One of the most undeniable, and inescapable, experiences of living is the experience of making decisions based on choices. There is this whole debate of “total free will” vs “zero free will” but eventually the truth is in the grey areas, you don’t have free-will in some aspects and you do have free-will in some – there are some things you can’t control and some things that you can. In the circles of spirituality there is a lot of emphasis on the whole aspect of giving up personal will, and though it’s a required phase in the journey towards balance (the phase of release) it’s not an ultimate end-goal of living – you only need to let go of the imbalanced momentum of the need for control so that you can work on a balanced control in your life, which is a part of conscious/aware living. There will always be cross-roads that we come to in our life where we need to choose one path over the other, where a decision takes you on a path that would be completely different from the other path, and there is no end to this experience of making decisions because life is eternal in its movement – you keep coming the cross-roads at the end of every changing reality. It’s normal to think along the lines of “how do I ensure that I take the right decisions” or “how can I avoid making wrong decisions”, especially when you know that a certain decision can have long-lasting effects on how your life experience pans out.
It’s not ambiguous to say that living is about experiencing, in fact the only way that you know you are living is by the fact that you are experiencing something – even the experience of “no experience” is an experience, it’s like the experience of nothingness. The core of taking decisions is about deciding what you want to experience, and again, the fact is that you can’t have it “all” in any moment; to experience something you have to exempt something else.
From the perspective of life all experiences have a value because the very nature of life-energy is to desire variety, to desire something new, to desire change – it’s not possible for any “being” to be okay with just one experience forever, even if its an experience of total bliss. Stagnation of any form is contrary to our nature as life-energy. Also, you can’t hold on to any experience, for long, because the very nature of the life-energy, that we are, is to keep “moving” – it’s never static. When you understand that all experiences have a value, and all experiences are fleeting/temporary, and all experiences lend towards a growth, and that you are bound to go through all the range of experiences possible (as a soul) and that it’s never ending (that there is always something else to experience), it gives you a different perspective on the whole question of “right decisions” – is any decision really wrong? This is not some philosophical question, rather it’s a very practical question with regards to understanding the reality of life. Since a lot of our fears come from the place of being afraid of taking the wrong decisions, and a lot of our psychological suffering comes from the place pushing away from allowing the “present experience”, it’s important to understand the reality of this whole aspect of making decisions, and see through any delusions about it.
Every decision lends itself to growth
It takes a certain level of awareness/receptivity to really understand the absolute perspective of life, the picture of totality. When you get this understanding about the absolute-ness of life, you understand that “everything has a value”, and it’s not just a conceptual understanding, and it’s not some “optimistic, wearing the rose-tinted-glasses” observation, it’s just a very objective observation about life – seeing it fully in its movement of light and dark nature (yin/yang). Of course as soon as it’s said that “everything has a value” there is bound to this question about “what’s the value in (—– fill in the blanks with all the horrific things that you see happening in this world —) “. The fact is that life as a movement is an interplay between the light and dark nature (yin/yang polarities), and in a state of low-awareness there is bound to be strong imbalances towards either the light nature or the dark nature, leading to imbalanced experiences. These experiences eventually cause a shift in awareness, where you learn from your suffering, and move towards finding conscious balance as a being.
The experience of suffering has its own value towards creating “depth” in a soul. It can’t be denied that some of the highest maturity is ingrained from an experience of suffering than an experience of a chocolate-flavored moment. It’s also true that the more mature you become the less you are prone to psychological suffering, but it’s quite impossible to find maturity without going through the suffering of immaturity because maturity is again a “relative” thing – you can only know maturity in relation to immaturity. So, if a decision, that you took, came from a place of “immaturity”, and it created suffering for you, it has its value in acting as a wake-up call for you to grow and become more mature, so in that sense it can be called a “wrong decision” from a relative perspective (because it created suffering for you) but it was a “valuable decision” from an absolute perspective. Even if you keep taking “wrong decisions” all your life, and basically lead a life of suffering, it still has its value in terms of soul. You can never know fully, before-hand, about how a certain decision is going to shape up, you can only guess and project and assume. Life is not moving according to some predetermined script, rather it’s a dynamic movement created from some original decisions that give rise to situations that need new decisions, it’s all about “learn and navigate” it’s not a “set course”.
In any given time you can only have a certain experience and you will be exempt from other experiences at that time. When you are living a physical life, time becomes a very significant factor – you have limited time as this body, you have limited time at any age (to explore aspects of that age) and physical things take more time to take shape compared to non-physical things. As a soul when you choose a certain physical body, to incarnate into, it’s a significant decision because it ties you up for several years to that experience, and all forms of emotional/mental impacts can happen to you during this time in relation to the specific body’s design and proclivities. However, from a non-physical perspective, you also understand that as a “soul” you are an eternal being, and hence you can keep incarnating as much as you want, so there is no real “risk” in making decisions like choosing a certain body for an incarnation – it would just be one experience, in the pool of many experiences that you will keep having eternally.
It’s important to have this “non-physical perspective” to really understand that there is no risk in anything because of the eternal nature of your being. The only deal of taking a decision is that it causes you to have a certain experience for a certain period of time, and if you have an openness you will grow/evolve from that experience, and the wisdom spawned from this growth allows you to make a different decision – this is an eternal movement of living.
