I’m finding it harder and harder to make myself worry. I’m like everybody else, I’ve got plenty to worry about. But, whenever I try to do it, it just doesn’t work the way it used to. We all know the process, right? You think of a problem that you have, either stemming from past actions or from perceived future reprecussions, and then you think of all the bad things that can happen as a result of the choices you made, and you dwell, and you dwell, and you dwell. You continue to think about it, continue to visualize negativity until your body enters the fight or flight state and endorphins are released and, finding no fight, and no obvious reason to flee, just cycle and utilize precious resources, leaving you drained, exhausted and mentally wore out. I’m not sure what is wrong with me.
Maybe it is the Now, or something like that, making its presence felt. Maybe it is the fact that everytime I begin to dwell, I look up at the sky, or think of my children, or even gaze at the television where some aspect of life is being played out and, these days, it automatically follows that thoughts of holism and peace arise, leading inevitably to the thought that these worries are unnecessary, these regrets are a waste of time and energy and, by the way, how am I feeling right now?
Am I hurt? Are my children ok? Does someone require something of me right this moment? Am I about to be evicted? Upon going through this mental checklist I find myself, inevitably, calming down, experiencing a sensation of peace as my presence arises, obliterating regrets of the past or worries about the future, I find myself feeling lighter, as if a serious weight has been lifted from me, I find myself even smiling, even if the day is overcast, or rain is falling, or I’m being accosted by some minor annoyance or another.
Awakening to the Now is really that simple. Stopping and taking stock of the moment: where am I right now, right this instance? What is my status?
The very act of doing so stills the worries and brings to bear your eternal essence, that core of Self that underlies the ego-construct that masks as you, pretends to be you so that it can misguide your intentions and keep you bound and unconscious within the realm of time, past and future, obscuring the present, Now. The Now is to the ego like silver is to vampires and werewolves, anathema, instant death, game, set and match. Once you bring the power of your consciousness to bear upon the Now, the moment, awaking your inner body presence and allowing yourself to just Be, past the stream of thoughts and meandering impressions that leave our minds exhausted and confused, life takes on an entirely different perspective, and you enter an awakened state of Being, whereby the visceral nature of experience becomes the totality of your lived reality.
Is this state easy to maintain? Of course not. Emotional bombshells await us around every corner, there’s always someone looking for a fight and life itself is designed to present us with challenges to overcome and integrate within our lived experience. We have been willing and unwilling participants in our own manchurian programming for a lifetime, conditioned first by family then friends, then society to fit within a specific social structure wherein certain mores and codes of conduct are observed.
At the level of the family, we are indoctrinated into love relationships, the idea and practice of which differ across cultures. Pain and heartache become intimate companions as we learn the ins and outs of emotional interactions, of power relationships and intergenerational disfunction. In our own, American/Western European culture, the ideal of romantic, chivalrous love has a long and sordid history, leading directly to our current state of disfunction and perennial unhappiness/happiness, conditions between which we swing like pendulums on a remorseless, emotional clock, the idea of seeking one’s completion and happiness within another person also tossed by the tides of emotional instability being a dubious prospect at best.
Our friends introduce us to the world outside of the family, indoctrinate us in the cultural mores of loyalty and friendship, and we explore the world outside of our homes with these companions of like mind, influenced by their thoughts and wishes, sometimes changing our own belief systems so as to fit in my comfortably, and to reflect a similarity of belief and style that, we think, liberates us from the bonds of a family life that, perhaps, has gone stale as we’ve realized that our families are emotionally disfunctional and that we, as reflections of our families, might be thought of so as well, if the awful truth of our upbringing is ever found out by our peers and, by extension, the greater society.
Society is a remorseless force permeating our daily existence, codified by institutions and regulations that are so pervasive that they become static, monumental sub-realities of a paradigm unquestioned, the assumptive basis of reality itself, as we define it during the nascent stages of our development. And as we age, these assumptions become ingrained, and we forget that it is even possible to question the fundamental basis upon which our social indoctrination was conceived. External success, keeping up with the Joneses, getting paid, looking like a model, working that 6-pack, wearing the newest clothes, driving the best car, living in the biggest house. Even those of us who decry those leavings of materialism are, by definition, in opposition. And opposition, being a function of duality, is only half of a whole, and therefore, a part of that whole.
How do we get outside of the box? Is it possible to move past the duality and into something greater, something truer, something more real? Many believe that it is possible and the only way to access that mode of Being is to slip past your ego’s guard and awaken your eternal presence, bringing you directly and irrevocably into the Now. By living in the Now, you are living in Eternity. There is no past in the Now. There is no future in the Now. There is only the Now. Time stops, for those who access the Now, and you all know exactly what I am talking about.
How about those times when you’ve been in a situation of extreme stress, the onset of which was sudden and surprising? Perhaps a car accident, perhaps a fight, perhaps an earthquake or a sporting event, or even a test of some sort where your concentration was engaged far past the usual. In those instances, time slowed, didn’t it. Everything around you appeared in greater detail and clarity, your thought process was curiously detached, and an eternity seemed to exist right there between seconds, between impressions, and affecting the perceptive world of your surroundings to the extent that it seemed to be moving in slow motion.
The dreamstate approximates an entry into the Now as well. How many times have you hit the snooze button and then had a long, seemingly interminable dream, and then woke up to find that you’d only been sleep for 10, 15 minutes more? In my last full blog, I mentioned the physical components of time and space, their relative nature and the possibility of becoming a time traveller, a fantasy made possible only by conscious control of one’s perception. The condition of consciousness being related to one’s level of awareness, in this conception, brings into question the probability that true choice is impossible for most people, since we are generally in an unconscious state, due to our inner subjugation to the ego and the conditioning that forms our personality and social self. The clarity of true choice is amazingly unpredictable, lying outside of the purview of most confined within the culturally and socially-defined norms and modes of ‘everyday reality’.
When you think about it, Now is all we have. Right this moment. We are not promised tommorrow. We are not promised even 5 minutes from Now. So that’s why it’s important for me to know where I am right Now. Right this moment. So I close my eyes, bringing my presence to bear and awaken my inner-body consciousness to begin the process of examining the state of my spirit and the situation of my soul. And, right this moment?
I’m doing just fine. How about you?