Living in the Now

By William Q. Judge

There is never any need to worry. The good law looks out for all things, and all we have to do is our duty as it comes along from day to day. Nothing is gained by worrying about matters and about the way people do not respond. In the first place you do not alter people, and in the second, by being anxious as to things, you put an occult obstacle in the way of what you want done. It is better to acquire a lot of what is called carelessness by the world, but is in reality a calm reliance on the law, and a doing of one's own duty, satisfied that the results must be right, no matter what they may be.

The Past! What is it? Nothing. Gone! Dismiss it. You are the past of yourself. Therefore it concerns you not as such. It only concerns you as you now are. In you, as now you exist, lies all the past. So follow the Hindu maxim: "Regret nothing; never be sorry; and cut all doubts with the sword of spiritual knowledge." Regret is productive only of error. I care not what I was, or what any one was. I only look for what I am each moment. For as each moment is and at once is not, it must follow that if we think of the past we forget the present, and while we forget, the moments fly by us, making more past. Then regret nothing, not even the greatest follies of your life, for they are gone, and you are to work in the present which is both past and future at once.

"In him who knows that all spiritual beings are the same in kind with the Supreme Being, what room can there be for delusion and what room for sorrow when he reflects upon the unity of spirit?" In all these inner experiences there are tides as well as in the ocean. We rise and fall. Anon the gods descend, and then they return to heaven. Do not think of getting them to descend, but strive to raise yourself higher on the road down which they periodically return, and thus get nearer to them, so that you shall in fact receive their influences sooner than before.

Rely within yourself on your Higher Self always, and that gives strength, as the Self uses whom it will. The way gets clearer as we go on, but as we get clearer we get less anxious as to the way ahead. If people will only let each other alone and go about their own business quietly all will be well. It is one's duty not to get into the duty of another. And in this it is of the highest importance that we should detach our minds (as well as our tongues) from the duties and acts of others whenever those are outside of our own.

The future then, for each, will come from each present moment. As we use the moment so we shift the future up or down for good or ill; for the future being only a word for the present — not yet come — we have to see to the present more than all. If the present is full of doubt or vacillation, so will be the future; if full of confidence, calmness, hope, courage and intelligence, thus also will be the future.

Is not the Self pure, bright, bodiless, and free — and art thou not that? If you are at all cast down, or if any of us is, then by just that much are our thoughts lessened in power. So I pray you to remove from your mind any distaste for present circumstances. If you can succeed in looking at it all as just what you in fact desired, then it will act not only as a strengthener of your good thoughts, but will reflexly act on your body and make it stronger.

The great struggle must be to open up my outer self, that my higher being may shine through, for I know that in my heart the God sits patient, and that his pure rays are merely veiled from me by the many strivings and illusions that I bring on outwardly. — Selected from Letters That Have Helped Me

(From Sunrise magazine, October/November 2003; copyright © 2003 Theosophical University Press)


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