Seeking yourself in things, people, events and even time is all part of ego identification. Time is particularly interesting because so much of our over-identification with self involves time. We focus on the past because of what was done to us, what we lost, what was wonderful or what could have been better. The past cannot exist without our thinking about it. The past is strange because it has a hazy, dreamlike quality. That’s because it’s gone, it no longer exists. You may have a picture, or a video from something that occurred in the past. It may be heartwarming, it may be sad, or it may make you smile, but that moment or moments from the picture or video no longer exists. They are gone and the feelings you have about those moments are happening right now. The past only exists in the present. When we place too much weight on “the past” we are involving the self-seeking ego. “I was happier then,” “why couldn’t my childhood have been better?” “Why did that person leave me?” These are examples of ego traps that keep us caught in a false sense of self. We become depressed, anxious, angry and make that our current reality, based on old mind thoughts.
The more important question is, “what IS happening right now?” The answer should be; I am here, now, in the present. I can feel the aliveness in my body. I can hear what is going on around me. I am paying attention to this moment and this moment only.
There is nothing wrong with remembering the past, but it’s importance is much less than we believe.