Monday, February 11, 2013

Living in the Moment

I tried reading "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, I really did. I got as far as him describing getting enlightened, and then spending two years sitting on a park bench in a state of bliss. I assume he got up for food and bodily functions now and then, but that's how he put it, if memory serves me.
And I thought: "He did not have to go home to cook dinner and change nappies, did he now?"

I have no pretension of getting enlightened in this incarnation. I am content to muddle through as best I can, trying a be a half decent human being. I love history, both personal and collective. There is much talk in New Age circles about the necessity to "Let Go of the Past" in order to be fully Here and Now. Conversations may also rail against a thing called "ego", mentioned in the same dark tone in which health nuts talk about "chemicals".

I understand the need to let go of regrets and resentment, but give me one good reason why I should let go of that which made me what I am today? I cherish my past. I enjoy each day and  I like riffling through the slide show of memory.

For us humble dwellers in the third dimension, each moment of Now carries its own past and its own future. Past and future do not have to detract from the present, they may enrich it. Literature is made of this. 

As for that horrid thing called ego, it is simply the individual functioning in time and space. It may well be that All is One on some level of existence. But for now, if you stub your big toe I may sympathize but I do not physically feel your pain.

My thanks to Melanie Boxall for the introduction to David Mitchell's soap box on this topic. It is hilarious.


Catfish Tales said...

Ik ben het met je eens....
I think 'The Power of Now' was for the '80s when people were stuck in the 'blame game' and attempting to muddle out; e.g. I am X and I am an alcoholic. Nobody recovered is an anything-a-holic, IMO. They are people but for the grace of God who have walked close to death. Yet they have somehow beat it, for now, to the other side. And it is when we pass such a phase, not as a recovered substance abuser, but as one who has settled with the past, that we can only cherish how you say it best, Ieneke: "Past and future do not have to detract from the present, they may enrich it. Literature is made of this...."

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

I did the park bench thing for a while. Forced by a head injury I spent days on the couch watching the light catch and refract on crystals and plants.

Now is better, but I love it when memories of the past creep into my mind and enrich a moment washing dishes. One of my late friends said we were spiritual beings on an earthly journey.

So best to enjoy the journey and where it takes us.

PS I think the most spiritual thing is digging in the dirt and planting the garden. Second is painting.

Melanie Boxall said...

I do try to enjoy "NOW" but I think we have to be realistic. If we never bother with memories, what were the previouus "now" moments for? And if we don't plan ahead.......well, we all know where that goes.

troutbirder said...

I think I need to be more philosophical but then I had trouble with that subject at the University as well. Now the rejection of science by the political "extremes" did get my attention. Apparently I've only been noticing it from the right wingnuts....

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Thanks for reading everyone. Gardening is indeed my way of meditating. Wingnuts come in many forms, not all of them right wing.