As received by
Marshall Vian Summers
on September 9, 2009
in Boulder, Colorado

Hear the original spoken revelation:

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It is important to take a spiritual retreat periodically, and particularly at times when important decisions are in front of you. A spiritual retreat here is not simply an escape from your outer life or a reprieve from your outer duties and responsibilities. Instead, spiritual retreat is a time to focus on the power and presence of Knowledge within yourself, the deeper Intelligence that the Creator of all life has placed within you to guide you, to protect you and to lead you to your greater accomplishments in life.

It is important to see what Knowledge is indicating for you. Often these indications go unnoticed because you are too busy, too caught up. Your life is too full of too many things. That is why you have to withdraw from the outer world, withdraw from your primary relationships, withdraw from your normal activities to seek spiritual retreat.

You cannot carry out this retreat if you are constantly being influenced by normal things in your daily life—conversations, the media, problems to solve, obligations to others, things to consider and all the myriad of things that people engage in, whether they be practical or fanciful. Spiritual retreat is stepping back from the outer life and your outer self, to experience your inner life and your deeper nature, which are represented by Knowledge.

Withdraw, then, and take refuge in a different place, if possible. If not possible, then take a vow of silence regarding the people you may be living with, and withdraw to the quietest place you can. Take this time, which may span several days or even weeks—a kind of vacation from the outer world, a reprieve, but a reprieve with a purpose.

For it is within your spiritual retreat that you must reconsider where you are and what you are doing, who you are with and what you are doing with them, to check to make sure that all these things are really correct and appropriate for you.

People do not check on these things. So they make decisions and try to adapt to their decisions and the outcomes of their decisions, forfeiting their ability to recognize the truth of their situation and suffering greatly as a result.

Endless confusion, endless negotiations with others, endless discord, endless anxiety, when in fact they were improperly engaged to begin with, and have now invested their time, their energy and their resources in an involvement that was never appropriate to begin with.

Where you live, who you live with, how you spend your time, what you concern yourself with and what you tell yourself are all critically important in determining not only what life will bring to you, but also what you will be able to see and know and do.

So as the pressure builds, as the sense of discord and disassociation with yourself increases, it is time to take spiritual retreat. It will take a day or two just to become accustomed to being without all these other forms of stimulation. Your mind will be running along in its feverish overworked state, so it will take time to calm everything down.

Here it is wise to listen to the Voice of the New Message, to read the sacred books of Knowledge and to spend time listening within yourself for your deeper experience.

Whatever you do here, it should be quiet and passive. You are not trying to get things. You are not trying to solve problems. You are not trying to have insights. You are not trying to get anywhere. You are simply slowing down to see if there are things that you need to know.

Once your mind has quieted down sufficiently, then it is time to review recent decisions you have made. You ask yourself with each one that you can identify: “Was this a wise decision?” You ask this question only within the context of receiving a positive or a negative. You only have a few choices in the response: positive or negative; or weak positive or weak negative.

If you are doubtful or apprehensive, then you should concern yourself with this question. For it is evidence of doubt; it is evidence of conflict and uncertainty. If you ask sincerely with a desire to know, then you will feel resonance with Knowledge.

If the answer is no, you must simply accept this without explanation, and be with this response and your own experience. If the answer is affirmative, then you will feel this simply as a quiet state within yourself. There is no conflict or issue here.

Review your recent decisions. If you have made a mistake, then you can ask: “Must I do something different regarding this?” The answer will be yes or no. If the answer is affirmative, then you will have to consider how you will need to rectify this situation, and write down your thoughts and insights here.

Next it is important to review your fundamental circumstances. Are you living in the right place? Yes or no. Are you with the right people? Yes or no. Is your form of work appropriate for you now at this time? Yes or no. Are your hobbies or other activities appropriate? Identify them each. Yes or no. Write down your responses. If there are things to reconsider, then ask yourself: “Is there something I need to do about this now?” Yes or no.

These questions can be very challenging. They may challenge your fundamental set of assumptions. They may challenge something that you have already invested yourself in. They may challenge your preferences and your desires. But what you are really doing here is being true to yourself, honest with yourself.

