What is now is all there ever is. There is only ever what is, even though we are often obsessed with what comes next or what came before. Maybe this is because as individuals we are always trying to solve the problem of ourselves. An endless pursuit of solving the problem of ourselves. This is like living life with the cart in front of the horse. When we realize that what is now is all there ever is, we stop seeking to solve the problem of ourselves. The search is over. This is like putting the horse in front of the cart. We become more present, aligned with reality, balanced and we can move forward in a more graceful (less anxious) manner. If we are always preoccupied with what is not now, then we are living our lives harvesting crops from an imaginary field. Why live like that? In continual pursuit of something we will never be able to find because it is not what is now. What is is often very ordinary. It is the ordinariness of everyday life. This moment. We often don’t realize that being fully present in this moment is what we are ultimately looking for. To be able to be present, calm, aware and content in the ordinariness of everyday life. This is the end of the endless need to solve the problem of ourselves.
This seems to be the most difficult concept for humans to grasp- that none of this is as real as you think.
Sooner than later the life you are living right now and everything going on in it will be the distant past.
Will not exist anymore.
Your life will eventually be a life that was once lived a long time ago.
You are not immortal.
Trying to forget about this does not help anyone.
It especially does not help you.
I was made very aware of this while reading Jack Kerouac’s book “Desolation Angels” this morning.
In it he describes an entire world, so full of life.
All these people.
All these lives living in 1950’s San Francisco.
Kerouac masterfully portrays this vibrant and thriving world that was so alive at one time but does not exist anymore.
All these characters that he describes.
All these families, friends, problems and achievements- all of it gone now.
And I am reminded that the same thing will happen to you and I.
Our lives, which feel so important and real right now, will be the distant past soon enough.
And then there will be people in some future time reading about this time in which we lived, thinking that it all seemed so alive at one time but now it too is gone.
It is so important to not get too caught up in things.
Our lives depend on it.
We get so stuck on various day-to-day problems and worries.
We treat our lives as if it were something that will last forever.
We treat life as if it were continual tasks to be accomplished.
How misguided we are.
We forget that we too (and everyone else) are mortal.
All of this will disappear.
All the more reason to try and be present with it while it is still here.
I too get caught up sometimes and forget.
I treat my life as if it was this thing that will be around forever.
Sometimes it makes me sad that I do this.
I sometimes do not appreciate the passing moment and I create problems that would not exist if I could stay aware of the transitory nature of everything.
The mind often tricks us into thinking that everything is so real.
But if everything is just going to be a distant memory before we know it, how important are we really?
Why get so caught up in our preoccupations?
Why take ourselves so seriously?
What happens when we stop forgetting that we and everyone we know are quickly passing lived lives, is that we appreciate the moments we do have much more.
We stop trying to make life something that it is not and appreciate what is here now.
A feeling of gratitude and release from pressure and stress arises.
We can settle down and appreciate our time and the people and things around us before it is all gone.
We can do the things we want to do more.
Knowing that it is all just going to pass, gives us the freedom and courage to live the kind of lives we want to live right now.
Without this realization we are just wasting something very valuable.
Valuable only because it can never be gotten back.