“Yes, ’n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind” – Bob Dylan, Blowin’ In The Wind
How many times must the warheads be dropped?
I wish to confess my neglect, and offer remediation. What have I neglected? On August 10, 2017, the human family observed 72 years without using a nuclear weapon in warfare. I have had an annual custom of observing this happy occasion here, here and here. I did not observe this in either 2016 or in August of 2017. But humanity has gone 72 years, 3 months and 10 days without using a nuclear weapon in warfare. By “nuclear weapon” I mean either a fission weapon or a fusion weapon. America used fission weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nations of the world have only tested fusion weapons, also called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs. No nation has used a fusion weapons in warfare since November 1, 1952. My people have refrained from using our most destructive weapon for almost 65 years.
How many times must the warheads be dropped? I am pleased to share with you the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). ICAN’s efforts resulted in a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Yes, I understand that nations with nuclear weapons opposed this treaty. Yes, I understand that the treaty isn’t technically in force, as it requires ratification by 50 nations. We’re currently at 3. Yes, I’m aware that it is unclear who is going to enforce the provisions of this treaty. But we have to start somewhere.
I am pleased to report that I have completed Steps to Knowledge for the second time. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. By “completed,” I mean I practiced each of the 365 steps in order. By “practiced,” I mean I read the step, followed the practice instructions without expecting a particular result. I started in April of 2014, and finished in August of 2017.
I might be a little more ready to help
I feel that someone reading this is thinking “Are you supposed to do one step a day, and thus finish in a year?” That’s right. “But Douglas, you took three years and four months to do this.” I did indeed. I had two long periods of inactivity during this time which added up to almost a year. I was engaging with the material in a different way, just not practicing the steps as directed. Sometimes events interrupted my practice. Sometimes my own ambivalence interrupted my practice..
I might be a little more ready to help. Marshall Vian Summers, who received Steps to Knowledge in 1989, said “You cannot exhaust this.” I certainly didn’t exhaust Steps to Knowledge. I practiced Steps to Knowledge for the first time between April of 2010 and April of 2014. During this time, I felt I wasn’t really supposed to think very much about the references a step made to an earlier step. There were enough challenging things to consider in each step that I felt I needed to focus on the step right in front of me. But the second time through, it seemed to me as if Steps to Knowledge was presenting an idea to me multiple times. Each time it revisited an idea, offered the idea in a slightly stronger form. Steps to Knowledge took me through multiple stages and octaves of development. An idea wasn’t just an idea in itself, but the top of the stack of progressively stronger iterations of that idea.
I might be a little more ready to help. I wasn’t exactly sure how to consider myself when I began practicing Steps to Knowledge for the second time. Didn’t I have a certain degree of experience? After a little while I became reconciled with the idea of being a beginning student in a higher octave, and being content to be so. I am content to be a beginning student in the Steps to Knowledge Continuation Training and what else comes next.
I might be a little more ready to help. People have expected a lot from me in my life, and I have disappointed them a lot of the time. Steps to Knowledge removed a great deal of suffering from this disappointment in a number of ways. Steps to Knowledge encourages me being in the present moment instead of being in my judgments. Steps to Knowledge gives me an alternative, empowering frame in which to put the events of my life. Steps to Knowledge encourages me to work toward my greater purpose, the demonstration of the fragrance of Knowledge. This “fragrance” is happiness, completeness, cheerful participation, doing what is necessary, demonstrating essential relationships.
I might be a little more ready to help. I have great gratitude for many people who helped me in one way or another to get to this point. Sometimes they were kindly and encouraging, sometimes they were challenging. I couldn’t have done it without them. Any accomplishment is a group effort.
I might be a little more ready to help. Perhaps you’ve never heard of Steps to Knowledge. I wish it was better known in the world. I wrote this to briefly describe what it offers and requires. If you’re practicing Steps to Knowledge for the first time, and you’re wondering whether you should do Steps a second time, please receive my encouragement to do so. I believe it will be good for you, your world, and the world.
I consider unfulfilled expectations to be part of the experience of following a spiritual path. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. Each of its 365 steps contain instructions for practice.
Beaten by bigger and bigger angels
Sometimes I follow the directions, and beautiful things happen. I get some kind of experience related to the step. I get some kind of insight, a thought I hadn’t thought before. But there are other times when I follow the directions and nothing happens. The heavens are as brass, and the earth is as iron. But maybe that’s part of the plan. Maybe it cultivates emotional intelligence to not get what we want right away.
