It takes a certain openness of mind to consider the possibility of intelligent life on other planets. Many people cannot even consider the possibility that intelligent life from other planets is present in our world. But let’s suppose for the sake of argument that you can. I believe it would not be unreasonable for you to ask “How long have they been here?” I very recently learned of Kenneth Arnold (1915-1984), an American businessman and pilot. Arnold has been called “The Man Who Introduced the World to Flying Saucers.” I mention this because it has now been 75 years since Kenneth Arnold’s sighting.
The first man to see a new world
Kenneth Arnold grew up in Scobey, Montana. He was an Eagle Scout and an all-state football player in high school. I offer this as evidence of his integrity and capability. As of June 24, 1947, he had started his own company, the Great Western Fire Control Supply, which sold and installed fire suppression systems. I believe these are the ancestors of sprinkler systems in modern buildings. The company was based in Boise, Idaho, and Arnold traveled around the Pacific Northwest as part of his work. He had been married since 1941.
On June 24, 1947, Arnold was flying from Chehalis, Washington to Yakima, Washington on a business trip. His flight path crossed a line between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.
He made a brief detour after learning of a $5,000 reward (equivalent to $61,000 today) for the discovery of a U.S. Marine Corps C-46 transport airplane that had crashed near Mount Rainier. He didn’t find it. He was near Mineral, Washington on a clear day when he decided to give up the search.
It was at 3 p.m., he remembered, “when a very bright flash lit up the plane and the sky around me.” A member of the Washington State forest service, who had been on fire watch at a tower in Diamond Gap, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Yakima, also saw these flashes.
At first, Arnold thought it was the sun reflecting off another plane. There was a DC-4 to his left and behind him, about 15 miles away. Arnold used this to estimate the size of the craft he observed.
“But the flash happened again, and that’s when I saw where it was coming from. It came spasmodically from a chain of nine circular-type aircraft way up from the vicinity of Mount Rainier,” said Arnold.
“… I could not find any tails on these things. They didn’t leave a jet trail behind them. I judged their size to be at least 100 feet in widespan. I thought it was a new type of missile.”
His plane had a big sweep 24-hour clock on the instrument panel. Arnold measured that the craft covered the distance between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams in 1 minute 42 seconds.
“That figured out to something like 1,760 miles an hour, which I could hardly believe. I knew that figure couldn’t be entirely accurate, but I’d say it was within a couple of hundred miles accurate,” he said.
This is roughly 2.3 times the speed of sound, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier later that year. This speed was humanly impossible at the time. It might have been just another day in 1947, but Kenneth Arnold was the first man to see a new world.
What happened next?
Arnold completed his flight to Yakima, and eventually started telling his story. The East Oregonian newspaper reported the story on June 25. Arnold had a reputation as a successful businessman and experienced pilot, and thus appeared to be a credible witness. Many US and Canadian newspapers carried the story shortly thereafter. The Associated Press wrote a story on the subject in July.
On the one hand, the US military publicly dismissed Arnold’s sighting as a “silly season episode” and a “mirage.” On the other hand, they started to collect information on sightings, in a study which would be called Project Sign, which would later become Project Grudge, which would even later become Project Blue Book.
Arnold wrote a book on the subject, “The Coming of the Saucers,” written with Raymond Palmer, editor of Fate magazine. Kenneth Arnold is much more famous for his UFO sighting than anything he did as a businessman. He was accused of starting a flying saucer fad by certain intellectuals. Many skeptics offered alternate explanations for his account. But he would hold to his original account for the next 37 years until he died in 1984.
I realize these ideas are considered improbable at this time. But at this point, I’m recalling the words of Sherlock Holmes: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”
This revelation made certain predictions about the future. I mention the date that this revelation was received so that you could examine it in that context. You can see how well the predictions made in this revelation hold up. This revelation put it’s predictions on display by repeatedly using the word “Increasingly.”
Increasingly, you will see that one nation alone cannot be successful if others fail.
Increasingly, you will see that one religion alone cannot meet and speak to the needs of humanity.
Increasingly, you will see that crisis in one nation will affect the well-being and the prosperity of other nations.
Increasingly, you will see that the environment is disrupted and that violent weather and the changing of the world’s climate will have an increasingly destructive effect upon humanity’s ability to feed and care for itself.
Increasingly, you will see discord and financial instability and corruption arising in the corridors of power.
Increasingly, you will see the consequences of human irresponsibility.
