It isn’t as often that I am consumed by plans for the future as I am currently. Oddly it is the most strategic of those plans which inspires the least consumption. Instead the overriding competition comes from matters of far less significance – or, at least, of far less current import. That got me thinking; whence derive the whys and wherefores of collywobbles?
The first and critical submission is that nobody knows the future. Say what you will, it’s all a guess. It’s a guess no matter the frequency of accuracy. In short there is simply no way in the world to predict the future.
Hinging upon that astute – though admittedly axiomatic – observation is the further deduction that there is nothing wrong characterizing the future as favourable. And hidden within that strain of thought is the deeper modification that there is seldom any demand or purpose predicting the future. Once again I confront that ancient adage about living for the moment, live for today.
The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment
You Are Not Your Thoughts
Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what’s past. “We’re living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, decoherence,” says Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace. We’re always doing something, and we allow little time to practice stillness and calm.
Clearly the image of a stoned hippie is not the answer to a vision for the futulre. There is no way we can abandon an awareness of the future. It might however prove worthwhile disregarding the future more frequently than we might otherwise do. But that is more the effect than the cause for disregarding the future. The reason behind the cause is the conclusion that until the future transpires there’s nothing we can do about it – which, if you will observe the logical subterfuge wherein I have trapped your sensibilities – is a revolutionary (not because it’s especially clever but more because it is somehow circular) thesis proving the inutility of the future either now or when you get there.
Whew! That’s a long way around saying I can’t be certain where I’ll be tomorrow! And if I really believed that, then no doubt l’d have a diminished view of the future. But the greater truth is I harbour some very clear pictures of the future; or to be more specific, I am caught in a web of focus upon the predictable unknown. It drives me berserk to predict the future. And if I can’t write the future, I’d settle to expedite the present.
And here we are once again – at the door step upon the abyss of the unknown. But no amount of frustration or impatience will hasten the unexplored. Nor will twisted philosophies. The best and only truth is – not that we’ll never get there – but that we’ll just have to wait. And until then we may as well focus upon the present. The future is such an unreliable ambition.