Become The Oracle
At the ancient site of Delphi, Greece, stands the temple of the god Apollo. In ancient times, people came from all over the world to consult the Pythia there, the priestess who went into a trance deep inside the main temple, only nine times per year, and delivered crucial words of wisdom to her supplicants. Around 546 BC, Croesus, King of the Lydians, consulted the oracle to find out whether he should attack the Persians. The Pythia replied that if he did, “a great empire would be destroyed.” Pleased with this answer, Croesus went ahead with his campaign. He was defeated though, and his own empire annihilated. He was spared death by the enemy, and went back to Delphi to ask the oracle why he had been betrayed by Apollo. The answer he was given was simple: the Oracle had spoken only truth – a great empire had indeed been destroyed by Croesus – and it was not the fault of the god if man had misinterpreted his words.
Once upon a time, I, too, wanted to know the future. The temptation to speak to mediums, check my horoscope, and see what the cards had in store for me was pretty strong. I was desperate to know that I would be okay. Since then, I have acquired new beliefs which allow me to feel excited about change, life, and what people sometimes call ‘taking risks’, which I would label instead as simply ‘taking part’ in the experience. Some people seem to know what to do with their lives from the word go. Others, like me, wander around for a while wondering what in the world they are doing here. Obviously, there are clues along the way. But are you paying attention?
In his book of the same name, P.D. Ouspensky, a student of George Gurdjieff, one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century, describes the Fourth Way, a method of inner development to be followed under the ordinary conditions of life. In order to be able to do the work, as described by Gurdjieff, first, you have to identify what he calls the ‘false personality’. Who are you when you say ‘I’? Can you become aware that there are many ‘Is’ within a person, and that most people do not understand who they really are? According to Gurdjieff, false personality can be built from many sides; suggestions from other people can be one of them. Disempowering beliefs and negative emotions also contribute to it. So, in order to do ‘the work’, to follow ‘the method’, you have to uncover the many false beliefs and ideas of ‘I’ which have got nothing to do with you. Then, you can start. For me, NLP was the system I used to understand more of who I am. Once I was able to clean up the pile of junk in my head, I experienced a total reconnection with what people call the Unconscious Mind, Higher Mind, Higher Self… You know what I mean. With that came an opening of my Fire Chakra, the seat of personal power in the solar plexus. All of a sudden, I actually felt something there, solid and strong. I, the real ‘I’, was back in the house! It was awesome. And so, I don’t need oracles to guide me down the path now.
At Delphi, at the entrance to the temple, two words have been carved deep into the stone: ‘gnothi seauton’ – Know Thyself. And as you start to converse with your higher mind, perhaps through a meditation practice, remember that your unconscious mind is highly symbolic. As a result, you need to be aware of ever-present ambiguity in the answers that you will receive, something that perhaps Croesus would have done well to remember. Be comfortable with uncertainty, too, as it leads us to seek the answer within ourselves. There is not one truth, but there is one true way for you. And you can find it – inside.
“Seek the path, do not seek attainment. Do not expect to hear the truth from others, to see it, nor to read it in books. Look for the truth within yourself, not without yourself.” P.D Ouspensky.