Here is some spiritual guidance for the new year from Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov. The extract below is chapter two of ‘The Powers of Thought,’ published by Prosveta:
The future, remote though it may be, holds the promise of a magnificent destiny for the whole world; the evolution of human beings is leading them closer and closer to the Godhead. You can have a taste of that extraordinary state of beauty, fulfilment and strength, and live in the reality of it in advance, by conjuring up a picture of it in your imagination. This is an extraordinarily effective exercise, capable of transforming your entire life. Unfortunately, human beings have no notion of how to use their minds in this way, and that is why there is so little light, or joy and happiness in their lives.
There are two great truths that you must know: the first, that the power of thought is real and, the second, that you can use it to project yourself into the future and experience it in advance. Look what happens when you are waiting, in fear and trembling, to face a difficult situation, to take an exam or appear in court, for instance: you keep going over it in your mind and worrying about it. And when you are looking forward to holding your loved- one in your arms, there too, you picture those delightful moments and enjoy them in advance. If you have been invited to dinner or the theatre, you look forward to a pleasant evening out, enjoying an amusing play or a delicious meal. Well, if your imagination can project you into a future that is just around the corner, why shouldn’t it be equally capable of projecting you into a distant future?
The power of thought is real, both in a positive and a negative sense, and we must learn, therefore, to use it positively. Initiates have observed simple facts like these and found that they could be extraordinarily effective in helping them to improve their existence. But ordinarily, human beings never reflect on their day-to-day existence so as to benefit from the opportunities it presents: they drift through life unconsciously, with long faces, always dwelling on what has gone wrong, on all the terrible catastrophic events they hear about! There may be no disaster in the offing, but they dwell on the possibility so insistently that it finally happens: they actually bring it upon themselves!
This is something that everybody knows: we live in terror or hopeful anticipation of events before they happen. But why live in the near future that will be upon us today or tomorrow? By contrast, the future I am speaking of is the very remote future that will be ours much, much later, in millions of years from now, perhaps. When I see what people think of as the future, it seems so near that, from my point of view, it is already in the past. Yes, for what I call the past is the stress and suffering of human beings, all their doubts, torments, anguish. They keep repeating the past because they keep projecting it into the future. By expecting to find suffering in the future, they experience it already, in the present, without realizing that what they think of as the future is already in the past.
The past, as I understand it, is a deplorable state of consciousness where there is always something missing, whereas the future is a perfect state of consciousness. All the imperfect states of consciousness that you experience, therefore, all those fears and apprehensions, even if they concern the future, actually belong to the past, for the past is disorder, vice, illness and brutality. The future, on the contrary, brings spiritual maturity, a fuller, richer, more beautiful life, for we are all on our way to perfection.
As long as you continue to project the imperfections of today onto the days to come, you will continue to reproduce and repeat the old past; your future will be composed entirely of the bits and pieces of the past that you have projected onto it. It will be a projection, to be sure, but a projection of all that is most vicious and putrid. Whereas, if you project all that is most beautiful, luminous and perfect, you will live, in advance, in the future that is in store for you. Your future will have already come true, since you are already living in it. When you feel something in the present, it is proof that, even though it may not have materialised on the physical plane yet, it does exist in another form, on the plane of thought, and this is already very important. So this is what you must learn to do: practice this and you will see that you will be incapable of living as you lived in the past; it will become impossible.
It is a great blessing for you to receive new truths such as these, every day, for they can make you richer and stronger and enable you to create a future that will be entirely different from your past. This is as true and mathematically certain as the absolute laws of the universe. All you have to do is to launch into this spiritual work, and the first step is to keep an eye on your thoughts. Whatever the circumstances, always be sure to glance inward and make sure you know where your thoughts are and what they are doing. You must be constantly alert, lucid and aware.
How often have I asked someone, ‘What are you thinking about?’ and they couldn’t tell me. They had never taken the trouble to find out! It is quite extraordinary: people think all day long and never know what they are thinking. In these conditions, how can you expect them to learn to control, orientate and concentrate their instinctive energies and put them to good use? It is absolutely impossible. If you allow any and every force to enter you without being aware of it or exercising any form of control, it is these forces that will end by being in command of you. If you want to become their master, you must begin by taking charge of the situation: you must always be aware of what thoughts and feelings pass through you. This is the greatest virtue of true disciples: they are permanently in a state of awareness. At any given moment they know what kind of currents are moving them, and as soon as a negative thought or feeling enters them, they stop it in its tracks and replace or transform it.
