The Imagined Future

By Anthony Gold

The future, by definition, is imagined.

If we anticipate it to be better than the present, then we are hopeful.

If worse, then we are anxious.

But the future is neither better nor worse. It isn’t real.

And passing judgment on something that isn’t real makes no sense.

Yet we do it all the time.

Consider dreams. When we wake up following a dream, we say we had a good dream if the events that transpired were pleasing. Or, it was a bad dream if things didn’t turn out so well.

We don’t give the dream much weight since we know it wasn’t real – just a bunch of perceived stories temporarily floating in our head.

But we don’t see the future like a dream.

We imagine the future like it’s real, and hence all our emotions come from unreality.

Most people don’t go to bed at night excited or worried about the dreams that may or may not occur.

Yet that’s what we do whenever we contemplate the future or relive the past. Which is pretty much all the time.

How do we know when we’re living in the future or the past – and not the present moment?

Anytime we’re having an emotional reaction of anything other than perfect peace.

Think about it: our emotions come from an event that happened in the past, or something we think might occur in the future.

Neither of which are real. The past is gone. And the future is made up. Neither exist.

Yet we spend all our energy there. Never realizing the travesty of our predicament.

Seemingly trapped in a world that is responsible for our joys and pains, we are unaware of the significance that this erroneous thought system has wrought.

But there is another way. Another way of seeing, experiencing, and being in the world that transcends all pain and illusion.

When we make this shift away from ego mind and into present moment awareness, nothing but happiness is there.

Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore the nature of our imagined future, and how we can practice a new way of being. I look forward to seeing you then.

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