The Growth of God the Absolute

   
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We've considered several problems:

Number one: the positional value of the universe age demarcations in time. Number two: the problem of space–is it a variable or a constant?

Number three: quality and quantity.

Number four: the function of the Second Experiential Trinity, the Trinity Absolute.

I think this trinity is destined to function in the cosmos-infinite. It formed concurrently with the birth of the third nucleus, the master universe nucleus–the completion of the master universe.

Sure, I think it's got a function within the master universe, but let's consider the First Experiential Trinity. It was born at the time of the completion of the second nucleus–the grand universe nucleus of the master universe. And its function extended outside of the grand universe, out in the four outer space levels.

Similarly, I think, this Second Experiential Trinity has its principle function outside of the master universe. This again, is an argument in favor of a cosmos-infinite.

If this Second Experiential Trinity could ever completely function, it would experientialize God the Absolute out of the Deity Absolute. But we've got some paradoxes here. If it could completely function, then it would exhaust infinity. You can't do that. Infinity is non-exhaustible. You can get a Supreme Being, because there are limits that you can obtain. You can, with much greater effort, get an Ultimate–tennis ball and moon, you know? But even there, there are limits.

The number of the Architects of the Master Universe is finite. There are only 24- odd-thousand. And when they have completed their work, the Ultimate will appear. But when you start talking about the function of the Second Experiential Trinity, you're dealing directly with the Absolute. And I don't think you're going to run the Unqualified Absolute out of gas. I think you can unravel this baseball that Paradise pitched to him throughout all eternity, and you're still going to have plenty of potential for more universes. I don't think you're going to run the Deity Absolute out of spirit potency. In other words, we are now attempting to exhaust the inexhaustible. And that's why I think the papers point out that God the Absolute is more apt to appear by a trinitizing act than by an experientializing victory. You follow me?

That, to me, is the real significance of the statement:

". . . we truly doubt the possibility of such full unification of the Absolute Trinity . . ."

That's the Second Experiential Trinity.

Audience: What page is that?

Sixteen, paragraph 6:

"The Ultimate Trinity is experientially unifying in completion, but we truly doubt the possibility of such full unification of the Absolute Trinity."

You'd have to exhaust the Absolutes to do it. And they're non-exhaustible.

"Our concept, however, of the eternal Paradise Trinity is an ever-present reminder that Deity trinitization may accomplish what is otherwise nonattainable; hence do we postulate the sometime appearance of the Supreme-Ultimate and the possible trinitization-factualization of God the Absolute."

And now, if we'll go back to page 2 for a minute, I think we'll understand something better. As we consider these seven levels of the function of total Deity, don't you have a feeling that they stop short of where they should have stopped? They stopped at Ultimate. They didn't put Absolute down, did they? Read the bottom paragraph:

"The absolute level is beginningless, endless, timeless, and spaceless. For example: On Paradise, time and space are nonexistent; the time-space status of Paradise is absolute. This level is Trinity attained, existentially, by the Paradise Deities, but this third level of unifying Deity expression is not fully unified experientially."

Does that make sense now? If you could fully unify it experientially, you would have arrived at the end of experience. And that, to me, would be pretty awful, wouldn't it?

Let's consider problem number five: the growth of God the Absolute. When trinitization takes place, in the full sense of the word, the trinitizing parents give full expression to their total capacity to mobilize potentials and express them as an actual. When the Father and the Son established this principle by their original action, since they two together had infinite capacity to mobilize potentials, their trinitized offspring was an infinite being, the Infinite Spirit.

When two creatures, like two finaliters, combine their creative attributes–and remember, personality is creative, not in the unlimited sense, but in a limited sense. The Thought Adjuster is creative. If the two weren't creative, how would you get a soul started? This is a co-creative act on the part of personal mind and an indwelling spirit. They are co-creating something. And they are mobilizing potentials, or, here–

Think of water vapor. I like that, because you can't see it at all when it's in the air. But if you chill the air, it'll condense. Right? Then you can see it. I think of a creative act as condensing invisible potentials into something which is visible and registers. It was there all the time, just not apparent all the time.

