Here and now!
“We never keep the present. We recall the past; we anticipate the future as if we found it too slow in coming and were trying to hurry it up, or we recall the past as if to stay its too rapid flight. We are so unwise that we wander about in times that do not belong to us.”
It is always strange to see how our own concerns are not concerns of our present time, but has always been a concern of all times. Blaise Pascal lived from 1623 to 1662. Nothing new!
How many person says today “live in,at the present time”, and appreciate. Here and Now!
With this French/English quote, you can see that it was also a concern of their time. And maybe it is a concern of all Humanity.
Excerpt from The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy
Copyright © Donald Robertson, 2010. All rights reserved.
Fear keeps pace with hope. Nor does their so moving together surprise me; both belong to a mind in suspense, to a mind in a state of anxiety through looking into the future. Both are mainly due to projecting our thoughts far ahead of us instead of adapting ourselves to the present. Thus it is that foresight, the greatest blessing humanity has been given, is transformed into a curse. Wild animals run from the dangers they actually see, and once they have escaped them worry no more. We however are tormented alike by what is past and what is to come. A number of our blessings do us harm, for memory brings back the agony of fear while foresight brings it on prematurely. No one confines his unhappiness to the present. (Seneca, 2004, p. 38)
In this remarkable passage, Seneca makes observations which would not be out of place in modern psychotherapy, but in his uniquely powerful literary style. Indeed, Beck and his colleagues say something very similar with regard to the cognitive therapy of anxiety,
Anxiety is a result of projecting oneself into a dangerous situation in the future. As long as the person is in the present, there is no danger. (Beck, Emery, & Greenberg, 2005, p. 243)
The gift which allows us to contemplate the future and the past, and distinguishes us from other animals, becomes a curse when it allows us to dwell upon troubles that are not present, and may not even be real. When such projection of our thoughts across time runs amok, planning and problem-solving for the future easily become anxious worrying, whereas reflecting on what we can learn from the past may become depressive rumination. The only true reality is the present moment, where our ability to take action is centred. Elsewhere, Seneca quotes the Epicurean maxim, ‘The life of folly is empty of gratitude, full of anxiety: it is focused wholly on the future’ (Seneca, 2004, p. 62).
Another aspect of this “here and now” orientation is brought out beautifully by the Epicureans. When we find ourselves, for the first time, in the presence of something completely and utterly new, we are filled with wonder. We might imagine the world looking this way to a small child, or to a blind man who suddenly regains his sight. Over time, we become jaded and habituated to the world, though, and mundane things cease to excite us. However, by immersing ourselves more fully in the present moment, and thereby ceasing to compare it to the past, in a sense, we recapture something of its novelty. The great Latin poet Lucretius writes, ‘there is nothing so mighty or so marvellous that the wonder it evokes does not tend to diminish in time’,
Take first the pure and undimmed lustre of the sky and all that it enshrines: the stars that roam across its surface, the moon and the surpassing splendour of the sunlight. If all these sights were now displayed to mortal view for the first time by a swift unforeseen revelation, what miracle could be recounted greater than this? What would men before the revelation have been less prone to conceive as possible? (Lucretius, 1951, p. 90)
So, for the present, I am concentrating on this crowdfunding campaign, and enjoying it. I hope you enjoy what you do!
Sept 21, 2016
f you liked this article, grow my Piggy Bank, to create a platform that finances the first capital of entrepreneurs.