Bill's Books 'n' Beyond

Spiritual Growth II


By Bill Cooper
Arlington, Texas 

The URANTIA Book tells us that it is all-important for us to bring our creature will into cooperation with our Father’s divine will. At first, even ascertaining our Father’s will seems to be beyond our capacity. But as we progress in understanding the nature of deity, we may begin to suspect that determining, identifying, or predicting our Father’s will even in particular circumstances, is relatively simple. Really, it must be rather simple to recognize His will, since virtually everyone is supposed to be able to do it. Furthermore, as we progress in understanding the nature of God and of all levels of Deity, knowing the Father’s will should become progressively easier. 

Our Father’s will for us, generally stated is that we should be perfect even as he is perfect. In personality manifestation the Father wills that we should grow to be like him. In becoming like the Father, we will be involved in an eternal career which will require us to observe, identify and incorporate his qualities. Whether in general or specific circumstances, we may determine the Father’s will by asking and answering this question: How should one who is potential Deity respond to these circumstances? My premise is that these questions of “What is God’s will? and “How do I do it?” can be reliably answered by our recalling and adopting the qualities and values fostered by our Father and his Deity descendants.  

We already have a great deal of accurate information about the nature of God presented to us in THE URANTIA BOOK. Our Father is fair, just, and merciful. He values and fosters truth, beauty, and goodness in all their endless manifestations. He is loving above all else and he is kind, patient and generous with all of his children. His love and charity for his children are wise. He does not smooth out all their difficulties, since to do so would deprive them of meaningful choices which provide their spiritual growth opportunities. He serves even us, the least in the hosts of his descendants. He is both the remote source and sustainer of everything and the immediately present and intimate personal counselor of personality progress for each of us. He is all of the higher values and virtues recognized by the best human philosophers and many, many more which we shall learn in the ages of progress ahead of us.

There are at least two ways of becoming more familiar with the nature of Deity. One way – the preferred way – is by experiencing Deity consciousness. By this I mean the intuitive rather than reasoning understanding of the qualities and values of Deity. Another way of knowing such things is by the less mysterious process of studying and learning the nature of the Father and other Deity Persons. 

Knowing God’s will in particular circumstances is an art involving an assessment of the circumstances, an analysis of our selfish inclinations toward the choices involved and a testing of the consistency of alternative responses with Deity qualities and values. The more clearly we identify the alternatives and the more thoroughly we identify the selfish or unwise aspects of our alternatives, and the more thoroughly we remember and adopt the Father’s qualities and values, the more reliable our prediction of the Father’s will is going to be. 

The Father’s will cannot be inconsistent with his nature. 


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A Dramatic Spiritual Experience

By Meredith Sprunger

Many people have dramatic experiences which change their whole lives. My 88-year-old uncle, for instance, told me of such an experience in his middle thirties. He underwent a serious operation and the surgeon concluded he would die. One night, two angel-like persons approached his bed and asked him if he wanted to live. He answered, “Yes”’ They countered, “Why?” He told them he wanted to pay his debts – he had a heavy debt on his farm. They told him they would grant his wish. From that moment he recovered dramatically, and this experience has influenced his entire life. 


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A Rare Privilege

By Billie Cooper
Rogers, Arkansas

One of the best techniques for helping your fellow man is to pray that he or she will have the needed strength to cope with life’s situations. You can help people you have never met or someone you know well. 

Several years ago, I was traveling by air between Dallas and Fort Smith, Arkansas. The weather was bad, and the plane was several hours late. I was waiting at the gate in Dallas for the plane to be called for boarding when I noticed a man who looked like he was heartbroken or perhaps had received a severe shock. He sat staring down at his hands. His only movement was an occasional shake of his body. He didn’t seem to know what was going on around him. He looked to me as if he wouldn’t be able to find his way onto the plane. 

When we boarded the plane, I waited until I saw him rise and walk toward the plane before I left my seat. I had planned to take him by the arm and lead him aboard if he needed help, but he made it on his own. After fastening my seat belt, I looked around. Directly across the aisle sat the man. I began to feel his pain very deeply. It was as if the pain was my own. I thought, perhaps I could offer to help. Or perhaps it would help to let him know I cared. Then the cultural programming of my generation “you are one sex, and I am another,” influenced me. I began to think he might misunderstand my concern. I felt that there just wasn’t anything I could do. Then there was the thought “Yes, there is. You can pray.” 

By this time, the plane was in the air. It was rocking from wing to wing. Lightning was flashing off both wings. In the quiet intimacy of the plane, I prayed that this man would have strength to stand his heartache. I had been praying for several minutes when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Looking up I saw the hand belonged to the man for whom I was praying. 

He said, “Thank you for coming to me.” (I had not left my seat.) “My mother died while I was delayed in Dallas. I have traveled thousands of miles to see her.” He reached out and asked me if I would mind holding his hand as he needed strength. ” I travel the world for a TV network,” he continued. ” I am weak tonight. Tomorrow I shall have to be strong for others,” Several times during the trip he reached for my hand as if he were drawing strength from the contact. When we arrived in Fort Smith, he deplaned with a simple, “Thank you.”

I never knew his name nor would I recognize him if I ever saw him again. I cannot even recall his features. To have such an experience makes one know that prayer is answered. What a privilege I was given. 


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Soaking in Values Visualization

2011 William Cooper

This is an activity based on a spiritual growth technique given to us by Sharon Porter and Kaye Cooper in their Joyful Living Program.  Following an exploration of higher values at a retreat at Belton, Texas in the spring of 2011, Sharon related a dreamlike insight she had during the night.  Her insight was that values are alive and vibrant.  They are full of spiritual energy.  They are not just words.  They have an ability to move about among people, to grow, to express themselves.  

Alive” means values grow, mature, act and adapt.    Here’s an analogy that helps me understand what “alive” means.  Compare a photograph of a puppy to the actual presence of an active and friendly puppy.  The picture is fixed, cute and unchanging, not alive.  It is a pretty piece of paper but you can’t have much of a relationship with a picture.  The puppy itself is affectionate, interactive and full of activity, surprise and joy.  It is alive in an extremely good way.  So in my analogy, values are alive, charged with energy and interactive like the puppy only they are alive in mind and in spiritual experience, not material experience.

Sharon led us in a brief activity in which we visualized ourselves soaking in a warm tub full of the value “gratitude.”  What follows is my effort to make a longer visualization out of Sharon’s exercise.  The intent is to allow the spirit within to make the value gratitude more real, alive and vivid while we are immersed (soaking) in its energy.  While we soak, we will think about and feel the spiritual power of gratitude.  We are using our imagination to open our awareness but the mind/spirit energy is real, not imaginary. 

[Pause 5 sec.]

Relax.  Breathe normally but deeply.  Breathe out tension.   Breathe in relaxation.  Feel your body relax. Breathe again and again.  You are now present and attentive on three real levels.  Your relaxed body is present.  Your mind is here.  You are spiritually present because you choose to be.    You are now relaxed in body, attentive in mind and alert in your spirit to engage in contact with the spirit of everything that is.

You are in a beautiful room carved entirely out of one huge piece of translucent, warm white crystal.  There is soft light suffusing everything.  In the middle of the room is a small bathing pool carved out of the same stone and decorated on its edges with carvings of vines and flowers.  On the wall on one side of the pool is a list of available values and spiritual practices you may select.  You reach for the list and touch the word “gratitude” and instantly the pool is full of pale lavender colored light which is transparent and sparkling with flashes of white and silver.  You place your finger in the pool. You are faintly aware of feelings of calm, peace, gentleness and fullness.  The pool is entirely safe and totally inviting.  Your urge is to immerse yourself completely in this energy of gratitude.  You are alone, you are safe. 

Quickly you slip into the pool.  As your body touches the light in the pool, the light melts into you.  You absorb it.  The light is pure spiritual energy filtering into the spaces between the electrons in your body.  You feel thankful and generously blessed.   Your sense of self becomes positive and you grasp that Spirit regards you as worthy of her love and her nurture.  You are treasured, cherished and adored.  Now soak and 

  • Feel grateful that Spirit has faith in you to progress in nobility of character and how she loves you.  
  • Feel thankful for the many unearned gifts you have been immersed in.  
  • Feel generously blessed.  
  • Feel cherished, treasured and adored.  
  • Soak in the love, blessing and generosity of spirit.  

