DOES THE PAST HAVE A FUTURE?
by Hans TenDam
It has all the future in the world. But many people don’t think so. We should live in the here and now. In one sense, that is ridiculous. We have no choice.
Also in an other sense it is ridiculous. If you would really live in the here, you should avoid letters, mails, phone conversations. because they all connect you with elsewhere. You should never think about people you love if they happen to be elsewhere. You should not worry when the plane spirals down about to crash. Because that crash is not right here and not right now.
If you would live in the now, you wouldn’t remember the sentences above, you wouldn’t remember why you are reading this, you wouldn’t remember there is something called EARTh. You wouldn’t remember your own name and what that dress is doing around your body. You might even not remember that it’s a dress and that is your body. That this is you.
Still, to live in the here and now also makes sense. We may dream about the future, hope for what is around the corner, worry about what may go wrong, fret about what we did do or didn’t do. We may even forget that we are alive and could be kicking. Many people in love waste their time daydreaming. Many people in bad circumstances waste their time complaining.
Bert Hellinger rightly warns against having people talk too long about their problems, or even talking about them at all. He wants only to know what the problem is, and what are the relevant people and facts of the situation. Why? Because we tend to spend so much time and energy in illustrating and explaining our problems, in complaining and analyzing and worrying and assuming and blaming and hoping, that we spend our energy in that instead of doing something about them. He warns also against what he calls secondary emotions, emotions that are not to spur action, but to avoid action. That is a way to get stuck in the past instead to live in the present.
We may also be absorbed in books, in movies, in video games, forgetting the here and now. Absorbed means entranced. That can be restoring and mind-opening, but also can be escapism and addiction.
Many people object to regression, because the past is the past and we should live in the present. Others say that we don’t need to know the origins of our problems, because origins are not important. They often have a point. Many problems are self-perpetuating. It doesn’t matter to analyze chickens and eggs. We should break the pattern.
But we can’t break a pattern, unless we know it. We can discover it through observation, introspection and analysis. Rational-emotive therapy is great in finding the wrong thoughts that keep us in mental prisons, do some reality-testing and supplant them with better, more rational and more realistic thoughts.
Still, as long as we don’t know the origin, we may create new mental prisons. In regression, we often do not go back to the origin of sate of mind, but to the inner conclusion of decision that created a loop, a mental prison. And we are not going back to the past to wallow over it, but to liberate ourselves.
That is what we are in, the self-liberating business of people. We enable self-liberating.
And we don’t go back to the past at all. We zoom in on the residues of the past that are here and now, that are alive and kicking. In regression we unfreeze them, so the undigested past can be digested and returned to the past. And the present is unfettered, unshackled.
We may even do something else. We may unleash hidden and forgotten talents. We may unlock treasures, dust them off and bring them into broad daylight. Here and now.
We can live in the here and now and have a timespan extending to before birth, even before recorded history, even before living on earth as a human being. That doesn’t take away from the here and now. It enlarges the here and now into an expanding space-time.
Our trade is about the past. And has a great future.
I hope you will remember this all in 15 seconds from now. That is about the timespan of a goldfish. Look in the mirror and say five times loud and clear: “I am not a goldfish!” Make sure it doesn’t take more than 15 seconds.
By the way, 15 seconds is also the time street fights and violent encounters take. What Hollywood shows about that is impressive, but crap.
May your aquarium widen all the time. And avoid street fights.