Secondary works

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As most of you know, The URANTIA Book is the principal publication of URANTIA Foundation. "The URANTIA Book" is magnificently complete and self-contained, using an economy of words and a clarity of expression heretofore unknown. The Trustees believe that "The URANTIA Book" is fully capable of speaking for itself without need for systematic and/or comprehensive interpretation. Indeed, even the best of human interpretation or explanation runs the very real risk of appearing as presumptuous as that of a candle trying to illuminate the way for a search light.

However, from time to time creative efforts may appear which--while certainly not of epochal significance--may promise, with certain safeguards, a respectable degree of assistance in the study of "The URANTIA Book." The Trustees either have published or have authorized the publishing of a few such supportive works, when, after careful and considered deliberation, it was thought that the work itself would contribute directly to the study and comprehension of "The URANTIA Book."

However, where a proposed work based on "The URANTIA Book" was nothing more than a restatement of the teachings of "The URANTIA Book," and hence tantamount to a new version, the Trustees have declined to participate or to give approval.

It seems especially unwise at this early stage of the presentation of "The URANTIA Book" to our world that there be hundreds or thousands of works (perhaps reflecting a decided western cultural bias) all claiming to tell what "The URANTIA Book" is saying, when "The URANTIA Book" speaks for itself so splendidly.

Once the primary and fundamental position of "The URANTIA Book" is widely recognized, the matter of secondary works (as opposed to new versions) will be of less concern. Until the primacy of "The URANTIA Book" is safely established, there is the worrisome problem of "The URANTIA Book's" submergence in a clutter of derivative works, some of which may well delimit the universality of the URANTIA message through restrictive and/or formalized interpretation, or the inextricable association of "The URANTIA Book" with so-called western culture. In any event it appears that there is no more need for a proliferation of second hand or interpretive works concerning "The URANTIA Book" than there is for the creation and maintenance of a pervasive institutional religious hierarchy.

"The URANTIA Book" can and does speak for itself.

It is significant that the Revelators saw fit to present "The URANTIA Book" as it is. Had there been a better or more efficient way by which they could have accomplished their mission, we are confident they would have done so.

In comprehending "The URANTIA Book" there is nothing more productive or of more lasting promise than the serious and applied study of "The URANTIA Book" itself. Each of us should have first hand contact with the teachings of "The URANTIA Book." Consistent with the copyright laws, each reader is encouraged to develop his or her own study aids (for his or her own personal use), the value of which will depend on one's personal application to the study of "The URANTIA Book."

But study the Book. If one wishes to appreciate an object, one studies the object, not its shadow.

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