The Future and the Past
As for the future and the past, they are what we perceive them to be. The past can be thought of as a series of connected events, like a string of beads held together. The past cannot be changed, it has already happened. The future has not happened and so it cannot be accurately defined like the past. You can say that five minutes ago Johnny was in his apartment at 95 Park Slope East, Inwood NY watching TV, but you cannot accurately say where Johnny will be and what he will be doing in five minutes.
While you cannot precisely say where Johnny will be in five minutes, it is possible to make some fairly accurate predictions about where he might be. You know that in five minutes Johnny can only be in a location that is within five minutes of 95 Park Slope East. In five minutes, Johnny could not be in Florida, or in Russia, or even in midtown Manhattan. Johnny’s current location limits the possible places where he can be in five minutes.
This brings up an interesting aspect of the future. We cannot accurately predict it, but the future is always limited by the current state of a person. In Johnny’s case, he is in the apartment at 95 Park Slope East. All of the events in Johnny’s life that happened in his past, every single bead on that string, is what places him in that apartment at the precise moment in time. Therefore, we can conclude that the past determines the present, and the present limits the future. This would look as follows:
Looking at this picture, you can see the past is a set of locked events all linked together that lead to the present. The near future is limited because it must be attached to the present. In the picture, the lines only spread out a small amount in the near future and the differnces between each of the lines in the near future is very small. The further we get away from the present, the lines of the future paths begin to spread out much further and differences between the paths become much larger.
Thus, if at this moment Johnny is at 95 Park Slope East we can map out the possible places that are five minutes from his apartment and than make a list of possibilities of where he could be in five minutes:
If we have more information about Johnny than we can probably even make a more precise prediction. If for example, we know that it’s 9AM Sunday and Johnny rarely leaves the house before 10AM on Sunday, we can be fairly certain that he will be in his house in five minutes. If we know that Johnny is sitting in his boxers watching TV at this moment, it is likely that in five minutes he will still be in his house in five minutes. The more information we have the better we can predict where Johnny will be in five minutes, and with enough information, we probably can even begin to predict what he will be doing in five minutes.
It is the combination of our current situation, our patterns and habits, and our personality that determines and limits the likely future paths we are going to take. As I will discuss below, the forces created by our current situation, our patterns and habits, and our personality has the power to attract a specific future to us.
The difference between the near and far future
With that said, you can see that changing your life requires a change in either your patterns or habits or a change in your situation, or both. Creating such changes are not easy and require time and effort, but it can be done.
Perhaps one of the most important things to note about our example with Johnny is that the predictions we make are only accurate because they are for what he will be doing in five minutes. If we try to predict what Johnny will be doing in one hour, our predictions will become much less accurate. Within an hour, he could be almost anyplace in New York City. Based on his habits and personality we can probably limit the options. But, if we now try to figure out what he is doing in five hours, even with a detailed knowledge of Johnny’s current situation and patterns, our predictions become even less accurate. Try to figure out what he is doing tomorrow and all we can do is base our predictions on his usual patterns that he has followed in the past and his current circumstances of his life. If Johnny has a job that he works from 8AM to 5PM Monday through Friday, than we can guess that at 9AM Tuesday he will be at work.
Our current situation puts extreme limits on the possible future outcomes in the near future, but has little effect on the distant future.
How can we change the Future?
Thus, Johnny being in his apartment at 95 Park Slope East limits where he will be in five minutes, but has little effect on where he might be in five hours. Why is this important you ask? Well, it means that your current life circumstance, your current personality and habits, will have a tremendous control over what will happen to you in the next few hours, i.e. it will strongly influence the future you are attracting in the next few hours. But, the future you are attracting in the next day, or the next week, or even the next year, is not that strongly influenced by the circumstances of the present moment. By working to create a path to a different set of circumstances in your life, by taking actions that move you away from your current circumstances and patterns, you can create a new set of patterns and circumstances that allow you to live a completely different life than you are currently living, or putting it another way, you can change the future you are attracting to yourself. The key to changing your life is to recognize what patterns and circumstances are creating your current situation, figuring out which of these need to be changed to, and than creating a plan that allows you to change these things.
The near future is written by our current circumstances and patterns, the distant future is flexible and we can often influence events to create the future we want.
