What have I written in the past 10 years? I have written 492 posts (including this one). Alisa joined in 2013 and wrote 293 posts in both Russian and English between 2013 and 2018. I wrote a series of blog posts about Steps 1 through 95, of the 365 steps of Steps to Knowledge. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. I didn’t go further because I didn’t have a succinct way of explaining “what is in this step will only make sense if you have practiced all the previous steps.” But I would like to think that I have written something that describes part of the Steps to Knowledge experience.
Part of this devotion and determination comes from the recognition that humanity faces challenges to its survival and freedom. Humanity faces an increasingly difficult world, a world created by its own choices. A world of declining resources, affected climate, a degraded environment, and extraterrestrial intervention.
So what are the statistics? 166,607 page views, from 113,916 sessions (visits), from 95,262 users, from 10,935 cities in 204 countries/regions. Sometimes an inner voice tells me it’s not enough. I tell it that it’s more than what would have happened had I done nothing.
The Road goes ever on and on, Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.
Varginha is a city of roughly 135,000 people in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The Varginha UFO incident occurred in January of 1996. It is hardly the first UFO sighting to occur in Brazil, as sightings have been reported as early as 1947. But this particular sighting is noteworthy for multiple reasons. First, there is testimony of a UFO crash. Varginha is referred to as “the Roswell of Brazil” because of this. Secondly, there is testimony of encounters with both living and deceased aliens.
Different aspects of the story have varying amounts of evidence and credibility. But the main events of the story took place on January 20, 1996.
Midnight – NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) contacts their Brazilian counterpart, the CINDACTA (Centro Integrado de Defesa Aerea e Controle de Trafego Aereo or Integrated Center for Air Defense and Air Traffic Control). NORAD warns of an Unidentified Flying Object they detected coming down over the state of Minas Gerais. How do we know this? An anonymous Brazilian Air Force officer leaked this to Vitorio Pacaccini.
1:15 AM – Eurico de Freitas and Oralina de Freitas lived and worked on a farm on the side of the BR-491 highway, which runs through the city of Varginha. In the early morning of January 20, they spotted a ship about 5 meters from the ground, flying over the pasture and leaving the cattle agitated.
Oralina opened the window and saw the cattle were very agitated and stampeding all over the pasture three hundred to four hundred feet away. Then she saw a cigar-shaped object just above the cattle. There was no moon but the craft gave off a faint light.
Oralina called out to her husband, Eurico, forty, and he rushed to the window. “My God!” he cried. “There’s a submarine above my pasture.”
They could see gray smoke or vapor coming out of the back as it moved slowly, in a sort of rocking motion, only fifteen to twenty feet above the ground.
Neither Eurico nor Oralina ventured outside, but stood at the window watching as the object took forty five minutes to pass ever so slowly out of sight over a ridge about two thousand feet away, heading in the direction of Varginha.
They had the impression that it was having difficulties of some kind because of the very slow way it was moving. If the UFO was making any sound, the bellowing of the cows drowned it out.
All this time the cattle remained panicky and frightened but the couple’s four dogs, although awake, showed no reaction. Eurico and Oralina’s four children, aged twelve to twenty, slept through it all.
Eurico and Oralina have maintained their original account for the past 26 years. They believe we had visitors at Varginha.
1:30 AM – An American civilian was present when the cigar-shaped UFO was loaded aboard a flatbed truck in the early morning of January 20. The only mention of this is in the Brazilian Revista UFO (UFO Magazine).
Early morning – The Varginha Fire Department receives multiple calls reporting a “strange creature” had been seen in the area of Jardim Andere, a Varginha neighborhood.
The Fire Department personnel in Brazil are part of the Military, and must respond to all calls. What could this be, a couple of pranksters perpetuating a hoax? If so, the group was growing, as several more calls came in also reporting this unusual monster. Firemen followed the civilians’ instructions to the site.
