In private conversations, many people admit to having some source of inner guidance, some trusted reliance on something that might be best described as a power greater than themselves. This is not a conversation most people are comfortable having, especially with someone they don’t know very well. In less intimate company they may refer to this source as “moral compass” or “conscience” or some other more neutral label.
The more religious of these people may acknowledge God, Allah, Divine Providence, or Jesus as their trusted source of guidance. Most organized religions have specific rules or guidelines for living so guidance in these cases can be quite exacting and codified.
Those who consider themselves as spiritual but not necessarily religious may refer to “Source,” “Higher Power,” “mother/father God,” or any of dozens of other descriptors for this trusted source of guidance.
I am often amazed at how so many people refuse to accept that some things are ineffable, like this subject, yet we are perennially seeking words to “eff” the ineffable – to define or describe that which cannot be defined or described – to make reasonable that which defies reason.
Religions have been the most committed and tenacious about defining and describing this trusted source – attempting to explain the inexplicable – dedicating volumes to their dogmas and scriptures so these definitions and descriptions become more and more exacting as time goes by and more and more scholars add their perspectives to the immense libraries documented by their predecessors over the centuries. Each religion seems to have its own “brand” – its own take – on how their God is manifested and how their God should be worshipped.
Why do we insist on trying to define and describe this trusted but ineffable source of guidance? Why can’t we simply appreciate the mystery of this source of guidance which often serves as a source of inspiration as well. Why does our thinking demand definition?
Why do our minds demand description? Because that what minds do! After all, the mind’s job is to think.
Why can’t we simply accept this trusted source of guidance as our personal muse and inspiration, complete without concise definition, complete with the mystery and obscurity that drives our minds crazy?
To achieve this state of trust and acceptance, we need to put our thinking on hold.
It is important to make a distinction here: I am not addressing hallucinations or delusions that often accompany mental disorders such as psychosis, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. People suffering from these disorders can feel compelled to do strange, even violent, things. I’m addressing healthy minds.
If there is a way to distinguish the healthy from the delusional, it may be that this – “inner guidance” results in service – the actions serve humanity in a positive way.
If we can achieve this state of consciousness we can start trusting in this invisible, infinitely abundant and transcendent source of guidance. We can begin living and working with this self-confidence, this certitude, this mastery that transcends definition and reason.