Decision making

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Spiritual Practice

We bring the questions of our lives to Knowledge so that it may guide our actions and communicate through us. The decisions we make will shape our lives.

"If you choose without Knowledge, Knowledge will not follow you.
You may believe fervently that you are doing the right thing.
You may even believe fervently that you are making the right decision.
But if Knowledge does not go with you,
you have no stability and no certainty in your endeavor."[1]


In Relationships

"What you decide to do in your relationships will determine the kind of life you will have and the kind of problems you will have to solve. This is so important; it cannot be overlooked. There is so much at stake if you make a wrong decision. And it is difficult to undo something that never should have been done in the first place.Your experience will illustrate this for you." [2]

Knowledge will not support a wrong decision in a relationship, and Knowledge will not go with you into that relationship. If you commit yourself prematurely, you pull yourself away from Knowledge. You can still come back to Knowledge, but it will not go along with you. It will become mute and silent, patiently waiting once again while you live out another long and perilous error in life.” [1]

In Spiritual Development

"Independence means ... that individuals are able to begin to think for themselves. To win this freedom, one must make some very difficult decisions, honor these decisions, trust them and abide by them. These decisions can be difficult because one might have to relinquish some degree of love or financial advantage or social acceptance to do something that is recognized to be correct. One must be willing to make these sacrifices and take these risks in order to gain a greater sense of well-being, inner certainty and correctness about life. It is making these decisions and abiding by them that establishes the ability to think with relative independence. By relative independence, I mean that you are able to create your own thoughts rather than simply borrowing someone else’s. [3]

"Courage is something that everyone must forge and develop in his or her own experience. This happens through making difficult decisions." [4]

"Wisdom, like courage, must be cultivated by direct engagement with life, by making important decisions and abiding with them, by facing error, by facing pain, by accepting help, and by rearranging your life whenever this becomes necessary. In all cases, it requires giving greater priority to truth over your personal wishes or preferences." [4]

"Judgment is a decision not to know. It is a decision not to look. It is a decision not to listen. It is a decision not to be still. It is a decision to follow a convenient form of thinking that keeps your mind asleep and keeps you lost within the world. [5]

"Self-trust ... is forged by making decisions that perhaps seem incompatible with other people’s decisions, or which seem costly in terms of the advantages which you were formerly seeking for yourself. It is forged by being true to what you know without adding any assumptions or conclusions of your own." [6]

"Inspiration [is] born of Knowledge, realized through genuine decision making and real living, shared through meaningful relationships and passed on through contribution to those who need it everywhere.... The presence of Spirit is with you, and it is regenerated through your wise decision making and through your selfless activity." [7]

"Pain is always a decision you make in response to any stimuli in your environment.... All pain must be recognized as the result of your own decision." [8]

"Condemnation is simply the decision not to participate and the justification for not participating." [9]

"Beware of ambivalence then. It is a sign that you are functioning without Knowledge and that you are trying to make your decisions based purely upon speculation, personal preference and fear. It is decision making without foundation that leads humanity astray. It is decision making without foundation that has led you astray." [10]

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In Fulfillment of One's Role

"This is a time to directly participate, and this will require a special preparation, great companions and a decision on your part to participate in the world’s emergence into the Greater Community, to participate in the unification of human society and to participate in the reclamation of your physical environment in ways that are specific to your nature and deeper inclinations. Here you are not to be only an observer but to be a participant, for you are a participant. If you want to find purpose in life and realize your greater resources and your true inner strength, you must make this decision, fortify this decision and live this decision. It is not up to someone else; it is up to you. You are the one who is reading these words.You are the one who has the power to respond." [6]

"To find your calling in life and spiritual purpose, you must learn to prepare. Here you learn to make decisions based upon what you know rather than what you think or want. Here you roll up your sleeves and become involved with life. Here you become basic, honest, simple and straightforward." [6]

"When you come to a moment of important decision, at a juncture or turning point in your life, you will always see that there are two ways to go: There is the way with Knowledge and there is the other way. The other way may show many possibilities, but there are really only two ways to go." [11]

"We are not suggesting that you throw away all of your securities, but we are saying that at the important junctures in your life where you have to make an important decision, you must risk your security to undertake something of a greater magnitude, the outcome of which you will not be able to see at the outset." [7]

