The tendency with many people after they are a little “advanced in years” is to look backward and with regret. The “looking” should be the other way— forward. If you want to go backward in every sense, mental and physical, keep on cultivating the mood of living regretfully in your past life. It is one chief characteristic of the material mind to hold tenaciously to the past. It likes to recall the past and mourn over it. The material mind has a never-ending series of solemn amusement, in recalling past joys, and feeling sad because they are never to come again.
But the real self, the spirit, cares relatively little for its past. it courts change. II expects to be a different individual in thought a year hence from that it is today. It is willing a thousand years hence to forget who or what it is today, for it knows that this intense desire to remember itself for what it has been retards its advance toward greater power and greater pleasure.
What care you for what you were a thousand or five thousand years ago? Yet then you were something, and something far less than what you are today. You are curious you may answer to know what you were. Yes, but is curiosity worth gratifying, if for such gratification you must pay the price of dragging after you a hundred corpses of your dead selves. Those selves, those existences, have done their work for you. In doing that work they brought you possibly more pain than pleasure.
Do you want ever to bear with you the memory and burden of that pain? Especially when such burden brings more pain and deprives you of pleasure. It is like the bird that should insist on carrying with it always the shell from which it was hatched. If you have a sad remembrance fling it off. If you can’t fling it off, demand of the Supreme Power aid to help you do so, and such aid will come.
If you want to grow old, feeble, gray and withered, go at once and live in your past, and regret your youth. Go and to revisit places and houses where you lived twenty, thirty, forty years ago; call back the dead; mourn over them; live in remembrance over the joys you had there, and say they are gone and fled and will never come again. In so doing you are fastening dead selves all over you.
If we came into another physical life with the memory of the last one, we should come into the world physically as miniature, decrepit, grizzled old men and women. Youth physically is fresh and blooming, because it packs no past sad material remembrances with it. A girl is beautiful because her spirit has flung off the past and sad remembrance of its previous life, and has therefore a chance for a period to assert itself. A woman commences to “age” then she commences to load up with regrets over a past but twenty years gone.
Your spirit demands for the body it uses grace, agility of movement and personal beauty, for it is made in the “image of God,” and the infinite mind and life, beauty, grace and agility are the characteristics of that mind. In that phase of existence we called childhood and youth, the spirit has the chance to assert its desire for beauty and agility, because it has not as yet loaded up with false beliefs and regrets.
The liveliness, sprightliness and untiring playfulness of the boy or girl of ten or twelve, is due to the gladness of spirit relieved of the burden that is carried in a past existence. That burden was one of thoughts unprofitable to carry. You would physically have the agility you had at fifteen could you fling off the burden of sad remembrance and belief in error that you have been loading up with these twenty or thirty years past.
You can commence the unloading process now, by resolving, with the aid of the Supreme Power, to fling off the remembrance of everything in the past that has annoyed you, everything you regret, everything you have mourned over. God never mourns or regrets. You as a spirit are made in His image. God is eternal life, joy and serenity. The more of these characteristics you reflect the nearer are you to the Infinite Spirit of Good.
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