Step Five

Step 5. I Believe What I Want To Believe.

This statement represents the great folly of humanity and humanity’s most dangerous forms of self-deception. Beliefs are primarily founded upon what is wished for, not on what is actually happening and not on what is genuine. They may in fact represent the greater ideals of humanity and in this they bear a true reflection, but on a day-to-day basis, and in most practical questions, people base their beliefs on things they hope for, not on things that actually exist. You must have a very sound understanding that the approach to any resolution and to any constructive establishment must begin with current reality. What you are and what you have today must be your starting point.

Therefore, in your three practice periods today, think about this statement. Examine what you believe and then examine what you want. You will find that even your fearful or negative beliefs are associated with your ambitions. Only careful application of today’s practice will reveal this to you.

Practice 5:
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 10, 2012 Round One: What I have become aware of just now in examining this Step is that without Knowledge we need some basis to proceed from, so we build our own, one that suits us from the vantage point we are at in the present moment. This is natural, so it is very difficult to then realize that what I believe is only what I want to believe and not what actually is happening, or what is genuine. The Step goes on to say "What you are and what you have today must be your starting point." Logically then, my starting point today is the beliefs I have built for myself that justify my reality, so what does this mean, where does this take me? From what I understand, I have to sweep all this aside and start from a blank page.

So my answer to the question "What do I believe?" is "I don't know any more." I want to believe that the Steps to Knowledge are leading me in the right direction, that is what I really want to believe. And I do, but am I only deceiving myself again and using it as self-justification?

I was reading The Initiation just now and the following passage jumped out at me:
"For them, it is not merely a teaching or a phenomenon. For them, it is not merely something to speculate about or to contend with or to deny and reject. To them, the Proclamation is not outrageous or unusual. It is the perfect thing. It is their Initiation. It holds their calling, speaking down the Ancient Corridors of their mind, speaking to a part of them they barely know, but which is the center of their Being and their presence in the world."
I highlighted "it is the perfect thing" because this is what I believe today. So I am feeling that what seems to me to be the perfect thing is actually the Truth, but again, is this not just my personal preference?

July 29, 2014 Round Two: I am wondering if other students feel a difference doing Steps the second time. Of course, they feel a difference, but what kind? So far I feel as though I am less “with it” this time. I do not remember having such resistance to this Step the first time. I was happy to accept that I only believe what I want to believe. Now I am thinking, of course I believe what I want to believe! I might even go as far as saying that my whole life has been based on this so far. And now I am being told that this statement represents the great folly of humanity and humanity’s most dangerous forms of self-deception. Say what?!!

First practice – I was out in the woods on a beautiful bright sunny, although cool for summer, morning. I examined a few of things I believe. I believe my study of Steps to Knowledge is leading me in the right direction. I believe my dream of a house in the country will come true. I believe my son will manage fine when he leaves to do his stint in the Russian army today. I believe my husband loves me. I believe my children love me. There are many things I believe that I feel are true. Does this Step mean that believing these things is flimsy ground for building my life on? Should I not be believing these things?

Second practice – do I have any fearful or negative beliefs? I really don’t any more. Is that being just way too presumptuous and naive? It has been a hard day to practice because I have had many things to attend to: finishing a translation due tomorrow and rushing out to buy last-minute things to see Michael off. I believe I have done everything to the best of my ability. Now that can’t be so bad, can it?

Third practice – what are my ambitions? I don’t feel I have any. Again, this makes me think I am missing some salient point, just not being aware enough, not examining my mind closely enough. If there is anything I strive for it is colored with the understanding that it might not work out the way I want. I am willing to accept other scenarios, other outcomes, other results. There are things I believe, but I am also willing to believe that they may not be true. I accept this. I accept that I may be, and most probably am, wrong. But this is where I am at the moment in my progress. I can only start from where I am at.

June 21, 2018 Round Three

I am to examine what I believe and then examine what I want.

First 10-minute practice - 3.45-3.55 am
Yes, I believe what I want to believe - I believe I will build a house on our new plot, I believe I will live there, I believe I will live here in the village for the rest of my life, I believe I will make enough money to build our house, I believe it was the right thing for me to come to Russia, I believed Sasha loved me back in 1981 so I returned to him in 1990 and believed he wanted to marry me, and it was true, I believed I would have no problem giving birth to children in a natural setting with no medical interference, and I had no complications, I believed I would recover from my alcoholism, and I did. Many of the things I believe prove to be true from experience. I believe my children love me. I believe I will be able to handle all that comes my way. Experience has shown me that I have no reason to doubt what I believe, so why not believe it?

Second 10-min practice.
My experience shows me that my beliefs are true, they are not self-deception.

Third 10-min practice.
I do believe what I want to believe, and it is true.


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