To the utter surprise of the men, they found the source of the strange reports. The entity was seemingly in a dazed condition. Three protrusions stood atop of it’s head, which glowed with red eyes.
It also had long arms, short legs, and big feet. The monster sounded off with a buzz as it was taken into a net approximately 2 and one-half hours after the first call was received. The Fire Deparment reported the fact to the Army Sergeant School Commander in the neighboring city of Tres Coracoes (about 10 miles east of Varginha).
An Army truck was sent to the place and both forces captured the creature using nets and equipment regularly used to capture wild animals. The ET was placed till alive in a box that was then covered by resistant fabric. The box was placed on top of the truck, the vehicle headed to the Army Sergeant School and all personnel involved was ordered not to talk about it with anyone else “It was a Secret Operation” said Lieutenant-Colonel Wanderley, who commanded the operation. After such unusual, confidential report a few other military decided to come forward and speak about the captures as long as their identities were totally kept secret.
3:30 pm – 3 young women named Liliane, Valquiria and Katia observed a strange creature in a field of small bushes a few blocks from where they live. Their ages ranged from 14 to 22. It was Saturday and they were coming back from their jobs when, crossing an empty area their attention was attracted by a strange being a few meters away. The ET was kneeling and looked like it was hurt, suffering some sort of pain. No UFO was ever seen. The girls observed it for a few minutes and ran away, afraid that they had just encountered the devil.
UFO researchers extensively interrogated the three girls, leaving no doubt whatsoever about what happened. They described the ET’s as being a dark brown creature, with a small body of 4 – 5 feet in height, no hair at all, big brown head, small neck. It also seemed to have some greasy, dark oil on its skin. The mother of the girls noticed a strange odor was when she later went to the site. The head of the creature had 2 big red eyes, no pupils, very small mouth and nose and – what is interesting – 3 protuberances in the head. The girls described such protuberances as horns.
“It was squatting, with the long arms between its legs”, recalls Liliane. “At first I saw the eyes, enormous and red.” Frightened, Liliane turned her back to the creature, while her sister Valquiria and her friend Katia continued to observe. “It was not animal or human, it was a horrible thing”, says Katia. “It looked dumb, didn’t make any noise”, adds Valquiria. The creature, however, appeared to move slightly with the head and the three girls ran away.
The testimony of the three girls appeared in the Wall Street Journal five months later. Liliane, Valquiria and Katia have maintained their account for the past 26 years. They believe we had visitors at Varginha. There is a great deal of documentation of the efforts made to bury this story by the Brazilian military. It is well documented that many high-level military officials gathered in this region at this time. This Brazilian video on the subject was recommended to me.
Another reason this incident caught my attention is that a documentary on the subject will be available on October 18.
I realize that some readers will find these accounts to be impossible. But if you do, what do you think about the witnesses maintaining their accounts for 26 years? What do they have to gain by this? Why do you find these accounts to be impossible? What do you think actually happened? What if we had visitors at Varginha?
I realize these ideas are considered improbable at this time. But at this point, I’m recalling the words of Sherlock Holmes: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”
From time to time, I write about the progress of the New Message from God in the world. But I feel an inclination to write about this in a larger context. What are the efforts and accomplishments of the Worldwide Community of the New Message from God over its entire history?
What has the Worldwide Community of the New Message from God done so far? Marshall Vian Summers has experienced some 800 instances of receiving revelations from the presence that called him to record. Roughly 400 of those instances are either in published books or available online. Marshall considers it his responsibility to organize the remaining teachings into volumes, books and chapters. This is what I mean by “curation.” Of the 400 that remain, the Society for the New Message from God started releasing one every two weeks in February of 2022. At that rate, the remaining 400 would be made public in roughly 16 years.
How many people know there is a New Message from God? I don’t know, but I do know we have many dedicated advocates. There is an online community site for students of the New Message from God. There are roughly 2,000 active users on this site. That may not seem like very many. But I consider it in the context of doublings over time. This works out to roughly 11 doublings over 39 years. Another 11 doublings over the next 39 years would work out to 4 million students of the New Message from God. Bringing a new revelation into the world may seem impossible. But I say for something impossible we’re doing rather well.
