2012 New Message Encampment Day 3 – Why Yes, I Did Say “Meek”

People who engage with the New Message from God will hear Marshall Summers referred to as Marshall Vian Summers.  When I first met him in 1988, he was just Marshall Summers.  I’m a little fuzzy on the details of this, but I understand that the name “Vian” was given to him from the same source of the messages he has been receiving.  I understand that “Vian” is a word meaning “messenger” in a language of the source of the messages.  I don’t know exactly when this occurred, but I do know that the book “The Great Waves of Change,” published in 2009, was published under the name Marshall Vian Summers.  And yes, I am slightly amused that the Vians were a powerful race encountered by the Enterprise in the Star Trek TOS episode “The Empath.”  Ok, I’ve gotten that out of my system, now I can go on.

I am writing this to describe my experience of Marshall Vian Summers.  He was only Marshall Summers when I first met him.  He was only one of many people who were considered “channelers” at the time.  He was by no means the most well-known channeler in 1988.  We didn’t converse very much during the period of 1988-1989, but he was unfailingly nice at the time.

When I resumed my study of the New Message in April 2010, I was in email correspondence with the Society for the New Message from God, a name for Marshall’s mostly-volunteer staff.  One of the email’s said “Marshall sends his greetings.”  I have reviewed a total of 29 books at Amazon by living authors.  I’ve only received comments about my reviews from two of those living authors.  One is William Stillman, and the other is Marshall Vian Summers.  Marshall considered my review of “The Great Waves of Change” to be a fair review.  We haven’t talked all that much, but he’s been about as nice to me as someone with his enormous job description can be.

I have had the opportunity to watch Marshall speak in his own capacity on multiple occasions in webcasts.  At this point, I’d like you to conduct a thought experiment. Suppose you had an experience of God speaking to you.  Suppose this expanded into a large series of messages, which you were instructed to not only study and internalize, but to share with others.  How would you respond?  I bring this experiment up to testify that Marshall, when speaking in his own capacity, speaks and acts like someone who has thought this through about as much as a person who has had this kind of experience can. At this point, I’m recalling the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” where the protagonist discovers that the memory/experience he most deeply longed for was something that was actually so.

I had a number of brief conversations with Marshall during Encampment.  One of these conversations was on the evening of September 15, the third day.  I had picked a spot in the room where one of the loudspeakers was close to my good ear.  Marshall had earlier picked a spot to sit that was next to that spot.  I was already seated when Marshall came to his seat, and I quoted a Bible verse that I’m not sure he was familiar with.

Me: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3, KJV)
Marshall: Meek?
Me: As in not making great claims on his own behalf.

I testify that Marshall Vian Summers is a similar kind of person to what Moses was like in his day, a combination of certainty and humility.  Why am I connected with him?  I consider that somewhat mysterious, but there it is.  Who is Marshall Vian Summers to me?  A man whom Knowledge put on an unimaginably miraculous trajectory (something to which I aspire).

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

2012 New Message Encampment Day 3 – Just Go Have A Talk With God

The 2012 Encampment was a new experience for me, as I had never been around this many (70+) students of the New Message from God in one place at one time.  I had an inner nervousness that the participants at Encampment would be True Believers, uncritical fanatics.  They dispelled my nervousness by the end of Day 2, not only by their decency and magnanimity, but by their curiosity and engagement as well.  I adopted the hypothesis that the people there were, more or less, people like me, with some people being a little more advanced as students than I am, and some people being a little less advanced students than I am.

My nervousness about my fellow participants was a layer of nervousness covering my nervousness about me being a True Believer in the New Message.  I have been a True Believer in previous seasons of life, and what I have learned from this experience is 1) True Believers aren’t very helpful to other people, except other True Believers in the same thing, and 2) True Believers aren’t much fun to be around, due to their obsession and inflexibility.  The niceness of my fellow participants not only dispelled my nervousness about them, but helped dispel this particular nervousness I had about me.  Got that?

