This May Be All The Disclosure We Get

Something happened on Monday, April 27, 2020 that received less attention than it deserved. The US Department of Defense confirmed that three videos that have been public since 2017 are both genuine and complete. Who took these videos? Pilots for the US Navy, while in flight training missions. What is in these videos? Flying objects moving at remarkable speeds and accelerations. Flying objects which could be neither identified nor intercepted. When did the pilots take these videos? In 2004 and 2015. Where did the pilots take these videos? The 2004 video is from off the coast of San Diego, California, USA. The 2015 video is from off the east coast of the United States. (I have written about this here.) Why did the pilots take these videos? The pilots took these videos because the pilots weren’t expecting to see these objects.

This may be all the disclosure we get

This may be all the disclosure we get
Chad Underwood, US Navy pilot recording 2004 “TicTac” UFO video

The Department of Defense confirmed that the flying objects in the videos remain unidentified to this day. No natural phenomenon has demonstrated this speed and acceleration. They are not known to be the military assets of any nation on Earth. They answered one question, only to leave a much larger question unanswered. Many people have contended that the videos were fake or edited. Between 2017 and the present, these videos have undergone intense scrutiny by interested parties. Many hoped to find evidence of fakery or inauthenticity. I imagine the April 27 confirmation disappointed them.

An admission against interest?

This may be all the disclosure we get. I wish to explore another aspect of this event. Can you imagine that the Department of Defense wishes to say that the flying objects in the videos remain unidentified? Would any military on Earth say “We do not know what this is” without significant motivation? I make no claim to know what this motivation might be. However, I consider the very existence of this confirmation to be evidence of its truth. This is known in legal proceedings as an “admission against interest.” The Department of Defense has a lack of incentive to make an embarrassing or damaging statement about itself. This is an indication of the statement’s reliability.

What consequences follow?

Image from the movie “Fire in the Sky”

This may be all the disclosure we get. I realize some people will be greatly disappointed in this. I believe historians will note that in 2019 and 2020, unidentified flying objects (UFOs) took a great step forward in credibility. The United States government has admitted that these objects exist. They have confirmed they are something other than instrument errors or pilot hallucinations. What does this say about the 6,000 UFO reports in the United States in 2019? Are those camera errors or mass insanity? What does this say about the testimonies of people being taken against their will? Are they some kind of cultural delusion? Perhaps we need to reconsider some things we previously rejected.

Have your thoughts and feelings changed?

This may be all the disclosure we get. The New Message from God teaches what is currently a minority viewpoint on the subject of extraterrestrials.

1) Intelligent extraterrestrial life exists
2) Extraterrestrials are intervening in human affairs today
3) This extraterrestrial intervention is a threat to human freedom

I realize some people consider this not only false, but impossible. But many things once thought to be impossible have turned out to be so. Therefore a belief in the impossibility of something carries little weight with me. Could the April 27 confirmation make this a little less impossible for you?

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

There Is A Wise Perception Of The Present

There is a wise perception of the present

Cherries are on sale at my local grocer. In my mind, cherries are connected with one of the tales in the book Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah. I have mentioned on numerous occasions that there is a great sympathetic vibration between these dervish tales and the teachings of the New Message from God. It is occurring to me to demonstrate this by commenting on this dervish tale as it proceeds.

There is a wise perception of the present

This tale is attributed to Sufi Abdul-Hamid Khan of Qandahar, who died in 1962. He was the Master of the Afghan Mint, a man with one foot in the dervish world and the other in the world of modern technology. This tale is called “Valuable – and Worthless.” I will put my commentary in brackets.

A certain king one day called a counselor to him and said “The strength of real thinking depends upon the examination of alternatives. Tell me which alternative is better: to increase the knowledge of my people or give them more to eat. In either case they will benefit.”

The Sufi said “Majesty, there is no point in giving knowledge to those who cannot receive it, any more than there is point to giving food to those who cannot understand your motives. Therefore it is not correct to assume that ‘in either case they will benefit.’ If they cannot digest the food, or if they think you give it to them as a bribe, or that they can get more – you have failed. If they cannot see that they are being given knowledge, or whether it is knowledge or not, or even why you are giving it to them, they will not benefit. Therefore the question must be taken by degrees. The first degree is the consideration: ‘The most valuable person is worthless and the most worthless person is valuable.'”

