I Will Practice Being Still And Knowing Today

I will practice being still and knowing today.

Some people might think that Step 82, “I will not judge another today” of Steps to Knowledge is merely a recap of Step 76, “Today I will not judge another.” It is more than that. It is more than that because of some things that happened between Step 76 and Step 82.

I will practice being still and knowing today

In Step 79, “I will allow uncertainty to exist today,” I considered the possibility that I wasn’t entirely certain about my judgments. I considered the possibility that my judgments weren’t worthy of my betting my life on them.

In Step 80, “I can only practice,” I was told that judgment was one of a number of unexamined, habitual, detrimental practices that I was going to have to slowly back away from if I wanted to advance.

In Step 81, “I will not deceive myself today,” one particular type of judgment, self-condemnation, was examined in detail. While self-condemnation has certain social rewards, it is yet another unexamined, habitual, detrimental practice from which to slowly back away. I get the idea from this that the other detrimental practices mentioned in Step 80 most likely have certain social rewards as well.

Therefore, if I put Step 82 together with what has happened since Step 76, I get that judgment is a practice of not knowing. Judgment is a practice of not looking. Judgment is a practice of not listening. Judgment is a practice of not being still. Judgment is a practice with certain social rewards. Judgment is a practice I must slowly back away from if I want to attain to what Steps to Knowledge is offering. I must strengthen the practices of knowing, looking, listening and being still.

While Step 82 is “I will not judge another today,” it seemed good to state it positively, saying what I will do instead of what I won’t do. In the light of Step 80, it seemed good to state Step 82 in terms of what I will practice. When I stated Step 76 positively, it came out as “Today I will keep looking and wondering.” The total package of not judging involves looking, listening, being still and knowing. Therefore, the positive wording of Step 82 should be taken together with the positive wording of Step 76.

Today I will keep looking and wondering. I will practice being still and knowing today.

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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.

Великая истина жизни

For English version click here.

Великая истина жизни

Шаги к Знанию не склонены к самообольщению, хотя они придают внутреннюю и жизнеутверждающую силу. Шаг 24. Я достойна любви Бога как раз один из Шагов, который смело подталкивает на то, чтобы отбрасывать унижающее мнение о себе, а также чувства недостоинства, и познавать великую истину жизни—то, что я на самом деле достойна любви Бога, и более того, я и есть любовь Бога. Это и есть великая истина жизни.

После того, как я не чувствовала себя достойной любви и поддержку своих учителей, когда занималась Шагом 23, я почувствовала облегчение во время занятия Шагом 24, поскольку я приобрела совсем новый взгляд на понятие «достоинство».

В своих записях я написала: «Я смеюсь с облегчением, ведь настолько потрясающее и вдруг стало ясным. Чувства недостоинства исходят от эго, когда я смотрю на мир с сугубо личной позиции, когда я смотрю на себя как на личность, а не как часть целого. Когда я оцениваю всё в категориях, что хорошо и что плохо, тогда я чувствую себя недостойной. А совсем не в этом дело! Речь не идет о себе как личность, а о том, какой вклад я вложу, мое участие в целом. Осознав это, всё встало на свои места, всё стало понятно. Конечно я достойна! Как и может быть иначе?»

В Шаге гласит: «Как ты можешь быть недостойной любви Бога, когда она и является сутью своей”.

Это и есть великая истина жизни.

Я понимаю, что это понятие трудно дается, трудно его сформулировать внятном образом, особенно исходя от поверхностного ума, ума эго, ума жестких рамок, от ума, которое не принимает идею о том, что простой смертный может находиться на одном уровне с Богом. Однако, с самого начала, человек занимающий Шагами к Знанию понимает, что не следует полагаться на предположениях и старых стереотипах, а начинать с чистого листа (Шаг 3. Что Я Знаю На Самом Деле?)

И в Шаге дальше выясняется:

Ты достоин не твоих достижений в мире. Ты достоин того, кем ты и есть, откуда пришел, и куда уйдешь.

Это  представляет понятие в совсем ином свете.

