What Is Your Freedom Good For?

Juneteenth. What is your freedom good for?Today, the descendants of American slaves, and friends of freedom commemorate the landing of Major General Gordon Granger at Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that the enslaved were now free. American poet Langston Hughes wrote:

With John Brown at Harper’s Ferry, Negroes died.
John Brown was hung.
Before the Civil War, days were dark,
And nobody knew for sure
When freedom would triumph
“Or if it would,” thought some.
But others knew it had to triumph.
In those dark days of slavery,
Guarding in their hearts the seed of freedom,
The slaves made up a song:
Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
That song meant just what it said: Hold On!
Freedom will come!
Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
Out of war it came, bloody and terrible!
But it came! Some there were, as always,
Who doubted that the war would end right,
That the slaves would be free,
Or that the union would stand,
But now we know how it all came out.
Out of the darkest days for people and a nation,
We know now how it came out.
There was light when the battle clouds rolled away.
There was a great wooded land,
And men united as a nation.

What is your freedom good for?

But what is freedom for? Jesus taught his disciples, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 25:25-28, New International Version)

The 16th-century German Christian Martin Luther seems to me to echo that vibration in his treatise “On the Freedom of the Christian,” when he writes

“A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one.”

I consider Steps to Knowledge to confirm, in its own way, the truth of the words of Jesus, and the truth expressed by Martin Luther. The word “freedom” is first mentioned in Step 52, “I am free to find the source of my Knowledge.” The word “freedom” appears 16 times in three different steps between Step 52 and Step 93. It appears 13 times in Step 94, “My freedom is to find my purpose.” The word “purpose” is one of the major themes of Steps to Knowledge. The word “purpose” appears 29 times in 16 different steps between Step 12 and Step 93. It first appears in a step in Step 71, “I am here to serve a greater purpose.”

I consider Step 94 to be watering the seed sown in Step 52:

“What value can freedom possibly have except to enable you to find your purpose and to fulfill it? Without purpose, freedom is merely the right to be chaotic, the right to live without external restraint. But without external restraint, you will merely act out the harshness of your internal restraint. Is this an improvement? Overall it is not an improvement, though it can lead to opportunities for self-discovery.”

In studying Steps to Knowledge, we are getting free to be our true selves, true selves which are not apart from life. We are getting free to find our purpose. Will we succeed? All I know is that we’re working on it.

What is your freedom good for?

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

I Will Accept My Non-Acceptance As It Is

Step 70 of Steps to Knowledge is a review, but not a review of the past seven steps, as Step 56 and Step 63 are.  Step 70 is a review of the past three weeks worth of practice.  Step 70 is a review of Steps 50 through 69.  One could call it “the little big review,” as Step 49, a review of Steps 1 through 48, is “the big review.”  Steps 1 through 7 are reviewed a total of three times (Step 7, Step 14, Step 49). Steps 8 through 48 are reviewed two times (once in the weekly review, and once in Step 49). Steps 50 through 62 are reviewed two times (once in the weekly review, and once in Step 70). Steps 64 through 69 are reviewed once, in Step 70.  This is the first of a series of three posts on the Step 70 review.

Step 70 is one of three steps (49, 70, and 140) which use the word “Congratulations!”  I’m not exactly sure why congratulations are in order, but anyone who has reached this point realizes that Steps to Knowledge means what it says.  Therefore, I will accept the idea that a certain accomplishment has taken place.

I wrote more about my experience in the Step 56 and Step 63 reviews than I did in the Step 70 review.  But I believe it might still be useful to share what I wrote with a little bit of commentary.

I will accept my non-acceptance as it is

Step 50 – Today I will be with Knowledge – “I seem to recall that I did the practice, but I have no memory of any particular experience.”

Step 51 – Let me recognize my fears so that I may see the truth beyond them – “There is truth beyond my fear that I’m going to **** it all up, fail to reclaim Knowledge.”  In the Step 56 review I wrote “I recall the Bible verse about how the devil, through the fear of death, keeps people in lifelong bondage. Fear reduces to the fear of death, when the chain is followed long enough.  I considered the truth behind a laundry list of fears.”  I am pleased with myself that I wrote a number of posts about this Step.

