"Questor's Mini-Bio"  

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A former co-worker of mine, Ralph Hubert, introduced me to  The URANTIA Book (UB) in May, 1994.  He had learned of my long-standing quest for understanding while listening to ongoing conversations I had had with another co-worker (John).  It happened this way: John was busy rebuilding his sense of self-worth following the rather unhappy (for him) end of what had been a very serious relationship.  The support he found within an evangelical church group helped him greatly in recovering his self-esteem.  I, being at that time somewhat skeptical of the church in general and evangelical churches in particular, would offer (what I perceived to be) counter-balancing perspectives to many of his ‘lesson-of-the-day’ sharings.  For example, I would suggest that he consider the impact on the Gospel texts of mistranslation (from Aramaic, to Greek, to English) or editorial hand (as exercised by the Council of Nicæa for example), before asserting that a passage from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John was, in fact, ‘gospel’.  These exchanges were always carried out in a friendly and non-judgmental way.  Feathers remained unruffled—no one went away angry.  Ralph went away curious.  One day (back in the summer of 1993) he asked me to account for the information I offered during these ‘balancing’ conversations.  So I shared with Ralph a bit about myself (and that's how he came to know of my quest and I came to discover a kindred spirit).  I'd like now to share a bit about myself with you:

QuestorHi.  My name is Dave and I often use the pen-name ‘Questor’.  As this pen-name suggests, I’m on a ‘quest’ and I hope this mini-biography will help to explain it.  For as long as I can remember, I have had questions.  And I have often had such questions—what I perceived to be very important questions—when my peers did not.  At one point, early in my teens, I began to wonder whether there was a problem with that.  I began to question my questioning!  It wasn't until my first introductory lecture in philosophy that I learned I wasn't alone; that there was no problem with my questioning; nor were they as obscure or meaningless as my peers had led me to believe.  But, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. 

My quest actually began, surprisingly, during confirmation classes at our family church when I was a very young lad.   As I understood it, these classes were intended to prepare me so that I might make the same baptismal vows my godparents had made on my behalf when I was but a babe.  Being serious minded I felt it necessary to believe the church ‘wisdom’ that confirmation would require me to avow. 

This proved to be a difficult task as, in my innocence, much of what I heard and saw did not seem to accord with what I thought I was being taught.  And so, when I could not resolve these disparities, a crisis of faith followed; a crisis triggered in some measure by our family minister.  You see, our minister made things all the worse when he interpreted my insatiable urge to understand for a deliberate attempt to disrupt his class.  He required that I listen, not question; that I accept his teachings on ‘faith’ more than  understanding.  I could not! 

Needless to say, feeling morally obligated to vow acceptance for only that which I could wholeheartedly accept, I advised my parents that I did not feel ready for confirmation.  “Not ready?” said they, “… that cannot be!  Your suit has been purchased; the guests have been invited; and, the post-confirmation celebration has been planned.  You, young man, shall be confirmed!”  Seems it mattered not that I wasn’t ready to espouse my creed! 

And so I decided to end my church membership!  At least in my mind it ended; I was coerced to go through with the ceremony, but kept my fingers crossed behind my back.  By deciding to terminate my church membership, I felt that I was abandoning both religion (as I then understood it) and, by extension, God at one and the same time!  Or so I thought. 

I redirected my attention to science.  My conscious quest had begun.  I found myself seeking to answer the questions our family minister encouraged me to ignore.  I simply couldn’t ignore them!  An unwavering urge to understand made it impossible for me to be satisfied with answers that fell into the category … “Because!”

I purchased Darwin's Origin of Species (and companion volume The Descent of Man) in Grade 7; read it; and, made notes!  Through Secondary School and on into University, science replaced God ...  but something was missing.  I sensed it, but did not understand it.  Always I had the sense of something more. 

One day, quite by accident (thank goodness for 'elective' courses), I found myself enrolled in an introductory philosophy class and, again surprisingly, discovered my own particular bent was more ‘Artsie-Fartsie’ than ‘Scientific’. 

How enlightening it was to discover others out there who were asking the very same questions for which I felt compelled to find answers.  I was not alone!  No longer need I doubt the validity of my concerns.  Nor their gravity!  My questions were real!  In fact, philosophy, the mother of science, was founded on the very questions I felt it necessary to ask.  After completing my first year of Pre-Med, I abandoned the study of medicine in favor of philosophy.  I was feeling great!  Once again my parents were not!  Their son 'the doctor' had lost his mind. 

And it wasn’t long before my favorite Professor wasn’t feeling all that great either!  I simply could not keep pace with my classes.  I seemed to be working in a direction completely opposite to that taken by the curriculum.  When I explained my compulsion to understand, he advised that understanding was the complement of age and would come later.  My professor counseled that, as an undergraduate, my task was not so much to understand as it was to learn (he seemed to be echoing my Minister’s admonition to sit quietly and memorize). 

Despite trying to keep both my own and the class’s pace, I soon fell hopelessly behind.  It seemed to me that my only option was to drop out.  I joined the Canadian Navy—after all, Plato said true citizenship is founded on service to the state—feeling I could pursue my quest in the black and white environment of the military (I thought the greyer shades of the ‘real world’ would make me lose sight of my goals).  My choice seemed to work well, as I was able to pursue my philosophic studies without interruption, schedules, or deadlines. 

Very early in my naval career, and again quite by accident, I came across a book that examined comparative mythology.  It was the first volume of Joseph Campbell’s four volume study dealing with primitive, oriental, occidental and, what he named, creative mythology.  The observation he made regarding commonality of theme across both culture and time in this study—the mythologem— struck a real chord with me and forced me to reconsider my bias against religion and God. 

