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Do You Find God or Does God Find You?

Presented by Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

Lately we’ve been watching with the kids documentaries about different animals. Last evening we watched a National Geographic special on wolves. Frankly, often when looking for something worthwhile to see on television we select a program that portrays animal life because the portrayals of human life are not as interesting and or as uplifting. We humans are in a terrible dilemma if the only thing that is worthwhile to see on television many nights are programs about animals. I have often expressed my own disappointments in the mass consciousness of human beings and in the highly complex, technically-developed dominant culture that perpetuates many values not too far above animalism. In fact, at times animals have displayed more humane characteristics than many humans.

In studying the patterns of a pack of wolves, we can see many things that humans have in common with them a strong urge to survive, the ability to adapt in order to stay alive, the tendency to create some form of a society with a group, a hierarchy of leadership within society, the ability to work and play as a team as well as functioning as individuals, displays of concern and tenderness for others of their species as well as actions of extreme cruelty and viciousness. In the program I recently watched, I even observed what I would consider jealousy displayed in some of the wolves.

Differences Between Human Beings and Animals

Most human beings admit that there is indeed a difference between animals and humans, that humans have more potential to evolve into higher levels of knowledge and production than animals. (For example, it is the human being who has created the computer, not the animal.) And yet we humans recognize a special “knowing” or intuitiveness that animals have that many persons think we have lost in our quest for knowledge and power over others, and we want to regain that natural instinctiveness, that natural knowing.

In all of our love for and admiration of animals, we humans realize that we do have something they don’t have, that we have evolved from the “animal state” into the “human state” over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Most of us raise our eyebrows in humorous exasperation when we hear about dolphins supposedly channeling higher spiritual messages to us, even though we realize the gentleness and higher animal intelligence of the dolphin. But it is higher animal intelligence, not human, and the so-called messages from dolphins are really from the human mind, not the animal mind.

What is the difference between the animal and the human? On page 1431 of The URANTIA Book we are told about a teaching that Jesus gave seventeen-year-old Ganid on this subject.

That afternoon Jesus and Ganid had both enjoyed playing with a very intelligent shepherd dog, and Ganid wanted to know whether the dog had a soul, whether it had a will, and in response to his questions Jesus said: “The dog has a mind which can know material man, his master, but cannot know God, who is spirit; therefore the dog does not possess a spiritual nature and cannot enjoy a spiritual experience. The dog may have a will derived from nature and augmented by training, but such a power of mind is not a spiritual force, neither is it comparable to the human will, inasmuch as it is not reflective it is not the result of discriminating higher and moral meanings or choosing spiritual and eternal values. It is the possession of such powers of spiritual discrimination and truth choosing that makes mortal man [and woman] a moral being, a creature endowed with the attributes of spiritual responsibility and the potential of eternal survival.” Jesus went on to explain that it is the absence of such mental powers in the animal which makes it forever impossible for the animal world to develop language in time or to experience anything equivalent to personality survival in eternity. As a result of this day’s instruction Ganid never again entertained belief in the transmigration of the souls of [humans] into the bodies of animals. (All emphasis in bold is mine; emphasis in italics is that of The URANTIA Book.)

On pages 1479 to 1480 of The URANTIA Book Jesus explains further to Ganid the differences between humans and animals, the levels of consciousness that humans can have that animals do not have. We humans did evolve from the animal, and that’s why we have so much in common with them. But besides having an animal mind level, we do have a human mind, and we even have the potential for a superhuman mind. Jesus stated to Ganid,

When any animal becomes self-conscious, it becomes a primitive man. Such an attainment results from a co-ordination of function between impersonal energy and spirit-conceiving mind, and it is this phenomenon which warrants the bestowal of an absolute focal point for the human personality, the spirit of the Father in heaven. (p. 1479:06)

Jesus goes on the discuss the human mind which has an evolving sense of selfhood. Jesus stated to Ganid,

There begins to be something of an approach to unity in an evolving selfhood, and that unity is derived from the indwelling presence of a part of absolute unity which spiritually activates such a self-conscious animal-origin mind. (p. 1479:07)

Jesus is talking about the presence of the Fragment of the Universal Father, what The URANTIA Book refers to as the Thought Adjuster.

What Jesus told Ganid was that humans have certain things that animals do not have: a personality, morality, a spiritual nature, truth choosing, spiritual discernment, a soul, eternal survival. What humans on Urantia (Earth) have is the threefold spirit of God the Thought Adjuster of the Universal Father, the Spirit of Truth of the Creator Son, and the Holy Spirit of the Universe Mother Spirit.

