Step 1. I Am Without Knowledge Now – Photoquoting

In the time between my first post on photoquoting and now, I have received particular encouragement to make photoquotes a bigger part of Ascending Knowledge. This is the first post of a photoquote thread.

I am without Knowledge now

There are two base camps for Mount Everest. One base camp is in Nepal. This base camp is in Tibet. Nick Isenberg took this picture.

Even though I have been engaged with Steps to Knowledge for a little while, I am construing Step 1 to mean, “compared to where I’m going to be if and when I get to Step 365, I am without Knowledge now.”

I hope that other students of Steps to Knowledge will consider this thread as an opportunity to share their own photoquotes.

Alisa writes:

This infinite staircase was designed by New Zealand artist David McCracken. It stems from the seashore in Bondi, Australia and rises up into the heavens above. Depending on the atmosphere and weather conditions, the stairway appears to reach beyond the clouds into the celestial realms overhead. It is also known as “Diminish and Ascend.”

As I prepare to embark on the ascent known as Steps to Knowledge, I am without Knowledge now. I hope to accrue it as I ascend. 

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

I Strive To Scratch The Itches Of A Ghost

There is something I find curious about Step 95, “How can I possibly fulfill myself?” of Steps to Knowledge. The word “possibly” is used a total of five times before Step 95, and the context is usually to cut off hope of something. For example, in Step 87, “I will not be afraid of what I know,” I am told that my personal mind cannot possibly understand my greater purpose. This is the first time the word “possibly” appears in the step itself. Steps to Knowledge frequently uses rhetorical questions, but this is the first time that the step is in the form of a rhetorical question. It is as if Steps to Knowledge is spending some of the capital it has accumulated with me by reducing my suffering in previous steps. Steps to Knowledge is questioning something that it didn’t occur to me to question, claiming that I strive to scratch the itches of a ghost.

I strive to scratch the itches of a ghost

When Steps to Knowledge says that Knowledge is my True Self in Step 10, “What is Knowledge?”, it’s not claiming that my individuality, my body and personality is a false self. Rather, it is claiming that my individuality is an incomplete self, a secondary self, a vehicle for my true self. If this is true, then the efforts I make to fulfill myself are equivalent to making efforts to fulfill a suit I wear, or a house I live in, or a car I drive.

Someone is reading this and thinking “But Douglas, that’s, that’s…” Crazy? We prefer the word “confused.” This state of affairs is the consequence of living in a world where people believe what they want to believe. This state of affairs is the consequence of living in a world where people want to be separate to be unique. I strive to scratch the itches of a ghost.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

Постичь непостижимое

постичь непостижимое

For English version click here.

Для меня изучение «Шагов к Знанию» часто представляет себя неуловимую задачу, вроде как постичь непостижимое.

Шаг 43. “Моя воля – познать Бога” как раз из тех задач – постичь непостижимое.

Я нашла помощь в других учениях «Нового Послания от Бога», где описывается, чем Бог не является и чем Бог является на самом деле.

Откровение, которое называется «Великая Любовь», гласит:

«Настоящая любовь исходит из Знания. По сути, она является выражением Знания. Когда Знание побуждает вас совершить какой-то поступок—может быть то, что вы никогда не собирались совершить, то, что вы не понимаете, и что действует вопреки вашим планам, целям, амбициям, то это выражает любовь, ибо вы выражаете волю Божью, которая и есть любовь Богa. Ибо Божественная любовь неразлучна с Божественной волей. Бог не думает такими категориями, как думает ваш интеллект—сегодня счастлив, завтра печален, рад этому, огорчен тому, жесток и карающий над тем, кто совершает ошибки или живет в грехах. Это не Бог! Это человеческий ум, проецирующий человеческие мысли на Бога, проецирующий человеческие чувства и жалобы. Это всё проекция человеческого ума. Но Бог вне всего этого. И любовь и воля Бога вне всего этого.

Но когда вы думаете о том, каков Бог на самом деле, то Бог Великого Сообщества, Бог всей интеллектуальной жизни во Вселенной, разумеется Бог Вселенной, Великого Сообщества, не может быть обусловлен человеческими верованиями, человеческими отношениями, человеческими эмоциями, человеческими социальными соглашениями и всеми мелкими вещами, которые держат человечество в примитивном и неразвитом состоянии.

Если Бог – Бог Великого Сообщества, то Бог – автор бесчисленных форм интеллектуальной жизни бесчисленных миров, где интеллектуальная жизнь развивалась. Бог – автор эволюции. Бог – автор и источник расширения Вселенной. Бог – автор всей научной правды. Бог – создатель бесчисленных рас, которые не похожи на вас, не думают как вы и не имеют вашу систему ценностей. Бог – автор природы, которая функционирует внутри мира и вне мира и внутри всех миров в этой Вселенной и вне её — на всех уровнях проявления. Этот Бог столь великий, что Он превышает все теологические идеи, религиозные системы веры, религиозные организации. Лучше отложить ваши идеи о Боге и следовать за тем, что Бог поместил внутри вас, чтобы видеть, услышать то, что Бог разместил в вас».

