They say that life is made up of moments and memories – a cherished treasure trove of ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings. Who among us does not carry that in our heads? Not all memories are pleasant and yet they made you who you are, teach you the perils of life, growing up and about people in general. Some people even pride themselves on extra-ordinary memories and can go back to when they were a year old and remember the color of the dress they were wearing. A photographic memory or so its called. For the brain therefore, there is no concept of time as it can at a moments notice slip into the past, be in the present or live in and imagine the future. All of these add up to not just vital survival skills but people even go so far as to say you are what you think.
I therefore gasped when I read that the only reality in life is now. This moment when you read this word is the only point of time in your life when you exercise complete control over your action. You can choose to read on or not. What ever led you to starting to read this post has been relegated to a memory and can no longer be changed. What ever you will do an hour from now is yet to happen and may or may not play out the way it is in your head. The only truth is now. Everything else is a jumble of just thoughts in your head and of course you can imagine pretty much anything but its not real.
Pain and suffering is caused by thoughts. Anguish is usually about what happened or what may happen. Surprisingly even in your worst of moments the pain in the present is either non existent or more motivated by what happened or what might happen even five minutes hence. Anger, fear and even destructive action is motivated by perceived past or future. The mind struggles to deal with uncertainty but there is no uncertainty in the now as you are living it.
The great masters talk about training your mind to be fully present. Present in the now. Meditation helps and allows you to focus on your thoughts as they happen because the act of focusing your mind on the thought happens in the now. You are in control of your actions in the present and this understanding of control greatly alleviates pain and suffering. We all want greater control of our lives and this happens when you control your actions. Carpe Diem is a latin aphorism loosely translated as seize the day. Really you should be seizing every moment, every second of your life. It is your only truth.