ACIM Q&A Day: How do we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice?
The Course is very clear that “the ego always speaks first” (T-6.IV.1). For me, the ego is loud, and it usually has a sense of urgency to it (“you better take care of this NOW or else!!”).
The Course also says that the “The Holy Spirit does not speak first, but He always answers” (T-6.IV.3). It also says, “Since the Holy Spirit answers truly He answers for all time, which means that everyone has the answer now” (T-6.IV.3).
How then can we differentiate between the ego’s voice, which we are so accustomed to hearing, and the Holy Spirit’s voice?
This past year, I’ve dedicated myself to learning to be a better listener. My ego is a chatterbox, and to it’s pleasure, it can do a fairly good job at keeping the Voice of the Holy Spirit at bay.
I was inspired one day to start playing the card game of Solitaire with the Holy Spirit, with the intent of learning to be a better listener, NOT to win the game. The Holy Spirit will use ANYTHING we offer to Him/Her on behalf of truth, and a card game is no exception!
As I played Solitaire, I would inevitably come to a point where I could make a move. The first inclination I had would be to move the card quickly to it’s obvious spot. However, I would notice this knee-jerk inclination and sit with it. I practiced slowing down the process of playing and would ASK for assistance in what move I should make next.
Things got really interesting when I had several options as to where I could move a card. I again would have the familiar knee-jerk response to quickly move and keep the game going. But instead of following that initial feeling, I would STOP, and ASK for guidance, and LISTEN. I’d sit without making a move until I noticed something (what that something was, I had no idea!).
I noticed that a second inclination would come forward for me, which was sometimes different, and sometimes the same as my initial knee-jerk inclination. This feeling (i.e. this experience of listening to my Inner Guide) FELT BRIGHTER, quieter, and more spacious, than my initial ego feeling of MOVE this game along, sister!
Again, the outcome of the game didn’t matter (i.e. “winning or losing” a game didn’t necessarily mean I was successful at listening or not). What mattered was creating that space to get quiet, and to FEEL that lighter, quieter, more gentle inclination to make a particular move. I knew, for myself, that this was the feeling of what it is like to be a better listener. Game ON!
I LOVE playing Solitaire in order to practice listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Give it a try, and be sure to let me know how it goes! 🙂