Step Three

Vincent Van Gogh said, "For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."

Step 3. What Do I Really Know?

Today ask yourself what you really know and distinguish what you know from what you think or hope for or want for yourself or your world, what you are afraid of, what you believe in, what you cherish and what you value. Distinguish this question from all such orientations to the very best of your ability and ask yourself, “What do I really know?” You must continuously examine whatever answers you give to this question to see if they represent your beliefs or assumptions or the beliefs or assumptions of other people or perhaps even of humanity at large.

Three times today, for 10 minutes each, ask this question and think very seriously about your response and about the meaning of this question, “What do I really know?”

Practice 3:
Three 10-minute practice periods.

Here you will find the entire book free for download

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

November 11, 2012 Round One: I realized when examining this question that I really know nothing.

June 27, 2014 Round Two: What do I really know? Again I answer this question the same way I did the first time, “I really know nothing.”

First practice – But I must know something. I know I am in a physical body and that this really complicates things. It gives me a distorted vision of myself and where I stand in the world, because it makes it look as if I am separate. While in a body I am inclined to focus on it, is it healthy enough, is it attractive enough, what do other people see when they look at it, how do I deal with my aches and pains, how do I cope with my body’s limitations? All these questions get blown out of proportion and, when all is said and done, they are just not that important, they are not what really matters. My body, however, is a fact I have to contend with, this is something I know.

Second practice – there are certain “givens” I know based on long years of experience. They concern my relationships. I know I am meant to be in relationship with certain people because of the vast benefit I reap from this. There are also things I know that I can’t prove, I just feel them to be true.

Third practice – I also know what I don’t want. I don’t want to live in darkness or in the confusion of my imagination, I don’t want to miss the promptings of Knowledge, I don’t want to live my life in separation. So then I know what I want. I want to reclaim Knowledge, I want to find my true foundation in the world, I want to know my True Self, I want to have a relationship with God. This is what I really know.

Then there are things that are intuitively obvious, although you may have to be more than a casual observer to know them (wink, wink).
June 18, 2018 Round Three: I am focusing on the key words in each Step. In this Step, “distinguish” is used twice and “really” is used three times, four, if you include the title). So the emphasis is on what is “real.” What do I really know? Not what do I think I know, not what I would like to know, not what I would prefer to know, but what do I really know.
First 10-min practice (4.22 - 4.32). Sitting on the bench with the sun rising. Warm.
What do I really know?

  1. I know what I know at an intuitive level, things I know without knowing how I know them, for I have no proof or evidence, apart from what is intuitively obvious to the person of Knowledge.
  • I began knowing these things when I first came to Moscow in 1980: the hypocrisy of the U.S., the lies told in the media, the government pulling the wool over the eyes of the people, Communists are not the enemy, we are fed a bunch of bullshit.
  • Reincarnation - I know I have been in other incarnations.
  • Intelligent life exists on other planets, we are not alone in the Universe.
  • There is a Universal Mind.

2) There are things I know through experience.
  • I know that Sasha is my soulmate and that I was meant to meet him in this lifetime and work with him.  l know he loves me and that I love him.
  • I know my children love me.
  • I know I am made for the country life.

I can distinguish the things I really know from wishful thinking, preferences, hopes, speculation, because it feels different. I cannot prove the things I know, I just know them at some deeper level.

Second 10-min practice - lying in the sun near the strawberry patch. Volodya and Sasha have gone to buy stuff for Volodya. (11.22-11.32).

I know I am in the world.
I know I have a spiritual family.
I know I have a part to play in the whole.
I know I am a spiritual being.
I know I haven’t a clue.
I know that I don’t know.

Third 10-minute practice - (18.40-18.50)
Sitting on the bench after tea. Cooler, overcast.
What do I really know?
I know what I like and don’t like. I don’t like Juhl’s negativity. 
I don’t like Volodya barging in and being so loud and intrusive, as though oblivious to everyone else, oblivious to the fact there may be other ways and wants different to his.
I know the Presence is with me.
I know I have worked for what I have, I have earned it, it is my reward.


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