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Let Self-Knowledge Light the Way Ahead

Few are those content with the direction their lives have taken; fewer are the men and women willing to learn why their destiny feels outside their control; and fewer still are those individuals who persist upon the path of self-discovery until realizing the truth of why their worlds unfold as they do.

One of the sad reasons why so few men and women persist in the inner work necessary for higher self-discovery is because we have all become — to one degree or another –either an unwitting captive of, or willing participant in, what can only be described as a descending scale in the meaning of life.

More simply stated, over time our values have been subtly shifting away from the love of the wisdom of life to the excitement of striving to win at life, from the possibility of a self-renewing relationship with eternal forces to the promise of increasingly one-sided interactions with what amounts to little more than the pursuit of temporary possessions.

Only the ignorance of ourselves to what is possible for each of us to actually be, as opposed to what we hope to have — but never seem to secure — could allow such a meaningless state of self to persist and become self-perpetuating. Only self-ignorance would accept a mediocre life as the inescapable conclusion to the deep discontentment inherent in any direction supplied by self-ignorance.

What this proves, if we’ll agree to reflect upon the truth being presented, is that higher self-knowledge, real wisdom, represents the rudder we must have to correct the course of this drifting ship we call self. Why? Because the happy truth is that we are not so much lost in the sea of choices life offers us as we are just adrift amongst them; caught up in their ever-changing currents and unsure as to which shore is our homeland. So wisdom is not only the higher course, but our safe harbor as well.

But it isn’t enough to just learn the principles of wisdom. Studying wise principles without putting them into practice is like learning how to read music but never owning an instrument through which to experience the sound of those notes you know. True wisdom is not theory. It is the fruit of experience whose seed is action. The wise are not those most learned, but the best tempered by truths put to the test of life.

It is essential for any person intending to be more than a leaf in the wind of life to learn the truth of him or herself by boldly jumping into these very same winds. Life, as it is –and not as we’d wish it to be — is our school, teacher, and teaching. Each event and relationship therein is our own field, grain, thresher, oven, and bread, making our willingness to dive into life’s lessons the determining factor in whether we learn to rise above this world or remain ruled by it. The choice is ours, so the more knowledgeable we are about ourselves the fewer questions we will have about which path we choose.

Prove to yourself that just as the absence of self-understanding is the same as standing in darkness, new and true self-knowledge serves as the Light that lights the way. The ability to see, clearly, the way ahead of you is the same as being empowered to make those choices called determining your own destiny.

(Excerpted from Design Your Destiny by Guy Finley)


Guy Finley (1949)

About the Author: OneJourney founder Guy Finley is the bestselling author of more than 45 books and audio albums on self-realization, including “The Secret of Letting Go,” “The Essential Laws of Fearless Living,” and his newest book “Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together.” He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit Center for Spiritual Discovery located in southern Oregon. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and at 1440 Multiversity. Tune in every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening for Guy’s free online classes, visit www.GuyFinley.org/freeclass

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