And Yet I Swear This Oath, America Will Be

langston-hughes-typewriter And yet I swear this oath, America will be

I offer this poem by the 20th-century American poet Langston Hughes, as a birthday gift for the 240th birthday of the United States of America.

I was introduced to the poem “Let America Be America Again” by then-US Senator John Kerry, who used the title of the poem as a presidential campaign tagline.

And yet I swear this oath, America will be

Even the accusing voice in this poem, the voice accusing America of failing to deliver on its promise, speaks of a dream “so strong, so brave, so true,” that it is worthy of one’s life, one’s fortune and one’s sacred honor.

And yet I swear this oath, America will be. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think of this poem as a shorter version of Freedom’s Plow.

And yet I swear this oath, America will be. The New Message from God teaches that freedom is rare, both in the universe and in our world. And yet, that’s where we’re going.

All I know is that when I heard the line “And yet I swear this oath, America will be,” everything inside me cried out and stood up and saluted.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

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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.

See That My Grave Is Kept Green

I didn’t know until today that there was a song called “See That My Grave Is Kept Green.” It was written by Gus Williams in the 1870’s. Bela Lam and the Greene County Singers recorded it in 1927, and the Carter Family recorded it in 1933.

I realize that people have certain traditions and customs about preserving the memory of the dead. And yet, given that humanity is in a race to save human civilization, given that humanity is facing a global emergency, everything has to be open to re-evaluation.

See that my grave is kept green

Oh the day will come to you darling
When no more on earth I’ll be seen
There is one little wish darling grant me
See that my grave is kept green

By “green,” I don’t mean “covered with well-mown, chemically treated grass.” By “green,” I mean something that is pliant, supple and alive. By “green,” I mean something that is contributing to the world long after I’m gone. There is one little wish please grant me, when my time comes to pass. Please grow food on my grave, don’t waste it growing grass.

When from this world I go
Leaving forever the scene
While others are dead oh will you then
See that my grave is kept green

See that my grave is kept green. And yet, I realize some people might not appreciate this arrangement. Perhaps a compromise would be to have my ashes be the nutrient in which the seed of a tree can grow. The Bios Urn and the Spiritree are instances of this. I know some people who go on and on about the need for carbon sequestration, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Who knows, they might be right. But we already have highly efficient carbon sequestration devices. They’re called trees, and planting more of them, and cutting down less of them, generally speaking, is a good thing, in my opinion. Perhaps it would be a good thing if more people became trees after their deaths.

Tell me you’ll think of the happy past
Think of the joys we have seen
This one little promise keep for me
See that my grave’s kept green

algae-lamp See that my grave is kept green

See that my grave is kept green. I would like to offer another alternative. I would like my grave to be lit. Not in a way that consumes energy, but with an algae-powered lamp that absorbs carbon dioxide 200 times more efficiently than a tree. Who knows, maybe one day they will be call Callejas, in honor of the inventor Pierre Calleja.

Oh the days will come to you darling
When no more on earth I’ll be
Oh the days will come to you darling
When no more on earth I’ll be seen
One sweet little wish darling grant me
See that my grave’s kept green
See that my grave’s kept green

In the revelation “The Global Emergency,” the New Message from God teaches:

“Do not think this will be easy. Do not think it will require only a few things to alter the course that humanity is currently on. Do not think there are easy and basic solutions. There are a thousand solutions that will be needed, and you only have a few. You will have to find the others, and it will take great human effort and collaboration to make this possible.”

I’d like to think I’m helping by offering some possibilities.

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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.

Astonishment, Rejoicing, Gratitude

Step329-field-of-sunflowers Astonishment, rejoicing, gratitude

Loving a world that is full of error and its consequences takes some work. I’ve been told to beware the world’s persuasions. And yet, I’ve been told the world needs my efforts to become a better and stronger person.

Astonishment, rejoicing, gratitude

When much is required of me, I find poetry to be a great consolation. I have shared four poems by the American poet Mary Oliver so far. The poem “Messenger” appeared in the book “Thirst,” published in 2007.

Messenger

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?
Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium. The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth
and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, telling them all,
over and over, how it is that we live forever.

Astonishment, rejoicing, gratitude. I have taken the liberty of making two versions of this poem, one without music, and one with music.