[Pause 15 sec]

The ennobling energy of gratitude is yours to use forever.  It will lead you to be more gracious, generous and forgiving.  This power, along with life and all that life involves for eternity, are Spirt’s gifts to you.  Enjoy and use the spirit energy that continues to resonate clearly in your soul.  Live fully in spirit.  Soak eternally in the living, changing, growing power of gratitude.

Bill’s Book of Values at BillsBooks”N” provides lists of higher values you might soak in.  Meantime here is a short list of values to soak in.  Enjoy!

Generosity, Love, Service, Forgiveness, Tolerance, Patience, Loyalty, Courage, Trustworthiness, Mercy, Honesty


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Religion of Jesus Intro

Bill Cooper

We are here to spend five days exploring the religion of Jesus and how he lived it. What I hope to achieve in this session is an understanding of what religion is and why we should want to live a religious life. I also want to start our examination of the religious life of Jesus.

This week we will spend a lot of time in communion with God, asking for God’s input, asking for insights into the matters we are examining and feeling our admiration and love for God. Let’s start with a prayer:

Father, Mother, Brother, we ask you to be especially close to us and open with us as we sincerely and earnestly explore the religious life of Jesus. We thank you and the many, many spiritual sisters and brothers who gave us the gift of information about the life of Jesus. Help us to make effective use of it. Help us to be receptive to our Spirit of God within us and to Jesus within us. Give us the joy and the delight of the experience of your presence. Because you are so gracious, generous, supporting, merciful, just and kind, it is so appropriate to say to you: “In this as in all other things, it is our will that your will be done.”

We are told that of all human knowledge, what humanity most needs to know is the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it. Why do you suppose that is? Why is the religious life of Jesus the most important of all human knowledge? Is it because life is supposed to be first and foremost a religious journey? Is it because the religious life of Jesus is the demonstration of how our lives are supposed to be lived?

Jesus’ life was the greatest example of religious living that has occurred in this universe in a mortal lifetime. It exemplifies the maximum achievement. Humanity has very little knowledge of the religion of Jesus. And when they learn about it, most will find it to require radical changes in their values and priorities. Some, perhaps many, will conclude that it is best to keep some distance between them and the religion Jesus practiced because his religion is “dangerous.” It is guaranteed to change its sincere practitioners and it doesn’t emphasize material success, intelligence, possessions, self-indulgence, wealth, power or status. It is totally out of step with the pursuit of happiness as many 21st century Americans know it.

So why should we want to know how to live the religion of Jesus? Are we ready to have our lives radically redirected toward worshiping God and loving and serving all humanity and away from anything that interferes? Because that’s where the religion of Jesus is taking us, inevitably. It takes faith and trust in our spiritual parents to be able to say, “yes, this is the true way, and it is what I want.”

Religion is not a specific function of life. It is not a ceremony or a Sabbath service. It is not a

secret inner compartment of your life that is opened only for special occasions. Rather, religion is a mode of living.

Religion is a wholehearted devotion to some reality which the religionist deems to be of supreme value to himself and for all mankind. The outstanding characteristic of all religions is: unquestioning loyalty and wholehearted devotion to supreme values. The accepted supreme value of the religionist may be base or even false, but it is still religious. Many people assign supreme value to securing and enjoying power and wealth. These both fall in the category of false religions. A religion is genuine only to the extent that it is devoted to a value of genuine spiritual worth.

Now listen to the extraordinary things I am about to say. This is not Bill making this up. It comes from THE URANTIA BOOK, which I trust. In the religion of Jesus, the sincere religionist is conscious of universe citizenship and is aware of making contact with sources of superhuman power. Why is she aware? Because the spirit communicates, and we are able to perceive this communication.

She may not know it is her Thought Adjuster or the Spirit of Truth, but she knows it is superhuman. She is thrilled and energized with the assurance of belonging to an ennobled fellowship of the children of God. She has surrendered to the intriguing drive of an all-encompassing motivation to find and do the will of God. This motivation chooses heightened self-discipline. It lessens emotional conflict. It makes mortal life truly worth living. And this intense striving for the attainment of super mortal ideals is always characterized by increasing patience, forbearance, fortitude, and tolerance. While these are characteristics of true religion, they do not arise in false religions such as prosperity, power, celebrity, or popularity. False religion is destined to be unsatisfying, even destructive.

True religion seeks God’s help to lead a life of love for all persons and all things, manifesting in a life of service. Genuine religion adds new meanings to all of life. It generates new types of enthusiasm, zeal and courage. One of the most amazing marks of religious living is that dynamic and sublime peace, that cosmic poise which indicates the absence of doubt and turmoil. Real religion, true religion, genuine religion is the religion of Jesus.

Look at the benefits of real religion I have just covered.

  • Consciousness that your actions have far ranging repercussions in the universe.
  • Awareness of contact with superhuman power.
  • Motivation and energy from assurance of sonship.
  • Heightened self-discipline.
  • Lessened emotional conflict.
  • A satisfying life truly worth living.
  • Patience.
  • Forbearance.
  • Fortitude.
  • Tolerance.
  • New meanings in all of life.
  • New types of enthusiasm.
  • Zeal.
  • Poise.
  • Confidence.
  • Courage.
  • Sublime peace.
  • Absence of doubt.
  • Absence of turmoil.

These benefits of true religion sound immensely practical to me. In the contemporary life I live, I need a full measure of all of these. So ultimately, why pursue the religion of Jesus? Because true religion is what life is supposed to be about and Jesus demonstrated the truest of all religions. The one with the highest and best supreme values.

Let’s take a look at something Jesus taught his apostles about true religion. He identified three types of religion:

  1. Primitive Religion: This arises from the instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces (lightening, thunder, streams, waves, rain, wind, volcanoes, seasons, new plant growth.) A religion of awe and respect based on fear.
  2. Religion of Civilization: This is religion of the mind. The intellectual theology of the authority of established religious tradition. This one tells you how and why and what to believe.
  3. True Religion: This is the religion of revelation, inner revelation, personal revelation. The revelation of supernatural values, a partial insight into eternal realities, a glimpse of the goodness and beauty of the infinite character of the Father in Heaven – the religion of the spirit as demonstrated in human experience of spiritual truths. All of which relate to the power of love to unify everything into one immense undertaking.

Jesus made it clear that the great difference between the religion of the mind and the religion of the spirit is this: religion of the mind is upheld by ecclesiastical authority; religion of the spirit is wholly based on human experience of true values.

Until humanity more generally recognizes the realities of spiritual experience, large numbers of people will continue to be content with religions of authority which require only intellectual assent, in contrast to the religion of the spirit which entails active participation of mind and soul in the great faith adventure of wrestling with the realities of human experience and discovering the way things really work by personal experience.

The religion of the spirit means effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, loyalty and progress. The religion of the mind requires little or none of these exertions from its formal believers.

All three kinds of religion – religion of fear, religion of the mind and religion of the spirit – coexist in our world at this time. And pieces of each of these expressions can occupy the same person. Jesus’ religion is religion of the spirit exclusively. He described it to his apostles as not being a religion in the sense that term was used in his time. That is probably still true. Jesus’ religion is the religion of following the guidance of the divine spirit of God which resides in the mind of each human being. His religion derives its authority, its proof, from the fruits of the spirit which show in the lives of its followers. He called his religion a higher spiritual communion.

To Jesus, religion was what life was about. Religion is not a segregated, sometimes activity, but an every-moment, purpose-of-living focus. Why?  Was it because he was a son of God and trying to turn people away from worldliness and toward the afterlife? I don’t think so. I think he was demonstrating the most successful way of living a human life both for the present life and for the afterlife. To him, what we call the afterlife is fully a part of the present life. So, our afterlife begins now, not just after we abandon our bodies.

There is nothing so holy about religious living. It is simply the way you involve spiritual resources in your struggle with life if your objective is to grow into the spiritual and eternal being you were born to be.


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By William Cooper 5-10-2019

The Infinite Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) creates and maintains the physical cosmos and all its creatures. And it is the Infinite Spirit who portrays the aspects of God that I identify as God the Mother.

This feminine expression of God is special to women. The traditional image of God as masculine has resulted in many women feeling left out or devalued. I can recognize and respect that. Of course, God must be both masculine and feminine. That pattern is used all over the universe. So, women are overjoyed to discover that one of the expressions of God in the trinity is overwhelmingly like a mother. This validates a lot of the things that make women somewhat different from men. So, the motherly nature of God is very attractive to women.

