I Specify You With Joy, O My Comrade

Walt Whitman I specify you with joy, O my comrade

A poem by the American poet Walt Whitman has been making its way around the New Message from God worldwide community.

I specify you with joy, O my comrade

I was not aware of this poem until very recently. It appeared as one of the “Messenger Leaves” of the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass, and also appears in the “Autumn Rivulets” section of the 1892 “deathbed” edition.

This poem vibrates sympathetically with a portion of the revelation “The Meaning of Christmas,” received by Marshall Vian Summers in December of 1994. This teaching has inspired me to write a number of posts.

“Christmas is a celebration of every moment that the person is moved by Knowledge and contributes with Knowledge. Though it is celebrated as one event in your calendar, as a unique time of the year, it is meant to be an experience for you to have in life and for you to share with others.

Then you will come to know Jesus, not because you can sympathize with him, but because you are undergoing a process that he underwent, and you are beginning to experience the reality that he represented. Then he will no longer be a historical figure. Then he will no longer be an idol for you, someone to worship. Then he will no longer be beyond your reach. Instead, he will become your friend, your companion, your elder brother. And his demonstration and his life, his suffering and his achievement will all have great meaning for you because you will be beginning to experience them for yourself. And you will know that he is not to be idolized, but to be embraced.”

I specify you with joy, O my comrade. Whitman wrote about how others shared his experience now, and how others would share his experience in the future. Did he write about people like you and me?

A compassionater in this context is someone who thinks and feels like someone else. No, I never use the word “peremptorily.” It means “insisting on immediate attention or obedience,” which makes sense from the context.

To Him that was Crucified

MY spirit to yours, dear brother;
Do not mind because many, sounding your name, do not understand you;
I do not sound your name, but I understand you, (there are others also;)
I specify you with joy, O my comrade, to salute you, and to salute those who are with you, before and since—and those to come also,
That we all labor together, transmitting the same charge and succession;
We few, equals, indifferent of lands, indifferent of times;
We, enclosers of all continents, all castes—allowers of all theologies,
Compassionaters, perceivers, rapport of men,
We walk silent among disputes and assertions, but reject not the disputers, nor any thing that is asserted;
We hear the bawling and din—we are reach’d at by divisions, jealousies, recriminations on every side,
They close peremptorily upon us, to surround us, my comrade,
Yet we walk unheld, free, the whole earth over, journeying up and down, till we make our ineffaceable mark upon time and the diverse eras,
Till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races, ages to come, may prove brethren and lovers, as we are.

* * *

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…

* * *

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.

Sir, We Would Like To See Jesus

we-would-see-jesus-tissot Sir, we would like to see JesusMost of the people in my world are in agreement with the Old Testament prohibition against image-making and image-worshipping (Exodus 20:4-5). One doesn’t have to be particularly clever to notice that using an image to portray God makes God much smaller than God really is. One doesn’t have to be clever to notice that making God smaller than God really is, is telling a lie.

Sir, we would like to see Jesus

As I ponder the Christmas season, I recall the Greeks in attendance at the Passover festival in John 12. They told Philip, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” It is unclear whether these Greeks were “Jews of the dispersion,” Jews living in Greece, or “proselytes of the gate,” Greeks who wished to participate in Jewish worship. At this point, it doesn’t matter to me. What I admire is their proactive attitude in their desire to meet Jesus. I admire their unwillingness to settle for someone else’s belief or testimony. I consider their attitude worthy of emulation.

The New Message from God has some significant issues with historical Christianity, and one of the big ones is the nature of Jesus. The revelation The Meaning of Christmas teaches:

“Though Jesus has been idealized, though his life has been made to be unique and un-matched by any other life, though he has been placed on a pedestal above and beyond every other person, in truth, his life represents the emergence of Knowledge within the individual.”

To idealize someone is to portray them as perfect or better than in reality. In my mind, to idealize someone is an untruth, just as image-making and image-worshipping is an untruth.

I realize that this is challenging to the beliefs and worldviews of many people. However, I’m not asking anyone to accept anything that isn’t confirmed in their own experience. Therefore, it is my hope, it is my wish, it is my prayer, that everyone who names the name of Jesus pray this prayer:

“Dear God, I would like to see Jesus. I would like to see Jesus as he is. I am unwilling to let anyone else’s belief or testimony overrule my own experience. I declare my willingness to do my part for this to happen. Amen.”

It is my hope, it is my wish, it is my prayer that you will follow the noble example of the Greeks who said “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”

* * *

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.

If I Would Imitate Christ

The Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7. If I would imitate Christ, then Knowledge must emerge in me

The Christmas season in the Catholic and Protestant portions of the Christian community has come and gone. However, the Christmas season in the Orthodox church is yet to come, with Christmas being celebrated on January 7.  The Orthodox church is the third largest group of Christians in the world. There are between 300 and 400 million Orthodox Christians scattered over many countries.  I therefore prefer to think that January 1 is in the middle of the global Christmas season, halfway between December 25 and January 7.

The New Message from God has something to say about Christmas as well. The message “The Meaning of Christmas” was received on December 23, 1994.

In late November of 2013, I wrote a post on the New Message teaching “Joy and Gratitude.” This is another post of that kind, unpacking “The Meaning of Christmas.”  Again, it is too long to quote, but there are some important things to mention.

In the first four sentences, the phrase “the emergence of Knowledge in the individual” is used three times.  Christmas represents the emergence of Knowledge in the individual.  The life of Jesus represents the emergence of Knowledge within the individual.

If I would imitate Christ

If I would imitate Christ, then Knowledge must emerge within me, as Knowledge emerged in him.

If I would imitate Christ, then I must address the needs of my time, just as Jesus addressed the needs of his time.

The crowds were amazed at the teaching of Jesus, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law (Matthew 7:28-29, New International Version).  If I would imitate Christ, then I must find and demonstrate that same authority he demonstrated.

Angels ministered to Jesus during moments of great decision in his life. They ministered to him after his temptation in the wilderness. An angel strengthened him during his time of prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. If I would imitate Christ, then I must be aware of the existence and activity of the Unseen Ones in the world, just as Jesus was.

Jesus declared he was sent into the world. Jesus declared he had people to meet, like Zacchaeus the tax collector.  Jesus declared he had actions to take. If I would imitate Christ, then I must consider the possibility I was sent into the world as well, I have people to meet, I have actions to take.

I can embrace Jesus as a friend, a companion, an elder brother.  I can idealize Jesus, place him on a pedestal above and beyond every person.  I cannot do both. If I would imitate Christ, then I must choose between these alternatives, and choose well.

I have read this message multiple times, and different portions shine more luminously to me on different occasions.  There is quite a bit more that could be said about this message, but this is all I have to say about it for now.

* * *

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.