Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
20th August 2016
What is the future?
A moment is not made by man because man would need to be in the moment to make the moment. A moment, however, existed before man could make it to be in the moment, because vegetation and animal kingdom existed well before man existed in the moment.
Vegetation and animal kingdom did not make the moment either to be in it. They neither claim to make a moment nor do they claim to be able to do anything in the moment. This implies that life manifested the moment, including vegetation, animal kingdom and their movements to exist within the moment.
The significance of this understanding indicates that the present moment has always existed and man does not make the present moment to exist or to be in it. It further signifies that life has manifested man’s movements in the present moment and man does not make his movements. The enlightened have rightly proclaimed that man is part of nature and not separate from nature.
Life has also manifested in the moment a belief that the next moment is the future. But the present moment is the only moment that exists, which signifies that the next moment is always the present moment and is neither the next nor the future. The next moment so far has been mistaken by man to be the future. Man dreams of living his future not realising that life is gifting him his future every moment as the present.
Life indicates to us that the present moment is the future and the future that everyone dreams about living is the moment that he is living in. The indication is the understanding that man already has, which has been gifted by life and that is: Man knows that he is never certain of what could happen in the present moment. He knows that he comes to know what happens in the present moment with certainty, only after it happens.
Similarly, if understanding does happen to man that, if he is unable to know with certainty what certainly will happen in the present moment, it is also not possible for him to know with certainty what will happen in the next present moment.
If man observes life, life will gift him the understanding that he comes to know what happens in the present moment with certainty only after it has happened. If he understands that primitive man too came to know only after knowledge happened to him in the present moment, he will understand that modern man has knowledge of what happens in life and that this knowledge gives the deception of a future that is away from the present moment.
If man could know with certainty what certainly will happen in the present moment, it is obvious that he would certainly know with certainty what will happen in every moment of his life. And there would be no point in dreaming about living his future. It is impossible to know with certainty what certainly will happen in the present moment. It is certainly possible to know with certainty after it happens in the present moment. This indicates that the present moment with whatever that happens is certainly the future.
So what is the future? The enlightened understanding of future is: The present moment with whatever that happens in the present moment is the future. This implies that the future, in which man believes, is not away from him. The future is the present moment which is with him.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2016
We may have recourse to the celebrated dictum, enunciated in the 14th century, that ‘Man supposes, God disposes’, when our expectations fail to materialize.
While the future that holds us in thrall blinds us to the gift of the present moment, we are condemned to a life that does not exist, has never existed and never will exist. We are profoundly grateful to life for the gift of Dr Shankar.
Julian Capper, U.K.