Step Two Hundred and Nineteen

Step 219. I Will Not Let Ambition Deceive Me Today.
As Knowledge is now beginning to germinate within you, do not allow your own ambition to deceive you. Your ambition is born of your personal need for recognition and reassurance. It is an attempt to counteract fear by controlling the opinions of others. Your ambition here is destructive, but like all other faculties of mind that are now misappropriated, in time it can serve the greatness of Knowledge. You have not achieved this state yet; therefore, do not attempt to do anything with your Knowledge, for it is not for you to use Knowledge but to receive Knowledge. It is in your receptivity to Knowledge that you will find Knowledge to be of the greatest service and usefulness to you.

Do not let ambition pull you where you cannot go. Do not let it misappropriate your vitality and your energy. Learn to become patient and calm with Knowledge, for Knowledge has its own goal and direction in life, which you are now learning to follow.

Throughout today in your hourly practices and in your deeper meditations as well, allow yourself to be without ambition, for you do not know what to do with Knowledge. In your longer meditations, allow this to free you so that you may enter stillness and leave the world of physical things.

Practice 219: Two 30-minute practice periods. 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.

November 21, 2015 Round One: I feel as though I have a fairly good grasp on this ambition thing. I especially appreciate the words “Do not let ambition pull you where you cannot go.” This is valuable counsel beyond words. It is very easy to fall into the ambition trap—losing sight of the bigger picture and focusing on small personal ideas of self-aggrandizement. I am becoming more and more appreciative of the value and merit of working behind the scenes, quietly doing some small part in service to the world, something that is within my capability, something I have the capacity for.

The only sentence I have trouble understanding in this Step is “It is an attempt to counteract fear by controlling the opinions of others.” I think the reason I don’t understand it is that it is not part of my current experience. I cannot say I am totally past the point where the opinions of others don’t bother me, but I am getting there.

Today I wish to receive Knowledge and be receptive of it.

March 11, 2015 Round Two: I read this chapter today. It provides a very good perspective on ambition Wisdom from the Greater Community II – Ambition: "To move towards realizing the real depth and purpose of your life, you must move away from ambition." 

I feel I have moved away from ambition to a certain extent, particularly in terms of ambition in the world. I do not spend oodles of time and energy trying to attain fame and recognition, or even just in vain pursuits that bring no satisfaction. 

I do still tend to set high standards for myself in personal discipline and accomplishment though. I expect a lot of myself. But I don’t think this is the same as what this Step is talking about in terms of ambition.

I still don’t really understand the sentence, “It is an attempt to counteract fear by controlling the opinions of others.”


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