Beaten by bigger and bigger angels. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the poem “The Man Watching” (“Der Schauende”) sometime between 1899 and 1902. It was one of the poems in The Book of Images. I consider Rilke to be one of my companions in my Steps to Knowledge journey. He takes poetic licence with the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel in Genesis 32. This is Robert Bly’s translation.
I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister.
The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape, like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great.
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers’ sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.
Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
Beaten by bigger and bigger angels. That might not be so bad.
Why do I even think that we have to handle a hundred Harveys? Climate scientists such as Sean Sublette and Adam Sobel and Gerry Bell study hurricanes. They suggest that rising sea levels and warming oceans cause hurricanes to be stronger. They might be right. The New Message from God has a teaching called “The Great Warning,” which goes along with the predictions of some scientists. This is a portion of that teaching.
For you [humanity] have changed the chemistry of the atmosphere so sufficiently that the planet will become hotter and the waters will rise. The oceans will rise and they will continue to rise, consuming everything in their wake. Great droughts and storms will lash upon the world as they are beginning to do now.
How do we handle a hundred Harveys? We have to prepare. And by “We” I mean “you and me.” When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. When minutes count, the National Guard is only hours away. When hours count, the government is only days away. There are some small, but eminently practical things an ordinary person can do, such as not freaking out, speaking clearly and calmly to the emergency operator, staying safe, moving an injured person to safety if possible, stopping the bleeding, putting the injured in a safe position, and providing comfort.
How do we handle a hundred Harveys? We have to prepare. And by “We” I mean “our businesses.” There is one particular business I wish to commend. Waffle House restaurants have acquired a reputation for resiliency in the face of natural disasters. Waffle House started in 1955, and a majority of their 2,100 franchises are in the southern United States. Did they recognize that staying open during a disaster was a service to the community? Did they recognize that staying open during a disaster was profitable? I don’t know. All I know at this point is a great deal of pre-disaster planning and preparation has already been done:
Hurricane preparation for many can be a scramble, but for Waffle House, it’s a game of chess with military-style strategy and execution. Before a storm hits, and even before hurricane season, the company makes storm checklists for each location, meets with local authorities, and educates new employees, though many have been through 15 hurricanes.
How do we handle a hundred Harveys? Was their preparation effective? These pictures were taken in the Houston area some time on August 28, 2017:
But it was reported that each and every Waffle House restaurant in the metro Houston area was open on this day. One lesson to be learned from this is that part of successfully navigating the difficult times ahead involves preparation, not only for you, but for other people.
How do we handle a hundred Harveys? I realize all these words about climate science and disaster preparedness and logistics may seem quite…un-spiritual. But what if we came to the world to serve the world, instead of avoiding the world or escaping the world? What if your preparation ends up saving a life?
A number of different individuals have observed a certain life cycle as a new idea enters the world.
First they ignore you, then they mock you
Quotation enthusiasts consider this quote to be misattributed to 17th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, but their research showed similar words being said or written by a number of others:
Truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.
The 19th-century Christian missionary Hudson Taylor, best known for opening the interior of China to Christian missions, said:
I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.
First they ignore you, then they mock you. Is this mention a big deal? I believe it is, and I will tell you why. The Atlantic has existed in one form or another since 1857. The Atlantic exists in a number of different forms, with content in many different areas. I surmise from this history of the Atlantic that the Atlantic considers itself to be a platform where serious people contemplate and write about serious ideas. Web traffic monitor Alexa reports the Atlantic website to be the 800th most visited website in the world. That’s number 800 out of over 1,000,000,000 websites in the world. Say what you will about the Atlantic’s content or its editorial viewpoint; its status as a successful and influential website is indisputable.
First they ignore you, then they mock you. The Atlantic conducted a survey of participants in new religious movements, asking about a half dozen questions. I believe they were trying to get the participants to describe the distinctive aspects, the “secret sauce” of their movement. I was one of about 400 people to respond to this survey, according to the Atlantic. They didn’t select my response. That might be a good thing, as I was more terse than the New Message response they did select, from David Drimmel. I haven’t met David in person yet, but we have had some helpful online chats.
First they ignore you, then they mock you. I give the Atlantic credit for looking at David’s testimony with a relatively neutral stance. They wrote:
David Drimmel writes about the sense of connection offered by The New Message from God, a movement based on the teachings of Marshall Vian Summers, an American who says he received divine revelations about alien life and other things:
Here is the portion of David’s survey response reprinted in the Atlantic.
