The Urantia Book Fellowship

Evolution of the Urantia Movement: Building a Local and a Global Family

Peep Sober, Estonia

1. The birth and growth of our local Urantia family in Estonia

My experience with the BIG BLUE BOOK began in Estonia in the middle of the 1970 ies when I joined a group of Spiritualists. I had heard that once an unknown man from Finland had given the old man who led this group the book and then had disappeared without comment. Even today we, in Estonia, do not know who this man was, but we are sure he was not a midwayer.

Under communist rule we could not buy any spiritual books because the bookstores were filled with the works of one Vladimir, son of Ilitch and his followers. The purpose of the group was to translate those books that we wanted to read. Over a period of ten years we had already translated no fewer than 50 books, mostly of a spiritual nature.

Our first impression of the Blue Book was that it was comprised of papers compiled by different spiritual beings as is very common in spiritual writing. However, in our view the sentences were too long and complicated leading us to conclude that we did not understand it very well at all.

Many years later our group leader realized that we should photocopy the entire Urantia Book since ours seemed to be the only copy in all of Estonia. Continuing to circulate the original among readers could have led to its disappearance. Since I was very interested, I made a complete copy for myself. It took a whole week's work -- page by page by page.

Soon after that a young man from our group began to translate the book into Estonian. Later some other people also translated some of the Papers. Finally, two years later in 1987, a translated manuscript compiled by 9 different translators, was ready.

When the group met to read and discuss our first translation, we became aware that some other people were also keenly interested in these discussions. They were from an organization called the K.G.B. <i.e. the Soviet Secret Service> they were too numerous for us to invite them to join us because our group was small and the meeting space limited. Since they had the technology necessary to record the proceedings, we let them do so. That became our first experience of disseminating the teachings of The Urantia Book. If people were so hungry to hear about the Revelation, we let them hear. Soon we became so important that the K.G.B. even began to record our private phone calls to each other. This was not easy to bear. The recording process was so noisy that we could hardly hear one another on the phone. Our angry complaints stopped the taping for a while at least.

I once mentioned to my friends that the translation should be improved in case one day it might be possible to publish the book in Estonia. Considering the fact that we were still living under a totalitarian regime, my friends thought me quite naive. Eventually I left this group because they seemed unable to capture the essence of The Urantia Book teachings.

I had several uplifting experiences reading Part I of the Book, but regrettably no one to share it with. In 1990 I reached beyond the Iron Curtain attempting to contact readers in Toronto. I was very anxious to meet some real Urantia Book readers. I even phoned some people on the Urantia Foundation's list - all without success. A New Age bookshop proprietor told me that Urantia Book readers often remain anonymous. As a result I lost hope of finding a UB reader in Toronto. However, I didn't lose hope that it would be possible to generate an Estonian readership.

I gave my first public introductory lecture in the fall of 1989, and since that time, have given many lectures, mostly by invitation. Our readership began to grow as people made more copies of the first translated manuscript.

In 1988-89 Martin Myers and others from the Foundation came and met with our first group members and their chief translator. The result was that, this group was not interested in co-operating with the Foundation to begin work on an official translation of the book. Regrettably I only heard about this later because I was no longer a member of that group.

I took a job which provided me the opportunity to communicate with foreigners in English because I was sure that one day I would be able to begin an official translation of the book and to organize the readers into some kind of movement. In the fall of 1993 I established my own publishing company in order to develop the necessary skills for publishing our translation whenever it became available. < Since the end of totalitarianism in 1991 it was now more realistic to expect that my goals for publishing an Estonian version of The Urantia Book would be achieved. >

I understood that in order to launch the translation project, a market study to determine the size of the potential readership in Estonia would be required. Lacking funding for such an undertaking, I took another course of action. I gave an introductory lecture to a parapsychology conference and submitted articles to two different New Age Magazines. In all cases I requested a written reply from anyone who was interested in The Urantia Book. The response was truly unbelievable!!! Approximately 500 letters came from different people who promised to support the translation of the Book.

