I have come to realize that truth, from a spiritual perspective, is actually ever-expanding and thus has many layers or levels. So if an individual is embedded in only one layer of truth and not open to discovering those additional levels, the layers usually will seem to be contradictory to the fundamentalistic or “single-eyed” person. However, in staying open to continued expansion and discovery of the other truth layers, a truth-seeker will often later eventually realize unification rather than contradiction in those additional facets as they are revealed.
At first truth may seem a paradox, but as someone personally experiences various aspects of truth, the paradox becomes less of a paradox and more like “two sides to the same coin.” As a person progresses further with the Spirit of Truth, a realization of the coordination and congruency of the various layers can occur in the soul’s mind.
Statements of most written truth are often taken out of context of a much more expansive writing and thus misconstrued and perceived as contradictory to other isolated truths. However, when those isolated facts and truths are synthesized to be seen and understood as a whole, there is typically less confusion, and less contradiction is perceived. This same principle would apply in any individual’s life experiences and understanding of circumstantial reality—we must see the whole rather than just one or two or even several parts. A more spiritized mind gives us a more expansive “bird’s-eye” view of truth and situations. A term given in Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation (The Cosmic Family volumes) that is related to perception of truth is vahseen, which means “to see with a thousand eyes.” I personally strive to outgrow any single-eyed viewpoints and become more vahseen in my perceptions of reality.
The Introduction to The Cosmic Family, Volume 2 discusses seeming and actual contradictions found in both The URANTIA Book and Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation. Some of these inconsistencies are due to human intervention and error, and some are indeed seeming inconsistencies that are not contradictory in the bigger picture of the layers of truth.
As an example of a seeming contradiction in The URANTIA Book, the Introduction to Volume 2 refers to several statements about the Planetary Prince’s staff’s involvement in reproductive/sexual relations with each other that appear to be inconsistent. It is also pointed out that information in the Urantia Papers is only partial and that more is to come, which brings light to much that may seem incomplete or inconsistent.
Of course there are those who see the few statements about reincarnation in The URANTIA Book as contradictory to the concept of repersonalization as is taught in Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation (CFER). Most people understand reincarnation as referred to in the Urantia Papers and repersonalization in CFER as having two very different meanings.
I have noticed other places in The URANTIA Book that appear to be inconsistent with either something else in the papers or with reality as I understand it. Take for example this statement from the Urantia Papers:
"At the time of this writing  the worst of the materialistic age is over; the day of a better understanding is already beginning to dawn. The higher minds of the scientific world are no longer wholly materialistic in their philosophy, but the rank and file of the people still lean in that direction as a result of former teachings. . . ." [Paper 195; Section 6, Paragraph 4]
One could think that this statement was not exactly correct in 1934, and in looking at history up to contemporary times, the worst of the materialistic age was certainly not over back then. Even though there may be an increase in scientists and others with “higher minds,” the age of technology—which, along with real progress, also brought on more materialism and dangerous consequences—was beginning to gain a powerful foothold in 1934 and continues to be in full swing currently. In 1934 there had already been one major world war, and another was on the horizon within a few years. Wouldn’t the celestials have taken all of that into consideration when they made that statement? Why then did they say it? Was it to give hope, to give the possibilities of what could unfold if those “higher minds” in the world of science and politics and economics, etc. had had a greater influence on the unfoldment of events that have followed in the years since this statement was made in 1934?
Why did the celestials give us in Divine Administration many statements of hope and possibility in Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation that have not even come near to being realized and also give us statements about the state of the world that seem to counteract the positive possibilities?
I think that both The URANTIA Book and Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation show us the possibilities and give us a vision of something much bigger, even though some of those possibilities cannot be realized in this lifetime or at least not as the way things are now. But they can be realized sometime, whether here or on a morontia world. And so having a broader perspective, like one of “a far-seeing Thought Adjuster,” can help us gain higher understanding when truth is presented at various levels and spans across larger expanses of time than we normally reckon with in our daily lives.
There are other places in The URANTIA Book that can be considered as inconsistent or at least unclear. The description of emergent energy as defined in the Foreword seems inconsistent with what is explained in Papers 16, 32, and 42. Statements about the Rebellion being settled and/or adjudicated and yet references indicating that it still needs to be worked out has caused confusion in some people’s minds. Ganid’s talk with Jesus in his discourse on “our religion” where he refers to the Spirit of Truth (that hasn’t even been bestowed yet) is seen as something inconsistent. And there seems to be some inconsistencies about the adjutant mind spirits, with statements that indicate that some of the adjutants work even with the most simple of animal life and then statements that claim they work only with those creatures that learn from experience, which would not include animals, since the Urantia Papers claim that animals differ from humans in that they don’t learn from experience as mortals do. (And, of course, animal lovers tend to disagree that animals don’t learn from experience.)
There are statements about race and genetics in The URANTIA Book that seem to be contrary to current social and scientific understanding. And there is some other science-related information in the Urantia Papers that have seemed to contradict scientific understanding, though as time passes much of that information in the papers is being found to be correct as scientific understanding advances.
Even the teachings and behavior of Jesus can seem inconsistent at times—in relation to kindness, understanding, and compassion and then stating that he is not only a peacemaker but brings conflict too—the double-edged sword of truth, etc. Though Jesus referred to anger as a mental poison, he spoke strongly and harshly to the religious leaders of the day, displayed extreme anger at the temple in Jerusalem, and so on.
