Наслаждаться необременительной учебной программой

Наслаждаться необременительной учебной программой

For English version click here.

Я продолжаю заниматься «Шагами к Знанию» и радуюсь тому, что можно наслаждаться необременительной учебной программой. Как часто студентам приходится сказать, что можно наслаждаться необременительной учебной программой? И что на самом деле представляет собой необременительная учебная программа?

Необременительная учебная программа – это когда можно изучать предмет, а не надо прийти к заключениям, не надо сделать выводы. Наслаждаться необременительной учебной программой означает расследовать обширные пространства вне моего ума (Шаг 16), чтобы заниматься внутреннем слушанием (Шаг 15), слышать истину (Шаг 17), познавать истину (Шаг 18), развивать умение видеть (Шаг 19) и не позволять сомнения омрачить продвижение (Шаг 20).

Когда я дошла до Шага 21, третий обзор в программе, во время которого предлагается пересмотреть вышеупомянутые шаги и замечать как развивается процесс и как я продвигаюсь, я чувствовала несомненную радость. Я радовалась тому, что мне не надо было прийти к никаким заключениям, не надо было сделать никаких выводов. Я помню, как я радовалась возможностью наслаждаться необременительной учебной программой.

В моих записях написано:

“Как хорошо знать, что не надо сделать никаких выводов на данном этапе, что я иду по течению, следуя за Знанием, которое ведет меня туда, куда нужно, без всякого усилия с моей стороны. Принимаю этот факт с вдохновением и облегчением. Жизнь становится легче и радостнее. Всё идет по высшему плану.”

Вот в чем прелесть Шагов к Знанию, и это только начало. Наслаждаясь необременительной учебной программой, принимая тот факт, что я начинающий студент, от которого не требуется обременительных усилий, я свободна двигаться дальше с легким сердцем, как беззаботная стебель, греясь на солнце и кивая в ветерке.

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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.

Delighting In A Burden-Free Curriculum

delighting in a burden-free curriculum

As I continue my practice of Steps to Knowledge as a beginning student, I am happy to say that I am delighting in a burden-free currriculum. How often can students say that they are delighting in a burden-free curriculum? And what exactly is a burden-free curriculum, exactly?

A burden-free curriculum is one where judgments and conclusions are unnecessary, a burden-free curriculum allows students to engage in deeper inclinations, to explore the vast expanses that are beyond the mind (Step 16) in order to listen to their experience (Step 15), hear the truth (Step 17), feel the truth arising (Step 18), cultivate the ability to see (Step 19), and not allow doubt and confusion to cloud their progress (Step 20).

When I reached the Step 21 Review, which calls for looking back over the steps mentioned above, I remember feeling very happy. I felt very happy that I did not have to make conclusions. I remember feeling that this took the pressure off, I remember delighting in the burden-free curriculum offered by Steps to Knowledge. All that was required of me was to recognize the line of development and note the progress I had made thus far. I call this delightfully burden-free.

My notes say:

“It is so good to know that I don’t need to make any conclusions or judgments at this point, that I am just going with the flow, allowing Knowledge to guide me without even making a conscious effort, just going with it and allowing it to take me where it will. This is so refreshing and such a relief! Life has taken on a new lightness and joy. Everything is in perfect and divine order.”

This is the beauty of Steps to Knowledge, and we are only three weeks into the course. Delighting in a burden-free curriculum, accepting I am a beginning student freed from the burden of making conclusions and judgments, I am free to go on with a light heart, like a carefree stalk soaking up the sunshine and nodding in the breeze.

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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 True Core of My Being Is Pure, Unsullied

the true core of my being

Step 16 tells me that “beyond my mind is Knowledge.” Beyond my mind is also the true core of my being, my True Self. Where is this place beyond my mind? What are its qualities? A vast expanse of infinite possibilities opens up.

However, listening seems to be the key. I am to listen more carefully than the day before in Step 15. I am to listen for deeper inclinations. I am again to listen without judgment. I am to listen deeply so that I may learn to hear. I need to be still and develop the necessary refinement of listening and discernment.

This learning to hear and ability to listen carefully requires some application. I understand this to mean inner listening, listening for cues, inclinations and direction that come from within, not from external sources.

I picture this place beyond my mind as a vast dark void. Knowledge resides there. Knowledge is luminous and bright, so it lights up this dark expanse.

