POSTCARD#475: Fragments of a thought pieced together from associated thoughts, memories of a past time brought into present time, together with things thought about in future time. Words can snatch at things, pin them down and try to get them to say what they are (What is this?), in the context of other things already identified in the mind. Any ‘new’ experience is assimilated and the actuality of it is filtered, obscured, cloaked. As Tommy G said, ‘words seem to give the mind a sense of knowing but in awareness knowing is before the word.’ Conscious experience is perceived in an instant, then framed in language and it becomes something else.
Pause for a moment and everything stops, just the circumstance itself – there is only one moment – only one, all the time. I wake up to it every now and then, there and then, here and now in this place and time, but it is always now, the present now, the forever ‘now.’
“Time is in the mind, space is in the mind. The law of cause and effect Is also a way of thinking. In reality, all is here and now and all is one. Multiplicity and diversity are in the mind only.” [Nisargadatta]
I write it in my notebook, and that holds it in time, meanwhile thinking seems to have jumped from the thing I’m thinking about to the next, and there’s only that instant to decide what this new thing is before it becomes something else. In the interval the mind is engaged in ‘thinking it’, everything moves on and I can never seem to catch up. Language is an overlay placed on reality, gives everything an identity, duality, ‘me’ and ‘you.’ Language tells the story, creates a fiction I get lost in. Nothing is what I think it is.
The present moment feels like it’s an immediate event occurring ‘now’, but there’s also a feeling that it comes from somewhere else. Time is a measurement I apply – applied time. Maybe this is something that has not happened yet… it happens later, gets reflected upon and what I think is ‘now’ is actually a moment of hindsight situated in future time.
How can I be sure things are what I think they are when I’ve only just started feeling my way through something not experienced yet? The vast present time – the continuing ‘now’ phenomenon enfolding and unfolding, transforming from the future into past in one continuous surging-through movement that cannot be explained. What a strange mystery it is; future time slides into present time, tomorrow becomes today, ‘now’ falls back into yesterday… something ‘remembered.’
Mind creates a structure to explain time, otherwise how could we understand the enigma of how the past is ‘gone’ and the future has not arrived yet? Hovering on the brink of the smallest pause before it gets there, the empty space of not-knowing what it is, and held like this for an instant…
‘… (the) still point is not in the mind, it’s not in the body; this is where it’s incapable of being expressed in words, ineffable. The still point isn’t a point within the brain. Yet you’re realising that universal silence, stillness, oneness where all the rest is a reflection and seen in perspective…. personality, kamma, the differences, the varieties … are no longer deluding us because we’re no longer grasping at them.’ [‘The Way It Is’, Ajahn Sumedho, page 123]