I am haunted by the myth of time scarcity. This is, in fact, the greatest challenge I face in learning and practicing Present Moment Living. Exhibit A: In the midst of an impromptu meditation that has brought me such blissful presence as demands savoring, my mind will screech, “Why are you standing here like a stork in a trance? You’ve been daydreaming for half an hour! You have work to do, sooooo much work to do! There’s no time to be standing here gazing at the sky!” It’s taken me a lot of practice, a lot of journaling, a lot of science and a lot of reverse engineering to reach the point where I can remain in the blissful present, look my fearful mind in the third eye, and say
“You know perfectly well we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing, as we always are when we practice the simple act of being. I love you, but it turns out you lied to me. Time is not my keeper. Time is my Bitch.”
I can allow the interruption to show me where and what I need to release while challenging me to find a deeper sense of presence somewhere outside of time where the egoic mind cannot find me.
Being in the present moment is tricky business. When first you accept that time is a construct of the mind and develop the ability to drop into the present moment at will, the egoic mind jolts you back into the dream as an insomniac is jolted awake the moment sleep is at hand. It is the egoic dream-mind’s fear of death which is keeping us from living.
I never liked the term “mindfulness.” It suggests we need more mind, more thought, when what we really need is to escape from the mind altogether so we can listen to our heart and remember who we are. Thinking can only happen in time, being only in the present. But how do we define the present?… That will require some thought, so let’s settle into the time dimension for a minute and see if we can figure out what we mean when we talk about time vs. present moment.
Time, as defined by Oxford via the omnipotent Google, is “The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” I can easily understand the past as a warehouse of jumbled, incomplete movie reels I carry in my mind and perceive as “real,” and the concept of future provides endless fodder for fictional speculation, but how does one comprehend of the present?
Oxford defines the present as “The period of time occurring now,” and now as “The present moment or time.” I’m always suspicious of words that can’t define themselves without cross promotion. Presence is something that cannot be understood from a traditional mindset, anymore than can eternity. Maybe that’s because the present has nothing to do with time. Maybe, time is merely a projection of the past and future from the perspective of the present, which itself exists independently as an infinite Universe.
What if time is not one dimensional, but two? Or three? Believe it or not, there may be scientific evidence for this theory. It’s a Quantum Physics theory called Shape Dynamics. Newton and Einstein are breakdancing in their graves.
If you’re a quantum physics geek like me, you can read about Shape Dynamics here. My personal theory is that everything is constructed of eternal Sierpinski triangle fractals made of tiny rubber bands. What’s yours?
Oxford is equally contrary in defining eternity as it is the present. Eternity is classified as both “infinite or unending time,” and as “timelessness.” Come on guys. You can’t have it both ways, even if you are British. Eternity is, in fact, the absence of time. Time is a construct of the mind which allows us to interact with our projections, and this perceived interaction occurs within the timelessness of eternity. In other words, eternity is the present moment, everywhere at once. It is the only moment that is not a projection. And it contains all the power in the Universe.
For the mind to submit to this concept of timelessness as the natural order of things, one must first understand and accept that our world is a projection, matter does not exist outside of time as anything but energy, science understands less than 5% of the particles in the universe (the rest is gray matter and dark energy, for which we have neither definition nor explanation NASA), and we are, in all scientific likelihood, experiencing an infinite number of matrix-type projections. “Are We living in a Matrix?” 15 Irrefutable Reasons Why We Might Be Living in a Simulation Do We Live in a Simulation?
The mind is a fickle beast. It insists upon understanding before it will submit. We made ourselves this way by choice and it’s one of my favorite parts of the human experience, so rest assured as we walk through this theme I will proffer evidence that my postulations are not the science fiction fantasies of a mad divorcée. I do hope you will explore the resources I provide, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or chat room.
Most of you are getting dizzy now and I’m not about to launch into Quantum Physics 101, but if you want to explore Present Moment Living, and I assume you’re hell bent on that goal if you’ve made it this far, I highly recommend you check out Through The Worm Hole with Morgan Freeman. Specifically Season 2 episode 3, Does Time Really Exist? In it Freeman explains that time is a biologically and psychologically conditioned filter which Quantum Physics postulates does not exist at all, but is in fact a construct of the mind designed to organize an infinite series of Nows to facilitate observation of their relationship to one another. As musicians in a band use time to synchronize the individual projections of sound, time allows us to synchronize our individual projections of reality. Time is a construct, a fluid multi-dimension, an ocean where the seas of past, present, and future mingle and converge. All we have to do is learn to swim. And that’s what I’m here to help you do.