Do You Have An Appetizer Sampler I Could Try?

I could be wrong about this, but I have a suspicion that some readers of this blog, particularly those who know me in other contexts, are thinking something.  I think they’re thinking something like, “Don’t get us wrong, Douglas, we’re happy that you’re enjoying doing this Steps to Knowledge thing, but it seems like an awfully big commitment.  You’ve been working on this for how long?  Three and a half years?  Does everyone take this long?  Can we find out just a little bit about this New Message from God thing, and this Marshall Summers guy, before signing up to do Steps to Knowledge?  Can we try an appetizer sampler, and see if we like it, before ordering the 24-ounce porterhouse steak?”

No, everyone does not take this long.  Some people follow the directions and a do a step each day, finishing in a year.  They are more competent students than I am.

The appetizer sampler you seek is here

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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.

Размышления о смирении – как стать великим, когда я маленький?

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Размышления о смирении

Я часто размышляю о значении слова «смирение». Бывает иногда, что я превозношу себя до небес, потом бац! падаю беспардонно обратно на землю. А как не странно, такие моменты являются самыми поучительными, когда я лишена всех ложных представлений о себе и вижу себя такую, какую я и есть на самом деле. Так что, смирение можно расшифровать как “трезвое видение самого себя”.

И вот ещё, тут я не вижу какого-нибудь жалкого существа, ни к чему негодного, а человека, который, несмотря на своих ограничений, способен их переступать, чтобы приобщаться к величию. Тут я открыта для обучения, готова учиться; я признаю свои ограничения и малость и приобретаю свободу принять величие. Для меня, это – смирение.

Я нашла определение смирения с уст философа Николая Бердяева, которое созвучно с тем понятием смирении, которое я приняла для себя: «Смирение есть раскрытие души для реальности… Считать себя самым страшным грешником — есть такое же самомнение, как считать себя святым…Смирение есть не самоуничтожение человеческой воли, а просветление и свободное подчинение её истине».

Так что, когда я читаю следующие слова в Шаге 46 из “Шаги к Знанию: Книга внутреннего познания” “Я должен быть маленьким, чтобы стать великим”: «Позволь себе быть маленьким, и ты будешь чувствовать, что величие с тобой, и что это величие является частью тебя», я про себя думаю, это, кажется, парадокс, а на самом деле нет, это – смирение.

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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.

Maybe by Mary Oliver

I love this poem for multiple reasons.

I love this poem because I believe Mary Oliver captured the emotions of the disciples after Jesus rebuked the wind of a deadly storm, and caused the waves to be still.  The gospel of Mark reports “They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!'” (Mark 4:41, New International Version)

I love this poem for the phrase “something different crossing the threshold.”  Jesus was someone different crossing the threshold, someone putting everything that had gone before into a new context.  Mary Oliver points out that people have a hard time with something different crossing the threshold.

I love this poem because I’m waiting for an opportunity to use the phrase “like a tremor of pure sunlight”

I love this poem because it describes things I feel about my study of Steps to Knowledge.  If it really is something different crossing the threshold, I would find that much scarier than if it were just another self-development program.

Sweet Jesus, talking
his melancholy madness,
stood up in the boat
and the sea lay down,

silky and sorry,
So everybody was saved
that night.
But you know how it is

when something
different crosses
the threshold — the uncles
mutter together,

the women walk away,
the young brother begins
to sharpen his knife.
Nobody knows what the soul is.

It comes and goes
like the wind over the water —
sometimes, for days,
you don’t think of it.

Maybe, after the sermon,
after the multitude was fed,
one or two of them felt
the soul slip forth

like a tremor of pure sunlight
before exhaustion,
that wants to swallow everything,
gripped their bones and left them

miserable and sleepy,
as they are now, forgetting
how the wind tore at the sails
before he rose and talked to it —

tender and luminous and demanding
as he always was —
a thousand times more frightening
than the killer sea.

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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.

Can I Learn To Live Successfully Within My Limitations?

This is the final post in a series of seven posts regarding Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge. In this step, I am reviewing my practice and experience of the first 48 steps.  I am sharing what I wrote when I actually did this step, with additional commentary as needed.

Step 43 – My will is to know God – “My will is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.  My will is to represent God.  My will is to realize God.  My will is to will the will of God.  Even when I’m distracted my will comes back.”  I was improvising on the first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, ‘the chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”

Step 44 – I wish to know my own strength – “Find my strength to find my strength.  Bring forth my strength.  Create my strength.”  A student of Steps to Knowledge in Qinghai Province, China, commented, “It’s like the bird learning to fly. The information, the instinct, is in the genetic blueprint, but the bird still has to learn to fly. The bird doesn’t just jump out of the nest and soar into majestic flight at the first go. It might flop, stagger, waver, or fall, but the learning will take place as the bird exercises this ability which it technically doesn’t have yet, but will have.”  The bird has to find flying.  I have to find my strength.

