This physical universe is but camouflage for a deeper Reality. Intrinsic in that deeper reality is Universal Intelligence. This Intelligence is always available to you if you can cultivate your ability to access it. And then it can be revealed to you in an infinite number of ways! To access Universal Intelligence we must learn how to discern its guidance; we must understand its language. Discerning that guidance is an art; it takes practice.
We have thousands of thoughts, feelings, and desires everyday-- how to discern spiritual guidance?
Based on my own experience, I have identified some general principles that may help you in the discernment process.
I have found that guidance usually does not appear in the form of thought or in words. It tends to come as a “soft” knowing, an inner urge or an inspirational idea.
True spiritual guidance is never harsh, judgmental, or punitive. Genuine guidance will not make you feel wrong, bad, defective or deficient in any way. If you experience it as such I would encourage a healthy skepticism: there may be some wisdom behind that voice but it is probably contaminated with some unresolved psychological matter. Explore this issue before giving credence to the voice. Psychotherapy may be helpful in this regard.
Genuine spiritual guidance is never demanding, it always gives you a choice. It is more of an impulse than a compulsion. It will not direct you to do anything harmful to yourself or to anyone else. Any voice or feeling that demands, condemns, or urges harmful actions is not spiritual guidance but is likely energy arising from an unresolved psychological issue.
Spiritual guidance is never demanding--but it may be very persistent! Although it will not compel you to say or do anything harmful or immoral, it may challenge some very deep-seated beliefs! It often stretches us to grow, and sometimes it may fly in the face of logic, or of what appears to be “common sense.”
Genuine spiritual guidance is best discerned and understood when you are relaxed, at ease and not attached to a specific result. It is difficult to discern true guidance if you are invested in, or attached to, a particular outcome. If you can let go of that attachment then guidance may very well appear when you least expect it!
Our identification with thinking is perhaps the greatest obstacle to the awareness of our guidance. The busy mind is much like a cloudy overcast day: the sun shines brightly but is unseen from the ground—until there is an opening in the cloud cover. Meditation helps to “part the clouds.”
Author Eckhart Tolle writes: “Pay attention to the gap -- the gap between two thoughts…. When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of 'something' becomes -- just awareness. The formless dimension of pure consciousness arises from within you and replaces identification with form.”
And that “formless dimension of pure consciousness” is imbued with Universal Intelligence, always ready to reveal itself to you when it is needed.
We will explore this idea further in our next blog.