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Selected Writings on Time




Discussions about Time

Audio-taped Dialogue

Richard | 2 |




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Please note that the text below was written by the feeling-being ‘Peter’ while ‘he’ lived in a pragmatic (methodological), still-in-control/same-way-of-being Virtual Freedom before becoming actually free.


Time: 1 A finite extent of continued existence; e.g. the interval between two events, or the period during which an action or state continues; a period referred to in some way  b In biblical translations: a space of time, usu. taken to be a year  2 A period in history, a period in the existence of the world; an age, an era; the time(s), the present age, the age being considered  3 With possess. or of: the period contemporary with the person specified  4 A period of existence or action; spec. a person’s lifetime. Oxford Dictionary

Peter: Time can be conveniently be regarded in the three tenses: past, future and present.

Past time is recalled by us as memories or thoughts and as such is both a cognitive re-call and an emotional re-call. Not only was our perception of the place, people or event coloured at the time but our recall is coloured and somewhat shaky. Current investigations suggest that in fact we only recall the last time we recalled something rather than re-calling the original memory.

There is good scientific evidence that memories of traumatic or fearful events are not only stored as conscious memories in the neo-cortex, but are also stored in the amygdala as ‘unconscious’ or non-cognitive memories. These memories stored in the amygdala or primitive brain give substance to ‘me’ and give substance to ‘my’ life of suffering and ‘my’ pains and hurts from the past. To dip into this treasure trove of suffering can be a bittersweet occupation.

Future time is conceived by us as imagination and as such is emotionally coloured. Given our over-riding instinct of fear, most of the future we see in fear ridden terms. This fear of the future is given credence by the bountiful store of emotional memories of past hurts and fears located in the amygdala. Hence the general future scenarios of gloom and doom, apocalypse and annihilation. To balance this we invent a ‘good’ – and always in the future – scenario of salvation, redemption and a blissfully happy afterlife, which we pray, trust and hope will eventuate.

Present time is the closest to now , this very moment and is generally regarded as now. The problem for the human perception of now is that there are so many things going on in the brain and the body that the clear and direct sensate experience of experiencing this moment of being alive is impossible. The emotional affective faculties are on constant overload, with emotional memories of the past and imaginations of the future constantly crowding in.

Added to that is the automatic neuro-biological operation of the instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire experienced as overwhelming passions due to the pumping of potent chemicals into the body and brain. One is usually ‘sensing’ or ‘feeling out’ this moment fearfully and aggressively such that the actual direct sensate experience of this moment of being alive is impossible.

But all is not lost. With sincere intent and diligent application one can eliminate this constant neurosis and associated feelings, passions and emotions such that one becomes both happy and harmless. Thus freed of malice and sorrow it is then possible to directly, intimately and fully experience this moment in time. And the trick to getting here, now at this moment in time and this place in space is enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive. To facilitate this you ask yourself, as an ongoing non-verbal attitude, ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ This moment in time is, after all, the only moment one can experience anyway, and if you are not happy now you are missing yet another moment ... and another … and another …

Richard: I am exploring the implications and ramifications of time, which is germane to the awareness of ‘being’. Through pure contemplation, awareness happens – not that there is an ‘I’ to be aware – awareness happens of itself. There is a realisation akin to that of ‘me’ having not happened yet ... and time seems to have come to a halt. As time stopping is patently absurd, it is worthy of further investigation. Time is an observable fact: the clock measures the hours, the day becomes night, a leaf falling from a tree takes time to reach the ground. Yet, psychologically speaking, does time exist? Many philosophers have said it does not, but I demur. Something does happen with time, subjectively, when this moment lives me – instead of ‘me’ living in the present – but what is it that happens? Is this moment actually timeless as some say that it is?

Time has no duration when the immediate is the ultimate and the relative is the absolute. This moment takes no interval at all to be here now. Thus it appears that it is as if nothing has occurred, for not only is the future not here, but the past does not exist either. If there is no beginning and no end, is there a middle? There are things happening, but nothing has happened or will happen … or so it seems. Only this moment exists. This moment has no term, it takes no time at all to occur … which gives rise to the inaccurate notion that it is timeless. This is an institutionalised delusion, for it stems from the egocentric feeling that ‘I’ am Immortal, that ‘I’ am Eternal.

Apperception – which is the mind’s perception of itself reveals that this moment is hanging in eternal time … just as this planet is hanging in infinite space. This moment and this place are in the realm of the infinitude of this actual physical universe. This moment is perennial, not timeless. I am perpetually here – for the term of my natural life – as this moment is; I am not Eternally Present. It is the universe that is eternal … not me. As one is the universe experiencing itself as a sensate human being, any ‘I’ - always on the look-out for self-aggrandisement – grabs the universe’s eternity for itself. Also, what helps to create the feeling that the present is timeless is that human beings – as an identity – are normally out of this universe’s eternal time. Yet time is as intimate as this body being here now at this moment. It is so intimate that I – as a body only – am not separate from it. Whereas ‘I’, as a human ‘being’, have separated ‘myself’ from eternal time by being an entity. To be an ontological ‘being’ is to mistakenly take this body being here as containing an ‘I’, a psychological or psychic entity. To ‘be’ is to take this moment of being alive personally … as being proof of ‘my’ subjective existence. ‘I’ am an illusion; if ‘I’ think and feel that ‘I’ do exist, then ‘I’ am outside of eternal time. ‘I’ am forever complaining that there is ‘not enough hours in the day’, or ‘I am always running out of time’, or ‘I am always catching up with time’, or ‘I am always behind time’. All this activity is considered ‘normal’, as it is the common experience of humankind. (...) Richard’s Journal, 1997, Article Sixteen

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