Our Poets Shall Be Our Common Referees

Francis Scott Key observing Fort McHenry, painting by Edward Percy Moran, 1905

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

John Stafford Smith (1750-1836), composer of the melody of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

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”

Postage stamp quoting the fourth verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

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.

* * *

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.

Why Should It Need All The Love I Can Give?

The song “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from the movie “The Sound of Music”

I have tried on more than one occasion, to give a definition of the word “know” as used by Steps to Knowledge. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God.

If you don’t act, you don’t know

Wang-yang-ming (1472-1529) Chinese philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general 

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?

Why should it need all the love I can give?
The Signing of the Declaration of Independence, painted by John Trumbull 1826

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?

Why should it need all the love I can give?
Patricia Neway and Mary Martin in the 1959 Broadway production of “The Sound of Music”

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.

* * *

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.

What Kind Of God Are We Talking About?

What kind of God are we talking about?
The first sentence of “Comprehending God,” Chapter 1 in the book “The One God”

In October of 2016, I mentioned the publication of the book “The One God,” 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].

The God of a billion, billion, billion races and more

The first sentence of “The New God Revelation,” Chapter 2 of the book “The One God”

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 are we talking about?
The first sentence of “The Origin,” Chapter 3 of the book “The One God”

[What kind of God are we talking about? There are currently six published books in Volume 1 of the New Message from God. Those books are God Has Spoken Again, The One God, The New Messenger, The Greater Community, The Power of Knowledge and The Journey To A New Life. The New World and The Pure Religion are forthcoming books in Volume 1. I have written about God Has Spoken Again here.]

A patient father to the universe

The first sentence of “The Separation,” Chapter 4 in the book “The One 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.

The first sentence of “What Is Creation?” Chapter 5 of the book “The One God”

[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

The first sentence of “God’s Plan Is To Save Everyone,” Chapter 11 of the book “The One God”

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?

What kind of God are we talking about?
The first sentence of “The Heart of God,” Chapter 12 in the book “The One God”

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.


* * *

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 Feel About Not Being Alone?

How do you feel about not being alone?
Navy pilots from the VFA-11 “Red Rippers” squadron aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in 2015.

The New York Times published an article on May 26, 2019. The headline was “‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects.” The authors of this article are Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean. Between May 26 and now, I have spoken with many people in my world about what is presented in this article.

Cooper, Blumenthal and Kean are also the authors of a New York Times article on the little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, published in December of 2017. I consider these two articles to be a thread on the subject of unexplained flying objects.

Ralph Blumenthal was a reporter for the New York Times from 1964 to 2009, most notably for investigative crime reporting. I consider his contribution to these two articles to be a sign that the New York Times is taking this subject seriously.

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?

Lieutenant Ryan Graves reported numerous UFO sightings in 2014 and 2015

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.

1) Intelligent extraterrestrial life exists
2) Extraterrestrials are intervening in human affairs today
3) This extraterrestrial intervention is a threat to human freedom

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?”

* * *

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.

You Get Proud By Practicing

You get proud by practicing
Laura Hershey (1962-2010), disability activist

The New Message from God places a much greater emphasis on my practice than my belief. My actions reveal what I really believe, and what I adhere to. One of the steps in Steps to Knowledge is “I can only practice.” I shared my experience of this step in this post “What Are You Practicing?

You get proud by practicing

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

You get proud by practicing
Julia Bascom, President of Autistic Self-Advocacy Network

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.


* * *

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.

The Work Is Progressing, The People Are Working

The work is progressing, the people are working
Paving 28th Street in Manhattan, 1930

I am here to report that a work is progressing in the world. There are people making inspired and determined efforts to support it. What is this work? It is the work of organizing, publishing and translating the New Message from God. Who are the people? Marshall Vian Summers, his associates, and a worldwide community of responders.

The work is progressing, the people are working

The work is progressing, the people are working

Marshall Vian Summers is doing his part. He is organizing the revelations he has received from 1982 to the present. Many of these are chapters in one of the books of the New Message. Some of these are available online only. Many of these have never been available. Marshall is remedying that. In 2019, 15 different revelations have been made available to the public:

How to Regard the Messenger – Received March 2015
Protecting the Message and the Messenger – Received November 2014
Heaven and Hell – Received January 2008
Enduring Love – Received March 2011
Money – Received April 1992
Kindness – Received May 1993
Conflict – Received May 1993
Sex and Sexuality – Received February 2008
Pleasure – Received March 1992
Environments – Received May 1993
Inspiration – Received May 1993
New Message on Fulfillment – Received August 2007
The Reality of Your Spiritual Family – Received April 2008
The First Commitment – Received September 2008
The Deeper Current of Your Life – Received April 2008

Publication requires perspiration

The work is progressing, the people are working. In 2015, I wrote about how the New Message from God would be organized by volumes, books, chapters and verses. In 2019, the Society for the New Message from God released 2 new books: The Journey to a New Life and The Power of Knowledge. While Marshall has the final say on the projects, other people did a lot of the work of creating the books. I know this because the books mention some of these people. I know this because I know the people involved in publishing and shipping copies.

