I Will Keep My Hands To The Plow Today

I will keep my hands to the plow today, I'll keep trying and believing, like the Little Engine That Could

Steps 65 through 67 of Steps to Knowledge contain three separate critiques, or criticisms, or rebukes of what passes for normal life in the world. Step 65, “I have come to work in the world,” pokes at the idea that we just showed up here.  It rebukes the idea that our reason for being here reduces to individual and species survival. Step 66, “I will stop complaining about the world,” rebukes the idea that we are entitled to have the world conform to our ideals. Chances are good that the things I’m complaining about are the very things I came into the world to address. Step 67, “I do not know what I want for the world,” rebukes the idea that our preferences and anxieties are an adequate foundation for our mission in the world.  A student might ask “Is there anything I get to keep?!?”

I will keep my hands to the plow today

Step 68, “I will not lose faith in myself today,” answers that question “Yes.”  Do you have a beginner’s mind?  Keep that.  Do you have the resolve to go forward? Keep that.  Do you have the willingness to receive the assistance of your Teachers? Keep that.  Do you have the self-esteem required to approach the great mystery of your life? Keep that.  Keep and fortify all of the above.

I will keep my hands to the plow today. I believe where I’m going is a place I want to be. I believe I have friends helping me get there. I believe I will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.

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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.

Going Deeper, Moving On

Going Deeper, Moving On

I would like to think I am going deeper, moving on. The reviews offered in Steps to Knowledge are a good opportunity to look back, take stock, and prepare for going deeper, moving on. Step 14, the second review step so far, asks that I specifically determine the depth of my involvement and investigate the content of my experience.

When I reached this step I was full of questions.

I wrote the following in my notes for the Step 14 Review:

“So much feels so familiar, but still somehow just out of reach. So the big question that has arisen for me at this point is – why is this so? Why can we not access the Knowledge that is ours from birth each time we come into the world? Why do we have to struggle so to regain what God has given us from the very start? Why does it take so much effort to wake up and why do so many people never seem to reach that level of enlightenment? Why is it so hard to delve into the depths of our minds and see the Truth?

“I am probably asking very naive questions and just showing my ignorance. Yes, I am ignorant, I fully accept that fact, but I so want to remember who I really am, I am seeking answers.”

As it transpires, God speaks in many ways and I laugh in delight when I read the following, because it seems as though God is speaking directly to me in my striving to know the “whys” and “wherefores.”

God said:

“It seems you want to know everything. You want to know how and why. You want to know all the connections in life and what makes two and two. It seems you become like a busybody when it comes to the mechanics of life. It is not your mission to figure out all the wherefore’s and why’s of life. You do not require explanations. When it comes to life, it’s more like it’s acceptance that you require. Let your motto be: Move On.”

Going Deeper, Moving On

I discovered something, however, as I further investigated the content of my experience and the nature of my questioning. My questions do not address the mechanics of the world, I do not ask questions like “why do bad things happen to good people,” or “why do young people die?” My questions are more like “why don’t I know what I want to know?” Or “why have I forgotten where I came from?” Or “Who are my Teachers, and where is my Ancient Home?”

Now I have even stopped asking these questions, mainly because I know I am not going to find an answer at this stage in the game. Answers require going deeper, moving on.

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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 Sing The Hero, Aitizaz Hasan

I sing the hero Aitizaz Hasan, who prevented a suicide bombing at a school with nearly 2,000 students in Hangu, Pakistan

“What do men long for, mother, and why?”
“They long for a star’s bright rays,
And when they have glimpsed a tiny light
They follow with songs of praise.” – Christmas Lullaby for a New-Born Child by Yvonne Gregory

I sing the hero Aitizaz Hasan.  I am join my voice to the many songs of praise for the late 15-year-old Aitizaz Hasan.  He lived in the city of Hangu, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of north-west Pakistan.  This town of roughly 35,000 people has been in a violent region over the past eight years.  The combatants are the Taliban, and the local Shia community.  A suicide bombing near a hospital under construction in 2010 killed 11 people.  In 2011, an explosives-laden car was detonated close to local government offices, killing 35 people.

I sing the hero, Aitizaz Hasan

Aitizaz Hasan was a student at Government High School Ibrahimzai in Hangu.  They say he was a good student.  On Monday, January 6, he was late for school, and was not allowed to attend the morning assembly as a punishment.  He was standing outside the gate with two other schoolmates when a man aged 20-25 years approached, dressed in a school uniform, saying he was there to take admission [enroll?]. It was during this conversation that one of the students spotted a detonator and Aitizaz’s schoolmates ran inside. But Aitizaz stood his ground and got hold of the bomber who then detonated his vest, killing himself and Aitizaz instantly.