There is a wise perception of the present

[We have now learned that the counselor is a Sufi, a dervish. I consider the knowledge being spoken of here to be knowledge in the ordinary sense; data, information, education. But the Knowledge spoken of by the New Message from God also requires skill and desire to be attained. The deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed in every person is indifferent to satisfying idle curiosity.]

“Demonstrate this truth to me, for I cannot understand it,” said the king.

The Sufi then called the chief dervish of Afghanistan, and he came to the court. “If you had your way, what would you have someone in Kabul do?” he asked.

There is a wise perception of the present

[We now know this tale is set in Kabul, Afghanistan. I believe that the Sufi is responding to a royal command for a demonstration. I believe that the Sufi is responding to a sincere request to learn. As there are monastic orders, there are dervish orders. As monastic orders have leaders, dervish orders have leaders.]

“It so happens that there is a man near such-and-such a place who, if he knew it, could by giving a pound of cherries to a certain necessitous man, gain a fortune for himself and also great advancement for the whole country and progress for the Path,” said the chief dervish, who knew of the inner correspondence of things.

[I imagine the king thought to himself, “This is the very thing I was asking about in the first place, the benefit of my people!” I consider “the Path” to refer to the dervish path and its participants. I make no claim regarding the inner correspondence of things. But one of the outward manifestations of the Knowledge I seek to reclaim is wise perception in the present and in the future.]

The king was excited, for Sufis generally do not discourse upon such things. “Call him here and we will have it done!” he cried. The others silenced him with a gesture. “No,” said the first Sufi, “this cannot work unless it is done voluntarily.”

In disguise, in order not to influence the man’s choice, the three of them went straight to the Kabul bazaar. Divested of his turban and robe, the chief Sufi looked very much like any ordinary man. “I will take the part of the exciting cause,” he whispered, as the group stood looking at the fruit. He approached the greengrocer and wished him good day. Then he said “I know a poor man. Will you give him a pound of cherries, as a charity?” The greengrocer bellowed with laughter. “Well, I have heard some tricks, but this is the first time that someone who wanted cherries has stooped to ask me as if it were for charity!”

[So now we know that the man who could have given the cherries was a greengrocer, and the cherries were part of his inventory. I imagine the king being crushed on the inside as a golden opportunity was lost forever.]

“You see what I mean?” the first Sufi asked the king. “The most valuable man we have has just made the most valuable suggestion, and the event has proved that he is worthless to the man to whom he speaks.”

[There is a wise perception of the present. Step 232 of the 365 steps in Steps to Knowledge is “My calling in life requires the development of others.” I might not make my rendezvous with others. They might not make their rendezvous with me. But I have to work on being ready.]

“But what about ‘the most worthless person’ being valuable?” asked the king.

The two dervishes beckoned him to follow them.

As they were about to cross the Kabul River, the two dervishes suddenly seized the king and threw him into the water. He could not swim.

As he felt himself about to drown, Kaka Divana, whose name means Insane Uncle – a well-known pauper and lunatic who roamed the streets, jumped in and brought him safely to the bank. Various other, more solid, citizens had seen him in the water, but none moved.

[I am honored with others are strong. When others fail, I am reminded of the need for Knowledge. Today’s hero can be tomorrow’s failure. Today’s failure can be tomorrow’s hero.]

When the king was somewhat restored, the two dervishes intoned together: “The most worthless person is valuable!”

[There is a wise perception of the present. Don’t ask me how the dervishes knew that Kaka Divana would save the king. Don’t ask me why the king didn’t honor and enrich Kaka Divana for saving his life. Don’t ask me why the king didn’t have the dervishes executed. I think the answer to these things is “Elaborating on this would disrupt the arc of the story.”]

So the king went back to his old, traditional method of giving whatever he could – whether education or help of any kind – to those to whom it was decided from time to time were the most worthy recipients of such aid.

