In the Fall of 1971 I found my copy of Be Here Now, Baba Ram Dass’ classic introduction to Eastern Thought. I read it, and put it in a prominent and safe place in my library. From time to time, as powerful lessons arrived in my life, I would pull it out and discover that Ram Dass had added deeper understanding in my life with this magic book.
Here’s what I have learned so far.
Now it was a big lesson. As a history major, I was and still am a person of deep nostalgia and reverence for the past. I can go there at the drop of a hat. I’ve spent my life taking notes and pictures and keeping memories….some pleasant and some not so.
I am also an early member of the World Futurist Society. I spend a lot of time in the future. Looking at trends, speculating about where we are going and sometimes discovering that I see a future that others do not see which reveals itself in time. I have trained myself to see as far into the future as I can possibly see. My concern for the place America finds itself in today is grounded in the fact that I can see a road we are taking developing into a major tragedy for America and the world.
It has taken me a long, long time to drag myself into being Present. But what a change it has brought in my life. The Past and the Future do not exist. Frequently the past turns out to be about guilt and the future about fear. In any case, you cannot be in either.
Living in the present allows me to see and feel and observe and participate in an authentic and complete fashion. In the present, I need hold nothing back. It is the only place where I can live life at 100 percent and at the speed of light.
Over the past two years I have begun to understand Being. Early on I received a heavy dose of needing to achieve. And I’ve done ok. But being driven to achieve all the time brings with it a belief that if I am not making and doing, then I am of no worth. So that leads to a life of constant striving, missing the mark, being disappointed and feeling the need to constantly strive for more.
But now, after only forty more years, I am beginning to understand that my willingness to just be, to just be present, reveals a huge secret. The Universe has a plan for me and has prepared me to accomplish that plan, and will provide all I need to complete the plan.
It’s the opposite of striving. As I become willing to just be, I find that my future and my role and my accomplishments find me, rather than my striving for them. They come as wonder-full surprises.
All of a sudden life has become almost childlike. Now I live spontaneously and even fearlessly. I am constantly reminded of the 1988 movie “The Incredible Lightness of Being.”
Being is an altered state, a higher dimension, a blessed discovery. And I am grateful God has allowed me to live long enough to learn this.