I Wish To See A Different World

I wish to see a different world

I tell myself that I wish to see a different world. But what do I mean?

My notes quote the following sentence from Step 31. I  Wish To See A World I Have Never Seen Before:

I wish to see a different world.

And follow it with, for me this is the same as saying “I wish to see the truth.”

Is this any clearer? When I say to myself, “I wish to see the truth,” I am talking about situations I encounter in my daily life, in my interpersonal relationships mainly. I mean that I want to see past what my mind imagines a situation to be, past all the assumptions and judgments I come up with, past my fantasies and conjectures, to see the situation as it really is. I wish to know the truth.

Still, when I say I wish to see a different world, what does this really mean? I asked myself this question when I did this Step because I was unsure whether the “world” meant the world at large, the physical world I find myself in, or whether it meant my personal world, my immediate world of interpersonal relationships with the people around me. Or does it mean both?

In the world at large, I have no control over what people do and what goes on. I can only pray for greater enlightenment. If I do not judge, but observe impartially, I can accept the world I see and know that it is colored by my own thoughts and ideas about it. If I wish to see a different world I first need to change my way of looking.

In my personal world, I can easily get myself bent out of shape over certain things, and at those times, when I wish things were different, I ask to see the truth. Often I am rewarded with a new insight.

Steps to Knowledge puts great store by hourly practices. Step 31 puts even greater emphasis than usual on this, saying:

Do this every hour. Try not to miss any practice sessions. Practice no matter how you feel, no matter what is occurring.

I must admit that I am not very good at the hourly practices, that is, practicing on the hour, every hour. This is a definite shortcoming of mine. I justify this shortcoming by telling myself that my Step is with me all day regardless of whether I am thinking about it specifically every hour, or not. The Step lives with me as I go about my daily business, I tell myself.

I wish to see a different world

I wish to see a different worldToday, as I write this post, I am in a different place. Today the line of the Step that speaks to me is:

It represents your desire for peace.

Today there is war going on in my part of the world. The day it started for real (May 2, 2014), I was sitting on the banks of a peaceful river and seeing a different world. I was nowhere near the war, either physically or mentally. I was seeing a world of beauty, morning mist on the water, emerald green birch leaves dancing in the wind, magnificent cloud-studded skies at sunrise and sunset, birds singing, fish jumping, and a crescent moon. This is the world I wish to see.

The world I saw there was very different from the way it was just sixty years ago. In the very place where I was enjoying the stillness and peace of nature, Russians fought Germans during World War II. I know this because the earth there is still full of spent bullets and missiles, soldiers’ bones and other signs of war. War is still going on in the world, but I wish to see a different world.

On the way back home, I listened to a song that spoke to this experience. The song, a Cossack folk ballad sung by Russian folksinger Jeanne (Zhanna) Bichevskaya, particularly attracted me with the words, “There is stillness all around, broken only by a burbling brook, but not that long ago there raged a war.”

I do not judge the world, the world will do what it will do. However, I am at liberty to see a different world.

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