In Buddhism, it is said that Hope and Fear are flipsides of the same coin. They both engender the future, and in doing so, they rob you of the present moment, which is, really, all we have.
I've repeatedly referred in this blog to the idea that All is One. That's an idea that could use a bit more detailed exploration, because it's much deeper than it seems on the surface.
It occurs to me that the automatic response of most people would be to take "All is One" to mean "All things are One." As far as it goes, this is the correct view; however, as my Very Wise Friend has said more than once, every lesson has a secret, and this one is no exception.
Think, for a moment, about the implications of the idea that All is One. Your friends, your loved ones, your pets (gah, how I hate that word), they're all You. The "things" that you "possess," the things you want, the things you fear? Those are You, too.... and You are "them," a way of phrasing it that increasingly loses meaning as you begin to realize that there is no "You," and no "them." There only Is.
Keep digging, though, and you will find even more profound ideas. If All things are One, then, too, All places are One, as well. There is no "Here" and "There". There only Is. Your friends and family that are "far away"? Not so much. Your "enemies" on the other side of the globe? They live right there, in "your" heart. All those places you want so badly to see, to visit? They're right outside your door. Literally.
I'm sure most, if not all of you, see where this is going. Having established that All things are One, and that All places are One, it then follows that All times are One as well. No past. No future. Just Now.
At first glance, this idea might seem to imply a very heavy handed, fatalistic view, that Everything is predestined. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the notion of Karma is broadly removed from the idea of predestination. (Keep these ideas in your mind- I will talk in much greater depth about this subject in an upcoming entry.) The fact is, if All times are One, you have potent and precise control over every single detail of your reality. If the Past, the Present, and the Future are just different views of the Moment, the Now, then you can change... all of them. Easily, even.
Here's the trick of it: ask any dozen people to recall a specfic moment in the "past," one that they all experienced. How many different versions of the story do you think you'll hear? My money is on "a dozen." Why? Because everyone has their own filters and perceptions, and experiences any given scenario their own unique way. Given that... what is experience, really? It's memory. It's recall. If I may speak metaphorically, your experiences are little more than text files on the hard drive that is your mind.
What's to stop you from editing them? Absolutely nothing... except for the conditioned-in idea that you can't, that it's "impossible." The important thing to take from this, though, is that if you retro-manifest your "past" to modify your "present," or your "future," you have to remember that you're only making those changes in your own perception. Others who haven't edited themselves in this manner will still recall those moments as they experienced them. This idea leads into another can of worms, which I will, for the moment, refer to preemptively as group awareness. There's a better word for it, and a whole lot to be said about it, but that, too, will have to wait for another entry.
The practical upshot to all of this? Focusing on the past, or the future, can be problematic, but only if you view them as separate and distinct from Now. Now is "all" we have... but Now is everything, too. The pundits lied, kids: you can (and do!) have it all, and you have it... Now.
So they next time something doesn't go quite as planned... remember that you can fix the outcome "later." We'll talk about how that works in future entries (which I am, of course, writing "now"...).