Step 22 of Steps to Knowledge introduces a new idea, “the Teachers of God.” Students have a certain degree of incredulity when considering the idea “I am surrounded by the Teachers of God.” When the first sentence of the first paragraph of the step says “You are indeed surrounded by the Teachers of God,” it suggests a certain anticipation of questioning. The word “indeed” in this sentence is the first use of the word “indeed” in Steps to Knowledge.
What are these Teachers like? The word “who” is used to refer to them, and they are said to have undertaken a training in many ways similar to Steps to Knowledge. It is therefore reasonable to think of them as individuals.
Where did they get this training? “Though given in many different forms, in different eras, in different worlds, a very similar kind of training was given to them that was geared wisely to their former state of mind and circumstances in life.” This is the first time the idea of individuals from different worlds is mentioned in Steps to Knowledge.
These Teachers aren’t human, are they? No. If one counts our world as one of the “different worlds,” then there might be Teachers who were human at one time. There might be a great many Teachers who have never been human, as there are a great many different worlds in the universe. I consider this step to require a number of deep breaths between the time one reads the step, and the time one goes on to the next step.
Are these Teachers extra-terrestrials? That would be implied by the “in different worlds” text, wouldn’t it? The step says we cannot yet see or hear them, but we can feel their presence. If I am surrounded by these Teachers, but cannot yet see or hear them, then they aren’t the kind of extra-terrestrials associated with UFO sightings and abduction experiences. The practice of this step is to feel the presence of the Teachers of God. I take comfort that it wasn’t the first time I was asked to feel something. Since the step said “Do not give in to doubt or confusion,” there is a certain anticipation of the need for a number of deep breaths.
I believe someone is reading this and wondering “What does the presence of the Teachers of God feel like?” I was still struggling with the idea of practicing feeling something. I could imagine that if Teachers such as the ones described here really did exist, their presence would have a very calming and assuring feeling, as they had already done what I was trying to do. On the other hand, I wasn’t asked to imagine something, I was asked to feel something.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some students decided not to take the necessary deep breaths at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if some students said to themselves “Everything I studied so far in steps 1-21 has been really helpful, but I’m going to take this Teachers of God thing with a certain degree of skepticism.” There is a certain anticipation of this skepticism, but there is also a statement saying this engagement is a necessary part of the package:
“Do not give in to doubt or confusion, for you must prepare to have the reward that you seek, and you must know that you are not alone in the world to have the strength, the confidence and the resource of Wisdom necessary to achieve that which you were sent here to achieve.”
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