How Do You Respond To A Miracle?

John Stewart and Family. How do you respond to a miracle?

I am writing today because I have incurred a debt. Not a financial debt, but a literary debt. I mean that I have told part of a story, but left out the much more interesting remainder of that story. I am remedying that omission today.

How do you respond to a miracle?

In May of 2014, I introduced you to my friend John Stewart. I also mentioned that he was recently diagnosed with ALS, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years after diagnosis. I am pleased to report that John is still in the world. Furthermore, much furthermore, he was undiagnosed of ALS 13 months after he was diagnosed. John is the only person I know of who has been undiagnosed from ALS after having been diagnosed with ALS.

John Stewart and Family in Prague. How do you respond to a miracle?

John wrote the following in April of 2017:

“Three years ago today, April 22, 2014, my wife and I received that diagnoses, and the apparent death sentence. To say that the rest of that week was the most surreal in my life would not be an exaggeration. Faith and family, as you know, were the key pillars then and going forward, as you can see if you back through this blog. To some extent, a blunt diagnoses such as that can be extremely clarifying. “If the doctors say there is nothing man can do,” I reasoned to myself, “then that only leaves God.” Galatians 2:20 came to me: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” If I was as good as dead, then it truly was “no longer I who lived” and that became both my focus and the name of this blog that I started a few days after the diagnosis.

If you’ve been following along here, you’ll know that 13 months after I was diagnosed I was undiagnosed, also at the Mayo. I still had some symptoms, but I was too healthy. Since then I’ve continued the story here sporadically. There were additional miracles to report (as you can scroll down to read), but also a life to live. My youngest daughter moved to Prague in late 2015 and we flew over there for 9 weeks as she transitioned, and we returned there last fall with our oldest daughter and newest grandchild. These and many other things were blessings we could barely have foreseen while sitting in that doctor’s office 3 years ago.”

How do you respond to a miracle? Perhaps you think that John only adopted this optimistic attitude only after things started to get a little better. That is not the case. John wrote this shortly after his apparent death sentence.

“In the last couple of days I have had some bad minutes, and some very good hours. I am planning on confounding this disease [emphasis mine]. Oh, I know – it’s not unusual for folks to talk tough and brave at the onset, or whistle past the graveyard as it were. I know as well as anyone, and maybe better than most, what ALS entails. I don’t dismiss it as a lightweight, or over-estimate my own strength and resolve. In fact, if I were trusting in my own resources I’d be quivering on the floor right now. I know what the disease is and what it can do, but I also know that my God is greater, and I remember all the miraculous things I have seen Him do in my life and in the lives of others. There will be more on this – much, much more – as I go on.”

Douglas Bass and John Stewart playing trivia at Keegan's. How do you respond to a miracle?

How do you respond to a miracle? I wish to explore this phenomenon. John mentioned that certain words had a special significance for him during this time. One of the words was “confound.” John shared this with me:

“You once asked me why I used the word, “confound.” I said I didn’t know, it just came to me as I was writing, and it just felt right. Later, I actually looked up the Biblical meaning, and it literally means “to close the mouths of your enemies”. To confound your Enemy (or your doctor) is to leave him speechless. I didn’t realize the full intent of my mission at the time I wrote that, but that “random” word was an important part of denying death, destruction and the loss of hope.”

Another word with particular import was “expectation.” John writes:

“As the neurologist gave us the blunt truth, describing the end stages in detail, it got a bit emotional. He apologized, and said, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I want you to have the right expectation.” In the tunnel vision that was closing around me, that was a sudden light.

We had had teaching that the word “hope”, Biblically, means “expectation” (especially if you look up hope in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary on-line).

When he said “expectation”, hope is what lit up in my mind, especially in the context of Webster’s. My hope was based on an expectation that God could and would deal with this. It was therefore, a hope and not a wish.”

The 1828 Webster definition of hope is too long to quote, but it is much more than “what I would like to happen.” It includes “confidence,” “substantial evidence,” and “well-founded expectation.” I surmise this “lighting up” that John describes had something to do with what was inside John at that moment.

