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Getting “Better” Over Time

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Getting better through time.  What does that entail?  One may get “better” physically, with getting a more appealing job, a “better” house, an environmentally “better” car, “better” health, or “better” food.  Getting better physically has its place.  Psychologically, we think we get “better” by, perhaps, being more generous, more kindhearted, more honest, and/or happier.  A number of people think that things will be “better” in a future heaven that they imagine or cling to, promised by past traditions, past cultural-social inheritances.

These cravings and desires, concerning the future, that people have, if examined deeply and not merely superficially, are all extensions of thought and conditioning.  Physical “betters” are one (frequently necessary) thing, but our psychological “betters” are often a postponement; they are not the actuality of what is really taking place at the moment.  You are lying now but, regarding the imagined future, protrusions of thought/thinking maintain that “fewer lies will be told”; such a psychological “better” is often a form of hypocrisy or pretense.  “Eventually, I won’t lie so much.”  (Additionally, such psychological “betters” feed the misconception that, for instance, one is — at a distance — psychologically separate from what the lying actually is.)  Past education (or miseducation), social interactions, and suggestions/behaviors observed from elders (over time) have largely influenced us regarding our (psychological) “betters.”  In actuality, is one really separate from what the lying is (while lies are told)?  (We separate ourselves from the lying — in the present — and then are projections of thought — from the stored memory bank — about some improved future.)  Projections about the future always stem from (and consist of) thought/thinking.  This thought/thinking is conditioned and is primarily what most people habitually consist of (and actually are).  It is essentially the “past” (as past accumulated thought) that is reformulating.  To dwell as a lot of “craving things about the future” is to, in reality, be living in the past.  Past images (from the stuffy memory bank) formulate what is craved.  However, “living” in the past is a rather inefficient way of putting it; dwelling often as extensions from the past is not really living whatsoever.

It is what we are now (in the true present) that is important.  This does not mean that one just self-indulgently fixates on all kinds of pleasurable things; conditioned cravings (from the tainted past) and misconceptions can infiltrate and distort the true now and holistic compassion; real order, real insight, is instantaneous, holistic, and timeless.   Real wisdom sees the present as it is (without distortion) and, with that, real learning and understanding take place.  The stale past and the projected future — that “future,” which is really an extension from the (mental) accumulated past — have their place, but far too many people get enmeshed in the two and do not live in the beauty and flame of the one.   Instead, many dwell in (i.e., “as”) the residual smoke.

One last note:  This planet (this life) may not merely be a stepping stone to something better.  This is it.  This is it.

 

 

Woodland Wildflower with small, young Ladybug. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

19 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I like that you could tell it was a young Ladybug Tom. Was this because its colors were more vibrant, i.e. had not faded from the sun’s rays yet? We have a franchise nursery (English Gardens) here in Michigan and they had a Ladybug giveaway on June 8th. English Gardens gave away half a million ladybugs – each purchase got you a bag of 150 ladybugs.

    Reply

      • Too true Tom, and for me that is a great sadness, thank you for reflecting on this.

      • I’m curious whether you’ve read Paul Tillich. One of his best-known works is titled The Eternal Now, and there’s a good bit of correspondence between what you say and his assertions about the categories we often refer to as past, present, and future. Back in the day, it was a favorite book. I haven’t thought of it in ages, but your words brought it to mind.

      • I never heard of (or read) Paul Tillich, Linda.
        I took a quick look at the book online — there is a PDF file of it for free — and was not very impressed. One of the presumptions that Tillich manufactures about the past, present, and future, is that ” no wise man has ever penetrated their mystery.” That is balderdash! How does he know? Suggesting such things as some kind of universal “forgiveness,” too, seems quite over-the-top and stemming from (old cause-effect) anthropomorphic oriented traditions. Some of his stuff may be of value but are not what i would care to delve into.

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