The Man Whose Time Was Wrong

The man whose time was wrong
Shrine of Abdul Qadir Gilani, Baghdad, Iraq

I have shared on many occasions that there is a sympathetic vibration between the New Message from God, and the lives and teachings of various dervishes. This is another tale from the book Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah (1924-1996). Shah attributed this tale to Abdul Qadir Gilani (1078-1166) This is another tale to enjoy with a beverage, as it is longer than most posts.

The man whose time was wrong

Once upon a time there was a rich merchant who lived in Baghdad. He had a substantial house, large and small properties and dhows which sailed to the Indies with rich cargoes. He had gained these things partly through inheritance, partly through his own efforts, exercised at the right time and place, partly through the benevolent advice and direction of the King of the West, as the Sultan of Cordoba was called at that time.

[No, this is not the same merchant as in the story “The Merchant and the Christian Dervish.” Cordoba is a real place, a city of 325,000 in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.]

Then something went wrong. A cruel oppressor seized the land and houses. Ships which had gone to the Indies foundered in typhoons, disaster struck his house and his family. Even his close friends seemed to have lost their power to be in a true harmony with him, although both he and they wanted to have the right kind of social relationship.

The merchant decided to journey to Spain to see his former patron, and he set off across the Western Desert. On the way one accident after another overtook him. His donkey died; he was captured by bandits and sold into slavery, from which he escaped only with the greatest difficulty; his face was tanned by the sun until it was like leather; rough villagers drove him away from their doors. Here and there a dervish gave him a morsel of food and a rag to cover himself. Sometimes he was able to scoop a little fresh water from a pool, but more often than not it was brackish.

[We are not told of the route the merchant took from Baghdad. Perhaps he traveled along the southern Mediterranean coast. But suffice it to say that it was a difficult journey. I imagine that after a difficult day’s travel, as he drifted off to sleep, he consoled himself. He would think how the future benevolence of the King of the West would make it all worth while. Say what you will about the man whose time was wrong. He was most assuredly determined.]

Ultimately he reached the entrance of the palace of the King of the West.

Even here he had the greatest difficulty in gaining entry. Soldiers pushed him away with the hafts of their spears, chamberlains refused to talk to him. He was put to work as a minor employee at the Court until he could earn enough to buy a dress suitable to wear when applying to the Master of Ceremonies for admission to the Royal Presence.

But he remembered that he was near to the presence of the king, and the recollection of the Sultan’s kindness to him long ago was still in his mind. Because, however, he had been so long in his state of poverty and distress, his manners had suffered, and the Master of Ceremonies decided that he would have to take a course in behaviour and self-discipline before he could allow him to be presented at Court.

All this the merchant endured until, three years after he quit Baghdad, he was shown into the audience hall.

The king recognized him at once, asked him how he was, and bade him sit in a place of honour beside him.

‘Your Majesty,’ said the merchant, ‘I have suffered most terribly these past years. My lands were usurped, my patrimony expropriated, my ships were lost and with them all my capital. For three years I have battled against hunger, bandits, the desert, people whose language I did not understand. Here I am, to throw myself upon Your Majesty’s mercy.’

The king turned to the Chamberlain. ‘Give him a hundred sheep, make him a Royal Shepherd, send him up yonder mountain, and let him get on with his work.’

Slightly subdued because the king’s generosity seemed less than he had hoped for, the merchant withdrew, after the customary salutation.

[ I consider the man whose time was wrong to be inadequately prepared on the inside. His expectations of the king’s generosity were too high.]

No sooner had he reached the scanty pasturage with his sheep than a plague struck them, and they all died. He returned to the Court.

‘How are your sheep?’ asked the king.

‘Your Majesty, they died as soon as I got them to their pasture.’

The king made a sign and decreed: ‘Give this man fifty sheep, and let him tend them until further notice.’

