I Will Accept My Non-Acceptance As It Is

Step 70 of Steps to Knowledge is a review, but not a review of the past seven steps, as Step 56 and Step 63 are.  Step 70 is a review of the past three weeks worth of practice.  Step 70 is a review of Steps 50 through 69.  One could call it “the little big review,” as Step 49, a review of Steps 1 through 48, is “the big review.”  Steps 1 through 7 are reviewed a total of three times (Step 7, Step 14, Step 49). Steps 8 through 48 are reviewed two times (once in the weekly review, and once in Step 49). Steps 50 through 62 are reviewed two times (once in the weekly review, and once in Step 70). Steps 64 through 69 are reviewed once, in Step 70.  This is the first of a series of three posts on the Step 70 review.

Step 70 is one of three steps (49, 70, and 140) which use the word “Congratulations!”  I’m not exactly sure why congratulations are in order, but anyone who has reached this point realizes that Steps to Knowledge means what it says.  Therefore, I will accept the idea that a certain accomplishment has taken place.

I wrote more about my experience in the Step 56 and Step 63 reviews than I did in the Step 70 review.  But I believe it might still be useful to share what I wrote with a little bit of commentary.

I will accept my non-acceptance as it is

Step 50 – Today I will be with Knowledge – “I seem to recall that I did the practice, but I have no memory of any particular experience.”

Step 51 – Let me recognize my fears so that I may see the truth beyond them – “There is truth beyond my fear that I’m going to **** it all up, fail to reclaim Knowledge.”  In the Step 56 review I wrote “I recall the Bible verse about how the devil, through the fear of death, keeps people in lifelong bondage. Fear reduces to the fear of death, when the chain is followed long enough.  I considered the truth behind a laundry list of fears.”  I am pleased with myself that I wrote a number of posts about this Step.

Step 52 – I am free to find the source of my Knowledge – “I am free to receive God.” In the Step 56 review I wrote “I didn’t get this Step. God is the source of my Knowledge. Does this step mean I’m free to find God today?  I took a vacation of a couple of months before completing this step in the midst of my bewilderment.” On further review, I consider that an error. Don’t do that.

Step 53 – My gifts are for others – “I am mystified by my gifts.  I don’t even know what my gifts are. Child said my autism is a gift.” In the Step 56 review I wrote “This Step was not controversial to me.  I have had a lifelong desire to contribute, but it has been thwarted, mocked, stomped on till it don’t move no more.”

Step 54 – I will not live in idealism – “I have an ideal to be normal.  I have an ideal to be useful.” I wrote in the Step 56 review, “I only have 70 trillion ideals, be a super-missionary, end world hunger, enlighten the planet, etc.”  Between the time I did this step and now, I have given up on the ideal of being normal.  I would like to fulfill my mission in life, though.

Step 55 – I will accept the world as it is – “So this is the world I came to serve.  Talk about your fixer upper.”  In the Step 56, review, I wrote “I accept that I don’t want to accept the world as it is, not even a little bit.”  Acceptance has to start somewhere.

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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.

Some Questions About Complaining

I have some questions about complaining, such as When will I stop?

As I ponder Step 66, “I will stop complaining about the world,” of Steps to Knowledge, I recall a cartoon showing the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, as described in chapter 14 of the book of Exodus. One Israelite is saying to another, “Well, it’s a little damp underfoot…”

Some Questions About Complaining

Is a complaint a judgment on “external speaker?”

Is a complaint a dead giveaway of the presence of idealism, the mother of judgment? Is a complaint a dead giveaway of the absence of Knowledge?

Is a complaint a demand that someone conform to my expectation, with a promise to withhold my happiness and participation if it goes unmet?  Is a complaint a thinly veiled hostage situation, where I am both the hostage and the hostage-taker?

Do you hear people who are flourishing in any area of human endeavor complain about the challenges they face?  Do you hear NBA basketball player LeBron James or La Liga forward Diego Costa complain about the people who try to keep them from scoring?

Does my complaining make me a better person?  Do I have a moral duty to complain as little as possible?

Is my complaining an attempt to enroll you in my judgments and ideals? Will you stop me before I complain again?

Does my complaining make the world a better place?

