Selfhood is a cosmic reality whether material, morontial, or spiritual. The actuality of the personal is the bestowal of the Universal Father acting in and of himself or through his manifold universe agencies. To say that a being is personal is to recognize the relative individuation of such a being within the cosmic organism. The living cosmos is an all but infinitely integrated aggregation of real units, all of which are relatively subject to the destiny of the whole. But those that are personal have been endowed with the actual choice of destiny acceptance or of destiny rejection.
That which comes from the Father is like the Father eternal, and this is just as true of personality, which God gives by his own freewill choice, as it is of the divine Thought Adjuster, an actual fragment of God. Man’s personality is eternal but with regard to identity a conditioned eternal reality. Having appeared in response to the Father’s will, personality will attain Deity destiny, but man must choose whether or not he will be present at the attainment of such destiny. In default of such choice, personality attains experiential Deity directly, becoming a part of the Supreme Being. The cycle is foreordained, but man’s participation therein is optional, personal, and experiential.
Mortal identity is a transient time-life condition in the universe; it is real only in so far as the personality elects to become a continuing universe phenomenon. This is the essential difference between man and an energy system: The energy system must continue, it has no choice; but man has everything to do with determining his own destiny. The Adjuster is truly the path to Paradise, but man himself must pursue that path by his own deciding, his freewill choosing.
Human beings possess identity only in the material sense. Such qualities of the self are expressed by the material mind as it functions in the energy system of the intellect. When it is said that man has identity, it is recognized that he is in possession of a mind circuit which has been placed in subordination to the acts and choosing of the will of the human personality. But this is a material and purely temporary manifestation, just as the human embryo is a transient parasitic stage of human life. Human beings, from a cosmic perspective, are born, live, and die in a relative instant of time; they are not enduring. But mortal personality, through its own choosing, possesses the power of transferring its seat of identity from the passing material-intellect system to the higher morontia-soul system which, in association with the Thought Adjuster, is created as a new vehicle for personality manifestation.
And it is this very power of choice, the universe insignia of freewill creaturehood, that constitutes man’s greatest opportunity and his supreme cosmic responsibility. Upon the integrity of the human volition depends the eternal destiny of the future finaliter; upon the sincerity of the mortal free will the divine Adjuster depends for eternal personality; upon the faithfulness of mortal choice the Universal Father depends for the realization of a new ascending son; upon the steadfastness and wisdom of decision-actions the Supreme Being depends for the actuality of experiential evolution.
Though the cosmic circles of personality growth must eventually be attained, if, through no fault of your own, the accidents of time and the handicaps of material existence prevent your mastering these levels on your native planet, if your intentions and desires are of survival value, there are issued the decrees of probation extension. You will be afforded additional time in which to prove yourself.
If ever there is doubt as to the advisability of advancing a human identity to the mansion worlds, the universe governments invariably rule in the personal interests of that individual; they unhesitatingly advance such a soul to the status of a transitional being, while they continue their observations of the emerging morontia intent and spiritual purpose. Thus divine justice is certain of achievement, and divine mercy is accorded further opportunity for extending its ministry.
The governments of Orvonton and Nebadon do not claim absolute perfection for the detail working of the universal plan of mortal repersonalization, but they do claim to, and actually do, manifest patience, tolerance, understanding, and merciful sympathy. We had rather assume the risk of a system rebellion than to court the hazard of depriving one struggling mortal from any evolutionary world of the eternal joy of pursuing the ascending career.
This does not mean that human beings are to enjoy a second opportunity in the face of the rejection of a first, not at all. But it does signify that all will creatures are to experience one true opportunity to make one undoubted, self-conscious, and final choice. The sovereign Judges of the universes will not deprive any being of personality status who has not finally and fully made the eternal choice; the soul of man must and will be given full and ample opportunity to reveal its true intent and real purpose.
When the more spiritually and cosmically advanced mortals die, they proceed immediately to the mansion worlds; in general, this provision operates with those who have had assigned to them personal seraphic guardians. Other mortals may be detained until such time as the adjudication of their affairs has been completed, after which they may proceed to the mansion worlds, or they may be assigned to the ranks of the sleeping survivors who will be repersonalized en masse at the end of the current planetary dispensation.
