FREE WILL, THE POWER OF DISCRIMINATION, EXPERIENCE AND INTUITION
Apologies for the lengthy title of this piece, but these four aspects of life make up the inexorable (unavoidable) ’rules of the road’ for our lives.
As inexorable may translate as ‘unrelenting,’ we may think of ourselves as stuck with these—whether we like it or not. Blessing or curse? It’s up to us.
I have the power to choose between right and wrong, between truth and falsehood, between proper behaviour and improper actions. We cannot escape this ‘law of nature.’ It is with us and no more possible to avoid than breathing with our lungs or hearing with our ears.
POWER OF DISCRIMINATION:
In choosing between right and wrong actions, the gauge is my power of discrimination. Virtually all waking moments include choices we must make as to what to think, what to feel and what we intend to do.
I like to think of life as a continuum in which there are 10s—the perfect choice, 5s—borderline or so-so actions, and 1s which can get me thrown into prison or lead to a divorce.
How can we negotiate our lives when faced with such an awesome power that we couldn’t give it up even if we wanted to?
One way is to ‘turn it over,’ ‘let go, let God,’ surrender to the will of a Higher Power.
Often, we are consciously aware of our choices. “I know I shouldn’t eat another piece of pizza,” a clear voice inside of me implores. I know through EXPERIENCE l will feel way too full if I do eat it. It’s not like I haven’t faced this ‘conundrum' before. Wasn’t it just yesterday I stared at the restaurant menu at the choice between large fried potatoes or the small size? No big mystery here. If I don’t use deodorant, I may find myself bereft of company. If I don’t brush my teeth, kissing may be low on my to do list today.
And so, INTUITION, the last of the 4 aspects in this article’s title, reared its head. I just knew this was a bad idea, I’d regret it in the morning, I should have gone back to my hotel room and curled up with a cup of tea and some Wonder Bread toast.
But no, the moth was drawn to the flame, the mouse saw the trap, but the cheese smell was intoxicating. The incense covered over the smell of fried onions in the house. So… guess what…again?
I got out of my car, took two steps towards her front door, saw the Doberman Pinscher dog begin its full throttled run towards me, and despite the six-foot high fence in its path, all of a sudden I was introduced to Superdog who like his human namesake, Superman, was able to leap tall fences in a single bound and 5 seconds later, I felt the sensation of a steel-like trap wrapped around my left calf (which I feared would be the last time I would feel any sensation in that calf).
How shall we label the ensuing moments? Let’s start with ‘terror, fear, self-loathing, wish I were anywhere else but here….’’
Were it not for Grace, 36 years later I would still have a noticeable limp, not to mention a reconstructed calf. But, in those days, some called me “Bootman,” as on most days, I wore thick, leather boots. Actually, it might have just been only Jannette who called me that, but since she would soon become a brilliant therapist, I wore the moniker proudly. Well, Bootman’s calf was saved by his leather boots which were high enough to cover his calves.
So, Superdog’s teeth bit into my boot and though still I was left with a bone bruise the colours of the rainbow for months and months, I still had a left calf and no limp. Saved again was I — one of the earlier
So, experience and the power of discrimination work hand in hand. They are important tools on our journey through life. Do habits influence our choices? Yes. So, engaging in Tapa, self-discipline, is very helpful as it literally burns out the old impressions on the mind (Samskaras in Sanskrit language).
May I share an experience or two? I was about six years old and my school class took a trip to the Wonder Bread Factory in Washington, D.C. Despite the poor reputation that white bread ultimately acquired many years later, in 1952, we thought this bread was just fine, and as the package said, “Builds Strong Bodies 8 Ways.” What’s not to like?
I digress. During the tour of the bakery at the factory, the tour leader announced what might have been obvious even to a six year old, ”Whatever you do, DO NOT TOUCH THE OVEN,” that lurked in front of us, kind of like an approaching train.
As I had never had the experience of being faced with such a momentous, dramatic decision before, some force of nature overcame me and guess what I touched? I learned a lesson that stuck with me until about 30 years later when a similar decision descended upon me. I got ‘burned’ again.
I was on a sales trip in Chicago and saw a woman with whom I wanted to strike up a conversation—or more. I did not strike up a conversation. Instead, I found out where she lived and proceeded to drive to the suburbs and find her house.
I found it and simply had to knock on her door and… who knows what?
I got out of my car and was immediately overcome with a feeling of doom. “This is not a good idea. A cold supernatural wind smacked me in the face. What was I thinking? Was I practicing for a career in stalking? Might not it have been preferable to phone her before showing up on her doorstep?”
times Grace intervened to save either my life—quite literally—or save me from extreme consequences of bad decisions. Best to use intuition and not unduly ‘tax the Divine.’
That I may have earned or was somehow deserving of such Grace of Almighty boggles the mind, but warms the heart.
The four aspects of the title of this article may not emanate or be derived from our minds, but it must be said, that it is via the vehicle of the mind that they are accessed and put into action. Hence HOMA PSYCHOTHERAPY, a major aspect of which is the MIND TRAINING PROGRAMME, occupies a place of importance under the banner of Agnihotra and Homa Therapy.
And it is no accident that when we are asked how Agnihotra works, we often return to ATMOSPHERE, PRANA, MIND—change the atmosphere in positive ways through the agency of purifying fires, the effects are beneficial to Prana, and as Prana and Mind are inextricably connected, training our minds to react positively and ultimately with love always becomes not only a worthy goal, but a real possibility.
We were given the vision of ‘Happiness Here & Now’ when we started Agnihotra. Using our Free Will, Power of Discrimination, Experience and Intuition as we walk along the Fivefold Path, will enhance the chances of our being happy here and now, and no doubt speed up its manifestation.