|Sent on:||Tuesday, May 5, 2009 10:29 PM|
Why ME Why HERE Why NOW? - Part III��
During the last few weeks we���ve been digging under three short but deep and significant questions. Both our understanding of ���who��� we are, and ���where��� we are, sit at the core of our life. Our sense of identity, and our awareness of context, will shape our life all the way from our deepest intentions to our day-to-day thinking, and ultimately to our destiny. This week we enter the dimension of time and the final question in our trilogy ���Why NOW?
Imagine watching a movie for the first time. You are ���spellbound��� by the sounds and images that dance across the screen before you. As you watch the story unfolding you have no awareness of the passing of time. The movie is neither long nor short, fast or slow, it simply happens before your eyes. You are as absorbed as a child with their first toy. You have nothing to compare it with as you have no previous experience of movies. You are wide eyed and open mouthed. What a delight. What a joy.
Fast forward five years, during which time and you have seen hundreds of movies, and you are watching the latest release from the Hollywood production line. You know the formula, the ingredients, the possible plots and subplots of the basic storylines. The characters have familiar personalities interacting in very familiar ways. You have retained your experience of all the other movies in your memory and now draw upon those memories to predict and anticipate how this movie will unfold. It is indeed predictable and because you think you know more or less how the plot and subplots will unravel, the story seems to drag, so time seems to drag. It seems to take a long time to play out as you use your memories of the past to anticipate the future. And so from what was once a timeless innocence you are now ���time conscious���. From a state of consciousness naturally aware of only NOW, to a state of consciousness both caught and swinging between past and future. You don���t notice that as you watch the movie the ���NOWness��� of the moment is lost and at the same time joy is lost. Time drags. Life drags.
Watching movies is also one of the activities that influence us to believe that all significant events in life are ���out there���, that our primary reality is ���out there���, separate from us, and that we have no control. We start to see our self as helpless in the face of what we believe is the reality of life. All we can do is measure our own experience of the space between events ���out there���, or between the start and end of an event. And to do that we invent seconds, minutes and hours. Soon we will be attempting to measure everything, and eventually mistake the clock, the mechanical ticker and displayer of those seconds, minutes and hours, for time itself. It is a grave mistake that will drive us on towards ���clock consciousness��� and eventually we may suffer from ���hurry sickness��� as we attempt to cram more personal events (actions) into less ticks of the clock. More ���doings��� are squeezed out of being. We may even become a ���rushaholic��� and perhaps require treatment for our ���action addiction���!
Why? Because MORE has become our silent mantra, and SPEED your silent but busy partner. Doing more, achieving more, acquiring more, delivering more in less mechanical time will become an obsession, while the pace at which all ���the more��� is done will be our measure of success. In the process we will become trapped by the tension of opposites simply because the world ���out there���, which we deem to be the primary reality, has the characteristics of duality built in. We succumb to learning the language of duality and become dependent on the tension that arises out of opposites. Up down, left right, hot cold, black white, right wrong, good bad, all creep into our consciousness and our language as the way the so called ���real world��� works. The underlying story of our life becomes based on ���one��� or the ���other���, them or us, this or that. And so we do the same with the idea of time and we attempt to split it into past and future in order to conform to the apparent duality of reality. MORE always tends to be in the future, and LESS tends to be in the past���more or less!
In order to sustain the duality of time you will even develop your memory in an attempt to hold on to, record, store, retain, attach to, what has already happened in the past. You will cultivate your ���worry skills��� as you attempt to anticipate the future, mostly based on what you believe happened in the past. Your attention will become peacelessly busy swinging between the past and the future, and you will even justify it by saying things like, ���Got to remember the past, many lessons there, can���t let bad things happen again��� and got to worry about what might go wrong in the future then we can avoid it, and besides, to worry is to show that you care���! Brilliant belief systems that ensure your attention is trapped in the dualistic tension of what was and what might be.
And then one day you realise primary reality is not out THERE, that���s just the movie, that���s just the flickering lights on the screen of life, that���s just the ever changing panorama of human drama. You realise reality is HERE, (last weeks CT). Reality is never what happened then, and it is never what might happen when. Reality is HERE and NOW. And in this, the ���primary reality��� there is only ever NOW. Reality cannot be split in two. It cannot be divided, separated from itself. Because YOU cannot be divided or separated from your self. And you are real, you are reality. You are NOW. Not then, not when. Only NOW.
