BY Parvati


(Continued from “What is time?”)

People today may think of the word “now” and immediately associate it with Eckhart Tolle’s incredibly popular book “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”. His book skillfully sums up much of Buddhist and Vedantic teachings in a way that most can digest. To me, it was Grace that this little man with a big message was guided to be on Oprah and eventually have his own television station. Yay for conscious expansion!

Eckhart Tolle, like many mystics that went before him, insists time is an illusion. He says, “There’s nothing that exists that’s not now”. In his book “The Power of Now”, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, “the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.”

Because of our profound attachment and identification with our ego, we see things as divided. Through that lens, we tend to see things around us as separate from us, which somehow seems hostile, painful, void of love. We then reactively feel we must dominate and control. Yet all of this is the construct of our ego, the part of our psyche that is deluded into a self-perpetuated state of fear and disconnect. It is part of our human condition to free ourselves from this self-perpetuated nightmare and realize that what we experience is in fact more like a dream than a nightmare made real.

The Hindu notion of Maya is a profound concept that explains this notion of illusion. In the words of the great saint Sri Ramana Maharshi:

“It is like a cinema-show. There is the light on the screen and the shadows flitting across it impress the audience as the enactment of some piece. If in the same play an audience also is shown on the screen as part of the performance, the seer and the seen will then both be on the screen. Apply it to yourself. You are the screen, the Self has created the ego, the ego has its accretions of thoughts which are displayed as the world, the trees and the plants. . . . In reality, all these are nothing but the Self. If you see the Self, the same will be found to be all, everywhere and always. Nothing but the Self exists.”

We believe what we see, feel, taste, touch, smell and think is something solid and fixed. Time then becomes something externally imposed, to which we are confined, rather than a temporary structure that can serve, but is not absolute. Sri Ramana Maharshi goes on to say:

“The idea of time is only in your mind. It is not in the Self. There is no time for the Self. Time arises as an idea after the ego arises. But you are the Self beyond time and space; you exist even in the absence of time and space.”

As we begin to let go of the need to be in control, of seeing things through the lens of our ego, we begin to touch the substratum of life, the field of pure consciousness, our true state. In this, life arises, flows, unfolds in ways that are perfect and balanced. We then see ourselves as part of a complete system within Nature, within the Cosmos, cradled, held, supported, loved, given exactly what we need. We learn to embrace and relax with what is, rather than want what is not and push. In the perfection of now, life is.

(Continued tomorrow with “In This Moment, We Have All We Need”)