Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!
Burns suggests that the small scared mouse is better off than him. Why? Because the mouse doesn’t suffer from internal dialogue, isn’t always scheming and lives largely in the instant, not the land of regrets or the land of speculations. There is only one way to avoid regrets and that is to be wide awake and fully present in everything you do. Of course, some measure of planning is important in our modern complex world, but by being always scheming, where are you? You are in the land of speculation and the land of manipulation. Surprise, surprise, things gang aft agley, why? Because you are not present. It is so simple really. And am I not the first to point this out, this theme runs through many disciplines.
Buy as many books as you want, read nice poems, read up. It will never make you present until you make at least some effort in that direction. If you are present slowly your awareness will heighten, and you will miss much less, life becomes richer. For some the present is a scary place, because it means trying to be real, live and not theoretical, discursive or speculative. Instead of mentally “checking out” one faces the realities of how each action has consequence. One develops an integrity and in the now, one cannot pull a fast one. There is no need in the now for this.
If you meet someone who is fully present it can be unnerving. Somehow you sense that their world has a greater acuity and is not so dissipated or distracted. It is really up to each of us, do we seek to inhabit the world of regrets, the world of speculations or the world of now?
Which of these bring happiness?