I am always aware of this moment in time and place, and even when I am thinking about other things there is always some part of my attention that is locked into the here and now. The proof of that simple observation is that I will instantly react to a loud noise, or scratch an itch. These are things of the body as well as the attention, but the body will at some point die, and of the hundred billion people who have lived on this Earth and died, no one has come back and convincingly told their story. It would seem that there should be thousands running about, with many on TV as celebrities, speaking their ancient languages, and telling their stories the way they really happened.
If they could come back, at least some of them would choose to do so. It would be a real treat for them to discover what happened in their distant future, and there would be great celebrity for a traveler from a distant time and place. Some people seem to like that kind of thing, and would do everything possible to come back. Also, there are many people who simply don’t want to die, and would do anything to stay here for a while longer. Queen Elizabeth I is reported to have said something like, “I will give all my kingdom for a little more time.” Probably there are lots of people who would have that sentiment.
That is the crux of the problem, and that crux is located in the present moment. We always are only conscious of the present moment. We may think about other times and places, but our body and mind are always doing so in the present moment. It is our present moment that is our forever. Once we realize that “now is forever”, it makes sense to make this very moment as good a moment as possible. If this is it, let’s make the most of it. And yet, as soon as I write that thought, and think about this moment, I feel bored with it. Channel surfing the TV would be more fun, even though it is meaningless and always leaves me feeling like it was interesting, but it didn’t really make my personal life more meaningful.
Doing something important, something that makes my friends’ lives more meaningful, seems more significant than even a good TV show. Making the world a better place for everyone should be a real joy, and yet most of the time for most people it just isn’t interesting. Why?
How to live forever: Realize that “now is forever”, and enjoy it by participating in the moment.