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.

Let’s Face Our Fears, Shall We?

FearWhat do people fear the most?  The Book of Lists reports the top ten human fears as

  1. Speaking before a group
  2. Heights
  3. Insects and bugs
  4. Financial problems
  5. Deep water
  6. Sickness
  7. Death
  8. Flying
  9. Loneliness
  10. Dogs

Shakespeare’s Hamlet wondered why people keep living and suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  He concluded that the prospect of what happens after death terrifies people to such an extent that they put up with the troubles of life.

Step 51 of Steps to Knowledge, “Let me recognize my fears so that I see the truth beyond them,” is the first step where the word fear is contained in the step itself.  The word “fear” is mentioned in passing in earlier steps, and I plan to describe those passing mentions in another post.

There are many ideas in our culture regarding fear, what it is (or isn’t), where it comes from, how it works, and what to do about it.  Let’s just say that some of these ideas are more helpful than others.  Just as Step 26, “My errors give birth to my Knowledge,” addressed a number of ideas in our culture regarding error, Step 51 addresses a number of ideas in our culture regarding fear.  I’m feeling an inclination to unpack this in a series of posts.

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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.

Серендипити – что же это за загадочное слово?

Серендипити

For English version click here

Сразу делаю оговорку для русскоязычных читателей, поскольку слово «серендипити» взято извне, не является «своим» русским словом. Кое-какие исследования предприняла, и вот, что нашла.

“Ни в одном русском словаре вы не найдете этого слова. А в англоязычном мире оно пользуется огромной популярностью, включено в наиболее известные словари, да и в обществе пользуются им довольно активно. Так что же это за загадочное слово, которое до сих пор нам неизвестно?”

Читаете дальше тут Странное слово «серендипити».

Так вот, в этом загадочным ключе, я могу описать свой опыт прохождения Шагов к Знанию не иначе, как ряд серендипных событий. Ну, очень люблю я это самое понятие “серендипити”!

Когда я дошла до Шага 26. Из моих заблуждений рождается Знание, это понятие серендипити проявилось во всей красе. В этом Шаге предлагается, чтобы я свои заблуждения не оправдывала. А если их взять, и без оглядки, посмотреть на них как счастливые открытия, которые меня вели в совершенно неожиданное направление? В то направление, где я стала познавать истину и таким образом ведут меня к Знанию?

Указатель поворота на Трассе 54 и непредусмотренную улицу

Я заблудилась летом 2012, шла туда, куда не стоило идти и чуть не оказалась во вязком болоте. К счастью, споткнулась, приостановилась, и впоследствии отправилась в путь, которое предлагают Шаги к Знанию. Можно называть это чем угодно, а я это называю серендипити.

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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.

Errors May Be Serendipitous

Serendipity and Serendipitous

 

 

 

 

 

 

Errors may be serendipitous

I like to describe my experience of taking Steps to Knowledge so far as a series of serendipitous events. Serendipity is something I am very partial to.

Wikipedia describes it this way:

“Serendipity is not just a matter of a random event, nor can it be taken simply as a synonym for “a happy accident” (Ferguson, 1999; Khan, 1999), “finding out things without searching for them” (Austin, 2003), or “a pleasant surprise” (Tolson, 2004) ..

The New Oxford Dictionary of English defines serendipity as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a satisfactory or beneficial way, understanding the chance as any event that takes place in the absence of any obvious project (randomly or accidentally), which is not relevant to any present need, or in which the cause is unknown.”

It goes on to say:

The serendipitous can play an important role in the search for truth, but is often ignored in the scientific literature because of traditional scientific behavior and scientific thinking based on logic and predictability.”

I added the bold italics to this phrase, since this speaks so loud and clear to me.

Errors may be serendipitous

When I reached Step 26. My Errors Give Birth to My Knowledge, this serendipity thing rose to its full height and opened in full bloom. It suggests in this Step that I not justify my errors, but what if I turn them around into fortuitous events that take me in a direction I was not intending? What if they bring me to value truth and in this leads me to true Knowledge?

One particular error I made in the summer of 2012 led me to the New Message from God and set me on the journey to Steps to Knowledge in October 2012. Call this what you will, but I call it serendipitous.

The corner of Route 54 and Unexpected Road

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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.

Less Judgment, More Observation

On the one hand, many people are familiar with the teaching of Jesus, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  (Matthew 7:1-2, New International Version) On the other hand, Christians are instructed to “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11, New International Version)  There is some fine print about the “Do not judge…” passage.