"Your decision making here is crucial to your success. Never take it lightly and never assume that your decisions are not absolutely significant and important for the outcome of your life. The decisions you make today result in your life tomorrow. They determine what kind of decisions will be available to you tomorrow. Choose the way that has no destiny and no meaning, and you will spend your years trying to get back to where you started. But choose the way that is meant for you, the way that Knowledge within you will recognize and confirm, and every step you take will be a genuine step towards building a foundation for Knowledge and contribution." [12]

"Your role here is predetermined, but how it will be carried out and the time it takes to carry it out—especially the time it takes to discover it and to prepare for it—can vary considerably. In this, your decision making has great importance, and indeed you will determine if the outcome can be achieved. What greater responsibility would you ever want to assume for yourself?" [13]

Upon embarking on The Way of Knowledge

"This is a time not to make a great many decisions. This is a time to remain open and maintain a simple life—simple employment and simple involvements. This is the time to stay out of a primary relationship if you are single. This is a time to refrain from changing a primary relationship if you are in one." [14]

"People come to the first gate in The Way of Knowledge wanting more of everything they want. And yet they are moved and feel compelled to seek for something more pervasive, something that is more difficult to define perhaps, something that they yearn for more than they want, something that they need more than they desire. So, at the first gate, you encounter the Teaching and you decide that you are going to try to get something out of it. You want to benefit from it; you want it to do something for you. And of course, you want it to satisfy these two different purposes. Fundamentally, the difference between these two purposes is that one is the desire for greater separation and the other is the desire for union. Sorting all of this out and making decisions to support one over the other represent a great deal of the work in The Way of Knowledge." [15]

"You will be a student even if you decide not to be a student. If you decide not to be a student, you will merely study another curriculum. In this, you have no choice, for to be in the world is to learn and to demonstrate the result of your learning. Recognizing this, your decision, then, is to determine where you will be a student and what you will learn. This is the power of decision that is given to you." [16]

Farther along The Way of Knowledge

"[Crossing] thresholds of learning, where you choose again to go on, ... your decision carries you forward. You do not have these experiences every day. You can experience self-doubt every day; you can struggle with yourself every day, but a real threshold of learning does not come every day." [17]

"You must choose to participate, and you must choose to deepen your participation. Every decision you make on behalf of Knowledge is supported by the decisions of all others who are making the same decision and by the power and the presence of your Teachers who are with you.Thus, your decision for Knowledge, whenever it is made and supported, is greatly amplified by the presence of all who practice with you and by the presence of your Spiritual Teachers.This is certainly adequate to overcome any obstacle you view within yourself or within your world." [9]

"When you are entering a more conscious state, a state more committed to education and revelation, then you will seek an environment that is more conducive to the experience of awareness and knowing. This is a natural process, and it will become greatly accelerated as you become aware of it and can make conscious decisions in order to enhance your mental environment and to create greater opportunities for insight." [18]

"There is so much Mystery in your life! How much bearing does this have on your everyday decisions and experience? A great deal. So, the important distinction to make is: Do not deal with manifestation mysteriously and do not deal with Mystery logically. They require different approaches.When you make everything mysterious, you lose touch with what is obvious and you will live in fantasy about everything. That is both pathetic and dangerous for you and your race." [19]

"The personal mind will continue to be fretful, doubtful, anxious and prone to rash decisions and rash behavior. But increasingly, as a student of Knowledge following in The Way of Knowledge, you will be able to step back from these impulses and anxieties and rest upon that which is much more sure and even within you." [11]

"As Knowledge becomes stronger within you, your personal mind will have a greater foundation upon which to base itself, and increasingly its self-doubt will disappear. Then you will face a different kind of doubt, a doubt that is a warning sign within you to tell you that something may not be right and may require greater observation or verification of some kind. This is doubt born of Wisdom. This is when you sense something is not quite right or that the decision that you are about to make may not be the best decision and you feel a restraint inside. This is not self-doubt.This is doubting something on the outside .This is healthy and wise.This is part of your inner guidance system working for you to guide and protect you and to keep you from going astray. The more you are sensitive and responsive to this, the more difficult it will be for you to make a mistake.What a blessing this is." [11]