[There is a wise perception of the present. The punch line of the story is “The valuable advice of the dervishes proved to be worthless to the king, as it made no change in his behavior.” I desire for the wisdom of the wise to be valuable to me.]

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

What Do We Think About Our Visitors?

What do we think about our visitors?

Some of you may not be familiar with George Gallup (1901-1984). In 1935, he created the American Institute of Public Opinion, which would later be known as the Gallup Poll. Gallup was a pioneer in the art and science of public opinion surveys. His polling organization continues to this day.

What do we think about our visitors?

The Gallup Poll takes surveys on a wide variety of cultural topics. However, they are not well-known for conducting surveys on the subjects of UFOs or extraterrestrials. The first poll they conducted was in 1966, and the most recent poll they conducted was in 1999. But they conducted two in 2019, one in July and one in August.

In June, Gallup asked 489 American adults around the country the following question: “Do you think there are people somewhat like ourselves living on other planets in the universe or not?” (Question 1) The result was 49% Yes, 48% No, and 1% No Opinion, with a 6 percentage points margin of error. I consider the wording of the question to give the respondents some “wiggle room.”

Perhaps Gallup realized this and offered an alternate version of the question to 529 American adults around the country: “Do you think there is life of some form on other planets in the universe or not?” (Question 2) The result was 75% Yes, 22% No, and 3% No Opinion, with a 5 percentage points margin of error. I am not surprised at this result. Life is known to exist on earth in remarkably harsh environments. I would be interested in exploring the opinions of the No respondents.

In August, Gallup asked 1,521 American adults around the country the following question: “We have a question about Unidentified Flying Objects, also known as UFOs. Which comes closer to your view – [ROTATED: 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]?” (Question 3)

I consider the “ROTATED” to mean that half the time they offered one possible answer first, and the other half they offered the other possible answer first. The results was 33% “some UFOs have been alien spacecraft visiting Earth from other planets or galaxies,” 60% “all UFO sightings can be explained by human activity on Earth of natural phenomenon,” and 7% No opinion, with a 3 percentage points margin of error.

Both polls showed the responses of different subgroups, sorted by gender, region, education level and political affiliation. There were subgroup responses higher and lower than the total response. But all of the subgroup responses were close to the total response. There is no one subgroup that is driving the total response.

How many people are changing their minds?

What do we think about our visitors? Quite a few people are changing their minds, as it turns out. In 1999, 41% answered Yes to Question 1. An 8% increase works out to 19.2 million American adults changing their minds. In 1999, 61% answered Yes to Question 2. A 14% increase works out to 33.2 million American adults changing their minds. Question 3 has only been asked by Gallup in August of 2019.

I consider this to confirm the Marist Poll survey on this subject in February 2018. I have written about this poll here, here and here.

The Marist Poll shows a more dramatic change than the Gallup Poll. But both polls show that many Americans are changing their minds on the subject of the existence of intelligent life on other planets.

Why are we changing our minds?

What do we think about our visitors? Part of the reason people are changing their minds might be the explosion in exoplanet discovery. Exoplanets are planets orbiting a star other than our sun.

Some people are changing their minds in response to certain news items.

Is this a good thing?

What do we think about our visitors?

What do you think about our visitors? The number of people changing their minds might indeed be a good thing. The New Message from God teaches that our world is emerging into a greater community of worlds. This emergence requires significant changes and significant preparation. If this is so, then it’s a good thing that we wonder what this greater community might be like.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

Facing My Fears And Griefs

Facing my fears and griefs

The Chinese poet Du Fu () (712-770) is well-known and well-loved among Chinese-speakers around the world. He aspired to be a civil servant, but his poetry made a much greater impact.

I have mentioned that it took about six hundred years for the poetry of Rumi to reach the west. It took a much longer time for the poetry of Du Fu to arrive on western shores. British diplomat Herbert Giles (1845-1935) was the first English translator of Du Fu in 1898. Since then, the importance of Du Fu has been recognized by western scholars. Stephen Owen translated the complete works of Du Fu in 2016.

