Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Digesting the Now and other Times

Prof. Jennifer Maier writes that your dog will not share your sorrows with you since dogs "can only digest the Now."  I really appreciate the word "digest".  I looked up what dogs can't eat and there is disagreement between sites but onions, avocados, grapes or raisins, chocolate and very fatty meats like bacon have a bad name.

In some instances, the gut that digests our food is said to be a second brain.  Makes sense that the body needs intelligence about what to accept for digestion and what not to.  Dogs tend to be considered carnivores while humans are classed as omnivores, meat-eaters v. everything-eaters.

It makes sense to think of dogs and other animals as being able to digest the Now better than future or past times.  Still, it is clear that many animals can remember.  When you pick up the leash and the dog acts excited, you can tell it is anticipating a walk.  If you startle a squirrel, you can tell it knows the way to its tree.  Eckhart Tolle said,"I have lived with several Zen masters and all of them were cats."

You can get an advantage dealing with feelings, memories, regrets and hopes by being able to focus on the Now, this instant, quite definitely not just like any other instant, before or since, in your life or others.  However, it doesn't take very long before the human value of, indeed need for, the past and the future raise their cute little heads. When we remember of the last meal we had at that restaurant, our last experience dealing with that store, the pleasure of the last couple of books by that author, we make use of our past and what we can remember of it.  Putting money aside today so we can buy a Chromebook in the future, planning a trip and checking the likely weather on those days in that location - we have many ways and plans that we project into the future, sometimes more than one generation ahead.

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