Errors Can Lead To True Knowledge

Errors can lead to true knowledge

It has been my experience that errors can lead to true knowledge.

I have shared on Step 26. My Errors Give Birth to My Knowledge before in this space, when I claimed that errors could be serendipitous.

This still holds true for me and I will bolster it even further by reiterating that errors can lead to true knowledge.

Step 26 tells me that it is pointless to justify error, nor can errors be condoned. They are not something to be blithely glossed over in the vain hope I can forget them.  Rather they are something to enter into a partnership with, they need to be accepted, they are to be utilized to derive value from, I would do well to have them give up their secrets. Douglas quotes George Washington Carver and gives some pertinent pointers here.

My notes for this Step say: This Step is so pertinent to me today. It adds a new quality and depth to my analysis of my errors.

It has been my practice in the past to try and recognize errors for what they are but not blame or beat myself over the head for them. However, often it is difficult to have a kind and loving attitude toward myself for my errors, but I realize that self-forgiveness is the only way to pick up and move on. So the sentence below from the Step really spoke to me.

What this truly means is that you recognize that error is error and then you attempt to use it on your own behalf.

Errors can lead to true knowledge

Errors can lead to true knowledge

I will elaborate on what I wrote in my previous post on Step 26 about one particular error in the summer of 2012 that led me to the New Message from God. That summer I travelled with my husband to the north of Russia looking for a place we might find our dream house in the country. We found a village on the shores of Lake Onega where we thought we might like to live. We made the acquaintance of a local couple we thought might help us on our way. Their friendship proved hollow, their mentoring false. I was pulled in a direction that may have proven disastrous had I not come to my senses in time. I suffered, it was painful and discouraging, I experienced a giant setback in my spiritual development. The upshot was that I recognized the error for what it was and asked to be shown something new and empowering. Within a couple of weeks I found the New Message from God.

I consider this an example of how errors can lead to true knowledge.

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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 My Errors Give Up Their Secrets?

Will my errors give up their secrets? If I love them enough.

In Step 26, “My errors give birth to my Knowledge,” Steps to Knowledge succinctly demonstrates the incompleteness of a number of ideas in popular culture regarding errors. To briefly review, if you think that error doesn’t hurt, you’re kidding yourself. If you justify your poor choices, you anesthetize yourself to the pain they caused to you and others. If I forget my mistakes, I will inevitably make them again. Therefore, it is important to resolve to learn from errors, and to look for their enablers.

Will my errors give up their secrets?

Step 73, “I will allow my errors to teach me,” continues in this vein. This is the first mention of the word “error” since Step 26. The teaching of Step 26 has been gestating and germinating for a while. Underneath the pain, past the heartache, each error has a valuable secret to share, a point of instruction to offer. This step is strengthening the willingness to receive instruction from one’s errors, and thus to no longer repeat them.

When doing this step, I remember thinking to myself, “Allow my errors to teach me? The heck with that! I’ll be proactive! I’ll initiate! I’ll follow my errors down dark alleyways, wrestle them to the ground, and go through their pockets for every last bit of instruction I can get!” But there seems to be a time to make things happen, and a time to let things happen.

I have shared this quote from George Washington Carver before, and I will most likely share it again before too long. He said “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough.”

Will my errors give up their secrets? If I love them enough. What do I mean by loving my errors? The Step declares “If you are willing to learn from your errors, you will not be so afraid to recognize them. Then you will wish to understand them, not to deny them, not to bear false witness against them, not to call them by other names, but to admit them for your own benefit.”

Will my errors give up their secrets? If I love them enough.

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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.

Listening For A Melody

Makrokosmos by George Crumb - Listening for a melody

In Step 62 “Today I will learn to listen to life” of Steps to Knowledge, we were told to listen, to be present, to listen without judgment.  After the review period of Step 63, Step 64, “Today I will listen to another,” goes a little bit deeper into the nature of listening.

The step doesn’t seem to be asking for what the therapists call “active listening.” I’m not being asked to share what I believe I’m hearing.  The step doesn’t seem to be asking for what the neuro-linguistic programmers call “matching” or “mirroring.” I’m not being asked to do anything in particular to build rapport.

