We usually walk around with two contradictory thoughts in consciousness, which adds to a general state of confusion.

Commonly, the first thought takes the form of wanting to contemplate the future, take charge of it, control it, run it and the like. Through this constant, mental devising, we designate ourselves master of the future; we are our own independent authority on our life.

However, at the same moment, we have another thought: “what would he or she advise?” We look to others for guidance, thereby becoming dependent on outside authorities.

In this way, we seek to master our lives and yet look to others for direction. At once, we believe ourselves to be independent and dependent. If I can run the future why do I need to resort to an external authority? Either I’m in charge or they are in charge.

This contradiction reveals the illusory nature of the future. No one is in control: neither myself nor an outside authority. Though we attempt to structure and adapt the future, our efforts are futile. The future does not yet exist. It is a projection of our ideas, concerns, predictions, but never the present reality. However, it is uniquely in the immediate present that one can take action.

Therefore, to give oneself or another control over our future is to deceive ourselves into believing one can control an illusion.