The New Message from God is unique in that it emphasizes the importance of the theology of the greater community of intelligent life. It has broadened my perspective and understanding of what humanity is facing in the world today, the alien phenomenon, and quenches my thirst for knowledge about life in the universe.
When I first learned about the New Message, it was like I had been waiting for it, searching for it all my life. What sticks out for me the most is the emphasis on building the four pillars of my life on relationships, health, work/providership, and spiritual growth. The chapters about the pillars in the book Living the Way of Knowledge helped me see my life from a perspective that engages me in relationship instead of the disconnected, depressive state I was in. Essentially, I was called out of my depression and into the world.
First they ignore you, then they mock you. I concur with David’s report that preparing for a successful emergence into a not-all-human future is a great emphasis of the New Message. Both Alisa and I have written a number of posts on this subject. I haven’t read Living the Way of Knowledge yet, but it’s on my to-read list. I have written about the four pillars here. This is one of the ways we work on being better people.
First they ignore you, then they mock you. I haven’t thought about this too much, but David, for better or for worse, is now the most well-known student of the New Message from God in the world. I believe he will bear that title well for the time he holds it. Will the New Message succeed in preparing humanity for the greatest transition in its history? Well, you know what they say…
The science fiction community is celebrating the contributions and mourning the departure of Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017) on September 8. The most well known obituary in national media I know of is the one written by Glenn Reynolds in USA Today. There are a number of things I wish to share about his life.
He spoke to our strength, dreamed of our success
Jerry Pournelle will be remembered for his collaborations with Larry Niven. Niven is an acclaimed science-fiction writer in his own right. Their partnership started in 1974 with The Mote in God’s Eye, a tale of humanity’s first contact with non-human intelligent life. This fertile partnership would continue until 2012, with many books, collections, and sequels. I consider this an illustration of one of the steps and teachings of Steps to Knowledge, the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. What’s a group effort? Everything. Everything that matters. Everything that helps someone. Step 45 of Steps to Knowledge declares:
“Alone you can do nothing. Nothing has ever been accomplished alone, even in your world. Nothing has ever been created alone, even in your mind.There is no credit to be received by doing something alone. Everything is a joint effort. Everything is the product of relationship.”
Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven had a fruitful relationship.
He spoke to our strength, dreamed of our success. Niven and Pournelle explored various aspects of humanity’s emergence into a greater community of intelligent life. In the 1985 book Footfall, humanity experiences an alien invasion. I realize that doesn’t seem particularly inventive. But the invasion is an act of desperation by a race whose home world has experienced environmental destruction. The value of this book is the why, as opposed to the what.
He spoke to our strength, dreamed of our success. Maybe there are conflicts out there in Known Space, as Niven called it. How will humanity respond? Larry Niven introduced us to the Kzinti, a warlike species of cat-like aliens in the 1960s. Pournelle and Niven presided over fourteen volumes of the Man-Kzin Wars series as writers and editors.
He spoke to our strength, dreamed of our success. One of the distinctives of the New Message from God is a great deal of teaching and emphasis on humanity’s forthcoming emergence into a greater community of intelligent life. The books Greater Community Spirituality and Life in the Universe are instances of this. The interstellar neighborhood described in these books doesn’t resemble what has been imagined by Pournelle and Niven, but I appreciate the effort made to contemplate the future.
He spoke to our strength, dreamed of our success. The only Niven and Pournelle book I have actually read is Fallen Angels, written in 1991 with Michael Flynn. I took enjoyment in this book because it imagined a world where science and technology have been rejected in favor of crystals and feelings. It imagined a world where combating global warming had succeeded all too well and resulted in an ice age. Finally, it was a valentine to the golden age of science-fiction fandom in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.
He spoke to our strength, dreamed of our success. Pournelle and Niven were known as “hard” science fiction writers. That means they not only imagined certain futures, but wrote about how the futures they imagined might actually exist. Fallen Angels is an instance of this, where there is a discussion of global temperature over the past few thousand years. And because of this, there was a certain strength to their optimism. In the future of Niven and Pournelle, humanity has a future. In the future of the New Message from God, humanity has a future if and only if it will prepare for it.
