By Roberto Assagioli, Jan. 1954, The Beacon
1. Primitive man lives in the moment, or rather, in a series of ‘defined’, disjointed moments, within a series of sensations which have no continuity.
2. The average man lives in a period or ‘segment’ of time, which could be graphically represented by a line of greater or lesser length with a dot in the middle. His waking consciousness is often preoccupied with the past (memories, nostalgia, regrets) or with the future (desires, hopes, fears, plans).
3. The mystic tries to live (and succeeds in doing so for periods of greater or lesser duration) in the eternal, outside of, and above, all that is manifest.
4. The spiritually integrated man has both the sense of the eternal and that of the cycle, – that is to say, he is aware of the evolutionary manifestation by which God’s Purpose is actuated, according to His wise Plan, and with the collaboration of man.
The cosmic cyclic manifestation unfolds through a marvelous sequence and interpenetration of major and minor cycles – each corresponding to a specific phase of the Great Plan.
The spiritual man tries to have an ever wider realization of the cycles and to recognize ever more precisely the cycle that is about to unfold: its quality, its rhythm and the part which it is meant to play in the fulfillment of the Plan.
His consciousness should therefore be triple, or better, should function simultaneously on three levels: he should be watchful of the moment; aware of the cycle; in communion with the eternal.