Some of you might be thinking, “If Marshall Vian Summers could arrange these teachings, he would put the important ones in a prominent position.” The first book of Volume 1 of the New Message from God is “God Has Spoken Again.” The first chapter of this book is “The Proclamation.” And the opening words of The Proclamation are “There is a New Message from God in the world. It has come from the Creator of all life.” I hope and believe and pray and work that these words will be said many times. Said by growing numbers of people from many nations and faith traditions.
But why do I write about a sacred day? July 7 is an ordinary day in my world. But someone brought it to my attention that Marshall Vian Summers received The Proclamation on July 7, 2006. Therefore The Proclamation has been in the world for slightly over 16 years. The Society for the New Message from God made The Proclamation available to the public on October 19, 2011. But I have a thought that a hundred years from now, students of the New Message will look upon July 7, 2006. They might recognize it as a day when the direction of the world changed. Thus it would be a sacred day in the history of the future.
It takes a certain openness of mind to consider the possibility of intelligent life on other planets. Many people cannot even consider the possibility that intelligent life from other planets is present in our world. But let’s suppose for the sake of argument that you can. I believe it would not be unreasonable for you to ask “How long have they been here?” I very recently learned of Kenneth Arnold (1915-1984), an American businessman and pilot. Arnold has been called “The Man Who Introduced the World to Flying Saucers.” I mention this because it has now been 75 years since Kenneth Arnold’s sighting.
The first man to see a new world
Kenneth Arnold grew up in Scobey, Montana. He was an Eagle Scout and an all-state football player in high school. I offer this as evidence of his integrity and capability. As of June 24, 1947, he had started his own company, the Great Western Fire Control Supply, which sold and installed fire suppression systems. I believe these are the ancestors of sprinkler systems in modern buildings. The company was based in Boise, Idaho, and Arnold traveled around the Pacific Northwest as part of his work. He had been married since 1941.
On June 24, 1947, Arnold was flying from Chehalis, Washington to Yakima, Washington on a business trip. His flight path crossed a line between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.
He made a brief detour after learning of a $5,000 reward (equivalent to $61,000 today) for the discovery of a U.S. Marine Corps C-46 transport airplane that had crashed near Mount Rainier. He didn’t find it. He was near Mineral, Washington on a clear day when he decided to give up the search.
It was at 3 p.m., he remembered, “when a very bright flash lit up the plane and the sky around me.” A member of the Washington State forest service, who had been on fire watch at a tower in Diamond Gap, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Yakima, also saw these flashes.
At first, Arnold thought it was the sun reflecting off another plane. There was a DC-4 to his left and behind him, about 15 miles away. Arnold used this to estimate the size of the craft he observed.
“But the flash happened again, and that’s when I saw where it was coming from. It came spasmodically from a chain of nine circular-type aircraft way up from the vicinity of Mount Rainier,” said Arnold.
“… I could not find any tails on these things. They didn’t leave a jet trail behind them. I judged their size to be at least 100 feet in widespan. I thought it was a new type of missile.”
His plane had a big sweep 24-hour clock on the instrument panel. Arnold measured that the craft covered the distance between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams in 1 minute 42 seconds.
“That figured out to something like 1,760 miles an hour, which I could hardly believe. I knew that figure couldn’t be entirely accurate, but I’d say it was within a couple of hundred miles accurate,” he said.
This is roughly 2.3 times the speed of sound, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier later that year. This speed was humanly impossible at the time. It might have been just another day in 1947, but Kenneth Arnold was the first man to see a new world.
What happened next?
