There is no brighter future to progress toward. This is it. This is the only moment I will ever experience. This one here. This one now. Tomorrow never comes. It is always today. Today is a very long day, without evidence of ends or beginnings. All I have ever known is a cycle of continuation.
Yesterday never returns. There is no past to account for, unless we decide there is. I can flex my grey and pink matter to construct causality between the moments I remember, those I experience, and those I project. But does it serve me to do so? Do the fictions I clutch of the past and weave for future bring me more bliss? I am hard-pressed to make a case that they do.
When I dream, it is here and now all the same but different. Applying my temporal construction equipment to a dreamscape is even more futile than when I am awake. It is readily apparent that there is no causality in dreams. And when dream and waking states of consciousness intermingle, when I become lucid while dreaming, my fictions of causality begin to leak and seep into the dreamscape. What a rush for the ego, what an empowering thrill to be able to manipulate my experience with only my intent and attention, with the fundamental abilities of my mind.
And yet my purpose is bliss, my prime directive is enjoyment. Gratitude is the fertilizer I sprinkle into my ground state to help enjoyment grow. My karma, the actions I instill with my breath, can wear grooves into my path. These grooves lead me to habits. With ample gratitude and mindful action, these habits yield recurring bliss through affinity and connection with other nodes of consciousness. With disdain and delusion, I wear grooves toward dismay, separation, and suffering.
How do I optimize for bliss? How I can I steer toward a bright future in spite of its nonexistence? Practice. If I learn to enjoy what is here and now, I will continue to do so as circumstances change. Impermanence is the only sure thing. Death and taxes are mere possibilities.
Can I plan for bliss? Sure. I can set my intent to travel to Europe for my best friend's wedding. I can buy a plane ticket to France. I can say yes to Burning Man. And then in every successive moment I can act upon those intentions or against them.
If my intent is rooted in love and pointed toward greater bliss, it will feel natural to act upon it. This is the way, this is with the flow of the Tao. If it is rooted in fear and pointed toward power or success or privacy, it will feel difficult to act, and easier to freeze and remain inert. I may suffer unless I adjust my intent to follow the loving flow of sat-chit-ananda, being-knowing-enjoying, existence-consciousness-bliss.
the highest to which man can attain is wonder; and if the prime phenomenon makes him wonder, let him be content; nothing higher can it give him, and nothing further should he seek for behind it; here is the limit. — Goethe
I cannot act upon the future. I cannot experience the future. I can imagine causal links between now and then. But I can never test the veracity of these links, because I can never repeat a moment and act differently to compare the results. Try as I might, I cannot test causality in any pure, repeatable experiment. No experiment is repeatable. I can strive and stretch toward infinitely stringent experimental conditions, as quantum researchers have done and are doing. And I will find, as they have, that the result of my experiment depends on my conscious observation, and remains in the domain of possibilities without it.
So we are. This is it. I am enjoying the dickens out of writing this. I hope you are enjoying reading it. If not, put it down. Right now. Go hug someone.