I reported the results to the Foundation in Chicago. Knowing that they might require 500. 00 U.S. dollars royalties in advance for signing the contract as Western publishers usually do, I was amazed when they did not mentioned about that in their response. Despite the fact that my monthly income at that time was approximately $50.00 U.S., I would have been prepared to raise the higher amount if that was what was required to get an agreement with the Foundation.

I knew that a French translation was already available and that soon a Finnish translation would be published. In view of this, I couldn't believe that the Foundation itself would still be interested in publishing our translation. After all, we are only a small country of one million people.

I began forming a translation team, despite not having received much more information from the Foundation, particularly about the royalties etc... My traveling to Chicago was out of the question because of the expense. At that time of course I did not know that a Foundation branch office was only 50 miles north of Tallinn.

From a Finnish New Age Magazine I found the information I needed. The Urantia Book Finnish translation had been recently published and made by a Finnish translator, Seppo Kanerva. In a letter I invited him to join our readers to celebrate Jesus' 2000 birthday. He called and promised to come. I was ready to introduce our team of translators. I was also very anxious to hear his experience and advice regarding dealings with the Foundation in Chicago.

Instead of one Seppo, we met two Seppos. This constituted my very first meeting with actual Urantia Book readers. Our team had an excellent meeting with the two Seppos. We had an even better meeting on August 21st when approximately 300 people came to celebrate the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' birth. Later I was delighted to hear that ours may have been one of the biggest meetings in the world on this occasion. Actually most of these people were not readers. Many had come as a result of my announcements on radio where I assisted on a weekly broadcast.

Seppo Kanerva submitted a very positive report to the Foundation about our activities resulting in us receiving approval from the Foundation to translate The Urantia Book into Estonian. The Finnish Urantia Association generously decided to cover 50% of our expenses with the balance coming from our readers. We now have also received some funding directly from the Foundation.

We began our translation in the summer of 1995. Many miracles have happened in my life in connection with The Urantia Book; obtaining the necessary funding for the translation was just one of them. To date more than 160 Papers have been translated and edited. We hope to complete our translation sometime next year. We currently have approximately 200 readers in Estonia who support the translation process. More than forty <40> of these attend the four organized study groups, two in Tallinn and two in South Estonia.

Up to now we have held two conferences with foreign guests in attendance. The conference scheduled for August will be our third such venture.

Soon we will establish a local International Urantia Association in Estonia. Many difficulties have had to be overcome in order to organize our local Urantia family. This I believe has been possible thanks to the assistance of our invisible helpers and of course from our Finnish friends as well as the Urantia Foundation. At this time I would also like to acknowledge the support of friends who made it possible for Helen and I to take part in this Conference.


1. The Urantia Book should be translated into as many languages as possible because even a poor translation will be of value to readers who are ready for it and who can start local reader group activities.

2. Without the protection provided by the Foundation's copyright, any group or person can translate the book for their own selfish interests. The copyright will also prevent any strange sects from arising around the Revelation or having it mixed with other types of teaching or channeling etc... There is also the danger of a charismatic leader rising who might have the potential to confuse people.

3. There is a great need to make International contacts, especially for newer reader groups in countries, which previously have suffered under totalitarian regimes. Study groups can form spontaneously around more experienced readers. International relationships serve to avoid the rising of sects. An effective international reader organization is needed to build successful local organizations.

4. There are two main obstacles to forging international contacts amongst readers;

a. financial - i.e. differing economic levels in the various countries and

b. the language barrier.

2. Building a Global Urantia Family

I will now focus on the International Urantia movement as seen from a distance and perhaps from a different perspective. This in the hope of assisting the organization's evolutionary process.