Arnold completed his flight to Yakima, and eventually started telling his story. The East Oregonian newspaper reported the story on June 25. Arnold had a reputation as a successful businessman and experienced pilot, and thus appeared to be a credible witness. Many US and Canadian newspapers carried the story shortly thereafter. The Associated Press wrote a story on the subject in July.
On the one hand, the US military publicly dismissed Arnold’s sighting as a “silly season episode” and a “mirage.” On the other hand, they started to collect information on sightings, in a study which would be called Project Sign, which would later become Project Grudge, which would even later become Project Blue Book.
Arnold wrote a book on the subject, “The Coming of the Saucers,” written with Raymond Palmer, editor of Fate magazine. Kenneth Arnold is much more famous for his UFO sighting than anything he did as a businessman. He was accused of starting a flying saucer fad by certain intellectuals. Many skeptics offered alternate explanations for his account. But he would hold to his original account for the next 37 years until he died in 1984.
I realize these ideas are considered improbable at this time. But at this point, I’m recalling the words of Sherlock Holmes: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”
This revelation made certain predictions about the future. I mention the date that this revelation was received so that you could examine it in that context. You can see how well the predictions made in this revelation hold up. This revelation put it’s predictions on display by repeatedly using the word “Increasingly.”
Increasingly, you will see that one nation alone cannot be successful if others fail.
Increasingly, you will see that one religion alone cannot meet and speak to the needs of humanity.
Increasingly, you will see that crisis in one nation will affect the well-being and the prosperity of other nations.
Increasingly, you will see that the environment is disrupted and that violent weather and the changing of the world’s climate will have an increasingly destructive effect upon humanity’s ability to feed and care for itself.
Increasingly, you will see discord and financial instability and corruption arising in the corridors of power.
Increasingly, you will see the consequences of human irresponsibility.
Increasingly, you will see that war cannot be an option, for it destroys the infrastructure and the resources, which will be so difficult to replace in the future.
Increasingly, you will see that people need the same things and that the world is limited in what it can provide.
Increasingly, you will see the limits of technology and what happens when technology fails and how that affects the lives of so many people.
Increasingly, you will see that it must be human courage, human determination and human cooperation that will make all the difference in the end.
Did you imagine this eleven years ago? I did not. I read the book “The Great Waves of Change” 12 years ago. It spoke of how we face an increasingly difficult world. I thought its predictions of climate disruption, resource depletion, and increasing political instability were something for the more distant future. I was mistaken. All I know is that I must cultivate my ability to follow Knowledge, the deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed in every person. All I know is that I must be noble and strong, inspired and determined. All I know is that I must do whatever I can to help others be noble and strong, inspired and determined.
Steps to Knowledge is part of a much larger body of material. Marshall Vian Summers received this material over a period from 1982 to the present. The New Message from God presents itself as the latest in a series of divine revelations to humanity. This series includes the teachings of Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. When these revelations appeared, it was not immediately clear they should be translated into the languages of the world. But people of many faiths have observed that people learn the teachings of a religion best in their own heart language. Bible translator John Wycliffe (c. 1320-1384) wrote, “it helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ’s sentence.” Translating Steps to Knowledge into other languages is comparable to translating a small portion of the Tripitaka, or a book of the Bible, or a Surah of the Qur’an.
In how many languages is Steps to Knowledge available?
Bahasa (Indonesian) – Langkah-langkah Menuju Pengetahuan
Bengali – জ্ঞানের প্রতি পদক্ষেপ
Bulgarian – Stŭpki kŭm Znanieto
Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) – 内识进阶
Dutch – Stappen Naar Kennis
French – Les Pas vers La Connaissance
German – Schritte zur Kenntnis
Greek – Ta Vímata tis Gnósis
Italian – Passi Verso La Conoscenza
Korean – 앎으로 가는 계단
Persian – گام به گام تا بصیرت و دانش
Polish – Kroki do Wiedzy
Russian – Шаги к Знанию
Spanish – Pasos al Conocimiento
Vietnamese – Những Bước Đi đến Tri Thức
The number of people who speak these languages as their heart language is roughly 3.1 billion, slightly less than 40% of the world’s population. In addition, there are 10 languages where a partial translation exists: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Hebrew, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak and Swedish. These are the heart languages of an additional 530 million people.
