A New Reality Doesn’t Happen Every Day

Copernicus showing the planets and the Messenger. A new reality doesn't happen every day

At the 2018 Encampment of the New Message from God, one of the phrases we engaged with was “a New World reality.” There’s quite a bit packed into that phrase. I plan to unpack this in two posts. This post is about the word “reality.”

A new reality doesn’t happen every day

I think of “reality” in this context as “a mental and emotional framework for observing things and events.” I believe someone is reading this and thinking “Oh, you mean a paradigm.” I consider that reasonable. But the New Message from God uses the word “reality,” as if to say “there are implications for everything not yet fully considered.” The text in the images are from the revelation “The Origin of the Messenger.” It was received by Marshall Vian Summers in August of 2012. This teaching is Chapter 2 of the book “The New Messenger.” This book is Book 3 in Volume 1 of the New Message from God.

Consider the new reality of Copernicus, for instance. Most people at that time felt quite happy with the sun and the planets revolving around the earth. It was plain common sense at the time. The existing reality was plausible. And yet, there were a few people who were unhappy that the planets should sometimes seem to go backwards in their orbits. Most people didn’t think about it at all. Most people didn’t feel any dissatisfaction with the planets occasionally demonstrating retrograde motion. After all, the planets had sometimes been going backwards in their orbits for a long time. It was just part of the way things were. People who were unhappy with the planets occasionally demonstrating retrograde motion were dismissed as cranks and troublemakers.

But the new reality of Copernicus was confirmed by observation. It explained people’s common-sense experience of the sun seeming to revolve around the earth. It also explained why the planets sometimes showed retrograde motion. The new reality explained everything the old reality explained. The new reality also offered a simpler explanation of certain things than the old reality. It is the nature of a new reality to face bitter opposition. After all, some people literally felt as if their whole world was being threatened. While some people deeply yearned for the earth to be the center of the universe, the new reality of Copernicus eventually prevailed.

Gravity bending space-time and the Messenger. A new reality doesn't happen every day A new reality doesn’t happen every day. Consider the new reality of Einstein, for another instance. General Relativity solved the problem of Mercury sometimes appearing to be where it wasn’t expected. But it did so much more than that. General Relativity addressed the phenomena of gravitational lensing and time dilation. The new reality addressed problems and opportunities humanity wouldn’t encounter until much later.
Schrodinger's cat and the Messenger. A new reality doesn't happen every day A new reality doesn’t happen every day. Consider the new reality of quantum mechanics. I make no claim to understand quantum mechanics. I believe it holds promise for great advances in both communication and computation. I believe it will help us in situations we have yet to encounter. All I know is that it is a new reality. Like the new reality of Copernicus and the new reality of Einstein, it has been met with bewilderment and opposition. And yet, it has endured and progressed to this day.

A new reality doesn’t happen every day. The New Message from God proclaims that the Messenger, Marshall Vian Summers, brings a new reality. Could that be true? Is that true? If it is, then it has great consequences.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

I Have Been Called, Others Are Being Called

YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado. I have been called, others are being calledThe worldwide community of the New Message from God recently gathered in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for the 2018 Encampment. The Encampment has been an annual event from 2008 to 2016. It is now being held every two years. I have attended the Encampments in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

I have been called, others are being called

YMCA of the Rockies Assembly Hall. I have been called, others are being calledAs religious gatherings go, all the Encampments have been relatively small events. The 2018 Encampment had the most attendees of any Encampment. I take particular happiness in the fact that people gathered from 26 different countries. This is also the most of any Encampment. We may be a small community, but the phrase “worldwide community” is not an idle boast. In fact, we may be the most geographically dispersed spiritual community of our size in the world.

2018 Encampment Walking with the Messenger. I have been called, others are being called.I have been called, others are being called. The average age of Encampment attendees could be said to be “middle-aged.” And yet, at every Encampment there have been some people attending of a younger age. I have taken great encouragement in this for the future progress of the New Message from God. I recalled a portion from Step 309 of the 365 steps of Steps to Knowledge. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. Step 309 is “The world I see is attempting to become one community.”

