What is the Holy Spirit?
Our special theme says, “The Holy Spirit understands the means you made, by which you would attain what is forever unattainable. And if you offer them to Him, He will employ the means you made for exile to restore your mind to where it truly is at home.”
The ego is thought and judgment, so many spiritual teachings encourage the spiritual aspirant to let go of thought and judgment. Yet, spiritual intuition uses both thought and judgment to lead us toward awakening.
Let’s look at thought first. Most thought is clearly ego. Ego is best recognized by its ‘chatter’ quality. However, not all thought is chatter. There are two additional types of thought.
- Practical thought, such as the thought I am using now to select words that best communicate what I want to say. I will also use practical thought to proofread this after I finish typing it.
- Inspired thought, which comes from intuition. Inspired thought can come from everyday intuition or from spiritual intuition.
Spiritual aspirants do well to discern between the three types of thought, and then to let go of chatter and follow both practical and inspired thought. Interestingly, discerning between the three types of thought and then deciding to let go of a thought or to follow a thought is judgment. According to my dictionary, judgment is “the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.”
Just as spiritual aspirants are encouraged to let go of thought, spiritual aspirants are encouraged to let go of judgment. However, just as there are three types of thought, there are three types of judgment: judgments that come from ego chatter, practical judgment and inspired judgment.
- An example of judgment that comes from chatter is, “She’s stupid,” or “I’m smarter than her.”
- An example of a practical judgment is, “It will make things a lot easier if I take the time to learn how to use this App.”
- An example of inspired judgment is, “I’m becoming attached to an outcome. I need to step back and trust whatever unfolds.”
Humans have brains, and brains are made for thinking. However, listening to, believing and blindly following ego chatter is not thinking. Real thinking is using the brain’s judgment or discernment capability to decide when to listen to and follow a thought and when not to. Real thinking is the hallmark of wisdom.
The past is over. It can touch me not.
Today’s lesson talks about the past. It says, “Unless the past is over in my mind, the real world must escape my sight. For I am really looking nowhere; seeing but what is not there.”
What is the past?
According to my dictionary, it is “gone by in time and no longer existing.”
If one looks clearly for a moment, one can see that the past is not here now. It is impossible for the past to be here now. The past has already “gone by in time” and it is “no longer existing.”
The past that humans hold onto is in thought only.
The past is thought. It might have been actually experienced once, but now it is only thought.
Since the past is thought, let’s look at it as thought.
Which category of thought does the past fit into? Is it ego chatter, practical thought or inspired thought?
If you look carefully, you will see that the past can fit into all three of these categories.
- An example of the past as ego chatter is, “I’m not looking forward to seeing mom today. All she does is judge me.”
- An example of the past as a practical thought is, “Sometimes there is traffic on the highway this time of day. It might be good to leave a little early.” Another example of the past as practical thought is knowing to stop when you come to a stop sign.
- An example of the past as inspired thought is, “Last time I felt nervous like this, it turned into full blown fear. It’s a good idea for me to take a break now and inquire into these thoughts before they get worse.”
Which type of past thought is today’s lesson talking about when it says, “Father, let me not look upon a past that is not there”?
It is the past as ego chatter that is a block to clarity. Practical thought and inspired thought are not obstacles to clear seeing, even if the past is a component of those types of thoughts.
I would like to point out that there is a difference between the past as ego chatter and memory. A smell can invoke a memory. A sight or a sound can invoke a memory. Memories arise. As long as a memory does not become ego chatter, memories are simply passing phenomena that are witnessed by awareness.
Notice your thinking today. If your thinking is ego chatter, choose to let it go. Ego chatter is not at all beneficial. It is thought that you can live without. Interestingly, most thought is ego chatter, which means that you can live without the vast majority of your thoughts.
If your thinking is genuinely practical or inspired, listen to it. These thoughts either make your life easier or guide you toward awakening. Both are beneficial.
If you have 30 minutes for meditation, I recommend this meditation today: