Everything we don’t know ages us. And because we don’t know a lot, we live so little. It is said that if we compressed the universe’s history in a 24 hour day, human life would come to fruition just 2 minutes before midnight. This is a truth that stays on the edges of our grey matter, invisible from our daily routine. An act of survival.
All that will endure is a thought, an idea. Our minute archival detailing of our history will achieve its end through some act or the other. Even if it is an apocalypse or the sheer lack of attention-grabbing life we lead in comparison to what’s to come. The past is always fonder as it lives in the reality of smudged memory.
How to make use of the now then? And how important are the past and the future?
It’s a fad to say that we should live in the present moment. Mindfulness and meditation are all the rage to grab eyeballs or to make money. When people, myself included, are accomplishing anything but living in the moment. They say what is cliche is also what is true. To live in the present moment is a pleasant thought but what about forgetting the future for it?
Overthinking begins here, and the mind begins to fall apart. At that moment you recognize why there is a need for calmness and presence of mind. What presence of mind essentially means comes to light, as resistances begin to display their true colours. After its acknowledgement, the resistances require a sacrifice that demands effort. The sacrifice of comfort. But weren’t we doing all this for comfort?
Comfort is sacrificed for the pursuit of growth. So the now is being lived for the ease of tomorrow. The monkey mind finally quietens as you at long last accept some semblance of an answer. We are living in the present of tomorrow. In essence, we are sacrificing today’s present to enjoy a better tomorrow where compounding will perform its magic and we will attain a fleeting peace of mind.
It invariably returns. The one that happened yesterday returns nimbly like a wave. We are so focused on dealing with yesterday that the tectonic plates of the past that is history begins to form pressure areas. Until it crumbles under it and rises in the form of a tsunami that destroys our present working for the near future.
The answer? To pause.
The easiest practice here is to let it flow. To not think about anything. To be bored and let the mind vent out for all the things that we can’t change and all the things that have made us. As the past gets tired of listening to its own voice, it will realise that its meaning is only a little to write the story of tomorrow. All its purpose was to represent the raw material for the present that is static due to its call for attention. And then it ceases to speak.
The past is silent.
The future is present.
One step at a time. One day at a time. And if you’re fortunate one breath at a time. You will start to live simultaneously in all three dimensions of time. As you will realise how each of them is connected and everything that has happened, and that everything that is bound to happen, will repeat.
Hence, you begin to imagine the future taking the place of the past fading away. It gets easier, and it gets tougher at the same time. But you are familiar with the language of the universe now to understand that the beginning is the end. Euphoria fills you with melancholia, and melancholia finally exists with euphoria.
Everything is happening at the same time now. It all starts to mesh together one sentence at a time to one word at a time. All ideas come from the disparate corners of the universe. You are just there to let it flow through you. All light is attracted towards the dark. All the stars stop to twinkle and exist as they are without our perception. Mankind looks at this in awe. All colours merge into white. We can finally see with our third eye where time flows simultaneously as all rivers merge into the ocean of our eyes.
We live. We age. We die. We are born. We are one and one is all.
Image via Planck Mission