On the morning of Sunday, September 16, the fourth day of the 2012 Encampment of the New Message from God, I started having a certain…discomfort. Specifically, I was thinking that it might be quite some time before I see some (or many) of these people again, and therefore I should say whatever it is I have to say to them, while I have the chance to say it to them in person. I wondered if there was anything in particular I had to say to Marshall Summers. And as I pondered, I recalled this poem from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore:
I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all kings!
My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say `What hast thou to give to me?’
Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.
But how great my surprise when at the day’s end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.
I read this poem to Marshall in the late afternoon. Marshall said “Would you like to share that poem tonight?” I said “Indeed yes!” I spent the next couple of hours working on memorizing this poem. It turns out that an opportunity for sharing this poem didn’t really present itself, but that’s ok.
Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, for the collection of poems from which this poem came. In the spring of 1921, he embarked on a lecture tour of North America. One of the stops on this tour was Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, slightly north of Austin. One of the young men who heard his lecture there was Myron Bass, my paternal grandfather. Southwestern is a university run by the United Methodist Church, but my grandfather was impressed by the magnanimity of Tagore. 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.
I believe someone is reading this and thinking “I say, you have a bit of thing for this Summers fellow, don’t you?” I read something today that got me. It was written by someone I met at Encampment. He wrote:
As I support Marshall, I feel myself supporting myself, or a future version of myself.
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.