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Learning to move beyond the past

We have a wonderful tool called the Intellect. It analyzes a problem or a challenge using logic, current information and past experience. The intellect helps guide us in this physical world of physics, quantum physics, mechanics, technology, society and our world of human interaction.

When we come across a problem or a threatening / difficult situation, the intellect usually checks our memory for a solution to a similar type of challenge from our past experience, or else it uses logic in an effort to figure the solution out. But, every once in a while, we come across a challenge that we have trouble figuring out.

Our scientists are famous for presenting problems which, seemingly, no one can solve but then, suddenly, someone does. Often the answer is very much ‘outside the box’ and then the answer is called ‘brilliant’.

“Brilliance” is not rooted in the past. Thinking “outside the box” has nothing to do with the past. Genius is only in the Now. Yes, we can gain wisdom from the past but, when old ideas and knowledge no longer serve us, we must release our past-based actions and thinking and be open to a new understanding that transcends all that has come before.

If we continue to use past thinking, we are only re-living the past in the present moment. If that consciousness no longer serves us, then we are simply living in “re-cycled ignorance.”

As previously stated, we gain wisdom from our experiences and this wisdom can help guide us in our thinking and activities, but wisdom is not information or data. Information and data can be useful in our day-to-day decision-making and problem-solving but, too often, they are actually a limitation; they form the ‘box’.

There are a number of techniques that we can use to set aside our past thinking and get outside of the ‘box’. I particularly recommend Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now,” which is a comprehensive guide to getting into the ‘Now’ and I have included a couple of my favorite techniques below:

Meditation. You don’t have to be an experienced meditator. The goal is to quiet the mind but not to stop thought. A simple walk in nature focusing on your footsteps or sitting upright in a comfortable chair and observing your breathing.

Observing. Simply observe what is in front of you in the room or what you see outside in a peaceful setting. Just notice what you see, nothing else.

Listening. Listen to a recorded Mantra (spiritual affirmation) or say/sing the Mantra yourself.

Counting. If you have Rosary beads or prayer beads, use them to simply focus your mind on ‘counting’ the beads.

The intent here is to divert your attention away from the past (where most people hang out) and away from any future events, including the problem or challenge at hand. Once you have quieted your mind, then take a fresh look at your challenge. Feel free to repeat this process as needed. You will notice that quieting your mind will have a peaceful, and even delightful, effect in other areas of your life.

Having knowledge and information from the past can be helpful. Just don’t live there because true freedom and inner peace are found in moving beyond the past to an unlimited present.

The World is not broken, Be in Peace…

Jim Hatton is an Author, Spiritual Teacher, and Speaker. He makes his home in the Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon. Contact him at jim@jimhatton.com Send 600 to 700 WORD articles on all aspects of inner peace to Sally McKirgan innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com