Forget the Past—Cultivate the Future
A Compilation from Agni Yoga
By restraining the consciousness of the past the leap over the abyss is achieved.—Leaves of Morya’s Garden II (p. 89).
Therefore, the best bidding to the one who departs from Earth will be—“Hurry, without looking back.”—Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, (p. 135).
Strive into the future, by-passing the soot of the present.—Leaves of Morya’s Garden II (p. 177).
In communal occupations, do not indulge in thoughts about the recent past; think either about the future or the wisdom of the ages. The fragments and dust of the husks of the past fill space too much. Attracted by the magnet of thought, they weave unclean phantoms which are difficult to drive away. Expelled from one corner, they camp in another, until they are again reduced to dust by a conscious stroke of the will. It is more practical to think about the future—these thoughts have recourse to solar prana.—Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, (p. 232).
It is possible to renounce every weakness if the task of the future is clear. Think about being annexed to the future and fear of the present will dissolve.—New Era Community, 178 (p. 153).
Neither fish nor birds nor animals know of the future. But man definitely knows the unavoidableness of a future. In this call of space is contained immense joy. He who is afraid of the future is still in an animal state, and the world feast is not yet for him.
To learn to enhance and to uplift thought about the future means to occupy a place in it which will grow together with the consciousness. He who does not await external aid knows the value of his own hammer. Whoever knows the path into the future can carry his catch without fear; whereas, a part of humanity does not even see the thread into the future. Broken loose and swept about like autumn leaves, they raise the dust from alien bazaars. A cloud of dust will veil the gates of the community, and dusty thinking will turn all into rubbish.
When it is dark and threatening, then keep the consciousness upon the future. We call the future a flying carpet. Teach children to fly high. Replace the legend about the ark with one about the air-ship.—New Era Community, 189 (pp. 164–65).
Many pillars of salt are spread upon the face of Earth. Not only did Lot’s wife turn back to the past but numberless are those who have looked back. What did they expect to see in the burning city? Perhaps they wished to bid farewell to the old temple? Perhaps they looked for their cozy hearth? Perhaps they looked in anticipation of seeing the house of their hated neighbor collapse? Certainly, the past chained them for a long time. Thus, one must strive onward for enlightenment and health and for the strength of the future. Thus it should be always; but there may be cosmic knots when an impetuous onward motion is urgent. One should not be disconcerted and mourn over the past. Even mistakes are obvious, yet the caravan does not wait, and the very events press onward. We hurry, and We summon to hasten. The future is crowded, but there is no darkness ahead!—Hierarchy, 347 (p. 189–90).
Karma is the sickness of the past. Its cure lies in the future. Precisely, he who wishes to be liberated from the past should strive into the future. Striving with one’s entire being protects one from downfalls; take for example the moving heavenly bodies. Thus, remember that I have pointed out how to walk upon the water, but I have never said that one can stand upon it. Karma can be changed by an irresistible striving.—Hierarchy, 290 (p. 159).
Verily, karma is frightening only to those who are plunged into inaction. But a striving thought is liberated from the burden of the past, and like a heavenly body is impelled forward without retracing its path. Thus, even with a difficult karma, one can achieve a useful liberation.—Hierarchy, 294 (p. 161).
He who understands the significance of unceasing labor, he who strengthens himself by concentration on Hierarchy, he who discards complicated formulas in order to transfer concentration to the heart, shall understand the essence of the future.—Heart, 117 (p. 79).
It is wrong to think only of today, for thus one may remain with the past. All battles waged for today will be lost tomorrow.—Heart, 248.
I say, “Strive into the future.” . . . I say, “Gather everything that will propel you above the crossing of the currents.” The poison of the past—so We call merging into the past, which can evoke slumbering karmic affirmations. The past can temporarily deprive one of the accumulations of the present. Thus, our power multiplies when we transport our consciousness into the future. Every past symbol brings us back and creates the power of the crossing of currents. One must especially remember this law in the days of atmospheric tension. Therefore, reincarnations are mentioned very little in some teachings, in order to impel the directions still more into the future. It is good that you do not pronounce, and even try to forget, some names. One should not renew outlived vibrations.—Heart, 151 (p. ).
