Chapter II. The Evolutionary Antithesis

   Red Jesus Text: On | Off    Paragraph Numbers: On | Off
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by email

chapter ii


The Challenge of Imperfection: Growth Capacity

God the Sevenfold: Evolutional Deity

The Emptiness of Imperfection: Growth Capacity

The Challenge of Power-Personality Unification

Challenge and Response

In the present universe age the central and divine universe is obviously the Creative Thesis of Perfection. The superuniverses (starting as imperfect creations) are the great antithesis of Havona perfection. These imperfect universes constitute the greatest possible challenge to those personalities of Paradise and Havona who are the creators and administrators of the evolutionary realms of time and space. Theirs was the first great adventure– the Supreme Adventure – the bringing of the perfection of eternity and divinity out into the evolutionary domains of original imperfection.

God the Sevenfold was (and is) the Deity response to the challenge of imperfec­tion. And God the Sevenfold brings the counter-challenge of divine perfection into the very heart of the evolutionary realms, even to the inhabited worlds themselves, through the creature bestowals of the Paradise Sons of God.

§ 1. the challenge of imperfection

This study advances the opinion that God is possessed of those qualities of being that are ancestral to that enjoyment of adventure– a responsiveness to the stimulus of challenge – which appears in the character of progressive creatures. Why else would be suddenly confront the Paradise-Havona system of eternal perfection with the startling challenge of the abysmal imperfection of the seven superuniverses?

In the First Universe Age everything is in balance; all is orderly; the spheres of eternal Havona swing in settled and established orbits around the motionless Isle of Paradise. Disharmony is unknown; disorder has never appeared. Total creation follows in unchanging pattern of flawless perfection, age upon age – and age after age. And then, God expands this perfectly balanced and symmetrical creation. The organized universe expands outward and spaceward. Suddenly it encompasses new and outlying realms; realms of unsettled physical development; realms of imperfect nature; realms in which creatures of imperfection will soon appear; realms of potential evil – even sin – through the unwise choice of imperfect creatures.

Pause to think how startling and unprecedented were these challenges of long ago to the inerrant beings of eternity. What was their first reaction to dissonance – these beings who had known nothing but harmony? How did they first regard disorder – these beings who had known nothing but the pattern of flawless perfec­tion? What was their response to potential evil – these beings who had always chosen the good in the absence of all contrastive evil? And what was their reaction when, for the first time in their experience, potential evil became actual evil through creature choice? And what a shock it must have been when evil puts insincerity “equivalated” to sin and even to iniquity!

Suddenly, so to speak, we have a vast creation teeming with imperfect creatures; every one of them has been endowed with the priceless power of choice by God. Each one of these creatures is a sovereign within himself. Each one of them can choose, pro or con, concerning citizenship in the universe and sonship with God. And no one dare interfere with these choices lest he find himself trespassing the will of God, for it is God who gives to creatures this priceless power of choice. Without this power of choice, without God’s gift of personality, we would be very little more than living machines. But with this gift of (relative) free will, we are more than machines; we are men and we may choose to be even more than men, we may choose to be ascending sons of God. We may also choose badly and keep on choosing badly, and no one can stop us – only time and oblivion.

This was the challenge of long ago which confronted the citizens of the eternal realms. They embarked upon this adventure – the Supreme Adventure – when they left the settled domains of divine perfection and came out into the new creative frontier, into the new space level of the superuniverses, there to take up posts as the creators, organizers, and administrators of the unsettled and uncertain evolutio­nary domains of time.

Who, but God, would have dared to unite the purest form of spirit with the lowest type of creature capable of being endowed with personality – mortal man! Here, truly, is the bringing together of the highest and the lowest. And who, but God, would so combine the spirit of adventure with that divine love which would cause an Infinite Being to be willing to enter into everlasting partnership with the mortal children of the animal-origin races of the inhabited worlds!

If these actions and transactions are not exciting, and adventurous, and unpredi­ctable – then what is? Or what could be? Suddenly, so to speak, the existential perfection of the flawless creation of eternity is challenged by the appearance of the antithesis of perfection, by the appearance of the imperfect and evolutionary domains of time and space.