Step 45 – Alone I can do nothing – “I have been very unkind to my little, limited self.”  I have expected it to create its purpose, meaning and directions, which are all jobs above its pay grade.

Step 46 – I must be small to be great – “I will work successfully within my limited context”  I’m recalling that after Swedish poet and avid pianist Tomas Transtromer suffered a stroke disrupting his right side, Ulf Grahn composed a series of left-hand piano pieces for Transtromer to play.  That’s an instance of working successfully within a limited context.

Step 47 – Why do I need Teachers? – “After Steps 46 and 47, wallowing in my limitations, it was no big stretch to think I need a Teacher.”

Step 48 – True instruction is available to me – “Love myself to approach Knowledge, and I will love myself more.  I recalled Step 44 here, bootstrap loader.”  As my colleague said, “The information, the instinct, is in the genetic blueprint [unalterable read-only memory], but the bird still has to learn to fly.”  Knowledge contains certain qualities, but I still have to bring them forth to access them.

How do I attain Knowledge?  How do I get to Carnegie Hall?  “Practice, practice, practice”

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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.

Что такое Бог?

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Хочу сказать, что испытываю, ну, испытывала, по крайней мере, двойственное отношение к слову «Бог». Тем не менее, в книге «Шаги к Знанию: Книга внутреннего познания» Бог часто упоминается и Новое Послание от Бога является источником этого учения. Так, по идее, я должна была ощетиниться, а если “не сделать ноги”, то хотя бы тихо повернуться и незаметно уйти.

По идее, да, но вместо этого я решила поглубже рассмотреть эту двойственность. Что за ней стоит? Что я имею против слова «Бог»?

Первое, что пришло на ум, – это потому, что я его ассоциирую с религией. Но я себя не считаю религиозным человеком. Я не хожу в церковь и я не читаю Библию, хотя когда-то в прошлом ходила в церковь (это была пресвитерианская церковь, куда я ходила в детстве, когда жила в Англии. Мои родители – шотландцы, поэтому мы ходили туда – это шотландская ветвь протестантской церкви), и когда-то в прошлом читала Библию. Мне нравится Библия, если понятие «нравится» вообще уместно в этом контексте. Для меня Библия является источником бесконечной мудрости. Но мне не особенно нравилось ходить в церковь. Что-то меня настораживало, стены её слишком приковывали, что ли.

Затем я обнаружила, что если поменять слово «Бог» на «Высшую Силу», то получается совсем другое дело, и мое двойственное отношение уменьшилось. В великолепной лесной роще, где царят воздух и свет, я почувствовала близость к Высшей Силе, поэтому я заменила церковь на лес и наслаждалась силой Вселенной, которую я там испытывала.

А к тому моменту, когда я начала заниматься Шагами к Знанию, я уже была готова согласиться с тем, что написано в тексте Нового Послания «Кто такой Бог»: «Ты находишь Бога в чистом импульсе, в бесконечный момент признания, в желании действовать вне твоих собственных личных интересов и побуждений, с сочувствием к другому, в момент необъяснимой взаимосвязи. Это — Бог в действии. Для тебя это — Бог».

Шаг 38 гласит, что Бог знает путь к Знанию, Шаг 39 напоминает мне, что сила Бога со мной, Шаг 40 заявляет, что сегодня я буду чувствовать силу Бога, и Шаг 41 призывает к тому, чтобы не бояться силы Бога. С таким набором инструментов и с дополнительном заверением в том, что «сила Бога представляет тайну [моей] жизни”, все сомнения улетели навсегда. Бог – это не тот Бог, о котором я слышала в церкви, Бог – это та сила, которая «задействует Знание во всех умах и призывает все умы пробуждаться».

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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.

Кто хочет помогать с переводами?

Кто хочет помогать с переводами?

Перед тем, как продолжать мою затею поделиться опытом прохождения по Шагам к Знанию, я хочу сделать оговорку о том, что пока мало текстов Нового Послания от Бога переведено на русский язык. Поэтому, те переводы, которые вы читайте в моих сообщениях на русском языке, сделаны мной неофициально, то есть, они в необработанном виде, и ждут усовершенствования. За что, я прошу прошения.

На данный момент, Послание переводится на многие языков мира, по больше или меньше мере, например:

Союзники человечества существуют на французском, русском, испанском, шведском, немецком, португальском и греческом языке.

Шаги к Знанию можно читать на французском, греческом, шведском и немецком языке.

Духовность Великого Сообщества, главы 1 – 9, можно найти на шведском языке.

