from Forum Days:
A Talk by Erle Steinbeck to "The Seventy"
March 9, 1948
Fellow Students of the Forum:
We are all vitally interested in the proper presentation of the Urantia book when it is ready for distribution and we have been asked to express our views as to how this can be most effectively accomplished.
The Urantia Book is destined to be an encyclopedia of the Universe and we have been chosen to help disseminate the truths contained therein. many interesting and very original thoughts have been expressed by various members of this group and I feel that each one of us has received benefits from hearing these various talks as we can all learn something from hearing other peoples' viewpoints. Teachers very often learn from their pupils. Jesus said, "A little child shall lead them." The good effort of each man benefits all men. Therefore, whatever our candle power be, we should not hide our light under a bushel but should let our light shine in an endeavor to enlighten others with the knowledge we have acquired.
We all have our own technique and our own method of paproach. The proper study of mankind is man. People are either intellectual, emotional or spiritual and can be reached through curiosity, compulsion, pleasure or personal gain. To suggest something original, I would hardly know where to begin, because there is nothing original in me except original sin. A comparatively small group of us have been privileged to read, study and have read to us these wonderful papers, during the past several years and it is now our duty and our privilege to try to help in spreading what we have learned to hundreds and thousands of others who will be anxious and eager to hear these great truths.
In the archives of my pocket the following was discovered: "One of the mightiest forces in the world is something that is intangible and yet for lack of it practically nothing would be done. This powerful factor is called "spirit" and from it springs eagerness, zeal and reall success as the result of untiring efforts. Life itself would be almost worthless unless it existed within us. It is such spirit that causes men to endure long hours of hardship and represents in all our lives a patience in planning, persuading and convincing our associates, our friends and our family members, thereby arousing their spirit in cooperative efforts. It finds itself in all different forms, but all of them represent a driving force that we must acquire to make life worth living and to derive that happiness and contentment to which we are entitled."
The Urantia revelation is void of the doctrines and the manmade dogma so evident insects and cults and many of the present day religions. We are free will creatures and privileged to follow our own inclinations. Therefore, if we employ the proper ethics we can accomplish much. "Ethics is simply the recognition of any individual of the rights inherent in the existence of any and all other individuals." Balanced energies, cooperative minds, coordinated motives, spirit over control, personality unification -- make a stable individual.
My thought is that we will all be individually benefited by what we put into this movement, whether it be through music, poetry or just good logic. Our best friends are those from whom we derive some benefit, often unconsciously through entertainment, amusement, competition, knowledge or pleasant companionship. So it is up to each of us to give what we can. We are only expected to work with what we have and if we do, we will be rewarded accordingly. The papers do not indicate that we will be criticized for what we do not know but we should develop and use the talents and knowledge awe have to the best of our ability. Not all of us are talented as preachers, teachers or leaders. Some have ten talents, some five and some only one; but don't bury your one little talent ifyou expect the Master to commend you when He asks for an accounting.
The sower reaps only what he sows. We should therefore endeavor to sow on fertile ground and not waste our seeds on sandy soil. There are different types of people. Some of us have an ample supply of ego while others have an inferiority complex and think we just can't do it, but we should realize that "If I cannot of myself do this, there lives within me one who can and will."
The proper study of mankind is Man, and in Pope's "Essay on Man" we read, "Presumptions man, what reason canst thou find why formed so weak, so humble and so blind? First, if thou canst the harder reason guess, why formed no weaker, blinder and no less?" Althouigh our feeble uintellects at times seem to be incapable of comprehending all the knowledge that is being disclosed to us, we should utilize the limit of our receptivity. We should all strive to work with as much continuity as possible. The most important thing is that we should endeavor to live each day, at home, at pleasure, in business and in all our associations with other people so we will demonstrate that we have acquired something of great value to us and that we are willing and anxious to share what knowledge we have gained, providing they are in a frame of mind to receive it and are willing to take the good for what it means to them.
We should not be too optimistic about an enthusiastic reception of the book, because the majority of new great movements have taken time to be recognized and absorbed. We will probably be put on the spot many times and asked questions that will tax our ability to answer ina satisfactory way. It seems to me that it would be advisable to explain what we know and disclose the writings of the book for the good contained therein, asking our students to refer to the book and help us answer perplexing questions, rather than to take a positive attitude that might tax our ability to defend intelligently.
The knowledge that was expounded by the prophets isnot questioned but we may be asked by many where these marvelous disclosures come from. This may be difficult to explain to skeptics; but it is very evident that the papers contain truths and enlightenment that cannot be derived from any other source and in explaining them we should speak not of the philosopher but of his philosophy. I have often thought of the radio which not many years ago was unexplainable and not understood byt he majority of people but now accepted without question. We just turn the button and enjoy music, lectures, news and other happenings that originate thousands of miles distant. All we hazve to do is to tune in and the vibrations that fill the air are picked ujp and reproduce the sounds we hear. The same is true with the great revelation of the Urantia Book. The truth is there and our Thought Adjuster, the divine spark of life that lives in each of us, makes it possible for us to tune inand receive the manifold benefits and not only to receive them but to give them out as well. The mystery of mysteries is the divine indwelling of this fragment of God, our mystery monitor.
The Urantia Book should be invaluable to the businessman when he understands the perfect planning and working out of details in the creation and management of the universe. By integrating ourselves with the universe, and above all by dedicating ourselves to the service of our fellow men, God will work through us in every thing we do and "in laison with God, nothing is impossible."
The papers give us new hope and change the whole aspect in relation to our future as we now know that we are eventually destined to reach the divine kingdom which is quite in contrast to the old theology that most of us were destined to eternal punishment.
Although a critic of Milton's masterpiece, Paradise Lost, said, "If length be not a virtue, it hath none," Milton's supplication is my prayer. "Fast by the oracle of God I thence invoke thy aid. Instruct me, for thou knowest. What in me is dark, illumine; what is low, raise and support; that to the height of this great argument I may assert eternal providence and vindicate the ways of God to men."
The Urantia Book Fellowship