One of the first things we have to establish in order to recognize the nature of how our own mind works, is to realize how ideas come to us. This can be a bit difficult at first, because many don’t have an understanding of the true nature of self-generated thoughts opposed to “inspired thought”, or ideas that come to us as mental impressions that are persistent, and often seem unrelated to what we’ve asked guidance around. Asking for guidance is much like setting an intention as a request for ideas to come to you from outside of your normal realm of thinking, which is usually redundant and just plays the same type of ideas over and over, which you already know aren’t the answers to what you want. We’d also have to look at what or who it is you’re asking and expecting guidance from, and how they or it communicates with you, and what qualifies them to give you guidance as a means of working with you to co-create a future reality of some sort.
In the scope of this idea as we’re exploring it here, I’m not going to address the idea of “spirit guides”, or the idea that we all have some form of “board or committee” as a community of spiritual entities that help us on our way and serve to somehow guide us by counseling, advising, or telling us what to do, but rather through the concept of the “self”, which exists simultaneously on multiple levels of the same coherent reality, and are interactive in nature when a sense of awareness and connection are established and maintained. The “self”, like the soul, mind, and the reality they produce and live within, is threefold in nature. This means that what we are currently experiencing as what we call “reality”, we exist simultaneously at three levels within that reality as a unified and whole reality that exists outside of time, and an individual is sub-divided into parts of that reality as a “self and other”, an inner and outer, upper and lower, that’s playing out a story by “being in it” as a part of it, yet unable to see it from a higher, all inclusive “whole perspective”.
The Soul and the Nature of the Mind
Each plane of existence as a tri-fold hierarchy exist according to the same principle as “kingdoms” within an ecological system that’s interdependent in nature, starting at the very dense level of lower consciousness (no creative capacities) and progressing steadily up a scale to higher level of increased consciousness that have the ability to self-express and create using the power of the mind. The mind, likewise, exists at three different levels within the material plane as the subconscious (the aspect we share with all of Nature), the self-conscious (a human attribute that makes us creative), and the Super or Higher Consciousness that operates both the subconscious and self-conscious aspects of what we call the “material mind” of the body, which is located within time and space as a “specific entity” with an animal body and personality that forms an identity based on its material existence.
In this same manner, according to the same principles (all principles play out in every area of reality at different scales and through different systems), our “soul”, which is synonymous with the “self” and “mind”, exists on three separate planes, and is “dual or polar” in nature as both masculine and feminine aspects on each plane (again same principle different scales and levels). Each level is created by the dual nature of the one preceding and serving to create it. Each level therefore contains the “entire lower level” that it serves to birth and govern by co-operating the dual aspects of itself on a lower, denser plane of material manifestation. The material mind that serves to form the etheric body is what produces (seed and ovum) the physical body as what we call the lower soul or animal body. Both aspects of the lower, physical self of which only humans (here on Earth) have a “self-conscious” aspect that has the creative capacity of reason, choice, and will to self-create, exists as a part of our lower nature. What we call “heart consciousness” (subconscious) and “brain consciousness (self-aware) are interactive with both themselves and the Higher-Self that governs them.
The Lower Mind of the Animal Body
The subconscious exists as the “passive and receptive” (feminine) aspect, and the conscious mind (of both the higher and same plane), which is the reasoning and willful (masculine) mind is the active and creative aspect of the “same mind”. The conscious mind acts to impregnate the subconscious mind with an idea that the subconscious, which is the aspect of the mind we share with Nature, grows and turns into a material manifestation of the idea. The subconscious “conceives of the will” being projected by the active conscious aspect, and produces a reality out of it. First inwardly as an imagined reality, then outwardly (connects to that same idea in everything else through the shared mind of the subconscious) as a analogous version of the same idea, creating the basis necessary for experiencing it, and creating itself and its life through the experience.
