If you are trying to decide whether or not to work with a deity/archetype/spirit, what if I told you you had a 52% chance of already having the wrong answer.
Confused yet? How could it be the wrong answer? How are we defining wrong? Follow along and I will explain.
In 2010 Paul Nutt, who had retired from Ohio State University published about his collected study of businesses, governments and nonprofits making decisions. In his work, Nutt looked at the process of making decisions, talking to power players in those organizations about how the decisions were made. He then talked to informants lower in those organizations, and analyzed data, to conclude if those decisions had been good decisions, sustainable over time, and meeting the goals outlined by those decisions.
Nutt found that 52% of the time those decisions made by the power players, who had all the information they needed at hand, surrounded by people who also wanted the organization to succeed, ended up not being good decisions. Anyone who has spent time in a large organization might be tempted to state this failure rate is low.
Nutt came to the conclusion that the main culprit of these failed decisions was that they were “whether or not” decisions. Whether or not decisions presume that there is only a yes/no paradigm, and limit the scope of the options. Further, if we think back to our youthful days to questions like “whether or not I should go on this date” we know we are already at that point leaning to an answer, thus we are inclined to only pay attention to things that affirm our thoughts, also called confirmation bias.
“OK Jim, but how does this even relate to our spiritual lives?” you may be asking. Because we often find ourselves in the same position. For this example I will be using Apollo, but it could easily be Uriel, Jesus, Rabbit, Loki, or an almost infinite number of others. But let us say that we have the question of “whether or not I should work with Apollo?” I’m here to tell you that you have already created a false paradigm. By limiting this question to a binary, you increase the odds that any readings or advice you get will only create confirmation bias. You need to ask what other options are available.
A list of possible options for Apollo might look like this
- My life is very intense right now, so I will review next year
- My life is very busy right now, so I will just pay attention to the solar cycle
- My life needs more creativity right now, so I will call on Apollo to help me and spend more time on those things
- I like Apollo, so will spend some time in study of the mythology to see why it resonates
- I like Apollo, but am very busy, so I will just have a small shrine to him
- I am studying medicine, so I’m going to ask Apollo to watch over me and my studies, but I’m not going to have a lot of time for personal work
- I spent a year in quarantine, and now am stressed about opening up, so I’m going to dedicate a year to him
- I desire intense change and transformation, so I am going to ask Apollo to work with me to overcome these (listed) challenges
- While I like Apollo, he is not the best fit, but I’m going to keep examining the myths and pantheon
From a list of options, your questions to friends and mentors, knowledge of yourself, and your divination will be able to give you much more insight into what is best for you. Make sure that your spiritual work matches and compliments the life you want to live.