... with you on your journey
An illuminating article on the power we have to control time.
Have you ever noticed that you have the power to control time? In fact, you are doing it right now. "That can't be true", I hear you say, "Time is shared by everyone, so if one person controlled it then everyone else would notice time speeding up or down! There would be conflicting influences on time happening from many different people, so it wouldn't be possible!" This logic makes sense based on the idea that time is a shared reality between all human beings and something that is unchangeable.
However, is it? It would seem to be so when we look at the clocks that we live by and how these time systems link together in perfect harmony to create a network of interlinking lives, all being lived in synchronicity with one worldwide clock that has slightly different numbers attributed to certain points on it based on your geographical location - we are all in different places, but on the same merry-go-round. In our perception, we are all moving around the perimeter of one big world clock, just like the earth moves around the sun.
I invite you to consider for a moment, the notion that time is an illusion. It is not a physical thing, but a perception that we have formed based on our observation of moving objects within the universe, our tracking of their cycles using manmade meters and devices and our marking of mental images that represent our experiences onto various places on our manmade charts. We remember the past and contemplate the future, frequently using phrases such as 'look towards the future', 'look back on the past' and 'further down the line', but let's take a closer at how we do this... we imagine.
Our internal images of the past and future are symbols that represent what we have experienced or what we imagine that we will experience, but they are not the experiences themselves. This is rather like how an artist's painting is an impression of a landscape but is not the landscape itself; it is a different object altogether and was made with the artist's own materials, yet to the artist it represents the landscape. Each time that we remember an experience what we are actually doing is creating a new mental construct that represents it, this brings sense to the word 're-member' which means to 'put back together'. It may look like the experience that it represents or like the same memory that we thought we had experienced many times before, however, it is completely new just as it is every time. Past and future are only ever found in the mind and do not exist in our outer reality, they are a figment of our imagination.
There is no such thing as a time line, this is another concept that we create in our head just as we could have created any number of infinite mental constructs in which to categorise our experiences and thus experience a particular reality, believing it to be the ultimate one. For instance, we could have grown up perceiving time as a circle that repeats over and over again, believing our existence to be a continuous repetition of the same time loop that we get to re-create in new ways, but always passing through the same 'patch' of time. This could be likened to if you took a walk around your garden, mowing, pruning or planting as you go, then when you come around again it would be the same garden, yet changed. Instead of thinking that the past is lost forever we might see it as a newer version of what it once was. Or we could have grown up Envisioning time as a multidimensional shape, within our minds eye seeing each new experience as a piece added to the puzzle as it gradually gets bigger and changes shape throughout our lives to form our time map. We would see our life journey as a series of movements through the compartments of this shape and see ourselves as being located in a certain place within it, searching through these different areas in order to reminisce on our life and imagining new pieces in order to visualise our future. Time in this case, would be considered an individual thing rather than a shared reality and we might therefore share a common agreement that time is changeable and bendable. Also, we would likely see time as being separate from our records of the nature cycles but still use charts and dials to organise our lives when necessary, with the attitude of, 'Of course the charts are just for practical purposes and should not be considered as the reality of time, everyone knows that time is changeable and not fixed, for it would be ridiculous to suggest that it was since it is different for everyone!' Alternatively, we could perceive time as an unfolding process that coincides with our personal development, with the various stages of the flowering of our true selves as the landmarks to which we attach all other memories within our perceptual calendar. Just because we use clocks for practicality - this does not mean that we are required to see it as our reality.
If on the other hand we lived in the wilderness we might never give a thought to time except to look into the sky to see if the sun is setting or rising, living in cycles that feel natural to us rather than feeling that we have to control them and override our natural inclinations. It seems that the more man made our life styles become, the more emphasis that we place on time and the more trapped we feel by it. We try to accomplish impossible tasks such as running away from the past, beating the clock or racing towards the future. This is stressful because when we do this we are not living in harmony with the only moment that there is; this one. Truer to reality and a more peaceful way to see our existence is as one moment that we are eternally sculpting and creating. However, this is still a mental concept and while we can read words that are symbols of that which they describe, they are not the thing itself. Truth is experienced within oneself, although it is nice to be reminded of it because this can gently beckon us back to our natural state that patiently waits beneath the layers of thought, ready to be rediscovered.
