I haven’t read much Robert Bly’s earlier works. I am familiar with his books of ghazals, an Arabic poetic form. One of these books had the title “My Sentence Was A Thousand Years Of Joy.” I bought the book right then and there without looking inside. During this season I had a brief email correspondance with Robert Bly, where he encouraged me to write my own ghazal. He went to great lengths not to dwell on flaws of my attempt.
Many people have enjoyed the translations of Rumi by American poet Coleman Barks. In 1976, Bly showed Barks some of A. J. Arberry’s Rumi translations from the early 20th Century. Bly suggested to Barks that he make a more modern poetic translation, saying, “Release these (poems) from their scholarly cages.” If you have enjoyed the Coleman Barks translations of Rumi, you have Robert Bly to thank.
I consider Robert Bly to have signed the defense of his life in the 2010 poem “Ravens Hiding in a Shoe.” This is the final verse.
Robert, you’ve wasted so much of your life Sitting indoors to write poems. Would you Do that again? I would, a thousand times.
And in the final verse of the poem “What the Old Poets Failed to Say,” he signs his defense of poetry.
Night after night goes by in the old man’s head. We try to ask new questions. But whatever The old poets failed to say will never be said.
I became familiar with Robert Bly shortly after I moved to Minnesota in 1999. I have shared a number of the poems he included in his anthology “The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy.” At one time, I thought to myself “When he leaves this world, they will say no poet served the muse more faithfully.” I aspire and strive to be as faithful a servant to a noble cause, as Robert Bly was to the muse of poetry.
But every so often I hear a report of people from all over the world finding the New Message. Some of them come from the relentless efforts of tireless advocates. Others come through seemingly chance encounters. Is it enough? I don’t know, but it’s definitely more than what would have happened had we done nothing.
In the gospel of Luke, many people in various situations asked John the Baptist what they should do to demonstrate their repentance. I share this because I dare to dream of a day when people in various situations ask “What does this New Message from God say humanity must do?” An enterprising student made a list, collected from various New Message teachings. These are not in any particular order.
Humanity must cease and prevent all war. If there is another all-out war, it will be the end of humankind.
The human family must unite to solve global problems. In particular, the climate becoming less hospitable, and the environment becoming more polluted and unsupportive of life.
Most of you are not familiar with Robert Salas. He is a man who has been striving mightily to tell his story and have it be known.
Will our visitors let us destroy our world?
The life story of Robert Salas is relatively ordinary. Robert Salas is a 1964 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He served seven years on active duty. He worked as a weapons controller, flew target drones, commanded intercontinental ballistic missiles as a launch officer, and worked as an Air Force missile propulsion engineer on the Titan III program. From 1971 to 1973 he worked as a safety and reliability engineer for Martin-Marietta Aerospace and Rockwell International on Space Shuttle design proposals. From 1974 until his retirement in 1995 he worked for the Federal Aviation Administration. Since his retirement he has working to publicize and unfold a remarkable event from 1967.
The time of this remarkable event was March 1967. The place was Malmstrom Air Force Base in northern Montana in the US. The event happened twice, once on March 16 and again on March 24. Part of the event was the sighting of a UFO by multiple witnesses on the base. The witnesses reported the object displaying remarkable speed and maneuverability. Another part was a group or flight of 10 nuclear missiles, “going off alert,” becoming unlaunchable. Two different flights of missiles were disabled, one on the 16th and the other on the 24th. Salas was on duty as a deputy missile combat crew commander deep in the underground nuclear missile control room.
While Robert Salas didn’t mention this, there are reports of UFOs tampering with Russian nuclear weapons as well. Some of this became known after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. One of those events occurred on October 4, 1982, near the Ukrainian town of Byelokoroviche. A disc-shaped UFO apparently hovered over a nuclear missile base for an extended period. At one point during the encounter, a number of nuclear missiles suddenly activated—without authorization from Moscow or any action being taken by the missile launch officers—and were preparing to launch. Fortunately, after 15 seconds, the anomalous activation ceased and the missiles returned to stand-by status.
Will our visitors let us destroy our world? What am I supposed to think about this? It is as if the development of nuclear power and nuclear weapons has attracted UFO scrutiny. Book One of The Allies of Humanity, published in the late 1990’s, mentions this.
“It is necessary for people everywhere to understand that humanity is emerging into a Greater Community of intelligent life. Your world is being “visited” by several alien races and by several different organizations of races. This has been actively going on for some time. There have been visitations throughout human history, but nothing of this magnitude. The advent of nuclear weapons [emphasis mine] and the destruction of your natural world have brought these forces to your shores.”
