Perhaps there is no word in the English language which better defines the whole of the human condition as we are today, at least from the perspective of being a body-mind utilizing mental processes of the brain, than the word anticipation. Really now, does not this word "anticipation" say it like it is for us? Is not this anticipating the one subtle thought process that seems to control all our attitudes, all our decisions, indeed all our actions? Please follow me for a short while.
The paramount anticipation for us is the next moment, ah . . . but what will that next moment bring? Will it bring pleasure or pain? Will it be perceived as good or bad, etc? Will it be filled with life or death? It is anticipation, the expectancy or the needing to know, needing to figure out, needing to understand, needing an answer that very simply is a root cause of all of our suffering. Psychologically, anticipation of a perceived negative event or situation about to happen causes us fear; anticipation of a positive situation or outcome causes us desire or want. This is very important if you in your daily life can see this, be open to it and come to terms with it. For it is fear and desire, two basic human emotions that propel us out of this moment as it is and begin the elaborately subtle thinking process which separates us from now from the real.
When we anticipate something pleasurable, no matter what that is, be it a positive outcome, a positive relationship, a new car, a salary increase, a gift, enlightenment, a new boyfriend or girlfriend, an A in Algebra, a touchdown, winning the lottery, etc. we begin a prefabricated illusion that what we want and desire should happen to us. Why? Because we know that this pleasurable outcome will make us feel better, will fill something inside of us, will give us a moment of joy or rest or satisfaction, as if we will have received some completeness. We are a species that looks at gain as good and loss as bad. Everything gained is one more notch on our holster, one more thing we claim as conquered or leading to success. Are you following me carefully? So what happens when that anticipation, that hope, that want, need or desire is not fulfilled? What if we do not score or succeed? Usually we are devastated, hurt, crushed, feel miserable, feel sad, and perhaps even hopeless. This is all because our mental projection of what reality "should" be is unfulfilled. Think about this...we spend moments, hours, even days planning, plotting, with complex thinking processes that demand energy and attention, how we will feel when we receive our desires end, how truly happy and wonderful we will be. What is a further revelation of this? What happens if we do gain what we have been hoping for? There is usually a brief moment of satisfaction, maybe a few hours or even a few days and then without warning, without any conscious rationality, there appears something else we anticipate, something else we need, something else to desire. Perhaps the original want is seen for what it is, something that plopped into our greedy hands maybe after all the mental masturbation we caused ourselves, and suddenly the object of anticipation is seen for what it is, another experience or possession we have collected and now it is meaningless, even boring. It is almost as if we are like a child who plays intently with a toy with a few moments and suddenly drops it and moves on to another toy. The process seems endless.
On the other hand, much of our obsessive thought patterns deal with the negative anticipations we make which lead to our fears. In much the same way as the "desiring" process", the fearing process wastes so much energy for us. We anticipate something perceived as bad, hurtful, painful, wrong and very negative may or will occur. The mind refuses to accept that this could or will happen-not us , not now. We do not want reality to be this way, how could it be? How could it be bad, painful etc? We want only the good, the pleasure, the nice. And so, not wanting to accept that a perceived negative outcome could occur, we run from it. The running begins as the anticipatory thought of irrational fears. Our body believes it, the brain accepts it, fear develops and once again, the present moment is given away, is hidden and in its place is a state of emotional negativity and compulsive thoughts of impending doom. Have I made my point in all this? So instead of facing the real, the present moment, we have instead moved somewhere else-into the cozy room of our individual plotting and planning mode. This, as I said involves energy; the synapses of the brain conduct electrical currents. No wonder we have difficulty dealing with what's at hand; no wonder we are so often bored and cannot creatively deal with things-we, our brains are just plain tired from all the mental BS.
So what to do? What is the answer? Obviously the key is simply to stop anticipating any result. Stop anticipating period! But that is easier said than done! Our brains are heavily conditioned by past patterns, past games, past experiences. But my dearest friends, the only road to personal freedom lies in your ability to absolutely stop the pattern, stop the game-you need to see things as they are, not how you wish them to be. The secret comes back again to the silent awareness of this moment as it is: complete, whole and within you. If you can abide in the sense of being itself, your sense of "you", not your thoughts about you, but your deep you ness-you will notice that all the desires and wants are rising and falling, coming and going--but the you, who you really are: the silent still spacious openness of being itself is always here, always present, always free and needs absolutely nothing to be complete. Rest there dear friend, rest in the core of your being-it is scary at first because it is so empty, but trust my words here and now-this is the greatest single thing you can do for yourself, for the whole world: know, beyond any doubt, any desire and any fear that you are the pure silence in which the universe itself dwells. You are the entire thing; you are the entire universe. Return to this silence as you can, the process will complete itself in you. It is the miracle itself. You are the very miracle, all you need do is humbly accept that, treasure that and be that. Everything else will just happen.
Did you anticipate that?
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