The True Core of My Being is Pure, Unsullied

When I think of listening, I think of music. I discovered Kristina Train recently, a singer with a soulful voice. I love certain music, songs that speak to my heart, melodies I listen to that open up the vast dark spaces inside me and show me the light. Kristina sings that she knows there’s somewhere everything is bright and one day [she’ll] call that life [she] dreams of, this life.

I want to say that this somewhere is the true core of my being, pure, unsullied.

I wrote in my notes for this Step: “I am trying to hold onto this truth and when I meditate on this Step, I can see this purity deep in my mind, my True Self.”

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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.

Внутреннее слушание

For English version click here.

Внутреннее слушание

Внутреннее слушание казалось бы не из самых легких задач. Внутреннее слушание требует особого внимания. А Шаг 15 в книге «Шаги к Знанию» призывает именно к этому роду занятия. Он начинает с заявлением: «Сегодня я буду слушать свой опыт, чтобы узнать содержание моего ума». Да уж! И как, позвольте спросить, я должна это сделать?

Последнее предложение дает мне подсказку: «Ты прислушиваешься к чему-то глубже, чем твой ум, но чтобы добраться до него, надо пройти через ум».

«Все страньше и страньше!» подумала я про себя. Да именно так придется делать, как Алиса в Стране Чудес – она провалилась сквозь землю и оказалась в совсем другом мире, где всё не так, как оказывается при первом взгляде, где всё даже очень любопытно.

Я решила, что “пройти через ум” потребует каких-то специальных усилий.

Я попробовала, и написала в своих записях следующее:

“Я не уверена, что делаю это правильно, но вот то, что произошло, когда я сделала этот шаг сегодня.

“Я представила, как будто я отправилась в космос, вне границ Земли через звездные пространства, пока я не оказалась в темном, темном месте, столь темном и плотном, что я думала, что не смогу выдержать, я задохнусь. Но я позволила себе погрузиться в это пространство, почувствовать его плотность, всю его темноту, как сажа или черный бархат, плотный и непроницаемый, принимать его и даже была готова остаться там, если понадобилось. Потом я увидела в каком-то расстоянии немного тусклого света, как будто дверь приоткрывается, сначала свет был очень слабым, но становился всё ярче, прорываясь через темноту сияющими лучами. Я двигалась в его сторону, шагала сквозь него, и оказалась в великолепном, сказочно красивом месте, таким знакомым, ярким, прозрачным, светлым. И я знала, что буду всегда возвращаться сюда.”
Это и есть то самое внутреннее слушание? Внутреннее слушание, которое позволит мне знать содержание моего ума? Я не знаю. Но знаю одно – когда я этим занималась, я почувствовала, что это верно, мне было комфортно и хорошо.

Сегодня я понимаю внутреннее слушание, как глубокое ощущение уверенности в правильности своего пути. Когда я слушаю без суждения, без оценки, без критики, и без завышенных ожиданий, то я действительно могу узнать себя истинного и содержание своего ума.

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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.

Listening To My Experience

Listening to my experience is not an activity I normally engage in on any given day. In fact, I am hard pressed to know precisely what this means and what is expected of me.

Step 15. I Shall Listen To My Experience Today begins with an affirmation: “Today I will listen to my experience to find out the content of my mind.”

Hmmm, a tall order, you may be thinking. And I did too. Even as a student of Knowledge, I have little to go on so far. I was told in the previous step, the Step 14 Review, that “Throughout your study plan, you will be investigating the content of your own experience.”

Alright, but please show me how, I hear myself saying.

I am given some clue in the last sentence of the Step: “You are listening for something deeper than the mind, but you must go through the mind to get there.”

I took this to mean I needed to engage in some serious meditation. However, I cannot say that meditation comes easy to me, especially when it entails “going through the mind.”

I did make some attempt, however, which my notes testify to. They say:

I am not sure I am doing this right, but this is what happened when I did this step today.

It was as though I travelled out into space beyond the confines of Earth, through the starry expanses until I found myself in a dark, dark place, so dark and dense that I thought I would be unable to stand it, I would suffocate. But I let myself sink into this space, feel its denseness, feel its pitch blackness, like soot or black velvet, dense and impenetrable, accept it and even be prepared to stay there if that’s what was meant to be.

Then in the distance I saw a crack of light, a door slightly open, first very faint, but then the light becoming stronger, breaking through the dark with ever brilliant rays, until I stepped through it, blinded at first, but then finding myself in a beautiful landscape. A landscape so familiar, so luminous and fresh. And I knew I would always return to this place.

