Even those of us who practice meditation and a contemplative way of life are struggling in this crisis. In this moment of social isolation, we confront ourselves and our immortality.
We are slowly realizing that there is no future as we know it, future does not exist.
We are faced with the absolute now of our existence.
What is there to motivate or inspire if you have no future guaranteed? What drives your action each day when you have no idea what to expect tomorrow, nor do you really understand the events that led up to this moment?
In this moment of crisis, we are experiencing the impact of overlapping variables that are so beyond our comprehension and control. We can’t even see or take individual responsibility. Neither you nor I created this virus, did we? And yet, this thing is destroying our sense of security and the global economy. Are we or are we not conspirators in this calamity? This is phase one of letting go, the questioning of responsibility, thinking that what has occurred in past is ours alone.
But is everything that occurs in the past our fault? Do we have the capacity to see the past clearly and in its totality? The answer is no. The past, when you really think about it, is a vague memory with great unknowns. Think about memories and how we each perceive the same past differently.
So what is left? The present moment. There is no one past, there is no one future. Both are ephemeral and unknown. We may catch a glimpse of this or that, but mostly, we can only be fully aware of the present moment.
How painful this is, to let go of the past! To let go of tomorrow!
We are thinkers and planners and visionaries! I like to learn. I like to know! These things ground us, give us a place called home. We are learned and filled with ambition. We fuel each day with the past and keep our eyes on a vision. Isn’t that what modernization is all about? And our addiction to media and entertainment? Our insatiable drive for moving pictures and improvement?
And yet, look at us now, with our future stripped away. We face unexpected deaths and adjust to a strange reality.
What do we do with ourselves, moment to moment, day to day, if we know nothing? What is our new motivation? What do we have when we break apart and destroy every goal, every dream, every possibility and replace it with unknowns?
This is the excruciating pain of having to face the present moment. Of confronting the absolute meaninglessness of every thing, past and future, and sitting still in that one moment of truth.
Wondering, contemplating, deliberating, what to do, what to do? What to do with myself when nothing matters but now?