There were nearly 2,000 students in the school at the time the attack occurred.  I shudder to think what would have happened had the bomber gotten close to the morning assembly.  There is currently a campaign underway for Aitizaz Hasan to be posthumously awarded a civilian honor in Pakistan.

11 January 2014 UPDATE: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised to award the Star of Bravery, Pakistan’s highest civilian honor, to Aitizaz Hasan.

Where does the power come from to see the race to its end?

What made Aitizaz Hasan grab the bomber when the other two students ran?  There wasn’t time to think about it.  The decision had to be made right then and there.  I’m not saying the students who ran were wrong.  They may have had a plan to get help, or to obstruct the bomber’s path, or to help the students at the assembly get to a safer place.

Something happened in that moment.  What made that something that happened able to happen?  I don’t know.  I want to know.  But I’m glad it did.  I am honored when others, like Aitizaz Hasan, are strong.

In discordant life
I sing the hero, Aitizaz Hasan
Melody of strength

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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.

Быть Уникальной Частью Единого Целого

Быть Уникальной Частью Единого Целого

For English version click here.

Быть уникальной частью единого целого было для меня маловразумительным понятием, когда я впервые занималась Шагом 13. Я хочу быть отдельной, чтобы быть уникальной. Я не поняла, что «быть отдельным» здесь подразумевается быть отдельным от Бога. Это подразумевается, что я хочу быть отдельной, потому что для меня «отдельной» значит «уникальной». Поэтому я отрицаю идею об единстве с Богом. Но на самом деле, я понимаю, что у меня есть духовное начало, поэтому я не хочу быть отдельной. М-да, кажется, я заблудилась.

К счастью, однако, я не настолько заблудилась, чтобы совсем теряться в мути разума. Я всё-таки задала себе следующий вопрос: «А, может быть, это значит – вкладывать свою уникальную часть в общее дело, быть уникальной частью единого целого?»

И пришел на ум такой образ, такая аналогия, которая помогает разобраться с парадоксом «отдельность-уникальность». Я – составная часть картинки-загадки. Я – уникальная, но эта уникальность только имеет смысл, ценность, когда я занимаю свое место в общей картинке. Как отдельная часть, я ничего не значу, а рядом со всеми остальными частями, такими же уникальными, как и я, мы вместе образуем одну большую ценнейшую картинку, одно единое целое.

Быть уникальной частью единого целого

Отрадно, что другие люди, те, которые я бы назвала женщинами и мужчинами Знания, созвучно выражаются на этой теме.

Маргарет Мид сказала: “Всегда помните, что Вы абсолютно уникальны. Точно так же, как все остальные.”

Виктор Франкл выразился следующим образом: «У каждого есть свое особое призвание. Каждый человек незаменим, а жизнь его неповторима. И поэтому задача каждого человека настолько же уникальна, насколько уникальна и его возможность выполнить эту задачу».

Шаг 13 из книги “Шаги к Знанию” гласит: «Твоё физическое существование является проявлением отдельной жизни, но лишь с определённой точки зрения. С другой точки зрения, она совсем не проявляет отдельности. Она проявляет уникальное выражение Высшей Реальности».

Приняв это как данность, я свободно могу принять свою уникальность. Чтобы быть уникальной, не надо быть отдельной, я, скорее, уникальная часть единого целого.

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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.

Marshall Vian Summers Webcast Schedule

There is a new Marshall Vian Summers webcast schedule.  Try to get out more.

Some students of the New Message from God, including myself, have wondered when Marshall Vian Summers was going to assume a more public profile.  That time is now.  There was a brief webcast on December 28, 2013.

Even though there was little advance notice, and the webcast took place in a week where few public events happen, there was a good audience and a brisk chat.

What’s the new Marshall Vian Summers webcast schedule?

There will also be a webcast at 5:30 pm GMT, 11:30 am Central Standard Time, on Saturday, January 11.  The plan at this point is to give a webcast every two weeks.  There will be a live discussion on YouTube after the webcast.

The new Marshall Vian Summers webcast schedule has him speaking on January 11, 2014

How long will this “every-two-weeks” webcast schedule last?  I don’t know.  Marshall has mentioned on more than one occasion that his time in the world is short.  I don’t know what he means by that.  He might merely be speaking pragmatically as a sixty-something-year-old cancer survivor.  In the December 15 question and answer session, he mentioned a “core proclamation” to be released in book form soon.  How soon?  I don’t know.  I’m just trying to flow with events and make myself useful.

I have a track record of being credulous and gullible.  I have a track record of participating enthusiastically, jumping in with both feet.  How is my engagement with the New Message from God different from previous involvements?  Steps to Knowledge warns me of folly and self-deception, encourages me to cultivate discernment, helps me to honor my experience and not claim more than my experience.

