What have I written in the past 10 years? I have written 492 posts (including this one). Alisa joined in 2013 and wrote 293 posts in both Russian and English between 2013 and 2018. I wrote a series of blog posts about Steps 1 through 95, of the 365 steps of Steps to Knowledge. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. I didn’t go further because I didn’t have a succinct way of explaining “what is in this step will only make sense if you have practiced all the previous steps.” But I would like to think that I have written something that describes part of the Steps to Knowledge experience.
Part of this devotion and determination comes from the recognition that humanity faces challenges to its survival and freedom. Humanity faces an increasingly difficult world, a world created by its own choices. A world of declining resources, affected climate, a degraded environment, and extraterrestrial intervention.
So what are the statistics? 166,607 page views, from 113,916 sessions (visits), from 95,262 users, from 10,935 cities in 204 countries/regions. Sometimes an inner voice tells me it’s not enough. I tell it that it’s more than what would have happened had I done nothing.
The Road goes ever on and on, Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.
I make no expectation upon anyone to believe anything just because Jiddu Krishnamurti says it. I do encourage everyone to weigh it in their own experience and feel how it feels. But there might be some people who reject these ideas. Therefore, I would like to offer them from a different angle, a different world view.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was many things in his life. An architect, a designer, a futurist. One book he is well-known for is Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, published in 1969. As far as I can tell, this book has never gone out of print. I share this brief excerpt with you.
This “sovereign” — meaning top – weapons enforced “national” claim upon humans born in various lands leads to ever more severely specialized servitude and highly personalized identity classification. As a consequence of the slavish “categoryitis” the scientifically illogical, and as we shall see, often meaningless questions “Where do you live?” “What are you?” “What religion?” “What race?” ’”What nationality?” are all thought of today as logical questions. By the twenty-first century it either will have become evident to humanity that these questions are absurd and anti-evolutionary or men will no longer be living on Earth.
I prefer the word “ethnicity” to “race,” but that was the commonly used word in 1969. Krishnamurti called identification with ethnicity, nationality or religion “violent.” Buckminster Fuller leveled an even stronger criticism, calling such identification “anti-evolutionary.” How dare you say something anti-evolutionary! But people do it every day, alas.
I believe some of you are reading this and thinking “I say, Douglas, that’s a pretty harsh criticism.” What would you have us say and think instead? Glad you asked, friend, glad you asked! Buckminster Fuller would encourage you to say, believe, act and demonstrate the words
“I am a crew member of Spaceship Earth.”
Perhaps this alternate formulation would help.
“I am a citizen of Planet Earth. I claim certain rights and accept certain responsibilities for the survival and freedom of the human family.”
I realize some people may call this unpatriotic. But the New Message from God tells us we are entering a time when no ethnicity will succeed at the expense of another. Likewise for nations and religions. The New Message from God calls us citizens of the Greater Community of Worlds. We are clearly citizens of Planet Earth. I am a citizen of the city of St. Paul. My citizenship in the state of Minnesota does not invalidate this. I am a citizen of the United States of America. This does not override my citizenship in Minnesota. My citizenship in the Greater Community of Worlds does not nullify my citizenship of Planet Earth.
Will there be enough crew members of Spaceship Earth in time? Can we evolve our thinking enough in time? We will find out shortly.
The following is the 79th paragraph of this teaching. I will add my experience of each paragraph in brackets. These are the final paragraphs of this revelation.
So what We are speaking of here today is known to you. It is in your cultures. It is in your history. It is in your blood.
[ I believe they are referring specifically to the previous paragraph. But the entire teaching is giving the details of the great difficulties humanity will face.]
You are not a frail and fragile people, but you have become weak in your luxury and self-indulgence; you have become distracted and confused seeking personal wishes and ambitions.
[ “You” in this case means “humanity.” What if you were asked what you did with your life? Would you like to be able to say “I helped secure human survival and freedom?”]
The great times are upon you, and you must respond. This is a gift of unparalleled value, if you can respond. It will do everything for you that you could not do for yourself. It will do everything for the world that must be done, if enough people can respond.
[ Now they switch to you as an individual. You may not think you are much in the greater scheme of things. But if you can respond to this, it would be a great contribution to the world. If enough people can respond, humanity can succeed, securing its survival and freedom.]
Heaven waits and watches to see who can respond. There is no condemnation here. There is only encouragement. But there is great sobriety over what is occurring, great need and great urgency.
