As the decade of the Teens draws to a close, I feel an inclination to write something about what life was like for me at the beginning of the decade. My third attempt at a successful career failed in 2005 when I was not granted tenure by the University of St. Thomas. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (now just autism) in 2006. The end of my marriage of 13 years was finalized in 2008. Around the same time, I was approved for Social Security Disability. Around that time, one word used to describe autism was “mind-blindness,” an inability to see how other people think and feel. I felt like the man born blind in the Gospel of John, except that I had not received assistance. I wrote a blog post about this season of life in 2014.
A grand night for Shiva
Right around this time, I discovered that a celebration of Maha Shivratri would be observed at a nearby yoga center. I recall reading that any offering of devotion to Shiva would 100 times more potent when offered on this night than on any other night of the year. I wasn’t a worshipper of Shiva at the time. I wanted to be a good Christian with all the i’s dotted and all the t’s crossed. But it didn’t seem to matter. I felt repudiated. I seemed forsaken. So this observance of Maha Shivatri caught my attention.
I didn’t stay up all night for this observance as a few people did. But I chanted Om Namah Shivaya, “Salutations to the auspicious one.” I bowed down to the little statue of Shiva as my part of the observances. As I left, I asked one of the proprietors of the yoga center if Shiva would cure my autism. I think that on that night, if he had said “Yes,” I might have become a servant of Shiva. But I think he gave a more honest answer, that investigating this path would expand my consciousness and frame of reference. Something like saying “Well, getting out more wouldn’t hurt.”
I cried out to be destroyed
I clearly remember walking home in the bitter midnight cold of Minnesota in February of 2010. I cried out to the God of the Bible, “Didn’t you see what I just did? Didn’t you see me bowing down to Shiva with my behind a half a mile in the air? Aren’t you utterly offended by that? Why didn’t you strike me down right then and there with a bolt of lightning?”
Yes, I admit the whole conversation was rather foolish in retrospect, but it certainly didn’t seem so at the time. My life seemed like an utterly absurd joke, where disaster and catastrophe followed me instead of goodness and mercy.
Yes, I cried out to be destroyed. But I am pleased to report that God had something better in mind than giving me what I wanted. Two months after this event, I cried out “What am I good for?” I didn’t think I was good for anything at the time. But a voice calmly answered “You’re good for finding Knowledge.” I knew what this meant because I had studied Steps to Knowledge shortly after it was received in 1989. I have studied the 365 steps of Steps to Knowledge twice since then. I would like to think this has been a good decade for me.
This poem by American poet Emily Dickinson was published in 1890, four years after her death. I am sharing it with you because it describes something of my experience of being a student of the New Message from God. I too dwell in possibility.
I dwell in Possibility
I dwell in Possibility – A fairer House than Prose – More numerous of Windows – Superior – for Doors –
Of Chambers as the Cedars – Impregnable of eye – And for an everlasting Roof The Gambrels of the Sky –
Of Visitors – the fairest – For Occupation – This – The spreading wide my narrow Hands To gather Paradise –
I too dwell in possibility
I too dwell in possibility. The New Message from God speaks of a future that will not be a linear extension of the past. Some people now can envision the difficulties of a less predictable climate. Others can now envision the consequences of environmental degradation. But the New Message from God is predicting some things that no one I know of is envisioning.
It’s not all bad news
The New Message from God warns humanity to prepare for a stressful future. This is from the revelation “The Great Warning.”
“God has sent the New Message to the world at a great turning point for the human family—a turning point for which you are unprepared and unaware, a turning point that is so great that it will alter the course of life for everyone here today, and the future of everyone to come in this world.”
I am thankful to Minnesota poet Robert Bly for introducing me to the Indian poet Mirabai (1498-1546). She unwillingly married a prince of a region now part of the state of Rajasthan . During her twenties, this prince was killed in a war. She decided to go inward. She found a low-born teacher (Ravidas). At night she would tie her saris together, and climb down the castle walls to visit him. Then she would wash his old feet and drink the water. Her in-laws greatly disapproved of her and considered her an embarrassment. But Mirabai and her poems and songs are dearly beloved in India.