Много других текстов из Нового сообщения от Бога были переведены на французский, греческий, португальский, испанский, шведский, нидерландский, турецкий, китайский, немецкий и финский язык.

Отдельные тексты уже переведены на русский – их можно читать здесь.

На сегодняшний день, Новое Послание от Бога занимает 9160 страниц разных откровений.

На данный момент, над переводами этих 9160 страниц на русский язык работают всего три человека, причем добровольно. Они работают от порыва сердца, от глубокого убеждения того, что занимаются полезной работой. А вы?

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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 Wish To Explore The Mystery

I believe that one of the reasons I am attracted to Steps to Knowledge is that they often describe life as a mystery and I find this to be totally glorious.

This mystery is first mentioned in Step 10. What Is Knowledge? Here I am told that Knowledge is the great mystery of my life. I felt so enchanted by this that I was drawn to explore further. A mystery has a myriad enticing possibilities, to me it means that nothing is set in stone, if something is mysterious, it is malleable, multifaceted, with the potential to be miraculous.

Mystery is next mentioned in Step 36. Your Life Is A Mystery to Explore. When I did this Step, I wrote in my notes that it made me want to delve beneath the surface and discover something greater, more meaningful, more profound. And indeed this Step calls for penetrating the surface of my mind and feeling the presence of my Spiritual Teachers. Hmmm, now they are indeed a mystery to explore.

I cherish moments when I can truly experience the Mystery.

One such moment was during a short vacation recently when I traveled out into the magnificent Russian countryside.

One lovely warm August evening I sat and watched the sun set.

In my ears were the words and lilting melody of Stevie Wonder’s Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away.

As I watched the sky and listened to the song, the words struck a deep chord in my soul, and I thought, heaven is not 10 zillion light years away, it is right here before me, no further away than the horizon. And it can be even closer; when I open my heart to the mystery of Knowledge, I truly feel it inside 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.

Can I Find The Way To The Power Of God?

This is the sixth post in a series of seven posts regarding Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge.  In Step 49, I’ve been told to review my practice and experience of the first 48 Steps.  I am sharing what I wrote when I actually did the Step 49 review, and adding commentary as needed.

Step 36 – My life is a mystery to explore – “I remember thinking the phrase ‘going spelunking in my soul.'” I waited from early 2011 to June 2013 to write that phrase in a blog post.  Part of this step was taking the focus off of life as a result to be judged.

Step 37 – There is a way to Knowledge – “I wrote down this Step in this book,  I seem to think that I need to get high to get to Knowledge.” I wrote down 23 different practices, some of which are about development of character, some of which are about alteration of consciousness.

Step 38 – God knows the way to Knowledge – “I did the Step.  Sometime around this day I got there were Christians who found the way to Knowledge, like Joan of Arc.”  I’ve written two posts about Joan of Arc so far.  I will probably write more in the future.

Step 39 – The power of God is with me – “I did the step, recalling the hymn ‘Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.'”  This Christian hymn, written in 1876 to a Welsh melody, talks about God dwelling in inaccessible light.  It talks about God being “unresting, unhasting, and silent as light.”  This hymn had a similar vibration to me as the bit in the next step about the great stillness of God.

Step 40 – Today I will feel the power of God – “I commented on this Step.”  The post about tomato aspic is the commentary I wrote down.

Step 41 – I am not afraid of the power of God – “I commented on this Step.”  In that commentary, among other things, I wrote “The separation is insane, and to maintain it, I must spin a hurtful insane mud world around myself.”  Spinning a mud world around myself is a line from a Robert Bly translation of a Kabir poem.

Step 42 – Review – “I commented on this review.”  In that commentary, I wrote “Another thing I haven’t written down until now is that I’m very briefly scanning through the Steps I’ve done so far, in getting to the Step I’m going to do on a particular day.  That seems to help.”

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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.

Can I Make My Soul A Little Bigger?

This is the fifth post in a series of seven posts regarding Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge, where I am directed to review my practice of the first 48 steps.  I am sharing what I wrote at the time I did this review, with additional commentary as needed.

Step 29 – I will observe myself today to learn of Knowledge – “I remember I started exercising the day I did this Step.  When I’m doing more observing, less judging, Knowledge sneaks in in an unguarded moment.  I didn’t do very well in practicing exactly on the hour, but I practiced a good bit.  I commented on this Step.”  Starting to exercise was definitely a positive development.  Yes, I consider unguarded moments to be valuable.  I now use the alarm on my cell phone to remind me of hourly practice.  It’s a great conversation starter.  I don’t believe my private commentary on this step will be all that helpful.