Let people hear in their heart language

Progress of translation of Steps to Knowledge, the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God

The work is progressing, the people are working. The New Message from God is a large body of material. It is larger than the Pali Canon of Buddhism, the Bible of Christianity, and the Qur’an of Islam. It is a remarkable accomplishment that it is making its way into the languages of the world so quickly. Marshall hasn’t done any of this translation. His associates, known as the Society for the New Message from God, haven’t done any of this translation. Students of the New Message from around the world have done this translation. I wrote about some of these translators in 2014. I believe that when Marshall started to receive revelations in 1982, it was not clear to him that this was something that needed to be translated into the languages of the world.

It used to be impossible, now it’s merely difficult

The work is progressing, the people are working. Hudson Taylor (1832 – 1905), founder of the China Inland Mission, is reported to have said: “I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” I can recall a time when the idea of the New Message from God being published in the languages of the world was impossible to contemplate. Now I can see that we have a great deal of work to do, but it’s work we are happily doing. I may not be around to see when the work is done, but I can clearly see in my mind’s eye the day when that work is done.

* * *

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 Must Climb This Great Mountain

I must climb this great mountain
Puncak Jaya, Papua, Indonesia

Over the past two years, I have read the revelation “Building the Four Pillars of Your Life” on a semi-regular basis. It was received by Marshall Vian Summers in September of 2008. I wrote a post about this teaching slightly over five years ago, called “An Antidote For Inconsistency.” Repeated readings have yielded encouragement to me. Each time I find a little more of the treasure within.

I must climb this great mountain

In this revelation, living a life of greater purpose is likened to climbing a great mountain. There are many people who relish such an idea. Alas, many of these people fail to consider the preparation necessary for such a life. The necessary preparation is building strength and balance in the areas of relationships, health, career/providership, and spiritual development. You can imagine that this is a great deal of work. Many people want a short cut. There isn’t one.

“It [living a life of greater purpose] is like climbing a great mountain. You start off and you realize it is really steep, and you do not have the right kind of shoes for it, and the things that you are bringing along are not really the things you really need, and you find you do not have the strength to get very far. You do not have the provisions. Your expectations were perhaps too romantic. You thought this was going to be easy.”

I cannot settle for the little mountain

So many people fail for lack of preparation. How do they respond? Many settle for less than their greater purpose in life. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote about this in his poem “The Man Watching:”

What we choose to fight is so tiny! 
What fights with us is so great.  
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,  
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things, 
and the triumph itself makes us small.  

The knowing that you avoided the engagement of which you dreamed, is a great disappointment. “Building the Four Pillars of Your Life” teaches,

“Or it proves to be hard, and you really do not have the strength to undertake it. So you settle for something much less in life. You tell yourself, “Oh, well. This relationship will be good enough for me,” or “This job will be good enough for me.” And you compromise yourself, and you give your life to things that really have no promise. You give your life to people who are really not going anywhere. And though you might feel more secure or relieved of the challenge, in your heart there is a great depression, a great misgiving.”

Climbing the great mountain is not a dream

People see how much effort is required. People see how many people fail for lack of preparation. People see how many people settle for less. People see how many of those who settle for less have a great depression, a great misgiving. Therefore, many people think that living a life of greater purpose is a dream, an illusion, a fantasy. “Building the Four Pillars of Your Life” heads that off at the pass as well:

“That is why to give you the promise that you have a greater purpose and a greater meaning in life, the essential elements for building the foundation for this must be provided for you. And the education must be provided for you. Otherwise, the idea of living a life of a greater purpose, greater meaning, is only a dream—beyond your reach, beyond your capabilities.

But it is not a dream. It is the fundamental reality of your life. But it requires a very strong foundation, and this foundation must be sustained through time. This will give you strength and confidence. This will free you from dangerous obsessions. This will prevent you from falling into despair or being pulled away by the obsessions and the addictions of others.”

Therefore, I must prepare

Hikers preparing. I must climb this great mountain

If I attempt to climb the great mountain unprepared, I will fail. If I settle for climbing a little mountain, I might succeed, but the triumph will make me smaller. If I call climbing the great mountain a dream, I will be ignoring the reality of my life. Therefore, I must prepare. I’m reconciled with this taking a great deal of work. I must climb this great mountain.

