Dr. Michael Laitman To Change the World – Change Man

What Does it Mean to Live in the Moment?

One of my students recently asked me about what it means to live in the moment based on an allegory of a dialog between a butterfly and a perennial plant.

A one-day old butterfly landed on a perennial plant, and started admiring everything it saw: “The sun is so kind and beautiful! The dew is amazing! And what a meadow! And the sky! And the air!”

“Never mind, butterfly,” said the perennial plant, “tomorrow, you will get used to all of this.”

“There will be no tomorrow for me,” the butterfly replied and closed its eyes forever.

The perennial plant suddenly realized that in a thousand years it had not seen what this butterfly saw in just one day of its life.

In this dialog lies a profound lesson about what we, with our longer lifespans, often overlook. We fail to see the beginning and the end—the true essence of life.

Imagine if we could see the entirety of life in a single day. We would then know that we are completely in this day, and we would grasp hold of it, not letting it go, wishing to make the absolute most out of it.

And what is in this day? There is a connection between the past and the future. Mostly, such a connection gives us an understanding of the meaning of life. Otherwise we live as if we do not feel where we are.

In other words, it is not life when we feel that everything passes us by, without our participation. Life is rather when we wish to hold on to every moment as if it were our last. We then want to absorb everything into ourselves, from beginning to end, including everything in between, as if we are drinking it all in so much that we need to gasp for breath!

Life itself is a single moment. To live in this moment, making the most out of it, means to attain it. And how do we attain it? We attain it by constantly seeking answers as to why we were given such a life, what should we have done and did not do, and perhaps we could still maximize this precious opportunity we have been given?

Afterward, another moment will emerge, and we can then ask the same questions on a fresh new page, and keep moving forward through life in the same way.

However, we do not live our lives in this way, even though we should. We live under certain filters of perception that switch off our constant existential questioning, and we generally flow through life’s currents without extracting the most out of it.

Nature made us this way intentionally so that we would indeed not ask too many deep existential questions, otherwise we would quickly reveal all of life’s mysteries, leaving us no room for expressing our free choice and action. Instead, we live within a mystery of life that we must constantly unravel. It is not as simple as someone having once revealed all of life’s mysteries, writing their findings, and now we can all read their book and find out for ourselves. On the contrary, we need to dig into ourselves, into life, into nature, and search.

That is life. If we live according to such a line, then we will each achieve something of our own, as we each have a unique role in life. Nature’s laws, which operate beyond our mind’s grasp, guide each of us to our own unique root, but whether we each actually reach such a destination, I do not know. It is all determined above us.

This juncture presents us with a place for prayer—that we turn to the force that created, sustains and guides us, and ask it to guide us in the most correct manner possible. We should thus live such that we try to reveal the mystery of life at every moment.

Based on KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” on February 19, 2024. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

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