Astonishment, rejoicing, gratitude. The speaker for each species must say something to that species. Can I tell a dying species how it is that we live forever? All I know to say at this point is “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me.” I’m not as pure as Mary Oliver yet, but I’m working on it.

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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.

What Is The Song That The Singer Must Sing?

jane-goodall-birthday-80 What is the song that the singer must sing?

I was recently having a conversation with a friend regarding a Bible passage. The passage in question was in Genesis 22, where God is declaring the great blessings Abraham would receive in response to his great victory of faith and obedience. One translation renders one of these blessings as “…in you [Abraham] all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3, English Standard Version). My friend said something to the effect that maybe when God said “families,” he was not only thinking about all the human families of the world, but all the plant and animal families as well.

What is the song that the singer must sing?

That conversation sparked something in me. Some time ago, I dreamed a beautiful dream. My dream is for every plant and animal species on earth to have at least one human advocate, one human singer. For example, I consider Dame Jane Goodall to be an excellent advocate for chimpanzees and other great apes. I believe the world needs a few million more Jane Goodalls to advocate for other species. I’ll settle for a few thousand more at this point. I haven’t picked a species yet. Perhaps I should just to set an example. But what came to me recently was the idea of the responsibilities of such an advocate.

What is the song that the singer must sing? Article II, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution says that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;” This is the Constitutional basis for the annual State of the Union Address. I am telling you this to tell you that the advocate for a given species has the responsibility of giving from time to time information of the state of that species, and recommending to the consideration of the world such measures he or she deems necessary and expedient.

What is the song that the singer must sing? I would like each day of the year to be a day where the annual State of the Species address for at least one species. Unlike the State of the Union Address, which has become a bloated exercise in political pageantry, I would like the State of the Species address to be relatively succinct. Something like “Here’s where the species is thriving, here’s where the species is struggling, this is what’s causing the species to struggle, and here’s what the world could do about it.” I would like there to be a limited number of bullet points in each category, to ensure that the advocate focuses on what is truly essential.

What is the song that the singer must sing? I believe you get the idea. I realize this is a dream at this point. Of such I dream, my world! And yet, I consider it a beautiful dream. It is a little dream on the way to the bigger dream of a humanity that is no longer a reckless, adolescent, destructive race. I hope that when you see me, you will find me working on this dream.

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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 Wish To Recall Peace Much More Than War

Japan-2013-1008_web-lrg I wish to recall peace much more than war

The New Message from God teaches that our world is emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. Students of Steps to Knowledge, like me, are instructed to take an inventory of our thoughts and feelings regarding such an idea. As I pondered this, what came to me is that in order to make this transition successfully, humanity must overcome its divisions of ethnicity, nationality and religion. I’m not trying to say they should be erased, but I am trying to say they should not be considered worthy of killing people and breaking things. If I believe this, then I wish to recall peace much more than war.

I wish to recall peace much more than war

I have a modest proposal. I consider war memorials to be part of the problem. Even a victory is a funeral. Both China and South Korea condemned the recent visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Yasukuni Shrine was condemned as a justification of war And yet, people need a way to remember the courage and gallantry of their countrymen who served in war.

I wish to recall peace much more than war. If it were up to me, I would put a statute of limitations on war memorials. I would require that war memorials be removed a certain number of years after the war began. For example, I would require that all American Civil War memorials be removed, as all the combatants are long gone. Why do we wish to look fondly on a failure? We should not celebrate a war, even if we won; we should rather regret that we were not able to prevent the war in the first place. Abraham Lincoln expressed this sentiment to a certain degree in his Second Inaugural Address.

“On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.”

I wish to recall peace much more than war. And yet, it has been brought to my attention that as an American, I have a certain interest in letting the past speak freely, without filtering or censorship. Therefore, perhaps my original proposal isn’t such a hot idea. I have a second proposal, and I hope this one is better. The proposal is to create memorials to peace treaties between nations. Here are some examples.

