I found that Jacoby essay via Jenny White:
I propose instead that we do what we can to prepare for that long life, and then we annihilate time.
I’m not the first to think of this, although I’d gladly snatch credit from the Zen masters. Live in the moment: A sentiment overripe from use, but how many of us have actually tried it when wagging fingers insist that as responsible people we should worry about the future as well as prepare for it. The timeline is unforgiving, as we are expected to atone for our pasts as well. Adulthood is an extended act of penance (thrice-weekly gym and no cookies), and old age is your comeuppance for all those unrepented acts of wantonness. Time is society’s dream of your life. It doesn’t have to be your life.
I agree. I think. I guess I just want to make sure that when we invoke Zen wisdom and say “Live in the moment”, we understand that this means grasping that our ideas of the future and the past are both projections of this moment as well. We never actually exist in either the future or the past. When the future gets here, however you define it, it will be experienced as “now”, just as the past was. So “living in the moment” doesn’t mean, pace the Grass Roots, to just live on impulse and refuse to think about anything but satisfying immediate desires, nor does it mean, as certain deranged cult leaders would have you believe, that God will provide if you just have faith; unless, of course, you share said cult leader’s belief that the world is due to end in a fiery apocalypse any minute now, in which case, all right, then.
We can’t help but live in this moment. The hard part is simply realizing that.