Steps 65 through 67 of Steps to Knowledge have something in common. They all contain some variation on the sentence “You have come to the world to work.” Step 65, “I have come to work in the world,” introduces the idea. Step 66, “I will stop complaining about the world,” gave the idea of something I need to drop if I’m going to take this idea seriously. And now, Step 67, “I do not know what I want for the world,” brings another item from which I need to slowly back away; my designs for the world.
I should be suspicious of what I want for the world
Someone might say “I don’t demand that the world devote itself to making me happy. I’m willing to be the change I wish to see in the world.” But what if the change you wish to see in the world sets other events in motion resulting in changes in the world you didn’t wish to see? Are you wise enough to see it fully through? I’m not.
Someone might say “I would make the world a more just place.” But many who live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Even people who care about strangers, who care about evil and social injustice, can be heartless and cruel and hard and cold.
I am recalling the Rumi poem which I have already shared once in this space:
Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I ride after a deer and find myself
Chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
And end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others
And fall in.
I should be suspicious
Of what I want.
Someone is going to ask, “Well, what should we do then?” Steps to Knowledge recommends at this point that we cultivate a healthy suspicion of what we want for the world. Steps to Knowledge recommends at this point that we reserve a space for what Knowledge knows it must contribute, for the mission we have in life to fulfill, for the work we have come to the world to do.
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