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A Critique of "Living in the Moment"

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posted on Aug, 25 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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Saying that “we should live in the moment” is about as fundamental as saying “we should exist”.

It is referring to where your mind is centered and pointing, not to where your body is residing.

Most people live 20 minutes into the future, as the Max Headroom slogan said, or reliving the experience of the past.

If you really take up working to "become aware of your mind" at every moment, catch the daydreams and their nature, catch the focus and its time-point, catch the beliefs and their patterns, you will surely see this.

I have and every human I know who has ever tried this has. It is hard work though. It's subtle, it's superfast, it's disappointedly more rote and programmed than we'd expect, and it takes a lot of attention.

Generally the more I have been able to have my mind on the present, the more "luck" and "coincidence" -- perhaps "synchronicity" is a better term -- have worked out for me.




posted on Aug, 25 2013 @ 09:10 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


An excellent critique of "Living in the Moment".


It is the present moment where stress and worry come from. In fact, all pain, displeasure and all the worlds ills also happen in the present moment.


Truly ironic indeed.



posted on Aug, 25 2013 @ 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 

An excellent critique of "Living in the Moment".

It is the present moment where stress and worry come from. In fact, all pain, displeasure and all the worlds ills also happen in the present moment.

Truly ironic indeed.

My perspective makes me humbly disagree with this.

In the present moment, short of agonizing pain (and let's fairly call that an exception), there is actually nothing "wrong" -- everything is either worry about the future (even hunger, if you knew you were eating in 5 minutes, would be a different experience than knowing you have no hope for 2 days, so that's also an issue of what we believe about the future), or issues with the past.

Living in the moment is breathing, is being, is allowing yourself to feel the peaceful and positive feelings that are internally self-generated, and can be regardless of circumstance (short of torture, unless you're a zen monk) if one has the desire to do so.

It is having your attention utterly upon the here-and-now. Most people while making love, or when having a confrontation in person, are pretty well in the here and now. Perhaps not so often outside of such experiences.



posted on Aug, 25 2013 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


I am enjoying this thread, thanks,

Do you have a meditation Practice that you regularly use?

Sounds like your 45 min drive is Meditation time,, again I would have to preach not to let this get out of hand and Pay Attention to the Road...lol
But I do understand and also do the same to an extent, radios, music and all the blah blah to capture our minds is really a problem in modern society.

But let's say you start a practice that allows your Mind to "THINK" like you are speaking of, I agree it can be very useful to get to know Oneself. Which would make me say,, Keep a Dream diary, and Thought diary, and that will bring up more possibilities.

I like to practice a variant Meditation style that allows those thoughts to arise, and just Observe.
A thought comes, and I like to think of it like a river full of jumping / flying fish who spring out of the water and glide through the air momentarily before returning to the Great River of Thought.
I don't try to Catch them, I just observe them and their flight for however long it naturally lasts without my input.

Then Another Fish Jumps to take its place and I observe it, never holding onto any One thought, just letting them Arise, Fly for a moment and Return to the River.

It really is a great practice and you can get REALLY DEEP into How the Thoughts Arise, Fly and sink back into the River,, all without Attachment to any one thought..

As you might can tell,,, very Taoist/Buddhist too in this practice,, which is how I relate to what you Reminded me
of Nietzsche's Amor Fati . I too LOVE FATE, and feel this showed a very Taoist Non Attachment, Non Judgemental way to experience Life. It is very useful, I had one of my many Self realizations the day my best friend died.

I was on a bus to Seattle Washington, taking in the Beauty of the Mountains, and a synchronicity of events.
My friends Last coherent words to me were, " LIFE SMELLS GOOD".
I have taken it as a personal motto, much like Amor Fati,, meaning for me,, no matter the Good the Bad the Ugly.
LIFE SMELLS GOOD. BREATHE IT ALL IN WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.


Find multiple ways to enjoy it Fully!!



posted on Aug, 25 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by NiNjABackflip

It seems intuitive that one might be more impressionable in this state, that one would remember more vividly, maybe even subconsciously. Is there any study into this?