“Remember, you have been called and you are responding to your one true purpose. In time, others will be called and they will respond.”

I didn’t think of myself as responding to a call, when I resumed my study of Steps to Knowledge in 2010. I thought of myself as looking for a way to frame the events of my life, that didn’t hurt. But between then and now, my engagement with the New Message from God looks more like a response to a call. I don’t have a certificate of any kind saying I have been called. All I have is many small confirmations and ratifications. All I have is many instances of taking the next step, doing the next thing, showing up again. Many of my fellow attendees report similar experiences.

I have been called, others are being called. I look at this Encampment and see many people I have only known online. I look at this Encampment and I see people I have never met before, online or otherwise. I look at this Encampment and think to myself “Others are being called, and they are responding.”

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Like Sugar In Milk Of The World’s Religions

Parsis before Jadi Rana. Like sugar in milk of the world's religions.In his 1893 address to the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Swami Vivekenanda made a passing reference to a historical event. This event is infrequently considered in my world.

“I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation.”

Like sugar in milk of the world’s religions

The religion he refers to is Hinduism. The “grand Zoroastrian nation” is the Sasanian Empire. The Sasanian Empire ruled modern-day Iran and many neighboring regions from 224 AD to 651 AD. When the empire was overthrown by the Arab Caliphate, a small remnant fled by sea to India. They stayed in Diu in Saurashtra State for 19 years, then moved further south along the coast to Gujarat. There, they approached the local king, Jadi Rana, and requested asylum.

A Zoroastrian legend relates the course of the initial meeting between Jadi Rana and the newly landed emigrants. When the Zoroastrians requested asylum, Jadi Rana motioned to a vessel of milk filled to the very brim. This was to signify that his kingdom was already full and could not accept refugees. In response, one of the Zoroastrian priests added a pinch of sugar to the milk. This was to show that they would not bring the vessel to overflowing and indeed make the lives of the citizens sweeter. Jadi Rana gave shelter to the emigrants and permitted them to practice their religion and traditions freely.

This legend is recorded in the Qissa-i-Sanjan, (The Story of Sanjan), an epic poem written in 1600 CE. It was written by a Zoroastrian (Parsi) priest named Bahman Kaikobad (or ‘Bahman Kaikobad Hamjiar Sanjana’). This poem was translated into English in 1844. Many members of the Parsi community perceive the epic poem to be an accurate account of their ancestors. The Indian government reported that there were 57,000 Parsis in India in 2011. I believe the Parsi community has indeed been like sugar in milk. It has contributed successful individuals to the life of India, including Feroze Ghandi, Ratan Tata and Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara).

Like sugar in milk of the world’s religions. I share this story to illustrate my hope for the New Message from God in my lifetime and in the times to come. On the one hand, the New Message proclaims itself to be a revelation on the same order as the teachings of Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. If such a thing is true, then I would desire it to become well-known throughout the world. On the other hand, the New Message itself teaches how it has not come to compete with the religions of the world, but to uplift them. This is in the revelation “God Has Spoken Again.” (Volume 1, Book 1, Chapter 4 of the New Message from God)

“The world has changed. God’s great Revelations must now be given the next stage of their expression—not to replace them but to uplift them and to cleanse them and to bring them into harmony with one another. They are all pathways to Knowledge, you see. That is what they really are.

They have been turned into other things by governments, by individuals and institutions, by nations seeking power and dominance. They have been alloyed with culture and customs and local perceptions to a point where their essential emphasis and purpose can be difficult to discern.

This is to bring people back to the essence of spirituality, which is the power and the presence of Knowledge in the individual, the power and the presence of Knowledge—this greater intelligence that God has given to each person, working through groups and nations of people, supporting freedom and forgiveness, recognition, communication, work, effort, responsibility.”

