One of the key buzzwords these days, the common prescription for a happy life, we are told is learn to be more present. Learn to be in the moment.
Anxiety is essentially temporal dislocation.
Anxiety means you’re not here now. You’re concerned about the future. You’re anxious about the past and those things become, like, turbulence for the mind. Making your flight through life; annoyingly terrifying one. Constantly shaking up and down, fucking with your inner peace and so, it’s interesting. Because if we’re told that learning to be present is the way in which we may find peace and fulfillment, we’re actually being asked to betray our biological hardware. What separates us from other animals in the animal kingdom is that we come equipped with this neocortical hardware. This neocortex and what that does is, it allows us to think in abstraction, to take ourselves out of the moment and conceive potentially of delightful future possibilities. Pick the most amazing one and pull the present forward to meet that possibility or capacity to imagine, to create is a byproduct of our sophisticated state of the art, latest evolutionary model, neocortical hardware. But it is that same mental capacity, that same piece of hardware that betrays us once we satiate our basic needs.
It’s like okay, you got a job, you paid the bills, you’re secure in your physical safety but this neocortical hardware is still thinking about the future, still evaluating scenarios and risks. We are the descendants of the most neurotic humans of the past. The ones that were constantly afraid. The ones that were constantly assessing threats and feeling anxious and flooring those threats. We’ve inherited this hardware that has made us, in some ways, achieve the impossible, soar through sky, transcend space time and mind collapse geography with our technological mediation. We are as Gods and yet our minds betray us yet, 70 million Americans have medicated for anxiety. We live in the safest time in all of human history yet, we can’t sleep at night from the amount of anxiety that we’re dealing with.
Depression and anxiety that leaves mental illnesses from carrying the burden of having to figure out what to do with our lives and a world that doesn’t tell us exactly what to do. I mean, it’s like society might offer a map or a model of how to live but most of us have a sneaking suspicion that nobody really knows what they’re talking about and so, what we do aside from fetching water and chopping wood and having kids and making love? What the hell do we do? And I’m not saying I have the answer to that question but I know that it doesn’t come just from being present but perhaps, from some kind of marriage. Some kind of synergistic between learning to occasionally be present, be here now, be in the moment but also acknowledge that we are not just human beings. We are human becoming and we need to constantly be probing the perimeters of the possible and bringing new spaces and possibilities into being and so, I think, it’s a marriage of both and I thinks that finding balance between those two forces, take us to the next leap forward.