[ What if not enough people respond? This was said in an earlier paragraph: “If humanity cannot respond sufficiently, if enough people cannot respond, then the human family will fall prey to domination by other forces, who are already planting the seeds of dissension amongst you and even within you, within certain people.” I confess that when I heard the words “great sobriety,” I thought to myself “Even the angels are nervous about our prospects.”]
Great change is upon you. It is time to prepare. The preparation is here, it is given, through the Grace of God and through all of God’s Angels and advocates and true servants in the world.
[ You are not a frail and fragile people. But we face great difficulties. You have great, untapped power within you. You can express it if you take the preparation, the Steps to Knowledge. ]
The following is the 60th paragraph of this teaching. I will add my experience of each paragraph in brackets.
You stand at the next decade—a decade of tumultuous change, a decade of evolution, evolutionary change, not just personal change, not just political change—evolutionary change. [It will] change the outcome for everyone. Succeed or fail, [this is a] pivotal time in human history, perhaps the most ever.
[This revelation was received on December 31, 2019, the eve of a new decade. The words in brackets have been added by Marshall Vian Summers for clarification. While many people recognize the changes in the world, not many people recognize the evolutionary change. Can you think of the importance of your presence in the world?]
One nation will not succeed if other nations fail. You will have to unite in some kind of functional form to begin to tackle the great problems that you are facing now. Fail to do this, and the hour will become too late and calamity will grow.
[China won’t succeed if America fails. America won’t succeed if India fails. Your nation won’t succeed if their nation fails. Where will the refugees go when a nation fails? Who will provide for them?]
We will not tell you what this will look like because you do not yet have the strength to hear it. But what We offer you is the way out of this greater dilemma, not because someone is going to come and rescue you, not because some foreign power is going to come and rescue you—the foreign power is your problem, not your solution—not because some great saint or sage is going to come and lead humanity out of its great predicament. It is a Calling for people all around the world to respond.
[This teaching has already rebuked those who look to extraterrestrials for humanity’s deliverance. There are people who sincerely believe in the coming of some extraordinary figure. The Savior, the Maitreya, The Imam. But what if they don’t come? What then?American band The Eagles wrote in the song “The Last Resort,”
Who will provide the grand design? What is yours and what is mine? ‘Cause there is no more new frontier We have got to make it here.
Humanity needs a lot of everyday people to respond and prepare. The word Calling has been capitalized by Marshall Vian Summers.]
Be you of any religion, any nation, any culture, any station in life, be you man or woman, child or adolescent, this is a Calling to go far and wide. Who will take it far and wide? Who will honor the Messenger who has been sent into the world from the Angelic Assembly to bring it here at this great pivotal turning point?
[Do I dare to say “I will?” This message is a small part of the New Message from God. There is a New Message from God in the world. It has come from the Creator of all life. Marshall Vian Summers is its Messenger. This blog post is part of my effort to take this Calling far and wide.]
This is a confrontation with reality We are giving you here today. Argue with it. Deny it. Pretend it is not so, and you will fail.
[“You” means “humanity.” “fail” means “become extinct or enslaved and exploited by foreign powers.”]
So who amongst you will succeed? Who amongst you will respond? Who amongst you will take a path of preparation not of your own making to face a world beyond your comprehension and beyond what you are used to?
[Do I dare to say “I will?” The path of preparation they offer is Steps to Knowledge. I freely admit that I wasn’t thinking of a moment like this when I started practicing Steps to Knowledge. But anyone who practices Steps to Knowledge will be led into a life of necessity and away from a life of casual choices.]
This next decade will be very decisive. It will not be completely decisive, but it will be very decisive. If you continue in your current ways, with little change in direction, then the consequences upon the peoples of this world will be far greater than they are today, so great that even nations will not be able to handle the difficulties of their own populations, even in the rich countries.
[ One nation won’t succeed if others fail. Not enough people are responding and preparing. Will you?]
It is the season for the worldwide community of the New Message from God to observe the Steps Vigil. This is a 20-day period (May 26-June 14). In this period in 1989, Marshall Vian Summers received the book Steps to Knowledge. This took place in Albany, New York without any public attention. There are many posts in this space regarding the annual Steps Vigil, here, here and here.
With gratitude and high expectation
Many books have dedications where the author chooses to honor a particular person. Some book dedications are literature in and of themselves. Steps to Knowledge has a dedication as well. I have never gotten around to sharing it, but today seems like a good time.
“This method is given to all students of Knowledge in the world with gratitude and high expectation from your Spiritual Family. Follow the instructions as they are given. In this way, the power and efficacy of this work will be revealed to you and, therefore, Our gift to you will have been given. It is with great excitement that We bestow this upon you and through you upon your world.”
