Uncovering the mechanism of anxiety- part 3
Author Raja Krishnamoorthy / Kitty - Apr 04, 2014
What is the FUTURE going to be?
This question is, most often, a reflection of anxiety. It can be intellectually very engaging and can keep us pre-occupied with all permutations & combinations of possibilities. The whole business of forecast thrives on that. From the street corner astrologer to the stock-market advisor (they love to see anxiety in people) this one question is constantly popped up:
“What will happen to my FUTURE?”
It is anxiety – the fear based perception of our lives – that leads to Haste (Avasaram),Greed (Adhigam), & Arrogance (Aanavam) syndrome.
Haste is the product of perceived “paucity” of time. Greed is the product of perceived “paucity” of things/possessions. Arrogance is the result of perceived “paucity” of a powerful identity.
If we wish to understand the origin of our anxiety & break its’ spell on us, we can begin by asking a few simple questions.
1. What does the word FUTURE mean to me? What is my definition or framework of the word “FUTURE”? Is it Eternal, Life time, 25 years, 10 years, 5 years, one month/2 weeks, next 24 hours…or 2 hours, 10 minutes? (Never thought this way about future… right?)
2. Which one of these “Future Time Frames” causes that uncertainty, bleak outlook, and anxiety? (Almost all of them, in different ways… right?)
3. Which of these Future Time Frames am I in absolute, 100% control?
Ha, Ha! You can try your best, but you know the answer. NONE!
If we know the answer, then that predictive capability will make life certain. Anticipated, foreseen, preventive measures will be organized; hence any calamity or anxiety can be averted. Life is assured. Future is clear, and there is no confusion!
What a fabulous possibility that almost borders on illusion! Alas, the dynamism of living process is not designed that way!
When everything is known then there is no experience of change. No Excitement of newness. No aspiration anymore. There is nothing to be chased. We know exactly what we will get, what everyone will get. There is no more motivation to try harder, make big effort, or to do better? Why should we try? We know what we will get.
No moving from here to there because “there” does not theoretically exist, when future is known in the PRESENT itself. No moving from “then” to “now”!
At best there will be a frozen present. Such frozenness has one quality. Decay & Death.
I hear a voice say “But I can be very sure of the next 5 minutes”. Then the solution is very simple. Convert your life into pockets of continuous 5 minutes. Or 2 minutes. Whatever is the time range of “assuredness” about the future!
But we know this is not possible. Predicting & controlling even 2 minutes is not possible by the same logic. Why is this so?
Because we carry with us, all the time, this myth normally known as, FUTURE.
“Future” is an IDEA created constantly in our mind. An illusion continuously created in the PRESENT. Here, and NOW.
WE do not have a future. We have only hopes or ideas about the future, based on the past, based on common sense, on assumptions, on known patterns, on some analysis, based on some PLANS. The hopes are strongly held or weakly held: High anxiety, low confidence or low anxiety, high confidence. It is all held in some mix of uncertainty & assurance.
What we call as PLAN is a mental framework of ideas, HELD IN THE PRESENT, with a hope of fulfilling in future, such FUTURE any way being yet another PRESENT, only to be experienced at a distant time.
Can we deeply understand this?
WE can only act in the present, fully, consciously. Mind fully. (By the way, past is the counterpoint of Future, 2 sides of the same coin. But we will come to that later).
I repeat, WE can only act in the present, fully, consciously. Mind fully. By observing our mind. Focusing on what is in hand. Giving 100% to the here & Now. Be positive on how we choose to respond. Be pro-active & sensitive to the needs of the situation. Be principle centered, if it involves other beings, stakeholders including nature? Be large hearted, accommodating and solution oriented.
In the present we always have a choice. We need to make a choice between anger and joy. Between making life a suffering & realizing hopes. Between perpetuating misery & ending it. Between spreading illness in minds & curing illness of minds. Between creating doubts, differences and distance & reaching out, touching and embracing. Between settling issues or settling scores.
Between being a flowering of love & becoming a mechanism of hate.
The hate mongers will constantly challenge the process. The sensationalists. The reactivity triggers. The dramarizers.The power hungry. The manipulators. All those who wish anxiety to prevail rather than peace to settle down.
They love chaos, not calm to prevail in your mind.
The ever hungry power brokers, be it the manipulative politician or the mis-presenting media. Or religious, sectarian, regional, corporate or power lobby that wishes to perpetuate its’ convenient product: Anxiety & Hate. In whichever intellectual format and style they may justify.
There is one way out of this mess though!
WE can – Objectively, Efficiently, Purposefully – become conscious & fully aware! Deal, live, be AWARE of the present.
If we wish to be with the present, we need to eliminate the IDEAS that are producing the anxiety.
Or even better: When you feel anxious about something, take a pause, reflect deeply and ask this question:
Is this -anxiety creating idea – based on any one of the following?
1. Faith (our surrender to or acceptance of something mysterious)
2. Belief (based on some source of credibility) or
3. Personal Knowledge (self experience/ evidence based judgment)
Be determined. Get to the bottom: Where did this anxiety producing idea come from; What was the source of my perception: Faith, belief or Experience- Clear “evidence based judgment”?
Be focused. The light will glow, even if gradually! You will know!
Please go back & read the earlier blog: The mechanism of anxiety- part 1: Faith, belief & Judgment.
I wish to sign off with a verse:
“You can only learn from the PAST,
You cannot live in it;
You can only plan for the FUTURE,
You cannot be in it!
The learning and planning, dear,
Is just a wee bit,
Of many joyous things to do NOW,
Which this PRESENT does permit!”
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- Uncovering the mechanism of anxiety- part 3
- The Mechanism Of Anxiety – Part 2
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