Don’t be fooled by the apparent stillness of things, or the apparent feeling of being stuck in a specific life situation. Everything eventually passes, nothing is static. Even the globe that we live on is constantly spinning around the scorching sun turning day to night and night back to day, yet we walk about and even sleep soundly without perceiving this unceasingly swift motion which is at work providing life for our planet and people, this background process bestowing us with blessings. Everything changes, and with every new breath life is renewed, and we celebrate the arrival of a new Now. Life, after all, is no more the present moment. Nothing exists for more than a mere moment. As Marcus Aurelius pointed out in ‘Meditations’, that classic book on life from the perspective of (mostly Stoic) philosophy, death robs us of nothing more than the present moment, since all past is mere memory, stored in the brain for practical purposes. I like to think of it as the way in which our progress gets stored in a memory card, allowing us to wake up every day and begin the game of life from where we left off. The future is even less real since what we call the future is in fact illusion, it is a vain hope, a longing for something we have never known, it is nothing that is real in the Now. According to Marcus, “in the life of a man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his sense a dim rushlight.” We are only a point in the universe, a point where consciousness has met itself in divine awe and wonder in order to witness this time in history, to be present during this moment in awareness. The essential teaching is that reality is only Now, and when death comes for life it only robs its victim of one moment; it is the same for all who die, no matter whether one or one hundred years have passed in that lifetime, or whether another hundred years would have followed. They wouldn’t have followed anyway, since death always comes at its time, just like life does.
Even the most stable of things is constantly moving at the molecular level, rearranging itself in ways unimaginable to the mind and unseen by the naked eye. Nothing stays the same for more than a moment, just as every seven years we ourselves become completely new creatures, at least physically as our cells regenerate and we shed our skin like snakes. Death and life are one powerful and prominent example of the yin and yang, and they are forces to be reckoned and respected. All moments in life are special, and they all arrive at their time. The now is all that exists and we are experiencing it. Don’t let traumatic thoughts of past and future get to you or bring you down. Time is an illusion. If you don’t know what I mean by that then it’s likely you haven’t given much though to the Now and what it entails in its entirety, in its essence. All your past experiences, thoughts, feelings, ideas, all are now memories, and all have brought you to one reality, to the Now, to right Now. You are here for a reason, Now. What is that reason? Find out or it will find you. It may change depending on whether you set out to find it or not. If not, once fate finds you it might be a different one that it originally was. But that’s getting too far away from the topic. Tomorrow will never come, as tomorrow will also be “Now” when we experience it. The transitory nature of life is precisely what allows everything to be a tremendous treasure, as every moment is a whole new life, a whole new experience, a whole new lesson, a brand-new blessing. As the calendar counts, every day and week and month and year is a new chance to set a goal, to appreciate the power and the energy within, to be grateful for the fuel provided by failure, to begin paving the way towards a better day. This is the beauty of life amidst the apparently overwhelming conflict and chaos.
If everything that matters is the Now, and the Now always comes at its time, then that really redefines life in an extremely radical way, an exciting way. Finally, life can be lived with a deep sense of peace and wonder, a state of mind in which we see an opportunity in every obstacle, a clue in every challenge, leading up to our life purpose. Every situation we encounter can be embraced with a sense of gratitude, and self-realization can arise within a mindset which is determined to keep on learning constantly. Realize that change is the natural way of life, and everything changes no matter what we do, whether we like it or not. All we need to do as human beings is to ensure that we change positively, regardless of negative circumstances, – especially in negative circumstances! – something I like to term as mental or spiritual alchemy, respectively as we work with the mind and we administer with our spirit. This allows us to stop anticipating and longing for future events or painfully reviewing and regretting past failures. We can also stop dreading the future and resisting every type of change we are presented with, in the same way that we can now stop taking refuge in past glories in order to feed our damaged ego. We no longer need that, and what a relief it is to realize it. Once we perceive life as the amazing miracle which exists Now, we can stop procrastinating and start living life as if each second was our last, appreciating every act of kindness, every piece of advice, every strange coincidence, and every pure moment of joy without wasting half a second. If we live in the Now, then all that really matters is that we have what it takes to be happy Now, and we all have enough to be happy. We will be fine as long as we have what we need within ourselves, and I wholeheartedly believe all of us do.
We need to express our ideas without fear of ridicule and persecution, and live our lives evaluating every experience, emotion, thought or feeling, from a higher level of awareness, and allowing to flower only what our godly intuition deems fit for us. This does not give us an excuse to abuse others and forget about those who love us simply because we choose to ignore them and disappear into our own inner world of presence in which we function fully immersed in ourselves. Being fully immersed in and conscious of the Now involves being aware of all the blessings which have been granted to us individually, accepting and being grateful for them, but also acknowledging the fact that that the Now of other people who are alive is realer than the past in your memory, or the future in anyone’s imagination. We must feel who we are in the moment, as one with humanity, as a whole collective consciousness, as one people, regardless of differences, and be aware of why we are who we are. Feeling the deep bliss of being should fill us with joy and appreciation in everyday life, and an attitude of love towards anyone who has been involved in the miracle of our being. For example, let’s think of our parents. It is thanks to them that each and every one of us can even feel this deep sense of our being and appreciate it. The miracle of life is definitely something to be thankful for, as our parents give life to us and then grow old and we give life to their grandchildren. We see the change, over time, over generations – inevitable change. It is also thanks to any close siblings or great friends that a lot of us have received the proper encouragement we have needed along the way in order to carry on through difficult times, which have eventually led us up to today. Being aware of, and immersed in the now means acknowledging and expressing, truly experiencing the interconnectedness of life, not only on this planet, but in space, in the stars, in the sun and the moon, and even extending to the spiritual worlds and dimensions. You and I have the ability to be fully immersed in the present moment, whether it be filled with great pleasure or with great pain, and to accept it and transmute it into strength, by being thankful for it and digging deep for the lesson contained within. Digging deep consists of being in the Now. Even the great reformers of the past lived in the Now, and that is why their achievements have inspired millions of people up until today, thousands of years after their physical presence departed.
Once we are able to grasp this state of being which is always within ourselves, we will feel compelled to spread love and awareness to our loved ones and beyond, in order to free humanity from the chains of fear and anxiety which we have so willingly trapped ourselves in. The greatest of (inevitable) challenges can (and is meant to) be mentally re-framed by the mind and perceived in such a way that it motivates and inspires action. When I refer to action I refer to true action; action done without regard for the outcome, even action consecrated to God. This type of action is infused with a deep kind of concentration which ensures one’s consciousness, or real self, is fully experiencing the present moment and providing his or her full energy to it. It is what is referred to as Karma Yoga in the Hindu scriptures, and it involves taking full control over our minds, focusing on the present moment above all else, driven by a deep conviction that the Now is truly all that ever is to us. Even the Bible mentions working for God and offering your action as a sacrifice to the Most High, suggesting in Colossians 3:23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Be fully immersed in the moment, in other words, walking in faith, trusting in eternal progress. Next time you are sitting at work, hating every second, watching the clock wishing it would speed up so you can leave, just remember this lesson, and try to accept the now and immerse yourself in it somehow. Find something to do. Take action! There is a reason why time seems to disappear when we are in meditation for a while, when we are enjoying a great evening with friends, when one embarks on a visionary trip, when one indulges in creative passion.
If you would like to read more regarding this philosophy about living in the Now, about the constant change of the universe, about the perfection and the plan of life, consider reading ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, an awesome book which I will soon write a summary on, and ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
~ REBEL SPIRIT ~
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
~ Alan Watts