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Living in the Present: Awakening the Mind to Consciousness
I have never lived in the present moment. Habitually, either I am reliving a fragment of the past through memories, or I am landscaping the future — all this while burying my head in the bedroom pillow avoiding the Present. I have wasted so much time just being this way. I would like to consciously live in the present. I have tried to consciously live in the present. But it is not an easy thing to do. A lot gets in the way.
Let me recount.
First, the present is not elusive. It is a real, solid block, right in front of me - an empty canvas. That, for a lazy, comfort seeking,
failing, ageing, talentless, mediocre escapist, is a challenge. It takes imagination and hard work to tap the potential that the present offers. To actually do things, to get up, and materialize the plans through actions. The present offers itself to be utilized. And the compounded realization that I have wasted my life away — that all that I could do, I have done none of that — immobilizes me. So much so that I am bewildered as to how to even use the time I have in the Now. After a while, I begin to despair — may be I shall never amount to anything. And further downhill from there, the flagpole of nihilism — may be there is nothing to amount to.
Second, the past is a sea of memories. It is comforting to put a pillow underneath my head, close my eyes, and just take a swim in it. Revisiting the old wounds, old joys, old triumphs, and old defeats. Nothing needs to be done. It is all in my head, a kaleidoscope of sorts. If the Present is joyless and vapid, may be there is something in the Past. And with the passage of time, the shadow of Past is only growing larger. Something must be said of the divide in time when a man starts to dwell on the past more often, and avoids being in the Present. Well, that is a topic for a different occasion.
Third, Worries. I have absolutely no plans for my life projected into the Future — large or small. The concerns of ordinary people, such as career, car, house, insurance, stature etc., I give zero fucks about that. The only time I tap into the Future is to make room for my private anxieties and worries. The clock is ticking by. Everything, from questions of mortality (ageing, death, etc.) to meaning of life, attacks me like a swarm of hostile bees. Will the Future ever break from this continuum of meaningless, disappointing, and for the most part, joyless existence? Questions like this shift my attention to the Future.
The above trifecta of (arguable!) reasoning makes my thought patterns in relation to time, somewhat intelligible i.e. how I think, I think.
But enough of the reasoning. I have determined that I cannot live like this. I have decided that I shall face the emptiness, the jarring and unhelpful silence of the present no matter how uncomfortable I feel.