God, Man, and Supreme
Chapter Four—Levels of Deity Expression
The Universal Father is the secret of the reality of personality, the bestowal of personality, and the destiny of personality. The Eternal Son is the absolute personality, the secret of spiritual energy, morontia spirits, and perfected spirits. The Conjoint Actor is the spirit-mind personality, the source of intelligence, reason, and the universal mind. But the Isle of Paradise is nonpersonal and extraspiritual, being the essence of the universal body, the source and center of physical matter, and the absolute master pattern of universal material reality. [0:5.5 (8.5)]
Our Father in heaven is a personal being, he is the original personality and all expressions and levels of personality are encircuited to his primal domain. The Father, by being personal God, is endowed with absolute, primal, and unlimited free will—free will is the essential endowment characterizing personality. The Eternal Son is eternally present with the Father as the absolute personality, and all other bona fide personalities share in this nature of being personal. Personality may be identified with various associations of spirit, mind, and matter, but personality is not to be equated with these systems of spirit, mind, and matter. Rather, it is the presence of personality that brings these various associations of spirit, mind, and matter into a unified reality of identity.
As the Father is the origin and destiny of all personality, the Eternal Son is the source and center of any and all realities of spirit. Spirit reality implies the highest ideal of purpose and carries with it real qualities of meanings and values. All spirit is inexorably drawn into the personal presence of the Eternal Son. Spirit is that dynamic quality of living energy that entails vivacity and momentum towards the enhancement of truth, beauty, and goodness. The absolute of all spirit is embodied in the divine person of the Infinite Spirit.
The Infinite Spirit is the source and center of all mind reality. Mind is organized consciousness that is capable of conditioning matter and is capable of becoming liberated by spirit modification. Mind dominates over the reality of matter and is responsive to the overcontrol of spirit. Mind acts on all levels of intelligence, and it always acts as the intermediary between the realities of spirit and matter. All realities and expressions of mind find their origin and destiny in the circuit of the Infinite Spirit.
The Isle of Paradise is the source and center of all material realities. All manifestations of energy-matter are nonpersonal and extraspiritual. Energy-matter is subject to the overcontrol of divine spirit through the interacting ministry of personal mind. The Paradise Father ever maintains overcontrol over the circuits of all energy-matter in all of its forms and manifestations, and all of this power is held in the everlasting gravity grasp of Paradise.
On the absolute level of Paradise, there exists perfect unity of spirit, mind, and matter. Paradise mind is absolute, existential, nonspatial, and nontemporal. The divergent realities of energy and spirit are indistinguishably one on Paradise. In the perfect central universe of Havona, the realities of spirit, mind, and matter exist in co-ordinate harmony. Havona mind, although sub-absolute, is super-evolutionary. Matter and spirit start to become distinguishable in Havona, but they are still sublimely harmonious. Expanding out further into the seven superuniverses of time and space, cosmic energy and divine spirit are distinctly divergent, and this generates the experiential potential for the operation of cosmic mind to harmonize and unify the physical expression with the spiritual purpose. At the level of the local universes, that time-space level most removed from the perfection of Paradise, matter and spirit are quite divergent such that mind is fully necessary to interrelate them through the possibility of cosmic experience by both creature and Creator, even by experiential Supreme Deity.
The omnipotence of the Father pertains to the everywhere dominance of the absolute level, whereon the three energies, material, mindal, and spiritual, are indistinguishable in close proximity to him - the Source of all things. Creature mind, being neither Paradise monota nor Paradise spirit, is not directly responsive to the Universal Father. God adjusts with the mind of imperfection - with Urantia mortals through the Thought Adjusters.[3:2.5 (47.3)]
Love, mercy, and ministry find their divine application in the expression of personality. Mercy is the natural act of loving goodness, and ministry is the loving application of mercy. The Eternal Son is the merciful revelation of the Father's love and compassion to all creation. As the Father is love and the Son is mercy, the Infinite Spirit is ministry - the acting minister of the Father's divine love and the Son's endless mercy. The Infinite Spirit is the combined love and mercy of the Father and Son applied to all creation.
