In his later years, author Harold Sherman (1898-1987), well known for his association with the Urantia revelation, became a believer in another great revelatory work known as Oahspe. What follows are some of his comments and comparisons, taken from his correspondence* between 1964-1984.
To Henry Belk, 12/31/62: Did I ask you if you had read the Book of Urantia, supposedly a revelation, which came through a sleeping subject? I would like to do a book, when I can afford the time to do it, comparing the psychic revelations, so-called, of Andrew Jackson Davis, Swedenborg, Boehme, Hudson, Oahspe, Urantia, and others, which would demonstrate that these concepts of the nature of the universe are remarkably similar, suggesting that true sensitivity can bring back remarkably similar stories of the nature of spiritual and physical forces—and that, in general, it is possible that the great mystics and psychics of all ages were in touch with the same knowledge.
To Henry Belk, 11/4/62: I was going over Oahspe again last night and noting the foreword explanation as to how this material came through. It is not unlike Andrew Jackson Davis, in his Nature’s Divine Revelations. No question but that some intelligences made contact with these men’s minds. I have long contended that there is only one basic true concept and nature of the Universe, and that if a sufficient number of higher intelligences gave us somewhat the same picture, this could be it. Newcombe and Davis seem to give the same general picture of the electro‑magnetic nature of the cosmos, etc; but I haven’t had time to check details. The Book of Urantia stands out as far beyond any other literature in this field, and our connection with some of the principals such as Harry J. Loose give us more confidence in its authenticity. I wish we could, one day, separate the wheat from the chaff on Urantia—greatly simplify it and make this knowledge available to mankind.
To Joseph Crossen, circa 3/3/65: Have you read Andrew Jackson Davis’s Nature’s Divine Revelations, and Oahspe, two amazing books, which have some parallels to Urantia, and all three of which came through different forms of automatic writing? To make a study of Urantia, one needs to make a study of these other books, in my opinion. Yes, I know what really occurred during the time the Urantia material came through, but the identity of the “sleeping subject” has been a carefully guarded secret, except he was a young stockbroker, member of the Board of Trade of Chicago. I am astonished that Doctor, at this stage, would admit “wild tales,” because he insisted this story would never be made public; that the book would have to be accepted on its subject matter, divorced from any knowledge of how it originated, etc. I contended that the investigators would demand to know the source, etc., and that books like Nature’s Divine Revelations and Oahspe commanded respect because they did carefully outline how they came into existence.
To Robert Burton, 6/5/70: At your age, you may not feel you can get involved in a study of that remarkable book Oahspe, which I rate on a par with Urantia if not above it. One more or less proves the other but Oahspe has more humanity in it, and more knowledge of what we can do in this life to serve mankind and develop our own souls. It takes real study—as Urantia did—until you get the full panorama and impact of it. It would help add dimensions to your mind before you pass over to have Oahspe in your consciousness. That’s how great I think it is.
To Betty and Gary, 7/7/70: For comparison, you should read a great book which came through automatic writing, titled Oahspe. It will be tough reading, as Urantia is, but very rewarding. I mentioned Urantia and Oahspe—along with a third book, Nature’s Divine Revelations, by Andrew Jackson Davis—in one of my talks at our recently held Healing Workshop in Hot Springs (see brochure), and told my audience that no book is infallible, but that these books contained knowledge worth studying and evaluating.
To Robert Burton, 1/18/71: There are many mysteries which remain to be solved. I ask you again, have you read Oahspe?—one of the truly great books ever written, from whatever source.
Burton to Sherman, 1/22/71: Yes we have the Oahspe and I have read it, and intend to read it more carefully again.
To Robert Burton, 2/21/71: It’s probably heresy to a Urantian for us to say that we have gotten and are getting much more out of that remarkable book, Oahspe, than we have or ever could get out of the Urantia Book. If you have not studied it, you owe it to yourself to do so, because it tells you how to live on this planet, how to better yourself here and help your fellow man, and the relationship we bear to those who have gone on—much of which knowledge can be demonstrated. Urantia limits the universe mathematically; Oahspe does not. It is far more human and direct and personal in its application—as a consequence, more inspiring.
To Robert Burton, 4/1/71: Unfortunately, Urantia’s addition of the Jesus story makes it religious and ties it pretty much to the Christian religion, which was a great disservice to Urantia as a whole. The Oahspe approach is so different, it can have appeal to all faiths of those who emerge from the orthodox faith and wish a broader concept of the spiritual aspects of the universe. . . . Even at your age, and with all the monumental work you have done on behalf of Urantia, we feel you will find great consolation in a re-reading of Oahspe, in the light of all you have gone through, and you need this before you leave this life because some things in Urantia are not true, which is the fundamental reason why we cannot endorse it.
To Robert Burton, 12/7/72: Martha and I have found much consolation in Oahspe, which supplies knowledge and inspiration that Urantia, remarkable as it seemed at one time, does not.
