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by David Truman

Divine promptings feel different than egoic urges

Spiritual intuition vs. man-made intuition

Fake methods of "Divine decision"

God's business vs. monkey business

The way of true surrender

This article distinguishes two very DIFFERENT voices that speak to us in the privacy of our thoughts. Learning to distinguish clearly between them prevents all kinds of trouble.

1. Divine promptings feel different than egoic urges

Two tell-tale differences between egoic impulses and Divine promptings.

Divine promptings feel sweet and pure, not complicated. Conversely, a cloud of anxiety hovers around ALL acts of ego -- even the so-called positive ones.

Therefore, to distinguish base impulses from higher ones, FEEL. A person who is predominantly faithful to the true Inner Voice will feel light, happy, and free of confusion. Anyone who feels confused or nervously impulsive is mistaking the voice of the lower ego-mind for that of the real Inner Voice.

The ego speaks from the lower mind with a bewildering range of voices, but all of them are problematical. Rambling, confused, sometimes giddy but never truly happy, the lower mind represents a boiling cauldron of delusion that can't satisfy anyone.

2. The still small voice rarely addresses human plans

This may seem too easy, but another way to distinguish one voice from the other is by subject matter. The still small voice only takes interest in certain subjects.

People frequently seek Divine advice for human endeavors -- should I buy a house, should I hang glide? Most of the concerns and schemes of human beings have little to do with happiness, except that they represent ALTERNATIVES to it. Also, the more foolish the plan, the greater the temptation to try to pretend that God thought of it, or at least approves of it.


God is concerned with Love affairs, not worldly affairs.

In reality, God has precious little to do with worldly affairs. He doesn't particularly care whether a fellow sells a business, or starts another one, except insofar as Divine principles are followed either way. His main interest in worldly concerns is when will the person wake up and this nightmare end?



How can I obtain this wonderful automobile?

How can I get this person to pay attention to me?

Why will You not relate to me, Father-Mother-God?

How can I protect myself against my enemies?

Why won't you answer my prayers?

What is the right way to relate to material possessions?

What can I do to spiritually uplift and benefit this person?

How can I be a better son or daughter for You?

How can I better love my enemies, and see them as friends and children of God?

Thank you for hearing my prayers. May I be more appreciative of the answers You have given me, and more faithful in following the kind guidance they contain.

Spiritual intuition vs. man-made intuition

True intuitions are feelings, but thoughts have feelings too.

Most so-called Divine promptings are of strictly human origin: they reflect little more than human desires, fears, and foibles. For example, people often associate feelings with intuition. Some feelings are truly intuitive, but since any thought can create a feeling, the association of feelings with intuition can be -- and often is -- terribly misleading. The following definitions distinguish forms of false intuition from true spiritual intuition.

intuition n. (proper usage)


1. A bit of knowledge, a feeling, or a response that comes directly from the higher mind without the aid or intervention of lower mental processes. [Although we had just met, I had a strong intuition that this was a person who would be with me for a long, long time.] 2. An inner urge or prompting to action that is spontaneous, not the result of a reaction, or the result of an analytical conclusion. [I had an impulse to call my father and give him some cheer, and it worked wonderfully. Or: Mrs. Jones had a sudden intuition she should call her daughter, and sure enough, her daughter was just going into labor.] 3. A means of direct or psychic knowing, not dependent upon mind or gross form of communication. [I saw her for only a minute, and we didn't exchange any words except, "It's a nice day." However, my intuition told me she was upset and wanted to talk more.]

intuition n. (incorrect usage)

1. An egotistical decision, reaction, concept, or plan, incorrectly attributed to God or to some mysterious and presumably unerring inner source or voice. 2. A self-protective, fear-inspired decision made to protect ego or egoity. [She really liked him a lot. However, she was afraid her sexual performance would not be good. But she didn't have to worry about it because her intuition told her that she should dump him anyway.] Or, [The President had an intuition that he should not appear before the investigating committee.] 3. An egotistical craving or whim, usually hard to justify by rational means. [His intuition told him he should buy a one thousand dollar remote-control television.] 4. A neurotic, knee-jerk reaction to circumstance, usually paranoid. [She felt he could positively see right through her. Never had she felt so understood. Suddenly she had an intuition that something was wrong, and that she should leave right away.] 5. A decision derived from a long and difficult process of cogitation -- often a negative conclusion which, in the absence of such a mental marathon, might be hard to justify. [I thought about it all week long, and I couldn't seem to come up with a satisfactory decision. Finally I decided I would just have to follow my intuition. My intuition said that I shouldn't pay you your money.] SYN. being mental. ANT. intuition (proper usage).