* * *

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 Practice To Be Strong and Competent

A teaching by Marshall Vian Summers, March 16, 2019

Marshall Vian Summers recently gave a teaching to the Worldwide Community of the New Message from God. In this teaching, he offered a number of practices for people to follow. Before giving these practices, he spoke of the relative importance of practice.

“You know, when I meet people of different faith traditions, if I have an opportunity to speak with them, I always want to find out what they practice, not what they believe. I don’t care what they believe, really. It’s important in the sense that it determines their behavior and their perception to a large extent. But I really want to know what they practice because that’s where the rubber meets the road. That’s what really matters. It’s what people do, not what they think about doing.”

I practice to be strong and competent

I practice to be strong and competent

There was something Marshall said during this teaching that started a train of thought in me.

“We practice the great practices [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] to develop skills to reemploy the mind to develop new neural pathways of how the mind is going to function: a new way of responding to other people, responding to conflict, responding to beauty, responding to degradation. We’re building skills to be able to be in the world in a new way. And we’re doing this in such a way that we become immortal beings in the world to be of service, rather than being in the world with some vague notion of our own that we have a greater life somewhere, somehow, above and beyond this existence.

Instead of being trapped by the world, we are being fed by Heaven.

So our practice now is skill building. And I want you to really think about that. This is not a reward system where every time you practice you get a reward. Every time you do a trick, you get a cookie. Good boy. [Emphasis mine]

No. We’re practicing to become strong and competent. There’s no emphasis on mastery here. The emphasis is on competence and functionality. In fact, the New Message says there are no masters living in the world. Mastery is beyond anything that can be achieved here. So let’s take that out of the picture. Anyone who claims to be a master or appears to be a master is still a student in the world.”

What if I like a reward system?

In what is known as the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus used the word “reward” seven times. He instructed his disciples to avoid practicing almsgiving, prayer and fasting in front of other people. There were people who did these things to appear righteous in the eyes of other people. Jesus said that those who did these things have already received their reward in full. He mentioned that those who practiced in secret would be rewarded by the Father who sees what is done in secret. But he didn’t elaborate on what the reward would be.

The Matthew Henry Commentary suggested that the reward would be at the final judgment. But I found that not fully satisfying. I believe Christians would say (among other things) “We practice almsgiving because we would want to treated that way. We practice almsgiving because we are cultivating the Christlike virtue of generosity. We practice almsgiving because we are practicing seeing Christ in the guise of the poor.” They wouldn’t see themselves as doing a trick and getting a cookie. Likewise for the practices of prayer and fasting. I believe Christians would consider these as practices for developing Christlike character. I practice to be strong and competent. So do they.

What do you seek from your practice?

I think what I’m trying to say is this. If there are thoughts within me that associate practice with a reward system, then I need to think it out again. If there are motivations within me that want to do a trick and get a cookie, then I need to grow up a little bit. Someday someone will ask me, “Douglas, why do you do these practices and not those practices?” And I will say “I practice to be strong and competent.”

* * *

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 Raise Our Flag And Anthem

We raise our flag and anthem
International Flag of Planet Earth, created by Oskar Pernefeldt, 2015
We raise our flag and anthem
Oskar Pernefeldt, creator of the International Flag of Planet Earth

The New Message from God tells us repeatedly that human unity is not just a good idea. Human unity is a requirement for survival in a future of big, ongoing disruptions. A future world of diminishing resources, less hospitable climate, environmental degradation, and extraterrestrial intervention. I therefore take encouragement in action taken to promote human unity. The person taking the action is Oskar Pernefeldt. The action is creating an international flag for planet earth.

We raise our flag and anthem

We raise our flag and anthem
Astronaut with International Flag of Planet Earth

In 2015, Oskar was a student of the Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. As part of his graduation project, he designed a flag for the world. I consider this a project requiring not only graphic skill, but a certain openness of heart and mind. This flag must be more than a beautiful design. It must be a graphic proclamation of human unity.

How does this promote human unity?

Seed of Life pattern in Temple of Osiris, Abydos, Egypt

The pattern of the flag of planet earth is a variation on a ancient pattern. This pattern has come to be known as the “seed of life.” It is part of a larger pattern called the flower of life.


The Seed of Life embedded in the Flower of Life

This pattern has been seen in temples of many faiths in many nations. I consider this a feature in prospective world flag. It’s important that any flag for planet earth not have a strong association with any ethnicity, nationality or religion. I find the multiple symmetries of the pattern to be satisfying. Many people see flower images when they look at this pattern. I see chain mail and strength. Each circle is held in place by a number of other circles. I find the seven circles of this pattern to be particularly satisfying.

