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Cal last won the day on January 5 2013

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  1. I think it's a valid question for each person to ask of themself whether the way they spend their time is best or not, it's hard not to do this day in day out, not just on the UB topic but on any given topic. I personally don't participate in forums that much because I think there are more fruitful ways for me to spend my time but that's just me. I'm glad others are avid posters and participants on forums like this, it's one of the few ways to get a sense of broader community among readers. On the original point though of the thread, UB sales, and more generally, indicators of its popularity or obscurity, I think amazon sales rank can be one measure but there are deficiencies with that because of all the other avenues of obtaining the book (many for free). There are some other interesting public indicators out there like using Google Trends in various ways and using the published page view statistics that wikipedia has. For instance, take the word "dianetics". Like the word "urantia", it has only one specific meaning and context, is also for a book, and is also associated as a key indentifying word of a new religious movement. I find it interesting that for all the advertising, proselytizing, and very public pushing of the book by a dedicated well-funded organization with millions (billions?) of dollars, under the radar "urantia" quietly and steadily has become more and more searched out on google. For a long time it has been searched more than "dianetics" worldwide but a lot of this could be attributed to the strength of interest in Spanish speaking countries for the Urantia Book, most likely due to the JJ Benítez books: http://www.google.co...ianetics&cmpt=q What's pretty interesting is that even just in the U.S., where "dianetics" should be stronger, now for the past 4 years more people on the internet have searched for "urantia" than "dianetics" on google: http://www.google.co...09%2049m&cmpt=q Google Trends shows an overall gradually lowering volume of searches for both but you can also see that trend with other words like "Koran". Who knows, maybe it's from people shifting toward Bing, Facebook or other places for searches. Meanwhile people looking for info go to wikipedia, these are the number of page views for the Urantia article each January for the past few years (to show the general year-over-year trend) -- Jan 2010: ~8,360 page views (2 days of data missing, so normalized it to be for 31-month day) Jan 2011: 11,049 Jan 2012: 13,399 Jan 2013: 16,257 Doubling in 4 years seems to be heading in a good direction.
  2. The whole superuniverse of Orvonton has a radius of only about 250,000 light years and Nebadon itself is only a relatively small patch of Orvonton, 1/100,000 of it (as Rick also points out). Nebadon is just a tiny part of the Milky Way galaxy, it isn't near to being on the scale of a whole galaxy itself, much less the observable universe. Paper 32, section 2: "The Satania system of inhabited worlds is far removed from Uversa and that great sun cluster which functions as the physical or astronomic center of the seventh superuniverse. From Jerusem, the headquarters of Satania, it is over two hundred thousand light-years to the physical center of the superuniverse of Orvonton, far, far away in the dense diameter of the Milky Way. Satania is on the periphery of the local universe, and Nebadon is now well out towards the edge of Orvonton. From the outermost system of inhabited worlds to the center of the superuniverse is a trifle less than two hundred and fifty thousand light-years." What this passage is getting across is that within the whole superuniverse of Orvonton, the part that is "Nebadon" is situated "well out towards the edge" in the superuniverse. Within a local universe like Nebadon are further administrative subdivisions, and down on the "system" level, the particular system that contains our world (called Satania) is itself on the periphery of Nebadon. The distance of our system HQ to the superuniverse HQ is 200,000 light years, which puts us among the more distant of inhabited worlds and relatively on the outskirts of Orvonton. The most distant inhabited worlds in Orvonton from the Orvonton HQ are almost 250,000 light years from it. We're considered to be among those who are really far from the center of Orvonton, the capital Uversa, but on the scale of galaxies and the cosmos as whole, it's a pretty piddling distance. Superuniverses are not that big compared to the master universe as a whole.
