I Strive To Scratch The Itches Of A Ghost

There is something I find curious about Step 95, “How can I possibly fulfill myself?” of Steps to Knowledge. The word “possibly” is used a total of five times before Step 95, and the context is usually to cut off hope of something. For example, in Step 87, “I will not be afraid of what I know,” I am told that my personal mind cannot possibly understand my greater purpose. This is the first time the word “possibly” appears in the step itself. Steps to Knowledge frequently uses rhetorical questions, but this is the first time that the step is in the form of a rhetorical question. It is as if Steps to Knowledge is spending some of the capital it has accumulated with me by reducing my suffering in previous steps. Steps to Knowledge is questioning something that it didn’t occur to me to question, claiming that I strive to scratch the itches of a ghost.

I strive to scratch the itches of a ghost

When Steps to Knowledge says that Knowledge is my True Self in Step 10, “What is Knowledge?”, it’s not claiming that my individuality, my body and personality is a false self. Rather, it is claiming that my individuality is an incomplete self, a secondary self, a vehicle for my true self. If this is true, then the efforts I make to fulfill myself are equivalent to making efforts to fulfill a suit I wear, or a house I live in, or a car I drive.

Someone is reading this and thinking “But Douglas, that’s, that’s…” Crazy? We prefer the word “confused.” This state of affairs is the consequence of living in a world where people believe what they want to believe. This state of affairs is the consequence of living in a world where people want to be separate to be unique. I strive to scratch the itches of a ghost.

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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.

Быть Уникальной Частью Единого Целого

Быть Уникальной Частью Единого Целого

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Быть уникальной частью единого целого было для меня маловразумительным понятием, когда я впервые занималась Шагом 13. Я хочу быть отдельной, чтобы быть уникальной. Я не поняла, что «быть отдельным» здесь подразумевается быть отдельным от Бога. Это подразумевается, что я хочу быть отдельной, потому что для меня «отдельной» значит «уникальной». Поэтому я отрицаю идею об единстве с Богом. Но на самом деле, я понимаю, что у меня есть духовное начало, поэтому я не хочу быть отдельной. М-да, кажется, я заблудилась.

К счастью, однако, я не настолько заблудилась, чтобы совсем теряться в мути разума. Я всё-таки задала себе следующий вопрос: «А, может быть, это значит – вкладывать свою уникальную часть в общее дело, быть уникальной частью единого целого?»

И пришел на ум такой образ, такая аналогия, которая помогает разобраться с парадоксом «отдельность-уникальность». Я – составная часть картинки-загадки. Я – уникальная, но эта уникальность только имеет смысл, ценность, когда я занимаю свое место в общей картинке. Как отдельная часть, я ничего не значу, а рядом со всеми остальными частями, такими же уникальными, как и я, мы вместе образуем одну большую ценнейшую картинку, одно единое целое.

Быть уникальной частью единого целого

Отрадно, что другие люди, те, которые я бы назвала женщинами и мужчинами Знания, созвучно выражаются на этой теме.

Маргарет Мид сказала: “Всегда помните, что Вы абсолютно уникальны. Точно так же, как все остальные.”

Виктор Франкл выразился следующим образом: «У каждого есть свое особое призвание. Каждый человек незаменим, а жизнь его неповторима. И поэтому задача каждого человека настолько же уникальна, насколько уникальна и его возможность выполнить эту задачу».

Шаг 13 из книги “Шаги к Знанию” гласит: «Твоё физическое существование является проявлением отдельной жизни, но лишь с определённой точки зрения. С другой точки зрения, она совсем не проявляет отдельности. Она проявляет уникальное выражение Высшей Реальности».

Приняв это как данность, я свободно могу принять свою уникальность. Чтобы быть уникальной, не надо быть отдельной, я, скорее, уникальная часть единого целого.

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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 A Unique Expression Of A Greater Reality

Unique Expression of a Greater Reality

I am a unique expression of a Greater Reality, but I did not understand this when I first reached Step 13. I Want to Be Separate to Be Unique. I did not understand that separation here means separation from God. This implies that I want to be separate because I think being separate makes me unique, so I reject the idea of being part of the Oneness of God. But I am a spiritual being and I am aware of this, so I do not want to be separate. I admit to being confused.

I found help with my confusion in the New Message from God revelation entitled “The Separation,” which says:

You are a spiritual being living in a physical reality. This accounts for your dual nature and the fundamental conflict and confusion that permeate your mind and activities.

