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The Importance of Discernment – A Spiritual Perspective

Discernment –  Living wisely  by aligning with our true inner compass*

From a spiritual perspective, discernment is more than just making good choices. It’s a magnificent compass that aligns us with our soul’s true north, filtering out inner and outer “noise” and leading us towards inner peace, fulfillment and wise choice making.

Our minds are often swept up in a whirlwind of thoughts, opinions, and desires. Discernment enables us to watch this internal chatter and identify the whispers of truth from the clamor of ego and external influences.

For Rumi, the mystical poet, discernment wasn’t a rigid mental exercise but a graceful dance with duality. He saw the intellect as a lantern, illuminating the path ahead, while the heart acted as the guide, whispering intuitive nudges that steered him towards his true destination. In his poem “The Guest House,” he tells us:

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.”

As we encounter new “guests”  we are constantly called to hone our ability to discern the fleeting distractions from the true calling of our souls.

Eckhart Tolle advises us that by being present and observing our minds we gain the distance needed to discern which thoughts are based in truth and which are simply mental noise. He writes in “A New Earth”:

“When you are present, when you watch the mind, you see that thinking is not who you are. You are the awareness that watches the thinking.” And

 “… your choices come from a deeper level of consciousness. They are not reactions to the past or projections of the future, but responses to the present moment.”

Michael A. Singer, author of “ The Untethered Soul,” takes a slightly different perspective on discernment. He encourages us to step back and become the “witness” of our own internal dramas. He writes:

“Witnessing is not about stopping thoughts, but about letting go of our attachment to them. It’s about realizing that we are not our thoughts, emotions, or sensations; we are the awareness that observes them.”

Cultivating discernment is not a one-time feat, but an ongoing journey. By embracing Rumi’s invitation to dance with duality, Eckhart Tolle’s grounding in presence, and Michael Singer’s call to witness the inner play, we can refine our ability to:

Distinguish between the whispers of the soul and the ego’s desires.

Align our choices with our deepest values and authentic selves.

Respond to challenges with clarity and grace, instead of reacting blindly.

Navigate the complexities of life with a newfound sense of purpose and inner peace.


And who wouldn’t desire that?

Choose LOve

Patsy/Purnima Griffiths

*Thanks to Bard (2023) and Jane Ewins for writing this blog.