Eckhart Tolle's work and the concept of being present has come up in my network from several places recently. For several weeks, I've been percolating upon my issues with this work, trying to reconcile my negative associations with it - while practicing and living in the present moment - something I have spent years doing with various successes. I wondered, why does something about his work rub me the wrong way, while I generally agree and practice the concept?
It's important to note that I've spent years business/life planning as well as professional training to be a futurist (using scientific and creative methods to explore future possibilities).
And I've spent more than three decades understanding, decoding and reprogramming my own programming.
Here's the rub. It's not either/or. It's not a choice between the intertwined past, the present or the future. One must move fluidly between these states; mining, acting, learning and creating.
I should be honest here, my intention is not to live a life of happiness, to get my needs met, gain power or money. My intention is to consciously be - create who I want to be/am. Which is both creation and be-ing. It's a "goal" that is never met, always met, never changing, always evolving.
The present moment is about action (or inaction). It's where the shit happens (GTD baby!). It's the moving spark in time of manifestation, creation, action, re-action. It's where choice occurs. It's where one can jump from one quantum branched reality to another. (Which I have done upon numerous occasions.)
But how does one decide how or what one wants to act, or call in the programming (e.g re-act)? Is there is a preferred branch to jump into? How does one know what to look for? To read the signs? To understand the impact, the ripple of one's actions? In the pregnant present - a moment just barely into the future.
One decides how one wants to consciously act by mining the past and visiting/seeing future possibilities/implications.
Of course, it's not as simple in practice.
Living solely in the present is as much a trap as living in the past or dreaming always about the future.
Tolle's work, and the mantra to be present in the present moment is too simplistic for me. It's missing a magical world of manifesting, creating the world, creating the future (for accurate work once must know the past). I'm not saying, don't live in the present moment - but to live in the conscious present - you must regularly visit the past and the future.