Roy Masters from "The Secret Path to Peace of Mind"
Your mind is stressing you to death. All the memories that come back to taunt you cause your body to react as though the past were repeating itself over and over again.
Foolish people try to reverse the negative effect that their memories have on their bodies by reminiscing in a nostalgic way; that is, they recall only good experiences in order to hang onto good feelings in the present, but alas, they are obliged to spend more and more time amid the fantasies of their minds, prettying up the past to drag it into the “future” of the present.
They are degenerating in the process.
We cope with the fear of the future by running toward memories of the past. With nothing to look forward to, we go back in time to the childishness that characterizes senility.
As you succumb to this vile practice, your memories excite you and drag you down, draining away your energy. Down, down your ego goes, back to the beginning, to the time when things were better and you were more innocent.
But to know the true innocence of a new life’s beginning, you must go forward to meet your true self, and forward is not necessarily somewhere ahead of you. It lies just beyond time itself, in the moment when the Light shines within you.
Past and future are devices the ego uses to escape from reality, and they exist only in the mind. Your problem is that you live so much in the past and the future that you fail to meet the present moment correctly.
Your thought world is filled with past and future, but the only time you have in which to see clearly the truth of anything is the present, the time that is, now.
"The simple act of becoming objective...supplies you with an unending source of direction."
The reason you are making such a mess of your life is that you don’t know how to live calmly and objectively in that present.
You cannot govern your own life properly as long as you allow yourself to be subtly guided by the phantoms of your imagination. As long as your consciousness, your ego self, remains lost in thought, imprisoned in a dungeon of dreams, no meaningful change can take place in your life.
Strong emotions stir up vivid thoughts that can hold your attention so captive that you fail to see where you are going, and when you can’t see where you are going, you have accidents.
Being constantly upset and preoccupied affects the way in which you see people and opportunities, so you make bad judgments, and the bad judgments lead to more frustration, more debilitating reactions to stress.
Your emotional upsets drain you of energy and you become run-down. Your health suffers, and disease claims you.
While it is true that emotions can distort your thinking, your mixed-up thinking is equally capable of creating an unhealthy emotional state. (Which came first, the chicken or the ego?)
The truth of the matter is that as long as your consciousness is totally involved with its thinking, you remain caught in a vicious cycle that can’t be broken, one that will break you, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Once you are able to free yourself from the destructive influence of the dream reality, you will inherit the true reality in a fully aware state, and it will come to bear on your unconscious thinking with a powerful force. Immediately, you stop being a victim of your imagination. You stop being so afraid, guilty, and upset.
The simple act of becoming objective to the whirlpool of your thoughts exerts a fantastic power over your emotions and supplies you with an unending source of direction. It also leads you to the virtues of patience and love that will keep you calm through life’s cruel trials and subtle temptations.