Creative Living in an Anxious Time

A period of transition from an old age to a new, causing upheaval of familiar traditions and assumptions, inevitably evokes uncertainty. The incrustation accumulated over the past 2,000 years isn’t easily shaken off, and that recognition can cast light upon some of the stresses and the yawning cleavages so apparent in societies today. While an incoming age, bringing new energies and opportunities for growth, should kindle hope, anxiety is also prevalent, and this too is apparently unavoidable.

A parallel situation might apply to spiritual development. The spiritual inquirer venturing forth on a path leading to an unknown destiny is uniquely plagued by the desire for certainty, for the guidance of some power beyond the self, but all that seems available is…silence. But giving in to resentment of this precarious condition ignores the spiritually positive reasons for turning one back upon oneself. Ralph Waldo Emerson diagnosed the crux of this problem in his essay on The Over-Soul in his perception that anxiety is based on the fear of an imagined future and the apparent silence of Deity. “These questions which we lust to ask about the future are a confession of sin”, he wrote. “God has no answer for them….It is not an arbitrary ‘decree of God’, but in the nature of man that a veil shuts down on the facts of to-morrow, for the soul will not have us read any other cipher than that of cause and effect. By this veil, which curtains events, it instructs the children of men to live in to-day. The only mode of obtaining an answer to these questions of the senses is to forego all low curiosity, and, accepting the tide of being which floats us into the secret of nature, work and live, work and live, and all unawares the advancing soul has built and forged for itself a new condition, and the question and the answer are one.”

Perhaps Emerson intuited that the “veil that shuts down on the facts of to-morrow” is imposed by the soul in incarnation if the form provided isn’t yet capable of expressing the knowledge the soul has on its own level. This veil instills a protective blindness, we’re told, imposed by the soul so that the needed lessons—the recognition of effects and their causes—can be registered by the brain consciousness. Even advanced stages of spiritual progression are entered blindly, it’s said. The path forward is carved by the creative imagination, for “It is depth and a profound ‘rootedness’ that count”, we’re told.

“All life is intended to take the form of a progressive series of awakenings”, the Ageless Wisdom tells us, but we err if we misinterpret this as promising clarity on a path of linear development. This expectation is generated by a sense of time, but time is only a word for daily, eventual living as registered by the brain. For the soul, there is only a consciousness inclusive of the past, present, and future which is best expressed as the Eternal Now. A thought-provoking esoteric mantram expresses the mystery of time, the interactive nature of both past and future upon the present:

“The past has gone. I am that past. It makes me what I am. The future comes. I also am the coming destiny and, therefore, I am that. The present flows from out the past. The future colours that which is. I make the future also by my present knowledge of the past and the beauty of the present. And, therefore, I am that I am.

We are constantly creating and re-creating the future by our reactions and responses in the present moment. Although we are embedded in the illusions of time and space, we can live creatively by using the imagination and the “as if” technique. Esoteric teaching affirms that the imagination is released into creative activity when we act “as if” we are the soul, the inner Director of our lives. “As if” behavior brings mental control of the personality because it affects the brain, according to esotericism. Time has to be grasped in its cyclic nature, as an effect of the swing of the pendulum between past and future as they both affect the present.

This highlights the vital importance of studying history and literature for the light they can cast upon our present dilemmas. However, when they are rewritten, reconstructed to conform to present standards of language, custom and behavior, are we missing an opportunity to view human progress or to gain insight into the causes of different mores in different times? To interpret the past only through the lens of present values would seem to ignore the lessons that history can teach about the expansion of human consciousness. When the past, whether personal or communal, is faced unblinkingly, growth can be spotted among the weeds of presently intolerable errors and sins, and impel us to examine how our current standards will be judged by future generations.

If it’s true, as esoteric teaching confirms, that both past and future affect the present, this implies the enormous potential that lies in each moment. Anxiety about the future dissipates when we realize that we are continually creating life in each present moment, for even the Law of Karma is changeable, we’re told, according to man’s attitude and desire. I also am the coming destiny…. We have more control over the future than we might realize or appreciate if we wield the creative imagination to create thoughtforms of the world to come. As our lodestar we have the benevolent command of the Buddha: Be a lamp unto your own feet.



Quote of the Month

“Students of the writings of Alice Bailey know that the year 2025 is anticipated to be of vital spiritual significance….” Read more….

Latest Posts

Social Media



Inner Sight

Spiritual Festivals

The Light of the Renaissance