What we think of as the conscious mind of the body (brain consciousness), is birthed fully within the physical body by the subconscious mind, and is a coherent part of the lower, material plane of the subconscious. It’s the aspect of awareness that we form our “identity” out of as our “false ego” that only sees and thinks of itself “as” a body, rather than as a soul that merely inhabits the body as a means of acquiring experiences of itself through the reality of its own mind and memories. All of what we call “thought” as imagined (conceptualized) realities that we experience as being a product of our conscious mind (brain), is actually produced out of memory (body) of some sort, that we simply replay over and over forming endless variables in a habitual and repetitive manner. This is very easy to see and realize when we simply “observe our thoughts”, and the fact that the thoughts (type and kind) we’re having today, are the same type we had yesterday, last week, a month ago, or even years ago. Most of what we think of as “self-generated thoughts” is produced by memory of some sort, which is produced and provided by the subconscious mind, which, having no will of its own, simply creates out of memory in a repetitive fashion. All behavior, which is creative, is produced by repetitive and habitual thoughts that keep the same emotional states active in us, which serve to create more of the same type of reality and experiences over and over, much like a theme.
Another way to recognize the true nature of what we call self-generated thought and our ability to problem-solve, is by realizing that anytime we’re trying to “figure something out”, all we’re really doing is rehashing the same ideas as memories (experienced or taught) over and over, in an attempt to somehow apply them in a new way that will somehow produce a new result or reality. This is where they get sayings like “the true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result”, and “a problem can’t be solved by the same mind (type of thinking) that created it”. When left to our own devices, all we’re ever really doing is running through all memories of ideas associated with it, in an attempt to find a new solution. This is because the conscious aspect of the lower mind operates by way of the subconscious mind that births it, and is “memory oriented” and instinctually driven. It “thinks” by way of association and impulses that reference memory as a thought process. All thought, in this sense, is produced by emotional states associated to previous experiences as patterns of that memory that form tendencies.
In this same sense, we have the ability to connect to the conscious and willful aspect of our Higher Mind or Self, which oversees and governs the entire lower plane as a unified reality that’s already created (karma and divine providence as prophecy), which likewise, works through the passive aspect of the subconscious mind to “seed it” with an original idea that exists outside of and apart from our personal memories of the past. But it only becomes active when we subdue the same conscious aspect of the material mind, which is also willful and creative by constantly seeding its own subconscious aspect, by calming all thinking, and quieting our internal dialogue. The Higher Consciousness can’t communicate directly with the active aspect of the lower mind and plane, and works in a like manner with the passive aspect of the subconscious mind.
The subconscious, unlike the “talking aspect” of the conscious mind, “thinks” in pictures and images by forming ideas into imagined realities that it then “reflects in the mind’s eye” allowing the conscious mind to “witness it”. When the conscious (aware) mind witnesses it, it comes as an idea that pops into our mind out of nowhere (not self-produced) as a form of inspiration and intuition (which is the same thing). It comes as an idea represented by an image, symbol, or metaphor of some kind, much like a concept, that acts as a form of “universal memory”, in the sense that it provides us with a whole, ready-made idea as a possible reality. If we “act on this idea” without question, it produces a reality that affords us a brand new experience and manifests in a whole new way.
Original Thought as Inspired Ideas
As ideas “come to us” intuitively from what we sense as a higher, invisible source, we still have to “willfully choose” to except and act on the idea. Nothing manifests as a reality or comes into our life without willful action that fulfills them, or as the means of a form of synchronistic, step-by-step process or chain of events that begin unfolding , which, each time we act on it, forms a pathway to a whole new experience of reality and of ourselves within that reality. Our true ability to “create in an original manner”, doesn’t lie exclusively in our lower mind of the body and identification with the body, but rather in our Higher Mind which isn’t a “product of” the lower material mind of the body.
All “original ideas” come through a form of inspiration as an inner vision or imagining that seems to come to us out of nowhere through an intention or desire we have to “know” and “create” based on that knowing. They come through an inquiry of some form, or by “asking for something” (prayer as a connection to our higher source), wondering about something or forming curiosity around it, or as an intention we set for it based on a desire for it. Our higher conscious “seeds our subconscious” with the idea that initiates a pathway of exploration and discovery. We receive mental impressions or a vision as an idea that is formed outside of our normal awareness and ability to produce it based on personal memory of some sort, that we then have to exercise our freedom of choice and will in order to take in as our own and act on it to create by way of it. Through action of some sort, a whole process is set in motion that ultimately leads gradually into a whole new idea, but only if we choose to act on every intuitive step we realize as it unfolds. It only “manifests” as our reality through constant and consistent action as the use of our ability to choose and willfully act out our choices, producing the reality inherent in them.