The Parsis were like sugar in milk, sweetening the life of India. It is my sincere hope that the New Message from God is like sugar in milk of the world’s religions.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

I Hope For Religions To Love One Another

The World's Parliament of Religions, 1893. I hope for religions to love one another.

The date of September 11, for reasons I do not understand, is a difficult date for the United States of America. My education overlooked the failed Staten Island Peace Conference of September 11, 1776. Many Americans vividly recall the attacks of September 11, 2001.

I hope for religions to love one another

I am therefore pleased to discover a positive occurrence in America on this date. In Chicago in September 11, 1893, the World’s Parliament of Religions convened for the first time. One the speakers was a Hindu monk named Swami Vivekenanda. I am pleased to share Swami Vivekenanda’s brief address to the Parliament.

Photograph of Swami Vivekenanda. I hope for religions to love one another

Sisters and Brothers of America,

It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.

My thanks, also, to some of the speakers on this platform who, referring to the delegates from the Orient, have told you that these men from far-off nations may well claim the honor of bearing to different lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: “As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me.” Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.

I hope for religions to love one another. I consider the New Message from God to offer a hearty Amen to the words of Swami Vivekenanda and the spirit of the Parliament. These words come from the revelation, “Religious Fundamentalism,” Chapter 5 in the soon-to-be-published book “The Pure Religion.

“Like the rivers leading to the sea, all religious traditions are to bring you back into wholeness and union with God. They each add a unique dimension to the understanding of being in the world and of living with a dual reality—the reality of your spiritual nature, which is embodied in what We call Knowledge, and your worldly identity that has been established through culture and through interaction with life here in the world.”

I hope for religions to love one another. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the first Parliament. It is now known as the Parliament of the World’s Religions. The most recent Parliament was held in Salt Lake City in 2015. I consider this to be somewhat providential. The headquarters of the New Message from God are in Boulder, Colorado, a relatively short distance from Salt Lake City. To me, it was as if the world came to the doorstep of the New Message from God. We had a booth at the Parliament.

New Message from God booth at 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions. I hope for religions to love one another

I hope for religions to love one another. I believe the day will come when a representative of the New Message from God will address the Parliament, just as Swami Vivekenanda did in 1893.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

We Face A Challenge To Our Freedom

Cover of The Allies of Humanity Book One. We face a challenge to our freedom

And by “we,” I mean “the human race, the human family, my people.” From time to time, I have shared my Amazon reviews of the books of the New Message from God. In 2013, I shared a review of the book “The Great Waves of Change.” In 2014, I shared a review of the book “Steps to Knowledge.”. Also in 2014, I shared a review of the book “Life in the Universe.” I am now sharing my Amazon review of the book “The Allies of Humanity, Book One” with some images.

We face a challenge to our freedom

There are three books in the Allies of Humanity series. Books One and Two are available in paperback editions. Book Three is only available in electronic form.

First appearance of Uatu the Watcher. We face a challenge to our freedom

And by “we,” Marshall Vian Summers means “the crew of Spaceship Earth.” In this volume, Summers introduces humanity to a small group of individuals from multiple worlds, reporting their observations of events on and around our world. They are constrained from intervening, much like the character “The Watcher” in the Marvel Universe, but they are allowed to give a report.

Starship fleet. We face a challenge to our future.What is the problem? Intervention in human affairs by multiple “collectives,” multi-species, multi-planetary corporations which make McDonalds and Starbucks look like mom-and-pop grocery stores by comparison. The battle Jihad vs. McWorld is not only taking place in our world, but in space as well.

[We face a challenge to our freedom. How do we know these collectives exist? All we have is the testimony of the Allies of Humanity. How do we know the Allies of Humanity exist? We have the testimony of Marshall Vian Summers. Do you trust his testimony? I believe this Project Camelot video has helped a lot of people make up their minds.]

Scene from "The Man Who Fell To Earth" We face a challenge to our freedom.