Wanting something that is not right for you and committing yourself to having that is a form of dishonesty with yourself, a kind of betrayal. And you want to make sure in life that you are not betraying yourself or your deeper inclinations. For if you are, you are suffering, and you are losing life force, energy and time to a situation that cannot succeed, laying you open and vulnerable to further suffering and discord. Knowledge within you will seek to unburden you of these kinds of mistakes, which people so commonly commit, and the terrible waste that they create in a person’s life.

If a change must be made and you must take action now, then you may pose various things that you could do, but in the context of receiving a positive or a negative response. No explanations. Knowledge will guide you but not explain.

But before you can seek resolution, you must see if you really have the heart and the intention to change the situation. Here you must be very honest with yourself. If you are not ready to make such a change, if it is a serious change in your life, then you must tell yourself this: “I am not ready”—without denying the truth of the situation, or trying to seek a compromise or make a deal. You may say: “I know I have to leave this relationship, but at this moment I am not ready.” That is honest in the moment, but it does not release you from your responsibility to take action regarding this.

You will need to come back to these questions several times. Once is not enough. And if your intentions are honest and sincere, where you want to know the truth above all things, then Knowledge will be consistent. But you must understand you cannot make compromises with Knowledge. You cannot make a deal. You cannot say, “I will do a little of this, if you give me a little of that.”

There is no negotiating with the truth. You can either embrace it, or you run away from it. But it does not alter itself to meet your preferences. You must come to it on its terms and not on yours. It is this that will demonstrate to you that Knowledge is beyond the intellect and is not a product of your own creation or your own preferences. It is not a form of self-deception, but the ultimate form of self-correction.

During this questioning time, take periods of practicing stillness, which you can learn to do in the study of Steps to Knowledge. Stillness will enable you to feel the condition of your life and connect with your deeper experience. It will also teach you to focus your mind. It will teach you over time how to slip beneath the surface of the mind, where you live so much of the time in a state of confusion and uncertainty.

Here you are gaining a relationship with your inner life and building a pathway into it, step by step. Without the world constantly stimulating you and distracting you and giving you unnecessary things to consider, you actually can bring a great deal of focus to bear on these fundamental questions about your circumstances.

If you are in the wrong place or with the wrong people or attempting inappropriate relationships or wasting your life force on things that have no future or real value, then nothing is going to really work out for you. Your conclusions will be wrong because your premises are incorrect. And the investment of time and resources and energy will be truly wasteful for you and for others.

It is so important to be right with your life and with yourself. It produces a kind of satisfaction and deep equanimity that nothing else can produce. It restores to you your self-respect and your self-trust and confidence over time.

Take this time of retreat to listen to the Voice of the New Message, to hear the Messenger, to read the Books of Knowledge because it will refresh your mind and will remind you constantly that you have a greater Intelligence within you to guide and protect you and give you clarity when you really need it.

During this time, you can practice gazing where you look at some object that has no significance and let your mind be still, just being present in that moment. This is so restful to the mind, for the mind needs great rest if it is to take on greater responsibilities and to serve you in your important endeavors.

During your retreat, do not eat anything that is highly stimulating, or drink anything that is stimulating or that alters your condition, for you want to experience where you really are, how you really feel and what you really know.

Do not hide or protect anything here. Review as many things as you can, even small activities, to see if they are really serving you because every activity and every engagement in life is either giving you energy or taking it away. There are no neutral relationships. They are either meaningful and purposeful or they are not.

Even your hobbies and your pleasures should be providing for you reprieve and wholesome and healthy stimulation. You do not want to betray yourself any further by mindlessly engaging in things or involvements with people or significant relationships that have nowhere to go.

One of the first things that a student of Knowledge must do is to stop losing energy, time and awareness to things that are not appropriate for them. That is why the evaluation must continue, it continues through the course of your spiritual retreat. And as you become more aware and more competent at this, it continues into your daily life.

Here you are able to avoid mistakes before they happen. You are [able] to recognize inappropriate engagements before you engage with them. You are able to see and know before you act because you are bringing this care and this awareness to everything that life is bringing to you.

That is why the wise man or the wise woman is listening and watching a great deal. They are discerning the environment. They are discerning the intentions of other people. They are discerning their own communications to other people. They are feeling the Presence around them to see what it is conveying. They do not talk a great deal. They do not chatter a great deal. They are being present with the moment, present with people, present to the experience of love and affinity, present to the experience of discord and disharmony, present to whatever is there.