All right. Two finaliters combine their creative powers, and they reach up into universe potentials, and they trinitize a new being. It's a creative act. And what can they do? They can't do any more than their creative power permits. They cannot exceed their own limitations. All they can do is produce a being like themselves, a creature. And they can only do this once.

Trinitizing parents can produce only one being who is their equal. Even God the Father and God the Son experienced this limitation. They only produced one Infinite Spirit.

If we ever do this we will produce just one being, who is our equal, also another creature. I think this same principle applies to the Supreme and the Ultimate. They can't exceed their capacities, can they?

Therefore, God the Absolute, as trinitized, is not a finished being. He has growth capacity, doesn't he? God the Absolute, as we have projected him here, as we have conceptualized him, is an incompleted being. He's present, but he can grow.

And where is going to grow? Well, I would offer the following possibilities to consider in connection with the growth of God the Absolute:

First of all, I think he's going to grow out in the cosmos-infinite. I think he's a participant in the never-ending expansion of the beachhead on the shores of infinity. We're never going to get to the other side, but we're never going to stop expanding.

I think he is going to grow also in the Trinity of Trinities. There's a lot of speculating about, "What is the Trinity of Trinities?" They point out, if you limit it to the concept of personal Deity, then as you have the three trinities on the first level, on the second level you have the three experiential deities, God the Supreme, God the Ultimate, and God the Absolute.

(Break in tape)

We hit something that's almost too big to think about. It's the final power- personality synthesis. This thing starts out in the concept of the Conjoint Creator, in whose deity nature we have the first active synthesis of personality and power. He operates right across the board. He can activate the Paradise pattern. He can produce Power Directors. He can produce Master Spirits. In the spiritual side, he is the origin of mind. Here you have the maximum amount of synthesis on the existential level. Everything is functionally related to the Infinite Spirit.

In the Supreme Being–the whole growth of the Supreme–is a power-personality synthesis: The evolution of sovereign power and its consolidation in a Sovereign who earns that sovereignty by experience. The final victory of spirit over matter through the mediation of mind, by virtue of the choosing of the volitional personality. And when the Supreme Being has emerged, we have synthesized personality and power. This universe will be a well-coordinated universe.

The same synthesis is taking place on the level of ultimacy. Only, the coordination of the moon is something much bigger than the coordination of the tennis ball, isn't it?

How would we talk without moons and tennis balls? We've got to have handy, corny, symbols.

Well, now we're face to face with a real rough one. Let's go back to the fried egg, and the separation of the yolk and the white. This is unified existentially by the Universal Absolute. What we're face to face with here is: Can it ever be unified experientially?

I think the answer is no. But I think the experiential factor in such unification will be ever growing. This is a part of the growth of God the Absolute.

Again, as I told you, I hope our unseen associates will give me credit for courage if not for discretion, because I'm going on from here.

The sixth question I'd like to ask you is: What is the role of the Universal Absolute in the final age? We're told–page 15, paragraph 4–that the Universal Absolute functions at the present time on the first three levels of total Deity function–static, potential, and associative. This hypothesis can present the question we are considering, but it offers no speculation as to the expanded functions–if any–of the Universal Absolute in the final universe age. The Universal Censor who writes paper ten suggests–page 116, paragraph 9–that the Universal Absolute is non-attainable by creatures, because this Absolute is growing faster than the finaliters are growing. This is something like observing a seraphim who, at triple velocity, is chasing a Solitary Messenger, who is moving altogether faster. Let's read what the Censor says:

"I once sojourned in a universe where a certain group of beings taught that the finaliters, in eternity, were eventually to become the children of the Deity Absolute."

That's what we're talking about, the breakthrough.

"But I am unwilling to accept this solution of the mystery which enshrouds the future of the finaliters."

"The Corps of the Finality embrace, among others, those mortals of time an space who have attained perfection in all that pertains to the will of God. As creatures and within the limits of creature capacity they fully and truly know God. Having thus found God as the Father of all creatures, these finaliters must sometime begin the quest for the superfinite Father." The second floor of the fire station. "But this quest involves a grasp of the absonite nature of the ultimate attributes and character of the Paradise Father. Eternity will disclose whether such an attainment is possible, but we are convinced, even if the finaliters do grasp this ultimate of divinity, they will probably be unable to attain the superultimate levels of absolute Deity."