This poem was translated from Rajasthani into English by Robert Bly.
Why Mira Can’t Go Back To Her Old House
The colors of the Dark One [Krishna] have penetrated Mira’s body; all the other colors washed out. Making love with the Dark One and eating little, those are my pearls and my carnelians. Meditation beads and the forehead streak, those are my scarves and my rings. That’s enough feminine wiles for me. My teacher taught me this. Approve me or disapprove me: I praise the Mountain Energy night and day. I take the path that ecstatic human beings have taken for centuries. I don’t steal money, I don’t hit anyone. What will you charge me with? I have felt the swaying of the elephant’s shoulders; and now you want me to climb on a jackass? Try to be serious.
Approve me or disapprove me
I share this poem because I believe there are students of the New Message from God who are subjected to the same kind of social disapproval as Mirabai. I want to say “Approve me or disapprove me. I am a student of the great mystery of my life. I am following the Ancient Rite of Preparation. I don’t steal money, I don’t hit anyone. What will you charge me with? I have felt the power of Knowledge, and now you want me to grovel for social approval? Try to be serious.
In October of 2016, I mentioned the publication of the book “The New Messenger,” a book of the New Message from God. I didn’t share too much of it at the time. This is another post in a series of Amazon reviews of the books of the New Message from God. I am adding additional material [in brackets]. I realize I hold a minority opinion, but I dare to declare that the Messenger is in the world.
The Messenger is in the world.
Marshall Vian Summers has been receiving material from 1983 to the present. This book is a collection of 13 revelations received between 2009 and 2014. Most of them were received in Colorado. One was received in Damascus, Syria, and one was received in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This book paints a picture of God working in human history through sending Messages (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and what is now known as the New Message from God). These Messages are not merely bodies of information, but a new reality. A Message from God doesn’t arrive like a letter in the mail. A Messenger (Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Marshall Vian Summers) is selected to come into the world from the Angelic Assembly. For a certain amount of time, these Messengers seem like relatively ordinary people. But a certain unseen preparation is taking place.
Then a moment of initiation takes place, and a new life begins. These Messengers have the task of receiving, demonstrating and proclaiming their Messages. Some people respond with rejection and ridicule, for various reasons. Others respond with interest and resonance. Eventually the Messenger leaves the world, and God waits until the next time a Message must be sent.
What does this Messenger bring to you? A Message teaching to how to navigate difficult times ahead. A Message teaching how to serve a troubled, reckless, adolescent, destructive world. A Message teaching that humanity faces its greatest trial, and its greatest opportunity. A Message proclaiming purpose, meaning and direction for the individual. A Message speaking of humanity’s preparation for a future in a greater community of intelligent life. This Messenger brings his demonstration of his Message. He offers no miracles or dispensations besides his Message.
What does this Messenger ask of you? He asks for your recognition and engagement with his Message. It is a large body of material. He asks for your recognition of him as the Messenger. He asks you not to ascribe miraculous powers to him. While he is in the world, he asks for your engagement with him, as part of his Message is his demonstration. He asks for you to hear and respond to his proclamation of his Message. He asks you to benefit from the wisdom he has to share.
I consider August 10 to be a red-letter day. A day of celebration on the calendar of the uniting world. On August 10, 2019, humanity has gone 74 years without using a nuclear weapon in warfare. I have written about the wondrous date of August 10 here, here and here. I had a fleeting thought of purchasing a cake with seventy-four candles, and passing out slices to strangers. I have a whole year to plan for next year.
I consider the period between August 6 and August 10 to be a season of contemplation of nuclear weapons, a season of hope for nuclear restraint. I discovered some things I didn’t know during this season that I would like to share.
