What The Urantia Book Means to Me by Paul Anderson

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson

By Paul Anderson, Illinois, United States

When I look back at times before The Urantia Book came into my life, I see a boy kind of like the title character in Pete Townshend's rock opera Tommy, who was deaf, dumb, and blind. Deaf, dumb, and blind to spirit reality, that is. I have often wondered how spirit gravity had its way with me. Just like a meteor finally coming close enough to another heavenly body to alter its course, spiritual realities pulled me in and changed my life.

I think I fit into a mold where, when one awakens to spirit reality because love has invaded his or her life, one is not ready for its power. A broken heart is sometimes necessary in order to grow in spirit understanding. I’m referring to the first time I was in love. I am reminded of the song “The First Cut Is the Deepest.” I didn't have any idea what love was or what it could do to someone. And, yes, of course, I got my heart broken. But if I could love someone else that much, how much does God love?

This growth seems to fit what The Urantia Book says: “Spiritual growth is first an awakening to needs, next a discernment of meanings, and then a discovery of values.” 100:2.2 (1095:6)

Just like the meteor that gets too close, I was in danger of burning and crashing. When one has his heart broken, I think there is always danger of reacting in some angry, self-destructive way. I was about twenty-three or twenty-four, but luckily for me The Urantia Book came along concomitantly with this spiritual experience. The book had a gravity all its own that pulled me away and saved me. I was in California living with several other men. One of them had a father who was an English professor at Cal State Fullerton. He was using The Urantia Book in one of his classes. His son became exposed to The Urantia Book and told us all about it. This was about 1970. The book certainly cleared up my thinking and remotivated me in life to such an extent that I say it saved me from a crash-and-burn experience.

It does take some time not only to read The Urantia Book, but also to redirect a life that was somewhat wayward—too many drugs, no confidence, and to some extent an antisocial attitude. It took me probably at least a year to read the entire book. I started with Part IV, The Life and Teachings of Jesus, and then read the whole book. It says, “The hungry soul of man refuses to be satisfied with anything less than the personal realization of the living God.” 102:1.6 (1119:5)

When I look back on this period of my life I can see how belief in the book started to affect me. As the book teaches, belief is different from faith. For me, belief came before faith. But even just belief helped me change direction in some ways. At work, I was pretty low on the totem pole, but eventually I became a boss and then decided to go back to school. I got educated to at least a fuller extent of my capabilities. (I should have been an engineer, but became a DO psychiatrist.) I settled down in a career, which had the potential to be fulfilling, and I married, albeit perhaps not for the right reasons. Unfortunately for me, I continued to use drugs and live my life hedonistically. I was not happy. This finally caught up with me, and I seemingly lost everything I had achieved.

But God was teaching me. I have found that at every setback new opportunities come forth and lead to growth and happiness that probably could not have been achieved in any other way. At least not for me! The Urantia Book has been instrumental in those growth experiences. It says that you “cannot reveal God to those who do not seek for him; you cannot lead unwilling souls into the joys of salvation. Man must become hungry for truth as a result of the experiences of living, or he must desire to know God as the result of contact with the lives of those who are acquainted with the divine Father.” 132:7.2 (1466:2)

I have made many poor decisions in my life, but because of them, I make better ones today. Not out of fear, but because I know; I have been shown wisdom. And when things go wrong now, I know that I am being shown a wiser path. I am now living more by faith than by belief. This is hard to explain. Yet it is true.

I have believed in The Urantia Book for many years but to live more by what it teaches, i.e., the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, is more than what I had been doing. I am certainly not perfect at it, but I believe I am doing a better job now than I did as a young man: “That which the lad wanted most to do he was unconsciously actually doing.” 132:7.9 (1467.5)

I start my day writing a poetry prayer and post it to Facebook. I go to one study group every Tuesday night and to another study group in my area as many Sundays as it meets. I have a steady relationship. I have a happiness that I have not had before. I also have a personal relationship with my father in heaven that continually grows.

So what does The Urantia Book mean to me? In many ways The Urantia Book is like a father and has given me a family. The papers about the life of Jesus Christ have given me a Jesus that I can understand and believe in, and the rest of the book has given me an understanding of reality that I can have faith in and believe in. When this settles in one’s soul, it’s hard to find words to express the gratitude that results, but “worshipful” as used in The Urantia Book might come close to describing such an attitude—one more way the book has added meaning and understanding to my life.

Foundation Info

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Urantia Foundation, 533 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Tel: +1-773-525-3319; Fax: +1-773-525-7739
© Urantia Foundation. All rights reserved