We Have Some Suggestions For You

Recomended stamp. We have some suggestions for you.I will readily admit that the New Message from God community has a number of big goals for the future. But we also recognize that not everyone will be interested in what we have to share. We recognize that we may encounter, uh, less than enthusiastic responses from time to time. And in the event you don’t respond with interest and resonance, we have some suggestions we would like you to consider. These suggestions for all people were given to the attendees at the 2014 Encampment. I have some comments about these suggestions.

We have some suggestions for you

1. Quiet time each day to consider the wisdom of your thoughts and actions. [Step 9 of Steps to Knowledge teaches “In stillness all things can be known.”]

2. Make no opinions about anything unless you have spent considerable time studying the problem and its many conceived solutions. Ask yourself if you are really certain about something or are only guessing. [Would you bet your life on it?]

3. Do not waste your precious time and energy complaining about something if you are not prepared to take action regarding it. [Time spent complaining might be better spent studying the problem.]

4. Forgive those who seem to err against you or the world. Ask yourself what genuine need they are attempting to express and fulfill by their behavior. [Their errors give birth to their Knowledge.]

5. Make sure that everything you own really serves you. Travel light and create time for more important things. [I consider this to be a short version of the New Message practice/attitude called the Deep Evaluation.]

6. Consider that you have Four Pillars that are upholding your life:

  • The Pillar of Relationships
  • The Pillar of Health
  • The Pillar of Work & Providership
  • The Pillar of Spiritual Development

To be happy and successful, you will need to build each of these Pillars and not sacrifice one for the others. [You may wish to consider the New Message revelation “Building the Four Pillars of Your Life.”]

7. Reduce your energy use by 25-50% to save your community and the world from depletion and ruin. [Resource depletion is one of the big ongoing disruptions known as the Great Waves of Change.]

8. Honor your parents and try to understand the circumstances that determined their decisions and behavior. [I think of this as a special instance of suggestion 4.]

9. Know that there is a New Message from God in the world, and that it is here to uplift a struggling humanity, beginning with the individual. [As in you. As in me.]

We have some suggestions for you. I hope this helps.

* * *

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.

Photoquoting – An Emerging Practice

The word photoquote has not yet appeared either in formal English dictionaries, or slang dictionaries like urbandictionary.com, but I believe it will in the not-too-distant future. I consider the noun form of photoquote to mean “the arrangement of a quotation in an image illustrating the quotation.” Just as the word “quote” is both a noun and a verb, the word photoquote is both a noun and a verb. As a verb, photoquoting could be used either intransitively (“I should do some photoquoting for my presentation on Thursday”) or transitively (“I just photoquoted Step 1 of Steps to Knowledge.”)

Photoquoting – an emerging practice

Some of my fellow students of Steps to Knowledge have been photoquoting the steps, among other teachings of the New Message from God. This photoquote recently came across my path.

Step 9 Starchild. PhotoquotingI’ve seen a number of New Message photoquotes. But for reasons I don’t understand, this one sparked a desire in me to give this photoquoting thing a try.

I have made photoquotes of the first five steps so far. I have created a page where people can look at them. There was not very much technical skill involved. I used Microsoft Paint, the graphic tool equivalent of stone knives and bear skins. It is my hope that other students will share their photoquotes of the steps in the not-too-distant future. It seems to be a useful exercise for me to put together what I see in my mind’s eye when I think of a particular step, with the step itself. Got that? It seems to be a useful exercise for me to share my photoquoting of the steps.

Words like “clouding” and “photoquoting” describe how the New Message from God community is using technology to tell its story.

* * *

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.

Внутренняя Тишина, или Пребывание в Здесь и Сейчас

Пребывание в Здесь и Сейчас, Тропарёво-Никулинский лесопарк, Москва

For English version click here.

Внутренняя тишина, или пребывание в здесь и сейчас – очень ценное состояние в Шагах к Знанию. Эта тишина впервые упоминается в Шаге 8. Сегодня я пребываю в здесь и сейчас и расширяется в Шаге 9. Внутренняя Тишина, Где Тайное Становится Явным. Эти два шага тесно связаны друг с другом, Шаг 8 нежно подталкивает, призывая не огорчаться, если по началу ничего не получится. Он дает подсказки, предлагая, чтобы я сосредоточилась на какой-нибудь внутренней точке, либо во моем воображении, либо в физическом теле.