During the evening session of Day 3, I wrote the following in my notebook:

Moses, are you angry with me?  I hear “No.”  Why are you not angry with me?  Moses asks “Why should I be angry with you?”  Buddha, are you angry with me?  I hear “No.” Why are you not angry with me?  Buddha says “Why should I be angry with anyone, much less a stranger who has been reasonably polite?”  Mohammed, are you angry with me?  I hear “No,” and I find that shocking, because there have been times, many times, when I have been angry with you.  Jesus, are you angry with me?  I hear “No.”  Why are you not angry with me?

 

I was imagining conversations with the figures the New Message calls the Messengers of earlier times in human history.  Contemplating Mohammed as a Messenger of God, and getting over my antipathy of Islam, are challenges for me as a student of the New Message.  I confess to having had a desire to be an exceptional Christian, not just a boring, generic Christian, but the Christian the devil warned you about.  I don’t know how much of that was genuine, and how much was idealism and egotism.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

2012 New Message Encampment Day 3 – You May Call Your Next Witness

In the previous post, I claimed that the New Message from God was internally consistent, and offered it as a “witness” that the New Message from God was real.  I will now elaborate on that claim.

When I first encountered the New Message in the fall of 1988, there was a relatively small amount of material available to the public.  I recall listening to a series of five cassette tapes, where each tape contained one of the messages received by Marshall Summers.  The timeline video shows that Marshall had received a total of 161 messages by the end of 1988.  This works out to 18% of the total number of message received by the end of 2011. I recall reading transcripts of some of the messages that were not on the tapes. These transcripts were sent to people on a mailing list.  I was an eyewitness to the reception of at least three of the messages received between 1988 and 1990, two of which were received in Dallas, Texas, and one of which was received in Tyler, Texas.  I say “at least three,” because it might have been more, but I definitely recall three of these occasions.

I recall the subjects of three of the five cassette tapes.  One of the subjects was the Presence of the Teachers, and the development of Self-Knowledge.  In later messages, the term Self-Knowledge was replaced with Knowledge.  One of the tapes was on relationships and sexuality.  One of them was on the subject of humanity’s near future.

The material that was on those cassette tapes was expanded and elaborated on in series of messages, which later became New Message books.  The material on the development of Self-Knowledge tape became part of the material of the book “Steps to Knowledge.” The material on the relationships and sexuality tape became part of the material of the book “Relationships and Higher Purpose.”  The material in the near future tape became part of the material in the book “The Great Waves of Change”

When I say “The New Message from God is internally consistent,” I mean the ideas for which the New Message is now known were received at an early stage in its history.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

2012 New Message Encampment Day 3 – Will I End Up On The Cutting Room Floor?

During the morning session of the third day of the Encampment of the New Message from God, we listened to the audio of one of the many messages Marshall Summers has received over the past 29 years.  Over the five days of Encampment, we listened to three different messsages, on the mornings of the second, third and fourth days.  On the lower edge of the timeline of the New Message video, there are numbers showing the number of messages Marshall Summers received each year.

All three of the messages we listened to at Encampment were received in 2012.  One of them, “The Story of the Messenger,” is available at newmessage.org, both in the original audio, and a transcription.

In the evening of the previous day, I was approached by Will Burrows, who works for the organization putting on the Encampment, the Society for the New Message from God.  He said “Would you be willing to talk to me and my camera?”  By camera, he meant video camera.  He was inviting me to engage in a video interview.  We spent some time doing that in the afternoon.  One of the questions I was asked was the very question I had been pondering earlier, “How do I know the New Message from God is real?”  I mentioned the result of my earlier pondering, about needing two or three witnesses, and the “witnesses” I mentioned were 1) the niceness that studying the New Message brings out in people, 2) the internal consistency of the New Message (which I will elaborate on in another post), and 3) my own inner experience.  After doing the video interview, I added a fourth witness, my experience of Marshall Summers (another topic for a separate post).

