We must not forget that one reason for Stockhausen's attachment by the UB might be that he perhaps saw himself predicted in the book:
(500.6) 44:1.15 (...) be not discouraged; some day a real musician may appear on Urantia, and whole peoples will be enthralled by the magnificent strains of his melodies. One such human being could forever change the course of a whole nation, even the entire civilized world. It is literally true, “melody has power a whole world to transform.” Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits. Harmony is the speech of Havona.
I cannot prove it but I'm quite sure that Stockhausen knew this section about the celestial musicians.
Re: Paul's question about the UB's seriousness There is a wonderful website that details much of the plagiarized (er, source) material for the UB. It's worth a look to see just how vast Sadler's frame of reference was. He was actively engaged in the scientific community, and an especially keen consumer of social science. Some Urantians wrote a very pro-UB history of the book that is the polar opposite of Gardiner's entertaining, but excoriating, skepticism. I think it's best to strike a middle ground between the two.
Regarding his demand for students to read the book, I think it is best to contextualize it as akin to his use of "discover". When he says he discovered something, he means for himself, not for all of mankind. And with the UB demand, it seems clear, especially after Christian's engagement with him, that he wanted his students to simply read the book and encounter its contents. We assume he meant cover-to-cover, all 2097 pages, and I know some of his students at the time took that to be his mandate. But so many of Stockhausen's demands are much less rigid than they appear at first blush. He had not read the book himself, and I think we can contextualize his famous demand as related to his infatuations with so many other books. For a time, he gets excited about something and has to share it with everyone.
After reading the book completely, it is obvious that there are many parallels between the UB and Licht. What is not clear is how many Stockhausen was aware of. I think I've caught most of them in my dissertation, which is in its final stages. I'm being careful to avoid making the links explicit unless there is some evidence that Stockhausen was consciously adapting the book.
Re: Bureaucracy in the UB I found the UB charming from the word go. The bureaucracy of the universe is an adaptation of merkabah mysticism for the space age. One of the manifold tricks of the book is to introduce concepts and terms before providing a definition for them. Everything is rearranged like a jigsaw puzzle, from the structure of the universe, to the orders of celestial beings, to the narrative arcs of Lucifer and Michael. Only a thorough reading will give you all the pieces necessary to assemble the puzzle.
When I first cracked the book, I went right to passages that seemed related to Licht. Every time, I got discouraged because it was so impenetrable. For me, reading it from the beginning, and with tremendous patience, was the only way the whole book made sense.
My hope is that my dissertation will be enough of a primer on the UB's relationship to Licht that people who are interested can engage in more targeted reading than I could.
Re: Paul's question about the UB's seriousness Joe mentions the discoveries of Matthew Block about the parallels between the UB and other books. If I see it right there are two possibilities to deal with them: a) Critics like Martin Gardner take them as a proof that vast parts of the UB are plagiarisms by Sadler or somebody else (see chapter 16 of Gardner's book). b) UB fellows see it in another way. In the book "A History of the Urantia Papers" by Mullins and Sprunger, Joe also linked, you can read: "To synthesize science, religion and philosophy, celestial authors of epochal revelation must draw upon, and harmonize widely divergent existing concepts. (...) Matthew shows us how ingeniously new ideas and concepts are integrated with existing human concepts by the Revelators" (pages 98, 99). In this context it's interesting to see that Matthew Block's site is still linked by the Urantia Fellowship. So I don't know whether Block and his work can so easily be used by critics such as Gardner. And even Gardner admits that the vast cosmology of the UB seems to come from the famous (and unknown) "sleeping subject".
When we discuss why Stockhuasen was so attracted by the UB it might be useful to see that he wasn't the only musician. As already mentioned and you can see at http://www.ubthenews.com/starpower/musicians.htm there are some others who were/are (or at least are said to be) attached to the UB. Such as Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Carlos Santana and others. Perhaps it is the complex structure which makes musicians love it - the UB seems like a very dense composition.
(By the way: UB devotess claim that also young Bill & Hillary Clinton loved the UB - but that's something which still remains to be confirmed...;-) - if one ever will...)
Perhaps some people in this forum want to learn more about the Urantia Book (and, by the way, learn how UB readers “tick” ;-))…). There is a Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) which is offering a new trimester with different topics. The registration period ends Sunday, April 20. To register, visit http://ubis.urantia.org/moodle/.