If we are consciousness and consciousness is presence and presence is now, this means that in order to time travel we would have to leave ourselves behind! Of course, this is impossible because one cannot separate oneself from that which one is. This also means that there is no 'out there', there is only here. For there to be an 'out there' that is separate from us, because now is presence and presence is consciousness, the 'out there' would have to be something other than consciousness - which is impossible. Something that is not consciousness cannot exist because consciousness is the meaning of existence; such a thing can only be imagined by consciousness itself and is therefore illusion.
Since the idea of travelling to another destination in time is a fascinating concept for many of us, let us consider for a moment what it would be like if this were possible. I imagine that some of us would travel back in time in order to make changes to the past in an attempt to effect positive change in the present, perhaps we would correct an action of ours that we consider to be a mistake or act on information that we had only received further into the future. Perhaps we would become obsessed with trying to change situations in our life by going back, instead of drawing on faith and courage to face them in the present. It would be a way of running away from the very experiences through which we grow and evolve by uncovering the jewels of our authentic selves in the face of challenges that test our spirit.
Another thing to consider is that we would not know what the full consequences of altering the past would be, just as we don't for our actions in the present. On returning to the present we would find that we would have created a set of alternate problems and with them a never-ending temptation to go back in an attempt to do more fixing. If on the other hand, we travelled to the future, we would probably become anxious about how to achieve the success that we have witnessed in our future life or scared of an undesired outcome and fear driven as we try to prevent it from happening.
Now let's take a closer look at how we attempt to escape the present moment, becoming prisoners of our own minds as we throw it away in the search for something better. Many of us often feel that we are 'running away from the past', 'running out of time' or 'chasing the future', this causes us to feel things such as stress, fear, anxiety, uneasy anticipation that we mistake for excitement and generally to have a sense of being misplaced and off balance. Some of us spend our entire lives trying to escape the present moment which is the root cause of most of our suffering in the various ways that it presents itself, which are all branches of the same tree. We crave the return to our natural state of being which is a sense of connection, belonging and wholeness; however, when we do not recognise our suffering as the messenger of truth that it is we misinterpret our desire as a need for the stuff that we see outside of ourselves. We seek fulfilment in meaningless things that cannot satisfy us, unknowingly leading ourselves into a trap whereby we experience temporary relief from our dissatisfaction, which fuels a cycle of addiction because our real need is unmet, which is the need to experience the truth of who we are. All attempts to make ourselves whole will eventually fail as long as we seek completion outside of ourselves, because our incompleteness is an illusion itself and can therefore only be remedied by the relinquishment of this illusion. We cannot free our self by adding the illusion that we are happy to the illusion that we are unwhole, we must strip away all illusion to reveal our wholeness, this is how we find the deep sense of peace and completeness that we have desired all our life.
We are homesick - we roam the dark moors of our illusion like ghosts of the earth, lost and haunted by the shadows of our own imaginations. We are addicts of thought just as we are addicts of shopping, food, alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships and anything else that we can use as a distraction from being here now, with ourselves in the intimacy of the present moment. We look everywhere but the place where we would find what we yearn for and where we would find true satisfaction; we miss our true selves. We miss the warmth of our own hearts, the peace of our own souls and the stillness of this eternal moment, we crave the authenticity of knowing ourselves and the awareness of our connection to them whole that this brings.
The present moment is the truth of our being, it is our home. When we are fully in it, we resonate at the true frequency of our being. An illusion will never bring us the contentment that we desire because there is nowhere to 'bring' it from since it being 'out there' is an illusion. We project a false reality outside of ourselves, but we are all there is - we are the universe, we are life itself. We are the truth that we seek, we are the belonging, we are the freedom and we are the beauty.
How do we stop fighting this moment and allow ourselves to be present? Since we are already here, we must stop trying to be somewhere else, which can only ever be an illusion. We need to stop doing as we are doing and simply allow things to be as they are and always were. Here we find the rest, the relief and the freedom for which we have sought, it is so simple that it seems too easy. We think that because our problems seem big and complicated, that it will take something equally confusing, difficult and complex to fix it, yet we are mistaken. This is the secret of life. We struggle in our search for freedom, creating increasingly intricate illusions, desperately hoping that they will fill the void that we sense within our souls. Until one day we realise that we are roaming the very maze that we are creating and that there is no way out, except to let go of the maze itself. When we realise this, we give up the fight against our true selves and in doing so we learn what strength is. We find it in the silent knowing of all that we are, we realise that there is nothing to run away from except the illusions that we had created. We accept what is and far from being helpless victims of circumstance, we are clear enough to take inspired action, free from the weight of all that we no longer carry.
