At What Stage in Our Development Did the Father Choose to Bestow the Gift of Personality Upon Us?
Chuck Thurston 01/15/18
Here are some thoughts to keep in mind regarding the Father’s gift of personality:
0:5.5 The Universal Father is the secret of the reality of personality, the bestowal of personality, and the destiny of personality.
0:5.11 Personality. The personality of mortal man is neither body, mind, nor spirit; neither is it the soul. Personality is the one changeless reality in an otherwise ever-changing creature experience; and it unifies all other associated factors of individuality. The personality is the unique bestowal which the Universal Father makes upon the living and associated energies of matter, mind, and spirit, and which survives with the survival of the morontial soul.
The bestowal of personality is not automatic or inevitable, and it is not governed by administrative guidelines. It is a purely personal gift from our Paradise Father:
9:5.4 …Personality is never spontaneous; it is the gift of the Paradise Father.
The Father is not subject to any rules or restrictions in his freewill bestowal of this gift. The only requirement is the existence of the following conditions:
112:0.4 It may be bestowed upon any living energy system which includes mind or spirit.
Note that this says mind OR spirit. It says nothing about levels of adjutant functioning, arrival of a Thought Adjuster, or any restrictions regarding timing. Because this gift is a freewill act of the Father, it would be presumptuous of the Revelators to give us definitive predictions as to the Father’s choices in this matter.
I think our best approach to the question of when the Father chooses to bestow the gift of personality is to imagine ourselves in his position, as a parent. When would we choose to give personality to our children, assuming that this gift could be given as soon as they have the slightest manifestation of mind function?
Our first manifestations of early mind function begin at some point between conception and birth, and probably not long after conception. I expect that this would be the time of personality bestowal under most normal circumstances.
It is also conceivable that the Father sometimes chooses NOT to bestow personality in cases of purposeful abortion, miscarriage, and the projected death of both parents during pregnancy.
The story of Andon and Fonta offers helpful clues about the nature of personality in relation to adjutant mind functioning, the arrival of our Thought Adjuster, and the fact of being human.
62:5.1 From the year A.D. 1934 back to the birth of the first two human beings is just 993,419 years.
62:5.2 These two remarkable creatures were true human beings.
These passages suggest that the twins were regarded as human, even from birth.
What sets us apart from all the lower animals is our adjutant spirit connectivity potential. Our capacity for connecting to the sixth and seventh adjutant circuits gives us the mind potential to know God, which is why the Father chooses to give us personality. He does not give personality to the lower animals, even though he probably could (at least theoretically), if he wanted to, given that they do have living mind, which is the minimum condition for personality bestowal (see above).
The difference between Andon and Fonta and their Primates cousins is a bit like the difference between a new “smart” phone and an early cell phone from 20 or 30 years ago. A new smartphone has the necessary technology for wi-fi connectivity to the internet via the “cloud,” which the less evolved, older phones did not have.
Straight out of the box, however, even a new smartphone, before it is turned on and activated, is not yet connected to the resources in the cloud, even though it has all the hardware and firmware to become connected.
It was the same with Andon and Fonta, I think. They were classed as human from birth, I believe, because they had all the necessary biological “hardware and firmware” to connect to all seven adjutants, but it took some time and experience for them to make the crucial decisions that were necessary to activate (log on to) the full mind potential that they were born with.
62:6.5 Imagine our joy one day—the twins were about ten years old—when the spirit of worship made its first contact with the mind of the female twin and shortly thereafter with the male. We knew that something closely akin to human mind was approaching culmination; and when, about a year later, they finally resolved, as a result of meditative thought and purposeful decision, to flee from home and journey north, then did the spirit of wisdom begin to function on Urantia and in these two now recognized human minds.
Note that the author of this paragraph is not saying that the twins became human when the seventh adjutant began to function, but rather that their mind function was “recognized” as human, and had achieved “culmination.” Because this culmination was dependent on the prior functioning of will and decision-making, as described, I think we have to assume that the Father bestowed these first two humans with personality from a very young age, perhaps even from birth (if not sooner).
63:1.4 …But their vague feeling of being something more than mere animals was due to the possession of personality and was augmented by the indwelling presence of the Thought Adjusters.
