Sometimes in every day situations I still remember Johnny Lydon of Sex Pistols screaming “There’s no future, no future, no future for you!” In the chorus to “God Save the Queen”.
And just the last night I was watching Horizon on BBC2. The programme was investigating the solar system, the deepest space where Hubble telescope can see 100 million years into the past, where the light emitted from an incident in the far universe are now reaching us. But its in the past 100 million years and a few days, months etc. and no one knows what that incident actually looks like in the present. And they cant see in the foreseeable future of anyway of telling other than guessing.
Then I learned in my science class a very long time ago about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and how he explained it, he said the experience of time is relatively different to that of someone standing on a strain station platform looking at a train vs someone sitting in that train looking at the platform while it’s moving.
So now coming to my observation of time for us as human being in our day to day relationships, I have also noticed this relativity in how we relate and treat each other.
We relate to each other and treat each other in our human relations from our assumptions and realizations about each other from the past, in the present.
For example if you happen to know someone who is always reliable and then we unconsciously and almost automatically relate to them as “reliable” so for any reason if they “let us down” we are shocked and upset. Because we are not present to how they are right now in the present we relate to them as how we know them to be from the past in this moment of now.
Similarly if we know of a person who is totally unreliable, then again we unconsciously and almost certainty relate to them as “unreliable” so for once if they were “reliable”, it shocks us. “How did that happen? Can we now rely on them? Oh no that was a one off” Again because we relate to this new experience from our past relationship to them they tend to peter out unless they have truly miraculously “transformed” themselves.
So like the person standing on a train station platform relating to someone sitting in a moving train looking at them, we relate to people from our relative past with them while we move on with our lives (and while they move on with theirs but for us they might as well stand still) and we are always surprised when they don’t live up to that assumptive past based views we have of them and visa versa. Or we somehow manage to pigeonhole them. Look at how we relate to Tony Blair? I can very well remember a time when he could do nothing wrong. Then he did, just one thing wrong (by most people’s opinion) and now for most of those people he is the devil or at best irrelevant.
So our relationships not only have no real future, but they actually don’t have any chance of it either because its the past repeating right now in this moment because we are relating to people in our lives from our assumptions and realizations about them from past incidents. So the future is very similar only little bit more or better or different and we always get what we expected, well almost. Our relationships have optimum time periods like “the honeymoon period” when people get married. But everybody know what happens to that (from the past).
This is the same when we relate to our own “self” relationship. We relate to us from our past so when or if we manage to create some new idea or project or result that the past didn’t allow for, we cant deal with it. We get overwhelmed, agitated and busy trying to fit into this new happy accident but make it very hard for ourselves as we are used to seeing us from our views and assumption from the past, how we knew ourselves from our beliefs, experiences, education, career, who we knew, what we knew and how we got to know those people or from all that knowledge etc we accumulated a certain wisdom.
So we have a past, a present and well the future is whatever the past says is possible unless we have an accident or we really worked hard on something and made it happen. Or someone in our past says something or does something to get us upset and we get so angry we make sure the future is the opposite to what they said. So we are very successful but not free to be or free to enjoy it.
The scientists say there is no real future there is just now. The past its just now (in space the past is now), But we have hopes, aspirations and plans for our future (based on our past) and we know the future because we planned it, we researched it (well fingers crossed) or we are damned sure it will happen as we are planning and we’ll work hard to make it happen. It seems real only because we are so sure we wouldn’t die or the economy wouldn’t crash and for the most part we are right, but occasionally a few get caught out, a few die or the economy crashes but then the dead don’t get to say anything after and when the economy crashed we know who to blame for that so we don’t know how to deal with this unpredictable nature of life. But we do meet people who nearly came to death or were dead but for some reason came back from the brink (I met someone the just other day).
For them its all now, now is urgent, now is not the past, now is now! But these people are even fewer so we don’t have past assumptions and opinions based relationship with this (unless we know someone like that personally).
But from the training I am blessed to have had and the work I do in coaching, I do see it is possible to relate to our-self and others from now, the present.
Dr Wayne W Dyer who passed away 4 weeks ago, said to a boy in one of his talks (he was holding an orange), “If I squeezed this orange, what will I get?” The boy said “Juice”, Dr Dyer said, “yes but what is juice? It’s what is inside the orange so when we squeeze the orange we get what is inside the orange out.” The boy says “yes”. Dr Dyer says “What do you think we will get if I squeezed you?” The boy says “ouch”, Dr Dyer “yes that’s because pain is what it inside of you”.
So this is why we get the past in the present because in the past things happened, for quite a lot of people some awful things happened (suicide, murder, rape, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sudden loss/death of a carer or a sibling, for others something happened which they perceived as awful (a 5 years old being told to give her toy to her brother, it’s not really awful for us but for the 5 year old that was devastating). So that makes a very strong assumption or opinion for us about people and ourselves which like a photograph fixes that past for us in our present and therefore also in our future. And how to relate to people and ourselves based on these fixed assumptions. People don’t talk about it openly because in work, business or family life there is no cause to or inclination to. Its all in the surface. Its about what we know, about how we can do what we do or how to present ourselves correctly or project an image of ourselves we have formulated by some means. May be positive thinking or being mindful or praying or believing or any and many ways. The modern world is full of tools and techniques and processes which enables us to get things done and exceed targets and perform well in the eye of others or perform mediocre or badly in the eyes of others and thereby think of ourselves as they see us – from the past.
So if the performance is mediocre or bad we then get back on the treadmill of our favorite remedy – personal development, mindfulness, religion, philosophy, science etc and fix the surface to produce the optimum results again. While underneath steadily accumulating assumptions and opinions about ourselves and others all the time. So we become double sided.
They they come on our training where we all of a sudden say “you need to pull out the weeds from the root!” They do, on the surface at first and the results at first looks great, but then as they begin to get deeper all of a sudden it all goes to pot. It gets overwhelming, busy and untenable. But that is the smoke not the fire. The fire is the confrontation of having to pull these roots out which are hurtful and painful.
For most people it is impossible to deal with these past assumptions and opinions now because it brings the past back into now which they have suppressed and ignored and safely tucked away, so they remained unresolved and they didn’t have to face it. Too much pain when squeezed. So they give up and the pain stays in.
But for the few who has the courage to let the pain get squeezed out, it is different. But it’s like child birth. It cant be explained only experienced.