Increasingly, you will see that war cannot be an option, for it destroys the infrastructure and the resources, which will be so difficult to replace in the future.
Increasingly, you will see that people need the same things and that the world is limited in what it can provide.
Increasingly, you will see the limits of technology and what happens when technology fails and how that affects the lives of so many people.
Increasingly, you will see that it must be human courage, human determination and human cooperation that will make all the difference in the end.
Did you imagine this eleven years ago? I did not. I read the book “The Great Waves of Change” 12 years ago. It spoke of how we face an increasingly difficult world. I thought its predictions of climate disruption, resource depletion, and increasing political instability were something for the more distant future. I was mistaken. All I know is that I must cultivate my ability to follow Knowledge, the deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed in every person. All I know is that I must be noble and strong, inspired and determined. All I know is that I must do whatever I can to help others be noble and strong, inspired and determined.
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.
In how many languages is Steps to Knowledge available?
Bahasa (Indonesian) – Langkah-langkah Menuju Pengetahuan
Bengali – জ্ঞানের প্রতি পদক্ষেপ
Bulgarian – Stŭpki kŭm Znanieto
Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) – 内识进阶
Dutch – Stappen Naar Kennis
French – Les Pas vers La Connaissance
German – Schritte zur Kenntnis
Greek – Ta Vímata tis Gnósis
Italian – Passi Verso La Conoscenza
Korean – 앎으로 가는 계단
Persian – گام به گام تا بصیرت و دانش
Polish – Kroki do Wiedzy
Russian – Шаги к Знанию
Spanish – Pasos al Conocimiento
Vietnamese – Những Bước Đi đến Tri Thức
The number of people who speak these languages as their heart language is roughly 3.1 billion, slightly less than 40% of the world’s population. In addition, there are 10 languages where a partial translation exists: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Hebrew, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak and Swedish. These are the heart languages of an additional 530 million people.
Who did these translations?
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 heart 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. Russian translator Alisa shared some of her translation experience here. I consider this translation to be an enormous accomplishment, a great display of dedication and devotion.
Is this translation technically difficult?
Some people might be wondering “Is the full experience being conveyed in translation?” I believe it is. The evidence I suggest is the readability level of Steps to Knowledge. A high school freshman has a reasonable chance of understanding its content. I find Steps to Knowledge remarkably free of esoteric language.
How is Steps to Knowledge progressing into the world?
The number of people who have a complete copy of Steps to Knowledge in their heart language has been doubling every 10 years or so, over the past 33 years. if this trend continues, Steps to Knowledge will be available in the major languages of the world in 20 years or so.
Then falter not O book, fulfill your destiny
American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) wrote a poem “In Cabin’d Ships At Sea” in 1871. He envisioned books of his poems being read by mariners in the future. In this poem he wrote “Then falter not O book, fulfill your destiny. I speak this same blessing over Steps to Knowledge. This book has been given with gratitude and high expectation. I rejoice and give thanks for the efforts many have made to move it forward into the world.
The martial emperor’s dream of expansion has no end
This poem has been translated into English by a number of scholars. The earliest translation I know of was in 1967 by David Hawkes. I don’t know who made this particular translation.
The wagons rumble and roll, The horses whinny and neigh, The conscripts each have bows and arrows at their waists. Their parents, wives and children run to see them off, So much dust’s stirred up, it hides the Xianyang bridge. They pull clothes, stamp their feet and, weeping, bar the way, The weeping voices rise straight up and strike the clouds. A passer-by at the roadside asks a conscript why, The conscript answers only that drafting happens often. “At fifteen, many were sent north to guard the river, Even at forty, they had to till fields in the west. When we went away, the elders bound our heads, Returning with heads white, we’re sent back off to the frontier. At the border posts, shed blood becomes a sea, The martial emperor’s dream of expansion has no end. Have you not seen the two hundred districts east of the mountains, Where thorns and brambles grow in countless villages and hamlets? Although there are strong women to grasp the hoe and the plough, They grow some crops, but there’s no order in the fields. What’s more, we soldiers of Qin withstand the bitterest fighting, We’re always driven onwards just like dogs and chickens. Although an elder can ask me this, How can a soldier dare to complain? Even in this winter time, Soldiers from west of the pass keep moving. The magistrate is eager for taxes, But how can we afford to pay? We know now having boys is bad, While having girls is for the best; Our girls can still be married to the neighbors, Our sons are merely buried amid the grass. Have you not seen on the border of Qinghai, The ancient bleached bones no man’s gathered in? The new ghosts are angered by injustice, the old ghosts weep, Moistening rain falls from dark heaven on the voices’ screeching.”