How do you respond to a miracle? How could it not mean that there are more things in heaven and earth than what is explained by your worldview? Doesn’t it spark your curiosity even a little bit? Doesn’t it call into question your list of things that can and can’t happen? I say it should.

The New Message from God places a relatively light emphasis on miracles. I have mentioned before that the word “miracle” is mentioned exactly twice in the 500-something pages of Steps to Knowledge. It is as if the New Message from God is trying to redirect my focus away from seeking miracles and dispensations. It seeks to redirect my focus toward preparing to respond to Knowledge, the deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed within each person. Step 28 of Steps to Knowledge contains one of the two mentions of “miracle.”

“I accept the miracles of my life as a demonstration of the presence of Knowledge and I give myself now to cultivate that which is of the greatest good within myself to be given to the world.”

2015 Celebration of John Stewart's undiagnosis of ALS. How do you respond to a miracle?

How do you respond to a miracle? A little humility and wonderment wouldn’t hurt. John will most likely disagree with me on this, but I say that John knew something in that moment with the doctor. I am grateful that he is in the world and well and sharing his testimony. I am pleased to have been with him at this celebration in 2015 of his sisongaid (undiagnosis). I am pleased to have told this part of his story.

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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.

Человек, у которого была необъяснимая жизнь.

Необъяснимая жизнь – это когда, идёшь туда, не знаешь куда, принесёшь то, не знаешь что, а при этом всецело доверяешься судьбе. Как и сделал Моджуд.

необъяснимая жизнь

Дуглас пишет:

Давно хочу писать о Хызре, таинственном предводителе суфиев. Эту историю я читал много лет назад в книге “Сказки дервишей” Идриса Шаха.


Жил когда-то  человек по имени Моджуд. Жил он в небольшом городке,
работал мелким служащим,  и было похоже на то, что он так и кончит свои дни
инспектором мер и весов.
Однажды неподалеку от своего дома  Моджуд прогуливался по парку среди
древних развалин, и вдруг перед ним  в сверкающих зеленых одеждах появился
Хызр, таинственный предводитель суфиев.
— Человек  с блестящими перспективами, оставь свою работу и жди меня
через три дня на берегу реки, — сказал Хызр и исчез.
Чувствуя какую-то тревогу, Моджуд отправился к своему начальнику и
попросил освободить его от должности. Весть об этом вмиг облетела жителей
городка. В уличных разговорах только и слышно было: “Бедняга  Моджуд! Он,
наверное, рассудка лишился”. Но так как на его место было много
претендентов, о нем вскоре забыли.

В условный день Моджуд встретил Хызра, и тот сказал ему:
— Разорви на себе одежду и прыгай в воду. Возможно, тебя кто-нибудь
Моджуд сделал так, как ему было сказано, хотя и чувствовал, что сходит
с ума.
Он умел плавать и потому не  утонул, но его долго несло течением, пока
какой-то рыбак не втащил его в свою лодку, приговаривая:
— Чудак! Здесь сильное течение. Зачем ты полез в реку?!
— Я и сам не знаю, — ответил Моджуд.
— Да ты спятил!  — воскликнул рыбак.  — Ну ладно, вон на берегу мой
шалаш, я отвезу тебя туда, а там посмотрим, что с тобой делать.  — И рыбак
направил лодку к берегу.
Узнав, что Моджуд  образованный человек, рыбак  оставил его у себя. Он
кормил Моджуда, а Моджуд учил его читать и писать и помогал ему в работе.

