeding from the Father and the Son is fully embodied in the eternal persona of the Infinite Mother Spirit. She is the third person of the Trinity; she is not created; she is a person co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son. The Infinite Mother Spirit, acting as the Conjoint Creator with the Father-Son union, is the universal and divine minister of the Son's mercy and the Father's love to all created personalities. She is sincerely "...devoted to the task of fostering the ascension of the material creatures to higher and higher levels of spiritual attainment." [UB: 94]
"God the Father loves men; God the Son serves men; God the Spirit inspires the children of the universe to the ever-ascending adventure of finding God the Father by the ways ordained by God the Sons through the ministry of the grace of God the Spirit." [UB: 53] The Infinite Mother Spirit is also the co-operative universal coordinator of creation; she is the coordinator of all actual reality; she is the unifier of the manifold energies and diverse creations which have appeared in consequence of the divine plan and eternal purpose of the Universal Father. As intuitive Being, the Spirit Mother maintains, strengthens, and, where needed, restores the deified Being of the Trinity with nondeified creation, a unity which is constantly threatened. The unity which the Spirit Mother imparts is of a higher unity than would have been possible had the I AM never moved out of primordial Being, for the unity which the Spirit builds is a unity of freedom, a unity comprehending a diversity of free and responsible beings. The Spirit Mother maintains the unity of creation.
As the living revelation of God, the Infinite Mother Spirit is responsive to all things, meanings, and values; she is coordinative of all energies, minds, and spirits. She operates not only on the deified spirit realities centered in the Son, but she also manipulates the undeified non-spirit forces and energies of the created universes, thus bringing into existence the universal and absolute mind.
Mind is the functional endowment of the Infinite Mother Spirit, and it is by the technique of mind that the spiritual and material universe manifestations of the original Creator personality, the I AM, are inevitably unified. The primal free will act of the Father- I Am eternalizes the dual expression of his Deity equal, the Eternal Mother Son, and of the antipodal non-spiritual material realities of creation. The Infinite Mother Spirit, by virtue of mind, is the indispensable coordinator of both these spiritual and material realities.
The Paradise liaison of the Universal Father and the Eternal Mother Son brought about the perfect creation of Havona, the first and central universe. As coordinate Paradise personalities, the Eternal Mother Son and the Infinite Mother Spirit (functioning as Conjoint Actor) work together in divine partnership for the creation of all post-Havona universes: "The Spirit sustains the same personal relation to the Son in all subsequent creation that the Son sustains to the Father in the first and central creation." [UB: 93] The Infinite Mother Spirit, along with the supreme spirit groups, is partaker in the creation of "...the vast creature family of the Third Source and Center. All orders of the ministering spirits spring from this association." [UB: 205] The Spirit is the original and eternal mother of all her ministering angelic daughters: "Nevertheless, in dealing with sex creatures it is our custom to speak of those beings of more direct descent from the Father and the Son as the sons of God, while referring to the children of the Spirit as the daughters of God. Angels are, therefore, commonly designated by feminine pronouns on the sex planets." [UB: 419]
The Creator Son/Mother Spirit Liaison
"At the head of all personality in Nebadon stands the Creator and Master Son, Michael, the universe father and sovereign. Coordinate in divinity and complemental in creative attributes is the local universe Mother Spirit, the Divine Minister of Salvington. And these creators are in a very literal sense the Father-Son and the Spirit-Mother of all the native creatures of Nebadon." [UB: 406] All local universe creations are supervised by the dual administrative presence of a Creator Son, who takes origin in the Father-Son union of Paradise Deity, and a Creative Mother Spirit, representing the local universe presence of the Paradise Mother Spirit. In our local universe of Nebadon, our Creator Son Michael and his Spirit companion, the Creative Mother Spirit, have been conjointly responsible for the creation of this material universe in which we live and breathe. The Paradise Father faithfully upholds this locally coordinated act of creative prerogative by fully supporting their divine right to "...foster and sustain their work as well as to minister to the creatures of their own making." [UB: 93] Michael functions in Nebadon as father of the inhabited worlds and as sovereign of the local universe -- he is the personal residential manifestation of the Universal Father to the local universe materialization. While some Creator Sons appear to be more like their coparent, God the Father, we are informed that our Michael Son is more like God the Son: "The trend of administration in the universe of Nebadon suggests that its Creator and ruling Son is one whose nature and character more resembles that of the Eternal Mother Son." [UB: 235]
The Creative Mother Spirit is ever present to assist the Son -- she is indispensable to effecting universe administration. This creative collaboration represents the beginning of the father- mother concept to the local universe creations. She sustains the Son in all of his efforts to enact a stable government and to establish a firm center of authority within their joint creation. A Creator Son cannot effectively function in his local universe creation without the full co-operation of the Divine Minister and her vast assemblage of spirit helpers, the daughters of God: "In all his work of love and life bestowal the Creator Son is always and ever perfectly sustained and ably assisted by the all- wise and ever-faithful Universe Spirit and by all of her diversified retinue of angelic personalities. Such a Divine Minister is in reality the mother of spirits and spirit personalities, the ever-present and all-wise advisor of the Creator Son, a faithful and true manifestation of the Paradise Infinite Spirit." [UB: 368] When approval has been granted for initiating the creative materialization of a local universe, a Creator Son arrives from Paradise accompanied by a Creative Daughter of the Infinite Spirit.