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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.

Who Will Provide The Grand Design?

Who will provide the grand design? This could be tricky.

“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.”

The Roman poet Horace (65 BC-8 BC) wrote these words in Book III of his Odes in 23 BC.  One translation is “How sweet and fitting it is to die for one’s country.”

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
“This is my own, my native land!”

In this poem, a portion of “The Lay of the Last Minstrel,” written in 1805, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) goes on to praise heartfelt patriotism, and condemn the selfishness of the person who is indifferent to the fate of his country.

Who will provide the grand design?

People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

Bob Dylan says “Things Have Changed.” What has changed?  They say the world’s population in Sir Walter Scott’s day was about 1,000,000,000.  It’s slightly over 7,000,000,000 now, and growing at 1.2% per year.  That doesn’t seem like much, but by the Rule of 72, that’s a doubling time of 60 years.  Can you imagine the stress that a world with 14,000,000,000 people will experience?  You may not be around for it, but your children might, and their children will.

The Great Waves of Change says the human family as a whole must unite and gather together to deal with these great challenges.  Here is a paragraph which elaborates on this idea:

“In a world of ever-growing population and declining resources, humanity will face a great decision, a fundamental choice in which direction to go.  Do nations compete and challenge each other for the remaining resources? Do they fight and struggle over who will control these resources, and who will have access to these resources? For indeed, all the great wars of humanity’s turbulent past have been a struggle, fundamentally, over gaining access to and control over resources.”

Someone is reading this and thinking, “This is all easy for you to say, Mr. Kum Ba Yah, Mr. Uniting-the-warring-tribes-of-humanity.”  Ah, would that it were!  The creation of the image at the top brought up various stresses for me.  There are 196 countries in the world, and readers from 188 of them are going to look at this image and say “Why didn’t you include my country?”  I don’t think the United States and Saudi Arabia share very many values. On what basis will these two countries join?  This could be tricky. A voice in my head said “Why make Brazil the head of the snake?  What has Brazil done for the world besides give us ‘The Girl from Ipanema?!?'” My answer for that voice is “Brazil hasn’t been in a war since 1966.  They’re doing something right.”  After finishing the image, I had to go lie down for a while. I found merely thinking about this to be difficult.

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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 Am A Unique Expression Of A Greater Reality

Unique Expression of a Greater Reality

I am a unique expression of a Greater Reality, but I did not understand this when I first reached Step 13. I Want to Be Separate to Be Unique. I did not understand that separation here means separation from God. This implies that I want to be separate because I think being separate makes me unique, so I reject the idea of being part of the Oneness of God. But I am a spiritual being and I am aware of this, so I do not want to be separate. I admit to being confused.

I found help with my confusion in the New Message from God revelation entitled “The Separation,” which says:

You are a spiritual being living in a physical reality. This accounts for your dual nature and the fundamental conflict and confusion that permeate your mind and activities.

Despite my confusion, however, I did have the presence of mind to write the following question in my notes: “Could this mean that I must express my unique gifts whenever I can, contribute my own individuality to the greater whole?”

Another quote from “The Separation” seems to answer this for me.

God redeems you through the power and presence of Knowledge within you. Knowledge will prepare you to become a contributor to life so that your real, unique gifts can be given where they are needed.

I Am a Unique Expression of a Greater Reality

Now I have found a good analogy, something that helps me understand this separation/uniqueness paradox. I am a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. I am unique, but I am only of value when I take up my place in the bigger picture, when I make my unique contribution to the larger whole, when I am a unique expression of a Greater Reality.

I take great comfort in what other people, people I would call men and women of Knowledge, have to say on this subject.

Margaret Mead said, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

Edgar Cayce often reiterated the idea of Oneness in his work. His readings are filled with different ways to express the same concept: Know yourself…to be yourself…and yet part of the whole.

Step 13 says, “Your physical life demonstrates a separate life but only from a certain point of view. Given another point of view, it does not demonstrate separation at all. It demonstrates a unique expression of a Greater Reality.”

Accepting this as the truth, I am free to embrace this uniqueness, I do not have to be separate to be unique, rather I am a unique expression of a Greater Reality.

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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.

If I Would Imitate Christ

The Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7. If I would imitate Christ, then Knowledge must emerge in me

The Christmas season in the Catholic and Protestant portions of the Christian community has come and gone. However, the Christmas season in the Orthodox church is yet to come, with Christmas being celebrated on January 7.  The Orthodox church is the third largest group of Christians in the world. There are between 300 and 400 million Orthodox Christians scattered over many countries.  I therefore prefer to think that January 1 is in the middle of the global Christmas season, halfway between December 25 and January 7.