I rejoice and give thanks for the efforts and accomplishments of Ellen Mitchell, who left this world on March 2 at the age of 85. She was not well-known in the world, but among the Worldwide Community of the New Message from God, she was well-known and well-loved.
Our kind cheerful den mother
I don’t know very much about Ellen’s life. The above testimony shows she first encountered Marshall Vian Summers in 1994. In 1998 she moved to Boulder, Colorado to support the New Message. She has been a member of the Society for the New Message from God for many years.
I don’t know exactly what she did as a member of the Society. But I do know that when people inquired about the New Message from God in one form or another, Ellen would patiently and cheerfully respond. She may have answered more questions about the New Message from God than anyone, living or dead. To me, she was our kind cheerful den mother in the Worldwide Community. Happy for our participation, hopeful for our advancement, compassionate with our struggles. She had an inner strength, an inner conviction, which enabled her to be so kind and encouraging to us.
Ellen also created many artworks that illustrated the teachings of the New Message from God. I seem to recall occasional exhibitions of this artwork, but I’m not finding them now. I consider her artwork to be direct and to the point.
Our kind cheerful den mother. I don’t know very much about Ellen’s departure from this world. It seems to be the tendency of students of the New Message from God to die with minimal drama. All I know is that if the New Message succeeds, Ellen Mitchell will be one of the reasons why. By “succeeds” I mean “causes the human family to survive an increasingly difficult world.” Furthermore, “causes humanity to emerge into a greater community of intelligent life with its freedom and sovereignty intact.” Did she fulfill her purpose for coming to this world? I don’t know. But I believe she made a great contribution.
In Islam, there are those known as the Sahabah, (“the Companions”) who recognized Mohammed as a prophet during his lifetime, and died as Muslims. Like Mary Lee, I consider Ellen to be one of the Sahabah of the New Message from God. There aren’t enough of them to have a name for them yet. Sometimes the word “respondents” is used to describe people who embrace the New Message from God. All I know is that somewhere, on a golden scroll in a holy place, are the names of the Sahabah of the New Message from God. Ellen’s name is on that list.
Two pious and worthy men went into a mosque together. The first one took off his shoes and placed them neatly, side by side, outside the door. The second man removed his shoes, placed them sole to sole and took them into the mosque with him.
There was an argument among a group of other pious and worthy folk who were sitting at the door, as to which of these men was the better. “If one went barefoot into a mosque, was it not better to leave the very shoes outside?” asked one. “But should we not consider”, said another, ‘that the man who took his shoes into the mosque carried them to remind himself by their very presence that he was in a state of proper humility?”
When the two men came out after their prayers, they were questioned separately, as it happened, by different parties from the onlookers.
The first man said: “I left my shoes outside for the usual reason. The reason is that if anyone wants to steal them he will have an opportunity of resisting that temptation, and thus acquiring merit for himself.” The listeners were most impressed by the high-mindedness of a man whose possessions were of so little account to him that he willingly entrusted them to whatever might be their fate.
The second man, at the same time, was saying: “I took my shoes into the mosque because, had I left them outside, they might have constituted a temptation to steal them. Whoever had yielded to this temptation would have made me his accomplice in sin.” The hearers were most impressed by this pious sentiment, and admired the thoughtfulness of the sage.
But yet another man, a man of wisdom, who was present, cried out: “While you two men and your followers have been indulging in your admirable sentiment, training each other with the play of hypothetical instances, certain real things have been happening.”
“What were these things?” asked the crowd.
“Nobody was tempted by the shoes. Nobody was not tempted by the shoes. The theoretical sinner did not pass by. Instead, another man altogether, who had no shoes at all to carry with him or to leave outside, entered the mosque. Nobody noticed his conduct. He was not conscious of the effect which he might be having on people who saw him or did not see him. But, because of his real sincerity, his prayers in this mosque today helped, in the most direct way possible, all the potential thieves who might or might not steal shoes or reform themselves by being exposed to temptation.”
Do you still not see that the mere practice of self-conscious conduct, however excellent in its own realm, is a pale thing indeed when measured against the knowledge that there are real men of wisdom?
Who am I practicing for?
