What Do You See When You’re Watching The Wheels?

John Lennon Park, Havana, Cuba What do you see when you're watching the wheels?
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go

John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels”.

Many years ago, I heard a preacher instruct his listeners to “set their day in order” when they pray in the morning. In other words, mentally and verbally rehearse what you plan to accomplish that day, the things for which you hope to give thanks when you go to sleep that night. It’s possible that the preacher in question got this idea from Stephen Covey and baptized it, as I heard this right about the time that “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was published. The point is that I have adopted this practice into my family of practices, with the minor adaptation of writing down my plans for the day.

What do you see when you’re watching the wheels?

After a relatively active and stressful week, I resolved yesterday to not have a great deal of resolve to do anything in particular. I thought to myself “I might just sit and watch the wheels go round,” a reference to the 1981 John Lennon song. I then had a thought I wasn’t expecting. A voice in my mind’s ear asked “When you sit and watch the wheels go round, what do you see?” I thought that was an excellent question. This was my answer.

“I see people doubling down, practicing justifying judgments, justifying assumptions, justifying the detrimental practices of Step 80 [“I can only practice”], winding [as opposed to unwinding, their investments in judgments, assumptions, etc.], taking bigger investments in their contingent, concocted selves, no matter how far it takes them away from their true selves, from life, from the mission and relationships for which they came into the world, rushing deeper into a troubled dream with their fingers in their ears.”

Christian musician Don Francisco recorded a song called Adam, Where Are You? with the following lyrics:

Though the curse has long been broken
Adam’s sons are still the prisoners of their fears
Rushing helter-skelter to destruction with their fingers in their ears.

I was thinking about those lyrics as I wrote my answer. I make no claim that this is a correct answer. I only claim it’s what I see when I’m watching the wheels. What do you see when you’re watching the wheels?

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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.

Are My Fears Real?

Obsessive Compulsive DisorderAre my fears real?  I say it all depends on what the meaning of the word “fears” is.

There are some people who sincerely define “fears” as “things or situations that I don’t want to experience.”  In my mind, these people are investing their fear into the things and situations

There are some people who sincerely define “fears” as illusions and deceptions.  They consider fear to be an acronym for phrases such as “False Events Appearing Real” or “False Evidence Appearing Real.”  But what do these people do with their experience?

There are some people who define “fears” as “the physiological and emotional responses to things or situations that I don’t want to experience.”  I say that definition of “fears” is unquestionably real.  Sometimes that body/mind response gets connected in the mind to the thing or situation to which the body/mind is responding.

Step 51 of Steps to Knowledge, in my opinion, takes the third meaning of “fears,” but addresses all three perspectives:

“Your obstacles must be recognized in order for you to see beyond them. If they are ignored or denied, if they are protected or called by other names, you will not realize the nature of your restraint. You will not understand that which oppresses you.”

If my fear is invested in other things or situations, then I have given power over me to those things or situations.  I have put myself in a position of weakness.

If I attempt to assert that my fear doesn’t exist, when physiological and emotional responses are clearly taking place, I am attempting to redact my experience, and creating a false self which is apart from life.

But how do I break the connection between the body/mind response, and the thing or situation to which the body/mind is responding?  How do I unwind the investment of my fear into some thing or situation?  I believe the answer Steps to Knowledge would have at this point is to observe the response and observe the connection being made without judgment.  I believe Steps to Knowledge would tell me, in the words of John Lennon, to watch the wheels of my fears go ’round, to carefully observe the spinning, and what makes them spin.

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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 Make My Soul A Little Bigger?

This is the fifth post in a series of seven posts regarding Step 49 of Steps to Knowledge, where I am directed to review my practice of the first 48 steps.  I am sharing what I wrote at the time I did this review, with additional commentary as needed.

Step 29 – I will observe myself today to learn of Knowledge – “I remember I started exercising the day I did this Step.  When I’m doing more observing, less judging, Knowledge sneaks in in an unguarded moment.  I didn’t do very well in practicing exactly on the hour, but I practiced a good bit.  I commented on this Step.”  Starting to exercise was definitely a positive development.  Yes, I consider unguarded moments to be valuable.  I now use the alarm on my cell phone to remind me of hourly practice.  It’s a great conversation starter.  I don’t believe my private commentary on this step will be all that helpful.

Step 30 – Today I will observe my world – “Again, like the day before, I didn’t do the Step hourly, but I did it a lot, I considered the possibility of looking on the collapse of America without judgment.”  If you either know me, or read this blog, then you have observed or surmised that I have a certain amount of fondness for, or attachment to, the United States of America and the ideals it seeks to embody.  Contemplating the possibility of looking on the collapse of America without judgment took a great deal of stretching my soul beyond its previous dimensions.

Step 31 – I wish to see a world I have never seen before – “I recalled the ‘Judgment and love are opposites…’ step from ACIM [A Course in Miracles].  I also recalled the John Lennon song ‘Watchin’ the Wheels Go Round.’  Again, I wasn’t good on timely practice, but I practiced a lot.”  Lesson 352 in the Workbook for Students in A Course in Miracles is “Judgment and love are opposites.  From one come all the sorrows of the world.  But from the other comes the peace of God Himself.”  This is more of what I mean when I talk about the overlap between A Course in Miracles and Steps to Knowledge.  The actual title of the John Lennon song is just “Watching the Wheels.”  I find it much less angry than many earlier John Lennon songs.

Step 32 – The truth is with me.  I can feel it. – “I remember mocking this Step, saying the line from 2001 ‘The truth is with me, Dave.  I can feel it.’  I believe there was a big gap between the day I did 31 and the day I did 32.  Holidays?  I commented on this step.”  When Dave Bowman is shutting down the HAL 9000 computer in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL says “My mind is going, Dave.  I can feel it.”  Did I need some comic relief? I shared my further commentary on Step 32 here.

Step 33 – I have a mission in my life to fulfill – “I remember not enjoying this step, because I was ok with the idea, but never seemed to fulfill it.  I remember thinking it could mean I would be a fanatic, my life organized around my great mission.  On the other hand, I might be fanatic, but normal about it.”  I seem to have issues with either being a fanatic, or being thought of as a fanatic.  Did St. Joan of Arc have a problem with people thinking she was a fanatic?

Step 34 – I am a beginning student of Knowledge – “I remember this Step taking away the pressure from the last Step.”

Step 35 – Review – “I did the Review.  Looking without judgment is the current answer to everything that stinks.”  I remember making the phrase “I will look, but I will not judge” into a little song that I sang over and over around the time I did this step.

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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.