Listening to my experience

Does this pass for listening to my experience to find out the content of my mind? I do not know. All I know is it felt true at the time, it felt familiar and comforting. It enabled me to see things and know things I might not have otherwise seen or known.

There are more pointers on this practice of inner listening here.

Listening to my experience and the very act of listening as such are open to a variety of interpretations. I find what Ronald Barthes, a linguist and philosopher, had to say about listening illuminating. He claimed that listening can be understood on three levels: alerting, deciphering, and understanding, whereby the third level requires turning off your judgment while listening.

I smile since this is precisely what Step 15 calls for: “you must listen without judgment to allow your mind to open.”

Today I understand listening to my experience to mean feeling and trusting what I know to be true.

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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 Am I Being With? Why Am I Being With It?

MeditationI took a brief vacation from blogging about Steps to Knowledge after the lengthy Step 49 review of the first 48 steps.  But I am now refreshed and ready to resume the ascent.  Step 50 is “Today I will be with Knowledge.”  What have we been told about Knowledge so far?  We have been told, among other things…

  • I brought Knowledge with me from my Ancient Home. (Step 1)
  • Knowledge is something I greatly need (Step 7)
  • Knowledge is my True Self, a self that is not apart from life (Step 10)
  • Knowledge must be distinguished from my thoughts (Step 15)
  • The Teachers of God assist my discovery of Knowledge (Step 23)
  • My life up to now is a demonstration of life without Knowledge (Step 28)
  • Reclaiming Knowledge is part of my mission in life (Step 33)
  • There is a particular pathway to Knowledge which works for me (Step 38)
  • Reaching Knowledge, like everything else, is a group effort (Step 45)
  • Knowledge works in the limited context of my individuality (Step 46)

After all the amazing things that have been said about Knowledge, to say that I can be with Knowledge is another amazing thing.  Can that really be so?  There seems to be some awareness that I would wonder things like this, as the step instructs “Do not argue with yourself about the reality of your pursuit, for that is wasteful and meaningless.”

I still struggled with the idea of practicing feeling something when I did this step.  It helped when they said “relax and be present.”  I could do that.

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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.

Can I Follow Instructions? Can I Take What I Get?

This is the third post in a series of seven posts regarding Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge, where I am instructed to review my practice and experience of the first 48 steps.  I am sharing what I wrote when I originally did this step, with additional commentary as needed.

Step 15 – I shall listen to my experience today – “I don’t remember doing this step very well, but I’m sure I did it.  Listening without judgment is good fer what ails ya.”  What I meant is that I didn’t have much of a memory of my doing this step.  I consider “good fer what ails ya” to be the only correct spelling of this idiom.

Step 16 – Beyond my mind is Knowledge – “I did the Step, but I don’t remember hearing any deeper inclinations at the time.”  Does this mean I failed at the Step?  Not necessarily.  The Step 49 review states:

“You will find as you proceed that some of your failures will lead to greater successes, and that some of what you thought of as successes may lead to failures. This will underscore your whole system of evaluation and will lead you to a greater recognition. This will make it possible for you to be compassionate towards yourself and towards others whom you now judge for their successes and their failures.”

I have a tiny bit of mountain climbing experience, and from this I know that some paths which seem easy at the time result in dead ends, and some paths which seem unnecessarily difficult at the time are actually the paths with the highest probability of success.  Therefore, the ability to take what I get from following the directions is important.

Step 17 – Today I want to hear the truth – “The truth totally disrupted my ideals to be a hero, a hunger-ender, an apostle, a Jedi Knight.”  I’ve only been told all my life by people that they have great expectations of me.  They have quoted the Bible verse “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48, New International Version).  I have consistently disappointed both my expectations of myself, and other people’s expectations of me.  I managed to simultaneously flunk out and get kicked out of theological seminary.  I was ineffective at higher and higher levels of volunteering in the Hunger Project.  The disappointment of ambition is an important milestone.  Why am I telling anybody anything about anything?  It’s what I do.  I hope it helps.

Step 18 – Today I feel the truth arising within myself – “I did the Step, but I confess to be bewildered as to all the Steps that say ‘Feel this,’ ‘Feel that.’  The text [of Step 18] was helpful.  I have to become the better person I want Knowledge to make me, in order to approach Knowledge.  The whole Wizard of Oz thing.  I remember thinking ‘Yeah, right, like I know my true goal in life.'”  In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the Wizard gave a task to the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion which required them to bring forth the qualities they desired from the Wizard (intelligence, empathy, and courage, respectively).