I never saw this picture at any point in my education as a child or adolescent. I never heard the name Alexander Stephens in my education. But I am considering him now because America is exploring certain unhappy aspects of its history. I wish to consider how Knowledge, the deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed within each person, might look upon the words of Alexander Stephens. I wish to consider what “ground rules” could be agreed upon for considering the past.
Let the past speak, and show when we were weak
Alexander Stephens gave an extemporaneous speech in Savannah, Georgia in March of 1861 which has come to be known as the Cornerstone Speech, because it clearly and succinctly stated the differences between the ideas of the Confederacy, and the ideas of the US Constitution. Here is a paragraph from that speech:
The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away… Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the “storm came and the wind blew, it fell.”
Let the past speak, and show when we were weak. What is my experience of these words of Alexander Stephens? I am aghast. I am stopped. I cry out, “How can someone say something so monstrously, terribly evil without the slightest hint of irony? And furthermore, mention it as in keeping with the Bible?” But this cry of mine is not well-formed in the light of Knowledge. Why is it not well-formed? Because of the judgment expressed by the word “evil” and its modifiers. Judgment is a decision to stop looking, to stop listening, to stop observing, and to start attacking, to start punishing, to start separating. Steps to Knowledge, the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God, affirms earlier teachings of how judgment is the source of many miseries and sorrows in the world. Therefore, I need to think this out again.
Let the past speak, and show when we were weak. Generally speaking, I find it a good strategy to replace judgment words in a sentence (good, bad, evil, right, wrong) with description words (long, heavy, bright, feathery, cold, etc.). I also find it a good strategy to replace sentences of the form “This is that” with sentences of the form “I consider this that” or “I find this that.” Getting back to Stephens, I could say “I consider his words to be an un-American thing for an American to say, assuming we define by “American” the words “Liberty,” “E pluribus unum” (Latin for “out of many, one”) and ‘In God we trust.'” I have replaced the judgment word “evil” with the descriptive word “un-American.” I have added the qualifier of limiting it to my own experience. If I could go back to Savannah in 1861 and give my first cry to Alexander Stephens, he might be angry and have his fists up. But if I went back and gave my second utterance, we might be able to continue to debate on the merits of the proposal.
Let the past speak, and show when we were weak. There is another thing about this speech I wish to consider. It is the relative weakness of ideas. I realize some people may find this difficult. I sympathize, because I have found this difficult. I have been taught all my life to believe that ideas have consequences, that some ideas are more powerful than others, and those ideas survive because they stir things in the hearts and minds of men that other ideas do not. I’m not so sure that those things are true anymore. In the realm of being, there are only things that are and things that aren’t. The realm of thoughts and ideas is based on persuasion rather than truth. In this realm, people create ideas, people attack certain thoughts, people fortify beliefs, people weaken arguments, people eventually destroy ideologies. The weapons are logic, manipulation, seduction, propaganda, ridicule, social rewards and punishments, and so forth. An idea that succeeds in a certain context today might very well fail in a different context tomorrow. I say the Founders knew that all people are created equal. But to Alexander Stephens, it was just another idea that didn’t pan out because of its lack of foundation in reality. What was the difference between the Founders and Alexander Stephens?
“Imagination is unstable, and even its brightest moments can turn to darkness in a second. Even its greatest inspirations can be bitterly discouraged with the slightest provocation. Here there is no certainty. Here there is no reality. Here nothing is trustworthy, for only change can be expected.”
Let the past speak, and show when we were weak. I very recently learned there is a statue of Alexander Stephens in the U. S. Capitol. It was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, the creator of Mount Rushmore. It was given to the Capitol by the State of Georgia in 1927.
If some improbable event granted me the world’s attention for even a very short time, I would tell the world this: There is a New Message from God in the World.
There is a New Message from God in the World
What do I mean by this?
Is this message an attempt at advocacy? No, even though this new message does contain certain things that people should stop doing and certain other things that people should start doing.
Is this message a teaching? No, even though this new message includes instruction on many different subjects.
Is this message a prophecy? No, even though this new message contains a great deal about the future of humanity.
What is it then? It is a revelation. It is what many people have prayed for, but few people dared to hope for. People have prayed, “Dear God, we need something to help us as individuals be better and stronger. Our religions were supposed to do that, but some people have used them as an excuse to be even more violent and cruel. Dear God, we need something to help us get over our attachments to our clans, our tribes, our ethnicities. We take no joy if our nation prospers at the cost of the ruin of another nation. Dear God, we need something to help us stop turning this beautiful world into a plundered, looted heap of fallen ruin.”
