Time, Mind and the Present moment.
We always have been told by others, mentioning about the vast number of possibilities within the present moment. Yet it is totally our misfortune that we are unable to witness any single one of these opportunity, which comes along with, this very present moment.
We all know that the present moment is too small and intricate in nature. This fact serves as the perfect reason behind our inability to witness, this moment. However, there is one other reason behind our inability to witness the, ‘now’.
It is quite easy to realize that the mind of an individual usually stays scattered at all the times. As a result, our mind is bound to feel overwhelmed at most of the times in our lives, where it doesn’t hold any kind of realizations regarding the present time. This overwhelmed state of the mind always gives birth to several unintended thoughts; where the mind starts to roam in the corridors of the past and the future, to find a tinge of happiness and security.
This continuous motion of the mind through our past experiences and the aspirations, related to the future, gives the mind ‘a sense of time’.
In simpler terms, it is the constant hovering of mind between the past experiences and imagination of a future; enables the mind to sense time, which is always going through a continuous change.
How do we usually define time?
I am quite sure that many people would confirm about the past, as something which is long gone. Similarly they also will confirm about the future as something which has not occurred yet in their lives.
Or we can also take an example of the date calendar to prove the existence of the time of past and the future. We know that the year long gone is a past event, while looking at the calendar. Similarly the upcoming year sits as a perfect example of the hopeful future. You might be wondering about what is my point here. So, let’s elaborate it even further.
You can see that the mind is experiencing time with the help of only two concepts. The first one is experience and the other is imagination or hypotheses. We can also say that our minds can’t convincingly claim about the presence of time, without taking the help of these two. Such a help is surely needed to establish the presence of the time, in an objective manner.
This first concept of ‘experience’ is also divided in to two parts;
- Our own experiences, for an example our prime years in life.
- Other people’s experiences, for an example we take any book which is related to historical events.
Hence we can safely say that we are bound to take help of these experiences, whenever our mind is compelled to evaluate the time of past. I hope you are not finding it difficult to comprehend, that the whole concept of past is nothing else but the identification of our minds with some amount of ‘experiences from the past’. This fact tell us about the habit of mind where our mind feels it much easier to identify with the past experiences, instead of actually experiencing the present moment.
Similarly, we also know that the whole concept of future is driven by our imagination. Or we can also put a claim while saying that ‘there is no future’ at all. I mean, just look within your mind and try to find out some sort of definition of this time condition, which we called as ‘the future’. Do you really think that you have any access to the future, or the idea of the future is only residing in your imagination?
The mind 'matters'.
We can safely say that the concept of time is nothing else but a mere perception generated by the human mind.
However, even if we make an assumption that there is one intact timeline which includes the past, present and the future; still we don’t know a single thing about it.
What I want to say over here that, someone would not consider the time as havoc, only if one attains access to all the time, including the past, present or the future. But, I am also quite sure that such a superior state can only be achieved, once we attain a perfect state of awareness within this present moment. In simple terms, gaining a complete access within the present moment is the prerequisite, towards gaining an access to the complete timeline.
Our awareness can surely expand through the time and space, only after we find success into getting absorbed within the present moment. However, it is the level of absorption which determines the level of an insight, one attains after becoming mindful of this present moment.
Now, let’s understand this expansion of awareness with the help of an example. This expansion of awareness I am talking about here, is much similar to the theory of Big Bang. We all know that there was a supremely dense singularity which eventually exploded around 13.8 billion years ago. This explosion is known as the Big Bang, after which the known Universe came into existence.
Similarly, when we start to immerse ourselves within this moment, our awareness grows more and more concentrated until it can no longer be contained by the limited perspectives of the mind. Thus an explosion in awareness, shall occur. After which, the awareness expands beyond the known idea of mind.
However all of this experiencing the moment might sound simple, but we need to specifically train our minds to properly experience it. It can only be done by becoming mindful, where our mind becomes 100% focused on any experience within the present moment.
The good thing with all of this idea of mindfulness is that, it is only this present moment, which is always available to us. Or should I say that the mind doesn’t need to go on searching or looking for it, like it usually does. However, the bad thing is a rather tricky one.
I used the word tricky because our mind needs to bring a change within its existing layers of perspectives. It needs to leave behind any kind of fixations residing within the mind. There are several kinds of fixations out there within the mind; but the worse kinds of fixations are those which are responsible for the generation of thoughts. One might think that what’s the big deal while I am thinking or producing thoughts? Well, to put it straight, there is a lot going on while our mind generates a single thought.
Our mind has very deep rooted fixations and these fixations always work like a hidden mechanism. For example, you drive a car but you never know about what’s going inside the combustion chamber. Similarly, our actions are also driven by our thoughts and our thoughts are driven by something we can call as ‘fixations’. However, I am not going deeper within this topic over here, so let’s get back to the central idea of witnessing the present moment.
The perspective of time.
Now, I assume that all of you are well aware of the fact that I am considering the concept of time, as a mental perspective. Or should I say that it is only the mind which always perceives and possessed with the idea of creating theories.
Thus, I am sure that the idea of Time is another illusionary and relative perspective, just like several of the other ideas such as fear, desire, love, hatred etc. On the other side, this notion also takes us to the fact that we can easily find out the definition of the present moment, only if we are able to witness the ideas, going within our minds.
I am quite sure that we can attain a full access within the present moment, only if we are able to witness the possibilities within our own mind. However, we also know that not any two individuals are identical within their minds. The differences within their thoughts projects reflects in the outside world as, what we call as ‘nature’.
The above mentioned statement also reveals the fact that the idea of time is highly subjective in nature. Let’s understand this with an example. Assume there are two individuals. The first person is feeling the hurry to reach the office at the designated time. He is trying to move fast but still can’t cope up with the shortage of time, he is feeling. On the other side, the second person is feeling calm and content, as he is enjoying a movie with his family. Now you can see that the mind of the first person perceives the time as something which is moving fast. On the other side, the time seems to move at a much slower rate to a person who is feeling relaxed, while enjoying the movie. To put it simply, we can say that such a difference in the speed of time is only a result of, the mind reacting to the surroundings in different ways.
You can easily comprehend over this fact that we can never feel any passing of time when we are in the state of sleep. In simple terms, we never know that the time is running out, while we are asleep. We might enjoy the dreams or we might feel terrified by the nightmares. Yet let me assure you that we never find the idea of TIME while we are sleeping. This fact, easily takes us to the conclusion that time is an idea produced by the limited mind and it vastly changes according the state of mind of an individual.
What we have learnt so far in this article, is the fact that there are multiple possibilities within the conscious state of mind. Time is only one of those several possibilities or should I say side effect, which our mind creates while trying to fulfill the wishes of an individual.
It feels that whatever growth we aspire within in our lives, is mostly related to the idea of growing new perspectives within the mind. The mind expands a little with every single wish, it makes. It surely feels like that our mind is playing with dimensions while looking for answers.
At the end, let me conclude this article with this declaration that we surely are something more than a mere human being containing a thinking mind; or maybe the mind is very limited with his own ideas. However, such a sense of there is more within, indeed is much easier to realize than what we usually think about that. All we need to do is, to go through a detailed comprehension about our own self. As a matter of fact, it can also be said that such comprehension solely acts as the central idea behind meditation and mindfulness, but I am not going to discuss about that in this article.
Thus in my next article, I will be discussing about all the possibilities within the mind, while we live through the present moment.