Some Small But Substantial Successes

Some small but subtantial successes

Step 84 of Steps to Knowledge is a review of the steps from Step 78, “I can do nothing alone” to Step 83, “I value Knowledge beyond all things.”

Some small but substantial successes

There were some seeds sown during this period. One seed that was sown was the idea that if I am going to advance, I’m going to have to be more accountable as to what I am practicing. This seed was sown in Step 80, “I can only practice.” Another seed that was sown was the idea that if I am going to advance, I’m going to have to have a certain awareness of my craving for social rewards. I’m going to have to develop a certain indifference to social rewards. This seed was sown in Step 81, “I will not deceive myself today.”

There were also some seeds that were sown earlier, but watered during this period. Step 78, “I can do nothing alone” is a watering of the seed sown in Step 45, “Alone I can do nothing.” Step 82, “Today I will not judge another” is a watering of the seed sown in Step 76 “I will not judge another today.”

Steps to Knowledge has mentioned the value of having a beginner’s mind, an attitude of humility, curiosity and enthusiasm toward the study of Steps to Knowledge. One of the good things about a beginner’s mind is not having expectations as to what kind of experience will occur in the study of something. It is as if Step 84 is answering the student’s question, “Is this how it’s supposed to look?”

“Review the practices and the instructions for the preceding week.Review your progress objectively. Realize how great your learning must be. Your steps now are small, but substantive. Small steps lead you all the way. You are not expected to take great leaps, yet each small step will seem like a great leap, for it will give you so much more than you have ever had before.”

Here is the word cloud for Steps 77 through 83:

Steps To Knowledge Steps 78-83 Word Cloud by Wordle. Some small but substantial successes

I have been using the website Wordle for creating these word clouds. I don’t know how Wordle creates these word clouds, but I don’t believe that Wordle makes any effort to put related words next to each other, or unrelated words far away from each other. Shortly after I made this word cloud, I felt an inclination to separate the words from each other, so that other people could arrange the words as they saw fit. Here are the separated words:

Steps To Knowledge Steps 78-83 Word Cloud with words separated. Some small but substantial successes

And since I am inviting people to do something, it seemed like a good thing to accept my own invitation, and make my own word cloud for Steps 77 through 83:

Steps To Knowledge Steps 78-83 Word Cloud Rearranged. Some small but substantial successes

I believe someone is reading this and thinking “I say, Douglas, you have a lot of time on your hands, don’t you?” Maybe, but I definitely thought about the Steps from which the words came as I rearranged the words. Who knows, maybe one day this will be a standard practice for engaging with the significance of a certain text. I can imagine my grandchildren saying “I have a clouding assignment in Language Arts class.”

*

* * *

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 Practice Being Still And Knowing Today

I will practice being still and knowing today.

Some people might think that Step 82, “I will not judge another today” of Steps to Knowledge is merely a recap of Step 76, “Today I will not judge another.” It is more than that. It is more than that because of some things that happened between Step 76 and Step 82.

I will practice being still and knowing today

In Step 79, “I will allow uncertainty to exist today,” I considered the possibility that I wasn’t entirely certain about my judgments. I considered the possibility that my judgments weren’t worthy of my betting my life on them.

In Step 80, “I can only practice,” I was told that judgment was one of a number of unexamined, habitual, detrimental practices that I was going to have to slowly back away from if I wanted to advance.

In Step 81, “I will not deceive myself today,” one particular type of judgment, self-condemnation, was examined in detail. While self-condemnation has certain social rewards, it is yet another unexamined, habitual, detrimental practice from which to slowly back away. I get the idea from this that the other detrimental practices mentioned in Step 80 most likely have certain social rewards as well.

Therefore, if I put Step 82 together with what has happened since Step 76, I get that judgment is a practice of not knowing. Judgment is a practice of not looking. Judgment is a practice of not listening. Judgment is a practice of not being still. Judgment is a practice with certain social rewards. Judgment is a practice I must slowly back away from if I want to attain to what Steps to Knowledge is offering. I must strengthen the practices of knowing, looking, listening and being still.

While Step 82 is “I will not judge another today,” it seemed good to state it positively, saying what I will do instead of what I won’t do. In the light of Step 80, it seemed good to state Step 82 in terms of what I will practice. When I stated Step 76 positively, it came out as “Today I will keep looking and wondering.” The total package of not judging involves looking, listening, being still and knowing. Therefore, the positive wording of Step 82 should be taken together with the positive wording of Step 76.

Today I will keep looking and wondering. I will practice being still and knowing today.

*

* * *

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.

Today I Will Keep Looking And Wondering

Today I will keep looking and wondering. The older brother of the prodigal son had stopped.

Without the habit of moral sloth known as judgment, you can see. If I don’t make a declaration regarding the being of another based on a momentary snapshot of their behavior, then I can learn. Without ceasing to observe and wonder about the potential motivations of someone’s behavior, your mind becomes open.

Step 76, “Today I will not judge another” of Steps to Knowledge directs students to contemplate the contrast between the judging which occurs in the normal course of events, and the experience of looking without judgment. I am told that without judgment, I will not suffer under my own crown of thorns.

Today I will keep looking and wondering

In Step 60, “I will not judge the world today,” I practiced not judging the world on an hourly basis. Step 76 asks for a little bit more, asking me to practice not judging the people in my world on an hourly basis.

I hereby confess to you that at the time I did this step (in the summer of 2010), I was fully persuaded that President Obama would lie awake at night, savoring his successes and plotting his next assault on American values and freedom. When I did this step, I saw a picture for a few moments of a bewildered President Obama desiring divine assistance and guidance. My mind was a little bit more open for a little while.

One way the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi could be worded is “O Divine Master, grant that I might seek not so much to not be judged, as to not judge another, not so much to be looked at and wondered about, as to look at and wonder about.” Today I will keep looking and wondering.

* * *

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.