Step 52 – I am free to find the source of my Knowledge – “I am free to receive God.” In the Step 56 review I wrote “I didn’t get this Step. God is the source of my Knowledge. Does this step mean I’m free to find God today?  I took a vacation of a couple of months before completing this step in the midst of my bewilderment.” On further review, I consider that an error. Don’t do that.

Step 53 – My gifts are for others – “I am mystified by my gifts.  I don’t even know what my gifts are. Child said my autism is a gift.” In the Step 56 review I wrote “This Step was not controversial to me.  I have had a lifelong desire to contribute, but it has been thwarted, mocked, stomped on till it don’t move no more.”

Step 54 – I will not live in idealism – “I have an ideal to be normal.  I have an ideal to be useful.” I wrote in the Step 56 review, “I only have 70 trillion ideals, be a super-missionary, end world hunger, enlighten the planet, etc.”  Between the time I did this step and now, I have given up on the ideal of being normal.  I would like to fulfill my mission in life, though.

Step 55 – I will accept the world as it is – “So this is the world I came to serve.  Talk about your fixer upper.”  In the Step 56, review, I wrote “I accept that I don’t want to accept the world as it is, not even a little bit.”  Acceptance has to start somewhere.

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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.

How Will You Use Your Freedom?

 Martin Luther asked "As a Christian, how will you use your freedom?"

As I pondered Step 57 of Steps to Knowledge, “Freedom is with me,” I recalled Martin Luther‘s treatise “On the Freedom of a Christian,” written in 1520.  Many Christians are familiar with this work.  There is a quotation from this work that many people remember:

“A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one.”

Martin Luther used the words of Paul to elaborate on this seeming paradox.

“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (I Corinthians 9:19-23, New International Version)

How will you use your freedom?

Freedom is never just freedom from some restricting influence or circumstance.  Freedom is freedom to be someone, freedom to do something.  But what?

The word “freedom” isn’t mentioned in Steps to Knowledge until Step 52 “I am free to find the source of my Knowledge.”  What does Steps to Knowledge say we should get free from?

“You who have lived under the weight of your own imagination, you who have been a prisoner to your own thoughts and to the thoughts of others, you who have been intimidated and threatened by the appearances of this world now have hope, for true freedom abides within you.”

Other things to get free from in Step 57 are unforgiveness from the past, anxiety over the future, and avoidance of the present.

But what are we getting free to?  Step 52 offers a brief description:

“What other freedom is free except that which enables you to receive the gift of your true life? All other freedom is the freedom to be chaotic, the freedom to harm yourself. The great freedom is to find your Knowledge and to allow it to express itself through you.”

In studying Steps to Knowledge, we are getting free to be our true selves, true selves which are not apart from life.  We are getting free to fulfill the mission we have in life.  Will we succeed?  All I know is that we’re working on it.

What are you getting free from?  What are you getting free to?  How will you use your freedom?

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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 I Am I Free To Find Again?

Lack of Clarity

From time to time, I am unhappy with my study of a step in Steps to Knowledge.  I had one of these unhappy times with Step 52, “I am free to find the source of my Knowledge.”  The words were easy enough to understand, and the sentence was well-formed.  I wasn’t clear as to why this step should be in this position in the sequence.  I also wasn’t clear as to why the Step used this particular wording.

Was I not free to find the source of my Knowledge when I was on Step 51, but something happened during the study of Step 51 that made me free to find the source of my Knowledge?  Will I still have this freedom when I get to Step 53?

The Step says…

“The source of your Knowledge exists within you and beyond you as well. There is no distinction to the source of Knowledge where it exists, for it is everywhere. Your life has been saved because God has planted Knowledge within you. But you will not realize your salvation until Knowledge has been allowed to emerge and to bestow its gifts upon you.”

I wanted the Step to say “I am free to find God.”  But that seemed to be more than what the Step was saying.  There seemed to be some purpose in wording it as “I am free to find the source of my Knowledge.”  I didn’t get what the purpose of that wording was when I did the Step.  I still don’t.

Who knows, maybe I’ll discover at a later date that my willingness to do Step 52, even though I didn’t find my engagement to be entirely satisfactory, even though I didn’t see why the Step should be where it was, even though I didn’t fully grasp the wording, was an important piece of the puzzle.

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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.