To comprehend the ministry of the Spirit, ponder the truth that he is the combined portrayal of the Father's unending love and of the Son's eternal mercy. The Spirit's ministry is not, however, restricted solely to the representation of the Eternal Son and the Universal Father. The Infinite Spirit also possesses the power to minister to the creatures of the realm in his own name and right; the Third Person is of divine dignity and also bestows the universal ministry of mercy in his own behalf. [8:4.7 (95.2)]
The association of the three divine persons of Deity represents the threefold union of love, mercy, and ministry. The divine love of the Father is revealed in his relations with all personal beings. The Sons of God reveal the Father's love through the co-ordination of their collective divine mercy. The Infinite Spirit and the full retinue of ministering angels collectively manifest the quality of loving mercy to the children of time and space. The spiritual ministry of the Infinite Spirit patiently overshadows justice with mercy and loving care. The angelic daughters of the Infinite Spirit are dedicated servants of the love of the Father and the mercy of the Son to all personal creatures and beings throughout the universe of universes.
When a mortal creature becomes God-conscious, there follows an inward hunger for communion and worship and an outward drive towards dedicated service and loving ministry for all other children of the heavenly Father. Such personal ministry of the children of God is driven by dynamic love and tender mercy. The God-conscious mortal creature experiences the enhanced qualities of life, and this evolving personality unifies his ascension potential towards elevated levels of cosmic wisdom and self-realization.
Deity manifests its activities in the universe of universes on three divinely co-ordinated levels.
Eternal Truth - Mind Meanings (God in mind)
- Meanings with combined intellectual and spiritual appeal
- The intellectual foundation of religion
Universe Beauty - Cosmic Realities (God in matter)
- The harmonious relations and rhythms of the cosmic creation
- The intellectual recognition of the time-space synthesis of the far-flung diversification of phenomenal reality stemming from pre-existent and eternal oneness.
Divine Goodness - Spirit Values (God in Spirit)
- The revelation of infinite values to the finite mind (these are perceived, then elevated to the very threshold of the spiritual level of human soul-comprehension.
- The mental recognition of the relative values of the diverse levels if divine perfection.
- The sense of ethics, morality, and religion (perfection hunger).
The infinite love of God is all embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness. The recognition of the reflection of the grandeur of Paradise in the material creation promotes a refined sense of universal beauty. The special ministry of the Paradise Sons is supportive of the promulgation of divine goodness. The purposeful ministry of the manifold personalities of the Infinite Spirit provides a fine example of eternal truth in action.
To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love-comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom. The advanced mortals on a world in the seventh stage of light and life have learned that love is the greatest thing in the universe - and they know that God is love. [56:10.20 (648.2)]
Because God is a person and because the nature of his relationship with all other persons is built without exception on his divine and constant love, God still loves those individuals who choose to sin. It is in the divine nature of God to love all personal beings without qualification. While the love of God ever seeks to save the sinner, it is the impersonal and mechanistic law of God that exercises the sovereign power to destroy all sin. Sin, being neither personal nor spiritual, does not draw a personal response from a loving God. Since sin is wholly unspiritual in nature, it is also nonreality to a personal God. Being unreal, sin has no destiny potential in the purposes and plans of the loving Creator, and therefore sin and all freewill beings having chosen to fully identify themselves with sin cannot survive in a progressively spiritualizing universe.
Divinity is disclosed on impersonal levels as justice, power, and sovereignty. God’s sovereignty over his creation is absolute and unlimited, “it is the fundamental fact of all creation.” [3:6.2] The Eternal Son exercises absolute spiritual power in relation to all universe actualities. In the genesis of a local universe, a Creator Son must settle “such questions of policy as pertained to his individual relations to natural law and spiritual power.” [136:9.1] As a Creator Son experientially earns the sovereignty of his local universe, the evolving Supreme Being is achieving the sovereignty of the seven superuniverses.
