Wisdom: It’s not all in the Mind
My version of wisdom and my ideal decision process
Typically, when I think of the word wisdom my default position has been that it’s intellectual. I picture an old man or woman with grey hair and a cane supporting a stooped posture, delivering advice to otherwise confused followers or admirers who seek answers. And at the pinnacle of my understanding, I picture God delivering all-knowing destiny to his children, some of whom are oblivious and others in various states of awareness.
The images still work for me, but my understanding of what they represent is evolving. It’s not all in the mind – actually, wisdom comes mostly from places other than the mind. It is predominantly non-intellectual rather than intellectual.
It is a feeling, a sense, something innate the source of which is not necessarily understood but which can be trusted. Trust – that is the key.
So here is my classification of wisdom.
I believe that ultimate wisdom comes from God – the source, and the light. The question is – how will I tap into this wisdom to guide me?
When I ask God if I can feel his presence, I have a sense of protection that feels like a blanket being placed over my shoulders. Then I know that I am feeling the presence of God and can engage in a conversation with him.
From one of the books of the Bible, the Book of Wisdom: “She [wisdom] is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness” (Wisdom 7:26). Wisdom is given a personification with divine attributes – perhaps a reference to the Messiah, which can be argued by correlating the passage with other Bible verses. If I believe that I am a small part of God, then does enhancing and tapping into my wisdom bring me closer to divine?
Related to God are my spiritual guides or angels. I feel a body-filling warmth when I ask for this connection, and similarly can then engage in a conversation with them.
When I connect to my higher self, I feel an expansion of a column from the top of my neck to the bottom of my spine, like a strong rod supporting my whole body and holding it upright. A good position to listen for answers!
I believe that my higher self knows all the answers and knows my future (probably from God), so it makes perfect sense to ask any question. I just need to practice listening for the answer. And again, the key is trust.
Sometimes my trust wavers, and I question whether the answer I perceive is one that I made up, or one that I emotionally or intellectually wanted to be the answer. Asking clarifying questions should help with this – not just one question.
Many people talk about a feeling in their gut about a certain decision, or that their heart is telling them to go a certain way. The gut and the heart are cognitive centres that, from an evolutionary perspective, are very old, and which talk to us in a primitive language.
The gut can tell us yes or no, go or no go. The heart can feel that something is cold, luke warm, hot, or boiling hot.
We can use these centres to help make decisions and calm the mind. Simply get the head to consult with the heart and the gut before making a decision. When the head, heart & gut are in alignment, we can be unstoppable.
So ask the heart is it cold, luke warm, hot, or boiling hot. And ask the gut is it go or no go. An answer will come straight away.
(For this section I acknowledge Tom Evans, especially his recorded meditation “Being Calm”.)
Usually the first port of call for a decision, the intellectual mind is the loudest and most confusing. It is effective for classifying, analysing, and determining pros and cons; but very often that doesn’t provide the most effective decision. The intellectual mind will work on fine details and implementation after the core decision has been made in one of the other ways above.
So my own guide for making decisions has an order, and it is as follows.
- Ask God that I may feel his presence. Then ask him questions. I can ask my protector angels too.
- Ask my higher self. Ask as many clarifying questions as I need to, so that an answer may become clearer.
- If there are clear choices to clarify, ask my gut mind is it go or no go. And ask my heart mind is it boiling hot, hot, luke warm ,or cold.
- Finally, and only if necessary to refine the details of a decision, analyse intellectually.
I believe that considering decisions trustfully with these resources gives quicker and clearer answers.
Are all of these levels needed for a decision? If not, which one? That could be the first decision to make! A really big issue warrants validating at all levels. In other cases it will be obvious to just go for one. They are very closely connected anyway (except the intellectual mind), so it really doesn’t matter.
Applying this to a past situation
Firstly, I don’t believe that there are mistakes. What has happened was meant to be, and is all part of the journey.
But it is interesting to ponder how things might have turned out if a different approach had been taken.
I am an accountant. I chose that career because I was good at mathematics, and because when I was still in school the universities told us there was a shortage of accountants which meant salaries would be good for several years to come.
My career has been successful. But it has been a very hard slog.
It was an intellectual decision, tinged with an element of greed (or at least materialistic desire). From my decision guide above, it was missing the first three elements, which are the ones that I now say have far more relevance than the fourth and last.
If I had made this decision using my “new” guide, I’m very certain the outcome would have been different. I don’t know what it would have been, and I really don’t care because it is a moot point, and I still have the opportunity to do tremendous good from where I am now. I do believe, though, that had I made the decision by asking God, my higher self, my heart and my gut, I would have had a much faster route to fulfilling my real purpose, and that it would have been significantly more fulfilling and in many ways easier. Also, I’m sure that I would have had more time for family, and I would have been able to make deeper and stronger connections with my family and others.
The great thing is – I can still do that.
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