Когда я впервые попробовала войти в состояние внутренней тишины, я выбрала так называемый «третьи глаз» как точку сосредоточия, и представила себя, как будто иду внутрь от этой точки по светящему дорожку в глубь темного пространства усеянного звёздами, необозримое и тихое. Там находятся и источник сияющего света и некий образ, который можно назвать «наставник».

В связи с этим, мне вспомнилась сцена из фильма «Мастер и Маргарита» Михаила Булгакова, хочу поделиться.

Шаг 9 расширяет понятие внутренней тишины, рассказав о том, что случится, когда ум достигнет этого состояния и пребывает в здесь и сейчас. Это состояние расширяет восприятие и позволяет проникновение в более глубокий ум, где Знание пребывает. Тем самим, почва приготовлена для большего откровения и способности проникнуть в сущность вещей. Этого расширенного восприятия можно достичь во время специального упражнения или во время любой повседневной деятельности.

Последнее мне особенно понравилось, ведь специально найти время и подходящее место для этого упражнения для меня затруднительно. А во время повседневной деятельности, например, пока гуляю по зимнему лесу, вполне соответствует тому состоянию внутренней тишины или пребыванию в здесь и сейчас.

* * *

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.

A Lesson In Stillness

A Lesson In Stillness, Troparevo-Nikulino Park, Moscow, Russia

In this post I wish to present a lesson in stillness.

When I pondered on how best to illustrate my practice of stillness, I recalled a scene from a Russian film based on Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita, one of my favorite books of all time and so superbly screened in this movie.

(This video is not the one I originally posted to go with the comments below, but it contains part of what I am referring to.)

Here I see Pontius Pilate entering into stillness. He lies on his couch and drifts away from reality, setting off with his dog, Banga, along the path of light cast by the moon. He meets Yeshua, whom he is surprised to see alive, since earlier that evening he had been told of his execution. Yeshua tells him that since he is walking along beside him, he is indeed alive and can talk to the procurator as long as he wants.

They talk of cowardice being the most terrible sin. Pilate admits his cowardice, but begs to be understood. “Have pity on me, philosopher! Do you, such an intelligent man, really think that the Procurator of Judaea would ruin his career for the sake of a man who had committed a crime against Caesar?” Yeshua just looks at him in response.

In this moment of stillness, in this encounter, Pontius Pilate recognizes the error of his ways, his cowardice, and says that although this morning he had not been ready to risk his career, now, in this moment of recognition (in stillness where all thing can be known–my comment), he would do anything to save this innocent dreamer, this miraculous healer, from execution.

‘You and I will always be together,’ says Yeshua. ‘ Where one of us goes, the other shall go too. Whenever people think of me, they will think of you.’

Pilate asks Yeshua to pray for him and is reassured by his nod in return.

This, I believe, is a good illustration of a lesson in stillness when all things can be known.

* * *

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.

Stillness Is A Place of Knowing

Stillness Is a Place of Knowing

Step 8. Today I Will Be Still and Step 9. In Stillness All Things Can Be Known first introduce the concept of stillness that continues to grow in significance as Steps proceed.  These two Steps go hand-in-hand, Step 8 leading the way with a gentle nudge, telling me not to be discouraged if early attempts prove difficult. It suggests that I begin by focusing on an internal point, either imaginary or somewhere in the physical body.

When I did this Step and first attempted to enter stillness, I chose to focus on the place we call the Third Eye, looking inward from that spot and picturing an entire galaxy opening up inside my head, vast and quiet. There was light and some form I might call a Teacher. As I entered deeper into stillness, I would penetrate further into this galaxy of heavenly bodies, walking slowly along an illuminated path.

Stillness is a Place of Knowing

Step 9 takes up the baton from Step 8 and carries the physical practice of being still a step further to embrace what happens when the mind attains the capacity to be still.

It says:

Stillness of mind allows a greater mind to emerge and to reveal its wisdom. Those who cultivate stillness with a desire for Knowledge will be preparing themselves for greater revelation and true insight to emerge. The insight may emerge during practice or during any normal activity.