There are two difficulties that hamper my efforts to explain just what happens to you in death, the surviving you which is distinct from the departing Adjuster. One of these consists in the impossibility of conveying to your level of comprehension an adequate description of a transaction on the borderland of the physical and morontia realms. The other is brought about by the restrictions placed upon my commission as a revelator of truth by the celestial governing authorities of Urantia. There are many interesting details which might be presented, but I withhold them upon the advice of your immediate planetary supervisors. But within the limits of my permission I can say this much:
There is something real, something of human evolution, something additional to the Mystery Monitor, which survives death. This newly appearing entity is the soul, and it survives the death of both your physical body and your material mind. This entity is the conjoint child of the combined life and efforts of the human you in liaison with the divine you, the Adjuster. This child of human and divine parentage constitutes the surviving element of terrestrial origin; it is the morontia self, the immortal soul.
This child of persisting meaning and surviving value is wholly unconscious during the period from death to repersonalization and is in the keeping of the seraphic destiny guardian throughout this season of waiting. You will not function as a conscious being, following death, until you attain the new consciousness of morontia on the mansion worlds of Satania.
At death the functional identity associated with the human personality is disrupted through the cessation of vital motion. Human personality, while transcending its constituent parts, is dependent on them for functional identity. The stoppage of life destroys the physical brain patterns for mind endowment, and the disruption of mind terminates mortal consciousness. The consciousness of that creature cannot subsequently reappear until a cosmic situation has been arranged which will permit the same human personality again to function in relationship with living energy.
During the transit of surviving mortals from the world of origin to the mansion worlds, whether they experience personality reassembly on the third period or ascend at the time of a group resurrection, the record of personality constitution is faithfully preserved by the archangels on their worlds of special activities. These beings are not the custodians of personality (as the guardian seraphim are of the soul), but it is nonetheless true that every identifiable factor of personality is effectually safeguarded in the custody of these dependable trustees of mortal survival. As to the exact whereabouts of mortal personality during the time intervening between death and survival, we do not know.
The situation which makes repersonalization possible is brought about in the resurrection halls of the morontia receiving planets of a local universe. Here in these life-assembly chambers the supervising authorities provide that relationship of universe energy—morontial, mindal, and spiritual—which makes possible the reconsciousizing of the sleeping survivor. The reassembly of the constituent parts of a onetime material personality involves:
1. The fabrication of a suitable form, a morontia energy pattern, in which the new survivor can make contact with nonspiritual reality, and within which the morontia variant of the cosmic mind can be encircuited.
2. The return of the Adjuster to the waiting morontia creature. The Adjuster is the eternal custodian of your ascending identity; your Monitor is the absolute assurance that you yourself and not another will occupy the morontia form created for your personality awakening. And the Adjuster will be present at your personality reassembly to take up once more the role of Paradise guide to your surviving self.
3. When these prerequisites of repersonalization have been assembled, the seraphic custodian of the potentialities of the slumbering immortal soul, with the assistance of numerous cosmic personalities, bestows this morontia entity upon and in the awaiting morontia mind-body form while committing this evolutionary child of the Supreme to eternal association with the waiting Adjuster. And this completes the repersonalization, reassembly of memory, insight, and consciousness—identity.
The fact of repersonalization consists in the seizure of the encircuited morontia phase of the newly segregated cosmic mind by the awakening human self. The phenomenon of personality is dependent on the persistence of the identity of selfhood reaction to universe environment; and this can only be effected through the medium of mind. Selfhood persists in spite of a continuous change in all the factor components of self; in the physical life the change is gradual; at death and upon repersonalization the change is sudden. The true reality of all selfhood (personality) is able to function responsively to universe conditions by virtue of the unceasing changing of its constituent parts; stagnation terminates in inevitable death. Human life is an endless change of the factors of life unified by the stability of the unchanging personality.
And when you thus awaken on the mansion worlds of Jerusem, you will be so changed, the spiritual transformation will be so great that, were it not for your Thought Adjuster and the destiny guardian, who so fully connect up your new life in the new worlds with your old life in the first world, you would at first have difficulty in connecting the new morontia consciousness with the reviving memory of your previous identity. Notwithstanding the continuity of personal selfhood, much of the mortal life would at first seem to be a vague and hazy dream. But time will clarify many mortal associations.
The Thought Adjuster will recall and rehearse for you only those memories and experiences which are a part of, and essential to, your universe career. If the Adjuster has been a partner in the evolution of aught in the human mind, then will these worth-while experiences survive in the eternal consciousness of the Adjuster. But much of your past life and its memories, having neither spiritual meaning nor morontia value, will perish with the material brain; much of material experience will pass away as onetime scaffolding which, having bridged you over to the morontia level, no longer serves a purpose in the universe. But personality and the relationships between personalities are never scaffolding; mortal memory of personality relationships has cosmic value and will persist. On the mansion worlds you will know and be known, and more, you will remember, and be remembered by, your onetime associates in the short but intriguing life on Urantia.