The Nature of True Guidance
Nothing is ever done for us by an outside source. we’re simply given guidance on how to bring about the idea as a reality and experience of what we inquired about or asked for. Guidance never comes as being told “what to do”, or as making decisions for us. It only comes as showing us new options, or bringing us new awareness and realization that expands on our ability to choose brand new ideas, which, if acted on will produce brand new experiences of reality, not born out of past memories that simply repeat the same idea in a varied way. If guidance appears to be coming to you as a form of telling you what to do or making decisions for you, it’s more than likely not actual guidance from a higher source but rather the ramblings of different aspects of your own, lower mind and personality. Higher sources of a Divine nature never act to violate choice and free will, which is a birthright and the means for self-creating in which we are always 100% responsible for our own creation.
Because guidance often comes as a completely new idea or way of responding to a familiar problem or well-established situation, and therefore results in a feeling of confusion and uncertainty that comes from the unknown, we can have a tendency to analyze it to death, rather than spontaneously acting on it, or coming face-to-face with our comfort zone and afraid that we won’t know what to do in an unfamiliar situation, and through fear or inhibition of some sort as being unwilling to act or to try something new in an experimental fashion, we doubt it away or convince ourselves it won’t work, and so we don’t even try. While usually going right back to asking for guidance around the same thing again, often, without ever realizing what we’re doing. It’s usually only when guidance comes in a familiar way or as something we’re comfortable with and have a memory around as a means of navigating it that we’re willing to try it or act on it.
In this same token, because guidance usually acts to lead us out of our mental paradigm as a way of conceiving of new possibilities and doesn’t come to us in “whole form” as a single idea or action, but rather as steps that require consistent action in a repetitive manner as an idea that “unfolds” through an unknown process, we choose not to act on it because we don’t know for sure where its leading, or we don’t realize it’s coming in response to our inquiry or intention, because we can’t see how it’s directly related looking through the lens of expectation, which again, is formed of memories of the past. Guidance hardly ever comes in the form of what we expect or imagine it will, and because of this, we often don’t recognize it for what it is.
All expectation and imagined scenarios as possibilities that we hold as a means of being able to know guidance when it comes, is formed out of memory of the past or what we “think” the answer is going to be based on, or our ability to come up with a solution which is all based on memory of some form, and is what has acted to create our life the way it is currently. So we ask for guidance from a higher source as the aspect of our mind that exists “outside of” our material reality and consciousness as memory acquired through the body, while attempting to perceive it through the lower mind of habitual perceptions as possibilities.
We can know true guidance when it comes as a thought or impression as an image or scenario that represents an idea that “pops into our mind”, or that comes to us in what seems like an unrelated way that has no obvious or apparent connection to our inquiry. One that comes to us in a spontaneous way that’s not the result of our own thinking or attempt to solve our own problem from the same paradigm that created it, but rather as what seems like an objective idea that even when we notice it and think about it briefly as what it implies or means, then let go and move on, persists and becomes consistent. We keep noticing and going back to it and thinking about it, though we usually don’t know why. If a thought persists for a period of time and we fail to take action on it, which is what’s required for it to lead to something else, it eventually fades and subsides. We then either go back to asking while requesting it to “show up” the way we want it to, or we have the experience of “unanswered prayers”, and we form an opinion or belief that prayer doesn’t work.
So the most primary way to tell the difference between true guidance as problem solving from our Higher Self or just wishful thinking, is by whether or not it appears to be coming from a mental source outside of our paradigm and normal way of thinking that’s showing us to do something or a way to go that we couldn’t have come up with or produced on our own through memory or established learning of some sort. Realizing that it comes as an “original thought or ideas” that we didn’t or couldn’t (based on normal perception and way of thinking) have come up with on our own as an answer. Understanding that it never violates choice and free will by telling us what to do or making our decisions for us, or through producing strong emotional reactions that prompt automatic behavior, or as something that’s manipulative and trying to get us to do something we don’t want to, but rather as an objective idea or intuitive feeling that bring insight into things and expanding our options for choosing by showing us things we couldn’t see before. It often comes in what may seem like a completely unrelated manner as a single step, which when taken, forms into a greater process as a whole idea where you don’t know what to do to make it happen.
