Pepsi has a new advertisement carrying the message ‘Live for now’. You have the words ‘Live for now’ with pictures of young people having fun, which is nice…but there is something deceiving about this ‘Live for now’ marketing campaign. Because nowadays the idea of ‘Now’, or ‘Presence’ is kind of fashionable, Pepsi is simply using it to attract young people with the message ‘I am young, I am alive, I am in the Now’.
But ‘Live for now’, in the sense they show it in the campaign, is closer to being blind, to not seeing anything except some very little inner desire for pleasure. You close your eyes and you say ‘live for now’ and you let go into that…but this is actually the opposite of what ‘live IN the now’ is all about. Being in the now, that is, presence, is about being alive, it’s about seeing, being aware, not about being lost in a bubble.
Yes, it is true that in ‘Presence’ there is a sense of easy going-ness, of lightness, of lack of worry, but Presence is also a responsibility. At any moment, there are two needs going on: there is what I need, and there is what the moment as a total needs, and this total includes other people, the environment, and even one’s own body, one’s own health*. And all these are included in Presence, in the Now. It’s not just ‘what I need’: this is living in blindness, living a lie, living in the dream of ‘me’, an individual separated from the whole. Much of the destruction of our planet (and much of the destruction of our own health) is based on this kind of ‘living for now’: because I need some money now, I’m going to cut all these trees, or kill all these animals, or use all these resources. There is obviously no Now in there, there is only greediness and selfishness, my own need for comfort and survival.
Being in the now implies an awareness of the total – my needs in the context of the needs of everything else. It’s also not that someone or something else’s needs are more important than mine – that’s also being blind. Since I’m also an aspect of the whole, by taking care of myself I take care of the whole. I don’t get sick because I am helping something else. I can help some cause or some person by giving up many things, but I cannot forget to take care of my needs.
The thing is not to become blind by taking care of one aspect above another aspect. To be in the now means to rise to the beautiful vision of the whole, of the totality. It is love. Actually the now, presence and love are synonymous. They are the same thing. When you are in the Now you care and to care is to love; there is no separation, no difference: To care for a tree, to care for a person, to care for health…to care for Life.
*Isn’t it amazing that this is one of the top companies in the world, even though now there is more and more knowledge of how much damage this drink does to our health?