Despite my confusion, however, I did have the presence of mind to write the following question in my notes: “Could this mean that I must express my unique gifts whenever I can, contribute my own individuality to the greater whole?”

Another quote from “The Separation” seems to answer this for me.

God redeems you through the power and presence of Knowledge within you. Knowledge will prepare you to become a contributor to life so that your real, unique gifts can be given where they are needed.

I Am a Unique Expression of a Greater Reality

Now I have found a good analogy, something that helps me understand this separation/uniqueness paradox. I am a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. I am unique, but I am only of value when I take up my place in the bigger picture, when I make my unique contribution to the larger whole, when I am a unique expression of a Greater Reality.

I take great comfort in what other people, people I would call men and women of Knowledge, have to say on this subject.

Margaret Mead said, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

Edgar Cayce often reiterated the idea of Oneness in his work. His readings are filled with different ways to express the same concept: Know yourself…to be yourself…and yet part of the whole.

Step 13 says, “Your physical life demonstrates a separate life but only from a certain point of view. Given another point of view, it does not demonstrate separation at all. It demonstrates a unique expression of a Greater Reality.”

Accepting this as the truth, I am free to embrace this uniqueness, I do not have to be separate to be unique, rather I am a unique expression of a Greater 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.

I Will Accept My Studenthood As It Is

“Am I hard enough?
Am I rough enough?
Am I rich enough?
I’m not too blind to see” – The Rolling Stones, “Beast of Burden

Step 56 of Steps to Knowledge is the first review after the big review of Step 49, where the previous 48 steps are reviewed.

We are now 15% of the way into the program. A number of remarkable things have been said about Knowledge.  Some people might be wondering whether any of those remarkable things are supposed to have happened by now.  I’m sure some people at this point look back at Step 10, “What is Knowledge?” and ask “Have I had any instances of profound intuition?”  Any times of inexplicable knowing?  Any new insights about the past?

I will accept my studenthood as it is

In other words, some people are putting their experience in one balance, and their ideal of what they think should happen in the other balance.  In other words, they are not accepting their studenthood as it is.  Step 54, “I will not live in idealism” and Step 55, “I will accept the world as it is” are about confronting and penetrating one’s idealism.  It is not a big surprise that the Step 56 review has some material about not comparing one’s studenthood to a non-existent ideal:

“In today’s review, review the past week of lessons and your involvement with them. Try to understand that though progress may appear to be slow at first, that which is slow and even will progress greatly. Involvement that is consistently applied will give you the straight line to your accomplishment.

In your review, we again remind you to refrain from self-judgment if you have not met your expectations. Merely realize what is required to follow the instructions as they are given and involve yourself with them as fully as possible. Remember that you are learning to learn, and remember that you are learning to reclaim your self-worth and your true abilities.”

At this point, Steps to Knowledge seems to me to be disabusing the student of mental habits which lead to suffering.  Mental habits such as believing things not founded in experience (Step 5, “I believe what I want to believe”). Mental habits such as cherishing specialness (Step 13, “I want to be separate to be unique”). Mental habits such as justifying errors (Step 26, “My errors give birth to my knowledge”).  Mental habits such as judging others (Step 30, “Today I will observe my world”). Mental habits such as neglecting relationship (Step 45, “Alone I can do nothing”). Mental habits such as maintaining ideals (Step 54, “I will not live in idealism”).  Anyone who has reached Step 56, and has followed the instructions, has a fighting chance to be suffering less, other things being equal, than they were when they were on Step 1.

Here is the word cloud for Steps 50 to 55

Steps To Knowledge Steps 50-55 Word Cloud - I will accept my studenthood as it is

To recognize Knowledge, practice today. And the next day, and the next day, and the next day…

I will accept my studenthood as it is. It’s what I’ve been told to do, and besides, I suffer less that way.

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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.

It’s Been A While Since I Thought About Step 8

This is the second posts in a series of seven posts describing my experience of Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge, where I am instructed to review my engagement with the first 48 Steps.  I am writing what I wrote when I did the Step, sometime in January of 2011, with any additional commentary if needed.

Step 8 – Today I will be still – “I thought ‘You don’t need to tell me how to be still, buddy.’  So while I didn’t do the Step exactly as instructed, I did the Step”  I notice my breathing becoming both slower and shallower as I enter stillness.  I also notice a certain inner brightness, unrelated to the amount of light in the room.