Strive into the future. It is necessary to regard the present time as a bridge over a roaring current. It is not necessary to bind the consciousness to devious conditions—they are but brushwood upon the bridge. Usually, human misfortunes arise in proportion to the delay caused by attention to the passing jolts, which it is necessary to avoid. Every leader strives not to be delayed.—Heart, 385 (pp. 223–24).
I affirm that even the slightest action in the name of the future pierces the strata of tension of the atmosphere. The accumulated refuse of the past is cut asunder by the sword of the future. The shield of the future is the most reliable and salutary. One must not think of the inaccessibility of the future, for it is being created tirelessly—thus, the heart is the pledge of the future.—Heart, 541 (p. 308).
One should direct one’s entire consciousness into the future. It is seldom that one finds within oneself the courage to admit the undesirability of turning back to the past. The evidence of daring yearning for the future indicates that the spirit is ready for fiery cognitions. Only such an enlightened consciousness will continue its thought-creativeness also in the Subtle World. Only such irrepressible thought-creativeness and striving for distant flights will afford the fiery approach. All the terror of the legions of darkness cannot overcome an intense striving to the future.—Fiery World I, 425 (229).
One may observe different types of people, who can be distinguished according to their natures. Some do not think about the future, fulfilling, as it were, their entire purpose in this earthly life. Others strive forward with their whole spirit, for them earthly life does not present any finality. Even if not highly refined, these people sense with the heart that everything is ahead of them. Have dealings with the latter, for notwithstanding their errors they will be still striving into the future, and thus will already belong to the Truth. You know that Agni lives in the hearts of those who love the future. Even if their Agni is not yet manifested, its potentiality is inexhaustible. Likewise look with compassion upon people who do not know the future, as upon the sick.—Fiery World II, 26 (p. 27).
To turn to the future is not at all easy. It sounds simple—to leave the past and look to the future. It is both simple and beautiful, but how shall we light the bonfires of the past and where shall we find the fires to illumine the future? The attainment of the spirit will prompt how to find these boundaries and measures. But how to squeeze the heroic deed into everyday life? Fortunately every heart is a ready purse for achievement. In all times the population has been divided into settlers and nomads. The nomads moved by the power of search for achievement, they had no place of their own. But for the future they found the strength of achievement. Such striving of the heart is inherent in every human life. Amidst the precipitants resulting from heroic achievements must be found this noble restlessness, leading into the future. Only thus may one escape the snares of the past. I already have told you that one should avoid reminiscences in the Subtle World. They are like fetters! But already here one must become accustomed to the striving into the future. It is not said that one should not know the past; precisely knowledge is blessed. But one must not get stuck in the dust of the forefathers. Thus without forgetting, without limiting, let us advance towards the New Worlds. The freedom of consciousness gives birth to heroes. Discipline of spirit affirms the wise, and only the ignorant understand the future as a new bed. It is best to imagine movement and flights.—Fiery World II, 42 (pp. 38–39).
And it is not too difficult to accustom oneself to think about the future, if the striving to the Most High is already assimilated. Thus affirm in all actions the usefulness of the understanding of the future. Many remembrances, regrets, offences, and unnecessary things of the past only repulse the already formed magnetism of the future. The magnetism of the future is a great moving force, and it must be understood as absolute reality.—Fiery World II, 44 (p. 40).
Few seem to understand that the projecting of the consciousness into the future is the formation of a guiding magnet. But what matters is that the consciousness should be fully directed into the future. Many seem to think that they may sometimes ponder about the future, and then again dive into the past. Not isolated thoughts should be allotted to the future, but the essence of consciousness should be attuned in the key of the future. It is impossible to force oneself to such transformation. One can attain only by growing to love the future. But not many love the future. The country of the joy of labor, in perfecting the quality of labor, can be naturally drawn into the future. The duty of the Leader is to direct the people into the future.—Fiery World II, 60 (pp. 49–50).
Man must always be on the threshold of the future. Man is new every moment. Man cannot affirm himself upon the past, because it does not exist any longer. Man can know the past, but woe to him if he wants to apply the measures of the past. The past is incompatible with the future. The wisdom of the realization of new combinations unites the past with the future. It is not easy to know constantly and courageously that each moment renovates the worlds, but out of this source is born inexhaustible vigor. A council of wise men can convene, but let him who is senile in spirit, who has turned his face to the past, not come there. The light of the future is the Light of Hierarchy.—Fiery World II, 70 (pp. 54–55).
