Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's About Time

I hope you are enjoying everything you are engaged in on a daily basis and bringing more awareness to the thoughts rolling around in your head. If you are, I’m sure you have noticed some very interesting things about how your mind works. One of the things I’m noticing is how much time I spend thinking about something that has already happened or thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet (and may not even happen). It’s interesting to witness what happens when you become the witness of these thoughts rather than being completely immersed in them. I’ll share more about this at a later present moment (see below to understand), but in the mean “time” I wanted to share a few things about time that might interest you.

I’ve been reading this interesting book called Exploring the Sky (Richard Moreshl) which has quite a few projects involving the objects in space we see from Earth, as well as historic information about how ancient people used the sky to guide them. So far there is a lot of information about how the passage of time was determined based on the changes observed in the stars, moon, sun, and various other objects. One project in the book involved building a nocturnal time piece which consists of a circle with tick marks for months and hours along with a couple pointers. To use it you center the hole in the center with the North Star and line up the markers with two stars in the Big Dipper and you can tell what month and hour it is (in the Northern Hemisphere).

There is a great deal written about the evolution of other time keeping devices as well. One thing that I found interesting is that minutes were not measured on clocks until a little over 300 years ago. Imagine a life without minutes :) Prior to that only hours were tracked and before that only days, etc. It’s obvious from what I have read so far that human fascination with time has been around for thousands of years. But I thought it was all summed up nicely by a quote in the book taken from H. W. Longfellow:

The shadow on the dial
The striking of the clock
The running of the sand
Day and Night, Summer and Winter
Months, Years, Centuries–
These are but arbitrary and
outward signs, the measure
of time, not time itself.
Time is the life of the Soul.

To me this means that time is but a figment of our imagination that helps us organize our lives. In this context, time is equated to the eternal and inseparable part of our essence. Time is just a label we put on the ever changing present moment we find ourselves in.

As Eckhart Tolle likes to point out, nothing ever happened in the past. It happened in the now. Nothing will ever happen in the future. It will happen in the now. Everything always happens in the present moment. Even if you experience something 20 years from now, you will be experiencing it in the present moment. As you can see, this makes the present moment ever lasting and all you will ever have. So why not enjoy it?

If you are still unsure about how you can enjoy the present moment and still get things done that you need to get done, I suggest the book I have been suggesting for a while now, Practicing the Power of Now (or even The Power of Now), as it clearly addresses these issues. However, I will also continue to share my own observations on how you can bring your awareness back to the present moment to make the most of the only thing you will ever have. More to come...
All my best,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this morning I was having a power of now moment I thought the time was 8:30 and i had overslept I hurriedly got ready for work but as I walked the dog I slowed down realizing that I was anticipating every thing I had to do for the day. I remembered Tolle's words if you are not experiencing a feeling of lightness you are in the future or in the past. My jaw loosened my shoulders dropped and I noticed how green the world was despite the lack of rain. When I came inside i looked at the clock and it was a quarter to seven.Now Did I read the clock wrong? The illusion that it is difficult to embrace the unbearable lightness of being is exactly that but it is possible that those moments of awakedness can build on each other and your discipline regarding being present can move you in directions you never imagined.