  3. Sorry the false premise is that the velocities have anything to do with measuring the distance like you're describing. It doesn't. No matter how fast and in which directions the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are traveling in relation to each other, the speed light is traveling to go from one to other is completely unaltered by those motions and so it's accurate to measure distance. And the UB authors say this themselves. The very same astronomy technique used to measure distance to Andromeda, and on the same distance scale that Andromeda is found to be, is specifically cited and directly praised by the UB's authors as "accurate" and "most precise". They also then say they know people are going to improve on the technique and discover even better ones for measuring, both which have proven true and is unsurprising. You're confusing this topic with the section in the book that talks about "estimations of astronomic velocities", which doesn't have anything to do with distance measurements.
  4. I haven't shared the interpretation that others express about this passage on "authoritative elimination of error", which is also the way you're expressing it. The quote says: "Truth may be but relatively inspired, even though revelation is invariably a spiritual phenomenon. While statements with reference to cosmology are never inspired, such revelations are of immense value in that they at least transiently clarify knowledge by: 1. The reduction of confusion by the authoritative elimination of error. ... 5. Presenting cosmic data in such a manner as to illuminate the spiritual teachings contained in the accompanying revelation." To me they're clearly talking about "revelations" in the sense of the "spiritual phenomenon". They're also clearly making a distinction between that revelation and the description of cosmology, which in this very same sentence they say (as they say elsewhere) is never inspired. They are only presenting cosmic data strictly "in such a manner as to illuminate the spiritual teachings" not to pretend they are giving a science textbook that is sign-sealed-and-delivered final knowledge for all eternity. The "reduction of confusion by authoritative elimination of error" is in reference to revelation as spiritual phenomenon not the science and cosmology. What you're expressing here is the desire to trust in the book based on something it never claims to be. God wants us to advance by faith and trust, not on an appeal to miracles. Faith is going to be needed from us for a long time and this is one of the key things he needs us to develop to keep going. It's in a direct way a hope that the book is miraculous in expecting its science is never going to be shown as wrong. Paper 102: "But religion is never enhanced by an appeal to the so-called miraculous. The quest for miracles is a harking back to the primitive religions of magic. True religion has nothing to do with alleged miracles, and never does revealed religion point to miracles as proof of authority. Religion is ever and always rooted and grounded in personal experience." What will lead you to placing trust in the book is living experience, in loving others and serving them and developing a personal relationship to God the Father and fellow people as brothers and sisters. It's a matter of faith and trust in the spiritual teachings.
  5. Yeah, Andromeda is a blue-shifted exception. The reason is that though on the whole, observations indicate red shift of galaxies, and the degree of red shift being directly related to the distance of the galaxy from us, there are some galaxies that are close enough to each other that the effect of their gravity in pulling them toward each other is more than the so-called expansion rate. So in these local cases, those galaxies move toward each other. The Milky Way and Andromeda are relatively close and their gravity is pulling them toward each other more than the so-called expansion rate is pushing them apart. Scientists see that as the reason for the blue shift of Andromeda.
  6. I agree the book is saying the light left those stars one million years ago. Scientists meanwhile say it left those stars 2.54 million years ago, so the disagreement is with them, not with me. I've looked at the research and I don't find any necessary reason to disbelieve their number on this point. The UB explains that the exact method used to measure the distance to Andromeda by Edwin Hubble (and used with further precision with better modern technology since then) has the revelators seal of approval as accurate: Paper 41, section 3: "In one group of variable stars the period of light fluctuation is directly dependent on luminosity, and knowledge of this fact enables astronomers to utilize such suns as universe lighthouses or accurate measuring points for the further exploration of distant star clusters. By this technique it is possible to measure stellar distances most precisely up to more than one million light-years." Andromeda wasn't measured with red shifts, it was measured with Cepheid variable stars just as described in Paper 41 above. Then it was measured in 3 other different ways scientists have creatively worked out, and all 4 independent techniques are in agreement about its distance. Andromeda isn't in deep space and the red shifts and rotational distortions aren't applicable. It's not far away from the Milky Way on the scale of the cosmos, and the mutual gravitational attraction of these two galaxies is leading them to drift closer to each other, they're not expanding apart. Andromeda is