There are quite a few New Message videos up at YouTube.  Many of them are Society productions, many of them are not.  One non-Society production video which seems to have garnered some public interest is the Project Camelot interview of Marshall Summers (117,000 views in 2012)

Project Camelot places an emphasis on using the raw video of a subject as much as possible:  They write:

“Camelot interviews are shot in a guerilla style that captures the interpersonal dynamic as well as enables the viewer to determine whether the truth is being told, some facsimile thereof, or a lie.. The camera reveals this in the facial expression, voice, tone and body language of the subject, and gives us added insight into what resonates and what does not. It gives us a candid picture of not only the person but also reveals the more subtle layers underneath. We pick up subliminal cues and as viewers can come to our own conclusions, without being limited or misled by edited sound bytes, canned commentaries or misdirects by the interviewer that interfere with a determination of what is truth and what is fantasy or simply a lie.”

A number of people who have chosen to study the New Message further have been impressed by the Project Camelot interview.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

2012 New Message Encampment Sidebar – You May Ask Yourself “Well, How Did I Get Here?”

I’m feeling an inclination to write about another previously unentertained thought I had on the second day of the New Message from God Encampment. But I have to set up a little history.

“I was born here and I’ll die here,
Against my will.
I know it looks like I’m moving,
But I’m standing still.” – Bob Dylan – “Not Dark Yet

The Christian Church (and by “Christian Church” I mean the Church Universal, the Body of Christ, the Christian community) contemplated and rejected, for both scriptural and practical reasons, the idea of reincarnation or rebirth. I recall someone asking me about it, and responding, without missing a beat, “Well, the Bible says it is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgement.” (Hebrews 9:27, NASB) On the other hand, I was unaware of the amount of debate the Church engaged in on the subject. I was also unaware of the number of other faith traditions which contemplate this idea.

“Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown.” – The Doors – “Riders on the Storm

A Course In Miracles pointed out that some people use the belief in reincarnation as a weapon in the service of their own self-loathing. They say “Oh, I must be suffering now because of something I did in a previous life.” Such a statement is highly disempowering, an exercise in learned helplessness. So the Course decided, for better or for worse, to not take a position on the subject. I understand that many people might have been helped by this, but I was dissatisfied. I considered it a “Muhammad Ali shuffle”, a skillful dodging of the issue.

“Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it” – “Mission: Impossible

While the New Message doesn’t divulge exact details on the subject, it teaches that instead of being a mere biological accident, instead of being thrown into this world against our will, we came to this world to serve its development, to meet certain people, to give certain gifts.

“YOUR LIFE IS NECESSARY. It is not a biological accident. It is not a mere chance circumstance that you arrived in this world. Your life is necessary. If you could but recall what you went through to come into this world and the preparation that was required—both within this world and beyond—for you to emerge here, then you would realize the importance of your being here and the importance of the Knowledge that you carry within you.” (Steps to Knowledge, Step 174, “My life is necessary”)

I make no claims of any experience of past lives. All I know is that this teaching puts me, and other people, in a position of strength to address the ups and downs of life.

I am now ready to share with you the previously unentertained thought I had. The thought was “If it’s true that we’ve come to this world, possibly many times, why should it be a shock to contemplate the possibility that we’ve come here at a time when our world is receiving a new message from God?”

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

The Animal Soul by Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks

This is a bit of an experiment.  Poetry seems to be helpful to me in sharing how I think and feel about things, especially things regarding the New Message.  I’m sharing this particular poem because I’ve used the word itches in two previous posts, and this poem paints multiple vivid word pictures of what I mean when I write that.

The Animal Soul

There’s part of us that’s like an itch
Call it the animal soul, a foolishness
That when we’re in it, we make
Hundreds of others around us itchy

And there is an intelligent soul
With another desire, more like sweet basil
Or the feel of a breeze

Listen and be thankful even for scolding
That comes from the intelligent soul
It flows out close to where you flowed out

But that itchiness wants to put food
In our mouths that will make us sick

Feverish with the aftertaste of kissing
A donkey’s rump. It’s like blackening your robe
Against a kettle without being anywhere
Near a table of companionship

The truth of a being human is an empty table
Made of soul-intelligence

Gradually reduce what you give your animal soul
The bread that after all overflows from sunlight

The animal soul itself spilled out
And sprouted from the other

Taste more often what nourishes your clear light
And you’ll have less use for the smoky oven

You’ll bury that baking equipment in the ground!

