Episode:Existential Deity—The Infinite Spirit (Part 2)
Though in every way sharing the perfection, the righteousness, and the love of the Universal Father, the Infinite Spirit inclines towards the mercy attributes of the Eternal Son, thus becoming the mercy minister of the Paradise Deities to the grand universe. Ever and always, the Spirit is a mercy minister; for, as the divine Sons reveal the love of God, so the divine Spirit depicts the mercy of God.
Opening thought: Whoever is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment. Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads. I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. Psalms 6:14-17
Summary by Brad
Commentary on the Paradise Trinity versus the First Triunity
The Paradise Trinity is a term borrowed from pre-existing theologic tradition, amplified and improved in the 5th ER tremendously. But in amplifying the term, the revelators seem to make it even more difficult to understand at first blush. On the one hand, in [104:4.3]. It says the first triunity is the Universal Father, Eternal Son, and Infinite Spirit acting together as a "functional unanimity." But this is not the Paradise Trinity. So, from this bottom up would-be linear sequence-of-events viewpoint it appears as if the Paradise Trinity is some logical consequence of the association of the three persons of Deity. That's not logical, though. Not entirely at any rate. Why would the supersummative consequence of three persons be something phenomenon that's less than personal?
The top-down viewpoint—the Deity viewpoint—helps. From the top-down viewpoint, the Deity perspective, there are no triunities. No triodities. No seven Absolutes of Infinity. You have just Deity. Here, the Paradise Trinity is seen for what it is: logically pre-existent undivided Deity that is very close in some ways to the theoretical I AM. From the top-down viewpoint, we see the Universal Father, Eternal Son, and Infinite Spirit are personalizations down in reality—three phases within that are within this amorphous Deity that can be downstepped. And they're derived from this undifferentiated Paradise Trinity Deity, which itself resides outside of reality.
All of these are names—terms. What's in a name? A name is a way to distinguish one phenomena from another. It only makes sense to assign a name when there is a discernable differentiation between two phenomena. It makes no sense to assign the designation "father" unless and until there is some "son." Likewise, the Paradise Trinity gets assigned its terminological name only "after" (so to speak) the Three Persons of Deity differentiate from it, even though the Paradise Trinity always has existed in eternity. An analogy was mentioned where we are recognized as a potential personality manifestation after our birth—after our material energy system is independent from that of our mother. It makes no sense to speak of an individual so long as they are physically connected to and dependent upon their mother's physical energy system.
We also briefly discussed how, even as lowly material creatures, we have a connection with the Infinite through life animation. There is much about our lives that is not as it materialistically appears. It's much more than it appears materially. Listen to the archive for details.
Commentary on feelings versus religiosity
In the world today the most popular concept frame equates the "heart"—that term—with feelings. So it's reasonably in this problematic and faulty concept frame for someone to say "wholehearted" must be "fully feeling-ful." But the the revelators in The Urantia Papers use the term heart to refer to an inner domain whose lowest level is two levels above the level of the feelings. Jeremiah the prophet knew this. Why have we forgotten this? It's part of the emergency. We've been born into a world of amnesia and this book is calling us to get out of it!
Remember that the core of all of this is faith. A faithful person will inexorably be kind and be believing. But someone who is kind and believing is not necessarily faithful; that's a works-righteousness approach. No. Seek first the kingdom of heaven. Submit to God. Get right with God on the inside, repent if you need to, and the outside will eventually be attended to in a right manner.
2. Nature of the Infinite Spirit
All three of the Persons of Deity (Father, Son Spirit) are "he" male existential facts. But notice the subtle nods to experiential reality (and the Paradise Trinity and Mother Deity) though words like "wholly." Just as the Infinite Spirit is "wholly" consecrated, remember we must also be wholly consecrated if we are to someday be perfect even as God is perfect. That requires Mother Deity. And it requires an inner faith submission, not just outward kindness and belief. Also, here the revelators clear up some of our confusion by making it clear the cosmic mind and Holy Spirit are real phenomena, but they are not the third person of Deity as Christians so often get confused about.