A Three-Level Grouping of God the Sevenfold
(1) The Creator Sons THE SUPREME CREATORS. These three groups are the Corps of the Supreme Cre­ators. They are the post-Havona creators of the uni­verses of time and space, the local universes and the superuniverses. They work with the Deities and Trinity of Paradise to evolve the power of the Al­mighty, which is the experiential basis for the emerging sovereignty of the Supreme Being in the superuniverses.
(2) The Ancients of Days
(3) The Master Spirits
(4) The Supreme Being ALMIGHTY POWER, deriving from all the Supreme Creators, is joined with the spirit person of the Supreme, deriving from the Paradise Tri­nity, by the action of Supreme Mind, which was bestowed by the Conjoint Actor. This takes place on the pilot world of the outer circuit of the central universe.
(5) The Infinite Spirit TRIUNE PARADISE DEITY is the name some­times used to designate this group, and some­times it is the Paradise Trinity. We believe it likely that the Supreme Creators work with Para­dise Deity in both respects – as the Three Persons and as the Trinity. The “union of the creative power of the Su­preme Creators with the creative potentials of the Trinity is the very sour­ce of the actu­ality of the Supreme Being.”
(6) The Eternal Son
(7) The Universal Father
See Appendix XXII., Sec. 5. Finite Power-Personality Synthesis.)

§ 2. god the sevenfold: evolutional deity

God the Sevenfold is the Deity response to the challenge of imperfection. As we have noted in our study of creative Deity, this sevenfold association began to function at the time of the organization of the superuniverses. There are several ways of studying this Deity association, and one of them is to consider the Sevenfold from a functional viewpoint. The Summary makes such a presentation of God the Sevenfold. Emphasis is placed on the three interacting groups within this seven-level association:

(a) The Supreme Creators

(b) The Supreme Being

(c) Triune Paradise Deity

The various beings who are collaborating in these three groups of the Sevenfold Deity are working on the potential, associative, creative, and evolutional levels of Deity activity in time and space. Partly because of their successful efforts in the evolutionary universes, the Supreme Being is slowly evolving (emerging) as an experiential Deity.

Evolutional Deity. We have traced the expansion of the action of total Deity from the static, through the potential, to the associative level. In the previous chapter we observed God the Sevenfold enter upon the fourth level, the creative level. Now, we observe that Deity is functioning on the fifth level of activity, the evolutional level.

The Supreme Being is evolving. He starts in the dawn of the Second Age as a spirit person in Havona. And then he begins to grow, to evolve, as the Supreme Creators are successful in perfecting their imperfect creations – including worlds like the one we live on. These successes of the Supreme Creators (and their co-ordinates, associates, and subordinates) are like many springs and brooks that converge into streams which merge into larger streams that, in turn, become the great tributaries of a mighty river. This “mighty river” of divinity success in time and space is something which is called the “experiential power of the Almighty.” Like a “mighty river” flows into the sea, so this inflowing and converging power of the Almighty unites with the spirit person of the Supreme in Havona. This is the source of the growth of the sovereign power of the Supreme who starts out as a spirit person (with no sovereign power at all) and is gradually growing (evolving) as the experiential sovereign of the seven superuniverses. (See Appendix XXII., § 5. Finite Power-Personality Synthesis.)

Even the Supreme Creators, themselves, evolve. They participate in the growth process of the Second Age. This is particularly true of the Creator Sons and the Creative Spirits, but it is probably also true of the entire Corps of the Supreme Creators. (See Appendix X., § 3. Evolution of the Members of the Trinity Ultimate; Appendix XIII., Evolution of Universe Sons and Spirits.)

The big difference between creation and evolution is the factor of time. Creation takes place without the passage of time, in an instant. Evolution slows down the transformative process to the point where creatures can understand what is going on, and can participate in it – can play a conscious part in their own growth. In this way, man (and other evolutionary creatures) can go into partnership with God; man can become a conscious partner with God in the evolution of himself, determining what he is to be. (See Appendix VIII., § 5. Evolutionary Techniques.)

