Episode:Existential Deity—The Paradise Trinity (Part 2)
Eternal Deity is perfectly unified; nevertheless there are three perfectly individualized persons of Deity. The Paradise Trinity makes possible the simultaneous expression of all the diversity of the character traits and infinite powers of the First Source and Center and his eternal co-ordinates and of all the divine unity of the universe functions of undivided Deity.
Keywords: Urantia, Three Persons of Deity, The Father-Absolute, Trinity Union of Deity, Total Deity
Opening thought: Ten men are of little more value than one in lifting a great load unless they lift together—all at the same moment. And such teamwork...is dependent on leadership. [81:6.37]
Closing thought: As you attempt to follow the Way, remember that the Way is the Mother. And the Mother stems from the Paradise Trinity. And that existential foundation is what we're trying to understand here.
Note: Justin Armstrong filled in for Andrea Barnes.
Summary by Brad
On being neo-Kenites
We introduced a half-joking notion of being neo-Kenites with the 5th ER, where Kenites are that group who were taught "advanced truths" and philosophic challenges by the 3rd epochal revelation (Machiventa Melchizedek). Abraham was taught only only the most rudimentary of saving teachings by Melchizededk, ones that met the evolutionary line of religious thought where it was in those days, but the Kenites were taught advanced concepts, including the Paradise Trinity (what we're studying right now)
Be a neo-Kenite if you will, but please ensure you have a real religious nucleus. Ensure you are a religionist, that you're not engaging the 5th ER in a fact-first, intellect-first, secular way. Even if you can expound extensively on the difference between the Paradise Trinity and first triunity or such, that kind of intellect alone is not salvation. Get your religious nucleus right—get right with God in your inner life first. It is not an intellectual matter at all, this inner life work. Subsequent to this, you can trust that you will ascend individually according to your individual personality.
On proselytizing the 5th ER
We can hope that the 5th ER, when finally introduced into the evolutionary mainstream, will serve to uplift the mainstream more than being dragged down by the mainstream. But don't assume your job is to proselytize The Urantia Book in some advanced way. Attempting to teach the 5th ER to evangelical Christians, for example, could wreck their faith because of how deeply the atonement doctrine allows them to conceive of a loving yet also lawful God. If they're genuinely religious, they're fine. Let it be. Remember that Elijah and Enoch were primitive religionists, but they fused with their Thought Adjusters in this life.
Instead, consider speaking to the many unwitting secularists in mainline Christianity who've lost sight of salvation and instead pursue ideas like universalism. The 5th ER can be boiled down to some basic messages: "what is required of man?" for example. Can you humbly offer "saving truths" [196:1.1] from the 5th ER to lost souls in the world so they may become more religious instead of ever less religious?
There are countless ways to better understand facts by examining any fact in this revelation in multiple ways, even reciprocal ways. Experiential individuals like us can only achieve understanding by considering this contrast and this interplay. But please take care, because you can rationalize anything; you can construct endless false contrasts and interplays, and some fancy thinkers find this a pleasing self-serving activity. No! Challenge your rationalizations by trying to refute them, remembering that refuting is not confuting. Refuting is the path a truth seeker takes. It's what a religionist of philosophic attainment does. It's what a neo-Kenite would do.
3. The Three Persons of Deity
So, is this section title polytheistic? Some humans (lately, unitarians) have thrown in the towel on the Trinity concept because all they can imagine it leading to is polytheism. Does the 5th ER show us a way forward with a logical Trinity concept that is not warmed-over polytheism? It does!
The first step to a proper concept of the Paradise Trinity is to remember there is only one Deity; the fundamental quality of Deity is unity ([0:1.2])—continuum-ness. Despite this unity and overall continuum-ness of Deity, like a crystal we can use the word "facet" to describe any of several ways to look at this one Deity (e.g., the Father, the Son, the Spirit are facets of Deity). This one Deity can manifest in reality in many personal "faceted" ways. And exactly three of these personalizations are infinite persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. From our point of view they appear to be three distinct (if similar and related) persons. How is it then that, for example, the Eternal Son and Father seem "to function as one?" [10:3.18] Is it some magical force in reality that causes these two reality objects thus to function as one? No. They are of the same Deity, and there is only one Deity.