There is a New Message from God in the World.
It is here to serve humanity at a crucial turning point in its evolution. It comes at just the right time to sustain and uphold a world facing environmental degradation, internal strife, religious violence, unprecedented power struggles and immense human suffering. It comes to teach humanity how to reconnect with its spiritual core and unite to face the turbulent times ahead.
Only a genuine revelation from the Creator of All Life has the power to change the course of human history, and this is it.
It has been sent into the world through one man to keep it pure and uncorrupted. It has the power of Heaven behind it.
There is a New Message from God in the World.
Новое Послание от Бога присутствует в этом мире. Это дар от Творца всей жизни.
Оно переведено на человеческий язык и понимание благодаря Ангельскому Присутствию, наблюдающему за этим миром.
Оно является продолжением целого ряда посланий от Творца, которые передавались в течение веков и тысячелетий.
Это Новое Послание для нашего времени и будущих времен.
Если бы я вдруг имела такую возможность рассказать всем русскоязычным людям об одном для меня важнейшем явлении, я бы рассказала им о Новом Послании от Бога и его базовом учении, сердцевине, если хотите, книге «Шаги к Знанию».
Почему? Сейчас объясню.
Это уникальная книга, это сакральная книга, это книга, которая пришла к нам с незапамятных времен.
Впервые в истории человечества появилась книга, столь древняя, что её изучали расы по всем временам и во всех мирах, с тех пор как началась Разлука.
Я рекомендую её внимательно изучать.
А какие преимущества раскроет это внимательное изучение, вы спрашиваете?
Я вам поделюсь своим опытом, ведь я внимательно изучаю эту книгу уже пятый год, причем практически каждый день. Я практикую эти Шаги к Знанию и, как нам известно, повторение – мать учения. Или, другими словами, практика приведет к совершенству, хотя дело тут не в совершенстве, а в постоянстве. То, что мы практикуем, становится постоянным. Так, что следите за тем, что практикуете!
Так вот, какую пользу можно извлечь из внимательного изучения этих Шагов?
Новое Послание от Бога присутствует в этом мире.
Во-первых, эта книга дает объяснение того, что подразумевается под словом «Знание». Это многозначительное слово, причем с заглавной буквой, уходит далеко вне нашего поверхностного понимания и вне предел того, с чем мы обычно его ассоциируем.
Шаг 2 толкует это слово следующем образом: «Знание представляет твою Истинную сущность, Истинный разум и твои Истинные взаимоотношения во Вселенной. Оно также содержит в себе твоё высшее предназначение и идеальное использование твоей сущности, твоих врожденных способностей и навыков, даже твоих ограничений – всё это дано тебе на благо миру».
Слово “Знание”, как ученики Шагов к Знанию его употребляют и понимают, представляет собой глубокий разум, который Творец всей жизни заложил внутри каждого человека, чтобы направлять и защищать его.
Знание – это наша связь с Творцом.
Знание – это дар от Творца всей разумной жизни.
Знание – это тихое Присутствие, которое постоянно идет рядом с нами, но о существовании которого мы едва осознаем.
Во-вторых, Шаги к Знанию – это международная лаборатория для продвижения человеческого разума. Они соединяют ум, который думает с умом, который знает.
Во-третьих, цель изучения Шагов к Знанию заключается в том, чтобы восстановить связь с этим Знанием внутри себя и помочь другим сделать то же самое. Чтобы Знание не угасло в нашем мире, а помогло человечеству продолжаться развиваться и процветать.
Новое Послание от Бога присутствует в этом мире.
Благодаря Маршаллу Виану Саммерсу, которому раскрылась эта книга в состоянии откровения, она теперь доступна нам. Маршалл сам рассказывает, что он носил эту книгу, как плод, внутри себя задолго до того, как она появилась на свет. Он сам не подозревал о её огромной значимости. Он только знал, что он будет носить ответственность за её ношение, за предоставление её в мир, и за дальнейшую заботу за ней.
Итак, мы счастливые получатели этого дара от Творца. И, по моему скромному мнению, мы бы оказали себе плохую услугу, если бы мы не воспользовались этой уникальной возможностью, чтобы внимательно изучать её и практиковать Шаги к Знанию. Ведь это уникальная книга. Это сердцевина Нового Откровения от Творца, Нового Послания от Бога для нашего времени и будущих времен.
