This Moment in Time
‘Before applying the actualism method – the ongoing enjoyment and appreciation of this moment of being alive – it is essential for success to grasp the fact that this very moment which is happening now is your only moment of being alive. The past, although it did happen, is not actual now. The future, though it will happen, is not actual now. Only now is actual. Yesterday’s happiness and harmlessness does not mean a thing if one is miserable and malicious now and a hoped-for happiness and harmlessness tomorrow is to but waste this moment of being alive in waiting. All one gets by waiting is more waiting. Thus any ‘change’ can only happen now. The jumping in point is always here; it is at this moment in time and this place in space. Thus, if one misses it this time around, hey presto, one has another chance immediately. Life is excellent at providing opportunities like this.’
As human beings, we have a simultaneously estranged and yet curiously intimate relationship with time. We live in it and with it at all times and yet it is something that we can find strange, bothersome, boring, agonising or even terrifying. When we feel anxious about the past, it can seem very real. When we worry about our future, time can seem tyrannical. We know what it’s like for time to feel like it is dragging when we are feeling bored, flying when we are having fun or bearing down on us when we have an imminent deadline.
As a human, I have no appreciation of time as it really is – an eternal moment, in which all things happen. This moment does not flow. It simply just is.
Being feeling beings, living in industrialised societies we are doubly blind to what time actually is. From a young age, we are socially conditioned to accept a standardised and convention-based notion of time, as being one where a thin sliver of the present hurriedly becomes the past, thus fulfilling or destroying our hopes and dreams for the future. There are years, days, hours, minutes and seconds. Time has been illusorily ‘domesticated’ in this way to facilitate production and synchronize schedules around the world.
However there is a far more important reason why human beings are ‘locked out’ of time. It is because feeling beings have a sense of time that is interwoven with their emotional makeup. So one is living either in the past, through emotional reminiscing and regrets – or preoccupied with the future which is loaded with hopes, dreams and anticipatory fears. The present is but a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ fleeting blip in one’s awareness. Nor will any attempts to ‘be in the moment’ through myriad mindfulness, yogic and meditative practises remedy this issue as feelings and being, will always ensure that we are ensconced in imaginary ‘time’. Any such attempts to get away from ‘time’ when one is a feeling being will only result in one being dissociated or worse still – deluded.
In actuality, there is only this moment. It is an eternal moment that has always existed, having no beginning nor end. It is analogous to a drone or musical note that one hears in the air, that has always been played and will forever continue to be played. Time is wrapped up fundamentally with space and with matter and cannot be separated from them. All things, all events occur in time and to time, at this moment.
‘Past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ are simply conventional fictions that do not exist in actuality. Only this moment is actual. Whatever happened before is no longer in this moment. Whatever will happen in the future has not happened as yet. It is only what is happening now that is actual.
Because being and feeling distort the perception of time, you will find that you are only ever truly aware of actual time when ‘you’ are minimised or in abeyance as in an excellence experience or pure consciousness experience. However, it is crucial to ascertain for yourself the proposition that only this moment exists. You can repeatedly compare and contrast the ‘unreality’ of ‘past’ and ‘future’ with the reality of what is happening now; you can intellectually grasp the idea that only this moment exists along with everything else that has been written on this page.
Spiritual and Materialist Interpretations of Time
You can posit a ‘moment’ that one is entreated to live in, to become more mindful of the ‘present moment’. Or perhaps you may have been told that ‘time’ is but an illusion and the true nature of the universe is ‘timeless’. Or maybe even as per modern physics, that all times exist simultaneously in a ‘block’ of time and that past, present and future are commensurate.
Actual time is neither of these things.