We are still here. We are still trying
Bing Crosby won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1945, for his performance in the movie “Going My Way.” But Joseph Stalin gave an even more amazing performance at the Potsdam Conference of 1945. America was hoping to secure Russia’s assistance in defeating Japan. The first successful atomic bomb test was on July 16, 1945. America was planning to use the atomic bomb. Harry Truman didn’t trust Stalin, but couldn’t not tell him about the atomic bomb, and keep him as an ally. US Secretary of State James F. Byrnes writes of the occasion:
“He [Truman] said he had told Stalin that, after long experimentation, we had developed a new bomb far more destructive than any other known bomb, and that we planned to use it very soon unless Japan surrendered. Stalin’s only reply was to say that he was glad to hear of the bomb and he hoped we would use it. I was surprised at Stalin’s lack of interest. I concluded that he had not grasped the importance of the discovery. I thought that the following day he would ask for more information about it. He did not. Later I concluded that, because the Russians kept secret their developments in military weapons, they thought it improper to ask about ours.”
Yet, as is now abundantly clear in evidence from the Soviet archives, Truman misjudged his opponent. Stalin knew quite a lot. On August 7, the day after the destruction of Hiroshima by the Little Boy uranium bomb, [Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs] Molotov (now back in Moscow) met with U.S. Ambassador Averell Harriman. He told the American: “You Americans can keep a secret when you want to.” Harriman observed “something like a smirk” on Molotov’s face, and later noted that “the way he put it convinced me that it was no secret at all . . . The only element of surprise, I suppose, was the fact that the Alamogordo test had been successful. But Stalin, unfortunately, must have known that we were very close to the point of staging our first test explosion.” Harriman’s intuition was correct.
We are still here. We are still trying. Many words have been written about Harry Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb. I recently read Harry Truman’s diary entry from that time.
“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.
Anyway we “think” we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom. An experiment in the New Mexico desert was startling – to put it mildly. Thirteen pounds of the explosive caused the complete disintegration of a steel tower 60 feet high, created a crater 6 feet deep and 1,200 feet in diameter, knocked over a steel tower 1/2 mile away and knocked men down 10,000 yards away. The explosion was visible for more than 200 miles and audible for 40 miles and more.
This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital [Kyoto] or the new [Tokyo].
He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I’m sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler’s crowd or Stalin’s did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.”
I spoke to a number of people about this between August 6 and August 10. Most people I spoke with seemed to recognize the difficulty of President Truman’s decision. Most people I spoke with seemed to recognize that whatever decision Truman made, it could have turned out much worse than it did.
Japanese scientists understood the physics of an atomic bomb. Japanese engineers understood the engineering required to build the atomic bomb. They were hindered by a shortage of uranium. The Los Angeles Times reports the widow of a Japanese nuclear scientist as saying, “If we’d built the bomb first, of course we would have used it. I’m glad, in some ways, that our facilities were destroyed.”
What about the alternatives?
We are still here. We are still trying. People who are unhappy about America’s use of the atomic bomb on Japan are obligated to consider the alternatives. Nazi Germany contemplated building an atomic bomb. They had access to uranium mines in conquered Czechoslovakia. Maybe it was a good thing for the world that they drove so many physicists to other countries. Japan contemplated building an atomic bomb. They had scientists and engineers, but not uranium. What if the war in the Pacific dragged on, and the Japanese built a bomb with the uranium from the U-234?
This post is my belated gift for the 243rd birthday of the United States of America. As I pondered on the nation’s history, I discovered some things I didn’t know. I wish to share these things with you. These things have a connection with the teachings of the New Message from God.
Our poets shall be our common referees
My fellow American, poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) wrote the final version of the poem “By Blue Ontario’s Shore” in 1881. The above picture is from that very year. It is a lengthy poem, sweeping over the past fifty years or so. I consider one of the main ideas of this poem to be “America needs poets.” In stanza 9 of 20 stanzas, he writes the following:
Of all races and eras these States with veins full of poetical stuff most need poets, and are to have the greatest, and use them the greatest, Their Presidents shall not be their common referee so much as their poets shall.