I’m pleased to announce that I can embed the player from soundcloud.com into journal posts, so that you can hear me recite this poem if you wish.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

2012 New Message Encampment Day 3 – Maybe We Need To Go A Little More Public

Every community has concerns that it works on, and the New Message from God community is no exception.  A concern we’re working on is how to advocate for the New Message in the marketplace of commitments.  There are a number of dynamics at work.

People who bring hopes of getting famous to their study of the New Message are going to be disappointed.  There are many teachings as to how the wise stay hidden, working behind the scenes, giving their gifts with humility.  Students are encouraged to develop discretion, to cultivate the ability to restrain themselves from sharing everything they know with everyone they know.  I do not claim to have developed this ability yet, but I’m working on it.

On the other hand, I observed a growing realization among my fellow Encampment participants, that if the New Message is going to have the impact it should have, that we must reach a larger audience.  The phrase “Make the message findable” has been said in many conversations.

Someone who read the last paragraph might think, “What impact should the New Message have?”  It should cleanse individuals from their wounds, and their itches for money, fame, survival, sex and power.  It should help people to keep calm and carry on in the face of a world undergoing wrenching adjustments of declining resources, environmental degradation, and political upheaval.  It should help humanity advance from a collection of warring tribes to a united people.  It should help humanity emerge into a greater community of intelligent life, with its sovereignty intact.

I forget exactly when this happened at Encampment, but someone shared their personal nightmare with the group. He imagined himself 30 years in the future, walking through a store selling used books, books that people have read and sold back to the bookstore. In a dusty corner of the section of the store containing spiritual teachings, is a copy of Steps to Knowledge. I encouraged him to share his positive vision of the future as well. The next morning I said “Well, I didn’t dream about the used book store, so I suppose I had a good night’s sleep.”

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

2012 New Message Encampment Day 2 – What Does Knowledge Want?

I wish to share something that I wrote in my notebook sometime during the afternoon session of Friday, September 14, the second day of the Encampment of the New Message from God.  This is not a New Message teaching, merely some thoughts I had.  I wrote:

Knowledge is unmoved by our preferences, anxieties, thoughts, emotions and feelings.

Knowledge wants our minds to be able to investigate, calculate, compare, encourage helpful thoughts, arrest harmful thoughts, and be still.

Knowledge wants our wills to be able to choose what we know, reject what we don’t know, and not be bamboozled by our minds and emotions.

Knowledge wants our emotions to be a healthy partner with our minds and wills. Knowledge wants our emotions to alert us when our minds are arresting helpful thoughts, helping harmful thoughts, not arresting harmful thoughts. Knowledge wants our emotions to alert us when our wills commit sins of omission and commission.

At the end of day 2, I was encouraged that people enjoyed the Rumi poem I shared with them (“Who Makes These Changes?”).  I was encouraged as to how nice people were to me.  I considered it a good, productive day.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

2012 New Message Encampment Day 2 – How Do I Know That The New Message From God Is Real?

The daily schedule of Encampment offered the participants two hours in the afternoon for free time.  On the other hand, we were also given a list of 20 questions to ponder.  I only got around to pondering the first one to my own satisfaction.  The question is:

How do I know that the New Message from God is real?

As I pondered this, I recalled a Bible verse that first appeared in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 19:15), and was later quoted in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 13:1) “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (New International Version). Over the next few posts, I plan to bring forth “witnesses,” to present evidence, for the reality of the New Message from God.

