Step Two Hundred and Fourteen


Step 214. I Do Not Understand Myself.
This is not a statement of failure or limitation. It is simply a statement to liberate you from your own impediments. How can you possibly understand yourself if Knowledge is not revealing all things to you? How can you possibly understand the world when Knowledge is not revealing the world to you? This is pure experience, beyond all concepts and beliefs, for concepts and beliefs can only follow the experience and attempt to provide a structure where the experience can arise again. In no way can beliefs, assumptions or ideas possibly imitate Knowledge itself.

Of course you do not understand yourself or the world, for you only understand your ideas, and they are not eternal. Therefore, they cannot provide a solid foundation upon which you must learn to stand. Thus, they can only fail and deceive you if you rely upon them instead of Knowledge to reveal yourself and the world to you.

Upon the hour remind yourself that you do not understand yourself. Free yourself from the burden of justifying your own judgments. Look upon yourself in your deeper meditation practices and remind yourself that you do not understand yourself. Now you are free to enter into stillness, for you are not attempting to use your experience to justify your fantasies about yourself. Here your mind becomes free to be itself, and you become free to appreciate yourself.

Practice 214:
 
Two 30-minute practice periods. Hourly practice.

Here you will find the entire book free for download http://stepstoknowledge.com/

Here you will find pointers for getting started if this is your first encounter with this practice: Taking the Steps to Knowledge.

November 10, 2013 Round One: I was jumping the gun in the last Step by mentioning not understanding myself, when this next Step is devoted entirely to it. And although I can accept that I do not understand myself, that my world is built on the flimsy foundation of my beliefs and assumptions, I admit to having difficulty with the word “experience” here and wondering if I really understand what it means.

What I understand at the moment is that my experience and my beliefs and assumptions are two different things – experience is real, something on which to build my true foundation, whereas beliefs and assumptions are misleading, unsubstantial material for building a true foundation. But is this correct? What is experience? That which is actually happening in my life rather than what is going on in my head? For me this Step harks back to Step 4. I Want What I Think I Know.

I am grappling with the sentence “…you are not attempting to use your experience to justify your fantasies about yourself.” How should I understand this?


This was the answer I received from another student.

"With Knowledge, the deeper mind within, you will understand the Greater Community presence in the world. You will have insight here. With Knowledge, you will be able to see the outcome of a relationship before it even begins. With Knowledge, you will be able to see destiny in certain things and in certain activities. Knowledge will lead you here and prevent you from going there. Knowledge will engage you with this person but not with that person, all without judgment or condemnation.

"What could be more natural to you, to your experience and to the very core of your being than the experience of Knowledge itself? So fundamental is this that most people miss it entirely. It is like a sound that is always sounding, but people cannot hear it because they are only listening for other things.

"To come to Knowledge, you must prepare for Knowledge. This you cannot do alone. To learn Knowledge at the level of the Greater Community, you must learn a Greater Community way to Knowledge. You cannot teach this to yourself by reading books or by taking different practices or ideas from different traditions. Formulate your own approach and you will stay exactly where you are. Choose a path that you did not invent for yourself and you will go somewhere you have never gone before, and you will find something that you have never found before.

"Let Knowledge carry you forward, not your preferences, ideas or ideals."

Greater Community Spirituality
Chapter 4: What is Knowledge?

I sigh with deep relief and contentment upon reading this, because I recognize it, I recognize the deep truth it is conveying and I feel a greater peace. 

March 5, 2015 Round Two: This time I am grappling with the sentence, “This is pure experience, beyond all concepts and beliefs, for concepts and beliefs can only follow the experience and attempt to provide a structure where the experience can arise again.” I understand it to mean that I only need to experience and not build concepts and beliefs for myself.

“…you are not attempting to use your experience to justify your fantasies about yourself.” 

So experience exists separately from my fantasies about myself. Experience is real, and all the rest is just fantasies, concepts and beliefs.

I found an interesting post when I was looking for an image for my photo quote. Most of what it says is too much for my poor head to get around, but I can make some sense of the first four points the author made.

1) It may be hard to prove that something exists - even if it does.

2) But it is impossible to prove that something does not exist.

3) It is not needed to prove that "nothing" per se exists or does not exist - after all nothing is not called nothing for nothing.

4) Experience cannot be proven, one can only be aware of it.

This last point definitely resonates with me and I am arming myself with it in the context of this Step.

I do not understand myself because "understanding" something requires applying the mind, and with the mind I can only construe fantasies. Something very different is called for here, and this is "experience," which takes place at a whole different level - a level beyond the mind.

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