The Wisdom to Know the Difference

I was reflecting on the recovery prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It occurred to me that it would be valuable to more deeply explore each section of this invocation—acceptance, courage, and discernment—and help others gain deeper insight into these core elements of graceful living. This article is the third in this series.

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Q: What role does wisdom play in guiding our choices?

A: When you awaken your vehicle of consciousness on the Wisdom Plane, you begin to be able to tune into the stream of intuitive guidance that comes from this form. It guides you to choose between four choice-frames:

  1. Between the greater of two goods
  2. Between good and evil
  3. Between the lesser of two evils
  4. Between taking action or reposing in being and not making a choice

Many people believe that moral choice is only between good and evil, but you may be able to recall instances in your own life where you have operated in these other choice frames.

Q: Does wisdom also guide renunciation?

A: Renunciation occurs when you make a choice to give something up and replace it with something else. In the popular imagination, renunciation is giving up something evil and choosing something good, but like choice, there are four renunciation frames:

  1. Renunciation of evil to do good
  2. Renunciation of good to do evil
  3. Renunciation of good to do greater good
  4. Renunciation of evil to do greater evil

You may wish to consider if you have ever operated in these renunciation frames.

Wisdom tells us there are times when we must make a choice, and there are times when we must withdraw from something we are currently doing and change course. We hope that people will choose the good and let go of evil, but unfortunately, many people do embrace evil. They do this when:

  1. They believe they do not have any other option other than to choose evil
  2. They are acting under a dominant, addictive passion and cannot control their behavior
  3. They act under the advisement of someone who directs them to do evil, and who convinces them that it will bring a good outcome
  4. They come to believe that evil choices are good

People will often do evil when they believe a lie. In this age of misinformation, it is very easy for people to not hear their inner voice of wisdom, but instead, they believe the irrational voices of those who promulgate conspiracy theories, and the lies of demagogues and negative thought leaders.

We encourage you to begin performing a dialog with your Soul’s wisdom and learn to discern its voice among the many channels of information in your mind. As wisdom begins to become ascendant in you mind, it will guide your choices; it will show you the path of virtue and right activity; and it will reveal to you the inner jewel of truth that cannot be spun or distorted to fit someone’s religious or political agenda.

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