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by David Truman

How the Spirit Interprets the Future
Inside every human being, ego and Spirit battle to hinder or help our desire to love now. Please read this message carefully, considering the significance and strategies of this struggle in your precious life. Then share your knowledge with your friends, and help them to LOVE NOW.
All beings surrender to love, like a falling apple surrenders to gravity.
Love rules the present. It rules by attraction, like gravity. We can fight love's attraction, but it isn't easy. Whoever is truly free -- not stuck, or resisting -- surrenders to love like a falling apple surrenders to gravity. That same force makes us uneasy being unkind, angry, rude, reactive, jumpy, or paranoid. This isn't just manners, or upbringing -- it's the force of love.
All life is sensitive to love's requirements. If someone steps out of line, a friend may speak out in love's name:
Example: Tom reacts with upset to an innocent request to mow the lawn. He starts to stew and sulk, and mutter nasty names under his breath. But a friend says, "Look, quit acting miserable. It's not doing you any good and you're ruining the day for everybody."
Even if no outer voice called, we would call ourselves, because our conscience is love's voice speaking from within.
Love now and then
Question: If love rules the present, why do people sometimes think and act in ways that are unloving, or even anti-loving?
Answer: We are not always IN the present.
Obviously, whenever we actually ARE in the here and now, we see others perfectly, and our minds are untroubled by fear. We can sensitively accommodate love's requirements in the moment, and we are fully inclined to do so. But when we are caught up in various considerations of past and future, instead of being in the here and now, the way we act towards others will be altered, often dramatically, by the way we interpret the past and future.
When we talk about interpreting the past and future, it matters which part of ourselves is doing the interpreting -- our Spirit, or our ego? The two interpret the past and the future very differently.
What is ego?
The psychological definition of ego is: the part of the psyche that organizes various internal forces and external realities into a viable personality, or self. Ego performs this organizing work, presumably, in the interests of survival -- which makes ego an essential component of selfhood.
Unhealthy ego gives us an exaggerated fear of involvement with life and others.
However, the popular definition of ego refers to unhealthy ego. Unhealthy ego has a negatively distorted view of experience, of others, and of self. Specifically, this view combines an exaggerated sense of the vulnerability or perishability of self with an excessive concern over the dangers of involvement with life and others. In that case, a formerly healthy survival mechanism turns self-destructive: survivalism becomes paranoia; autonomy becomes alienation; self-protection becomes self-destruction. We see specific compensations like overblown self-importance and narrow self-orientation. That is why we associate the word ego with words like egotism, egotistical, and egocentric.
Hereafter in this article, when we use the word ego, we will be referring to the popular conception of ego: aberrant development of ego towards egocentric thought and egotistical behavior. Unhealthy ego is the kind that ruins love.
TIME -- as viewed by the Spirit, and by the ego
There can be no question that the human Spirit loves love. Consequently, the Spirit uses the past and future in such a way as to support love, and to protect love relationships.
To the ego, on the other hand, love is forever dangerous. The bad parts of love are threatening, and so are the good parts. Rejection and conflict can be threatening, of course. But then so are commitment, surrender, and trust. Even pleasure threatens the ego, particularly great pleasure. The ego not only fears that loving will result in hurt, it also fears that if we love too deeply, too happily, we will abandon the ego-concept altogether. The ego fears its undoing in love.
The unhealthy ego uses both past and future to keep us safe, by keeping us separate. It "justifies" the perverse sabotage which often occurs in love relationships -- avoidance; distancing behaviors; runaway fears; irrational but hurtful accusations; withholding energy and trust.
How the Ego Interprets the Past
Ego uses both glowing and gloomy memories to squelch love in the present.
Ego, being problematical about love, tends to use the past to justify avoiding love, or ruining it. It knows how to make effective use of both glowing and gloomy memories to squelch love in the present. If something isn't as appealing as something that happened before, ego whispers, "You can do better than this! Don't bother with it." On the other hand, if something happens that seems better than anything before, it says, "Fat chance! Where's the hitch here? Anything that seems this good is bound to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Don't get sucked in!"
How ego interprets the NEGATIVE past
"Negative experiences necessitate self-protection. And generally, self-protection takes love rejection."