I recall being highly happy with the suggestion that insight might emerge during any normal activity. I wrote in my notes: I realized it is important for me to be able to practice stillness wherever I am and whatever I am doing, without making special preparations and being in what I consider the “right” place. In other words, I strive for stillness being my normal operative mode. Perhaps this is a tall order, but I am aware that insights do indeed emerge as I go about my normal activity.

I wish to show a graphic example of how stillness is a place of knowing in my next post.

*

* * *

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.

It’s Been A While Since I Thought About Step 8

This is the second posts in a series of seven posts describing my experience of Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge, where I am instructed to review my engagement with the first 48 Steps.  I am writing what I wrote when I did the Step, sometime in January of 2011, with any additional commentary if needed.

Step 8 – Today I will be still – “I thought ‘You don’t need to tell me how to be still, buddy.’  So while I didn’t do the Step exactly as instructed, I did the Step”  I notice my breathing becoming both slower and shallower as I enter stillness.  I also notice a certain inner brightness, unrelated to the amount of light in the room.

Step 9 – In stillness all things can be known – “Being still is building a bridge for Knowledge to emerge in an unguarded moment.”  An unguarded moment as in “a moment where I’m not guarding the idea that I am my body, or that I am my individuality.”

Why Am I Doing This, Anyway? – “‘a troubled dream,’ ‘a fever dream.’ I’m taking comfort that I’m not just waiting for the Reaper.”  A Course in Miracles uses the phrase “dreams of fever” to describe what passes for reality for most people.  It is my sincere hope that my study of Steps to Knowledge will be helpful to others, that it will help my life to be something better than a troubled dream.

Step 10 – What is Knowledge? – “Unlike my little self, Knowledge has no desire to be separate.  I think I’m trying to approach Knowledge, but it says here Knowledge is my True Self.  My True Self is calling my little self to ItSelf.”  I’ve heard the little self called the ego, the concocted self, the secondary self, the constructed self, the imagined self, and so on.

Step 11 – I am not apart from life – “A recap of ACIM [A Course in Miracles].  The Separation is unreal, unhappy perception, does not exist.  We consider perception as reality, but reality is far happier.”  The perception which passes for reality is that we are not included in life, the reality is that I am not apart from life.

Step 12 – My individuality is to express life itself – “Just as the body is a communication tool, my individuality, my little self, is to express life.  Thinking about expressing breast milk.”  Let me explain.  Nursing mothers occasionally express milk to be consumed at a time when they’re not available.  In the same way, life is expressed through my individuality.  Thinking of the body as a communication tool is one of the sections of Chapter 8 of the Text of A Course in Miracles.

Step 13 – I want to be separate to be unique – “The price of Separation is infinitely higher than the payoff of uniqueness, or what ACIM calls specialness.”  Everyone is at a different station of separation or prodigality: some are headed for the far country, some are coming to their senses in the pig pen, some are on their way back to their father’s house.

Step 14 – Review “As far as I know, I did the Steps as given.  I can so see myself in my mind’s eye moderating a group of people who are at various stages of Steps.”  This hasn’t happened yet.  I am not an early adopter by temperament, neither do I have a history of early adoption, but I believe I am an early adopter of Steps to Knowledge.

*

* * *

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.

Chinese Steps To Knowledge Sudoku

Chinese Sudoku 1 Final

This is part of my desire to get out more, to become more aware and literate of other nations and cultures.

Sudoku puzzles usually have the numbers from 1 through 9 in the boxes.  But there is no compelling reason why numbers have to be used instead of symbols.  I have selected certain words from the first few steps of Steps to Knowledge and looked up Chinese versions of these words for the symbols.

The words are 知识, Zhīshì (“knowledge,” as in “I am without Knowledge now“), 知道, Zhīdào (“know” or “I know,” as in “What do I really know?“), 要, Yào (“want,” as in “I want what I think I know“), 认为, Rènwéi (“think”), 相信, Xiāngxìn (“believe,” as in “I believe what I want to believe“), 复习, fù xí (“Review“), 还, hái (“still,” as in “Today I will be still“), 寂静, Jìjìng (“stillness,” as in “In stillness, all things can be known“), and 神秘, Shénmì (“mystery,” as in the sentence “It [Knowledge] is the great mystery of your life” in the step “What is Knowledge?“)

I have created puzzles like this in the past, as I have been curious as to how much the symbols would increase the difficulty of the puzzle.  I would like to think this puzzle has a nobler purpose.