blue shifted to us, not red shifted. Notice also how the revelators carefully call the state-of-the-art measurement of the time -- the one million light years that then was the most anyone had measured -- as not the limit but that more than that amount was going to be possible for precise measurements. In that way it was clear they were careful not to give unearned knowledge of what was going to become possible and be earned by scientists beyond the state of the art of the 1920s and 30s. Paper 101, section 4 (a UB passage I'm sure many here know too): "While the historic facts and religious truths of this series of revelatory presentations will stand on the records of the ages to come, within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision in consequence of additional scientific developments and new discoveries. These new developments we even now foresee, but we are forbidden to include such humanly undiscovered facts in the revelatory records. ... The cosmology of these revelations is not inspired." Indeed within "a few short years" it was discovered that there was a second type of Cepheid variable that Edwin Hubble hadn't known about, and factoring this discovery in, it doubled the estimated distance to Andromeda, making it close to the modern estimate, which then became more fine tuned with extra developments and research to the point that there is a very well accepted number now with very low margin of error saying that the light we see from Andromeda left it 2.54 million years ago. Well, dark matter is called "dark matter" since it's not interacting directly with light at all -- not absorbing, emitting, reflecting, blocking it etc -- so that's why it has been dubbed "dark". And since the gravity it exerts nonetheless is detectable in how it helps bend light at galaxy clusters (among other gravitational effects), it is dubbed "matter" (though what that "stuff" is as opposed to baryonic matter isn't known). So, they do have two ideas about how light is affected by dark matter, and actually have defined the term itself from those two ideas. The Andromeda distance is a quite simple and obvious proven error to my satisfaction. It's ok if it's not to your satisfaction. Hi Bradly, I agree that the big bang model is problematic to reconcile against the UB's descriptions. But though Paradise-Havona is eternal, there definitely was a start to the rest of the universe at some point. Paper 15 introduction: "Early in the materialization of the universal creation the sevenfold scheme of the superuniverse organization and government was formulated. The first post-Havona creation was divided into seven stupendous segments, and the headquarters worlds of these superuniverse governments were designed and constructed. The present scheme of administration has existed from near eternity, and the rulers of these seven superuniverses are rightly called Ancients of Days." The UB describes that the very first personality entry at the dawn of this time from "near eternity" was the record of the creation of the Ancients of Days: Paper 18, section 3: "The Ancients of Days were all trinitized at the same time. They represent the beginning of the personality records of the universe of universes, hence their name — Ancients of Days. When you reach Paradise and search the written records of the beginning of things, you will find that the first entry appearing in the personality section is the recital of the trinitization of these twenty-one Ancients of Days." If I may step back and make a general comment.... As UB becomes more and more widely known it inevitably is going to be assessed against things like the big bang, and I think it's inevitable that some people are going to find both the big bang evidence convincing and the UB's teachings appealing, and have to come to their conclusions on what to do with those two directions of thought. Some will definitely take the route it seems you and others here propose and prefer, which is to not accept the big bang, assuming it will be replaced by something later that is more in line with TUB. But the big bang model has only gotten to its prominent and convincing perch among cosmologist scientists because of the evidence and its success in having its predictions born out by observations. Some UB-minded people are going to inevitably find the theory sensible and convincing for the same reason. Me personally, I think it's fun to play around with the ideas and see where logic leads, but as far as life goes my main take away from the cosmology in the UB and the cosmology from current science is that both say it really is a big and old universe no matter how you look at it. This life is such a miniscule baby step in the grand scheme of the epochs before us where we'll have more clarity about these topics to our hearts content. So I'm not concerned especially in however people want to interpret it, but maybe that's just me. Hi LouisM, This however would then invalidate what the revelators say in the quote I give further above that measuring luminosity of variable stars is an accurate way to measure stellar distances. Also, there is much that is conceptionally problematic with this type of idea you give. Light is itself an electromagnetic wave. The "wave energy" from Andromeda you mention is the light itself, there isn't a need to propose a theoretical different carrier wave energy form that blinks out of existance no longer being a photon when it's leaving Andromeda and then happens to reemerge as a photon locally right at the time it would need to be observed to be seen by us.
