The Paradox of Planning for the Future

futureclock The Paradox of Planning for the Future

When you initially arrive into a new situation, the optimum strategy for dealing with that situation is to quiet down and hear the totality of what’s going on around you. To hear all of the variables and how they are all working together, just in a quiet intuitive way, out of which will come an optimum action. That is, the more fully you are present in that moment of decision making, the more you can expect an optimum response. Optimum in the sense of it being in the deepest harmony on the most planes of reality.

The best practice for being fully present at that moment of choice is to practice being present in this moment.

Since the planning for that future situation is missing the existential components that will exist in that situation, you are planning in the absence of all the data. For example, I can plan that I’m going to give a lecture next Thursday night, but I don’t know that whether what I had for dinner that night is going to affect my consciousness in a way that’s gonna make that lecture other than the one I’ve planned now. What I’m gonna do Thursday evening, when I’m sitting with that audience is very much a function of what has gone on that day. What I’ve eaten, what happens in the hall, who comes to the lecture, and all that. See, I’m making a plan now, for then.

What will happen is that when I get there, if I’m so wedded to the plan I had made then, I will do violence to what the existential moment is in order to impose my plan at that time.

We’re all used to doing that all the time; we’re all used to having plans, with our inertia of mind, and the inability to let go of our plan into the new moment leaves us strangely out of sync with everything. Doing violence to the whole thing. Like, say you meet somebody, and you have a model of a romance. Then you meet them again, and the situation offers something entirely different from what you thought it was gonna be, but you can’t let go of your model. You end up destroying what new thing could be, because you can’t hear it, because of your attachment to your old model.

After you begin to observe this phenomena occurring again and again, that way in which you make plans and hold very tightly to them, you will eventually begin to realize that the fullness of being in this moment, which includes the future and it’s plans, is the best preparation for when that time is here now. So being here now is the best preparation for when you are there then or when there then is here now.

-Ram Dass 

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