Is There A Urantia Cult?

I’m on record regarding the Urantia Book as being relatively harmless. I’ve read parts of it, found other parts too dense and fantastic. The people I know who work closely with the text are uniformly kind and reverential and almost always happy. They like talking about the many aspects of Urantia, but they aren’t especially evangelical about it.

So I tend not to think of there being any kind of Urantia cult. Do I understand the inclination of some people to see it that way? I guess so. But the Urantia Foundation is a pretty solid and grounded group. And while the Urantia papers can seem wild and crazy, think for a moment on traditional Christianity. A guy gets killed and three days later walks out of the tomb where he was buried?

There is an unfortunate trend of taking anybody who is passionate about religion and spirituality and – if the object of their devotion is obscure, as the Urantia book tends to be – calling them a member of a cult. If that’s true, then Christianity started life as a cult.

But isn’t there a whole Urantia book hoax aspect to this? Aren’t believers in Urantia being led around by the nose?

I think the best thing any critic can do is take a look at the source. You can start reading the Urantia book online (and you can get a Urantia book pdf too). Why not read it? If it works for you, then take another step. Talk to somebody who is really trying to bring its truths into application.

If it doesn’t work, then shuffle off to the next spiritual enterprise.

Am I saying that there aren’t people out there who are over the top when it comes to Urantia? Sure there are. There are Buddhists like that, too. And Shintoists. And ACIM students who can’t stop trying to get everyone to join the club.

But we need to do two things. First, let’s not define the whole on the basis of one perceived part. And second, let’s actually decline to judge experiences that we haven’t had. If you want to knock Urantia, then get the text and start reading it. Everyone should try it. As channeled texts go, it’s entertaining and diverse. Parts of it are absolutely inspired. Other parts feel like poorly written science fiction or fantasy.

And doesn’t that just sound like another book you know?

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Knight Poet February 21, 2012, 12:04 pm

    The regrettable truth about The Urantia Papers (aka The Urantia Book) is that all too often, non-readers rely exclusively (or primarily) on the input from others who like themselves have not read its Foreword + 196 Papers and also like themselves are basing their evaluation on input (mostly negative) from others who like themselves have read very little if any of its contents. I think I have made my point without carrying out the number of levels of non-readers to a ridiculous degree. I find this to be an unfortunate reality because I would challenge anyone who considers themselves to be hungry for a superhuman revelation of cosmic truth and thirsty for a reasonable and logical explanation of the otherwise unexplainable to momentarily set aside everyone else’s views about all things Urantia-related and judge for themselves solely on what IT says as opposed to what others have said about IT. As for me, this Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth to our planet, Urantia, simply answered questions that no one else had the answers to (none that I found to be acceptable anyway). By no one else, I include religions whose teachings I have studied and the books they promote including The Bible. But when I suggest that one ignore everything that others have to say about The Urantia Papers, I include myself in that category. Don’t take my word for something you can easily deduce for yourself. To paraphrase, why should I try to convince someone else something that will only register as being a surviving experiential possession of this initial mortal journey if it is personally experienced by someone seeking that kind of destiny-determining experience and who subsequently embraces the direction dictated by THEIR choices…THEIR decisions…THEIR momentum? Countless times people would tell me they hated this movie or they really liked another one. And then when I would see these movies, I often had a reaction that was the exact opposite of the one they conveyed to me. I find it amusing to read movie reviews that demonstrate this divergence of opinion in written form. And my perception of opinions about movies can be equally applied to opinions about The Urantia Book. I could employ a psychological manipulation and say “DON’T READ IT!” knowing that this would potentially increase some people’s interest in reading it but I am hesitant to utilize anything that might interfere with one’s freedom to choose TO READ OR NOT TO READ even if it means that some truth-seekers will be deprived of learning about things going on “behind the scenes” until after their soul is released from the bonds of the flesh to continue the next universal stage of educational development (intellectual, emotional and spiritual) and progressive advancement of the God-seeking mind who has learned (not just from any book but more significantly from personal experience) that believing is the only price of admission to the afterlife and living forever is merely a by-product of being on the right path as opposed to being some kind of reward for the performance of good deeds done dirt cheap!

  • Scott Sylte December 31, 2012, 12:51 pm

    I remember reading the Urantia Papers nearly thirty years ago. It was done in a group type forum and we met every week. The papers were read a chapter a week and there was discussion afterwards. There was a group facilitator who had an excellent depth and grasp of the material. I remember meeting Dr. M. Scott Peck who authored several excellent spiritual journey books among them was “The Road Less Traveled.” His take on the Urantia Papers was that they were “very powerful.” Thirty years later I still would concur with Dr. Peck’s statement.
    Whether or not the reader of the Urantia Book or Papers actually comes to believe the factual existence of “celestial beings” who were instrumental in its composition and purpose for the people of our planet, the text provides an amazing variety of accounts rich in religious myth chock-filled with fascinating possibilities which stretch the imagination.
    The Urantia Book can provide an alternative perspective which may augment one’s search for higher meaning and truth along one’s spiritual path, quest or journey. It can be viewed as an adjunct to one’s personal religious experience and/or dogma or be taken as being its own “authority on cosmic reality and G-d consciousness.” The Urantia Book can fill many informational voids which exist in current mainstream religious scriptural accounts. Whether or not the Papers fill those voids with fact or new myth is another question which keeps the reader’s mind open, fresh and stimulated to the idea of a vastly huge universe that is filled with amazing possibilities and wonders. It’s all told in a unique anthological way and approach.
    Truly, there is no way to describe what the individual experience might be after really “perusing” the Urantia Papers. For me it was difficult not to see the world and others in a different more enhanced positive light. I am not an advocate of promoting or proselytizing the Urantia Papers. Whoever so chooses to read them I believe should do so without feeling coerced and of their own volition.
    The last part of the Urantia Book details the life of Jesus the Christ. I found it poignantly artistic in its fine strokes with inspirational stories that gave life to the Man of Nazareth who walked with and among us then and today and the host of consorts who kept his company and he theirs.
    Some views offered by the Urantia Book could be taken as being heretical. Its perspective on the Attonement elevates an act of self sacrifice to an absolving all-encompassing act of living, breathing Love.

    • Sean Reagan January 1, 2013, 11:47 am

      Thank you, Scott. The Urantia Book has always sort of hovered right on the periphery of my experience. When I meet people who have read it or who identify it as their particular spiritual path they tend to be quite peaceful and gentle – or at least non-judgmental. By their fruits ye shall know them! I share your gratitude and admiration for the last section depicting the life of Jesus. It is the only portion that I have read in its entirety. And yes, it does bring me into closer contact with the “absolving all-encompassing act of living, breathing Love.” Thank you.

      Sean

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