Facing my fears and griefs

The Du Fu poem I am sharing with you is from a troubled season of Chinese history known as the An Lushan Rebellion. I’m told that Du Fu is hiding in a Buddhist monastery to avoid being conscripted by rebel forces. Here is the poem in Chinese:

大云寺赞公房四首 (三)

灯影照无睡
心清闻妙香
夜深殿突兀
风动金锒铛
天黑闭春院
地清栖暗芳
玉绳回断绝
铁凤森翱翔
梵放时出寺
钟残仍殷床
明朝在沃野
苦见尘沙黄

Du Fu wrote four poems in this setting. This is the third of them. Earlier translators rendered the title as “In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple.” I am sharing a translation by David Young.

In the Abbot’s Cell

I lie awake and watch
the flicker of the lamp

delicate odor of incense
helps to clear my thoughts

mostly filled with darkness
the central hall looms large

sound of a wind chime
tinkling below the eaves

—————

The flowers just outside
are all invisible

but I can smell their fragrance
here in the quiet dark

one of the constellations
is setting behind the roof

passing the iron phoenix
fixed at the temple’s peak

—————

Pretty soon the monks
will start to chant their sutras

the bell calls them to prayer
I stay in bed

before very long I’ll have to rise
and walk across plowed fields

facing the dust and wind
facing my fears and griefs.

I take pleasure in Du Fu’s enjoyment of the environment and the present moment. To me, it is as if he takes strength to face the coming trials from these things. This poem can be found in the book “Du Fu: A Life in Poetry” translated by David Young.

The world is facing a pandemic. Strategies have proven ineffective. Du Fu enjoyed the odor of the incense and the movement of the constellations. I am enjoying offering a poem of Du Fu in the hope of giving strength to face difficulties. I lift up the hands of the helpers. In my own way, I am facing the dust and wind, facing my fears and griefs.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

I Lift Up The Hands Of The Helpers

Pandemics are a consequence of humanity’s treatment of nature.

Illnesses in animals have frequently jumped to humans.

Given what is known about epidemics, something like this is likely to occur in the future

God is not the judge. God is the witness.

In every difficult situation, there are helpers and profiteers. I lift up the hands of the helpers.

I lift up the hands of the helpers. I give them strength of character and strength of faculties of mind.

I lift up the hands of the helpers.

* * *

Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

I Dream A Song That Brings To Us This Joy

I dream a song that brings to us this joy
Renee Fleming singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

I have written a number of posts about national anthems and the future world anthem. Sometimes a national anthem is written a good time before the birth/rebirth of a sovereign nation (Israel, India). Sometimes a national anthem is written a good time after the birth of a sovereign nation (United States). But they all have a stirring of the soul of hope for that nation’s best destiny. I now write about a song that seems to stir that stirring.

I dream a song that brings to us this joy

I dream a song that brings to us this joy. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in 1945, as part of the Broadway musical “Carousel.” In the second act of the musical, Nettie Fowler, the cousin of the protagonist Julie Jordan, sings “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to comfort and encourage Julie when her husband, Billy Bigelow, the male lead, falls on his knife and dies after a failed robbery attempt.

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

It is reprised in the final scene to encourage a graduation class of which Louise (Billy and Julie’s daughter) is a member. The now invisible Billy, who has been granted the chance to return to Earth for one day in order to redeem himself, watches the ceremony and is able to silently motivate the unhappy Louise to join in the song. The song is thus the resounding exclamation point of the musical for me.

I dream a song to help me face disaster

I dream a song that brings to us this joy. This song has entered the world’s musical vocabulary, being covered by many artists in every decade since its composition. But there is a particular cover version I wish to consider. The Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers recorded this song in 1963. They changed the meter from 4/4 to 6/8. That seems to be important to make it easier to sway to. It was more than a #1 song in the UK. Gerry Marsden presented the song to Liverpool FC (that’s soccer to my fellow Americans) manager Bill Shankly, and it was sung by the Liverpool fans before the 1965 FA Cup Final. It has since become the Liverpool FC anthem.

