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Back in the flow

I think our biggest fear is uncertainty.

Back in the flow

I think this is the reason why there is a billion dollar industry now, teaching people to become more present.

The irony is, if we would be able to live in the present some thousand years ago on the savannas of Africa, we would have gotten eaten by the lion that we didn't see coming.

Living in the present

Living in the present is not necessarily evolutionary advantageous. What's advantageous is the fact that we can imagine future scenarios.
The reason why we have memory ( as Jordan Peterson talks about), is not so that we can relish about times gone by, but rather that we can learn from past experiences so that we can make inferences about what's going to happen next.
Mitigating against future risk was biologically selected, for once we did that, we bred more wisely and inherited that neurosis of foreshadowing future danger.
The problem is, once we made the world safe, we are still like hamsters stuck on a hamster wheel.
You may have money, you may be paying rent and have a wife and a kid...but you still worry about tomorrow.
The collapse of a government, or a terrorist attack or an airplane disaster. That's the way we are wired.
Ironically, we have gotten to a time where some of the hardware that has served us so well, has become problematic.

Being here now

There's this desire to return to a capacity of being here, now, and to separate from our foreshadowing capacity in a relishing of memory to block those signals moving backward and forward.
In fact, in mental health now, there is a revolution. The rise of learning to be in the present moment.
Meditation, mindfulness, all these techniques are teaching us to neutralize our wiring about the way we think about the future.

The Human Brain

The human brain, the mind, is like an artificial intelligence program. We take in data from the past and we compare it with data from the future, and with this information, we predict the future outcome.
That's what we are always doing, automatically, without even thinking, all of the time.
We go as far as dispensing with the present data altogether and just leapfrog to the conclusion. And so we are living in this perpetual "been there's" and "done, that's" of our adult minds, a kind of jadedness.
We aren't even "here" anymore...we look at our phones or get lost in a show or look at our watch, we're just never present.  The brain is so effective in saying "I know what this is", and making predictions of the future, and if the future doesn't seem dangerous enough, we don't even have to pay attention to what's happening.

Human Anxiety

We live with this constant of low-level humming called anxiety. It's this future tense, this crooked back, this constant forward mode all the time.
It's never now. Maybe that makes you a good businessman, or planner or an architect, planning this building, but the capacity to just enjoy has left.
To stop and smell the flowers has become impossible.
Back in the flow
What are the ways that we can nurture our compulsion to constantly leapfrog into the future? How do we become present?

Travel...in experiencing things that are greater than the average scope of the daily mind. Experiences that dilate the expectations of the mind.

Art...what these experiences do, is block all the signals going forwards and backward.
It's hard to predict what's going to happen when you're in a place that's completely new to the mind.
When you're off the reservation, you cannot know where that path leads, and if you don't know where it leads, it's hard to imagine the outcome.
Your senses are heightened and you are here, now, paying attention to the present moment.
It also answers this existential conundrum of what to do about death, because it's not even that we are afraid of dying tomorrow, it's that we are afraid of dying in 30 year's time!

New Experiences

Back in the flow

Except when we find new experiences, through traveling, or art - because that's when we most effectively lock off the signals going backward and forwards, we enter the flow of the present moment.
It is a moment that is literally Wonder-full... it is being the bi-product of exactly your first sense of unencumbered first sight of the moment. 
At this moment you obliterate the adult capacity to foreshadow everything and return to a more virginal state of appreciating what is unfolding in real time. 
That seems to be the answer to our "ills" because when we experience these moments, we experience AWE..and awe is such a state of perpetual expansion that all our models about what is, gets utterly disconnected.
OH, now I see what magnificence a glacier holds!
OH, that's what a lion looks like in its natural habitat!
You become dumbstruck...you become awestruck, the signals stop, THIS is the moment!

The AfterGlow

Back in the flow

Even though these are transitionary experiences, they carry an afterglow.
That's why people have mystical experiences, they take magic mushrooms, they go to the Grand Canyon, they witness the birth of their baby.
Because they are left with this afterglow that lasts for weeks, months, sometimes even years. They have increased well-being, increased creativity and increased compassion for other beings.
Perhaps the answer to the agitation with ourselves and with all things is seriously to stop and smell those roses...
To learn to Stewart the contents of consciousness back to the here and now.
We get caught up in the excessive lumination and the constant over processing and over thinking, we have traffic going back and forth. We get caught up in routine and patterns of thinking.
By exposing ourselves to greatness, to travel, to be awestruck at great endeavors of art, we find ourselves quickly hurled back into the flow of the here's and the now's...and without the anxiety of traffic and signals and routines and hard wiring, we can Just Be...

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