The facility with which the residents of Paradise can consult this vast store of knowledge is solely due to the voluntary and wise efforts of the custodians of knowledge. UB 27:5.5
The previous quote is inspiring and contains the motivation that we want to promote Urantiapedia. Urantiapedia wants to be a great store of knowledge about The Urantia Book. The objective is to create an online encyclopedia that allows the dissemination of knowledge about The Urantia Book, and that is based on principles like globalization, collaboration, selflessness and completeness.
Today there are many Wikis, Wiki meaning any set of web pages created collaboratively by a community of users. When a collection of books, movies or video games quickly gain in popularity, inmediately a community of fans organizes to create a Wiki where they gather all the knowledge on that particular topic.
For example, here is a Wiki about the Game of Thrones series of books, TV shows and games: https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Main_Page
Interestingly, to this date the idea of a Wiki of The Urantia Book has not been proposed, and Urantiapedia is the answer to this idea. It is a Wiki where you can collaborate by adding and improving its contents, a website where everyone can contribute to the dissemination of knowledge about The Urantia Book.
I am sure you have used Wikipedia or pages like Google Maps many times to find information about a topic or a place. If you wish to find something about a topic you search Wikipedia. If you wish to find info about a place you go to Google Maps.
These pages are very helpful. Pages of Urantia Associations around the world do a similar service. There you have study aids and articles created by readers to make it easier understanding The Urantia Book. If you wish to find an article or a study about The Urantia Book you visit an association website.
But what about having all in one place?
There are many web pages about The Urantia Book with very interesting contents. Some examples of these sites are:
The problem that a new reader finds when he goes to the Internet is that there are many websites about The Urantia Book. In fact, there are a lot. First question that arises when you want to find some information about The Urantia Book is: Where I go? Where I find some info about this topic?
In existing web pages the information is scattered on these websites, often only in English, and with a content that is not linked together. In addition, that content do not change very much, do not change fast and frequently, because to publish on them you need to contact with the admin user of the page or the Association.
This is what Urantiapedia aims to change. In the same way as Wikis work, in Urantiapedia any reader can sign up and contribute content as long as he or she passes some validation steps.
The content can cover anything related to The Urantia Book, not just some parts of it or some type of content. Languages we are supporting are all the languages with a translation of The Urantia Book. Everything is linked because each content is a page with a unique address. The content change quickly and frequently because you can edit anything directly from the web. You can even upload massive amounts of pages within minutes. And of course, all users of the page, whether registered or not, can browse any content and use the links to go from one page to another.
Our mission is to help in the dissemination of the Urantia revelations and allow for a better understanding of its teachings.
For this we have set these goals:
Urantiapedia is not another Urantia Book related website. It is governed by several essential principles that make it radically different from any other existing website. No other website about The Urantia Book is trying to do this as far as we know:
Let’s see this principles in more detail.
Urantia Foundation and associations has done a great job in translations of The Urantia Book, but we need to go beyond that.
Consider this facts about translations:
Translations of Urantia Book has not follow a “most spoken first-language” strategy, which is reasonable. First translations were done by enthusiastic readers, and that inspiration came first in some developed countries before any other.
But this strategy needs to be updated. Two-thirds of world inhabitants cannot read Urantia Book in their first language. The main population in the world that is benefiting from Urantia Book is mostly located in western developed countries. Isn’t this following the same error that first apostles commited when spreading the gospel to Rome and not to China?
. . . it was regrettable that there was no one like Peter to go into China, or like Paul to enter India . . . UB 130:2.3
If we do the same math for Secondary Works the situation is even worst. There is very little concern about the translation of Secondary Works. They are mainly in English, with some small production in Spanish or French. But there is no interchange of ideas between communities with different languages through translations, and a big part of Urantia movement knows nothing about Secondary Works because they are only in English.