What about men? What do they derive from special attention to the motherly qualities of God? They gain respect for the co-equality of the feminine expressed in God and in female humans. Ponder this respect for the feminine. It alters men’s attitudes a lot. Recognizing and valuing God as mother also gives men the reassurance that we are all looked after with the love and attention of an adoring mother. She blesses us continuously and is constantly with us and is already known by us. She is the generosity of God. She is the spiritual assistance we sometimes seek. She is God up close. She loves us even if we are undeserving. Mothers just love that way.

We are encouraged to worship the Father, pray to the Son for spiritual progress, and work out the details of our daily life with the descendants of the Infinite Spirit. Consciously working out the details of daily life with the descendants of the Infinite Spirit is a new arena of spiritual life opening up on our planet. It leads to living our religion of following the leading of the spirit. Working out the details of daily life with descendants of the Infinite Spirit will proceed more smoothly if we love and know them and cooperate with them.

It is a great comfort and joy to know God as our adoring Mother as well as our loving, understanding and forgiving Father. Why relate to God as Mother? Because it brings me closer to God and causes me to want to cooperate with this loving, gentle and trustworthy being.


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By Kaye Cooper
Arlington, Texas

This article is based on material in THE URANTIA BOOK, on a survey of individual religionists, including both readers of THE URANTIA BOOK and non-readers, conducted in 1980, and on conversations with other individuals since that time. All page and paragraph citations are references to THE URANTIA BOOK. Page and paragraph references are according to the original Book format. Each citation is also referenced by paper, section, and  paragraph to accommodate translations and formats which do not follow the original Book format. Thank you to all those who so generously shared their experiences.

If we are to do the Father’s will, then presumably there is some way for us to ascertain what that will is. We can apply logic; we can look to the example of good lives; we can consult the opinions of other people personally or through their writings; we can consult epochal revelations, and more. All these methods are helpful. However, we have available to us personal sources of our Father’s guidance.

THE URANTIA BOOK tells us that personal revelation is continuous (P 1107:2 / UB 101:2.12) Jesus; speaking of the Spirit of Truth, promised that, “Every earth child who follows the leading of this spirit shall eventually know the will of God.” The way by which we will know his will is faith. Jesus told his apostles and twelve of the evangelists, “Your religion shall change from the mere intellectual belief in traditional authority to the actual experience of that living faith which is able to grasp the reality of God and all that relates to the divine spirit of the Father …. the religion of the spirit consists in progressive revelation … ” (P 1731:2 / UB 155:6.3)


We have three primary sources of spiritual guidance: (1) the Thought Adjuster, (2) the Spirit of Truth, and (3) the Universe Mother Spirit (P 381:3 & P 1681:2 / UB 34:6.9 & UB 150:3.7 )

The Thought Adjuster comes to us with a specific plan for intellectual and spiritual development. (P 1204:5 / UB 110:2.1) He is primarily concerned with preparing us for the future life beyond this one. (P 1192:1 & P 1204:2 / UB 108:5.6 & UB 110:1.4) Most of his work is done on the superconscious level. (P 1204:3 / UB 110:5) We are unable to receive direct communication with our Thought Adjuster (with rare exceptions) until we have attained the second or first psychic circle of self-mastery. (P 1210:10 / UB 110:6.15)

The Spirit of Truth is more concerned with now. He is the teacher of truth and the comforter. (P 1948:3 / UB 180:4.3) He is our personal tutor on accurate understanding of the message of Jesus. (P 2060:6 / UB 194:2.1) The influence of the Spirit of Truth is perceptible. On the day of Pentecost the apostles and other believers felt the arrival of the Spirit of Truth. They were filled with a “new and profound sense of spiritual joy, security, and confidence immediately followed by a strong urge to go out and publicly proclaim the gospel…” (P 2059:1 / UB 194:0.1)

The Mother-Spirit makes it possible for the Thought Adjuster and Spirit of Truth to function and she works with them. (P 379:4 / UB 34:5.4&5) She also gives us the services of at least three orders of her children: the adjutant mind spirits, the guardian seraphim and the master seraphim of planetary supervision. Through the ministry of the Mother Spirit and her children, we receive the urge to worship (P 1245:4 / UB 113:4.4), the urge to pray (P 1245:4 / UB 113:4.4), the development of evolutionary religion (P 1003:5 & P 1110:13 / UB 92:0.5 & UB 101:5.10), the circumstancing of our lives toward growth (P 1245:3 / UB 113:4.3) and the fostering of the growth and development of our civilization. (P 1255:6 / UB 114:6.7) The Book is talking primarily about the Mother Spirit and her children when it makes the statement, “…work out the details of your earthly sojourn in connection with the intelligences of the infinite spirit…” (P 66:1 / UB 5:.3.5)

Perhaps at this point it would be helpful to describe a variety of types of guidance. We know that a great deal of the leading we receive, especially from the Thought Adjuster, is not on a conscious level. (P 1207:2 / UB 110:4.1). The following types of guidance are ones of which we may to some degree be conscious.


Reading THE URANTIA BOOK was probably the first time most of us had given serious thought to angels and certainly the first time we had read a description in detail of their teaching efforts on our behalf. Yet many of us had already felt their influence in our lives without having a unifying concept by which we could understand and discuss what was happening. Life is full of seeming coincidences which teach us lessons – lessons small and large, many times the same lessons over and over again. Many lives have taken significant turns because of physical or social circumstances which redirect the person’s thinking. These experiences are very probably a result of seraphic work.

Once they have read about the work of seraphim in THE URANTIA BOOK, many people take great delight in actively watching for the circumstances of life which might lead to growth. Events which might have been considered disasters, or at least misfortunes, become opportunities to grow. Many seek celestial assistance and open themselves to a better knowledge of the Father’s will by such active observation. Having prayed about a particular difficulty, one individual may find a relevant comment in a book he happens to read. A friend may call and, without knowing the problem, say the very thing which unlocks the puzzle. A newspaper headline, a piece of artwork, a song on the radio – the variety of sources is enormous so long as a person is open to the possibility. Being alert to the possible influence of the seraphim in our lives has brought much growth, joy and satisfaction to many lives.


A much more controversial method by which some people feel that they receive guidance is that of hearing voices and seeing visions. First let us deal with voices which are perceived by the physical ear and visions which are seen with the physical eye. Evidently, from THE URANTIA BOOK reports of Gabriel appearing to Mary and John’s mother, Elizabeth, and of midwayers letting Peter out of prison, these types of events are possible. They appear, however, to be very rare.

Experiences of voices heard by the mind’s ear and visions seen by the mind’s eye are not so rare. Internal visualizations have been relatively common. Visualizations are frequently symbolic of concepts and events. Sometimes these have been in answer to prayer, sometimes apparently unsolicited. Such visions have occurred in the midst of crises, during rest, at prayer or worship, etc. Sometimes, as one might expect, these visual experiences are combined with the voice or other sound experience. 

Many people have brief voice experiences throughout their lives which help them through difficult situations with succinct advice or words of support and encouragement. Perhaps this voice is simply higher levels of our unconscious or our humanly acquired conscience. It may be the Spirit of Truth (P 1286:7 / UB 117:5.9) or possibly on rare occasions even our Thought Adjuster. (P 1192:4 / UB 108:5.9) 

Quite a few individuals have described hearing with their mind’s ear words, sentences, paragraphs, even entire compositions which form in their minds in ways which feel different from their ordinary thought processes. In most cases reported, the material received in this way was gentle, inspiring, and uplifting, often including humor appropriate to the receiving person. In some instances where advice was sought from the voices, answers seemed to have been carefully given so as to avoid imposing on the will of the receiving person – in fact, they are sometimes said to be downright frustratingly unhelpful. A number of persons experiencing this type of voices indicate that the voices claim to be angels, many of whom give their names. 

The claim to be conversing with angels is probably the most controversial aspect of these experiences, especially since THE URANTIA BOOK says that seraphim making actual contact with humans is “very unusual.” (P 1246:4 / UB 113:5.5) Perhaps these voices are the “sudden emergence into consciousness of ideas which have been grouping themselves together in the submerged mental levels … ” (P 1207:3 / UB 110:4.3) Perhaps they are exactly what they purport to be. Any individual having such an experience will find assistance in the Book (especially P 1244-6 & P 1254-8 / UB 113:3-5 & UB 114:5-7) but no concrete answers. The results of voice and visual experiences frequently have been enhanced, fruitful and happy lives.


