Inside my bank the other day I was greeted with loud yellow signs featuring their new slogan, “Everybody has a there.” Haha, I thought, that’s so true. The only way to be a person… is to have a “there.”
Instead, in the present moment, there is only “here.” There’s a feeling of total freedom, timelessness, expansion… but without any future or past, without personal identity. Think of a child’s openness… or the sensation of “being in the zone.” This magic moment lasts only until the ego – a “Someone” – comes in and tries to understand the feeling, possess it, and carry it along, from “here” to some other place, an imagined future: a “there.”
This raises a few obvious questions… questions our egos never consider:
1) Can the fullness of the present really be extended in time? How can we carry that which never moves? Do we drag it along? Why not just walk alongside it… and save ourselves the trouble? After all, it is going in the same direction and speed as we are… there’s no way to escape it!!
2) Where would we carry it? Because we simply cannot carry the present moment out of the present moment… we can’t force it into time. In fact, the present moment is the opposite of time. It’s timeless. Time “starts” the moment we leave the present… and “ends” the moment we come back. “Now” is “here,” but we imagine a timeline that seems to offer a “there.” Is there a “there”? Have you ever seen it? Have you ever been “there”?
3) Why would we even want to extend the present moment? Maybe we believe that bringing it into time and making it last gives it a sort of validity, making it concrete, “greater” or “longer” than the present moment… as if the present moment was always lacking… never enough. Maybe we think that only time can make things “solid” and “continuous.” That’s a common illusion.
In reality, our “Someones” are afraid of the present, afraid of “now,” because in its “everythingness” it swallows up our identities as well… leaving us naked and alone… without our ego stories to protect us.
That’s why we keep trying to invent a “there”.” Because the only one who can stay “here” — in the infinite present — is…
PS. How long can you last “here”… as a “nobody”… before you get scared and run back to false comfort “there”… as a “somebody”?