Urantia Book Internet School—an Opportunity for Spiritual Growth and Brotherhood

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Georges Michelson-Dupont

By Georges Michelson-Dupont, trustee, director of UBIS, Recloses, France

Editor’s Note: UBIS was founded in 1998 as a free educational program of Urantia Foundation. It is multilingual (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese), open to truth seekers from all over the world, and facilitated by more than 150 volunteers specially trained to create courses, develop thought-provoking questions, and animate the discussion weeks. Courses are offered in January, April, and September. We invite you to sign up for a course: https://new.ubis.urantia.org/

Few of us would argue that solitary study of The Urantia Book can be intellectually arduous and existentially lonely. This distracts many newer readers from experiencing the benefits the revelation could bring to them. Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) is a program that provides helpful solutions to readers both new and old.

Our school derives its inspiration from Jesus’ approach to stimulate in every child of the Father the direct, personal experience of revealed truth in the soul. The Master did not simply tell his listeners the truths he wanted to reveal to them, he often asked questions designed to arouse in each soul the actual experience of such truth.

UBIS teacher-facilitators design thoughtful questions to provoke in students the personal encounter with revealed truths which, once experienced in their souls, leads to enhanced spiritual perception. Because of the transformative effect of the top-down revelation of new truth, and the intended growth process of revelation itself, the focus of UBIS is solely on The Urantia Book and does not include secondary (interpretive) works, or the evolutionary expressions of other seeker-authors musing about their views of truth or reality.

Revealed truth, personally discovered truth, is the supreme delight of the human soul; it is the joint creation of the material mind and the indwelling spirit. 132:3.4 (1459.9)

Our guiding principle was informed by the revelation itself, from top to bottom without intermediary—the true teachers are the revelators, the Spirit of Truth, and the Thought Adjuster. UBIS faculty members are called teacher-facilitators because they facilitate their students’ encounter with new and living truth.

During a recent course discussion, two questions were brought to the table: How can the intellectual study of the facts presented in the papers foster personal spiritual progress? And how can this same intellectual study help develop social brotherhood? By brotherhood we do not mean the kind inscribed on the pediments of French Republic monuments, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, but one that stems from active awareness of our sonship with the Father of all creatures living in the universe of universes.

A Solitary Messenger addresses the first question:

The expansion of material knowledge permits a greater intellectual appreciation of the meanings of ideas and the values of ideals. A human being can find truth in his inner experience, but he needs a clear knowledge of facts in order to apply his personal discovery of truth to the ruthlessly practical demands of everyday life. 111:6.7 (1222.6)

Science is the source of facts, and mind cannot operate without facts. They are the building blocks in the construction of wisdom which are cemented together by life experience. Man can find the love of God without facts, and man can discover the laws of God without love, but man can never begin to appreciate the infinite symmetry, the supernal harmony, the exquisite repleteness of the all-inclusive nature of the First Source and Center until he has found divine law and divine love and has experientially unified these in his own evolving cosmic philosophy. 111:6.6 (1222.5)

The second question is addressed by a Melchizedek:

Spiritual insight. The brotherhood of man is, after all, predicated on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. The quickest way to realize the brotherhood of man on Urantia is to effect the spiritual transformation of present-day humanity. The only technique for accelerating the natural trend of social evolution is that of applying spiritual pressure from above, thus augmenting moral insight while enhancing the soul capacity of every mortal to understand and love every other mortal. Mutual understanding and fraternal love are transcendent civilizers and mighty factors in the world-wide realization of the brotherhood of man. 52:6.7 (598.2) [Emphasis added]

Every ten-week (or shorter) UBIS course is organized into a series of two-week periods, each having a distinct purpose.

Week 1: During the first week, students are assigned a reading to study carefully before responding to some thought-provoking questions. The questions are designed to provoke a deep reflection leading to the personal discovery of revealed truth. Having a full week to read and contemplate the selected papers gives students enough time for an in-depth consideration and maturation. The resulting examination of facts and their integration into a conceptual framework is a complex process which contributes to the acquisition of a truth-based personal culture, to the spiritualization of the material mind, and to the formation of righteousness. This is true intellectual training as practiced in the universal schools of the mansion worlds. One might say it is a preparation for the next life.

Week 2: The second week accommodates an increased desire in the human mind to share these new intellectual acquisitions with other believers. Like love, truth requires to be shared. Responses to the questions are discussed under the benevolent animation of the teacher-facilitator. This sharing of personal discoveries with truth seekers from different backgrounds and cultures becomes a unique opportunity to establish new relationships based on the desire to know, then understand, and finally love one another: relationships that build the spiritual brotherhood of believers, the kingdom of heaven.

Spiritual growth is mutually stimulated by intimate association with other religionists. Love supplies the soil for religious growth—an objective lure in the place of subjective gratification—yet it yields the supreme subjective satisfaction. And religion ennobles the commonplace drudgery of daily living. 100:0.2 (1094.2)

Virtual classrooms do not inhibit the establishment of human relationships. On the contrary, the personality circuit works very well indeed!

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