I dream a song that sings around the world

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by Borussia Dortmund fans

I dream a song that brings to us this joy. It would be one thing if it was just a Liverpool thing. But it seems to be more than that. Celtic in Glasgow adopted the song in 1966. It has since spread to Borussia Dortmund of the Bundesliga in 1996, Feyenoord in Rotterdam, and FC Tokyo in Japan.

I dream a song that sings the greatest truth

I dream a song that brings to us this joy. I freely admit that when I first heard this song in a production of Carousel, I didn’t believe it. I considered this song to be a sentimental anesthetic to dull the pain of fundamental futility. A band-aid to put on the cancer of everyone I know going away in the end. But I reconsider when I see how people respond to this song. I reconsider as I study of Steps to Knowledge, the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God.

In Step 45 of Steps to Knowledge, “Alone I can do nothing,” I am told that every accomplishment, every achievement is the product of relationship. Step 53, “My gifts are for others” declares “Alone you can do nothing. Alone you have no meaning. This is because you are not alone.” Step 78, “I can do nothing alone” not only declares this again, but puts an exclamation point at the end. “You can do nothing alone, for you are not alone. A greater truth you will not find.” I have never been alone. I am not alone. I will never be alone.

Should “You’ll Never Walk Alone” be the future anthem of the world? I don’t know. All I know is that people respond to this song, both in times of joy and times of trial. All I know is this brief song contains an essential truth of the human experience. I find that something of a miracle.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

We Enter The Abode Of Decay

We enter the abode of decay
Execution of Mansur Al-Hallaj

Very few people in my world are familiar with Mansur Al-Hallaj (858-922). I consider that a misfortune, a lowdown dirty shame. I therefore seek to remedy this. Al-Hallaj was born around 858 in Fars province of Persia to a cotton-carder. Hallaj means “cotton-carder” in Arabic. People know him as Mansur Al-Hallaj, or “Mansur the cotton-carder.”

Wikipedia says he was a poet, a mystic and a teacher of Sufism. But there is so much more to say. His most well-known books are the Diwan and the Tawasin. Some of his poems can be found here. His poetry dives deeply into the pleasures and predicaments of devotion to the divine. I believe that anyone who enjoys the poetry of Mirabai would also enjoy Mansur’s poetry.

Mansur al-Hallaj paid dearly for these words, shown in Arabic and English.

Mansur traveled far and wide in his spiritual journey. He made the pilgrimage to Mecca on multiple occasions. He traveled to India and Turkestan and learned of spiritual teachers there. I believe that when he famously declared “I am the truth!” he was speaking of his detachment from his individuality. He might have been making his own formulation of the words of the apostle Paul. “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:” (Galatians 2:20, King James Version)

He lived during a turbulent season of the Abbasid Caliphate. There were powerful religious leaders who disapproved of his revealing of mysteries to ordinary people. He was condemned to death on trumped-up charges, and executed in 922. Details of his death can be found here.

We enter the abode of decay

Darul-Aman Palace, Afghanistan

I am introducing Mansur Al-Hallaj to you because there is a particular story I wish to share. There are many Mansur stories, but this one gets me. I am taking this story from the book “A Literary History of Persia” by British orientalist Edward Granville Browne (1862-1926).

On one occasion Ibn Nasr al-Qushuri was sick, and desired to eat an apple, but none were to be obtained, till al-Hallaj stretched forth his hand and drew it back with an apple which he claimed to have gathered from the gardens of Paradise. “But,” objected a bystander, “the fruit of Paradise is incorruptible, and in this apple there is a maggot.” “This,” answered al-Hallaj, “is because it hath come forth from the Mansion of Eternity to the Abode of Decay: therefore to its heart hath corruption found its way!”

Even beautiful things decay

We enter the abode of decay. I recalled this story of Mansur al-Hallaj as I read the revelation “God’s New Message for the World’s Religions.” This revelation is Chapter 6 in the recently released book, “The Pure Religion.

“All the great Messengers have come from the [Angelic] Assembly, so they are intrinsically united, you see. They have all been sent by the Source, your Source and the Source of all the world’s religions.

