Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Exploring the Then and Now
I was getting ready to have a bath when I bumped my temple hard against the edge of a cupboard. It hurt for a bit then I dismissed the experience and the pain instantly vanished. Dismissing the pain is working on the principle that every moment is new. Let's say every moment lasts for one second. This means a day contains 86,400 moments. Each moment is a discrete moment i.e. the moment before has no connection to the moment you are in now. An experience you had a moment ago need have no bearing on the moment now unless you make it so. Thus, the future and the past do not exist; there is only the moment of NOW. So if I bang my head against a brick wall in moment 1 and experience pain, there is no need for me to experience the pain of moment 1 in moment 2 as that moment has already gone and has no bearing on moment 2.
While every moment is new and discrete, each moment emerges from an eternal now that is unchanging. The eternal now is infinity and so, every moment is an opportunity to express that eternal now. Back to the example of hurting myself. Because I realised every moment is discrete, I could easily detach from the previous moment knowing that the next moment is free of the experience, as that incident belongs to the previous moment only.
However, what we tend to do as humans is we prolong the moment into the next moment. Why do we put ourselves through continuous pain? If you knew how to stop pain wouldn't you do what you can to stop it? Isn't that why people take medications? Well, the reason we prolong pain is because of the way the mind conceptualises experiences. Instead of us taking each moment as a standalone moment, we tend to see moments as cumulative and interdependent. Take the example of a day which is supposed to contain 24 hours or 86,400 moments/seconds. We have conditioned ourselves as humans to see each moment as time passing, thus, one moment leads to the next and the next and the next, creating a past, present and future. Because all moments are connected, there is a past that affects the present which affects the future. Even if you were to jump to the future to change the present, you are doing so based on the notion that all moments are interconnected and interdependent. In this paradigm of cause and effect, past, present and future, at the end of each day humans consider themselves 86,400 moments older, wiser or denser. In truth, days and nights are simply simulations, virtual realities, intended to give one the impression of experiencing days and nights, but they are not meant to be taken literally. When you take days literally you regard time as passing and you end up aging.
If you are one who considers each moment as cumulative, it is not in your make-up to see every moment as separate from the rest. The past, present and future are very real for you. So when you hurt yourself in moment 1, that pain is going to be true for moment 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and so on because you see every moment as interconnected and interdependent.
The notion of every moment being discrete is a paradigm that is outside the human reality. I call this paradigm the causeless realm. The causeless realm is an exciting one, but not an easy paradigm to embrace because we are so used to trusting in what we know. Trusting in the unknown involves a leap of faith. In the causeless realm you realise the truth that your nature is infinite Self. Thus, no matter how many experiences you have, nothing can add to or take away from infinite Self. Every moment you can take a drink out of infinity knowing that there is infinitely more to experience.
Imagine what this means if you know that you have a new body every single moment. How can you ever experience sickness or injury? Even if you were injured, you could leave behind the injury in the next moment knowing there is always a new you.
If you realised your nature was infinite love, you wouldn't hold on to old hurts. What would be the point when you can always be love in another moment. Can you see that pain and suffering is a human construct that has nothing to do with your true nature as infinite Self?
There are times, however, when one can choose to make one moment last a lot longer when it is useful to do so. For instance, I worked on this piece for two hours, thus, I have chosen to extend moment 1 to last for 2 hours.
Consider the infinite possibilities of the paradigm called the causeless realm, where every moment is new. With discipline you can quickly let go of old experiences knowing there is always a new experience to unfold within.
There are many accounts of people who have realised their nature as infinite Self. For instance, there is a story of how Yukteswar appears to his disciple, Yogananda, after he has died. Yogananda wants to know how he is appearing.
"'But is it you, Master, the same Lion of God? Are you wearing a body like the one I buried beneath the cruel Puri sands?'A similar account has been documented in the Urantia Book which claims Jesus’ material body was not resurrected as is commonly believed. Jesus' material body was removed and disintegrated just like any material human body disintegrates. The body that Jesus appeared in to his disciple was a new but identical body.
'Yes, my child, I am the same. This is a flesh and blood body. Though I see it as ethereal, to your sight it is physical. From the cosmic atoms I created an entirely new body, exactly like that cosmic-dream physical body which you laid beneath the dream-sands at Puri in your dream-world. I am in truth resurrected—not on earth but on an astral planet.'" The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar
The above examples make sense to me. Why resurrect a dead human body when you can create a new body? Why hanker after the old when you can experience the new?
One thing to bear in mind is that while every moment is new in the causeless realm, this is not to say that one cannot recall memories of other moments. Memories exist if one needs them but old memories need have no bearing on new moments unless there is a useful purpose.
Imagine the possibilities when one lives with the realisation that every moment is new. To put this realisation into practice, one must let go of the belief that there is a concept called time and realise that every moment is discrete and new. This takes discipline and one-pointed focus.
In the eternal now, every moment is new.
The eternal now is power.
The eternal now is infinite Self.
In the Causeless Realm,