The title of this article is a quote of Jorge Luis Delgado. He is a Peruvian Shaman and Chacaruna- a bridge person who helps others to cross from one state of consciousness to another. During our visit last fall in Peru, Jorge made this comment in a group setting; explaining the past, as viewed by him is in front of us. It is a basic principle of his spiritual beliefs. Yet, this idea sounded like a contradiction to just about every spiritual and scientific fundamental. We are constantly barraged with reminders that we are to live in the present. The past is over and done with, needing to be forgotten and left behind as we move forward into the gifts of the present day. But with further consideration and thought, this idea of the past being in front of us, is more likely a better representation of universal truth. Simply stated, our lives as they exist today are made up of all the days that have come before.
We have become a culture of people who try to shun the past. It has become an active, obsessive campaign. And it is true, there is value in the idea of what’s in the past, should remain in the past. This is certainly true of the memory of any experience that holds our lives in place and prevents us from growing stronger and expanding as spiritual beings. However, we do continue to walk each day with conscious and unconscious memories being the backdrop to our lives. Not only are they a part of our thought-track, but emotional memory is translated into energetic forms that become lodged in our cells and various parts of our body. It is commonly understood and accepted that this is the fundamental basis of any ill health we come to experience. So, as we can see, there is a lot of motivation in releasing the past and living in today.
Yet, there are parts of the past that command a level of honoring and respect. They are not to be forgotten. There are days gone by that have enriched us to the degree that we have become the spiritual people we are today. And there are energies outside of us in our universe as it grows and undergoes changes that have to be remembered too. Not many of us can pinpoint the series of events that led us to the consciousness of our soul and the spiritual nature of life. Yet, they are lodged in some corner of our brain. If it wasn’t for the past, how would we know what we need? If it wasn’t for the trail and error of days gone by, how would we proceed and conceptualize our future?
The accumulation of energy from all the stages of our lives becomes the total of our being, a mass in an ever-changing form. Yet the content of the mass changes slowly, over time by the changes in our thoughts, the content of our daily life and the deepening of our spiritual consciousness. Even then, the energy of today is made up of all the energy of all the days that has come before. As we begin each day anew the past is in front of us. It is from and of the past that we enter into a new day and the energy from before is the gift of today.
What does it mean for us to begin thinking of the past as being in front of us, like Jorge Luis suggests? To begin with, there will have to be a change in the way we see our lives, right? The leap is to create a consciousness for every day life that includes a sense of self-responsibility for all of what we are creating. Yet all of the energy of where we have been and what we have done is in this present moment. We have worked hard to get to the present. Harmony comes from keeping a balanced perspective of the role all of life plays in the wisdom that comes with time and age. Adopting an appreciation for the blessings we have received along the way is powerful too
Here is an exercise to start thinking about the past as a powerful and positive force in your daily life. You may want to spend some time in contemplation or with your journal.
What are the gifts of my past?
As I think of my life, what are the important memories for me to keep?
What are the painful experiences or memories of the past that have been powerful in moving me forward on your spiritual path?
How do you want to begin seeing the past as being in front of me?