In some spiritual and religious teachings, an important goal is to let go of the past and the future and live only in the here and now. Is this a good method in the times we are living in right now? Or should we deal differently with lockdown, uncertainties about the future, and constant change?
This will be the last post on this blog for now. I’ve asked so many questions and addressed so many topics over the last year and a half and for me it feels rounded for now and I don’t think you can ask that many new questions for now either. So I want to stop the podcast and the blog posts for now. Maybe I will write something on other topics, depending on what comes up. Maybe I’ll have another new idea, but right now I feel like this section is over.
But today I have another question from Braño: Is it okay to let go of control over the future, fantasies and plans, even in these times? Is it okay to focus entirely on the now, to enjoy it and authentically accept radically, day by day, what is current in the world, one’s health and one’s financial situation? Is it okay to just let go of what society has taught us – securities, future? I’ve noticed that when I try to live this way in times like these, I feel better and am better able to take care of myself, to work, to sleep, to be happy. But is that okay or do you get the bill later in life when you get older because you lived the way you thought was good right now? I always jump from one attitude to another and would like to know what the souls can advise me.
Me: Especially in the spiritual realm or also in Buddhism, it’s always a lot about letting go, letting go of the future and the past and focusing only on the here and now. That’s a good question, whether that also works in such times as now. Or is it rather inconvenient and are there other possibilities? What makes sense: really just living in the now and here? Or still try to plan the future? Dear Spirits, what do you say to this?
They show figuratively that there are different types of people: A person who is quite straightforward and schedules everything exactly and plans quite far into the future. Then again, there are people who are very spontaneous and really live more in the moment and make spontaneous decisions.
Me: Okay, but what is more appropriate in the current situation with Corona and lockdowns?
Spirit: You can plan quite far into the future, but right now plans are often discarded faster than normal. If you can live with the fact that you always have to make new plans because the old ones have been destroyed, you can of course still go on like that. But then it also costs energy. Someone who acts very spontaneously in comparison and makes few plans may lack some stability, because a plan also gives stability in life. If you are a person who likes to hold on to something, a decision based on spontaneity alone is not enough. These are now two extreme examples of two poles, so to speak, like hot and cold, yin and yang, etc. But there are also middle ways. One can make plans, but at the moment perhaps not so far into the future. Instead of planning for years in advance, one should rather plan for a few months to a year in advance. And you should still keep an open mind, so that you can change these plans spontaneously. If you plan five years in advance, you are very rigid and fixed, but if you are very spontaneous, it is as if you are floating in the air and have no grounding. You’re not as rooted. Then events can also quickly drive you back and forth, so that in the end you don’t even know what you want and what to decide next. The ideal is actually to be like a tree, so that you are rooted on one side and flexible on the other, so that you can sway with the wind, and not like a rigid tower that topples over when a storm comes. The best strategy in nature has always been to have a common thread, grounding, and certain principles to live by, and also to incorporate your own experiences. And at the same time, you should also remain flexible.
Now they show this again in moving pictures: I see a person who has a goal in mind walking along a path. But if something gets in the way, she goes around it. She doesn’t stop or turn around, but changes the path a bit. The person now takes a detour, but still arrives. In another variation, the person discovers something new and takes a new path. You can see from this that it is helpful if you at least have a direction in mind in which you want to go. Completely detached from everything, the person would fly away if a storm or conflict came.
Me: But in Buddhism – if I have understood correctly – it is always about letting go as much as possible and living with one’s consciousness in the here and now. Doesn’t that have advantages after all? Otherwise it would not be taught in Buddhism?
Spirit: You have to distinguish between your everyday life and your life as a monk or something like that. Of course, you can practice it that way. If you meditate every day and do exercises for it and live a different life than most people, then it’s easier to practice that. Just letting go of everything is possible. But you have to want to do it, it’s a real way of life. You can’t just cut it out of Buddhism or something like that and just incorporate it into your everyday life, but it’s a complete way of life that you walk like that. You really have to internalize it and deal with it from morning to night and at some point you reach this state of letting go and being in the here and now. But when it comes to your everyday life, which most of you lead in Germany, it’s not so easy to realize. You have jobs, family, children, obligations, tax returns, etc., and it doesn’t work one hundred percent. It is very difficult to implement, especially not just like that. You would have to live for a while in a Buddhist monastery or something similar, so that you can internalize it for a few months or years. Then one can transfer it into the “normal” everyday life. But it’s very difficult like that. If you really want to do it, you can do it. But then you also have to give up your previous lifestyle.
Me: And what are the advantages of living this way – in the here and now?
Spirit: One is then very strongly connected with the divine or the universe, or whatever you want to call it. That is then the main content of life. It’s a question of whether one wants that.
Me: But there are also mindfulness seminars in which you learn to be more in the here and now, because that is supposed to be more relaxing.
Spirit: Yes, it is. But that’s the issue again with the two poles: One person sits in the monastery and meditates, the other has a busy schedule and rushes from one appointment to another all day. When you attend a mindfulness seminar, you don’t suddenly jump from your busy schedule to the monastery, but rather settle somewhere in between, so that your life becomes more relaxed. So you have plans and goals and thus stability and grounding, but at the same time you remain flexible, spontaneous and open and do not stiffen too much in one direction. Because what else do you do when something comes up? Without flexibility, you don’t get anywhere.
Me: Personally, I always make different plans. I always have plan A, plan B and plan C, and if plan A doesn’t work out, I just take plan B or C or something completely different. But at least I have a stability in my mind, so I feel like: When the chaos comes, I know in which direction I can act quickly so that I’m not completely left without something. Maybe I’m just blocked then and I can’t think of anything to do because I’m so surprised.
Spirit: That’s okay, too. You’re a relatively planful person then, even if you have multiple plans. But it can also be exhausting to come up with so many plans and think about them. You shouldn’t overdo that either. Having a firmer plan and a looser plan and leaving the rest to spontaneity would be more relaxed.
I hope this answer has helped Braño and others as well. If I ever run across another exciting question that I think I really need to post, I will. But for now I don’t want to have a regular schedule for this. I’m just going to leave it open-ended – without a plan … As I write this, I’m struck by how well it fits our theme today!
I wish you a wonderful time and that, no matter where your path takes you, you will get through life and go your way well.
If you have another question, send it to me and maybe I’ll post again.
I thank the Spirits and Braño and say goodbye.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)