If I have a mission in my life to fulfill (and Step 33 of Steps to Knowledge says I do), then does my complaining help the fulfillment of that mission?

If I have come to work in the world (and Step 65 of Steps to Knowledge says I have), then does my complaining further that work?

Why are complaints considered less profane than certain other utterances?

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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.

I Will Accept My Studenthood As It Is

“Am I hard enough?
Am I rough enough?
Am I rich enough?
I’m not too blind to see” – The Rolling Stones, “Beast of Burden

Step 56 of Steps to Knowledge is the first review after the big review of Step 49, where the previous 48 steps are reviewed.

We are now 15% of the way into the program. A number of remarkable things have been said about Knowledge.  Some people might be wondering whether any of those remarkable things are supposed to have happened by now.  I’m sure some people at this point look back at Step 10, “What is Knowledge?” and ask “Have I had any instances of profound intuition?”  Any times of inexplicable knowing?  Any new insights about the past?

I will accept my studenthood as it is

In other words, some people are putting their experience in one balance, and their ideal of what they think should happen in the other balance.  In other words, they are not accepting their studenthood as it is.  Step 54, “I will not live in idealism” and Step 55, “I will accept the world as it is” are about confronting and penetrating one’s idealism.  It is not a big surprise that the Step 56 review has some material about not comparing one’s studenthood to a non-existent ideal:

“In today’s review, review the past week of lessons and your involvement with them. Try to understand that though progress may appear to be slow at first, that which is slow and even will progress greatly. Involvement that is consistently applied will give you the straight line to your accomplishment.

In your review, we again remind you to refrain from self-judgment if you have not met your expectations. Merely realize what is required to follow the instructions as they are given and involve yourself with them as fully as possible. Remember that you are learning to learn, and remember that you are learning to reclaim your self-worth and your true abilities.”

At this point, Steps to Knowledge seems to me to be disabusing the student of mental habits which lead to suffering.  Mental habits such as believing things not founded in experience (Step 5, “I believe what I want to believe”). Mental habits such as cherishing specialness (Step 13, “I want to be separate to be unique”). Mental habits such as justifying errors (Step 26, “My errors give birth to my knowledge”).  Mental habits such as judging others (Step 30, “Today I will observe my world”). Mental habits such as neglecting relationship (Step 45, “Alone I can do nothing”). Mental habits such as maintaining ideals (Step 54, “I will not live in idealism”).  Anyone who has reached Step 56, and has followed the instructions, has a fighting chance to be suffering less, other things being equal, than they were when they were on Step 1.

Here is the word cloud for Steps 50 to 55

Steps To Knowledge Steps 50-55 Word Cloud - I will accept my studenthood as it is

To recognize Knowledge, practice today. And the next day, and the next day, and the next day…

I will accept my studenthood as it is. It’s what I’ve been told to do, and besides, I suffer less that way.

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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.

Idealism Is The Mother Of Judgment

The Idealist by Luke Hillestad. Idealism is the mother of judgment

The Idealist by Luke Hillestad

Suppose your beloved were to say “Here’s what I really love about you…,” but instead of describing you as they know you really are now, they described an idealized version of you.  It might be a person you may wish to be someday.  It might be a person you are working toward becoming.  But it’s not you as you are now.  How would you feel?  Would it bless you?  It might be interesting, but would it be love?

Idealism is the mother of judgment

It’s as if I weigh other people in a pair of balances.  In one balance, I put the person as they actually are.  In the other balance, I put my ideal of the person.  The person as they are is invariably found wanting in comparison to my ideal. The person as they are is then the subject of judgment.

And worse, I do the same thing to the world.  The world as it is now is wanting in comparison to my ideal of the world.

A gentleman shared an opinion with me that all advertisements reduced to the generation of discontent, saying that people don’t measure up to a certain ideal, but they will if they purchase a particular product or service. Marketer Seth Godin concurs when he writes “Marketers trying to grow market share will always work to make their non-customers unhappy.

Steps to Knowledge doesn’t say this, but I do.  Idealism is the mother of judgment.  Idealism is the fertile soil in which the noxious weed of judgment takes root.  Idealism is the Petri dish which the bacteria of judgment consider an all-you-can-eat buffet.  You get the idea.

