I have recently contemplated a thought: what if there was no next?
This question might seem detached, distant, or fatalist if you want, but it is not. Or at least, not in the way I mean it.
My question is a genuine investigation of how we perceive things.
In almost everything we do we search for a next. While travelling we fantasise the next city, when learning a new skill we want to see improvement, when starting a new project we to picture its completion, or perhaps we already think at the next one.
There is nothing bad in all of that. This is just the normality of a dynamic life. But, just for a second, I would like to ask what would it feel like to have no next?
What would it feel like if we knew there was no other thing to wait for, to aspire to, or to desire in any possible way? Would we feel empty? Would we feel content? Would the whole world end as we discover that we are something different from what we have thought?
I don’t think so.
To imagine that there was no next might also lead to a lot of appreciation for what has been and what is right in front of us. In a sense it can be liberating.
Having nothing to achieve might mean to have nothing to be distracted by. There would be just ourselves, our breath and the things we really value.
In the last period I have practiced letting go of expectations. It is not easy to let expectations go, for a very simple reason. We are trained to have expectations and when we feel discomfort in not having something to cling to. Yet also this is momentary.
When one expectations go there is a chance of just staying with what is in front of us. When doing the dishes there’s just the washing of dishes. When working on a job there’s just the task in front of us. When writing there’s just the stream of words in our heads. When looking in somebody’s eyes there is just the looking in the eyes.
Where would it lead to having no next? A very simple life made of thousands of beautiful moments.
This is what remains when we let the next go.