But now he hedges:

"It may be possible that the finaliters will partially attain the Deity Absolute, but even if they should, still in the eternity of eternities the problem of the Universal Absolute will continue to intrigue, mystify, baffle, and challenge the ascending and progressing finaliters, for we perceive that the unfathomability of the cosmic relationships of the Universal Absolute will tend to grow in proportions as the material universes and their spiritual administration continue to expand."

"Only infinity can disclose the Father-Infinite."

I think, then, we encounter what is probably an absolute barrier. (Can't understand tape) the old Censor's comments, I'm not too sure about this Deity Absolute business. But on the other hand he says, maybe so, maybe so. But this far, and no farther.

Well, I remember in the first draft of this hypothesis, I had an unfinished feeling. I think there's one more question we should ask: What is the final goal? There's no warrant in the papers for this. This is just my speculation. But I can't stop on question six. I want to ask that last question.

Here's my thinking, for what it's worth. And this is strictly my thinking, so take it with much salt.

The final goal would appear to be the experiential unification of the three Absolutes. This goal is absolutely non-attainable. But nothing can ever stop the never- ending progression toward that goal.

God the Absolute would appear to be experientially attainable by creatures as a sub-infinite experience. I think there's plenty of warrant in the papers for that deduction. The Universal Absolute would appear to be non-attainable by creatures. I just read you my warrant for that deduction. But even if creatures can never obtain the Universal Absolute, still God the Absolute could know this level of Deity.

Even if creatures can never know the Universal Father as an infinity, still think what it could mean to an infinite God if he could be known at least as an Absolute God by an experiential Deity, by God the Absolute. Do you see? We've really poured the foundation. And now we can begin to make some progress. The last two paragraphs on page two describe the firehouse–the finite, the absonite, the absolute.

They point out the different ways that Deity may exist: existential, experiential, associative–God the Sevenfold is not a person, is he? God the Sevenfold is an association of divine beings. And then lastly, Deity may be undivided, as in the Paradise Trinity.

You know the best way I've ever found to conceptualize the Trinity is to think of a tree, with a single trunk and three branches. If you look at one level, you find undivided Deity. If you look at another level, you find three personalizations of Deity. And the unity of the Trinity does not in any way invalidate the definite reality of each of the three branches.

Those three concentric circles up there are a unified, single pattern, are they not? At the same time, there are three circles.

These illustrations are really corny, but they're the only kind that mean anything to me. I just can't get any feeling out of highfalutin stuff, you know.

(Break in tape)

They now elucidate another principle, the principle of divinity. Divinity is that quality which causes all things divine to flow together, to be cohesive, to cohere. In other words, I think of divinity in that sense as like the stickum on adhesive tape. Things divine tend to stick together, flow together, come together.

As we see it–well, here. When you come right down to it, what was the cohesive force that held eleven out of the twelve apostles to Jesus? It was love, wasn't it? They just thought the world of him. They loved him. There is divinity in action. And why did they love him? Because they perceived that he so dearly loved them.

They define divinity as truth, as beauty, and as goodness. And, as they point out many times in these papers, when you take these qualities of divinity and express them in a personality, they come out as love, mercy, and ministry. And they do this because this is the way God expressed them in the beginning.

The Father is love. The Son is mercy. And what is mercy? It's defined as love applied. The Spirit is ministry. And what is ministry? It is loving mercy in action.

They point out that you can have different kinds of divinity, because there are different relationships to perfection, and they set forth these seven different kinds of perfection which are characteristic in the universe.

And don't get scared of that seven. It's the same pattern you encounter in the Seven Master Spirits. It is the permutation, the combinational possibilities, of three kinds of perfection: imperfection, relative perfection, and absolute perfection. You can have any one of them or all of them. You can have any combination of two. That's three possible combinations. Or you can have all three together.

How would you type a human being? Well, I would say we would class on the fourth level. The Thought Adjuster is absolutely perfect, and in all other respects, a human being is imperfect. Now if you want to think of us as just humans, then we hit the seventh level–absolute perfection in no attribute, imperfection in all.

