In an article at the website Brainpickings.org, a life plan to live more fully in the present moment also includes advice on how to live forever. Writing, and sharing your work through publication, seems to extend our lifespan.
Alan Watts, a 20th-Century philosopher, points out in his 1951 book The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety, that “the experience of presence is the only experience that is a reminder that our “I” doesn’t exist beyond this present moment — there is no permanent, static, and immutable “self” which can grant us any degree of security and certainty for the future.” Watts was notable and continues to be so. His own presence was a plot point in the science fiction movie Her, where a collective of personal operating systems gathered to study with his long-dead presence via the Web. (You never can tell with Watts’ writings and lectures what’s genuinely possible. His reality seems to have few limits.)
Writing appears to be a bridge beyond our physical lifespans — or as Watts says, “an assurance of the future.” We won’t experience the future beyond us. But our writing, if it’s shared in some way, gives our essence the possibility of living in the future.
Strong writing always flows from a clear, personal voice and visions. Our “I” can be out there in the tomorrows that our bodies will never see. Maybe in that future of Her, we can be present in the mind of a single person, acting as their operating system. Writing a book today that leads a reader to adopt a life plan might make that happen, in the present, and in the future.