Time

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‘The hidden world has it’s clouds and rain, but of a different kind.

It’s sky and sunshine are of a different kind.

This is made apparent only to the refined ones – those not deceived by the seeming completeness of the ordinary world’

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (1207-1273)

As illusion or reality, or within the eye of the beholder, time is relative. Relative in the sense that how we experience it, from the subjective or objective self; or that other place referred to sometimes as the ‘observing self’*. From each of these places time differs. From each of these places the ability to learn, adapt and change differs.

From the objective self, that recognises the seemingly simple fact that the matter that makes up our unique form can interact with other matter, time is about measurable forces: It takes two minutes to brush the teeth in my gums in my mouth, I know the length of time my tea requires to infuse before removing the teabag and adding milk, sugar or cold water then calculating the measure of time before I attempt to consume the heated liquid to avoid harming my delicate body. It is formed from physical interactions and the memories of those interactions. This is our sensory self.

From the subjective self, somewhat less precise measurements appear. Emotion enters the frame which creates all manner of differing perspectives on time. Time to heal. Time to calm down. Time to catch the trout that eludes me. Time to write that poem that is on my mind. This kind of time is highly relative. We all need a different amount of time to manage, understand and come to terms with our emotions. This kind of time relates to our culture, our environment, our genes, our experiences, education, beliefs and morals… the list is perhaps in-exhaustive depending on the subjective consciousness of the ‘whom’ that writes it. This is our thinking, feeling, sensorial self.

From the observing self another kind of time entirely is engaged. What is the observing self? Since your birth your cells have died and regenerated. If we were entirely biological beings with no consciousness or ability to form lasting memory networks then we would not retain any sense of ‘I’. We may retain object consciousness on a basic survival level, fire equals potential harm therefore caution is required, but not retain a sense of ‘I am this particular being that holds memories and information pertaining to my subjective existence’. The observing self is a form of consciousness that overarches, or integrates, all of this. It is that I we enter sparingly, some more than others, that sees connections, knowledge, experience and emotion differently. This is our mystical self. The self that observes our subjective (and objective) self.

What real life application does these potentially esoteric observations offer? The ability for growth and change. The ability for intuitive moments and great leaps of consciousness and understanding. The opportunity of an experience beyond the immediate and potentially known ‘self’ within which to temper experience. A ‘place’ beyond the temporal, reaching into something much deeper; that which is called by many names (and religious/spiritual traditions) and is open to all to experience directly, exposing and developing their identity with something greater than any individual, the whole. The whole and our journey of our developmental and eventual evolutionary journey to become. Evolution# comes from small change. Perhaps beginning to understand ourselves provides greater opportunity for progression.

 

*Arthur J. Deikman, M.D: ‘The Observing Self’ Beacon Press, Boston, 1982.

# Not to belittle or confuse this ‘sacred’ scientific word that usually relates to progression or adaptation of a species over many, many generations

Word errant satiety image courtesy of jonathanjessup on deviantART

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Mystic Jewel

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My words seem so simple, childlike, when I look from the I that is object conscious, bound to the mammalian, not the I that swims in quantum currents of limitless truth, aware of the knowing ripples that ever flow. We do not belong anywhere but within us, yet when we reach beyond to taste of love, real love, whole love, the heavens burst open showering us with truth that we will forget and remember again, returning home to the precious jewel of self a thousand times over. A möbius loop of divine inheritance.

 

Words errant satiety image courtesy of SlevinAaron on deviantART

 

¿Por qué?

How does the experience of being aware arise? And what is the relationship between mind and body, or, to put it another way, between consciousness and matter?

Some examples: we can choose to train ourselves to adjust our breathing to affect our mood and ability to concentrate (meditation, did you know that a Buddhist monks and nuns have been studied during deep mediation, a shotgun can be fired behind them and there is no recognition in their brain activity whatsoever of this ‘shocking event’). And our sexual feelings can raise intense expressions of love for another person that may rise to an intense realisation of the interconnectedness of everything. An example from American poet Walt Whitman:

“I mind how once we lay, such a transparent summer morning;
How you settled your head athwart my hips, and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart,
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth;
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own;
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers;
And that a kelson of the creation is love;
And limitless are leaves, stiff or drooping in the fields;
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them;
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, and heap’d stones, elder, mullen and poke-weed.” Excerpt from ‘Song of Myself’ (part 5) Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass, first published in the 1855 edition).

But the nature of scientific discovery during the time since the printing of this poem to this day has left many feeling bereft with the feeling that a direct connection to reality is a delusory ambition. Pessimistic relativism rules in our ‘day and age’, post-modernism breaks us into tiny fragments beyond any sense of narrative that contains meaning. I argue fervently against such belief. That the understanding of the oscillation of time, the relativity of time, the subjective nature of our reality leaves us empty and lost (shaking my head determinedly ‘no’). As the environment stretches a species what happens? Adaptation occurs in order for a species to survive, if they do not… they fade into extinction. Human adaptation is now possible because we have already adapted on a incredible scale some 40,000 years ago (or for the creationists reading this when God made man in the image of himself, except with free will) with the ‘big bang’ of our evolution that took a major risk but enabled us to have a creative mind that could remember, plan and imagine a future with the information available. We have the ability for spiritual development because with reason, creativity and instincts in balance we can make the finer distinctions necessary for getting in touch with more subtle aspects of reality. I defy anyone to tell me that the cutting edge of quantum physics doesn’t sound like at least sci-fi or intense spirituality.

“New organs of perception come into being as a result of necessity.  Therefore, O man, increase your necessity, so that you may increase your perception.” Sufi sage Julaluddin Rumi (1207-1273)

If you so wish there will be more… but, my beloved friends, this is it for today. Perhaps I should give these musings a new category… ‘errant talks’. Hmm, I like the sound of that.