James Wayne (Jim) Cleveland was born in a lamplit house on a gravel road in rural Mississippi in 1938.
He earned a journalism degree at the University of Southern Mississippi, worked as a reporter-feature writer for the Jackson (MS) Daily News in 1961-62, and joined Mississippi State University as public relations news editor, 1962-66. As a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard, he was federalized and activated in the integration of the University of Mississippi.
After MSU, he worked for 16 years as editor of a regional farmer cooperative newspaper and director of marketing services for MFC Services in Jackson. He helped champion the cause of family farming.
He then became director of public information at the University of Mississippi, dealing with rebel flag racial conflicts and earning a masters in journalism.
From there, he joined ImageMatrix in Cincinnati for several years as a copywriter and video producer for corporate clients, including PG, RCA and Lenscrafters.
He then became director of public relations for the scandal-ridden Central State (OH) University in Wilberforce, OH, where he joined with a new president in restoring the institution’s image and finances. While there, he championed the missions of the historically black universities, an irony given his many years in the segregated South.
After five years and stability at CSU, he joined a new print-on-demand book publishing company, now named Author House, in Bloomington, IN, where he serviced new authors and began publishing his own books in various genres, now numbering 16 in the market.
He also began recording and producing spiritual poetry and music CDs featuring Urantia Book perspectives, now numbering 12 in the market. In these projects he aligned with Mark Austin and his Dallas musician friends, and showcased the work of Urantia-based artists.
From Bloomington, he returned to Mississippi in 2005 to care for his mother in her 90s, and she passed in 2010. He now lives in Deerfield Beach, FL, with companion Blanche Berland and a colorful black cat.
Over his career, he has served in various professional offices, including president of the Cooperative Editorial Association (North America), twice for the Mississippi chapter of the Council for the Advancement of Education and also for the Public Relations Association of Mississippi. His publications have received over 450 awards for design and content from professional associations, including number one farmer newspaper in the country twice by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.
Jim’s creative output is featured at www.jimclevelandauthor.com. He has 16 books and 12 poetry-music CDs at Amazon and in the market.
He is chairman of the Teaching Mission Network, a network of friends who promote the practice of spiritual Stillness. He created and manages www.lightandlife.com which presents modern-day spiritual revelations anchored in the Urantia-ACIM-Pathwork trilogy.
In early 2021, he is completing a photographic memoir and gallery and a collection of timely “Ascending Apocalypse” spiritual insights. He is working on a revelatory book on the Georgia Guidestones and a screenplay drama on the turbulent aftermath of a crucifixion in Jerusalem.
How I Discovered the Urantia Revelation
I was director of public information at the University of Mississippi and a tall man walked into my office who would turn out to be one of many colorful characters in my life.
Bill played a chromatic mouth harp very well. He once saved William Faulkner from drowning when he fell off a sailboat.
As we chatted about philosophical matters over coffee at the iconic Square Books in Oxford, I began sharing my still percolating novel about a man and a stranded ET woman. It was intimately provocative, and it connected the protagonist to the patriarch of visiting extraterrestrials searching for the fate of their lost Eden Colony who answers the mysteries of life.
These ET’s weren’t the usual sinister creatures; they represented a universe of spiritual love and ascension. Oh sure, said Bill. That’s all in the Urantia Book. The – what? Does it vindicate my ideas?
I remember ordering the book and reveling in all of the fascinating stories like mine, but absolutely true(?) Andon and Fonta struggling and mutating beyond evolution. Adam and Eve, tempted and torn apart from their biological upliftment plan.
Here was Machiventa Melchizedek materializing as a stranger in a strange land, carrying a One God truth to people, and more. The re-stated Jesus incarnation story resurrected it from the distortions of guilt and penance and elevated it into the logical reality of our eternal destiny, beyond the shackles of flesh and primitive life. Death is safe; just a passageway.
With seriously unbridled enthusiasm, I attempted to share this magnificent book with others. It didn’t work that well and I only found one other reader in Mississippi. My Mom insisted there is only one Bible but she liked Billy Graham.
When I moved to Cincinnati, I looked for a study group and met a remarkable man, a retired but busy Catholic priest who once carried a Urantia Book to the Pope. Father Robert Schuer anchored our study groups and stayed with us as we began years of conversation with celestial teachers as well.
Our group and others welcomed Christ Michael’s wave of ascending Morontian teachers in 1992 and have enjoyed the insights within their Melchizedek designed curriculum over the past quarter century.
We continue to receive lessons into 2021.
While many still don’t embrace oral or keyboard conversations with celestial teachers, it is true that only a relatively few people embrace the Urantia purported revelation in the first place. Human evolution can’t be rushed but it can be mutated by a Spiritual Revelation. I still believe humanity needs Urantia as a basic nucleus of wisdom and it can be used to evolve fruitfully into service and spiritual peace for all people.
But I found out how forbidding such a huge book can be for the casually interested, the ones we can’t influence through intellectual appeal. I decided to distill the book’s essence, the core that gives one profound piece of knowledge and peace of mind. I settled upon the human ascension plan. All of my work in all genres is undergirded with this:
We are unique personalities, created by a benevolent father God, and part of an evolutionary system of time and space worlds, which grow as we do. The gifts and tools we have to work with are the water, the air, the earth, our own inner spirits, and each other. Love is the linchpin of our universe and it elevates us from animalistic acrimony to altruism over the generations. We should do our part with our talents and live in peace knowing that our eternal salvation is assured. We will go forward with new adventures beyond this mortal life.
I quickly incorporated Urantia into my philosophical fiction and my characters continue on, from The Alien Intimacies into three more sci-fi flavored action adventure novels. There is my core Urantia lesson within them all – as well as the other genres I’ve embraced.
These values are more directly expressed in Celestial Songbooks 1 and 2 – taking dictation and co-creating poetry and lyric with celestial artisans. We can all get direct celestial help for our projects that seek to expand truth, beauty and goodness. Just ask.
I feel blessed to be able to work on, at 82. Amazingly, I believe I’ve learned more about the universe and the personalities living in it over the past few senior years than ever before. The circuits are opening here and in celestial realms and the outpouring is overwhelming. Take a hand during this Apocalypse. Reveal your own values and intentions.
The Urantia Book provides a foundation to explore all of the universe of universes and may one day supplant the Jew-Christian-Muslim antagonisms that have fought to stymie God’s evolution plan at every turn and killed countless thousands of evolving souls.
Intolerance still has the upper hand with all of them. But humankind can do better. Over thousands of generations, we will, because the time and space evolution-ascension plan works. Jesus proved it once. We can prove it for ourselves and deliver some Goodness in our finite time.
Literature from Jim Cleveland