“Use thine opinative faculty with all honor and respect, for in her indeed is all: that thy opinion do not beget in thy understanding anything contrary to either nature, or the proper constitution of a rational creature. The end and object of a rational constitution is, to do nothing rashly, to be kindly affected toward men, and in all things willingly to submit to the gods.
“Casting therefore all other things aside, keep thyself to these few, and remember withal that no man properly can be said to live more than that which is now present, which is but a moment in time. Whatever is beside either is already past, or uncertain.” ~Marcus Aurelius
Opinions With Honor
It isn’t wrong to have opinions. There are some things we should have opinions about. But those opinions must be based on logic and/or spiritual insights. When they are based on fear, jealousy, or are otherwise illogical, they harm us more than help. Take political elections, for example. If you vote for a politician out of fear you will almost certainly learn that the politician does not have your best interests at heart. The kind of politician who encourages fear in people, then prays of their fears to control them and manipulate them is never trying to help anyone but himself. Sir Winston Churchill was correct when he said that the only thing we need fear was fear itself. That is the kind of politician the rational person votes for. It is also the kind the spiritual person will vote for.
The real problem with having opinions about everything is that that often evolve into beliefs. Then when we are faced with something that doesn’t fit that belief, we ignore it. It has even been proven that people will sometimes not see something that is right in front of them because they don’t believe in it. Beliefs that are only partially true, or completely false, prevent us from learning truth. Our own subconscious mind blocks out anything that will conflict with out beliefs.
Aurelius says a person with a rational constitution does nothing rashly. He thinks before he acts. That is good as far as it goes, but we need to go further. We need to get our spiritual faculties involved in our decision making as well. Not just in matters that are clearly spiritual in nature, but in all decisions. Our opinions and decisions will be much better if we do.
Let me give some examples from personal experience.
- When I was a teenager, I took driver’s Ed in High School, but failed the behind-the-wheel exam. There was not enough time left in the school year to take more lessons and try again. I graduated two weeks later. For a while, I really didn’t need to drive, so I didn’t bother to try again. When I was twenty-one and in the Army, I reenlisted to get into a college program that I wanted. I wanted to use my reenlistment bonus to buy a car, but I still didn’t have a license. So I began taking lessons, now in a different state. I planned to buy a car right after I passed the exam. I took the exam and again failed. But my intuition told me to go buy the car anyway, so I did. Four days later I passed the test. I couldn’t have a new car and not be able to use it.
- Some years after that, I was looking for a job. The company I had been working for had to cut staff on the project I was on. I looked at what was available on other projects within the company and didn’t like any of the openings that I qualified for. My intuition told me it was time to look for a new company to work for. When I did, my intuition told me I should accept one particular job offer. I took the job. Less than year later, the company I had been working for was bought out by another and about one-third of the employers were laid off. Ten year later I retired. I stayed with the new company that whole time. As a result, I was eligible for their pension plan which I now collect from. They were probably the only company in the software business offering a pension plan and two years after I started working for them they discontinued it for new employees. If I wasn’t getting that pension check, I would be living in poverty now with just Social Security.
So intuition and spiritual insights can even help us on the material level. Awaken yours and find out.