During the Final Broadcast of the 2017 Step Vigil, Marshall shares more about the gift of Knowledge in a way that he hopes will be easier for us to understand.
He begins speaking at the 22.30 mark.
“Knowledge really is our connection to our eternal life, because it represents the part of us that is eternal. It is here in the world on a mission to serve a higher purpose. This is not our personal purpose, it is something that lives within us that will emerge when we need for this Knowledge to come to our aid. When our need for clarity and certainty and resolution brings us to a point where we know that a greater power, that exists beyond us and even within us, can only answer.
“This evening I would like to talk about Knowledge in a certain way so that you can begin to understand what it really is. Because it’s hard to understand what’s really deeply within us, some things we rarely experience. We live so much on the surface, so conditioned by our own personal mind, by the world around us, by the people who influence us. But Knowledge is something great that lives within us.
“So I would like to describe this in a certain way for you tonight that may be helpful. The first thing to understand is you live with two minds. You have the worldly mind, which has been conditioned and shaped by your environment, by your family, by your circumstances, your relationships, and various persuasions throughout your infancy, childhood, early adulthood and onward. And that is the mind that we live in the vast majority of the time. A mind that is still turbulent, often unstable, that is still very much affected by the world around us. Because it’s subject to corruption and manipulation, it is always fearful. Fearful of what it may lose, fearful of life, fearful of death, fearful of change, fearful that you may not be fulfilled in life or have certain things. It is prone to constant error.
“This is the part of you that the world has created. It is not who you really are. But it is what you are in the world. And it has great importance when it begins to serve the higher power that lives within you and beyond you. This has produced much error in your life. But God will forgive you for this. Because God understands the limitations of this state of mind.
“Deep within this worldly mind is a far greater mind. The mind that represents the eternal part of you. The mind that is uncorrupted by the world, unaffected by the world. A mind that holds your strength, your purpose, your destiny, and your connection with timeless reality and with your Source. It is so much greater than people’s notions of intuition. Sometimes people feel that it is a guide from heaven, some external force, but Knowledge is intrinsic within in you. You cannot corrupt it. But it’s waiting for you to begin to return to it.
“This is the mind that God created. And God blesses you with it and for it. Every person has Knowledge. But the world has overlaid so much, layers of distrust, frustration, disappointment, layers of trauma, layers of failure, even the emptiness of success. The discouragement from others, your own discouragement. So at some point you realize you do not have the answer. And no one in the world has the answer. The answer comes from a greater place. And along the way you see signs of this, you see signs of people’s brilliance, you hear stories of people doing really courageous things, sometimes defying all rationality, people putting themselves in positions of risk or harm to do the right thing. And the evidence of this inspiration is everywhere, if you look for it.
“So Knowledge lives beyond your intellect, because your intellect is a product of living in the world. It is what has been added on. Knowledge is here to guide your intellect, so that it can be truly productive, and serve you and be your vehicle for being in the world, your mind, your body, vehicles for communication, vehicles for being in the world. Who you are, so much greater.
“When you begin to take the Steps to Knowledge, you begin to rebuild your connection to this indigenous part of yourself that has such strength and wisdom, the strength and wisdom you need. It has clarity about where you need to go in life, clarity that you really cannot find anywhere else. It is determined. It is not afraid of the world. Who can honestly say they are not afraid of the world?
“This is the gift of revelation for us now. For we are facing a world that will be much more turbulent, much more uncertain, even catastrophic in various ways, as the environment and the climate of the world changes, as nations become more unstable. Where will that certainty be, that you will need, as things that you have believed in in the past seem to fail and become inadequate? It’s a question, it’s a question. Without Knowledge, we all know what that is like.
“Without Knowledge, life becomes haphazard, full of conflict, frustration, without a true direction and a purpose. Even if you exert control over your life, like a tyrant, you’re still uncertain. You’re still afraid. Who really knows who they are, where they’re going and why they’re here, with an authentic sense of certainty? Rich or poor, everywhere in the world, this is the dilemma of living in Separation from our Source. Living in Separation from that which is natural and eternal within ourselves. To live in the world, and to grow up here, and be formed here is to forget where you have come from. It is to forget those who have sent you, it is to forget where you are ultimately going. The memory lives within you deeply, but you have to dig pretty deep for it now. There are too many other memories competing for your attention.