This next category of guidance is a difficult one to even put a name to. We tend to say, “I feel that I should” do this or that. Almost everyone responding to our survey referred to intuitions or feelings. Yet these feelings have little to do with emotions and still less to do with our physical senses. Perhaps they are the influence of the soul in its functioning to feel values. (P 1219:5 / UB 111:3.6) In some cases they may be simple conscience or the product of our “sub-merged mental levels.” (P 1207:7 / UB 110:4.3) Perhaps they are what is termed “spiritual insight,” the “inner and spiritual communion” which results “from the impress made upon the mind of man by the combined operations of the Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth … (P 1105:0 / UB 101:1.3)Perhaps they are not really feelings but the parent of thoughts – a thought emerging so slowly that we perceive it before its clear emergence into consciousness. Probably each of these (and other things too) is experienced as a “feeling” or “knowing” at one time or another. 

Whatever the origin, people experience feelings about the truth of a situation or the rightness of their own actions. In fact, these feelings are probably the ultimate arbiter of their guidance. Frequently their first reaction to a new idea is, “How does it feel?” And after having prayed, counseled with friends, consulted THE URANTIA BOOK (or their memory of it), using their humanly acquired facts and logic, applying their common sense, and whatever else they may do, the final thought is often, “Now, how do I feel about it?” Those who receive guidance in some other fashion, such as circumstances, voices, or visions, tend to accept or reject that guidance based on these feelings.

Many individuals find that they are not at peace with themselves when their thoughts, words, or actions are not in keeping with this inner feeling. Sometimes they spend days feeling uncomfortable about their lives until they recognize that they must do some praying and serious thinking about some aspect of their lives. Once their thoughts, words and actions are harmonious with this knowing inside them, they are at peace once again. Sometimes the conflict is caused by their bowing to the influence or persuasion of someone else and they behave in a way not consistent with their inner selves. Sometimes they may have made selfish decisions which this true self recognizes and rejects. Whatever the cause, peace is restored when they respond to the truth within themselves.


Some people report an experience which they consider to be guidance, but which varies quite a bit from the other forms described. It occurs when the individuals are actively engaged in serving their fellows (consciously or unconsciously). In such a circumstance the serving individual involved silently expresses desire for God’s help in the situation. Then frequently he seems to say just the right thing to the person with whom he is talking, with the result that the other person’s spiritual needs are met. The serving individuals are unconscious of specific leading. They report simply feeling in partnership with spirit or feeling that God’s love is flowing through them. 

These occurrences seem to take place when the serving individuals are relating to others in a non-directing, loving way. There is no attempt to tell the person what he ought to do. The servers are not concerned with their own cleverness or goodness but are concentrating on a simple, loving communion with the other person. It is possible that this is what Jesus described as making “your appeals directly to the divine spirit that dwells within the minds of men.” (P 1765:4 / UB 159:3.3) 

Such experiences may be the influence of the Spirit of Truth since we are told that he “directs the loving contact of one human being with another.” (P 1951:0 / UB 180:5.11) These occurrences of partnership with spirit are certainly high points of fulfillment and satisfaction in the life of the server.


A major concern which some people have about spiritual guidance is, “How does one judge its validity?”, Our minds are quite capable of fooling us, and we are warned that genuine guidance may be distorted and even result in fanaticism. (P 1208:4-5 & P 1209:4 / UB 110:5.5&6 & UB 110:6.4) 

Validation of experience may be attempted by going to accepted religious authority for approval. But Jesus gave us his method, a better method of religious validation. 

The Book describes Jesus’ approach to religion as if It were analogous to the technique of experiment used in modern science (Develop a theory, experiment, observe results and test replicability). Jesus followed the method of experience. (P 2076:5 / UB 195:5.14) We may perceive an insight or intuition or in some other way we believe that we have received guidance. But we’ll not know whether what we perceive is truth unless we act upon it – unless we try it in our lives and look at the results. Those results tell us if we have something worthwhile or not. This is one way in which we can use the method of experience. It is also the method of faith in that we act upon our trust that we are guided. 

Our faith is small at first, but it draws strength from the experience which we have as a result of acting upon our guidance. Each time we act and observe the results, our faith grows until it approaches that mature faith which is defined as religious assurance. 

Jesus urges his followers to become their own prophets (P 1731:5 / UB 154:6.7); to depend not on someone else’s words but upon their own religious experience. He said: “The religion of the spirit leaves you forever free to follow the truth wherever the leadings of the spirit may take you. And who can judge, perhaps this spirit may have something to impart to this generation which other generations have refused to hear?” (P 1731:3/ UB 154:6.5) He wasn’t talking just to the apostles and evangelists, but to each person who hears his words and follows them in any generation. 

Ultimately then, the validity of our guidance depends upon our trying it in our lives. There are many ways in which THE URANTIA BOOK can assist in this process. It can provide some criteria by which to judge the consequences of acting on our guidance.

As one example, the, Book provides a test of the validity of mystical experiences. (P 1000-1 / UB 91:7.5-12) The test can be applied to any experience in one’s life. Experience is worthwhile if it improves life on seven levels.

  1. Does it improve one’s physical health? 
  2. Does it improve one’s mental functioning? 
  3. Does it socialize one’s religious life? 
  4. Does it spiritualize one’s every-day life? 
  5. Does it enhance one’s appreciation for truth, beauty and goodness? 
  6. Does it conserve one’s current level of values? 
  7. Does it increase one’s God consciousness? 

This test provides a practical means of judging any guidance experience which we have had. 

The primary validity concern is that we do not exalt our own ideas to the level of the words of God. (P 1094:3 & 1208:4 / UB 100:1.1 & UB 110:5.5) We are cautioned many times in THE URANTIA BOOK of the dangers of assuming that our intuitions, urges or feelings originate with the Thought Adjuster. (P 1199:4, P 1207:2-4, P 1208:4-5 & P 1213:1&4 / UB 109:5.3, UB 110:4.2-4, UB 110:5.5-6 & UB 110:7.6&9) We can avoid that problem by taking all of our guidance, in whatever form it might appear, and labeling it “source unknown” and “quality unknown.” If it passes our tests of logical evaluation and intuitive truth response, then we can test it in our lives to determine its quality. If the quality is good, the source hardly matters.

So, what about the situation in which our guidance does not seem to satisfy the tests we apply? We will have those situations, especially at first when we are just starting out. At times, our subconscious fears may appear to be guidance. Personally, I toss out any intuitions that have the fear emotion associated with them. Time after time these have proved to be inaccurate. Evidently, they arise out of my subconscious fears. Certainly, we may misinterpret our guidance. It is important to remember that we will always be subject to errors of reception or interpretation, just as a baby at first struggles to understand its parent. Like the baby, we will improve in our ability to discern and interpret the wisdom given us. Yet even as we mature, the possibility of error is always with us. While Jesus admonished the apostles and evangelists not to discount truth “because the channel of its bestowal is apparently human” (P 1733:0 / UB 155:6.12), he also made it clear to Nathaniel that divine truth from human sources is always subject to error. (P 1768:4 / UB 159:4.8) 

My own approach varies from situation to situation, but at one time or another I use some or all of the following: When I recognize something which I think may be guidance, I first “feel” for an inner sense about its truth. Then I check it out against such logical criteria as its own internal logic and its consistency with God’s nature and qualities, my highest values, and my knowledge of universe law. I pray for wisdom and clarity of perception, sometimes over a length of time. If I continue to feel right about it, I take a faith leap and act upon that guidance. Then I observe the results on myself, on the people around me, and on the situation. I apply what I call Jesus’ test: “Does it bring God to man? Does it bring man to God?” (P 1388:5 / UB 126:2.5) I always try to keep in mind that any guidance is filtered through my mind and is therefore subject to imperfections. In the long run I look at those seven levels of my life to see if things are progressing satisfactorily. And finally, there are times when I have to take on faith that I have chosen God’s will because I have done so to the best of my ability. If I have done that, what more can I do unless I receive further illumination?


Now I would like to share with you the techniques which I have gleaned from THE URANTIA BOOK and from the responses we received from our survey. 

With regard to the external circumstances of guidance reception, the Book states and our survey certainly supports that there are no limitations. (P 2064:2 / UB 194:3.10) Guidance may be received any place, at any time. 

The techniques which facilitate guidance can be stated with this brief formula. 

(1) Pray and worship (both talk to God and listen). 

(2) Actively grapple with life (make decisions and serve your fellows). 

(3) Want (need, yearn) to do the Father’s will more than anything else in the world. 

Prayer and worship are essential elements, in spiritual guidance. Prayer enlarges our spiritual receptivity (P 2065:8 / UB 194:3.20) and worship is the best time for the Thought Adjuster to communicate with our souls. (P 1641:1 / UB 146:2.17)

There are seven attitudes which we should carry to prayer. 

