New Day Herald

Testing the Spirit

When you hear within you what appears to be an inner direction, an inner guidance, check it out. Be smart, on this level. Be practical. Use your common sense.  – John-Roger

This article was first published in the Movement Newspaper, October 1977.

People often hear or sense direction during their meditation. The question I am often asked is, “What about the voices I hear? I hear a voice telling me to do something, and I think if it comes through during my meditation, that means it’s clear. Isn’t that so?” And the answer is, “No, not necessarily.”

I advise people not to be too anxious to follow the voices or the direction they sense during meditation. There are many, many levels and many different processes that are activated during meditation as you begin to move deeper into your own consciousness. And certainly not all reflect clear, positive communication.

There is a story told of a man who heard a voice during contemplation that directed him to go to Las Vegas — “Let’s go to Las Vegas, we’ll make lots of money.” So he got all of his money together and took all of his valuables and left for Las Vegas. He went to the roulette table and put down twenty dollars and waited. The voice said, “Fourteen red,” so he said, “Fourteen red.” The wheel spun and stopped on fourteen red. He thought, “That’s fantastic!” He took his winnings, waited, and the voice said, “Double zero.” So he moved all the money to double zero; the wheel spun and stopped on double zero. He thought, “This is absolutely tremendous!” He had chips spilling over the edge of the table. So he took the deed to his house, the pink slip to his car, all his stock certificates out of his briefcase, put it all together, waited, and the voice said, “Thirty-three.” So he took everything and put it all on thirty-three. The wheel spun and stopped on twenty-two. He said, “TWENTY-TWO????” And the voice inside said, “Damn!”

That story is pretty indicative of the reliability of a lot of those voices you hear inwardly. They can be really talkative until something goes wrong. Then you usually don’t even hear, “Damn.” You hear nothing. Everything is suddenly very silent. And you’re left with the responsibility of correcting the error.

The voice within that is your true direction will never say, “Take all your money and head for Las Vegas.” It will say, “Go check out this idea with your spouse. You’d better go and counsel with someone to see if this is a wise and practical action for you. Maybe you ought to play the daily double in the newspaper for the next two years without putting out any money and see how it works for you.” You say, “Two years? I can’t wait that long!” You can’t? Then go today and lose it all. Then can you wait two years? If you feel like you have to move on something now, it may very well be that your greed is upon you. And then you fail, even if you win temporarily. If you’re functioning in greed, even your winnings will be a curse upon you, and the first time you lose, you’ll plunge into the action again, thinking maybe you can win again. Greed has no boundaries. There will never be enough.

When you hear within you what appears to be an inner direction, an inner guidance, check it out. Be smart, on this level. Be practical. Use your common sense. You may want to disregard about ninety-nine percent of what you hear. Question about half of the remaining one percent. And the half percent that’s left, check that out to see how it works for you. If you do that, you’ll be in very safe, very sound, very good territory. And you won’t feel like you’re ripping yourself off through phony meditation.

Be selective. Attempt to discern the Spirit that you sense communicating with you. Check your levels carefully to see if you can detect where that direction is coming from. Out of your desires? Out of past programming by your parents or your school? Out of the basic self, which is attempting to complete a past pattern of some sort? Out of some level of fear that doesn’t want to face reality? There are a lot of possibilities.

Sometimes people will hear a direction during meditation. Then they’ll take that and amplify it, dramatize it, and build on it until it becomes a tremendous “project” that they feel they were directed to do. That project may only be their interpretation of the original message, and it may be so distorted an interpretation that it has no relationship to the original. They are functioning, thinking it’s a God-given process of enlightenment, but it may be false doctrine.

I’m sure there are people who have gone out and killed because they thought God had directed them to do that. And yet anyone can look at that action rationally and say, “No way. God would never direct anyone to go out and murder another.” But at the moment, the killer may have thought it was a great idea. I’m sure Hitler thought he had a great idea. Mussolini probably thought he had a great idea, as did Machiavelli. Those, of course, are gross examples. But the process can happen in very subtle, as well as very obvious, ways.

