Friday, October 10, 2014

# 60: Waverly, Southward Journey and Booklet

Wandering Urantian #60, October 10, 2014

I am currently in a nice campground (Asheville West KOA) near Asheville, NC enjoying the Smokies and crisp fall weather; a couple of nights ago it got down to 37 degrees and I think it is time to head further south.  After leaving my summertime campground, Hidden Valley Camping Area near Jamestown, NY, I headed east to Waverly, NY for the annual NY – PENN Fall Conference.  Next I started southward, visited Dick and his family in Lynchburg, VA and then parked on Lake Norman near Charlotte, NC so I could visit the study group there.  Next it was on to Asheville where I will stay about three weeks or so, allowing time for hiking and enjoying this beautiful part of the country.  Finally I have a new booklet out and will include a few quotations as well as instructions for obtaining a copy.

The Urantia Book quotations in this posting are from the new booklet, “Mature Faith – The Faith of Jesus part 3.”

The world is filled with hungry souls who famish in the very presence of the bread of life; men die searching for the very God who lives within them. Men seek for the treasures of the kingdom with yearning hearts and weary feet when they are all within the immediate grasp of living faith.  Urantia Book (1766.4) (159:3.8)

NY - Penn Fall Conference

The fall mini conference in Waverly, NY is always a pleasure to attend; they also have one in the spring but the timing is not right for me to attend that one.  In addition to the regular presentations, I gave the study group presentation that was given at the Madison Symposium this past June.  The theme of this mini conference was the Infinite Spirit.  There were presentations covering Paper 8 “The Infinite Spirit” and Paper 9 “Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe” as well as Paper 34 “The Local Universe Mother Spirit.”  The discussion on the final paper included several references dealing with the spirit and the flesh.  All the presentations were interesting and informative.  There was also a simple communion ceremony that was quite moving; we knew our unseen friends were present and watching.  The instant I took the bread I felt a surge of spiritual energy that was nearly overpowering.  The entire conference was a joyful experience.

The visit with Dick and his family was brief and we had a fine conversation about many things Urantia.  He moved into that house a year or so ago and the landscaping improvements are about finished.
Indian Creek Falls

Since I did not get a photo of either Dick and family or the Charlotte group (there are photos of both in previous blogs) I will include some taken on my hikes in the Smokies.  The Indian Creek Trail is not far from Bryson City.  The trail was fine but I quickly developed blisters on two toes and so decided it is time to get a decent pair of hiking boots.  I hope to try the new boots out tomorrow on a portion of the Appalachian Trail.

Next stop after Virginia was at Wildlife Woods Campground, which is located on Lake Norman north of Charlotte, NC.  It is a good campground and it has a challenging hill for my power walks, think I will stay there again.  The Charlotte study group meets in a Panera Bread restaurant which works surprisingly well.  They put a few tables together and generally everybody orders something to eat during the meeting.  The study group ignores the other people in the restaurant and the others ignore us as they walk around us.  I again gave the study group presentation, after which we studied Paper 139, The Twelve Apostles.”  It is remarkable the depth of understanding of each apostle that is presented in this paper.  The only way to explain this deep understanding of each individual is the superhuman involvement in the authorship of these papers.

I had an interesting visitor the day before I left the Charlotte area.  I was reading in my “house on wheels” when I heard a strange noise so I went to the walkway between the sink and stove and saw a swift movement that I could not identify.  Later I returned there and saw a small mouse, which I named Mortimer.  Apparently he had been under the sink and somehow got out but could not get back in to his home under the sink.  When I approached, Mortimer was trapped in a corner so I tried to pick him up.  Unfortunately I grabbed him in the back instead of the back of his neck so he was able to twist around and bite my finger.  Well he tried to, but my finger was a bit too big for his mouth (good thing he was not an alligator) so I dropped him and he scurried away.  The next morning I was doing my usual prayer and meditation when I thought I felt something at my ankle but I ignored it and proceeded.  When I finished and opened my eyes, Mortimer came out from under me and scooted away to hide under the chair.  He thought he had found a cozy place to snuggle up!  After moving here to Asheville I haven’t seen him again so I suppose he got out along the way.  Hope he found a good home.
A Promise of Fall

The leaves are barely starting to turn color but there are hints that full color is not far away.  This branch is right outside the window where I generally sit and I was fascinated by the way the color appears.  I understand the chlorophyll is gradually removed from the leaf for safe storage until it is needed in the spring and the color is what remains when the green is removed.  You can see the red appearing between the veins of the leaf as the chlorophyll is drawn away.

The remainder of this posting will be quotations from the new booklet, “Mature Faith – The Faith of Jesus Part 3.”  Other commentary will be enclosed in brackets: [ ]. The first section in the booklet is “What is Faith?”