Each system in the physical world is governed by the laws of evolution, which lead to growth or progress. Growth means a change for the better or a higher state of perfection. Good changes can only occur when the stable and unstable elements co-operate together and move in the right direction. This is called "a dynamic balance" or " unity in diversity". For example, on the psychological level, in a human family, the male represents a relatively more stable element while the female represents the more unstable element. This is a statement of tendency or general role, not of extremism nor is it a judgement of whether either one is good or bad. On a local universe level we have been taught that the Creator Son always co-operates with the local Universe Mother Spirit. Although their tasks and natures are different, their "dynamic balance" achieved through co-operation, produces the natural evolution for the entire local universe. We notice the same thing in the Revelator's plan for the Urantia movement. On the one hand there is the Foundation, a publishing organization, and on the other hand, a readers' organizations. There is a great need that good co-operation between these two elements is maintained. Each has a different task to perform.

If the male becomes too stable and the female too unstable, balanced growth in the right direction cannot occur in the human family. Should the partners not wish to balance themselves; divorce will be the result. In the history of the Urantia movement it is not difficult to discern who has had the stable or unstable roles. My intent is not to judge who was right or wrong in the past. I am merely speaking about the laws of evolution as I understand them (and how they might apply to the present situation). We should not dramatize, or react emotionally, to past events. History is only important if we can learn from it or if it reveals the right direction toward our goals. Good changes can take place if, in the present, we can achieve "a dynamic balance" between the past and the future. History, regrettably, frequently shows that people have been too lazy to learn their lessons from it.

An organization does not thrive when too many tasks or responsibilities fall on one person or onto one side. Even the Universal Father did not concentrate all power within himself. On the contrary, he distributed his power among himself, the Son, and the Spirit. Trinity is a pattern for an ideal organization on the Paradise level. That is why we do not see two Fathers or two Creator Sons endeavouring to work at the same task. Duplication of duties and responsibilities creates confusion. It would be counterproductive to have two Presidents of the United States, the same way that two drivers cannot drive the same car at the same time. One is always enough. By the same token we do not need more than one publisher, nor more than one readership organization, nor more than one translation into any given language. Imagine the situation if two different Contact Commissions in different corners of the world were to receive the Urantia revelation in the same language but using different terminology!!! It makes one wonder then, why would some groups or individuals undertake similar duplication of effort regarding translations? In the meantime, many other nations have yet to be given an opportunity to read the Revelation in their own language.

ONE IS ENOUGH ! One whole original Urantia Book is enough. No one should be given the right to split up the wholeness of the Revelation. Similarly no one should have the right to publish the Revelation piece meal i.e. to disseminate only his favourite Papers.

Changes can be made either by evolution or revolution. That is, by natural growth toward the higher values which Jesus lived and taught. Or, by creating conflict and chaos as Lucifer and Caligastia had done. Actually we have two totally opposite concepts for attaining liberty. First; Michael's concept based on love and the acceptance of laws governing the Universe and society - a lawful achievement. Secondly; Lucifer's concept, based on ego centered battles against established order and laws - an unlawful achievement. Just as a bad tree cannot bear good fruit, neither can bad methods achieve good results. Spiritual laws should not be confused with social, economic and political laws of human society. Claiming supremacy of spiritual laws cannot be done by braking human laws.

If one man craves freedom--liberty--he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom. Groups of such liberty-loving mortals cannot live together in peace without becoming subservient to such laws, rules, and regulations as will grant each person the same degree of freedom while at the same time safeguarding an equal degree of freedom for all of his fellow mortals. If one man is to be absolutely free, then another must become an absolute slave. And the relative nature of freedom is true socially, economically, and politically. Freedom is the gift of civilization made possible by the enforcement of LAW.

Religion makes it spiritually possible to realize the brotherhood of men, but it will require mankind government to regulate the social, economic, and political problems associated with such a goal of human happiness and efficiency. [1490:4,5]

"Doing the Father's Will" does not mean we have the right to break human laws. Jesus never taught or demonstrated anything like that. Despite this, many fanatical followers of Jesus have historically initiated "holy wars" for "freedom." Moreover surprisingly, a similar crusading attitude exists among some of the long time readers of The Urantia Book. Fanaticism is the fruit of selfish dedication and unlawful action; it is never the fruit of the divine spirit. It is not my intent to criticize anyone but only to point out that regrettably, even in our movement, recent events demonstrate that some individuals seem very selfishly motivated.

