Question: Why do many people try to live only for today, the present moment, in that they center all of their thoughts in it and don’t make it possible for thoughts to escape to the past or the future?
Answer: That is how the genetic force of our body works when it directs us only towards pleasures. At every moment I want to enjoy optimally, meaning to invest minimal efforts and energy and receive maximal pleasure. We live according to this principle.
The problem is that as far as it seems in accord with our naturally installed software, we experience great problems through such an approach to life. If we only yearn for pleasure, then ultimately from all of our efforts to remain like this, we receive blows that oblige us to change our approach.
I cannot shut my eyes and not think about what will be with me, as it is said in Isaiah 22:13: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die.” That is because this “tomorrow we shall die” becomes so terrible that I can no longer enjoy today.
Here everything depends on the level of development of the person and all of humanity. We have reached such a development where the future has become very important to us no less than the present. We cannot flee from thoughts about it and take some drug in order to live only for today.
We will not succeed in hiding from tomorrow, so we must learn to become familiar with the origin of life and its goal. But in the meantime, we are still trying to slip away and we have not yet reached the awareness that this won’t help.
When we educate our children, we don’t tell them that the main thing is to squeeze maximal pleasure from the present moment and afterward there will be a deluge. We know that this way is impossible and will not lead to a happy life. They must open their eyes and know where they are going, what today and tomorrow promises. We must discover the same vision within ourselves, only more widespread.
Question: And what do the methods that teach living in the present moment give?
Answer: Methods like these lower the person to the level of a beast. For a beast indeed only looks for how to enjoy every moment in its life, and so it doesn’t really think about the future.
Beasts have natural abilities for sensing the future. They feel an approaching tsunami, the eruption of volcanoes, earthquakes. They have a subtle sensitivity to nature and changes in climate. But these are very limited instincts. The human sees much more, and we need to use this so as not to decree a life of suffering for ourselves, and likewise not to leave for our children, for the next generation, a world like this in which they will suffer.
If we look at life with more mature and ripe views, then we have no choice; we must discover the program of creation and develop in ourselves the ability to perceive the future.
In general, the future frightens a person because he doesn’t know it and is not ready to deal with it. But this is not just talking about perceiving the future but about obtaining the tools through which we can manage the future like the present. We will become the masters of our future.
From the program “A New Life” 4/17/2014