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How I Found the Urantia Book—
KAREN FARRINGTON DANIELS (1975) 


IN THE EARLY ’70s I moved from Connecticut to Key West, Florida, with my husband and two daughters, to join my parents in an art gallery and framing business. I had majored in art at college, and in 1975 I decided to continue my studies at Florida Keys Community College, which boasted the only floating art department in the United States. Classes were held in a two-story houseboat, with wonderful sea breezes and sunset views from the doors and windows.

During one of my figure-drawing classes, I overheard my teacher discussing something with two of the other students. Many of the words he used were unknown to me and I heard the word “Urantia” for the first time. Later, I asked him what he’d been talking about. He smiled at me and said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” In other words, when I was ready to find the Urantia Book, a copy would show up. I was not satisfied with his answer. “I’m ready now,” I thought, and went hunting for a copy.

In the neighborhood was a health-food store/hippie hangout called The Herb Garden. I rummaged around their bookshelves in the back and found a dusty copy of the Urantia Book on the bottom shelf. I brought it to the cashier without even opening it.

“Thirty-five dollars?” I said in amazement. But I paid for it anyway and walked slowly home. Inside, I sat down in a comfortable chair and opened the book for the first time. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What was all this? A hierarchy of deities? Universes? The life and teachings of Jesus? It sounded too much like a religion to me, and I was beyond all that. I had been brought up as a Roman Catholic and had divorced my religion at fifteen. I believed in God, but my beliefs were closer to Buddhism and Hinduism than to Christianity.

Overwhelmed and disappointed, I muttered, “You’ve got to be kidding!” and I put the book on the shelf next to my set of Great Books of the Western World, which were also unread.

A few months later, a lawyer friend of mine came to visit and we sat talking in the shade on my front porch. He announced that he had found Jesus and was giving up the practice of law. He had joined a Christian ministry group and was heading down to South America for four years of missionary work.

Out of the blue, he asked me if I had ever heard of the Urantia Book. Someone had told him that he should read it. He said that he had been looking for a copy to take with him to South America and could not find one. I told him to wait on the porch. I went inside and pulled my copy off the bookshelf.

“Here you go,” I said, handing him the book. “You can return it to me when you get back in four years. Maybe by then I’ll be able to read it.”

Four years went by, during which time I studied and practiced Transcendental Meditation and read all kinds of New Age books, including the Seth books by Jane Roberts. I felt pretty “hip” and reckoned my consciousness had been expanded quite a bit.

One day in 1979 I heard through the coconut telegraph that my friend had returned from South America and was back in Key West. A few weeks passed and I hadn’t seen him around, but I was curious to find out what he thought of the book. Remembering that he had promised to return it to me, I drove over to his house and rang the doorbell. A strange person opened the door and I inquired about my friend.

“He died last week of a heart attack, just after returning from South America,” was the reply. I was stunned. He was only 45 years old. I was told that all his personal effects had been sent to his parents’ home in Tallahassee. Not wanting to bother his family in their time of grief, I walked back to my car.

Driving home I saw a yard sale. As usual, I could not resist stopping. As I walked into the yard, I noticed a copy of the Urantia Book sitting on the corner of an old red card table. It appeared to be brand new, but the price was $1. I slowly picked it up, held it against my chest and said quietly to myself, “Well, I guess this must be my copy!”

In 1986 I purchased a beachfront cottage in Jamaica and moved all my books and art supplies down there. There, in the quiet, balmy days on the beach, I began again to read my Urantia Book, to paint and to write. My new boyfriend, a Swiss chef, was quite intrigued with the book. Each morning at breakfast we had a reading session. His English was limited, so I would read out loud. At the end of each paragraph he would ask me to explain what it meant. Most of the time I couldn’t.

My life has taken many turns since then. I still have a long way to go, but I know that the Urantia Book has the answers to all my questions. I will never give up my connection to it. My friend, Leonard Ablieter [story to come], trusted my judgment when I told him to buy the Urantia Book. When I became frustrated with my inability to understand it all, I trusted Leonard when he said, “Just read it. The understanding will come in time.”

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