Universal justice is the sovereign prerogative of the power wielded by the Deity of the Paradise Trinity. Just as the Paradise Trinity represents the impersonal union of the Deity of the divine personalities of Paradise, justice is likewise impersonally blind in its administration. Justice is universally sovereign in the Paradise Trinity. Justice is the operation of cosmic law and it is driven by the power of righteousness, but the mercy of personal God ever tempers its expression. The righteous judgment of the Paradise Trinity is always imbued with the merciful love of the Paradise Father. Mercy always provides a fair and sufficient opportunity for the repentance and rectification of the sinner before any final adjudication or execution of the law.
This restraint of justice by mercy proves that God is love, and that such a God of love dominates the universes and in mercy controls the fate and judgment of all his creatures. [54:4.6 (616.5)]
The three eternal persons of Deity function as undivided and impersonal Deity in the Paradise Trinity when they mete out their sovereign justice throughout the universe of universes. This divinity of purpose is eventuating in the unifying power potential of the sovereignty of experiential supremacy. The evolution of Trinitarian sovereignty in the domains of time and space results in the power of justice-judgment for the mobilizing almighty power of the Supreme.
All religious philosophy, sooner or later, arrives at the concept of unified universe rule, of one God. Universe causes cannot be lower than universe effects. The source of the streams of universe life and of the cosmic mind must be above the levels of their manifestation. [3:6.3 (53.1)]
The absolute level of primal reality exists prior to all divergent manifestations of energy and spirit. The infinite personality of the Universal Father is a perfectly unified and unqualified conceptual reality. The absolute potentials of both primal spirit and primal matter converge in the person of the Universal Father. The actualized gravity forces of the material universes are convergent in the gravity center of nether Paradise, the actualized mind forces are convergent in the Infinite Spirit, and the actualized universe spirit forces are convergent in the Eternal Son. The original monothetic Creator personality of the First Source and Center diverges progressively into the dual universe manifestations of spirit and energy-matter, and these two antipodal realities are subject to the inevitable technique of reunification by mind. It is by virtue of this divergence of absolute reality into the relativities of time and space that the Universal Father reaches down into his creation to maintain continual contact and participation.
In these ways and in many others, in ways unknown to you and utterly beyond finite comprehension, does the Paradise Father lovingly and willingly downstep and otherwise modify, dilute, and attenuate his infinity in order that he may be able to draw nearer the finite minds of his creature children. And so, through a series of personality distributions which are diminishingly absolute, the infinite Father is enabled to enjoy close contact with the diverse intelligences of the many realms of his far-flung universe. [2:1.8 (35.1)]
On absolute levels, energy and spirit are indistinguishable. Material, mindal, and spiritual energies unify and become indistinguishable as they converge in close proximity to the omnipotence and everywhere dominance of the Universal Father's primal level as the First Source and Center of all things and beings. Energy and spirit are one on the level of the absolute. As these energies depart from the Paradise Father's presence, matter and spirit begin diverging into dual phases of manifestation. Energy and spirit progressively diverge as they emerge from Paradise into time and space. Spirit becomes the creative reality and the physical counterpart becomes the time-space reflection of this spirit reality.
On Paradise, monota and spirit are as one - indistinguishable except by name. In Havona, matter and spirit, while distinguishably different, are at the same time innately harmonious. In the seven superuniverses, however, there is great divergence; there is a wide gulf between cosmic energy and divine spirit; therefore is there a greater experiential potential for mind action in harmonizing and eventually unifying physical pattern with spiritual purposes. [2:1.8 (35.1)]
While matter and spirit are innately harmonious in Havona, at the level of the seven superuniverses there initiates great divergence between cosmic energy and divine spirit. At the superuniverse level, they are differentiated to such an extent that the function of mind is necessary to interrelate them. Mind begins to experientially act to harmonize and unify physical pattern with spiritual purpose. Moving spaceward from Paradise, matter and spirit become so unlike one another that only the inevitable technique of mind proves capable of re-unifying them.