Thought stopping techniques, if practiced regularly, get one into a state of alpha brain waves.
This has various benefits for health and well being, and results in the internal release of the body's own opiates: enkephalins and Beta-endorphins. (it feels good).

The basis of persuasion techniques is to get the target into a alpha state because it allows for increased access to the right brain. Turning "off" or "flat" the left (analytical and rational) side facilitates that.

In the alpha state, passive learning (memorisation without comprehension) is optimum.

- An interesting side note is that this is the state we most often enter while watching tv!

I am an adept at using various methods to stimulate this state of consciousness and brain waves- I meditate daily, and like to run, and hike, into trance states of this sort. I sometimes move it into theta using "self hypnosis" techniques of imagery and implant suggestions. So I cannot make any claim to such practices as being "bad" in general- I see use for them.

But I am usually rather opposed to having others attempt to get me into that state for their own reasons, without my agreement, and without being upfront about that intent.



posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 





- An interesting side note is that this is the state we most often enter while watching tv!

I am an adept at using various methods to stimulate this state of consciousness and brain waves- I meditate daily, and like to run, and hike, into trance states of this sort. I sometimes move it into theta using "self hypnosis" techniques of imagery and implant suggestions. So I cannot make any claim to such practices as being "bad" in general- I see use for them.


I think its quite powerful to recognize this. Rather than slip into this state – as one might would while watching tv – you can recognize it, come into this state on your own accord and control it in a way. Maybe the television induced state is more a form of hypnosis, while your state is a form of self-hypnosis, using your own autosuggestion rather than that of another source. Maybe it's healthier that way.

I get in a sort of different state – if I was to describe it as a state – when I find myself in nature, for instance hiking, or fishing, or just being there. None of it is boring. I don't become bored at all, whereas I would become quite bored in a different situation. The focus is not on the moment, or on a thought in boredom, but both what is happening around me and what I am comprehending about it. I could sit and be sensually satisfied, and therefor, also satisfied in thought, not bored enough to think about anything else. I find this a more "in the now" than say meditation or being mindful, because it's more like a replenishing of memories, rather than a refusal to refer back to other memories, because the current situation isn't memorable enough.



posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 03:23 PM
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I studied self-hypnosis and hypnosis very intensely for about 12 years. One of the more interesting things was that I didn't know, until I had developed a very solid ability to program my mind in various ways, that in fact I had spent most of my life "suggestible." The greatest value to my practice in learning self-hypnosis, turned out to be the ability to stay OUT of hypnosis.

That did rather explain why most of my childhood memories were so dreamy (those not missing entirely)...

There is a certain mental profile that some childhoods breed. For example, people whose incoming information processing is both very literal and very inferential (most people are much more one than another, and sometimes not very strong. But rarely someone is pretty equal and very strong in both). This is believed to be bred by childhoods with a great deal of change, and not the same kind of change; the child's mind learns to be extremely flexible, their learning modalities widen in types (e.g. written, audio, visual, tactile), and information processing expands (e.g. both literal and inferred).

Such people appear to be taking in massive quantities of subtle info all the time. They just walk into a new environment, meet a new person, and the quantity of message units or information pouring into them basically overloads the brain. The brain's normal response to an overwhelm of data is a shift in brainwave that allows a lot more absorption without conscious processing -- they become much more suggestible. This is how people learn, understand, so it's a good thing in that regard.

Those people may be intelligent and assimilate new info very fast -- they are good learners in most every aspect of the term -- but they also may suffer "impulsivity" which can be social or other -- basically an "over-influence" of a sudden new group of people or information or focus, because as part of rapid absorption they are instinctively "modeling" it all as well, and add suggestibility to that and it's a good survival skill, but it's not ideal for independence.

I am responding to previous posts but now I'm trying to remember what the hell this had to do with the topic LOL.