Это и есть великая истина жизни.

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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 Greatest Truth Of Life

Greatest Truth of Life

Photo from the New Message from God

The greatest truth of life 

Steps to Knowledge cannot be called an exercise in self-flattery, but they do have something empowering and life-affirming about them. Step 24. I Am Worthy of God’s Love is one of the Steps that audaciously encourages me to cast aside any denigrating opinion I may have of myself, as well as any feelings of unworthiness, to embrace the greatest truth of life—the fact that I am indeed worthy of God’s love. And more than that, I really am God’s love. This is the greatest truth of life.

After feeling unworthy of the love and support of my Teachers in Step 23. I found myself laughing in relief in Step 24 when I gained a whole new insight into the concept of worthiness.

My notes say: “I am laughing in a releasing way, because it is really so incredible and suddenly so clear. Feelings of unworthiness come from the ego. When I operate from my individuality and separation, when I put a value on everything, assess things as good or bad, then I feel unworthy. But that is not what it is all about. It is not about me, it is about my part in the whole. Having realized this, it all makes sense, and of course I am worthy! How could it be otherwise?”

How can you be unworthy of God’s love if that is what you are? the Step asks.

This is the greatest truth of life.

Now I will agree that this concept may be difficult to hold onto and formulate in a coherent way, particularly from the surface mind, the mind of the ego, a mind used to operating from rigid templates, a mind that rejects the idea of putting an ordinary mortal anywhere near the same level as God. However, a student of Steps to Knowledge becomes aware very early on that it is best not to have assumptions, but instead start from a clean slate (Step 3. What Do I Really Know?).

And the Step goes on to clarify.

You are worthy not for what you have done in the world. You are worthy for who you are, where you have come from and where you are going.

This puts the entire matter in a very different light.

This is the greatest truth of life.

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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 Am Dreaming An Audience For My Poem

I am dreaming an audience for my poem. Not the UN, I have bigger ambitions

June Jordan got to read her Poem for South African Women at the United Nations on August 9, 1978. I consider the lack of poetry slams at the General Assembly of the United Nations to be a grievous omission, a hindrance to its avowed purpose.

I am dreaming an audience for my poem

I’m happy for June Jordan. And no, I wouldn’t mind getting the opportunity to read my poetry at the United Nations. But the place where I really wish to share my poem doesn’t exist. Well, not yet, anyway. I am dreaming of this place as I write.

Some time ago, I was on Twitter, commenting on something or other about the United Nations. Dave Mears, a gentleman I had never met before, tweeted something to the effect that the United Nations was analogous to the Senate of the United States. There is a fixed number of votes (2) for each state in the Senate, and there is a fixed number of votes (1) for each nation in the UN General Assembly.

I considered Dave’s idea to be inspired. Since then, I have entertained the thought that if there is a global organization analogous to the US Senate, then there should also be a global organization analogous to the House of Representatives in the US, or the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. I dream of a place called the United Citizenries.

What is the purpose of the United Citizenries? To secure the rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Some governments attempt to follow this declaration, some governments pay lip service to it, some governments ignore it.

Who shall be its members? I envision that each nation on Earth would have a delegation to the United Citizenries, consisting of one delegate for each .1% of the world population living within its borders. The United Citizenries would therefore have an assembly of 1,000 people. For example, the 2013 World Population Data Sheet shows the world population as 7.137 billion people. The population of the United States is 316.2 million people. This would give the United States 44 delegates to the United Citizenries.

Who can be a delegate to the United Citizenries? Any citizen who is not serving in the government of their nation. Furthermore, that citizen needs to not be related, either by blood or marriage, to someone serving in the government of that nation. Furthermore, at least one member of each nation’s delegation must be selected from among the poorest, the lowliest, and the lost of that nation.

Where will the United Citizenries meet? As the United Nations meets in the Northern Hemisphere, the United Citizenries will meet in the Southern Hemisphere. As the United Nations meets in the Western Hemisphere, the United Citizenries will meet in the Eastern Hemisphere. That narrows it down to roughly 20 nations by my count. Angola? Madagascar? Papua New Guinea? Any one of those nations will do.

