Is This Whole SETI Thing A Good Idea?

Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico Is this whole SETI thing a good idea?

From as early as 1960 to the present, various scientists have been searching for signs of extraterrestrial civilizations in outer space. The acronym SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) is now used to describe the efforts of these scientists.

Is this whole SETI thing a good idea?

How have people been searching? By pointing various kinds of telescopes at various locations. Some researchers, like SETI pioneer Frank Drake, pointed radio telescopes at nearby, sun-like stars. Russian researchers performed sweeps of wider portions of the sky.

Is this whole SETI thing a good idea? What frequencies are they tuning into? Scientists have searched on many different frequencies. The band of frequencies between 1,420 Megahertz and 1,666 Megahertz have captured the imagination of astronomers as a band of frequencies a civilization would use if it wanted to be heard.

Is this whole SETI thing a good idea? Have they found anything? The closest that anyone has come to finding anything, as far as I can tell, is an event in 1977 called “The Wow! signal.” On the other hand, there is no record of a repeat of that event, and no other events from the general direction of that signal (the constellation Sagittarius) have been recorded.

Is this whole SETI thing a good idea? What are they going to do now? The vast majority of the SETI research up to now is what is now being called passive SETI, looking and listening for evidence of alien civilizations. Some people who are involved in SETI plan to continue this strategy of looking and listening. Who knows, maybe our technology just isn’t good enough yet. But some scientists (most notably astronomer Seth Shostak) are contemplating the possibility of active SETI (or METI “messaging extraterrestrial intelligence”). Active SETI involves sending messages into space advertising our presence. Some scientists have suggested that this is a bad idea, as we don’t know what kind of response our messages would produce.

Is this whole SETI thing a good idea? It seems to me that the researchers are operating under a certain set of assumptions. They assume that advanced civilizations wish to make their existence and affairs a public fact. No commerce could be conducted on the internet without a way of keeping the details of the transaction hidden from third parties. Nations on earth make efforts to keep certain information secret from other nations. Why wouldn’t advanced civilizations make efforts to keep certain information secret from other worlds such as our own?

Is this whole SETI thing a good idea? There is a belief in the world that more technically advanced races are somehow more spiritually advanced as well. But is this necessarily so? Were the Conquistadores more spiritually advanced than the Aztecs? Were the European colonists of North America more spiritually advanced than the tribes they encountered? Were the British more spiritually advanced than the Chinese, when the British introduced opium into China?

Is this whole SETI thing a good idea? The New Message from God has an answer to this question, and I wish to share that answer with you. However, it’s part of a larger conversation, and I believe it would be more profitable at this point to set the table, as it were, for that larger conversation.

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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.

I Sing The Waterman Of India

Rajendra Singh, winner of the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize. I sing the Waterman of India.

In the New Message from God revelation, “The Race to Save Human Civilization,” there is a sentence describing the actions of man or woman of Knowledge in difficult times.

Here the man or woman of Knowledge is not insisting on solutions, but instead watching and encouraging positive behavior, positive awareness and positive actions.

I consider myself a candidate for the position of “man of Knowledge.” I consider myself a candidate for the position of “man of the deeper intelligence the Creator of all life has placed within each person.” Therefore, I am taking an opportunity to encourage positive behavior, positive awareness and positive actions.

I sing the Waterman of India

First, I discovered this week that the Stockholm Water Prize for 2015 was awarded to Rajendra Singh of India. I was not aware that the Stockholm Water Prize even existed until this week. The prize has been awarded each year for the past 25 years. The prize honors individuals, organizations and institutions whose work contributes to the conservation and protection of water resources. A more tangible token of appreciation of $150,000 is also given to the recipient. I consider the very existence of the Stockholm Water Prize to be a positive development.

I sing the Waterman of India. Who is Rajendra Singh? I understand that earlier in life, he was an Ayurvedic doctor, but the place in which he was practicing was more in need of clean water than of health care. He became a water conservation activist in the early 1980’s. He revived the ancient idea of rainwater harvesting to replenish ground water in the state of Rajasthan. (How big is Rajasthan? It’s larger than the state of New Mexico, and smaller than the state of Montana. Roughly 70 million people live in Rajasthan. Therefore this is a great accomplishment.)

I sing the Waterman of India. How did he do it? The harvesting took place through a series of many small earthen dams. This idea had fallen out of practice during the days of British rule. Rajendra Singh has come to be known as “the waterman of India.” I therefore consider the awarding of the Stockholm Water Prize to Rajendra Singh to be the recognition of a lifetime of achievement.

