The Future

To talk about the future is very interesting. What is the future? Does it exist? How do we feel about it?

When we talk about the future we talk about things that do not exist in this moment we talk about what might happen or might not. Do we know what the future will bring? We can only assume. But what do we base our assumptions on? On the experiences we made in the past. Hence the future is the projection of the past onto an empty canvas, onto what lies ahead, onto the unknown. 

The truth is the future does not exist. In this moment neither the future nor the past exist. This moment right here right now is perfect. But now our mind/ ego kicks in, is haunted by the experiences of the past, projects the same experiences onto an unknown future and is afraid of it. The future is an illusionary projection of our mind onto the unknown. That by itself is not bad but very often these projections hurt us. We suffer because of something that has not happened and most likely will never happen.

I only met a few people in my life that had a very positive attitude about the future. This might still be connected to a time when we were hunters and gatherers. We had to make sure that we have enough food and would hunt enough to get through the winter. This fear of not having enough has been passed on from generation to generation for thousands of years. Why are we afraid when we think about the future? Why do we not think about all the fun we will have, the money we will make and all the places in the world that we will see? This is not how it works. All we can think about is that we will not have the money for the rent that our partner will leave us or that we loose our car because we are not able to make the monthly payment.

I was terrified about the future most of my life. I always assumed the worst and very often bad things happened to me. The problem with being negative about the future is that we will create what we fear. That goes back to the idea that the world as we see it is a projection of our minds. If we see a dark future that brings us pain, loss and suffering this is what we will create. The future will unfold according to our beliefs.

Why was I so negative about my future? As I said before this probably still goes back to the hunter and gatherer programming that was passed on from generation to generation.  But why was I such a severe case?

My father one day admitted to me that all his life he has been a very fearful person what to me is a very courageous statement. But why was there so much fear in his life? My father was born 1935 in Frankfurt. He spent the first ten years of his live, the time when we get our main programming, living through the worst time of World War II. He spent his childhood hiding out in basements, playing in bombed out buildings and running for cover when the sirens announced new bombardments. At the end of the war at age 10 most of his friends had died in collapsed buildings. Is it a surprise that this little boy was afraid of what might come next? Absolutely not.

But now this boy becomes a man and has a son himself. His son might still be a baby but he feels what is going on. He feels his father, this tall strong intelligent man is utterly afraid of the future. Will this boy when he grows up feel that life, the world and the future will be safe. No he will not and if he is not very lucky to find somebody who can help him or does some therapy he will die being afraid. I would have died living the life of my father. The war would have continued in my head.

How can we break out? How can we see a future that brings us all we want? For a long time I was very impressed by a U2 bootleg that I bought years ago. Bono says between songs” The future is a big red party balloon”. And look at him. You can think about his music what you want but what a career, what a positive attitude towards the things that will come. How can we get there?

For me therapy did the trick. I had to see where it came from, why I was so afraid. Then I had to watch my thoughts. I had to be positive. Whenever I had a negative thought I stopped myself and replaced it with a positive one. My future started to shift, the pendulum swung to the other side.

Having positive thoughts is of course still projection the past onto the future. The ultimate goal is to not project onto the empty canvas at all. To know that the universe will always take care of us that always the right things happen at the right time and that we will be always safe. Then the plan the universe has for us can unfold itself without our minds/egos interfering. At that point we do not even think about the future any more. We live each moment fully without regret or fear and know that the future can’t be anything else then a big red party balloon.

 

 

 

 

 “What lies ahead?” Self portrait/Williamsburg/Brooklyn 02-10-08 at 05:05 PM.

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Please check out my website at carstenfleck.com

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