Signing_of_Treaty_of_Ghent_(1812) I wish to recall peace much more than warI wish to recall peace much more than war. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814, ending hostilities between Great Britain and the United States. The United Kingdom and the United States have been at peace for over 201 years. Now that’s something to celebrate! I would like there to be monuments to that peace in both London and Washington. Furthermore, I would like there to be memorials in places related to the war. Since the United States attacked Canada during the War of 1812, I believe the city of Detroit, so close to Canada, would be an excellent location for such a peace memorial.

entente cordiale 1904 - 3 I wish to recall peace much more than warI wish to recall peace much more than war. On April 8, 1904, the United Kingdom and France signed the Entente Cordiale (“cordial agreement” or “cordial understanding”) ending centuries of hostility and rivalry. The United Kingdom and France have been at peace for over 111 years. Now that’s something to celebrate! I would like there to be memorials to this in both London and Paris. I would like there to be memorials to this in Dover and La Havre. I would like for April 8 to be celebrated in England and France.

Camp_David,_Menachem_Begin,_Anwar_Sadat,_1978 I wish to recall peace much more than warI wish to recall peace much more than war. On September 17, 1978, Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords, ending 30 years of various levels of hostility between the two nations. Israel and Egypt have been at peace for over 37 years. Now that’s something to celebrate! I would like there to be memorials to this accomplishment in both Jerusalem and Cairo. I would like there to be a memorial somewhere along the border between Israel and Egypt. I would like this day to be celebrated with bourekas and rugelach, with roz bil-laban and qara’ ‘asali..

I wish to recall peace much more than war. I believe you get the idea. I realize this is a dream at this point. Of such I dream, my world! And yet, it is a beautiful dream. It is a little dream on the way to the greater dream of a unified humanity. I hope that when you see me, you will find me working on this dream.

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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 Have A Small But Necessary Part

horseshoe-nail I have a small but necessary partI freely admit that when I first started studying Steps to Knowledge, it did not occur to me what would be asked of me. It told me I have a mission in my life to fulfill. It told me I have come to work in the world. It told me that the world is emerging into the Greater Community of Worlds and that is why I have come. It told me that the world is facing the greatest threshold it has ever faced. It told me I have a small but necessary part in this transition.

I have a small but necessary part

I am sharing this with you because I wish to share something else I wrote to Marshall Vian Summers as part of my participation in the 2016 Messenger’s Vigil of the New Message from God. I wrote:

“The New Message teaching that rings and sings inside me these days is the part in ‘The Global Emergency’ which says ‘It is a race that must be run.’ On my weaker days, I despair that I will make my contribution. I despair that humanity will avoid the great and precipitous decline it faces. And yet, I must do my small but necessary part. I must take the next step in Steps to Knowledge. I must do something to build up the weak pillar. I must follow the next inclination, the next prompt or restraint of Knowledge. I must poke the next hole and plant the next seed.”

I have a small but necessary part. “The Global Emergency” is a revelation which was received in October of 2015. I have written a number of posts on the revelation “The Race to Save Human Civilization,” which was received in 2009. The Global Emergency elaborates on that teaching in this paragraph:

“It is a race to save human civilization. It is a race that must be run. It is the calling for human cooperation and unity to face a reality never seen here on the Earth before in the time of human civilization.”

I have a small but necessary part. I have come to the world to meet certain people. Am I ready for them? Are they ready for me? I don’t know. Abraham Lincoln said “I will prepare and someday my chance will come.” I seek to follow in his footsteps. I have come to the world to give certain gifts. Will I succeed in giving them? I don’t know. I have a lot of work in front of me to be the strong contributor the world needs. There must be many strong contributors in the world now, or humanity faces a great and precipitous decline. “Pillars” is a reference to the four pillars that support a person’s life, (health, relationships, work/providership, spiritual development). Steps to Knowledge teaches on more than one occasion about trusting one’s deepest inclinations. Planting the next seed is sharing the New Message from God.

I have a small but necessary part. In the greater scheme of things, I consider myself to be about as important as a horseshoe nail. And yet,

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

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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.

Please Tell Us, What Is The Song In Your Soul?

Alaska-Double-Rainbow Please tell us, what is the song in your soul?

Students of the New Message from God have been told on countless occasions that they must live in the present moment and prepare for the future all at once. We have been told on countless occasions that nature is merciless to the unprepared. It has come to my attention that part of that preparation is having a song for the journey.

Please tell us, what is the song in your soul?

“I got my troubles and woe but sure as I know that Jordan will roll
I’ll get along as long as a song stays deep in my soul!”

