Beyond Tomorrow

by Marc Zeedar,

I abhor the future. It looms ahead, just out of eyesight, over the next cliff, beyond tomorrow. It's just out of sight, lurking, hinting, distorting, lying.

I hate the future. She never shows her face, but keeps it carefully veiled, guards her heart against even the most heavily armored suitors that dare attempt to romance her. Oh, she flirts with them. She lures them with horrible visions of hope, visions of potential, fantastic dreams of possibility. But let me tell you, the future's not worth the stone it's engraved upon.

Hope? Hope is just a cruel trick. Potential? Potential's just there to make you inadequate compared against what you could be. Possibility? Endless possibilities are only theory--there is no hope, no chance, no future. It's all a dream, a fancy vision of smoke that vanishes with the sunrise.

It leaves you cold, cold and empty and forlorn, full of despair and regret.

I turn my back on the future. I reject it. It has lost its meaning for me. It means nothing. It is nothing. It no longer exists. I exist. I am here. The future is not.

Time, the eternal enemy, can march all it wants--it can run for all I care. It means nothing to me. Time's chains only bind with faith in the future. I believe in nothing. Nothing except now. The ever-changing now. The eternal now. The ever-present now.

I reject time. I am no longer bound by its precepts, its controls, its laws. Time makes no difference to me. A moment or a year or a thousand years--it's all the same. There is no difference.

I no longer fear tomorrow. I no longer fear anything. It is impossible to fear the now. Fear cannot exist in the present, only in the future. That's the only kind of fear there is--even fear of the past is fear of the future consequences. I do not fear. There is nothing to fear here. There is only now, and now cannot be predicted.

Am I content? Am I happy? There are no such things. Such concepts require a comparison of different states of being--I am capable of only one at a time. I simply am. One might as sensibly ask a rock if it is happy, or an ocean if it be angry. I can be nothing. I can only be.

I have no past. A past requires a future. To the past the present is the future. I have no future and no past. I have no memories, no ideas, no thoughts, no complaints, no desires, no nightmares.

I feel no regret. I feel no pain. I feel no loneliness, no sorrow, no joy, no laughter or tears. All is quiet. All is chaos. All is. I be.

I know I be because I think. (I know I think because I think I think. And if I think I think, I must be thinking. "I think" is another way of saying "I be.") It is all present, all now. I think. I read. I eat. I sleep. I do not know when I have missed sleeping or eating. All I know is now. Now I eat. Now I sleep. Now I breathe.

I do not think about the future or the past. I think only of now, of existence. Not existence as it should be, will be, strives to be, was, or wasn't. No, I think only of existence as it is. I never think of how it isn't--such a thought is impossible for me. If I can think of it, it is. Never isn't.

What is this existence like? It is, it never changes. It always seems to be the same because there is nothing else. No future, no past, nothing. Only the now that cries out its own presence. I cannot judge its success or failure, its right or wrong, its goodness or badness--I know of no such concepts. It simply is, present, existing, as amoral as the rest of my world.

Even a wrong isn't a wrong. It can't be--without right to make it wrong it simply exists. I have no way to separate the two. I cannot tell them apart. I can only experience, not remember. I can only be, not live. I can only think, not answer. For me, an attempt is as good as a success. I never see the results of my actions. Which leaves me unaccountable. I have no right and wrong. I cannot be judged. I cannot judge. I am not hot nor cold but am. Perhaps I am both. I cannot separate or join the two.

There is no meaning. There is no lack of meaning. There's no emptiness, no fullness, no optimism, no pessimism. There is no completeness or incompleteness. There is no satisfaction or dissatisfaction. There is no feeling whatsoever. Or rather, there is feeling, but it cannot be defined. (There is nothing to compare it to.) It cannot be captured, it cannot be remembered. That feeling could be any feeling or no feeling, or any number of feelings put together. Anything is possible.

Yes, you heard me right--anything is possible. But in the present, not the future. In the future anything is possible but not probable. In the supreme present anything is probable--anything is just as probable or improbable as another.

But it makes no difference. That is the difference between the future and the present. In the future, everything matters--the past, the present, feelings, thoughts, actions. But in the present it is all the same--everything is the same as anything else. Everything is identical. All have the same value.

I no longer worry. My actions have no consequence. They have no import, no impact, no meaning. They change nothing. All remains the same. I have no guilt. I am free, truly, completely free to act. Nothing happens when I act--nothing happens when I happen.

I am free. Like no member of the human race before me, I am free from all bondage. Nothing can restrain me, nothing can hold me, nothing can stop me. My will is my own. There are no moral boundaries, no physical obstacles, no blocks of any kind. I can do anything I want!

I am unlimited. There is no end to how far I can go, how high I can climb, how much I can accomplish. There is no end to my abilities, to my skills, to my talents. My freedom gives me the power to control my destiny. There is nothing holding me.

Yet I am a prisoner. A prisoner without limits, without a future. With no future nothing has meaning, including myself. Without meaning I have no reason to exist, and without a reason to exist, I have no definition. Without definition I have no sense of self, and without a self I am no more. In fact, I am not! I cease to exist. I vanish without a trace, leaving no history, no memories, no meaning, no purpose to my being.

I am trapped. Trapped in the present. I cannot escape. There is no hope, no future here. Yet without them I cease to be. I am caught in my own web of deceit. Without hope there is nothing. Yet it is hope that causes pain and hurting, potential that creates stress and worry, possibility that separates success from failure, great from the ingrate. It is hope that brings fear, hope that defines morality, hope that offers despair and comfort in the same breath.

So I am trapped. I either exist in non-existence or die through living. It is death either way.

If there was a tomorrow I could hope for something better.


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