“In the meeting place I sit beside betwixt the points of heaven
I befell a friendly atmosphere revolving around seven
Oh that number mystified my soul captured within feelings
Those of doubt and understanding hand in hand they set me reeling”

Jon Anderson – “Song of Seven

We husband seven continents

We raise our flag and anthem

I am taking inspiration from Oskar Pernefeldt’s design to make my own attempt at human unity. Last year I dreamed of an anthem for the world. This year, I am writing one.

We chant the human family,
We sing humanity!
We husband seven continents,
We nurture seven seas!
Pursuing Heaven’s freedom
With open heart and mind,
We raise our flag and anthem,
We sing of humankind!

In my mind’s ear, I hear the melody “Aurelia,” composed in 1864 by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. I realize that using a Christian hymn tune could be a disqualifer, but it’s what I hear. Someone is reading this and thinking, “Douglas, humanity is not ready for these words!” But I say that one day we will be. It took 39 years between the time Jana Gana Mana was first sung at the India National Congress in 1911, and the time it became the national anthem of India in 1950. I will learn patience today. We raise our flag and anthem.

* * *

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.

God Has Spoken Again

Cover of God Has Spoken Again

In the fall of 2015, I wrote about the publication of the book “God Has Spoken Again” by Marshall Vian Summers. This book is a milestone in the publication of the New Message from God. But I didn’t write much about the actual content of the book. I am now correcting that omission. 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].

God has spoken again
The first sentence from the revelation “The Proclamation,” Chapter 1 of God Has Spoken Again

Marshall Vian Summers has been receiving material on a variety of topics since 1983. His books include “Relationships and Higher Purpose,” “Wisdom from the Greater Community,” and “Steps to Knowledge.” But in 1999, it was revealed to him that the material he was receiving was a new message from God, and that he was to be its messenger.

[In January of 2019, Marshall shared this: “I knew it [the teachings he had received] was important. I knew it was a teaching. I knew it was big. I knew it was immense in its scope and what would be required to study it. Oh, yes, but it was not until 1999 that I was informed, on the verge of having a serious health problem, that this was a New Message from God and I was to be its Messenger. Eighteen years of receiving Revelation and at that point, it was made known to me what it was, what it was for, and what I would have to do.”]

This book, which is Book 1 of Volume 1 of the New Message from God, is a collection of 14 revelations received between 2006 and 2015. Most of them were received in 2011. Most of them were received in Colorado, but one was received in Istanbul, Turkey, and one was received in Alexandria, Egypt.

God has spoken again
The opening sentence of the revelation “The Seal of the Prophets,” Chapter 5 of God Has Spoken Again

When this book claims God has spoken again, it is claiming an event of similar magnitude to the teachings of Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed. Not a prophesy or a revitalization, but a new body of revelation. Many people might consider such an event to be impossible, but here it is.

[This book asserts that anyone who declares that God cannot or will not speak again is arrogantly presuming God to be smaller or less capable or less good than God really is. Who is anyone to tell God what God cannot or will not do? Readers from an Islamic background will take particular interest in the revelation “The Seal of the Prophets.”]

Many of the revelations examine various aspects of God speaking again. They basically say that a God who didn’t speak again when humanity needed to hear from God, wouldn’t be a good God.

God has spoken again
The opening sentence of the revelation “The Global Emergency”

Why is this new message here? Because we (and by “we” I mean “humanity”) are in trouble. Humanity faces unprecedented threats to its survival and freedom. Humanity faces an increasingly difficult world, a world of diminishing resources, affected climate, environmental degradation, and extraterrestrial intervention.

God has spoken again
The opening sentences of the revelation “The Mission of the Messenger,” Chapter 6 of God Has Spoken Again

How did this new message get here? Just as God has spoken through Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed in the past, he is speaking through a man in the present. That man is Marshall Vian Summers, who has received a vast body of revelation from 1983 to the present. This revelation can be both read and heard, as it was recorded when it was received.

[For example, the revelation “The Proclamation,” Chapter 1 in God Has Spoken Again, can be heard here.]

God has spoken again
The opening sentences of the revelation “God’s New Message for the World,” Chapter 11 in God Has Spoken Again

What does this new message want? This new message wants your engagement. This new message wants individuals to find a deeper spiritual intelligence called Knowledge, an intelligence that is wiser than ordinary intellect or cultural conditioning. It offers a pathway for finding this Knowledge. This new message wants nations and religions to cooperate for the welfare of humanity and the sake of human freedom.

God has spoken again
The opening sentences of the revelation “The Calling,” Chapter 14 in God Has Spoken Again

I understand that many people may find the very idea of God speaking again to be non-well-formed, gobbledygoop. But there are those who have cried out for God to help a struggling humanity. This may be the answer to your prayer.

* * *

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.