Past and Future
The past and the future are the domain of the Ego, its playground. The present, in order to be fully experienced, must be experienced without the Ego. The present moment is experienced only through pure awareness. As soon as the inner dialogue of the Ego begins, even if the Ego is trying to run a commentary on the events at hand, we are no longer in the present. Observe closely, and we will find that the commentary always occurs after an event has taken place, and therefore is a past event.
The Ego, being nothing more than a collection of thoughts and thought energies, doesn't like to step aside and allow the events of the present to simply unfold. It feels it must be ever on the look out for dangers, looking for what it perceives will bring happiness. It believes that it knows what is best for us.
The past is never anything more than memory, used as a point of reference. The Ego clings to it as though it were a source of knowledge predicting how best to handle the future. The Ego refers to this as "experience", despite the fact that when the event was actually experienced, the mind was likely off in some other past or future thought rather than experiencing it in the present with pure awareness.
Ego will cling to past events with regret, when it doesn't like its prospects for the future. It will refer to the past as though it were a sage predicting how best to handle future events. Memory is used as a tool to constantly judge everything around us and to try and predict our future.
The future, as the Ego sees it, is really nothing more than plans. The Ego plans and concocts a future reality and presents it to us in the form of daydreams, fantasies, and mind theatrics. The Ego would like us to believe that we can control all aspects of our future and destiny.
When watched closely, the future the Ego predicts never plays out exactly the way it does in our mind. There are an infinite number of variables and possible outcomes to every moment. Yet our Ego has the audacity to believe that it can predict the one that will come to pass.
When events play out similar to the Ego's predictions, it is quick to take note and say "See, I was right". Ironically, when it misses the target, which happens far more frequently, it is either ignored or quickly dismissed as "Circumstances beyond my control" or something along that line.
Paying attention to the inner dialogue quickly reveals that the information the Ego feeds us is mostly useless and unreliable. Most of us completely miss this point because the Ego keeps us so busy with its inner chatter and mind theatrics that we don't notice. It is only when we start to pay attention to it however, that we begin to see through the facade and realize the deception. It is only when we begin to look that we begin to see.
|Michael L. Fournier|