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EBUP27: Decisions Without Strain

Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #27

Eric Butterworth Sunday Services — Decisions Without Strain

One of the most important experiences that we have in our life, most often repeated is the need for decisions. Joel says multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. If you’re ever at the crossroads of personal choice, the freedom to choose is the important difference between human creatures and the lesser forms of life.

Consciousness provides freedom to choose and the responsibility to make the choice. That’s the hard part. We have the freedom to choose anything we want but we have the responsibility to make the choice often.


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Any Sunday meetings are general theme is what we call practical Christianity or practical metaphysics. The implication is that spiritual things are something to do, not just to repeat, not just a church to join, experience to unfold. It is thought that every experience of life can be an object of our spiritual quest, our spiritual practice. Everyday we go through hundreds of experiences in which we can find help and betterment by, as we say, knowing the truth. One is busy practicing the truth is this approach constantly. One of the most important experiences that we have in our life, most often repeated is the need for decisions. Joel says multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. If you’re ever at the crossroads of personal choice, the freedom to choose is the important difference between human creatures and the lesser forms of life.

Consciousness provides freedom to choose and the responsibility to make the choice. That’s the hard part. We have the freedom to choose anything we want but we have the responsibility to make the choice often. A hummingbird has never made a nest has never even seen one. And matures, it becomes nesting time a task to build a nest which will be the same as all other nests ever built by hummingbirds. And the same as this hummingbird will make for the rest of his life. The process is ingrained in his protoplasm, he has no choice. He just does it because it’s his nature.

If you and I want a house we’re faced with some big decisions. We’re going to build it or buy it or rent it according to taste, style, color, size, price range. So many ramifications. You don’t just set on a house. We go through all those decisions. And some people find it very difficult to face those decisions. May fail to even make a move for a better house, better living accommodations because of the inability to make the choice. Almost perpetually we are at the cross roads. Do you need this space this morning? You have to make decisions and the time you stand up and the hall. Do I go this way or that way up this aisle or that aisle? Do you talk to the person that you’ve befriended or whether you are gonna be inadequate and go without talking? Do you gotta be a friendly person involved after the service fellowship or whether you’re gonna say “Oh, those people are not friendly down there?”. You’re gonna go home and whether you go up one street down the other street take a subway take a bus. Go out to dinner, go home and eat.

These choices we’re making all the time. These are just minor ones. The important thing is we’re faced with the Latin Quo Vadis. The watch word of our lives. Which way to go, what to believe, how to vote. Probably the most difficult thing we do. Many persons drop out of the flow of life through there inability to make up their minds. Fear of making the wrong turn, this anxious concern leads people to consult psychics, series channels, seek advice, direction, guidance. Somebody to tell you which way to go and make the choice for your. Steer you in the right direction.

Story was told of a farmer who hired a new handyman to labor. He said to helping him build fences. He dug the post holes. And he was good at it, he was fast, he was efficient. The farmer was very pleased with the handyman at this process so he next set him to grading potatoes in the garage. Had a big mountain high pile of potatoes. And he showed the man how to pick the large ones put in the large box, the medium ones in the medium sized box, the small ones in the small size box. So he left and after a few hours “You know what? He’s probably got it all done now.”. He went back to the barn and the handyman was sitting with his head in his hands; “I can’t stand it, I can’t take it anymore. The pressure is killing me.”. The farmer says “What’s the matter? It’s a simple job?”. The man says “It’s these everlasting decisions.”.

It’s a major cause of procrastination. We hope that some need for a decision will just go away. We put it off, maybe it’ll take care of itself. “I won’t think of it today, I’ll think of it tomorrow.”. And in Parliament a person manages to cope with the pressures of making decisions. If he does he is the most likely to succeed. There’s always room at the top for people who are wise and decisive. A busy executive is sometimes referred to as a veritable decision making machine. Many folks become nervous wrecks because of their inability to make decisions confidently without tension. Stewing over the choice before hand and spending sleepless nights afterword worrying about whether they made the right choice. There’s a common misperception about a busy executive handling many phones at his desk. It’s a character. Mr. Executive, if the phone rings he picks it up “Buy.” Picks another one up “Sell.”, do this do that, he’s manly as far flung business activities. Pretty decisively.

We tend to think, and erroneously so, that this man is at risk for an early heart attack. Some studies were made at the Dupont University, at Dupont Corporation, some time ago to discuss this very problem. Does extra pressure cause heart attacks. They found the contrary to be true. Executives, and plant managers had a heart attack rate of 2.2 per thousand. Manual workers, or anybody working with their hands, had a heart attack rate of 3.2 per thousand. It could be that people become executives precisely because of their ability to handle the stresses of decision making. They wouldn’t be in that position if they hadn’t already learned to cope with it.