Nowadays people don’t think of nuclear tests, but in the 1950’s and 1960’s, a great many nuclear tests happened above ground. If you were a visitor from outer space, and you observed this taking place, what would you think?
Two recent public opinion polls showed UFOs were not considered a military threat. I wonder how many of the respondents to that poll were aware of these events. I think I had heard of them in passing, but I didn’t pay much attention to them at the time.
All I know is that day by day the evidence grows. The New Message from God teaches what is currently a minority viewpoint on the subject of extraterrestrials.
“Day by day the evidence grows. Day by day more people are becoming aware. But there is still tremendous ignorance and denial. There is still tremendous manipulation of the evidence. It is very hard for people to gain any reliable information now.
The governments of the world will not tell you what they know. The religious institutions of the world cannot help you. People are filled with superstition. They are filled with hope. They are filled with wild expectancy. But who can see clearly? Whose thoughts are clear and unaffected by the prevailing attitudes and beliefs of society?”
It takes a certain intellectual and emotional preparation to see clearly. I do not claim to think clearly. I claim to be working on seeing clearly. Will our visitors let us destroy our world? Maybe not. But that doesn’t imply their benevolence.
Even with all of the difficulties the human family faces, I take joy when someone makes an effort to solve one of humanity’s problems. It is sometimes the case that the problem is something most people don’t even think about. I confess that it’s something I rarely think about. The problem is the garbage in the Pacific Ocean.
The beginning of the end for the Pacific Garbage Patch
The eastern garbage patch was discovered in 1997, has been growing ever since. 80 percent of the plastic in the ocean comes from land-based sources. There are six countries in particular that are ocean garbage contributors: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Ocean currents cause the garbage to accumulate in particular spots. The Garbage Patch is much worse than a nasty eyesore. It contributes to the death of many kinds of marine life. turtles often mistake plastic bags for prey such as jellyfish. Abandoned fishing lines, fishing nets and equipment can ensnare and drown dolphins, porpoises and whales. Microplastics have been found in the stomachs of nearly half of the most important species for global fisheries. There are garbage patches in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as well. Garbage patches are an environmental, biodiversity, and food safety problem.
I hope you are with me that ocean garbage patches are a problem to be solved. One of the reasons they haven’t been solved is because they exist outside the borders of any one nation. Governments don’t recognize them as their problem yet. Perhaps they should. But I am pleased to report that there is someone working on this problem. The someone is a young man named Boyan Slat.
Boyan Slat is a Dutch-Croatian inventor and entrepreneur who creates technologies to solve societal problems. He is the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, which develops advanced systems to rid world’s oceans of plastic. Instead of going after the plastic, Boyan devised a system though which, driven by the ocean currents, the plastic would concentrate itself, reducing the theoretical cleanup time from millennia to mere years. In February 2013 he dropped out of his Aerospace Engineering study to start The Ocean Cleanup. The first cleanup prototype was deployed in June 2016, and The Ocean Cleanup now prepares to launch the first working pilot system in late 2017.
I say “Amen” to this! Let it be as Boyan Slat has said. I take great encouragement in this progress. But I take an even greater encouragement with scope of Boyan Slat’s vision. I consider him an extremely rare individual at this point. He is a person who is actually doing what the New Message from God says humanity must do. Boyan Slat is working on cleansing a polluted ocean. The New Message from God speaks of a thousand solutions required to face the future successfully. I say the Ocean Cleanup is one of them. I say the human family needs a thousand more Boyan Slats. Let this mark the beginning of the end for the Pacific Garbage Patch
As a student of the New Message from God, I cry out that God has spoken again to humanity, This speaking is in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. There are lots of people who don’t believe this is true. Even worse, there are lots of people who don’t believe this is even possible.
A silenced God is not good
Christians declare that “in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son [Jesus], whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:2, New International Version) Muslims declare that Muhammad is “the seal of the prophets.” (Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 40, Arberry translation) Multiple Quran translations of this verse render it as “the last prophet” or “the last of the prophets.” These verses have a certain air of finality to them.
But to any Christian who would quote Hebrews 1:2 to me, I have a question. What do you think about the emergence of Islam? Do you believe that God has spoken again? Can you believe that such a thing is even possible? Or do you believe the entire Islamic enterprise is a fraud, spread by the sword? There were those who accused Muhammad of fabricating the revelation. “Or say they (again): He hath invented it? Say: If I have invented it, upon me be my crimes, but I am innocent of (all) that ye commit.” (Surah Hud, verse 35, Pickthall translation)
But I say to everyone everywhere, stop telling God whether God can speak again or not. A God who does not speak to humanity, when it is facing its greatest challenges, is either not as powerful or not as good as advertised. The Muslims say “And if you are in doubt concerning that We have sent down on Our servant, then bring a sura [chapter] like it, and call your witnesses, apart from God, if you are truthful.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 23, Arberry translation) I offer more than a single chapter. I offer an entire revelation. All I know is that a silenced God is not good.