Burton to Sherman, 12/21/72: Because of your interest in Oahspe I reviewed it and was specially interested in it its recognition of the importance of proper nutrition and right living for increasing our inner perceptions. . . . I notice that Oahspe recommends refining the body to refine the senses. You are right that it is a remarkable book.
To Robert Burton, 1/21/74: I want to comment on several other books of an inspirational and spiritual nature, purportedly written through automatic writing or direct voice—dictated from higher sources—books like Nature’s Divine Revelations by Andrew Jackson Davis and Oahspe by Dr. Newbrough. Are you familiar with them? Both unusual, in their way, and not too dissimilar from Urantia in many areas.
To Jacques Weiss, 12/25/74: One of the great books of all time, in our opinion, is the book called Oahspe. It takes as much discipline to read it, the first time through, as it took to read Urantia, but once you get the panorama, it explains the place all religions and their leaders have occupied throughout all history and defines as nearly as it can be put into words, the concept of Jehovi, creator of the unthinkably great universe. This book presents a way of living which can be applied to this life in preparation for the dimensions beyond, which Urantia does not touch upon. Sadler belittled our experiences here. The Thought Adjusters were going to do the salvation job for us in the main. We were overwhelmed by the mathematical nature of the limited universe—only seven superuniverses comprising the “grand universe” and that was it. You need to read Oahspe for comparison.
Weiss to Sherman, 1/6/75: I would like to read Oahspe. . . .
To Jacques Weiss, 1/13/75: I have ordered a copy of Oahspe for you, and when received, will mail it airmail. . . . You should find Oahspe of enormous interest. It is practically even in size with Urantia and its origin has not been concealed. You know the conditions and circumstances under which it came into being—and it, like Urantia, established its significance by its contents. Compare Oahspe with Urantia when you have read it, and you will have to discipline yourself and put yourself on a regular reading schedule to go through it the first time and get its vast panorama in your mind. I believe you will get a new perspective as to the spiritual leaders who have come to earth throughout our past on this planet. You will get a much more specific picture of the heaven-worlds or dimensions beyond, than is given in Urantia, and how to personally qualify for the next existence.
To Jacques Weiss, 1/27/75: Under separate cover you are being mailed, by air, a copy of the remarkable book, Oahspe. . . . I suggest you dip into this book in the latter chapters, to get the “feel of it,” before you undertake reading it from the start, which we have now done three times, and we read a little bit of it each night on retirement. We frankly get more from it than from Urantia—it has more of personal value for everyday living and personal growth. It is difficult to pick one book above another but you might read the following as an introduction: The First Book of God; The Book of the Arc of Bon; The Book of Cosmogony; The Book of Eskra; The Book of Judgment. . . . Jehovih is the Supreme Being of the entire unlimited universe. There are untold numbers of Gods (originally human creatures) who have evolved on some planet and who are now in “heaven worlds,” assigned to supervising the development of all souls in different planes of being, including the earth planes. . . . The identity of the author of Oahspe is known, whereas Sadler tried to keep the “instrument” unknown and destroyed all original manuscripts so no one could check changes made.
Weiss to Sherman, 2/7/75: Having well received your book Oahspe, I have tried to read it according to your suggestions, but with no success. Many words escape my understanding and my vocabulary. I cannot remember the hundreds of new names and locate them properly. Whatever I understood taught me nothing that I did not know previously and better through the Urantia Book. Besides, the Urantia Book explains that you have not understood a teaching if you are not able to transmit it to others. Since I will never be able to do that, either to French speaking people or to anybody else, I have decided to give up immediately and continue to devote my time to other subjects.
To Jacques Weiss, 2/12/75: I feel sure, difficult though the reading may have been had you come across Oahspe before your knowledge of Urantia, that you would have been deeply impressed. I can understand your feeling that you cannot get involved at your time of life.
To Robert Burton, 4/1/75: Thus far, I have never known any person connected with the Urantia Forum who has developed spiritually as a result of this association, so something is very wrong. In contrast, those who have seriously studied Oahspe are leading changed lives. . . .
To Robert Burton, 8/26/75: You would have to study Oahspe to see the vast difference—in its presentation of knowledge leading to spiritual growth. Just a statement that our spiritual growth depends on our discrimination, our decisions, and our actions, is not instruction, as you have quoted from Urantia. Oahspe tells, for example, in detail, how to raise babies in the spiritual consciousness, etc. We know the name and background of the man, Dr. Newbrough, through whom the “revelation” came. Oahspe says that anything that comes through the mind of man, however spiritual, cannot be infallible.
Henry Knost to Sherman, 8/6/76: Harold, last week I went to Gray Drug Store and bought a paperback book, How to Know What to Believe, by you. I agree with you 1000% and I am surprised that you and your wife read Oahspe. Good for you, so stick to it, for it is truly a great knowledge and a definite fact.