Feeling ashamed and distraught, the shepherd took the fifty animals to the mountainside. They started to nibble the grass well enough, but suddenly a couple of wild dogs appeared and chased them over a precipice and they were all killed.

The merchant, greatly sorrowing, returned to the king and told him his story.

‘Very well,’ said the king, ‘you may now take twenty-five sheep and continue as before.’

With almost no hope left in his heart, and feeling distraught beyond measure because he did not feel himself to be a shepherd in any sense of the word, the merchant took his sheep to their pasture. As soon as he got them there he found that the ewes all gave birth to twins, nearly doubling his flock. Then, again, twins were born. These new sheep were fat and well-fleeced and made excellent eating. The merchant found that, by selling some of the
sheep and buying others, the ones which he bought, at first so skimpy and small, grew strong and healthy, and resembled the amazing new breed which he was rearing. After three years he was able to return to the Court, splendidly attired, with his report of the way in which the sheep had prospered during his stewardship. He was immediately admitted to the presence of the king.

‘Are you now a successful shepherd?’ the monarch asked. ‘Yes indeed, Your Majesty. In an incomprehensible way my luck turned and I can say that nothing has gone wrong—although I still have little taste for raising sheep.’

‘Very well,’ said the king. ‘Yonder is the kingdom of Seville,whose throne is in my gift. Go, and let it be known that I make you king of Seville.’ And he touched him on the shoulder with the ceremonial axe.

The merchant could not restrain himself and burst out: ‘But why did you not make me a king when I first came to you? Were you testing my patience, already stretched almost to breaking point? Or was this to teach me something?’

The king laughed. ‘Let us just say that, on that day when you took the hundred sheep up the mountain and lost them, had you taken control of the kingdom of Seville, there would not have been one stone standing on top of another there today.’

[ The man whose time was wrong learned his lesson. He used his experience to succeed as a royal shepherd. I believe he ruled the kingdom of Seville wisely, and that the kingdom prospered under his rule. The story mentioned the word “luck,” but I’m not buying it. I don’t believe the king bought it. In the New Message from God, we have a great disbelief in luck. We have a great belief in preparation. We believe people have come to the world to serve a greater purpose. But there is a great deal of preparation necessary for it to be revealed. The merchant wasn’t ready to be the king of Seville. The king knew full well that the man whose time was wrong was ready to be the king of Seville. I am in preparation for a stronger iteration of the purpose for which I came to the world. I don’t claim to be ready yet. I claim to be working on it.]

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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.

Rise And Unite Become A Strong Race

Rise and unite become a strong race

This is the eighth post in a series of posts on the revelation “The Great Turning Point for Humanity.” This revelation is a small part of the New Message from God. The first post is here. The previous post is here.

What have we seen so far? Individuals, for the most part, are unaware of the great changes humanity faces in the near future. It doesn’t occur to most people that the seas will rise and the lands will dry. Most people don’t consider the possibility of a greater community of intelligent life.

Rise and unite become a strong race

The following is the 47th paragraph of this teaching. I will add my experience of each paragraph in brackets.

There are those responding at this moment, but their numbers are very small. There are those who are awakening at this time, but their numbers are very small. This is a Calling for every person who can respond. And for those who cannot respond, they will have to face the consequences of living in a new world reality.

Pile of Bison skulls 1870. An increasingly difficult world

[I concur that the numbers of people responding to this message are very small. The numbers of people awakening to the situation described here are very small. Those who cannot respond will face an increasingly difficult world.]

If humanity cannot respond sufficiently, if enough people cannot respond, then the human family will fall prey to domination by other forces, who are already planting the seeds of dissension amongst you and even within you, within certain people. This is their great opportunity to intervene while humanity is unwary, while humanity is irresponsible, while humanity is obsessed with its own conflicts and ridiculous pursuits.

[If humanity cannot respond to the consequences of its actions, it will be vulnerable to extraterrestrial manipulation. This persuasion will be cloaked in benevolence. This seduction will take advantage of human ignorance of the Greater Community and its realities.]

