Astrophysicist, Adam Frank, interviewed on NPR says that the “experience of time throughout history is an invention. It is neither God-given nor physics-given.” It is a social construct that is built by a particular culture for political, economic or religious reasons.
Buddhists talk about dying to the past and that the future hasn’t yet been born. What they mean is that the past occurs only in our minds. But we use it to poison our present. Instead of being fully present, we measure now with illusions of the past. “I was happier then. I was younger then. If only it could be like it was.”
Or we live an imagined future. “I can’t wait until ____ and then my life will begin.”
We keep waiting for some future time before we allow ourselves to do the things we really want to do. Or take the risk. Or live more fully-expressed now.
But both the past and the future are a sort of fiction. They only exist – and will only ever exist – now.
Think about it. You daydream about your “past”. But those things – when they occurred – were experienced in your now.
Similarly, the future may mean two weeks from today. But when you experience it – it will be now.
There’s never going to be a moment in your life that will not be experienced now.
Your point of power is always now. The more you become aware of this moment, the more actualized you will become.
This week, take a look at how often you spend your day in your “past” or your “future”. Which do you hang out in most? And what’s the predominant feeling associated with being somewhere else? If you’re always thinking about your future, you might feel anxious or nervous. If you’re living in the past you might feel depressed or moody.
Just become aware that you are often somewhere else. The moment you realize this, you become present. That’s progress!
“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” — Anonymous