Interaction of levels. The Supreme Being is not just a passive recipient of all this effort; he is personally active in doing something about his own growth and evolution. He is reaching back into the creative and the associative levels (of total Deity function) to actualize the potentials of the Paradise Deities. He is expressing his own emerging will and purpose in distributing himself to the time-space creations. In doing this, he is slowly making himself real as he expands into the evolutionary universes and identifies himself with all creature growth, and with all growing creatures. (See Appendix VI., § 1. An Analysis of the Levels of Total Deity Function; Appendix VII., § 4. The Growth of the Supreme: Growth in the Second Age; Appendix XXII., § 5. Finite Power-Personality Synthesis.)

§ 3. the emptiness of imperfection: growth capacity

We, who are native to the Second Age, take evolutionary growth and finite experience as a matter of course. It is all that we know. But from a larger perspective it is something that is quite peculiar to, and unique in, the present universe age. This is the age of growth of the Supreme. He is growing just as we are growing; he grows by virtue of our growth; and we are able to grow because we are growing inside of him – we are a part of his growth. In a way, we might think of the grand universe as the arena in which the Supreme Being is evolving, and almost everything in this arena is evolving along with him. We grow in him and he grows in us – it is a two-way procedure.

This is the age in which it is possible to have finite experience. The Supreme Being is growing in finite experience. Other ages will provide for experience but it will not be finite; it may be post-finite, or super-finite, but it will certainly be other-than-finite. This is because the growth of the Supreme is something that is limited to the Second Age, the present age. When this process has been completed, he will emerge as a Deity that we can all perceive and know. Then his evolutionary growth will have come to an end, and so will the possibility to participate in it – the possibil­ity to have finite experience.

Human beings start at the very bottom of finite creature existence. They start as superanimals and have a chance to ascend by evolutionary growth to the heights of finaliter status. We start the lowest of all, hence our opportunity is the greatest – we start with the least, hence our growth can embrace the most.

The virtue of an empty vessel is that it can be filed. (So said Lao-Tse in the Tao Te Ching.) The virtue of imperfection is that it can be filled with the experience of consciously growing into a state of perfection. The imperfection of the time-space creations provides the possibility for this kind of growth. Had they been created in perfection, the superuniverses would have been nothing more than an extension of the central creation – Havona all over again, but on a larger scale. And this superuniverse need, this very lack of perfection, gives the Paradise-Havona perso­nalities the opportunity for new growth in their enlarged service as they try to help us reach the divine heights of perfection from which they have descended. (See Appendix XI., § 7. Cytoplasmic Need Expands Nuclear Functions.)

§ 4. the challenge of power-personality unification

The pattern of growth in the Second Age is set by the Supreme. He derives his power (as the emerging Almighty Sovereign of the superuniverses) from the activities and the successes of the Supreme Creators and all the inhabitants of the time-space universes. If the acts of these beings are evil, then growth is thwarted; if their acts are good, then growth is augmented. The time-space growth of the Supreme depends on the inflowing power of the Almighty. This converging power is united with the spirit person of the Supreme, in Havona, by the action of the mind endow­ment of the Supreme Being. And this is the important fact: Power united with, and subject to, the control of spirit personality by the unifying action of mind.

This growth principle – power-personality synthesis – is encountered many times in the Papers. Power-personality synthesis is a transaction that takes place because of a certain set of conditions which obtain in the time-space universes. In these domains, it appears that energy-matter has been given a head start – it is dominant – while spirit is striving to become dominant. But spirit alone, is impotent. Spirit does not actually touch matter at any point. It takes mind to achieve the mastery of matter, of physical reality; and only that mind which is also personal possesses the power to choose to subordinate itself to spirit, even while achieving the mastery of energy-matter. But, if such an energy-mastering mind does not choose to be spirit-led, then it can never succeed (persist and survive) in the long run. As an example, consider the state of affairs in our world today: we have achieved a considerable mastery over the forces and secrets of nature – and we are afraid! (See Appendix XXII., § 5. Finite Power-Personality Synthesis, especially discussion of “The divergence of the three energies.”)