There are many other names one might assign to this Third Person of Deity, and we discussed some like "the Spirit of Spirits" which indicates it is above all of the Local Universe Mother Spirits. The "unsearchable" complexity of the nature of the Infinite Spirit is "utterly beyond human comprehension". In comparison, the Eternal Son is comparatively simple, or the I AM is even simple by conceptual comparison. In comparison to the I AM, the Infinite Spirit might be called "the infinite ALL ARE." It's very complex. But don't confuse "complex" with "mysterious" (i.e., secreted away). More is secreted away in the Father and Son than in the Spirit, but the Spirit is much more complex than either of them. After all, we literally cannot approach the Son and the Father on Paradise until we've gone through the Spirit. Listen to the archive for more on that.
The term Infinite Spirit itself, we touched on how this itself is a somewhat impersonal term; the word infinite suggests an aspect that is a reservoir of potential that can be drawn from (e.g., the Infinite Mind is a reservoir of mind activity). Other terms such as Conjoint Actor have a more personal connotation than this impersonal reservoir sense of the Infinite Spirit.
And we discussed how reality is a universe of motion—physical energy is motion—and the Conjoint Actor we're told "initiates motion" [12:4.3]. The Third Source and Center also is the origin of all the hierarchy of power beings (not only angels). So it is fitting in [8:2.3] to call him the Infinite Reality. And because he oversees mind, we see why he may be called also the "Universal Organizer," for mind is what organizes (matter and energy do not organize themselves).
Recalling that "love is the desire to do good to others," [56:10.21] we observed that the Third Person of Deity exhibits this love, this desire to good to others, through mercy ministry. Here is another hint of Mother Deity functioning in time. Here, a most fitting term for the Third Person of Deity would be the Infinite Mother Spirit, who inclines toward the mercy attributes of the Eternal Mother-Son. It is through the Infinite Mother Spirit that the Eternal Mother-Son can apply love to the universes of time and space. That's a little different than how the Universal Father applies goodness directly through his Thought Adjusters—which we also call the spirit of goodness here on SoS.
3. Relation of the Spirit to the Father and the Son
This section starts off by restating something already alluded to in section 2: the Third Source and Center can be called the Divine Executive. The Father and Son may have been Universal Creator and Co-Creator respectively during the creation of Havona, but then that creatorship was handed off from the existential to the experiential, a Mother Deity manifestation. This also reminds us of [7:4.6], where mercy ministry is one of those mandatory three components of the divine plan of perfection attainment. It's not just about ascending beings; there's mercy ministry, too.
Let's step back: why are they writing all of this difficult material here upfront in the book? They are trying to get us out of the old wineskins of one monotheistic Deity fact doing everything in magical ways. There's a logical way to think about distributing, divesting, delegating. And you can think this way without slipping into primitive anthropomorphic polytheism. The major delegation event we all know about (an entire part in the 5th ER) is handing off much of this to Creator Son and Creative Spirit in our own local universe.
4.1-4.3 The Spirit of Divine Ministry
The reference to "everlasting ministry to mind". This reminds us that it is only through mind that we can get to spirit. Someday, to get to the heart of religion, we must become religionists of philosophic attainment. That is, we must use our mind the best we possibly can. Recall that even on the Isle of Paradise there are masters of philosophy conducting "elaborate courses" [27:6.3]. Even in Paradise there's no getting around this!
We concluded by discussing how Havona, despite being eternal, is still changeable by Mother Deity and the experiential universes of time and space.
Notes by Brad
- The Third Source and Center is complex. Very complex relative to the First and Second. The Infinite "ALL ARE" we might say.
- Like the other two presentation of the 3 persons of Deity, the order of presentation here continues: identity, nature, attributes, relation.
- As we often say, when reading a challenging paragraph, challenge yourself not to just get "fuzzed out" with the poetic beauty of the writing. Think about the precision that's always there.
- One of the false orthodoxies in today's Urantia Book readership is some warmed over variant of a doctrine of universalism.
- The idea that God draws all souls toward Paradise.
- But no. The Father, Son, and Spirit are "drawing to themselves all truth-loving souls" (emphasis added)
- Are you courageous enough to look in the mirror and ask if you're a truth-loving soul? And if you honestly discover you are not, are you humble enough to repent?