The arrival of their Adjusters was dependent on prior experimentation with will and decision-making, leading to their first moral decisions. This again suggests that will (personality) had already been functioning all along.
We can find more clues about the nature of personality from a close examination of the following paragraph. Its meaning is often debated in discussions about the timing of personality bestowal:
5:6.6 Capacity for divine personality is inherent in the prepersonal Adjuster; capacity for human personality is potential in the cosmic-mind endowment of the human being. But the experiential personality of mortal man is not observable as an active and functional reality until after the material life vehicle of the mortal creature has been touched by the liberating divinity of the Universal Father, being thus launched upon the seas of experience as a self-conscious and a (relatively) self-determinative and self-creative personality. The material self is truly and unqualifiedly personal.
In this paragraph, I maintain that the “touch” by the “liberating divinity” of the Father refers to the bestowal of personality, not to the arrival of the Adjuster, as some have argued. Here’s why…
When the Father first “touches” our material life vehicle, this does not make us divine, but it does give us the potential to achieve divinity. The possession of personality is the essential reality that we share with the Father. It initiates the possibility of knowing him and becoming more like him.
16:8.3 Personality is a unique endowment of original nature whose existence is independent of, and antecedent to, the bestowal of the Thought Adjuster.
It is our personality, with its unifying power of freewill decision-making, that “liberates” our “life vehicle” from antecedent causation. These next two passages show how the meaning of “liberating” in 5:6.6 is parallel to the use of this term in subsequent passages that are nearby in the same section of the same paper. Even non-Adjuster indwelt personalities are “liberated” by the bestowal of personality, with its power of “sovereign choice.”
5:6.9 The bestowal of creature personality confers relative liberation from slavish response to antecedent causation…
5:6.12 Concerning those personalities who are not Adjuster indwelt: The attribute of choice-liberty is also bestowed by the Universal Father, and such persons are likewise embraced in the great circuit of divine love, the personality circuit of the Universal Father. God provides for the sovereign choice of all true personalities.
5:6.6 is consistent with these statements, I think, but with an added comment about the Adjuster’s prepersonal potential for “divine personality” (in the first phrase), which is achieved by its fusion with OUR personality as we attune our will to the Adjuster’s divinity. Otherwise, the Adjuster remains prepersonal (unless, of course, it is personalized directly by the Father).
5:6.6 is also saying, in the second phrase of the first sentence, that our capacity for being gifted with personality comes from our mind endowment (not from our Adjuster), which correlates with 112:0.4:
112:0.4 It may be bestowed upon any living energy system which includes mind or spirit.
The “but” that begins the second sentence in 5:6.6 is referring back to the second half of the first sentence, which is set off with a semicolon. The UB’s meaning of “experiential” refers simply to the fact that something has a beginning in time, which is true, of course, of our human personality.
0:7.4.2. Experiential—beings actualizing in the post-Havona present but of unending existence throughout all future eternity.
5:6.6 then goes on to say that our personality first appears — in time — when our life vehicle is “liberated” by the touch of our divine Father. The paragraph concludes by saying that the “material self” (with or without an Adjuster) is “unqualifiedly personal.”
As with Andon and Fonta, it is the “self-conscious” and “self-determinative” powers of our personality that enable us to eventually make the moral choices that qualify us for the reception of an Adjuster.
The “observable” functioning of human personality without Adjuster indwelling can also be seen during the times prior to Michael’s bestowal, when it was apparently a common condition. It can also be seen, even today, when humans are abandoned by their Adjusters.
The following passage suggests that personality continues to function, along with the physical body and mind, after an individual has been abandoned by their Adjuster:
112:3.2 …But this release of the Adjuster in no way affects the duties of the personal or group seraphim concerned with that Adjuster-abandoned individual.
After physical death, the personality of a non-survivor merges directly with the Supreme Being, thus fulfilling the ordained personality destiny of Deity attainment. As surviving souls, we have the opportunity to achieve this destiny through our eternal personality relationship with the Father.
112:5.2 …Having appeared in response to the Father’s will, personality will attain Deity destiny, but man must choose whether or not he will be present at the attainment of such destiny. In default of such choice, personality attains experiential Deity directly, becoming a part of the Supreme Being. The cycle is foreordained, but man’s participation therein is optional, personal, and experiential.