The title of this teaching is “Do You Find God or Does God Find You?” I would say that God has already found us and is present within us, but we have to discover Him and then cooperate with Him in order to ascend in our consciousness levels, our mind levels. That is why sometimes some animals seem more humane than some humans. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “humane” as, “marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals.” The higher animals, especially, display humane attributes within their animalness. Chuck Dederich, founder of the progressive Synanon movement, referred to most people as “human animals.” He realized that we humans have still within us the “animal mind,” the lowest level of consciousness and that most humans are often still functioning at that level.

Three Levels of Consciousness

I see three basic levels of consciousness or mind levels within us humans. The first and lowest level is the human-animal level, what Chuck Dederich was referring to. It is a step higher than the pure animal mind that animals have, because of the higher potential for teachability (acquiring knowledge) and spirituality. Note that I said potential, not actuality. Each individual human being must choose to evolve in knowledge and ascend in spirituality. The second paragraph on page 1435 has Jesus’ explanation of the difference between knowledge and truth. One has to do with the intellect and one has to do with spirituality. The threefold spirit of God is available to influence each human being to ascend in both knowledge and in spiritual truth if the human chooses to.

I want to clarify that I’m using the term “evolution” to include the animal and human minds. Even plants evolve, but without their own minds involved, though the Divine Mind of the Paradise-level Infinite Spirit is involved in all evolution, including plants. The URANTIA Book states that the Divine Mind of the Infinite Spirit provides a mind gravity circuit that is utilized by all life plant, animal, human, superhuman, and pure spirit. Within the Divine Mind the mind gravity circuit through the Universe Mother Spirit of a local universe provides adjutant mind spirits that in some manner “work with” animal and humans in the evolution process. The higher animals have available for them the first five adjutant mind spirits; human beings have an additional two worship and wisdom. In other words, each human being has innate within him/her a spiritual nature, but that spiritual nature must be awakened and continually developed in order for “ascension” to happen. I think of ascension as something humans can do but not animals. Ascension has to do with the personality choosing to cooperate with that which is innate within him/her a drive and desire to continually reach of a higher understanding of reality, a quest to find God, to expand in understanding what and who God is, a desire to know God personally, to experience God.

Humans, in their human-animal level of mind can go through life without tapping into the next higher level, the human mind. The individual who functions on the human mind level is more receptive to the leadings of the Fragment of the Father, the Thought Adjuster, than the human-animal. The human animal can be very intelligent and resourceful in getting what he/she wants out of life, just as wolves and other animals do. The difference is that the human animal has more intelligence, is more teachable and thus able to acquire more knowledge. The human animal can create a computer, a beautiful building, and a gun that can kill animals and other humans. The difference between the human level of functioning and the human animal function level is that the human has a sense of morality, a sense of right and wrong, a desire to do right. The human is more apt to be influenced by the leadings of the Thought Adjuster than the human animal is. The human chooses more often than the human animal to be unselfish, to try for altruism, to reach for a spiritual perspective. On page 1131 of The URANTIA Book we’re told that

When a moral being chooses to be unselfish when confronted by the urge to be selfish, that is primitive religious experience. No animal can make such a choice; such a decision is both human and religious. It embraces the fact of God-consciousness and exhibits the impulse of social service, the basis of the brother-/sisterhood of humankind. When mind chooses a right moral judgment by an act of the free will, such a decision constitutes a religious experience.

Pages 2096 and 2097 of The URANTIA Book expand on this human level of morality and God-consciousness. Within the level of “humanness” are many degrees of consciousness. We human beings fluctuate within these degrees of consciousness, sometimes being more selfless than other times, sometimes being more wise than other times, sometimes being more expansive and compassionate than other times, sometimes being more spiritual than other times. Sometimes we humans are more animalistic, reacting from fear and “survival stress” rather than responding from love and a desire to minister to others.

Those outside of Divine Administration who are in their higher human selves most of the time contribute much to the progress of society and individuals, but I think that they won’t be able to reach the third mind level of consciousness, the superhuman mind, unless they align with the continuing epochal revelation that is taught and implemented within Divine Administration. We also refer to the superhuman mind as the morontia mind, which has over 570 progressing degrees of consciousness. The first degree of the morontia or superhuman mind level is fourth-dimensional consciousness.

The call for us humans in Divine Administration is to personally attain the superhuman mind level of consciousness and live a fourth-dimensional understanding of reality, and then to personally progress/ascend to the next degree of morontia mindedness. In order to do this, we have to choose moment by moment, decision by decision to be in our higher mind.

I close with a paraphrased statement from The URANTIA Book.

Some men’s [and women’s] lives are too great and noble to descend to the low level of being merely successful. The animal must adapt itself to the environment, but the religious [spiritual] man [and woman] transcends his [or her] environment and in this way escapes the limitations of the present material world through this insight of divine love. This concept of love generates in the soul of a person that superanimal effort to find truth, beauty, and goodness; and when the individual does find them, he [or she] is glorified in their embrace; he [or she] is consumed with the desire to live them, to do righteousness. (p. 2096:08)

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