I am dreaming an audience for my poem. I am dreaming of the day when I share my poem with the United Citizenries. Which poem? This one, of course.

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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 Luxury Of Self-Condemnation

You can't afford the luxury of self-condemnation

Step 80, “I can only practice” of Steps to Knowledge, gives the idea that what passes for normal life contains a number of unexamined, habitual, detrimental practices. Practices such as confusion, judgment, projection of blame, guilt, disassociation, inconsistency and self-hatred.

The luxury of self-condemnation

Step 81, “I will not deceive myself today,” continues on this path, adding more detrimental practices to confront in one’s self.

“Do not be comfortable with assumptions or the beliefs of others.” As early as Step 4, “I want what I think I know,” we were told that assumptions are rarely founded on experience. The word “assumption” has been used a number of times so far in Steps to Knowledge. It has been consistently described as something too weak to take you to the great mystery of your life. It has been consistently described as something to examine and penetrate.

“Do not accept generalities as truth.” Generalizations have been known for some time to be impoverishments of experience. This is the only instance in Steps to Knowledge of either “generality” or “generalities.”

“Do not accept appearances as representative of the reality of another.” As I thought of this, I recalled a couple of Bible verses. Paul wrote to the Corinthians “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.” (2 Corinthians 5:16, New International Version) John wrote “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2, New International Version). What is the reality of another? The great mystery of their life. The mission they have in their life to fulfill.

“Do not accept the mere appearance of yourself.” See above.

There is one detrimental practice, the practice of self-condemnation, to which an entire paragraph is devoted.

“You must enter uncertainty to find Knowledge. What does this mean? It simply means you are giving up false assumptions, self-comforting ideas and the luxury of self-condemnation. Why is self-condemnation a luxury? Because it is easy and does not require you to examine the truth. You accept it because it is acceptable in this world, and it gives you a great deal to talk about with your friends. It evokes sympathy. Therefore, it is easy and weak.”

As someone who has engaged in a good bit of self-condemnation over my errors and disappointments, I bear witness to these words. Examining what actually happened takes some work, work that is not required to engage in the luxury of self-condemnation. I believe most people will not freely admit that they are just a little bit scared of people who are showing strength and courage. I believe most people will not freely admit that in their strongest and most fearless moments, they notice that other people are just a little bit scared of them.

«Alisa writes: I think that the last two sentences of the paragraph above contain a very potent thought. Apart from it being true at the personal level, I think our world leaders would do well to consider this in their dealings with other world leaders.»

It takes a certain mental rigor, a certain strength, a certain courage to even search for what Steps to Knowledge is offering. People who are comfortable with being safe and weak, for whatever reason, have quit by now, or are thinking about it.

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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.

Возрастая в благодати

Возрастая в благодати

For English version click here.

Возрастая в благодати

По мере моего прохождения по Шагам к Знанию, я возрастаю в благодати, всё сильнее чувствую благодать Реальности. Об этом говорится в Шаге 23. мБожественные учителя любят, окружают и поддерживают меня. По мере моего прохождения по Шагам и познания Знания, я вызываю своих Учителей к себе, просыпаюсь и выхожу из дремучего состояния моего воображения, и возрастаю в благодати.

Помнится, что в тот день, когда я прошла этот Шаг (26 ноября 2012), я не чувствовала себя достойной этой любви. Я не чувствовала, что я являюсь одной из тех немногих, кто имеет возможность обрести благодать. Теперь я понимаю безрассудство этой мысли, ведь когда тебе дарят что-либо, ты должен этот дар благосклонно принимать. Если я не приму ту благодать, подаренную мне с такой щедростью моими учителями, если я отклоню их любовь и поддержку, то я по сути дела даю им пощечину. Чувства недостоинства исходят от эго и не имеет под ними истинная прочная почва.

