The Eternal Now

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I suppose that the worst advice that ever was given was Edward Everett Hale's,—"Look up and not down; look forward and not back; look out and not in."

The habit of looking forward, instead of enjoying or at least getting good out of the present, is an evil one and logically leads to putting your Kingdom of Heaven in the future. Times may be hard and circumstances severe; but it is all a period of the school course and if we apply ourselves to it to get the most out of it we begin to enjoy even a hard lesson.

There is philosophy in the lines: "The past is gone and over; the future may never come; we live in the living present" —that is "the Eternal Now." Why should not one look in, if one knows that he has in himself the possibility of all beauty and of all good. It is only when we separate ourselves from the universe and hypnotize ourselves into thinking that we are not a part of it, that we begin to hate to look in. If we have concluded that our "every prospect pleases and only man is vile," then of course the less we look in, the better; but that seems to me a piece of stupidity, incredible even for the missionary who must have seen that the prospect which he compared so favorably to man was encumbered with snakes, vermin and fever.

Finally, if man is the highest there is, what in the world is there to look up to? The soul that realizes that it is one with God has nothing to look forward to; has no object in looking back, finds nothing to look up to and is entirely possessed with the expression of itself instead of looking at external objects.

Source: Mind, Volume 12, 1902, p. 668.