Often ideas come to us in “whole form” as an outcome or complete idea as a reality, that’s very different from our current reality, or that we don’t have established behaviors for creating, where we’re often left with a feeling of not knowing what to do to create it. The Higher Self understands that the lower mind is memory driven and needs guidance as a “process” anytime it’s acting to create something that’s not a part of its programming. Because of this, the idea we set as an intention for our inquiry that forms the basis for asking for guidance, serves as the “whole idea” as a form of “theme” or metaphor that’s responded to. Not as giving the reality of the idea in a kind of instant fashion, which is a product of the subconscious imagination, but rather as the process for creating it in a synchronistic, step-by-step process that leads you systematically to produce the necessary process to create a corresponding reality of your imagined idea.
The reason you “don’t know how to do it” is because you’ve never produced that reality and don’t have the memory as the process necessary for creating it. Again, the Higher Self doesn’t act to give you the idea for creating necessarily (you form this as what you’re asking for), but rather gives you the process for doing it as mental impressions and ideas that require you to act on them in order for the next step to become apparent. One step fulfilled leads to the next. It requires consistent action on every idea that becomes apparent through the original action to create the reality necessary as the means of connecting to and being in the appropriate position to perceive the next step.
Ideas come about and manifest as reality through a dynamic pathway as a creative process of unfolding awareness, where we never know for sure what each step will bring. In this manner, we have to act out of faith knowing that though we’re not sure of how it’s going to come about, and that it’s probably going to come about in a completely unexpected way, that it’s revealing the creative process necessary to manifest the reality of our dream. It’s showing us how to create the reality that we asked and prayed for by setting an intention for it. The saying “seek and you shall find, ask and it shall be given unto you, knock and the door will be opened”, isn’t just a nice saying, it’s giving us the formula as principles necessary for manifesting reality using our mind. Not the lower mind of instinct and repetitive memory, but rather the higher mind that serves to seed the imagination of the lower mind with the ideas necessary to willfully create in an original manner.
The higher consciousness projects ideas into the imagination of the subconscious that provide it with a reality as a form of memory that it can use as a template to create with in the same manner it creates realities out of its own memories. Once the subconscious has been impregnated with an idea of the Higher Will as an imaginary reality, the conscious mind perceives it as a thought and idea, and uses its will to choose and act on it. As it acts on the idea to fulfill it or investigate and research it somehow, a reality is produced where other ideas become apparent, and when those are again acted on, a chain of association forms that connects us to the other related ideas, which together form the basis for creating the reality of our desired intention.
So if you “ask” by forming a vision for your life, sets intentions, and pray or ask for guidance in regards to them, or for them to spontaneously manifest somehow, and you sit back waiting for it to appear as if by magic, or come as a single connection that’s completely related to your current mindset or history of creating realities, you may be waiting for a long time for something that never happens. If instead, you stay aware of what intention you set and what reality you’ve asked for, and as ideas that are not self-generated by your logical and analytical mind, or out of repeated memory that begins occurring as intuitive insights or notions of some sort, and you commit to acting on them even though you have no idea what they’re going to produce or where they’ll lead, and as they lead to another idea and another, and you continue acting on each one, even when they lead you outside of your comfort zone, what you’ll find is that you’re led into a reality of your own intention as you being its creator. You’ll realize that you created it through consistent action taken on what may have seemed like unrelated ideas. By setting the intention as a means for willful and deliberate creation, then having faith and trust in where you’re being led even though you can’t see from the onset what it’s eventually going to result in, is the very means and method by which you create using your Higher Will as a true form of spiritual guidance.
Dr. Linda Gadbois
Integrative Mind-Body Medicine Consultant and Mentor for Spiritual Development