Thoughts and Reflections on What The Urantia Book Means to Me

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Lourdes Burga-Cisneros
Lourdes Burga-Cisneros
Lourdes Burga-Cisneros

By Lourdes Burga-Cisneros, Lima, Peru

In 1994, when I was twenty-two and on a trip to Asuncion, Paraguay, a very special and dear person introduced me to the teachings of The Urantia Book. Even though I had been baptized as a Roman Catholic and had been raised in that faith, and even though I had undertaken a spiritual search involving New Age topics, I found it difficult to think of God as being close to me and as my very own personal Father, as I do now. I must also admit that I was not comfortable with the idea that we are all brothers and sisters because we have the same all-loving Father. Later, however, I became truly conscious of what all this means and implies: Being brothers and sisters is a tremendous universal gift that we should not take for granted; instead, we should appreciate it as a key opportunity to fulfill our own life purpose and improve our world while embracing this challenge as soon as possible. Seizing upon and understanding these two crucial truths—the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man—changed my life forever. Although I spent a year becoming familiar with the teachings of The Urantia Book before I actually started reading it, by that time I was ready to accept and understand its truths while yearning to live them.

One result of those teachings was to lure me out of Peru, my native country, so that I could undertake a sabbatical year during which I would backpack throughout South America. In the end, however, that original plan mutated into ten years during which I explored the path of spiritual growth by sharing ideals and perceptions with hundreds of brothers and sisters whom I met in a spiritual journey that led me through Latin America, the United States, and western Europe, and that also took me as far as the Middle East.

Throughout those years and all along this path, I felt that the Father himself truly blessed me while taking me by the hand, assisting me, and answering my questions while sustaining, fortifying, serving, and guiding me, and while teaching and enlightening me. I am deeply grateful that I had the opportunity for such an amazing experience during crucial years that served to define and stabilize my character. Unlike many of my old friends who spent those years inventing new and crazy ways to gratify themselves, I focused on the Father’s will and on trying to fulfill it.

Naturally there were obstacles, problems, contradictions, and mistakes, most of them stemming from my ego, my stubbornness, and the undesirable patterns of behavior that I had developed during my childhood and youth in Peru. But I was determined to continue my quest, and fortunately I did. During those years, I was particularly fond of the following passage from The Urantia Book:

Having started out on the way of life everlasting, having accepted the assignment and received your orders to advance, do not fear the dangers of human forgetfulness and mortal inconstancy, do not be troubled with doubts of failure or by perplexing confusion, do not falter and question your status and standing, for in every dark hour, at every crossroad in the forward struggle, the Spirit of Truth will always speak, saying, “This is the way.” 34:7.8 (383.2)

At the deepest level within me, I realized that my most important task at the time was to take care of myself as a soul, so that I could attune my life to the whole program of planetary evolution, thereby contributing in my own personal way to enhancing evolutionary experience on this planet and therefore in the universe. I became aware of this challenge by reading The Urantia Book and especially the teachings about the Supreme Being. How satisfying and comforting it was to learn from a very reliable source that the evolving and experiential God of time and space actually acquires important experience alongside and through us, embracing and embodying the experiences of spiritual value that we ourselves contribute!

In view of this inspiring and intriguing revelation of reality, “actually doing the Father’s will” made perfect sense to me, as if to say, “It is my will to do my Father’s will so that I can help achieve God’s purposes on earth.” Why not say to others the words that I would like to hear? Why not seek to inspire someone as I would like to have been inspired? Why not write a book that I would like to read or compose a song that I would like to sing? Why not help bring about the world I would like to live in? And so, I resolved to do that or, at least, to try.

I reached this understanding under the influence of someone whom I may call an older brother, but only in the philosophic or spiritual sense. He drew on many of the teachings of The Urantia Book, thereby helping me advance well beyond my previous view that, in my spiritual life, I would fulfill a mission somehow revealed by a being of light who would instantaneously raise my level of consciousness. This, of course, had been wishful thinking, and it was crucial for me to overcome and transcend it. Nonetheless, it was a hard lesson for me to realize that our spiritual mission in life consists of, and relies on, day-to-day experience, the context in which we can actually make a difference. Taking care of my soul so as to attune myself to cosmic reality meant hard work! For example, I became aware that I was obliged to exert conscious effort after I awakened each morning, making wise use of space, time, and energy, so that I could offer my own life to God and to the universe in ways that would be appropriate and wise. In other words, I realized that the spiritual mission of my life was not fated or guaranteed but a potential outcome that I had to actualize by my own conscious effort.

It is amazing that twenty-one years have elapsed since then. Now I am once again immersed in regular life in society, and I have two children who motivate me to keep moving when my strength ebbs, and when I wonder whether I can complete my work, chores, and duties for that day. I am thankful for the moments of enlightenment and joy, but I must also be grateful for periodic stress and tension. These intervals remind me of the spiritual journey that I undertook in my youth. They stimulate decision-making, and they spur me on to renew the spiritual commitments I made years ago while acting on the knowledge and understanding I had acquired from the inspiring teachings of The Urantia Book.

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