When we consider what they have to say about God, we now begin to shape our thinking in relation to the size of words. As they point out, the word God means a relationship to personality. Whereas Deity doesn't necessarily mean that. It may or may not.

And they point out God the Father works on three levels: prepersonally, personally, and superpersonally.

Prepersonally, he fragments. Personally, he creates. And superpersonally, he eventuates.

I don't understand eventuate, and I know you folks don't either. But it means something other than fragmentation and creation, which still results in the appearance of a being.

Therefore, the word-symbol Deity is larger than the word-symbol God. The word- symbol Deity can include the Father's relationship to Paradise. He's not Father of Paradise, because Paradise is not a son. The word-symbol Deity can also include the Father's relationship to the Eternal Son. But if we use the word God, we are probably excluding God's relationship to Paradise. And we are emphasizing the personal relationship of the Father to the Son and with the Son to the Spirit and to all other personal beings.

They point out that as they use the word God, it can mean different things in these papers, and they say, when you're in doubt, it's God the Father. But we may specify some other aspect of God, and they take inventory of how they use the word God: God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, God the Supreme, God the Sevenfold, God the Ultimate, God the Absolute.

Let's see what they say about God the Supreme here:

"The evolving God of time and space is putting together everything that is going on in time and space which is experiential. He is synthesizing creature-Creator identity."

Is that so strange and foreign? No. It's exactly what Jesus did down here. He synthesized creature-Creator identity. He came here a divine Son. In the course of his 30- odd years he found out exactly what it was like to be a human being. He was born, he lived, he died. And that human nature is an eternal part of his divine nature. Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, the carpenter, lives in the Creator Son. Just think of that as taking place throughout the whole grand universe. The whole thing adds together in the Supreme Being.

(Break in tape)

–expressive of the Deity of the Supreme. God the Supreme, to me, emphasizes his spirit personality, and stands in contrast to the Almighty Supreme, which is his synthesizing, experiential power which is unifying with God the Supreme. To me, the term Supreme Being is the larger of the other two terms. But you won't find the papers strictly adhere to that. They many times do, but they may refer to God the Supreme in the overall sense, as they refer to the Universal Father in the overall sense, where technically they maybe should use the term First Source and Center. I think of the Father in relation to Paradise. It's a loose use of the term.

Number 5, God the Sevenfold, is the evolutional aspect of Deity. This is the adjustment which Deity makes to the conditions as they obtain. In this universe age, we deal with God the Sevenfold.

The last half of this paper emphasizes the personality and the spirit nature of the Father.

The second paper continues the story. It discusses his infinity, and his perfection, his justice, and righteousness, and concludes with a discussion of mercy, love, goodness, truth, and beauty.

Always throughout these papers, whenever they encounter the problem of justice versus mercy, they point out that this is a love-dominated universe. Sure, God is a judge, but they say God as a Father transcends God as a judge. When they are talking about the adjudication of mortal survival, they say in case of doubt, we always rule in favor of the creature. They say we would cheerfully risk another Lucifer rebellion rather than to err against mercy.

They say we don't claim to administer justice in flawless perfection, but we do claim to administer it in mercy.

I don't think God's absolute attributes are discussable in finite language. Finest analysis of the difference between a Havona native and an ascendant finaliter, especially the third paragraph, where they choose such words as:

Havoners are brave, but not courageous; kind, but hardly altruistic in the human way; expect a pleasant future, but they're not hopeful as we have learned to hope. They have faith, but they're utter strangers to the kind of saving faith which we have to have. They love the truth, but they never experienced salvation through the embrace of truth. They were idealists, but they never knew what it was to become an idealist, and to experience the thrill of embracing ideals. They're loyal, but they were never really tempted to default. They know nothing about the challenge of loyalty. They're unselfish, but they never became that way through the conquest of selfishness. Sure, they enjoy the sweetness of pleasure, but they know nothing of how pleasant pleasure can be as an escape from pain.

What they're discussing here, in comparing Havoners and finaliters, they're discussing two kinds of maximum finites.