Так прошло несколько месяцев. Однажды вечером, когда Моджуд уже улегся
спать, перед ним появился Хызр и сказал:
—  Вставай немедленно и уходи от этого рыбака. Ты  найдешь себе
пропитание и в другом месте.
Моджуд тут же поднялся с постели и вышел из лачуги, одетый так, как
обычно одевались рыбаки. Полночи проплутав в темноте, он выбрался, наконец,
на  дорогу и зашагал вперед. На рассвете Моджуд нагнал крестьянина,
неторопливо трусившего на осле, и пошел рядом с ним.
— Ты, наверно, ищешь работу? — обратился к нему крестьянин.  — Если
хочешь, идем со мной. Я иду на базар, и на обратном пути  мне понадобится

Моджуд нанялся к крестьянину на работу. Он проработал у него около двух
лет и за это время приобрел много новых познаний, но все они относились
только к сельским работам и ни к чему более.
Как-то в полдень Моджуд, увязывая  в тюки шерсть, снова увидел перед
собой Хызра, который сказал:
— Оставь эту работу, возьми свои сбережения, ступай в город Мосул и
открой там торговлю кожей.

Необъяснимая жизнь

Моджуд так и сделал. В Мосуле он стал известен как торговец кожей. Три
года он был купцом, и за это время Хызр ни разу не приходил к нему. Скопив
немного денег, Моджуд уже стал подумывать о покупке дома, как вдруг однажды
перед ним опять предстал Хызр.
—  Отдай мне свои деньги, — приказал он, — и отправляйся в далекий
Самарканд. Там ты должен стать бакалейщиком.

Итак, Моджуд отправился в путь и спустя некоторое время обосновался  в

(Google Maps сообщает о расстоянии 2,900 километров или 1,800 миль между Мосулом, в северной части Ирака, в Самарканд в Узбекистане.)

Вскоре в его жизни стали проявляться все признаки просветленного
человека. Он излечивал больных, помогал своим компаньонам и во время работы, и в свободное время и все глубже и глубже проникал в тайны духа. Священники, философы и многие другие посещали его и спрашивали:
— Кто ваш Учитель?
— Трудно сказать, — отвечал Моджуд.
— С чего вы начали вашу карьеру? — спрашивали его ученики.
— Я был мелким чиновником.
— И вы оставили эту должность, чтобы посвятить себя аскетизму?
— Нет. Просто оставил.

Они не понимали его.
Некоторые  хотели  описать  жизнь этого удивительного  бакалейщика и
спрашивали Моджуда: “Какие приключения вы испытали в своей жизни?”
— Я  бросился  в  реку, стал рыбаком, затем однажды ночью покинул
рыбацкую хижину и некоторое  время проработал у крестьянина. Как-то
упаковывая шерсть, я изменился и ушел в Мосул, где открыл торговлю кожей.
Там я скопил немного денег, но отдал их и отправился в Самарканд. И вот
сейчас я бакалейщик.

необъяснимая жизнь

— Но все эти непонятные события  никак не объясняют ваших удивительных
способностей и поступков.
— Да, это так, — отвечал Моджуд.
И тогда биографы  сочинили о Моджуде захватывающую историю, потому  что
все святые должны иметь свои жития, и житие должно отвечать интересам
публики, а не реальности жизни.

Говорить  же  о Хызре никому не разрешается, и потому созданное  их
воображением житие Моджуда весьма далеко от правды.
Вот описание реальной жизни одного из величайших суфиев.

Шейх Али Фармадхи считал это предание важным для иллюстрации суфийского убеждения, что “невидимый мир”  во всякое время и в самых различных местах
переплетается с обычной реальностью. “Необъяснимое,   —   говорит он,   —   фактически обязано своим существованием этому чудесному переплетению. Но люди не признают участия этого “мира” в их мире, потому что твердо верят, что знают истинные причины событий. На самом же деле они этого не знают. И только, когда они могут удержать в своем уме возможность другого измерения, иногда врывающегося в ход обычных событий, это высшее измерение становится доступным для них”.

Почему я решил поделиться этой историей? Потому что, слово “необъяснимое” хорошо сочетается с восприятием Знания. Моджуд – один из нескольких, кто вошел в узкие ворота, кто сумел найти истинный путь – что является очень редким достижением. Я считаю, что Маршалл Виан Саммерс является современным Моджудом. Хотя я не считаю, что у меня есть необъяснимая жизнь, я не могу не спорить с тем, что тот факт, что я хожу по этому пути является для меня действительно чем-то необъяснимым.

