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.

We Have A Plan To Reach The Goal

Eagle Peak Summit, Alaska. We have a plan to reach the goal.I came away from the 2014 Encampment of the New Message from God with a great deal of encouragement for the future. It’s not just that we have goals for the future, but we have plans in place for reaching those goals.

We have a plan to reach the goal

What are the goals? One goal is to complete the publication of the New Message in written form during the lifetime of Marshall Vian Summers. Another goal is to translate the New Message from English into the languages of the world. Another goal is for 4% of the world’s population to hear of, and respond to the New Message. These goals are part of a larger goal, to assist humanity in the difficult times ahead, to assist humanity in successfully navigating the series of big, ongoing disruptions we call the Great Waves of Change.

I realize that these goals don’t have fixed deadlines on them. That might be a good thing. I realize these goals are really big. Would it be better to call them visions or purposes at this point? Maybe. I know that if I didn’t have an inner conviction of the nobility of these goals, I would run screaming in terror at the enormity of the tasks at hand.

What’s the plan for reaching these goals? We encourage New Message respondents to strengthen both their inner and outer life. We encourage those who engage with the New Message to cultivate the heart of a finisher. We encourage those who read and study the New Message to trust their deepest inclinations. The phrase “I trusted my deepest inclination” was used many times by people at Encampment, in response to why they engaged in a particular activity or project. We encourage each other to remember that we’re not only not alone, but we’re part of a worldwide community of New Message respondents.

We have goals, we have plans, we have a plan for sticking to the plan. We have a plan to reach the goal.

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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.

In His Own Tongue

John Wycliffe In his own tongueWhile John Wycliffe (c. 1330-1384) is by no means the first man to translate the Bible into his first language, he is famous for being the first man to translate the Bible into English. He is reported to have said, “Englishmen learn Christ’s law best in English. Moses heard God’s law in his own tongue; so did Christ’s apostles.” While this truth took a while to catch on, I am persuaded that having the Bible in the heart language of many Christians is a great advance for the worldwide Christian community.

In his own tongue

I share this to share with you that on Day 4 of the Encampment of the New Message from God, it was our great blessing to meet the individuals who are translating the New Message from God from English into the languages of the world.

As far as I know, all the translators are volunteers. Just as I had met some 2014 Encampment attendees at the 2012 Encampment, I met some of the translators at the 2012 Encampment. I had online relationships with some of the translators. I met some of the translators for the first time at the 2014 Encampment.

What languages are being translated? Swedish, Farsi, Hungarian, Spanish, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Danish, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arabic so far. How much has been translated? It varies from language to language, but there is a version of the New Message from God website in each of those languages.

What are the challenges? Well, the New Message is rather big, nine thousand pages. It uses words in unusual contexts from time to time. Sometimes the translators aren’t the most technically skilled. One translator declared “Even if I type one finger at a time, I will translate!” Another translator shared “I need to be a dedicated student [in order to be a effective translator].”

Why are they doing this? Some of the translators encountered the New Message and thought to themselves, “This must be shared.” Some of the translators shared “I trusted my deepest inclinations,” (as instructed by Step 72 “I will trust my deepest inclinations today” of Steps to Knowledge) as they described their path into translation.

Will the New Message from God catch on in the world? I don’t know. But if it does, it may well be because of the magnanimity and effort and heart of the translators we met on that day. If it does, it may well be because a speaker of a language other than English encountered the New Message in his own tongue.

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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.

Some Small But Substantial Successes

Some small but subtantial successes

Step 84 of Steps to Knowledge is a review of the steps from Step 78, “I can do nothing alone” to Step 83, “I value Knowledge beyond all things.”

Some small but substantial successes

There were some seeds sown during this period. One seed that was sown was the idea that if I am going to advance, I’m going to have to be more accountable as to what I am practicing. This seed was sown in Step 80, “I can only practice.” Another seed that was sown was the idea that if I am going to advance, I’m going to have to have a certain awareness of my craving for social rewards. I’m going to have to develop a certain indifference to social rewards. This seed was sown in Step 81, “I will not deceive myself today.”

There were also some seeds that were sown earlier, but watered during this period. Step 78, “I can do nothing alone” is a watering of the seed sown in Step 45, “Alone I can do nothing.” Step 82, “Today I will not judge another” is a watering of the seed sown in Step 76 “I will not judge another today.”

Steps to Knowledge has mentioned the value of having a beginner’s mind, an attitude of humility, curiosity and enthusiasm toward the study of Steps to Knowledge. One of the good things about a beginner’s mind is not having expectations as to what kind of experience will occur in the study of something. It is as if Step 84 is answering the student’s question, “Is this how it’s supposed to look?”

“Review the practices and the instructions for the preceding week.Review your progress objectively. Realize how great your learning must be. Your steps now are small, but substantive. Small steps lead you all the way. You are not expected to take great leaps, yet each small step will seem like a great leap, for it will give you so much more than you have ever had before.”