Just to ensure there's no mistake though, a focus in the moment is often literally 'focus' -- for example when you are engrossed in something you are doing, and time flies without your realizing it, or someone is calling you and you don't even hear it -- that is kind of an example of being very Zen, of wholly living in the moment of what you are doing. So brainwave states under beta can be very 'present,' sure, but extremely alert states can be too.



posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 11:46 PM
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reply to post by RedCairo
 


I had brought up hypnosis and altered states because this sort of flexibility and open reception is what you get with hypnosis, and is also the result of thought stopping techniques like "living in the Moment".

My childhood was exactly as you described, and like you, learning to focus was of more value to me- I cannot cut down on the data reception, and I have learned to rather appreciate the gifts of what I have called "subconscious processing" .

But in order to gain, like you mentioned, independance, and not suffer problems with impulsivity, then learning to focus outside of the moment at times was necessary.
All delayed gratification stems from that ability... the ability to not do drugs, or restrain from joining herd mentality movements of violence...... consider that with that state, where lines are blurry, empathy reigns, and what others feel is also what I feel, a man that feels desire to have sex with me, for example.... I cannot differenciate that, and think I also feel that! -and if I am not projecting any imagination into potential future moments, nor reflecting upon past experiences and lessons, I would have sex with him.
This could be a problem for a female at any large gathering with many men.....
That is just an example to consider of the various ways this state could be undesireable at moments, and also a tool for others to use for their own motivations.....

Choosing carefully the moments of being a big pure receptor, and others of being a projector of future and past is what I consider more constructive.
edit on 26-8-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 12:10 AM
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I don't think I've ever had it to quite that degree.


Fwiw, skills in this don't require focusing outside the moment to avoid suggestibility. It is simply a dominant brainwave state. I can hold a degree of delta and lots of theta while operating in a world that is beta for most people, and switch between states incredibly rapidly (EEG testing, and years of biofeedback work is how I know it's not just my assumption but a measurable change) -- it's just a matter of training yourself to recognize the feel of different states of mind and learn to invoke and hold what you choose, rather than be 'entrained' by the situation.

But, if defocus works for you, it's all good.

I spend a lot of effort preventing myself from living in the future or past and trying to keep myself in the present. I find that my reality tends to be smoother and synchronicity higher when I do.

edit on 27-8-2013 by RedCairo because: correction



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 01:20 AM
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reply to post by RedCairo
 


Biofeedback experimentation at UC Irvine was what started me on this ( mom doing research there used me as guinea pig ). So we have that in common. Obviously we differ on other points then. I definitely find constructive use for sometimes projecting future ( having short or long term goals and intents), as well as using memory of past experience in choice making.

These are very constructive for relationship (what I incarnated to explore here). They are an essential part of forming a concept of self as individual, making possible experience of love exchange between seperate beings.

I do not understand this statement you made:



But, if defocus works for you, it's all good.


What is "defocus" ?

(actually, re-reading your post, I came to the conclusion that you consider using thought of past and future as a "lack of focus in the present".
For one, I used the word "alternating" purposefully- I refer to moments of reflecting, moments of projecting, and moments of being fully receptive of present- but not simultaneously!! Example: reflecting on the days experiences at night before sleep, choosing goals for the day when awaking in the morning, being receptive in the day.)





I spend a lot of effort preventing myself from living in the future or past and trying to keep myself in the present. I find that my reality tends to be smoother and synchronicity higher when I do.


I don't know about the wording of "living" in the past... as the op pointed out, that is obviously impossible in a literal sense... but figuratively, that usually refers to thinking about, reflecting upon, and using past memory as reference in the present.

- but you just brought up your past experiences as a reference for your present opinion and choices...??
So apparently you do use past, just like I do!

(again, in re-reading, I saw that you refered to "choosing states" based on what you've learned to recognize (through experience) and what you prefer to experience next, so obviously you do not really mean NOT thinking about past or projecting future.

The concept of living in the moment, used by the gurus people like Itsnowagain follow, refer to NOT using any thought of your past, nor any intent for your future- not even for the next few seconds.)
edit on 28-8-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 05:33 AM
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You changed topics/context a couple times in there compared to your original post and my response, which suggests that we are probably not going to be able to communicate efficiently, so I'm going to let this go.
Best wishes.
edit on 28-8-2013 by RedCairo because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 07:10 AM
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Originally posted by RedCairo
You changed topics/context a couple times in there compared to your original post and my response, which suggests that we are probably not going to be able to communicate efficiently, so I'm going to let this go.
Best wishes.


