Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
20th June 2016
Man dreams of his future in the waking state of daily life. He lives his present, daily life in anticipation regarding the dream of his future. This dream is conditioned, making man hope for a future.
Man believes his dream could be a reality and has not questioned its authenticity. To question its authenticity is absurdity to the conditioned mind. The enlightened have nevertheless proclaimed that the future is illusory and not real.
The statement by the enlightened requires to be understood deeply with reason and logic to understand its wisdom. It is obvious that a moment in life is always ‘here and now’ and nowhere else. It is also obvious that it is impossible to be physically present in the future. This implies that man will always be in the ‘here and now’ and never in the future.
This implies that the future is a thought in the ‘here and now’ and not a physical reality. It is also impossible to have a thought literally in the future, because it is impossible to be actually physically present in the future. So the question is where could the future be that man dreams of and is also convinced that he will live that future?
A moment that is ‘here and now’ is not separate from the moment that was in the ‘here and now’. It is important to understand that the moment that was in the ‘here and now’ is as the moment that is as the ‘here and now’. If the moment that ‘was’ is separate from the moment that ‘is’, the moment that ‘is’ would not exist as the moment that ‘is’ as the ‘here and now’.
The most important part of deeply understanding the future is that man is continuously, spontaneously, uncontrollably and unpredictably living his future every moment, which is the ‘here and now’, because the moment ‘here and now’ is continuously, spontaneously, uncontrollably and unpredictably evolving as the new ‘here and now’.
The future that man is living every moment in the ‘here and now’, however, appears as a thought called the ‘present’. Man does not understand that he is literally and physically living his future every moment, yet he continues to dream to live his future.
This proves the belief that the future is yet to happen is an illusion, just as the enlightened have proclaimed the future is. Therefore, the future keeps happening as the ‘here and now’, while man waits for future to happen.
When man understands that he neither makes the future nor the moment ‘here and now’, he lives in trust that what will happen will happen, albeit illusory, which is what the enlightened have proclaimed.
When man understands that life gifts his future every moment as whatever that is within the moment ‘here and now’ and that the gift cannot be changed for another and that there is no need to wait for his future, he begins to accept his daily life as it is gifted by life.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2016
We are always preparing for the future, throughout our lives. This preparation is embedded in our system and it has determined our way of life, illusory though it is. Ironically enough, though, we do accept that we have to wait for things to happen, to see how they will turn out. However, the understanding of the enlightened, which is offered in this article, that man does live his own future as gifted by life, relieves man of the intense burden of expectation.
Julian Capper, U.K.
German Translator’s Note:
A dream is but a dream and not a reality. Future is what we all dream of, especially when we don’t like the present or are bored by it. The future, however, never comes, because the future we all dream of is nothing but fiction. What the real present is and how it includes the future, Dr. Shankar reveals in this article with clarity and depth. Life is a continuous, timeless flow and the future is, as the present, an imagination in man’s mind. To live the imagined present as an illusion instead of dreaming of a supposedly real future is enlightenment. A deep understanding of future and present, as shared by Dr. Shankar, opens the door.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.