Page 1158. Look down the page at the two italicized paragraph headings. We're discussing finite reality, and they're contrasting primary maximums and secondary maximums. A primary maximum is something like a Havona native, naturally born perfect. A secondary maximum is something like a finaliter, a being who has achieved perfection experientially.

And it's interesting to read on. They say that there is a tertiary maximum. I think of those as the Creature Trinitized Sons. Just make a cross-reference here to page 360, paragraph 3, "The Evolutionary Idea." This is in the paper on the "Evolution of Local Universes," and it discusses the relationship between the beings of perfection and the beings of evolution, the relationship between Havona and the seven superuniverses. Can't they use language, though? You know, you really can't explain a Havona native to us, but you get a feeling for them here, don't you?

And, you know, these papers make an appeal to honest self-respect, not to pride and ego. But as I read these paragraphs, I'm glad I'm a man, you know? You'll recall that the Alpheus twins knew they were the least of the twelve Apostles and felt cheerful about it? It's words like this that enable one to accept his imperfections and feel cheerful about them–not smug or lethargic–but cheerful.

I think the last section in the paper on the attributes of God is one of the great pieces of philosophic writing in these papers, as well as a great piece of rhetoric. Read that first paragraph, against the light of all that we've discussed:

"With divine selflessness, consummate generosity, the Universal Father relinquishes authority and delegates power, but he is still primal; his hand is on all final decisions and unerringly wields the all-powerful veto scepter of his eternal purpose with unchallengeable authority over the welfare and destiny of the outstretched, whirling, and ever-circling creation."

"The sovereignty of God is unlimited; it is the fundamental fact of all creation."

Over on the next page: "Does God suffer?" Now you see the Divine Counselor is considering the whole nature of God here. How does God suffer on the top floor of the firehouse–or maybe even on the second floor–but maybe on the first floor.

Maybe on the first floor, God does not choose to know the end from the beginning. Even as the human mind of Jesus, during his public ministry, sometimes did not choose to know the content of the divine mind of Michael. Sometimes he did, sometimes he did not.

The Divine Counselor says he doesn't know, but he thinks he does.

Audience: What page is that?

53. In the last paragraph in this paper, they engage in one of the most beautiful descriptions of the Deity of the First Source and Center in contrast to the personality of God. This paragraph starts out by discussing, broadly, the Deity of the First Source and Center; it concludes with a portraiture of the personal nature of the First Source and Center.

He's "power, form, energy, process, pattern, principle, presence, and idealized reality. But he is more; he is personal; he exercises a sovereign will, experiences self- consciousness of divinity, executes the mandates of a creative mind, pursues the satisfaction of the realization of an eternal purpose, and manifests a Father's love and affection for his universe children."

And then they say if you want to understand that, study the life and teachings of Jesus. In that life, and in those teachings, these truths are completely comprehensible and wholly experienced. And then this paper closes with what–I guess you folks call it the same as we do–in Chicago we've learned to call it the benediction. With one little modification–I don't use "Sons" in the plural–I've spoken this in many churches. I've concluded many a talk by reciting this benediction. It's a wonderful piece of rhetoric. It's a beautiful expression of the interaction of the three Paradise Deities.

You know, I think these so-called tough papers up here are real exciting, and real, real beautiful. This language is exquisite in spots.

And having discussed his attributes, they say, all right, how is he related to the universe? Paper 4 talks about his attitudes, his unchanging character, his relation to nature–and oh, how, in that section, they dynamite pantheism.

Remember when they point out nature's scarred, her beautiful face is marred, by all the erroneous choices of creatures, as well as exhibiting the beauty of a divine purpose.

God is in nature, but nature is not God.

Elsewhere in the papers they say when man discovers God in nature, this is proof that that man has first discovered God in his own heart.

Having found God, you can observe him in nature, but you never find him there.

The discussion of God and nature is really the stand which the Urantia papers make against pantheism. This is not a pantheistic God.

I think one of the best illustrations of pantheism is taken from Hindu teachings. It shows how slippery the human mind can be in rationalizing.