Who are the students of Knowledge in the world? Like gold, they are where you find them. There are students of Steps to Knowledge in many countries, speaking many languages. We are following an invisible light. And yet, we are also choosing to take each step.
Wisdom from the Greater Community, Book One is the first book to be published of the teachings of Marshall Vian Summers. It is the first book of what would only much later come to be known as the New Message from God. In the late 1980’s, Marshall Summers traveled around the United States, channeling teachings with small groups of curious individuals. The enthusiasm of the response led to the publication of this book in the early 1990’s. It is as if the source of these teachings “wished” to establish a certain credibility, by addressing important aspects of the human experience.
[In the time period that these teachings emerged, one thing they were called is “The Greater Community Way of Knowledge.” The name “New Message from God” did not emerge until the mid 00’s. It is documented where each teaching emerged.]
There are 35 chapters in this book. None of them are particularly long. They don’t have to be read in chapter order to gain the benefit. This book takes something of an oblique approach, in that it speaks of the necessary aspects of some seemingly mysterious things, such as humanity’s emergence into a “Greater Community” of intelligent life. It addresses important subjects, but there is a connection with relatively unknown subjects, most notably the development of “Knowledge” in the individual. All of the chapters in this book were received before the book “Steps to Knowledge” in May-June 1989. These chapters could therefore be thought of as how Knowledge, the deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed in every individual in every world, could be applied to the human experience. The reader has a good chance of reading things they have never read before. Therefore, it is important to approach this book with an open mind and heart, so that it can reveal its wisdom.
One minor technical note is that when the book was first published, it was called “Wisdom from the Greater Community, Volume 1.” In later publications, it will be known as “Wisdom from the Greater Community, Book 1” This is because this book is Book 1 of Volume 6 of the New Message from God, and it was awkward to use the word volume to refer to a book in a volume with multiple books.
[Mysterious but eminently practical. If you wished to investigate the New Message from God to see if it is something for you to follow, this would be an excellent book to read.]
What have we seen so far? Humanity is on the brink of great change. We stand on the threshold of space. We face intervention from space. We face the consequences of our resource consumption and environmental destruction. But God has spoken again to prepare humanity for these great challenges.
We need your determination and adaptability
The following is the sixth paragraph of this teaching. I will add my experience of each paragraph in brackets.
This next decade will be a great turning point for humanity, as this great environmental change begins to alter the face of the world, as humanity faces a growing presence in the world from those beyond who would seek to use this world for their own purposes. They are not here to destroy you but to use you, seeing you as part of the resource of the world.
[More detail will be given about the forthcoming great environmental change. The word “Intervention” mentioned earlier could be thought of as “a growing presence…for their own purposes.” There are those who consider technically advanced races to be spiritually advanced as well. But how do they know this? I consider the word “use” to mean “enslave and exploit,” in the same way we treat agricultural animals.]
Feeling this great turning point, some people will think it is the end—it is the end of humanity, it is the end of time, or it is the end of human civilization. And some people think it is a glorious beginning, a great new age for humanity of enlightenment and unity, of spirituality.
[It could be the end of humanity. It might be the end of human freedom. Will humanity respond to the warnings and prepare? Compared to all of time, human existence is a blink. And yet, there are those who ascribe cosmic consequences to human events. The people who think the great turning point is a glorious beginning are going to experience a lot of trouble.]
But who can face the reality with the courage and the power of Knowledge that God has placed within each person? Yet this Knowledge is unknown in the world, except by a few.
[We need you to find the deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed within you. We call it Knowledge. When it is followed, disaster is averted. We have a path of practice to reach it called Steps to Knowledge. It has been in the world since 1989. It is true that Knowledge is unknown in the world, except by a few. This is an effort to remedy that.]
So they [people] fail to respond. They fail to prepare. They fail to recognize the growing signs of the world. They remain either oppressed in their nations where there is poverty or religious or political oppression, or they remain subsumed in their own personal preoccupations and desires and difficulties, heedless, unaware that their lives are about to change beyond their reckoning.
[I can imagine some people reading this and thinking, “It won’t be as bad for my nation as it will be for that other nation.” But any nation that doesn’t respond and prepare will face great difficulty. Nature is merciless to the unprepared.]
There are those who feel this great change, but are too afraid to face it. So they turn away, or they try to give it meaning and understanding, trying to incorporate it into their desires and their understanding of the world, when in fact the great change is something far beyond their capabilities in this regard.