While religion produces growth of meanings and enhancement of values, evil always results when purely personal evaluations are elevated to the levels of absolutes. [1094:3]

One of the reasons for coming to this Conference was to encourage readers to take positive action toward achieving unity. The pattern described in the Book for a global government could be used as a basis for a global readers' organization. Needless to say, there is a great need for such an organization. The American model which currently has a split readership is an unsuitable, let alone uninspiring, example for other countries to follow. However this rather undesirable situation can be adjusted to regain the unity of purpose. It is very important that this be done expeditiously in order to prevent us, as an organization, from becoming victims of our own history. The Urantia movement needs to strive to set an example of unity, particularly in the face of the many nations who currently have difficulty co-operating with one another.

We cannot comprehend the future if we don't understand enough well the laws of evolution. I have spent much time on that subject until I found something which I first time expressed and described last year on our readers summer conference.

"The more truth you know, the more truth you are, the more of the past you can understand and of the future you can comprehend." [1297:3]

3. Probable Future of Movement and The Law of Seven

Is it possible for us to comprehend the laws of human evolution, its past-present-future process? Do we have enough good tools for that? Our words and concepts should be abstract, universal and comprehensive enough.

It is difficult to find in our cultural world more universal and comprehensive symbols as numbers. Number 1 can symbolize one moment, one man and even one God. People have contemplated about the meanings of numbers almost in every culture. Ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras came to conclusion that the whole world is based on numbers. Reading The Urantia Book we can find some similar things. Why there are seven superuniverses and not four or thirteen? That is because Deity divided itself into three Persons and all their possible combinations give number 7. So was created the Seven Master Spirits taking care of the seven superuniverses. Here we can find a pattern for the whole evolution.


1 God the Father Thought Thesis

2 God the Son Word Antithesis

3 God the Spirit Action Synthesis

4 Father and Son Thought + Word Inspiration

5 Father and Spirit Thought + Action Expression

6 Son and Spirit Word + Action Action

7 Father, Son and Spirit Thought + Word + Action Assimilation

The first three coloumns can be derived from The Urantia Book, the fourth one shows seven stages of evolution as they are sometimes described. As these fourth coloumn concepts are easier to understand, I shall use them more. It can be possible that these 7 stages are universal for all evolution, as they originate from Three Deities. Therefore here we can find a cosmic code which perhaps helps us to understand every evolutionary process as a whole thing, its past-present-future. We should only determine in which stage is the present situation and we can generally comprehend the whole process!

At first we can take a human life.

1 1...7 Thesis

2 8...14 Antithesis

3 15...21 Synthesis Youth

4 22...36 Inspiration

5 37...50 Expression

6 51...64 Action Adult age

7 65...79 Assimilation Older age

Perhaps most of us have noticed that we have found The Urantia Book in the age 22-36, that means the Inspiration stage; we were truth seekers. Then we express the truth, put into action, this becomes our life and in the end we assimilate the truth. Everyone can have his own length for these periods, here is only an example.

Now we look at Christianity:

1 Thesis - Life and teachings of Jesus

2 Antithesis - Betrayal of Judas, denying of Peter, crucifixion of Jesus, Apostles in confusion

3 Synthesis - Recurrection of Jesus and his morontia appearances

4 Inspiration - Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth, beginning for gospel

5 Expression - Bible as a basis for religion

6 Action - Christian Church as a central institution

7 Assimilation - Conclusion for Christianity (dispensational adjudication?)

But let us look at epochal revelations:

