Step 2. Knowledge is with me. Where am I? – Photoquoting

Step2-Triathlon-WordPress-FitThe people in this picture are actually trying to get somewhere. They’re trying to get to the end of the swimming portion of a triathlon. But this picture captured my answer to the question of Step 2 “Knowledge is with me. Where am I?” of Steps to Knowledge. I was thrashing and flailing on the turbulent surface of my mind.

Knowledge is with me. Where am I?

It seems to be a good thing to think about the steps in both words and pictures. It seems to be a good thing to put a post with this picture along with the other posts which mention Step 2.

I am currently on the Step 42 Review, the second time through Steps to Knowledge.

I am currently blogging about Step 95, “How can I possibly fulfill myself?” I seem to be on a bit of a dither. I am confronted with the inadequacy of my words to convey the experience. If I write something about Step 95, and someone reads it, without grasping the significant amount of preparation that has taken place in Steps 1 through 94, have I helped?

I have made photoquotes for Step 1 through Step 16, “Beyond my mind is Knowledge,” without doing the Review steps (Steps 7 and 14). I’m managing to keep the photoquotes page current, more or less. I am experiencing a certain flow of enthusiasm regarding photoquotes.

I have only made posts of photoquotes for the first two steps. This may take a while, but I’d like to believe I’ll get around to it.

Knowledge is with me. Where am I? I am a little of the way up the mountain. I am a student. I am a marginally competent student. I am a student who is increasing in competence. I am someone who is doing the work of reclaiming Knowledge. I am someone who is learning to learn without fear, without ambition. If Knowledge possesses a perfect utilization of my nature, then where do I sign up?

Alisa writes:

This picture shows up on many spiritual websites that address purpose, meaning and direction in life, but I do not know who made it. It resonated with me because when I did Step 2, I saw myself standing at the bottom of a stairway, a stairway leading upwards, with something gleaming and beckoning at the top. Knowledge shines like a beacon and I have the urge to reach it. Where am I? I am at the bottom ready to ascend.

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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.

Am I Missing Some Essential Point?

missing some essential point

There are times when I feel I am missing some essential point. Perhaps I am being too hard on myself, but I have found that working through such times of confusion often leads to new consciousness.

I have shared on Step 36. My Life Is a Mystery to Explore before in this space, but I will elaborate some more now. I shared earlier that when I did this Step, I had the desire to explore my life, I wanted to delve beneath the surface and discover something greater, more meaningful, more profound. I still have this desire, I still strive for comprehension, I still recognize a deeper yearning. Yet still I feel I may be missing some essential point. I often wonder if I am merely construing everything to suit my personal preferences. I suspect, however, that my personal preferences abide on the surface of my mind and, while they are a part of me, they do not represent the true core of my being, my True Self.

Step 36 says that if I am seeking for greater meaning, which is true meaning, I must penetrate the surface of my mind. It also mentions my Teachers again, now calling them Spiritual Teachers. These Teachers were first introduced as the Teachers of God in Step 22.

I wrote in my notes that I felt some doubt about having my own Spiritual Teachers who are looking out for me personally, supporting and guiding me. Who are these teachers and why are they interested in me? Is this not just wishful thinking? Or perhaps, again, I am missing some essential point here, my notes say.

However, I am told in this Step that the quality of my relationship with my Teachers is essential to give me strength and encouragement. They know the way to Knowledge, they have passed this way before, and they are seeking to share it with me. I am willing to trust that this is so. If this is part of the mystery of my life I am to explore, I am up for it.

Am I missing some essential point?

missing some essential point

I did this Step on December 13, 2012. Today I can say that I have been able to develop a deeper relationship with my Teachers. When I enter stillness, they are there, they give me strength and encouragement. They tell me I am doing fine, but I am still learning and I still have a long way to go. How do I know this? I see my Teachers in my mind’s eye and I hear what they are conveying to me in my mind’s ear. If I am missing some essential point, I think that is natural. After all my life is a mystery to explore and mysteries are not unraveled in one day, or even one year. Finding the missing essential point may take quite some time.

I am on a mysterious lifetime journey and I trust that any essential point I am missing will eventually be revealed.

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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.

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.

Another Force Of Nature Speaks

Another force of nature speaks at Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, USA

I have listened to the forest, where God is full of life of every shape and size. I have listened to the mountain, where God is full of ancient strength. I have listened to the river, where God is restless in these swelling and ebbing currents. I have listened to the ocean, where God has said with the voice of many waters, “I have work to do.”