Test the Spirit. Check it out. Look down the road at the consequences and the result — the effect — of any action you decide to take. Hindsight is often twenty-twenty vision. Look down the road and see if you can activate hindsight prior to the action. Use your common sense. And use the spiritual guidelines that say, “Take care of yourself and take care of others. Don’t hurt yourself and don’t hurt others.” Those are two spiritual guidelines upon which to base your life that will never get you in trouble. Those are the teachings of Spirit. And anything that tells you to go against those is not of Spirit.

Taking care of yourself first and then taking care of others leads to objectivity. Not hurting yourself and not hurting others also leads to objectivity. Objectivity is watching; it’s positive. It’s loving. When you are objective, you are loving yourself first. You are taking care of yourself first. The objective point of view is not the detached, cold, calculating point of view. It’s the free, loving point of view.

The cold, cruel point of view comes from those people who are going to manipulate you against yourself. When they’re through, having accomplished their end, they’re going to abandon you. As long as you face them and take what they give out, they continue in their action. You embrace them, and they use and manipulate you until you submit. When you submit, they start leaving you alone. You feel better about them and start loving them. They pat you on the back, make you feel good, give you approval, reward you, and you, in your negligent thinking, figure that your goodness and your love saved them. And all along they were manipulating you and getting you to submit and give them exactly what they wanted. You think you saved their souls and changed them. You’ve lost; they’ll dump you when they’re through with you.

Don’t sell yourself short; take care of yourself. Maintain your dignity and your self-respect. Maintain your objectivity. And if you’ve played the fool, admit it. Say, “Yeah, I did that,” and own up to it. That’s being objective.

It’s being objective, too, just to allow people the truth of whatever is present for you. If they tell you something that matches with your experience, it’s fine to say, “Yes, I can see that. I understand that.” And if they tell you something that doesn’t match, it’s fine to say, “That may be true for you, but I can’t see it. And because I can’t see it, I’m not submitting to it. I cannot enter into that process.” That’s called being true to your own consciousness. Sometimes it seems rare, but it will certainly allow you to function within your own loving objectivity.

People will often try to get you to go along with their trip. Often they think they hear that “inner direction” clearer than you do or they think their idea is better than yours, and there may be false doctrine from start to finish. That’s why you must check everybody out. You must check me out. You must check my teachings out. I’ve never told anybody to believe me or to trust me. That would be nonsense. I would be tempting you to your downfall.

My teachings are and have always been that you must check out all things for yourself. You’re free to use whatever works for you. You’re free to ignore whatever doesn’t work. It doesn’t bother me one way or the other, and it shouldn’t bother you. The objectivity should be present both ways. And if both people are objective, it’s amazing how there is a trust that appears. Then in your giving, it’s given back to you. And in my giving, it’s given back to me.

My love is based upon my love, not upon what anyone does. It is the love of Spirit. It is a love that lifts always. It is a love that will transcend all other levels. But you have to have the wit to see it. You have to have the courage to participate. You have to have the endurance to always turn to the love through all things.

Don’t be afraid to look at yourself. If something’s wrong, find out now. Even if you’ve spent thirty years expressing a particular way, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Drop it. If you’re smart, you’ll let it go so fast everybody will wonder what happened.

If you’re taking care of yourself you’ll do those things that are good for you. You’ll do those things that are for your health and your well being. And you’ll do whatever is necessary to bring yourself into balance and into the love that is the Spirit.

When you are taking care of others, you’ll be objectively involved in people’s lives and you’ll lovingly support and lift them each moment. You’ll be right there in the moment that they need you, and you’ll see clearly what it is you’re to help them with. You’ll see clearly when to leave them alone, when they must complete and fulfill those things that they’ve created. You’ll hold for them as they grow, and when they can accept your love and your Light, you’ll be right there for them. Be objective in your living, and let the love come forward.

Baruch Bashan

1 thought on “Testing the Spirit”

  1. I read in one breath, as a deep breath of the most clean air. I have got a clear answer on the challenging situation which I go through now. What a blessing! Thank you.JR, thank you!

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