1 Dalamatia teachings Thesis

2 Edentia teachings Antithesis

3 Melchizedek's teachings Synthesis

4 Jesus's teachings Inspiration

5 The Urantia Book teachings Expression

6Arrival Sons of God on Urantia, their revelations will focus how to live these previously revelated truth in a practical life, revealed religion will be part of education world-wide, end of traditional world religions, global government will have real power, Lucifer's rebillion will stay into far history Action

7Planet will be settled soon in Light and Life, new revelations will make conclusion of all history of revealed religion, religion will focus on wholeness of life, human being and God, fusions with Thought Adjusters will become more and more to happen for UrantiansAssimilation

* * *

There are no doubts that the Dalamatia teachings about First Source and Center can be Thesis. Antithesis can be clarified if we look at it as a complementary principle. We know that Father bestowed all possible qualities to Son. The mission of Adam and Eve consisted anti only because of the rebellion. Otherwise their mission could be complementary to Dalamatia teachings. The Urantia Book tells that Adams and Eves have defaulted also on other planets. As this stage consists of anti it is very easy to make mistakes. (Marriage can also belong to this stage. Man + woman, that seems to be a hard test, including in Urantia movement.)

Melchizedek synthesized trust and faith. Jesus's teachings as an Inspiration does not need comments. The Urantia Book as an Expression can fit also very well. For that reason it expresses also Jesus's teachings. But if Jesus has written down his teachings in a book form, he missed Inspiration stage and whole evolution process has failed great loss.

Comparing the fourth and fifth revelation from the earlier viewpoint, we can notice why religious people from the fourth stage cannot understand religious people from the fifth stage. There are mostly no problems on opposite direction. As number 5 symbolizes Father and Spirit, we have much to do here with mind. Now we should focus on Thought and Action.

As this sevenfold pattern characterizes seven superuniverses, we can even guess something about other superuniverses. Perhaps in our Orvonton all achievements from other six superuniverses will be assimilated. That is why it takes more time to be complete.

For a conclusion we can look even on the Urantia movement. Where are we now?

1 Thesis - Revelation process, Contact Commission, Forum, Urantia Foundation (1950),

Urantia Brotherhood (1955), The Urantia Book (1955)

2 Antithesis - Fellowship (1989), IUA (1993), Copyright battle

3 Synthesis - Foundation and Fellowship began cooperation (1997)

4 Inspiration ...

5 Expression ...

6 Action ...

7 Assimilation ... will be finished by the arrival of 6th epochal revelation

As we see the most dangerous stage is now behind. Urantia movement is today still quite young, much can be achieved in next stages.

The Wholeness or Gods and Master Universe with all beings can be described also by 7 elements:

1 God the Father

2 God the Son

3 God the Spirit Eternal Past Deity Absolute

4 Paradise

5 Havona

6 Grand Universe Eternal Present Unqualified Absolute

7 Master Universe Eternal Future Universal Absolute

Father, Son and Spirit does not need comments. Paradise is our great Inspiration, Havona is Expression of that Inspiration. Grand Universe is realizing only by Action. On Outer Space Levels can be assimilated all previous and future achievements.

The law of seven can help us in the expansion of our present moment comprehension. The most important thing here is that this gives a possibility to look generally on the whole process. Symbolic way of thinking can be somewhat strange for scientific man but this is anyway one possible description of the world.

For a conclusion: We all have a tendency to overemphasize our present concepts and therefore limit our future potential for growth. That is natural, we need certainty. We tend to believe that tomorrow is like today and after tomorrow etc. is the same. That seems to be realistic. One aim for this discourse was to shake this certainty a little and to show how different ways the human progress and evolution can happen.

Here were described a few approaches concerning the future. Maybe you have something to add, to ask or to comment from your viewpoint. I do not think you can or should agree with all my approaches, interpretations and explanations. But in a final way, Father's Will should be done. And I am sure, we all can agree in that.

Now my discourse has fulfilled stage number 1. It is time to take number 2 - Antithesis - that means questions, opinions and discussions.

[Vancouver, August 9,1999]