A typical UBIS course is ten weeks long and is divided into three main periods: 1. The first week pre-course: After registration the student answers roll call, introduces himself to the class, and reads the introductions from the other students. The student receives guidelines for the course from the teacher. 2. The eight week course: The study period is divided into two periods of two weeks each. • The first week the teacher posts six questions. The student is requested to log-in and answer three of the six questions. • The second week is the discussion week. The student is requested to log-in and post comments and ideas. This two week-long period is repeated three more times making a total of eight weeks. 3. The one week-long summary week: During this week, the student receives a summary assignment and a questionnaire. It is requested that the student answer both.
1. Course Title: The Mother Spirit of Nebadon, Our Local Universe Home Course Level: All Readers
We will follow the administrative evolution of a local universe from its inception through its recognition to its operation today while placing special emphasis on the role of the Mother Spirit of Nebadon. The time span covered is enormous, and it is challenging to explore this reality in such a miniscule text, but our goal is to enhance our understanding of this universe phenomenon and build it into our own "personal spiritual universal panorama," a significant piece of the puzzle which will forever help to enhance our perspectives as agondonters going forward.
UB Papers: 32, 33, 34, and 35
Teacher/Facilitator: Tom Hansen Tom lives in the Bronx, New York. He is a retired salesman, a Vietnam veteran, and a 40 year reader of The Urantia Book. He looks forward to this adventure of students contributing their personal perspectives and understanding of the revelation of the Creative Mother Spirit of our local universe.
2. Course Title: Thought Adjusters-Their Origin, Nature, and Ministry Course Level: All Readers
When the divine gift of the Thought Adjuster arrives and indwells the mind of man, mortals are offered the tremendous opportunity of pursuing an eternal career that will transcend time and space. In this course we will study the origin, nature, and mission of the magnificent and affectionate Thought Adjusters, the absolute essence of the Paradise Father.
Papers: 107, 108, 109, 110, and 111
Teacher/Facilitator: Judy Cosky Judy lives in the state of Michigan-the Land of Lakes. She is married with two grown sons. Her career has included roles as psychotherapist, college instructor, and healthcare appeals specialist. She has been a reader of The Urantia Book for 40 years and greatly appreciates how it continues to transform her life.
3. Course Title: The Universe Power Directors, Personalities of the Grand Universe, and the Corps of the Finality Course Level: Core Curriculum Course-All Readers
This course is a study of the various "finite factors of supremacy"-the creators, creatures, intelligences, and energies of the Grand Universe and their future unification within and as the Supreme Being. How our universe is set up to move toward perfection, who runs it and how, and its exciting destiny is a fascinating glimpse into God's plan for the children in His universe.
Papers: 29, 30, 31, and 116
Teacher/Facilitator: Virginia Heller Virginia is the mother of four children and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been reading The Urantia Book since the early 70s. She is a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
4. Course Title: The Twelve Apostles - Messengers of a New Age Course Level: New Reader
From the time they were chosen as apostles through their training and ministry and culminating in their receiving the Spirit of Truth, these followers of Jesus helped inaugurate a spiritual awakening on our world. In this course we will study how Jesus chose and prepared his apostles and what obstacles they faced in becoming messengers of a new age of spiritual consciousness.
Papers: 137, 138, 139, 141, 193, and 194
Teacher/Facilitator: Rhonda McColgan Born and raised in 'small town' Ohio, Rhonda moved to California in 1978 where she started a business with her husband. They moved between California and Sweden providing a great opportunity to home-school her two children who are now grown. Retired at age 59, Rhonda now lives in Florida. The Urantia Book has been a big part her life for 15 years.
5. Course Title: The Ministry of Divine Sonship to the Ascending Mortals of Time and Space Course Level: Advanced
In this course we will learn of the magnificent careers of the Paradise Sons of God, the Trinitized Sons of God, and the Local Universe Sons of God. We will come to understand the importance of the final bestowal of Christ Michael on our own evolutionary planet of Urantia. We will see how these supernal beings lovingly serve and facilitate the inward progress of the ascending mortals of time toward our Havona destination and eventual Paradise goal.