  7. I don't know about the other side of what you said or have insights into what other people believe or not, or their true motives, I think only God can judge, but about listing an error, it's not really hard to do. Here is a simple one: Paper 15, section 4: "There are not many sun-forming nebulae active in Orvonton at the present time, though Andromeda, which is outside the inhabited superuniverse, is very active. This far-distant nebula is visible to the naked eye, and when you view it, pause to consider that the light you behold left those distant suns almost one million years ago." The light we behold when we look at Andromeda left those distant suns 2.5 million years ago rather than one million years ago. At about the time TUB was being given, in 1929 Edwin Hubble published a famous paper showing Andromeda to be 900,000 light years away based on the measuring technology of the time. It is no surprise at all there is a figure of "almost one million years" in TUB. It would have been unearned knowledge to say differently. With advances in technology and techniques, modern measurements using four different ways of measuring the distance all show there really isn't any more reason for doubt, all the different ways to measure it corroborate each other remarkably and agree very well that the light we see left Andromeda 2.54 million years ago. http://en.wikipedia....stance_estimate It's not surprising either, or a big deal, the cosmology "is not inspired" in TUB
  8. One example to note of spiritual mating in a sense, way out in the far distance of our potential spiritual experiences, is when there is an opportunity to join with another mortal finaliter, or even a Havona native, in the "extraordinary transaction" of together creating a trinitized creature. Then afterwards the "parents" are together as a pair for the rest of the current universe age. Paper 22, section 7 "When exalted creature beings enact such a creative episode, one of the contracting and participating individuals undergoes a unique personality modification. The two ancestors of a creature-trinitized son become in a certain sense spiritually as one." "Simultaneously with the appearance of a new creature-trinitized son, there occurs this functional spiritual union of the two ancestors; the two trinitizing parents become one on the ultimate functional level. No created being in the universe can fully explain this amazing phenomenon; it is a near-divine experience." "During the current universe age, all trinitization-united parents are inseparable in assignment and function; where one goes the other goes, what one does the other does." There is in a sense this very interesting form of spiritual "marriage" and procreation available for those who do reach that high spirit level. I would wonder about what other forms of spiritual pair bonding there might be aside from this one specifically that is mentioned. It isn't hard to imagine other associations like this between here and that high level.
  9. I grew up with a good Christian education and until reading UB, like essentially almost all other Christians I've known, it completely did not compute and was a surprise to come to find that the Biblical Jesus in fact did teach essentially the same thing that we now have from reading and accepting the UB. Luke 10:25-29: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” There you have it, straight from the light of the world and the very Son of God, in the Bible itself. From what I remember, if you read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and everything in them that Jesus says, you find it is really the only time that Jesus actually is recorded as giving a doctrine on how to inherit eternal life. It's right there for any one who wants to accept it out of the Bible from Jesus. I have guesses on why there is a blindspot about this unambiguous statement from the Son of God on how to inherit eternal life -- it should be the main doctrine of all Christianity since it's what Jesus taught, shouldn't it? -- but it's still curious to me that it's not noticed more often that a very different method of obtaining eternal life is instead believed to be the way (belief in atonement) instead of what Jesus said plainly. So, anyway, in terms of bridges to make, there is actually IMO just the simplicity of needing to live up to and trust in the very words of Jesus in the Bible, that's enough. There aren't really new definitions that need to get across, in my view. Oh, and relatedly to salvation, there are also all the statements from Jesus about how to obtain forgiveness of sin, all straight from the bible, about it being from forgiving others. Even it's embedded in the Lord's Prayer itself recited hundreds or even thousands of times by anyone of Christian faith who attends services -- "Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sinned against us" -- but it doesn't quite click for some reason. It didn't for me at least, until the UB. It doesn't register that it really is the way to have forgiveness: forgive other people.
