Divine Inspiration or Just Plain Ego Aspiration?

Of course this issue is no problem for atheists or agnostics however as we start to explore life from a spiritual or deeper perspective we can start to encounter moments where we are convinced we have been granted a divine idea or revelation. It often arises from quiet time, meditation or contemplation which adds to its validity. I have learned from bitter experience that not all such moments are inspired. The wonderful Unity minister Marvin Anderson once said “Be careful you are not praying to your own unconscious – there’s a lot of dangerous garbage in there.” Perhaps it explains why perhaps George Bush appears to interpret what Dick Cheney wants to do as the voice of God. The challenge of all spiritual activity is that it can actually become a place where our own unconscious creates an environment for our ego to soar.  My ex-wife referred to it as my Messianic period. I thought I was being given not only my answers but everyone else’s too.
Another danger is that we actually receive a really important insight and then our ego takes it and magnifies it into the personality realm where it becomes dangerous. An example of this is someone who goes on a personal vision quest and emerges with a clear sense that healing happens on three levels – the body, the mind and the soul. This of course is not necessarily a unique revelation but indeed a valuable one. However the consequences could be disastrous if you started to use it as an evaluative tool to discriminate who was doing “real” healing work. As Hafiz wrote “Any thought that you are better or less than an another man quickly breaks the wineglass.”
So how do we avoid this trap? I measure any idea against three determinants:
1) Is it loving?
2) Will it hurt, damage or diminish anyone else?
3) Would I appreciate being treated or considered in this way?
It is also helpful to assess the energy that accompanies any such revelation. If it feels excited, a little frenetic, and eager to express itself, take another look. It may be the ego wanting to get in on the act.


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