I Must Stretch Myself In Space And Time

Douglas Bass with a giant sriracha bottle. I must stretch myself in space and time.

As I continue my engagement with the New Message from God, a feeling is growing in me.

I must stretch myself in space and time

What do I mean? I mean it just doesn’t feel good enough for me anymore for one part of humanity to succeed at the expense of another. I love my country. I want it to succeed. But I would take no joy in its success if it involved the failure of another nation. Is there any victory that isn’t a funeral? I dream a world where every nation has a memorial to the enemy combatants and civilians killed in its wars.

The future is where the children live. I must stretch myself in space and time.

I must stretch myself in space and time. George Bernard Shaw wrote, “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.” What if the words “whole community” were changed to “humanity,” or “the human family” or “the human race” or “my people?” That’s how I’m starting to feel.

Iroquois confederacy wampum belt. I must stretch myself in space and time.

I must stretch myself in space and time. What do I mean? I mean it just doesn’t feel good enough for me anymore to think of some future event and say, “Well, it’s not like I’m going to be around to see it.” I feel like taking a page from the Great Law of the Iroquois and considering the impact of something on humanity seven generations from now. I consider this as 140 years. The Iroquois realized that this was tricky. In their words, it required having “skin as thick as the bark of a pine.” I’m not sure I have that yet. All I know is that I’m working on it.

Brooklyn Bridge 1877 I must stretch myself in space and time.

I must stretch myself in space and time. One part of this awareness or perspective is to think of the world of seven generations ago. What lessons were learned (or not learned)? Unlike some people, I believe that every so often, humanity learns from history.

I must stretch myself in space and time. What do I mean? I mean I have to adjust my awareness to think a little bit more about the success of the human family. I mean I have to adjust my awareness to think further ahead than I’m used to thinking. Can I help my people succeed 140 years from now? All I know is that I must try.

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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.

Even A Victory Is A Funeral

david-absalom Even a victory is a funeralThe Old Testament story of David mourning the death of his rebellious son Absalom is the only instance I know of a victorious sovereign mourning the death of the opposing leader after a battle (2 Samuel 18).

Even a victory is a funeral

I share this because I recalled it when I recently read this passage from the Tao Teh Ching. I consider it part of my preparation to become fluent in the religions of the world. I read this book with the working hypothesis that what Lao Tzu called the Tao (“the way” or “the path”) is what people like me call Knowledge. I am therefore sharing this passage with the word “Knowledge” replacing the word “Tao.” There are many translations available. This one is by John C. H. Wu.

Fine weapons of war augur evil.
Even things seem to hate them.
Therefore, a man of Knowledge does not set his heart upon them.
In ordinary life, a gentleman regards the left side as the place of honor.
In war, the right side is the place of honor.

As weapons are instruments of evil,
They are not properly a gentleman’s instruments;
Only on necessity will he resort to them.
For peace and quiet are dearest to his heart,
And to him even a victory is no cause for rejoicing.

To rejoice over a victory is to rejoice over the slaughter of men!
Hence a man who rejoices over the slaughter of men cannot expect to thrive in the world of men.
On happy occasions the left side is preferred:
On sad occasions the right side.
In the army, the Lieutenant Commander stands on the left,
While the Commander-In-Chief stands on the right.
This means that war is treated on a par with a funeral service.
Because many people have been killed, it is only right that survivors should mourn for them.
Hence, even a victory is a funeral.

I consider this passage (Chapter 31) to resonate with Step 287 of Steps to Knowledge, “With Knowledge I cannot be at war.”

King David cried out “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33, New International Version) For David, this victory was indeed a funeral. I pray that in the next war, the victors will mourn the losers’ casualties, that we might see the truth that even a victory is a funeral.

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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.