“I honor and respect the forces of the Universe that brought me to this time and place, and I ask for help in finding my way to being a more bountiful person. There are many paths before me, and I need help in choosing from the always changing new ones the path that will be best for me, so I can be healthy and of service to promoting the well-being of humanity. I need clear signs that will guide me away from destructive paths, and signs that will help me to reveal the newly discovered paths for others to consider. I respect people’s ability to see clearly and choose wisely. I encourage them to choose their own paths, and to live within their own ideas of goodness and wisdom..”

That was yesterday’s prayer and it was too long and complicated. It did imply and state that a major aspect of human happiness, and that of all living things, is access to alternate opportunities and freedom of choice between the options. The word God and its many variations was avoided because that would lock the whole prayer into an existing tradition and fix in one’s mind alternate associations for the words being used. However, if nothing is indicated, then who or what is being asked for a response to the request for guidance?

Has our god to verbally petition now become Siri, or Cortana, or Alexa, or OK Google?

I just said to my Nexus, “OK Google – What is my proper path today?”, and it gave a long list beginning with “Top 10 Ways to Find Your Career Path – Lifehacker“. That is an excellent site for finding a job, and presents a good method for coping with any life problem. It might even be a good method for choosing a religion, a guru, or a spiritual path. It is a checklist of things to do and watch for, but in ongoing life we rarely think in terms of checklists, and when we come to choices we generally make them based on our feelings of the moment.

What we need are habits that kick in automatically when in various types of situations and decisions are needed. Our routine situations are already fixed and it will take a huge effort to change them, but the unique new situations we encounter are the ones where we have some free will and choice. It is these new decision points that need some indications as to what we should do. Perhaps the ideal thing would be to talk to several individuals who have gone down those paths before us, and we can learn from their experiences what we might do.

Most of the time we won’t have that opportunity to talk to experienced people, but we can project our minds along the paths that we might take and probably see the problems and opportunities. We could make a pro and con list of the potential choices. The prayer ended with “I encourage them to choose their own paths, and to live within their own ideas of goodness and wisdom.” That is because everyone’s happiness is based on their own decisions, but:

Those who look most carefully down their paths and choose most wisely will probably find the greatest happiness.