Step Two Hundred and Eighty-Eight

288. Enemies Are Only Friends Who Have Not Learned To Join.
There are no true enemies in life, for all war and conflict are born of confusion. This you must understand. A life without Knowledge can only be confused and must create its own inner guidance system, which is merely the ideas and beliefs with which it identifies itself. Thus, individuals have their own individual purpose and self-identity. These evaluations clash with those of other individuals, and thus one to one, group to group, nation to nation and world to world, war is generated and waged.

In Knowledge this is not possible, for in Knowledge all are your friends. You recognize each person to be at whatever stage of development he or she is currently engaged. You may become involved with some of them, and with some of them you may not. Some of them may be able to receive your contribution directly, while others will need to receive it indirectly. But they are all your friends. There is no opposition in Knowledge, for there is only one Knowledge in the universe. It expresses itself through each individual. As each individual becomes more purified as a vehicle for Knowledge, as each individual becomes a greater recipient of Knowledge and as each individual follows Knowledge and becomes responsible to Knowledge, then the opportunity for him or her to be in conflict will diminish and eventually will disappear.

Recognize, then, that all war and conflict simply express a lack of capacity for those involved to join. When individuals join, they recognize a common need, which becomes their primary need. This must be born of Knowledge and not idealism if it is to be actualized. It must be born of Knowledge and not mere philosophy if it is to lead to true action and true involvement. Thus, you become a peacemaker and a peacekeeper in the world as you follow as a student of Knowledge. The stronger Knowledge is within you, the weaker will be your fear and ambivalence. In this way, war within you will be ended, and your life will be a demonstration that war is unnecessary.

Dedicate yourself today to ending war within the world by ending war within yourself so that you may be a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. Upon the hour remind yourself of today’s lesson and apply it to the world that you see around you. Apply it to all of the conflicts in the world of which you are aware. Try to understand its complete relevancy to these conflicts. This will require that you see these conflicts from a different point of view in order to realize the full impact and meaning of today’s idea. It is this point of view that you must cultivate, for you must learn to see as Knowledge sees, to think as Knowledge thinks and to act as Knowledge acts. All this you will most certainly accomplish as you follow Knowledge each day.

In your deeper practice periods return to stillness and silence so that you may strengthen your ability to cultivate and prepare yourself to be an emissary of Knowledge in the world. This is your responsibility today. This will permeate all of your other activities and give them value and meaning, for today you are a student of Knowledge.

Practice
 288: 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.

March 25, 2014 Round One: “A life without Knowledge can only be confused and must create its own inner guidance system, which is merely the ideas and beliefs with which it identifies itself. Thus, individuals have their own individual purpose and self-identity. These evaluations clash with those of other individuals, and thus one to one, group to group, nation to nation and world to world, war is generated and waged.”

This explains so perfectly to me the current situation in the world.
“You recognize each person to be at whatever stage of development he or she is currently engaged.”
And this is something I understand and try to foster within myself. This is the way I understand humanity today, each person is at their own stage of development, not better, not worse, just different. Of course, it would be nice if everyone were ascending upward and aware of this, but I have to understand that this is not the way it is, I can only pray that everyone will get with Knowledge eventually. Just as it goes on to say in the rest of the second paragraph.

Of course, it is discouraging that so many people do not have this desire to join, that they do not recognize that we are all in this together, that we have a common need, that we only have one planet and we need to join together to nurture and save it, instead of trying to grab a piece of the pie (and the bigger the better).

This Step could not come at a better time for me as I try to get my head around the burgeoning conflict in my part of the world.

“Try to understand its complete relevancy to these conflicts.”

I am applying what it says in this Step and gaining a deeper and more comprehensive view of what is going on, realizing that people are living in confusion, without Knowledge, and are not inherently bad or evil. I truly wish to be an emissary for Knowledge in the world, but I have no illusions, I realize the enormity of this task, and it takes all those learning the Way of Knowledge and even those not consciously learning it, but with a broader vision, to work together and strengthen each other and the awareness of Knowledge in the world.

May 25, 2015 Round Two: It is difficult for me to feel that anyone could be an enemy today, or that there is animosity and conflict in the world. The world I live in today is harmonious and peaceful, everyone is my friend.

It has been my experience that when I treat people with kindness and understanding, when I am polite and non-abrasive in my communication with people, when I understand that each person is at his or her own stage of development (which may not jive with mine) and so give them the benefit of the doubt, there is no conflict or aggression. I see each person as a friend, for I am not at war with anyone. I accept people the way they are and try to brush off any opposition I feel from anyone. This is much easier with people who are not in my closest circle, mind you. However, my overarching experience in this life is that people mainly tend to treat me the way I treat them. If I treat other people as friends, no matter what, I am treated as a friend in return. I am learning to join.

P.S. I wanted to get a photo of my cat, Dusya, "making friends" with the local cats for my photo quote of this Step, but this is the best I could get for the moment. She chased one of the cats onto the roof of the neighbor's shed, and then they sat and eyed each other from a distance. Cats are really friends who have not yet learned how to join.



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