The question has sometime been raised, “How can the meek ever inherit the earth?” The answer is simple enough; no one but the meek possibly could – and keep the inheritance! Of course, such meek persons would also have to be very strong persons to start with. And, when such persons of great strength are also meek, then their strength makes no one afraid. When the strong are not meek, it is then that their strength begets fear. And it is this fear of unbridled strength that, sooner or later, causes the gathering together of even greater counter-strength through the formation of a confederacy of those who fear. Strength (power) without spirit-leading or spirit-restraint begets fear; and those who fear, will in due time, so combine together as to destroy the strong.

The growth challenge of the present age seems to be just this: can we use mind to master the problems of the physical creation, and, at the same time, subject this victorious mind to the overcontrol of spirit by the power of personality-choice? If we can do this, then we may become both strong and meek. Such a matter-domina­ting and spirit-affiliated mind is beginning to strike step with the unfolding of the evolutionary movements of the universes. Which is to say, we will have become relatively successful in our efforts to do the will of God.

§ 5. challenge and response

The Papers tell us (435.7) 39:4.14 that there are three keys to the kingdom of heaven: “sincerity, more sincerity, and more sincerity”; and that we make progress in the kingdom “by decisions, by more decisions, and by more decisions.” These instructions seem to place a high premium on honesty first, then on courage – on moral strength of character.

The exercise of moral courage, the making of moral decisions, can lead only to the development of moral strength. To what does this moral strength lead? If such strength turns inward to the self, then all is lost – it can become, at best, no more than ethical. But, if such strength turns inward to man’s spirit nucleus, to the Ad­juster, then all is gained – then can the moral transcend the ethical in reaching for the spiritual.

The reaching out for spiritual values – the quest for God – is an act caused by a feeling of need that is born of hunger in the human heart. Such hunger is begotten by the realization of smallness, by the feeling of humility. Out of such humility, out of this realization of human limitations, comes a surging and questing hunger to know the will of God and to find some way to do this will. This is the victory of meekness over pride, when a strong man – not a meek man – contemplates the comparative values of the will of man and the will of God.

With the moral strength that comes from decision-action, and with honest feelings of humility, and hunger, and meekness, a human being could begin to aspire to levels of real (and rare) understanding – levels of relative wisdom and of a kindly sophistication that could be completely anticynical. Such a human being could begin to be intelligently trustful of God; and such a wise and childlike faith is something very different from the blind presumptuousness of an ignorant and childish faith. The insights of an anticynical sophistication could generate a discerning tender-heartedness – a responsiveness to human problems and to human needs that would be something much more than mere sentimentality. Of course, in becoming respon­sive to human need, the discerning person has laid himself wide open to pain. The capacity to feel human need is the same capacity that can feel pain, than can mourn the tragedies of life.

At about this time in the maturing process of human being, the qualities of tenderness, humility, and anticynical sophistication could all meld together into the heightened insights of a rich humor – a genuine capacity to laugh at one’s self, and to laugh with (but not at) one’s fellow men. A realization, however dim, of the infinity of God coupled with an acute awareness of the finite smallness of man, can contrib­ute greatly to the growth of humor – a humor that can be turned inward upon the self, and especially directed toward the ever-hungry ego and pride of a normal human being. Given such self-directed humor (humor turned inward as a check on ego exaltation) it becomes easier for a human being to live with himself, and by laughing often at himself, to learn to live at peace with himself.

Such a maturing person, a person who has intelligently welded humor and wisdom to sympathy and understanding, is one who can give effective comfort; and in the giving can create in himself the capacity to receive and to benefit from the same ministration of understanding. Such kindly and sophisticated understanding could serve as the foundation for true mercy. We are instructed (315.1) 28:6.8 that mercy is not a simple thing. Mercy grows out of justice, and fairness, and patience, and kindness; such mercy is truly love in action. But this love-in-action is a love that has become wise and discerning by virtue of the insights of experience. Love-in-action is mercy, and mercy-applied is ministry. (75.10) 6:3.5; (94.4) 8:4.2 Ministry may be effective, or it may be ineffective, all depending on the content of wisdom – as well as the quality of selflessness in the underlying motivation of love.