Ego picks over the remains of the past, carefully preserving negative scraps of memory. It favors items that seem to support separation, and then it uses those scraps to serve its ultimate purposes of present love-rejection. Specific memories of unlove, hatred, disappointment, and betrayal are especially good for justifying present doubt. Here's a typical sales pitch for unlove. Feel free to answer the questions.
1. Have you ever had a bad time with anyone?
2. Have you ever been disappointed in love?
3. Have you ever followed loving impulses only to be hurt or betrayed later on?
4. Have you ever felt you were being taken advantage of?
After you have answered all its questions in the affirmative, the ego puts one patent leather shoe firmly through your door. "You have answered yes to these questions. Do you know what that means, Mr. or Ms. Jones? It means closeness is not for you!"
Fear as a shield
In the hands of the ego, memories of then become a shield against the realities and possibilities of now. When love "threatens," ego holds up its shield, boldly painted with terrifying images from the past, and hides safely behind. But here's a hitch: Traditionally, a shield carries the monster mask facing outward, so as to frighten the enemy. The ego's shield, however, shows the same scary face on both sides. Naturally, both the ego and its enemy are terrified. Both of them scream, and run off in opposite directions. The enemy is surely stunned when this evil image is projected upon him or her -- but at least this is a temporary fright. The ego, unfortunately, carries its shield where it goes. Continuing to face the terrifying image, it keeps on running.
Interestingly, if we want protection from love, scaring ourselves is even more effective than scaring others. When others feel our terror, even our would-be associates have to agree that we are "not ready for love." They will soon think the better of relating to us, and leave us alone.
Admittedly, the past we fear is dead. But ego believes that to maintain safety, we must cling to negative memories. Otherwise, we might forget to be afraid, and forget what to avoid and what to suspect -- then what would become of us?
Fair enough. But what about the fact that fear is the number one obstacle to love? Perhaps we had better balance ego's faith in fear with this question: What will become of us if we cling too tightly to fear? To ego, the presence of fear in our thought, behaviors, and responses shows that clinging to the past is doing its job. Even when we feel paralyzed by fear, and incapable of even attempting a love relationship, the ego applauds negative memories for protecting us from now. When fear reaches a certain intensity, it dominates our behavior, creating countless distancing strategies, all the way from perilous passivity to high hostilities. Surely, fear is anything but safe.
Love Able Tip: If a new love makes us nervous, we need to remind ourselves that the past is gone. This is a brand new person. Just keep relaxing about the past and focusing in the present until you reach the here and now. Also, remember that when you are embarking on something new, some fear is natural. Just don't let fear run your life -- or keep you from loving.
How ego interprets the POSITIVE past
To the extent that the ego believes that the past is better than the present, the present is considered . . . well, boring. Invalid.
"Now is worthless. I'm just going to have to wait until something like what I enjoyed before happens again."
It is unfortunate that in the ego's book, good events in the past actually justify behaving unconstructively -- and certainly unenthusiastically -- in the present. Waiting is anything but loving. That's no way to prepare ourselves for love. If we are not really living in a loving manner now, we may actually be reducing our prospects for creating anything good.
The vibe we're putting out when we're in waiting mode isn't going to attract the right kind of people. We don't have to marry everyone, obviously, but we had better love the people around us with plenty of heart.
Love Able Tip: If an old love set an example others cannot seem to live up to, or if you think you have extremely high standards, watch your loneliness meter. If you start to shrivel up, make a new resolve to love those around you with a deeper, juicier, more enjoyable kind of love. Not only will putting out the energy make you happy, but who knows -- you just might inspire a great response!
How the Spirit Interprets the Past
The Spirit makes constructive use of ALL past experiences.
The Spirit knows how to use all of the events of the past constructively. No matter what happened back THEN, the Spirit tries to make sure that we use our experience in such a way as to make us better, more loving people NOW. The following interpretations of experience, though deceptively simple, are not only constructive, but perfectly accurate.
Regarding the positive past:
"See how wonderful life is where love is."
Regarding the negative past:
"See how awful life is without love."
The Spirit also reminds us that the past is gone, that it is impossible, realistically, to bring the past into the present. The Spirit would have us recognize the present as utterly new and without precedent -- as freshness worthy of fresh response. In the present, it would have us cast no shadow on our associates with dark memories and fearful presumptions of old.
