This Moment

^z 20th July 2023 at 9:38pm
Nothing has ever existed
    Except this moment
That's all there is
        That's all we are

... from Nothing Special by Charlotte Joko Beck. In more context, as it appears in Part VII "Wonder" (chapter titled "The Fall"):

Most of the time we don't think there's any crisis. ("So far, so good!") Or we think the crisis is the fact that we don't feel happy. That's not a crisis; that's an illusion. So we spend most of our life attempting to fix this nonexistent entity that we think we are. In fact, we are this second. What else could we be? And this second has no time or space. I can't be the second that was five minutes ago; how can I be that? I'm here. I'm now. I can't be the second that's going to arrive in ten minutes either. The only thing I can be is wiggling around on my cushion, feeling the pain in my left knee, experiencing whatever is happening now. That's who I am. I can't be anything else. I can imagine that in ten minutes I won't have a pain in my left knee, but that's sheer fantasy.

I can also remember a time when I was young and pretty. That's sheer fantasy also. Most of our difficulties, our hopes, and our worries are simply fantasies. Nothing has ever existed except this moment. That's all there is. That's all we are. Yet most human beings spend fifty to ninety percent or more of their time in their imagination, living in fantasy. We think about what has happened to us, what might have happened, how we feel about it, how we should be different, how others should be different, how it's all a shame, and on and on; it's all fantasy, all imagination. Memory is imagination. Every memory that we stick to devastates our life.

Practical thinking—when we're not clinging to some fantasy but just getting something done—is another matter. If my knee hurts, perhaps I should investigate treatment for it. The thoughts that destroy us are the ones in which we're trying to stop the fall and not hit bottom. "I'm going to fix him." "I'm going to fix myself." Or "I'm going to understand myself. When I finally understand myself, I'll be at peace and then life will be all right." No, it's won't be all right. It will be whatever it is, just this second. Just the wonder.

As we sit, can we sense the wonder? Can we feel the wonder in the fact that we're here that as human beings we can appreciate this life? ...

(cf Giving Up Hope (2014-09-01), No-Self and the Space of Wonder (2014-10-20), Listen to the Traffic (2014-11-12), Aspiration, not Expectation (2014-12-12), No Drama (2015-01-06), Moving from Experiences to Experiencing (2015-08-06), ...) - ^z - 2019-01-09