I got a letter from a listener sometime ago. This man had been promoted to a position with big responsibilities, something he’d always wanted. He discovered that the problem with making decisions was pretty difficult. He was about to realize that it was too much for him that he was gonna have to give up the job. The pressure of making decisions, he was about to crack under the stress. He wrote me saying “Can you tell me how to make decisions easily?”. I’m not sure I can tell anyone how to make decisions. It’s something you work out within yourself. But there are certain techniques involved, certain processes that are working. We can talk about those.

Actually, I did a radio broadcast and answered the mans question. One of the things I said was just decide once and for all to never make a decision again. That’s shocking isn’t it? “I wanna know how to make decisions, and you tell me never make a decision?”. Doesn’t seem to encourage your responsibility and procrastination. The person right then, the ability they have of putting things off until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Might make him out a good candidate for early retirement from his job. But I say again, sincerely, don’t make decisions. Never make a decision again in your life. The very effort to make the decision is creating indecision. Because it frustrates the activity of mind out of which guidance flows.

And you say “But how can you know what to do if you don’t make a decision?” The answer to that is a decision is not to be made but to be discovered. We need to remind ourselves of the eminent presence and the eminent action of infinite mind in which we live and move and have our being.

See there’s a misunderstanding about the spiritual structure of a person. You really don’t have a mind of your own. You are a state of consciousness within an infinite mind. You may think that your mind is separate and alone. You may act from this awareness. And we do much of the time that’s where our problems start. You’ll obviously feel the pressure of decisions because you have nothing to work with other than your own knowledge and your own experience. This is totally inadequate to deal with life. But life is whole and complete. Even when you’re seeing and sensing in part the whole of mind is present in which there’s always a right answer. There’s always that in you that knows. The knower. We’re so busy trying to work out the decisions of the human consciousness we forget about the knower that knows.

The Lord said to Isaiah: “Before you call I will answer.” Before you call I will answer. This is one of the most amazing discoveries you can make in your life. The divine guidance process that works within you, within every person, all the time. We could always remember that the problems of human experience. The tensions, the pressures, come from trying to deal with things the human way alone. We’re more than human. The dimension within this is called the Father within. This dimension is always the perfect counter part of everything you think or do. Always the perfect counter part. It’s almost like a shadow but it’s more than that. You can’t be involved in anything but there’s something corresponding to that thing that person that experience in divine mind. It’s your identity in divine mind. The divine mind it’s ever working to unfold your good to lead you into the highest and the best ways.

Any problem you face at the cross roads. There’s that in you that knows immediately which way you should go. It’s not just God being quick in his response. Mentioning in Quo Vadis. The process is the work of principle. It’s not that you haven’t eaten it’s that God says “Oh, he hasn’t eaten I better go down and help him.”. That isn’t the way it works. It’s principle. Emerson touches on this when he says “Guidance is the continuation of the divine effort that made you.”. Continuation of the divine effort that made you, the guidance process is always present. There’s that in you that knows which way to go, what to do. Always and in all ways. He says there’s guidance for each of us and I know they’re listening if you hear the right word. Know you’re listening. It means we have to still the human voice, turn away from the responsibility and the pressures of deciding whether to go this way or that way, do this or that. To be still and listen.

You’ve all had a time when you’ve had a hunch. What is a hunch? Is it something conjured up by the intellect? No of course not. The hunch that you experience is an inner knowing filtering through your blocked mind. You were trying so hard to make the decision. Racking your brain. Thinking, deeply thinking. Trying to work this thing out. All the while the right answer was there within. The thing to express as you unfold. Before they call I will answer. In the wholeness of mind there is that in you that knows always. The problem is you may not have developed the confidence in ourselves to choose rightly. We haven’t learned to trust the process of the divine within.

Many folks live all their lives and never experience this. As opposed to as if they die with all their music in them. We have this tremendous process that can change your life. It can relieve you from stress and strain of decision making. The challenges of every day. You learn to love to listen. Watch a bird migrating probably to his destination he’s never seen. It’s beautiful sight. Sometimes the whole flock of birds making their way across the sky, heading for a place perhaps in Central America. Which is their migrating place. These are the young that grew up in the northern regions of the Arctic. They’ve never been to this place that they’re going to. There’s no one in their flock to direct them. There’s something in their protoplasm that knows. They fly across the sky. And only after thousands of miles finding the identical jungle in which they migrate. Often times rendezvousing with their own parents. After thousands of miles of flying without any direction.