So long as you remember there is only one Deity, but many facets to it, and you remember that Deity is outside of reality, you can retain the truth of monotheism safely. What is called for in this epochal revelation is a less primitive factual interpretation of this everlasting truth of monotheism.
We acknowledge this material is "chewy"... it's easy to glaze over while reading. Can you take the time to study, even ruminate reflectively on this material? Chew it long enough so it becomes digestible for your metabolism? But doing so carefully so you don't rationalize it into some old wineskin that you have?
When we read that each of the three persons of Deity are "limited in absoluteness," [10:3.4] that can make us uncomfortable. Hopefully it makes you logically crave some fact that is unlimited in absoluteness, so everything holds together. Good news! That's the Paradise Trinity. Also, note the mention of the "critical trinitarian interdependence" [10:3.7] that's required for everything to function properly. This is another hint that the Paradise Trinity is inescapable. It is logically necessary (this distinction is vital...) for the parts to inter-relate to one another, even parts as lofty as the three persons of Deity.
We also touched on the use of the term Father-Absolute, its relation to Havona, and how the Universal Father is not the Absolute One. Listen to the archive for more, or consider Chris' Total Deity seminar for much, much more.
This whole section was about the three infinite persons, yes. But it was about the three persons of Deity. Our author is trying to lead us through the looking glass to consider Deity.
4. The Trinity Union of Deity
This section title continues the revelators' habit of speaking to us in an evolutional fashion... somehow as if summing three infinite persons eventuates the Trinity. That is not really the case from the top-down Deity perspective, it's just a concession they make to help us through all this.
We had to slow down to carefully consider the parenthetical "the first triunity" in [10:4.1] to avoid some serious distortion of meaning. They seem to be equating the Paradise Trinity and the first triunity, yet "the Paradise Trinity is not a triunity" [104:3.15]. The 5th ER is a philosophic text, not a scientific text. The 5th ER doesn't always use that one very specific sense of the word triunity that's used in Paper 104. The word triunity also has more generalized senses, as overtly indicated in [104:5.1], or in [102:2.5]. It's a generalized sense here in Paper 10 as well.
When the three persons of Deity collaborate as persons, that's the first of the triunities of Paper 104; it's not the Paradise Trinity. The Paradise Trinity is not the association of these three infinite persons; the Paradise Trinity is itself a fourth fact, hence why they say that any of these three infinite persons can relate to it as a distinct fact. Recall that the Paradise Trinity itself has will, actions, and purpose. It is distinct. It has functions in and of its own; it's not a sockpuppet of the three infinite persons.
An understandment of the evening from the revelators might well be, "The Trinity is so related to total universe affairs that it must be reckoned with..." [10:4.6]. Unitarians may have thrown in the towel on a Trinity concept, but those striving to be religionists of philosophic attainment or neo-Kenites should not throw in any towels. With enough patience, humility, and loyalty, you can arrive at a true Trinity concept rooted in the 5th ER not some echo of some other distant epochal revelation. A true concept that is "in harmony with the reactions of your mind and soul." [10:4.6].
There's a lot to chew on here, so stay hungry and thirsty, my friends.
Notes by Brad
- Watch for times when the Mother concept is implied
- Such as in [10:3.3] where the Son and the Spirit are "two equal brothers."
- What principle could allow two distinct facets to be equal? The Mother.
- There is a difference between total Deity and Total Deity. We didn't fully explain the distinction, just pointed it out.
- Don't get confused by calling Thought Adjusters spirit fragments. If they were actual, genuine spirit, they would originate from the Eternal Son (the absolute spirit). But no, they originate from the Universal Father.
- We discussed Chris' Fundamental patterns of reality essay, the first one he published over 20 years ago
- All of this (philosophically considered) gets going when the I AM separates into the will and the non-will.
- Only with the backing of an epochal revelation could something like this be deduced.
- This kind of deductive thinking is a great habit to cultivate! Listen to the archive for details.
- The Father, Son, and Spirit get access to reality through the Paradise Trinity, and in so doing the three are implicitly co-ordinated.
- Reality is the expression of Deity through the Paradise Trinity.