As you gain this skill over time, it will be ever more difficult for you to make a mistake. But you must take spiritual retreat to begin to gain these skills and abilities. They do not just happen instantaneously, and you do not already possess them to any significant degree. So they must be developed over time and through practice.

If your spiritual retreat is effective, you will begin to see how much you are missing in life, how much you are not present with yourself or with other people, how caught up you become in your desires or the events that you are involved in. And you will see how easy it is for you to make mistakes or misjudge situations or misinterpret other people’s intentions or activities regarding you. You learn here by contrast. For in a quieter, more perceptive state, you see the contrast between that and your normal activities.

This contrast is essential because people do not know that they do not know. They are not aware that they are betraying themselves and accommodating themselves to situations that are extremely unhealthy for them. They do not know what they need to know. They do not know what it is to be quiet and observant. They do not know what it is to be able to still the mind and experience the vast Presence there. They are habitually involved in a set of activities and a state of mind that they know that nothing else exists. It is just how they are, or so they think.

They are addicted to things and do not even know it. They are making agreements that betray them and do not even know it. They are saying yes to things they should not agree to. And sometimes they say no to things that are truly beneficial. Yet how will they ever know this, caught up as they are, habitually engaged, if they do not take retreat?

The only way that they will be able to gain a greater self-awareness is through utter disappointment or personal loss. Or some kind of shock to their life that sets them back, forces them to rethink their situation and their decisions, their motives and their activities.

But shock, loss and dismay— though [they] may be very effective at times—are a very costly way to learn wisdom. It is a very expensive way to gain clarity and wisdom about one’s actions and involvements in life. Why pay such a monumental price? Why let things deteriorate to such a great degree that you find yourself in crisis before you are willing to really consider the merits of your activities?

If you will continue in this practice, you will begin to see what error is costing you. It is costing you your life, it is costing you your self-confidence, it is costing you your integrity, it is costing you the greater opportunities of relationships that are meant for you, but for which you are now unprepared.

It is really costing you everything. But day in and day out, you call this normal and you adapt. You adapt to things that are really unsatisfactory, you adapt to relationships that are unfulfilling and which lack purpose and meaning. You adapt to a state of mind that is grudging and restrained, fearful and distrustful.

Do not wait for a calamity to show you that you must stop. Do not wait for a serious accident or illness or personal loss to show you that you must stop to reconsider what you are doing.

Spiritual retreat here is a great opportunity if you know how to use it, if you recognize your need for it, and if you are patient within it. Regarding major decisions in life, it can take time to come to terms with them because your mind will want to bargain and want to deny and want to be reasonable—all these things that people do to try to talk themselves out of their own experience, to try to make life give them what they want instead of show them what they really know.

You have to keep coming back to Knowledge. It is not changeable like your personality. It does not vacillate like your desires. It does not change from day to day. It is stable, it is powerful, it is real, and you cannot change it. But it is these things that make it real and authentic and reliable—a source of wisdom, certainty and direction for you, the greatest source that you can have.

You take spiritual retreat to take reprieve from the outer world, but more fundamentally you take spiritual retreat to come to Knowledge within yourself. You come to Knowledge not as some fantastic or euphoric experience, but you come to Knowledge to seek clarity, certainty and resolution.

For Knowledge’s first purpose is to unburden you, to clarify your life, to simplify your life, to clear a pathway for you, to liberate you from what cannot succeed, to empower you to become free of the pervasive influence of others, the demands and expectations of others.

Before Knowledge can set you on a higher course in life, it must free you from your current burdens. And it must teach you another way of thinking and being with life. It will teach this through dramatic contrast—the contrast between what you know and the experience of Knowledge, and your frantic pursuits and desires and fears.

Knowledge is quiet so much of the time. Take those things that you think you want and bring them to Knowledge. If Knowledge is not responding, it must not be so important, yes? If desire or purpose is not at the level of Knowledge, why are you giving yourself to this person or this thing or this acquisition with such passion? Why are you so captivated and swayed, delirious and intoxicated?

You come to Knowledge, and it is silent, waiting for you to become sober, creating a contrast that is necessary for you to see the difference between being seduced by something and being true to yourself. You will be shocked to find out how slavish you really are to your wishes and desires. You will be shocked to see how blind and unresponsive you have been to life and how much you have missed as a result. This can be shocking and discouraging to see the waste that you have created. But do not let this recognition stop you in following The Way of Knowledge. For you do not want to waste your life now. Your time is precious. Each day is precious.

