Living in the Now – Shamanic Paths

Reblogging an old post from Running Elk that makes far more sense than many written on the subject. The comments on the original post are worth reading too:

Much is made in new age and pseudo-psychological circles of living in the “Now”. Much money has been made from the concept, books written and celebrity gained. Yet, what does it actually mean? Is it even possible to understand what the “Now” is? Never mind actually live in a state of constant awareness of it…

To start with, there is much misunderstanding. Hardly surprising.

In the minds of many, the “Now” sits somewhere on a line which represents a continuum between past and future. In some rudimentary way, the “Now” is regarded as the present, or, at very best, the smallest possible unit of what constitutes the present.

1If we take a moment to consider it, there is one obvious difficulty with this model. The “Now”, irrespective of how small we divide the present moment, is a place of limbo. It is not quite the future, but constantly streams into the past; forming not what we wish to become, but, rather, the shadow of the latest we have been.

Even more alarming, is that such a model is, by its nature, restrictive. Rather than expanding the possibilities of the future moment, we find that the only step available lies on a singular path, defined by our past choices. The “Now”, like a bead on a string, moves from past to future along a line over which we have no control.

There is nothing to be found, then, in this concept of “Now”.

After all, by bringing awareness to the “Now”, our future possibilities are meant to expand; freeing us from the current limitations we feel exist in our lives. In the above model, there is no escape. We are merely able to observe our current misery as the time line of our lives continues to pass beneath us.

The “Now”, then, must be something else. The future spreads before us in a myriad of possibility. The “Now” that we seek, somehow, opens these possibilities for us.

2Yet, we are still restricted. As fast as we can consider the “Now”, it streams into our past. The “Now” is impotent. The future spreads out before us, but in the moment of contemplation, the possibilities are pushed forward, ever beyond our reach. This, ever changing, “Now” offers no respite. We may be able to glimpse an array of alternative futures, but they cannot be grasped. They are fleeting, illusory hopes slipping into the past as fast as we are able to conceive them.

The “Now” which we seek can only be found outside our ability to comprehend it. The “Now” is beyond space and time; and yet is so finely interwoven within that fabric that, though it permeates all of creation, it can be so easily overlooked.

Eternal and constant, “Now” can only rightly be thought of as the point of pure potential, existing beyond the event horizon of the present moment. It is not yet the future. It is dissociated from the past. We cannot see it beyond the barrier of the present.

Continue reading Living in the Now at Shamanic Paths

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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4 Responses to Living in the Now – Shamanic Paths

  1. What if we say, ‘The future is Now?’ The future begins with each new thought…task…reading…Our experience (past) informs our future. Present is just a word the covers an episode while we are experiencing it ? . . . . Trying to get 2 girls to bed is my present 🙂 PS, not read the full article yet xx


  2. Running Elk says:

    Oh. Thank you, Sue. An unexpected surprise – both the share and the reread… I’d kind of… erm… forgotten about that post… 😀 xx


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