If you are a smoker and give up smoking you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be terrible.You are able to endure this suffering only because you know that it will pass.You know that in three weeks you will feel fine again.
So, during the first weeks without nicotine there is not much point in bothering about the now. Eckhart Tolle says that only the now is real. OK. But when you give up your cigarettes it is good to now that things will be better in the future.
If you have a hard and lousy job to complete you can endure it only because you know that this job will not last forever, and at the dentist most people prefer the future to the present moment. Hope is very important to human beings. Hope is the wish for a better future. We are lost without hope. We are lost without the future.
However, if you never live in the now, if you always live in the future or in the past, it will become a habitual way of looking at the world. You will forget about the present now. You will loose it. You will forget about who you are. You will live your life in a fantasy world. You will end up as a zombie, as a living dead.
A human life consists of a lot of habits. We can get so used to hurrying that we hurry even if we don’t have to. We can get so used to being tired that we eventually don't know of any other state of mind. We can get used to living in a fog.
The autopilot mode is very useful. To learn how to drive a car takes time and energy. But after a few years you don’t have to think at all about your driving. It has become automatic. You can easily have a fiery conversation with someone while the autopilot is doing the driving for you. Isn’t this amazing?
So, the habits are OK, as I see it,and the dreams about a better future and all the fantasies. They are not our enemies. They are the sea we are swimming in. Problems appear only if we forget about the now completely. To wake up to the present now is to wake up for a moment from sleepwalking. It is to wake up from the hypnosis. Whales have to come to the surface to breathe. We have to visit the now every three to five minutes or so. And the Dolphins are making their jumps into the now
just for the fun of it.