There are multiple things one could take away from this story. One thing I am taking away now is that in the realm of practice, hypothetical people are overrated. The theoretical sinner did not pass by. He might never pass by. The two supposedly pious and worthy men started with an incidental detail of practice. They then wove a fantasy for the purpose of feeling good about themselves. Any sincere effort by (or for) a real person is much more significant than every effort by (or for) a merely possible person. It is my sincere hope that students of every tradition engage in real practice for real people.
The Walt Whitman poem “Old Salt Kossabone” first appeared in the February 25, 1888 issue of the New York Herald. It would later appear in the first “Annex” section of the final edition of Leaves of Grass. To me, it is as if he had already written his epitaph and obituary in the poem “So Long!” then discovered he had a few more poems to write. This poem is one of them.
OLD SALT KOSSABONE.
Far back, related on my mother’s side, Old Salt Kossabone, I’ll tell you how he died: (Had been a sailor all his life—was nearly 90—lived with his married grandchild, Jenny; House on a hill, with view of bay at hand, and distant cape, and stretch to open sea;) The last of afternoons, the evening hours, for many a year his regular custom, In his great arm chair by the window seated, (Sometimes, indeed, through half the day,) Watching the coming, going of the vessels, he mutters to himself —And now the close of all: One struggling outbound brig, one day, baffled for long—cross- tides and much wrong going, At last at nightfall strikes the breeze aright, her whole luck veer- ing, And swiftly bending round the cape, the darkness proudly enter- ing, cleaving, as he watches, “She’s free—she’s on her destination”—these the last words— when Jenny came, he sat there dead, Dutch Kossabone, Old Salt, related on my mother’s side, far back.
I don’t think people in our time are aware of the complexities of sailing ships. Whitman made references in other poems to ships at sea being baffled or “puzzled.” Let’s just say it’s trickier than it looks. I take joy in this poem for a couple of reasons. I hope for those who care about me to see me “strike the breeze aright.” I hope to see a struggling humanity rising and uniting, becoming a strong race, determined to successfully navigate the difficult times ahead. I wouldn’t mind if my last words about humanity were “She’s free she’s on her destination.”
The participants in this panel have a great deal of experience to bring to the subject of UFOs. I considered them, with the exception of Marshall, as a pack of bloodhounds following the trail of UFO evidence and its suppression by the US government. But Marshall was given a chance to tell his story. He answered questions from the other panel members.
“Okay, first of all, I’d just like to say that what’s going with information not leaking out into to the public is really not my domain, I don’t want to presume to know what the government holds or doesn’t hold. I’m sure it holds a great deal after 50 or 60 years of secrecy but I don’t claim to have any intuition or insight into how much they do know or don’t know. They’re kind of condemned either way because if they don’t know, then they look pretty stupid and if they do know, who can hear it?
But what’s happened for me is, I was encouraged to receive a communique, and I wasn’t really wanting to do it. My work is in, really, the spiritual, religious realm. I didn’t really want to get into this business, partly because my wife’s brother was involved in it earlier and it really had a damaging, I think a damaging impact upon his well being, and he saw things that just didn’t fit his reality. He was an assistant to George Van Tassel at Giant Rock, he was his assistant, and what had happened there. He was there, full time. And so, he just finally had to leave. He was kind of given a choice: You’re either going to go deeper into this, in which case you will not have a public identity, you will not have a normal life, you will have no access to just about anybody. Or, you should probably bow out because you’re hitting a threshold where you’re gonna have to make a choice. And there was an apparent offer for him to go in that other direction.
So, I’ve been reluctant because I’ve seen this is a very messy and confabulated and repressed arena of information. But nonetheless, I was asked to receive this by a spiritual force that said we want you to receive these beings. And they actually did give me a small message, actually on my honeymoon, which I didn’t appreciate, in 1983. Just said, “Hear us, hear us, hear us, we have a message.” But they didn’t come back until 1997 when I was in a much better position, having written, “Greater Community Spirituality,” and being interested in the realm of theology in the Universe. I mean, that’s been a real focus of mine. So I began to receive these briefings after much resistance. I’m surprised at how much resistance I had because I always thought of myself as like, I’m open to truth from whatever source, right? Well, I really wasn’t open to truth from this source. But, I did finally acquiesce, and began to receive the first parts of the first of the four “Allies of Humanity,” briefings, but from a very distant voice, very far away. No physical presence, no physical engagement, no craft, nothing appearing in my room, nothing splendid or exotic or anything, just this communication. And so, I recorded it, as it was coming to me. It was written out and is now available in the form that I received it. What I want to say about this is that, we’re losing time to deal with this. We’re losing critical time. I mentioned four fundamental questions in my talk this morning and we’re stuck on the first question.