Постичь непостижимое

Другое откровение «Новый Бог» гласит:

“Есть новое Откровение о Боге, вытесняющее Бога из контекста древней истории человечества, конфликтов, фантазий и неправильного понимания человека. Это Откровение помещает Бога в бóльшую панораму жизни во Вселенной – называемой Великим Сообществом.

Вы сейчас нуждаетесь в этом новом понимании о Боге, потому что Бог древних людей был маленьким Богом – Богом вашего мира, вашего времени и ваших культур, Богом ваших народов в древние времена. Но человечество выросло из такого понимания Бога, человеческого Бога, сердитого Бога, мстительного Бога, этого Бога кажущегося проекцией вашей личности и ваших собственных тенденций.”

Моя воля – познать Бога и тем самым, пытаюсь постичь непостижимое.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

Fathoming The Unfathomable

fathoming the unfathomable

I often liken taking Steps to Knowledge to an exercise in fathoming the unfathomable. This also goes right along with exploring the mystery that I am so partial to.

Step 43. My Will Is To Know God is a very bold statement, and since I have a very nebulous idea of what God might be, I certainly consider this an exercise in fathoming the unfathomable.

Yes, it is my will to know God. I wish I could be handed a clear-cut and concise explanation on a plate, one I could always carry with me and pull out for reference and show others whenever necessary.

I reached Step 43 on December 21, 2012 – a portentous day for many on the planet with conflicting interpretations – and wrote:

“I am not afraid and will not let fear and doubt cloud my mind. My will is to know God. On this day December 21, 2012,  as we enter a new era of soul consciousness and step across a new threshold in the evolution of the Universe, enter a new gateway of possibilities, I  too want to step through the doorway into a greater universe and greater life.”

Fathoming the unfathomable

But what is God and what am I to know? God comes in many different garbs and guises, depending on who is doing the dressing and fashioning. Much is invested in God, much is expected of God, much is idolized about God, and much is misconstrued about God, in my humble opinion.

Now I can tell you what I think God is not. God is not “something” or “someone” who watches over me, who has my best interests at heart, who is going to make wrong things right and bad things good, who is going to come at my beck and call and fix things for me. God will not even send a team of helpers to deal with some problem on the planet or some problem in my personal life. I do not believe that is how God works. I think of God more in terms of an energy, an all-pervading energy that permeates everything and is manifested according to some intricate universal law, something I have great difficulty in fathoming.

As another student of Steps to Knowledge put it: “If there is a disturbance, there is an energy that responds to that disturbance. Whatever that disturbance is, the required balancing energy is activated and makes its way to where it is needed to re-establish balance.”

Now this really resonates with me. This makes fathoming the unfathomable more fathomable. Are you still with me?

It is my will to know God, and it is my will to find more fathomable terms for expressing the unfathomable.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

Струящееся и сгибающееся

Струящееся и сгибающееся

For English version click here.

Шаг 42 в книге «Шаги к Знанию» представляет собой очередной обзор. Он гласит о том, что всё, что от меня требуется, это следовать предложенной подготовке, чтобы получить его истинные награды. Мне только понадобится следовать по заданному пути с уверенностью и в настоящим ожидании. Ну чтож, такое струящееся и сгибающееся обучение меня устраивает. Тут ничего строго и сурового нет, и между тем, я буду развивать чувство самоуважения.

Я тут же сосредоточилась на этом, ведь я часто страдала в прошлом от чувства низкой самооценки. Я написала в своих записях:

Самоуважение – для меня это камень преткновения, ведь, как мне кажется, чувство самоуважения легко может перерасти в гордыню, и когда это случается, то меня ждет падение с высот обратно на землю с крахом. Однако, речь о самоуважении тут имеет другой оттенок – я должна чувствовать, что я достойна великих дар Знания. Да уж, наверно в этом что-то есть. И смотреть на мир без осуждения тоже достойное занятие, которое стоит развивать. Я хочу взять то, что меня предлагает и использовать его ради Высшего Блага и, поскольку я – часть единого целого, то и ради Высшего Блага всего человечества. Я смирно хочу следовать по обучению с уверенностью и в настоящим ожидании, чтобы получить истинные награды.

