We can always have peace and rest now. But we refuse it. We insist on thinking. Sometimes it’s about the future, sometimes the past, sometimes even the present, but we think ourselves right out of peace. “I have to run these errands.” “Bob said/did something I didn’t like.” “My investment might lose value.” “My thighs are fat.” “What will happen to me?” We look for any excuse to reject pure experience. If nothing bad is happening, we will conjure something up. We don’t want the Now because we are so focused on selfing that we can’t focus on what is actually happening. We would rather fret over stuff that happened or stuff that hasn’t happened or how the present affects us than feel what is happening. So the false self prevents us from experiencing the Now and thus guarantees that we will not truly live.
We often consider the Now to be boring. We can’t, for example, just accept the feeling of a good stretch, or a sunset, or the wind on our skin, or the song of a bird, or the comfort of a soft couch. “I’ve got important things to think about,” we say to ourselves. “Obligations. Fears. Regrets. People I hate.” And so we resist everything: the present, the past, and the future. All we can feel is our own resistance.
We torture ourselves with our thoughts while erroneously believing that they are somehow protecting us. From what? Even if we were to incur some loss of wealth or social status as the result of not staying “on top of things”, would that be any worse than the horrible state of non-living? Isn’t this a greater and more immediate threat? Sometimes it is better to live now and pay later.