Step 19 – Today I wish to see – “I did a hockey puck and a spoon, and I recall that I tried to imagine how the puck got its scratches, and that the light I saw reflected off the spoon was not the spoon.  Just looking at something is loving that thing.  Everything in nature (including me) will reveal its secrets to me if I look at it without trying to impose my thoughts and wishes on it.” I was improvising on the quote from American scientist George Washington Carver:

“Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough.”

Step 20 – I will not let doubt and confusion slow my practice – “I did a rock, and something else.  It’s as if they knew that at this point, doubt and confusion might arise.”

Step 21 – Review – “I did the review, and followed the instructions to chill out.”  Ok, ok, the instructions didn’t literally say to chill out, but they did say to avoid making conclusions and observe the line of development.

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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 Truth Could Have Unforeseen Consequences

Step 17 of Steps to Knowledge. Today I want to hear the truth. Portrait of Paul Miller by Richard Avedon

Step 17 of Steps to Knowledge, “Today I want to hear the truth,” is the third step so far to have the word “today” in it.  It was previously encountered in Step 8, “Today I will be still” and Step 15, “I will listen to my experience today.”  I mention this because I believe that what is meant by the word “today” is not “today and only today,” but “today and every day from now on.”  But my mind is more comfortable at the thought of “today” as “today and today only.”

Some people might consider this step and say “Well, of course I want to hear the truth.” But this is more than just all the propositions that are true.  What if the truth was that you needed to leave your job?  What if the truth was that you needed to get into a different line of work?  What if the truth was that you needed to leave where you lived, and move to a large city, 1,800 miles away?

What if the truth was that you are not the person you have imagined yourself to be? What if the truth was that you were a much better person than the person you have imagined yourself to be?  There would be a certain degree of shock to discover that.

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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 Unexpected Treasure

Step 15 and Step 16 of Steps to Knowledge link to each other similar to the way Step 8 and Step 9 link to each other.  People doing Step 8 ask “Is this stillness thing important?” and Step 9 replies “Indeed yes, for in stillness all things can be known.”  People doing Step 15 ask “Is this inner listening thing important?”  Step 16 replies, “Absolutely, because beyond your mind, beyond the turbulent surface that most people identify as their minds, lies Knowledge.”

Step 16 declares that Knowledge, the great mystery of a person’s life, a person’s True Self, which is not apart from life, has things to communicate; thoughts, impressions, inclinations and direction.  As I think of this, I recall the words of King Solomon in the book of Proverbs regarding the benefits of receiving and striving after wisdom:

Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you. (Proverbs 2:9-11, New International Version)

Near the end of what is known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44, New International Version)

Many people fail to find the treasure because they are deceived by the ordinary appearance of the field in which the treasure is buried.  People wonder, “Can there be anything of value in that cacophony of restless, wandering thoughts which is my mind?”  The answer of Steps to Knowledge at this point is “Yes, but it’s going to take some practice to be able to sort it out.”

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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 Other Side Of The Stillness Coin

I’ve been told that if I can be still, I can know, I can experience things as self-evident in a way which inspires consistent action.  But how can I be still when the thought that I have to change the kitty litter is right there in front of my mind’s face?

Step 15 of Steps to Knowledge is cultivating a new mental skill/habit/attitude, that of examining/listening to the content of one’s mind.  The step seems to anticipate that many of the thoughts that are encountered in this practice are little bits and pieces of the “shadow,” little bits and pieces of the animal soul.  I say that because the practice instructions say almost the same thing in two consecutive sentences.

“This will require that you listen without judgment of yourself, even if the content of your thoughts is disturbing. Even if the content of your thoughts is disagreeable, you must listen without judgment to allow your mind to open.”

The practice is to observe without judgment, which may be a little…tricky. Judgment has a certain survival value, so we tend to get a little attached to it.  Inner listening, being aware of the content of our minds, is the other side of the stillness coin.

At this point, I’m recalling a passage in the book of Proverbs that doesn’t get preached on all that often…

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;
for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.
When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.
You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants. (Proverbs 27:23-27, New International Version)

If you develop the ability to give careful attention to the condition of your mind, it will serve you well in the future.

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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.