The first act of the Son is to take possession of the space site of his chosen creation. He then pays recognition to his divine complement, the Daughter of the Infinite Spirit, and initiates the formation of an effective and co-operative working union with her: "In no creative act does the one do aught without the counsel and approval of the other." [UB: 369] Together, they enact the physical materialization of their local universe domain by jointly resolving the logistics for equilibrating the available universe energies: "In physical creation the Universe Son provides the pattern while the Universe Spirit initiates the materialization of physical realities. The Son operates in power designs, but the Spirit transforms these energy creations into physical substances." [UB: 374] When this initial stage has reached completion, when the material creation of the local universe is well under way, the Creative Spirit begins her process of progressively taking on "...the personal qualities of the Mother Spirit of a local universe." [UB: 236] At the completion of the materialization of their local universe, the Creator Son and Creative Mother Spirit initiate that stage of creative liaison which is designed to give origin to the innumerable hosts of their local universe children. This creative liaison of Creator Son and Mother Spirit now presides over the local universe creation and ministers to their family of sons and daughters.
The Son initiates the creation of certain of his universe children on his own initiative, and some he creates as joint offspring in varied association with the complemental Universe Mother Spirit, while the Spirit is solely responsible for bringing into existence the numerous orders of spirit personalities such as her diversified retinue of angelic personalities who minister and serve under her direction and guidance. "Following the completion of this united effort, the Son engages in the creation of the Material Sons, the first of the sex creatures, while the Universe Mother Spirit concurrently engages in her initial solitary effort at spirit reproduction. Thus begins the creation of the seraphic hosts of a local universe." [UB: 418]
Each Michael Son vows not to assume full sovereignty of his local universe creation until seven bestowal experiences living the lives of his created universe children shall have been successfully completed and certified by the Ancients of Days of the superuniverse of jurisdiction. The inherent endowments of justice and righteousness possessed by a Michael Son will not suffice for universe sovereignty by the Ancients of Days until "...he has really acquired the viewpoint of his own creatures by actual experience in the environment of their existence and as these very creatures themselves." [UB: 1309] The following personality traits are inherently present in all Creator Sons, but these qualities must be transformed into a new insightful reality as a direct result of required experience in creature understanding. And this experience is acquired during the bestowal career of a Michael Son:
Michael has freely chosen to live such identical lives as he imposes upon the intelligent beings of his own creation. He has, by experience, become a fellow creature. And in so carrying out this progressive acquirement of the creature's viewpoint in his universe administration, he has earned the love and adoration of his creatures. Michael began his bestowal experience as the personalities of three orders of his created universe Sons: the Melchizedeks, the Lanonandeks, and the Material Sons. Next, he personalized in the likeness of angelic life as a supreme seraphim. Lastly, he experienced the various phases of the ascending careers of his lowest form of will creatures, the evolutionary mortals of time. It was his bestowal on our planet of Urantia as a mortal of the realm that we have come to know him as Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God.
The choice of Michael to bestow himself in the personality of one of the angelic daughters of the Universe Mother Spirit was a sublime act of reciprocal subordination to his creative liaison partner, the Mother Spirit of his local universe creation: "No Son could hope for final success without the incessant co- operation of the Divine Minister and her vast assemblage of spirit helpers, the daughters of God, who so faithfully and valiantly struggle for the welfare of mortal men and the glory of their divine parents." [UB: 368] In this act of bestowing himself as a seraphic daughter of his co- creative and complementary Universe Mother Spirit, Michael very directly enhances his experiential understanding of dual deity functioning in the local universe realm. He has not only subordinated himself to the local universe Mother Spirit, but he also lived the life bestowal as one of her daughter spirits. And since the Mother Spirit takes origin in the Paradise Mother Spirit, and since Michael takes origin in the dual Paradise personalities of the Father and Son, Michael gains triune insight into the functional unity of the Paradise Trinity.
Michael of Nebadon nobly acknowledges his eternal dependence on his Spirit companion. At the completion of his seven bestowals and his entitlement of Sovereign of Nebadon, the Universe Mother Spirit "...makes public and universal acknowledgment of subordination to the Son, pledging fidelity and obedience." [UB: 368] He, in turn, constitutes her co-ruler of his universe realm and requires all of their creature offspring "...to pledge themselves in loyalty to the Spirit as they had to the Son; and there issued and went forth the final Proclamation of Equality." [UB: 369] Upon the Creator Son becoming a Master Son, the Mother Spirit completes her full personalization -she becomes contactable as a person; and, together, with the Master Son, they pour out their combined gift, The Spirit of Truth, which is focalized in her presence.
The Material Sons And Daughters
"When a creative liaison between the Creator Son and the universe representative of the Infinite Spirit, the Universe Mother Spirit, has completed its cycle, when no more offspring of the combined nature are forthcoming, then does the Creator Son personalize in dual form his last concept of being, thus finally confirming his own and original dual origin. In and of himself he then creates the beautiful and superb Sons and Daughters of the material order of universe sonship. This is the origin of the original Adam and Eve of each local system of Nebadon. They are a reproducing order of sonship, being created male and female." [UB: 415] The material order of sonship, the sex Sons and Daughters, are the final manifestation of the sole creative urge of the Creator Son. These paired personalities are the first order of local universe beings capable of sex procreation in the same manner by which mortal men and women are capable of reproducing themselves.
