Step Two Hundred and Thirteen

Step 213. I Do Not Understand The World. 
You do not understand the world. You only entertain judgments about it and then attempt to understand your judgments. The world will reveal itself to you as you look without these restraints and limitations. In this, you will find that your beliefs can become useful in allowing you to take each next step in life. They need not limit your perception of the universe. You cannot be in the world without beliefs or assumptions. Yet, your beliefs and assumptions are meant to be tools to serve your mind, to give it a temporary structure and to allow it to engage its natural abilities in a positive manner.

You do not understand the world today. Be happy that this is so, for your condemnation is unfounded. You do not understand the world today. This gives you an opportunity to witness the world.

Upon the hour repeat this idea as you look upon the world. Remind yourself that you do not understand what you see, so you are free to look again. If you are not free to look, it simply means that you are attempting to justify your own judgments. This is not seeing. This is merely entertaining your own fantasies. In your two deeper practice periods today, allow your mind to enter stillness, for without the burden of attempting to justify your fantasies, your mind will naturally seek its true place in service to Knowledge. You do not understand the world today, and so you do not understand yourself.

Practice 213: 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 7, 2013 Round One: I take great comfort today in saying that I do not understand the world. And as a part of this world I do not understand myself. I no longer see myself as separate from the world, so if I do not understand the world, I do not understand myself either.

I am willing to accept this and even find great relief in it, since it frees me from condemnation of the world and particularly of myself. It gives me the freedom to look again. This is what I appreciate most about Steps--they call for stepping beyond the confines of the mind that most people live in and embracing something much broader and expansive.

I wanted to condemn myself today, blame myself for ways I acted in the past, choices I made, wondering if perhaps I just had it all wrong and would get a big X from my Teachers at the end of my life, meaning you failed this time, go try again.

So indeed I do take great comfort in this Step that says I do not understand the world, my condemnation is unfounded, and I am free to look again. Thank you, I will.

March 4, 2015 Round Two: Although I baulked at first, thinking I have reached a place this time where I do understand something, I accept that my vision of the world is still colored by my judgments and assumptions. I accept that I probably do not have an objective view of the world, that my understanding of the world is built on my fantasies. And if I do not understand the world, I do not understand myself either.

“Remind yourself that you do not understand what you see, so you are free to look again.”

I understand what this Step is suggesting though. Shedding my judgments, fantasies, and assumptions about the world gives me the freedom to look again without restraints and limitations to embrace a more expansive view, to entertain a broader vision and to come to a greater understanding. This is indeed very freeing.

P.S. One thing I will add is that I have reached a place now, the second time around, where I no longer condemn myself, rather I immediately see if I am condemning myself for something and stop myself from taking those thoughts further. Self-condemnation and self-blame are no longer part of my repertoire today. I think I can say that is progress.


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