What is the goal of this Intervention? Access to/control of Earth’s precious biological and mineral resources. As I read this book, I recalled the books Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe and The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery. It should be noted that the collectives consider human beings to be just another biological resource, in the same way we think of domesticated animals.

[We face a challenge to our freedom. There was a time in human history when certain settlers and colonizers considered the indigenous peoples of certain regions to be a kind of intelligent animal whose labor could be exploited. Humanity is looked upon now by these collectives as a kind of intelligent animal.]

Manipulation puppetry. We face a challenge to our freedom.

How will the collectives achieve their goal? By manipulation of religious impulses, sowing the mental seeds of acquiescence, conformity, learned helplessness, waging a PR campaign that humanity is doomed without their help, engaging in an interbreeding program to more easily negotiate our environment.

[We face a challenge to our freedom. H. G. Wells was right when he wrote in “The War of the Worlds” how the Martians could not live in our environment. That is why an interbreeding program is underway.]

I wish to know my own strength. We face a challenge to our freedom

What can humanity do about this Intervention? Unite as a race, reverse environmental degredation, stop broadcasting everything about itself into outer space, develop greater resistance to persuasion and manipulation, take the Steps to Knowledge.

[We face a challenge to our freedom. I don’t know whether we will respond to the warning given by the Allies of Humanity. I hope we don’t find freedom to be too expensive.]

There are many more questions which could be asked, and they are asked and answered in a chapter near the end of the book.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Let This Teaching Find Its Place Among My People

Seedlings in various stages of growth. Let this teaching find its place among my people.

Steps to Knowledge, the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God, entered the world during a 20-day period in 1989. The New Message community has been celebrating that event in a series of webcasts called the Steps Vigil. Steps to Knowledge is 29 years old, as it were. During the Steps Vigil, we listened to portions of Steps to Knowledge in other languages.

Let this teaching find its place among my people

Steps to Knowledge is part of a much larger body of material. Marshall Vian Summers received this material over a period from 1982 to the present. The New Message from God presents itself as the latest in a series of divine revelations to humanity. This series includes the teachings of Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. When these revelations appeared, it was not immediately clear they should be translated into the languages of the world. But people of many faiths have observed that people learn the teachings of a religion best in their own heart language. Bible translator John Wycliffe (c. 1320-1384) wrote, “it helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ’s sentence.” Translating Steps to Knowledge into other languages is comparable to translating a small portion of the Tripitaka, or a book of the Bible, or a Surah of the Qur’an.

Let this teaching find its place among my people. There are books that are written in a given year, in a given language. People translate relatively few of them into other languages. Therefore, I take great encouragement that people have fully translated Steps to Knowledge from English into 11 different languages, including…

Furthermore, translation is in progress in 10 other languages.

It should be noted that professional translators did not create these translations. Student practitioners created these translations. People who practiced Steps to Knowledge in English, who spoke another language as their primary language. “Native speakers” of Steps to Knowledge created these translations. I have heard the testimonies of a number of these translators. Some of the translators encountered the New Message and thought to themselves, “This must be shared.” Some of the translators shared “I trusted my deepest inclinations,” as they described their path into translation. Alisa shared some of her translation experience here.

Let this teaching find its place among my people. When Steps to Knowledge was received in 1989, it was only available in the heart language of roughly 300 million people.

It is now available in the heart language of roughly 2.4 billion people. That works out to about three doublings over 29 years, or about one doubling every ten years. If we continue on the current trajectory, Steps to Knowledge should be available to most of the people of the world in their heart language in about 30 years.

Translation of Steps to Knowledge, 1989-2018 Let this teaching find its place among my people.

I hope and believe that one day, there will be a translation of Steps to Knowledge in each of the 6,909 languages of the world. I realize that may seem ambitious, but look how far we’ve come in 29 years. Let this teaching find its place among my people.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

This Is Clearly A Transgression

This is clearly a transgression

This is clearly a transgression
Trespassing in sacred precinct
But these words, they must be said
By someone, eventually.

I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.
That is why it is so late and why I have left so much undone.

This is clearly a transgression.