I make no expectation upon anyone to believe anything just because Jiddu Krishnamurti says it. I do encourage everyone to weigh it in their own experience and feel how it feels. But there might be some people who reject these ideas. Therefore, I would like to offer them from a different angle, a different world view.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was many things in his life. An architect, a designer, a futurist. One book he is well-known for is Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, published in 1969. As far as I can tell, this book has never gone out of print. I share this brief excerpt with you.
This “sovereign” — meaning top – weapons enforced “national” claim upon humans born in various lands leads to ever more severely specialized servitude and highly personalized identity classification. As a consequence of the slavish “categoryitis” the scientifically illogical, and as we shall see, often meaningless questions “Where do you live?” “What are you?” “What religion?” “What race?” ’”What nationality?” are all thought of today as logical questions. By the twenty-first century it either will have become evident to humanity that these questions are absurd and anti-evolutionary or men will no longer be living on Earth.
I prefer the word “ethnicity” to “race,” but that was the commonly used word in 1969. Krishnamurti called identification with ethnicity, nationality or religion “violent.” Buckminster Fuller leveled an even stronger criticism, calling such identification “anti-evolutionary.” How dare you say something anti-evolutionary! But people do it every day, alas.
I believe some of you are reading this and thinking “I say, Douglas, that’s a pretty harsh criticism.” What would you have us say and think instead? Glad you asked, friend, glad you asked! Buckminster Fuller would encourage you to say, believe, act and demonstrate the words
“I am a crew member of Spaceship Earth.”
Perhaps this alternate formulation would help.
“I am a citizen of Planet Earth. I claim certain rights and accept certain responsibilities for the survival and freedom of the human family.”
I realize some people may call this unpatriotic. But the New Message from God tells us we are entering a time when no ethnicity will succeed at the expense of another. Likewise for nations and religions. The New Message from God calls us citizens of the Greater Community of Worlds. We are clearly citizens of Planet Earth. I am a citizen of the city of St. Paul. My citizenship in the state of Minnesota does not invalidate this. I am a citizen of the United States of America. This does not override my citizenship in Minnesota. My citizenship in the Greater Community of Worlds does not nullify my citizenship of Planet Earth.
Will there be enough crew members of Spaceship Earth in time? Can we evolve our thinking enough in time? We will find out shortly.
September 17, like August 10, is another beautiful day on the calendar of the uniting world. On September 17, 1978, the Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Israel and Egypt have been at peace for 43 years. Anwar Sadat was assassinated in October of 1981. Menachem Begin died in 1992. The peace between Egypt and Israel has lasted for many since the deaths of its original architects.
Crying out for joy for another year of peace
Between the founding of Israel in 1948, and the signing of the Camp David Accords, Egypt and Israel went to war three times. In the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, over 6,300 Israelis and as many as 7,000 Arabs died. During the 1967 Six-Day war, as many as 15,000 Egyptians, and almost 1,000 Israelis died. In the 1973 Yom Kippur war, 2,800 Israeli and as many as 15,000 Egyptians died. What would have happened if Sadat and Begin had not signed the Accords? That part of the world would be a much sadder and poorer place.
I wish to recall peace much more than war
I consider the keeping of this peace agreement to be a great accomplishment for both Israel and Egypt. It is something to celebrate. This year I celebrated by eating kushari, beloved street food of Egypt. Next year it will be falafel, beloved street food of Israel. As I ate the kushari, I imagined an Egyptian man born after the signing of the Camp David Accords. In my imagination, he was eating some kushari with his family after a busy day at his work. He was grateful for the peace between Egypt and Israel, as he had family members who died in one of the earlier wars.
If we are to have peace, we must celebrate peace at every turn. We must make the celebration of peace in the world part of our lifestyle. Each year, I am looking for a way to celebrate the waging of peace. Every year, I am crying out for joy for another year of peace.
The poll is the Gallup Poll. The first time the poll was taken was in August of 2019. The second time the poll was taken was in July of 2021. The question asked was “Which comes closer to your view – some UFOs have been alien spacecraft visiting Earth from other planets or galaxies (or) all UFO sightings can be explained by human activity on Earth or natural phenomenon? The percentage of people expressing the possibility that UFOs have been alien spacecraft jumped from 33% to 41% in two years. The “human activity/natural phenomenon” group declined from 60% to 50%. If this is a representative sample of American adults, it means that millions of American changed their minds on this subject.
