Being complete and whole in the moment without crutch or dependency to the past or the future, either recent or distant, has been a goal of several spiritual traditions, perhaps Zen most noticeably. The western popularizer of that tradition, Alan Watts, certainly established it in his many books of the 60’s and 70’s, several of which came my way back then. I also recall Ram Dass (aka Richard Alpert) spreading the notion with his popular book Be Here Now in that same decade.
As human beings we sometimes struggle to find meaning and purpose in our lives. Why are we here in this lifetime? We hear the standard answer, “We are here to grow and experience”, but what does that really mean? After all, each and every one of us has experienced some difficult times. Sometimes it’s hard to find purpose and even more difficult to find joy in these lives. So, why are we here?