So, something needs to break somewhere and I don’t think it’ll be through the New York Times and I don’t expect Ralph [former investigative reporter for the New York Times], for you to be the vehicle for it or anything like that. And meanwhile, there’s so much disinformation going on about this amongst the people on the internet, it’s shocking. To me, it’s very shocking and I think much of is unbelievable and some of it is downright dangerous. So my concern is that we really don’t have any basis for evaluating foreign presence in the world today, because we have no idea what is going on in life beyond our world. Everything we ascertain is from our position on the ground, from a human perspective and as a result, I make no claim to understand ET intelligence. I don’t think I would even presume to do that. Nor do I think that they’re part of my spiritual cosmology or that I assign to them, spiritual causes or anything like that.
But the Allies of Humanity briefings, in a way, is a form of disclosure. This is what you need to know about who is in your world, why they’re there, what they’re doing and what their ultimate game plan is. And, here’s what you need to know about your local universe that gives rise to this intervention, [and what] supports it and what limits it. What dictates what it is able to do and not able to do, in the realm of greater things that we have no information about. So, if all we have to go on is physical evidence on the ground or sightings in our sky, I think we only have a very small piece…we don’t have the whole puzzle, maybe we only have 40% of the puzzle. So we can answer the first question, but beyond that? Why is it happening, what does it mean, how do we prepare? Well, who can go there? Everyone goes to the government…
Danny Sheehan: Let’s try to be clear, Marshall. Who is it, that you understand, is communicating this information to you, telepathically? Who is that group, what is that about?
Marshall Summers: They claim to be a group of seven individuals from seven worlds, who’ve been observing the alien intervention – I call it an intervention – on our world, and who can report on their activities, and where they came from and what guides them. Because this is an expeditionary force, this is not a big military force. And it appears, in 70 years of being here, that they’re laying the foundation for something else to come and they’re doing many other the things that I mentioned in my talk this morning. Now, I had to sit with this for a couple of years, really, before I even knew what to do with it. Because, I can’t prove to you my source is real or authentic, I can’t prove to you its authenticity. It’s only the quality of the message itself and its coherence with what is observable on ground. And my own sense of, I think this rings true to me but I don’t know why. I’m not in a position to say what is true about life in the universe and what is not. But this is a message that I’m tasked to take out to the world to translate into many languages, so people have an opportunity, from a citizen standpoint, this is kind of the citizens initiative, if you will, to look at this from a certain level of practicality and feasibility, based upon what we know from what we have learned here from life on Earth.
Danny Sheehan: As Lue was pointing out, legitimately and Ralph has too, and I do as an attorney, we need to know more about the source of this information in order to evaluate the credibility. Setting aside, which we’ll address with Adam, shortly, the means by which you understand you’re receiving this, sort of telepathically, we’ll address that separately. But the nature of the source of the information, you say, are seven individuals from different planets, different star systems in our galaxy? Are they from our galaxy, you think?
Marshall Summers: That’s what they say. Let me share some other information that I think bespeaks their intent as being neutral observers. One of the things they say, really, at the beginning, is no one should be visiting your world for any reason because humanity is not ready for contact, it doesn’t have human unity, species maturity or any kind of preparedness for this event to happen. So, all I can say…
Danny Sheehan: That’s telling us more about what it is they’re saying. What I’m doing is I’m trying to put myself in Lue’s shoes and Ralph’s shoes and my shoes as an attorney, and saying, “This source that you’re talking about, what have they told you about who they are and what their reason is for knowing this information?” That’s how you explore the credibility of a source, even if they’re an unnamed source or a potential source that wants to maintain anonymity, I did the case that went to the Supreme Court to protect the identity of confidential news sources (laughs), so I’m respectful of that. But I need to know who they are and what is the means by which they profess to have access to knowing this information. If you can share that with us.
Marshall Summers: Their story…they don’t tell their identity and where they’re from, because they’re acting as spies, basically. They come from planets where…they’re not even representing their planets. They’re on some kind of greater spiritual mission because their planets represent free societies in a universe of large, technological societies where freedom is either unknown or repressed.
Danny Sheehan: Are they all in our galaxy?
