„In einer Welt, die überflutet wird von belanglosen Informationen, ist Klarheit Macht.“ 

- Yuval Noah Harari

Sam Harris: Death and the Present Moment

„The one thing people tend to realize, at moments like this, is that they wasted a lot of time, when life was normal. It’s not just what they did with their time, it’s not just that they spent too much time working, or compulsively checking e-mail, it’s that they cared about the wrong things. They regret what they cared about. Their attention was bound up in petty concerns, year after year, when life was normal.  And this is a paradox, of course, because we all know this epiphany is coming. Don’t you know this is coming? Don’t you know that there’s gonna come a day when you’ll be sick, or someone close to you will die, and you’ll look back on the kinds of things that captured your attention and you’ll think: ”What was I doing?” You know this, and yet, if you’ll like most people, you’ll spend most of your time in life tacitly presuming you’ll live forever – doing things like watching a bad movie for the fourth time, or bickering with your spouse. These things only make sense in light of eternity. There better be a Heaven if we’re gonna waste our time like that.

Unlike religious people, we atheists really have a good reason to make the most of life. To make the most of the present moment. Cause even if you live to be a hundred, there are just not that many days in life. So, what is the point of life? Is anything sacred? Does such a question even make sense? This is what religious people are worried about. And I think that these questions do make sense and there are answers to them. But the answers are not the matter of getting more information. The answer is a change in attitude. There are ways of experiencing life as sacred without believing anything, and certainly without believing anything on insufficient evidence. There are ways to really live in the present moment. Okay? What’s the alternative? It is always now. How ever much you feel you need to plan for the future, to anticipate it, to mitigate risks, the reality of your life is now.


But, as a matter of conscious experience, the reality of your life is always now. And I think that this is a liberating truth about the nature of the human mind. In fact, I think, there’s probably nothing more important to understand about your mind, than that, if you want to be happy in this world. The past is a memory; it’s a thought arising in the present. The future is merely anticipated; it is another thought arising now. What we truly have is this moment. And this. And we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth, refuting it, fleeing it, overlooking it. And the horror is that we succeed. We manage to never really connect with the present moment and find fulfilment there, because we are continually hopping to become happy in the future. And the future never arrives. Even when we think we’re in the present moment, we’re, in very subtle ways, always looking over its shoulder, anticipating what’s coming next. We’re always solving a problem. And it’s possible to simply drop your problem, if only for a moment. And enjoy whatever is true of your life in the present.


This is not a matter of new information, or more information. It requires a change in attitude. It requires a change in the attentiveness you pay to your experience in the present moment.


We have a very limited view of what’s going on. We are subjectively unaware of most of what our minds are doing. And yet, when we think about what matters – what matters is consciousness and its contents, оkay, consciousness is everything; our experience of the world, experience of those we care about is a matter of consciousness and its contents. So, whatever the origin of consciousness, the most important question for us is how can we truly be fulfilled in life? How can we create lives that are truly worth living, given that these lives come to an end? [...] The frame we put around the present moment is important and largely determines our experience of it, but it seems possible, in fact, to experience life more nakedly than this. To experience it without the obvious framework. To pay attention to the present moment closely enough, so that you’re not doing anything to it.


But, you see, your mind is all you have. Okay? It’s all you’ve ever had. It’s all you have to offer other people.


If you’re constantly ruminating about what you just did, or what you should have done, or what you would have done if you only had the chance, you will miss your life. You’ll fail to connect with it. You’ll fail to connect with other people. When other people talk, you’ll be waiting for them to shut up, so that you can say what’s on your mind to say. Even when you don’t have an opportunity to talk, in a moment like this, when you just need to listen, the conversation, as an automaticity, continues. You have a voice in your head that keeps saying things. Haven’t you noticed? The conversation we have with ourselves every minute of the day comes at a cost. I’m not saying that discursive thought is not necessary, or useful, but it is a mechanism by which most of our suffering is inflicted. The sorrow, and the self-doubt, and the anxiety, and the fear, and, yes, the fear of death. Thinking is useful. But being perpetually lost in thought – isn’t. Being the mere hostage of the next thought that comes craining into consciousness isn’t useful. So if there is an antidote to the fear of death and the experience of loss that’s compatible with reason, I think it’s to be found here. The purpose of life is pretty obvious. We are constantly… why do we create culture and form relationships beyond matters of mere survival? We are constantly trying to create and repair the world that our minds want to be in.

zum vorherigen Blogeintrag                                        zum nächsten Blogeintrag 



Liste aller Blogbeiträge zum Thema "Zitate"

Kommentar schreiben

Kommentare: 0

Impressum | Datenschutz | Cookie-Richtlinie | Sitemap
Diese Website darf gerne zitiert werden, für die Weiterverwendung ganzer Texte bitte ich jedoch um kurze Rücksprache.