Commentary on the origins and nature of the Foreword by Kwan Choi, who served as a Urantia Foundation trustee.
For Biblical cross-references to all Sections: click here.
p1: Urantia etymology by Chris Halvorson: “specific: Urantia = (y)our heavenly place (i.e., in the cosmos)” “-tia = noun-forming suffix < -t- of L. past participle stem + -ia (cf., -tion and -ion)” “U.B.: “-tia” is indicative of impersonal, while “-ia” is more personal”
Orvonton etymology by Chris Halvorson: “the out-dwelling town (The superuniverse domain is the dwelling place for ascending mortals that is outside of the local universe domain, and the seventh Paradise satellite of the Infinite Spirit is the hometown for “the reunions of the struggles and triumphs of the ascendant career” [17:1.9].).” “ton < O.E., tun = town” “or- = O.E., out” “von < M.E., wone = dwelling, dwelling place, domain”
Orvonton … authorized, Only Papers 1–31 (Part I) were authorized at the superuniverse level. Parts II, III and IV were revealed under local universe and system level authorization.
p5: Nebadon etymology by Chris Halvorson: “the first (a) nebular (neb-) upland (don) (The local universe level is the local upland relative to the lowlands where mortals begin their ascension careers in the Milky Way spiral nebula.).” “don < O.E., dun = n., down = upland”
Uversa etymology by Chris Halvorson: “the hub of the superuniverse that is the seventh expression of triune pattern (“U” is the 21st letter of the alphabet, and 21 equals 7 times 3. Hence, the headquarters worlds of the other superuniverses are Cversa, Fversa, Iversa, Lversa, Oversa, and Rversa. The “U” notation is also used in “Umajor the fifth” and “Uminor the third”.)” “versa = L., focus, hub (see endnote entitled “Versa”)”
masculine: metrical sequence of words (He wrote a verse.); also, versus (plaintiff versus defendant); feminine: poetical character (She wrote in verse.); also, vice versa (vice = in the place of another + versa = focus, hub)
“Versa is the nondirectional aspect of “a turning”, that is, the hub; while versus is the directional aspect, the rotation.”
Havona etymology by Chris Halvorson: “the “new heaven” (Rev:21.1).” “-a = L. noun suffix (first declension, nominative) = U.B., general noun suffix, used to indicate the additional specific meanings of the coined name”
p1-4: See Topical Study page: What does The Urantia Book say about its creation?
Section 1: Deity and Divinity
Matthew Block suggests that the following author was influential in writing of this Paper and has prepared a parallel chart:
p14: existential: Defined at 0:7.3 as “beings of eternal existence, past, present, and future”.
experiential: Defined at 0:7.4 as “beings actualizing in the post-Havona present but of unending existence throughout all future eternity”.
p24: 1955 version reads “5. Absolute perfection in no direction, relative perfection in all other manifestations.”
SRT version reads “5. Absolute perfection in no direction, relative perfection in all manifestations.”
Explanation: “The original phraseology is incorrect because the reference to other manifestations requires the existence of one or more additional manifestations to which this other is being contrasted. As this particular phase of perfection exists in only one manifestation—relative perfection—there are no additional types which require or permit the use of other in this context. It is likely that other was inserted into the text during one of the pre-publication transcriptions by accidentally repeating the pattern found immediately before and after this sentence.”
Halbert Katzen’s opinion:
I disagree with the Standard Reference Text Committee’s analysis of this issue for the following reasons. In listing the seven possible associations of absolute perfection, relative perfection, and imperfection, the authors choose to begin each of the seven entries with “Absolute” (six of them begin with “Absolute perfection”). From a creative standpoint, this is not a necessary way to express the seven variations and the Committee’s analysis reflects this understanding. By their own analysis, “Absolute perfection in no direction” could have been deleted along with “other” and the meaning of the sentence would remain the same. But the emphasis would not! And that is the point.
The Revelators creatively chose to begin each entry in a manner that focuses the mind on how all of this relates to absolute perfection, consistent with the topic of the section–Deity and Divinity. By starting number five in the list with “Absolute perfection in no direction,” the Revelators are establishing (for the fifth time) where they want us to start in our thinking process. The use of “other” from this perspective can be appreciated as an appropriate reference to relative perfection and imperfection. The problem I see with the Committee’s thought process is that, after correctly figuring out the intended meaning, they ignored stylistic considerations that are essential for interpreting the use of the word “other.” Because the original wording can be interpreted in a cogent and consistent manner by taking into consideration the stylistic option chosen by the Revelators for presenting these concepts, I take issue with this change.
Note the varied literary pattern of consistently starting out with “Absolute (perfection)” and then using a variety of words for descriptive purposes that are roughly synonymous: aspects, aspects in varied association, respects, direction, phase, manifestations, and attribute. Consider that the effort to use all these different words to say pretty much the same thing indicates that we should not get bogged down with trying to define these various terms too specifically. Using a wide variety of similar terms encourages thinking in general terms to get a general concept rather than encouraging the development of particular opinions about nuanced differences between these terms. Most often, getting very particular about definitions works extremely well for studying The Urantia Book. This may be an exception to that rule.
Section 2: God
Section 3: The First Source and Center
Section 4: Universe Reality
p3: 1955 version reads, “Deified reality embraces all of infinite Deity potentials.” SRT reads, “Deified reality embraces all infinite Deity potentials.” Explanation: “The 1955 construction does not read well; all of infinite Deity potentials is awkward because all of is used to modify potentials without the latter being qualified by a limiting adjective (e.g., the, these, those). Thus, an error in transcription was apparently made here. Several alternate reconstructions are possible, but all infinite Deity potentials (assuming that of was mistakenly inserted) maintains the all-inclusiveness of the original without implying any limitations and without requiring a change of tone.”
p4: papers dealing with Deity and the universe of universes: “As noted at 0:0.1 these are limited to Papers 1–31 only. Therefore, this Foreword is properly “the Foreword to Part I of the Urantia Papers” and that is where it should be printed. Curiously, this is where the Foreword is found in “The Titles of the Papers” and “Contents of the Book” as printed in the original 1955 edition, although the text of the Foreword is printed just before the Part I title page preceding Paper 1 of that edition.” –from Tigran Aivazian’s British Study Edition of The Urantia Book.
Section 5: Personality Realities
p5: Morontia etymology: In general (m) material substance (mor) is like (on) this thing (-tia).
By Chris Halvorson: “that which is (-tia) akin to (on) matter (mor)”
Note also: mor–Danish origin 1930’s, refering to humus formed under acidic conditions.
p10: material mind is the mother: Matter and mother have the same origin, namely from the Latin mater and Greek μήτηρ meaning mother.
Section 6: Energy and Pattern
p8,9: spirit luminosity See Cross-reference page.
Section 7: The Supreme Being
Section 8: God the Sevenfold
Section 9: God the Ultimate
Section 10: God the Absolute
Section 11: The Three Absolutes
p8: space-force is referred to in nine paragraphs: (0:11.18), (11:5.8), (32:1.1), (41:7.14), (42:1.5), (42:2.14,16,21), (42:8.2).
Section 12: The Trinities
p11: succeeding presentations … seven superuniverses: “Another confirmation (cf. 0:0.1, 0:0.4 and 0:2.11), that this Foreword is intended for papers 1–31 only and not the entire so-called “Urantia Book”.” –Tigran Aivazian annotation from the British Study Edition of The Urantia Book.
p12: See Topical Study page: What does The Urantia Book say about its creation?