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.

STRONGER LESSONS.

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.

I Specify You With Joy, O My Comrade

Walt Whitman I specify you with joy, O my comrade

A poem by the American poet Walt Whitman has been making its way around the New Message from God worldwide community.

I specify you with joy, O my comrade

I was not aware of this poem until very recently. It appeared as one of the “Messenger Leaves” of the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass, and also appears in the “Autumn Rivulets” section of the 1892 “deathbed” edition.

This poem vibrates sympathetically with a portion of the revelation “The Meaning of Christmas,” received by Marshall Vian Summers in December of 1994. This teaching has inspired me to write a number of posts.

“Christmas is a celebration of every moment that the person is moved by Knowledge and contributes with Knowledge. Though it is celebrated as one event in your calendar, as a unique time of the year, it is meant to be an experience for you to have in life and for you to share with others.

Then you will come to know Jesus, not because you can sympathize with him, but because you are undergoing a process that he underwent, and you are beginning to experience the reality that he represented. Then he will no longer be a historical figure. Then he will no longer be an idol for you, someone to worship. Then he will no longer be beyond your reach. Instead, he will become your friend, your companion, your elder brother. And his demonstration and his life, his suffering and his achievement will all have great meaning for you because you will be beginning to experience them for yourself. And you will know that he is not to be idolized, but to be embraced.”

I specify you with joy, O my comrade. Whitman wrote about how others shared his experience now, and how others would share his experience in the future. Did he write about people like you and me?

A compassionater in this context is someone who thinks and feels like someone else. No, I never use the word “peremptorily.” It means “insisting on immediate attention or obedience,” which makes sense from the context.

To Him that was Crucified

MY spirit to yours, dear brother;
Do not mind because many, sounding your name, do not understand you;
I do not sound your name, but I understand you, (there are others also;)
I specify you with joy, O my comrade, to salute you, and to salute those who are with you, before and since—and those to come also,
That we all labor together, transmitting the same charge and succession;
We few, equals, indifferent of lands, indifferent of times;
We, enclosers of all continents, all castes—allowers of all theologies,
Compassionaters, perceivers, rapport of men,
We walk silent among disputes and assertions, but reject not the disputers, nor any thing that is asserted;
We hear the bawling and din—we are reach’d at by divisions, jealousies, recriminations on every side,
They close peremptorily upon us, to surround us, my comrade,
Yet we walk unheld, free, the whole earth over, journeying up and down, till we make our ineffaceable mark upon time and the diverse eras,
Till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races, ages to come, may prove brethren and lovers, as we are.

* * *

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.

Space Beyond Any Astronomer’s Dreams

Walt Whitman 1852 Space beyond any astronomer's dreams

I was rummaging through an old poetry book at a used book sale when I came across this poem by American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892). “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer” was written in 1865, and appeared in the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grass.

Space beyond any astronomer’s dreams

There is a step in Steps to Knowledge with which this poem vibrates very sympathetically. Step 326 of 365 steps is “The Greater Community is something I can feel but cannot understand.”

Space beyond any astronomer’s dreams. There are 9 steps in Steps to Knowledge where the phrase “Greater Community” is mentioned in the step itself. The first step is Step 187, “I am a citizen of the Greater Community of Worlds.”. The last step is Step 326. Part of the preparation of Steps to Knowledge is how an individual can prepare for humanity’s emergence into a greater community of intelligent life.

Space beyond any astronomer’s dreams. But for right now, I need poetry to even be able to think about things too great for me to bear. Who knows, maybe Walt Whitman felt a little bit of what I’m feeling now. I don’t believe Whitman bore any ill will toward the learn’d astronomer, merely that his configuration of inner lenses and mirrors had a different focus.

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

* * *

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.