The word “judgment” has already appeared multiple times in Steps to Knowledge, and in all the instances so far, the context is that it is a hindrance to one’s knowing.  Judgment could be thought of as a habit of mental or moral sloth, a refusal to further examine the context or motivation of someone or some action.

Error exists, and it is something to avoid, because it has painful consequences.  Is judgment an error?  It looks that way from my perspective.  Someone will ask, “Then what should I do instead?”  The answer given by both step 29 and step 30 is to observe.  In step 29, I’m observing myself; in step 30, I’m observing the world.  The phrase “without judgment” appears 4 times in 7 sentences in step 30.  I surmise from this that I’m not supposed to observe so that I can come to a more informed judgment.  I’m being asked to cultivate observation, and starve, de-cultivate, the habit of judgment.

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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 Can Handle Being Taken Seriously

What do I mean by “being taken seriously?”  I mean “being taken at my word, as expressed in my actions.”  Why am I bringing this up?  Step 26 of Steps to Knowledge placed a great emphasis on using error for development.  Step 27 uses the phrase “being served by your experience:

“This point of view of being served by your experience is something you must cultivate. It does not justify the experience itself. Understand this. It merely gives you an opportunity to use your experience for your advancement and your empowerment.”

The point of this is that if a student has come to step 29, “I will observe myself today to learn of Knowledge,” it would be reasonable to think that he is agreeable with the idea of using error for development.  It would be plausible to think he accepts the idea of using his experience for his advancement and his empowerment.  The assigned practice for step 29 is to observing one’s experience on an hourly basis.  The assigned practice isn’t a person, but if it were, it would be a person that takes the student seriously, as if the student was a person who has just done steps 26 and 27.  Got 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.

There Are Some Things Here You Have Seen Before…

Affirmations

It takes a good bit of personal strength to get to where Steps to Knowledge wants to take me.  It takes a certain ability to not care too much about what my culture thinks about things.  So I experience a certain amount of comfort when I see something in Steps which I’ve seen before.  And the something is an affirmation.

Affirmations have been around for a long time.  In some Christian circles they are called “confessions”  They have been a cultural fad, they have been culturally mocked to scorn. Some people have had more success with affirmations than others.  Some people have a greater internal and external consistency with what they affirm.  What am I being asked to affirm?  “I have a wisdom that I wish to discover.”  Out of all the affirmations in the world, this one is only found here.  When I read this, I think “I wish to derive value from my errors, mistakes, wrong decisions and poor choices.”  When I read this, I think, “I wish to experience the love of God which I’ve been told that I am.”

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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 Shall I Do With My Errors?

I recall step 26 of Steps to Knowledge as a particularly helpful step for me, because it pointed out the difficulties with culturally conventional approaches to errors. It also gave some ideas as to what one should do.

The first thing to do is to resolve to derive value from error. Deriving value means to learn what is real and what is not, to learn what is important and what is not. I had a season of life where I was involved in the writing of scientific papers. Part of the process was to edit a paper after it had been reviewed by other researchers. My mentor encouraged me to extract every last drop of possible improvement from the comments of the reviewers.

Another thing to do is to look for cues and precursors. For example, it has been known for some time that people who are overweight have reasons for eating other than hunger. Sometimes they eat from boredom, or from loneliness.  Part of the resolution of these issues is becoming aware of the things that were done, or left undone, that supported the error. A painful error doesn’t just leap out of nowhere by itself; it has a gang of aiders and abettors, it has a complement of accomplices. Deriving value means identifying the accomplices, and subjecting them to the same scrutiny.

I believe someone is reading this and thinking “That sounds like a lot of work.” Perhaps, but I consider it a fair price to pay for the experience of being able to say to myself, “I’ve learned my lesson.”

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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.

Why Can’t I Forget My Poor Choices?

There are many people who manage to avoid the meta-mistake of justifying their mistakes, only to be tormented by their mistakes of the past.  They wish to forget the pain and suffering their mistakes caused, and sometimes think that if they forgot their mistakes, they could escape the torment.

Unfortunately, this is another variation on the theme of redacting one’s experience, creating a false self which is apart from life.  The cost is much higher than the benefit.

Furthermore, if I really could forget my mistakes, what would keep me from making them again?  What would keep me from an endless cycle of suffering?  It’s just not worth it.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.