Step Twenty-Six

Step 26. My Errors Give Birth To My Knowledge.
It is pointless to justify error, but error can bring you to value truth, and in this it can lead to true Knowledge. This is its only possible value. We do not condone error, but if error occurs, we wish to make it serve your truest need so that you may learn from it and repeat it no more. It is not merely for you to forget your errors, for you cannot do that. It is not merely for you to justify your errors, for this will make you dishonest. It is not merely for you to look upon your errors as pure service to you, for they have indeed been painful. What this truly means is that you recognize that error is error and then you attempt to use it on your own behalf. The pain of error and the tribulation of error must be accepted, for this will teach you what is real and what is not, what to value and what not to value. Using your error for development means you have accepted the error, and now you are attempting to utilize it to derive value from it because until value is derived from error, it is error only and will be a source of pain and discomfort for you.

Today, in your two 30-minute practice periods, look at specific errors that you have made that have been very painful. Do not try to dismiss the pain of them, but see how in your current circumstances in life you can use them for your own benefit. Using errors in this way can show you what you need to do and what corrections or adjustments need to be made to enhance the quality of your life. Remember that any resolution to error always engenders true recognition and true discernment in relationship.

In your practice periods review the errors that come to mind as you sit quietly alone, and then see how each one can be utilized to your current benefit. What needs to be learned from them? What must be done that was not done before? What must not be done that was done before? How can these errors be recognized in advance? What were the signs that preceded them and how can such signs be recognized in advance of error in the future?

Use these practice periods for this introspective process and when you are done, do not speak of the results to any other person, but allow the investigation to continue naturally, as it naturally will.

Practice 26:
Two 30-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.

December 1, 2012 Round One: This Step is so pertinent to me today. It adds a new quality and depth to my analysis of my errors.

It has been my practice in the past to try and recognize errors for what they are, but not blame or beat myself over the head for them. However, often it is difficult to have a kind and loving attitude toward myself for my errors, but I realize that self-forgiveness is the only way to pick up and move on. So the sentence below from the Step really spoke to me.

"What this truly means is that you recognize that error is error and then you attempt to use it on your own behalf."

An error I recognized as an error this summer brought me to the New Message.

July 25, 2014 Round Two: Error can bring me to value truth—this rings out loud and clear. Error must be seen for what it is, no embellishments, no making it less or more than it really is. Humans err, this is a fact, the trick is to recognize errors for what they are and move on, making every effort to avoid falling into the same trap again.

This Step advises not to speak of the results of reviewing my errors to any other person. I see the wisdom in this, for errors are very personal and also interpreted very personally, they cannot really be shared with others. What may seem like an error to one person, may not appear that way to another. Errors must be worked through as each person is able.

Like the first time I did this step, I am again drawn to what this Step says about using errors on my behalf and to my benefit. In other words, I learn from my errors, I recognize the mistakes of the past, and I use that experience to build on and arrive at a stronger, more intrinsic, wiser, and Knowledge-based standpoint from which to operate. I in no way justify my errors, I simply recognize that when I made a particular error I was without Knowledge, and as I learn to reclaim Knowledge my errors will become fewer and fewer.

I did the two thirty-minute practices and I can share that the general outcome was that I have accepted the errors I made in the past and have utilized them to foster my development, using them as stepping stones to reach a higher vantage point. I am happy with what the investigation of my errors has produced. I understand that to avoid errors in the future I need to be more alert, more aware, listen more carefully to what Knowledge is telling me, be more attentive to that still inner voice.

I do in no way justify my errors, I only wish to use them on my own behalf, to learn from them and never repeat them again.

When considering my errors, reviewing them, I cannot think of any that are really painful. All in all, I am becoming increasingly aware of how Knowledge has been guiding me all along. I feel as though I have been living in the bosom of Knowledge all my life. Only now I am consciously aware of it.

July 13, 2018 Round Three: I reiterate what I wrote the second time. My review of my errors brings me to the conclusion that I have made few major errors in my life. I have made errors of judgment, mainly about people, thinking them better than they actually are and then losing due to my gullibility. I have made no errors regarding education, career, choice of significant partners, or choice of place to live. I feel I have been strong in Knowledge all my life and not allowed myself to make poor choices. I have been drawn into dubious relationships due to my naivety and gullibility. I always think people’s intentions are nobler than they are. I read Doug’s Second Journey journal every day. Interesting that he chose to focus on entirely different errors - self-neglect, false humility, imbalance of the Four Pillars - things I would never have thought of as errors in the context of this step. Those are not the kind of errors I can learn from and not make again. They seem more to be personal defects, but that is a whole other story.

I did not do two practices today because I was busy in the garden picking blackcurrants and then preserving cucumbers. I enjoyed listening to Hilary’s audio messages and replying to her as I was picking. It added much joy and less tedium to the task.
I also spent time in the morning taking photos of the beauty of the garden in the morning dew.

However, I feel I have the lesson in errors down and I thought about errors periodically throughout the day. Steps are becoming integrated into my life and I do not have to set aside specific times to contemplate or meditate on what the Step is asking of me.


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