Note the examples of fear-based "intuition" in the INCORRECT USAGE definition. True intuition has NOTHING to do with helpless reactivity, neurotic fear, patterns of social dysfunction, spiritual unadventurousness, or emotional cowardice. False intuition is fabricated to cover cowardice. Why run away from challenges -- and then blame our cowardly flight on Divine intuition or on God? The coward's road leads neither to heaven nor to safety. Better to face life's challenges head on, and grow.

Fake methods of "Divine decision"

There's nothing particularly Divine in "divination."

Sometimes, at a fork in the road of life, rational thought cannot seem to determine the right choice, and we become desperate to escape the pain of indecision. Desperate people do desperate things. Throughout history, people have resorted to superstitious "spiritual" methods of "Divination" for problem-resolution. Leaders do it, tribes do it, and individuals do it too. "Let's give God a chance to make this decision," they say -- and then read tea leaves, or throw sticks, etc. The chosen method may be humorous:


Example: A man feels torn between two women he could marry: one blonde, one redhead. Figuring it would be best to let God make such an important decision, he says, "God, show me a sign. If the next car you send down this street is red, I will marry the redhead. If it's yellow, I will marry the blonde." He sees a red car first, and he thanks God for making the decision. Of course, God did not make that decision.

See what happens when the Traffic God makes the wrong choice: The red car comes down the street first, just when our faithful hero is leaning towards the blonde. The fellow ignores "God's decision," and marries the blonde anyway. And how does he justify this reversal of "God's decision"? -- By proudly saying that he would have been crazy to have relied on a random process for such an important choice. So much for "letting God decide"!

Letting God make a decision is all well and good, but God may not have the slightest interest in the decision one way or the other. Like any person, the Divine Person would prefer not to have credit for decisions He did not make. For example, Bob has decided to let Mary make all his decisions. He drops a photo of Mary on the floor. If it lands face down she decided no; face up means she decided yes. While superstitious people use randomness to make decisions, random processes are just that -- random. All that they usually reveal is the person's preferences.

God's business vs. monkey business

Finally, people often request Divine guidance regarding spiritually correct business or right livelihood. The concept of vocational rightness carries some validity, but not too much. We must not fall victim to the belief that ethics or even Divine rightness are somehow INTRINSIC to the nature of the business itself, for in that case, the search for Divine rectitude may fall short.


Example: A fellow created what he considered to be a model farm. Though proud of his "demonstration" for its positive world impact, his influence on those around him was negative. He tended to be depressed, unkind to his employees, and excessively worried about things. He might have done the world ten times more good waiting on tables at a restaurant if he knew when to wink. The resulting upliftment would have changed the world in more ways than he could comprehend.

To change the world for the better, we must first straighten ourselves out.

To change the world for the better, we had better get ourselves straightened out first. The most important factor governing the impact of a business is the real spiritual attitude of those who run it. If attitude runs out of control, we bombard the world with problematical thoughts and feelings -- and that is cosmically UNhelpful. However, it shows where the real work needs to be done.

The way of true surrender

We do our best work at world transformation AFTER we establish a pattern of hour-by-hour surrender to the Divine Will. So don't overestimate the spiritual significance of worldly decisions. Never subordinate your real usefulness for your theoretical usefulness. Never sacrifice real enlightened living to some grandiose plan of enlightenment.

Don't worry about WHERE you're going to do this Divine life or even how. Worry about WHETHER you do it. Sometimes it's favorable to work in a strange environment. Sometimes it's useful to participate in ordinary "worldly" enterprise. An orchid shows up so beautifully in a stainless steel environment.


The key to performing miracles every hour of your life.

Most of our so-called big decisions are spectacularly unimportant; our real turning points are tiny instances of graceful surrender to the still small voice. A man needs only to live an ordinary life, discharge his responsibilities faithfully, and heed Divine promptings as he goes. That way, he will love Divinely wherever he finds himself, and perform miracles every hour of his life.

by David Truman

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