Another force of nature speaks

Step 75, “Today I will listen to my Self” of Steps to Knowledge, adds a force of nature for me to hear. Not the feverish little clod of grievances and ailments complaining that the world will not turn on a dime to make it happy. This is the first time the term “Greater Self” is used to describe Knowledge. This Greater Self is united with the Teachers who were introduced in Step 22, “I am surrounded by the Teachers of God.” The Teachers have been mentioned in a number of steps between Step 22 and Step 75. This is the first time the term “Spiritual Family” is mentioned. This Greater Self is united with my Spiritual Family. I am asked to listen to my True Self today.

The point of the Step is to practice listening to that True Self, not so that I can get an answer about this or that today, but to prepare myself for the moment when that True Self offers a thought, an impression, an inclination or a direction. I recall when doing this Step that my True Self was another force of nature, like the ocean or a mountain. I prepare for the day when another force of nature speaks.

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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.

Should You Trust Your Deepest Inclinations?

icebergStep 72 of Steps to Knowledge, “I will trust my deepest inclinations today,” is not the first time the word “inclination” has appeared in Steps to Knowledge. It is the first time the word has appeared the word has appeared in the actual step.

Should you trust your deepest inclinations?

In Step 16, “Beyond my mind is Knowledge,” inclinations is one of the ways Knowledge expresses itself. I listened for deeper inclinations. In Step 50, “Today I will be with Knowledge,” I was told that I had an inclination to know. I was told to trust that inclination. In Step 58, “Knowledge is with me,” I was told that I have “true inclinations,” as in “genuine and effective inclinations.” In Step 71, “I am here to serve a greater purpose,” I was told that I had an inclination toward that greater purpose. The inclination to know, and the inclination toward greater purpose are “bootstrap loaders” as it were, standards against which all inclinations are to be compared. Steps to Knowledge uses the word “inclination” in the common sense of the word, as in “tendency” or “predisposition.”

Just as it takes some work to sort out the voice of Knowledge from the tumult of inner voices, it takes some practice to sort out the deepest inclinations from the jumble of desires, compulsions and wishes. What do you want after the empty space has been filled? What do you want after the garbage has been taken out? What do you want after that itch between the shoulder blades that you just can’t reach has been scratched? I find these questions helpful to ponder when hunting for my deepest inclinations.

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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.

Истинная суть моей души

Истинная суть моей души.

Истинная суть моей души

For English version click here.

Когда я впервые сделала Шаг 16 (10 ноября 2012), я обратила внимание на одну мысль, которая как будто звучала из глубин моего ума – “истинная суть твоей души, чиста, незапятнанна”.

Шаг 16  гласит, что “вне моего ума находится Знание”. Вне моего ума также находится истинная суть моей души, себя истинного. Где находится это место, которое вне моего ума? Каковы его качества? Обширное пространство бесконечных возможностей открывается.

Однако, пожалуй, слушание играет значительную роль тут. Я должна слушать более внимательно, чем потребовалось вчера, когда я занималась Шагом 15. Я должна прислушаться к более глубоким склонностям души. Я должна снова слушать без суждения. Я должна слушать глубоко так, чтобы я могла учиться слышать. Я должна войти в состояние внутренней тишины и доводить навык слушания до высокого уровня изысканности и проницательности.

Это умение слышать и способность внимательно слушать требуют применения некоторых усилий. Я это понимаю, как внутреннее слушание, прислушиваясь к репликам, подсказки и направлению души, которые идут из внутри, а не из внешних источников.

Я представляю это место вне своего ума как обширная темная пустота. Знание проживает там. Знание – светлое и яркое, поэтому оно освещает и озаряет это темное пространство.

Истинная суть моей души

Когда я думаю о слушании, я думаю о музыке. Я недавно обнаружила такую певицу, как Кристина Трэйн с её проникновенным, изысканным голосом. Я люблю определенную музыку, песни, которые находят отклик в моим сердце, мелодии, которые открывают своим светом обширные темные места во мне и показывают мне истину. Кристина поет о том, что она знает, что есть место, где все ярко, осветлено, и однажды [она будет] называть ту жизнь, о чем она мечтает, этой жизнью. Мне хочется сказать, что это место и есть истинная суть моей души, чистая, незапятнанная.

Я пытаюсь держаться за эту правду и когда я размышляю об этом Шаге, я вижу эту чистоту глубоко в душе, себя истинного.

Напоследок, есть у меня желание сделать такую оговорку для русскоязычных читателей. Чувствую, что мой пост слишком сумбурный, неграмотный, поэтому хочу предложить вашему вниманию ещё одну песню, которая наверняка ближе к сердцу, и может быть кое-что объяснит.

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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.

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 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.