Let Her Name Be Enrolled Among The Respondents: Mary Lee

Let her name be enrolled among the respondents

As new religious movements go, the Worldwide Community of the New Message from God is a little flock. It doesn’t happen very often, but from time to time a member of our community leaves this world. I offer gratitude for her life.

She gladly embraced necessity

Let her name be enrolled among the respondents. I first met Mary at the 2012 Encampment of the New Message from God. During one of our small-group sessions, she asked me “What could take you out? [of your relationship with the New Message from God and its Messenger]” Part of me was thinking about my answer, but another part of me was experiencing her dedication and determination.

I didn’t chat with Mary very much in the following years. It’s not like we were avoiding each other. She was working on something, and I was working on something. I am not aware of the details, but I know that Mary invested a lot of time, energy and devotion into the progress of the New Message from God. This investment goes back many years.

She was thoroughly used up

Let her name be enrolled among the respondents. I was informed in December of 2019 that Mary was ill. I had no idea of this, because Mary had been actively participating in our weekly online chats. She seemed to me to be the same dedicated and determined Mary I knew. She died peacefully on December 31, with many friends thinking of her and praying for her.

I believe that Mary fulfilled what George Bernard Shaw hoped for:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

Let her name be enrolled among the respondents

In Islam, Aṣ-ṣaḥābah (Arabic: الصحابة‎, “The Companions”) were the companions of the Prophet Mohammed who had seen or met him, believed in him at the time when he was alive and also died as Muslims. I consider Mary 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. Mary’s name is on that list.

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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.

How Will We Leave This Lovely, Dangerous Place?

Departures. How will we leave this lovely, dangerous placeNo, no, I’m not talking about a plane crash or a falling piano. Neither am I thinking about the biological processes involved. Some vital part is stressed beyond its capabilities and fails. So it goes. I’m particularly interested in the attitude, the frame of mind, with which certain people approach the day of their death.

How will we leave this lovely, dangerous place?

Someone who is contemplating becoming a student of Steps to Knowledge might reasonably wonder (among other things), “What does Steps to Knowledge teach about death?” They might also wonder, “How do students of Steps to Knowledge approach the day of their death?’

In the steps of Steps to Knowledge I have blogged about so far (steps 1 through 93), the word “death” is mentioned exactly once, in Step 40, “Today I will feel the power of God.”

“All the seeming powers of your world—the forces of nature, the inevitability of your death, the ever present threat of illness, loss and destruction and all appearances of conflict—are all temporary movements in the great stillness of God.”

Death, while significant, is not as significant as our cultural perspective. Step 65, “I have come to work in the world,” contains the following:

“You have come from a place of rest to a place of work. When the work is done, you go home to a place of rest. This can only be known, and your Knowledge will reveal this to you when you are ready”

While Steps to Knowledge claims that we go home to a place of rest, it also admits that this is something which can neither be observed by one’s senses, nor inferred or deduced by one’s intellect.

I only know of two students of Steps to Knowledge who have died. One of them was mentioned in an online chat. I never met them. The other person was a gentleman I met at the 2012 Encampment. As a matter of fact, we were roommates at Encampment, and we had a number of significant and fruitful conversations. We had a number of online and phone conversations between the time I met him in September of 2012, and the time he died in November of 2013. When he died, I was told he was diagnosed with colon cancer in the summer of 2013. I remember thinking to myself “Dead? Dead?!? I didn’t even know he was ill!” I consider him to have been remarkably discreet and undramatic about his illness.

Therefore, from what I have read in Steps to Knowledge, and what little I have observed of students, my answer to the question “How do students of Steps to Knowledge approach the day of their death?” is “With discretion, and without drama.” If they sing their noble death song, they sing it only to themselves, and die like a hero going home.

A fellow student shared something with me that I believe provides an excellent exclamation point:

“The man or woman of Knowledge knows that this life is a small and yet important part of much bigger lives that we’re all living. As such, they see their lives as brief missions on Earth and when they are done, they return to this greater life as a member of a Greater Community with knowledge of their mission on Earth done or not done.”

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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.