“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.” ~Prentiss Mulford
Living In the Past
If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we all do this sometimes. We remember past glories, difficulties and mistakes. I have even heard two four-year-old kids saying “Remember when we …”. We all look back at the past, and there is noting wrong with that. We would never learn anything if we didn’t. Growth would never happen. I have heard of a rare disease where people only have short-term memory but can’t remember anything that happened more than an hour ago. It’s not a good thing. No one should want to live like that. But neither should we be living so much in the past that we stop growing and stop looking forward to the future. No matter how old you are, when you decide to live just in the past you stop growing and just age.
Spirit Courts Change
Mulford says that the spirit wants change. It doesn’t want to stand still. In a sense this is true, but in another sense, it isn’t. Our spirit and soul want to get out of the world of matter and into the worlds of spirit. They are like fish out of water in the material world. Birds that have had their wings clipped. They do not, however, want those spiritual realms to change in any way.
There is movement and motion of a sort in the spiritual worlds, but it is very different from movement here. Since there is no space or time in spiritual worlds, it is more of a vibration than a real movement.
A Thousand Year Ago
It has become popular for people to dwell into their past. They look up their ancestry. They have their DNA tested to find out where their ancestors came from. Mulford thinks this is a mistake. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. It may even help with your spiritual growth to know your background. But it is good only if used to help in future growth and not as another way to live in the past.
Mulford, however, is talking more about people seeking to know who they were a thousand, two thousand, or ten thousand years ago. Again, there is nothing wrong with that if people are truly seeking an honest answer.
Those who seek an honest answer will find but one. A thousand years ago you were a spirit. You were a spirit two thousand years ago. Likewise, you were a spirit ten thousand years ago. Whether or not you occupied another physical body along the way is really irrelevant. It’s like a kid counting how many mud puddles he jumped in over the years. Whether you have worn only one physical body or many doesn’t matter. What matters is the care and feeding of that one spirit and soul that you have been with forever.