Step 9 – In stillness all things can be known – “Being still is building a bridge for Knowledge to emerge in an unguarded moment.”  An unguarded moment as in “a moment where I’m not guarding the idea that I am my body, or that I am my individuality.”

Why Am I Doing This, Anyway? – “‘a troubled dream,’ ‘a fever dream.’ I’m taking comfort that I’m not just waiting for the Reaper.”  A Course in Miracles uses the phrase “dreams of fever” to describe what passes for reality for most people.  It is my sincere hope that my study of Steps to Knowledge will be helpful to others, that it will help my life to be something better than a troubled dream.

Step 10 – What is Knowledge? – “Unlike my little self, Knowledge has no desire to be separate.  I think I’m trying to approach Knowledge, but it says here Knowledge is my True Self.  My True Self is calling my little self to ItSelf.”  I’ve heard the little self called the ego, the concocted self, the secondary self, the constructed self, the imagined self, and so on.

Step 11 – I am not apart from life – “A recap of ACIM [A Course in Miracles].  The Separation is unreal, unhappy perception, does not exist.  We consider perception as reality, but reality is far happier.”  The perception which passes for reality is that we are not included in life, the reality is that I am not apart from life.

Step 12 – My individuality is to express life itself – “Just as the body is a communication tool, my individuality, my little self, is to express life.  Thinking about expressing breast milk.”  Let me explain.  Nursing mothers occasionally express milk to be consumed at a time when they’re not available.  In the same way, life is expressed through my individuality.  Thinking of the body as a communication tool is one of the sections of Chapter 8 of the Text of A Course in Miracles.

Step 13 – I want to be separate to be unique – “The price of Separation is infinitely higher than the payoff of uniqueness, or what ACIM calls specialness.”  Everyone is at a different station of separation or prodigality: some are headed for the far country, some are coming to their senses in the pig pen, some are on their way back to their father’s house.

Step 14 – Review “As far as I know, I did the Steps as given.  I can so see myself in my mind’s eye moderating a group of people who are at various stages of Steps.”  This hasn’t happened yet.  I am not an early adopter by temperament, neither do I have a history of early adoption, but I believe I am an early adopter of Steps to Knowledge.

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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.

“Ye Shall Be As Gods”

For reasons I don’t understand, the Bible decided not to elaborate on the thought processes of Eve, between the serpent’s temptation in Genesis 3, and the time Eve and Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

For reasons I don’t understand, the Bible decided not to elaborate on the thought processes of the Prodigal Son, between the time he first heard there was even such a place as the far country, and the time he said “Father, give me my share of the estate.” (Luke 15:12, New International Version).

I believe Eve entertained the thought, “If I ate the fruit, I’d be different than any creature in the garden.  Different from any plant, different from any animal, even different from Adam. I would be something that never before existed in the universe.  I would be special.”  I believe the Prodigal Son entertained the thought, “No one in my family ever been to the far country, not my father, not my older brother.  I’d be different from everyone in my family if I traveled to the far country.  I would be special.”

A Course in Miracles describes the human condition as having separated ourselves from God in pursuit of an experience of being special. Furthermore, because this experience of being special is an unreal illusion, we go to great lengths to defend the value of this experience, engaging in relationships (“special relationships,” either special love relationships or special hate relationships) for the purpose of reinforcing the idea of being special.

Step 13 of Steps to Knowledge, “I want to be separate to be unique,” recaps a good bit of the material in A Course in Miracles in a remarkably few words, in my opinion.  I consider the word “unique” to be but a synonym for “special.”

While being special has a certain buzz to it, our choice of it has had much greater costs than the benefits.  Eve must have thought “Maybe I should have asked God to elaborate when he said ‘Ye shall surely die.'”  The Prodigal Son recognized this as he was doling out the husks to the swine. I’ve been told that if I realize my motivation for separation, I will know that I want to come home, just like the Prodigal Son did.  Let this comment on Step 13 from a fellow student supply the exclamation point:

OK OK! I admit it. The whole thing of wanting to be God in my own life didn’t work out so well. I’m sorry for throwing that temper tantrum and storming out like that. It was brash and childish. Thank you for letting me experiment until I made a fool of myself and was forced to face the inevitable. I was sufficiently distracted for a few billion years and tried to pretend that I could manage on my own but I’m over it now. A better plan for Creation has failed to present itself to me. I have a hard enough time with the shopping list.

Can I come Home now? I miss my bed.

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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.