It took a while to find our anthem
Our poets shall be our common referees. I recently discovered that “The Star-Spangled Banner” did not become the national anthem of the United States of America until 1931. My fellow American, Francis Scott Key, wrote what was then called “The Defense of Fort M’Henry” in 1814. Francis Scott Key was a lawyer by trade. He is much more well-known for this poem than for any case he argued in any court.
Why did it take so long? There are multiple reasons. One was that the melody was the melody to a song called “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a song about drinking and sex. The end of every verse speaks of the entwining of the myrtle of Venus (the Roman goddess of love) and Bacchus’s vine (Bacchus being the Roman god of wine). Some people considered the melody to have ignoble connotations, and thus unacceptable for a national anthem. But the song eventually fell out of fashion, and the associations faded. Another reason was that it was unclear whether there would be a United States at all during the season of the Civil War of 1861-1865. A third reason was that there were other candidates for a national anthem, such as “My Country ‘Tis of Thee, (written in 1831)” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” (written in 1861), and “America the Beautiful” (written in 1895).
Let this be our motto “In God is our trust”
Our poets shall be our common referees. Many people are unaware that “The Star-Spangled Banner” has four verses. The fourth verse answers the question at the end of the first verse. “O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation, Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n – rescued land Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just, And this be our motto–“In God is our trust.” And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
I believe that when “The Star-Spangled Banner” became our national anthem, all four verses of Francis Scott Key’s poem became national poetry. And 25 years later, the words “In God We Trust” became America’s official motto in 1956. Francis Scott Key functioned as one of America’s common referees.
Liberty to follow what I know
Our poets shall be our common referees. It was easy to see from the bloody aftermath of the French revolution (1789-1799) that unrestricted liberty had its drawbacks. I consider the greatness of America to be the liberty to follow what I know, the liberty to trust my deepest inclinations. The freedom of religion that America enshrined in its Constitution makes it possible for me to practice the New Message from God.
It took 117 years for the Star-Spangled Banner to become our national anthem. Right now, people are writing anthems for a unified humanity. Who knows, perhaps one of those anthems will be the anthem of Planet Earth in the year 2136.
Many people say that knowing something is the experience of something being self-evident. On the other hand, many people have experiences of things being self-evident, but are unmoved to take action. I consider this to be to be unworthy of the word “knowing.” Chinese philosopher Wang-yang-ming (1472-1529) wrote “There is no knowledge which does not lead to action. If one knows but does not act, then one does not really know.”
What is worthy of my life and fortune?
Say what you will about the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They mutually pledged to the support of the Declaration “their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.” History records that they acted on that pledge, and lived with the consequences. I say that for all his flaws, Thomas Jefferson knew something. Thomas Jefferson knew “All men are created equal.”
Why should it need all the love I can give?
“Climb Ev’ry Mountain” was written in 1959 by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It appeared at the end of the first act of the Broadway musical “The Sound of Music.” The musical is based on the real-life story of Maria von Trapp. The song is sung by the Mother Abbess of a convent, to Maria, who is conflicted between her spiritual aspirations and her feelings for Captain Georg von Trapp. Here are some of the lyrics:
Climb every mountain, Ford every stream, Follow every rainbow, ‘Til you find your dream!
A dream that will need All the love you can give Every day of your life For as long as you live!
I have offered a description of knowing as “an experience of something being self-evident which inspires consistent action.” I have suggested that knowing might be “to hold something to be self-evident, and to contribute to the support of that something one’s life, one’s fortune, and one’s sacred honor.” I now write words I have never written before. I consider that to know something means “to experience something as self-evident, and needing all the love I can give.”
How can such a thing even be? If something is self-evident, how can it possibly need all the love I can give? And yet, I say it was Thomas Jefferson’s experience that even though the idea “All men are created equal” was self-evident to him, it needed all the love he could give. Things that are self-evident to me might be gobbledygook to others.