[Why are they too afraid to face it? Because they identify with their body and mind, their individuality, instead of Knowledge. They ask “What can one person do?” But a person of Knowledge can do something.]
Many people pray for peace and equanimity at this time. Some even seek for what they call enlightenment, but this is not preparation for what is coming. What is coming is a great challenge, an ordeal, a difficult road ahead.
[We don’t need your enlightenment. We need your determination and adaptability. Your determination to rise to the occasion. Humanity needs your strong contribution to get through the ordeal.]
When I started studying Steps to Knowledge in 2010, I didn’t think I would still be engaged with it ten years later. In fact, I didn’t think about what would be happening ten years later at all. I thought I might be insufficiently amused, and move on to something else. I was afraid I might be found incompetent as a student. Other unhappy thoughts assailed me along the way. But through some beautiful combination of inspiration, determination and relationship, I have continued to mine the riches of the New Message from God.
What lies ten years further down this road?
Around the time of my birthday in August of 2020, I had a feeling. I felt I should think the past ten years of engagement with the New Message from God, and weigh it in the balance of my experience. I declare that the New Message from God and I have been good to each other over the past ten years. I am happy to have gotten through the past ten years without creating a calamity or a disaster. I believe I’m much kinder and gentler to myself than I was ten years ago. I correct my errors and manage my weaknesses, but with a greater compassion. I find things to do, and they find me. To me, that is worth the world.
https://mysteryofascension.com/the-work-is-progressing-the-people-are-working/What lies ten years further down the road? I believe I have made a little progress in the Greater Community Way of Knowledge. I seem to need this journey to assist me in attempting to become a nobler and stronger person. I would like to think I have a sporting chance of giving my gifts to a troubled, yet promising world. Some things have been accomplished. So much lies beyond me. What lies beyond seems improbable or inconceivable in my current frame of reference. But I can prepare for it. Abraham Lincoln said “I will study and prepare myself, and someday my chance will come.” I will do likewise.
Where will we be in ten years? Rejoicing over the New Message being available in the languages of the world. Rejoicing over the good soil into which the seed of revelation has been sown. Rejoicing over those upon whom the rays of initiation have been shown. Rejoicing over the miracles in the world that have come from the presence of Knowledge, the efforts that have been made to mitigate the Great Waves of Change. Will I be able to say “Now, Lord, let your servant depart in peace,” like Simeon in the Gospels? I don’t know. But I’m ready to work on this impossible work. One day it will be merely difficult. One day it will be done.
This quote by Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) has been making the rounds in my world.
“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European or anything, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party of partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
In the New Message from God, certain practices are identified as debilitating. Judgment is one of them, saying “this is good” or “that is bad.” Assumption is another one, saying “this is the case” or “this is not the case.” Yet another one is defining, saying “this is a that.” Suppose I look at something and say “this is a that.” My mind responds with “Ah, then that is likely to do the things that a that does.” But what if it doesn’t? Will I keep investigating, or surrender to the mental sloth of defining? A special case of defining is identifying, saying “I am an Indian, or a Muslim, or a Christian, or a European.”
But this isn’t where the mischief lies. Identifying is saying “This is my group. These are my people. This is my tribe.” In any group, people make efforts to be the leader of that group. People make efforts to get the largest share of the group’s resources. To identify means I want my group to be the leader over the other groups. It means I want my group to get the largest share of the world’s resources. I believe this is what Krishnamurti is getting at when he speaks of separation leading to violence.
Identity is tricky and sticky. So to be human is to be in a predicament. To be human is to use one’s capability to identify. This is going to lead to violence sooner or later. Step 290 of the 365 steps of Steps to Knowledge says the following:
“In the world you are a student—always. Every day, every hour and every minute you are learning and attempting to assimilate your learning. You are either a student of Knowledge or a student of confusion. You are either a student of certainty or a student of ambivalence. You are either a student of wholeness and integrity or you are a student of conflict and war. You can only learn from being in the world, and you can only demonstrate the result of your learning.”
While it is true there are things I identify as, I make great efforts to consider them as interim, contingent identities. The identity I feed and ratify and choose again is that of a student of Knowledge. I desire for no nation or religion to succeed at the expense of any other nation or religion. I will no harm to any other nation or religion. And when I do, I don’t want to.
Cherries are on sale at my local grocer. In my mind, cherries are connected with one of the tales in the book Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah. I have mentioned on numerous occasions that there is a great sympathetic vibration between these dervish tales and the teachings of the New Message from God. It is occurring to me to demonstrate this by commenting on this dervish tale as it proceeds.