I sing the Waterman of India. The New Message from God teaches, “There must be many strong contributors in the world now, or humanity faces a great and precipitous decline.” I consider Rajendra Singh to be a strong contributor. I am honored by the strength of Rajendra Singh.

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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 Time, The Place, The People

achaemenid-archers-glazed-brick-susa-c-500-bce The time, the place, the peopleSince I quoted this story, more or less, in the previous post, it seemed like a good idea to share this story in its entirety. This is one of a number of stories I have shared from the book Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah collected this tale from the teaching of Sayed Imam Ali Shah, who died in 1860. Unlike King Hatim Tai, I have no historical reference for the singer Daud of Sahil mentioned in the story. You should obtain a cup of coffee or a comparable beverage before starting.

The time, the place, the people

In ancient times there was a king who called a dervish to him and said:

“The dervish path, through a succession of masters reaching back in unbroken succession to the earliest days of man, has always provided the light which has been the motivating cause of the very values of which my kingship is but a wan reflection.”

The dervish answered: “It is so.”

“Now,” said the king, “since I am so enlightened as to know the foregoing facts, eager and willing to learn the truths which you, in your superior wisdom, can make available – teach me!”

“Is that a command or a request?” asked the dervish.

“It is whatever you make of it,” said the king, “for if it will work as a command, I shall learn. If it operates successfully as a request, I shall learn.”

And he waited for the dervish to speak.

Many minutes passed, and at length the dervish lifted his head from the attitude of contemplation and said:

“You must await the moment of transmission.”

This confused the king, for, after all, if he wanted to learn he felt he had a right to be told, or shown, something or other.

The dervish left the court.

After that, day after day, the dervish continued to attend upon the king. Day in and day out the affairs of state were transacted, the kingdom passed through times of joy and trial, the counselors of state gave their advice, the wheel of heaven revolved.

“The dervish comes here every day,” thought the king, each time he caught sight of the figure in the patched cloak, “and yet he never refers to our conversation about learning. True, he takes part in many of the activities of the court; he talks and he laughs, he eats and he, no doubt, sleeps. Is he waiting for a sign of some kind?” But, try as he might, the king was unable to plumb the depths of this mystery.

At length, when the appropriate wave of the unseen lapped upon the shore of possibility, a conversation was taking place at court. Someone was saying: “Daud of Sahil is the greatest singer in the world.”

And the king, although ordinarily this sort of statement did not move him, conceived a powerful desire to hear this singer.

“Have him brought before me,” he commanded.

The master of ceremonies was sent to the singer’s house, but Daud, monarch among singers, merely replied: “This king of yours knows little of the requirements of singing. If he wants me just to look at my face, I will come. But if he wants to hear me sing, he will have to wait, like everyone else, until I am in the right mood to do so. It is knowing when to perform and when not which has made me, as it would make any ass which knew the secret, into a great singer.”

When this message was taken to the king, he alternated between wrath and desire, and called out: “Is there nobody here who will force this man to sing for me? For, if he only sings when the mood takes him, I, for my part, wish to hear him while I still want to hear him.”

It was then that the dervish stepped forward and said:

“Peacock of the age, come with me to visit this singer.”

The courtiers nudged one another. Some thought that the dervish had been playing a deep game, and was now gambling on making the singer perform. If he succeeded, the king would surely reward him. But they remained silent, for they feared a possible challenge.

Without a word the king stood up and commanded a poor garment to be brought. Putting it on, he followed the dervish into the street.

The disguised king and his guide soon found themselves at the singer’s house. When they knocked, Daud called down:

“I am not singing today, so go away and leave me in peace.”

At this the dervish, seating himself upon the ground, began to sing. He sang Daud’s favorite piece, and he sang it right through, from beginning to end.

The king, who was no great connoisseur, was very much moved by the song, and his attention was diverted to the sweetness of the dervish’s voice. He did not know that the dervish had sung the song slightly off-key deliberately, in order to awaken a desire to correct it in the heart of the master-singer.

“Please, please, do sing it again,” begged the king, “for I have never heard such a sweet melody.”

But at that moment Daud himself began to sing. At the first notes the dervish and the king were as men transfixed, and their attention was riveted to the notes as they flowed faultlessly from the throat of the nightingale of Sahil.

When the song was finished, the king sent a lavish present to Daud. To the dervish he said “Man of wisdom! I admire your skill in provoking the Nightingale to perform, and I would like to make you an adviser at the court.”

But the dervish simply said, “Majesty, you can hear the song you wish only if there is a singer, if you are present, and there is someone to form the channel for the performance of the song. As it is with master-singers and kings, so it is with dervishes and their students. The time, the place, the people and the skills.”