The act of giving enlarges the capacity to receive, regardless of the wisdom or the effectiveness of the giver. If the art of giving is to be really effective, actually constr­uctive, and genuinely helpful – true and beautiful, as well as good – it may require the full use of all human resources of wisdom, humor, experience, and love. An unwise giver may reap the spirit benefits of sincere, but ineffective, giving; but what of the plight of the needy one, who profits not from this unartful ministry?

The effective and constructive giver is engaged in a ministry of positive action. He is becoming responsive and understanding in his giving; he is becoming an active and beneficial force among his fellow men; he is a bringer of good will; he is an ameliorator of difficulties and a reconciler of contentions. He is actively “waging peace” among his fellows.

Such a strong, loving, and wise person is becoming unafraid to live on earth as a citizen of a greater kingdom – even as a “universe conscious citizen.” The attempt to live this kind of a life may lead to trouble and contentions – even to pain. But such a human being will not shrink from these challenges to inner courage; challenges which test the quality and endurance of his humor; challenges to his very highest convictions of truth, beauty, and goodness. Albeit, such strong feelings of inner assurance could be humanly safe only if they were associated with sincerity and humility; only if they are governed by the urge of honesty and constrained by the realization of smallness, and especially held in check by the ego-controlling ministry of an active sense of humor.

Perhaps this is why on a certain occasion Jesus said what he said to twelve human beings:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure at heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5: 3–10.

And he closed this address to the twelve with the ninth statement concerning the human response to God’s challenge to men:

“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for so men perse­cuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt 5: 11–12.

God’s challenge to man is not something vaporous, rosy, distant, and theoretical. God’s challenge is the most real thing that a human being can possibly know in this lifetime. What do we do about this challenge? What is our response?

As we respond successfully to God’s challenge, we grow. This growth is not something that is projected into the far, far, future of the distant events of some inconceivably remote age. This is a “here and now” challenge, and our response to it is “here and now,” and our growth, as a result of successful responses, is also “here and now.”

God inhabits eternity, and like the eternal God his challenge is timeless – utterly divorced from the past-future of time – it is ever-present in the everlasting present moment of NOW. We respond to God’s challenge – not by regrets concerning the past, not by resolutions concerning the future – but by decision, by action, in the NOW of time.

The Universal Father has equipped each one of us royally; he has endowed us with all the powers and attributes necessary to respond to his challenge. He has invested us with the priceless powers of choice that accompany his gift of personal­ity. He has entrusted to our custody a small portion (an Adjuster-fragment) of his own unfathomable nature to serve as our spirit nucleus and as our pilot to Paradise. And, having thus endowed us richly, he challenges us greatly, and then abides patiently to see what we will do with what we have, in view of what he has done. (70.2) 5:6.1

From each of us he asks for all – all that we have. But this “all” is always in proportion to our capacity to give. To one he says, “Be a good shepherd, feed my sheep.” To another one he may say, “Be diligent and faithful in the doing of what­ever work you can best do.”

To some he asks, “Do you love me?” Of others he queries, “Do you trust me?” Of one he may question, “Do you serve me?” Of another he may inquire, “Do you obey me?” And of yet another he may ask, “Do you believe in me?” (2047.5) 192:2.1 Always is the challenge personalized and individualized – not a challenge to all men, but a challenge to each man. And always is it made in terms of the individual capabilities and the needs of the particular person whom God is personally challen­ging. Always does God’s challenge “take note of the man, in what manner he was born.” (314.1) 28:6.2

In brief, God has enriched us and he is challenging us to invest our “talents” with profit – with profit to ourselves and to his creation. But most of all, he is challenging us with love, with an infinite love that is all but blinding in the intensity of its mani­festation. The question that confronts us – and every other free-will being in the present universe age – is a very simple one: What are we going to do about this love, this love we can feel even without understanding it? What are we going to do about it, here and now?

Foundation Info

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Urantia Foundation, 533 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Tel: +1-773-525-3319; Fax: +1-773-525-7739
© Urantia Foundation. All rights reserved