This procreative collaboration is derivative of "...the pattern for the long list of reproductions of the dual order in the evolutionary universes, extending from the creation of a Bright and Morning Star by a Creator Son-Creative Spirit liaison down to sex procreation on worlds like Urantia." [UB: 273] In the local universes, the Material Sons are classified as descending Sons. In their roles as Planetary Adams, they come down to the inhabited worlds from the spheres of their origin, the capitals of the local systems. Their planetary mission is to serve as biologic uplifters for that planet's multiracial population, and they are given the additional task of performing administrative duties for the settling of this world in the advanced stages of light and life: "These Sons, for there are two of them -- the Material Son and Daughter -- are usually known on a planet as Adam and Eve." [UB: 580]
"These Material Sons (the Adams) and Material Daughters (the Eves) are equal to each other, differing only in reproductive nature and in certain chemical endowments. They are equal but differential, male and female -- hence complemental -- and are designed to serve on almost all assignments in pairs." [UB: 581] Now, for the first time, we come across an order of created beings who are representative of our own mortal natures. These Material Sons and Daughters are very real to our sensibilities -- they are physical, they are created truly male and female, and they are sexually reproductive. They are created equal but complementary, and you will rarely find one without the other -- they need one another's company both by choice and by design. These created Sons of planetary service represent vital connecting links between the spiritual and physical worlds. They are physically tangible and visibly contactable by material creatures such as ourselves -- this certainly helps them in their efforts to carry out their descending missions to the evolutionary planets of time and space.
The Material Sons and Daughters work together in close union, among the mortal creatures of the flesh, for the joint fulfillment of their planetary mission: "It is the essence of their service at all times and in all places never to be separated. They are designed to work in pairs; seldom do they function alone." [UB: 828] Material Son and Daughter pairs are commissioned from on high for assignment to those inhabited planets whose mortal populations are ready for undergoing the evolutionary benefits of racial amalgamation. The mission of the Planetary Adams entails the cultivation of a critical population of their own progeny via sexual reproduction. This progeny is then unleashed to interbreed with the world's differential racial segments for the purpose of infusing them with those Adamic heredity factors that will enable the genetic and cultural upgrading of the world's mortal population.
Upon completion of their mission, a faithful Material Son and Daughter are accredited as perfected Material Sons in the records of the local universe. This recognition liberates them for their next endeavor as ascending Sons of God in their long journey to Havona and Paradise, in their search to find the Paradise Father.
The Angelic Hosts
"The angelic hosts are a separate order of created beings; they are entirely different from the material order of mortal creatures, and they function as a distinct group of universe intelligences. Angels are not of that group of creatures called `the Sons of Gods' in the Scriptures; neither are they the glorified spirits of mortal men who have gone on to progress through the mansions on high. Angels are a direct creation, and they do not reproduce themselves. The angelic hosts have only a spiritual kinship with the human race." [UB: 1841] In the previous section, we learned that the material or sex Sons and Daughters are the offspring of the Creator Son -- they are the result of a solitary creative effort on his part. The Universe Mother Spirit does not participate in the creation of any of these beings whose sexual gender differentiation is derivative of the Creator Son's dual origin nature. The Universe Mother Spirit exercises her own solitary creative prerogative by producing a diversified retinue of angelic personalities for directed service and ministry within the confines of the local universe.
The seraphic order of ministering daughters of the local universe Mother Spirit are also created in pairs, in like manner as are the Material Sons and Daughters. They are not, however, created male and female -- rather, they are designated as negative and positive within these pairs. This may be best understood as functional gender differentiation in contradistinction to the complemental sexuality of the Material Sons and the mortal races: "Such associations are primarily necessitated by function; they are not characterized by sex emotion, though they are exceedingly personal and truly affectionate." [UB: 420] Seraphim are intentionally paired for their functional activities, because, for the majority of their assignments, it requires two angels to accomplish the task at hand. The combination of these two angelic natures, both positive and negative, provides for exquisitely effective functioning because these seraphim are so complemental in all their universe functions.
All seraphic assignments for the status of guardian angels to the mortal creatures of time and space are chosen from a group of volunteering seraphim. This guardian pair provides for excellent complementary co-operation in their roles as the recording angels of the evolutionary worlds. While the primary (positive) guardian discharges her duties, the other seraphim, the complement of being, takes on the individual responsibility as the sponsoring recorder of the undertaking. The records are subsequently kept by a pair of cherubim (a cherubim and a sanobim, respectively) who are always associated with the seraphic guardians.
Seraphim are experiential creatures "...and by experience and through additional education they can augment their functional skill in one or more of the seraphic services." [UB: 426] By application and devoted service, seraphim can, one by one, achieve seven progressively higher levels of seraphic service. The higher the inherent level function, the more persistently do these angelic ministers seek assignment to the lower orders of universe service. "Seraphim must acquire knowledge and gain experience much as do human beings. They are not far from you in certain personality attributes, and they crave to start at the bottom, on the lowest possible level of ministry; thus they may hope to achieve the highest possible level of experiential destiny." [UB: 427]
Next in the descending order of local universe daughters of the Mother Spirit are the cherubim and sanobim. This pair of ministering angels is quite similar to the seraphim regarding their dual functional design: "Cherubim and sanobim are inherently associated, functionally united. One is an energy positive personality; the other, energy negative. The right hand deflector, or positively charged angel, is the cherubim -- the senior or controlling personality. The left hand deflector, or negatively charged angel, is the sanobim -- the complement of being. Each type of angel is very limited in solitary function; hence they usually serve in pairs." [UB: 422] Another ministering order of local universe angelic hosts are the Morontia Companions who are closely associated with the ascending mortals on the mansion and morontia worlds. They too are the direct offspring of the local universe Mother Spirit: "There are two distinct types of Morontia Companions; one type is aggressive, the other retiring, but otherwise they are equal in status. They are not sex creatures, but they manifest a touchingly beautiful affection for one another." [UB: 545]
"But midwayers do not sleep, neither do they possess powers of procreation. In a certain sense the secondary group are differentiated along the lines of maleness and femaleness, often being spoken of as `he' or `she.' They often work together in pairs.
