Alan Watts, one of my favorite philosophers, talks about our lives and ways of thinking in current society. We got programmed to belief that the future is always more important than the NOW. He puts it into beautiful words:
When you went first to school,
You went to kindergarten.
And in kindergarten, the idea was to push along so that you could get into first grade.
And then push along so that you could get into second grade, third grade and so on,
Going up and up.
And then you went to high school and this was a great transition in life.
And now the pressure is being put on,
You must get ahead,
you must go up the grades,
And finally be good enough to get to college.
And then when you get to college,
you’re still going step by step, step by step,
Up to the great moment in which you’re ready to go out into the world.
And then when you get out into this famous world… Comes…
The struggle for success in profession or business,
And again there seems to be a ladder before you,
Something for which are reaching all the time.
And then…Suddenly, when are about forty or forty-five years old in the middle life,
You wake up one day and say… Huh? I’ve arrived, and by Joe I feel
Pretty much the same as I’ve always felt.
In fact I’m not so sure that I don’t feel a little bit cheated.
Because you see you were fooled.
You were always living,
Where you aren’t.
And while as I said it is of tremendous use for us,
to be able look ahead in this way and to plan…
There is no use planning for a future,
Which when you get to it and it becomes a present, you won’t be there.
You’ll be living in some other future which hasn’t yet arrived.
And so in this way one is never able
Actually to inherit and enjoy the fruits of one’s actions.
You can’t live at all,
Unless you can live fully,
~ Alan Watts