Струящееся и сгибающееся

И опять же, для меня это очень отрадно, что Шаги признают, что я могу сталкиваться с трудностями, но ничего страшного в этом нет, просто надо эти трудности осознать и попытаться исправить их. Мне просто надо смотреть без осуждений, видеть то, что меня предлагает, осознавать то, чего я уже достигла и то, что я могу дальше делать, чтобы углублять свою практику. Более струящееся и сгибающееся обучение я никогда не встречала.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

This Is What It Means To Be Free

The Ingalls family in 1894. This is what it means to be free.Over the past 80 years, many American children have enjoyed the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. In the above photograph, taken in 1894, she is standing behind her father, Charles Ingalls. Wilder’s books were based on her childhood experience in the American midwest in the late 19th century. In my lifetime, Wilder’s books were made into the popular television series Little House on the Prairie.

This is what it means to be free

Today is the 238th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America. My birthday gift on this occasion is to share the account of an Independence Day celebration in the year 1881, in the town of De Smet, South Dakota. This account is found in the book Little Town on the Prairie, published in 1941.

Pa [Charles Ingalls], Laura [who was 14 at the time] and Carrie [Laura’s younger sister] had gone into town to enjoy the day’s festivities, which included firecrackers, a horse race and free lemonade.  “The Stars and Stripes were fluttering bright against the thin, clear blue overhead,” and someone just finished reading the Declaration of Independence to the large gathered crowd….

No one cheered. It was more like a moment to say, “Amen.” But no one quite knew what to do.

Then Pa began to sing. All at once everyone was singing:

”My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing…. Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!”

The crowd was scattering away then, but Laura stood stock still. Suddenly she had a completely new thought. The Declaration and the song came together in her mind, and she thought: God is America’s king.

She thought Americans won’t obey any king on earth. Americans are free. That means they have to obey their own consciences. No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself. Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn’t anyone else who has a right to give me orders. I will have to make myself be good.

Her whole mind seemed to be lighted up by that thought. This is what it means to be free. It means, you have to be good. “Our father’s God, author of liberty–” The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God endow you with a right to life and liberty. Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God’s law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.
Laura had no time then to think any further. Carrie was wondering why she stood so still, and Pa was saying, “This way, girls! There’s the free lemonade!””

 

I recall Step 94, “My freedom is to find my purpose” of Steps to Knowledge, as I contemplate Laura’s experience. This is what it means to be free. It means, you have to find your purpose and fulfill it.

 

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

Я дерзко держу путь

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Я дерзко держу путь по мере того, как продолжаю заниматься “Шагами к Знанию“.

Шаг 41. Я не боюсь силы Бога стал некой ключевой точкой для меня в своем осознании и признании силы Бога. Этот Шаг гласит о том, чтобы не бояться силы Бога, и более того, не бояться дерзко двигаться вперед, чтобы разведывать самое естественное.

В тот день, 18 декабря 2012 г., когда я занималась этим шагом, мое внимание обращалось на стихи Роберта Фроста «Другая Дорога».

Есть несколько разных переводов этих стихов, каждый хорош по-своему. Я привожу тут последний стих трех из них.

ДРУГАЯ ДОРОГА

Еще я вспомню когда-нибудь
Далекое это утро лесное:
Ведь был и другой предо мною путь,
Но я решил направо свернуть —
И это решило все остальное.

Перевел с английского Григорий КРУЖКОВ

Читайте полностью тут.

Со вздохом припомню, годы спустя,
Как чаша весов в равновесье застыла:
Тропинки скрестились в лесу, и я —
Пошел по заброшенной. Может быть, зря…
Но это все прочее определило.

Перевод с английского Валерия ЧЕРЕШНИ

Читайте полностью тут.

Когда голова моя будет бела,
Скажу я: однажды, в лесу пожелтелом,
Развилка дорог на пути мне легла,
И я – ту, что хожена меньше была,
Я выбрал, и в этом все дело.

Перевод с английского Александра ШАРАКШАНЭ

Читайте полностью тут.

Я дерзко держу путь

А главное для меня, это то, что поэт не знал, по какому пути следовать, не знал, какой путь выбирать, а может потом он будет жалеть о выбранном, может лучше бы если бы он пошел по второму? Но вряд ли будет возможжность проверять. Он не может знать, куда лучше пойти, поэтому он совершил прыжок в неизвестность, а оказалось, что это было то, что надо.

Так было со мной, когда я резко изменила свою жизнь и переехала в Россию. Я дерзко держала путь в неизвестность, и это решило всё остальное.