"Midwayers are not men, neither are they angels, but secondary midwayers are, in nature, nearer man than angel; they are, in a way, of your races and are, therefore, very understanding and sympathetic in their contact with human beings." [UB: 864] The midway creatures are so called because they are positioned within the ranks of local universe citizenry as being midway between the Material Sons and the evolutionary mortal creatures. These unique beings are peculiarly difficult to classify as to origin: "Primary midwayers resemble angels more than mortals; the secondary orders are much more like human beings." [UB: 424] The order of beings designated the primary midwayers result from the nonsexual, supermaterial creative liaisons of pairs of rematerialized male and female descendent planetary ministers: "Primary midwayers are energized intellectually and spiritually by the angelic technique and are uniform in intellectual status." [UB: 424] These re-corporealized parents of the primary midwayers are composed of voluntary ascendent morontia citizens who were once of supermaterial creature status -- hence, without reproductive prerogative. In their rematerialized bodies, they once again become functional material sex creatures, fully capable of procreating material offspring. Their parental function for producing the primary midwayers via supermaterial, nonsexual liaison is not fully understood.
The order of beings designated the secondary midwayers originates by a combined technique of sexual and nonsexual liaison: "There are no less than twenty-four diverse techniques involved in the production of these secondary midway creatures on the evolutionary worlds of space." [UB: 424] These electrically energized offspring are of a more material nature than are the primary group, and the method of their creation by the Planetary Adams and Eves, or from their immediate progeny, is even more unusual and extraordinary than is the procreative origin of the primary group. As living electrical patterns whose form is inherited from the human bioelectronic pattern of the nervous system, these beings are decidedly of a material affiliation.
If you were to take away from a human being all physical organic mass, but you were to leave intact that person's bioelectronic field pattern, you would end up with a residual archetype whose compositional form would best represent that of the secondary midwayer. Their existence is just outside the range of mortal vision and they "...possess sufficient latitude of adaptation to make, at will, physical contact with what humans call `material things.'" [UB: 865] Being that they are void of all mammalian factors, they are endowed with mind that functions on only the top two of the seven complementary adjutants. "Secondary midwayers are physically energized by the Adamic technique, spiritually encircuited by the seraphic, and intellectually endowed with the morontia transition type of mind." [UB: 424]
The midway creatures remain permanent citizens of the evolutionary worlds on which they originated. These midway creatures work in intimate and effective association with the angelic hosts on the inhabited worlds for the purpose of ministering to mortal beings: "On Urantia the midway ministers are in reality the actual custodians of the planet; they are, practically speaking, the citizens of Urantia. Mortals are indeed the physical and material inhabitants of an evolutionary world, but you are all so short- lived; you tarry on your nativity planet such a short time. You are born, live, die, and pass on to other worlds of evolutionary progression." [UB: 415]
"Sex equality prevails on all advanced worlds; male and female are equal in mind endowment and spiritual status. We do not regard a planet as having emerged from barbarism so long as one sex seeks to tyrannize over the other. This feature of creature experience is always greatly improved after the arrival of a Material Son and Daughter." [UB: 564] The complex mammalian life systems of Urantia reproduce by the physical interaction of two individuals differing from one another with respect to sexual gender. This patterned dimorphism of sexual phenotype is characteristic of the dual gender patterns that are manifest throughout the local universe realm -most local universe creatures are dually differentiated according to function, recognition, and behavior response. We are informed that such divinely purposed dual personality associations are intended to greatly multiply functional versatility, providing these orders of universe creatures with a means for overcoming their many inherent limitations incumbent on their imperfect status of finite being.
Most men and women have very confused notions regarding gender and its effects on the ways we view ourselves, each other, and our roles in society.
Are we able to understand how these acquired perceptions affect how we see ourselves, how others see us, and how this shapes our identity? Do males and females have different complements of intellectual abilities? Are there inherent differences in cognition and perception between men and women? We may find that these questions may best be addressed if we first seek to discover the underlying purpose and design that gives rise to the male and female derivation of human gender.
Biogenetics tells us that the male and female are physically different from one another because women are endowed with two X chromosomes whereas men have one X and one Y chromosome. Chromosomes are DNA-containing aggregates within the cell nuclei of plants and animals -- they are directly responsible for the determination and transmission of heredity characteristics. While the X chromosome contains genes that direct a broad range of functions, such as blood clotting and some aspects of color perception, the Y chromosome primarily bears those genes responsible for male sexual characteristics.
The science of neurology is beginning to determine that men and women use their brains in fundamentally different ways. [3,4] Doreen Kimura, professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario, is a leading proponent in this area of scientific endeavor. She is finding that, in concert with our differential complement of hormones, men's and women's brains process information differently -- this accounts for our mutual differences in perceptions, priorities, and behaviors. Primarily, she is finding that speech is processed in different regions in women's and men's brains. Also, she is discovering how hormonal levels can affect people's performance on certain verbal and spatial tests.
The revelators of The Urantia Bookhave very little to say about scientific revealments involving physiological, neurological, or psychological bases of differences between men and women. They have been mandated not to anticipate any information that our world is ready to discover for itself -- and I believe that we are now on the verge of understanding at least the rudimentary differences that contribute to the various ways we differentially act, think, and experience in our lives.
