THE SECOND STEP
The easiest way to do it is to write it as lucidly as possible.
Tell it as it is. This draft is called The Second Step.
The first step is more or less a flat plane. Eventually you get to the rise, its not much. Then you come to the next step. So really, this is the proper title of the draft, The Next Step, because the other title describes two things at the same time, well three now it is associated with this draft.
The literal physical second step is the one which trips your foot and gets your attention, you probably stub your toe on it. Some people call that the first step because the literal physical first step is not so much a step at all. I am detracting from the original intended purpose.
Each step is twice as high as the previous one.
By and large after climbing a few more, initiation experiences, life lessons, achievements, we get to The Wall. It is not really a Wall at all, and this is the one which we refer to as The Second Step because compared with all the others we have already climbed, this one is difficult. Most people look at it and see it as a wall, think they have reached the top as far as it is possible to go. They turn around and see the view, look down on all those still climbing and they rest, and they never achieve any further.
But some of us, some of us know more than that. We know that the wall is actually a step, and we figure it out. And we take that next step. There are those, in fact many, who tread on everyone around them to get there. We all hate those bastards and the easiest way to get rid of them is to give them the boost they need so they are off our backs, although some people prefer to grab them and throw them back down the descent to the bottom. A lot of that goes on.
While climbing the step, a lot of people are going to grab hold of you and try to use your energy, your climb, your ascent, to get pulled up with you. And they will drag you down to their level and insult you for not having achieved the rise, because they thought they could use you as a stepping stone.
So what we learn is that the Second Step is one we have to do by ourselves at night alone when nobody else is looking. Telling them about it is simply going to cause yourself problems of envy and being exploited.
This is where it gets strange. A lot of people do band together, they see that by standing in a circle they can support those who are to climb up and stand on their shoulders, and build a tower to compete with the steps. We know that the base of their pillar is the foundation of everything in their tower. They will fiercely defend their own tower even against imaginary foes, and they do not learn that their tower is not the steps. They will never be able to climb any further up the steps because they have gone their own way, they have diverged from the natural path, from the human mission. Glorious though their ambition might be, they are never going to achieve the climb and eventually they are going to topple and have to start all over again. Because they are not climbing but are deluding themselves that their structure is the way, they will resent anyone who goes the natural path and continues climbing the steps. So we have a lot of very well established power bases actively taking out the natural climbers who are still climbing the steps, who do not see the next step as a wall but only as a big step.
On the next step, knowing the rule is that each step is twice as tall as the last, we have people who have achieved more than most and know this is as far as they will go. They are pushing people back down, they are proud and building their own towers of more elect superior people, often exploiting the lower towers without anyone from the lower towers even aware that is what is happening. And the same thing occurs with each step, with the numbers getting lesser and lesser the higher you climb.
Eventually you come to a step which is the highest you can go, and you know that you can not reach the next one at all until you learn to fly. Don't worry, you will just as soon as you let go of your body and quite literally that is what it takes to get there. We call that the place where X becomes Y (the horizontal axis becomes the vertical axis).
There are offers of shortcuts and distractions plenty. Nobody knows how many steps there are, nobody knows what is at the top. There are legends passed down from higher climbers. We know that the perspective, the view, gets clearer and wider and farther to the horizon the higher up we climb. You can always tell those who have experienced higher views and yet are for some reason still down here on our local levels.
What is it that empowers us to be able to scale the next step, the one which is twice as tall as the last? This is where we encounter metaphysics. It is not having longer legs. It is not having rope and grappling hook. It is to do with how we go about things and who we become by adjusting your attitudes, always, toward the goal of making it to the next level.
Somebody once told me to ignore whatever everyone else is saying and doing. I was told by that somebody that they had been there, to the top, and chosen to come down again to guide us. I asked what it is like up there. The reply, simply:
"When the center is the heart, you have reached the summit."
I smiled because it was beautiful. The next advice is daunting: "That's when you face the skies, and for that you will need to learn to fly."
You read these words and smile but you should also realize that what I said about leaving the body to get there is true. It will happen to us all. Between here and there though, we still have a lot of steps to go and it's not getting any easier to climb them.