(1) Prayer ”should be done as unselfishly as we are able. (P 999:9 / UB 91:6.6) 

(2) We should maintain a joyful feeling of thanksgiving. (P 1640:4 / UB 146:2.15) We can even be thankful for the hard places in life if we recognize that they are opportunities to grow and learn. 

(3) We must pray in faith (P 1620:7 / UB 144:3.14), believing that our prayers will be answered. That does not mean believing in the childish manner that we will receive exactly what we ask for but knowing that the father will supply what we need for the situation. 

(4) Prayer goes nowhere if we are not sincere in it. God answers the soul’s attitude (P 1002:4 / UB 91:8.12), so if the words don’t match the attitude, the words simply aren’t heard. 

(5) We are advised to pray intelligently, according to our light. (P 1620:9 / UB 144:3.16) We shouldn’t ask for that which we know the Father won’t give, such as preferential treatment or requests which violate God’s laws as we understand them. (P 1638:3 / UB 146:2.3)

(6) We should be trustful. (P 1620:19 / UB 144:3.17) Once we recognize that the Father’s will would be the best possible outcome of our prayer, we can actively and sincerely seek that. We can say, in effect “this is what I have figured out for this situation. It’s the best I can come up with, but what I’d really like is for your will to emerge.” Then we let the situation go, release our willful hold on it and become receptive to God’s will.

(7) The last step is to go a bit further and open ourselves to change. That’s what prayer is really about anyway – to change ourselves. (P 1639:3 / UB 146:2.8) We can magnify the effects if we take the attitude, “Here am I; use me; reconstruct me.”

THE URANTIA BOOK gives us some indications of what to pray for. The number one prayer in importance is the prayer for the knowledge of the Fathers will. (P 1640:3 / UB 146:2.14) Number two is the prayer for guidance over the pathway of earthly life. (P 1640:3 / UB 146:2.14) A corollary to this second one is not to ask God to solve problems, but to ask for wisdom and spiritual strength while we get busy working on our problems in partnership with spirit. (P 999:8 / UB 91:6.5) We are advised to pray for others: for the welfare of our families and friends, for the extension of the kingdom of heaven, and most difficult, to pray for those who ill-use us. (P 1639:6 & P 1640:2 / UB 146:2.11 & UB 146:2.13) 

As to the methods we use in prayer, Jesus advised that one’s real petitions be made in private (P 1640:1 / UB 146:2.12) but also warned against becoming too isolated. He made it a practice to take three apostles to be near him while he prayed (P 2055:2 / UB 193:3.2) and at times sent all the apostles away to pray in pairs. (P 1544:1 / UB 138:7.2) 

Rodan stated that relaxation enhances our spiritual receptivity. (P 1777:2 / UB 160:3.1) One of our respondents expanded on this concept. He said: “It appears certain to me that guidance cannot be effective when the seeker is under intense pressure and cannot pay attention to the receipt of subtle and often instantaneous images in the preverbal layers of mind.” However, if circumstances do not permit relaxation, seek spiritual counsel anyway. 

Dialogue is recommended in THE URANTIA BOOK as the best prayer technique for us to follow. (P 997:5 / UB 91:3.7) Several of our respondents mentioned a dialogue. One commented, “Sometimes I just ‘talk it over’ with Jesus or my Thought Adjuster. Sometimes I write it down in dialogue form … ” Another person described his technique this way: “Sometimes while sitting on a bus or driving in my car I talk (in my head) to God as if he were sitting in the car with me. I discuss my concerns, ideas, etc. If I ask a question, I try to listen for an answer however it might come. After a moment or more of listening, I return to sharing my experience of the moment with God.” 

The technique which enables prayer to enlarge our channels of spiritual receptivity is persistency. Repeating a prayer-even a spiritually unsound prayer, if it is prayed earnestly and longingly and is a sincere expression uttered in faith, will expand the soul’s capacity for spiritual receptivity. (P 1621:1 / UB 144:4.2) When I first read several years ago that I should be persistent in my prayer, it didn’t make much sense to me. Surely God didn’t need me to repeat things. It took a while to dawn on me that God didn’t need them repeated, I did. Furthermore, repeating them in a meaningless fashion wouldn’t have the desired effect. It is the soul’s attitude which one is practicing. Of course, I benefit from praying earnestly and longingly in faith and sincerity. This keeps reminding me that I am cooperating with spirit in finding the answer to my prayer. 

To me one of the most fascinating bits of information in the Book has always been that the Thought Adjuster is able to teach the human mind when it “flows freely in the liberated but controlled channels of creative imagination.” (P 1199:2 / UB 109:5.1) I conjecture that several different activities would come under this heading: delightful sessions of speculation and brainstorming in worshipful problem-solving. 

One of the aspects of prayer which is easy to overlook is the listening part. It’s hard to communicate with someone who is always chattering. I suspect our spiritual guides feel that way about us. Jesus taught his followers to “remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship.” (P 1641:1 / UB 146:2.17) One of our respondents gave a very simple formula for prayer: “Be still, listen, ask, listen.” 

There are two places in the book which I wish to recommend to you for prayerful study, because they have so much to teach about prayer. The laws of prevailing petitions on page 1002 (P 1002 / UB 91:9) gives a step-by-step method of achieving an effective prayer life. On page 2089 (P 2089/ UB 196:0.10-13) can be found the beautiful and powerful description of what prayer was to Jesus. As I studied it again and again over time, this paragraph made me recognize that I had placed entirely too many limitations on what prayer is. 

The door was opened to a whole new realm of ways to relate to deity through prayer. 

The second category of helpful techniques is “Action: decision-making and service.” Two of our respondents expressed an urge to action so beautifully. One described it this way: “Our Adjuster, together with any other spiritual influences on us, must have something to work with… we must be spiritually active, sincerely making decisions, being of service – doing what we believe is right in every situation that arises… I believe that the ‘spiritual guidance’ that is most productive comes when I am actively trying to do what I believe is something of worth, when I give my adjuster something to adjust”. Another commented: “Cause your mind to want to be receptive to spiritual guidance all of the time… Pray for guidance, try to determine what you should do, assume that you have been given such guidance (whether you are certain of this or not) then embark. Step forward and act. Don’t be so self-critical if you don’t like the results. Try to learn from the experience.”

One of our respondents noticed in her life that no further guidance on a topic seemed forthcoming until some action had been taken on the guidance already given. 

The action on which Jesus placed so much stress was service. One respondent expressed the connection between service and communion this way: “I utterly desire continuous communion, but I think that I grow toward that by losing myself in service, finding the traces of God in the real around me, and letting the sense of the Father’s presence grow as I continue to seek and find and choose and do his will.”

Our spiritual association with others provides mutual stimulation to growth. (P 1094:2 / UB 100:0.2) One person commented: “The biggest contributors for me in growing to the point of perceiving guidance have been the many wonderful friends I’ve known who read the Book and are living proof that it works.”

We are told we don’t discipline our minds enough. (P 1213:1/ UB 110:7.6) One aspect of discipline is that of allowing enough time to make decisions. It requires both patience and stamina to continue to grapple with a problem for any great length of time. Nevertheless, time is frequently necessary to allow us to receive whatever guidance might be forthcoming. One person commented, “… if instead of rushing in impulsively into a situation, deciding on the spur of the moment, I wait a while; then, most of the time, after asking for guidance, I will be given a new insight into the situation, a higher view of it, a greater perspective … ” 

An important pattern is brought out in the Book: it is necessary to make many small decisions to firmly establish a habit. One builds up to the critical decisions with this method. (P 1708:1&2 / UB 153:1.2&3) One respondent applies the principle in this way: “I find that with practice, guidance becomes much easier to recognize. So, I ask for guidance all the time, not just for large decisions… I develop the habit of using guidance all the time with a Unity concept: ‘Every thought is a prayer.’ It really made me stop and consider and eliminate the garbage.” 

We can help ourselves to maintain a constantly receptive attitude by a vigilant questioning of the environment. One respondent reported his questions: “Can I learn something important here? Is there something I can do for someone here? Has this occurred before? Maybe it’s a lesson I didn’t learn the first time.” We can also work in partnership with spirit by seeking help at the moment we need it. Even in the midst of a conversation we can express a quick, silent prayer and then relax, knowing that the spirit will work in partnership with us. 