Where The Urantia Book does provide enlightenment regarding this issue is in its portrayal of the mindal and spiritual make-up of men and women. For example, the book makes it a point to indicate that there is a qualitative, but not a quantitative, difference in the mind endowment of men and women. Both male and female are given a fully equal quantity of adjutant mind; there is no quantitative inequality of mind bestowal. Men and women share equal capacity for intelligence quotient. However, there are qualitatively subtle differences in the mind that the Universe Mother Spirit bequeaths to her universe children as this mind is used in conjunction with the brain.
The adjutant mind that is utilized by a man is qualitatively different from the complement of adjutant mind that is bestowed to a woman. We often attribute these perceptual and reactionary differences to the level of animal instinct, and we usually assign strictly physical causes to these differences. But The Urantia Book would lead us to consider that mind itself may be dually bestowed by design and according to gender: "All mammalian mother love is the inherent endowment of the adjutant mind-spirits of the local universe and is in strength and devotion always directly proportional to the length of the helpless infancy of the species." [UB: 932]
It may be that the different hormonal constitutions and levels between men and women require that a different quality of mind endowment be administered by the local universe Mother Spirit; it may be that these hormones very directly affect the physical functioning of the brain and that this requires different complemental bestowals of human mind. Even so, we are also informed that this qualitative differentiation has absolutely no spiritual impact on the subsequent interaction of the mortal mind and God in the co-creation of soul: "In the assignment and service of Adjusters the sex of the creature is of no consideration." [UB: 1186] The Universal Father treats all of his universe children with equal consideration regarding their perfecting of the spirit.
This complemental allocation of mind, in conjunction with key differences in the psychological functioning of the brain, may help us understand why the sexes have such supreme difficulty in attaining a full comprehension of one another. Ever will we be challenged in our efforts to achieve effective and co-operative union with one another: "Their viewpoints and entire life reactions are essentially different; they are wholly incapable of full and real comprehension of each other. Complete understanding between the sexes is not attainable." [UB: 938] On the other side of the coin, we are strongly encouraged to take heart in the fact that we are divinely designed to be effectively complementary.
A working union between man and woman is capable of incredible synergy: "The differences of nature, reaction, viewpoint, and thinking between men and women, far from occasioning concern, should be regarded as highly beneficial to mankind, both individually and collectively." [UB: 938] Apart from our shared capability for maintaining and reproducing the society in which we co-exist, co-operative unions of men and women "...are vastly superior in most ways to either two men or two women." [UB: 932] This partnership technique dramatically enhances our combined attainment and accomplishment possibilities for our intellectual, social, and spiritual growth.
The behavioral gap that separates men and women can never be bridged. Societal customs and sexual mores will always be subject to evolutionary and revolutionary pressures, but the instincts that characterize the complemental natures of the sexes will not allow for civilization ever to reconcile these differential behaviors. We are created equal in spirit and aspiration; but always will we be separated by biology and mind: "Forever each sex will remain supreme in its own domain, domains determined by biologic differentiation and by mental dissimilarity." [UB: 938] Each sex experiences a life that is characterized by distinctively different spheres of existence; this remains ever so, even if these specialized spheres will often interface and even overlap. The Urantia Book not only acknowledges this truth, it proceeds to pronounce that these domains, as differentiated by gender, carry with them inalienable and noninclusive rights. A refusal to recognize this truth can only lead to social discord and cultural disaster: "Woman is man's equal partner in race production, hence just as important in the unfolding of racial evolution; therefore has evolution increasingly worked toward the realization of women's rights.
But women's rights are by no means men's rights. Woman cannot thrive on man's rights anymore than man can prosper on woman's rights." [UB: 931] As much as man and woman require one another in the fulfillment of their mortal careers here on Urantia, they will continue to need one another as they progress onward in their ascents through the morontial and spiritual spheres of existence. We will always recognize and be glad for our persistent differences in viewpoint, and this recognition and appreciation will endure through every stage of our superuniverse ascent; it will remain with us in our efforts to assist one another in our ascent through Havona and onward towards Paradise. Even when we have achieved perfection of self as members of the Corps of the Finality, we will maintain our ability to recognize those personality trends that once characterized us as male and female: "Always will these two basic variations of human-kind continue to intrigue, stimulate, encourage, and assist each other; always will they be mutually dependent on co-operation in the solution of perplexing universe problems and in the overcoming of manifold cosmic difficulties." [UB: 939]
We are purposed to interact with one another, to take full advantage of the benefits that are attainable through the efforts of our interaction. In fact, if we do not take advantage of this opportunity while we live our lives here in the flesh, we are prevailed upon to take advantage of those opportunities available to us later, compensating these very personal deprivations. Sex experience in a physical sense provides for very great exercise of personal discipline -- it provides for a full measure of social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth and maturation. If we miss this opportunity here on this world, then those of us who have been "deprived of the benefits of advantageous sex association on the evolutionary worlds" are "...afforded full opportunity to acquire these essential mortal experiences in the close and loving association with the supernal Adamic sex creatures of permanent residence on the system capitals." [UB: 516] We are enabled to take advantage of the close association with the Material Sons and Daughters, both individually and as members of their families for just this very purpose.