Jesus said “If Gods so close the birds that much more shall guide you”. It’s an amazing thing, it’s a beautiful thing. One of the wonders of life. Very often goes without being used at all. Now let me tell you about discovering decision. We’re not implying predestination. Not that life is all chosen for you and all laid out and again all this course that’s laid for you. No, not at all. Your only pre-destiny is the element of unfolding of the creature that you are. But the direction you take is determined by consciousness. There’s a creative intention involved in you. Force that transcends mistakes and makes all things work for good.

I love the illustration of the organist who’s playing, perhaps improvising. He accidentally strikes the wrong tone and makes a dissonance. If he was a skilled organist he would have immediately let that dissonant tone be a leading tone into a new chord progression. Transposing into a different key. So it sounds almost as if the business was intentional. It couldn’t have been any other way. It’s because of his skill and understanding of the laws of harmony that he was able to make this progression. So there’s a great discovery that many of us have made and it lies it’s a great possibility for all of us to make. It is this: You can’t make a wrong choice. You can’t make a bad decision. It may be shocking cause you might say “Well I know lots of times I’ve made a bad choice. I took this job when I married, but I decided to go into this profession and all these things have been terrible choices in my life”. I say again, you can’t make bad choice.

This thought will diffuse much of the fear of decisions. But how can we say this? Along with the seemingly bad decision human experience and growth, led you into turmoil and into conflict and into heart ache. Which whether we know it or not was an opportunity for you to grow. The wrong road leads to the long way to your good. Which is the time and the place to outgrow the very consciousness of which you made the bad choice. So if you see your experience in a practical sense of always looking to find out why things are going as they are and doing something about it then the bad choice was the very best choice you could have made. It was where you needed to go.

Knowing this you can be free from the fear of making bad choices. You must experience that freedom or the fear of making choices has opened the way for you to touch the right choice. There’s no decision to be made only a direction to discover. Next time a decision has remade your life, let your mind become an instrument rather than the source. Let your mind be the instrument rather than the source. We think “I’ve gotta make this decision, I’ve gotta choose, I’ve gotta decide whether to take this job or it’s the only one I have.” To choose whether to take that special course that’s been offered or my time with something else. I’ve got to make the decision.

So often we feel the pressures of that decision. We allow it to simmer in our consciousness. Usually because of some procrastination that sets in. We go on and sometimes days pass by, weeks pass by. Some will say, well did you make the choice? “I just can’t make up my mind.” That’s something we’ve all felt. The point is don’t try to make up your mind. Don’t try to make a decision. Relax and let go and know that there’s an unfolding process in your life. It will lead you into that which is good for you in terms of your highest unfoldment. Plug into that super conscious intelligence that knows you and knows your needs better than you know them. Knows your tendencies, knows your desires, knows your ideals. Your potentialities. If you’d only listen and plug into that infinite energy, you’ll find the guidance that will lead you in the right and wise ways.

Next time there’s a decision to be made let your mind become an instrument rather than the source. So we say, don’t rack your brain. Don’t put any pressures in your consciousness trying to make a decision, trying to make a choice. You don’t have to make a decision only to discover it in the depths of your infinite mind. Let the process work for you. And trust this process. In the end you will not make the decision. The decision will make you. One good way to stir up the awareness of the guidance process, one thing that’s always been helpful to me through writing or typing or on a computer. Head the page “Quo Vadis”]. You’re working to experience the flow of the guiding process directing you into the path of your highest good. Start writing or typing. Follow the endless thought. The well of the mind has no bottom. Keep going, keep typing. What do I write about? Just let your thoughts flow. You think about this decision, just let your mind ramble all around it. Maybe things are fearing, things you’re worried about, things you can see as possibilities. Just let your mind ramble for page or several pages.

You’ll notice that very soon if you let yourself ramble or freelance, you’re writing will assume that a choice is already made. It’ll begin to indicate that this is something that’s already done. You’ll begin to start to write about it. It will seem so clear that you find yourself moving in that direction with no strain or deciding at all. If you re-read what you’ve written you’ll get a feeling of confidence in the activity of mind in you. So that affirm: “I cannot make a wrong decision.” You need to take this stand before you make a choice at all cause unless you believe that you can’t make a wrong decision you’ll be afraid that you will and you’ll be directed in confused ways. You have the ability to make a right decision. Confirm for yourself “I know what to do!” And that’s the power of affirmation that many folks don’t understand. How can I say I know what to do when I don’t know what to do?

