Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Soul of the World

The Soul of the World

Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World and it will one day return there.

- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Sometimes you come to critical junctures in your life when you have to make difficult decisions. It could a new job offer, a major financial decision or a change of direction in your life. No matter how long you mull over it, you still can't seem to find a clear answer.

One day you appear to favour one decision and the next you find yourself flipping over completely to the other side. You try to be logical: you list down all the pros and cons of each alternative on a piece of paper; you analyze it, weigh the points carefully and attempt to come to a "logical" conclusion.

Still you are not so sure. You try to get advise from people you trust but different people give you different opinions based on their personal biases. In the end you still have to rely on your own personal judgement. And you spend sleepless nights, tossing and turning in bed searching for the right answer.

I have a personal rule-of-thumb: I never suffer more than one sleepless night over a problem or decision. One sleepless night is enough; In the morning I will always have the right answer. All logical considerations, in the end reduces to a gut feeling: you will know deep inside what is right. That feeling is the cumulative result of all your analysis.

When you suffer many sleepless nights over a decision, you are basically over-thinking. You are trying to juggle all the pros and cons in your mind but you end up frustrated because they are subjective and cannot be quantified and analyzed like a mathematical problem. Thoughts keep spinning round and round in your head without any logical conclusion. The mind goes into an infinite loop. You are attempting to find a logical solution when there's none to be found.

I believe that when you have done enough conscious thinking over a problem and still find that there's no apparent answer, then the answer has to come from the heart. The heart observes everything that the conscious mind does plus more: It is also in tune with the Soul of the World, with the Wisdom of the Universe.

This is equivalent to a religious person seeking an answer from God. To seek divine guidance, one must open one's heart completely, be honest with oneself and be willing to accept any outcome. One must not resist. One must embrace the Soul of the World.

The answer sometimes may not be one that is easily acceptable by the conscious mind. It may require one to give up certain things which one holds dear to; it may also force one to face certain truths about oneself. But trust this Inner Voice, it has all the wisdom that your intellect lacks--for it comes from the Soul of the World.

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