Here is the word cloud for Steps 77 through 83:

Steps To Knowledge Steps 78-83 Word Cloud by Wordle. Some small but substantial successes

I have been using the website Wordle for creating these word clouds. I don’t know how Wordle creates these word clouds, but I don’t believe that Wordle makes any effort to put related words next to each other, or unrelated words far away from each other. Shortly after I made this word cloud, I felt an inclination to separate the words from each other, so that other people could arrange the words as they saw fit. Here are the separated words:

Steps To Knowledge Steps 78-83 Word Cloud with words separated. Some small but substantial successes

And since I am inviting people to do something, it seemed like a good thing to accept my own invitation, and make my own word cloud for Steps 77 through 83:

Steps To Knowledge Steps 78-83 Word Cloud Rearranged. Some small but substantial successes

I believe someone is reading this and thinking “I say, Douglas, you have a lot of time on your hands, don’t you?” Maybe, but I definitely thought about the Steps from which the words came as I rearranged the words. Who knows, maybe one day this will be a standard practice for engaging with the significance of a certain text. I can imagine my grandchildren saying “I have a clouding assignment in Language Arts class.”

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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.

Becquerels, Grays and Sieverts

Fukushima-Daiichi-Nuclear-Plant emitted a lot of radiation, measured in becquerels, grays and sieverts

The date of March 11 used to be known for the Madrid train bombings of 2004. It is now known for a much greater disaster, the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011. I am feeling an inclination to write a series of posts on the subject.

Shortly after the Fukushima disaster, Charlie Martin wrote a post on some of the technical aspects of radioactivity. I found this post to be helpful, but I felt a need to go slower than he did.

Once upon a time, everyone knew that all atoms were stable. An atom of one kind of element never turned into an atom of some other element. A little over 100 years ago, in the normal process of scientific investigation, this was discovered to be false. Certain elements (like radium, for example) were found to be inherently unstable, changing into other elements, and emitting particles and/or energy in the process. This process is called radioactive decay.

Becquerels, grays and seiverts

Because Henri Becquerel and Marie Curie were the discoverers of this phenomenon. Therefore one unit used to measure radioactivity is the becquerel (1 decay/second). Another unit is the curie (the number of decays per second in one gram of radium). This is important to know to avoid a hysterical reaction when you read a media report of a large number of becquerels associated with the Fukushima disaster. One gram of radium produces 37,000,000,000 decays per second, or 37 billion becquerels..

Furthermore, different materials have different numbers of decays per second. For example, it takes 16.3 grams of plutonium to produce the same number of decays per second as one gram of radium. It only takes 0.0001 gram of tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen) to produce the same number of decays per second as one gram of radium.

Different materials release different kinds of particles and different amounts of energy when they decay. Therefore, knowing the number of becquerels of a source of radioactivity is insufficient. I found this image from a Georgia State University webpage to be helpful

Radiation is measured using becquerels, grays and sieverts

A roentgen (named in honor of German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen, discoverer of X-rays) is a unit of electric charge per kilogram. Normal background radiation is about .2 roentgens per year. 500 roentgens in five hours (about 4,380,000 times the background radiation) is considered a lethal exposure.

A gray is a unit of radiation dose. A gray is defined by one joule of radiation energy absorbed by one kilogram of matter. I realize that doesn’t help very much. How much is a joule? One watt for one second. If you have a 60-watt light bulb on for 15 seconds, that’s 900 joules. Many people are charged a certain amount per kilowatt-hour for electricity. One kilowatt-hour is 3,600,000 joules. A rad is defined as .01 gray

A sievert measures the same unit as a gray, but takes into account the biological context of the matter receiving the dose, while the gray does not. Different kinds of particles and energies have significantly different amounts of damage to human tissue. Therefore, the dose in grays is multiplied by a “quality factor” or “weighing factor” to obtain a dose in sieverts. The quality factor is as low as 1 (electrons and gamma rays) and as high as 20 (alpha particles, neutrons at certain energies). A rem (roentgen equivalent in man) is defined as .01 sievert.

The scientific community is phasing out the use of curies, roentgens, rads and rems, and standardizing the use of becquerels, grays and sieverts in discussions on radioactivity and radiation doses. A Geiger counter measures a radiation dose in millionths of sieverts per hour.

There is a certain amount of naturally occurring radioactivity in the environment, from various sources. xkcd has created a radiation dose chart which I have found helpful. I felt it might be helpful to create a simpler version of that chart:

Radiation Doses. Radiation is measured in becquerels, grays and sieverts

This chart uses a logarithmic scale. For example, an airplane flight from New York to Los Angeles is roughly equivalent to 10 dental X-rays. A mammogram is roughly equivalent to 10 airplane flights, and so forth. As with roentgens, it takes millions of times the normal hourly background dose to obtain a lethal dose. The 900 joules mentioned above doesn’t seem like very much energy, but if a person weighing 100 kilograms or 220 pounds received 900 joules of radiation energy at one time, that would work out to a fatal dose of 9 sieverts, This explains why such great precautions are taken around radiation.

