All life is cyclical. To know this is to know a great truth. We see it in nature and we see it in the heavens, and we see it in our lives as well. Each day is a cycle within a larger cycle. It begins with the dawn and the sun rising in the east, and proceeds to dusk when the sun sets in the west. Then follows the evening and the continued movement of the celestial bodies until the cycle begins again at dawn. Within this cycle we have our own cycle of awaking, doing activities, sleeping and recharging, only to awaken again and begin doing activities again. Each morning brings a new day; each day a new opportunity.
The seasons are cyclical, with spring giving way to summer, and summer to autumn, and autumn to winter, until we return to spring again. Each season has its own dynamics, and these are to understood and worked with. With very few exceptions you are setting yourself up for failure by planting seeds in the winter rather than waiting for the spring–because it is the wrong cycle in which to plant.
Consciousness too has its cycles. There are times we feel very in tune, aware, alert, creative, and times when we lose our edge and seem to be fighting against the tides. Sometimes things are so easy; sometimes so hard. Why? Because our consciousness is cyclical too. Let me quote from my book, A Vision of Power and Glory. In the chapter “The Darkness,” I speak of how spiritual growth too is cyclical.
This is work which defies normal understanding. One must never underestimate the immensity of the task. There is more here than meets the eye.
Let the truth be known. You will fail and fail again. You will stumble and fall hundreds of times. Before any real growth and stability appears you will despair, lose faith, get discouraged, doubt, feel sorry for yourself, wonder if anything will ever happen.
Does this mean you’ve lost the path? No, not at all. Here is something valuable to know – this is the path. There is great frustration in the beginning – in the infancy of our dawning spirituality – and it is here where we need patience and dedication. One oscillates between ecstasy and total despair. Ecstasy when, through the grace of the Great Mystery, the Holy Spirit fills us and we live in full and dazzling awareness of its existence, for it is alive and within us and this we know. We reign in confidence, inner peace and joy. Truths are revealed and a deeper understanding manifests within us.
We experience total despair when, just as unexpectedly as it arrived, the awareness leaves again and we wonder whether we imagined the whole affair. Doubt creeps in and a darkness overcomes us, and we have no lamp or oil and must remain in this state for days, maybe weeks. And we try desperately to regain that feeling, that state of oneness, and all our efforts are in vain for what feels like an eternity. And then suddenly, it returns again.
It will save the aspirant much inner turmoil if you understand that there is an ebb and flow of consciousness, that the inner journey flows with tides just as real as the oceans. This must be taken into account as you build your inner sanctuary.
I wish I had known this many years ago when I struggled relentlessly to gain the light, only to crash in frustration when it left. I was always asking myself, “Why? Why did it leave?”, thinking it was something inadequate about me, something I was doing wrong. Maybe I wasn’t sincere enough? But now I know and understand the tides, and when the darkness comes I wait for the light to return. There is calm and assurance. I am an experienced mariner; I have sailed these waters before. I have charted and mapped this territory. I am at peace in the dark.
Spiritual practices done during the darkness are not without benefit. On the contrary they are necessary parts of the path, and they strengthen our inner being immensely. Without them we would not advance. We should be grateful for these opportunities. If you wish to venture into deep water, you must learn to swim, not just with the current but against the tide as well. This is not a journey for the timid or frail. Your will and resolve will be tested again and again.
So have an infinite amount of compassion for yourself and your struggles. Pick yourself up again and again. Everything is as it should be. All things come to those who are dedicated to the path.
I chose this passage to quote not only because it shows the cyclical aspect of spirituality, but because it also mirrors what happens when we start working with a Mind Power program. There will be times, especially in the beginning few weeks and months, where everything seems as if it is magically happening for us, and then we go through dry periods when things are not working the way we want them to. Or the reverse can happen: We do the exercises and yet nothing seems to be happening, and then suddenly, for no apparent reason, opportunities present themselves where none had existed before.
You will always achieve success with Mind Power if you persist in following your Mind Power program, but it will not be a straight line. There will be successes and setbacks. There will be times that you feel motivated and times you are discouraged. There will be times when it is easy to do your exercises and times when you struggle and make excuses. This is normal. It is the way it works. Know and understand this cyclical dynamic of life and you will learn to recognize when you are in “an ebb” or “a flow.” That doesn’t mean you have to change what you’re doing, but it will explain why you are struggling sometimes.
When you’re in the flow portion of the cycle, use it to the maximum and enjoy the ride. When you’re in the ebb, relax and be aware of what is happening, and know that this is not permanent and will change soon enough.
Now let me be clear: you still follow your Mind Power program daily, and still plan and work on your goals regardless of where you are in the cycle. We don’t let our cycles dominate us, but we do become aware of them, and that way we never despair when we are at a low point, because that’s just the nature of life.