Today’s Solutions: February 03, 2023

The perils of trying too hard to live in the present. Tijn Touber reflects on the dangers of living in the here and now.

Tijn Touber | July 2004 issue
Just back from talking with Eckhart Tolle about the importance of living in the “here and now”, I run across a column in the magazine Spirituality %amp% Health (April 2004) written by former Catholic monk and bestselling author Thomas Moore about the importance of life in the “there and then”. Moore suspects that concentrating on trying to live in the here and now only takes us further away from truly being in the here and now. If you really want to be present here and now, he advises, you should give up your egotistical desires – such as living in the here and now. Then you’ll automatically be in the here and now.
It’s typical that the egos of people who are wrapped up in trying to be egoless in fact only gets bigger.
This rings only too true. I recently caught myself rattling on yet again about one of my pet theories. The nice lady sitting across from me listened as I enthusiastically told her how important it is to be less involved with the ego and to completely live in that egoless state of pure awareness. “Gone is the time when we needed to spend long hours meditating and endlessly talking about what the ego actually is and how we can become free and enlightened,” I chattered on. “Gone is the time when we needed to tell others how things should be done. It’s high time to simply be it. To live it. Now. Here. Time to make ourselves less important and be truly open to another,” and on and on…
She nodded enthusiastically at first, but as I kept going her eyes started to glaze. After 15 minutes or so she politely interrupted me. She totally agreed with me, she said, but had to go because her kids were waiting to be picked up at school. Then she needed to go grocery shopping, cook dinner, iron clothes, and help her youngest son with his homework. She smiled at me sweetly and gave me an encouraging pat on the back. She truly agreed with me and said I had articulated my ideas very well. I was always welcome to come by and tell her more.
When she had gone, I thanked God for ordinary people who don’t have the time to become egoless.

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