This is your first task, therefore, to control, direct, and master everything that goes on inside you. Remember this, for it is absolutely essential. True initiatic science begins here: never allow any inner event, any psychic phenomenon or emotion to occur without being aware of it. Most people are aware of what goes on inside them only when they are struck down by tragedy or disaster. When this happens, of course, they are aware that something terrible is going on within them. But when the situation is less dramatic, they are not conscious of their inner lives, so they allow all kinds of negative elements to accumulate and, little by little, these things destroy them; by the time they realize what is happening it is too late to save themselves.
You see, therefore, that your first duty is to be lucid, keep a watchful eye on what goes on inside you and, as soon as a negative element crops up, to do whatever you can to remedy the situation. In this way you will become truly powerful. The foundation of all power is in this ability to see what is going on inside yourself. And it need not prevent you from being active and working and creating. Some people imagine that if they begin to observe and analyse themselves they would never do anything else, but actually, exactly the opposite happens. Self-analysis should become a habit with you. Anyone who imagines that their psychic life is going to organise itself without any analysis or lucidity on their part, are due to be disappointed. It is no use expecting great spiritual achievements if you lack the most basic qualities even to begin the work.
And the beginning is just that: to be constantly wide awake and vigilant, to recognise the nature of a current of thought or feeling as soon as it starts moving within you. Sometimes, when you are busy with odd jobs, cleaning something or driving your car, you are concentrating on what you are doing but, at the same time, part of your mind is marinating in negative, vindictive thoughts and feelings. This state of affairs can go on for hours without your even being aware of it; it is the kind of thing you must become conscious of, for this poisonous underground stream will continue to flow through you until you intervene to change the situation.
You see? We keep coming back to Jesus’ precept: ‘Watch and pray’. To watch means to stay awake, yes, but to stay awake on the spiritual level. Your thoughts must be constantly watchful and vigilant so as to recognise and eliminate any impure, harmful currents and elements. Those who fail to be vigilant and watchful are in great danger; there is nothing worse than to go through life with your eyes closed. Keep your eyes open and be constantly aware of what is going on inside you. Only those who keep their eyes open possess the intelligence of the inner life and refuse to let themselves become the salves of whatever force or entity tries to enter them. It is so easy to spring a surprise attack on a sleeping person! So be on your guard!
And what about the other half of the precept: ‘Pray’? What does it mean? It means that when you have glanced into yourself and seen what is going on, you must intervene: eliminate one element or introduce another; in other words, you must take control of the situation and prevent your enemies from invading and plundering you. That is what it means to pray. To pray is to find the remedy to a difficult situation, to improve things; and the best way to do that is to tune in to Heaven.
The human brain is a kind of radio, it tunes into certain stations, certain wavelengths. If you want to listen to music or a news programme on your transistor radio, you have to turn a knob to get onto the right wavelength. Well, it is the same thing in your inner life: If you inadvertently turn the dial the wrong way, you will tune into hellish music, noise and conflict. But you only need to turn it again to get onto another wavelength! By means of thought and imagination, turn your inner dial and tune into a programme from Heaven! Nothing is easier!
To pray is simply to tune into the shortest wavelengths and the highest frequencies which put you directly in touch with the Lord. In this way, you change the movement and vibrations of your inner life. To pray is to set in motion a positive, luminous, divine movement. But you must never forget this: the first step towards freedom and power is to have a good look at what is going on inside you, in order to improve it as far as you are able.
This precept: ‘Watch and pray’, therefore, is extremely important for the spiritual life. You are obliged to give your physical body the hours of sleep it needs; it is your spirit that must never fall asleep. Sleep soundly at night, but be sure that your spirit keeps on working, even when you are asleep. So many people in the world are unhappy, in constant pain and darkness, and it is precisely during the night that initiates can help them. Their physical body never stirs from their bed, but their spirit travels all over the world, to help and enlighten all these unhappy people. Their spirit never sleeps, it is always active. And you too can begin to work in this way, but only if you learn to prepare yourself before you go to sleep. Before going to sleep, you should say, ‘I am going to leave my body during the night and go into the invisible world to help other human beings.’ Never forget to go to sleep with this magnificent idea; that of going into the other world to work for other people in all manner of ways, for it is thanks to this ideal that you build your own future and that of all humanity.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov The Powers Of Thought- Chapter 2 Thinking the Future
To read another long extract from The Powers of Thought: Creative Prayer