Column: The Spiritual Realist
We start out in life learning about things in compartments. Over time, we see that certain compartments share similarities and we begin to integrate them... until finally, we begin to see things as a WHOLE.
Thinking with integrity means the consideration of ALL (REAL) relevant factors towards the resolution of a problem.
Note: Knowing which factor is relevant, and which isn't, is itself a process. So decision making with integrity, at any one time, can only be performed with ALL known and relevant factors at that time (since there will be unknown factors). Decisions are best made with an end goal, a strategy and a plan to get there. Decision making with integrity should be accompanied by thinking with integrity. And that is not easy. I hope to show that in the example below.
When fear is present (imagined or real), instincts kick in, and we will deny, rationalise, compartmentalise, forget, selectively hear, slectively read We will make assumptions based on our history, we will create a story. When fear is present we CANNOT SEE REALITY. With imagined fears, that is apparent. However, with real fears, the correct response may not be that apparent. The answer may be in front of us and we won't know if we cannot separate real from imagined, and we may even create our own admixture. That is why Zen masters have described life as an ILLUSION, and developed intuitive responses.
An example from chess...
It is a game played with set pieces, on a board with 64 squares. Now, in any scenario or given position, the chess grandmaster will see more posibilities than a rank beginner. Both are looking at the same thing, and yet one sees much more. He sees more because he understands the parts and the whole better Let us look at some of the parts:
I have chosen to use chess as an example because it is a non-violent game, and as such poses no REAL danger It is highly unlikely that a tiger will break out of the zoo, find the chess auditorium and devour the participants Yet, there is much fear.
Chess is also a good illustration because it demonstrates the 3 levels of illusions. On the surface, chess looks like a simple game. There are only 64 squares and limited pieces. For those who delve deeper into its technicalities, new truths about its complexities arise. There are many chess exponents who focus on the technical aspect of this game. Yet mastery is only achieved when the emotional (spiritual) aspect of the game is integrated into a whole. If I may put a proportion, I would say the technical aspect is only the tip of the iceberg. It is in understanding and integrating all relevant factors (that affect the outcome), that true mastery is born. And a relevant factor is that he is playing a timed game.
In last issue's Ask Ray! Q & A, I spoke about intuitive thinking I said intuitive thinking happens when there is sudden clarity. This is because there is a sudden de-compartmentalisation (or sudden integration) of knowledge. This creates a jump in knowing.
Note: This can only happen with known knowledge. That means, a chess grandmaster can achieve sudden clarity in competition because he already has all the component knowledge. And a businessman can suddenly find a new way of solving a business problem because he has the component knowledge of business. Intuitive insights do not happen in a vacuum.
My example also implies that winning is a good thing. And I think it is. It is necessary in the path towards the attainment of one's goal - to be the best that you can be, the best that you are meant to be - and as such, the examination should be on what the GOAL is, and the MOTIVE.
Although my example is not exhaustive, I hope it demonstrates that integrity is needed to do anything well The grandmaster himself may be the master of chess but he may not be the master businessman, master politician, the master of life, etc. For that he has to integrate the lessons he has learnt about chess to his other endeavours, if he so chooses. Nevertheless, he is one step closer. He has peered through the illusions of one thing, at least, and is closer to reality. But he remains the grandmaster of chess because he has integrated all that he can and know about chess.
The universe moves inexorably towards integration... and so do the laws of attraction. If you do not integrate, the universe will continue to bring you the lessons that help you to do so.
Observe carefully and you may see that much of our own personal conflicts and confusion are caused by the lack of integrity If we look at the drama around us, in business and in life, we'll see that the conflicts are also around the lack of integration. And this is called the drama.
Therefore, spiritual growth must be towards integration - for in integration we come closer to reality. But integration, integrity are not bought cheaply - for there is conflict in the act of integration. But after the conflict, there is calm. Spirituality is the movement towards more and more moments of intuitive insights. It is the movement towards releasing the genius in us.
An aside: You'll find that in your studies, if you integrate all relevant information (instead of studying a subject in isolation), there will be much clearer understanding. With integration, you'll also find you remember more. Another interesting thing you'll find is that when there is integration, healing also takes place (both in body and mind). The conflict has abated.
NOTE: Techical integration, in examples 1 & 2 above, are easier to achieve, at least when you're younger (or less burdened). However, to integrate the other examples can create a lot of conflict, which can be exhausting I sometimes refer to it as "opening Pandora's box".
Read other articles in this column:
About the Author:
Raymond Siew is the CEO and business development strategist for eMasters as well as her two online publications: It's My Life! (lifestyle ezine) and in-the-loop (business ezine). eMasters' core business is Design, Advertising & Promotions Visit www.eMasters.info to view eMasters' suite of products & services, or to read Raymond's bio.
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