Our lives are made up of decision. However, since most of us perceive a consciousness of duality — a split is often made, between a less preferable choice and a more preferable choice. This creates a needless struggle and anxiety over what decision to make in any given moment.
Ideally, we would always know what decision to make and when. This is the embodiment of Enlightenment or an ascended consciousness. Since this is not the reality most people are use to — I write to reflect your wisdom, thusly!
Anxiety over decisions is the result of our over-thinking mind. The mind pretends to be omniscient in all things, and yet when it comes to the actuality of our life, it can barely tell black from white. We may use the mind to find the most preferable choice for us, in any given moment, but all too often, we find ourselves binded over the infinite variables of what could go right and (more usually) what could go wrong.
“We can’t afford to start second guessing ourselves. We’ll stay on this course until we have reason to change it.” — Jean Luc Picard
To counter-act this constant need to think our way out of a situation, we can instead start to look. Looking, is actually how we begin to solve our quandaries.
A very trivial example, is deciding what is best to eat for lunch. In your mind’s eye, you may think of all the delicious foods you would like to eat. Weighing the options, calculating the variables in taste, preparation time, cost, location, nutrition and so on. You may spend hours doing so, and there is nothing wrong in this, though this article is not about the refinement of thought.
Invariably, you will select what you believe to be the most preferable option through this process. Having everything seemingly planned out in your mind, you then take action on getting that meal whenever you can. However, you notice an obstacle. When you arrive home, the main ingredient for your meal is missing. What was now the point of your thought process? It appeared only as wasted energy. Energy you could have been using to enjoy the moment.
Again, nothing wrong in thinking, it is just less consciously powerful than one’s innate conscious awareness. Perhaps, the next time you are hungry, you simply look at what is available to act upon within the moment, and then decide from there. This a direct decision. Seeing the reality of the situation, without following illusions of what could be. This helps alleviates the anxiety of negative potentials. For how will you feel when you drum up a desire that is cut off from you, the very moment you need it the most?
The mind is tricky. It likes to second-guess itself and doubt the situation at hand. Do I really want this? Or would I be better off doing something else? Knowing our preference is key. However, most decisions we make seem equal in preference. That is what makes any decision seem difficult. But, equality in decision is also a decision you are making.
In the past, my friends and I, use to play board games with deep strategy involved. One friend was known to take a very long time in making any decision. Becoming bored of waiting around, we suggested that he just started flipping a coin. This actually sped things up a lot— until he started to second guess the result of the coin flip.
Second guessing is thought grasping at straws. Since the mind is lost in thought and not sense perception, it doesn’t see the answer that is right before it. The key is to not follow thought and just look at the options available. Absorbing all the information at hand, you will naturally be impressed by a preference. This information may very well come in the form of a spontaneous thought or an action of imagination in your mind’s eye (assuming you need to search for an object or idea outside your scope of vision), but these concepts will never need to be followed. They remain only as your own personal indicators of what exactly is held within the moment’s situation. Obviously, all decisions still remain equal, and you will never know if the decision was beneficial or not until you see the results. Yet, no matter what occurs you will always receive more intuitive information, that will assist you in making better decisions in the future. Thus, if all decisions are equal and you have no preference, you might as well be flipping a coin and trusting the decision of that coin. At anytime a preference makes itself known (even after or during a coin flip) then you know right then and there, exactly in which way to begin action.
In this way, you will be able to string decisions together naturally and without hesitation. Which will allow you to flow through life without being caught up by the thorny bramble of thought.
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.” — Zen Master Huang Po
While playing games is a good way to master this ability, it seems to become a whole different matter when we are faced with real life changing decisions. Though fundamentally, nothing has changed. It is only ostensible that the consequences are more pertinent, when in fact, it still remains a single decision of equal measure. Once that decision is made through the same principle of seeing preference through sense perception, then one can either grow from the negative experience or enjoy the outcome of the positive. Either way, it will allow your consciousness to come towards a commensurate level of self-knowledge. Especially, if you are placing special attention towards the fundamental principle as opposed to the circumstantial outcome of your decision.
The direct approach is good, but sometimes it goes over the head of our more common tendency to follow thought. If we are in a negative state of mind, full of negative beliefs and ideas about reality, it is better that we replace it by utilizing positive thought than it is to struggle with grasping a direct and consistent insight. Keep in mind though, we are sure to reach a plateau, unless we see the reality the way it is. Our unfulfilled expectations will time and time again, lead towards a negative state of mind that will need to keep being replaced with a positive one.
This is alright for a certain stage of spirituality, but if we desire to ascend towards Enlightenment, we will have to be completely direct in our approach. Accepting our decision through sense perception — rising our limited thought to an expansive non-thought. This directness will actually allow imagination (hence the reality) to accelerate towards more preference, and create more opportunity for profound mystical insight. If not, then you might be expending good energy in trivial endeavors. I can only point this out.
The ship begins to wobble.
A jagged rock ahead, A great tide behind.
Eyes searching the highest pillar of light.
I see the all the way through,
I gaze beyond thought’s sight.