“Live in the moment”, “be present”, “tomorrow doesn’t exist…” and many other phrases are repeated ad-nauseam, like a mantra, in the hope that they will take you closer to that state.
But those repeating them without understanding, cannot get to a destination because they haven’t stop to reflect on what “living in the moment” is, nor what it is good for.
Doing without aiming to understand is misunderstood as “faith”, but it is just as dangerous as “superstition”. This will lead you to see results where there are none, devote yourself to false gods, and repeat.
What “living in the moment” is.
When we are thinking, and I mean thinking anything, a screen is in front of your awareness. You are not looking at reality, you are looking at your thoughts.
Past, future, or an imaginary scenario on any point of your timeline, is a screen.
No thought is a perception of reality, but an internal dialogue that is aimed to make you feel good. Even those thoughts or projections which are unpleasant, are looking to analyze or re-frame a situation (past, or fictional) which YOU already judged as bad, and must comply with a set of conditions for YOU to be able to feel good about it.
Projections take your awareness by the hand away from reality.
What are the consequences of it?
Projections are placebos. They put in front of you an imaginary world where everything is how you would like it to be. The opposite of what you don’t want. But they don’t change reality by themselves.
Positive thinking may have desirable side effects, which are reflected on the amount of action or the quality of the action that you take every day. But how can you know it worked? How much of the progress is real and how much is superstition?
Has it had in your experience a lasting effect?
What “living in the moment” is good for.
Imagine you work at a store. A customer comes through the door and starts walking around. You change your posture, put on your smile and start picturing all the different interactions you may have. How good everything is going to be with this customer.
Then he comes to the counter, where you are, and the customer starts talking about who he is, why he’s there, and what he needs. But you were still thinking about your hair, his outfit and the last time you saw someone alike.
Right before he finishes, you need to ask: “A hammer, right?”
He answers: “A screwdriver.”
Three people are at an boarding room. One is present and the second is not. He is reading/thinking/projecting/playing.
The third one sneezes.
The present one says “bless you” and gets thanked for. The second one is still reading/thinking/projecting/playing.
These examples, although “trivial” situations, are a sample of what happens every single day. Life is just a collection of these tiny interactions in reality and with reality.
These have not to be between people. It can be you and the place you missed, the opportunity that went by. You get so used to missing things that you lose the ability to sense the small things of reality.
Reality can only be changed by your interactions with it. If your awareness is somewhere else, you are missing on precious opportunities to interact with it.
The only place where you can act on reality is now. It is the only place where your projections have an opportunity to materialize.
That is why it is so important to “live in the moment”.