What Of The Wounds My Brothers Gave To Me?

What of the wounds my brothers gave to me?When the same passage appears twice in the space of three chapters in the Bible, I consider it to be a dead giveaway that that passage is something to which I’m supposed to pay particular attention. In chapter 6 of the book of Jeremiah, the prophet brought an indictment against the kingdom of Judah, a corrupt nation living on borrowed virtue and borrowed time. This indictment is repeated in chapter 8:

“From the least to the greatest,
    all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike,
    all practice deceit.
They dress the wound of my people
    as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
    when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 6:13-14, New International Version)

I share this as I think about Step 86 “I honor those who have given to me” in Steps to Knowledge. Any student who has come this far has already received an answer for the question “How shall I deal with my self-inflicted wounds, the painful consequences of my own errors?” That answer was introduced in Step 26 “My errors give birth to my Knowledge,” and developed in Step 73 “I will allow my errors to teach me.” The answer is something to the effect of “Don’t kid yourself into thinking that error doesn’t exist. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that error doesn’t hurt. Make the decision to learn from your errors so as not to repeat them, thus avoiding the pain and suffering they bring.” I found that to be a satisfactory answer, a satisfactory dressing of my self-inflicted wounds.

What of the wounds my brothers gave to me?

But there is another side of the coin that must be addressed. Many people have difficulty dealing with wounds which are inflicted by others, the painful consequences of the errors of others. Many people question the justice of God, or the character of God, or even the very existence of God when they contemplated the actions of other people. I believe Step 86 provides an empowering context into which to place the evil that men do.

The people who have wounded me put my character, strength, courage and magnanimity to the test. Sometimes I passed the test, sometimes I didn’t. But they offered me a mirror in which I could plainly see myself. Maybe that’s what Rumi meant when he said “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

As I honor those who have given to me, I offer gratitude for the contributions of some people. What of the wounds my brothers gave to me? I thank them for the test they offered me, even if I didn’t pass. I am thankful that Steps to Knowledge is addressing this subject, and not saying “Peace, peace” when there is no peace.

*

* * *

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 Am Building The Bridge To My Future

This bridge is over the river Dulnain in Scotland. I am building the bridge to my future.

An old man going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”

“The Bridge Builder” by Will Allen Dromgoole

Step 77 of Steps to Knowledge is a review of Steps 71 through 76. There are the usual sort of things you might expect in a review. Students are instructed to examine the qualities which forwarded their practice, and the tendencies which hindered their participation. It is very much in the spirit of Step 73, “I will allow my errors to teach me.”

I am building the bridge to my future

But there is another thread in Step 77 in which I took hope. It is a thread of the necessity of learning from both truth and error, so that I can be of genuine and effective service to others:

“You must learn of truth and you must learn of error. You must do this to progress, and you must do this to serve others. Unless you have learned of error and can look at it objectively and understand how it has arisen and how it can be relieved—until you have learned these things—you will not know how to serve others, and their errors will anger you and frustrate you.”

I take hope in this, because I really would like to be helpful. In the past, well, let’s just say that I haven’t been as helpful as I would like to have been. I take great hope in being able to be more helpful in the future.

Here is the word cloud for Steps 71-76

Steps To Knowledge Steps 71-76 Word Cloud. I am building the bridge to my future.

I am building the bridge to my future. What is the bridge I am building to my future? I am the bridge I am building to my future. Who am I building this bridge for? The youth who must cross in the twilight dim. Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.

* * *

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 Have Signed An Armistice With My Errors

Poppies are a symbol of the Armistice of World War I. I have signed an armistice with my errors.

The peace of Step 74, “Peace abides with me today” of Steps to Knowledge isn’t a peace that comes out of nowhere for no reason. It is a peace that results from the willingness to learn from one’s errors. This willingness was asserted in Step 73, “I will allow my errors to teach me.”

It is as if I have signed an armistice with my errors

Oh, but this armistice is not like the Armistice of Compiegne in November of 1918, where one side humbled the other side. Neither is this armistice like the Korean Armistice Agreement in July of 1953, in which both sides are still at war in every way except killing people and breaking things. This is closer to an actual peace treaty, where the two parties not only agree to end violent hostilities, but declare a mutual desire to get along.

I have signed an armistice with my errors. What are the terms of this armistice? The Armistice at Compiegne was based on Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points.” There are a mere eleven points which describe my responsibilities. Here’s my part of the deal.

  1. I will not justify my errors.
  2. I will not forget my errors.
  3. I will learn from my errors.
  4. I will do what must be done that was not done before.
  5. I will avoid what must be avoided that was not avoided before.
  6. I will contemplate how these errors could be recognized in advance.
  7. I will consider the signs that preceded them, and how these warnings might be recognized in the future.
  8. I will allow my errors to teach me.
  9. I will not deny my errors.
  10. I will not bear false witness against my errors.
  11. I will not call my errors by other names.

And what will my errors do? They will cease to haunt and oppress me.  They will cease to confront me with the pain I have caused myself and others. They will offer me instruction as to avoid repeating error in the future. They will give up their secrets.

I have signed an armistice with my errors.

* * *

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.

Will My Errors Give Up Their Secrets?

Will my errors give up their secrets? If I love them enough.

In Step 26, “My errors give birth to my Knowledge,” Steps to Knowledge succinctly demonstrates the incompleteness of a number of ideas in popular culture regarding errors. To briefly review, if you think that error doesn’t hurt, you’re kidding yourself. If you justify your poor choices, you anesthetize yourself to the pain they caused to you and others. If I forget my mistakes, I will inevitably make them again. Therefore, it is important to resolve to learn from errors, and to look for their enablers.

Will my errors give up their secrets?

Step 73, “I will allow my errors to teach me,” continues in this vein. This is the first mention of the word “error” since Step 26. The teaching of Step 26 has been gestating and germinating for a while. Underneath the pain, past the heartache, each error has a valuable secret to share, a point of instruction to offer. This step is strengthening the willingness to receive instruction from one’s errors, and thus to no longer repeat them.

When doing this step, I remember thinking to myself, “Allow my errors to teach me? The heck with that! I’ll be proactive! I’ll initiate! I’ll follow my errors down dark alleyways, wrestle them to the ground, and go through their pockets for every last bit of instruction I can get!” But there seems to be a time to make things happen, and a time to let things happen.

I have shared this quote from George Washington Carver before, and I will most likely share it again before too long. He said “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.”

Will my errors give up their secrets? If I love them enough. What do I mean by loving my errors? The Step declares “If you are willing to learn from your errors, you will not be so afraid to recognize them. Then you will wish to understand them, not to deny them, not to bear false witness against them, not to call them by other names, but to admit them for your own benefit.”

Will my errors give up their secrets? If I love them enough.

* * *

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.