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Living in The Now is not easy

Updated on August 20, 2012

Author making a point in a story.

Tom addressing the Australina 'Association of First Fleeters' on 7th May 2011
Tom addressing the Australina 'Association of First Fleeters' on 7th May 2011

We can spend our whole lives reading books on Success.

Welcome to Living in The Now is not easy.

We can spend our whole lives reading books on Success and Happiness and still find ourselves seeking. I think this is the case with me. Then the realization came that I don’t celebrate my ‘moments of fulfillment.’ Instead, my ego-mind is already propelling me towards just one more nebulous goal; a goal which the ego promises will make my life more satisfying but, in actuality, when reached, brings to the fore once again that age old belief that “things will be better by and by.” I wonder how many of you out there can identify with this.

The ego refuses to live in the present.

It is, of course, the ego’s refusal to live in the present. Our ego draws us with a magnetic attraction to what has been and what will be. It doesn’t like The Now. If you doubt me, try concentrating on something, anything or any thing, and keep your attention there. Just look at a door handle, a cup on the table, a tree outside. See how long you can keep your attention there before it is drawn away. It’s likely you wont even realize it’s been drawn away until you suddenly recall what your original intention was – to stay fixed in the present moment in concentration on that door handle, cup, or tree. The ego’s very subtle. But it takes charge. And it will continue to take charge until we make a really determined effort for it to be our boss no longer. It should be our servant, not our boss!

Some of the audience of around fifty people.  Apparently they liked what they heard.
Some of the audience of around fifty people. Apparently they liked what they heard.

Living in The Now is not easy.

Unfortunately, a lot of people never realize that their mind is not themselves. But it isn’t. If it were, you would have absolutely no control over it. As it is, we generally have some limited control. But it is limited. Perhaps it was never meant to be total. However, we really should have much more control than most of us do.

Our ego has taken on an identity of its own.

So if this mind is not us, what is it? Sorry, dear reader, I can’t really answer that one. Nevertheless, your reading here will not be entirely in vain, for you will learn a little about it, the main thing being that it is impersonal. The ego mind, that is our own personal unconscious or subconscious – not to be confused with the Collective Unconscious or Superconciousness – is basically no more than a conglomeration of thought-form patterns which has somehow taken on an identity of its own. It wants to continue with its own identification. The ego is not a stable thing; forever changing, it is a fickle as the wind and just about as intangible. But like the wind, it can make us feel good or awful. But it isn’t doing this out of generosity or vindictiveness. It just wants to survive.

I tend to I visualize the scene as I tell a story.

Yours truly going full blast.
Yours truly going full blast.

Our deep unconscious mind is our unquestioning servant.

But what lies beyond or below this ego mind is something else again. Our own deep subconscious is like an enormous genie who will do our bidding, whatever that bidding might be. But we have to know how to communicate with him. He only takes affirmative orders, is quite obtuse when it comes to interpretation, wanting every message put to him clear and understandable. Sarcasm is not computed as such. Throw away lines are meaningless.


Like a tape recorded, what is recorded is impersonal.

Another analogy, I very recently heard, compared our deep subconscious to that of a recording device or a tape in a tape player. It does not reason. It just takes down what is recorded upon it. What ever message you put on it it will play back. And by play back I mean, take action on.

And the common analogy of the deep subconscious being like a ‘garden bed ready to take the seeds planted in it’ is also very apt, I think. Don’t plant lemon seeds and expect the fruit, when it eventually comes into being, to be like sweet mangoes. What is planted is what grows.


The Sealers is a story about the discovery and exploitation of MacQuarie Island. I must have told it 100 times...

Another view of the audience at Brush Farm, the historic homestead of Simeon Lord, one of Australia's earlier entrepreneurs.
Another view of the audience at Brush Farm, the historic homestead of Simeon Lord, one of Australia's earlier entrepreneurs.

Living in The Now is not easy.

So what does this mean? Like the now hackneyed expression for computers: “rubbish in, rubbish out,” our subconscious works the same way. Every message, along with its attendant emotion, is recorded. Yes, every message. Your verbal thoughts, the grumblings, ranting, and raving, goes into that structur referred to as the mind-body where it is stored – later to be released back to us in some way. It can come back in the form of outward events happening in our lives, or thoughts that well up along with the emotions which accompany them, and worse – they can eat away at your health. Very strong emotions such as an ongoing hatred or resentment’ve heard it before. Yes, our thoughts can make us very sick.

So watch the thoughts! Monitor them!


Another shot of speaker and part of the audience.

It's mostly older people who tend to like History as a subject.
It's mostly older people who tend to like History as a subject.

You will see results. But this is a lifetime job.

To get back to the very beginning of this Hub. How to bring the ego under the control of our real self? First, we need to recognize that it isn’t the real us. Once this is at least accepted as a hypothesis, we’re can get started. I read somewhere quite recently that the only way to effectively do this is to learn to meditate and then to do so on a daily basis; not less than thirty minutes a day. I’ve been at it – meditation that is – for over twenty-five years at well over this minimum time, and I still haven’t brought my ego-mind under the control of my will. But I am getting there. I do see the results, and see them daily. And yes, it is making for a happier life as time goes on....yet at seventy-five I still find myself looking forward. I wonder why?

Enjoy the present moment. It's all we ever get.

We really do need to stop, relax, and enjoy our present moment more than we do. If something good is happening now, enjoy The Now. It is the only moment we really experience. All the rest is either history or an imaginary projection. And we aren’t really in either.

I hope you got something out of Living in The Now is not easy.

Keep happy.



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  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

    Yes-living in the now; in the present is not easy. The egoic mind moves stealthly and silently through the past and future. It is important to be ever so vigilant in order to remain present and spontaneous. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dee aka Nonna profile image

    Dee aka Nonna 7 years ago

    I happen to be one of those people who love reading success books. Many of them serve to keep me motivated or bring me up when I'm down. I read Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth about 4 or 5 years ago and remember thinking that we indeed spend too much time regretting or reliving the past and too much time trying to get to some place in the in the now is very satisfying if you can stop your mind from going to those other places. As H.P Roychoudhury said about does help but there are very few people who have learned to master it. Excellent hub Tom!

  • Paradise7 profile image

    Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

    Great hub!

  • H P Roychoudhury profile image

    H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

    The best is to serve you with faith, discipline and devotion. If the process of life could follow the above virtues, the meditation is not required. Meditation concentrates the mind to the preferred object. But a faithful mind has no difficulty to get anything desired. It is immaterial to him to live with “The Now”, “The Future” or remembering the past.

  • lmmartin profile image

    lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

    Interesting food for thought.