Someone is reading this and asking, “But how bad is it in Japan?” This photo of a Geiger counter in the city of Koriyama (40 miles away from the power plant) was recently displayed in a report in The Guardian.

KoriyamaGeigerCounterThe Guardian reports that this Geiger counter is reporting a radiation dose of 0.162 microsieverts (millionths of a sievert) per hour. That works out to 1.42 millisieverts (thousandths of a sievert) per year, which is slightly less than the average background radiation reported by the Japanese government, and less than the average annual background radiation reported on xkcd’s chart.

I understand there are more data points than this. But people look at the picture with the Geiger counter and think “Whoa! Things must be pretty bad in Koriyama!” But the math says otherwise. All I know right now is that it doesn’t buy me anything to try and present things as either better or worse than they are. All I know right now is that doing the math and the science makes me feel stronger in the face of a disaster. There is a time for stories and feelings, and a time for becquerels, grays and sieverts.

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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 Dream A Life Not Lost In Time

The track "I Dream A Life Not Lost In Time" uses a track by DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid

Paul D. Miller records and performs under the nom de musique DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid. He may quite possibly be the only DJ with not one, but two books published by MIT Press (Rhythm Science in 2004, and Sound Unbound in 2008). He engages in collaborations with a vast galaxy of individuals and ensembles. I call him a musical version of Anansi, the west African trickster spider, possessor of countless stories.

I dream a life not lost in time

I’m telling you this to tell you that two weekends ago, I purchased a used copy of the CD Songs of a Dead Dreamer, recorded in 1996. This CD has been called electronica, but it contains occasional acoustic instruments. This CD has been called ambient, but it’s not as ambient as other ambient music, in that it has some beats and rhythms wandering in and out. I consider the spirit of this CD to be ambient, a little bit like Minnesotans who talk to you without looking at you.

Eldon Tyrell tells Roy Batty he can't have more life. I dream a life not lost in time.

I’m telling you this to tell you that last weekend, I felt an inclination (as in Step 72, “I will trust my deepest inclinations today”) to create something. I have added music to poems I have liked before, like this poem by Antonio Machado. This time I started with the track “Thoughts Like Rain” from Songs of a Dead Dreamer, and added some lines from the 1982 science fiction classic movie Blade Runner. Why Blade Runner? Because the exclamation point of the movie is the line where an almost-human android is facing the end of his artificial(?) life, and regretting that the amazing moments of his life will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

I’m telling you this because I feel a connection between this creation and the Steps to Knowledge sidebar “Why Am I Doing This Anyway?” between Step 9 and Step 10. It says “Without Knowledge, you are unaware of your purpose. You are unaware of your origin and your destiny, and you will pass through this life as if it were a troubled dream and no more.” It is as if Steps to Knowledge is saying “Why are you doing this? Because you want a life that is more than a collection of moments that will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Because you want a life that is more than a troubled dream.”

I’m telling you this to share with you this combination, this mashup, which I call “I Dream A Life Not Lost In Time.” It is a valentine of sorts to DJ Spooky, to everyone involved in the movie Blade Runner, and to Steps to Knowledge.

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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.

Should You Trust Your Deepest Inclinations?

icebergStep 72 of Steps to Knowledge, “I will trust my deepest inclinations today,” is not the first time the word “inclination” has appeared in Steps to Knowledge. It is the first time the word has appeared the word has appeared in the actual step.

Should you trust your deepest inclinations?

In Step 16, “Beyond my mind is Knowledge,” inclinations is one of the ways Knowledge expresses itself. I listened for deeper inclinations. In Step 50, “Today I will be with Knowledge,” I was told that I had an inclination to know. I was told to trust that inclination. In Step 58, “Knowledge is with me,” I was told that I have “true inclinations,” as in “genuine and effective inclinations.” In Step 71, “I am here to serve a greater purpose,” I was told that I had an inclination toward that greater purpose. The inclination to know, and the inclination toward greater purpose are “bootstrap loaders” as it were, standards against which all inclinations are to be compared. Steps to Knowledge uses the word “inclination” in the common sense of the word, as in “tendency” or “predisposition.”

Just as it takes some work to sort out the voice of Knowledge from the tumult of inner voices, it takes some practice to sort out the deepest inclinations from the jumble of desires, compulsions and wishes. What do you want after the empty space has been filled? What do you want after the garbage has been taken out? What do you want after that itch between the shoulder blades that you just can’t reach has been scratched? I find these questions helpful to ponder when hunting for my deepest inclinations.

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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.