“…The desire to know what will occur, and the urge to make detailed plans to ensure one’s own security down the road, are both related to the ego’s need for safety as a result of its deeply held fear of death. You can deny the truth in this, arguing that it is only prudent that a person plan for the future. However, if you are able to look deep within yourself, you will realize that it is indeed an accurate observation concerning human nature.
To varying degrees, every single one of us is apprehensive about the future (i.e., the unknown), and so we burn amazing amounts of energy trying to get a hold on something that quite simply is impossible to grasp. According to Fr. Anthony DeMello:
“So why are you anxious? Can you, for all your anxieties, add a single moment to your life? Why bother about tomorrow? Is there a life after death? Why bother about tomorrow? Get into today. Someone once said, “Life is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans.” That’s pathetic.”
These certainly are powerful words, and yet it is really tough to challenge DeMello’s observations. Think about it carefully for a moment or two. What possible benefit can be derived from feeling anxious about the future? The answer is none, unless of course you happen to enjoy experiencing the feeling of anxiety. Moreover, what is the payoff for spending a great deal of time planning one’s life in minute detail? Perhaps all of this preparation helps people to assuage their fear of the future to some extent, but it quite obviously prohibits them from truly enjoying their present moments.
Jeff Maziarek, in “Spirituality Simplified”
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