We’re talking about the super-conscious mind within you. God in you knows, God as you knows. You know, innately. I know what to do. The need is to find the way to stir up and release this knowing, to discover this direction is already there. Other than running helplessly around in the human race. Rest in the Oneness with God. Rest without strain, without fear. I know what to do. I do it pretty easily. And lay it all aside. The whole problem, the questions, the concerns, the anxieties. If I need to make this choice, put it aside for an incubation period. Go to bed or go out for a walk or go back to work. You can think “While I sleep or while I work, infinite Mind will be at work within me.

And it is a very important thing to avoid the procrastination tendency. Give yourself, we’re going to call it a live line. A live line. Deadline is a negative word, so don’t use that. Give yourself an live line. Tell yourself at nine o’clock tomorrow, I’ll act. At two o’clock this afternoon or Friday after work. Give yourself a live line. A special time in which you will make the decision. And don’t ask for advice, keep your mouth closed. Let the process work, don’t talk about it. At the appointed hour, the alive line, act as if decisions were already made. Just take a step. This takes faith but its beautiful when you see it happening. The process has been working in you, working towards this particular moment. This start, it’ll start out. You have to give the process a minute to pick up the phone. Talking to Mr. Jones, I’ve decided to do it. You don’t have to do it. You find the answer coming to you. Which is a novel thing because you didn’t know you had the answer there. YOU make the choice.

The important thing is have faith that your words are formed by transcended wisdom. Divinely inspired and divinely empowered. Your hands are Gods hands with creative works flowing through in right and wise ways. Your feet are Gods feet and you’re walking past peace, happiness, and success. You’ll make a choice, you’ll make a decision. You’ll be right. And it’ll prove to be the best thing you’ve ever done. You’re infinite Mind and the mind knows. At the cross roads, trust the process. The right direction is known in you. And super consciousness you know. Let that knowing-ness dissolve all fear of fears of tragic choices. Obviously first of all you need to know what you’re choosing before you get all the facts be sure you know what it is you’re trying to decide about. Let it all go and release any attempt to squeeze that decision out of your mind, serves only to block the flow of right answers. And let the answer unfold. You’ll be right. And you’ll know it. And right for all persons concerned.

It’s important that we develop a conscious awareness of this great truth of the mind process within us. Have faith in it. We’re all spiritual giants when it comes to being complete with the built in super consciousness. God mind knows. God mind in you knows. God mind expressing as you knows and you know. Believe it. Act upon that belief. Your life will be entirely different. Because as Thoreau many folks not knowing this live lives of quiet desperation. There will be no desperation in you. You’ll be effective and decisive and joyous and free. You’ll make decisions without pressure, without tension, without stress. Emma Wheeler Wilcox says “That which the up reaching spirit can achieve, the grand and all creative forces know. And when assistance strengthen is the light, lifts up the acorn to the oak trees height, thy is but to resolve and low gods whole great universe shall fortify thy soul.” Let’s just so for a moment.

So we said at the beginning we’re not concerned with remembering all that we’ve talked about. Cause all of what’s said is background music to what’s going on in you. Remember the experience. Something you felt. Take it with you and let it be a motivation on your way. Tell yourself “I’ll never make a decision again.” In the sense of trying to create it. To work it out on my experience and my understanding, my human awareness. I will only then believe there is a all intelligence, a cosmic process, a super mind awareness. And I know. So I’m not trying to make any decision but to discover the decision. Let the decision make me. Free from tension, stress, and strain. Make right and wise choices. I am happy about them.

And you’ll know the truth. And the truth shall make you free. So be it.

We’re gonna take a moment now to have our circle of light experience. We’ve been doing this all year. I need us to think for a moment about not something we want to receive but something we can give. We live in a world of turmoil and a world of exciting change. We’re in this world, we’re apart of it. We have the opportunity as well as the responsibility to give something very special to it. We want to send our blessing. Let’s just think of ourselves, now each want to set under the light. Coming forth within ourselves, and adding this sense of light with each other. Think of ourselves as standing in a large circle. Confident in the truth that we’ve been dealing with and it can go forth through us to bring a powerful blessing to the world. Let’s see this circle of light, moving like a halo around the world. Resting in the hills and vales, cities and towns. There are persons very hungry, at war, fearful. All persons everywhere are surrounded by this green light. WE give the energy of our faith to it. And let this power go forth from us this moment. The circle of light with the whole earth. And so be it.