Says the pupil to the teacher: But teacher, if God is everywhere, and if I am God, and God is in the elephant, why did the elephant almost run me down yesterday? And the teacher replies, but did you not see also God riding in the form of the elephant driver warn you to get out of the way? This is not logic, this is rationalization. God's character simply doesn't change. He's not whimsical. He's not fluctuating. You know, in many ways, this is a discussion of the Gospel according to Melchizedek.

When this local universe Son came down here to lay the foundation for Michael's bestowal, you know, somewhere on earth there had to be a concept of God which was sufficiently decent so that Michael could say, "This is my Father," and then to proceed to grow it and elaborate on it.

I think Melchizedek wisely concentrated on a basic idea: God is dependable, God is moral, God is not whimsical. If you make a contract with God, he will keep his end of the bargain. Until you trust God, you can't love him, can you?

This, in a sense, is a discussion of the Gospel according to Melchizedek: God's unchanging character. When they speak about the realization of God? Well, read that first paragraph on page 58, under the caption:

"God is the only stationary, self-contained, and changeless being in the whole universe of universes, having no outside, no beyond, no past, and no future."

You know, they're trying to talk a little bit about the third floor of the firehouse here, aren't they? And when you say this, you're talking about a being you can't understand. And then they contrast this: God's absoluteness–second paragraph, page 59:

"God's absoluteness pervades all seven levels of universe reality, and the whole of his absolute nature is subject to the relationship of the Creator to his universe creature family. Precision may characterize trinitarian justice in the universe of universes, but in all his vast family relationships with the creatures of time, the God of universes is governed by divine sentiment. First and last, eternally, the infinite God is a Father. Of all the possible titles by which he might appropriately be known, I have been instructed to portray the God of all creation as the Universal Father."

You know, I don't know, but I'll bet these Divine Counselors had some long discussions with their ascendant associates. I'll bet a cookie that they talked to the Mighty Messengers attached to this commission. See, a Divine Counselor operates under the handicap of never having been human. A Mighty Messenger is an ex-mortal.

Let's turn to page 1153, and take a look at the counterpoint of this point. Paragraph 4:

"Ever remember that man's comprehension of the Universal Father is a personal experience. God, as your spiritual Father, is comprehensible to you and to all other mortals, but your experiential, worshipful concept of the Universal Father must always be less than your philosophic postulate of the infinity of the First Source and Center, the I AM."

Power, principle, presence, process, idealized reality. You can feel what you love, but you know that what you love is much less than all that is there. This is the difference, I think, between the truth of God and the fact of God.

And again, over on page 59, third from the last paragraph:

"We crave the concept of the Infinite, but we worship the experience- idea of God, our anywhere and any-time capacity to grasp the personality and divinity factors of our highest concept of Deity."

We should be challenged by the immensity of God and comforted by our feeling for him.

And then that last paragraph near the bottom of page 59:

"The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence, when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father Absolute. . ."

Long before the Ascenders reach Havona, they've developed a battle cry, which the papers present as, quote: "In liaison with God, nothing, absolutely nothing, is impossible." (348) These papers very seldom teach in a negative manner, but at the conclusion of this paper, section 5, at the bottom of page 59, they take off on the atonement concept. They simply go at it with hand grenades and bombs.

Audience: Laughter.

They just pronounce it to be blasphemous on the character of God.

You know, I always remember, this whole sacrificial idea came home to me as a little boy. I got my religious training from my mother. I once could recite all the judges in Israel, and so on. And I had a child's book of the Bible. And I always remember the woodcut at the end of one of the chapters. It showed little Ike tied down on the rock, and above him was old Abe with that wicked looking knife. And the angel had gotten there in a Buck Rogers photo finish, you know? And the argument I gave my mother was, but suppose the angel had been late?

Audience: Laughter.

I mean, I was little Ike, you know? And Abe was my old man. And mother said, "But the angel wasn't late." I said, "But suppose?" And she could never sell me on any idea which would put a little boy in that kind of a jam with his dad, you know?

Audience: You didn't buy it.

I didn't buy it. I would have no part of that whatsoever. Thinking men and women are not going to buy the kind of a God who gets mad at men. As the papers point out, when they get into the discussion of sacrifice, they say the celestial personalities may occasionally have intervened to prevent those things, but they certainly never egged them on.

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