Could You Live in the NOW?

Are you done wishing everyone a Happy New Year yet? Are your Christmas decorations still up? Or are you finished with that part of the season and planning for Spring that is 59 days away?

Seems us humans have a hard time living in the “now”. Even though that’s the phrase of the millennium, it’s really hard to live right now. And now. And now. And now. Which is now the past. 

So here is my Philosophy 101 question for the New Year. 

If you were totally isolated from others, would time flow differently for you?

I know our ancestors had to deal with no watches, no cell phones, no TVs to check morning, noon, and night. But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about us modernists.

Say you lived 30 miles, 50 miles from town (you can drive to Sams Club once a month if you want for supplies, but no other luxuries.) No computers, no radios. No movies. All that isolation stuff. You live comfortably, but without technology. (No guilt trips about not being with your grandkids and all — that’s a different game.)

My QUESTION is… how long could us modernites live in the “now”? No hanging out with friends, no phone. You can write letters but that’s about all.

All you would hear would be the songs of the birds and the wind blowing through the trees morning, noon, and night. Thunderstorms and windstorms and coyotes in the distance moving across the plains. The longer you lived with nature, the more in-tune you would be with the sounds around you. 

But that’s all you’d hear.

Knowing your lifestyle of today, how long would you be able to stay away from civilization? How long would the songs of the birds or the chatter of squirrels be entertainment? How long would you be able to live in the NOW?  A month? A year? 10 years? Would the NOW turn into one long blur?

I love these philosophical questions that have no exceptions. There are no “but what if I talk to the store clerk once a month? Is that isolation?” Or “what if the neighbor stops by?” Isolation is isolation.

For me, I think if I were forced to let go of technology, I could fairly adjust. Notice I italicized forced and fairly. Could I live with the sounds of nature 24/7? I live a lot with them these days, but let’s be truthful — only when I sit outside or go for a walk. I always have music or the TV going on for sound when I’m alone. But I have the option to connect with friends and the nonsense of the outside world.

Would my my adult-onset A.D.D. handle the eternal nature-only sounds of dawn, midday, and dusk? Would my senses become sharper the longer I stayed away from technology?

For me, I guess I’d eventually get used to silence day in and day out. I’d probably sing a lot more in the beginning, but I wonder if even that would fade away the more I got used to the silence. 

I’d definitely need to have a cat or two to hold conversations with, though…(if you knew how yakky my cat was you’d know what I mean…)

How about you?

 

 

28 thoughts on “Could You Live in the NOW?

  1. I really do appreciate your sharing your thoughts and experience. I know I lose track of time when I’m camping, especially with the family. Those times are often the best. Eat when hungry, nap or sleep when tired, play or take a walk for as long as you feel like it. Retirement is a little like that too, except my hubby still works so we have to keep track of the time 3-4 nights a week. I suppose I’d rather have a few more days of no conception of time and do what I like when I like. Of course, knowing me, I’d be worried about missing my loop back into reality time, cuz I’d be enjoying life so much I’d forget appointments and all.

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  2. At this point in my life, I am very fortunate to have two places to live — one is 12 miles from town and the other is about 17 miles from town, but 45 minutes, because it is on a long dirt road. At the first one, there is plenty of noise from motorcycles, trains, a hog farm, and periodic gunfire (people target shooting, etc.) At the second one, we can literally go days without hearing human made sounds, and I love it! I rarely watch TV or listen to music so I wouldn’t miss that. But at our more remote house, we don’t have internet either, and not being able to check emails and headlines a few times a day does make me feel like I have lost a sense.

    I was thinking the other day that when I was growing up, we used to call relatives on a holiday, but now I don’t, because I can talk to them or text them whenever I am thinking of them. I don’t have to wait for an arranged time to have a conversation, and I am really grateful for that aspect of technology.

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  3. I never have music on, only when I am driving the car cos driving the car is boooooring !!

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  4. It seems that many people are afraid of silence, they constantly need loud music, the young ones even study with loud music on and a party is not fun without loud music. I’d love to have buttons on my ears I could open or close so I could hear or get silence….

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  5. I havr noticed the longer I bask in silence the louder the world becomes! I enjoy trying to hear morec and more of nature. And if I jad my writing and art supplies, I might be content for a long time. But I’m a chatterbox … I would eventually need someone else I could talk/laugh/ tell what to do!

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  6. I think I could ! I only need books (lots) and my drawing and painting gear, my camera, and a piece of land where I can plant flowers and so, and my dogs ofcourse. But I love the sound of silence !!! Just the sound of nature is enough for me.

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  7. I so love this answer. I could expound and expand on this question, but you have artfully explained what living in the NOW really is. Thank you for getting back on this! ❤

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  8. I do for long periods of time. Then my A.D.D. kicks in and I have to move around and do something with something making noise in the background. I am beginning to really dislike tv and chat radio. But giving up music…my singing just won’t cut it. Ha.

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  9. Well, I could probably write quite a bit about the NOW… which is another word for the Akash. Time does exist and all time exists in spirals. With some training and awareness, people can walk in the past and future timelines; probably not a good practice as people do this already to some degree by clinging to old hurts and pain from the past and then trying to control their future by overplanning. Being in the NOW, going with the flow takes letting go with the Mind and utilizing a balanced approach with both heart and mind, feeling into what you are sensing in the moment, letting go of expectations, and clearing the connections with the ancient traumas. It is a manner of relating to the world that is more in tune with natural rhythms and less about setting agendas.

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  10. Me too! I know I shock my husband but I DO turn off all the tech sometimes when I’m writing. And I am hating the news alot lately too, so I avoid tv more often. But music. Knowing and loving music like I do, that would be the hardest to give up….

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  11. I would think once you get used to the silence you’d see how loud the world is. My sister in law used to visit us in the country and say it was too quiet…and I thought the birds too loud!

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  12. That’s really something to think about. I grew up without technology and had the best childhood. I’m not sure if I could completely live without technology now, though.

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  13. An interesting article Claudia…. I suppose I manage to “live the now”, on occasions, but definitely I would try it on a consistent basis….. I often sit under my courtyard verandah, by myself, in complete silence for hours on end, just me and my jumbled thoughts, with pencil and plain paper pad……..

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  14. I have trying to live more mindfully, not rushing through stuff etc, but I thrive on seeing what others do and create. If I didn’t hear music, or look at art, watch movies or theater….I think my mind would go crazy. I am energized by what’s around me

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  15. true story …on Saturday there is a small glowing box upstairs in a closet which I will unplug and return …..voila no WiFi no tv….. lot’s of now now ….. A.

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  16. As i was reading your blog, sitting at a table near an orange orchard out in the country,. Squirrel skittered by with his fluffy orange tail twittering. A hawk sailed past, and the neighborhood cat sauntered into the patio. Could I live in this silence – in the now- for very long? You bet! How about you?

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