Sunday, October 3, 2010


Some people swear by the guidance of "signs." By this, of course, I am not talking about road signs. I am talking about coincidences which, in a certain context, can be thought of as an indicator of either correct or incorrect action. Sometimes these refer back to a choice that was made, and seem to define whether or not it was a good choice.

More often, however, people are fixated on signs that foretell something about a coming choice, or the results of a present choice. Part of this is fear. We try to externalize a decision we don't want to make. Therefore, we attach the decision to some arbitrary coincidence and call it "the will of God," etc.

The other part, is wisely differing to the "still small voice" within. Most of the time, difficult choices have a logical answer. The problem arises when emotions get involved. I should note here that emotions have their own brand of "logic," and must be considered as part of the decision.

When emotions are attached to a decision, fear clouds judgement. Our tendency is to make haste to relieve the tension by going with the loudest choice—the emotional one. Usually, we already know this is the wrong the choice, or there would be no indecision in the first place. What we need is something to crystalize the right choice, so it can withstand the flurry of noisy fears.

It is actually impossible to externalize a personal decision using anything other than another thinking person. In the absence of a qualified mentor, we look to signs to give us the extra push we need. I often flip a coin to make menial decisions—ones where I don't think I care about the outcome, but need to make some choice.

The interesting thing about this custom of coin-flipping is that it reveals the truly internal nature of such a process of decision making. Next time you try this, pay attention to your own feelings. I've been divided between two choices, flipped a coin (to externalize the decision), then felt I'd rather do the opposite choice. The coin's landing (the sign) doesn't control you, it merely reveals the choice you knew was right in the first place.

Use signs wisely. Don't follow blindly, but let them reveal the path.

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