Here’s something we hear often. And it is linked to spirituality too. “Live in the present”, “Live in this moment alone”, “Don’t live in the past or in the future”, “the present is a gift” and so on and so forth. There are many variations of these. And they all sound amazing. Liberating too. Marry these words with some spectacular visuals on Instagram or Facebook and that is enough to make even a corpse feel all charged up and alive.
Feeling charged up and alive is indeed a good thing. But ‘living in the present’ needs to be understood well. It is ultimately dependent on the internal qualities or gunas of a person.
If people are sattvik by nature, they are likely to work for others and for a greater cause. Therefore their focus while working – in the true sense – will not be focused on the results of their actions.
For tamasik people however, this is not so obvious. They too may appear to not care about the result. But this apparent lack of caring comes from a deep rooted centre of laziness, inertia and selfishness which precludes them from calling a spade a spade. Their very success comes from denying the truth, and from seeking to avoid the consequences of their actions.
In that sense, the rajasik folks may be better off – as they at least know there is a gap which they need to bridge.
And thus, it is important to understand well what it takes to live in the moment. If we are thinking only about ourselves, jumping from one desire to the next, we may already be many moments ahead, and certainly not in the present.
If one has transcended the ego however, and is working solely for the benefit of the greater good, then living in the moment will come automatically. It is a state of ‘flow’. Nothing needs to be done to achieve it.