Whoa... I have kept the same position, same assertion, throughout this thread, but if you feel I have changed somehow then I guess I have not expressed myself clearly?? If you misunderstood me, then others must have.
I will summarize and try to clarify better (not for you, as you wish to end all exchange between us, but for anyone who felt the same as you).

My position is this-
The state of consciousness which is described by practitioners of "living in the moment"
(such as those often refer to by Itisnowagain, the inspiration of the OP)

Refer to a state of consciousness often catagorized as a "thought stopping" technique.
It is one of many, which include meditation, hypnosis, methods involving sleep deprivation, repetative exercise, hunger....

These techniques are used to provoke a specific state of brainwaves, which increase receptivity to exterior stimuli, decrease response; to increase passive learning, decrease self awareness.

It has many benefits for health, especially in areas of anxiety, and various conditioned behaviors. It allows for maximum flexibility and deep change in psyche.


Though I am practioner of said methods, I also value the other path- the use of alert states of consciousness, of thought, reflection, intent, and willful choice.

I believe both of these practices are valuable, and prefer to use them alternatingly, not trying to remain in either state all the time.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


I was thinking—what kind of moments would one practice this "thought stopping"? When one is bored? When one is alone? Or all day?

I am having difficulties thinking about where this "presence" becomes useful. I can understand that for health purposes, one my set aside some time to practice these techniques, as one might do yoga or other exercise, but it doesn't even seem that necessary or applicable at all in everyday life, despite many claims by other posters here that it is the be-all end-all of spirituality.

If "living in the moment" is merely a technique of thinking, I don't see a problem with it at all—but as a doctrine?



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by EarthCitizen23
 





LIFE SMELLS GOOD. BREATHE IT ALL IN WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.



This comment popped in my head the other day while walking down an alley and smelling urine. Life also smells bad, breathe or don't breathe it all in without judgement.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
My position is this-
The state of consciousness which is described by practitioners of "living in the moment"
(such as those often refer to by Itisnowagain, the inspiration of the OP)

The OP was not inspired by itisnowagain and the OP has stated this in this thread.


Originally posted by Bluesma
The concept of living in the moment, used by the gurus people like Itsnowagain follow, refer to NOT using any thought of your past, nor any intent for your future- not even for the next few seconds.)

I do not follow a technique or concept.

Why bring in your 'interpretation' of itisnowagains writings?
edit on 28-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain

The OP was not inspired by itisnowagain and the OP has stated this in this thread.

I looked again and saw that it was someone else that said the OP was inspired by you, that is true. I could not find where the OP denied or corrected that, but I will accept that it happened if you say so and apologize for the mistatement.



I do not follow a technique or concept.

Why bring in your 'interpretation' of itisnowagains writings?


I refered to the gurus spoken words, in videos you have put up for me to watch (not your words).

You have put up the same gurus repeatedly, so it seemed to make sense that you follow their teachings (or at least their videos) and promote , or agree with them. -That is what "following" is to me.

If you prefer that I not use that term, and feel it is inaccurate, I respectfully change my wording to ".....the gurus that Itisnowagain shares with us..". Is that more acceptable for you? Does it feel more accurate?
edit on 28-8-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 11:11 AM
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No one can live in the now - no one.
Now is all there is and all arises and subsides in it as it.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


None of the 'gurus' I post say you have to live in the now.

There is only life and life is now.
edit on 28-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 





No one can live in the now - no one.
Now is all there is and all arises and subsides in it as it.


That is what bothers me. Why make a principle out of something we all do anyways? It's like saying we should pump blood through our veins, or that we should grow old. There is no reason to promote it as a doctrine or a way of life or a philosophy.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


I agree.
The problem is that there is a belief that there is someone who can control life - that's why the $hit hits the fan. That is the suffering.
It is arising now as this and no one is doing it.
edit on 28-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)





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