Living in the Moment: Always Already Now (3/5)
Before we continue from the last post, let’s revisit our original question: How do we stop worrying?
Now I thought about just giving you a list of techniques such as:
1. Write your worries down and tell yourself that you’ll think about them later. (Apparently this really does work.)
2. Be prepared. Take action!
3. Forgive the universe; let the universe forgive you. (That’s kind of vague.)
4. Accept the uncertainty of life. Surrender, give up.
5. Whatever you’re worrying about, figure out how you would handle the worst case scenario. Realize that the worst case scenario is either very unlikely to occur and/or not so bad after all.
6. Eat well, exercise, get plenty of sleep.
7. Be grateful. Notice how blessed/fortunate you are.
8. Simplify your life, and eat more chocolate.
9. Love your neighbour, and in turn act as though (imagine that) everybody cares deeply about you. (Even if it’s not true.) Work on feeling accepted/loved by others and yourself.
10. Breathe deeply. Relax.
Those techniques may really help, as far as one can carry them out, and yet I feel as though there is still something more to be said or noticed here.
And that brings us back to last day’s challenge: Try to consciously not live in the present moment. Can you do it?
Taken literally, of course you can’t do it. It is impossible to not live in the present moment because it always already is the present moment. You don’t have to try to live in this moment. Even when you think about the future, those thoughts are happening right now. Likewise with thoughts of the past – when you think of the past, you have no choice, those thoughts necessarily occur in the present moment. You see, you are always living right now, in this moment. So why does it sometimes seem like we are not living in the present moment? We’ll come back to that question later. But for now let’s agree upon the following fact:
You cannot not live in the present moment.
And so the commonly heard and given advice – “live in the present moment” – is rather confused, isn’t it? You can’t live anytime else! This is it!
To the above statement I would reply (if I were talking to myself, that is): “Okay, yes, technically it’s true, it is always now, but when people say to live in the present moment, we know what they mean. They mean stop dwelling on the future. They mean stop obsessing over the past. They mean focus on what you are doing in this moment.”
But you see we’ve already gotten ourselves into a bit of a fix by speaking of ‘this moment’. What exactly is a moment in time? How long does the present moment last? And how in the world does one moment turn into the next moment if it is always already this moment?
Okay, it’s time to ask one of those borderline meaningless questions: What is time?
See you next post.