They come with their laws and their codes,
their divisions and their jealousies,
only to surround and bind me fast.

But I evade them ever, I walk unheld and free,
for I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.

This is clearly a transgression

To be threshed, to be made naked,
To be ground to powdery flour,
To be baked in sacred fire.

People blame me and call me heedless;
I doubt not they are right in all their blame.

This is clearly a transgression

The market day is over and work is all done for the busy.
Those who came to enlist me as a soldier in their wars go back in anger.
I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

This Might Be Even Worse Than Lark’s Vomit

This tasty dollop of inspired lunacy by Monty Python’s Flying Circus was originally titled “Trade Description Act.” I surmised from this sketch that there were unfortunate people who actually purchased Mr. Milton’s violently nasty chocolates.

Milton: It says ‘crunchy frog’ quite clearly.

[Officer] Praline: Well, the superintendent thought it was an almond whirl. People won’t expect there to be a frog in there. They’re bound to think it’s some form of mock frog.

Milton: (insulted) Mock frog? We use no artificial preservatives or additives of any kind!

Praline: Nevertheless, I must warn you that in future you should delete the words ‘crunchy frog’, and replace them with the legend ‘crunchy raw unboned real dead frog’, if you want to avoid prosecution.

Milton: What about our sales?!?

I also surmised that the success of the Whizzo business model was predicated on keeping the public unaware of the disgusting ingredients involved.

Praline: I’m not interested in your sales, I have to protect the general public. Now how about this one. (superintendent enters) It was number five, wasn’t it? (superintendent nods) Number five, ram’s bladder cup. (exit superintendent) What kind of confection is this?

Milton: We use choicest juicy chunks of fresh Cornish ram’s bladder, emptied, steamed, flavored with sesame seeds whipped into a fondue and garnished with lark’s vomit.

Praline: Lark’s vomit?

Milton: Correct.

Praline: Well it don’t say nothing about that here.

Milton: Oh yes it does, on the bottom of the box, after monosodium glutamate.

Praline: (looking) Well I hardly think this is good enough. I think it would be more appropriate if the box bore a large red label warning lark’s vomit.

Milton: Our sales would plummet!

This might be even worse than lark’s vomit

The reason I mention this sketch is that I recently had a thought that I never thought before. It is a thought related to the labeling of food. For most people, most thoughts are recycled re-runs. But every so often a new thought emerges. What makes this happen? Steps to Knowledge, the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God, offers an explanation for this phenomenon:

“Your Teachers are with you. They are not speaking to you except on very rare occasions, and then only if you are capable of hearing. From time to time they will send their thoughts into your mind, and you will experience this as your own spark of inspiration.” (Step 129, “My Teachers are with me. I will be with them.”)

(For more about the Teachers, please consider this or this.)

I was in my local grocery store, looking at the varieties of canned tuna. I noticed one of the brands of sustainably caught tuna. As I looked at the can, I noticed that the words “sustainably caught” were in tiny white letters.

Wild Planet tuna. This might be even worse than lark's vomit.They might have been smaller letters than those of the words “lark’s vomit” on the offensive box of chocolates. It then occurred to me that any brand of tuna that is not sustainably caught, must be unsustainably caught. Stein’s Law inescapably states, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

One day, there might not be any more tuna to catch, sustainably or otherwise. The thought that I had that I never thought before was placing a warning label in large red letters on unsustainably caught tuna. Much in the same way as the Whizzo Quality Assortment should have a large red label warning of lark’s vomit. On further review, this might be even worse than lark’s vomit.

Warning label for unsustainably caught tuna. This might be even worse than lark's vomit.

I’m not expecting this warning to appear on unsustainably caught tuna anytime soon, but maybe it should. The New Message from God encourages people to reduce their energy consumption to avoid depletion and ruin. One day, humanity will consider unsustainable practices as unacceptable as frog bones or lark’s vomit in chocolates. Who knows, this might be even worse than lark’s vomit.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

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! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

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! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.