I read something truly powerful this morning. It was a short post on LessWrong by Jason Crawford called Precognition. Let me quote him: It’s almost impossible to predict the future. But it’s also unnecessary, because most people are living in the past. All you have to do is see the present before everyone else does. When I read, it I felt like yes! talk to me now. It made so much sense and put the loose intuitions, sporadic observations and experiences in place. Love when these moments happen. It is like making a new knot which will affect the strength of the whole structure. This insight is very salient and rounded, let’s see if I get a chance to get to the questioning engagement with this discovery as well.
Getting better with the present is a clear and tangible goal to have. It can be trained, developed and mastered. There are various techniques that can help to put the machinery in place. Practices like meditation, focusing, awareness to reinforce the internal core. Reading, constantly updating maps and beliefs, questioning the status quo, connecting with the world are the practices that are gazing outwards and help to feel into present.
The problem that I had with the statement regarding living past vs. seeing better in the present is that if felt too linear and somewhat rounded. Since recently, as my meta-move muscle is getting stronger, I feel suspicious when I encounter statements that immediately make me feel that good. No doubt, there is obviously truth to them that can be used but the immediacy of the click also points to something that is put aside, criticality is blinded by the deliciousness of the statement. We are attracted to wholeness and completeness, like theories that can explain everything. Unfortunately, this tendency can lead to self-deception and creation of non-existing patterns and explanations.
In the case above, overall, I find it very appealing and there is truth to it, but the roundness must leave us alert. The roundness conceals the rough edges. If we became ignorant of the past no present would make sense anymore. So, as in anything, the skill is to be in the right relationship with the past and the present - if done well, it opens up space to become better at the present and past thus seeing into the future. What can be unproductive is to narrow down, focusing on a single aspect of life. Shifting between times, being in it and taking a step back, will allow for widening and development of the skill necessary to be faster than most people at seeing what’s going on, updating our model of the world, and reacting accordingly, it’s almost as good as seeing the future.