For some reason, I feel as if I should write this article here, although my main English blog is this [where you can also find the privacy declaration and contact data in English, if required by law].
I was inspired to this article by a conversation with a student, and I felt to put my thoughts down might make it clearer to the reader. I am not sure I succeeded with a “super-clear” article “in the flow”, but if you feel you would like to, please feel free to read it for getting ideas for some reflection.
Should you always Follow Advice?
I have sometimes noticed that, after asking for advice a few times and then not following it, people did not like that.
But advice should be given out of the will to help, and as each person’s perspective may be limited, so may be the current capacity for giving exactly the advice needed. Therefore, it is good to hear different people’s intake, and also to consider that in the light of one’s own understanding.
And here is the crucial point: It is you, who has to decide! And that includes the option of not following the advice.
Advice should help, not force. The best help is empowering. If you decide (after reflecting upon the advice, honouring it), you exercise your power. If the advisor is hurt by that, that is unfortunate. But advice has to, ultimately, come from Stillness, or from Love. From knowledge beyond the intellect. For a person speaking from there, no ego that could be hurt should be involved (at least not in that second…).
In any case, never ever do something just to please others, if it is against your own judgement – for that would distort the advice into something quite awful, and, thus, neither serve the advisor (for he would be ultimately responsible for the consequences, too, as would you, though, because you decided to give in against your better knowledge) nor yourself. The advisor needs to give you space.
I have been talking about your own “judgement” – I said that, but I would prefer to say: “intuition”. It is very important to listen to intuition. Even if your head says one thing – the intellect may not have all the answers. But intuition can work with knowledge that is beyond the thoughts and intellectual knowledge currently accessible to the 3-d-mind, and can include knowledge from deeper, broader… – from other resources.
Of course, if your intellectual judgement leads to different results than your intuition – be careful. Check whether it is actually intuition or not just an emotion or another feeling. But the same is valid vice versa – if the intellect says one thing, but your intuition another – do check the intellect…
Ultimately, you need to get a better feeling for whether something is truly intuition. There is some online advice around as to that, for example it is said that true intuition would not be characterised by fear [one would probably have to be careful about distinguishing that from one’s reaction to a “neutral” or even “lovingly warning” intuition, I guess?).
Then you might be guided much safer and more profoundly, than if you would just follow the outer mind.
(As long as you are pondering the advice intellectually, you do may want to take into account the background of the person from whom you received it, his or her life-experience and knowledge. There may be people whose knowledge at the moment of having to make a decision may surpass yours.
However, your intuition still stands… That person may be the most intelligent person on earth, the most knowledgeable – but if he or she is not clairvoyant, he will not know the future or potential future alternative realities. But with your intuition, you might be able to tap into that deeper knowledge – and that may be crucial for your decision and the outcome.
I have been tempted to write here: If you can say that the consequences are not grave, you could try to go with your intellect and find out whether it is your intellect, which is right, or your intuition. But I cannot recommend that generally, for there may be potential consequences, “ripple effects”, you might not even think of (and neither might that person).
I once did an experiment of mind against (not intuition directly, but) something else, that was able to counsel me deeper (kinesiology, in case you know it) – but before I did, I carefully checked whether, according to that, there would be graver consequences for following my mind. Thus, if you would like to try out: I am not sure you should, but at the very least always make sure that your intuition (or what you consider your intuition) does tell you that following your mind against intuition will not be of a bad consequence to you or anyone else. But better do not experiment if there is the slightest doubt – and only do it, if you really have to – so better…. not! [Careful – how could I ever give any advice so generalised? It is your life…]
Your inner “alarm” should sound very loudly, by the way, if someone claims to have deeper insights and you just would have to follow his words… Perhaps he has. Perhaps he is right and you should. But, if it is not an emergency situation in which your own intuition is clouded by fear (and even then… not so sure…. or especially then… careful…), I suppose any honest Master would never force you to follow his advice, but rather guide you to your own insight. Do listen carefully to his claims, though – you would not want to miss an opportunity. But never ever act against your own intuition.
This is what I can say generally. But who knows whether I am right? You decide…
I once read in an older poetical German rendering of the Bhagavad-Gita on man:
“Er gibt sich selber die Gesetze
und schafft sich selber Leben, Lohn und Strafe.”
(if recollecting correctly, not entirely sure, especially not with “Leben”).
This is something to think about. – Actually, this is topic appears to me, in certain respects, to be connected to the question whether to always obey to the rules or break them sometimes. For who says you should always listen to advice? That would be (potentially) a rule (As is, admittedly, a statement like “you should not always listen to advice.) To see my reflections on that, please click here.
I have, by the way, also written an article on decision-making, which also touches the topic of intuition.
Articles and Books by Others worth having a look at in this Context