Our calendars say we are about to leave 2016 behind and begin a new year.
What will 2017 be like?
There’s more than one way to anticipate the future, but the most common way is to worry. When we worry we construct events and outcomes and turn various possibilities over and over and around in our minds. There certainly are many worrisome large-world possiblities for 2017, but worrying can put us in a state of unease, anxiety, or distress that disables our ability to deal with what faces us. Of course, national issues aren’t all we have to worry about – our own personal lives are filled with concerns. Most of us practice worrying in one form or another every day.
What’s the opposite of worrying? There is no single, clear term for the other cognitive process, for another way to anticipate what lies ahead. We know that a state of comfortable, calm, non-agitated stillness exists in which we can make plans and take action, but how do we get there – especially when we are faced with great difficulties? Perhaps through prayer? In praying we focus our minds on outcomes but – unlike worrying – we see and ask for preferred outcomes. (One way to think of worrying is that it is negative prayer.) Some religions have taught rules for praying that have narrowed what it is, how it’s done, and for what purposes. So, if prayer is not an option, there are also secular meditative practices that teach us how to let go of mental struggles and achieve a calm non-attachment to the turmoil of life, practices that are very, very helpful. Lessons in Mindfulness can teach most people how to reach a state of non-worry.
Ancient wisdom traditions have long taught a lesson about the continuum of levels of reality:
“As above, so below; as within, so without.”
Edgar Cayce, an extraordinary psychic and seer of past, present, and future, is often quoted as teaching that,
“Spirit is the life, mind is the builder, physical is the result.”
These two sayings are part of another way to look at the future: the mystic or psychic view of the nature of reality in which the unseen, subtle or non-physical levels of being are as real as the material, and thoughts can influence events.
The opposite to worrying can be a kind of envisioning good outcomes. This does not mean denying difficulty or suppressing your emotions. You can take it all in – darkness, difficulty, even possible disasters, but see it all playing out in the best possible way or being replaced by creative solutions. Perhaps the mystics are right that what exists above is duplicated below, that what is within can be found outside of us and that the reverse of both is true too. And perhaps Edgar Cayce saw clearly that the mind based in Spirit builds external reality. On the here and now level visualizing the good can at least lift your mood, and if the mystics and psychics are right, greater change can be manifested up and down the continuum of realities. Their knowledge is worth exploring.
WINN will publish more extensive posts about visualization and the multiple dimensions of reality in the months ahead.
May you see clearly and have a creative 2017.