Who did these translations?
It should be noted that professional translators did not create these translations. Student practitioners created these translations. People who practiced Steps to Knowledge in English, who spoke another language as their heart language. “Native speakers” of Steps to Knowledge created these translations. I have heard the testimonies of a number of these translators. 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 they described their path into translation. Russian translator Alisa shared some of her translation experience here. I consider this translation to be an enormous accomplishment, a great display of dedication and devotion.
Is this translation technically difficult?
Some people might be wondering “Is the full experience being conveyed in translation?” I believe it is. The evidence I suggest is the readability level of Steps to Knowledge. A high school freshman has a reasonable chance of understanding its content. I find Steps to Knowledge remarkably free of esoteric language.
How is Steps to Knowledge progressing into the world?
The number of people who have a complete copy of Steps to Knowledge in their heart language has been doubling every 10 years or so, over the past 33 years. if this trend continues, Steps to Knowledge will be available in the major languages of the world in 20 years or so.
Then falter not O book, fulfill your destiny
American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) wrote a poem “In Cabin’d Ships At Sea” in 1871. He envisioned books of his poems being read by mariners in the future. In this poem he wrote “Then falter not O book, fulfill your destiny. I speak this same blessing over Steps to Knowledge. This book has been given with gratitude and high expectation. I rejoice and give thanks for the efforts many have made to move it forward into the world.
The martial emperor’s dream of expansion has no end
This poem has been translated into English by a number of scholars. The earliest translation I know of was in 1967 by David Hawkes. I don’t know who made this particular translation.
The wagons rumble and roll, The horses whinny and neigh, The conscripts each have bows and arrows at their waists. Their parents, wives and children run to see them off, So much dust’s stirred up, it hides the Xianyang bridge. They pull clothes, stamp their feet and, weeping, bar the way, The weeping voices rise straight up and strike the clouds. A passer-by at the roadside asks a conscript why, The conscript answers only that drafting happens often. “At fifteen, many were sent north to guard the river, Even at forty, they had to till fields in the west. When we went away, the elders bound our heads, Returning with heads white, we’re sent back off to the frontier. At the border posts, shed blood becomes a sea, The martial emperor’s dream of expansion has no end. Have you not seen the two hundred districts east of the mountains, Where thorns and brambles grow in countless villages and hamlets? Although there are strong women to grasp the hoe and the plough, They grow some crops, but there’s no order in the fields. What’s more, we soldiers of Qin withstand the bitterest fighting, We’re always driven onwards just like dogs and chickens. Although an elder can ask me this, How can a soldier dare to complain? Even in this winter time, Soldiers from west of the pass keep moving. The magistrate is eager for taxes, But how can we afford to pay? We know now having boys is bad, While having girls is for the best; Our girls can still be married to the neighbors, Our sons are merely buried amid the grass. Have you not seen on the border of Qinghai, The ancient bleached bones no man’s gathered in? The new ghosts are angered by injustice, the old ghosts weep, Moistening rain falls from dark heaven on the voices’ screeching.”
I rejoice and give thanks for the efforts and accomplishments of Ellen Mitchell, who left this world on March 2 at the age of 85. She was not well-known in the world, but among the Worldwide Community of the New Message from God, she was well-known and well-loved.
Our kind cheerful den mother
I don’t know very much about Ellen’s life. The above testimony shows she first encountered Marshall Vian Summers in 1994. In 1998 she moved to Boulder, Colorado to support the New Message. She has been a member of the Society for the New Message from God for many years.