Consider this quote from The Urantia Book:
. . . There must occur an exchange of national and racial literature. . . . UB 52:6.4
Urantiapedia is already designed from the beginning to support dozens of different languages, and today when something is added it is only done if it is at least in Spanish and English. For this reason, a menu always appears on the top bar that allows you to select any of the pages between these two languages. And with a small change in the settings of the site an admin can allow new languages to translate the content into them.
Many websites are only related to some parts of The Urantia Book, or only some of the content is translated to several languages. In Urantiapedia the goal is to bring all the content to all the languages of the book.
Is it important to translate Urantia Book related content into other languages? Should we go beyond English? The answer is YES. Hundreds of millions of people around the world speak only one native language that is not English. The utopia of a single language that the Book predicts for the future is unfortunately still very far away. It is imperative that all disseminators of The Urantia Book make an effort to translate their works into at least one other language. Creating a document, article, slide, help, or guide in English is only walk the first mile that the Master asked us to travel. The second mile of true dedication to the Revelations is to make the knowledge reachable to more people.
If anyone says: Do we all have to start learning a second language now to be promoters of The Urantia Book? The answer is a resounding YES. The apostles left their hideout and began to speak to the people in various languages because they had already taken care to learn not one more language, but even several, in order to reach as many people as possible. And they did it in a time of worse schooling and worse means of learning. Today there is no excuse to publish content related to The Urantia Book in only one language. That denotes laziness and the presumption that this effort is not necessary. On the contrary, it is needed more than ever, since we live on a planet that is still long away from having a world native language. English is not that language by a long shot. There are hundreds of millions of people in the world for whom English is not their first language, or they know very little English, or do not have an appropriate level of English to deal with content as complex as The Urantia Book.
There are many websites about Urantia Book, we have seen them, and we don’t know of a single one that is a Wiki with the capacity to be updated without risk by dozens of users at the same time.
Pages from Associations and others are actually blogs where if you want to collaborate with secondary works you have to send them to the site administrator. There is no agility, there is no collaboration, there are no mechanisms that allow several people to work “at the same time” on the same content safely.
Urantiapedia is designed to encourage collaboration from the start:
Now a tricky question.
Is the creation of content related to The Urantia Book in a collaborative way important? The answer is OF COURSE YES. We can’t keep getting used to the idea of doing solo work, which is the individual effort of a single person in the shadows. The apostles were sent by Jesus in pairs. How many works related to The Urantia Book have you seen recently that are signed by two or more people?
There is an excess of zeal for copyright and authorship in the Urantia community. Revelators indiscriminately used direct or indirect quotes from dozens of human books. And they did not offer a single reference with the exception of the Bible. Revelators didn’t care about copyright. They freely used the information they had at hand to give us the Revelation and did not ask the authors of those works for permission. Why don’t we do the same with our Secondary Works?
The important thing is not who writes what, but how many people can be reached with those writings. How many people can benefit in understanding The Urantia Book?
Of course Urantiapedia is designed to have permissions. Users that wants to upload content in which they are the only allowed ones to change can do that. We can set permissions in a folder for only one user or a few users so they are the only ones that can update the pages inside that folder. A common scenario is a user that wants to upload articles or study aids to Urantiapedia but doesn’t want to allow anybody to change them. We can do that of course. Although we encourage all users to let the community to update anything.
We need more tan anything inspired people, not money.
Urantiapedia aims to comprise everything related to whole Urantia Book, not just parts of it.
There are a number of websites that focuses only in part IV of The Urantia Book and makes Jesus the center of Urantia message. Jesus is not the center of The Urantia Book. Jesus became the center of the Fourth Revelation. But we must avoid that in the Fifth. The center now should be the complete revelation.
. . . Living truth teaches the truth seeker aright only when it is embraced in wholeness . . . UB 195:5.2
Urantiapedia goal is to help in the understanding of all the content in The Urantia Book, and to help in the creation of a single store for linking and gathering all the available knowledge. This is important specially for spreading the revelations in Eastern countries, in which Christ and Jesus are not usual concepts to approach religion and divinity.