The Universal Citizen Blog

Through thoughtful and insightful blog posts, The Universal Citizen seeks to advance faithful living and the idea-values that religion is experiential, our relationship with God is personal, evolution is progressive, and revelation is dynamic.  Here we discuss truth, beauty, and goodness in human experience and spirit reality and encourage curiosity of the mind. The Universal Citizen furthers UUI’s mission to foster personal spiritual growth and build a universal family of God as we explore, discern, and actualize the teachings of The Urantia Book. 

Comment Engagement: You must Join the UUI community to comment on any blog posts.

Insight arises through respectful and fair discussion inspired by open mindedness and striving to understand the perspective of others.  The ideas and analyses expressed by our authors will demonstrate that religious interpretation is informed by personal experience in partnership with the indwelling spirit. In these interactions, we do not seek agreement, rather, we encourage civility and respectful communication fostering trust, love, and spiritual growth. The Editorial Team will refuse publication of content which violates these values.


About the authors: Currently, UUI’s blog contributors include board members, instructors, and students.

If you would like to submit a post for consideration, please see the submission guidelines below or download the document here. 

Send any inquiries to:   TheUniversalCitizen@urantiauniversity.org


  • Tuesday, April 07, 2020 2:47 PM | Ariana Horn (Administrator)

    By Ari Horn, UUI Board Member

    Accounts of disruption to everyday living, devastation to the economy, and human casualties caused by the coronavirus have become as ubiquitous as the virus itself, yet directions on how we can meaningfully support each other in this time of cataclysm are few. Made all the more peculiar by necessary social distancing, the present moment challenges us to translate the lessons of The Urantia Book into action.

    Rising to the occasion, schools, companies, and families have creatively adapted to these challenges by moving in-person education, business, and meetings online using Zoom—or other online video conferencing tools like Skype, GoToMeeting, or Gchat. Likewise, institutionalized churches and informal groups of believers have suspended gathering in physical houses of worship. The social and pastoral needs of congregants are met by holding worship services, study groups, celebration of life events, and remembrances online. While UUI already offers online courses and Thought Leader Forums, we concluded that we could do more to meet the social needs of Urantians.

    The call for community inspired the UUI Café, a place where Urantians can get together in supportive and Spirit-affirming discussions based on the spiritual truths of The Urantia Book. The Café is open at different times each day (Monday through Saturday) to accommodate our friends living in different time zones. By providing this daily opportunity to grow in spiritual awareness, friendship, and loving ministry to others, we are helping Urantians establish everyday spiritual living habits.

    Each conversation is guided by a passage in The Urantia Book and/or searching prompts. In the past week, UUI Instructors have facilitated conversations ranging from spirit formation, divine sonship, handling cataclysm and illness, to the conditions of effective prayer.  These conversations are meant to inspire dynamic faith, rather than intellectual analysis of the text. In a recent session, a longtime UB reader revealed the fruits born from his ongoing pursuit to align his will with the will of God. He realized that he had been talking about The Urantia Book for fifty years, but in the past few weeks, he had been living the revelation. Jesus told us “[t]o become acquainted with one’s brothers and sisters, to know their problems and to learn to love them, is the supreme experience of living (130:2.6).” Through the simple and loving act of calling to check-in on older members of his church, he has attained a greater understanding of the divine nature of coming to know and love others.

    I have been struck by the honesty, sincerity, and hope expressed by the Café’s global participants, who herald from six of the seven continents. The desire to do, and not just think about, the will of God is palpable. “Thought gems” fall effortlessly from the lips of participants, nourishing and edifying all others in attendance (121:8.13). One participant from Florida said “Faith is an inducer, changing our entire being on a molecular level…faith turns fear into fearlessness and hate into love. From the heart center, faith induces spiritual transformation.”

    I find that participation in the Café uplifts my soul. The act of listening, the purposeful worship, and the gratitude expressed give me the fortitude to face the challenges of each day. For me, these conversations are Orisons in Zoom. The word and idea of orison—a spoken prayer, or meditation in the mystical tradition—captures the poetic sentiment I think is needed to vivify the online environment, which tends to evoke sterility and remoteness. UUI Café and all of the worship services taking place each day online amplify our orisons. Connecting each bejeweled soul to a global community of the Spirit exponentially increases their power. The online network encircuting Urantia is helping us pool our respective spiritual possessions (160.2.2). We are actualizing a family of God, connecting spiritual brother to brother and sister to sister.

    Beyond fostering goodwill among man, mainstreaming the idea of daily “worship breaks” and making a habit of renewing the spirit through communal worship can transform society. In orison, we ennoble human relationships, build a community of the Spirit, and may well inspire a cultural shift.