The New Message from God has something to say about Christmas as well. The message “The Meaning of Christmas” was received on December 23, 1994.

In late November of 2013, I wrote a post on the New Message teaching “Joy and Gratitude.” This is another post of that kind, unpacking “The Meaning of Christmas.”  Again, it is too long to quote, but there are some important things to mention.

In the first four sentences, the phrase “the emergence of Knowledge in the individual” is used three times.  Christmas represents the emergence of Knowledge in the individual.  The life of Jesus represents the emergence of Knowledge within the individual.

If I would imitate Christ

If I would imitate Christ, then Knowledge must emerge within me, as Knowledge emerged in him.

If I would imitate Christ, then I must address the needs of my time, just as Jesus addressed the needs of his time.

The crowds were amazed at the teaching of Jesus, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law (Matthew 7:28-29, New International Version).  If I would imitate Christ, then I must find and demonstrate that same authority he demonstrated.

Angels ministered to Jesus during moments of great decision in his life. They ministered to him after his temptation in the wilderness. An angel strengthened him during his time of prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. If I would imitate Christ, then I must be aware of the existence and activity of the Unseen Ones in the world, just as Jesus was.

Jesus declared he was sent into the world. Jesus declared he had people to meet, like Zacchaeus the tax collector.  Jesus declared he had actions to take. If I would imitate Christ, then I must consider the possibility I was sent into the world as well, I have people to meet, I have actions to take.

I can embrace Jesus as a friend, a companion, an elder brother.  I can idealize Jesus, place him on a pedestal above and beyond every person.  I cannot do both. If I would imitate Christ, then I must choose between these alternatives, and choose well.

I have read this message multiple times, and different portions shine more luminously to me on different occasions.  There is quite a bit more that could be said about this message, but this is all I have to say about it for now.

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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.

Sowing The Seeds Of My Practice

sowing-seedsI am sowing the seeds of my practice in my world and moving onward and upward toward the light. This is the reason I am sharing my practice of Steps to Knowledge here at Mystery of Ascension.

I began my practice at the beginning of November 2012, and by the beginning of 2013, I was doing the Step 49 Review.  At the beginning of 2014, I have reached the Step 238 Review. I am viewing this as a serious accomplishment.

I am pleased with my Steps practice during the past year. Although it is taking longer than a year to complete the entire study program and I am not doing one step a day, I feel I have adhered to the recommendations given in the Introduction to Steps to Knowledge

“Steps to Knowledge is a complete program of study. Each step takes you higher and closer to your self-discovery. Therefore, plan to go the whole way. If you don’t stop, you will advance.”

I plan to go the whole way, I am not stopping, and I can even say I am advancing.

The Introduction goes on to say:

If you miss a day, simply return to practice. Do not condemn yourself (or the program). You need only continue in Steps to receive its full benefit.

I am continuing in Steps and I feel as though I am reaping the fruits it offers, receiving its full benefit. My life is in harmony, I have meaningful and happy relationships with the other people in my life, my physical, mental, and spiritual needs are being met, I awaken each day raring to go.

And I am:

Sowing the Seeds of My Practice

In February 2013, I found Mystery of Ascension. I do not precisely recall now how I found it, let’s just say the circumstances are mysterious. But find it I did, and it was like coming home. I read every post and then I avidly awaited each new update, finding so much that resonated with me in each and every post.

In July 2013, I was delighted to accept Douglas’s invitation to become a guest blogger at Mystery of Ascension. He said he believed it would be a great way to sow the seeds of my practice in my world and he offered me a spectrum of opportunity.  I could either be a guest for a time period of my choice (a certain number of days, weeks, months) or I could post and edit for as long as I wanted.

I have chosen the second option. Sharing and sowing the seeds of my practice of Steps to Knowledge in my world has been such an inspiring and fulfilling experience for me that I wish to continue. I am so happy with this partnership.

I have the feeling that Douglas is happy with our partnership too.  I hope it is fulfilling his vision of uniting the world in order to successfully emerge into the Greater Community. I hope it is fulfilling his vision of having posts in other languages.

I have a deep yearning to reclaim Knowledge, I have a deep yearning to learn the Truth, I have a deep yearning to return to my Source. I have a deep yearning to play my small part in the whole, to make my contribution. I feel that sowing the seeds of my practice of Steps to Knowledge in my world in 2013 has helped me to satisfy this yearning, but it is only the beginning.

In 2014, I wish to continue this journey with ongoing dedication and perseverance, for it is the journey of a lifetime, and as long as I am alive in this world I am committed to continuing my climb up the mountain.

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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.