This book has been a long time in the making, so please bear with me. At the beginning, as we embark on this adventure of the unexpected, you may feel dazed with new names and places, but I would have you rest in my assurance that you will not need to remember these particulars. All you need is one basic idea and an impression of grandeur and majesty. I propose to share with you a true sense of our place in this universe which makes our exploration necessary.
Midway through the twentieth century just past, our world received a revelation, a new revealing of God to man. We now have more knowledge about the true history of our world and of our place in the universe of universes than ever before, and we can take heart at this sudden opening up of the heavens. Fast on the heels of the revelation, we received a miracle, and the heavens are now wide open.
I am the herald of the New Age. Two events of epochal significance occurred in the recent history of our planet. Both events are communications, which we have in the form of books given to us in the English language. The first is a revelation, imperfect and incomplete, but inspiring awe; the second is a miracle, both perfect and complete, and inspiring gratitude.
The revelation is The Urantia Book published in 1955 by the Urantia Foundation of Chicago, Illinois. Urantia is the name of our world. The miracle is A Course in Miracles published in 1976 by the Foundation for Inner Peace based in California. The publishers, in both cases, were groups formed just to bring these communications to print.
My purpose is to bring these two books to the awareness of the world. This is my will, a task I have chosen. I make no claim that God chose me to do this. Yet I am asking Him that my will be His. Since I am a personality just as He is, this will be a personal communication from me to you.
Do not mistake the boldness of my initial declaration as an extravagant exaggeration. I do herald the New Age. The two books we will be considering are artifacts of history. Time will leave these two books, these events, in ever more vivid relief against the artifacts of merely human hands, and historians, among others, will eventually have to grapple with what they mean. The meaning I will make of them involves my personality, which being a gift from God is unique to me and is the means by which I unify my experience. So when I say that this will be a personal communication, I am allowing that many others will not see what I see. This does not detract in the least from the universality and the truth of what I will be saying.
Now that you know this will be personal, you may be curious about me. My history is the same poignant series of errors, all forgivable and forgiven, that yours is. I am confounded daily, just as you are. I once thought you would need to know my history, or at least how I came to write this book, before you would accept this of me. But ultimately, my history, while it may be intensely interesting to me, has no bearing on whether this will be true, and any attempt I might make to explain how or why I gave myself this task will detract from what I want to say. I will only say this is my will.
Nevertheless, it will help you to know some things. I am giving you my actual name. I was born in early 1945. I am Caucasian or white, although I presume without any knowledge that I am an admixture of many racial bloodlines. From the first moments I can recall, I have lived in various parts of the southeastern United States. Except for a five or six year period up to age twelve in Texas, and several years away at college in Tennessee, I lived in Alabama for all that I remember of my formative years. I have a loving and supportive wife, and we are the parents of two children, a son and a daughter, who are now, as I begin this in 1997, teenagers. We left Alabama in 1982, and after a brief stay in Florida, settled in North Carolina, where we live now.
I have an ordinary career of no particular distinction. I am not a scholar. I am not an artist, or a recognized writer. I will not be collaborating with others, except for my wife. At the present time she is the only person in the world who believes in me concerning this. It is only her faith and belief that makes this possible. In a very fundamental way, what you will be receiving from me is through and by means of her. Our relationship is the bedrock on which this effort will be based.
I am not part of the community of people who are reading and studying either of these two books. My wife and I briefly participated in a study group for The Urantia Book, and we found they could not accept what I wanted to say about A Course in Miracles. I suspect that most people reading the first book are content with having found the revelation, and that most readers of the second book feel the same about having found a miracle. Either book could fill lifetimes of devotion and study. In the case of both books, I am certain there are many readers who have greater knowledge than I have about the book they are reading and studying.
I intend the world as my audience. I am limited by knowing only the English language and only my native, American culture. As best I am able, I will keep the world in mind as I proceed. If I unwittingly betray any prejudice that offends you, please be gracious, merciful, and forgiving with me. Accord me every allowance you would have me extend to you. I am asking your forbearance because I have something to say that the world has great need to hear.
As a last word before I begin, I should tell you that I have had this book in mind for nearly thirty years now. It defies all reason, but I wholly desired what I want this book to be, even before I discovered the two books or events that will be the focus of what follows. I first purchased The Urantia Book in 1976, and a very dear friend gave me a copy of A Course in Miracles maybe nine or ten years later, neither of us can recall exactly when. Before I knew either of these books existed, I wanted with all my heart to write something that would help you to know God, and I knew it would take nothing less than a miracle to do so. In my confusion, I thought I would have to write something four dimensional, something so true and so vivid that the reader would be induced to have the actual experience. Reading this work would be the same as being there. All this was very gratifying to my ego because I would be the first person to write in four dimensions, as nonsensical a conception as that may sound to you now. I suffered with this delusion for years. I agonized over how and when I would do the impossible. I am amazed now to look back and know that the means for doing what I so fervently desired for so long are at hand. Certain as I am in my heart that what I want to say is true and needs to be heard, I am still uncertain I will have the courage and strength to finish this in a fitting manner. So I ask God’s blessing on this undertaking.
October 19, 1997
Ernest Clement has written his first book, The Book of Ernest, which is intended to be a spiritual primer for the New Age for everyone. He has consciously lived that life, as a father, a civil servant, and student of our times. Heattended graduate school in English for three years, giving him extensive exposure to the English language. For more information, please visit www.ernestclement.com.