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Speaker: Pranab, you are asking that if you think of the future, then it appears like slavery of the past, because future consists of the images of the past. But at the same time there is a fear that if I do not think of the future, from where will my actions come out? It is very simple, not at all complicated. We will look at it carefully.
Future is automatically, naturally flowing from the present. At this moment, several of us as apparent from your faces, are listening carefully. Right? You are still and listening carefully. You are not thinking, not planning; just listening. You are present and the future is being created. Have we not moved in time in the last two minutes? Even as you are listening, is future not happening? Moment by moment, are we not moving into the future? We are and it is happening on its own without needing any interference from our side. But what do we think? Our concern is that unless I create a future, future will not come. Our conception is that unless I create the future, the future will not come. Unless I create a beautiful future in me, there cannot be beauty in the future. Is that the way you think?
The next minute is the future; the next hour is the future. Consider this second itself which is very much available to us. Are we not moving into the future? Peacefully, without problems, without any effort; just pleasant, just attention.
Take another example. Let us have a seed with us. The seed’s nature is to grow into a tree. The very nature of the seed is to grow into the tree. You do not need to imagine a future, so that the seed becomes the tree. What do you require? You just require that in the present moment you are with the seed. You give it water, give it sunlight, nourishment, and that will happen, if you love the seed. The equation goes: the seed, plus water, plus air, plus sunlight, plus soil is equal to the tree. But in your mind the equation has another variable. The equation in your mind is: seed, plus water, plus air, plus sunlight plus desire is equal to tree. You feel that unless there is a desire in the seed to become a tree, how can it become a tree. It will become a tree on its own.
The present will become future on its own. You just take care of the seed; you just take care of the present. A beautiful future will be born; you just take of the present. The future will be beautiful. The seed will become a tree. You just take care of the seed, a beautiful tree will grow. Is two plus two equal to four? But you will say, ‘two plus two plus desire is equal to four. I want two plus two to be four’. If you have clarity, if you are looking at it carefully, then two plus two will be naturally four. Do you require a desire for it to be four? There is no need. All you need is the appropriateness to look into it. Two plus two will come out itself to be four.
A beautiful present is a beautiful future; you do not need to desire it to be beautiful. Think about only present. The present of this moment is the future of the next moment.
Is it not? So, don’t feel guilty about it. In fact, even in thinking that you are neglecting the future, still you are thinking about the future, still obsessed about it. In this also there is a misconception. We all have the ability to forecast. Forecasting is one thing and desiring from the future is another thing. Based on how economy is going, the economist can forecast how the economy will grow in the next year, that is also looking into the future but that is not the same as being future-oriented. You have the weather department. What does it do? It keeps forecasting the weather. If I have the capacity to project the future, that is one thing, but to be obsessed with the future is the entirely different thing.
To make the future the centre of your action is totally different. There can be two ways of acting: one is that I am acting right now and the other is that I already have the image of the mind and based on that image I am working for the future. Unfortunately, ninety nine percent of us work according to the second order.
See, the second model says that I am in love with my books and studies in the present and because I study well in the present, so I will do well in the examination, which is in future. The second model says that when the examination will be announced, when the exam date-sheet will be put up, then to do well, I will start studying. To do well in the future, I will start studying. Future comes first for all. That is our model. That is the way of the life of ninety-nine percent of the people. Future comes first for you and then the present comes. You are reversing the flow of time. What comes first, future or present?
Listeners (Everyone): Present
Speaker: But in our minds, future comes first. ‘I want to succeed in that examination, so today I must study’. The appropriate sequence is, ‘because I am studying, hence I will naturally do well in the exam. I am not studying for the sake of exam; I am studying because I love to study’.
Would it not be beautiful if you live this way? Then marks would be a byproduct. Marks will not matter, what will matter is the time that you spend with your books; the joy, the fun with the books, that is more important. Feel free, let it come. Fearlessly, let it come. Let there be faith that I am capable of handling whatever will come. ‘I can take it. I will not be scared. I will not shiver. I will not be afraid. Just bring it on. I have a way to respond to it. My intelligence is adequate. There is a challenge, I will respond. The world is not a threatening place’. Please! We think that unless we secure ourselves well, the future may harm us. If we do not secure ourselves well, there is some danger in the future, and to take care of ourselves we must wear some kind of armor, we must enclose ourselves.
The word is not a dangerous place. Has the world been a dangerous place, how could I have ever been born? The very fact that you are here means that existence has no enmity with you. The air that you breathe in, did you plan to get it? You can hear, you can see, you have become young. Your arms have become powerful, you have energy. Does this come to you because you have asked for it? Did you desire it? You have eyes, you have eye-sight, did you ask for it? Existence has given all this to you, how can existence be hostile towards you? The past was not hostile, the present is not hostile. How can future be hostile?
यह सब कुछ जो है, अगर इसे तुमसे दुश्मनी होती, तो क्या तुम बचे रहते? एक धूमकेतु आ जाए और सब ख़त्म हो जाना है।दुनिया क्या वाकई दुश्मन है? एक तापमान की सीमा है, जिसमें हम ज़िंदा रह सकते हैँ।उससे ज्यादा या कम हो जाए, तो ख़त्म हो जाना है।तुम चल सकते हो, वो भी दूसरों ने सिखाया है।तुम जो भाषा बोलते हो, वो भी दूसरों की सिखाई हुई है।जो कपड़े पहनते हो, वो भी किसी और की ईज़ाद हैं।तो दूसरे तुम्हारे दुश्मन कैसे हो गए?
Essentially, all planning for the future is planning of the present.
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Plans of future come from fears of past || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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