One of the strongest human impulses that incessantly drive men and women into association with one another is the mating instinct. Next to food, there is no stronger drive of human incentive than the sex urge. We are literally designed so that this is so. It is a "...simple and innate biologic fact that men and women positively will not live without each other." [UB: 922] This innate propensity is one of the dominant physical driving forces that ensure the propagation of the species: "Notwithstanding the personality gulf between men and women, the sex urge is sufficient to insure their coming together for the reproduction of the species." [UB: 913] When social evolution has sufficiently progressed to that stage where the sexual interaction of the species has acquired formal cultural customs and mores, the institution of marriage will emerge as an accepted and enduring aspect of that society: "Marriage is enduring; it is not inherent in biologic evolution, but it is the basis of all social evolution and is therefore certain of continued existence in some form." [UB: 913]
Contrary to much accepted belief, marriage is not a sacred and divine institution -- it is a derivative and material function of the mortals of the evolutionary worlds. For all intents and purposes, it is not ordained that the pairing of any man and woman in matrimony should initiate an obligation that is carried over beyond this material life. Marriage is strictly the "...evolving social partnership of a man and a woman existing and functioning under the current mores, restricted by the taboos, and enforced by the laws and regulations of society." [UB: 930] Along with marriage, the resulting human family is also a distinctly human institution. Because the relation between a mother and her children is so strong, natural, and instinctive, the resulting nuclear center of the family is both natural and biologic: "Woman, because of physical and emotional attachment to her offspring, is dependent on co-operation with the male, and this urges her into the sheltering protection of marriage." [UB: 931]
Although the actual human institution of the marriage-home relationship is not directly consummated by divine authority, it is divinely supported that such unions of men and women in the bonds of a marriage contract exist for the purpose of procreating and rearing offspring -- it remains the very highest of human ideals: "It is the divine will that men and women should find their highest service and consequent joy in the establishment of homes for the reception and training of children, in the creation of whom these parents become co-partners with the Makers of heaven and earth." [UB: 1839] A true family generates profound insights in all of its members regarding the real and loving attitude that the Universal Father has for his children. In like manner, the mother and father within such a family portray to their children a loving parental portrait of the same Father. For such children, this is only the beginning of a "...long series of ascending disclosures of the Paradise parent of all universe children." [UB: 942]
Along with the injunction to take advantage of the personal growth potentials available in co-operative relationships with the individuals of the opposite gender, men and women must also experience the personal joys and disciplines involved in the raising of children. Children need both the father and mother for a healthy universe outlook and expectation. These children do not necessarily need to have been of direct issue of either parent -- it is not the actual birth experience that qualifies for this discipline. It is the acceptance of the personal responsibilities to which each and every individual must acquiesce.
We cannot forever remain wards of the universe -- we must sometime undergo that reversal of insight that accompanies these child-toparent transitions. And this essential experience is not limited to the task of mothers; fathers need the experience of being a full- time parent just as much as do mothers. In fact, it is also necessary for many non-mortal candidates to the Corps of the Finality to undergo this same parental experience; "No surviving mortal, midwayer, or seraphim may ascend to Paradise, attain the Father, and be mustered into the Corps of the Finality without having passed through that sublime experience of achieving parental relationship to an evolving child of the worlds or some other experience analogous and equivalent thereto. The relationship of child and parent is fundamental to the essential concept of the Universal Father and his universe children. Therefore does such an experience become indispensable to the experiential training of all ascenders." [UB: 516]
Mortal Ascent and the Supreme Being
"The morontia soul of an evolving mortal is really the son of the Adjuster action of the Universal Father and the child of the cosmic reaction of the Supreme Being, the Universal Mother. The mother influence dominates the human personality throughout the local universe childhood of the growing soul." [UB: 1288] The soul of the mortal being is that spiritual reality of the higher self that is a cocreation of the cooperative interaction of the human will with a fragment of the Universal Father, the Thought Adjuster, that indwells the mortal mind. As we choose to do the will of the Father, as we accept the supreme challenge of Paradise perfection, this choice-action repercusses in the evolving growth of the soul. It is by virtue of this soul-vehicle that mortal beings are capable of resurrection as morontia beings on the mansion words. In reality, this soul is our higher and advancing self, our better morontial and future spiritual self. As we are the human parent of our resurrected selves, the Universal Father, by virtue of his Adjuster presence, is the divine parent of this future ascending son.
"The soul of man is an experiential acquirement. As a mortal creature chooses to `do the will of the Father in heaven,' so the indwelling spirit becomes the father of a new reality in human experience. The mortal and material mind is the mother of this same emerging reality." [UB: 8]
The Universal Father sets the cosmic stage for our spiritual ascension as a finite reality; it is conditioned by time and space, it has a beginning and it has a fore-ordained destiny. This creation is experiential -- events occur in time conditioned sequences, and they are constrained within limiting spatial boundaries. The reality of the finite cosmos originates within the eternal purposes of the Universal Father. These purposes are brought to fruition in time and space, and the total and evolved finite is culminated in the Deity of the Supreme. The Supreme is the great avenue through which the love of the Father flows outward to all creation, and the Supreme is the great avenue through which finite creatures pass inward in their quest of the Father, who is love.
The actualizing Supreme Being of time and space expands with the evolutionary universes and identifies with all creature growth. She grows as we grow and we grow as an integral part of her growth. In our ascending careers as universe creatures, we are faithfully nurtured by our divine Mother, the Supreme: "All soul-evolving humans are literally the evolutionary sons of God the Father and God the Mother, the Supreme Being." [UB: 1289] As the Supreme Being evolves within the grand universe, all finite reality within the grand universe grows with her. When this process reaches full completion in the far-distant future, when all growth within the Supreme is forever exhausted, the Supreme will have actualized as a contactable person of Deity that we all perceive and know. Finite experience as such will end.
