The Enduring Legacy of Two Great Teachers

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Claire Mylanus
Henk & Baukje Begemann
Henk & Baukje Begemann

By Claire Mylanus, associate trustee emeritus, Bretagne (Brittany), France

Editor's Note: Urantia Book translators often serve as exemplary study group hosts, and Henry “Henk” Begemann was no exception. Henk and his team worked for many years translating The Urantia Book into Dutch. His daughter Nienke Begemann-Brugman took over as lead translator after her father passed away in 1990. Read more about the Begemanns and the Dutch translation here:

What is a great teacher? The Urantia Book tells us that Jesus was “a wise, patient, understanding, and effective teacher.” 124:5.6 (1373.6) This description of Jesus could apply to my teachers as well—Henk and Baukje Begemann.

They were Dutch, and we met in 1978. I studied with them both until 1987, and then continued with Baukje after Henk passed away. This was a blessing that lasted more than 15 years.

I was living in the Netherlands in 1976 when I discovered The Urantia Book.  I came across a book called Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East by Baird T. Spalding. It was in French, having been translated from the English by Jacques Weiss (as La Vie des Maîtres) under the pen name of Louis Colombelle. At the end of the book was a note mentioning The Urantia Book. It turned out that Jacques Weiss was the French translator of The Urantia Book, published as Le Livre d’Urantia in 1961.

I bought the French translation of The Urantia Book first, and then later the original English. After two years, I began attending a study group hosted by Henk and Baukje. Their study group was great because it encompassed two different methods used by two very different personalities.

Henk was patient, sharp, and witty. He preferred to study the book in depth. He taught us to use our mind to understand the concepts of the book and develop insights. He had a profound respect for the universal hierarchy and would help us recognize and visualize the various levels in the universe. One of his favorite subjects was pattern in the universe at all levels.

He would bring to our attention how the papers were written, the choice of words, and how the paragraphs were set up by the true teachers, the revelators. The text was consistently well thought through and woven together in a certain way and in a certain context.

Baukje was his counterpart. She would always ask, “And now, what do you do with this in your daily life?” She would bring us back to the fact that you had to apply what you learned into your material life. For example, she advised me to bring BEAUTY into my life in every way I could: to choose, whenever possible, a beautiful environment. Baukje did this herself. She always took good care of herself and was impeccably groomed. She would decorate the study table with fresh flowers. She served coffee in porcelain cups along with her famous oatmeal cookies which she baked for every meeting. Her efforts imparted feelings of beauty and harmony, which in turn led to serenity.

These two teachers were complementary. Their study group had both structure and quality, which is what you might expect in a group facilitated by translators of The Urantia Book. I think of them as the best teachers a person could have. In fact, the Begemanns impacted my life in many ways. Baukje became my spiritual mother, giving me advice when I was in the middle of a divorce. I endeavored to follow their teaching approach in my personal study groups, developing my own technique. And it was at this very study group with Baukje that I met my future husband, my own Henk, in 1996.

It also helped me to study The Urantia Book in its original language. This became an advantage when, years later, I became a member of the French revision team for the most recent revision of the French translation.

After Henk Mylanus and I married, we moved to the island of Malta, where Henk had already started a study group. We put everything that we learned from the Begemanns into practice as a teaching couple, and we consecrated our time to the Maltese study group for a few years. And we continue to do so even now, back in France.

It was a godsend that circumstances of life and the angels put them on my path. I can never thank them enough!

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