There were multiple subgroups that had significant increases over two years. College graduates, people with some college, men, and middle-aged adults (34 to 55) all showed significant increases. I consider the Gallup Poll to have downplayed the significance of these changes. The headline of their article read “Larger Minority in U.S. Says Some UFOs Are Alien Spacecraft.” It didn’t say how much larger (about 20 million Americans). And it didn’t give the time period over which this change took place (a mere 23 months). A lot more people think we might have visitors.
What inspired so many people to change their minds?
I consider the US government UFO/UAP report of June 2021 to have had a substantial impact on this change in public opinion. The UFO/UAP report confirmed a belief that there were many more UFO sightings taking place than what the government was reporting. The reports of unusual movement patterns were confirmed. The report debunked beliefs that these movement patterns were instrument malfunctions or pilot hallucinations. The confession of ignorance by the US government sparked a certain degree of wondering in the American public.
Are the visitors here for our benefit?
There have been two recent public opinion polls asking if UFO’s constitute a military threat. There have been many polls on the existence of intelligent life on other planets. A growing number of polls ask if intelligent life from other planets is present in our world. There is a question I would ask that no pollster has asked yet. The question is “If intelligent life from other planets is present in our world, are they here for the benefit of humanity?” What do you think?
The human discovery of exoplanets, planets orbiting a star other than our sun, is a relatively recent phenomenon. The first exoplanet to be discovered was in 1992. In 2002, an exoplanet was discovered by means of transit. A transit is a phenomenon when a celestial body passes directly between a larger body and an observer. Like Mercury passing in front of the Sun. It makes the Sun seem ever-so-slightly less bright. 3,372 exoplanets have been discovered in this way between 2002 and the present.
“From the exoplanets’ point of view, we are the aliens”
Lisa Kaltenegger and Jackie Faherty were not the first astronomers to contemplate the Earth Transit Zone. But they were the first to consider what stars might be moving into it, or out of it. My teachers never told me that the stars move relative to each other. But they’ve been doing it for a long, long time. The star known as Ross 128 used to be in the Earth Transit Zone, but left it 900 years ago. The star known as Teegarden’s Star will enter the Earth Transit Zone in 29 years.
I dream the far-off watchers of the skies. Suppose a star is in the Earth Transit Zone. If there is a planet orbiting that star, an astronomer on that planet could see the Earth. There’s nothing we could do about that. But we could stop sending probes into interstellar space. We could stop broadcasting everything about ourselves into space. We could be more discreet about our affairs.
There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.
This may be true in Dave Barry’s world, but it is not true in mine. As a student of the New Message from God, a birthday is so much more than a biological event.
What if I cried out to come to this world?
A person’s birthday is the beginning of efforts toward purpose. Some traditions teach that people are correcting distortions from previous lives. But the New Message from God frames it as the beginning of progressively greater efforts towards a purpose.
Step 33 of Steps to Knowledge teaches “You have a mission in life to fulfill, a mission that was given you before you came here, a mission that you will review once you have left. It involves the reclamation of Knowledge and the proper engagement with others to bring about specific results in the world.” Therefore, a birthday is a day of contemplating that mission given me before I came here. I do not claim to have recalled that mission. I claim to be preparing to recall that mission.
I mentioned once that I participated in a number of theatrical productions in an earlier season in life. I have this picture in my mind’s eye. The work of preparation for bringing someone to this world could be a little bit like a theatrical audition. Usually a call is made for an audition in a place where actors gather. It is a director’s nightmare for the time of the audition to arrive and no actors show up. But usually some actors show up for various reasons. The actors read from the script, they sing and dance. The director is not only looking for competence, but an inner correspondence. A connection between the role and the actor.
Sometimes there is an abundance of actors, and callback auditions are held to decide between multiple worthy candidates. But at each stage in the process, an actor had to choose to show up. The actor who was cast in a particular role had to choose to show up, possibly multiple times.
What if I cried out to come to this world? It’s as if they told me there was an opportunity for me to come to this world. To meet certain people and give certain gifts. And meeting these people and giving these gifts would satisfy the deepest longing within me. I can think of times when I have knocked on certain doors in life, figuratively speaking. As I knocked, something within me was crying out, “Oh, if only this door would open to me. If this door opens to me, I promise I will make the most of it.” One of my fellow New Message students expressed this by saying “I have to make an adamant declaration.” I don’t know if this is true or not, but it seems to put me in a position of wanting to be more attentive. That might be important.