Following trail markings

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
― Albert Einstein

When I was going home from work last week, I started to think about Felix Felicis, a potion playing an important role in Harry Potter’s adventures…

Well, I need to insert a little intermezzo here. Afterwards I pondered about the occurrence of that idea in my mind, why Harry Potter all of a sudden? And I realised that I could start many of my posts with the words “When I was going home from work, it occurred to me…”. I usually sit alone in my car while commuting, drive and listen to the radio and during these activities I sort of switch off the conscious thinking. I pay attention to the road, which I know very well, and to the broadcasting and relax.

Under these conditions various ideas and thoughts come to my mind, uninvited but welcome, emerging from various spheres. It is similar when I work in the garden and focus on the gardening routines. This makes me believe that we need to empty our minds, to suppress our conscious thinking, so that we can hear the voices of our subconscious. Generally we are not good at either letting them speak or listening to them and that is to our disadvantage for sure.

Back to the Felix Felicis potion. You may like Harry Potter’s stories, you may dislike them, you may be totally indifferent to them and may have never read them. I guess I would not be interested in them at all if my friend did not send me the first book of the series many years ago, remarking something like “I have something for you to read in English”. After the initial hesitation I plunged into reading it. And found many interesting thoughts along the way.

In the sixth volume of the series, Harry needs to get a necessary piece of information – a memory – from a professor who is not willing to share that memory. Nevertheless, Harry wins a bottle of a Felix Felicis potion which is called ‘liquid luck’ and after drinking it, he is supposed be lucky in everything he attempts which is exactly what he needs to get that information.

Nice fantasy, no doubt about that, but here comes what made me think. When Harry swallows a gulp of the potion, his friends Hermione and Ron expect him to go to the professor and obtain the memory. Just that easy. But to their surprise and alarm, Harry acts differently. He goes somewhere else and is confident and clearly persuaded he does the right thing. He has no idea why he knows what is the right thing to do and he does not know the whole way to the achievement. Yet along the way he has a good feeling about doing this or that, he is seized with immediate desires to do something or nudged a little into changing the direction. The potion leads him on.

Which way do I proceed when I want to achieve something? I have an idea, think of a plan and go. I follow my intentions and expectations, try to surmount obstacles and hope to arrive at the destination. But do I perceive those feelings telling me what is right? Do I pay attention to those immediate desires which may show me the way? Do I notice the nudges I get to change the course of my intentions? And do I accept the fact that the road to the destination may not be the road I wanted to take?

Even if I did all of that, without Felix Felicis success is not guaranteed. But I may increase its probability or find a new, more fitting destination. That will probably be often the case.