“As mysterious as this is, people experience it perhaps more than they realize. Intuition, Patricia mentioned gut feelings, things come to mind, you have a moment of sobriety and you see something very clearly that is startling that the people around you are not seeing. You have a sensitivity to people suffering, or dishonesty. And perhaps it seems like you are the only person seeing that in that situation. We have the evidence of Knowledge sprinkled out throughout our lives, here and there, the evidence in other people. Grace is still at work in the world, despite the many errors of humanity.
“And in this there will be no hell and damnation, because God knows that without Knowledge to guide you, you will live in error, you will be confused. You may do terrible things to yourself and others. Without Knowledge to guide you, this can happen and to some extent has happened. It is to bring you back to the power and presence of Knowledge within yourself. It is the purpose of all true religion in all of its manifestations, in all of its great testaments. But alas, the purity of this thread has been lost, overlaid, forgotten and even discouraged in the history of our world, in the history of humanity. Yes.
“So this Knowledge lives within you at this moment waiting to be discovered. If you are really honest about your condition, you will really come to see that you need this. And though it may be a distant reality to you, something you can barely comprehend, you know you need this. Everyone needs this. It is the condition of the world and the world we see today that is the product of people living without Knowledge, trying to make decisions without Knowledge, falling under oppression, inequality, servitude, everything, degradation, everything.
“When you have this understanding, you begin to look at the world more compassionately, because it’s not failing your ideals. This isn’t the world you thought the world should be. Of course not. It is a place where people are without Knowledge, living in Separation. This is the foundation for forgiveness and compassion, as you realize everyone is suffering, rich or poor, because of this core condition. In the New Message, it’s called the Crisis, the Crisis of Separation, the crisis of being separated from your own deeper nature, the source of your strength, the source of your integrity, the source of your power. Taken away, living in another reality, where these things seem to be very rare and difficult to find.
“It is through Knowledge that God blesses you, be you of any faith tradition, or be you of no faith tradition. God does not care what your religious beliefs are as long as they can help you return to the power that God has put within you, to guide you, to bless you, and to lead you to a greater life in the world. Any religious teaching, or understanding, any religious practice, precept, or doctrine is only as valuable to the extent that it can do this and encourages it. Religion without Knowledge tends to become delusional, competitive and violent. All the things that we have seen and continue to see in the world today.
“What will Knowledge do for you? Well, first, you will have to reshape your life to some degree. It will begin to move you in a certain direction, because it’s a constant movement, like a honing beacon. You may be going this way, but Knowledge needs you to go this way. It’s going to slowly turn your life. Naturally, it’s the most natural force there could be. So if you are moving in the wrong direction, then there’s nothing down that road for you. This is not going to work out. Knowledge begins to turn your life in the direction where your real accomplishments can occur, the important people you need to know can be found, the important teaching and education that you need can be recognized. It’s very important—where you are, who you are with, what you’re doing, very important.
“So the Creator of All Life has given humanity this ancient teaching in Steps to Knowledge. Steps to Knowledge is actually older than humanity. It’s been taught throughout the Universe to adepts, small groups, and now being given to the whole world, given the great change that is coming here, and the need to prepare, and the urgent situation, yes. It has brought a great message into the world. And with it the preparation that is essential.
“Steps to Knowledge seeks to bring into union your worldly mind and the deeper mind of Knowledge within you, which makes you complete. For the Knowledge that you carry is meant to guide you in all matters of great consequence. And your personal mind is meant to work out the details of your life and to carry out small decisions. But the really important things, the greater decisions, the greater direction for your life must come from Knowledge. This is how God will redeem you, and restore you, return to you your true strength and reconnect you ultimately with those who sent you into the world and what you are here to really do.
“Ask God for no greater thing than this, because there is no greater thing than this. This will feed you for a life time and will feed others through you. This will give you the eyes to see and the ears to hear. This will give you the strength to nourish others and to tell them that they too have a greater purpose and meaning in life.
“This has been the blessing that has been given to me 28 years ago. It took me seven years to prepare to receive Steps to Knowledge. Soon after it was received on the final night, which we celebrate tonight, the last day of the Vigil, within days I began Steps to Knowledge to be its first student, knowing that this was far beyond me, far greater than I am and of immense importance to the world. And I also knew, even at that time, early in my training, that I would be responsible for Steps to Knowledge for the rest of my life. To learn it, to comprehend it, to share it, to teach it, to encourage it and to protect it. Such a gift, such a blessing.
