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How I Found the Urantia Book—DAVE HOLT (1977) 


WHEN I moved to Sonoma County, California, to start a new job in 1975, I went to live in a small farm town called Valley Ford, miles from urban society. My first serious relationship had ended and I wanted to try out loneliness. Valley Ford was a very lonely place, and I reveled in the quiet aloneness. I wanted to see if God would speak to me. I thought that if I made everything around me quiet enough, maybe I would be able to hear him. I hung a colorful picture of an Indian Bodhisattva by my morning window.

Feeling a deep need for healing and insight into my problems, I was primed for a spiritual revival. It had been easy for me to regard Jesus as a great human prophet, but in a yoga meditation one day I was suddenly reintroduced to the Master. The eyes of faith were opened and I saw him not as a memory from childhood or from history, but as real and present, a being still living in the same universe I lived in. I had what was in some ways a traditional born-again experience, except that I brought it on with chanting and by meditating on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

A few months after this experience, my friend Eric was involved in a car accident. He’d slipped into a deep coma and hovered near death. As I struggled with the loss, I was also confronted by the now immediately relevant question: What would happen to Eric in the afterlife were he to die? I discussed these topics in my first conversations with a new friend who worked at People’s Music, a musicians’ meeting place and music store in Sebastopol. We would have our talks between the comings and goings of my friend’s customers. I immediately recognized that she had delved deeply into the questions of death and the afterlife, and I often returned to hear more of what she had to say.

When Eric died a few months later I felt that his spirit came to visit me one evening soon afterwards. Whenever I took my experiences to my new musician friend for discussion, she always had a helpful response for me. In the summer of 1977 she astounded me with a new thought: “We live in a friendly universe.” Deep in my soul I wanted it to be true that goodness and friendliness ruled, that the Creator did not have an equally strong desire to destroy his creation. I had struggled with the fatalistic concept of the cyclical creation and destruction of the universe which I’d learned from Eastern philosophy. I was certain that a rule of the good was a logical and therefore possible reality. Jesus’ life and words promised it. Now here was a person declaring to me that the universe was created to allow me to achieve all possible good within it. I wanted to know more.

She invited me over to her house in Santa Rosa to read a book that talked about time and space, among other matters. I accepted. On this “first date” (as we referred to it jokingly later on) she introduced me to the Urantia Book, her primary source for the ideas with which she had inspired me. Within a few months of that evening, we fell in love. We were married a couple of years later, had a beautiful daughter, and have made a wonderful family together.

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