"What establishes your connection to Knowledge and your relationship with it is making important decisions at important junctures of life, where you have to choose the truth over all other seeming conveniences and benefits, where you have to give up something that you had been clinging to in order to have freedom and a new opportunity for life. These are the great turning points where Knowledge reveals itself. It reveals itself because it is chosen in the hour of decision. Now it is no longer a hope or an idea or a theoretical possibility. It is now something real within you." [11]

"[Knowledge] comes silently. It lives within you. It awaits the moment when you can begin to accept it. It offers itself at moments of great decision." [11]

"Recognize the world's persuasions and step back. This you are given to do, for here you have the power of decision.This you can do once you recognize the world’s persuasions and realize how important Knowledge is.This will enable you to exercise the power of decision on your own behalf." [20]

In doubt

"When in doubt, be still and listen, unless action is required. Practice forbearance, for you will find that Knowledge is silent ninety percent of the time, which means that it does not appear to be doing anything. Thus, you must become silent ninety percent of the time, even as you carry out your mundane activities. This takes courage— as much courage as it takes to do a very difficult thing, to follow a very important decision you have made and to face the results of this decision with confidence and determination." [4]

"Imagine for a moment that Knowledge is a very wise, saintly person.... This person is available to you, so you go to him or to her with all of your questions and you say,“Teacher—or Master, or Saint—tell me what I should do here. Tell me where I should go. Tell me if I should make this decision....” Yet, when you go to your teacher, you find that in most cases your teacher is silent. At first, you leave very disappointed.... Well, if you go back again and again and keep going back, even if all you get is silence, then after awhile you will start to think that maybe you should contemplate what you are asking and consider if you are really prepared to have an answer. As you consider this, you will need to question if you are willing to change and how flexible you are. Do you want more answers simply to give your mind the fuel with which to think its old thoughts?" [21]

"In essence, you either know what you are doing or you do not. If you do not know what you are doing, you simply wait for Knowledge. If you know what you are doing, you simply follow what you know." [22]

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Deep Evaluation

"Whether garments, relationships or ideas, evaluate which really work for you. Ask, what relationships are really important to you? This fundamental question requires an honest response. Next, ask yourself if owning this thought, this object or this insight or being in this relationship feels correct to you. Not 'Can I justify it because of its benefits?' but 'Does it feel correct?' Then, appeal to Knowledge to show you what to do ... if the first two do not yield a decisive decision. Here you are asking to be shown.'Show me what I need to do. Show me what is important.'"[23]

"When you are presented with new objects or given opportunities to buy new things, acquire new ideas, meet new people, or participate in new activities, ask yourself,“What do I really need and what do I really use? What is essential?” Part of this you can answer yourself. Sometimes you must appeal to Knowledge, not simply to tell you the answer because Knowledge does not engage in a lot of conversation, but to demonstrate it. Particularly in very important decisions, the way to go must be demonstrated because an idea is not enough.You must see it, know its value and see that it is totally relevant to your life and to your needs. This comes through demonstration." [23]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Living The Way of Knowledge, Chapter 3
  2. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 6: Discernment
  3. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 16: Thresholds
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 19: Courage
  5. Steps to Knowledge, Step 82: I will not judge another today.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 18: Compassion
  7. 7.0 7.1 Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 29: Inspiration
  8. Steps to Knowledge, Step 229: I will not blame another for my pain.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Steps to Knowledge, Step 322: Review
  10. Steps to Knowledge, Step 274: I seek freedom from ambivalence today.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 27: Self-Doubt
  12. Living The Way of Knowledge, Chapter 2: The Four Pillars of Life
  13. Greater Community Spirituality, Chapter 3: What Is Life Force?
  14. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 1: Ambition
  15. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 34: Walking The Way of Knowledge
  16. Steps to Knowledge, Step 290: I can only be a student. Therefore, I will be a student of Knowledge.
  17. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 11: Spiritual Practice
  18. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 15: Responding to the Greater Community
  19. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 13: Religion as Mystery
  20. Steps to Knowledge, Step 303: I will step back from the world’s persuasions today.
  21. Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 9: Honesty
  22. Steps to Knowledge, Step 275: Today I seek freedom from uncertainty.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume Two, Chapter 2: Possessions

Further study

See also

Choice