Step Two Hundred and Fourteen
Of course you do not understand yourself or the world, for you only understand your ideas, and they are not eternal. Therefore, they cannot provide a solid foundation upon which you must learn to stand. Thus, they can only fail and deceive you if you rely upon them instead of Knowledge to reveal yourself and the world to you.
Upon the hour remind yourself that you do not understand yourself. Free yourself from the burden of justifying your own judgments. Look upon yourself in your deeper meditation practices and remind yourself that you do not understand yourself. Now you are free to enter into stillness, for you are not attempting to use your experience to justify your fantasies about yourself. Here your mind becomes free to be itself, and you become free to appreciate yourself.
Practice 214: Two 30-minute practice periods. Hourly practice.
What I understand at the moment is that my experience and my beliefs and assumptions are two different things – experience is real, something on which to build my true foundation, whereas beliefs and assumptions are misleading, unsubstantial material for building a true foundation. But is this correct? What is experience? That which is actually happening in my life rather than what is going on in my head? For me this Step harks back to Step 4. I Want What I Think I Know.
I am grappling with the sentence “…you are not attempting to use your experience to justify your fantasies about yourself.” How should I understand this?
This was the answer I received from another student.
What could be more natural to you, to your experience and to the very core of your being than the experience of Knowledge itself? So fundamental is this that most people miss it entirely. It is like a sound that is always sounding, but people cannot hear it because they are only listening for other things.
To come to Knowledge, you must prepare for Knowledge. This you cannot do alone. To learn Knowledge at the level of the Greater Community, you must learn a Greater Community way to Knowledge. You cannot teach this to yourself by reading books or by taking different practices or ideas from different traditions. Formulate your own approach and you will stay exactly where you are. Choose a path that you did not invent for yourself and you will go somewhere you have never gone before, and you will find something that you have never found before.
Let Knowledge carry you forward, not your preferences, ideas or ideals.
Greater Community Spirituality
Chapter 4: What is Knowledge?