Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Wanting to Know the Future

Gina Lake

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One of the strongest desires of the ego is to know the future. The ego wants to know the future very badly, so badly that it often resorts to making it up, if not in a full-blown fantasy at least in thoughts and beliefs about it that constantly change. Sometimes the fantasies are negative fantasies and depict the ego’s fears about the future. The likelihood of these events actually taking place in the (usually) dramatic way that the egoic mind tends to think is miniscule, and yet they grab our attention, stir up our emotions, and even cause us to take particular actions. The egoic mind creates a problematic future and then takes steps in the present to avoid it. To the mind, this seems reasonable, prudent, wise, and practical. But nothing could be more impractical than being detached from the present moment and lost in imaginary fears and plans to avoid those fears.

It is natural, however, that the egoic mind operates like this because it does not trust life. It doesn’t recognize the Intelligence behind life, which is wise, loving, and evolving us toward greater wisdom and love. In part it doesn’t see this because it is busy telling negative stories about life—about how unfair and unsafe it is. Of course the egoic mind is frightened—it frightens itself every day with negative stories. It doesn’t see the love, goodness, or support that is present, and it doesn’t understand that challenges and difficulties evolve us in ways like nothing else can. The only thing that sees this is essence—our true nature. Essence sees the truth about life, but when we are identified with the egoic mind and its beliefs and the stories it spins based on those, we don’t see things as essence sees them.

We want to know the future because we want confirmation of the ego’s belief that the present is flawed but it will be redeemed by something better in the future. We want someone to tell us “Yes, your prince (princess) will come and you will live happily ever after.” This is the ego’s basic stance: What is happening now isn’t good enough but someday it will be good enough, and that will last forever. It is a fairytale that is so deeply embedded in our makeup that we don’t even realize we are telling ourselves this.

This stance toward life interferes with actually experiencing what is going on in this precious moment—a moment that will never come again. Moreover, it interferes with seeing the truth about life—that it is constantly changing, that we have little control over it, and that it is full of all sorts of things, both likeable and not likeable, and that will always be the case.

The egoic mind is not seeing truly when it rejects the moment. It rejects it because it is seeing what it doesn’t like about it, according to its values—pleasure, power, safety, specialness, and security. If the moment is not providing those to its self-image, then it rejects the moment in entirety. But the moment doesn’t exist for the ego’s pleasure and to bolster its sense of self; it exists for all of life and contains everything we need to be happy if we are willing to just be there in the present without our opinions, beliefs, and judgments.

Stripped of thought, the moment is alive and always changing into something new and unexpected. It moves, and it is full of all sorts of things that dazzle the senses, inspire love, and surprise us. This moment is all we need and it is all we really have. That it can be any other way or that it will ever be anything other than the way it happens to be showing up is an illusion. The ego has little power to change what is happening because it is already too late—life has already moved on to the next moment. All the ego can do is interfere through its discontent with having a full and rich experience of this moment. This saps the juice and joy out of the moment, so no wonder we long for a better moment. The egoic mind spoils this moment and promises a better one, but that better moment will never come unless the egoic mind becomes quiet. And then every moment is good.

When you find yourself wanting a better moment—wanting something else in the future—it can be helpful to ask: What will that give me? We think we will finally and once and for all be happy when that moment arrives. What we discover when we do get what we want is that even that wonderful moment disappears and is replaced by the next one and the next one. Life keeps moving on, bringing us a mixture of what we like and don’t like. Why not like—love—it all because it won’t be here for long, and it will never be this way again.

After having an awakening in 1999, Gina has dedicated herself to writing and teaching about awakening and is the author of Radical Happiness, Anatomy of Desire, Return to Essence, Choosing Love, Getting Free, and Living Your Destiny. She is also an astrologer and a channel with a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology. She has been supporting people in their spiritual growth in a counseling practice for over twenty years. To order her books, to read excerpts, to listen to talks, to get a free newsletter, or to download the free e-book Radiance: Experiencing Divine Presence, please visit

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Page last updated: 10-Jul-2012