Step 30 – Today I will observe my world – “Again, like the day before, I didn’t do the Step hourly, but I did it a lot, I considered the possibility of looking on the collapse of America without judgment.”  If you either know me, or read this blog, then you have observed or surmised that I have a certain amount of fondness for, or attachment to, the United States of America and the ideals it seeks to embody.  Contemplating the possibility of looking on the collapse of America without judgment took a great deal of stretching my soul beyond its previous dimensions.

Step 31 – I wish to see a world I have never seen before – “I recalled the ‘Judgment and love are opposites…’ step from ACIM [A Course in Miracles].  I also recalled the John Lennon song ‘Watchin’ the Wheels Go Round.’  Again, I wasn’t good on timely practice, but I practiced a lot.”  Lesson 352 in the Workbook for Students in A Course in Miracles is “Judgment and love are opposites.  From one come all the sorrows of the world.  But from the other comes the peace of God Himself.”  This is more of what I mean when I talk about the overlap between A Course in Miracles and Steps to Knowledge.  The actual title of the John Lennon song is just “Watching the Wheels.”  I find it much less angry than many earlier John Lennon songs.

Step 32 – The truth is with me.  I can feel it. – “I remember mocking this Step, saying the line from 2001 ‘The truth is with me, Dave.  I can feel it.’  I believe there was a big gap between the day I did 31 and the day I did 32.  Holidays?  I commented on this step.”  When Dave Bowman is shutting down the HAL 9000 computer in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL says “My mind is going, Dave.  I can feel it.”  Did I need some comic relief? I shared my further commentary on Step 32 here.

Step 33 – I have a mission in my life to fulfill – “I remember not enjoying this step, because I was ok with the idea, but never seemed to fulfill it.  I remember thinking it could mean I would be a fanatic, my life organized around my great mission.  On the other hand, I might be fanatic, but normal about it.”  I seem to have issues with either being a fanatic, or being thought of as a fanatic.  Did St. Joan of Arc have a problem with people thinking she was a fanatic?

Step 34 – I am a beginning student of Knowledge – “I remember this Step taking away the pressure from the last Step.”

Step 35 – Review – “I did the Review.  Looking without judgment is the current answer to everything that stinks.”  I remember making the phrase “I will look, but I will not judge” into a little song that I sang over and over around the time I did this step.

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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.

Can I Take A Step Into A Larger World?

This is the fourth post in a series of seven posts regarding my experience of Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge.  In this step, I am directed to review my practice and experience of the first 48 steps.  I am sharing what I wrote when I did this step, and adding commentary when needed.

Step 22 – I am surrounded by the Teachers of God – “This step presents the Teachers as critters who have just been a little ways further down the road I’m on. I commented further on this step in this book”  I finally got around to writing about my experience of the steps when I did them, when I did step 22.

Step 23 – I am loved, surrounded and supported by the Teachers of God – “I remember finding this Step as unusual (see commentary)”  This is the commentary I wrote at the time: “One thing I find noteworthy about this step is that it I one of the rare (so far) occasions in Steps where something good is said about the student in his current state.  The feeling for me is a feeling of connectedness, a feeling someone wants me to hit the jackpot, to find the great treasure, to win the brass ring.  I have this thought that, generally speaking, the Teachers don’t do flattery.”

Step 24 – I am worthy of God’s love – “I recall having a nervousness about this step.  What great efforts will I have to make to repair my errors?  I didn’t have an answer for that.  I still don’t”  The step said “Your worthiness in the sight of God is unchanged. There is only great effort to repair your errors so that you may experience your True Self so that it may be rendered into the world.”  At this point, slowly backing away from suffering over my errors is a good first step.

Step 25 – I am at one with the greatest truth of life – “I was nervous that the Step said my Teachers are within me.  See above regarding feeling things.”  Steps 22 and 23 went to great lengths to say that the Teachers of God weren’t just mental constructs or helpful metaphors, but actual individuals.  And now they say they are within me?!?  I’ve already written about my issues regarding practicing feeling things here and here.

Step 26 – My errors give birth to my Knowledge – “This step made me have a great deal of respect for the authors.  I wanted to make the pain of my errors disappear, but not learn from them.  They killed off many bad ideas (or incomplete ideas) in one paragraph.”  If I can learn from my errors, I have a good chance of not committing them again.  They killed off the ideas that error non-exists, that error is pure service, and error could be justified.

Step 27 – I have a wisdom which I wish to discover – “I remember the same thing about this step as Step 17.”  On further review, this Step took what was in Step 17 and elaborated on it, so this is hardly surprising.

Step 28 – Review – “I don’t think I’ve had any miracles yet.  I remember being nervous if I had done the Steps as hard, as much as I shoulda.”  The prayer in Step 28 says “I accept the miracles of my life as a demonstration of the presence of Knowledge…”  The word miracle is used exactly twice in Steps to Knowledge.  A miracle is a demonstration of the presence of the great mystery of one’s life.

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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.