The Urantia Book/Paper 9
RELATION OF THE INFINITE SPIRIT TO THE UNIVERSE
A STRANGE thing occurred when, in the presence of Paradise, the Universal Father and the Eternal Son unite to personalize themselves. Nothing in this eternity situation foreshadows that the Conjoint Actor would personalize as an unlimited spirituality co-ordinated with absolute mind and endowed with unique prerogatives of energy manipulation. His coming into being completes the Father's liberation from the bonds of centralized perfection and from the fetters of personality absolutism. And this liberation is disclosed in the amazing power of the Conjoint Creator to create beings well adapted to serve as ministering spirits even to the material creatures of the subsequently evolving universes.
The Father is infinite in love and volition, in spiritual thought and purpose; he is the universal upholder. The Son is infinite in wisdom and truth, in spiritual expression and interpretation; he is the universal revealer. Paradise is infinite in potential for force endowment and in capacity for energy dominance; it is the universal stabilizer. The Conjoint Actor possesses unique prerogatives of synthesis, infinite capacity to co-ordinate all existing universe energies, all actual universe spirits, and all real universe intellects; the Third Source and Center is the universal unifier of the manifold energies and diverse creations which have appeared in consequence of the divine plan and the eternal purpose of the Universal Father.
The Infinite Spirit, the Conjoint Creator, is a universal and divine minister. The Spirit unceasingly ministers the Son's mercy and the Father's love, even in harmony with the stable, unvarying, and righteous justice of the Paradise Trinity. His influence and personalities are ever near you; they really know and truly understand you.
Throughout the universes the agencies of the Conjoint Actor ceaselessly manipulate the forces and energies of all space. Like the First Source and Center, the Third is responsive to both the spiritual and the material. The Conjoint Actor is the revelation of the unity of God, in whom all things consists—things, meanings, and values; energies, minds, and spirits.
The Infinite Spirit pervades all space; he indwells the circle of eternity; and the Spirit, like the Father and the Son, is perfect and changeless—absolute.
1. ATTRIBUTES OF THE THIRD SOURCE AND CENTER
The Third Source and Center is known by many names, all designative of relationship and in recognition of function: As God the Spirit he is the personality co-ordinate and divine equal of God the Son and God the Father. As the Infinite Spirit, he is an omnipresent spiritual influence. As the Universal Manipulator, he is the ancestor of the power-control creatures and the activator of the cosmic forces of space. As the Conjoint Actor, he is the joint representative and partnership executive of the Father-Son. As the Absolute Mind, he is the source of the endowment of intellect throughout the universes. As the God of Action, he is the apparent ancestor of motion, change, and relationship.
Some of the attributes of the Third Source and Center are derived from the Father, some from the Son, while still others are not observed to be actively and personally present in either the Father or the Son—attributes that can hardly be explained except by assuming that the Father-Son partnership which eternalizes the Third Source and Center consistently functions in consonance with, and in recognition of, the eternal fact of the absoluteness of Paradise. The Conjoint Creator embodies the fullness of the combined and infinite concepts of the First and Second Persons of Deity.
While you envisage the Father as an original creator and the Son as a spiritual administrator, you should think of the Third Source and Center as a universal co-ordinator, a minister of unlimited co-operation. The Conjoint Actor is the correlator of all actual reality; he is the Deity repository of the Father's thought and the Son's word and in action is eternally regardful of the material absoluteness of the central Isle. The Paradise Trinity has ordained the universal order of progress, and the providence of God is the domain of the Conjoint Creator and the evolving Supreme Being. No actual or actualizing reality can escape eventual relationship with the Third Source and Center.
The Universal Father presides over the realms of pre-energy, prespirit, and personality; the Eternal Son dominates the spheres of spiritual activities; the presence of the Isle of Paradise unifies the domain of physical energy and materializing power; the Conjoint Actor operates not only as an infinite spirit representing the Son but also as a universal manipulator of the forces and energies of Paradise, thus bringing into existence the universal and absolute mind. The Conjoint Actor functions throughout the grand universe as a positive and distinct personality, especially in the higher spheres of spiritual values, physical-energy relationships, and true mind meanings. He functions specifically wherever and whenever energy and spirit associate and interact; he dominates all reactions with mind, wields great power in the spiritual world, and exerts a mighty influence over energy and matter. At all times the Third Source is expressive of the nature of the First Source and Center.