But living in Separation, people have separated the religions from one another and even internally—separating everything that was meant to be united, misunderstanding the meaning and the value of the Messengers and what they were really presenting.”

I surmise that the abode of decay in which Mansur al-Hallaj lived found him intolerable, and put him to death. I will most likely write of Mansur again before too long.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

What Is This Stair That We Must Climb?

Martin Luther King, Jr. reciting the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes

Today is the day the United States of America celebrates the birthday of my fellow American Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) I consider him to be an American prophet, a man calling America to live according to its noble ideals.

Today I learned that Martin Luther King recited a poem by my fellow American Langston Hughes (1902-1967). I am a great admirer of Langston Hughes, and thus I take multiple satisfactions from sharing this recitation.

What is this stair that we must climb?

What is this stair that we must climb?
The Crisis, where the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes was first published

The poem “Mother to Son” was first published in 1922 in The Crisis, a magazine dedicated to promoting civil rights in the United States , and was later collected in Hughes’s first book The Weary Blues (1926).

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

What must we strive to overcome?

What is this stair that we must climb?As I contemplate this poem, I think of some tasks human beings must accomplish:

It is necessary for people to develop the ability to reduce their attachment to their ethnicity. Instead, people need to think more about the success of the human family. If any ethnicity suffers, humanity suffers.

It is necessary for people to develop the ability to reframe crimes and offenses. I consider crimes and offenses as demonstrations of the absence of Knowledge. Knowledge, that deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed in every person. I realize that some people did some awful things, but I might have done the same thing in that situation. You might have done the same thing.

It is necessary for people to develop an immunity to persuasion and manipulation. Anyone who can persuade me can enslave me. Anyone who can manipulate you can exploit you. I realize this will take some work, but Knowledge is immune to persuasion and manipulation.

I’m ok with there being some climbing ahead of me. I’m ok with difficulty. I’m working on being prepared to climb these stairs.

* * *

Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

Musing Mystic Chords Of Memory

Musing mystic chords of memory
Rabindranath Tagore in London, June 1921

Eight years ago, I mentioned in passing that my paternal grandfather attended a lecture by Rabindranath Tagore at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Between that time and now, I have discovered an account of that evening. I don’t know who wrote it, but it appeared in “The Megaphone,” the student newspaper.

From time to time I have thought of sharing it, but it didn’t seem quite pertinent. I believe Tagore scholars are already aware of the events of this time. But this account is only available as an image, instead of text. I therefore think I am adding something.

Musing mystic chords of memory

Ray and Lillie Cullen Building, Southwestern University

This lecture was the fourth stop in a tour of five cities in five days. The previous day’s lecture was in Denton, Texas, 210 miles away. The final lecture in the tour would be in Shreveport, Louisiana, 310 miles away.

Southwestern University isn’t very well known, but it is the oldest university in the state of Texas. The Ray and Lillie Cullen Building was built in 1900, so it would have been there when Tagore came to speak. Both my grandfather, Frank M. Bass, Sr., and my father, Frank M. Bass, Jr., were Southwestern alumni.

February 22, 1921 issue of The Megaphone, student newspaper of Southwestern University

TAGORE DELIGHTS LARGE AUDIENCE

Noted Philosopher and Poet of India Speaks in University Auditorium

Rabindranath Tagore, the distinguished Hindu singer, read to a large audience in the University auditorium Wednesday evening, February 17th.

This was by far the most notable lyceum number that has been given at Southwestern University and those present were indeed fortunate in having before them such a rare and charming personality.

Tagore is India’s greatest lyric poet and spiritual and patriotic leader. He is a distinguished writer and philosopher. His songs are sung in his native country — and have been for years — even by the smallest children.

The poet caught the attention of the audience the minute he appeared on the platform. His personal appearance was unique and characteristic, although not exactly what the audience had anticipated.

Tagore wore an oriental robe of dark gray, which blended with his flowing hair and beard of the same color. His broad forehead, which verified his intelligence; his dark eyes, full of magnetism; and above all, his pleasant smile, gave him the appearance of an artist, possessing a touch of the divine.

