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Project Vision 21

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The uncertainty of the future used as an excuse to ignore the future

Quite often, when I talk about the future, someone says that, because the future does not exist, we should not worry about the future, thus using our total lack of certainty about the future as an excuse to ignore and even disregard that future. However, it is increasingly clear that the future is the only thing that truly exists.

Those who affirm that attention should only be paid to the present because the past is no longer and the future is not yet (that is, neither one nor the other exist) asks us to hold on to an ephemeral transition, always in motion, to which we allocate some type of entity even though it only serves as a bridge between two (supposedly) non-existent elements. 

And those who, with greater care, remind us that we should not confuse the present with the now, since the now includes a psychological dimension and, therefore, consciousness, even so, they do not explain how focusing on the now results more beneficial than creating (or, better yet, co-creating) a future.

One could say that the two main reasons to hold on to the present are the desire for nothing to change (as generally desire those to whom life constantly smiles) or the fatalistic belief that, even if everything is going wrong, nothing will change because neither ourselves nor someone else can generate any change.

But neither the repetition of the present ad infinitum nor the perpetuation of the past is possible or advisable at a time of profound, unthinkable, unforeseen, global, and irreversible changes. In fact, those who fill their entire present with their past leave no room for the future and, therefore, live in smaller and smaller worlds.

Therefore, it could be said that those who say that the future cannot be known say it because they are locked in the present or, worse, they were enslaved by the past. Without knowing it and without having reflected on the subject, they generalize their limitations and use that generalization as the basis for disregarding their future.

What they say does not exist (the future) is what could "save" them (to put it in some way), and not for some kind of technological advancement or scientific discovery, but for the future itself, precisely because, being undetermined, it generates an existential uneasiness that, well understood, shakes us, removes us from our confinement and, if we are allowed to say it, makes us transcendental by forcing us outside ourselves.

But there is a serious problem: the future is incompatible with narcissism. Narcissus (the one from the famous myth) just wanted to see his undistorted image and he was so attached to his self-image that he preferred death before seeing a different image of himself. But, the myth says, not even death was liberating for him. 

In fact, more existential bravery and personal maturity are needed to open the mind, heart and will to the future, to ambiguity, to indeterminacy than the forces necessary to (supposedly) perpetuate the narcissistic past. 

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