55:2 Death and Translation
55:2.1 Natural, physical death is not a mortal inevitability. The majority of advanced evolutionary beings, citizens on worlds existing in the final era of light and life, do not die; they are translated directly from the life in the flesh to the morontia existence.
55:2.2 This experience of translation from the material life to the morontia state— fusion of the immortal soul with the indwelling Adjuster—increases in frequency commensurate with the evolutionary progress of the planet. At first only a few mortals in each age attain translation levels of spiritual progress, but with the onset of the successive ages of the Teacher Sons, more and more Adjuster fusions occur before the termination of the lengthening lives of these progressing mortals; and by the time of the terminal mission of the Teacher Sons, approximately one quarter of these superb mortals are exempt from natural death.
55:2.3 Farther along in the era of light and life the midway creatures or their associates sense the approaching status of probable soul-Adjuster union and signify this to the destiny guardians, who in turn communicate these matters to the finaliter group under whose jurisdiction this mortal may be functioning; then there is issued the summons of the Planetary Sovereign for such a mortal to resign all planetary duties, bid farewell to the world of his origin, and repair to the inner temple of the Planetary Sovereign, there to await morontia transit, the translation flash, from the material domain of evolution to the morontia level of prespirit progression.
55:2.4 When the family, friends, and working group of such a fusion candidate have forgathered in the morontia temple, they are distributed around the central stage whereon the fusion candidates are resting, meantime freely conversing with their assembled friends. A circle of intervening celestial personalities is arranged to protect the material mortals from the action of the energies manifest at the instant of the "life flash" which delivers the ascension candidate from the bonds of material flesh, thereby doing for such an evolutionary mortal everything that natural death does for those who are thereby delivered from the flesh.
55:2.5 Many fusion candidates may be assembled in the spacious temple at the same time. And what a beautiful occasion when mortals thus forgather to witness the ascension of their loved ones in spiritual flames, and what a contrast to those earlier ages when mortals must commit their dead to the embrace of the terrestrial elements! The scenes of weeping and wailing characteristic of earlier epochs of human evolution are now replaced by ecstatic joy and the sublimest enthusiasm as these God-knowing mortals bid their loved ones a transient farewell as they are removed from their material associations by the spiritual fires of consuming grandeur and ascending glory. On worlds settled in light and life, "funerals" are occasions of supreme joy, profound satisfaction, and inexpressible hope.
55:2.6 The souls of these progressing mortals are increasingly filled with faith, hope, and assurance. The spirit permeating those gathered around the translation shrine resembles that of the joyful friends and relatives who might assemble at a graduating exercise for one of their group, or who might come together to witness the conferring of some great honor upon one of their number. And it would be decidedly helpful if less advanced mortals could only learn to view natural death with something of this same cheerfulness and lightheartedness.
55:2.7 Mortal observers can see nothing of their translated associates subsequent to the fusion flash. Such translated souls proceed by Adjuster transit direct to the resurrection hall of the appropriate morontia-training world. These transactions concerned with the translation of living human beings to the morontia world are supervised by an archangel who was assigned to such a world on the day when it was first settled in light and life.
55:2.8 By the time a world attains the fourth stage of light and life, more than half the mortals leave the planet by translation from among the living. Such diminishment of death continues on and on, but I know of no system whose inhabited worlds, even though long settled in life, are entirely free from natural death as the technique of escape from the bonds of flesh. And until such a high state of planetary evolution is uniformly attained, the morontia-training worlds of the local universe must continue in service as educational and cultural spheres for the evolving morontia progressors. The elimination of death is theoretically possible, but it has not yet occurred according to my observation. Perhaps such a status may be attained during the faraway stretches of the succeeding epochs of the seventh stage of settled planetary life.
55:2.9 The translated souls of the flowering ages of the settled spheres do not pass through the mansion worlds. Neither do they sojourn, as students, on the morontia worlds of the system or constellation. They do not pass through any of the earlier phases of morontia life. They are the only ascending mortals who so nearly escape the morontia transition from material existence to semispirit status. The initial experience of such Son-seized mortals in the ascension career is in the services of the progression worlds of the universe headquarters. And from these study worlds of Salvington they go back as teachers to the very worlds they passed by, subsequently going on inward to Paradise by the established route of mortal ascension.
55:2.10 Could you but visit a planet in an advanced stage of development, you would quickly grasp the reasons for providing for the differential reception of ascending mortals on the mansion and higher morontia worlds. You would readily understand that beings passing on from such highly evolved spheres are prepared to resume their Paradise ascent far in advance of the average mortal arriving from a disordered and backward world like Urantia.
55:2.11 No matter from what level of planetary attainment human beings may ascend to the morontia worlds, the seven mansion spheres afford them ample opportunity to gain in experience as teacher-students all of everything which they failed to pass through because of the advanced status of their native planets.