“RULES FOR DECISION”: A Brief Summary of the Instructions in T-30.I

by Robert Perry

This is a beloved section for many Course students, and for good reason. It is an extremely effective section, and an important one as well. I have always felt that here we see the Text turn towards the Workbook. At the same time, it is very difficult to discern the overall structure of what this section’s asking us to do. Yet once we see that structure, it becomes a priceless window onto how the Course sees the daily application of its teaching. What I have done below, then, is to condense the instructions into as short a space as possible and add a few suggestions in parentheses about using a note card as an aid.

THE FAST TRACK: Do not let opposition get a foothold

Morning: establish a mental set for the day (rule #1)

  1. Establish your goal: imagine the ideal spiritual day that you want today. (Ideally, write it down on a note card).
  2. Tell yourself, “There is a way in which this very day can happen just like that.”
  3. Means: Resolve to decide everything with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Say, “Today I will make no decisions by myself.”

Frequent reminders all through the day (rule #2). Whenever you can…

  1. Remind yourself of your goal for the day. (It helps to pull out your note card).
  2. Tell yourself, “If I make no decisions by myself, this is the day that will be given me.”

Asking for guidance

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit as often as you can about what you should do.
  2. Actively refrain from deciding what situations mean. That will cause you to:
  • Decide what the question is (based on your view of the problem)
  • Set a range of acceptable answers
  • Be afraid His answers will fall outside your range
  • Refuse to ask Him

THE QUICK RESTORATIVE: When you refuse to ask, get back on track quickly

When you find that you are “unwilling to sit by and ask” (7:3) for His guidance

  1. Review “once again the day you want” (8:1). (You may want to pull out your card.)
  2. “Recognize that something has occurred that is not part of it” (8:1).
  3. Realize that you have defined the question and the range of acceptable answers.
  4. Say, “I have no question. I forgot what to decide.” This means “I don’t understand the situation enough to even know what the right question is. I forgot that I was supposed to decide everything with the Holy Spirit.”
  5. Return to asking Him what to do in this situation. (This returns you to the fast track.)

THE LONGER RESTORATIVE: Reason yourself back into wanting to ask the Holy Spirit

If you still fear to ask His guidance in this situation, reason yourself back to asking

  1. Say to yourself, “At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now” (which is angry and fearful about asking the Holy Spirit).
  2. Tell yourself, “And so I hope I have been wrong” (that asking for His guidance means loss).
  3. Say, “I want another way to look at this” (this issue of asking Him for guidance).
  4. Say, “Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking?”
  5. Return to asking Him what to do in this situation. (This returns you to the fast track.)