  10. After that paragraph you quoted from Paper 12 is then this one: "But the greatest of all such distortions arises because the vast universes of outer space, in the realms next to the domains of the seven superuniverses, seem to be revolving in a direction opposite to that of the grand universe. That is, these myriads of nebulae and their accompanying suns and spheres are at the present time revolving clockwise about the central creation. The seven superuniverses revolve about Paradise in a counterclockwise direction. It appears that the second outer universe of galaxies, like the seven superuniverses, revolves counterclockwise about Paradise." I've always had trouble visualizing how this would lead to red shift in all observed galaxies like scientists see, and maybe someone can explain it if they don't mind. I would be grateful! If distortion is from rotation of a whole outer space layer that is surrounding us in the inner grand universe of 7 superuniverses and Havona, then from our vantage point in the inner grand universe, only half of these galaxies further out should be red shifted it seems, while the other half would appear to be blue shifted. Imagine a large playground merry-go-round that is spinning round and round. Also imagine that there is a rotating ring built just beyond the edge which is separately rotating in the opposite direction of the merry-go-round. If you were in the very middle of the merry-go-round (Isle of Paradise in grand universe), then nothing on either the merry-go-round itself or the counter-rotating disk would have an appearance of either moving away (red shift) or moving toward you (blue shift). They would just have sideways rotational motion from that point of view. (There is also space respiration to consider, but the paragraph says the "greatest of all such distortions" on the red shift effect is the counter rotational movement instead of respiration, so I think we can set that aside for just the moment in visualizing this.) Now let's say we aren't in the middle of the merry-go-round but are sitting on the disc off-center. While it rotates, let's say our back is directly facing the center (the Isle of Paradise) and so we are directly looking outwards. In just this narrow line of sight, we will have an observation the same as if on Paradise -- both the edge of the merry-go-round disc and the counter-rotating ring beyond it would be moving sideways rotationally. But if we would be looking off to one side, the rotating ring would have an appearance of still moving sideways but also to a certain amount away from us (red shift!). So there it can be seen, a distortion causing apparent "speed of recession" that "is not real". But -- the difficulty I have is that by simply looking off to the other side, the observation would be of the ring moving sideways also but instead a certain amount toward us (blue shift). This should apply to observations in fully one half of the sky and be symmetrical to the other half of the sky showing red shift, and I'd be very curious to hear more from anyone (or a pointer to an article somewhere) that can clarify how the rotations described in the UB as the "greatest of all distortions" end up giving only a one-sided result of only red shift galaxies instead of half the sky showing red shift and half showing blue. Also interesting to note I've always thought, going back to respiration, I find it fascinating that the UB does describe where the central universe is, in Paper 15 section 3: "Observation of the so-called Milky Way discloses the comparative increase in Orvonton stellar density when the heavens are viewed in one direction, while on either side the density diminishes; the number of stars and other spheres decreases away from the chief plane of our material superuniverse. When the angle of observation is propitious, gazing through the main body of this realm of maxi mum density, you are looking toward the residential universe and the center of all things." This seems to give us a very interesting place to point telescopes in the future -- the exact opposite place in the sky from the "center of all things". In looking this direction, "the greatest of all distortions" is exactly neutralized and there is no red shift or blue shift from that rotational effect. It will be interesting to find out if the measured Hubble constant drops off noticeably as should be the case.
  11. Scientists generally thought there was one of two scenarios to happen, either that the force of gravity would eventually cause a slowdown and reversal (and "crunch") of the universe, or the outward momentum of the initial big bang would be shown to be too much for gravity to counteract and so everything would perpetually drift apart from each other. I think some people also thought perhaps there could be a way these forces would end up being finely balanced where the universe's expansion would gradually slow to a stop but not necessarily reverse and "crunch". One of the more significant and unexpected discoveries in physics in recent decades is that none of these are the case, instead the universe's rate of expansion has been shown to be accelerating faster and faster from an active unknown force "dark energy" that's pushing everything apart. The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for this. http://www.nobelpriz...2011/press.html "The discovery came as a complete surprise even to the Laureates themselves."
