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"Now your involvement and commitment may move forward more rapidly, for they are becoming unburdened by your idealism, which can only lead you astray." [1]

"The Greater Community Way of Knowledge takes you beyond idealism and speculation into real engagement and greater certainty." [2]


"What is idealism but ideas of things that are hoped for based on disappointment? Your idealism includes yourself, your relationships and the world in which you live. It includes God and life and all realms of experience that you can imagine. Without experience, there is idealism." [3]

"Idealism is the attempt not to accept the world as it is. It justifies blame and condemnation. It establishes expectations of a life that does not yet exist and thus renders you vulnerable to grave disappointment. Your idealism fortifies your condemnation."[4]

"Idealism justifies condemnation." [4]

"If the understanding does not lead to action, then real understanding does not exist. This is the great difference between Wisdom and idealism. Wisdom leads to action, and idealism leads nowhere. It has no direction. You cannot act upon it effectively, for it is not going anywhere." [5]


"Let not idealism guide you, for Knowledge is here to guide you." [3]

"Do not then pretend that you are God by attempting to re-arrange the world toward your idea of perfection or wholeness or unity. To do so will merely deceive you once again and force you to use relationships to satisfy your idealism, which will in time require that you become an oppressor and a victim of error." [6]

"See yourself as you are today. See others as they are today. See the world as it is today. All without condemnation. To see without condemnation, you must see without idealism. You must see without the need for you, for others and for the world to be as you want them to be." [7]

The Impertinence of Idealism

"You have this opportunity now, not only to learn The Way of Knowledge but to learn The Greater Community Way of Knowledge, which represents the existence and activity of Knowledge within a far greater context of life. Within this greater context, the encumbrances of human pageantry, history, fantasy and idealism have no place." [8]

"Only when you are removed from life and separated from it do you need a great deal of ideas and idealism with which to justify and direct your experience." [9]

"True spiritual training is very disappointing. Why? Because you find that your philosophy, your idealism and your hopes must be left at the entrance to the temple. Only those who argue philosophy remain outside on the steps. In the sanctuary this has no meaning." [10]

Idealism in Relationships

"Relationships which are used to fulfill fantasy and idealism must always go astray and end in anger and disappointment." [11]

"If your experience of God is concealed by idealism or wishful thinking, so will be your relationships with others and with the world." [11]

"Some people wish to return to God and commit themselves to God, but they cannot be with anybody. And so they are trying to be with everything, but they do not know how to be with any one thing. This leads to idealism of a very unfortunate kind, for people are committed to an idea of God and not to God at all. People are committed to an idea of relationship but cannot participate in relationship." [12]

I want what I think I know

Seeking Perfection

"People are very adamant that God should come and make the world exactly the way they want it, but God has other plans. God’s intention is to free everyone here so that they may return to their natural Home. So, instead of making the world a perfect place for your separation to exist, God has set in motion the forces to break your separation down.Very loving this is." [13]

"Advancing students of Knowledge" ... "thought they were here to make the world a perfect place or at least a better place, but now they are not so sure. If you follow Knowledge, it does not always seem to lead in this direction. It does not always meet your criteria for improvement for yourself or for others.You find out that much of your desire for self-improvement is simply to have a better appearance, to look better to yourself and to others. 'Look at me. I am doing well.'” [14]

"Why doesn’t the world become a perfect place when people are so intelligent and so loving in their true nature? Why isn’t the world the way it is supposed to be? Because it is an environment where people who have not accepted the responsibility for service can have an opportunity to do so. If there were no improvements to be made here, you would be quite lost because your stage in life is to contribute." [14]

The Limits and Cost of Idealism

"Why would anyone become violent in life save that their idealism has been dashed by something?" [15]

Idealism "paints a picture the world cannot possibly support." [16]

"You cannot teach people from idealism, for then you place upon them the burden of your own expectations." [17]

"People want life to be what life is not, they want themselves to be what they are not and they want their destiny to be what it is not. Then they attempt to gain from life that which confirms their own idealism, and because life cannot confirm this, all becomes distressed, conflicted and complex." [18]

"Idealism can be helpful at the beginning, for it can start you moving in a true direction, but you must not rest your conclusions or your identity upon it, for only experience can give you that which is true to you and that which you can fully accept."[3]

"Even though your ideals may look beneficial and seem to represent your desire for love and harmony, they in effect hold you back, for they replace that which would truly give you the gifts that you seek." [3]

"Idealism of any kind stands in the way of the reclamation of Knowledge. It is a choice for belief over experience, for ideas over relationships, for self-importance over truth. Even for those who have very lofty ideas about themselves and the universe, their ideas, which may seem harmless within themselves, become a great restraint in The Way of Knowledge." [2]


  1. Steps to Knowledge, Step 106: There are no Masters living in the world.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume II, Chapter 34: Walking The Way of Knowledge
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Steps to Knowledge, Step 54: I will not live in idealism.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Steps to Knowledge, Step 55: I will accept the world as it is.
  5. Greater Community Spirituality, Chapter 6: What is the Greater Community?
  6. Relationships & Higher Purpose, Chapter 5: Your Relationship with Your Spiritual Family
  7. Greater Community Spirituality, Chapter 8: Who is Wisdom meant for?
  8. Greater Community Spirituality, Chapter 20: What is religious education and who is it for?
  9. Greater Community Spirituality, Chapter 24: What is Steps to Knowledge?
  10. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume I, Chapter 27: Disappointment
  11. 11.0 11.1 Relationships & Higher Purpose, Chapter 1: Your Most Primary Relationship
  12. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume I, Chapter 5: Marriage
  13. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume I, Chapter 4: Trust
  14. 14.0 14.1 Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume I, Chapter 8: Preparing for the Future
  15. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume I, Chapter 13: Spiritual Community
  16. Steps to Knowledge, Step 96: God’s Will is for me to be unburdened.
  17. Steps to Knowledge, Step 150: Today I will learn to learn.
  18. Steps to Knowledge, Step 199: The world I see is emerging into the Greater Community of Worlds.

See Also




Inner guidance