There is a wise perception of the present
This tale is attributed to Sufi Abdul-Hamid Khan of Qandahar, who died in 1962. He was the Master of the Afghan Mint, a man with one foot in the dervish world and the other in the world of modern technology. This tale is called “Valuable – and Worthless.” I will put my commentary in brackets.
A certain king one day called a counselor to him and said “The strength of real thinking depends upon the examination of alternatives. Tell me which alternative is better: to increase the knowledge of my people or give them more to eat. In either case they will benefit.”
The Sufi said “Majesty, there is no point in giving knowledge to those who cannot receive it, any more than there is point to giving food to those who cannot understand your motives. Therefore it is not correct to assume that ‘in either case they will benefit.’ If they cannot digest the food, or if they think you give it to them as a bribe, or that they can get more – you have failed. If they cannot see that they are being given knowledge, or whether it is knowledge or not, or even why you are giving it to them, they will not benefit. Therefore the question must be taken by degrees. The first degree is the consideration: ‘The most valuable person is worthless and the most worthless person is valuable.'”
[We have now learned that the counselor is a Sufi, a dervish. I consider the knowledge being spoken of here to be knowledge in the ordinary sense; data, information, education. But the Knowledge spoken of by the New Message from God also requires skill and desire to be attained. The deeper spiritual intelligence that God has placed in every person is indifferent to satisfying idle curiosity.]
“Demonstrate this truth to me, for I cannot understand it,” said the king.
The Sufi then called the chief dervish of Afghanistan, and he came to the court. “If you had your way, what would you have someone in Kabul do?” he asked.
[We now know this tale is set in Kabul, Afghanistan. I believe that the Sufi is responding to a royal command for a demonstration. I believe that the Sufi is responding to a sincere request to learn. As there are monastic orders, there are dervish orders. As monastic orders have leaders, dervish orders have leaders.]
“It so happens that there is a man near such-and-such a place who, if he knew it, could by giving a pound of cherries to a certain necessitous man, gain a fortune for himself and also great advancement for the whole country and progress for the Path,” said the chief dervish, who knew of the inner correspondence of things.
[I imagine the king thought to himself, “This is the very thing I was asking about in the first place, the benefit of my people!” I consider “the Path” to refer to the dervish path and its participants. I make no claim regarding the inner correspondence of things. But one of the outward manifestations of the Knowledge I seek to reclaim is wise perception in the present and in the future.]
The king was excited, for Sufis generally do not discourse upon such things. “Call him here and we will have it done!” he cried. The others silenced him with a gesture. “No,” said the first Sufi, “this cannot work unless it is done voluntarily.”
In disguise, in order not to influence the man’s choice, the three of them went straight to the Kabul bazaar. Divested of his turban and robe, the chief Sufi looked very much like any ordinary man. “I will take the part of the exciting cause,” he whispered, as the group stood looking at the fruit. He approached the greengrocer and wished him good day. Then he said “I know a poor man. Will you give him a pound of cherries, as a charity?” The greengrocer bellowed with laughter. “Well, I have heard some tricks, but this is the first time that someone who wanted cherries has stooped to ask me as if it were for charity!”
[So now we know that the man who could have given the cherries was a greengrocer, and the cherries were part of his inventory. I imagine the king being crushed on the inside as a golden opportunity was lost forever.]
“You see what I mean?” the first Sufi asked the king. “The most valuable man we have has just made the most valuable suggestion, and the event has proved that he is worthless to the man to whom he speaks.”
“But what about ‘the most worthless person’ being valuable?” asked the king.
The two dervishes beckoned him to follow them.
As they were about to cross the Kabul River, the two dervishes suddenly seized the king and threw him into the water. He could not swim.
As he felt himself about to drown, Kaka Divana, whose name means Insane Uncle – a well-known pauper and lunatic who roamed the streets, jumped in and brought him safely to the bank. Various other, more solid, citizens had seen him in the water, but none moved.
When the king was somewhat restored, the two dervishes intoned together: “The most worthless person is valuable!”
[There is a wise perception of the present. Don’t ask me how the dervishes knew that Kaka Divana would save the king. Don’t ask me why the king didn’t honor and enrich Kaka Divana for saving his life. Don’t ask me why the king didn’t have the dervishes executed. I think the answer to these things is “Elaborating on this would disrupt the arc of the story.”]
So the king went back to his old, traditional method of giving whatever he could – whether education or help of any kind – to those to whom it was decided from time to time were the most worthy recipients of such aid.