“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initative or creation, there is one elementary truth – that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way.”
I hope I can be forgiven for borrowing a quote so widely used it may already be partly etched onto your retina. But the fact is, nobody since W.H Murray seems to have described commitment in quite such eloquent and succint terms. Furthermore, Murray, a pioneering Scottish mountaineer before the second war, knew a thing or two about commitment – he spent three years as a prisoner of war, during which time he wrote (on rough toilet paper) the first draft of his first book, Mountaineering in Scotland, only to have it destroyed by the Gestapo. Upon which, and in spite of his weakened state, he promptly set to work writing the whole thing again.
But back to commitment – there is ever more talk of things like manifesting, and the law of attraction, and some people seem to be doing very nicely thank you out of selling us instruction on how we can be or have anything we want (so far I have yet to see people queueuing up to testify this has most definitely been their experience). But what of the nature of our desire, aspiration or project? Would commitment alone be enough – I mean, why on earth would Providence, or the Universe, or whatever we choose to call that force of creation greater than ourselves, get behind us? Wanting a place at our dream university, a house in an exotic location, our big break that would launch our career as an actor, however much we may feel unwavering focus on these goals, they remain completely individual and personal – why would the Divine have any interest in granting little me what I want?
My feeling is we do in fact have all the tools we need to decide. We have an inner barometer, and if we pay close attention to it, we get a sense of how close our desire is to truth. Is our longing superficial, impulsive and most likely transitory? Or does it connect with a deeper part of our soul? There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting life’s trimmings – success, recognition, being able to say we’ve done or achieved something, but these are all attributes of the self, accretions to our experience and image of “me”. It is when the lesser “I” disappears from the picture that we are most in alignment with our deeper selves. I sense that there are inner signs to desires in line with truth: they are not born of a mental image, projection or idea; rather they seem to well up from within, something seems to be aching to emerge. Another good sign is that we may initially doubt our ability to see an undertaking through, the idea may even seem at first preposterous, outrageous, completely unrealistic, definitely not of our own making. This is a good indication that something wants birthing. And once the idea takes root, then it seems to grow and take on a life of its own, such that we are no longer at liberty to refuse its invitation.
My own experience unequivocally suggests that it is far easier to manifest (or witness the coming about of) a desire that is rooted in movement towards truth, that is, one that is not a pursuit of a “false God” (a yearning that cannot fulfill its promises), one that emerges from the greatest depths of our being, and most importantly perhaps, one that seems somehow to connect with the greater whole, not belonging to or confined solely to ourselves. One that may even in a way feel universal, even though it is our own. For all I know it may perhaps be possible to attract a million dollars, or manifest a new convertible sportscar (I have never been inspired to try). With these there is a strong pull towards something, and when emotion gets involved it becomes charged with that energy. But good or bad, such projects are undeniably self-centred – why would our own friends or family, let alone a vaster creative force, feel particularly enthusiastic about supporting us?
It is my belief that when a project speaks to the human soul for no other reason than because it is beautiful or audacious, that it is unique and an expression, or even an extension, of our being – when the project appeals to a vaster sense of self, beyond the confines of little me – then the project ceases to be individual, because although it is born of and nurtured in an individual mind, it speaks to the desire for expansion in all of us. It is an expression of a shared urge to existe creatively. A very different energy is at work here. And if our idea strikes a chord with others and induces a positive, supportive reaction, is this not in itself a tangible expression of the Universe “approving”?