I’m correcting a mistake I’ve made.
I have been a big proponent of extra rational (spiritual) experiences. I have attributed much of my success in life to this way of being guided.
Of late, however, I have also recognized the power of my rational mind in contributing to my sense of accomplishment. In the past I have downplayed that aspect.
Throughout much of my life, when I would find myself caught in extremely stressful situations, I would revert to activities such as prayer to help me. There were times when I would experience remarkable results. In a rare moment I heard a voice giving me encouragement and a description of my future. The future developed according to the description. One time I had a dream that seemed real to me when I woke up. I followed the dream script and my real life rolled out just as I had dreamt it. Once I prayed to lift a heavy anxiety that fell over me. The next morning the anxiety had lifted, like REALLY lifted.
The more I have worked at trying to understand the process of these experiences, the more I have concluded that these extraordinary spiritual experiences were rare. But, because they were so extraordinary, I filled my mind with them. So much so, I worked to create a system where they could be replicated on a consistent basis. I wrote thousands of diaries entries on the results of my efforts. After years of doing this I saw a pattern emerge: I had successfully created feedback loops in my mind. No matter what problems I faced, the words and messages that came to me were repetitions of what I had heard and experienced during my original spiritual experiences. They were almost always positive, in fact they were all positive, but they were redundant. They were play backs, not new spiritual experiences, but repeats – copies – of the original experiences.
I also noticed that I had started to have conversations with myself. I would ask a question and I would immediately receive an answer in the form of a voice speaking to me inside of my head, but always with the same words of the original experiences: ” fear not my son, all shall go well for you . . .”
The paradox was that my future challenges were more serious and potentially debilitating than the first challenges that drew out the original spiritual experiences. BUT, the spiritual messages were redundant (the same), but ultimately correct. Indeed, I would overcome the challenges. Now, when a challenge (problem) arises, I don’t ask any questions, because the message automatically comes to me: “all shall go well for you.” Over the years, the message has shortened to: “everything will be OK”, or “everything will work out.”
I have written numerous times about these experiences, which brings me to the present. In the process of explaining my profound feeling of gratitude for these spiritual experiences, I have taken for granted the gift we call “the rational mind.”
Let me start by saying that my rational mind is indeed a gift – a gift that keeps on giving.
In this life we compete to achieve. There were a lot of times I fell short of meeting with the success I wanted. Much of the time, however, I would just continue to THINK and work through those disappointments until I had met with some success.
I was dealt a less than optimal hand in the beginning years of my life. But, I also had some things going for me. My personality was outgoing. I liked to tease and joke around. I was friendly. I had no trouble meeting and making new friends. Most importantly, though, my mind adjusted quickly to compensate for setbacks. It worked hard day in day out trying to find ways to remove obstacles so forward movement could be resumed.
The vast majority of our lives are spent in a world that takes a rational mind to get through it. Thinking clearly and thinking often are musts. It seems that only recently have I fully understood this, much less given the rational mind the credit it is due. Once again, my mind is the gift of nature that keeps on giving. And is the same gift given to almost all humans in relatively equal measures.
The inner world of the spirit exists. I have experienced it. It is extraordinary, very rare, and extremely efficient. On the other hand the outside world is with us every day. It requires a constant dose of rational thinking to successfully manage the challenges it throws at us on a daily basis. I should be the first person to understand and celebrate this.