- Isle of Paradise – At this level of the absolute, energy and spirit are one.
- Havona – Matter and spirit are distinguishable, but still perfectly harmonious.
- The Seven Superuniverses – Cosmic energy and divine spirit are distinctly divergent, creating the experiential potential for mind acting to harmonize and unify the physical pattern with spiritual purpose.
- The Local Universes – Matter and spirit are fully divergent such that mind is necessary to interrelate them through the possibility of cosmic experience by both creature and Creator, even by Supreme Deity.
The maximum harmonization of the energy-spirit divergence is in the encircuitment of the Seven Master Spirits; the first unification thereof, in the Deity of the Supreme; the finality unity thereof, in the infinity of the First Source and Center, the I AM. [193:7.12 (1139.4)]
In Plato's Republic (Book VII), he presents an illustrative allegory of a cave wherein he analyzes the difference between knowledge and illusion, reality and appearance. Within this cave, there are men who have been chained down and made to face a blank wall for the whole of their lives. With a fire burning behind them, they can only see shadows reflected on this wall. Unbeknownst to these men, different objects are carried behind these men and in front of the light projected by the fire. For these men, not ever having any other experience other than these shadows on the wall, the projected shadows of these carried objects are objectively real to them.
One day, one of these men is allowed to leave the cave and to enter into the real world illuminated by the shining light of the sun. At first, he is blinded by the brightness of the light, but as he grows accustomed to the light, he begins to perceive the concrete sensible objects that he had formerly seen only as shadows. Upon his return to the cave and to his former fellow captives, he has a difficult time readapting to the dim light of the cave. He also proves ineffective in convincing these men that the shadowy images they are seeing are but vague reflections of a truer reality.
In The Urantia Book, this allegorical imagery of Plato continues and expands. Time is but the moving image of eternity. Space is but the fleeting shadow cast by the spirit luminosity of Paradise reality. The material is the shadow of the more real spirit substance. Cosmic reality is the philosophic, time-space shadow cast by mind "in the presence of spirit luminosity of divine enlightenment." [12:8.15 (140.11)]
To spirit beings the spirit world is a reality. To us (angels) the material world is the more unreal. The higher forms of spirits freely pass through ordinary matter. High spirits are reactive to nothing material excepting certain of the basic energies. To material beings the spirit world is more or less unreal; to spirit beings the material world is almost entirely unreal, being merely a shadow of the substance of spirit realities. [44:0.15 (498.6)]
In the universe of universes, there are three kinds of light - material light, intellectual insight, and spirit luminosity. [0:VI.8 (9.10)] Spirit luminosity represents the luminous emanation of spiritual personalities. The Universal Father and his divested fragments of potential spirit personality, as shining the brightest, cast the greatest of all shadows. Within the mind of man, the indwelling presence of the Father is the glorious pilot light of spirit luminosity.
There is a characteristic light, a spirit luminosity, which accompanies this divine presence, and which has become generally associated with Thought Adjusters. In the universe of Nebadon this Paradise luminosity is widespreadly known as the “pilot light”; on Uversa it is called the “light of life.” On Urantia this phenomenon has sometimes been referred to as that “true light which lights every man who comes into the world.” [107:4.5 (1181.1)]
Upon the attainment of Paradise, the ascending mortal personality has become perfectly identified with the true spirit values of the light of life and the supreme qualities of truth, beauty, and goodness. The inherent goodness of such a spiritualized personality has achieved a divinity of spirit by the progressive experience of spiritual consciousness. Eternity of life and divinity of status are now so fully realized that "there remains no possibility that such a righteous spirit would cast any negative shadow of potential evil when exposed to the searching luminosity of the divine light of the infinite Rulers of Paradise." [132:2.9 (1458.6)] These Paradise children of the Paradise Father can finally rejoice in their triumphant victory over the partial shadows of existence.