START OF AN ASIDE

That musical reference (i.e., chord) reminds me of a word picture Campbell used to offer an explanation for universal mythological themes—he called them mythologems.  He suggested that musicians do not create music when they compose what appears as both unique and new to us.  They in fact ‘hear what already exists’ and, by expressing it in a musical score, permit us to hear it too!

This metaphor calls to mind the Divine Counselor's comment in the UB Foreword.  He said, “… it is exceedingly difficult to present enlarged concepts and advanced truth, in our endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception, when we are restricted to the use of a circumscribed language of the realm.”

It seems to me that Campbell's analogy (the assertion that a composer truly hears the supernal melody and, in his music, so presents it that we, whose ears are not so finely tuned, might faintly hear it too) echoes the Divine Counselor's comment.  I feel certain that the inditers of the UB have used the language of the realm to present word descriptions of the supernal just as a composer transcribes the cosmic melody into a musical score.

Interesting, isn't it, that this musical analogy is also used in the Archangel of Nebadon's observations.  UB 44:1.8, p.500 “If Adam and Eve had only survived,”  he observes, “then would you have had music in reality; but the gift of harmony, so large in their natures, has been so diluted by strains of unmusical tendencies that only once in a thousand mortal lives is there any great appreciation of harmonics.  But 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.”

With regard to that message of hope, I don’t think the ‘real musician’ need be a musician—one simply needs to hear!


END OF THE ASIDE

So Philosophy had now led me backward to mythology.  Mythology was complemented by psychology.  And psychology, through Jung, led to Alchemy.  I read and read and read.  And with reading came a personal understanding; a cosmology of my own based on a holographic metaphor (for more about that see "Who Am I?"). 

A few years later, the military felt I should become an engineer and, to that end, they sent me off to the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.  I soon became something of a split personality (pun definitely intended).  I was and engineer on the outside and frustrated artsman on the inside. 

And so I can now return to my story.  As mentioned above, it was while working in the guise of a Weapons System Engineer that the co-worker to my left (Ralph Hubert) became intrigued with the mildly critical nature of the comments I made from time to time to another co-worker (John) who sat on my right.  It’s worth mentioning again that these exchanges were always carried out in a friendly and non-judgmental way.  Feathers remained unruffled—no one went away angry. 

Ralph, however, went away curious.  Some time later he asked me to account for the information I offered during these conversations.  As a result of that 'account', Ralph and I quickly got to know each other much better; but, our friendship was soon to be interrupted.  I was sent to the Royal Military College of Science in England for post-graduate studies in engineering and he ‘remustered’ to civilian.  Despite this interruption, we still kept in touch. 

In Ralph’s new life as a Program Manager for Bristol Aerospace, he was introduced to the UB  by a co-worker (Paul in Winnipeg) and he immediately identified it as a book he felt I should (needed to) read.  I was not able to find a copy in England and could only follow-up on his recommendation after returning home in the Spring of 1995 when I found a copy in my local library. 

Interested in my first opinion?  I thought the UB  had to be the product of an addle-brained, Californian, fringe group (my apologies to Californians for this perception; but, at times, I honestly believe the new-agers of that state have been out in the sun too long).  I returned it to the library unread and thought I would have nothing more to do with it. 

Wrong! 

The UB, it seems, would not let me go.  Nor would Ralph.  When I passed that initial impression on to him he urged me to get an Internet Account, subscribe to Urantia-related mailing lists and MIRC-based chat rooms, and search the 'world-wide-web' for essays by Meredith Sprunger.  Such efforts, he said, would give me a better feel for matters Urantian.  I followed his advice and, using the pen-name Questor, I posted a number of questions and observations to Michael Million’s URANTIAL mailing list.  I was truly impressed with the help I received.  As luck (?) would have it, Craig Carmichael (from Victoria, BC) had become a URANTIAL subscriber at exactly that time and, before unsubscribing shortly thereafter, he invited me to join the Victoria Circles Group (VCG).  I attended my first VCG meeting in November 1995 where I discovered that Urantians were definitely not an addle-brained lot! 

In December I signed the UB  out of the library once again, this time devouring it in just about three weeks (those three weeks having been made available to me as a result of a period of sequestration prior to the start of a Military Courts Martial—interesting how timely that was).  With each page read my conviction grew that ‘answers’ were to be found on the very next page.  Sleep was the only interruption to my reading.

Since that time, the UB  has become something of a reference text for me.  Like Kreysig’s Advanced Engineering Mathematics (ISBN: 0471333751—the engineer's reference text of choice for the mathematics—this revelatory text empowered me with a language and information-set that put words to what had hitherto been only vague, ephemeral, and ethereal notions; notions that, like ghostly-ships barely discernible in the fog, seemed to lie teasingly just beyond my grasp.  Until so empowered, it was exceedingly difficult for me to grasp enlarged concepts and advanced truth while endeavoring to expand my cosmic consciousness and enhance my spiritual perception.  The restrictions imposed by the circumscribed language of my native tongue precluded my articulating what I only ‘sensed’—intuitively apprehended.  Metaphors and analogies, after all, can only go so far; groking requires a certain precision in words. 

Since retiring from the Navy (July 1996) and resettling my family to Ottawa, Ontario, I’ve been busy continuing my quest.  Although I’m not sure whether I see myself a Urantian or not, our Fifth Epochal Revelation remains a strong influence in the direction I’m taking as I continue the quest that I now understand to be my ‘Ascension Journey’. 

And now you may be asking, “Why do I offer this auto-biographical sketch?”  It's like this: I feel the need to put pen-to- paper and share my thoughts as I continue my quest; to offer for your consideration perceptions (for example, "Who Am I?" and "Why Am I") that I feel may ‘ring with truth’.  Hopefully you won’t find them too terribly discordant.  I welcome your thoughts in reply. 

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Last Updated: April 20, 2010

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