Carpe Diem , of the great Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, known as Horace, means something like “seize the moment”, in the sense of not wasting it. The full sentence in its original language is “ Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero ” and its most reliable translation is something like “Seize the present day without worrying about the morrow”. However, we resist living in the here and now.
A priori, it is easier to let the day pass and let the next day come than to “seize the moment”. What does this say about us? Some people are unable to live in the present moment, to focus on the present. They are dependent on the past to live in the present. Lying and sulking against their thoughts.
Worst of all is that we don’t know if this ability has been taken away from us by “civilization”. If the savage is precisely to stop feeling in order to think . P hy withstand live the here and now? Does it have anything to do with human evolution?
We resist living in the here and now because we judge and are judged
Eckhart Tolle, in a masterful lecture in Barcelona, highlighted this unhappiness of the human being: to be imprisoned by mental, material and emotional forms. Stop contemplating them as something transitory … to identify with them. Stop being present … to be mentally satisfied.
It has nothing to do with “self-absorption” or paralysis. Quite the contrary. No one doubts that in this life you have to “do things”.
The main thing is to do things and to be present with what you feel, without judging it or feeling continually being judged. It is the most mature form of commitment and character.
Connection with the present: absence of ego and guilt
Sometimes, being no longer trapped in thought forms is very much like pleasant contact with a baby, nature or an animal. It’s exciting to see how a person spends their time with someone who doesn’t judge them, but who doesn’t brag either. Some people disarm and others arm themselves. Some people relax and connect with the present when they don’t feel judged.
Others feel they have to keep proving something, all the time. In the latter case, besides a problem of contact with the present, there is an excess of narcissism and ego.
The first type of person may lack good company or simply avoid others. Or the most difficult thing: to make theirs bearable without continuous judgment. Without guilt for everything they have done or will do. Look at life as a spectator of their mind and a protagonist of situations.
We connect to the present when there is a radical acceptance of mental states without moral or intellectual submission to them. When we contemplate the shapes of the world without feeling that they define us. The difference between over-intellectualization and true wisdom.
Renouncing the here and now because of detachment and western culture
In Western civilization, it is difficult to understand detachment. We refuse to let go and we hold on.
When we have family, friends and a lover, we believe it’s forever. We suffer no matter what. And this suffering arose from our inability to detach ourselves. To feel free and connected to the current dimension.
When we believe that something is permanently dependent on us or that we depend on others to connect with the here and now, it all becomes much more difficult.
In the face of death, it can take months or years to accept the departure of a loved one, when that is the normal process of life. Everything leads to death. It is not death that is sad and painful. C ‘is the refusal to accept it as a normal process of life.
Knowing how to stop in the here and now for our mental health
For us Westerners, who live in the era of consumerism and productivity at all costs, this search for the present moment is almost a luxury. Who has time to slow down to savor the morning breeze, the smell of wet grass?
We all feel like we are constantly running. For most of us this race becomes a heavy routine.
Our daily life is breathless and we dream of the weekend, the next vacation or even retirement. We go to work thinking about dinner. Sunday is full of anguish belonging to Monday. Our present seems so boring and empty that we run away.
It will be easier to live in the here and now with our values in mind
In a society where performance is valued, the concept of “here and now” can be surprising. It can even be synonymous with laziness and recklessness. This is not a cheap philosophy, however.
The present has meaning through the past and the future. It is not a static image, it is part of a whole. We need to know where we come from now in order to take action that will build the future. Think about environmental issues: we act now knowing that our actions will have an impact on the future.
As we struggle with the exhaustion that forces us to stop, we end up wondering what it all means. And this is often what is missing in our lives: meaning. It is important to know what motivates our actions and our choices.
This does not mean that we have to set ourselves spectacular goals. Giving meaning to life means finding what matters most to us, then working and acting according to that priority. It can be family, love, our children. Only with a clear goal, which makes sense to us, can we really take the time to savor the path that leads there.
Live now to forge memories linked to your values
By stopping to enjoy the moment, we build happy memories from our senses. Some shamans call them “hot memories”. Unlike the “cold memories” forged by our intellect, these memories are indelible and become a source of comfort.
If our well is empty, if we haven’t taken the time to enjoy the little moments of happiness in our life because we were too busy performing and running, we will feel that our life is lacking in content. “Midlife crises” are often the result of this observation.
Why do we sometimes give up living in the here and now?
Just feeling alive and healthy here and now can be a source of joy. You still have to stop to appreciate it. Author Sarah Ban Breathnach’s advice is to keep a journal in which you write down five things for which you are grateful each evening. Thus, we realize that we are much richer than we think.
We were hammered out phrases like “ your past is your present ” or “ it’s up to you to forge a good future ”. They relate the value of the present to uselessness, invisibility or even inactivity. A person who does not think of having a good past and a bright future is lost. In some vulnerable people, these messages crystallize in anxiety, hyperactivity or depression.
The only way to heal is to make room for everything in your life with an attitude of presence, vigilance and concern for what is going on in the present moment, assuming nothing is so horrible in reality when you come into contact with the earth. Often bad things only happen in our mind, which is itself trapped in the world of social forms, and not deep in our being with its open senses.