“So I am very happy that people have gathered at this vigil to honor this gift, who are beginning to receive this gift, allowing the Steps to Knowledge to begin to clear away the artifact and the debris that the world has set in their minds to see clearly with their own eyes, to know with their own heart, and to speak with their own voice, finally.
“May the Blessing be with you and with all of us, for the Presence and the Great Teachers are with us. And we bless that by saying, Nasi Novare Coram. Which is a step in Steps to Knowledge.
“So I would like to conclude by reading a quote from the back of Steps to Knowledge, a quote given by the Assembly
You came into the world with the Knowledge of who you are, who you must meet and what you must accomplish. It is time to find this Knowledge and begin to live it.
“May it be so.”
And Marshall concluded the entire Vigil by offering the following blessing at the 1.20.00 mark.
“I pray that the gift that has been given to each us through revelation can grow within us, and we can patiently abide with it, patiently nurture it, patiently protect this emerging awareness from the harshness of the world around us, honoring that within us that must be honored and is truly honorable. And may this presence, this power, this force that we call Knowledge give this clarity, because Knowledge has clarity. May it give us strength, because Knowledge has this strength. May it give us direction, because Knowledge is taking us somewhere. May it give us purpose, because Knowledge is filled with purpose. May it give us love, because Knowledge is the force of greater love. And may it reunite us with those in the world and beyond whom we must recognize and honor as part of our mission here on earth. May the Presence be with us always, and may the Steps continue to move us always. Nasi Novare Coram.”
There are a number of things about the New Message from God that I feel are worth mentioning. And this is an understatment, since these things form the core and express the quintessence of this Revelation.
“The New Message speaks to and addresses our mental, physical and emotional health, it speaks to building a solid foundation for being in the world by emphasizing our Four Pillars. It is real. It is palpable, you can work with it. You can be changed by it.”
“The New Message speaks to the quality of our relationships and finding the people with whom we share a greater destiny. Even if those same people do not match our ideals. This may be a person on the far side of the world who you see infrequently.”
“The New Message teaches us how to use and manage our mind so that it can be the true servant it was meant to be. It emphasizes the experience of insight and brings the real experience of God back into our lives in such a way that we can experience God for ourselves.”
“The New Message is preparing us, all of humanity, for our future and our destiny. This future, this destiny for humanity, will affect every person in the world and every person to come. It is here to support this process of confronting and going to meet our destiny as a human family.”
“The New Message provides wisdom from the Greater Community. It provides us with Knowledge. At the same time, this Revelation is here to give us a new life, each and every one. A new experience of being in the world, even for those who cannot change their circumstances.”
And here are some things worth mentioning about Steps to Knowledge, things that I gleaned during the 2016 Steps Vigil last year, but failed to bring to light at that time.
These things bring into clearer relief the enormity of what happened 28 years ago when Steps to Knowledge was birthed into the world through Marshall Vian Summers.
And indeed, in Marshall’s own words, he felt “pregnant” with this book for a long time before it actually made its appearance on Earth. He did not even know himself its immense import, he only knew that he was responsible for carrying it, bringing it into the world, and then caring for it.
Here are two excerpts from the 2016 Steps Vigil when Marshall speaks. Click on the icon in the upper lefthand corner to see the second excerpt.
I would also like to share some more wisdoms spoken by Marshall, Patricia and Reed that made a strong impact on me.
“Steps to Knowledge: The Book of Inner Knowing is a book that spans the eons of time.”
“The purpose of the Vigil is to recognize the gift of Steps to Knowledge that has entered the world.”
“What is Knowledge? Knowledge is your connection to God. Knowledge is God’s gift to all intelligent life.”
“Knowledge is this quiet Presence that has walked beside us that we barely knew was there.”
“Steps to Knowledge is a worldwide laboratory for the advancement of human intelligence. It marries the mind that thinks to the mind that knows.”
“Here we are being given a New Message which brings into the world for the first time in human history a book so old so as to be practiced by races across time since the inception of the Separation.”
“The Creator of all life has provided the Steps to Knowledge, a roadmap into the part of you that is permanent and true, powerful and fearless, gracious, but strong and determined—a part of you, you barely know or have never known, but which resides at the foundation of your Being.” ~ The Journey of the Messenger.
“The journey contained in Steps to Knowledge is actually a revolutionary journey.”
And as the 2017 Steps Vigil ends right now, I share these words from Marshall, “There is no going back. There is only going forward.” -MVS.