Our life takes place only at a moment called the present. Unlike the present, the past and the future exist in our mind only, as memories and ideas. Or do you think that it’s possible to eat the memories of yesterday’s meal, or from ideas about the lunch of tomorrow? Can you love someone yesterday or tomorrow or at least say it to him/her in the past or in the future?
Although everything happens only in the present, the present moment can be realized only by the spirit, when human perceives deeper. Everyone hopefully did experience such a thing in moments when feeling deep love towards someone, was amazed by something extremely beautiful or experienced a profound, breathtaking moment of happiness. Or in emergency situations requiring attention, or while in danger, when it was necessary to act immediately. These are the situations which make a man be present in the present, paying attention to what is happening right now and making thoughts stop for a while.
Even at the peak of sexual power temporarily perishes the world of reason and enables one to feel the present moment, although man often is unable to sense it due to the sole rational life. However, it is the feeling of eternity, which we experience in the present moment, that fills us with happiness; not the situations themselves.
A good joke can also get people to experience the present. The human brain is pursuing the text of the joke and wants to be wise, as usual. The joke, however, ends illogically and in a completely different and unpredictable way, that makes the mind “reset” itself and deactivates it for a while. Then we laugh at the joy of experiencing the present moment.
The state of attention is also typical for musicians. The better the musician, the more attention he pays or, the fewer thoughts, the greater the ability to feel the music. Thoughts stay on the way while listening to music because the human mind is slow and insufficient to meet the fast changing of the melody and rhythm.
An illustration of how thinking can hinder in the playing the music is in the story of a pianist who had always stage-fright on concerts and made a lot of mistakes. Once after a concert the teacher was fed up and told him: “Stop thinking about what people think about you! Just play! Play for the music itself! Feel it fully, as if nothing else existed.” He told him those words so seriously that his pupil, at last, took his advice and no longer waited for the approval of the audience. Together with the ideas about what people think of him, the stage-fright disappeared, and he stopped making mistakes. At the same time, his ability to play and since the music improved. Finally, he became a famous piano virtuoso.
It is similar in other areas of life. People who are attentive use to notice all the “little things”, which others overlooked because of constant thinking. It’s exactly those important details that lead to perfection of their work and make them become masters. We use to say: those people are clever, gifted, they have a talent or a gift from God… but they are successful mostly because they live in the present more than in thoughts. And this gift to perceive reality by the spirit and to live vigilantly in the present is something we all got equally. Those who are using this gift only did not hide their talent.
Living in the present means to be free of the constant flow of thoughts that often completely overlaps our deeper consciousness. For, if you keep on thinking about something all the time, the spirit is not able to express itself. Then we only see a tiny part of the presence, of what is around us and within ourselves, also in a very shallow way. That is why many people fail to enjoy the present. No wonder, when they barely realize it…
To avoid confusion, it must be said that to use the brain as a tool, when we need to do something, is not wrong. That’s why we have it. Likewise, it is good remembering the past and taking lessons from it, as well as deliberately planning the future. But it is not right at all if we just constantly think about the past or about the future, and yet our presence, in which we only can really change something, escapes.
What happened a day, an hour, or even a second ago, already belongs to the past. , You cannot change what already happened. So why keep on analyzing in our head all around the old situations, what we have done and what not, what should or should not, could have done or not, and how would it be, if we did it in a different way..? Many times we even think instead of others and we set them in imaginary situations…
Also, the visions of the future are only our wishes. But our future will be undoubtedly only as we create it by our thoughts, words, and deeds in the present. So why live in the past or in dreams of the future? This way we just rob ourselves of life which is always happening only in the moment of the presence. All the precious moments will pass around us without any use and without bringing us happiness since we did not outlive them; the opportunities for good changes will remain unnoticed.
“Living” in memories and ideas brings also suffering, because man, by his thinking, defines narrow borders of life and creates the concept of time. Suffering is possible only in this created psychological time which originates in comparing. “Then was a good time, but it is over now… and who knows, what is to happen next.”One compares a past situation with a vision of future or long since passed, and recent past, for example, yesterday’s situation with what happened today. And the present yet runs unwatched further and man is troubled. None the less, he suffers only by exchanging living in present for thinking about life.
“When I work, I think of my girl and when I am with her, I think of work. What should I do?” A lot of people have problems like this. Because they permanently deal with something else as currently happening, life brings them no satisfaction.
If one lives in the present, even unpleasant situations do not bring him suffering. Mental suffering emerges only because of thinking about life situations and comparing. After all, if someone walks down the street, does the fact that something unpleasant happened in his life, for instance, a breakup, mean anything? Will flowers, trees, and houses around him change, now that he has no partner? When he walks down the street and does not think about what happened, there is no suffering. If he lives in the present, he sees the life around him as it is, and it fills him with happiness. He sees flowers in their simple beauty, he feels their fine refreshing fragrance, feels the careful hand of the gardener behind them, as well as the power of life that flows in everything and brings life to everything. When one lives in the present, there is no reason for suffering.
The world of ideas is negative also because it is often completely unrealistic. When we think about what happened, what somebody said… we place our own ideas about ourselves and about the others. We modify their properties or completely make them up so that they fit into our story. Our stories are based, of course, on the actual events, but we often saved them in our memory distorted and changed. We became very good at it so that we often don’t even realize we are doing it.
Mother tells her son: “I borrowed this thing from her and forgot to return it. And she told me that it is urgently needed. What would she think of me? Should I confess that I remembered, but I preferred to watch TV? Or should I offer her financial compensation for the damage?” One thought follows another when suddenly there is the right one! “I could not return it to her yesterday because I could not walk. I twisted my ankle.” “Stop laughing, can’t you see how I’m halting?” she says to the son. She somehow forgot the fact that she only stepped badly on her foot and even that it happened only this evening. A few hours later, she finally leaves to return the borrowed item and tells to her son: “I’m going to return it. Yesterday I couldn’t, because of the ankle.” The son is surprised: “But mom, you have figured it out. Here, in front of me. “Don’t tell me the stupid thing, it was so. You even do not notice that your mother is ill, you only hang out and do nothing at home. I’m leaving now, you only hold me off!”
The human mind cannot leak into the moment of presence. For it is too slow and cumbersome. But it is possible to create your own world within it, a world separated from reality. For many people, it seems like a more comfortable solution than living in the eternal presence. So they rather vegetate in their thought creations. But if we live in the memories and ideas, in fact, we do not live our lives for real. We just imagine it.
Inability to stop constant thinking is a problem, which most people suffer from. We are slaves enslaved by our own thoughts. Along with this thinking we barely notice what we are doing – otherwise, we could not be destroying the possibility of life on earth and repress the rests of our spiritual abilities, which could have been still wakened up to the life. However, let us not forget that the human brain is bound to the material. This means that the possibility to live in the world of imagination, which we created in our thoughts, will once end for each of us, forever. Only what revived its own life in the eternal presence will remain.