One of the most useful tools in the Abraham Hicks material is the EGS or Emotional Guidance Scale.
The idea is that our emotions provide guidance as to how well aligned our thoughts are with the perspective of our inner being.
In Christian terms, if we accept that God is love and God’s providence rules all things, then we will find love, peace, and joy growing within us as we embrace God’s loving will in our lives.
In the Abraham Hicks system, our emotions exist on a scale or spectrum from despair, depression, fear, at the bottom, to joy, love, and appreciation at the top.
So far so good, but what makes the EGS especially valuable is that it plots other points in unexpected ways.
For example, insecurity is one step higher than fear and depression. Jealousy is another step higher, hatred or rage is above that.
If you worked your way up the scale starting at fear, you might go through hatred, revenge, anger, blame, worry, doubt, disappointment, all the way up to boredom, before arriving at the tipping point of contentment.
This is significant because many of us have been taught that these negative emotions are bad or wrong. We often find ourselves feeling fear, but resisting the shift into jealousy, hatred, anger, or blame even though they are higher up the scale.
That’s not to say that blame is a good place to be, but it’s a much better place than hatred or depression. Blaming others when you are depressed feels like relief.
But too often we get to something like anger and immediately shut it down, telling ourselves that anger is wrong, that it’s better to be depressed than angry.
Of course you’re not meant to go out and act on your jealousy, anger, revenge, or hatred any more than you should act on your fear and depression.
It’s enough to recognise that these unpleasant emotions are nonetheless a step in the right direction. Allow yourself to feel anger if that brings relief, and know that it’s not permanent.
Working with the EGS
We can use the EGS to identify where we are on any given subject, and then find thoughts that feel like relief, noticing how that relief takes us up the scale towards the more aligned emotions.
For example, if you feel depressed and powerless on the subject of not having a job, it’s because your thoughts on this subject are out of alignment with the providential, loving perspective of your inner being.
You might be thinking something like “I’ll never amount to anything” while your inner being is thinking something like “everything is working out perfectly”.
But it’s not easy to go from thinking “I’m useless” every day for twenty years to then thinking “everything is perfect” consistently.
That’s a big leap and not easy to maintain.
Instead you might go just one step higher to a thought like “I have no idea what I’m going to do”.
It’s not a happy thought, but it’s a little better than “I’ll never amount to anything” because at least it admits uncertainty. So it might feel like insecurity rather than depression or despair.
With practice it’s possible to work up the scale quite quickly, though I have no idea how long it takes other people.
Our next thought that brings relief might be jealousy at all those people out there who have found their calling or easily arrived at enjoyable, fulfilling, or lucrative careers.
Don’t shoot down the jealousy. Accept it as a source of relief, of feeling “less bad” and then see if you can find another thought that brings further relief.
It won’t necessarily be hatred/rage, nor revenge. It’s okay to naturally skip some emotions.
Anger might be the next point of relief. You might find relief and energy in angry thoughts at the economy, the education system, your past choices. You might angrily think “this sucks, I hate this situation” and although it’s not a good feeling it’s already much better than insecurity or despair.
It feels good to blame others, but we’re frequently told it’s unhealthy and fruitless.
Well it is if we never move on from blame, but too often people never pass through blame on their own. They get to blame and then tell themselves (or are emphatically told) “stop blaming other people for your choices, take responsibility for your own life!”
But if you find some relief in blame, then blame your heart out. You could blame the economy for taking away your job or not offering more prospects. You can blame your education for not preparing you for the current workforce. You could blame your parents for undermining your youthful passions and hobbies. You could blame the government, blame your country, blame your third grade teacher, blame your family for holding you back.
Problems only arise when people act on blame, or when they refuse to take the next emotional step towards relief.
We’ve all met people who like to tell everyone about their blame. They blame their ex, their boss, their parents, their more-successful siblings and so on.
The problem isn’t the blame, the problem is that they refuse to move on.
What comes after blame?
It might be worry. Some people recount that after wallowing in blame for a while they realised that blaming others wasn’t making their life any better. Maybe they went into worry?
Or maybe we can move from blame into doubt? Doubting that it really was other people’s fault, doubting that we really know what made our life turn out the way it did, doubt that blaming people is getting you anywhere.
Again, moving from blame into doubt might seem counter-intuitive because blame offers certainty whereas doubt sounds very uncertain.
But that uncertainty is also more open to possibilities, less fixed in telling the same old story about how your evil step-sister screwed you out of your inheritance and that’s where your life took a wrong turn.
Or maybe even doubt that things are as bad as you thought. Maybe you meet people or hear of others in your exact circumstances who’ve made things work, or perhaps you notice that you have more to be thankful for than you first considered.
Follow relief, not the scale
In my opinion it’s not the best approach to try to feel everything on the scale. The whole point of the scale is to help us recognise that relief is taking us somewhere, and that is up the scale. It’s to reassure us that anger or jealousy or blame are not permanent locations but just a section of the path to appreciation and joy and feeling genuinely good.
If we keep looking for thoughts that bring relief we will eventually find ourselves closing the gap between how we see the world and the providential, loving perspective of our inner being.
At the heart of the Abraham Hicks material is the observation that whatever we desire, we desire it because we think we will feel better when we have it. But it is not having things that makes us feel better, it is alignment with our own inner being, God’s presence within us.
Yet life is not static, it is expanding. Our desires expand, and the perspective of our inner being expands with it. To stay in alignment is not an act of standing still or clinging to a single definitive answer.
If we find the answer, life will give us a new question. Alignment is therefore dynamic, and keeping up with it is the nature of the work.
Looking back at my own life, I thought alignment was static. I thought there was a single unchanging answer that I needed to find, and I grew despondent and discouraged as each time I found the answer turned out to be insufficient or temporary.
It’s like wanting to own the most powerful gaming computer available. You could do all your research, write down the specs, but if you wait too long before ordering it’ll no longer be cutting edge.
Our happiness is cutting edge, or leading edge in Abraham Hicks jargon. We have to keep up with it, and it’s said that the real satisfaction and joy lies precisely in the keeping up.
Alignment is a moving target, but hitting a moving target is more fun and more satisfying than hitting the same old target again and again.