The Third Source and Center perfectly and without qualification shares the omnipresence of the First Source and Center, sometimes being called the Omnipresent Spirit. In a peculiar and very personal manner the God of mind shares the omniscience of the Universal Father and his Eternal Son; the knowledge of the Spirit is profound and complete. The Conjoint Creator manifests certain phases of the omnipotence of the Universal Father but is actually omnipotent only in the domain of mind. The Third Person of Deity is the intellectual center and the universal administrator of the mind realms; herein is he absolute—his sovereignty is unqualified.
The Conjoint Actor seems to be motivated by the Father-Son partnership, but all his actions appear to recognize the Father-Paradise relationship. At times and in certain functions he seems to compensate for the incompleteness of the development of the experiential Deities—God the Supreme and God the Ultimate.
And herein is an infinite mystery: That the Infinite simultaneously revealed his infinity in the Son and as Paradise, and then there springs into existence a being equal to God in divinity, reflective of the Son's spiritual nature, and capable of activating the Paradise pattern, a being provisionally subordinate in sovereignty but in many ways apparently the most versatile in action. And such apparent superiority in action is disclosed in an attribute of the Third Source and Center which is superior even to physical gravity—the universal manifestation of the Isle of Paradise.
In addition to this supercontrol of energy and things physical, the Infinite Spirit is superbly endowed with those attributes of patience, mercy, and love which are so exquisitely revealed in his spiritual ministry. The Spirit is supremely competent to minister love and to overshadow justice with mercy. God the Spirit possesses all the supernal kindness and merciful affection of the Original and Eternal Son. The universe of your origin is being forged out between the anvil of justice and the hammer of suffering; but those who wield the hammer are the children of mercy, the spirit offspring of the Infinite Spirit.
2. THE OMNIPRESENT SPIRIT
God is spirit in a threefold sense: He himself is spirit; in his Son he appears as spirit without qualification; in the Conjoint Actor, as spirit allied with mind. And in addition to these spiritual realities, we think we discern levels of experiential spirit phenomena—the spirits of the Supreme Being, Ultimate Deity, and Deity Absolute.
The Infinite Spirit is just as much a complement of the Eternal Son as the Son is a complement of the Universal Father. The Eternal Son is a spiritualized personalization of the Father; the Infinite Spirit is a personalized spiritualization of the Eternal Son and the Universal Father.
There are many untrammeled lines of spiritual force and sources of supermaterial power linking the people of Urantia directly with the Deities of Paradise. There exist the connection of the Thought Adjusters direct with the Universal Father, the widespread influence of the spiritual-gravity urge of the Eternal Son, and the spiritual presence of the Conjoint Creator. There is a difference in function between the spirit of the Son and the spirit of the Spirit. The Third Person in his spiritual ministry may function as mind plus spirit or as spirit alone.
In addition to these Paradise presences, Urantians benefit by the spiritual influences and activities of the local and the superuniverse, with their almost endless array of loving personalities who ever lead the true of purpose and the honest of heart upward and inward towards the ideals of divinity and the goal of supreme perfection.
The presence of the universal spirit of the Eternal Son we know—we can unmistakably recognize it. The presence of the Infinite Spirit, the Third Person of Deity, even mortal man may know, for material creatures can actually experience the beneficence of this divine influence which functions as the Holy Spirit of local universe bestowal upon the races of mankind. Human beings can also in some degree become conscious of the Adjuster, the impersonal presence of the Universal Father. These divine spirits which work for man's uplifting and spiritualization all act in unison and in perfect co-operation. They are as one in the spiritual operation of the plans of mortal ascension and perfection attainment.
3. THE UNIVERSAL MANIPULATOR
The Isle of Paradise is the source and substance of physical gravity; and that should be sufficient to inform you that gravity is one of the most real and eternally dependable things in the whole physical universe of universes. Gravity cannot be modified or annulled except by the forces and energies conjointly sponsored by the Father and the Son, which have been intrusted to, and are functionally associated with, the person of the Third Source and Center.