    For those of us who know the kingdom of God is within us, remaking civilization to align more closely to sublime spirit reality is not a utopian ideal, but an attainable goal. Together, we can uplift religion with active faith, philosophy with spirit insight, knowledge with experience, science with idealism, leadership with conscience, community with public service, politics with principles, industry with morality, work with dignity, and recreation with purpose.

    Let us come together and spread another kind of contagion—love.

    Let us motivate each other to turn yearning for the kingdom into actions to establish the kingdom.

    Let us live faithfully each day as contributing members of the community of the Spirit.

    Let us reveal the true nature of God the Father through loving service to others.


    See you in Zoom!


  • Friday, January 31, 2020 12:26 PM | Ariana Horn (Administrator)

    Commentary on The Urantia Book, 

    Paper 140:5.15-20

    By Claire Thurston, UUI Board Member

    January 23, 2020


    I had always interpreted the statement “Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” to mean that we should try our best to align our human wills with God’s will.  Even though we recognize our human imperfection, if we would listen carefully enough in meditation, prayer or worship, we might discern the best path for a choice or solution to an issue and attain momentary glimpses of God’s perfection.

    I was surprised to discover in re-reading Paper 140 in The Urantia Book, that there are further instructions—that the definition of perfection is to love others with a fatherly affection as well as a brotherly affection.  To live the golden rule is the acme of brotherly love, “a worthy achievement,” but only one component of the “perfect” love that we are to attempt that borders on divine attainment.

    Jesus goes on to describe the four supreme reactions of fatherly love in four of the beatitudes.  Psychologists have only recently, since the mid-twentieth century, begun to study the impact fathers have on child development, instead favoring to study the primary role of mothers in childrearing.  This new research (see Select Bibliography below) gives new context to fatherly love and sheds light on the meaning of these beatitudes.  In this interpretation, it is crucial to understand that “fatherly love” is a way of loving that any gender can express.

    First Beatitude of Supreme Reactions of Fatherly Love

    Happy are those that mourn for they shall be comforted

    Mourning is an emotional attitude of tenderheartedness—being sensitive and responsive to human need, a quality our current culture would associate with mothers, however research now shows that father’s influence includes developing empathy.  If one considers that father and child were never merged in pregnancy, that their very separateness would force them to work harder to ‘get inside each other’s shoes,’ then the impact on empathy development may become clearer.

    Second Beatitude of Supreme Reactions of Fatherly Love

    Happy are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy

    Mercy is active and dynamic—one of the aspects of empathy development includes truly experiencing feeling as if you were the other person, which leads to trying to help and/or expressing forgiveness quickly and deeply in order to relieve suffering.

    Third Beatitude of Supreme Reactions of Fatherly Love

    Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God

    Peace is not pacific or negative—in the father/child dynamic, the child is more likely to experience their own center of self in relation to the father’s center, which creates a healthy sense of autonomy. The father’s influence also helps his child have more internal control, lessening impulsive behavior. New fatherhood research also shows that fathers wait longer to intervene when a child is attempting a new skill and feeling frustrated, which helps with delaying gratification.  All of these factors foster self-control, decision-making and moral development.  An active and positive peacemaker is someone who is leading through values.

    Fourth Beatitude of Supreme Reactions of Fatherly Love

    Happy are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Happy are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

    On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Adam’s hand stretches across the expanse towards God’s hand.  Father’s separate presence challenges his child to reach for ideals.  These ideals, such as righteousness, help his child believe in a world of possibility and significance.  A sense of the world’s significance inspires the desire to contribute—and combined with moral motivation, it inspires the desire to stand and fight for values.  A strong inner connection to one’s individual potential enjoined with true empathy, leads to the strength of character needed to defy injustice despite persecution.

    This new data on the father’s role has not yet become mainstream.  But when it does, the implications will affect every aspect of society, from the father-child relationship itself, to marriage, family, the workplace, social ills, culture, and the law. Untold discoveries become possible while a wide range of social problems will gain improved treatment and prevention.  But most importantly, a clearer understanding of human fatherliness will lead to a deeper connection to the fatherly love of God and Jesus that we may share with one another.

    Select Bibliography

    Bernadett-Shapiro, S., Ehrensaft, D., and Shapiro, J.L. “Father participation in childcare

    and the development of empathy in sons: An empirical study.” Family Therapy. 23 (1996): 77-93.

    Hoffman, M.L. Empathy and Moral Development: Implications for caring and justice.

    Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

    Koestner, R., Franz, C., & Weinberger, J. “The family origins of empathic concern: A 26-

    year longitudinal study.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 58 (1990): 709-717.

