Recently I’ve been hearing quite a few Course students say “I was guided to…” when talking about feeling inspired toward some action. I myself have used the phrase on occasion, usually when sharing a story of how some unexpected impulse initiated a miraculous chain of events which in turn led to a perfect outcome that I myself couldn’t have known would happen, let alone conspire to make happen. Including a nod to this sense of guidance is a wonderful way of acknowledging the hand of God in the unexpected and beneficial ways that our lives unfold, and of sharing a deep sense of gratitude for the ways in which we’re held by God.
Like anything, though, the phrase can become a tool of separation, used in the service of ego, and obscuring the Truth of what we are, which is whole and complete within God. How to tell if a response is egoic? This is where vigilance comes in. Be vigilant in monitoring the body and mind for any changes that arise within them. Similar to how a particular gesture on the part of a poker player can expose what’s going on in that player’s mind, energetic changes such as feelings are a great “tell” when it comes to discovering whether we’ve bought ourselves a ticket to the ego’s belief system. “I was guided to…” can be a subtle way of declaring grandiosity: “I’m so special because the Holy Spirit talks to me.” Grandiosity always stems from a sense of superiority, which itself arises out of a sense of inferiority. Neither are true; both superiority and inferiority are thoughts of specialness which stem from beliefs pertaining to worthiness. Recognizing when feelings of inferiority and superiority accompany anything we say is a great way of realizing that we’ve lost touch with the knowledge of our own inherent worthiness. That recognition enables us to choose again, and return to the awareness of our true Self, in which our own inherent worthiness becomes self-evident.