Using your instinct for making decisions
Eventually you need to come to a place where you can stand on your own two shoes while taking decisions without using any external influence as the primary source on which you depend. You can, of course, listen to the external influences with an open-mind, and garner any useful guidance, however, you can’t fully depend on anything external as your crutch for taking decisions. Also, if you do take a decision based on the guidance of some external influence, you need to take full responsibility for your decision and not place the responsibility on the external source – if the decision ends up creating some undesired consequence, you need to take responsibility for it instead of blaming the external source for it (after all it was you who made the decision to follow the guidance of the external source). There are people who conveniently blame the outside for their decisions and thus never develop the maturity to take full responsibility for themselves.
Again, it’s important to keep in mind that there are no “wrong decisions”, there are only paths that are taken, and every path eventually is a journey of its own accord that lends itself to your growth and betterment, especially if you are open to the experience that comes through instead of sitting in a mindset of blame, resentment, guilt or despondence. In fact there is no such thing called the “perfect decision” because every decision is bound to have some light nature consequences along with some dark nature consequences, it’s just a fact of life that every reality is a mix of light and dark aspects.
If you have a delusion about some “perfect reality”, you are bound to feel upset about all your decisions in one way or the other because you will see that every situation has some dark nature aspects present in it – you can’t ever create a reality where you feel completely fulfilled because it’s not possible in the very nature of life. Nowadays it’s becoming a fad to consult one’s “spirit guide”, through spirit channelers, about certain decisions, with the idea that the spirit guides should be “all knowing”. The fact is that, eventually, even the spirit guides are external sources and you can’t be certain that they have a full cognizance of the aspects of physical reality (as they dwell in the non-physical plane) – even among spirit guides there are ones who are more mature and ones who are less mature, depending on their wisdom based on their experience of living. Some people depend on astrology, or such other “prediction-based” methods, as the basis of making decisions, and again one has to understand that there is no such thing as “absolute certainty” to anything because the very nature of life’s movement is highly dynamic – if astrologers were “all knowing” they should be able to predict every natural disaster that’s going to strike and send out a warning before hand.
The bottom-line is that you can’t simply depend on any source as the “right source” for taking all your decisions. Knowing this can be a cause of insecurity or a relief depending on how you see it. Eventually, it makes a lot of sense to start taking decision purely based on your instinct, while learning to take responsibility for each decision, knowing that there are no perfect decisions, and knowing that all decisions eventually lend themselves to growth and experience. There is a definite value towards gaining insights and understandings from external sources, spending time doing the required research, and using your past experiences as a learning medium, however, in the end you would simply have to take a call based on what feels like your “instinct”. The deal about instinct is that it’s not just something that’s “in born”, it’s something that grows as you grow as a being – the more balanced/mature you are the better your instincts. However, you don’t have to wait till you sense that your instincts are “perfect”, rather you simply connect with your instincts in your current state of maturity, and learn to make independent decisions based on your instincts, with the attitude of openness towards growing from each decision that you make.
Instincts can be blurred by emotional/mental momentum
Your instincts are bound to be sharper when your awareness (or the capacity to observe/analyze) is not blurred by a barrage of emotional/mental momentum. In the state of imbalance, a lot of decisions come purely from the pull of the past momentum, and hence we seem to be repeating our realities, and our experiences, without any real growth, until we hit some threshold of suffering which causes a certain shift in our awareness, where we let go of living from the unconscious tendency to be lost to the past momentum. It’s important to release the momentum of emotional/mental pull, so that your decisions are no longer coming from the place of total identification with the mind movement or the emotional movement. For example, just imagine that you have a strong momentum of the mental/emotional state of “lack of love”, in which case your decisions can come purely from this place of imbalanced lack where you cling to anyone who gives you some approval/attention/acceptance, and thus become open to exploitation or blind-trust. You can read the post – The Phase of Release – for detailed insight on how to work towards releasing the past emotional/mental momentum.
Of course, just because you are free of the past momentum, and have found an inner balance, doesn’t mean that all decisions would be easy for you. There will always be some decisions that can be a real challenge in terms of choosing one path over the other, where both paths seem to have an equal allure for you, especially the ones that can have a long lasting impact on your reality. In such a case one has no choice but to sacrifice one path over the other, in full cognizance that one can’t have it all. In fact, the process of making decisions can be a much more challenging process as one grows in awareness, mostly because one is more clearly aware of the light and dark nature aspects of every decision – it’s also true that some people who grow in awareness also become afraid of taking decisions, and thus try to detach from physical living in a bid to escape the deal of taking constant decisions. However, higher awareness also means that you can take more prudent, and aligned, decisions in a very conscious manner, learning from each decision, taking full responsibility for it.
As your awareness grows it becomes even more imperative that you become free of emotional momentum (by allowing the phase of release) so that you are not dictated by the fear-energy or the energy of boredom (meaningless-ness towards life), and you gain a clear perspective about life in terms of understanding there is no escape from “living”, and that living entails experiencing the light and dark nature aspects in every reality. Don’t use the concept of “surrender” as some means of hiding from the need to take decisions. The whole pointer of “surrender” has its value during the phase of release, where you simply allow yourself to be open to what arises within you (or around you), until you sense that there is no longer any intense momentum of emotions or mind-pull that dominates you. However, it’s important to understand that the phase of release is just a transitional state towards coming to a place of inner freedom from where you are required to operate in a state of balance, using your awareness towards living consciously, making controlled decisions where needed and letting-go of control where needed.