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 We Repeat The Errors Of The Past?

The Latin Bridge in Sarajevo, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. Will we repeat the errors of the past?

At the time, it was called “the Great War,” or “the World War.” It is now called World War I. On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg empire, was assassinated in Sarajevo. The assassin was Gavrilo Princip, a young man obsessed with the Serbian national cause. This started a chain of events, assisted along by a number of bad decisions and miscalculations. The result was one of the deadliest and most destructive conflicts in the history of humanity.

Will we repeat the errors of the past?

Humanity is approaching the centennial of the start of World War I. A number of historians are taking the opportunity to re-examine various issues of that war. I am pleased to report that Oxford historian R. J. W. Evans (who has his own World War I book) has conducted a “reviewpalooza.” Evans wove his own understanding into a review of six different recently published World War I books. His article inspired me to look up information on certain details, and I came away with a few things to share.

Serbia was experiencing success on the battlefield. This was something that was not stressed in my education. In the First Balkan War of 1912-1913, Serbia and its allies (Greece, Bulgaria and Montenegro) defeated the Ottoman Empire. The prize of that war was almost all the European territory of the Ottoman Empire. When Bulgaria demanded a larger share of the spoils, Serbia was on the winning side in the brief Second Balkan War of 1913.

Austria-Hungary was experiencing success in statecraft. This was another thing not pointed out in my education. Austria-Hungary took advantage of turmoil in the Ottoman Empire, and unilaterally annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908. I looked for any negative consequences experienced by Austria-Hungary for this, without success.

Alliance is transitive. That is, when one country allies with another country, they also ally with the other allies of that country. I have mentioned the Entente Cordiale of 1904 between Britain and France as a good thing in this space. The Entente Cordiale became the Triple Entente in 1907 when Britain and Russia signed the Anglo-Russian Entente. In 1914, Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia. Russia came to Serbia’s aid. Germany declared war on Russia and France. I would really rather not say that the Entente Cordiale was one of the causes of Britain entering World War I, but there it is.

World War I was catastrophic for Serbia. Between late 1915 and early 1916, the Serbian army was forced to retreat to the Adriatic Sea, where they were rescued by British and French naval forces. At the time of that rescue, they were down to roughly 20% of their original strength. There was also a large number of civilian casualties. The minimum number people agree upon was 1,000,000 total casualties, or almost a quarter of Serbia’s population.

World War I was catastrophic for Austria-Hungary. The Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empire was dissolved into a number of states which more closely matched the ethnic groups in its territory. As far as I can tell, the Habsburgs never ruled another nation.

When the shooting stops, the historical revisionism begins. All the major players (except Russia) engaged in creating accounts of the run-up to World War I. These accounts portrayed the actions of those nations as more reasonable and more justified than perhaps they really were. Has the war just moved to another battlefield?

Will we repeat the errors of the past? I pray that I will learn. I pray that we will learn.

* * *

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.