What The Urantia Book Means to Me By Michael Edwards

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By Michael Edwards, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

I was first introduced to The Urantia Book in the spring of 1985 by a man named Clyde, who was soon to become my sponsor and spiritual advisor for the next twenty years until his death in 2005. To say that I have studied this book continuously since my introduction would be an overstatement, but once I became familiar with some of its basic concepts, I have returned to The Urantia Book over and over again. My study has intensified over the past ten years largely due to an increased inner motivation to have a greater understanding and to live a more dedicated lifestyle according to true spiritual principles.

The Urantia Book is unlike any book I have ever encountered. When I began my reading, I had many questions concerning the inconsistencies that I observed in my limited exposure to traditional Christianity. For example, I found it impossible to believe that, if indeed God existed, the universe and God would operate in the inconsistent manner I had been taught in church.

Another big problem for me was the idea that God would "save" and send to heaven only certain people because they adhered to one set of beliefs, and that any other peoples not having this exact set of beliefs were to be cast into an eternal life in hell. It seemed to me that the few religious teachers of my youth were picking and choosing only the parts of the Bible that fit their own agenda, and that many of these supposed religious people actually lived lives that appeared to me to be much more hypocritical than many others who claimed no religious preference.

Another problem was the absence of logic in their views of how the universe operated. The idea that God could be the original "I AM"―and at the same time operate with love and care for every single one of his children―seemed impossible to explain. No explanation for any of these questions was ever given. I was expected to believe it because “the Bible told me so.” My solution was to dismiss religion entirely.

When I found The Urantia Book, I was one year into a twelve-step program. At this time of great personal difficulty and by working the twelve steps, I had begun to discover a "God of my own understanding." In some ways, this period was a very exciting time in my life because I was developing a deeply personal conception of God and was seeing the literal miracle of my being able to live life one day at time without using any mood altering chemicals. For the first time in my life, I came to believe that God truly existed and seemed to have a real interest in me, though this realization was vague at best.

One crucial part of my practicing the twelve steps was to practice meditation and prayer on a daily basis. Being completely unable to meditate at that time in my life, it was suggested by this spiritual teacher that I begin reading something from The Urantia Book on a daily basis. Among other things, Clyde said that he believed this was the only book he knew of that contained the highest concepts of spiritual value that we humans were capable of understanding, which he referred to as "essential knowledge."

At first, I began reading only small recommended parts of the book and discussing them later with Clyde. Initially and often I found the book to be extremely difficult to understand, but I also felt that every time I read it, I gained something. More important for me was an indescribable "feeling" or "intuition" that I often experienced, even when reading a Paper that was at first mostly incomprehensible. Clyde called this a form of "God-consciousness."

As time passed, my understanding increased. Fairly soon came the day I began to read the Jesus Papers. After a few months of reading Jesus’ life story in The Urantia Book, I knew something of the actual person of Jesus―a person strikingly different from the Jesus of traditional religion. I now think that the Bible and The Urantia Book describe attributes of the same Jesus, but the difference is the depth, context, and tone of the message in The Urantia Book.

One of the most amazing results from my study of The Urantia Book is that it made sense and answered the religious and spiritual questions I have had since I was a child. It expanded my concept of God! The Urantia Book also logically synthesized philosophy, psychology, astronomy, and history.

The book remains very simple and incomprehensibly complex at the same time. But it has explained to my satisfaction how God can be the original "I AM," and be the personally available God of love, as well as an enormous range of manifestations of God in between. Within the pages of The Urantia Book is a concept of a "divine order" and answers to questions that once seemed impossible to answer. The Urantia Book has provided me with an entirely new frame of reference with which to view myself, my fellow humans, and the universe of universes.

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