Prior to soul-fusion with the indwelling Adjuster, a mortal ascender is highly influenced by the maternal qualities of the Mother Supreme -- our very life is derived from the mother- potentials of the Supreme in whom "we actually live, move, and have our being." [UB: 1283] After Adjuster fusion, and as we proceed with our progressive and experiential universe careers, the influence of the Universal Father begins to become increasingly manifest -- his influence increasingly beckons to us as we traverse the central universe of eternity towards
Paradise. Upon admission to the Corps of the Finality, a mortal ascender attains perfected status as "...the eternal finaliter son of the Paradise Father as well as the eternal universe child of the Mother Supreme." [UB: 1287] Upon our realization of perfected self will as "sixth-stage -- finaliters on Paradise, we will resume our universe careers in the assistance of the actualizing Supreme Being towards the perfecting of the evolving superuniverse of time and space into unified light and life. It is here where we will begin to fully realize within our perfected natures both our debt to the mother inheritance of the Supreme as well as our indebtedness to the maternal qualities of the Eternal Mother Son and the Infinite Mother Spirit:
"In and through the experience of finaliter attainment the experiential mother qualities of the ascending self become tremendously affected by contact and infusion with the spirit presence of the Eternal Son and the mind presence of the Infinite Spirit. Then, throughout the realms of finaliter activity in the grand universe, there appears a new awakening of the latent mother potential of the Supreme, a new realization of experiential meanings, and a new synthesis of experiential values of the entire ascension career. It appears that this realization of self will continue in the universe careers of the sixth-stage finaliters until the mother inheritance of the Supreme attains to finite synchrony with the Adjuster inheritance of the Father." [UB: 1288]
The revelation contained within The Urantia Book offers this world new modes of thinking, new systems of values, and new expressions of spiritual imagery. We are challenged with new insights into the functional arena of divine and temporal relationships as these are based on new and transcendent meanings - - these expressions are given unique and cosmic understanding and interpretation.
The Urantia Book makes a strong break from many of the cultural and theological traditions of Judeo-Christian patriarchy, especially as these regard the conceptual imagery central to religious language. The descriptive language in The Urantia Book is filled with personal expressions of God and Deity that are bursting with the images of maternal divinity and femininity. The ultimate power of femininity and maternity forever course through the very fabric of the universe of universes; the creative heart of God is beautifully characterized by the image of the Universal Mother.
Today, we are in possession of a revealed theology that is capable of fulfilling both male and female desires. We are exposed to spiritual imagery that transcends gender-specific capacities and awareness. These new and transcendent functional concepts are derived from higher cosmic patterns -- these allow us to better understand the underlying purpose and design that gives rise to the male and female derivation of human gender. We learn of the basic design that establishes the purposed duality of man and woman; we realize that we are truly complemental to one another by creative design. This revelation is a powerful resource for promoting a supreme ideal of self affirmation for men and women in their search for a natural ground in the cosmic scheme of things.
Men and women are created truly male and female. We are gendered as such to provide us with the functional capability for sexual reproduction. But this species differentiation does not end at this distinction -- although we are essentially created equal as regards our spiritual make-up and mindal allotment, we are complemental in our mutual natures by design. We are biologically different and qualitatively complemental in mind. There are very definite differences in nature, reaction, viewpoint, and thinking between men and women; these differences affect the various ways we act, think and experience in our lives. It is by virtue of this complementary design that we are supremely dependent on shared co- operation with one another. The benefits from these personal relationships and commitments are that both parties, both men and women, will forever continue to intrigue, stimulate, encourage, and assist each other ever on towards higher achievements of social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth.
My primary goal has been to uncover some degree of truth regarding the many issues involving human gender terminology and its applied use in theologic presentation. A redirection of this investigation from the higher study of functional gender designation as it is structurally applied throughout The Urantia Book into a more derivative focus that serves only to establish an insurmountable chasm between men and women can not supply any lasting insight or value for the benefit of our better mutual understanding.
If men and women can more clearly understand how we have come to today's established customs and norms, then we will have created a more solid foundation on which to build a more transcendent symbology and terminology for sharing our mutual spiritual aspirations and destinies.
Each sex has the ability to transcend itself, to experientially learn to feel and to represent the deepest concerns of the other. Through the acquirement of these skills, men can partake of the natural qualities of motherliness and women can similarly partake of the natural qualities of masculinity. We can accomplish this without ever losing sight of our more basic and instinctive natures. We should strive to create a culture that allows and encourages women to become masculinely feminine and men to become femininely masculine. Many individuals will choose to actualize both masculine and feminine aspects of their natures if they are only encouraged or allowed to do so by their culture. Men and women need to attune themselves to the values and qualities of the opposite gender so that they may become more perfectly whole.