The Infinite Spirit possesses a unique and amazing power—antigravity. This power is not functionally (observably) present in either the Father or the Son. This ability to withstand the pull of material gravity, inherent in the Third Source, is revealed in the personal reactions of the Conjoint Actor to certain phases of universe relationships. And this unique attribute is transmissible to certain of the higher personalities of the Infinite Spirit.
Antigravity can annul gravity within a local frame; it does so by the exercise of equal force presence. It operates only with reference to material gravity, and it is not the action of mind. The gravity-resistant phenomenon of a gyroscope is a fair illustration of the effect of antigravity but of no value to illustrate the cause of antigravity.
Still further does the Conjoint Actor display powers which can transcend force and neutralize energy. Such powers operate by slowing down energy to the point of materialization and by other techniques unknown to you.
The Conjoint Creator is not energy nor the source of energy nor the destiny of energy; he is the manipulator of energy. The Conjoint Creator is action—motion, change, modification, co-ordination, stabilization, and equilibrium. The energies subject to the direct or indirect control of Paradise are by nature responsive to the acts of the Third Source and Center and his manifold agencies.
The universe of universes is permeated by the power-control creatures of the Third Source and Center: physical controllers, power directors, power centers, and other representatives of the God of Action who have to do with the regulation and stabilization of physical energies. These unique creatures of physical function all possess varying attributes of power control, such as antigravity, which they utilize in their efforts to establish the physical equilibrium of the matter and energies of the grand universe.
All these material activities of the God of Action appear to relate his function to the Isle of Paradise, and indeed the agencies of power are all regardful of, even dependent on, the absoluteness of the eternal Isle. But the Conjoint Actor does not act for, or in response to, Paradise. He acts, personally, for the Father and the Son. Paradise is not a person. The nonpersonal, impersonal, and otherwise not personal doings of the Third Source and Center are all volitional acts of the Conjoint Actor himself; they are not reflections, derivations, or repercussions of anything or anybody.
Paradise is the pattern of infinity; the God of Action is the activator of that pattern. Paradise is the material fulcrum of infinity; the agencies of the Third Source and Center are the levers of intelligence which motivate the material level and inject spontaneity into the mechanism of the physical creation.
4. THE ABSOLUTE MIND
There is an intellectual nature of the Third Source and Center that is distinct from his physical and spiritual attributes. Such a nature is hardly contactable, but it is associable—intellectually though not personally. It is distinguishable from the physical attributes and the spiritual character of the Third Person on mind levels of function, but to the discernment of personalities this nature never functions independently of physical or spiritual manifestations.
The absolute mind is the mind of the Third Person; it is inseparable from the personality of God the Spirit. Mind, in functioning beings, is not separated from energy or spirit, or both. Mind is not inherent in energy; energy is receptive and responsive to mind; mind can be superimposed upon energy, but consciousness is not inherent in the purely material level. Mind does not have to be added to pure spirit, for spirit is innately conscious and identifying. Spirit is always intelligent, minded in some way. It may be this mind or that mind, it may be premind or supermind, even spirit mind, but it does the equivalent of thinking and knowing. The insight of spirit transcends, supervenes, and theoretically antedates the consciousness of mind.
The Conjoint Creator is absolute only in the domain of mind, in the realms of universal intelligence. The mind of the Third Source and Center is infinite; it utterly transcends the active and functioning mind circuits of the universe of universes. The mind endowment of the seven superuniverses is derived from the Seven Master Spirits, the primary personalities of the Conjoint Creator. These Master Spirits distribute mind to the grand universe as the cosmic mind, and your local universe is pervaded by the Nebadon variant of the Orvonton type of cosmic mind.
Infinite mind ignores time, ultimate mind transcends time, cosmic mind is conditioned by time. And so with space: The Infinite Mind is independent of space, but as descent is made from the infinite to the adjutant levels of mind, intellect must increasingly reckon with the fact and limitations of space.
Cosmic force responds to mind even as cosmic mind responds to spirit. Spirit is divine purpose, and spirit mind is divine purpose in action. Energy is thing, mind is meaning, spirit is value. Even in time and space, mind establishes those relative relationships between energy and spirit which are suggestive of mutual kinship in eternity.
Mind transmutes the values of spirit into the meanings of intellect; volition has power to bring the meanings of mind to fruit in both the material and spiritual domains. The Paradise ascent involves a relative and differential growth in spirit, mind, and energy. The personality is the unifier of these components of experiential individuality.