Marshall Summers: Yes, this is our local space, this is local space. So I’m telling you the story they tell me, okay? And that they underwent the kind of intervention in their histories that we’re undergoing now, and were able to ward off that intervention, through variously means, sometimes violently, and that is why they have been asked to come and give us their wisdom about this, because we have no idea what’s going on beyond our borders and we’re very limited in how we can fill out this picture. So, they’re giving us then, the picture and that is what they’re there to give us, they’ve never visited our world. They have no plans on establishing relationships with us because they say we’re far too immature to engage in contact successfully, and that no race who would ever be an ally of humanity would try to do what is occurring in the world today.
Danny Sheehan: Are they capable of interstellar space travel?
Marshall Summers: Well, if they come from different planets I would assume so. I mean, they actually say that space travel has been around even before human civilization, far before. So, we’re way behind that curve. And so, we should never try to ascertain the limits of human…”
At this point, the conversation turned to give Adam Curry a chance to share. But it is an opportunity to hear Marshall Vian Summers speak in his own words about the Allies of Humanity. Seven watchers from seven worlds.
1966 was the first appearance of Galactus in the Marvel Comics universe. Galactus is a being who consumes living planets for his nourishment. He thinks of the living beings on those planets the same way you or I might think of the bacteria growing on our meals.
I wish to be worthy to receive a game-changer
This is a more detailed summary of the tale, but I am only interested in certain aspects. In Fantastic Four #48, despite the efforts of Uatu the Watcher, Galactus comes to Earth, planning to consume it. The Fantastic Four resist him, but are nowhere near as powerful as Galactus. It seems that the Earth is doomed, but the Watcher explains that there is a device upon Galactus’ home planet that could stop him. The Watcher boosts the powers of the Human Torch (one of the Fantastic Four) so that he may travel at unimaginable speed to Galactus’ planet and retrieve the weapon they need.
In Fantastic Four #49 and #50, some things happen that give the Human Torch just enough time to return with this weapon, the Ultimate Nullifier. It doesn’t look like much, but as you can see, even Galactus fears its power. When Reed Richards threatens to use it against Galactus, the planet-eater agrees to spare the Earth and leave if Reed gives him back the weapon. True to his word, Galactus leaves. As life returns to normal, the press dismisses the Galactus event as a hoax.
Why am I sharing this with you? In this story, it seems that the Earth is doomed. Appeals to logic, reason and conventional morality were irrelevant to Galactus. Even Earth’s mightiest heroes were no match for his power. But the Watcher gave humanity a game-changer in the form of the Ultimate Nullifier.
I am sharing this with you because I believe our world is heading in the wrong direction. It is depleting its resources. We are destroying our environment. Humanity is affecting the world’s climate. We have ignored countless warnings. I wish to be worthy to receive a game-changer. But there seem to be certain requirements. I must be adequately aware, discerning, attentive and discreet to receive something important. I don’t claim to have attained to this, but I’m working on it.
I haven’t read much Robert Bly’s earlier works. I am familiar with his books of ghazals, an Arabic poetic form. One of these books had the title “My Sentence Was A Thousand Years Of Joy.” I bought the book right then and there without looking inside. During this season I had a brief email correspondance with Robert Bly, where he encouraged me to write my own ghazal. He went to great lengths not to dwell on flaws of my attempt.
Many people have enjoyed the translations of Rumi by American poet Coleman Barks. In 1976, Bly showed Barks some of A. J. Arberry’s Rumi translations from the early 20th Century. Bly suggested to Barks that he make a more modern poetic translation, saying, “Release these (poems) from their scholarly cages.” If you have enjoyed the Coleman Barks translations of Rumi, you have Robert Bly to thank.
I consider Robert Bly to have signed the defense of his life in the 2010 poem “Ravens Hiding in a Shoe.” This is the final verse.
Robert, you’ve wasted so much of your life Sitting indoors to write poems. Would you Do that again? I would, a thousand times.
And in the final verse of the poem “What the Old Poets Failed to Say,” he signs his defense of poetry.
Night after night goes by in the old man’s head. We try to ask new questions. But whatever The old poets failed to say will never be said.
I became familiar with Robert Bly shortly after I moved to Minnesota in 1999. I have shared a number of the poems he included in his anthology “The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy.” At one time, I thought to myself “When he leaves this world, they will say no poet served the muse more faithfully.” I aspire and strive to be as faithful a servant to a noble cause, as Robert Bly was to the muse of poetry.