Listening for a melody

I feel I’m being asked to not just listening to the words someone says. I feel I’m being asked to listen to the total package of what they saying by their manner.  I’m listening for a melody.  Sometimes people say things as if the words they were saying were the last words of a patriotic song.  Sometimes people say things as if they were confessing their failure to protect their children.  When I did Step 19, “Today I wish to see,” I recalled this quote from American botanist George Washington Carver (1864-1943):

George Washington Carver was listening for a melody by silently communing with people

“Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough.”

I consider Step 64 to be a listening version of Step 19.  I consider Step 64 to be a listening exercise in loving people.  The step considered the possibility that the person I was listening to might be taken by surprise, and give up one of their secrets. “You will find that they have a greater communication for you than you might at first have anticipated.”

If I am listening for a melody, will I hear the bending of the musical staff in Makrokosmos by American composer George Crumb, the music shown above?  I don’t know, but I know I’m going to try.

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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.

Can I Follow Instructions? Can I Take What I Get?

This is the third post in a series of seven posts regarding Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge, where I am instructed to review my practice and experience of the first 48 steps.  I am sharing what I wrote when I originally did this step, with additional commentary as needed.

Step 15 – I shall listen to my experience today – “I don’t remember doing this step very well, but I’m sure I did it.  Listening without judgment is good fer what ails ya.”  What I meant is that I didn’t have much of a memory of my doing this step.  I consider “good fer what ails ya” to be the only correct spelling of this idiom.

Step 16 – Beyond my mind is Knowledge – “I did the Step, but I don’t remember hearing any deeper inclinations at the time.”  Does this mean I failed at the Step?  Not necessarily.  The Step 49 review states:

“You will find as you proceed that some of your failures will lead to greater successes, and that some of what you thought of as successes may lead to failures. This will underscore your whole system of evaluation and will lead you to a greater recognition. This will make it possible for you to be compassionate towards yourself and towards others whom you now judge for their successes and their failures.”

I have a tiny bit of mountain climbing experience, and from this I know that some paths which seem easy at the time result in dead ends, and some paths which seem unnecessarily difficult at the time are actually the paths with the highest probability of success.  Therefore, the ability to take what I get from following the directions is important.

Step 17 – Today I want to hear the truth – “The truth totally disrupted my ideals to be a hero, a hunger-ender, an apostle, a Jedi Knight.”  I’ve only been told all my life by people that they have great expectations of me.  They have quoted the Bible verse “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48, New International Version).  I have consistently disappointed both my expectations of myself, and other people’s expectations of me.  I managed to simultaneously flunk out and get kicked out of theological seminary.  I was ineffective at higher and higher levels of volunteering in the Hunger Project.  The disappointment of ambition is an important milestone.  Why am I telling anybody anything about anything?  It’s what I do.  I hope it helps.

Step 18 – Today I feel the truth arising within myself – “I did the Step, but I confess to be bewildered as to all the Steps that say ‘Feel this,’ ‘Feel that.’  The text [of Step 18] was helpful.  I have to become the better person I want Knowledge to make me, in order to approach Knowledge.  The whole Wizard of Oz thing.  I remember thinking ‘Yeah, right, like I know my true goal in life.'”  In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the Wizard gave a task to the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion which required them to bring forth the qualities they desired from the Wizard (intelligence, empathy, and courage, respectively).

Step 19 – Today I wish to see – “I did a hockey puck and a spoon, and I recall that I tried to imagine how the puck got its scratches, and that the light I saw reflected off the spoon was not the spoon.  Just looking at something is loving that thing.  Everything in nature (including me) will reveal its secrets to me if I look at it without trying to impose my thoughts and wishes on it.” I was improvising on the quote from American scientist George Washington Carver:

“Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough.”

Step 20 – I will not let doubt and confusion slow my practice – “I did a rock, and something else.  It’s as if they knew that at this point, doubt and confusion might arise.”

Step 21 – Review – “I did the review, and followed the instructions to chill out.”  Ok, ok, the instructions didn’t literally say to chill out, but they did say to avoid making conclusions and observe the line of development.

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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.