5. THE MINISTRY OF MIND
The Third Source and Center is infinite in mind. If the universe should grow to infinity, still his mind potential would be adequate to endow limitless numbers of creatures with suitable minds and other prerequisites of intellect.
In the domain of created mind the Third Person, with his co-ordinate and subordinate associates, rules supreme. The realms of creature mind are of exclusive origin in the Third Source and Center; he is the bestower of mind. Even the Father fragments find it impossible to indwell the minds of men until the way has been properly prepared for them by the mind action and spiritual function of the Infinite Spirit.
The unique feature of mind is that it can be bestowed upon such a wide range of life. Through his creative and creature associates the Third Source and Center ministers to all minds on all spheres. He ministers to human and subhuman intellect through the adjutants of the local universes and, through the agency of the physical controllers, ministers even to the lowest nonexperiencing entities of the most primitive types of living things. And always is the direction of mind a ministry of mind-spirit or mind-energy personalities.
Since the Third Person of Deity is the source of mind, it is quite natural that the evolutionary will creatures find it easier to form comprehensible concepts of the Infinite Spirit than they do of either the Eternal Son or the Universal Father. The reality of the Conjoint Creator is disclosed imperfectly in the very existence of human mind. The Conjoint Creator is the ancestor of the cosmic mind, and the mind of man is an individualized circuit, an impersonal portion, of that cosmic mind as it is bestowed in a local universe by a Creative Daughter of the Third Source and Center.
Because the Third Person is the source of mind, do not presume to reckon that all phenomena of mind are divine. Human intellect is rooted in the material origin of the animal races. Universe intelligence is no more a true revelation of God who is mind than is physical nature a true revelation of the beauty and harmony of Paradise. Perfection is in nature, but nature is not perfect. The Conjoint Creator is the source of mind, but mind is not the Conjoint Creator.
Mind, on Urantia, is a compromise between the essence of thought perfection and the evolving mentality of your immature human nature. The plan for your intellectual evolution is, indeed, one of sublime perfection, but you are far short of that divine goal as you function in the tabernacles of the flesh. Mind is truly of divine origin, and it does have a divine destiny, but your mortal minds are not yet of divine dignity.
Too often, all too often, you mar your minds by insincerity and sear them with unrighteousness; you subject them to animal fear and distort them by useless anxiety. Therefore, though the source of mind is divine, mind as you know it on your world of ascension can hardly become the object of great admiration, much less of adoration or worship. The contemplation of the immature and inactive human intellect should lead only to reactions of humility.
6. THE MIND-GRAVITY CIRCUIT
The Third Source and Center, the universal intelligence, is personally conscious of every mind, every intellect, in all creation, and he maintains a personal and perfect contact with all these physical, morontial, and spiritual creatures of mind endowment in the far-flung universes. All these activities of mind are grasped in the absolute mind-gravity circuit which focalizes in the Third Source and Center and is a part of the personal consciousness of the Infinite Spirit.
Much as the Father draws all personality to himself, and as the Son attracts all spiritual reality, so does the Conjoint Actor exercise a drawing power on all minds; he unqualifiedly dominates and controls the universal mind circuit. All true and genuine intellectual values, all divine thoughts and perfect ideas, are unerringly drawn into this absolute circuit of mind.
Mind gravity can operate independently of material and spiritual gravity, but wherever and whenever the latter two impinge, mind gravity always functions. When all three are associated, personality gravity may embrace the material creature physical or morontial, finite or absonite. But irrespective of this, the endowment of mind even in impersonal beings qualifies them to think and endows them with consciousness despite the total absence of personality.
Selfhood of personality dignity, human or divine, immortal or potentially immortal, does not however originate in either spirit, mind, or matter; it is the bestowal of the Universal Father. Neither is the interaction of spirit, mind, and material gravity a prerequisite to the appearance of personality gravity. The Father's circuit may embrace a mind-material being who is unresponsive to spirit gravity, or it may include a mind-spirit being who is unresponsive to material gravity. The operation of personality gravity is always a volitional act of the Universal Father.