How Spirit interprets the NEGATIVE past
The Spirit knows very well that we can be damaged, psychologically and spiritually, if we interpret the negative events of the past in negative ways. If we get stuck in the past, we may actually move backwards in terms of evolutionary progress. Consequently, the Spirit is concerned that we learn constructive lessons from our experiences.
For example, a person who is robbed could retaliate, thus becoming a robber himself -- or even a murderer! However, if he viewed his experience constructively, he could take the opportunity to learn how to be forgiving. That would give him a more tolerant attitude overall, which is valuable forward progress. Likewise, if a relationship goes sour, the Spirit would have us understand why. Undoubtedly, the egotistical elements were too strong. There was too much self-interest, too much self-protective mentality, or too much offense and defense. Or perhaps, being honest about it, we must conclude that the love component in the intimacy was insufficient. Perhaps, to create a viable relationship with a positive outcome, we both needed to demonstrate more forgiveness, more trust, and more sensitivity.
Love never caused a problem.
Incredibly, the ego argues that the problems of the past are problems of LOVE and that, consequently, love should be avoided now. Obviously, the problems we suffer "in love" are due solely to an INSUFFICIENCY of love. In reality, the pain of an unloving past is the best possible argument FOR love. The Spirit chuckles at its bumbling adversary, realizing that the ego's arguments are, in the end, arguments against the ego itself.
Love Able Tip: Clearly note, in every instance of pain or disappointment, exactly what caused the problem. It was not love, but the insufficiency of it. ALWAYS hold love blameless, because it is.
How Spirit interprets the POSITIVE past
"Consider the more beautiful events of the past. What made those most pleasurable and memorable events beautiful? The chances are excellent it was love."
Thus, the Spirit uses the beauty of the positive events of the past to show the real value of love and loving.
How the Ego Interprets the Future
A fantasy land?
The ego's favorite future is a fantasy land. Like a knight in shining armor, the future wisks us away to another land -- a place fantastically unlike the present. There we find refuge from the unlivable circumstances of the present, including the circumstances we have created for ourselves. That fantasy future is supposed to provide:
An escape from the dreariness of now.
A safe haven from broken relationships and bitter ex's.
A vacation from the real obligations of love.
A dreamland of pleasurable and negative fantasies.
A chance to act out?
In the ego's fantasy future, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a crock!
The future for which the ego hungers is not always positive. What about the bad stuff we're denied: self-indulgences, addictions, cathartic expression? What about sweet revenge: "Why, if I ever meet that nasty fellow again I'll. . ." Society, sensitivity, intuition, intelligence -- all may inhibit acting upon negative impulses. Even gumption may fall short. Consequently, some of the ego's more negative aims may be relegated to the fantasy future along with its positive dreams. So now the future gains even more status as ego's great hope, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The ego hopes that all its fantasies will manifest in the future. And there is no doubt that some fantasies may come true, but only to a limited degree. In this aspect -- as a repository of negative dreams -- that pot of gold turns out to be something more like a Porta-Potty. A crock!
Love Able Tip: Don't set too much hope in the future. Remember, this is the future, right now. Learn to depend on what you can do to fill your life with love in the here and now.
About the REAL future (today, for example)
Today is the future in relation to yesterday. This year is the future in relation to last year. So TODAY is the real future. And obviously, the real future doesn't exactly follow the blueprint of our fantasies. When the future becomes now, when dreams come true in real life, things turn out to be different than we imagined. There is no magic about the future. The real future is simply a continuation of the present.
How the Spirit Interprets the Future
"The future is just an extension of present time. A positive future is the extension of a loving present."
A loving future is the extension of a loving present.
False promises of fantasy futures just crumble in our hands till our lives are spent. The real future depends completely on how we live in the present. If we choose to truly love now, the resulting joy will make it obvious that the sensible thing to do is keep on loving. Alternatively, if we choose to withhold now, we will continue to reap the bitter harvest of loneliness until we change our tune. Whatever we do NOW, we are developing our future by doing it!
Letting love rule
It all boils down to one question: To what will we dedicate our present? When past memories or future reveries beckon, let us call upon our Spirits -- not our egos -- to adjudicate claims for allegience. We are now, not then. Our lives are now, not then. And above all, love is now, and not then. Therefore, instead of worrying about the past, and instead of hoping for a bright future, let us give our full attention to the here and now. And let love rule.

by David Truman

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