One witness is the decency and magnanimity of the students of the New Message. Many teachings make claims for what will be produced in students who follow them.  A teaching could be evaluated both on the quality of its claims, and its effectiveness in producing its claims in its students.  One of the steps in Steps to Knowledge describes what the New Message promises to its students:

“To come into the proximity of Knowledge means that you become more and more like Knowledge itself—more whole, more consistent, more honest, more devoted, more concentrated, more self-disciplined, more compassionate and more self-loving. All of these qualities are developed as you approach that which is the source of these qualities.” (Step 18, “Today I feel the truth arising within myself”)

I was a student of the New Message for about 2 1/2 years (1988-1991), and I’ve been a student from April 2010 to the present. There are people who have been students for a much longer time than I.  I was able to ask if there was any student of the New Message who they knew to be convicted of a serious crime.  They knew of no one.  I believe that if the students of the New Message were subjected to a battery of psychological tests, they would be found to be well-adjusted and integrated human beings.

How do I know this?  Because I spent 5 days, give or take a few hours, among more than 70 people, who had nothing else in common than their studenthood of the New Message. In those five days, not one unkind, snarky or sarcastic word was spoken to me. I observed no cliques of people who thought they were better or more important than other people.  I observed no one trying to leverage the gathering for a romantic encounter or a business deal.  I have never been around a group of that many people, who were that cleansed of the normal human complement of wounds and itches.

So one way I know that the New Message from God is real is the nobility of its promises to the students who follow its teachings, and its ability to deliver on its promises.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

2012 New Message Encampment Day 2 – I Should Be Suspicious Of What I Want

In the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” King Herod sings…

Jesus, I am overjoyed to meet you face to face.
You’ve been getting quite a name all around the place.
Healing cripples, raising from the dead.
And now I understand you’re God,
At least, that’s what you’ve said.

When the New Message from God makes claims about itself and about Marshall Summers, some clarification is in order. The New Message claims to be a message ushering a new reality, a new way of being, a new way of navigating the world. It claims to be for this time what the revelations given to Moses were in his time, what the revelations given to Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed were in their times. It claims Marshall Summers is the Messenger of this New Message. I say this to say that if a person isn’t just a little bit shocked about this, they’re not paying attention.

We had a 30 minute silent group meditation, and after that meditation, I had an idea that I had never contemplated before. The known universe is a bigger place than most people imagine, than most people are capable of imagining. I understand this video travels through about a small portion of the known universe.

I realize there are differences of opinion about this, but I find it easier to believe that the universe described in this video is crawling with life, lousy with life, riddled with life, than to believe mankind is alone in that universe. And if God were to speak to our world, would He not speak to other worlds as well? If one were to presume our world to be entirely average, as worlds go, there must be quite a few worlds in the universe which are receiving a new message from God at the very moment you are reading these words.

We spent some time contemplating how we got to Encampment, not in the physical sense, but looking over our life history, seeing where we had followed Knowledge, and where we had either ignored Knowledge or resisted Knowledge.

Knowledge is a central technical term in the New Message from God. There is a step in the book Steps to Knowledge, a central New Message text, which asks and answers the question “What is Knowledge?”

“Let us say that Knowledge is not the things that are usually associated with it. It is not ideas. It is not a body of information. It is not a system of belief. It is not a process of self-evaluation. It is the great mystery of your life. Its outward manifestations are profound intuition, great insight, inexplicable knowing, wise perception in the present and in the future and wise understanding of the past. But despite these great achievements of mind, Knowledge is greater than this. It is your True Self, a Self that is not apart from life.” (Step 10, “What is Knowledge?”)

Many participants commented that the fulfillment of their desires, ambitions, agendas, etc., would have been disastrous for their reclamation of Knowledge. I shared a poem from Rumi which seemed to address that thought, and it seemed to resonate with the people with whom I shared it.

Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I ride after a deer and find myself
Chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
And end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others
And fall in.
I should be suspicious
Of what I want.

The original plan was to write one post about each day of Encampment, but this feels like a good stopping place. I’ve gotten roughly to the end of morning of the second day. More later.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.