The Real World: Attending To The Here And Now

This is the typical human problem. The object of dread may not be an operation in the immediate future. It may be the problem of next month’s rent, of a threatened war or social disaster, of being able to save enough for old age, or of death at the last. This ‘spoiler of the present’ may not even be a future dread. It may be something out of the past, some memory of an injury, some crime or indiscretion, which haunts the present with a sense of resentment or guilt. The power of memories and expectations is such that for most human beings the past and the future are not as real, but more real than the present. The present cannot be lived happily unless the past has been ‘cleared up’ and the future is bright with promise.

There can be no doubt that the power to remember and predict, to make an ordered sequence out of a helter-skelter chaos of disconnected moments, is a wonderful development of sensitivity. In a way it is the achievement of the human brain, giving man the most extraordinary powers of survival and adaptation to life. But the way in which we generally use this power is apt to destroy all its advantages. For it is of little use to us to be able to remember and predict if it makes us unable to live fully in the present.

What is the use of planning to be able to eat next week unless I can really enjoy the meals when they come? If I am so busy planning how to eat next week that I cannot fully enjoy what I am eating now, I will be in the same predicament when next week’s meals become ‘now.’

If my happiness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present. I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass. For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now. If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.

~Alan Watts

Happiness In Sadness

Louis C.K., delivered in his talented, comedic way, illustrates the reason why his girls do not have cellphones. He makes a valid point in his philosophy that it is okay to feel alone and to just feel, to be present in loneliness, sadness, and empathy; as from this emotive dance comes happiness and gratitude. Louis C.K. points out that cellphones can disconnect human beings from being present with their feelings, from learning to empathize with other human beings. Although, humorous, his point has veracity.

QOTD Alan Watts

What do you mean by you? If you are the universe, in the greater context that question is irrelevant. You never were born and you never will die, because what there is, is you. That should be absolutely obvious, but from an egoistic perspective it is not obvious at all. It should be the simplest thing in the world to understand that you, the ‘I’, is what has always been going on and always will go on, coming and going forever and ever.

an anamorphic polymorphic ego feeding an anamorphic polymorphic ego in an anamorphic polymorphic worldWe have been bamboozled, however, by religionists, by politicians, by our fathers and mothers, by all sorts of people who tell us, ‘You’re not it.’ And we believed it.

So, to put it in a negative way, you can’t do anything to change yourselves, to become better, toThe Transcendence of the Ego become happier, to become more serene, to become more mystical. But if I say you can’t do a damn thing, you can understand this negative statement in a positive way. What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all. ~Alan Watts.

a story of lifes and thread (the life thread)*Image Credits (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“The Transcendence of the Ego” by Derrick Tyson
“man-eat-man meanwhile some egos watch the scene” by Tommaso Meli
“a story of lifes and lines (the life thread)” by Tommaso Meli
“an anamorphic polymorphic ego feeding an anamorphic polymorphic ego in an anamorphic polymorphic world” by Tommaso Meli

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