While mind is energy associated in purely material beings and spirit associated in purely spiritual personalities, innumerable orders of personality, including the human, possess minds that are associated with both energy and spirit. The spiritual aspects of creature mind unfailingly respond to the spirit-gravity pull of the Eternal Son; the material features respond to the gravity urge of the material universe.
Cosmic mind, when not associated with either energy or spirit, is subject to the gravity demands of neither material nor spiritual circuits. Pure mind is subject only to the universal gravity grasp of the Conjoint Actor. Pure mind is close of kin to infinite mind, and infinite mind (the theoretical co-ordinate of the absolutes of spirit and energy) is apparently a law in itself.
The greater the spirit-energy divergence, the greater the observable function of mind; the lesser the diversity of energy and spirit, the lesser the observable function of mind. Apparently, the maximum function of the cosmic mind is in the time universes of space. Here mind seems to function in a mid-zone between energy and spirit, but this is not true of the higher levels of mind; on Paradise, energy and spirit are essentially one.
The mind-gravity circuit is dependable; it emanates from the Third Person of Deity on Paradise, but not all the observable function of mind is predictable. Throughout all known creation there parallels this circuit of mind some little-understood presence whose function is not predictable. We believe that this unpredictability is partly attributable to the function of the Universal Absolute. What this function is, we do not know; what actuates it, we can only conjecture; concerning its relation to creatures, we can only speculate.
Certain phases of the unpredictability of finite mind may be due to the incompleteness of the Supreme Being, and there is a vast zone of activities wherein the Conjoint Actor and the Universal Absolute may possibly be tangent. There is much about mind that is unknown, but of this we are sure: The Infinite Spirit is the perfect expression of the mind of the Creator to all creatures; the Supreme Being is the evolving expression of the minds of all creatures to their Creator.
7. UNIVERSE REFLECTIVITY
The Conjoint Actor is able to co-ordinate all levels of universe actuality in such manner as to make possible the simultaneous recognition of the mental, the material, and the spiritual. This is the phenomenon of universe reflectivity, that unique and inexplicable power to see, hear, sense, and know all things as they transpire throughout a superuniverse, and to focalize, by reflectivity, all this information and knowledge at any desired point. The action of reflectivity is shown in perfection on each of the headquarters worlds of the seven superuniverses. It is also operative throughout all sectors of the superuniverses and within the boundaries of the local universes. Reflectivity finally focalizes on Paradise.
The phenomenon of reflectivity, as it is disclosed on the superuniverse headquarters worlds in the amazing performances of the reflective personalities there stationed, represents the most complex interassociation of all phases of existence to be found in all creation. Lines of spirit can be traced back to the Son, physical energy to Paradise, and mind to the Third Source; but in the extraordinary phenomenon of universe reflectivity there is a unique and exceptional unification of all three, so associated as to enable the universe rulers to know about remote conditions instantaneously, simultaneously with their occurrence.
Much of the technique of reflectivity we comprehend, but there are many phases which truly baffle us. We know that the Conjoint Actor is the universe center of the mind circuit, that he is the ancestor of the cosmic mind, and that cosmic mind operates under the dominance of the absolute mind gravity of the Third Source and Center. We know further that the circuits of the cosmic mind influence the intellectual levels of all known existence; they contain the universal space reports, and just as certainly they focus in the Seven Master Spirits and converge in the Third Source and Center.
The relationship between the finite cosmic mind and the divine absolute mind appears to be evolving in the experiential mind of the Supreme. We are taught that, in the dawn of time, this experiential mind was bestowed upon the Supreme by the Infinite Spirit, and we conjecture that certain features of the phenomenon of reflectivity can be accounted for only by postulating the activity of the Supreme Mind. If the Supreme is not concerned in reflectivity, we are at a loss to explain the intricate transactions and unerring operations of this consciousness of the cosmos.
Reflectivity appears to be omniscience within the limits of the experiential finite and may represent the emergence of the presence-consciousness of the Supreme Being. If this assumption is true, then the utilization of reflectivity in any of its phases is equivalent to partial contact with the consciousness of the Supreme.
8. PERSONALITIES OF THE INFINITE SPIRIT
The Infinite Spirit possesses full power to transmit many of his powers and prerogatives to his co-ordinate and subordinate personalities and agencies.
