An environmentalist once commented:
If I were to spit upon the revered black stone in Mecca during the height of the annual pilgrimage, I would be slain on the spot by enraged pilgrims for daring to profane the sacred symbol of Islam. An Israeli soldier’s bullet in the back would be my deserved fate for scrawling graffiti upon the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem….Life would not be pleasant for me if I took a hammer to the Pietas in the Vatican, for we humans hold our creations dear, and we deal harshly with those who fail to share our reverence for old stone walls, meteorites, marble statues, icons, and architecture….Yet each and every day humans enter the most sacred and reverential cathedrals of the natural world—the redwood forest of northern California or the rain forests of Amazonia—and each and every day profanely rape these great mysteries with chain saws and bulldozers.
Growing up on three different Indian reservations in Arizona and one in New Mexico, I early on developed a comfort with and an appreciation for the natural world’s wide open spaces, intoxicating aromas, quiet sounds of shifting sands, whispering winds under birds’ outspread wings, crawling creatures, leaves speaking their particular language, and many other subtle songs of the out-of-doors. I was a nature child, spending long hours every week in solitude in the deserts and forests of my backyards.
Nature Offers Much for the Soul
My spiritual awakenings began early, and they began in nature as I walked and played among the rocks and plants and wild creatures of the environment beyond my warm and loving home. Though my parents brought me up in a godly manner, my strongest religious impressions of divinity and sacredness have always been enhanced by my time in nature.
Jesus often removed himself from the busyness of the social world and went into the hills to spend time alone communing with “his Father,” who happens to also be God, our Universal Father. What I have discovered is that the feeling of “sacredness” is often found in the natural world where humans have not interfered with the living spiritual forces.
Though nature can be quite brutal in its upheavals of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and other extreme weather events, as well as in the animal world when observing predator and prey dynamics, nature is found to be more supportive of our human lives than destructive. That support comes to us on the physical level by providing us with a home to live upon as well as cleansing, healing water, nourishing foods, and medicinal herbs. On a psychospiritual level nature provides us an environment for rest, reflection, and rejuvenation as we contemplate on the grand beauty of many terrains, basking in the quiet of our inner, spiritual selves.
Energy Follows Thought
When an act of human violence happens in a natural setting or a group of people have settled who are abusive of each other and of their natural environment, then that sense of healing power and sacredness of a place is lessened, and often no longer present. We know that “energy follows thought,” and so when the intentions, attitudes, and actions of humans are out of divine pattern, their consciousness and lives mar what the living spiritual forces intended for that natural setting, and that place no longer carries the peace and healing gentleness that it once had.
Because of the unjust marginalization that has happened to most of the indigenous peoples of the planet due to the greed and lust for control over natural and human resources by the ruling governments, corporations, and other entities, most Indian reservations in this country, as well as reserves and homelands of other disenfranchised indigenous groups, have lost much of the sacredness the land once had. Many of these once-great people—who were in tune with the spiritual forces around them and lived in harmony with their natural world—are mired in hopelessness, poverty, violence, addictions, and a lostness of their sense of place in this world. As a result, much of the land they live upon has lost the power of healing and sacredness that it might once have had. Most indigenous peoples in this country were forced off of their “real” homelands and marched in a “trail of tears” to other lesser lands—lesser in volume, in beauty, and in natural resources.
In my many walks upon land all over the “West,” I have occasionally come upon certain places in wilderness, away from most human contact, that have a “bad energy,” a feeling of violence and tragedy. Almost always, when I do some research on the place where I have experienced this sensation, I discover that often a human massacre happened at the place or some other act of violence done by humans that has been recorded. If I find no information on the spot, I figure something interfered with the natural sacredness of the place, and usually it is human-caused.
I think that many of us have experienced going into a particular building or home or neighborhood or town or city and feeling unsafe or “not good.” We get a sense of wanting to get “the hell out of Dodge” and be gone from the place. Usually that is because the dominating consciousness and actions of the people in that area are far outside of divine pattern and have created a dissonance within the particle reality.
Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto, has done much research on the effects that human motives, thoughts, feelings, words, and actions have on water. He has actually photographed, worldwide, frozen water molecule crystals from polluted or disturbed rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds before and after conscious positive human interference. He has also done this with tap water from many cities. What he has discovered, straight across the board, is that whenever individuals or groups of people consciously act, think, and speak in a manner of goodwill and compassion—like singing, dancing, praying, meditating, socializing, or whatever is positive and love-based—the water crystals change in form and even color, becoming more beautiful and symmetrical than the clouded, grayish, chaotic mass they were before. Dr. Emoto’s work validates the fact and truth that energy indeed does follow thought, and that human consciousness and action do determine particle reality in water. Similar findings have been discovered in various research projects done on plants and animals.
What Makes a Place Sacred?
So, what makes a place sacred and protected from the more confusing and stressful spots that now permeate the planet? Besides the natural circuitry and spiritual forces found in the natural world, there are the intentions and actions of personalities—celestial and/or human—that create particle reality and energies for a place, making it horrible or simply disturbing or neutral or actually pleasant or even healing and sacred. Think of the magnificent cathedrals and other places of worship, which utilize architecture to enhance a person’s sense of truth, beauty, and goodness that people from all of the world’s religions have built. When walking into most of those buildings, you sense the sacredness there, sacredness due to human intention in the actual design and construction of the edifice and the daily use by people for prayer, meditation, reflection, and worship. All of that creates a place for escape from the baser things in life, protection from our lower selves as we go before divinity in humble and worshipful attitudes.