Вот почему эти стихи нашли такой отклик у меня, когда я проходила этот Шаг.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

You’ve Lost That Hatin’ Feelin’

Teddy Goalsevelt at the World Cup. You've lost that hatin' feelin'From time to time, there are moments where a particular feeling unites people in a nation from many different backgrounds and preferences. For example, in 2011, supporters of many different Canadian football teams united in their loathing of the band Nickleback playing the half-time show at the Grey Cup Final. There was a moment when Americans of every variety were united in their hatred of soccer. That moment was the 2006 World Cup, where the USA not only lost two out of three games, but only managed to draw Italy because of a blundering own goal by Italy’s Cristian Zaccardo. Not only was the USA eliminated, but it was a regression from the results of 2002. I recall America’s reaction as something between a tantrum and a meltdown. I’m here to tell you that American columnist Ann Coulter’s recent rant about how hatred of soccer unites Americans is so 2006. I wish to report that Americans are slowly backing away from their hatred of soccer. It’s not exactly an embracing. Let’s just say America “You’ve lost that hatin’ feelin'” with regards to soccer.

You’ve lost that hatin’ feelin’

There are two North American soccer leagues, Major League Soccer (MLS) and the North American Soccer League (NASL). MLS is the more established league. The total annual attendance of MLS has increased every year from 2002 to the present. I mention this to point out that even though the USA didn’t do well at the 2006 World Cup, total annual MLS attendance increased. For reasons I don’t understand, every twenty years or so, a trend in the city of Seattle, Washington catches fire, and becomes a trend for a much larger area. For example, in 1971, a little coffee shop called Starbucks opened in Seattle. Starbucks in 1971. You've lost that hatin' feelin' In the early 1990’s, Seattle bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains defined the sound that came to be known as grunge. The band Nirvana. You've lost that hatin' feelin' What’s the buzz in Seattle right now? The Seattle Sounders FC (Football Club) soccer team, who drew an average of 44,000 fans per game in 2013. A Seattle Sounders FC soccer match. You've lost that hatin' feelin' Team USA is currently enjoying unprecedented success at the 2014 World Cup. The USA has not only advanced from the highly competitive Group G (called the “Group of Death” by some), but has advanced to the second stage in two consecutive World Cups for the first time ever. The USA went for forty years (1950-1990) without even qualifying for the World Cup, much less advancing. There are a number of national teams with outstanding players that failed to qualify. Therefore, in the greater scheme of things, qualifying for seven consecutive World Cups (1990-2014), as the USA has done, could be considered an accomplishment. I believe the attention span of American sports fans have prevented us from recognizing this achievement.

The history of American sports is strewn with the wreckage of predictions that Americans would embrace soccer, but the predictors keep predicting. Ann Coulter prefers the word “hectoring:”

“(6 [in a list of things she hates about soccer]) I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer. The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO’s “Girls,” light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is “catching on” is exceeded only by the ones pretending women’s basketball is fascinating.

I note that we don’t have to be endlessly told how exciting [American] football is.

(7) It’s foreign. In fact, that’s the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not “catching on” at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.”

Soccer catching on in America is by no means an inevitability. But I consider it a wholesome development that Americans are at least attempting to understand and appreciate something that wasn’t invented in America. America, I consider it a positive change that with regard to soccer, you’ve lost that hatin’ feelin’.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.

Flowing and Flexible

flowing and flexible

I am dedicated to practicing Steps to Knowledge as they are presented, not changing or adjusting the lessons to meet my tastes and expectations. But I hasten to add that they are in no way rigid and rigorous, they are flowing and flexible.

This is the conclusion I come to in Step 42, another review of the past week of practice.

Now some attentive reader may say, hey, aren’t you jumping the gun? What about Step 41. I am not afraid of the power of God? Very good, but in truth I have not skipped this Step, I have shared on it previously in this space. That was before I cottoned on to the fact that it might be better to write about my Steps practice methodically, beginning at Step 1. In my Step 41 post “I Wish To Venture Forth,” I shared a poem by Robert Frost called The Road Not Taken, which I interpreted as a leap of faith, a choice made on the spur of the moment. Again, something flowing and flexible.

Flowing and flexible

Step 42. Review says that I need only follow the curriculum to receive its true rewards. I need only follow, in faith and in true expectation. And in so doing, one of the things I will develop is self-worth.

I zoned in on this, since it is something I struggle with, and wrote in my notes:

  • Self-worth…. This is a tough one because for me it seems so easy for a feeling of self-worth to develop into arrogance, and whenever that happens I am brought back to earth with a thud. The self-worth it talks about here though has a different quality that I want to cultivate—valuing myself enough to feel I am worthy of the great gifts of Knowledge–hmmm, there seems to be something in that. And again, looking at things without judgment is certainly an attribute to be cultivated.I want to take what is being offered and use it for my Higher Good and, since I am part of the whole, for the Higher Good of the rest of humanity. I humbly wish to follow in faith and in true expectation, and receive the true rewards.

Again, I find it so refreshing that Steps acknowledges that I might have difficulty, but not to worry, I just need to recognize the problems and attempt to correct them. Again, I am to look without judgment and see what has been offered, what I have done and what I can possibly do to deepen my practice. Now I do not believe you can get much more flowing and flexible than that.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.