Who knows what may have happened in the past! Usually people are obscured in the snares of the past. Indeed, it completely prevents one’s being wholly turned toward the future. And what small earthly stones of the past prevent one’s proceeding rapidly on the path. But one should become accustomed to the hurried path; no other exists. A great number of unfortunates and sufferers are counting the moments, waiting for help. Indeed, ought we not hasten?—Fiery World, Vol. II, 150 (p. 98–99)
Neither the past nor the present will enable the heart to sustain all the oppressive burden of the World. Only the future in all its fieriness will carry one over to the new shores. Only by casting forward the saving anchor can we make our landing. The farther we cast the anchor the more easily and vigorously do we transfer our consciousness into the Fiery World.—Fiery World II, 344 (p. 209).
People are unable to think about the future usually because they live under the spell of illusions of the past. Imagine a man who many days afterward receives unpleasant news of something which took place previously. This event no longer exists, the man himself has already lived for some time since the occurrence, yet he sinks into the past and loses connection with the future. Surely, the tree of the future must grow, and it should not die from the injury of a plunge into the past. Attention must be paid in schools to the study of the future. Each Leader in his own field will ponder about the future, otherwise he is no Leader.—Fiery World II, 354 (p. 214).
The experienced physician advises the convalescent not to think about his past illness, and urges him to think about the future and about favorable circumstances. Thus, any reminder about the past illness is cast out, not only physically but spiritually. One should apply the same simple method in all the situations of life. Particularly during fiery actions, when fire is palpitating because of darkness, one should not think about darkness and its reaction on fire. A manifestation referring to the future will kindle the heart. The most oppressive thing can be dispelled only because of the future.—Fiery World II, 443 (p. 250).
But woe to those who wish to encounter the future by looking backward! For the spirit overburdened with yesterday’s remains is laden with a massive weight. With such a burden one cannot ascend the Mountain, one cannot pass through the Gates of Light, one cannot become associated with the luminous Future. Thus, if the Church Fathers summon into the past, the Servants of Light summon into the future. Awakening of consciousness, clarification of the Teaching, and summons into the future will result in a great regeneration of thinking.—Fiery World III, 263 (pp. 186–87).
The most immovable consciousnesses are, indeed, the old and ossified ones. This refers to all those who proceed looking backward and not into the future. Ossification and backwardness can destroy the most immense possibilities.—Fiery World III, 370 (p. 252).
It is of no help for people not to think about the future. Each day it is possible to meditate beautifully about the better life beyond the limits of Earth. The more beautiful the imagination, the better are the possibilities engendered there where thought rules.—Fiery World III, 567 (pp. 333–34).
It is not wise to dwell upon that which was unsuccessful in the past. Such calculations are called the well of the past. Far better is the spring of the future. Each one can drink of the living water. One must grow to love the fact that the spirit lives in the future.—Aum, 502 (p. 245).
It may be understood why comparatively little was said about reincarnations in the ancient Teachings. On the one hand, enough was known about them; on the other, it would not have been useful to direct attention to the past. Only people with especially broadened consciousnesses can delve into the past without harm to their advancement. For a small consciousness, a glance backwards may be ruinous. People must be in a state of continual preparation for the future. Only in such a state of consciousness can they harmonize earthly life. Even in moving into a better apartment people select their best possessions, and no one takes his dirty rags with him. Just as carefully and worthily must man prepare for his dwelling in the Subtle World.—Aum, 535 (pp. 260–61).
Experience whispers that the future can direct thoughts above and beyond irritation and disturbance. Thus, only the future is liberated from passion. From it is born active dispassionateness. Usually people upbraid one for this concept, confusing it with selfhood; but it is better to attribute it to justice. Only the future, not littered by the confusion of the recent past, can enable one to think rationally.—Brotherhood, 285 (p. 146).
Leave behind all regrets about the past, let us not make the path to the future difficult for ourselves. The very mistakes of the past must not fix attention upon themselves. Striving into the future must be so strong that the light will not grow dim in eyes which are not directed backwards. Let us forsake the past for the sake of the future. One can strive so strongly into the future that in all conditions this blessed eagerness will forever remain. Each striving toward the future is striving toward Brotherhood.—Brotherhood, 487 (p. 233).