The “Here and Now” Myth

‘Now’ is not only a cognitive illusion but also a mathematical trick, related to how we define space and time quantitatively. One way of seeing this is to recognize that the notion of ‘present,’ as sandwiched between past and future, is simply a useful hoax. After all, if the present is a moment in time without duration, it can’t exist. What does exist is the recent memory of the immediate past and the expectation of the near future. We link past and future through the conceptual notion of a present, of ‘now.’ But all that we have is the accumulated memory of the past—stored in biological or various recording devices—and the expectation of the future.” – Marcelo Gleiser, Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and Professor Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College; Author of “The Island of Knowledge”, “The Dancing Universe”, “The Prophet and the Astronomer”, and “A Tear at the Edge of Creation”

Being attentive to “here and now” is being attentive to the slippery nature of all and everything, including this present moment.

As i write these lines, i am already stepping into what was future just a little while ago; and watching the present moment turning into past.

Remember Heraclitus of Ephesus (535 – 475 BC), the Greek philosopher, famous for his following quote…..

You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in.”

In other words, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

So, what is “now”? Where is “now” – the present moment? And, what is “here”?

Everything is in constant flux…….” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Meditations of a Solitary Walker

Many of us use the phrase “living in the present moment, here and now” without even understanding its implication, or, whether this is possible at all!

From my “experiments with life”, all that i have been able to do is Living AttentivelyBeing Attentive about the fleeting, ever changing, decaying, and decomposing nature of this material existence. Then, the past ceases to become a burden, and the future…. just around the corner, now! Its all a continuum….

Many years ago, someone presented my Master with the manuscript of his book and sought his blessings.

The Master read the title of the book, and smiled: “‘Living Here and Now’ – before getting to ‘Here and Now’, you must first ask yourself, ‘Am i living, or life is passing me by?'” Indeed, a question to contemplate and meditate upon….



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