  12. Yet what if you yourself (anybody reading this) are the way that the angels and Adjusters are hoping (even needing) to connect other people with the book in order for it to be accomplished? Jesus does tell us to actively think in terms of other people's needs for truth and their being in spiritual darkness as a challenge for us, even people who don't even seem like they would have an interest or are ready (maybe especially them), and even goes so far as to imply we're cowards if we don't. Jesus' response about a "cruel and unjust foreman" a young man hoped God would remove from his life: Paper 130 section 2 -- "Maybe you are the salt which is to make this brother more agreeable to all other men; that is, if you have not lost your savor. ... There is no adventure in the course of mortal existence more enthralling than to enjoy the exhilaration of becoming the material life partner with spiritual energy and divine truth in one of their triumphant struggles with error and evil. It is a marvelous and transforming experience to become the living channel of spiritual light to the mortal who sits in spiritual darkness. If you are more blessed with truth than is this man, his need should challenge you. Surely you are not the coward who could stand by on the seashore and watch a fellow man who could not swim perish! How much more of value is this man's soul floundering in darkness compared to his body drowning in water!" Interestingly on this topic he took out both a big carrot ("no adventure more enthralling") and big stick ("surely you are not a coward") to doubly prod the point home that when you're blessed with being given truth you're also being given a combo opportunity + challenge to share it. I don't think this would necessarily mean the UB itself being given out at all circumstances to every person you meet, there's also the need to be "as wise as serpents and harmless as doves" and to give "spiritual milk to spiritual babes" but I agree there is a large wide gulf between the number of people in the world who would directly find the book of value and people who even know about it, and other people's efforts (any of our own) to narrow the gulf are doing work with angels and Adjusters.
  13. Funny to come across this thread, I happen to be reading this book. I'm reading it for the second time, more slowly, the first time was a few years ago when I read it in one sitting. I can certainly understand Howard509 your seeing striking similarities between the witness he bears and what the UB teaches. People approach validation of UB in different ways. Some people try and find validation through scrutiny of the science content for instance. I don't see it as being different to seek UB validation by scrutiny and comparison against religious experiences like NDEs versus what the UB says, noticing the uncanny number of similarities and finding the UB all the more compelling that way. The more solid and enduring validation is through living personal experience and unselfish love and service but there can be stepping stones before that in any number of ways and that's fine. I give thanks to God for all the stepping stones he has given us, for each in our own way to get closer to him. God bless you Howard509 in your ongoing research and sifting of the evidence to your satisfaction. "Spiritual growth is mutually stimulated by intimate association with other religionists." (100:0.2) While not as intimate as having a conversation in person I'm glad Storm told his story at least as a book, it has been stimulating.
  14. The authors do consider the book to be revelatory "religion", using that word specifically: 92:4.3-4 - "Revelatory religion is propounded by the real spiritual world; it is the response of the superintellectual cosmos to the mortal hunger to believe in, and depend upon, the universal Deities. Evolutionary religion pictures the circuitous gropings of humanity in quest of truth; revelatory religion is that very truth. There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance." ... Then a little further, that's where The Urantia Papers are mentioned as the fifth. Some people call the book the "Fifth Epochal Revelation" from this, they could accurately call it the "Fifth Epochal Religious Revelation". Someday I'm sure there are going to be people who group together based on common belief in the Urantia Book, organized in what would look like a "religion", but I don't see that things have reached that point yet. The authors have a long term view point, I think that it's a part of the ongoing social growth to come, that the revelation and how its believers will fellowship together in increasing numbers with increasing traditions and organization will be seen more and more as "religion". For now it's more loose than what most people would call a "religion" I think.
  15. If you haven't come across it before, it seems like you would find this book of interest, "How I Found The Urantia Book", subtitled "And How it Changed My Life". Squarecircles offers it for download as a PDF (279 pages): http://www.squarecircles.com/books/pdf/HowIFoundTheUrantiaBook.pdf
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