We all have a deep psychological drive to keep pace with the impulse of creation. There are needs that can and should be satisfied in the present…Among these is every human being’s central need to express himself – to show himself to the world as he really is – in word, in gesture, in behavior, in every genuine utterance from the baby’s cry to the artist’s creation.
The key to this inspiring affirmation is that life needs to be satisfying in the present. It is not that easy to define “the present,” however. From one perspective the present is the thinnest possible slice of time, the fleeting instant that allows the future to flip-flop into the past.
From the opposite perspective, the present is eternal, because it is ever-renewing, like a river that is never the same twice.
To create paradise could mean nothing more or less than living in the present, enjoying the happiness that is both now and forever – but who can manage that? The boundaries that the human mind lives within are invariably fashioned from the past.
It is yesterday’s hurt that I am defending against today, last year’s glory I want to relive, a bygone love I want to find again. The boundary-maker who wields such enormous power over us is the intellect, the part of the mind that judges and categorizes our experiences.
The number of questions that arise over the tiniest experience is awe inspiring. Once each decision is made, it gets filed away in memory, to serve as a reference point for future experience.
By endless interpreting the world in bits and pieces, we are losing it at every instant, allowing it to slip through our fingers like sand. To have reality that is whole and thus truly real, one must rise above the intellect, discarding its neat slices of experience. Like day-old bread, they only go stale anyway.
Adapted from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfill Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra (A Bantam Book, 1991).