Past, Present and Caterpillars

Just setting here at Firestorm at my favorite table checking out the latest on my Facebook page. I’ve been blessed. I’ve got over 1800 friends on Facebook – and I’ve met, at least once, most of them. Most of the content on my Facebook page is pretty good. I’ve weeded out all the stuff I don’t want to spend time on like Farmville, Mafia Games and some of the other things like that.

Every so often someone will post something that catches my eye. This morning a friend whom I’ll just call Eric, posted this:

how can you learn anything from a “possible future” that hasn’t even occurred? Sorry, where I’m from folk call that psychobabble. You cannot choose a different past btw. Your idealistic wisdom speaks far more than my literal youth will allow…

Since I needed to do a blog today anyway, I figured I’d answer his question here.

Now, please don’t take any of this as “Thus saith Jerry…”. It’s not meant in that vein. Also, please understand that I don’t have all the answers. I don’t think any of us do. In order to understand my answers though, you need to know a couple things about my belief system.

I believe we were created in The Creator’s image. That means we’re like Him – or Her – if that’s the route you want to go – I’m cool with that. I believe there is no past or future for the creator – and thus no past or future in the spirit world. The Creator is able to see all and know all – and know past and future as though it were all “now”.

Time is an arbitrary function of the human mind. We need to have a “beginning, middle and end” in order to wrap our finite minds around the infiniteness of the spirit. Our whole life consists of beginnings and endings. We start school We finish school. We start a career. We end a career. We begin a relationship, we end a relationship. And so on. We’ve taken the concept of this thing called life and believe that there is a “beginning” which we call birth and an ending which we call “death”.

This is like saying that when I arrive in a town to do a photoshoot, I’m “born” and when I leave that town, I “die”. See how crazy that is? To assume that I had, or will have, no life other than what I experience in that small slice of life while in that strange town. To put it another way:

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world/ the Master calls a butterfly.”

To me our lives are the same way. Mine didn’t begin when I was “born” on December 10 so many years ago, and my life won’t end when I “die” at some point in the “future”. I am not a human being that has a spirit – I am a spirit that happens to have a body at the moment.

For your first question, “how can you learn anything from a “possible future” that hasn’t even occurred. I’m sure you recognize the fact that where you are in life today, and what’s happening to you today is a result of all the decisions you’ve made in your “yesterdays”. In AA we have a saying, “You keep getting what you’re getting ’cause you keep doing what you’re doing”. If I don’t like where I am in life today, and I don’t want to be in the same place tomorrow – then I need to make different choices today. I’m “creating” my future by what I do in my “present”.

Something else you said, “you cannot choose a different past…”. Well, yes you can. If you understand a couple things, you most certainly can change your past.

Remember, no one reacts to reality. They only react to their own perception of reality. Unfortunately, too many people have allowed their perception to become their reality. Look at it this way. Suppose one day you and I meet. And you think I’m a jerk. Well, that’s your perception – and thus your reality of me. The real me might be a really nice guy – at least I like to think so, but hey, that’s MY perception.

If your perception (reality) of me is I’m a jerk, then you’ll interact with me based on your reality.

Now, if you choose to put a different slant or “spin” on me and change your perception of me from a jerk to a nice guy – then, in effect, you’ve changed your past.

How about another example. Take a person who was emotionally abused by their parents as a kid. They grow up with the perception (their reality) that their parents were mean, alcoholic people who had no business being parents.

But at some point this abused child, now an adult, sees his parents for what they truly were. Weak, fallible, imperfect human beings who were doing the best they could with what they had. Who knows, maybe the person learns some things about their parents that they didn’t know as a child. Suddenly, or over time, their perception of their parents and childhood changes. If the perception changes, then they’ve changed their reality. They’ve changed how they react to the events of their childhood and they no longer carry around hate, anger or animosity. They’ve changed their “past”.

I admit, this does sound like so much psychobabble. Or maybe touchy-feely “feel good” therapy. Unfortunately, there’s many therapists, “healers” and teachers who have made a fortune by taking many basic universal spiritual truths and repackaged them in order to make a living. Don’t let the few posers, fakes, frauds and charlatans keep you from exploring the spiritual dimension that is all around us – at all times.

Well, Eric, I got to get a refill on the coffee and go outside and smoke one. But thanks for your question and for getting this ol’ boy to thinking.

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