What you practice is what you will reap. What you practice is what will become permanent. If you practice ignorance, prejudice, self-denial, they will become permanent for you. If you just adhere to your social conditioning or the influence of others, that will become permanent for you and ever more difficult to liberate yourself from in the future. The prison becomes more solid, its walls become thicker and its restraints more oppressive.

Within your spiritual retreat, it is also important to rest the mind and to treat the body well, not giving it things that are unhealthy, but treating it well—allowing it to recover its strength, allowing your mind to practice stillness and to gaze and to enjoy nature, to seek solitude, to recover from the bombardment of all the world’s stimulation, to be with your experience and continue to be with your experience, bringing your mind back from fantasy and distraction, recalling yourself: “What do I really feel in this moment?”

If you do not govern your mind, it will govern you. It will become chaotic and destructive, distracting, blind and ignorant. It has no wisdom. It is meant to serve you, not to govern you.

In your spiritual retreat, you have an opportunity to build this new relationship with your mind, a healthy relationship with your body, a commitment to listen within yourself when faced with decisions that are important and to be honest to the best of your ability with where you are and what you are doing. This work, and it is work, this work will restore to you your self-appreciation and your self-respect—things that are so easily eroded out in the world, eroded almost imperceptibly, day by day.

Within your spiritual retreat, you may seek the guidance of a spiritual teacher, which could be appropriate if that teacher is a teacher of Knowledge and not simply a teacher of methods and ideas; a teacher who understands the deeper life; a teacher who will assist you in discovering and experiencing what you really feel and know about your circumstances.

But even contact with a teacher during retreat should be very minimal and is sometimes not necessary at all. Your retreat is a withdrawal from influential people for the most part. You are seeking your own internal compass now. So you do not want strong influences impacting you at this time.

Do not make peace the purpose of your retreat. Peace will come to you naturally and substantially as you resolve the conflicts and the compromises of your life.

Do not make happiness the purpose of your retreat or you will only seek pleasurable things, and will miss the great opportunity that you have to re-evaluate your life and circumstances and to gain a deeper and greater relationship with yourself.

Do not treat retreat as a kind of vacation or holiday from your life. It is really a time to investigate your life and to become honest and clear about what you are doing and who you are with.

Do not use retreat to read lots of spiritual ideas from different traditions, for you need to clear your mind now, not fill it with new things.

Do not use your retreat to engage actively with other people, such as you might find at a retreat center, for you are taking retreat from people, to build a deeper connection within yourself.

Do not use retreat to seek higher truths, but instead seek the deeper experience of Knowledge within yourself. This is not an intellectual pursuit. This is not academic research. This is not to build a high and lofty ideology or to fortify your philosophy. All those things must be questioned as well in your deep evaluation. If you are responding to your real needs, then you will understand these words that I am saying.

If you are experiencing suffering in your life and seek its resolution and also seek to prevent it from reoccurring in your life, you must follow and listen to My words. If you know you are not living the life that you are meant to live, then you must withdraw to find out why and what you must do over time to resolve this. You do this also to build the strength and the confidence to take decisive action in your life, particularly as it may contradict or oppose the wishes and the will of others.

Let this be your time to build your relationship with Knowledge, which is your first and foremost priority in life, for it is Knowledge that represents God’s Presence in your life. This is the Wisdom God has given you to guide you and to protect you and to lead you to greater accomplishments here in the world.

Why would you seek anything else? But you must remember that Knowledge exists beyond the realm and the reach of the intellect. It represents a greater reality than the reality of your ideas, your theories, your beliefs, your philosophy and so forth.

There is a Calling for you in the world. But first you must prepare. You must prepare your life and with the assistance of Knowledge, you must clear a path. You must bring resolution to that which requires resolution. You must seek to separate yourself from that which requires you to do so. You must honor that which you must carry forward and learn to tell the difference between what is good from what only looks good, what is real from what you want, what is beneficial from what only promises to be beneficial.

It is only at the realm of deeper experience that you can make these distinctions, to have this discernment and to bring this discernment into your life every day. It is this that will save your life and your time and your energy. It is this that will open you to greater relationship with others and prepare you for the greater purpose that has brought you into the world—a greater purpose that is waiting to be discovered.