The communion of prayer and worship and the action of decision-making and service are both conducive to the reception of spiritual guidance, but we must maintain an appropriate balance between the two. Jesus’ plan was to provide short retreats from life for his apostles but mainly to keep them in active service. (P 1000:3 / UB 91:7.2) 

The final consideration in receiving spiritual guidance is the most important: a desire to do the will of God. Choosing to do the Father’s will is a little like being a traveler who enters what he thought was uncharted wilderness only to discover that an explorer has gone before. Not only that, but the explorer has blazed the best possible trail through the wilderness. The traveler has a choice: he can determine to express his uniqueness and originality and strike out to blaze some lesser trail, or he can gratefully accept the excellent path left by the explorer and eventually arrive safe and triumphant on the far side of the wilderness. 

The best way I know of to overcome our desire to express our own wills is by becoming so close to the Father’s infinite goodness that we are overcome with the desire to become that beautiful. All other motives pale before our yearning to be and do anything the Father asks. Our reward is a greater and greater capacity to enjoy the pleasure of his presence. 

I said earlier that there were three basic techniques which facilitate the reception of guidance:

(1) Pray and worship.

(2) Make decisions and serve.

(3) Want to do the Father’s will.  

In the final analysis the first and second are meaningless without the third. In the list on page 1206 (P 1206 / UB 110:3.7-10) of four things by which we can consciously enhance Adjuster harmony, three of the four are simply various aspects of wanting to do the Father’s will. 

Certainly, seeking to do the Father’s will is the core of our religious experience. A steadfast desire to do his will becomes an active and all-pervasive motivator in our lives, the drive around which all other considerations center. Such a whole-hearted dedication to the beauty and excellence of the Father’s way will surely facilitate our growing perception of his will for our lives. 


While we must exercise caution and wisdom to avoid the dangers of elevating our own ideas to the level of commands from on high, we should also be sure not to miss the real experience of a living religion. It is our opportunity to move beyond belief in God’s watch care and guidance to true faith to actively seek his will and do what we understand that will to be. And in those moments of success, we will indeed be sharing our lives with God.


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Seeing With God’s Eyes

By Kaye cooper

Let me share with you a moment of transformation from the life of Jesus. Imagine for just a minute the scene at the ship dock where Jesus waits to board a ship with Ganid and Gonod. They witness a man angrily attacking his wife. Jesus steps forward and taps the man on the shoulder. Look into that man’s face as he wheels around. See the anger, the clinched teeth, the fiery eyes. And then see his surprise and confusion when Jesus courteously invites him aside. And if that was not startling enough, Jesus then does an even more amazing thing. He tells the man what a fine person he is. Listen to some of what he says: “I am sure you must feel you have some good reason for this assault. I think I discern in your face a love of justice. I venture to say that, if you found me attacked by robbers, you would unhesitatingly rush to my rescue. Now, my friend, tell me what is the matter?” 

Look into the face of Jesus; see his kind look and sympathetic smile. He really means what he is saying. Jesus is seeing the man with the eyes of God – not the way you and I would ordinarily see the man at all. This is not flattery. It is the way God sees the man. Imagine the look on the man’s face in this moment of transformation, because he suddenly believes Jesus. He believes he is a better man than his behavior would indicate. In that transforming moment, he becomes a better man. His family life is changed. His wife and children are deeply affected. Even Gonod is profoundly changed by some of Jesus’ words to the man a few minutes later. Truly this was a transforming moment! And it happened because Jesus was able to see the man with God’s eyes.

We too can see with God’s eyes and it is important to see with God’s eyes. You can tell what a dramatic difference seeing the man’s behavior and the good within him with god’s eyes made in the encounter Jesus had with this man. It turned an ugly, even dangerous situation into an open door. This was truly an amazing transformation.

Seeing with God’s Eyes is basically a prayer to see more nearly as God sees, to the extent that we are able. Obviously, we cannot see all that God sees. After all, God is the creator and upholder of the universe. But by asking for God’s assistance to see as God sees and by being open to guidance, we find that our perspective changes. We see more wisely, more unselfishly, and with better understanding of our fellows. We see their potential goodness instead of only their faults. We see people’s motives, their potential, their reality (instead of our fears and prejudices). We take on attitudes more like our Heavenly Parent’s, attitudes that are more loving, sincere, and giving. We become more willing to forgive. We see ourselves and others as beloved children who are still learning and growing.

When we ask to “See with God’s Eyes,” God seems to answer our prayer by uplifting our perspective and adjusting our attitudes. Seeing with God’s eyes is one of our goals as followers of the religion of Jesus.


Let’s try it now. Choose a situation or a person to see with God’s eyes. Choose a situation at work, home, church, or with friends which you need to see differently. Or choose a person in your life you need a fresh perspective on. He may have an annoying habit. She may be a problem in your work life. It may be someone you have fallen into the habit of criticizing.

You need to select a person or situation that you are prepared to see differently. We are not always willing to let go of our perspective, you know. In fact, that is the hardest part of this process. We want to continue our own viewpoint and attitudes. Often, we prefer to wallow in a little self-righteous pool of anger. We would rather be right than solve our problem.

Sometimes simply realizing that we have a choice about how we see, and feel can immediately free us to let go of our own perspective. There are other times when we just have to allow ourselves the time to grow into letting go. When the emotions are involved, we can’t necessarily force ourselves to let go. If we rely on persistent, ongoing, sincere prayer, then over time our Mother/Father God will soften the soil. So select something that you think you are ready and willing to let go of. 

Take a moment now and choose what you will focus on. (Pause) 

The steps in this process are simple:

  1. Commit to give up your viewpoint. 
  2. Ask for God’s help. 
  3. Imagine how God would see. Apply your understanding of God’s nature and values. 

Having decided that you are ready to let go of your viewpoint, your next step is to make a commitment to give up your viewpoint and see the person with God’s eyes. 

Once you have made the commitment to see differently, the asking is easy. You will simply ask God for help and trust fully that God will supply what you need. 

The final step is to imagine. This is where you encourage the process and become a partner with God: use your imagination. Ask God, “How would you see this?” Then imagine how God would see the situation or the person. You will find that as you use your imagination, God will help you to see more as God sees. You may want to repeat “How would you see this?” at intervals during the exercise. 

Let’s do step one together right now. Take a moment of silence to ask yourself: “Am I willing to see and feel more as God would?” Make a commitment to let go of your viewpoint and see with God’s eyes. 


I will give you about ten minutes to ask for God’s help and then to imagine how God sees the situation or person. During your quiet time, I encourage you to journal or take notes.  Sometimes ideas get away from you if you don’t jot them down. 

Afterward, you will have an opportunity to share whatever you want from this exercise. Of course, sharing is always voluntary. 

Please begin when you are ready.

(allow ten minutes) 

Time is almost up. Finish your thought. 



Did you notice any difficulty making the commitment to be willing to see things God’s way? 

What difference did you notice in the way you saw the person or situation? 

How do you feel differently about the person or situation now? 

Nail Down

Seeing with God’s eyes is one of those spiritual habits which is very beneficial to your spiritual growth. It is a way of inviting God to be an active partner in your life. It can be used as a prayer in the moment to transform a situation on the spot. It can be used in private to help you find a way to cope with your life. If a particular situation or person is a real challenge, persistence, sincerity, and determination will eventually bring success. 

Seeing with God’s eyes is our destiny. If you ask to see with God’s eyes persistently and honestly, over time you will find that you are not only seeing God’s will for you – more and more you will be doing God’s will for you. 


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A Unique Spiritual Service

by Bill Cooper
Arlington, Texas

Jason, Kaye and I are fortunate to share our home with a very graceful looking and behaving schnauzer-poodle. Her disposition is so uniformly loving and unselfish that I have frequently wondered whether she was circumstanced into my home by my slightly higher spiritual brothers and sisters so that I might observe these qualities in her and perhaps eventually find and adopt a human equivalent. Anyway, I am sure, they will be delighted for her to have that effect on me. 

Occasionally I have wondered whether I might not effect my greatest service to my mortal brothers and sisters by breeding schnauzer-poodles by the thousand and giving them to anyone who could appreciate and want them. Now that would be a unique spiritua1 service. Dog breeder for the Kingdom. 


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     By James Thompson

Once in a saintly passion 

I cried with desperate grief, 

“O Lord, my heart is black with guile, 

Of sinners I am chief.” 

Then stooped my guardian angel 

And whispered from behind, 

“Vanity, my little man, 

You’re nothing of the kind.” 


