Any student who has reached Step 87, “I will not be afraid of what I know” of Steps to Knowledge, might be entertaining the thought “Easy for you to say, pal!” If Knowledge really is the great mystery of my life, then what? If I’m not wondering “Will it hurt to know?” then I don’t believe I’m really paying attention. What if Knowledge tells me to get into a different line of work, or move to a different city? Even studying Steps to Knowledge has a certain disruptive influence by now, sucking some of the poison of resentment and regret out of my soul.
Will it hurt to know?
Therefore, it seems necessary to take a deep, cleansing breath and hitch up my drawers before advancing further. Step 87 seems to “know” this, and addresses this.
“You may bear great anger and distrust towards yourself, but this is not directed at Knowledge.This is directed at your personal mind, which cannot possibly understand your greater purpose. It cannot possibly answer your greatest questions or provide certainty, purpose, meaning and direction in your life.”
As both a child and a parent, I have taken much pleasure in playing the board game Monopoly. As a child, I took a certain pleasure in the game tokens, like the Scottish Terrier or Scottie Dog pictured above. As I contemplated this step, a thought came to me. The thought was that expecting my personal mind to understand my greater purpose, was equivalent to asking the Scottie Dog game token whether I should invest in dirt-cheap Baltic Avenue or expensive Boardwalk. Expecting my personal mind to answer my greatest questions, or to provide certainty, purpose, meaning and direction in my life, seemed like giving my personal mind a task beyond its design specifications.
I need the Scottie Dog (my individuality) to play the game, and the Scottie Dog needs something greater than itself (like Knowledge) to provide purpose, meaning and direction as to how the game is played. Will it hurt to know? All I know at this point is that it definitely hurts to expect my personal mind to understand my greater purpose. Maybe I should stop doing that.
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