The present-day methods of consulting, negotiating, and decision-making is ego-driven and individualistic. The world needs spiritual consultation—a consultation process where morality, humanity and spirituality are its foundations.
The spiritual writings of all religions offer a treasury of insight and meaning on the complex subject of consultation that can guide us.
Spiritual consultation is an acquired skill, so I try to visualize it in a way that I can understand. I imagine a filtration system where impurities come through the system, and the water that carries them is filtered, cleansed, and purified—the outcome: something beautiful.
My metaphor for consultation oversimplifies the concept – entire books have been written on it, and many will be written about consultation’s vital toolkit for the progress of humanity
What Is Spiritual Consultation?
Those who consult together, rather than simply expressing personal views, attempt to build a sense of fellowship, mutuality, love, harmony, and unity. Together they resolve to search out the truth by freely expressing their opinions, then weighing all the views dispassionately. Once an idea is put forth, it becomes the group’s property, not an individual’s.
Of course, the ideas come from our different approaches, which, when first examined, rarely look like they match each other. Still, the impurities get left behind as the consultative process continues, just like a filtration system.
This consultation’s purity and result depend on the purity of motives and our approach to the task. We can do many things not to tax this system and hinder its efficiency and make the process efficient and easy
I’ll suggest a few ideas that have made the consultative process more efficient for me.
Dealing with the ego
Whether we succeed spiritually, intellectually, materially, in science, arts, sports, business or any other field, the greatest enemy within us presents a constant danger – our own ego.
It can manifest itself in the form of a gesture, a look, a word, or an action, but the result is often the same. Our egos are always with us, like a volcano ready to erupt. They need to be constantly supervised by our higher nature.
In consultation, nothing can pollute the discussion process more than the lower nature’s ego – than its attachment to its own viewpoints, ideas, and preconceptions. When we work on our egos and keep them in check with the oversight of our higher spiritual natures, our attachment to our opinions and ideas will gradually diminish.
Consultation requires preparing spiritually by saying prayers and meditating before any discussion takes place. There are so many writings and books on its powers, effects and benefits.
Love is the best lubricant for the practice of true consultation. Love is the link that connects us to God, to ourselves and others. Love makes its functions effortless. There is no end to love’s powers and usefulness.
“… in the world of existence there is indeed no greater power than the power of love. When the heart of man is aglow with the flame of love, he is ready to sacrifice all – even his life.” - Abdu’l-Baha
We sometimes misunderstand humility, thinking of it as a lack of determination, but really it is the freedom from pride and arrogance. True humility – an extension of self-awareness and self-knowledge – gives us a powerful way to connect with others and see our own opinions properly.
Spiritual consultation combines the best of human abilities and our spiritual values, all gifted to us by the Creator to solve the problems challenging humanity.
Badi Shams is a Baha’i and a mystic at heart. His field of interest is economics; he has published "Economics of the Future" and "Economics of the Future Begins Today" and recently written the books "Random Thoughts of a Mystic Economist" and "Towards a New Spiritual Economic System." You can find Badi's website at badishams.net called "Baha'i Inspired Economics" He is retired from the education system.
You can read more articles on our blog, Spiritually Speaking, HERE https://www.timescolonist.com/blogs/spiritually-speaking