What is the nature of time?
We have been told time is only an illusion, and yet it seems to dominate so much of our day to day lives.
Maybe we have even experienced brief glimpses of ‘timelessness’ in our meditations, in times of creative excellence, or in deep moments of love.
However, it can be so easy to get sucked back into the ‘daily grind of life’ that it leaves us wondering, how can we truly be free of time?
How do we move from experiencing ‘timelessness’ as more than just a theory?
In this article, we will explore a few questions and perspectives designed to show you how moving beyond time is not a destination, but rather a ‘point of focus’ or a state of awareness, so you can ‘make the shift’ any moment you choose.
1) What is time? Does time actually exist?
When you think of time, what do you imagine?
For many of us, we might picture a clock face, or a calendar when we think of time.
We measure time as ‘the linear passing of moments.’ Time seems to be a way for us to coordinate with others and agree upon certain unified experiences together.
However, for as much as we seem to experience time, all we ever really experience is our perceptions of ‘the passing of time.’
For example, the past and the future never actually exist in the present moment. All that ever exists is the present moment.
The past has already happened, and therefore you can THINK about the past, but you cannot experience the past, aside from focusing on a memory in your head, which is happening in the present moment.
The future has not happened yet, and therefore you can THINK about what may happen in the future, but you are not actually experiencing the future.
The present is what is happening here and now. It requires no thought to exist, because it IS existing. You are living it as it happens.
You can have thought in the present moment, but the thoughts are designed to be momentary tools. As human beings, our true mastery is realized when we are focused and engaged with the present moment, not ‘stuck in our heads.’
2) Presence is awareness of the here and now.
When you are fully engaged in the moment, and not in your head thinking about bills, and work, and troubles, and how you’re going to do this or that, you’re said to be present.
While it is very simple to be present, it doesn’t always feel easy. Especially when we’ve developed a habit for being lost in our thoughts.
Why do we get lost in our thoughts? Because on some level, we believe our thoughts can help us control our reality and give us what we want.
We obsess over the past in hopes we won’t make the same mistake again. We think if we think about solutions enough, we’ll be prepared for the future ‘when the time comes.’
We believe that if we think long and hard, we’ll be able to protect ourselves and the ones we love.
However, the irony is that when we are lost in thought, we disengage from our responsiveness to the present moment of life.
When we are worried about what has happened or what might happen, we are not focused on what IS happening.
And from the perspective of our fullest selves, what IS happening is always the most interesting thing, since what IS happening is where we have the power to respond.
Continue: How to break free from time part 2 here