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.

Я желаю слышать истину

Я желаю слышать истину

Touch Drawing by Deborah Koff-Chapin

For English version click here.

Я желаю слышать истину, поэтому я занимаюсь Шагами к Знанию.

Шаг 17 “Сегодня я хочу слышать истину” уверяет меня, что истина – вещь полезная, она полностью на моей стороне. Однако, в тексте Шага и есть оговорка о том, что эта истина может быть шокирующей и может разрушить мои планы и замыслы. Я готова испытывать шок, хотя никакого шока я пока не испытываю. Я даже готова к тому, чтобы разрушались мои планы и замысли, хотя пока ничего не разрушалось. Это значит, что я не слышу истину, что ли?

Но я не падаю духом, ведь дальше в тексте говорится: “Развивая способность слышать и желание слышать, ты приобретешь то, чего ты ищешь”. Я ищу истину и готова принять её в любой форме. Заявление несколько самонадеянное, кто-то скажет. Может быть, но я готова пойти на риск.

Я помню, как будучи студенткой в университете, я открыла для себя Фридриха Ницше и очень увлекалась им.

Может быть он говорил следующее, а может быть и нет, не важно, эта цитата всё-таки блестяще подходит к этому Шагу: «Иногда люди не хотят слышать правду, потому что они не хотят разрушить свои иллюзии».

Я желаю слышать истину

Я желаю слышать истину, я не боюсь того, что мои иллюзии будут разрушены.

В моих записях по этому шагу я писала: я чувствую, что готова рисковать и готова слышать истину, которая отличается от моих предубежденных соображений. Я глубоко убеждена, что какова бы ни была истина, она лучше всего, не ущербной, а только полезной.

В тот день, когда я занималась этим шагом, слова песни Роллинг Стоунз сразу пришли в голову: ты не всегда можешь получить того, что хочешь, но если постараться ты можешь получить как раз того, в чем нуждаешься.

Я желаю слышать истину, для меня это является постоянной нуждой.

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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 Desire To Hear The Truth

I Desire to Hear the Truth

Touch Drawing by Deborah Koff-Chapin

I desire to hear the truth, which is one of my strong motivations for practicing Steps to Knowledge.

I own a set of Soul Cards with haunting, thought-provoking touch drawings by Deborah Koff-Chapin. The one I share here speaks to my desire to hear the truth and now I know why I am drawn to these cards and this artist.

Step 17. Today I Want to Hear the Truth assures me that the truth is utterly beneficial to me. However, it does qualify this statement by suggesting that at first it might by quite shocking and disappointing to my other plans and goals. I am ready to be shocked, although nothing shocking has occurred so far. I am even ready to be disappointed, to be shown the error of my plans and goals, but I have not been disappointed so far. Does this mean I am not hearing the truth? I will not be discouraged though, for the Step goes on to say, “Developing the ability to hear and the desire to hear will yield to you that which you seek.” I seek the truth and am not afraid of what it might be. Rather a bold and presumptious statement, someone may be thinking. Perhaps, but I’m willing to take the risk.

I remember discovering Friedrich Nietzsche back in university and finding myself very intrigued by what he wrote. He may or may not have said the following, but someone did, and it fits perfectly with this Step.

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

This does not apply to me though. I desire to hear the truth and am not going to fret over my destroyed illusions.

I Desire to Hear theTruth

My notes for this step say, “I feel as though I am ready to take the risk and ready for a truth that does not fit my preconceived conceptions. I am certain deep within that whatever the truth may be it cannot be detrimental, only beneficial.”

And the day I did this Step, the words of a Rolling Stones’ song came immediately to mind about how “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might just get what you need.”

I desire to hear the truth, this is an ongoing need for me.

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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 Take A Step Into A Larger World?

This is the fourth post in a series of seven posts regarding my experience of Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge.  In this step, I am directed to review my practice and experience of the first 48 steps.  I am sharing what I wrote when I did this step, and adding commentary when needed.

Step 22 – I am surrounded by the Teachers of God – “This step presents the Teachers as critters who have just been a little ways further down the road I’m on. I commented further on this step in this book”  I finally got around to writing about my experience of the steps when I did them, when I did step 22.

Step 23 – I am loved, surrounded and supported by the Teachers of God – “I remember finding this Step as unusual (see commentary)”  This is the commentary I wrote at the time: “One thing I find noteworthy about this step is that it I one of the rare (so far) occasions in Steps where something good is said about the student in his current state.  The feeling for me is a feeling of connectedness, a feeling someone wants me to hit the jackpot, to find the great treasure, to win the brass ring.  I have this thought that, generally speaking, the Teachers don’t do flattery.”

Step 24 – I am worthy of God’s love – “I recall having a nervousness about this step.  What great efforts will I have to make to repair my errors?  I didn’t have an answer for that.  I still don’t”  The step said “Your worthiness in the sight of God is unchanged. There is only great effort to repair your errors so that you may experience your True Self so that it may be rendered into the world.”  At this point, slowly backing away from suffering over my errors is a good first step.