The first Deity-creating act of the Infinite Spirit, functioning apart from the Trinity but in some unrevealed association with the Father and the Son, personalized in the existence of the Seven Master Spirits of Paradise, the distributors of the Infinite Spirit to the universes.
There is no direct representative of the Third Source and Center on the headquarters of a superuniverse. Each of these seven creations is dependent on one of the Master Spirits of Paradise, who acts through the seven Reflective Spirits situated at the capital of the superuniverse.
The next and continuing creative act of the Infinite Spirit is disclosed, from time to time, in the production of the Creative Spirits. Every time the Universal Father and the Eternal Son become parent to a Creator Son, the Infinite Spirit becomes ancestor to a local universe Creative Spirit who becomes the close associate of that Creator Son in all subsequent universe experience.
Just as it is necessary to distinguish between the Eternal Son and the Creator Sons, so it is necessary to differentiate between the Infinite Spirit and the Creative Spirits, the local universe co-ordinates of the Creator Sons. What the Infinite Spirit is to the total creation, a Creative Spirit is to a local universe.
The Third Source and Center is represented in the grand universe by a vast array of ministering spirits, messengers, teachers, adjudicators, helpers, and advisers, together with supervisors of certain circuits of physical, morontial, and spiritual nature. Not all of these beings are personalities in the strict meaning of the term. Personality of the finite-creature variety is characterized by:
1. Subjective self-consciousness.
2. Objective response to the Father's personality circuit.
There are creator personalities and creature personalities, and in addition to these two fundamental types there are personalities of the Third Source and Center, beings who are personal to the Infinite Spirit, but who are not unqualifiedly personal to creature beings. These Third Source personalities are not a part of the Father's personality circuit. First Source personality and Third Source personality are mutually contactable; all personality is contactable.
The Father bestows personality by his personal free will. Why he does so we can only conjecture; how he does so we do not know. Neither do we know why the Third Source bestows non-Father personality, but this the Infinite Spirit does in his own behalf, in creative conjunction with the Eternal Son and in numerous ways unknown to you. The Infinite Spirit can also act for the Father in the bestowal of First Source personality.
There are numerous types of Third Source personalities. The Infinite Spirit bestows Third Source personality upon numerous groups who are not included in the Father's personality circuit, such as certain of the power directors. Likewise does the Infinite Spirit treat as personalities numerous groups of beings, such as the Creative Spirits, who are in a class by themselves in their relations to encircuited creatures of the Father.
Both First Source and Third Source personalities are endowed with all and more than man associates with the concept of personality; they have minds embracing memory, reason, judgment, creative imagination, idea association, decision, choice, and numerous additional powers of intellect wholly unknown to mortals. With few exceptions the orders revealed to you possess form and distinct individuality; they are real beings. A majority of them are visible to all orders of spirit existence.
Even you will be able to see your spiritual associates of the lower orders as soon as you are delivered from the limited vision of your present material eyes and have been endowed with a morontia form with its enlarged sensitivity to the reality of spiritual things.
The functional family of the Third Source and Center, as it is revealed in these narratives, falls into three great groups:
I. The Supreme Spirits. A group of composite origin that embraces, among others, the following orders:
1. The Seven Master Spirits of Paradise.
2. The Reflective Spirits of the Superuniverses.
3. The Creative Spirits of the Local Universes.
II. The Power Directors. A group of control creatures and agencies that function throughout all organized space.
III. The Personalities of the Infinite Spirit. This designation does not necessarily imply that these beings are Third Source personalities though some of them are unique as will creatures. They are usually grouped in three major classifications:
1. The Higher Personalities of the Infinite Spirit.
2. The Messenger Hosts of Space.
3. The Ministering Spirits of Time.
These groups serve on Paradise, in the central or residential universe, in the superuniverses, and they embrace orders that function in the local universes, even to the constellations, systems, and planets.
The spirit personalities of the vast family of the Divine and Infinite Spirit are forever dedicated to the service of the ministry of the love of God and the mercy of the Son to all the intelligent creatures of the evolutionary worlds of time and space. These spirit beings constitute the living ladder whereby mortal man climbs from chaos to glory.
[Revealed on Urantia by a Divine Counselor of Uversa commissioned by the Ancients of Days to portray the nature and work of the Infinite Spirit.]