I don’t know exactly what she did as a member of the Society. But I do know that when people inquired about the New Message from God in one form or another, Ellen would patiently and cheerfully respond. She may have answered more questions about the New Message from God than anyone, living or dead. To me, she was our kind cheerful den mother in the Worldwide Community. Happy for our participation, hopeful for our advancement, compassionate with our struggles. She had an inner strength, an inner conviction, which enabled her to be so kind and encouraging to us.
Ellen also created many artworks that illustrated the teachings of the New Message from God. I seem to recall occasional exhibitions of this artwork, but I’m not finding them now. I consider her artwork to be direct and to the point.
Our kind cheerful den mother. I don’t know very much about Ellen’s departure from this world. It seems to be the tendency of students of the New Message from God to die with minimal drama. All I know is that if the New Message succeeds, Ellen Mitchell will be one of the reasons why. By “succeeds” I mean “causes the human family to survive an increasingly difficult world.” Furthermore, “causes humanity to emerge into a greater community of intelligent life with its freedom and sovereignty intact.” Did she fulfill her purpose for coming to this world? I don’t know. But I believe she made a great contribution.
In Islam, there are those known as the Sahabah, (“the Companions”) who recognized Mohammed as a prophet during his lifetime, and died as Muslims. Like Mary Lee, I consider Ellen to be one of the Sahabah of the New Message from God. There aren’t enough of them to have a name for them yet. Sometimes the word “respondents” is used to describe people who embrace the New Message from God. All I know is that somewhere, on a golden scroll in a holy place, are the names of the Sahabah of the New Message from God. Ellen’s name is on that list.
Two pious and worthy men went into a mosque together. The first one took off his shoes and placed them neatly, side by side, outside the door. The second man removed his shoes, placed them sole to sole and took them into the mosque with him.
There was an argument among a group of other pious and worthy folk who were sitting at the door, as to which of these men was the better. “If one went barefoot into a mosque, was it not better to leave the very shoes outside?” asked one. “But should we not consider”, said another, ‘that the man who took his shoes into the mosque carried them to remind himself by their very presence that he was in a state of proper humility?”
When the two men came out after their prayers, they were questioned separately, as it happened, by different parties from the onlookers.
The first man said: “I left my shoes outside for the usual reason. The reason is that if anyone wants to steal them he will have an opportunity of resisting that temptation, and thus acquiring merit for himself.” The listeners were most impressed by the high-mindedness of a man whose possessions were of so little account to him that he willingly entrusted them to whatever might be their fate.
The second man, at the same time, was saying: “I took my shoes into the mosque because, had I left them outside, they might have constituted a temptation to steal them. Whoever had yielded to this temptation would have made me his accomplice in sin.” The hearers were most impressed by this pious sentiment, and admired the thoughtfulness of the sage.
But yet another man, a man of wisdom, who was present, cried out: “While you two men and your followers have been indulging in your admirable sentiment, training each other with the play of hypothetical instances, certain real things have been happening.”
“What were these things?” asked the crowd.
“Nobody was tempted by the shoes. Nobody was not tempted by the shoes. The theoretical sinner did not pass by. Instead, another man altogether, who had no shoes at all to carry with him or to leave outside, entered the mosque. Nobody noticed his conduct. He was not conscious of the effect which he might be having on people who saw him or did not see him. But, because of his real sincerity, his prayers in this mosque today helped, in the most direct way possible, all the potential thieves who might or might not steal shoes or reform themselves by being exposed to temptation.”
Do you still not see that the mere practice of self-conscious conduct, however excellent in its own realm, is a pale thing indeed when measured against the knowledge that there are real men of wisdom?
Who am I practicing for?
There are multiple things one could take away from this story. One thing I am taking away now is that in the realm of practice, hypothetical people are overrated. The theoretical sinner did not pass by. He might never pass by. The two supposedly pious and worthy men started with an incidental detail of practice. They then wove a fantasy for the purpose of feeling good about themselves. Any sincere effort by (or for) a real person is much more significant than every effort by (or for) a merely possible person. It is my sincere hope that students of every tradition engage in real practice for real people.