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How I found The Urantia Book

Spirit Fragment of God That Indwell Us

I ran across The Urantia Book in January of 1976. I was living in Chicago and attending college there, although my home was in the South. I had taken a part-time teaching job with Project Upward Bound in Evanston, and during one of our team meetings I met a fellow teacher, Mike J., who subsequently became a good friend. For years I had been reading anything and everything, and one day I noticed that he had a big blue book under his arm. I asked him what it was, and he replied, "The Urantia Book." This of course meant nothing to me. He explained that it was a strange book about God and the universe. "Here," he offered, "why don�t you borrow it?"

After work, I went home and opened it. In our living room we had an old couch covered with a yellow blanket, facing two tall windows with bamboo shades through which the light fell in long white lines. It was a quiet and pleasant place to read. I sat there and began with the Foreword. I could not put it down, and in the next few months I read the book from cover to cover, occasionally at the expense of my academic studies. I well remember the excitement of plowing through the pages as rapidly as I could, never knowing what the next page would bring.

The next time Mike came over he asked if I had gotten to the part about the Thought Adjusters, those spirit fragments of God that indwell us. That part stuck in his mind as one of the most profound revelations of the book, and I agree with him. In subsequent years we have spent many pleasant hours discussing ideas generated from The Urantia Book.Across the years and places, I have asked many readers about their initial
response to reading the book. The vast majority say they became interested in it gradually. Some have never read it completely or very comprehensively, but get the gist of it by listening to others and participating in study group discussions. A few people, though, are gripped immediately by the text, as I was. In some way the narrative voice speaks very directly to me. While I am not very literal minded, I do believe that the UBook operates in high levels of metaphoric and symbolic truth. It synthesizes a breadth of knowledge, encompassing religion, philosophy, aesthetics, history, science and cosmology, better than any other book I�ve read; it makes sense of it all, reconciling these concepts into a harmonious whole.

I have discovered that people read the book in many different ways. Some readers become invested in their personal interpretations and look askance at interpretations that differ too widely from their own. But the book is no simple text, and to my mind it is amenable to at least as many interpretations as the Bible, from very fundamentalist to very symbolic viewpoints. It teaches unity not uniformity, and I suppose its future impact will depend largely on the flexibility and humanity of the first few generations of readers who will set the tone for subsequent readers. Hopefully this tone will be one of tolerance and peace. From my perception, the best thing of all about The Urantia Book is that it speaks so directly about God and his manifestations and relationships to persons. Despite the angelic nomenclature and celestial credits, it is essentially a very human book, composed largely of the best that has been thought and written in the history of our world. As such, it is a monument to the best minds and spirits of the world, and something of an example for us to follow through the ages ahead.

R.F., Shawnee, Oklahoma

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