You can’t live at all unless you can live fully now. The message of Alan Watts is of common sense that allows us to stop for a moment from this frantic race towards the mirage of the future while thinking about the past.
We do not have time to stop thinking because our modern society imposes a cadence of life that doesn’t allow us to be in the present moment.
Eckhart Tolle explained in his bооk, The Power of Now, that if we stop thinking about the future and the past, we will stop controlling what surrounds us. This will allow us to let go of our attachments and to be totally in the present moment and this is the gateway to discovering what we really are.
It’s just common sense. When I am anxious, stressed or worried about the future or the past, it is simply a state of mind. If I always think about the future or the past this will obviously create a vicious spiral and you will miss out on what is happening now in your world.
But if I am a little bit vigilant by observing my thoughts, I can see that they are only illusions.
The only obstacle that prevents us from being in the present moment is that we project the mind outward. And it is very difficult to want to control the mind by concentration because we have to eliminate one thought after another. This is obviously not possible.
But fortunately, there are many ways to learn how to turn the mind inward, especially meditation or breathing exercises.
Ramana Maharshi advises us to control the mind by the breath in the same way that we attach an animal to something to prevent it from wandering here and there.
We control our thoughts by regulating the breath. Thus the mind remains inward.
Try to observe your thoughts for a day. What are you focused on and engaged for most of the time? Do you spend much of your time in the present moment?
That is when you do your daily activities, are you mostly in a state of detachment, peace, and equanimity of mind? If you are, it’s great, keep going.
Or do you spend your days thinking about what happened to you? Do you think something will happen, the right opportunity, meet the right person? Are you thinking about what might happen to you tomorrow, next week, next year?
You see this is an endless hole and this develops a vicious cycle of anxiety, the fear of the unknown. There is no reason for such behavior.
Your real nature is peace and God is within yourself so dive within and realize that your mind is nothing else than an illusion.
By doing this breathing exercises, bring your mind within and discover that the only moment that exists is NOW.
It is very interesting to see that we believe that we depend on others for our happiness. This is not the truth, you can be happy whenever you want, time or place are not involved. It is you who have decreed that you can not be happy at this time.
It is true that life is accompanied by worries but you can face them without letting you down. For you have learned today that when the mind is turned inwards, fears and anxieties disappear. Therefore, be in the present moment, because you can’t live at all unless you can live fully now.
Now, let’s pay tribute to Alan Watts, this great Taoist sage, the friend of Carl Jung and apostle of Ramana Maharshi; watch this video: