1:5 Personality of the Universal Father
1:5.1 Do not permit the magnitude of God, his infinity, either to obscure or eclipse his personality. "He who planned the ear, shall he not hear? He who formed the eye, shall he not see?" The Universal Father is the acme of divine personality; he is the origin and destiny of personality throughout all creation. God is both infinite and personal; he is an infinite personality. The Father is truly a personality, notwithstanding that the infinity of his person places him forever beyond the full comprehension of material and finite beings.
1:5.2 God is much more than a personality as personality is understood by the human mind; he is even far more than any possible concept of a superpersonality. But it is utterly futile to discuss such incomprehensible concepts of divine personality with the minds of material creatures whose maximum concept of the reality of being consists in the idea and ideal of personality. The material creature's highest possible concept of the Universal Creator is embraced within the spiritual ideals of the exalted idea of divine personality. Therefore, although you may know that God must be much more than the human conception of personality, you equally well know that the Universal Father cannot possibly be anything less than an eternal, infinite, true, good, and beautiful personality.
1:5.3 God is not hiding from any of his creatures. He is unapproachable to so many orders of beings only because he "dwells in a light which no material creature can approach." The immensity and grandeur of the divine personality is beyond the grasp of the unperfected mind of evolutionary mortals. He "measures the waters in the hollow of his hand, measures a universe with the span of his hand. It is he who sits on the circle of the earth, who stretches out the heavens as a curtain and spreads them out as a universe to dwell in." "Lift up your eyes on high and behold who has created all these things, who brings out their worlds by number and calls them all by their names"; and so it is true that "the invisible things of God are partially understood by the things which are made." Today, and as you are, you must discern the invisible Maker through his manifold and diverse creation, as well as through the revelation and ministration of his Sons and their numerous subordinates.
1:5.4 Even though material mortals cannot see the person of God, they should rejoice in the assurance that he is a person; by faith accept the truth which portrays that the Universal Father so loved the world as to provide for the eternal spiritual progression of its lowly inhabitants; that he "delights in his children." God is lacking in none of those superhuman and divine attributes which constitute a perfect, eternal, loving, and infinite Creator personality.
1:5.5 In the local creations (excepting the personnel of the superuniverses) God has no personal or residential manifestation aside from the Paradise Creator Sons who are the fathers of the inhabited worlds and the sovereigns of the local universes. If the faith of the creature were perfect, he would assuredly know that when he had seen a Creator Son he had seen the Universal Father; in seeking for the Father, he would not ask nor expect to see other than the Son. Mortal man simply cannot see God until he achieves completed spirit transformation and actually attains Paradise.
1:5.6 The natures of the Paradise Creator Sons do not encompass all the unqualified potentials of the universal absoluteness of the infinite nature of the First Great Source and Center, but the Universal Father is in every way divinely present in the Creator Sons. The Father and his Sons are one. These Paradise Sons of the order of Michael are perfect personalities, even the pattern for all local universe personality from that of the Bright and Morning Star down to the lowest human creature of progressing animal evolution.
1:5.8 Notwithstanding that God is an eternal power, a majestic presence, a transcendent ideal, and a glorious spirit, though he is all these and infinitely more, nonetheless, he is truly and everlastingly a perfect Creator personality, a person who can "know and be known," who can "love and be loved," and one who can befriend us; while you can be known, as other humans have been known, as the friend of God. He is a real spirit and a spiritual reality.
1:5.9 As we see the Universal Father revealed throughout his universe; as we discern him indwelling his myriads of creatures; as we behold him in the persons of his Sovereign Sons; as we continue to sense his divine presence here and there, near and afar, let us not doubt nor question his personality primacy. Notwithstanding all these far-flung distributions, he remains a true person and everlastingly maintains personal connection with the countless hosts of his creatures scattered throughout the universe of universes.
1:5.10 The idea of the personality of the Universal Father is an enlarged and truer concept of God which has come to mankind chiefly through revelation. Reason, wisdom, and religious experience all infer and imply the personality of God, but they do not altogether validate it. Even the indwelling Thought Adjuster is prepersonal. The truth and maturity of any religion is directly proportional to its concept of the infinite personality of God and to its grasp of the absolute unity of Deity. The idea of a personal Deity becomes, then, the measure of religious maturity after religion has first formulated the concept of the unity of God.
1:5.11 Primitive religion had many personal gods, and they were fashioned in the image of man. Revelation affirms the validity of the personality concept of God which is merely possible in the scientific postulate of a First Cause and is only provisionally suggested in the philosophic idea of Universal Unity. Only by personality approach can any person begin to comprehend the unity of God. To deny the personality of the First Source and Center leaves one only the choice of two philosophic dilemmas: materialism or pantheism.
1:5.12 In the contemplation of Deity, the concept of personality must be divested of the idea of corporeality. A material body is not indispensable to personality in either man or God. The corporeality error is shown in both extremes of human philosophy. In materialism, since man loses his body at death, he ceases to exist as a personality; in pantheism, since God has no body, he is not, therefore, a person. The superhuman type of progressing personality functions in a union of mind and spirit.
1:5.13 Personality is not simply an attribute of God; it rather stands for the totality of the co-ordinated infinite nature and the unified divine will which is exhibited in eternity and universality of perfect expression. Personality, in the supreme sense, is the revelation of God to the universe of universes.
1:5.14 God, being eternal, universal, absolute, and infinite, does not grow in knowledge nor increase in wisdom. God does not acquire experience, as finite man might conjecture or comprehend, but he does, within the realms of his own eternal personality, enjoy those continuous expansions of self-realization which are in certain ways comparable to, and analogous with, the acquirement of new experience by the finite creatures of the evolutionary worlds.
1:5.15 The absolute perfection of the infinite God would cause him to suffer the awful limitations of unqualified finality of perfectness were it not a fact that the Universal Father directly participates in the personality struggle of every imperfect soul in the wide universe who seeks, by divine aid, to ascend to the spiritually perfect worlds on high. This progressive experience of every spirit being and every mortal creature throughout the universe of universes is a part of the Father's ever-expanding Deity-consciousness of the never-ending divine circle of ceaseless self-realization.
1:5.16 It is literally true: "In all your afflictions he is afflicted." "In all your triumphs he triumphs in and with you." His prepersonal divine spirit is a real part of you. The Isle of Paradise responds to all the physical metamorphoses of the universe of universes; the Eternal Son includes all the spirit impulses of all creation; the Conjoint Actor encompasses all the mind expression of the expanding cosmos. The Universal Father realizes in the fullness of the divine consciousness all the individual experience of the progressive struggles of the expanding minds and the ascending spirits of every entity, being, and personality of the whole evolutionary creation of time and space. And all this is literally true, for "in Him we all live and move and have our being."