What is real is that which never changes, and in the amphitheatre of the world ���out there��� every thing changes, and what changes is not real, only play. In the world of play ���out there��� left becomes right, up becomes down, hot becomes cold, and new becomes old etc. Nothing is stable in the world of opposites. And reality is that which is forever stable, unchanging���real. And so like a descending mist, while it can seem as if there is something that is permanent ���out there��� ��� there isn���t. Just as it is impossible to capture mist in a jar (though some say the Scots can do it!) to someone who is grounded in the primary reality of HERE, someone who knows they can only be HERE, there is nothing real THERE. Only a play of light and sound, a dance of energy, constantly changing form. As you reflect on your conversations within your average day you will likely find them filled with what ���has happened��� then and what ���may happen��� when���without realising reality can never be the past or the future, they are only imaginings, fleeting images created in the mind. The only reality is the HERE and NOW���Now���now���. It is even prior to what fleetingly appears on your mind.
If, for a moment at least, we could end our memories of ���then��� and quieten our thoughts of ���when���, then what would we see ���out there��� in this moment NOW is the movie called Life on Earth as it happens NOW. When you can see the world around you as the movie, as the soap opera, as a melodrama admittedly without much mellow���all questions such as Why NOW���why is this happening to me NOW��� fall away. It becomes clear that life is not happening ���to��� you it is happening ���around��� you. And you can choose when and how you want to create and play, and the role (not position) you want to play, in any and indeed all moments.
When it becomes clear that there is a drama unfolding around you then you start to see the difference between the actors making a movie for the cinema screen and the actors starring in the movie called Life on Earth. The screen actors are fully aware they are actors creating and playing a role, whereas the actors on the stage of life believe they are the roles they play. They have no sense that it���s just ���a play���, albeit a rather long one! So they lose the sense that they are here ���to��� play. They believe ���the play��� is the ���primary reality��� which is like the screen actor believing the ���movie set and script��� is real life. Good screen actors are able to ���play serious��� without losing their playfulness. There is enthusiasm and joy in their creation, and their timing is perfect because they are always fully present in the moment called NOW. We, on the other hand tend to be absent. Either lost in the past or worried about the future. Lost in our beliefs that our success and happiness are somewhere in the future ���out there���. So we take it all too seriously, our spontaneity is lost, our ���joy de vie��� dies. Awareness of the moment NOW, living in the moment NOW, being fully present in the moment NOW becomes almost impossible. Trapped in regrets about yesterday, frozen by fear of an imagined future, we think too much and do things too fast. Our ���timing��� is off and like a bad actor in a soap opera what we say and do is inappropriate. Life easily becomes seriously awkward, relationships seriously difficult; it���s then that a voice in our head whispers ���.Why ME? Why HERE? Why NOW? ��� which really means I don���t understand why I am not doing this thing called ���living��� very well.
The question Why NOW can only end satisfactorily when there is the realisation that there is only NOW, and that whatever is happening ���out there��� is what is meant to happen at any given moment. That���s not to say it���s good or bad, or right or wrong. It���s just what is happening, and we have absolutely no control. Attempting to control the secondary reality ���out there��� kills our ability to live in the NOW and life becomes very serious. However what is happening within the primary reality of our consciousness NOW is our creation. And that is all we can control. And when that creation comes from a playfulness filed with joy, a spontaneity that is free of past or future, it brings harmony into the world ���out there���. WHY becomes irrelevant and does not even arise.
We don���t ask Why NOW as we watch the joyful, enthusiastic spontaneity of the child walking around the room offering everyone a bit of their jam sandwich. We don���t ask Why NOW when someone spontaneously hugs us with enthusiastic, joyful gratitude. And we don���t ask Why NOW when we spontaneously start dancing round our own living room to a favourite song. Reason is the last thing we seek in moments of spontaneous, playful expressions of joy. It is in such moment that we drop our learned dualistic beliefs about time. It is in such moments that we dissolve the tension of the duality of past and future, and collapse them back into the singularity of the moment called NOW.
Question: What stops you from taking life less seriously, less fearfully, less angrily?
Reflection: Recall a peak moment when you did something spontaneously with great joy. How else would you describe that moment, that experience?
Action: Sit quietly at least once a day and observe everything around you as if you were simply watching another movie..��
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