Nor did the attention of the audience waver when Tagore spoke his first word. There was a tone of sweetness in his voice. This sweetness gave it strength, and enabled the poet to carry the audience with him to the very end.

Only fragments of Tagore’s poetry have been translated into the English language. The poet explained that he could not give his English translations the music and melody of the original poems. It was impossible to change the music of them in English meter. This was shown when the poet read several songs in his native tongue. They were full of melody and music which were not quite as outstanding in the English translations.

The national anthem, “Thou Dispenser of India’s Destiny,” was one of the most impressive selections rendered. Tagore read it with great depth of patriotism and feeling. The anthem was full of sincere expressions of the poet’s own heart.

The poem about the caged bird and the free bird was full of tenderness and beauty. In these poems could be interpreted Tagore’s own philosophy.

Tagore proved his ability to get the child’s attitude and viewpoint in the sweet and simple poems about the children. They were expressions of his own heart and he read them in a charming manner. An occasional gesture made the poems more effective for they were brought in during the reading so unexpectedly, yet with an artisticness which produced a pleasing and lasting effect.

Tagore brought the evening’s entertainment to a close by reading a story about Hindu life which proved a very strong conclusion.

One could see the greatness of Tagore through his own songs. Indeed, the poems seemed more like prayers and invocations. They were read in that soft, appealing way which made them even more impressive.

Tagore caused the audience to realize perhaps as never before the greatness of India, for in this Hindu poet was manifested the spiritual resources of India.

To whom do I owe this obligation?

Frank M. Bass, Sr., my paternal grandfather was in the audience at Rabindranath Tagore’s talk at Southwestern University.

Musing mystic chords of memory. The article unintentionally prophesied that “Thou Dispenser of India’s Destiny” would become the national anthem of India. India would not gain independence for another 26 years. But when the Indian Constituent Assembly convened for the first time in August of 1947, the session closed with a unanimous performance of this song. The poem about the caged bird must have been “The tame bird was in a cage“, appearing in The Gardener.

I recall my grandfather sharing on more than one occasion how he was impressed by the magnanimity of Tagore.  My grandfather grew up in small towns in Texas. I believe he may have been the first person from India my grandfather had ever seen.  I am pleased to have but one degree of separation between myself and Rabindranath Tagore.

The final lines of “Thou Dispenser of India’s Destiny” are:

Thou dispenser of India’s destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

When I think of these lines, I recall these lines from the fourth and final verse of the national anthem of the United States, “The Star-Spangled Banner:”

Then conquer we must, for our cause is just, 
And this be our motto–“In God is our trust.” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave 
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

For both India and the United States, it took a little time between the time the national anthem was written, and the time it became the national anthem. All I know is one day there will be an anthem for a unified humanity.

Musing mystic chords of memory. I feel as if I am discharging some obligation by sharing this account, paying some unpaid debt. But what? And to whom? I’m not quite sure. All I know is that I am following my deepest inclinations, and it never hurts to offer gratitude.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

What Is Religion? Why Is it Necessary?

What is Religion?

I am pleased to announce the publication of the book “The Pure Religion,” a publication of the New Message from God. This book is Book 8 in Volume 1 of the New Message from God, the previous books being

What is religion? Why is it necessary? I take joy and encouragement that the teachings of the New Message from God are becoming available to the public. A large project is underway of making the entire New Message from God available to the public. I have written about this project here and here. Five years ago this was only a dream. Now it only seems to be a lot of work.

What do you mean “as revealed to?”

What is religion? Why is it necessary? Some people will notice the words on the cover, “As Revealed To Marshall Vian Summers.” Each chapter is a revelation that was received at a certain time and place, sometime between 2007 and 2014. Marshall writes of his experience of receiving a revelation here. Some of the revelations in this book were already available to the public, such as “Religious Fundamentalism” and “Religious Violence.” The chapters in this book are:

What is religion? Why is it necessary? I consider the publication of this book to be another step forward in the progress of the New Message from God in the world. It is currently only available in English. I believe it will one day be available in the languages of the world.

What is religion? Why is it necessary? If you read this book, you might find out.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.