Papers: 20, 21, 22, and 35
Teacher/Facilitator: Dennis Sword Dennis has been a reader of The Urantia Book for over 30 years. He has participated in local study groups, is a student and teacher/facilitator of UBIS, and is an officer of a local chapter of Urantia Association International. Dennis lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with his extended family and enjoys travel and exploring the northwest wilderness.
6. Course Title: The Supreme: Our Universe Home Course Level: Advanced
A Mighty Messenger tells us: "Though man's spiritual nature reaches up in the worship experience to the Father who is infinite, man's intellectual comprehension capacity is exhausted by the maximum conception of the Supreme Being." (1262.1) 115:3.4. Our study will explore the teachings about this finite Deity, the Supreme, one of the premier revealed truths in The Urantia Book.
Papers: Foreword Sections III, IV, VII, VIII, and Papers 115, 116, and 117
Teacher/Facilitator: David Elders David and his wife, Marta, have been dedicated students of The Urantia Book since 1970. They have been married for 48 years and have two married sons and five grandchildren. They have lived in southwestern Connecticut for most of their lives.
James, not knowing what "ugh" stands for, I just learnt that it stands for dislike, disgust and even horror. Sorry, I didn' t want to horryfy anyone :-) I only wanted to give a glimpse into the UB scene...
Thank you for giving us this glimpse. It is always suspect if someone pretends to know everything about the beyond, it is just like the thing with the 72 virgins. These very explicit and earthly illustrations of the beyond are always extremely naive. This is what made me stop reading the UB I bought when it was translated. I think that in Christian theology, nobody would write or say anything like this. It nevertheless is very important for certain aspects of LICHT, no doubt. I really think that Thomas comes very near with his explanation to what Stockhausen possibly might have found in the UB for his purposes. I want to add a remark of Stockhausen: „Tant de compositeurs agissent parfois étrangement. Vous savez, cela a dû en intriguer, ou rendre méfiant, plus d’un lorsque Mozart, par exemple, s’est soudainement intéressé à la franc-maçonnerie...“ Kathinka [Pasveer]: „On dit même que Bach était Rosenkreutzler.“ etc (Paul Dirmeikis: Le souffle du temps. Éditions Telo Martius 1999, p. 146). So he supposes a „condition humaine“ for composers to be a bit esoteric. By the way, many questions on this blog concerning the UB would have been superfluous after reading the mentioned interview-book of Stockhausen pp. 149-161. I wonder whether it is really absorbed scientifically. I think it is the most important interview-book together with Cott but much less read. Nobody should write about Stockhausen without having read this book and I warmly recommend it.
ZitatNow it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. (Ez 1:1-8)
Just one of countless examples of specific visions of the beyond in the Bible, Adorján. (Note the polished hoof, just like in Michaelion!)
While I share your skepticism about any concrete depiction of what lies beyond, it's always important to remember that these are just metaphors. The UB is riven with disclaimers explaining that everything in the book is heavily distorted in order to utilize human language. Though some ideas seem specific, it's actually as vague and open to interpretation as visions like Ezekiel's from the Biblical era.
Unfortunately for the UB, its best passages are buried amidst a mountain of other text that puts impatient readers off. But again, the Bible is the exact same. Someone with no religious background would struggle just as much with the legal peculiarities of Leviticus as they would with the UB bureaucracy.
I don't say all of this to encourage anyone to read the UB. I think it can be skipped. But I do think dismissing it out of hand is unfortunate.
I do not want to dismiss the UB for research purposes. And I knew that somebody would come and present examples from the bible. I thought myself of examples from the Revelations. But I wrote that Christian THEOLOGY would not be so naive to interpret these metaphors in this literal way any more, and I have the impression that the followers of the UB from the 20th Century continue to be even theologically so naive in the 21st Century.
I feel that it could be useful to have a discussion-forum on the music of Stockhausen. There are so many people from all over the world, young and old, learned and eager to get into contact with this musical world: musicologists, composers, musicians, music lovers; people who plan concerts - who write books or have to give lectures and so on. So there should be much stuff, many ideas that we can share. And when we have open questions, there may be people who studied just that and could give a hint or a stimulus.
A problem might be the English language, but i feel that is the only possibility that many people who are interested can participate. And we can exercise tolerance to mistakes!