Someone is reading this and asking “Well, Douglas, by the description you have provided, what do you know?” Do I dare to say I know anything? There might be a couple of things. Autistic people can be contributors to humanity. There is a New Message from God in the world.
The God of a billion, billion, billion races and more
The One God is a collection of revelations received by Marshall Vian Summers. These revelations were received between 2007 and 2015, in a number of different locations (Boulder, Colorado, USA, London, Tehran and Jerusalem). It is Book II, Volume 1 in a much larger body of material called the New Message from God.
What kind of God is Marshall Vian Summers talking about? A God who is the Creator of all life. A God who responded to the choice of separation by creating the universe. A God of a billion billion billion races and more, in enormous variety. A God who delegates management of the universe to the laws of physics and biology, an Angelic Assembly over each of these many races, and a portion of himself in every individual, called Knowledge. A God with a plan to save every individual of every race in the universe.
[What kind of God are we talking about? Has such a God ever been proclaimed before now? I don’t think so. Here and there, now and then, certain aspects of this God have been considered. It’s not just the Prodigal Son who is returning to his patient father, but a prodigal universe returning.]
You have important work to do
Why is this God being proclaimed now? This book does not “wish” to be considered as a book of theology. This book is telling you why you must undertake the effort to reclaim your deeper spiritual intelligence, so that you may be of service to a humanity facing the greatest challenges of its history. This book is providing a context for this in God’s greater work in the universe.
Do you dare to see a greater vision?
I believe just about every reader will find some things they know to be confirmed by this book. I believe just about every reader will find some things they think they know to be challenged by this book. I believe just about every reader will find their mind and heart stretched and enlarged by reading this book.
On the other hand, when this article appeared in the New York Times, it appeared on Page A14, roughly halfway between the front page and the editorial page. Media commentator Glenn Reynolds wrote “What does it say about the news environment that the U.S. government admitted UFOs were real earlier this week, and it was like the fifteenth biggest story?” Which it was.
The US Navy destigmatized UFOs
How do you feel about not being alone? On April 23, 2019, Politico magazine published an article with the headline, “U.S. Navy drafting new guidelines for reporting UFOs.” The May 26 New York Times article described UFO sightings by US Navy pilots in 2014 and 2015. I consider these sightings to have contributed to the new guidelines described in the Politico article.
What do these sightings mean?
How do you feel about not being alone? No one in my world disputed the testimonies of Lt. Ryan Graves and Lt. Danny Accoin. Graves and Accoin are the two Navy fighter pilots who spoke publicly and on the record to the New York Times.
A Navy veteran I spoke with mentioned that at one time, reporting a UFO was hazardous to a pilot’s military career. Furthermore, it was hazardous to a post-military career as a commercial pilot as well. Besides Graves and Accoin, there were three other pilots who only spoke to the New York Times on conditions of anonymity. It takes a great deal of time, effort and resources to take a person from a pilot trainee to a pilot. I surmise that there have been many UFO sightings by many Navy pilots. Enough to make it unprofitable to consider a UFO sighting as a sign of mental instability.
Plenty of people in my world offered opinions regarding the significance of these sightings. One person suggested that some party was developing the capability of projecting illusions to the radar of military aircraft. Another person suggested that the objects sighted by the pilots were advanced military craft. Still another person suggested that it was impossible for these objects to be of extraterrestrial origin, because of the vast distances between stars.
At this point, history helps
How do you feel about not being alone? I know someone is reading this and thinking “Well, what about you, Douglas? What do you think and how do you feel about these things?” Like everyone else in my world, I accept the testimonies of Ryan Graves and Danny Accoin. I believe they saw what they said they saw. I believe they saw objects capable of both hypersonic speed and hovering in one spot. I believe they didn’t see what they said they didn’t see. I believe Danny Accoin didn’t see the object that his radar detected.
