Hope, memory, and how our chronic compulsion to flee from our own lives robs us of living.
It is too often the case that we spend our lives fleeing from the present moment. Instead of being ever-present, we find ourselves occupied with overplanning the future or ‘recoiling with anxiety over its impermanence‘. This preoccupation robs us of the vibrancy of life.
This is something that I ofttimes find myself struggling with, and have blogged about in the past.
What I find helpful, is to step outside my own thoughts, and step inside of those of someone else.
Lately that has been the works of Alan Watts – more specifically his book, The Wisdom of Insecurity. I have found it quite therapeutic and will try to summarize what I have gathered from it.
The art of living well consists of being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and being wholly receptive to it.
There is no where else to be. You are here — so be here.
Smartphones, and this new culture of over-availability, have exasperated this issue.
When I am out for lunch and look around, it is not rare to see a couple sitting together while one (or both) are clicking around on their smartphones. That person on the phone is effectively saying to the other that ‘you are not as important as anything that could come to me through this device’. Put the phone away, put your problems aside, and just enjoy the company you have for those precious 30minutes.
Smartphones keep you so well connected to the world, but also to all your problems and anxieties.
You will be a great deal less anxious if you feel perfectly free to be anxious. The same may be said of guilt and any other human emotion, for that matter. So turn those phones off and feel the liberation that comes with it.
The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.
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