To Henry Belk, 8/14/76: I do not agree that Oahspe “can’t hold a candle to Urantia.” It is far ahead in concept, is not tied to the Christian religion, which is extremely limiting in Urantia’s attempt to make Urantia a second Biblical revelation.
To Jacques Weiss, 9/10/76: You surrendered the copy of Oahspe to your friend Schwarz. It needs to be read for comparison with the Book of Urantia. It is truly a cosmic philosophy. Note this statement from Oahspe; «Ye have holden up your sacred books and said, ‘Here is the ultimate; beyond this no man shall go. And ye knew the while that any fixed Revelation could not be true, because all the Universe is in constant progress.’”
W.A. van Valkenburg to Sherman, 10/24/76: The greatest, most authentic book Martha and I have ever read is Oahspe. You will see it advertised in Fate Magazine every issue.
To Howard Engle, 1/24/77: To satisfy your curiosity, it is a mammoth book, over 2000 pages. It’s name is The Book of Urantia, which is supposed to be the name of our planet, so-called by the higher intelligences. If you want to spend that amount of time reading, you might better get a copy of the Oahspe to which I have referred, and which is advertised each month in Fate Magazine. Either book will cost you around 15 bucks.
To Gerald Touchet, 11/8/76: The greatest book I have ever read, which far eclipses Urantia, is Oahspe (meaning sky, earth, and spirit), which bridges the gap between the seen and the unseen worlds and explains psychic phenomena in terms anyone can understand.
To Elliot Berry, 3/21/77: In a most unusual book, Oahspe (advertised each month in Fate Magazine) this statement is made: «Ye have holden up your sacred books, and said, ‘Here is the ultimate, beyond this no man shall go. And ye knew, the while, that any fixed revelation could not be true, because all the universe is in constant progress.’» (God’s Book of Esras Chapter LV,708)
To Richard Renwick, 6/20/77: In my opinion, the greatest book which came through higher sources is Oahspe. It has been a great inspiration to Martha and me, and it does give specific knowledge for self-development, in preparation of the life to come. It will take disciplined reading and study. If you get a copy, dip into some of the later chapters at the start, like the Book of Judgment, before you begin at the beginning. It took us over three months to read it through once, reading from 10-12 midnight, each day, taking turns and discussing as we went. We still read from it each night. It will give you a different concept of all religions and show you how to make contact with what I have termed “God, the Great Intelligence”—a higher power which exists in your own consciousness.
To David Kruse, 8/13/77: If you cared to read the book Oahspe, to which I have referred, you would be able to compare its «inspired» material with Urantia and judge which account of the universe and our relationship to the Supreme Intelligence appeals more to reason. No mystery is made of the origin of Oahspe, and no claim to infallibility, nor is it tied to any religion, which makes it more cosmic in nature and frees it entirely from man-made dogma, An ad informing where to purchase Oahspe is contained in each issue of Fate magazine.
To Ignacio Rojas-Marcos, 7/10/80: You might like to read, for comparison, another “revelatory” book titled Oahspe, synopsis of which I am enclosing. Here is a well-documented transmission from higher sources received in 1881 by Dr. Newbrough, a highly gifted psychic. I believe the contents of this book, which will require the same fine study you have given to Urantia, will appeal to your sense of logic.
Van Valkenburgh to Sherman, 8/19/84: Thank you so much for sending the material on the Oahspe book. It is indeed a challenging volume and I’m sure there is much truth contained within it. After a rather careful review of the material you sent to me and some spot reading in the book itself, I find two things that make it difficult for me to embrace the book with the fervor with which I have studied the Urantia Book for so many years. First, the Oahspe book seems to negate the great religions of the world including Christianity (but excepting Judaism—I wonder why?). Few could argue that the great religions of the world have allowed human fallibility and mortal evil to distort the original message. But to say that these religions are the work of «false gods» is a far different thing. I could never accept that explanation of the religions of the world. And, for example, a «beast» is described with four heads, one of which is Christianity. As a person deeply convicted of the basic truth, beauty, and goodness of Christianity, for all its shortcomings, it would be very hard to relate to a narrative that was so inconsistent with this belief. And a closely related second point is that Oahspe does not acknowledge the Sonship of Christ and His position as creator of our universe. In fact, it directly denies it. Again, this contradicts some of my basic beliefs. In addition, I quickly found technical errors in the Oahspe book which appear more «uninspired» than any I’ve found in the Urantia Book. Therefore I find that I must continue to seek truth from sources that seem to make spiritual «sense» to me including the Bible and the Urantia Book. . . .
To Van Valkenburgh, 9/23/84: When Oahspe refers to our spiritual leaders, such as Christ, Confucius, etc., their claims are certainly false when viewed in the cosmic sense.
*Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections of the University of Southern Arkansas.