The Universal Father projects reality in two phases of reality—the spirit-personal and the nonspiritual-impersonal. He projects his personal spirit being through the person of the Eternal Son and he projects his infinity potential through the Isle of Paradise. The Eternal Son is the pattern personality. Paradise is the absolute pattern of universal material reality and is the absolute of all pattern. Paradise is the pattern of infinity. The Universal Father is cosmically focalized at the center of the universe of universes on Paradise. The spirit nature of the Universal Father is focalized and personalized in the Deity of the Eternal Son. The Isle of Paradise is the personal and the nonpersonal focal point of all phases of universe reality. Existing at the focus of space, the Isle of Paradise is the absolute source and the eternal focal point of all universal energy-matter. Paradise is the cosmic focal point of all force-energy activation.
Every mind, every intellect, in all creation focalizes in the Third Source and Center and is a part of the personal consciousness of the Infinite Spirit. The finite domains of energy and spirit are focalized in the mind presences of the Third Source and Center. The Infinite Spirit weaves the pattern of Paradise into the energies of space.
The Conjoint Actor is able to co-ordinate all levels of universe actuality in such manner as to make possible the simultaneous recognition of the mental, the material, and the spiritual. [9:7.1 (105.1)]
Pattern is projected onto any combination of material, mindal, or spiritual energies. The Infinite Spirit activates the Paradise pattern. With the Eternal Son and in the Infinite Spirit, the Universal Father projects the perfect and eternal central universe of Havona. Havona is the eternal proof and pattern of the co-ordinate participation of the Three Persons of Deity. The substance of the Paradise Isle is the master pattern of which Havona is a perfect, and the superuniverses are a perfecting, revelation. Havona serves as the pattern creation for all other sub-absolute universe projections ranging from the finite time-space Deity realm of the Supreme and into the eventuating absonite Deity realm of the Ultimate. Experientials are projected upon these two focalized universe fields of creative expression.
Absolute realities are eternity existences. Subabsolute realities are projected on two levels: Absonites — realities which are relative with respect to both time and eternity. Finites — realities which are projected in space and are actualized in time. [0:4.8 (7.6)]
The Supreme is the Deity focalization of the finite manifestations of the Absolutes of all actuality and potentiality. The time-space superuniverse scheme of cosmic creation is projected into the Deity realm of the Supreme. God the Supreme is the focalization of all finite evolution. The evolutionary Supreme is the volitional focus of the transmutation of potentials to actuals throughout the finite level of existence. Positioned within Havona, God the Supreme is the essential focalizer of all evolutionary finite experience.
The circuits of the cosmic mind that influence the intellectual levels of all known existence focus in the Seven Master Spirits and converge in the Third Source and Center. The Seven Master Spirits maintain their power focal points on the periphery of Paradise.
Each Master Spirit maintains an enormous force-focal headquarters, which slowly circulates around the periphery of Paradise, always maintaining a position opposite the superuniverse of immediate supervision and at the Paradise focal point of its specialized power control and segmental energy distribution. The radial boundary lines of any one of the superuniverses do actually converge at the Paradise headquarters of the supervising Master Spirit. [16:0.12 (184.12)]
The Creator Son of a local universe personifies the Eternal Son of Paradise. The Creator Son is the supreme personality and the Eternal Son is the supersupreme personality—an infinite Deity personality. Within the local universe creations of time and space, a Creator Son's spiritual drawing power represents subabsolute focalizations of spirit gravity. These Creator Sons partake in the power-personality focalizations of the time-space achievements of God the Sevenfold. The local universe Mother Spirit starts out as a living power focus within the confines of her projected local universe. The Creative Mother Spirit is the localization and personalization of the Third Source and Center in our local universe. The Spirit of Truth of a Creator Son focalizes in the associated Mother Spirit, and the local universe Mother Spirit is the focalization of the Paradise Infinite Spirit. The Universe Mother Spirit acts as the universe focus and center of the Spirit of Truth as well as of her own personal influence, the Holy Spirit.