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By Kaye Cooper
Arlington, Texas

The really significant work of our lives on this world boils down to two sides of a single coin: coming to know God and striving to be like him. The seven psychic circles is a way of measuring our progress in the latter of those twin goals. The Circles magazine is dedicated to sharing our experiences, insights, speculations, et cetera, so that we can help each other in the work of making our circles – striving to be like God.

Preparation for the work of circle attainment begins early in life. The baby who struggles to guide his hand toward an object he wants is working to bring his body (the material) under control of his mind (the intellectual). The child continues to perfect that control of mind until, when he is approximately five years old, another element is added. The child decides on an action motivated by his spiritual faculties. In that moment, his spirit is controlling his mind and his spirit-led mind is controlling his body. He has stepped into the seventh circle. 

From that time on his real progress will be measured by his success in using that chain of command: spirit to mind to body. Said another way: he will be striving to unify his own spirit, mind, and body under the over-control of personality. How is that striving to be like God? Because God does precisely that—he unifies spirit; mind, and matter (Goodness, Truth, and Beauty). In fact, the experiential God, the Supreme, is even now striving to unify the spirit, mind, and matter of the grand universe. (See THE URANTIA BOOK, p. 1274.) 

The unification process within each person is inevitably expressed in that person’s relationship with the rest of the world. And that relationship reflects how balanced the person’s growth is. Balance is significant because circle progress is only achieved by balanced growth – proportional progress in the spiritual, intellectual, and material aspects of a person. (See p. 1209.)

We can hypothesize a person of balanced growth with some confidence because we have a superb example of such a person in Jesus. A hypothetical balanced personality would provide the material necessities of life for himself and his family without allowing material possessions to become the primary goal of his life. Nor would he neglect those necessities because he is too busy with intellectual or spiritual affairs. That personality would depend on his intellect to serve him well without tying intellectual knots around every idea, situation or person entering his life. He would not go to the other extreme in rejecting rational thought for exclusively “gut” reaction. This balanced person would have a personal one-to-one relationship with his Father. He would not be found hidden away engaged in nothing but communion with God, nor would he be a person who knows about prayer and worship but does not engage in them. 

Coming to know God on a personal basis is the core of our maturing process, but in order to become like him, we must go a step further. We must make our decisions based on the divine chain of command: spirit to mind to body. When we do, we will see ourselves emerging as beings of balanced growth. And while we may not know which circle we are in, we may be sure we are making progress. 


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By Bill Cooper Arlington, Texas

I rest,


Recalling blessings in abundance

Blessings of love; of friends; of beauty

recognized, remembered, invested

within my soul.

Angels are near.

I await my Father’s presence

which comes to me from the

mystery center of everywhere.

He is present!

Our loves overflow.

The thrill, the exhilaration of his

presence explodes around me in

meanings and insights.

Slowly, his presence recedes

but joy remains.

I cannot yet sustain long seasons

in his presence.

But that too shall come.


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The Father’s Business

By Matthew Rapaport
San Francisco

To my mind, “the Father’s Business” evokes images of two distinct kinds of ministry. The first kind is highly spiritual in orientation, outwardly as well as inwardly. The second is, outwardly, more concerned with the secular affairs of the world, though it too must be, inwardly, spiritual in orientation.

 God is spirit and His business, in the strictest sense, must also be spiritual. Here is the business of spiritual ministry which must, in the end, involve the sharing of the Gospel – Fatherhood, Brotherhood, and eternal life through faith whether or not this message is associated with The URANTIA Book, boot­legged material from the Book, or any other information about the spiritual universe and our relationship to it. This ministry may include more than the gospel.  

It may include elements of intellectual and material ministry to the needs of individuals, but it must, at least, encompass the Gospel.  The Father’s business in this sense is that of introducing people to God.  After they have been introduced, it is also appropriate to help them expand their relationship to Him.  Our Father may have many “businesses,” but this must be the first, last, and most important of them.

 Aside from purely spiritual ministry, most of us have multiple secular responsibilities.  We are parents, workers, students, and many other things.  Done from the proper motivation, these too are the Father’s business.  It is our challenge as His partners in creation to do that which contributes to the growth of the Supreme.  Our own souls grow in character, and the Supreme emerges in the super universe as we make holy our secular responsibilities through dedication to God’s will.

 Jesus lived this sense of his Father’s business right up to the time of his baptism.  He acted as dutiful son, student, father, employee, and volunteer.  The way in which he carried out these responsibilities is a perfect illustration of living the Father’s business in this sense, a sense in which most of us must live it through all of our lives.

 There are common elements to the Father’s business in whatever sense one considers it.  Love for and interest in one’s fellows is always a part of doing God’s will.  Becoming more socially useful to one’s fellows is the measure (outwardly) of personal spiritual progress, and of success in doing the Father’s business. 

There is, of course, nothing contradictory in combining the two senses of the Father’s business.  Jesus did this more and more as he grew up.  His transition from dutiful child to full-time spiritual minister was gradual. This would seem to be a natural transition.  It is made possible by the need for love and expressions of truth, beauty, and goodness, in any life shared with God. 

Yet while all work done in God’s glory is holy, it is only natural that eventually, we should be led to yearn for the courage and ability to brighten the lives of others with the most true, beautiful, and good declaration of the Universes; the individual’s relationship to a real, perfect, and wholly loving Father of Lights.


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  Our Father Sits

  By Kaye Cooper

Our Father sits in His place

at the center of all creation.

His reach stretches outward

beyond the farthest reach of any mind,

    of any imagination.

He holds in Himself

all of what is known

            and all of what might be

                                   and all of what might be thought

or dreamt

                        or one day reached.


Our Father sits.

He sees, hears and knows.

He knows each and every being

in His creation.

And He knows the route of each electron. He feels the movement of every star.

He lives through every life in this universe,

takes joy at every sunrise

       and weeps with every pain.


Our Father shares all of

He feels with us

                               and learns the life that we lead

                                 because we share with Him.

In all of time and space

                      there is not one experience 

                         which He does not share

                                        not one which He cannot find 

                 a way to use.

In all the patterns He has set for us

 all the children He has sent

and all that we have shared with Him, the

thread runs through:

                                    The Father’s love is being expressed His

     beauty learned anew.


He shares in our adventure and

    listens while we learn

And smiles with a warm and

   loving smile

                                          as we learn the lessons He has planned.

He lifts us up

not even step by step but smaller yet:

atom by atom

replacing us

with a new divinity a

new being

as shining as He.


Age upon age we live through this journey

becoming that which He knows we can.

And He waits very


                                              at the center of the Universe to

            greet us

                                                     when at last we find Him, to

welcome the being

           that we have become.


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First Letter from Eric  first written 1989


First let me tell you about Eric.  The team that developed the Adventures in Spiritual Living program to foster spiritual experience often felt assisted by unseen spiritual friends in discovering what activities would work.  Eric represents those unseen friends.  On a few occasions he has written us letters of encouragement and advice which are of value for anyone who sets out on the quest to personally experience spiritual reality.  Eric is, above all, interested in pursuing thrilling spiritual adventures.

Our image of him is as a young captain of a Viking long boat.  He is happy, enthusiastic, optimistic and joyous.  He is absolutely certain that we are all beloved children of God and consequently he is totally fearless in pursuing truth.  When he talks about the great adventure he means the adventure of pursuing truth wherever the spirit leads him.

Eric defines truth as the powerful attraction of participating in loving relations with spiritual sisters and brothers.  His truth can’t be merely known as fact.  It has to be lived as an experience of love in your soul.  Well that is enough about Eric for you to understand why we look forward to his infrequent letters and why we share them.  The first letter from Eric came in late 1989.

First Letter from Eric

Dearest Fellow Adventurers:

Our Father invites us into an endlessly thrilling adventure of living spiritually in his very presence.  And he does not delay the advent or the intensity of the experience one moment longer then we require.  Let us not delay?

The only barrier to our adventure is our own fear.  Fear of the spiritual unknown.  Fear that we will make fools of ourselves.  Fear that we might lose control of our lives.  But there is no cause for fear. Spiritually we are indestructible.  Both our Father and our brother Jesus guarantee our spiritual safety and indestructability and our personal sovereignty.  They have designed their domains so that we in our immature judgment can do no lasting damage either to ourselves or to our universe.  The only real danger to ourselves lies in not pursuing the spiritual adventure — because it leads to eternal growth in spirit and nothing else does.  The entire grand universe is designed so that we can do no harm by leading a sincere, boisterous, youthful, exuberant and joyful life.  No, there is no reason to fear.