The pilots of that squadron considered it unlikely that the US military would introduce advanced craft into a training mission. In recent history, when the US military has obtained a superior weapon, it has used it. The US used an atomic bomb in World War II. The US has used cruise missiles (developed in the 1970s) and drone warfare (developed in the 1990s) in the 21st Century. Therefore, if the US military had a craft that could both travel at hypersonic speeds and hover in one spot, I believe it would use it. The only exception I know of is the hydrogen bomb.
What if it’s…not American?
When other nations have developed superior weapons, they have used them. Germany used the V-2 missile in World War II. Therefore, if the military of another nation on Earth had a craft that do these things, I believe it would use it. If a military force had the capability of projecting illusions to military aircraft, I believe it would use it.
Humans have considered the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life for a very long time. It took centuries to confirm the intuition that the sun is a star. It took centuries to confirm the intuition that there were planets orbiting stars other than our sun. Therefore, the fact that human intuition about intelligent extraterrestrial life has not yet been confirmed, carries little weight with me.
I realize this is improbable
How do you feel about not being alone? The New Message from God teaches what is currently a minority viewpoint on the subject of extraterrestrials.
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?”
I don’t know when Laura Hershey (1962-2010) wrote this poem. I didn’t know Laura Hershey at all until March of this year. I believe this poem is her song, her anthem, the story of her life. I believe she is someone who did what she wrote about in this poem. I believe she got proud by practicing.
Power comes in many fine forms
Julia Bascom shared this poem by Laura Hershey on the 2019 Disability Day of Mourning. While it was a somber occasion, this poem was an exclamation point of the day’s observances. For me, this poem captures some of the feeling of practicing the great practices of the New Message (inner listening, stillness, looking without judgment, learning how to direct your mind at will, always knowing where your mind is going, objectively questioning your assumptions and beliefs, stepping back from who you think you are or what you think life is.) For me, this poem captures some of the feeling of reaping the benefits of my practice.
You Get Proud by Practicing
If you are not proud For who you are, for what you say, for how you look; If every time you stop To think of yourself, you do not see yourself glowing With golden light; do not, therefore, give up on yourself. You can get proud.
You do not need A better body, a purer spirit, or a Ph.D. To be proud. You do not need A lot of money, a handsome boyfriend, or a nice car. You do not need To be able to walk, or see, or hear, Or use big, complicated words, Or do any of those things that you just can’t do To be proud. A caseworker Cannot make you proud, Or a doctor. You only need more practice. You get proud by practicing.
There are many many ways to get proud. You can try riding a horse, or skiing on one leg, Or playing guitar, And do well or not so well, And be glad you tried Either way. You can show Something you’ve made To someone you respect And be happy with it no matter What they say. You can say What you think, though you know Other people do not think the same way, and you can keep saying it, even if they tell you You are crazy.
You can add your voice All night to the voices Of a hundred and fifty others In a circle Around a jailhouse Where your brothers and sisters are being held For blocking buses with no lifts, Or you can be one of the ones Inside the jailhouse, Knowing of the circle outside. You can speak your love To a friend Without fear. You can find someone who will listen to you Without judging you or doubting you or being Afraid of you And let you hear yourself perhaps For the very first time. These are all ways Of getting proud. None of them Are easy, but all of them Are possible. You can do all of these things, Or just one of them again and again. You get proud By practicing.
Power makes you proud, and power Comes in many fine forms Supple and rich as butterfly wings. It is music when you practice opening your mouth And liking what you hear Because it is the sound of your own True voice.
It is sunlight When you practice seeing Strength and beauty in everyone, Including yourself. It is dance when you practice knowing That what you do And the way you do it Is the right way for you And cannot be called wrong. All these hold More power than weapons or money Or lies. All these practices bring power, and power Makes you proud. You get proud By practicing.
Remember, you weren’t the one Who made you ashamed, But you are the one Who can make you proud. Just practice, Practice until you get proud, and once you are proud, Keep practicing so you won’t forget. You get proud By practicing.