* * *

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.

Is There A Hope For Friendship Between Nations?

British and French flags, entente cordiale. Is there a hope for friendship between nations?

I am pleased to report that last Sunday, April 8, 2018, marked the 114th anniversary of a historic occasion. The occasion is the signing of a treaty of friendship between Britain and France. This treaty is informally known as the Entente Cordiale. This event was not mentioned to me at any point in my formal education. All I was told was, “Well, Britain, France and Russia were allies in 1914.”

Is there a hope for friendship between nations?

I take great encouragement in the existence and longevity of the Entente Cordiale. Let me tell you why.

Bayeux Tapestry, Hastings. Is there a hope for friendship between nations?

Britain and France had a long, unhappy history of many wars between each other. Between 1202 and 1904, England (later Britain) and France engaged in 23 different wars. The longest time they were able to go without a war during this period was 89 years, between 1815 and 1904. And don’t forget the Norman Conquest of 1066. Someone might despair of two nations ever getting along because of their long, unhappy history. I can say “Oh, they are like Britain and France in 1904.”

Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Is there a hope for friendship between nations?

Both Britain and France were global powers at the time with interests around the world. The Entente Cordiale granted freedom of action to Great Britain in Egypt and to France in Morocco. At the same time, Great Britain conceded territory in Guinea, Nigeria, and the upper Gambia valley. France renounced its exclusive right to certain fisheries off Newfoundland. Furthermore, French and British zones of influence in Siam (Thailand) were outlined. Arrangements were also made to allay the rivalry between British and French colonists in the New Hebrides (now known as Vanuatu). Someone might despair of two global powers ever getting along because of multiple conflicts of interest. I can say “Oh, they are like France and Britain in 1904.”

Queen Victoria visits France, 1843. Is there a hope for friendship between nations?

Is there a hope for friendship between nations? Sometimes, the best that can be done is the sowing of a seed for the future. Queen Victoria of Britain did that very thing in 1843 when she visited France. The last time a British ruler had visited France was Henry VIII in 1532. Queen Victoria used the phrase “a cordial good understanding.” King Louis-Phillipe used the phrase “une sincère amitié.”

Cartoon mocking Entente Cordiale. Is there a hope for friendship between nations?

Is there a hope for friendship between nations? Perhaps there were some nobler motivations and some less noble motivations for the Entente Cordiale. Suppose a nation does the right thing for the right reasons. Its motives will be questioned by other individuals and other nations. All I know is that if a nation makes an alliance with another nation, that alliance will be tested. The First Moroccan Crisis of 1905-6 was a test of the Entente Cordiale, in my opinion.

The New Message from God teaches that human unity is a necessity for human survival and human freedom. These two paragraphs are from the revelation “What Will Save Humanity.” This is a chapter in the forthcoming book “The New World.

“Humanity is imperiled from within and from without. From within, it is facing a world in decline. Its growing populations will have to contend with a slowly shrinking well of resources and with environmental disruption. It will have to pay attention now to the laws of nature, which hold little mercy for the unprepared. It will have to face a fundamental decision over whether nations will compete and contend and fight over the remaining resources or whether they will unite to preserve them, to extend them and to make sure the human family as a whole has what it needs.

It is not about national security now. It is about world security. Your nation will not remain unaffected if other nations fail. If millions of people stream over your borders because they cannot sustain themselves in your neighboring countries, that will have a great impact upon you. If humanity cannot feed itself, great war and tribulation will follow. Think not that these challenges are not upon you, for the world is telling you otherwise, and Knowledge within you is urging you to respond.”

Is there a hope for friendship between nations? I know there are people reading these words who are persuaded that a unified humanity is impossible. But there were people living in Britain and France in 1816 who believed that the next thousand years would be as full of war as the last thousand years. So far, they have been mistaken. Will humanity unite? All I know is that I must do what I can to help that happen.

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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.