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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.

This Could Be Big News For Certain People

Paper boy. This could be big news for certain peopleSomething happened recently. Depending on how you look at it, it may or may not be newsworthy to you. What happened was that three revelations received by Marshall Vian Summers were made available to the general public on March 5.

This could be big news for certain people

The three revelations were “Poverty,” received in September of 2014, “Religious Fundamentalism,” received in September of 2014, and “Religious Violence,” received in November of 2014. But they were not made available to the general public until March 5.

This could be big news for certain people. I believe someone is reading this and wondering, “If this is a revelation, then why did they wait until March of 2015 to make it available? Aren’t they hiding their light under a bushel?” Part of the spirit, the vibration of the New Message from God is the cultivation of discretion, the ability to not tell everything one knows to everybody one knows. Another part is discernment, looking for the right wave of possibility to wash upon the shore of the unseen, looking for the right time, the right place, the right people.

This could be big news for certain people. How were these revelations made available to the general public? There are links to them on a page with links to roughly 75 different revelations. The links on this page get changed from time to time. Links to the three new revelations were added on or around March 5. The pages containing the revelations contain both the audio and the text of the revelations.

This could be big news for certain people. On the one hand, these three revelations are but a small part of a much larger body of material which has come to be known as the New Message from God. On the other hand, I have read these revelations, and I consider them to say a lot in relatively few words.

This could be big news for certain people. It is my hope and plan to write more about these revelations in the future. But I hope and believe that someone will read these revelations now. I believe that reading these revelations will be big news for that someone.

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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.

Ready, Willing, Capable, Permitted

Woman-Priest Ready, willing, capable, permittedThis post is my contribution to the 2015 observance of International Women’s Day. I also wish to share that the New Message from God has a number of things to say about women’s roles in a society. Furthermore, the New Message from God has some things to say on the subject that aren’t being said by very many other voices. These things appear in the revelation “The Age of Women,” received by Marshall Vian Summers in November of 2007. The New Message offers, shall we say, a larger perspective:

“It will be interesting, perhaps, for you to consider that in advanced nations in the universe—advanced nations in the Greater Community of intelligent life in which you live—that where there is a distinction between men and women, or male and female, in those particular races, the races that are not androgynous in nature, that the female is usually given priority in matters of conscience and spirituality.”

Ready, willing, capable, permitted

It’s not like women have never held these roles. Deborah judged Israel in the Old Testament book of Judges. Huldah was a prophetess in the days of Jeremiah. Priscilla was called by Paul as “one of his fellow workers in Christ Jesus.” Rabia Basri was a Sufi saint and poet.

“Clearly, if you look in the past century, you have seen in all of society’s evolution, in many places in the world, the rise of women to roles of prominence that were previously only assumed by men. This is a natural evolution and should be continued. There are now heads of state who are women, but they are still blocked from becoming religious leaders in many, many traditions and in many cultures. They can become the president of a nation, but not a priest or a rabbi or an imam, in many circumstances.”

Ready, willing, capable, permitted. I therefore wish to modify this well-known quote from the book Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein:

A man or woman should be ready, willing, capable, and permitted to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Ready, willing, capable, permitted. Furthermore, I wish to add a few things to Robert Heinlein’s list. A certain man or woman should be ready, willing, capable and permitted to celebrate mass, to lead Friday prayers in the mosque, initiate Buddhists as monks, say or sing the Kol Nidrei, pastor a church, prophesy, heal the sick, raise the dead, cure people with AIDS, cast out devils, display profound intuition, inexplicable knowing, wise perception of the present and future, wise understanding of the past.

Ready, willing, capable, permitted. I realize this may take a while to happen. That’s all right. It has to start somewhere.

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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.

I Sing The Harmless, I Sing The Faithful

Tony-Rezk_21-Coptic-Martyrs-of-2015_2015 I sing the harmless, I sing the faithfulThe world grieved and mourned the beheading of 21 Coptic Egyptian Christians at the hands of ISIS last week. But two new developments to the story have emerged.

I sing the harmless, I sing the faithful

The American magazine Christianity Today reports that the 21 men will be declared as martyrs by the Coptic Orthodox Church.

