The Insatiable Question

Can you see friday yetWe yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

What is it about the future that’s so appealing and interesting? Eckhart Tolle says we think we need the future to ‘complete us’ but that we actually don’t. Albert Einstein says that physics proves that time is not linear and that we can affect the past by what we do now. I certainly believe we can affect our understanding of the past with a healthier mind and therefore can affect the amount of ‘suffering‘ which we let the past inflict on us. Buddha says all suffering is self-suffering. That often comes to my mind and is now held true in my personal belief system.

Anyway I digress. What importance do we give the future? When I was sad as a child, I cheered myself up with the thought that one day I would be married with kids and all the love in the world. It helped because I was seeing the essence of it; the anticipation of what that love meant to me. Loads and loads of just love. Do we always see the future in such black and white terms? I think so, purely because life bombards us with detail and we can’t even comprehend the detail of what’s to come, so we generalise. We look forward to a warm feeling we think we are going to have, from whatever objects or experiences we think we are going to have.

Of course it can go the other way and we could see the future as nothing but misery if we are depressed now, in the very same way; a hunch, a feeling, an overall concept. Very little detail.

But you can’t forget the detail of the ‘future’. The detail confuses things but also gives rise to potential to create what we want out of it. Life is like a soup. If you are swimming around in the soup, thinking it’s chicken soup, then every time you come across a shred of chicken your beliefs are confirmed. If you think it’s sweetcorn soup, you will notice all the chunks of corn instead. But you may assume your future is just going to be an all good or bad soup, and you forget all the flavours, variety and experiences coming to you which you will be ‘manipulating’ with your current belief system to create more of what you actually already have.

So the future is just more of what you have now. It’s not so different. It can’t complete us. It can only try to complete the ego which is the insatiable part. Insatiable needs to satisfy an insatiable ego. Futile really.

The future starts today, not tomorrow.” 

Pope John Paul II

So I am back to the realising the Power of Now. It’s all there is and it’s very comforting knowing that I already have everything I need. I can see Friday quite clearly and it looks good to me.