"Jesus said: `My brother, always remember that man has no rightful authority over woman unless the woman has willingly and voluntarily given him such authority. Your wife has engaged to go through life with you, to help you fight its battles, and to assume the far greater share of the burden of bearing and rearing your children; and in return for this special service it is only fair that she receive from you that special protection which man can give to woman as the partner who must carry, bear, and nurture the children.... Do you not know that men and women are partners with God in that they co-operate to create beings who grow up to possess themselves of the potential of immortal souls? The Father in heaven treats the Spirit Mother of the children of the universe as equal to himself." [UB: 1471]
Appendix A: Unity, Duality, Triunity
"The seven superuniverses are seemingly dual; the central universe, triune; but Paradise is a single constitution." [UB: 637]
"The entire central universe is organized in accordance within the threefold system of perfect and symmetrical control. Throughout the
whole Paradise-Havona system there is maintained a perfect balance between all cosmic realities and spiritual forces." [UB: 154]
"The basic organization of a threefold creation is wholly unlike that of the twofold constitution of the created universes of time and space." [UB: 154]
"The creation of the central universe is threefold (Trinity); the creation of a local universe (directly) is twofold, by a Creator Son and a Creative Spirit." [UB: 154]
"The administration of Trinity-origin personalities ends with the government of the superuniverses. The local universes are characterized by dual supervision, the beginning of the father- mother concept. The universe father is the Creator Son; the universe mother is the Divine Minister, the local universe Creative Spirit." [UB: 370] The evolving creatures of time and space are patterned on dual- energy systems. The divinely conceived central universe is based on a threefold system of perfection and symmetry -- its energy systems are triune in design. The divinely perfect organization of the unified Paradise-Havona system provides for a central universe wherein all cosmic realities and all spiritual forces are perfectly balanced. This status of perfection and balance does not directly apply to the evolving superuniverse and local universe realms of finite time and space -- in these creations, where patterns of duality appear to be manifest, evolving Deity in the aspect of the Supreme Being is foremost in expression and appearance. Reality in these domains has not yet reached a state of triune balance and perfection. There exists the ever-urgent drive within this finite realm of the Supreme for someday achieving the evolved unification of the wide divergence of the dual universe manifestations of spirit and matter via mind.
Havona energies are threefold; superuniverse energy is built upon an organization of energy-matter that contains a twofold energy charge. The physical systems of the central universe of Havona are based on threefold organizations known as triata. These systems provide the superpower patterns for the gravita physical systems of the superuniverses which are dual in constitution.
The superuniverses of time and space are characterized by the infinite energy of Paradise and the divine spirit of the Eternal Son -- this represents a twofold gravity embraced creation of spirit and matter: "The Universal Father is one, but to time-space he is revealed in the dual phenomena of pure energy and pure spirit." [UB: 639] These two time-space revelations of the Universal Father are perfectly unified in the mind consciousness of the Infinite Spirit; the material superuniverses are a creation of mind and a mechanism of law: "But while in practical application the laws of nature operated in what seems to be dual realms of the physical and the spiritual, in reality they are one. The First Source and Center is the primal cause of all materialization and at the same time the first and final Father of all spirits." [UB: 481] The triune personalization of undivided Deity is achieved by the eternity technique of trinitization. This divine partnership of the Father, Son, and Spirit within the eternal Paradise Trinity is an existential relationship of sublime effectiveness: "God is spirit in a threefold sense: He himself is spirit; in his Son he appears as spirit without qualification; in the Conjoint Actor, as spirit allied with mind." [UB: 100] Mind is the inevitable technique by the Infinite Spirit for coordinating and unifying the dual spirit/material universe creations of the First Source and Center.
We have learned that the local universe creations are conjointly supervised by the dual administrative presence of a Creator Son, the universe father and sovereign, and a Creative Mother Spirit, Spirit-Mother of all the native personalities within her local universe domain. In our own local universe of Nebadon, our Creator Son Michael and his Creative Mother Spirit companion represent the beginning of the father-mother pattern for the local universe creations. Their creative collaboration provides the subsequent pattern for those many orders of universe creatures who are created in dual phases of personality manifestation -- mortal creatures, Material Sons and Daughters, midway creatures, midsoniters, seraphim, cherubim, and Morontia Companions: "Such dual associations greatly multiply versatility and overcome inherent limitations, even as do triune associations in the Paradise-Havona system." [UB: 938]
We are also reminded that in every mortal being "...there exists a dual nature: the inheritance of animal tendencies and the high urge of spirit endowment." [UB: 381] The human brain itself is dually hemisphered: "...one [hemisphere] for intellectual functions and the other for the spiritual- counterparting activities of the Thought Adjuster." [UB: 566] Mankind is ever urged onward to the goal of mastering the mortal flesh by the incessant leading of this indwelling spirit. We are born into the physical world of nature, our very being is qualifiedly finite. But we are indwelt by a spark of infinity, the very presence of the Universal Father, and this provides for us the potential for transcending nature. Our twofold relation to the cosmos is undergoing a perfecting unification that is enacted by the aligning of the will of the mortal creature with the will of the infinite Creator.
At the same time, this partnership of God and man contributes to the evolving Deity of the Supreme Being. "To the extent that this identity is realized, you are mentally approaching the morontia order of existence. Morontia mind is a term signifying the substance and sum total of the co-operating minds of diversely material and spiritual natures. Morontia intellect, therefore, connotes a dual mind in the local universe dominated by one will. And with mortals this is a will, human in origin, which is becoming divine through man's identification with the human mind with the mindedness of God." [UB: 1205]
Dual mind partakes of the threefold spirit endowment of the evolutionary realms. This threefold endowment comprises the spirit of the Father, the Thought Adjuster, the spirit of the Son, the Spirit of Truth, and the spirit of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The ongoing perfection of creature existence will eventually lead to fusion of the self conscious morontia mind with a fragment of God, the Thought Adjuster: "And when these mortal intellects in the unrevealed future assignments of the Corps of the Finality attain the seventh stage of spirit existence, such dual minds will become triune. These two attuned minds, the human and the divine, will become glorified in union with the experiential mind of the then actualized Supreme Being." [UB: 1286]
Courtesy of The Urantia Book Fellowship