Step 25 – I am at one with the greatest truth of life – “I was nervous that the Step said my Teachers are within me.  See above regarding feeling things.”  Steps 22 and 23 went to great lengths to say that the Teachers of God weren’t just mental constructs or helpful metaphors, but actual individuals.  And now they say they are within me?!?  I’ve already written about my issues regarding practicing feeling things here and here.

Step 26 – My errors give birth to my Knowledge – “This step made me have a great deal of respect for the authors.  I wanted to make the pain of my errors disappear, but not learn from them.  They killed off many bad ideas (or incomplete ideas) in one paragraph.”  If I can learn from my errors, I have a good chance of not committing them again.  They killed off the ideas that error non-exists, that error is pure service, and error could be justified.

Step 27 – I have a wisdom which I wish to discover – “I remember the same thing about this step as Step 17.”  On further review, this Step took what was in Step 17 and elaborated on it, so this is hardly surprising.

Step 28 – Review – “I don’t think I’ve had any miracles yet.  I remember being nervous if I had done the Steps as hard, as much as I shoulda.”  The prayer in Step 28 says “I accept the miracles of my life as a demonstration of the presence of Knowledge…”  The word miracle is used exactly twice in Steps to Knowledge.  A miracle is a demonstration of the presence of the great mystery of one’s 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.

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.

Songs May Evoke The Truth

Lyudmila Zykina, National Folk Singer of Russia

This song “Ivushka” (The Weeping Willow) written in 1957 by outstanding Soviet composer Grigory Ponomarenko to the words by Russian poet Vassily Alferov and performed by National Russian Folk Singer Lyudmila Zykina touches my heart-strings and opens up the deeper mind where I can hear, feel, and see the Truth.

Зорька золотая светит над рекой,
Ивушка родная, сердце успокой.
Ивушка зелёная, над рекой склонённая,
Ты скажи, скажи не тая, где любовь моя.

Были с милым встречи у твоих ветвей,
Пел нам каждый вечер песни соловей,
Ивушка зелёная, над рекой склонённая,
Ты скажи, скажи не тая, где любовь моя.

Но ушёл любимый, не вернётся вновь,
С песней соловьиной кончилась любовь.
Ивушка зелёная, над рекой склонённая,
Ты скажи, скажи не тая, где любовь моя.
Ты скажи, скажи не тая, где любовь моя.

I did not find an English translation of this particular song, so I will provide my own. This is not a word for word translation, but my personal interpretation of the meaning.

In the golden light of the setting sun, a weeping willow dips its green boughs over the river, bringing peace to the hearts of those who seek.

Its leaves whisper secrets of love, of amorous couples who meet under its branches to hear the nightingale sing. Love comes and goes, but the green weeping willow forever bends low over the river, whispering its secrets.

The video that accompanies the song depicts the Russia I have come to love, and I dream of living in a simple log cabin by a river where the weeping willow bends its boughs and whispers its Truth.

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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 Wish To Know The Truth

Sunset of Truth on the Upper Volga Reservoir, Tverskaya Oblast, Russia

I often ask to be shown the Truth, I often wish to know the Truth, in fact this is a permanent, constant desire of mine. But how can I really know?

Steps to Knowledge infers that I can refine the faculties of my mind to hear, feel, and see the Truth. And I must confess that I felt a certain amount of delight when I reached the following Steps; they spoke to something deep within.

Step 17. Today I Want To Hear The Truth tells me, “Developing the ability to hear and the desire to hear will yield to you that which you seek.”

Yes, I seek, and Yes, I want to hear the Truth, this is an ongoing need for me.

Step 18. Today I Feel The Truth Arising Within Myself develops the concept, saying, “It is something you must feel. To have a feeling orientation, your mind must be still. Truth is something you will feel with your entire body, with your entire being.”

Words I used to try and describe this feeling in the past are “I just feel it in the core of my being,” “I feel it in the marrow of my bones.” It has to be experienced, felt, and then you just know. That is how it is with me.

Step 19. Today I Wish To See poses a trickier task since it calls for looking at a physical object, but also says, “The desire to see, then, is the desire to see a greater truth. This requires a greater honesty and a greater openness of mind.”

I wish to know the truth

When I did this Step, I wrote in my notes:

Frankly, I have been having trouble with this step because it calls for looking at a physical object and I am wondering “okay, so what’s supposed to happen when I do?” Like it’s going to miraculously turn into something else before my eyes if I look at it long enough. Huh?

But I realized just now that this is not the point, the physical object is just a solid reference point for starting off. This Step is rather an exercise in impartiality, or flexibility, if you will. It’s not the physical object that is the key, but the way I look at it, my ability to look without preconceived notions or expectations. And then this extends to everything else in the world around me–situations, other people, my own self and the way I perceive things, allowing me to go beyond what “seems” to be on the surface, to some deeper truth within.

I feel that this Step is directing me toward learning how to see with my inner eye, beyond the physical as it seems to appear before me. 

All of this brings me back to one fundamental axiom for me in life—if you feel a persistent tug, go with it, for there you may find the Truth. I felt a persistent tug to return to Russia after studying in Moscow for a semester in 1981. I felt this tug for nine years, until I returned.

And here I have found the environment where the Truth is slowly being revealed to me.

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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.