This archetype is inherently part of the spiritual development of each person. To discover the archetype in the mind it is important that we calm our experiences through internalization; only from this peace can we glimpse the horizons of the archetype that prophets and visionaries saw. It is first through a vision of the past (and less so of the future) in the archetype that the personal question is resolved so that later the archetype's action passes into a vision of a higher, transpersonal nature. Yet even here there are exceptions proving the rule. I feel it necessary to mention the danger of this archetype since many spiritually awakened people will fall into an apotheosis – into the role of the savior of mankind and turn into aspirant though false prophets who pull humanity down into an even greater delusion of grandeur. Once a person begins to attribute to his visions greater importance than they actually have – i.e. greater than personal significance – he exposes himself to considerable danger in crossing the threshold between reality and fantasy. The biggest problem with visions of the future is not what and how it occurs, but when. The timing is the most complex aspect of the phenomenon of the future in dreams and visions.
Images of visions of the future and past can appear just as well in meditation exercises. Yet the path of dreams has the advantage that it is not so easy to fall for the desire to know past lives and future events, and therefore there is no risk that the discoverer of spiritual horizons will get stuck in interesting, though in terms of spiritual progress rather worthless visions. The ideal approach would entail noticing, observing and not examining. For clarity's sake, the archetype is divided into two parts (past and future) so that the gradual unveiling of existential themes emanating from deep within is clear.
Future and past visions past appear a mythical standpoint to be very interesting. It may seem inappropriate to many to involve mythology in this archetype as well, but rest assured that I have profound justification for this. The supreme god in Greek mythology, Zeus, received at Mount Lykaion a human baby as the first human sacrifice to the divine infant (Zeus). Whoever than stepped on the soil of Zeus's first human sacrifice, on the place where phantoms do not cast shadows, had to die within a year. A different myth on the Islands of the Blessed, where in the Cave of Zeus in Crete nobody could die, also provides an interesting perspective. Therefore even thieves who broke into the cave did not die, but were turned into birds. We find in both places of encountering Zeus a strange life in which we either move into a new incomprehensible existence, or we are eternal, beyond space and time. In examining this myth in terms of spiritual progress, it says quite clearly that if you relinquish the material world (human sacrifice to God) for the divine world that you are still unable to fully grasp, you then abandon the innocent view of a human infant so as to discover a similar innocent view from God's timeless perspective in which the past, present and future are one. If we really ponder the myths and their meaning for man and his spiritual growth, we must openly admit that they are not about the past, but about the mythical present! In the same way a person also discovers, with much help from the unconscious, other archetypes and draws experience for spiritual growth from any of his own experiences, from any period.
I have several times tried the "samyama" exercise of Raja Yoga, in which, after breathing to cleanse all chakras with humility and surrender, the individual focuses on the shortest possible length of time – practically on the "now." I first imagined "now" as a second, then a half second, then a half of a half, until I reached in my mind such a short length of "now" that time "died." Suddenly it was not the past, not the future and perhaps not even the present. I became myself – a psychological being without boundaries, for space too disappeared with time. I learned the Buddhist absolute – shapeless emptiness and timelessness. For a person never experiencing this state the idea of emptiness is quite depressing, but I can assure everyone of the uniqueness of the experience. The state of the Buddhist absolute could also be called "existence – consciousness – bliss (Sat – Chit – Ananda). It is this transcendent state of bliss that fills a person with peace and calm, and sets one on the path from his bondage to material existence. A similar result can be achieved once you reduce the space in the idea to the size of a mere point. Under the pressure of focus and concentration, the idea of an infinitely small point "collapses" and time disappears along with space.
The art of listening is a prerequisite for noticing the flow of information of past and future events from the depths of the unconscious. Listening is like entering God's temple in which a person, in awe, forgets himself and is freed from the delirious ego pushing him from image to image, from feeling to feeling, from urge to urge, rediscovers the secrecy of the self and then of the entire material existence. If a person is unable to forget himself, he cannot hear and, in the pride of his ego, only pretends to listen. In listening, the activity that leads a person through a limited and bound life dies away and is replaced by passivity in which a person in peace and calm, in bliss and free of emotions, "tunes" his own receiver of the consciousness to the perfect harmony of the universe hidden behind his ego's dependencies. Then, in the face of harmony, images of past lives and future events will arise so that we can remember our dependencies and attachments that keep us in the endless cycle of rebirth. It is important to realize that the mind has no boundaries, and therefore not even the moment of death or birth can stop the mind of an inquisitive person and prevent him from knowing. Once a person rises above past experiences and above future visions, he will soar high above the earth and recognize the possibilities contained in the landscape beneath him. He will not forage for trivialities of past lives, will not covet the prophetic mind, but just calmly fly over the wondrous landscape, soar over the experiences of the world and enjoy the flight and knowledge. When, however, a person scrutinizes any "landscape" point represented, for instance, by visions of the future and past, he abandons his position of witness in the monumental dimension of the present and will fall into "landscape" attachment. The threat of attachment is great, since the treasures of our past existences or capacities to see future events are incredibly alluring. I feel there is a parallel with the Treasure archetype, to which compassion is linked in its peak phase. This may seem to you to be a stretch from visions of the future and past, but an awareness of the karmic consequences of our past acts and an awareness of the karmic impacts of our current deeds ignite in the heart a flame of understanding from which the fire of compassion will blaze. This kind of fire does not burn you; it just burns greed and attachment, so that it flares throughout the world in the form of compassion. Understanding the essence and threat of this archetype can be compared to a lightning strike that turns to rubble the preconceived notions of the ego. The unexpected strike can be traced in two phases: first, when a person realizes his own vision of the past and future and, secondly, in overcoming the tempting paths of the past or future, when through understanding his heart fills with compassion not only for his own existence, but also for all creations of the infinite universe.
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