As a human race we don't solve problems until we have to; then we get highly motivated. Forget worry, blame, past, future. Higher philosophy: Everything that happens to us is created by only one person. Benefit by acquiring knowledge from experience. Quiet the mind; discover the always existing keys to intuition within. Master Course, Lesson 18.
Sharing a few thoughts from the lesson for the day. Lesson 18 from Merging with Siva.
"Making Wise Decisions
"Life is a series of decisions also. One decision builds into another. To make a good decision, we have to again bring our total awareness to the eternity of the moment. If we project ourselves into the future to tty to make a decision, we do not make a decision with wisdom. If we project ourselves into the past and in that way formulate our decisions, again they are not necessarily wise decisions, for they are decisions made through the powers of the intellectual or the instinctive area of the mind. The only good decisions come to us when we hold the consciousness of the eternity of the moment and go within ourself for the answer.
"...Think it over carefully. Go in for intuitive guidance. And nobody knows better than yourself, your own superconscious being, what is to be the next set of experiential patterns for you to go through in your quest for enlightenment. It's all based on decisions. Don't expect someone to make decisions for you. They are second-hand, not the best. Others maybe can give a little bit of advice or supply a different perspective or added information for you to make a better decision. But the decision you make yourself in any matter is the most positive, most powerful one, and should be the right one. Do it from the eternity of the moment. That is the state of awareness to hold."
Gurudeva explains in other portions, which I won't read, that he's talking about major decisions, not what should I have for breakfast? What TV programs should I watch tonight? He's not talking about the small decisions we make throughout the day. He's talking about major decisions such as shifting careers because the career we're in, the opportunities have become limited. The world has changed and we have to do something; we have to shift. That's a major decision. For one reason or another we're thinking about moving from one part of the country to a distant part of the U.S. Major decision that requires the kind of approach Gurudeva is recommending.
He's saying we want to use our intuitive abilities and to do that we have to be in the present. In other words, we can't be worrying about the future or regretting the past. Those are the two types of concerns that usually take us out of the present. Worrying about the future doesn't do any good, right? Kind of a waste of time, a waste of energy. It's not a productive event but yet we tend to do it.
I remember having a discussion a couple of years ago with a young couple and they were concerned about peak oil. I hadn't thought much about peak oil. Concerned about the world running out of oil; that was the big worry. And it was such a worry it was paralyzing them in the present. They weren't really making quality decisions about their life. So I said: Well no one knows when we're going to run out of oil and usually it's the actual event almost happening or about to happen that motivates us to find an alternative. We kind of procrastinate as a human race. We don't solve problems until we have to and then we get highly motivated. We're going to run out of oil next year so this year we figure out how to do without it.
So worry doesn't help. And regretting the past just means we haven't figured out a way to look at something we did or something that happened to us. If something happened to us, and we think about it regularly, and we're not happy with it, Gurudeva has a suggestion which is: We think it shouldn't have happened. And therefore, we're blaming someone else or we're blaming God. There's some blame involved. But if we can accept the higher philosophy that everything that happens to us is created by only one person and you know who that person is? You! The good things that happen to you, you created them. The bad things that happen to you, you created them. How? By what you did in the past.
But of course, that was in a past life, usually, and we don't remember what we did. You can see it in astrology, astrological charts sometimes, certain hints of that. Don't say: You're destined to be very fortunate in this life because last life you were very charitable. That's a common one. So, when it comes to you, why? Cause you gave it away and now it's coming back. So, what we do to others comes back to us in the present life.
So, being able to accept whatever happens to us is our own creation. Really accept it and not blame someone else, not blame God is an excellent way of not thinking unnecessarily about the past. And then the other one is regretting something we did and not really being able to accept that we did it. But we have to learn from it.
Gurudeva says: All experiences are good experiences if you learn the lesson from it. If we do something and it didn't work out well and we regret it afterwards, we didn't know something. Obviously. We lack knowledge. So, if we can acquire that knowledge by thinking about that experience then we have benefited from the experience.
I remember talking to the former mayor, Maryanne Kusaka. For a number of years we were in, she and Gurudeva and some of the monks were involved in a number of community projects together so we would encounter her and she would ask how we were doing and share thoughts. And one of her frustrations was that -- she used to be a school teacher -- that you give great advice to teenage students; they ignore your advice and go out and do the wrong thing anyway. Try and prevent them from certain kind of partying on the weekends or this or that by the great advice that you give them and they go out and do it anyway. So, why? They're not being disobedient per se; they just can't learn from your telling them about it. They have to learn by doing it themselves.
So, that's quite common. We have to actually do the experience ourselves to learn the lesson from it. If you can get the lesson from what other, when other people do it you move along faster. That's why television can actually be an aide in spiritual unfoldment and not just a distraction. But, you can learn from what you see on television. People do things; you see the consequences. And you can therefore store that lesson aside without having to go through the experience yourself.
When it comes to intuition Gurudeva has a few good thoughts, again in Merging With Siva, not from today's lesson.
"Intuition day by day occurs spasmodically, but it does occur. And systematically one can gear his observation of his own intuitional faculties and find out exactly when these intuitive functions occur within him. It is a well-defined fact that we have the faculty of precognition of coming events. It is also concurrently known that the feelings of fear may precede impending danger."
"...Though we often use the terms 'unfolding intuitive faculties' and 'developing intuition,' they are only used in an effort to encourage the aspirant on the path to work within himself in subduing his intellect so that he can actually observe the already functioning totality of the intuitive area of the mind. "
That's an important point, is: If we think well we're developing our intuition, we're learning to use it. It sounds like it's not there, right? We're learning to use it. We haven't quite figured out how to use it. Gurudeva's saying: Now don't look at it that way, that's the way language tends to describe it. It's already there. You already are receiving knowledge from your intuition. You just don't identify it as such. For example, the analogy I use is to, quiet music playing in the background. If the foreground is noisy we won't hear it, right? But the music is always there. So, it's the noise in our mind, the worrying about the future, regretting the past that covers up the sound of the background music or our intuition.
So if we can quiet the mind enough then we can discover the always existing intuition within us.
How do we know if something's an intuition or just wishful thinking or our imagination? Well, practice of course. But, Gurudeva gives a key in here.
He says: "Intuition comes directly and it's cold." Meaning it doesn't have the normal human emotion or warmth attached to it. It's just an up down thought. It comes in and calls it a cold way not an emotional way or human way. It's more coming from an abstract source. If it has that sense to it then that's one key that it, it's probably your intuition. And that you can figure out other keys, too that, to make sure that something's your intuition and not just imagination. Through practice. You just have to kind of work with yourself to quiet the mind and look for intuition.
There's a simple way to use intuition; it's more indirect, and it's suggested by Gurudeva in the Trilogy. Just before you go to sleep at night, you write down the issue you're trying to have an insight into. And then you read back and make sure you've written it down clearly. You write it down in a way that someone else could actually understand what the issue is from reading it. Not shorthand. Sometimes we don't explain something clearly to ourself. That's part of the problem. We just worry without a clear concept of what we're worried about.
So write it down and then go to sleep with the idea that first thing in the morning the answer will be there. So, that's using the intuition in an indirect way. Of course, it may not be there but you want to have the positive thought that it will be there and that helps the chances of it being there increase. But it's a very good system and it does work.
Thank you very much.
Have a great day.