The loyal and courageous child of God, living in his immediate presence is free to go absolutely anywhere the spirit leads him in pursuit of the work of his Father.  That work can be as calm as a mother’s soothing lullaby to her young child or as adventurously exciting as the Viking captain lashed to the prow of his ship while peering into the crashing sea for new reality to explore.  As his ship runs full sail in a tempest, he has no fear because he knows he is immortal and this sets him free for the total adventure.  No need for restraint.

We are like that.  We are immortal, and we are invited to a thrilling adventure.  Our personal, inner relationship with God prepares us for both the breathtaking, spine-tingling excitement and the unprecedented intimacy and personal tenderness of this adventure.

When you are ready and when you want it, the adventure of spiritual living is your birthright as a child of God.  And the first step to the tenderness and to the robustness is the step within.  So step within the higher reaches of your mind.  Open the doors and unshutter the windows. You have nothing to fear.  You are here to experience love, mercy and service.  You are not here to hide out and protect yourself in this life.  You are here to gather the experience of loving and being loved and of being transformed spiritually by love.  You are a beloved and immortal child of God, right now.  Open and let the light shine into the once dim rooms of your spiritual abode.  Open and invite our Father to show you the way home to him.

With astonishing love for you,  I am Off.


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Second Letter from Eric first written March 1990

Greetings and Love Abundant:

You should know by now that your adventure of ever new discoveries of the experience of friendship with you Father, God, Will never end.  You should also know by now that the whole-hearted pursuit of your friendship with God takes courage and faith.  I link courage and faith because the less of one you have the more of the other you need.  It takes courage and faith to pursue your friendship wherever the spirit of God leads you because no one can tell you exactly what to do or exactly what your experience will be.  But you can be sure of two things at least:

  1. Your sincere effort to know God will be successful and
  2. Your unique adventure of discovering God will excite you, enliven you and thrill you beyond anything else this life has to offer.

You are in pursuit of the experience of being loved by God.  Think of it.  God himself wants to spend the rest of eternity as your intimate, understanding best friend.

What an adventure.

While no person can tell you exactly how to experience this relationship with God, some who are on this adventure can help you improve your contact with the spirit of God within you, who will unerringly lead you step by step, as fast as you are able, into the fullness of this relationship.  And they can encourage you to trust this indwelling spirit of God.

When once you begin to feel God’s presence, his friendship and his loving mercy and forgiveness, you will know that this inner relationship is without any doubt, the pearl of great price, and you will be willing to restate all earthly priorities as subordinate and subservient to the pursuit of this relationship.  This discovery of God and the remaking of self in his image by the mechanism of personal choice is the very purpose of life.

So I urge you to dispose of anything material in your life which truly stands in the way of this life of discovery.  Free yourself sufficiently of the untrue materialistic and selfish philosophies and values systems of men and set sail with me on this adventure of discovery.  You are free, absolutely free, to discover God for yourself.  God does not promise that the sea will always be tranquil or the sky blue or the breezes gentle and to our backs.  But he does promise us success in our quest if we continue to pursue him in faith.  The only way we can fail is by choosing not to try.

God is with you even now.  Can you feel the tingling excitement of being with Him?  That’s what life can be—when it is lived as an adventure with God.
Bon Voyage.  Adventure calls me.  I am off.

Love always


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Third Letter from Eric  first written 1991

Dear Ones

God is not like your father—he is your Father and he recognizes and joyfully accepts the responsibility of personally rearing you to spiritual maturity.  And then he will continue to be your Father-friend, encourager, adviser, sustainer and more.

Even right now your Father has plans to share his kingdom and his power with you and these are not plans only for the far distant future.  They are plans for now and more for next year and much, much more as eternity unfolds.

You are God’s child.  He loves you, he forgives you and he longs to share all that he has and knows with you.  You are his child and you can be like him and you can exercise his power for the benefit only of others—just as he does.

Do you want his love?  Do you want his personal attention and teaching?  If you do and if you believe and if you live like your Father is real and important to you and his way is important, then you have accepted God as your Father.  All that remains is for you to talk to him, share everything and imagine his replies for he will speak to you in your imagination.

And if you are God’s child and I am God’s child, then we are brothers and sisters and have family ties one to the other.  While we may be unlike in many ways, we bear the cosmic nobility of our Father which longs to be expressed.  I pledge to help you express our Father according to your understanding of him, and I pray your support as I seek to express him in my way.

Welcome to our family and all honor to our noble Father.



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Fourth Letter from Eric

October 25, 2011

Greetings My Beloved,

Our Father, who seems so remote, is in fact immediately accessible to us.  It is a fact, not a metaphor, that he resides in your heart / soul and relates to you as one person to one person.  When you listen to him and begin to follow his leading, you become his eternal spirit child.  This business of being a child of God has a destiny attached to it.  You are destined to grow to be like our Father.  And what is he like?  I have only begun to discover him but astonishing love always flows from his will and his way.  As we grow to be more like him, astonishing love will also flow from our every action.  I say action because our Father expects us to actually do what we believe is right.  Thinking about living a life of loving service, wanting to do it someday and believing in doing it is awesome but it is not enough.  We are not just to believe in righteousness.  We are to do it.  We all believe we are too weak and the world is too strong and hostile for us to change.  But the spirit of God is within us.  The kingdom of heaven is within us.  The power to change ourselves is within us and then the world will change as we go forth being and doing what the spirit within leads us to be and do.

The spirit of God residing in your soul wants intentional relationship with you and will lead and teach you how to grow to be like God.  This eternal life and this almost boundless universe provide an experiential school for your benefit.  The only grades are pass and fail and you can fail only by refusing to try.  All effort to be like our Father is honored and rewarded.

Consult the spirit within you right now for verification of these truths I am about to state for you.  He will verify with calmness felt near your heart.

  1. You are a spiritual child of God.
  2. Your destiny is more than you can imagine.
  3. The power to live a noble life of character, purpose and loving service is even now within you.
  4. Your life as a spirit being has already begun.
  5. Once the spirit life begins, it will never end unless you intentionally refuse it.
  6. Survival is not in question.  You are safe, secure and free.
  7. The spirit within is worthy of your absolute trust.  He will lead you neither too fast nor too slow.  Therefore be neither impatient nor timid in your pace.
  8. Live courageously.  Your animal life will end but your spiritual life is eternal.

There are many, many, many other truths the spirit within will share with you as soon as you are ready to understand them and to remain balanced in your spirit control of mind and mood.

Love always


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More Good News From Jesus

By William Cooper 11-8-2015
Following his resurrection, Jesus made 19 appearances to groups of his followers.  His message to all of them was that they should go into all the world teaching and preaching his good news message that God is our Father and that we are therefore family.  That is the highly condensed or compacted good news.  Jesus’ good news delivered in its fullness. The good news in its fullness is extensive and perhaps infinitely extensive.  The following is a first step in decompacting Jesus’s sufficient but highly compacted good news by stating some of the logical corollaries involved in the statement.
  1. You are a spiritual person who inhabits a physical body.  They are both you but the spiritual you is eternal.
  2. God is your loving spiritual parent.  God the Father is your spiritual father and loves you and cares for you as your father.  God the Spirit is your spiritual mother and loves you and cares for you as your mother.  Both are very deeply, personally and constantly involved in your welfare and rearing.  You are a first generation offspring of these two aspects of the one God who is the originator and creator of all that is.  You are not a slave, a distant grandchild, an adoptee nor merely analogous to a child of God.  You are the real thing.
  3. All people everywhere are children of God and therefore are entitled to the respect due to the immediate family of the most gracious, generous and powerful person in all of creation.  Since all people are children of God, they are all brothers and sisters and should behave with affection and compassion for one another.
  4. All children of God have a fabulous, exciting and awesome destiny which is important to God and should be fostered and cooperated with by all persons.
  5. God’s domain operates as a loving family, not an arbitrary kingdom of servants.
  6. Immediate two way personal relationship between God and each of his children is available to each child simply for the striving to have such a relationship.  The benefits of this relationship are immense, awesome and eternal.
  7. Each child of God can experience the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of God.  For each child, God as father has in mind a career of growing knowledge, wisdom and progressive service to the family.  As father, God will give power and authority to each child as soon as he/she is capable of exercising it responsibly.  God as mother comforts, encourages and nurtures each child both physically and spiritually.  From physical conception and ever after, God as mother supports, cherishes and comforts every child without preference or qualification.  By paying attention to these parental ministrations, the children of God can experience and get to know their spiritual parents.
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