The Spirit, the Soul, is a here-and-now process. In fact, it’s the greatest here-and-now process that you can experience. It’s so present that when you are able to let go of the past concerns and future anxieties, you find Spirit is naturally present. – John-Roger
This article by John-Roger was originally published in the Movement Newspaper in July of 1981.
Nothing you did from 30 seconds ago backward has any control over you at all; and none of it matters. There are a lot of people who will try to run your past on you because they run their past on themselves. You can just let them know, “That’s past.”
The value of memory is very, very minor. It just isn’t good for very much. When people ask me about the past, they rarely get an answer because I don’t run memory of what happened then. I can know what happened, as an objective type of thing, but I don’t care to dwell in that, think about it, interpret it, etc. And pretty soon, people realize that I’m down the road and if they don’t catch up to the present, we won’t be spending much time together.
Living in the past is an artificial existence and hurt is the usual result. Artificial existences hurt. Artificial existences are readily recognizable because they’re mental and/or emotional trips – they are not present. Attempting to live in the past can produce depression; attempting to live in the future can produce anxiety. Both are frustrating because you cannot complete physical action in either the past or the future. Expression in both is limited; it leads to neurotic behavior because completion is impossible. Live now and the frustration goes. Live now and your behavior becomes appropriate to the moment.
If you stay present in your life, moment to moment, joy will start to appear inside of you, as you. If you allow anything to pull you away from the moment, into last night or into tomorrow, you start to feel an ambivalence inside of you. If you start trying to control the past, make it something it was not, change it in some way to make it more advantageous to you, you’ll lose. If you just say, “Yes, that happened. That was so. Those things took place,” a warmth will start to appear in you. That warmth is the joy, the presence of Spirit.
Remember that the first law of Spirit is that of acceptance. When you accept the past and just let it be whatever it was, in loving acceptance, you are manifesting Spirit. Then you can start living from the higher level called Spirit, and then you walk through this physical level completing things as you go.
The value of this level is that it can be used as a springboard into the higher levels. This is not the place to stay. This is a place to move through and to use to reach higher. A lot of people have been homesteading here. I’m not in that type of “real estate” business. The deal I’ve got for you is more lasting.
It’s true that I’m selling something you can’t really purchase here, but at the same time, you can live in it while you’re here. You can only make final purchase when you leave this level. Then you take complete ownership of your new residence, which is the Soul.
I’m not selling you the future, however. The Spirit, the Soul, is a here-and-now process. In fact, it’s the greatest here-and-now process that you can experience. It’s so present that when you are able to let go of the past concerns and future anxieties, you find Spirit is naturally present.
The more that you can enter into that process of living in the moment, the more you can enter into the Spirit, the divineness of the moment. And you’ll find that your energy automatically starts lifting; there isn’t anything you have to do to accomplish that. It happens automatically. When you start to experience that lifting, you find that you can apply that in a lot of areas in your life.
Let’s say that you’re a smoker and you want to stop smoking. If you can let go of the past and not be concerned with all those cigarettes you shouldn’t have smoked, and if you can let go of the future anxieties of how you’re going to make it through the day without a cigarette, all that’s left to you is the moment. In the moment you can direct yourself into any number of areas that do not include cigarettes. You can do that because you do that all the time anyway. There are many, many moments in your day when you do not smoke. So what you do is stay present in those moments. It sounds so simple and it is, but it’s not necessarily easy because of all the programming and practice that you’ve had doing the other thing.
Some people stop smoking but put on a lot of weight. They say they’ve stopped “smoking,” but they really haven’t. They’re eating instead. They’ve just gone from one indulgence to another indulgence and declared a false freedom from the first indulgence. Freedom means that you lift above that quality of absorption in yourself that leads to the indulgence in the first place. If you’ve been gorging yourself on food or gorging yourself on cigarettes, it’s all the same thing. And those processes of indulgence are a very effective way to avoid the presence of the Spirit in your life. They are a distraction to who you are; they are a cover-up that allows you to avoid yourself.
Placing your focus on the outer things, like food, cigarettes, drugs, etc., allows you to distract yourself, gives you something to hide behind. Why are you hiding? What are you afraid of finding? Is it something in your past that you’re afraid to face? The past doesn’t matter. It’s over with; it’s finished. It doesn’t have any power over you, except as you give it that power.
All you have to do is declare it finished and go forward from this moment. Is there something in your future that you’re afraid of? That’s psychic speculation. Your responsibility is to live now, in this present moment. If you do that and lay your foundation, the future will take care of itself. If you’re not taking care of now in a balanced and loving way, then there might be something in the future to be anxious about. But you have the ability to direct your present and to exercise wise choices here and now that will create a future you’ll be happy with.
When you let go of the past and don’t create anxieties about the future, you find yourself coming present more and more. Then you have to watch carefully that your mind and emotions don’t pull you back into the past or project concerns out into the future. That’s where direction comes in. You direct your consciousness. You direct your mind. You direct your emotions. You can’t stop them; you can’t turn them off, so you learn to direct them.
Spiritual exercises are a primary way to direct your consciousness. Spiritual exercises will give the mind something to do and keep the emotions filled with the calm loving that is present in you. As you start lifting, you begin to discover a greater reality, a sense of fulfillment and completion that goes far beyond the conditions of this physical world. You find a loving acceptance within you of all aspects of God’s beingness, and that includes everyone and everything.
You begin to sense the pattern that lies behind your actions and behind the actions of others. You begin to see the sense of it and how all your experience is a process of learning and growing and expanding into a greater awareness of God. As you begin to have these experiences, it gives you a greater vision and more enthusiasm for pursuing the path of your own spiritual unfoldment.
The sense of purpose that you can develop through spiritual exercises and becoming involved in your own spiritual unfoldment can far outweigh the pursuit of material goals. Material goals may start to appear very transitory in comparison to the more permanent experience of Spirit. You know, this physical world is a land of illusion. This level is transitory.
We’re not here for a very long time, but we reside in Spirit forever. Recognizing that greater reality and then living in accordance with that realization brings greater fulfillment than any material accomplishments or possessions can ever give to you.
WATCH A SHORT VIDEO WITH JOHN-ROGER