THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS LINEAR TIME
What is it about this human life of ours? In Queen’s opening line of their epic Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury sings
Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?
Your writer posits that the real life is the one here; right now, that you are standing or sitting in. Each single moment that you take a breath and exhale in, that your heart beats within, is where you truly dwell. There is no other existence.
By now I’m pretty confident that most of you have heard of “living in the now,” or shortened to simply “present moment.” In fact, for this writer, Eckhart Tolle’s iconic book, The Power of Now, spoke into my life as no other publication had before nor has since(as far as impact).
As books can, The Power of Now was a spark igniting the furnace of my mind and setting it into motion towards an awakening. Or, to be more pedestrian, it helped me to begin to understand my existence within the nature of so-called “time”(clock and calendar). From a young age I had always been quite an inquiring lad, and some 50 years later, the wheels are still turning.
I realized that there is really no such thing as a linear timeline. That’s just something one finds in textbooks denoting the progress of, say, European history or some-such. As pointed out in Mr. Tolle’s book, there’s just now: right here, right now as you read these words. That space of “time” in which you began to read this story has already perished and by the “time” you get to the period at the end of this sentence, the “time” in which you read it,too, is gone.
It would be akin to sitting in a small boat in the middle of a vast ocean with no land in sight. All is the same all around. There is no “before” where you are nor “after” where you are. Such ideas are totally inapplicable. You just are.
Each present-moment-now just rolls over into the next, into the next, into the next, ad infinitum. Consider that each in-and-out breath ends and the next set begins and ends, and the next… the present moments roll on as in the saying, “Time stops for no man.”
I dare say that the huge amount of the stress in our human lives primarily finds its cause in over-regard for the past(Then) and/or the future(There), while existing in the now(Here).
Consider too that personal impact of the past and future only materialize in thought-form. We invent potential problems coming in the future, which do not yet exist(and probably never will), while at the same time reacting to them emotionally as if they do! So, in this present we are upset at something that we are reaching for in the future which is nothing more than empty air. As to the past, which DID occur, we now have the power to decorate it with all kinds of ideas and can even make it into something upsetting which has no reality in fact. All the better — in both cases — to simply live, and concentrate
that living, in right here and now.
The past is simply a record of long gone nows and the future is speculation as to nows that don’t yet exist. The gone ones where you spent time(past tense) and the future ones you dread or can’t wait to move into(future tense), are both vacant of your presence. Meanwhile, your address is present tense.
As mentioned, your entire existence is in fact composed of each present-moment-now-breath that you take(one may also state it is each heartbeat). All of your beingness is right here and now, cannot not be! Sure, you have memories of the past and thoughts of the future, but you don’t live in either place. You live Here, not Then nor There.
Thus is this present moment you in your little row boat on the unfathomable ocean of existence. And as was pointed out: on that great big sea all looks the same and there is neither right nor left, before nor after. There is no linear scale. There just is now. Just is. Is.