Tension – the Prerequisite of Growth

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Seppo Kanerva

by Seppo Kanerva, President Urantia Foundation

From the human viewpoint, reality exists because of tension. The primary tension is the differentiation of the I AM into the Infinite One and the Infinitude. This tension gives rise to many other tensions: the tension between the Qualified (Deity) Absolute and the Unqualified Absolute, unified in the Universal Absolute; there is tension between deified and undeified realities. There are many equally crucial tensions: tensions between the potential and the actual, between personal and non-personal; between unity and diversity; between spiritual and non-spiritual; between perfection and imperfection. Tension is what makes reality possible and keeps it alive, moving, always progressing, always in search of a solution.

Absence of tension is the same as stasis, stagnation, inertia, and immobility. There is no growth in a static situation. Tension is the prerequisite of all growth. The interassociation of the Original, the Actual, and the Potential yields the tensions within infinity which result in the possibility for all universe growth (1262:6; 115:3.9). Without tension there would be no progress, yet progress is what the universe is all about: the watchword of the universe is progress (54:4; 4:1.2). We cannot stand still, we either progress – go forward –, or alternatively we retrogress – slide back (1736:3; 156:2.6).

We humans yearn for peace and harmony. We abhor tension because we usually view its consequences exclusively as disagreements, friction, altercation, fight, strife, and quarrelsome competition. We equate tension with all those abhorred phenomena. The effects of tension, thus, can be either constructive or destructive. Tension is the cause of growth and progress, but its effects can also be detrimental and horrible.

The existence of Urantia Foundation is derived from the tension between the treasure that the Foundation is to guard, disseminate, and make known and available, and on the other hand, the ignorance of the world about the revelation. The raison d'être of the social organisations is derived from the same tension. The organisations are to dispel the ignorance of the general public and educate people in the revelatory teachings.

But there have been, and continue to be, tensions also between these organisations. Tensions have run high within the Urantia community, and the ways to settle these tensions have not always been conducive to progress and harmonious joint efforts in order to settle and solve the tension that is the justification of this community's existence. The community has for some twenty years been suffering from the ramifications of the unwise ways of settling inter-organisational tensions, but has lately been endeavouring to understand it.

However, apart from the many and deplorable detrimental and destructive consequences of the community's internal tensions, we have witnessed also some positive developments. Awareness of the necessity to settle tensions in a peaceful manner is now firm. Many of the self-evidences of the past have been re-evaluated and revised. The inevitable competition between the various components of the community has resulted in an unprecedented activation of the involved organisations. The availability of the revelation has been made manifold.

Even if we cannot be blind to the positive outcomes of the difficulties of the last twenty years, it would, in my mind, be wiser to focus and concentrate the community's efforts and resources on the primary tension, which is the very justification of the existence of the community: the need to disseminate the revelation to the peoples of the world.

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