If idealism is the mother of judgment, what remedy does Steps to Knowledge propose for this predicament?  Step 29 “I will observe myself today to learn of Knowledge,” and Step 30 “Today I will observe my world,” address the practice of judgment.  Step 29 offers observation as an alternative to self-judgment, and Step 30 offers observation as an alternative to judging the world.  I consider Step 54, “I will not live in idealism,” and Step 55, “I will accept the world as it is,” to operate in parallel to Steps 29 and 30, except that Steps 54 and 55 are addressing the cause of judgment instead of the practice of judgment. Step 54 encourages the student to drop her ideal of herself.  Step 55 encourages the student to relinquish his ideal of the world.

Some people find the idea of accepting the world as it is to be unacceptable, as it would imply accepting the world’s errors.  That concern is addressed in the Step:

“Therefore, in your two 30-minute practice periods today, concentrate on accepting things exactly as they are. You are not condoning violence, conflict or ignorance in doing this. You are merely accepting the conditions that exist so that you may work with them constructively. Without this acceptance, you have no starting place for true engagement. Allow the world to be exactly as it is, for it is this world that you have come to serve.”

If you are a biological accident, if you have been born here against your will, if you’ve been thrown into the world, you might have reason to hate the world, and to cultivate that hatred.  But if you’ve come to serve the world, that whole complex of idealism and judging and hating is something over which you’re going to have to get.

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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.

Idealism Has A Fatal Flaw

Some people say a bodhisattva is an ideal human being, but idealism has a fatal flawEvery human world view has a concept of the ideal human being.  It doesn’t matter whether the world view is religious or materialistic.  The ideal human being of a particular world view has a certain set of attributes and qualities.  These qualities are demonstrated by engagement in some activities, and avoidance of other activities.

The New Message from God has a relatively nuanced approach to this.  Steps to Knowledge teaches that certain practices should be embraced, such as observation, compassion and contribution.  Steps to Knowledge teaches that certain practices should be avoided, such as judgment, blame and assumption.  So it is reasonable to say that if a person studies Steps to Knowledge, he will become a certain kind of person.

But the New Message from God doesn’t identify a particular individual as the ideal human being.  Someone is thinking “Well, what about this Marshall Vian Summers person you go on and on about.  Is he the ideal human being of the world view of the New Message from God?”  My answer is “If he is, he’s not supposed to be.”  He is the Messenger of this New Message, and he shares his message by his life, but if we put him on a pedestal, if we make him the ideal human being, then he failed, then we failed.

Idealism has a fatal flaw

Some time ago, I mentioned that in the late 1980’s, the organization of Marshall Summers made a series of five cassette tapes containing messages Marshall had received.  One of these tapes was on the development of Knowledge.  On this tape, it was taught that ideals and idealism was a hindrance to the emergence of Knowledge.  I don’t remember why this was this case.  But Step 54, “I will not live in idealism,” elaborates.

“What is idealism but ideas of things that are hoped for based on disappointment? Your idealism includes yourself, your relationships and the world in which you live. It includes God and life and all realms of experience that you can imagine. Without experience, there is idealism. Idealism can be helpful at the beginning, for it can start you moving in a true direction, but you must not rest your conclusions or your identity upon it, for only experience can give you that which is true to you and that which you can fully accept. Let not idealism guide you, for Knowledge is here to guide you.”

When the word “true” is used as an adjective in Steps to Knowledge (as in “a true direction,”) I am currently hearing the phrase “genuine and effective” in my mind’s ear.  Idealism can be helpful at the beginning, for it can start you moving in a genuine and effective direction.

Still, idealism has a fatal flaw.  What is this fatal flaw?  The violation of experience.  I have offered as a working definition of knowing something “an experience of something being self-evident which inspires consistent action.”  If we don’t have experience, we don’t have knowing.  If experience is being violated, then a false self which is apart from life is being created.

Kabir (translated by Rabindranath Tagore) has an exclamation point he would like to provide:

THERE is nothing but water at the holy bathing places; and I know that they are useless, for I have bathed in them.
The images are all lifeless, they cannot speak; I know, for I have cried aloud to them.
The Purana and the Koran are mere words; lifting up the curtain, I have seen.
Kabîr gives utterance to the words of experience; and he knows very well that all other things are untrue.

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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.