The authors of The Urantia Book were very precise in their use of words to teach us; our best words and their highest meaning were selected.  For this reason an important word such as faith must be clearly understood before proceeding.  For example, when we are asked, “What is your faith?” the answer might be Catholic or Methodist or perhaps Buddhist.  The Urantia Book, however, teaches that faith is a personal experience. Therefore the proper question might be “What belief system do you follow?” Faith is something deeper, intimate; it denotes a direct relationship between the individual and God.  It is a direct relationship that has a profound effect on the inner life of the individual.
True living faith does not condone persecution or bigotry and does not stifle creative imagination; it is not antagonistic towards scientific discoveries.  How different is this from current conditions where faith is frequently used as an excuse for hatred and violent behavior?  True faith is positive and uplifting, producing joy in the spirit and peace in the heart.

[The booklet then lists seven steps that characterize the transformation from simple belief to true faith but the key to this transformation is sincerity.]
Little River

[The hike along the Little River was pleasant, but looking at this, a more appropriate name for this body of water might be “Itty Bitty River,” however I understand it does drain a significant area.]

[The next section of the booklet is “The Kingdom of Heaven”]

In order to enter into the kingdom we must first trust our Heavenly Father to look after our best interests in the same manner that a small child trusts their earthly father.  Jesus is not speaking about the gullibility of the child, only about an open and simple trust.  Father will make all things right and we accept that He is Father and that we are His children.  It sounds so facile stated in this manner, but that is the sum of it: simply and sincerely declare that God is your Heavenly Father and you are truly ushered into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The practices of organized religion may be spiritually satisfying and uplifting; a solemn worship service brings spiritual peace and joy. But these group activities do not necessarily bring the individual into a personal relationship with God.  Traditional religion does bring to the worshiper satisfying rituals and spiritual group activities, but it requires private communion to generate an intimate relationship with God. Simple faith allows you to fearlessly confess God as the Heavenly Father and enter fully into the kingdom.
Back to Nature

[Before the park was established there were small communities in the region, for logging and such.  Now these former residences are gradually reverting back to nature.]

[The next section of the booklet is “Faith Sons of God.”]

Those who follow traditional religions certainly can also attain true faith.  It is possible to adhere to traditional Christianity and reach levels of deep faith and thereby enter fully into the kingdom.  No doubt we have all seen them, people who glow with a deep faith; they certainly have that inner peace which passes all understanding.  That is a beautiful state which should be acknowledged and respected.  There is no single path, no solitary right way as opposed to lesser trails leading toward a fuller understanding of God and His presence in our lives.  As we enter into the kingdom and become faith sons and daughters of God we rejoice to greet those who have attained this state and are glad to assist others in reaching it. The doors of the Kingdom of Heaven are opened wide for all who would enter therein.
Cover of New Booklet

[The third section of the booklet is “The Faith of Jesus.”  While it is probably impossible to summarize his faith with a few words, I present the following.]

The Urantia Book makes frequent reference to this domination of Jesus’ spiritual attitude over his entire being. Again, we are instructed to seek a similar attitude. We must totally accept the truth of the Father’s presence in our own lives and we must live fully with the awareness that we are loved, guided and protected by our Heavenly Father.  Everyone can have such a dynamic soul saving faith, we need only take hold of it with sincerity.

The faith of Jesus was not a sometime thing, a power to be called upon occasionally. It was rather an expression of his innermost being, an outgrowth of his personal relationship with his Father. The core of this relationship was his simple childlike certainty of the Father’s presence in his life. 

[The final section is “Mature Faith and its Consequences.]

We have been granted this revelation, The Urantia Book, for a reason; there was a definite purpose in bestowing such a masterpiece of science, philosophy, and religion. It is gratifying to read about Paradise and the one billion perfect worlds of the central creation; uplifting to read about the nature of our Heavenly Father, the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit; spiritually satisfying to study about the Trinity; and interesting to learn how all life evolved. But that is not enough to justify granting us this revelation.  Even the life of Jesus, as exciting and illuminating as it is, would be meaningless unless we actually do something with these teachings: follow after Jesus seeking to attain his levels of faith.  The purpose of this epochal revelation is to give us a solid intellectual and philosophical foundation from which to reach upward and inward toward a faith such as Jesus enjoyed. The teachings of The Urantia Book and the guidance of all the spirit ministries contribute to the efforts of all faith sons and daughters to bring about a higher level of spiritual awareness on this “world of the cross.”

“If you, by truth co-ordination, learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your fellow men will then seek after you that they may gain what you have so acquired. The measure wherewith truth seekers are drawn to you represents the measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness. The extent to which you have to go with your message to the people is, in a way, the measure of your failure to live the whole or righteous life, the truth-co-ordinated life.” Urantia Book (1726.2) (155:1.5)

[Anyone wanting copies of this booklet please send me an email giving your mailing address.]

[All photographs are by Doug Cable]