Appreciating the present moment has become a ritual that is difficult to get rid of. Indeed, books and advisors of all kinds make the apology of an existence detached from any torment which finds its source in an ability to live the present moment. How can we adopt such a posture when everything in our daily lives pushes us towards the opposite? The identities we forge and defend, as well as the plans we make for our future, sabotage the possible ataraxia offered by a life lived in its total presence. Are we condemned to lead a schizophrenic life, i.e. cultivating realities that are in conflict with each other? What solutions are available to us? Should we live as a recluse or should we shatter our memory of time to better embrace the here and now as eternity?
A computer, in order to function properly, must have enough RAM so that calculations can be executed in a minimum of time. It has a long-term memory – a hard disk – on which it writes and saves data that do not need to be used constantly. There is therefore an interaction between this random access memory and “read-only memory”. Problems arise when one of these memories fails or tries to replace the other.
This analogy can help us understand the pitfalls we face when it comes to living with presence. If we try to involve our slow memory (our hard drive, i.e. our identities) too much, we cannot act with calm and discernment. Our dead memory interferes with our live memory. When we use our RAM to write future things on our hard drive (when we plan), we are operating in slow motion because everything is happening in our head without any connection to our direct environment.
Identifying, planning and living in the present moment are 3 ingredients to be dosed in our life. Everyone follows his own path, we are not all destined to a contemplative or detached life. There are computers that are used more for backups (that store data), others that do a lot of calculations (such as computer servers) or those that are only meant to serve a user (such as personal computers)