If you feel your life cannot be changed, you are partly right – the immediate future is connected to your present and can change very little without something drastic happening. But, the distant future is not as tightly linked into your present. The distant future is still connected through a path to your current present, but that path can lead a long way away from your current circumstances over time. Sometimes, your current circumstances severely limit your ability to make changes and the path changes very slowly away from where your current circumstances are. It may take years to arrive at a new life, but there is almost always the possibility for movement as long as you are alive.
The only time you are frozen into a path, when you cannot move even the distant future into a new path, is when you live somewhere where there are no resources available for change and no possibility to leave the place you are. When you live in place where there is famine and you have no possibility of going somewhere else, your future paths are limited and your circumstances control your future. The paths of a young girl growing up in a society where girls are rarely given an education and are married very young also has very limited options and paths in her life. In these extreme circumstances, the distant future, though not possible to predict with any accuracy, is not likely to offer many opportunities to create change. Fortunately, most of are not in such situations and so have control over the futures we attract.
An important part of changing your life is to understand what resources are available to you to create change in your life. As long as there are resources available, you can make change. This is one of the most amazing things about the United States- the availability of resources. While it is true that some things are only available to the wealthy, there is much available to everyone. If you are an alcoholic or a drug addict there are rehab clinics and AA or other organizations that will help you. If you cannot read or speak English there are volunteer organizations that help you learn how to read or to speak English. Libraries are available to everyone, and with books come knowledge that will allow you to learn almost anything. In most libraries are computers with Internet connections giving free access to nearly everyone. If a woman’s spouse is abusive, there are shelters. There are evening courses that teach nearly every subject you could want to learn. I am not saying it is always easy to get access to these resources, sometimes it takes a great deal of work and patience, but they are usually available. That is the amazing power of positive change that people who work for organizations like this have - they create the resources that are needed to make positive changes in people's lives. If you truly want to make change, there are usually resources that are available to help you create that change. What usually prevents change from happening in your life is the belief that it cannot change. Once you believe that change is possible, than the problem becomes how to make the change, where can the resources be found to make the change.
It is important to discuss what I call turning points when talking about the future. A turning point is an event that occurs in your life that completely alters the path of your life, usually immediately. Turning points can be meeting someone who you end up have a relationship with, a car accident, being offered a new job or position, moving to a new place, etc. Sometimes, you can predict that doing something will be a turning point in your life, like moving or taking a new job. But often, we have no idea that a turning point is coming in our life and when they happen, we usually do not even realize that something has happened that has completely changed the path of our life until long after it has happened. The meeting of someone who you will later have a long term relationship with, going to the food store and having an accident on the way, going to a class that introduces you to something that later becomes an important part of your life, etc. are all things that can change your life with no hint they are about to happen.
In the above diagram, if the future path that is parallel to the current path is chosen, than the future path is not a turning point. All other future paths in the above diagram would be turning points that alter the person's life path.
Turning points are important because they allow life to change dramatically at any moment. Sometimes the change is for the worse, sometimes the better. Life is not static. Dramatic change can occur in an instant when you least expect it. That is the nature of life. The past is written and cannot be changed. The present is locked into place by your past. The near future is very ridged and hard to change. But, the distant future is flexible and very unpredictable and we can have an effect on it.
Imagine that life is like riding a wild horse that you have some control over and can be steered in the general direction you want, but sometimes no matter how hard you pull the reins in, it will still go off in some wild direction. One moment it will drag you into the sticker bushes and you will be cursing. Than suddenly, the horse will burst from the sticker bushes into a beautiful meadow and you will realize that this was really the right way to go. And sometimes the horse will just keep dragging you through the sticker bushes until you grab the reins and force it back on the path. That is what life is about.
We cannot get so focused, so lost in our current circumstances that we forget that things may change. When life is difficult and not going well, always remember that life can change in an instant in the other direction and become better. Enjoy the good moments in life. Have faith that when things are not going well that perhaps there is a purpose in this, perhaps one that we will never understand, and be patient for the next turning point that will bring joy back into our life (for more on this see the article on "Why do bad things happen to good people").