You do not realize how valuable this world is in a universe of barren planets. You do not realize what you are facing. So only God can reveal these things to you. If you cannot accept this, then you will be lost in this world—lost in confusion, lost in travail, lost in hostility and rebellion.

[How many trees are there in the universe? So many things have to go right for this. Our world is seen by foreign space-faring nations as a resource-rich environment. A rare gem in a universe of barren worlds.]

Already your political governments are failing, breaking apart, your nations divided between extremists who try to lead their countries, not realizing that nations will have to unite, practically and fundamentally, to be able to deal with the consequences of what We speak of here today. Instead of breaking apart, you should be uniting—not because it is a good thing to do, but because it is the only thing to do.

[I realize this is a hard thing to contemplate. People have strong attachments to their ethnicity, their nationality and their religion. But there is a truth that is stronger than these attachments. A united humanity may succeed, but a divided humanity will fail. And by “fail” I mean “either become extinct or lose its freedom.”]

Those who say, “Oh, this is too much. This is too extreme. This cannot happen. Things will not turn out like that!” These are people who are too weak to respond. They are too given to their own priorities and obsessions. They do not have the inner strength to face something like this, even though the signs of the world are being presented to them with each passing day.

[Who can look at the past 100 years, and then say that anything cannot happen? Day by day the evidence for this future grows.]

This is the evolution of humanity. Evolution has painful thresholds within it. The world did not become the paradise it is today through graceful change alone, but through convulsive change—great extinctions, great alteration of the climate, convulsion, combustion. This is evolution. It is not some simple path that you follow, that delights you at every turn. You have come into the world at a time of great evolution. Fail and you will become governed and oppressed by foreign powers, beyond what you can imagine today.

[By “foreign powers,” they mean “extraterrestrial space-faring nations.” By “governed and oppressed,” they mean “enslaved and exploited.” Humanity is perceived as intelligent animals to be domesticated. Freedom is not cherished by foreign powers.]

If you rise and unite, humanity will become a strong race, an independent race, in such a way that this independence can be protected and preserved. Only the New Message describes why this is the case and what it really means.

[Rise and unite become a strong race. There are other free worlds in our region of space. Freedom is rare because it requires sustainable self-sufficiency and discretion. But it is not impossible.]

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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.

With Gratitude And High Expectation

With gratitude and high expectation

It is the season for the worldwide community of the New Message from God to observe the Steps Vigil. This is a 20-day period (May 26-June 14). In this period in 1989, Marshall Vian Summers received the book Steps to Knowledge. This took place in Albany, New York without any public attention. There are many posts in this space regarding the annual Steps Vigil, here, here and here.

With gratitude and high expectation

Many books have dedications where the author chooses to honor a particular person. Some book dedications are literature in and of themselves. Steps to Knowledge has a dedication as well. I have never gotten around to sharing it, but today seems like a good time.


“This method is given to
all students of Knowledge in the world
with gratitude and high expectation
from your Spiritual Family.
Follow the instructions as they are given.
In this way, the power and efficacy of this work
will be revealed to you and, therefore,
Our gift to you will have been given.
It is with great excitement
that We bestow this upon you
and through you upon your world.”

Who are the students of Knowledge in the world? Like gold, they are where you find them. There are students of Steps to Knowledge in many countries, speaking many languages. We are following an invisible light. And yet, we are also choosing to take each step.

Who is my Spiritual Family? Steps to Knowledge speaks of it in a number of the 365 steps. Relationships I have reclaimed over a long time. A group of learners. Those who gave me a mission in the world.

Steps to Knowledge stresses the importance of following the steps as they are given in multiple steps. Sometimes I have looked at the directions and wondered, “I can do that? I must be able to if they are telling me to.”

With gratitude and high expectation. I feel the emotions expressed in this dedication. For me, it is as if it is known that Steps to Knowledge would make people more able to serve an emerging world.

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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.