Мои Учителя окружают меня, любят меня и поддерживают меня, несмотря на мои собственные чувства недостоинства. Сегодня я не вижу никакого выгода в том, чтобы чувствовать себя недостойной. Мысль о том, что я возрастаю в благодати является вон более убедительной.

Возрастая в благодати

Возрастая в благодати

В этом Шаге упор делается на то, чтобы почувствовать любовь и поддержку своих Учителей. Рекомендуется, чтобы я это чувствовала и познавала, а не размышляла над этой идей или занималась предположениями. И я обнаружила, что я действительно могу почувствовать эту поддержку. Я её ощущаю сильнее всего, когда я нахожусь загородом, когда я окружена таинственностью и волшебством Природы. Я выбираю дерево и обнимаю его, ощущая как его энергия вливается в мое тело. Я как будто сливаюсь воедино, образуя одно целое с деревом. Я ощущаю энергию своих Учителей, их любовь и поддержку. Они меня окружают, они меня наполняют, я соединяюсь с ними в один поток. В таких моментах, я истинно чувствую, что возрастаю в благодати.

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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.

Emerging Into The Grace Of Reality

Emerging into the grace of reality2

As I continue to take Steps to Knowledge, I am emerging into the grace of Reality. This is what speaks to me most in Step 23. I Am Loved, Surrounded and Supported By The Teachers of God. As I practice Steps and emerge into Knowledge, I am calling my Teachers to my side, awakening from the sleep of my own imagination and emerging into the grace of Reality.

I recall that on the day I did this Step (November 26, 2012), I did not feel worthy of this love and support. I did not feel like I was one of the few who has the promise or the opportunity to receive this gift. Now I realize the folly of this thought, for if a gift is given, it should be graciously received. If I do not accept the gift my Teachers are so generously bestowing on me, if I do not accept their love and support, I am basically giving them a slap in the face. My feelings of being unworthy of the love and support of my Teachers come from the ego, from the surface mind, from the part of me that still lives in separation.

The Step tells me that the truth of the fact I am loved, surrounded and supported by my teachers will become self-evident as I prepare. I do not remember this idea particularly challenging me, I only remember not feeling worthy.

However, my Teachers surround me, love me, and support me whether I feel worthy of this or not. Today I do not see the benefit in feeling unworthy. The thought that I am emerging into the grace of Reality is much more potent.

Emerging into the grace of Reality

This Step places great emphasis on feeling the love and support of my Teachers. It is something to feel and know, not something to speculate on as an idea. I find I can indeed feel this support.

Emerging into the grace of Reality

I feel it most strongly when I am out in the countryside, in a natural setting, surrounded by the mystery and magic of nature. I pick a tree to put my arms around and feel its energy filling me. I feel my being merging with it. Here I feel the energy of my Teachers, their love and support. I am surrounded by them, filled with them, become one with them. This is when I truly feel I am emerging into the grace of Reality.

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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.

Sometimes I Forget Completely

Rumi wrote a poem "Sometimes I forget completely"

Coleman Barks translated Rumi's poem "Sometimes I forget completely" into English

It took six hundred years, give or take a few, for Rumi’s poetry to appear in English. R. A. Nicholson (1868-1945) gave us the first complete English translation of the Mathnawi. A. J. Arberry (1905-1969) followed in Nicholson’s footsteps, translating Fihi ma fihi (translated as Discourses of Rumi) and many Rumi poems. I believe these men felt like the man in the gospels who discovered the treasure buried in the field, or the merchant of pearls who discovered the pearl of great price.

In 1976, poet Robert Bly showed Coleman Barks some of Arberry’s Rumi translations. Bly suggested to Barks that he make a more modern poetic translation, saying, “Release these (poems) from their scholarly cages.” Oh, what gratitude I have for the human bucket-brigade of A. J. Arberry, Robert Bly, and Coleman Barks, carriers of the celestial nectar!

Sometimes I forget completely

Sometimes I forget completely
what companionship is.
Unconscious and insane, I spill sad
energy everywhere. My story
gets told in various ways: a romance,
a dirty joke, a war, a vacancy.

