The Urantia Book - (sometimes called The Urantia Papers or The Fifth Epochal Revelation) Digital Download
The Urantia Book (sometimes called the Urantia Papers or The Fifth Epochal Revelation) is a spiritual and philosophical book that originated in Chicago sometime between 1924 and 1955. The authorship remains a matter of speculation.
The authors introduce the word "Urantia" as the name of the planet Earth and state that their intent is to "present enlarged concepts and advanced truth." The book aims to unite religion, science and philosophy, and its enormous amount of material about science is unique among literature claimed to be presented by celestial beings. Among other topics, the book discusses the origin and meaning of life, humankind's place in the universe, the relationship between God and people, and the life of Jesus. It has been described as "a rich and complex moral narrative, equal parts Tolkien and St. Paul."
The exact circumstances of the origin of The Urantia Book are unknown. The book and its publishers do not name a human author. Instead, it is written as if directly presented by numerous celestial beings appointed to the task of providing an "epochal" religious revelation.
As early as 1911, William S. Sadler and his wife Lena Sadler, physicians in Chicago and well known in the community, are said to have been approached by a neighbor who was concerned because she would occasionally find her husband in a deep sleep and breathing abnormally. She reported that she was unable to wake him at these times. The Sadlers came to observe the episodes, and over time, the individual produced verbal communications that claimed to be from "student visitor" spiritual beings. This changed sometime in early 1925 with a "voluminous handwritten document," which from then on became the regular method of purported communication. The individual was never identified publicly but has been described as "a hard-boiled business man, member of the board of trade and stock exchange."
The Sadlers were both respected physicians, and William Sadler was a debunker of paranormal claims, who is portrayed as not believing in the supernatural. In 1929, he published a book called The Mind at Mischief, in which he explained the fraudulent methods of mediums and how self-deception leads to psychic claims. He wrote in an appendix that there were two cases that he had not explained to his satisfaction:
The other exception has to do with a rather peculiar case of psychic phenomena, one which I find myself unable to classify. ... I was brought in contact with it, in the summer of 1911, and I have had it under my observation more or less ever since, having been present at probably 250 of the night sessions, many of which have been attended by a stenographer who made voluminous notes. A thorough study of this case has convinced me that it is not one of ordinary trance. ... This man is utterly unconscious, wholly oblivious to what takes place, and, unless told about it subsequently, never knows that he has been used as a sort of clearing house for the coming and going of alleged extra-planetary personalities. ... Psychoanalysis, hypnotism, intensive comparison, fail to show that the written or spoken messages of this individual have origin in his own mind. Much of the material secured through this subject is quite contrary to his habits of thought, to the way in which he has been taught, and to his entire philosophy. In fact, of much that we have secured, we have failed to find anything of its nature in existence.
In 1923, a group of Sadler's friends, former patients, and colleagues began meeting for Sunday philosophical and religious discussions, but became interested in the strange communications when Sadler mentioned the case at their fourth meeting and read samples at their request. Shortly afterwards, a communication reportedly was received about which this group would be allowed to devise questions and that answers would be given by celestial beings through the "contact personality."
Sadler presented this development to the group, and they generated hundreds of questions without full seriousness, but their claim is that it resulted in the appearance of answers in the form of fully written papers. They became more impressed with the quality of the answers and continued to ask questions, until all papers now collected together as The Urantia Book were obtained.
This document of approximately 2000 pages is available for immediate download as a PDF, txt, djvu formats.
1.2 Copyright status
2.1 Nature of God
2.2 God and the individual
2.4 History and future of the world
3.1 Comparison to Christianity
3.2 Comparison to Seventh-day Adventism
3.3 Other comparisons
4 Consideration as literature
5 Critical views
5.1 Criticisms of claims as a revelation
5.2 Criticism of its science
5.3 Use of other published material without attribution
6.2 Independent channelers
6.3 In popular culture
8 See also
12 External links