Now, we arrive where we began - you have the power to control time. If time is an illusion then you are free to choose how you experience it, because you are the one who is creating it. Have you noticed how when you slow down, time slows down as well? Or how when you speed up, so does time? When you run away from time, it chases after you just as fast and likewise when you relax, so does it seem to. Time mirrors your inner state of being, it is a reflection of how you choose to be in this moment. It stares back at you from the projected 'out there' with the truth of what you are being in this moment. Perhaps this would seem insignificant to some, however, when you consider that your state of being affects everything else in your life, you realise that you are powerful beyond all measure. When we choose to embrace the power of our truth by aligning with our natural state of being, a phenomenal shift in our reality occurs.
We may feel reluctant to let go of the past due to the beliefs that we hold about what would happen if we did and so we hold on, believing that we are securing something that we need in order to be whole in this moment. We seem to equate time with distance and subsequently perceive 8 years ago to be further away than 1 year ago, this perception causes us to think that we can lose things in the past or that things await us in the future. In reality we are in the same moment that we always were and ever will be, which means that nothing can be lost - everything that is true is here now. Perhaps we fear that we will forget people who we love and experiences that we cherish so we try desperately to keep them solid in our mind, as we endure an uneasy sense that they are slipping away into the ever expanding abyss of the past. Perhaps we are afraid that if we let go of our childhood we will be cut off from the vibrant child who we once were, forever losing hope of reconciliation with our true selves. Perhaps we fear that we will never experience the joy of fond memories again and so in a state of mental poverty we stash them away, suffocating our soul with the sense of death that belief in the past brings and doubting the loving nature of life to deliver us more happiness. If we were to set these experiences free like butterflies, we would create room in our perception to allow new ones in, this is the only way to return to the spirit of our joy. In order to set ourselves free we must realise that our perception is back to front - holding on does not connect us to that for which we yearn, it separates us from it by projecting it into an imaginary 'out there' which declares our belief that it is not here. It was only ever here and can only ever be here, being present in this moment is what connected us to it before and this is the only way to renew the aliveness within us once more. Every joy that we ever have is an experience of our true self, let us not be fooled into believing that it is dictated by form - form is merely the adornments on the dancer, but it is our soul that does the dancing. Our happiness comes from within, we can never lose this because it is who we are, we can only forget for a while by imagining that it dwells outside of us.
Perhaps we hold onto a painful experience by reliving it in our mind, causing our self to suffer over and over again, or by believing that our identity comes from it in some way. Maybe we feel regret about choices that we have made and wish that we could turn back the clock in order to choose differently. To set our SELF free we must realise that the 'past' is not happening now and it therefore does not exist except for within our imagination, what matters is what we chose now because this is all that there is, now is everything. We are being created now and so we have a choice between believing in the past or believing in the now - this determines who we experience our SELF as. May we find the courage to follow the voice that calls us to seek the truth, to face our illusion and to follow our heart.
We may also find our self distracted from A natural state of balance by our concept of future. Life is a mystery and it is this sense of newness that makes it an adventure, but if we project horror stories into the space of creation and possibility then the present is tainted by our fear, we act on perceived dangers that are not actually happening but that we assume will. The future does not exist except in our mind and we use it to scare our self, viewing what we imagine as if it were reality. Even if something is predictable, our mental image of what the experience will be like is not the experience itself, it is what we assume that it will be and since it is impossible for us to experience something before it happens it is not an accurate representation of what the experience will be like. Or maybe we seek happiness in the future, which is to seek within illusion for the future never comes, there will only ever be this moment. Only by honouring the now can our life fall into alignment with our true life purpose and our happiness be deep and lasting, because it is the clarity of presence which allows us to follow our inner guidance which in turn connects us with our deepest joy.
Let us give our self the one true gift, it belongs to us and awaits our remembrance of its eternity. All other gifts are illusion that will lead to disappointment repeatedly until we finally come home to our self. Paradoxically, when we stop seeking completion in outside form by seeing that it is meaningless, we allow life to employ it for a meaningful purpose and instead of enslaving our self to it, we experience it as a reflection of the wholeness that we feel within. The world truly is our mirror. Let us give up the search that we conduct outside of our self for completion and happiness, because we seek within an imaginary place that does not exist and where every road is a dead end. May we turn within and find the rest, peace, joy and aliveness that we have so dearly missed in our dream of forgetfulness, which has caused us to seek reunion with our true self within the dream, when what we need is to wake up from the dream of our unwholeness, to the loving reality of the present moment. Here is where we find divinity, for we are it.
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