The song with that lyric has been recorded by numerous artists from the 1920’s to the present day. Why do we need a song? Because we might not get where we’re going for a long time. We need that song to remind us where we’re going, especially when it looks like we might not ever get there. The 20th-century American poet Langston Hughes wrote:

“A long time ago,
An enslaved people heading toward freedom
Made up a song:
Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!”

Please tell us, what is the song in your soul? I am sharing this because I heard something at the 2016 Messenger’s Vigil of New Message from God that I’ve never heard before. It was something that touched me deeply. Marshall Vian Summers was asked what it means to serve God’s plan. It’s as if he was asked “Please tell us, what is the song in your soul?” It’s as if he was asked “What is it like at the end of your rainbow? What will it be like if the efforts you are exerting succeed and bear fruit?” I find this a very interesting question, because people don’t ask that question of Marshall very often. Furthermore, I believe Marshall doesn’t volunteer this very often, because not very many people are ready to hear this. Marshall was asked “What does it mean to serve God’s plan?” He replied:

“God’s plan is to raise humanity up so that it may survive the Great Waves of Change, so that it may be an exemplary race in the universe at the level of Knowledge.”

Please tell us, what is the song in your soul? The Great Waves of Change is the term the New Message from God uses to describe a series of global, ongoing disruptions to the world as we know it, wrenching change that no one will be able to run away or hide from. It will take many saints and/or strong contributors for humanity to successfully navigate the difficult times ahead. There are many teachings in the New Message from God about humanity emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. Even with the current assessment of humanity as a reckless, adolescent, destructive race, there is a song in Marshall’s soul where one day, someone from another world will say “One day, my people will be as advanced in Knowledge, the deeper intelligence that God has placed in every individual, as the people of Earth.”

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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.

Something Bids Me Speak In The Voice Of Prophecy

frenchindian-war_monongahela-web Something bids me speak in the voice of prophecyGeorge Washington might have told you that July 9, 1755 was a day of great disaster. In what is now known as the Battle of the Monongahela, 500 of the force of 1,300 were killed, and 400 were wounded. Colonel George Washington was a junior officer in this battle, and his actions may have prevented a even worse massacre. His account of that day is as follows:

“But by the All-Powerful Dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”

Something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy

Fifteen years later, Washington would meet Red Hawk, a chief of one of the tribes which fought against Washington at the Monongahela. Red Hawk marveled at “the All-Powerful Dispensations of Providence,” and prophesied:

“I am old and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy: Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man and guides his destinies – he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.”

Something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy. In 1770, it was certainly not clear that these words would come to pass. And yet, they did. Why am I sharing this with you? I am sharing this with you because as part of the 2016 Messenger’s Vigil of the New Message from God, I wrote something to Marshall Vian Summers. Alisa has written a detailed account of the 2016 Messenger’s Vigil. It has been my custom to write something each year at the time of the Messenger’s Vigil. But this is the first time I have shared it with the public. Among other things, I wrote this:

“Dear Vian, and I address you as Vian because something bids me speak in the voice of prophesy. Just as no one now refers to the Buddha as Siddhartha Gautama, just as no one refers to the Jesus as Yeshua ben Yosef, just as no one refers to the Mohammed as Muḥammad ibn `Abd Allāh, the time will come when those who speak of you will call you the Vian, the Messenger, the Greater Community Messenger. The time will come when the history books teach ‘The Vian was originally known as Marshall Summers.'”

Something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy. “Vian” is a word meaning “Messenger” in an ancient language used by the source of the messages Marshall has received. I declare that he will be called the Greater Community Messenger as he is the first messenger to speak of humanity’s emergence into a greater community of intelligent life. There are many New Message revelations that claim the voice speaking through Marshall is the same voice which spoke to the Buddha, the Jesus and the Mohammed. I do not understand the significance of this construction at this point. All I know is the time will come when people will think of God’s messengers and think, “Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Vian…”

Something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy. Dispute if you will. Mock if you will. All I know is that people most likely disputed and mocked Red Hawk’s prophecy in 1770. I doubt that even George Washington grasped the full significance of the words of Red Hawk. I expect and anticipate your skepticism. But your skepticism does not dissuade me, for something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy.

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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.

Visitation Of The Ghost Of Christmas Past

Scrooge-ghost-of-Christmas-past Visitation of the ghost of Christmas Past

Ebenezer Scrooge was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past in “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I received a lesser visitation of the Ghost of Christmas Past during this Christmas season.