When celestials and humans purposely and consciously come together in collaboration to create a sacred place, then that spot can become one of the most Deo-powerful spots on the planet. That is what happened 500,000 years ago with the First Epochal Revelation, which was comprised of more than one-hundred personalities—superhuman and human—who built the city of Dalamatia (often referred to as Atlantis or Lemuria). The Garden of Eden, overseen by the Second Epochal Revelation of Adam and Eve around 38,000 years ago, was another sacred and protected area that was built and maintained by both superhuman and human personalities.
Today what we in Divine Administration are striving to do in building and maintaining the culture, temple, gardens, living and working spaces (including various outreach ministries) is a conscious collaboration between us humans and Celestial Overcontrol. Every place we live in, every place we garden, every place we work and learn and play in is a place of Deo (godly) power, a sacred and protected area.
Whether humans are consciously aware of being assisted by certain unseen morontia and spirit personalities or not, usually certain Celestial Artisans and others are present to assist those humans with motives of goodwill and love. The Urantia Book introduces us to beings like: divine builders, energy manipulators, harmony workers, designers and embellishers—all Celestial Artisans who assist in creating environments that are within divine pattern and will enhance anyone’s experience of being in the presence of truth, beauty, and goodness. And always, the spiritual quality of the persons who use that environment contributes to the level of sacredness that the environment will have.
When first coming to Sedona more than thirty years ago, I began working for Dorian Tours as a tour guide (around 1990). I took people to special spots, referred to as vortices, to experience for themselves the power and, hopefully, healing benefits of each vortex. Dorian Tours was the first touring company to introduce the information about particular vortices in Sedona in the 1980s. The touring company was founded by a disciple of channeler, Page Bryant, who transmitted information from a “guide” named Albion, who gave some basic information about specific Sedona vortices that was shared on the tours. (We in Divine Administration were told by Celestial Overcontrol that Albion was a secondary midwayer who worked under the supervision of seraphim.)
Through serendipitous events, I acquired Dorian Tours from a woman who had recently bought the company from the original founder. This woman was related through marriage to Dr. William Sadler, the man who had been the leader of the human contact commission who had been responsible for collaborating with the celestial revelatory commission to bring the Fifth Epochal Revelation to the world, The URANTIA Book. This woman told me that the moment she met me she heard an inner message from God that I was destined to have the touring company, which eventually happened. Of course, the touring company belonged, from the very beginning, to Divine Administration; I was simply the human conduit used to bring it into the realm of sharing epochal revelatory information from The URANTIA Book and Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation of The Cosmic Family volumes, not only about sacred areas but about many other issues having to do with the spiritual destiny of individuals and the world as a whole.
Thus Dorian Tours became Spirit Steps touring company, which provides a spiritual emphasis on every tour given. Every tour is a “spirit step,” a vision quest, a pilgrimage. The beginning information about the vortices of Sedona that came from Albion was expanded upon by the finaliter Paladin, a celestial personality whose cosmic experience is quantitatively and qualitatively far above that of Albion’s. Paladin continues to give information about votices or energy reflective circuits in Southern Arizona and other places on the planet that involve individuals, groups of people, and related to planetary concerns.
Paladin oversees all celestials working with humans on this world. He is one of the main personalities of Celestial Overcontrol who works closely with us humans in Divine Administration and who is the major contributor from Celestial Overcontrol in bringing through Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation being published in The Cosmic Family volumes. Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation builds upon the information given in the Fifth Epochal Revelation found in The URANTIA Book.
Is it not interesting to see the correlation and synchronicity in how Spirit Steps came to be?
What Makes Anything Sacred?
Many people have placed incorrect significance on certain objects, places, and persons, calling them “sacred” when they are not. Much superstition still dwells in the minds of people on this world. Just what is considered “sacred”? Jesus said: “All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit-led; that is, subordinated to truth, ennobled by love, dominated by mercy, and restrained by fairness—justice.” (The URANTIA Book, Paper 155, Section 6) So it sounds like anything can be sacred for those who are spirit-led, controlled by the higher inclinations and intentions of a godly love and a wise mind. If God is our primal dwelling place, then no matter where we are, sacredness can be a part of our lives. We bring the sacredness with us. However, those spirit-led persons must not remain long in a place where there is more evil than good, for they will be drained of energy.
On all worlds—from Paradise down to the system architectural worlds—there are spots designated as more holy, more sacred than the rest of the world, even though at those high levels of superuniverse reality the entire world is sacred. Those spots or areas designated MORE sacred and holy are set aside for the worship of and communion with the Universal Father, the First Source and Center of all that is.
The twenty-one spheres of the First, Second, and Third Sources and Centers are referred to as the “sacred spheres of Paradise.” Even on this world, Urantia, there was a place set aside in both Dalamatia and the Garden of Eden that was dedicated to the worship of the Universal Father. Just as there was a “sacred shrine of the Garden,” so there are sacred shrines, temples, cathedrals, mountains, and other places—natural or human-made—that have been set aside for worship and communion with God the Father.
In closing, I would like to bring us back to the truth that the most sacred of sacreds resides within each of us, and that is the Threefold Spirit, which is comprised of: the Holy Spirit of the Universe Mother Spirit, the Fragment of the Universal Father, and the Spirit of Truth given by Christ Michael. If we go to that inner sanctum to dwell with the divine Spirit, we ourselves become a sacred and protected area during those moments or hours or days or weeks or months or years or lifetimes of being spirit-led.
We are informed that the gift, bestowal, and guidance of the Threefold Spirit is “independent of all forms, ceremonies, sacred places, and special behavior” by those of us who receive the fullness of the Spirit’s manifestation. (The URANTIA Book, Paper 194, Section 3) Though the sacred and protected areas are there to inspire, sustain, enrich, enhance, and enliven our spirit-led lives, they are not required for us to be in attunement with the Spirit within us.
-Niánn Emerson Chase