Monday, 2 September 2013

The human mind is lost in time.

 I frequently travel on trains and I have been observing a peculiar action made by some of my fellow passengers. This action relates to pressing the train door release button when either boarding or disembarking a train at a station.

The train button illuminates and a loud bleeping sound is heard when the door release buttons become activated. It is only at this moment that the train doors will open.

I have noticed that many passengers press the door release button repeatedly before it becomes illuminated and before the loud bleeping starts. Some of these passengers may rarely travel by train and therefore not be aware of how the doors open. However, many are frequent commuters that I see often at the station.

Why would one keep repeatedly pressing the button if they had the knowledge that doing this would not result in the train doors opening any quicker? Maybe they are thinking about something else and are not aware of what they are doing. My reasoning would be that their mind is projecting into the future; they are standing on the station waiting for the door to open but this is not fulfilling so the mind wants to be in future (on the train or at their destination).

The human mind is often obsessed with the future, imagining it as better than or worse than the present moment. This reduces the present moment to an unsatisfactory experience and creates anxiety; you want to be at some future point in time but you are not. My observation with train doors is just one example of this process playing out. This mind dysfunction is causing problems and suffering all over the world in ways that are not so easy to observe.

The truth is that the present moment is all we ever have.

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