Visitation of the ghost of Christmas past

The New Message from God has a teaching called “The Meaning of Christmas.” I have written blog posts about this teaching in January of 2014 and December of 2014. While I am happy with what I have written in those posts, something has changed between December of 2014 and now. What has changed? The New Message from God has released the teaching “Jesus and the New Message from God,” received in April of 2013. I consider this teaching to elaborate on ideas introduced in “The Meaning of Christmas,” which was received in December of 1994. I have found it helpful to read these two teaching side-by-side.

I have happy memories of thinking of Christmas as not just an earthly event, but a cosmic event. I have happy memories of performing Handel’s Messiah, and not just singing with my voice, but with my heart crying out each word. I have happy memories of being part of the choir backing up John Michael Talbot in a performance of Light Eternal. I have happy memories of the worship of Jesus in word and song. This is my visitation of the Ghost of Christmas Past this Christmas season.

But the teaching “Jesus and the New Message from God” is telling me that maybe I need to think all this out again. Consider the following paragraph.

“From what little is known of Jesus’s life, it was clear that he was overtaken by a Greater Power. But regarding his birth, that is a complete fabrication. Regarding most of his miracles, that is a fabrication. That is the story that has been created apart from the life.”

Some people believe Jesus never existed. We certainly don’t go there. Some who could not receive Jesus for whatever reason claimed Jesus was illegitimate. We certainly don’t go there. But we reject the virgin birth narrative as a story that has been created apart from the life. It is as if the story creators observed the numerous virgin birth legends that were in that region at that time, and thought “we need one too!” It is as if there was a case of “virgin birth envy.”

Scrooge-Extinguishing Visitation of the Ghost of Christmas Past

I realize that there will be people who read these words and consider them as an affront, a denigration of their faith. It is as if this teaching has reached into my past and undermined it, just as Scrooge “extinguished” the Ghost of Christmas Past when his memories became too painful. My 20-year-old self reads these words and pities my present self for my unbelief. This is my visitation of the Ghost of Christmas Past. This is what I tell my 20-year-old self:

“It is difficult for people to have their ideas so challenged. They have invested so much in them. To have to reconsider these things requires real courage and integrity. Who amongst you has this courage and integrity?”

My 20-year-old self rockets his hand into the air and exclaims “I do!” My present self isn’t so sure. I would very much like to have this courage and integrity. And yet, and yet…

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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.

How Did You Do On Your Resolutions?

Weighing-the-harvest-Musi-010 How did you do on your resolutions?Since I was so bold as to share my New Year’s resolution with you at the end of 2014, I feel a certain obligation to share with you how successful I was at keeping that resolution.

How did you do on your resolutions?

What? You don’t remember my New Year’s resolution? It was to complete the study of Steps to Knowledge for the second time. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. It has 365 steps to follow. I took about 4 years to do Steps to Knowledge the first time. I started again in April of 2014. I am currently on Step 184, “My questions are greater than I had realized before.” I was on Step 85, “I find happiness in small things today” at the end of 2014. I therefore will have done somewhere between 99 and 118 steps in 2015. This is a downstat from the 128 steps I did in 2014.

How did you do on your resolutions? It’s not like I was being slothful. I was definitely engaging with Steps to Knowledge in various ways. I just wasn’t practicing the steps as they were given. I didn’t do any steps for the first six months of 2015. I did a certain amount of thrashing and flailing, thinking that maybe I needed to start over. Other people assisted me in getting unstuck, resolving ambivalence and obsessions, getting restarted. I did 14 steps in July, 25 steps in August, 24 steps in September, 17 steps in October, 12 steps in November, and 7 steps in December so far. The 25 steps in August is the greatest number of steps I have done in a month since I started studying Steps in 2010.

How did you do on your resolutions? I didn’t come anywhere close to fulfilling my 2015 New Year’s Resolution. However I made a certain progress in Steps to Knowledge in 2014. I also made some progress in the Four Pillars, particularly in the area of my health. Should I make a New Year’s Resolution for 2016? I don’t know. I know I would like to be a little more consistent. I would like to do a certain number of steps each week and each month. But will I? I don’t know. I’m not willing to bet my life on it at this point.

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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.