Brace Yourself Against Me I Will Gladly Learn

Brace yourself against me I will gladly learn
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), 1854

American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) wrote a brief poem called “Stronger Lessons.” It first appeared in the 1867 edition of Leaves of Grass.


HAVE you learned lessons only of those who admired
you, and were tender with you, and stood aside
for you?
Have you not learned the great lessons of those who
rejected you, and braced themselves against
you? or who treated you with contempt, or
disputed the passage with you?

Brace yourself against me, I will gladly learn

I share this poem because a thread in Steps to Knowledge resonates with this poem. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. There are 365 steps in Steps to Knowledge. I use the word “thread” because there are multiple steps that vibrate sympathetically with this poem.

Step 86 (of 365) of Steps to Knowledge, the Book of Inner Knowing

In Step 86, “I honor those who have given to me,” I am encouraged to make a larger frame of what contribution is.

“With those with whom you are angry and upset, try to see how they, too, have given service to you in the reclamation of Knowledge. Do not bear false witness against your feelings, but in spite of your feelings towards them, if there are ill feelings, attempt also to recognize their service to you.”

I shared my experience of Step 86 here. I read the poem “Stronger Lessons” sometime after I had practiced Steps to Knowledge. But something recently reminded me of these steps, which in turn reminded me of the poem.

Step 178 (of 365) of Steps to Knowledge, the Book of Inner Knowing

In Step 178, “I will remember those who have given to me today,” I am encouraged to broaden my perspective to include demonstrations of wisdom and folly.

“Upon the hour, then, repeat this statement and take a moment to recall those who have given to you. Try to think very carefully of the individuals who have given benefit to you, both by demonstrating their Wisdom and their error. Think of those who have illustrated the way to go and the way not to go. As you inquire further into this in your two longer practice periods today, try to think more carefully and allow any individual who comes to mind to be the subject of your investigation. This is an active practice time in your meditation periods.”

Step 328 (of 365) of Steps to Knowledge, the Book of Inner Knowing

Brace yourself against me, I will gladly learn. And on it goes. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m looking for trouble. But it seems that I must learn the stronger lessons. There are days when I cry out to learn the stronger lessons. I wish to be of greater service.

* * *

Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

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