*

* * *

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.

Stillness Has Quite A Lot Going For It

Mist in Stillness on Oka River, Russia

I am writing this post to ponder some more on my understanding of God. In Step 38, I was very drawn to the words “God is very still, for God is not going anywhere.” This sentence is preceded by “In stillness and quiet everything becomes apparent” and followed by “As you become still, you will feel the power of God.” Step 9. In Stillness All Things Can Be Known tells me, “Those who cultivate stillness with a desire for Knowledge will be preparing themselves for greater revelation and true insight to emerge,” and goes on to say, “The insight may emerge during practice or during any normal activity.”

Morning fishing on Oka River

A normal activity for me every summer, and fall too, for the past twenty odd years is fishing. Let me hasten to add that the attraction of this activity is not in the fish as such, I am by no means a fisherman, rather the attraction is in the environment in which these fish are caught. It is very conducive to stillness. Sitting by still waters as they reflect the glory of the elements has a way of evoking a deeper stillness within that allows true insight to emerge and things to be known. And these things are permanent, for God is not going anywhere.

*

* * *

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 Unexpected Treasure

Step 15 and Step 16 of Steps to Knowledge link to each other similar to the way Step 8 and Step 9 link to each other.  People doing Step 8 ask “Is this stillness thing important?” and Step 9 replies “Indeed yes, for in stillness all things can be known.”  People doing Step 15 ask “Is this inner listening thing important?”  Step 16 replies, “Absolutely, because beyond your mind, beyond the turbulent surface that most people identify as their minds, lies Knowledge.”

Step 16 declares that Knowledge, the great mystery of a person’s life, a person’s True Self, which is not apart from life, has things to communicate; thoughts, impressions, inclinations and direction.  As I think of this, I recall the words of King Solomon in the book of Proverbs regarding the benefits of receiving and striving after wisdom:

Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you. (Proverbs 2:9-11, New International Version)

Near the end of what is known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44, New International Version)

Many people fail to find the treasure because they are deceived by the ordinary appearance of the field in which the treasure is buried.  People wonder, “Can there be anything of value in that cacophony of restless, wandering thoughts which is my mind?”  The answer of Steps to Knowledge at this point is “Yes, but it’s going to take some practice to be able to sort it out.”

* * *

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.

Is This A Sidebar, Or Something Essential?

In between step 9 and step 10 of Steps to Knowledge, there is some text that isn’t a step, gives no instructions for practice, comes and goes with no explanation.  The only thing it has is the title, “Why am I doing this anyway?”  It is short enough that I can quote it.

VERY GOOD QUESTION! Why are you doing this anyway?  Why are you asking such questions? Why do you seek for greater things? Why are you exerting the effort? These questions are inevitable.We anticipate them.Why are you doing this? You are doing this because it is essential. If you wish to live anything greater than a purely superficial and unstable life, you must penetrate deeper and not be confident based only upon weak assumptions and hopeful expectations.There is a greater gift awaiting you, but you must prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and physically.Without Knowledge, you are unaware of your purpose.You are unaware of your origin and your destiny, and you will pass through this life as if it were a troubled dream and no more.

This is the only time something like this appears in Steps to Knowledge, and I make no claim to knowing why this material is here in this form.  This is the only time that any material appears between the end of one step, and the beginning of another.  It could be important that the phrase “troubled dream” appears exactly once in Steps to Knowledge, in this spot.

It’s as if the authors of Steps were aware of the investment of time, effort and trust students were making by taking the Steps to Knowledge, and wished to reassure students that this was something essential, not just another spiritual pursuit before the next big deal comes along.

It’s as if the authors of Steps wished to make students aware of the awareness of the authors of Steps, by speaking to students in an alternate, less formal, more familiar voice.

I don’t recall getting the idea that studying Steps to Knowledge was essential at the time I encountered this sidebar (late 2010). I wasn’t even interested in contemplating the idea that I was doing something essential, as I believed I would not succeed if it was something really important.

* * *

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.