Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

You can predict the future!

Winter menagerie

Winter menagerie

People say “you can’t predict the future”. I disagree.

Folks talk about living in the moment, but you can’t stop yourself from living in the future.

Think about it. Imagine if you just started walking and didn’t think about anything except that next step, truly living in the moment. Well, suppose the next step is right off a cliff? Before you pick your foot up you’re bound to predict a certain future here, and you know what? That’s good, or we’d all be dead.

The human brain is not thinking in the proverbial now, but always in the next.

Is there ground beneath me to support my feet?

If I stand will I strike my head on a ceiling?

If I breath in now I can avoid suffocation, things like that.

Animals predict the future, too, so don’t start with that Most Highly Developed species attitude.

Think about the constant and complex physics a bobcat is dealing with chasing a zig-zagging rabbit through the snow.

Imagine a bird of prey closing on a rodent moving through thick grass.

We flat-out count on a lot of presumptive predictions of the future. Maybe this seems obvious or even silly to some, but if you grasp this idea it helps us to understand the subconscious workings of our minds.

In “Think Not-Thinking” (ACZ Archive, 3/21/11) the process of meditation is examined. Meditation is intended to quiet the mind, to reduce stress or anxiety. When effective, it can allow you to turn down the subconscious future-telling.

This is important because your brain can’t stop living in the future, can’t stop checking the to-do list and planner. Even the Most Highly Developed Species can’t turn off the engines of instinct.

So don’t beat yourself up because you feel you can’t “live in the now” all the time. Your brain is looking out for you and those depending on you, even in your sleep, every minute of every day. It’s normal for your mind to be ruminating or mulling or planning all the time, and we’re glad about it.

Otherwise, we’d all freeze and starve.

If we didn’t walk off a cliff first.

Be at peace,

Paz

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