Divide up my forgetfulness to any number,
it will go around.
These dark suggestions that I follow,
are they part of some plan?
Friends, be careful. Don’t come near me
out of curiosity, or sympathy.

I was inspired by recent events to share this poem. Sometimes I forget completely that I’m not alone, and it drives me mad, as it is a violent violation of one of the great truths of the universe. Please help me to remember, but from a distance.

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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.

A Place Deeper Than Thought

A Place Deeper Than Thought

Artwork by Paul Foreman at Mind Map Inspiration

In the current turbulent times of conflict and contradiction, I am relying on a place deeper than thought as my compass and guide. In any conflict there are always at least two sides with dramatically opposing views, while the truth may lie somewhere in between.

I do not know what the truth is in the current conflict in my part of the world (Russia/Ukraine) and I am not claiming to hold a particular view, or saying that I am thinking certain thoughts, or confessing to agree or disagree with what is written or said in the multitude of different media sources available. I wish to operate from a place deeper than thought, the place where Knowledge resides.

Stillness is a practice offered in Steps to Knowledge and hailed as a place where all things can be known. I can vouch for this practice and recommend it for anyone caught in the buffeting winds of doubt and confusion, conflict and contradiction. Stillness is a place deeper than thought where Knowledge resides and can be tapped into.

A place deeper than thought

Marshall Vian Summer’s book The Great Waves of Change also speaks of stillness and a place deeper than thought where things may be known.

In Chapter 12. Your Purpose and Destiny in a Changing World, I read:

You practice stillness not to get anything, but to learn to be still. You learn to be still so that you can feel and listen. You listen to develop the ability to listen so that when you are out in life, Knowledge within you can speak to you, guide you and hold you back when that is necessary.

In this video, Marshall says, “While the world becomes more chaotic, it is time to pull in, to listen deeply to the power that is within you, a power and a presence that is greater than your intellect, greater than your mind. It dwells within a deep well of silence, a great space within you that exists beneath the surface of your mind. Here you will find clarity, here you will escape deception, confusion, fear and anxiety. You are entering the deep well of the mind now.”

Marshall goes on to say, “This must be your compass and your guide for the difficult and turbulent times ahead.”

In the turbulent times of the current Russian/Ukrainian conflict, I am arming myself with this compass and guide and relying on Knowledge which resides in a place deeper than thought.

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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 Are You Practicing?

Degas painted these ballerinas practicing. What are you practicing?

I recall attending a Bible study on the book of James. The leader of the Bible study said “The tongue and the mind are great battlefields for the Christian.” Because of this, the Bible instructs Christians to engage in certain intentional activities of the tongue and the mind. The apostle Paul instructed the Ephesians to “be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:18-19, New International Version). Paul instructed the Philippians to think on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Philippians 4:8, New International Version)

What are you practicing?

A Course in Miracles frequently used the word “practice” to describe the activities associated with its lessons. The word “practice” appears over a thousand times in A Course in Miracles.

Steps to Knowledge builds on these ideas and takes them a little further in Step 80, “I can only practice.” Life is practice. Everyone is a practitioner of something or other. Life is the strengthening of something. Everyone is making something bigger and more significant in their life. They do this by paying attention to it, talking about it, and practicing it.

It does not follow that everyone’s practice is beneficial. Steps to Knowledge declares that the practice of most people is to their detriment:

“You practice confusion, you practice judgment, you practice projection of blame, you practice guilt, you practice disassociation and you practice inconsistency. You strengthen your judgments by continuing to exert them. You strengthen your uncertainties by continuing to emphasize them. You practice your self-hatred by continuing to influence it.”

It seemed like a harsh assessment at the time. But it doesn’t take a great deal of wisdom to observe that people get a lot of what they practice. The study of Steps to Knowledge involves, among other things, slowly backing away from these detrimental practices, and slowly approaching more beneficial practices.

What are you practicing? What are you a practitioner of? What are you strengthening? What are you building? What are you making bigger and more significant in your life?

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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.