You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

From "Living in the There and Then," by Thomas Moore, in Spirituality and Health Magazine March/April 2004:

Are your efforts to be in the here and now taking you out of the present?

I confess that there is something perverse in my nature. Whenever I hear someone presenting an idea with unusual conviction, and I sense even a little anxiety in it, perhaps revealed in excessive passion or the need to convince, I consider the opposite. For example, people often tell me how important it is to be in the here and now, and so I entertain the value of being in the there and then.

I understand the point in being present to whatever you're doing, but the idea of being present takes you away from simply being present. It becomes a program and an ideal. To be really present you may have to stop thinking about being present.

So, let me say it publicly: From now on I will not be concerned about being in the here and now.

I may frequently wander into the past and into fantasy. I want to be present to memory and imagination as much as to whatever is going on around me. In fact, if we ever meet, you may notice that I'm not present much at all. I'm the kind of person who easily walks into telephone poles and forgets what I just said or what I intended to do, so lost do I get in the rich world that is not visibly present.

Maybe this means that I'm not such a spiritual person. So be it. For me, it is not as important to be spiritual as it is to be.

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Also on Beliefnet:
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  • More from Thomas Moore

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