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.

What Of The Wounds My Brothers Gave To Me?

What of the wounds my brothers gave to me?When the same passage appears twice in the space of three chapters in the Bible, I consider it to be a dead giveaway that that passage is something to which I’m supposed to pay particular attention. In chapter 6 of the book of Jeremiah, the prophet brought an indictment against the kingdom of Judah, a corrupt nation living on borrowed virtue and borrowed time. This indictment is repeated in chapter 8:

“From the least to the greatest,
    all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike,
    all practice deceit.
They dress the wound of my people
    as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
    when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 6:13-14, New International Version)

I share this as I think about Step 86 “I honor those who have given to me” in Steps to Knowledge. Any student who has come this far has already received an answer for the question “How shall I deal with my self-inflicted wounds, the painful consequences of my own errors?” That answer was introduced in Step 26 “My errors give birth to my Knowledge,” and developed in Step 73 “I will allow my errors to teach me.” The answer is something to the effect of “Don’t kid yourself into thinking that error doesn’t exist. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that error doesn’t hurt. Make the decision to learn from your errors so as not to repeat them, thus avoiding the pain and suffering they bring.” I found that to be a satisfactory answer, a satisfactory dressing of my self-inflicted wounds.

What of the wounds my brothers gave to me?

But there is another side of the coin that must be addressed. Many people have difficulty dealing with wounds which are inflicted by others, the painful consequences of the errors of others. Many people question the justice of God, or the character of God, or even the very existence of God when they contemplated the actions of other people. I believe Step 86 provides an empowering context into which to place the evil that men do.

The people who have wounded me put my character, strength, courage and magnanimity to the test. Sometimes I passed the test, sometimes I didn’t. But they offered me a mirror in which I could plainly see myself. Maybe that’s what Rumi meant when he said “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

As I honor those who have given to me, I offer gratitude for the contributions of some people. What of the wounds my brothers gave to me? I thank them for the test they offered me, even if I didn’t pass. I am thankful that Steps to Knowledge is addressing this subject, and not saying “Peace, peace” when there is no peace.

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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.