Subtlety – Part Four: Pay No Mind to Your Tendencies

By IATIA | Practical Spirituality | 24 Jun 2021

Guidance counselors correctly tell a young person seeking to figure out what they should do with their life to attune to their inner tendencies and to develop them. That’s because each of us work out our current life’s divine plan with infinitely wise mentors way before we navigate the birth canal in search of a fanny slap.

But there’s a subtle problem with that, which all of us fall for as a matter of course. Our tendencies can easily become nothing more than rote habit. Subtly worse, they can intrude upon Reality as preconceived notions, which cloak infinite wonder with adumbrated monotony.

Yes, yes, yes. Follow your inner attunement; but, NEVER just rely upon your day-planner or upon “going along as usual” merely to get the job done. Stay wide-eyed and bushy-tailed sensitive to your clock stopping heartbeat. As Terry Hayes reminds us in his novel I AM Pilgrim, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him you’ve got plans.

The engrained habit patterns, even the mere tendencies you obsequiously follow around like a dog after a meaty bone incarcerate you. Predefined, you get poked and shoved around, not only by your own misgivings, but by others. Energetic mass entities can grab you in their undertow. Personal proclivities can suck you in. Any old billiard player who comes along and singles you out as a thing of interest can constrain you within their own billiard table. Their impending notions can easily overpower you into pockets of their choice, not yours. Even Mother Nature gets her instinctual licks in. Bob Dylan points out how space-time’s determinants steal conscious sovereignty when you load them on as your own:

“Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me
‘How good, how good does it feel to be free ‘?
And I answer them most mysteriously
‘Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?’”[1]

Plenty of people and situations can overcome your ego-nature-enslaved consciousness traversing one timeline or another. Beware. Giving “your” life over to “your” ego creates a bloke whose life spirals are liable to be arrested anytime. The German-Jewish philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn, wouldn’t dare offend the Almighty like that. An intimate friend of Frederick the Great, this wise guy found himself one day simply taking infinite mystery in stride.

“Once, while strolling aimlessly on Unter Den Linden, the chief thoroughfare of Berlin, The king met his learned friend. After saluting each other in amiable fashion, the monarch asked his Jewish subject where he was going.
‘I don’t know,’ Mendelssohn replied quite truthfully.
The eyes of the mighty ruler flashed with quick anger. Friend or not this man could not trifle with His Majesty. ‘I  will ask you just once more,’ he growled ominously. ‘Where are you going?’
‘I’m sorry, Your Highness, but I don’t know.’
The king at once ordered his guards to arrest the ‘insolent’ man, but before the day was over, he relented. He visited the eminent philosopher in his cell.
‘Look here, Mendelssohn,’ he scolded, ‘what was the idea of trifling with your king in such a frivolous manner?’
‘I didn’t mean to trifle with you, Your Majesty,’ explained the scholar ruefully. ‘I really did not know where I was going. It certainly must be clear to you by this time. Earlier today I set out for a simple stroll and I landed in jail. What more proof do you need?’”[2]

Yes, yes, yes! Just give it up. Let it BE beyond the space-time milieu. You won’t lose yourSelf, and you won’t lose your sovereignty. And, you won’t gain any “thing,” either. Resign from your job as paymaster to your tendencies. Let abundant Life reign supreme.


[1] Bob Dylan, “Ballad in Plain D”

[2] Compiled and Edited by Henry D. Spalding, Joys of Jewish Humor (Middle Village, New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 1985), p. 14.

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Practical Spirituality
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