Predicting the Future and Changing the Future You are Attracting
For thousands of years there have been people who have used many different techniques to see the future. While the future has not yet happened and we cannot see the definite future, what some people can do is see the most probably future.
The most probably future is the future that you are attracting into your life at this present moment in time. This particular future must still be connected to your present circumstances, so the most probable future is molded by both your current circumstances and what you are attracting – these are the forces that shape your future.
Your thoughts, emotions, patterns and life energy creates a powerful force that attracts to you people, events and situations that will shape your future. Your inner true self, your Atman, as well as the energies created by the circumstances in your life, your Karma, also create a tremendously powerful energy. When the future our thoughts and actions are attracting is in harmony with the future that our Atman, our true self, is attracting, it creates an incredibly powerful force. Imagine that this is like throwing two large stones into a pond together into the exact same place in the pond. The ripples created by the combination of the two stones will be in harmony and very large.
If there is disharmony between the future our thoughts and actions are attracting and the future being attracted by our Atman, than it is like two large stones being thrown into the pond at the same time but in different locations. Now, the ripples interfere with each other, there is a struggle between the ripples from the two rocks that in some places diminishes the effects of both rocks and in other places the effects are magnified. The end result is not the original pattern of either rock. This is what happens when there is disharmony – the future we are attracting is very uncontrolled and unpredictable as the future created from our thoughts and actions struggles against the future attracted from our Atman. Finding harmony with your Atman, your true self, is one of the most important steps in controlling your future.
Your current situation limits what is within the force of your attractive energy. Meeting someone who will change your life in a supermarket in Florida will not happen when you live in New York, that is outside of your sphere of influence. But, the amazing thing about telephones and the Internet is that now your sphere of influence over people could in theory cover the entire planet. You can meet someone in France when you are living in New York through an Internet dating site. These connections always existed, all living creatures are connected, but before the technology there was no simple way to follow the connection.
A person who can “see” the future is someone who is capable of sensing what you are attracting into your life. They are able to feel your sphere of influence and what you are drawing in from that sphere. Because even the people who have a strong ability to see the energies of the universe, to connect to them, can only see a limited number of the energies, their predictions are not exact but only the most probable future. There can always be external influences that they did not see that can make small, and sometimes large, differences. Also, if you change what you are attracting, than their probably predictions that were made before the change no longer apply to your life. Perhaps, there are a few people in every generation who have advanced to a level where they can see all of the energies, but these abilities are beyond the normal human being.
Why are these paths only probably paths and not absolute paths? Because everyone is interconnected and you could be within the influence of someone else’s attractive forces. If you throw two stones into a pond at the same time, the waves join together and create a new pattern. If one stone is much larger than the other, the smaller stone will only have a small effect on the waves created by the larger stone. Most of the time, other people’s attractive forces are like the waves created by the smaller stone, they only have a small influence on the future that is being attracted to you. But, some times, they can have a powerful effect and completely alter your future. All things in the universe are interconnected - everything has a life force. This force is around us and can also exert forces on our probable futures.
We can also change our probable futures by altering what we attract into our lives by changing our patterns, our thoughts and what we are putting our energy into. Replacing negative patterns with positive patterns is the first step in attracting a more positive future into our life. Learning to act with conscious thought instead of acting with patterns is the most powerful way to begin to direct your energy towards attracting a specific future.
Instead of thinking what is not in your life begin to think about all of the things that are in your life. Start by creating harmony in your life and finding contentment in what you currently have. Negative thoughts, focusing on the things you do not have and dwelling on what has gone wrong draws negative energy into your life and draws you to negative futures. Negative patterns also draw negative future patterns. First learn to love yourself, to accept your life, to gain power over your patterns and your behaviors, and than direct your energy to a positive goal in the future. Whatever that goal is, if it is based in love and the desire to change the world in a positive way, it will have an amazingly powerful force that will draw people, events and objects into your life that will allow you to achieve that goal.
But always remember that you do not live your life in isolation. The universe will draw you to futures that help you change the world in a positive way, to create positive energy. The universe draws you towards harmony with your inner, true self. It is up to you to open yourself up and feel this force and use it as your guide as to what you should be focusing your energy towards. You have the power to not only change yourself, but to change the world and those around you. The choice is yours.