Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner were regular guests in my childhood world.
In the above video, a portion of the 1960 theatrical animated short Hopalong Casualty, the chronically inept, technology-enamored Coyote scatters some Acme Earthquake Pills on the road, hoping that the Road Runner can mistake them for birdseed. The Road Runner obligingly eats them, but they have no effect as he zooms away. In disgust, the Coyote swallows an earthquake pill himself, and then even more disgustedly swallows all of the remaining pills. After jumping up and down several times in an attempt to trigger an earthquake, he contemptuously chucks the empty bottle over his shoulder, but immediately leaps after the bottle with bulging eyes to catch it before it shatters in the middle of the road. He is too late; Wile E. reads the fine print at the bottom of the bottle’s label: “Not effective on Road Runners”. As soon as he sees this, he gulps nervously, now knowing what he faces. As he gingerly takes his first step to get out of the middle of the road, the product takes effect on him, causing him to shake, rattle and jerk helplessly across the landscape, getting flattened by a huge boulder and almost falling off a narrow rocky arch in the process. When the product finally wears off, the Coyote feels so relieved when he steps out without looking where he is going and strides off the edge of a cliff.
Are you happy with your purchase?
I am telling you this to confess that I harbored a secret, irrational hope, and a secret, irrational fear during my study of Steps to Knowledge.
The secret, irrational hope was that studying Steps to Knowledge would cure my autism (it was once called Asperger’s Syndrome, but that is now lumped with the rest of autism in DSM-5). It was mostly irrational because Steps to Knowledge offers no promises of cures of medical conditions. The only way it was not irrational is that it took the prayer of the Step 28 review at its word. “I accept the miracles of my life as a demonstration of the presence of Knowledge…”
I also harbored a more rational hope that studying Steps would offer some compensations, coping strategies and perspective which would make my autism less of an inconvenience. That hope has been fulfilled to a certain degree, and the fulfillment is growing and ongoing. Studying Steps has helped me to feel that I’m not without resource in the face of the difficulties of my life. Steps tells me that I have brought a great treasure to this world. Steps tells me that engaging with my mission, my purpose, my role, will either require that I solve my pathetic little personal problems, or render their solution unnecessary. At the 2012 Encampment, someone said “God doesn’t take away your disability. He gives you something important to do.”
What was my secret irrational fear? It was that somewhere along the way, like Wile E. Coyote, I would read some fine print in Steps to Knowledge that I had foolishly ignored at an earlier time. The fine print would say “Caution: This won’t work for people with Asperger’s Syndrome.” It was an irrational fear, because five minutes worth of computer searching could determine if such fine print actually existed. It doesn’t.
I am writing this because I believe some people are thinking “I say, Douglas, you’ve invested quite a bit of time, effort and trust into this Steps to Knowledge thing. Are you happy with your purchase?” I’m definitely not a spiritual windowshopper. I have definitely started an exchanging flow. I found some of the things I was looking for, and a certain degree of perspective on the things I still haven’t found.
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