I sing the harmless, I sing the faithful. There are some people who are reading this and wondering “What’s a Coptic?” First of all “Copt” is a proper noun, while “Coptic” is an adjective. The word “Copt” comes from the Greek word “Aigyptos” (hard g) which came from the word “Hikaptah,” (hard g’s and k’s sound alike, and get mixed up a lot) which is a word for Memphis, the first capital of ancient Egypt. The Coptic church traces its spiritual ancestry back to St. Mark, author of the gospel of Mark. There are some people who are reading this and wondering “What does Orthodox mean?” The word “Orthodox” (literally meaning “correct opinion”) is used to assert a claim to the beginning doctrines and practices of Christianity. The Orthodox church is the third largest group of Christians in the world, after Catholics and Protestants. There are between 300 and 400 million Orthodox Christians scattered over many countries, including Egypt.

I sing the harmless, I sing the faithful. Why are they being declared as martyrs? Because ISIS decided it would be a good thing to include the audio in their beheading video. The Christian men could be heard chanting the world “Lord Jesus Christ.”

I sing the harmless, I sing the faithful. Two of the martyrs were two brothers, Bishoy Kamel and Samuel Kamel. Beshir Kamel, brother of Bishoy and Samuel, called into a program on a Christian satellite channel, and put the deaths of his brothers into a different context. This is the part that gets me:

Invited to pray for his brothers’ killers, Beshir prayed: “Dear God, please open their eyes to be saved and to quit their ignorance and the wrong teachings they were taught.”

I sing the harmless, I sing the faithful. The Coptic Egyptian Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California and Hawaii had Tony Rezk make an icon of the the 21 Coptic Egyptian Men who were beheaded by the hands of the the ISIS in Libya last week. Jesus is standing to receive the martyrs, just as the first martyr Stephen saw Jesus standing in the book of Acts. The men wear red sashes to signify the blood that would soon stain their orange jumpsuits. The angels give crowns to the martyrs.

I sing the harmless, I sing the faithful. I have been pondering the words “Do no harm, will no harm” given by Marshall Vian Summers in January of this year. What should I think and do about those who do harm? I pray that Beshir Kamel’s prayer will be my prayer. I pray that my words and my attention and my singing and my celebration will be given to the harmless and the faithful. Bishoy and Samuel Kamel did no harm. Beshir Kamel did no harm. Tony Rezk did no harm. I sing the harmless, I sing the faithful.

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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.

Denial, Blame, Wishful Thinking, Blind Faith

CargoCultNewGuinea Denial, blame, wishful thinking, blind faithThis is the eleventh post in a series of posts in the New Message from God revelation “The Race To Save Human Civilization,” received by Marshall Vian Summers in 2009. The first post in the series is here. The previous post in the series is here.

Denial, blame, wishful thinking, blind faith

What have we seen so far? Humanity faces wrenching adjustments due to its previous patterns of resource consumption and environmental use. Involuntary migrations will cause great disruption. People not only have to respond to the deeper intelligence within them, but exercise their skill and experience in navigating the difficult times ahead. This is the thirty-eighth paragraph.

“You must have this inner security and the strength of Knowledge to do this, or you will not be able to do it. You will go into denial. You will try to hide. You will try to live under a rock. You will put all your faith in some notion or ideology. You will dismiss the Great Waves as just a negative approach to life. You will be blind and foolish under the guise of being clever and intelligent.”

Denial, blame, wishful thinking, blind faith. The cargo cult of Papua New Guinea, pictured above, is an example of responding to events with a release of faith in an unknown benefactor. I consider this to be an example of what this paragraph is describing. People are reading this and saying “Ah, well, I’m more advanced, I would never do anything like that.” Maybe, but I’m considering an alternative perspective, that if one of these people observed you for a certain period of time, they might say “Here are your superstitions and taboos.”

“Humanity’s stupidity is most tragic when it is hidden behind a veneer of rationality and intelligence. You will see this all around you, of course. You will see the denial. You will see the projection of blame. You will see the wishful thinking. You will see the blind faith in science and technology, good governance or a particular leader.”

Denial, blame, wishful thinking, blind faith. Nobel physicist Richard Feynman coined the phrase “cargo cult science” to describe the infection of denial, projection of blame, wishful thinking and blind faith in the scientific enterprise. This might be a good time to ask “How can I get over denial, blame, wishful thinking, blind faith, etc.?”

“People believe these things because they have no foundation. They have no real inner strength. They can endure hardship in the world, but they do not have the clarity of mind to see what is coming, what is heading their way and what will change their life. So they miss life’s great opportunities. They miss life’s signs. They miss life’s warnings because they cannot look and see with clarity. It is a fundamental problem for each person.”

Denial, blame, wishful thinking, blind faith. An earlier paragraph said that people base their optimism on preferred outcomes. And when those preferred outcomes don’t come out, their optimism collapses like a wet taco. How do we escape the trap of unfounded optimism?

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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.