    Lamb, M.E., Frodi, A.M., Hwang, C.P., Frodi, M., & Steinberg, J. “Mother-and-father-

    infant interaction involving play and holding in traditional and non-traditional Swedish families.” Developmental Psychology. 18 (1982): 215-221.

    Mischel, W. “Father-absence and delay of gratification.” Journal of Abnormal and Social

    Psychology. 62 (1961a): 1-7.

    Mischel, W. “Preference for delayed reward and social responsibility.” Journal of

    Abnormal and Social Psychology. 62 (1961b) 116-124.

    Youngblade, L. & Belsky, J. “Parent-child antecedent of 5 year olds’ close friendships: A

    Longitudinal analysis.” Developmental Psychology. 28 (1992): 700-713.


BLOG POSTS

Spiritual Practices of the World's Great Faith Traditions: Yogananda and the Self-Realization Fellowship

Submission Guidelines

Why submit a blog article for UUI? Authorship is an opportunity to share your “thought gems” and challenges each one of us to identify and describe the fruits of spiritual living to others.  Conversation stimulated with such goals in mind will expand God-consciousness, nurture personal religious growth, and inspire loving service to our fellows.

What kind of posts do you publish? We are interested in posts that treat any aspect of The Urantia Book, including reflections on researching, writing, interpreting, and teaching it. Posts that make connections to present-day events are always of editorial interest. Prior to submission, contributors should review the blog’s overall content, style, and tone.

We do not accept paid content or any content that might be construed as advertising. Posts must not  endorse or oppose current candidates for public office in the U.S., less it endanger the non-profit status of UUI.

Standard: UUI holds its contributors to high academic standards. Blog posts must have a clear and central argument or perspective supported by evidence. Evidence may be quoted from The Urantia Book, or other religious, philosophical, or academic texts. While quotations may be necessary, we encourage authors to keep direct quotations short. We challenge each author to put as much of the spirit of the quote into his/her own words.

Length: Submissions may range from 450-1,200 words, yet we do encourage brevity wherever possible. Keep your paragraphs short and break the article into easily digestible sections.

Title and Biographical Statement: Please submit a post title, along with a 2-line biographical statement and available social media contact, so that we can introduce you and your scholarship to the UUI community.

Voice: Above all, The Universal Citizen gives voice to each person’s unique interpretation of the teachings found in The Urantia Book—there is no one right answer or interpretation. We hope to create a community of the inspired. In order to sustain such a curious and energized community, the language employed by each one of us will be inclusive. Rather than dividing ourselves into discreet camps of “teacher-experts” and “student-novices,” UUI propounds the philosophy that we are all “learners” engaging in the search and the discovery of God-consciousness together. Likewise, guest authors of The Universal Citizen speak with insight developed from their personal experience—sharing advice as would a caring friend, motivation as would a trusted mentor, direction as would a knowledgeable instructor, and encouragement as would a loving parent. 

Editorial Discretion: Our Editorial Team reserves the right to edit submissions, including grammar, spelling, and formatting. The edited blog will be sent to the author for approval. Once approval is secured, we will post the blog to the website and circulate it to our contact list via email and social media. If the author and the editorial team are unable to agree on the edits, the article will not be posted. If the topic is not in-line with the mission of UUI, the Editorial Team reserves the right to decline publication of a submission.

Style and Formatting

Spelling and Grammar:

  • Single space 12pt sans-serif font
  • Use a single space after a period
  • For numbers, spell out numbers one through nine; use numerals for 10 and up
  • Always use serial commas (Oxford commas) in lists. “I went to the store and bought apples, oranges, and pears.” NOT “I went to the store and bought apples, oranges and pears.”
  • Contractions are preferable (“It’s important to practice often” vs. “It is important to practice…”)

In-text Citations:

  • If it is clear that you are citing from The Urantia Book, use the following format (Paper:Section.Paragraph(s). For example, if you are citing Paper 140 (The Ordination of the Twelve) Section 5 (Fatherly and Brotherly Love) Paragraphs 15-20, the citation will look like this: (140:5.15-20).
  • When referencing sourcing beyond the UB, use the following in-text citation format: (Last Name, Title, page number). Supply the full citation in the Bibliography (see below).
  • You are encouraged to include hyperlinks, and 1-2 fair-use images in .JPEG or .PNG format.

Bibliography

Abbreviations:

  • UrantiaUniversity Institute: UUI
  • The Urantia Book: UB
Download Submission Guidelines




UrantiaUniversity, Inc. | 4947 Sundance Square | Boulder, CO 80301-3744 USA | Mon-Fri  9:00am-5:00pm MST |  info@UrantiaUniversity.org

  Copyright © 2020, UrantiaUniversity, Inc. All rights reserved.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software