Almost all of these seeming inconsistencies in The URANTIA Book that I just mentioned are not, in my eyes, contradictions but simply levels of understanding reality, and reality often appears as paradoxical at our level of living and understanding. As a physician and long-time Urantia Book reader once stated in relation to this topic: “...without personalization and spiritualization in relation to the Paradise Father and His whole cosmic family, we humans distort our own concepts and language such that higher information will always have contradictions.” Another long-time Urantia Book reader who is a psychologist said: “It must be like trying to explain quantum physics to a two-year-old; there will be some inaccuracies in the communication due to the immature mind that you are trying to communicate with.”
Regarding the Urantia Papers, the Revelatory Commission of angelic beings were communicating with the human Contact Commission for about thirty years before the Urantia Papers came through in 1934 and 1935. And then another twenty years passed before those papers were ever published. What do you think was going on for fifty years? There was probably lots of confusion, with seeming and actual contradictions presented to the human Contact Commission from the Revelatory Commission, for it is indeed a challenge to present the information from celestial heights to our lowly human levels with our various world views and psychic-circle-level comprehension.
The humans of the Contact Commission had about fifty years with the Revelatory Commission to dally around discussing various topics, and probably many adjustments in the information were made due to the level of human understanding. Gabriel of Urantia and I, with our editing team, had about one year to get out Volume 1 of The Cosmic Family (in addition to some other information) due to the urgency of the times. No matter the text, no matter the spiritual teacher (even Jesus), there will be seeming and actual contradictions presented to the humans of the time because truth is so expanding and is both absolute and relative.
The Bible reminds us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish...” [Proverbs 9:18, KJV] (Interestingly, in some other versions of the Bible “revelation” takes the place of “vision” in that passage.) Some people have purely materialistic and short-term visions that do not give them the peace, purpose, and joy they expected when their goals or dreams are realized. Epochal revelation—found in The URANTIA Book and The Cosmic Family volumes—gives us visions of eternal value that are way beyond materialism. But if the human receiver is on a lower psychic circle and has a worldview of mere materialism, then that is as far as that individual will see, and they will see certain statements in epochal revelation as false or at least inconsistent with what they themselves have so far experienced in their personal lives and at their level of understanding.
Over the years, Celestial Overcontrol has given us in Divine Administration various prophecies, predictions, or possibilities that could happen within a timeline. Though most of those projections do happen within the timeframe given, sometimes they haven’t yet happened, or they happen much later than the projected time given. Does that mean that the celestials are not who they say they are and that Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation is not valid? No, it simply means that the celestials give the potential of what could happen within a certain timeframe, depending upon numerous variables on a freewill world where many scenarios could unfold—some more hopeful than others.
Additionally, sometimes the giving of “prophecy” throughout history is with the intent to prevent something that is likely to occur from actually transpiring, with the hopes of protecting and saving people from harm and dire consequences that most likely will play out if they don’t change their ways of thinking and behaving into higher modes. So in certain instances, the very goal of Celestial Overcontrol giving a prophecy or prediction is with every hope and intention of it actually NOT happening, by inspiring people to change and thus spare them from a more tragic set of potential results.
I see the celestials as coming from a positive perspective, whether in The URANTIA Book or Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation. When they give their opinions and conjectures, it is based on the possibilities (and probabilities) that are more apt to happen. Thus, IF those higher-minded scientists referred to earlier had led the way in how science was used (rather than for mere materialistic purposes), “the worst of the materialistic age” would have been over. If those souls had heard and adhered to the call that went out in the Machiventa letter that is now part of Volume 1 of The Cosmic Family, then the final change point might have happened in the 1990s or 2000. But there just haven’t been enough “higher minded” people to carry it off, and thus the final change point is still a part of the future.
We in Divine Administration have been told many times by Celestial Overcontrol that they can’t see the outcome of the future; they can only see what could happen if personalities make certain decisions. The URANTIA Book tells us that most of the celestials—lower and higher orders at local universe level—did not even see the signs building up to Lucifer’s decision to rebel. Those celestials were shocked, surprised, and many (beneath the spiritual level of the Melchizedeks) were even convinced by Lucifer’s arguments against Michael of Nebadon. They did not understand what evil can do and so were unable to recognize the signs. They had no sense of discernment of insincerity and dishonesty. Thus Lucifer was able to continue acting as if he was loyal to the Divine Administration of Nebadon while plotting in his mind against his own creator/father, Michael of Nebadon.
Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation, which is also referred to as “Ascension Science and the Physics of Rebellion,” gives us many examples of how evil has been outworked on Urantia (Earth) and how the Manifesto of Lucifer has been accepted by our societies, our religions, and even within us individuals personally. That manifesto of rebellion against the perfect will of the Father causes much confusion and strife within each of us as well as among humans, which has resulted in the dire straits that our planet and civilization is currently in.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that I think the purpose of celestials revealing to us humans the possibilities of what can happen within the perfect will of God is to give us a greater vision—a vision of eternal value, of hope, and of inspiration. With a greater vision, we can make the changes we need to make within our own level of consciousness in order to be used by God to manifest the possibilities of goodness at a sooner date. If there is not vision of what can be within divine pattern, then people will lose all hope, become discouraged, and give in to the trends of the day that are evil. In the end, good will win out over evil, for good is real and evil is not—it is only a temporary reality.
Always remember that there is an inherent orderliness in God’s reality, even though from our human perspective reality may seem chaotic and disorderly. With this understanding, we can live with the paradoxes of life, and find solace in allowing for our spiritual growth as time passes, continually discovering that what we saw as “the” truth becoming just “one level” of a many-layered truth.
-Niánn Emerson Chase