Step Seventy-Eight

 Hedgehog in the Fog

Step 78. I Can Do Nothing Alone.
You can do nothing alone, for you are not alone. A greater truth you will not find. Yet, you will not find a truth that will require greater thought and examination. Do not take it at face value, for this truth is very great. It is necessary that you study it.

Upon each hour today repeat this statement and consider its impact. Do this in all circumstances, for in time you will find how to learn in every circumstance, how to practice in every circumstance, how every circumstance can benefit your practice and how your practice can benefit every circumstance.

You can do nothing alone, and in your practice today you will receive the assistance of your Spiritual Teachers, who will lend their strength to you. You will feel this as you lend your own strength. You will realize a greater strength than your own will enable you to move forward, to penetrate the great veil of misunderstanding and to realize the source of your Knowledge and the source of your relationships in life. Accept your limitations, for alone you can do nothing, but with life all things are given you to serve. With life, your true nature is valued and glorified in its service to others.

Practice 78: Hourly Practice.

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.

February 23, 2013 Round One: This Step is very comforting—who wants to be alone? Isn’t it always better to feel you have some Higher Power guiding and protecting you? But at the same time it is mind-boggling since I am still unable to fathom its depths and recognize how very great this truth is. I feel I am being cautioned against taking it too lightly and skimming the surface, without truly understanding what is called for.

And I have an inkling that again this is not about me personally, me as an individual, but about the part I have to play in the whole, about reaching others as Knowledge guides me. I am becoming aware that what is called for is a collective effort, when people of Knowledge come together and the strength of Knowledge in each of them builds and builds to become an immutable force with the power to change things in the world.

September 30, 2014 Round Two: I think I can say this time that I am coming closer to understanding this great truth. I accept my limitations, but realize that together with others we can move mountains.

I can do nothing alone, for I am not alone, the Teachers and all who have gone before me down this path are with me. 

Today is a good day to practice this, because when I am editing a literary translation (as I am today), I am more aware than at any other time of how I can do nothing alone. The inspiration that comes to me is not from myself, I always feel as though I receive guidance in word choices, turns of phrase, understanding of the text from somewhere else, from some higher or deeper part of myself, from the part that is connected to my Source, to the collective wisdom of the Universe. I am learning that I can draw on that assistance, support, and collective wisdom at any time. I draw on the wisdom of all the writers and translators who have gone before me. I can do this, it is not a fantasy, or wishful thinking. My Spiritual Teachers lend their strength to me as I exert my own efforts.

I can’t help but recall my favorite Russian cartoon “Ёжик в тумане” (Hedgehog in the Fog) as I practice this Step. It may be a little simplistic, but the spirit is true and noble. In one particular scene, the Hedgehog and the Bear have the following conversation:

And today the Hedgehog said to the Bear:
“How grand it is that we’ve got each other!”
The Bear nodded.
“Just imagine what it would be like if I didn’t exist and you were sitting alone with no one to talk to.”
“But where are you?”
“I don’t exist.”
“That can’t be,” said the Bear.
“I don’t think that’s possible either,” said the Hedgehog. “But just suppose I wasn’t here at all. You are alone. What would you do?”
“I’d turn everything upside until I found you!”
“But I’m not here, I can’t be found anywhere!”
“Then, then…Then I’d run out into the field,” said the Bear. “And I’d shout: ‘He-e-dge-ho-o-g!’ and you would hear me and shout back, ‘Be-e-a-r!’ Just like that!”
“No,” said the Hedgehog. “What if I just didn’t exist at all, then what?”
“What are you getting at?” said the Bear angrily. “If you don’t exist, then I don’t exist either. Got it?”

We all need each other, and not just those in a physical body, but those beyond the world too. We are all in this together.


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