Tied to our past, eyes in the present, anchors at our end.
You sit up in your bed. Another day, it seems.
The light casting into your living quarters is as it always has been.
You continue your routine, maybe less enthusiastic than the day before, but still, you push on- you always have and always will.
As you approach the towel by your sink to dry your hands-
You- are- gone.
You won't have recognition of what led to this event, and what comes after is anyone's best guess.
You- and all of those like you- are gone.
The doomsday clock is eternally ticking and in the modern world of pandemics and social unrest- mortality in the first world has returned to remind us that we are fragile, we are young, and we are far from a secure future.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. On a global scale, one giant natural disaster could wipe all life as we know it.
Until such an event is to happen, life is tied to time only by its ability to record memories.
We exist now, because we have evolved to unconsciously understand that we are in motion.
We are all born with the ability to recognize the past, and even then, not as it was, but instead as skewed depictions stored in our brains. Each of us containing a slightly different copy of that past.
We are but holding onto a fictitious and fragile understanding of time.
There is one point in time however, one memory that is beyond interpretation. A memory so powerful, so true, so profound, that we all perceive it the same.
A memory of the end.
We don't know how, when, or why- but we do know, one day we will be no more.
In a philosophical sense, we live our lives with one truth, but spend all of our lives trying to piece together the road to that truth.
We fear the end because we remember it will happen.
Of course, many would argue this is a learned concept.
Maybe we wouldn't know death if we were never to see it.
I would argue though that it is inherently encoded into all living things, even if it were simply subconscious.
I think the very nature of life is coded with one truth, one universal memory- death is our constant- we will all meet the end.
The unfortune case of humanity is that despite one true struggle, making us all equal in the larger scale of reality- we morph our memories to blur our future.
Through selfish desire, escapism, and fear- we instinctively choose to forget the future. We instead deceive ourselves with connections to our past.
Maybe, just maybe- if we used that knowledge, we would live more productive lives, lead more productive scientific discoveries, live in a far more egalitarian global society.
But it might just be that the gift we are given as conscious humans is to remember one future, and live in another.
We are not bound by the end- we are bound by the present. Ruled by circumstances and consequence.
We are tied to our parents, to our ancestors, tied to the events that exist within our lives.
I do not believe it is fulfilling to live life everyday as though it were our last.
I do not believe it is healthy to be tied to a loose perception of fate.
I do not believe it is productive to obsess over that in which is out of our control.
I believe we were gifted the present so that we wouldn't be beholden by our future.
I believe in a strange, illogical manner, we are free because we disregard our memory of the future.
This is not to say we must not grow and learn from our common constant.
It is to instead say that we take full advantage of our ability to be ever present in the past- rather than ever tied to our inevitable futures.
Maybe this is the way we learn, maybe we just haven't lived long enough, maybe as a species we will one day use our knowledge of the past to alter our inventible futures.
If you're interested in what inspired me to write this article, check out the video below.