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By Raja Subramaniyan 1. The clock is ticking. It does not mean time is passing. The clock is ticking because we designed it to work that way. We can stretch one hour and make it one year long or shorten it to last for a minute. It is our wish. Since time is our invention, it does not exist. Time does not pass since it does not exist. 2. Clocks do not synchronize with the rotation of earth since the sun rarely appears straight above our heads at 12 noon. We go by what is convenient to us and keep changing the time without any reference to the earth’s rotation. 3. Just because most of humanity agrees that it is 10 am at a particular place does not make time real. Time zones are devised based on the convenience of the countries. International Date Line is by definition an imaginary line on the face of the earth. Thus time is an imaginary concept and not real. 4. The time it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun varies, necessitating frequent adjustment of our clocks and calendars. However much we try we can never make all our clocks show the right time because time does not exist. 5. A second is called second because it is not the first. There is no beginning of time. There is no time. We imagine it is there and start measuring it in seconds. It is not possible to measure distance if there is just one object. Similarly, since only NOW is present, we cannot measure it. 6. Since time does not exist there is no point in discussing if time flows in a linear fashion or if it repeats itself in an endless circle. However the concept of circular time is closer to the truth that time does not exist. The concept of linear time reinforces our wrong impression and makes us believe that time is real. 7. It is the same time everywhere: Now. Even if we are traveling in space, time remains as NOW. How do we set our clocks in space if our sun and earth are destroyed? With or without the solar system time does not exist. 8. The value of a currency note depends on the recognition it gets from the people. It does not matter whether the currency note is legal or counterfeit as long as someone is willing to accept it in exchange for goods or services. Similarly, time exists only in the mind of people.
9. We measure distances using a standard unit of length like a meter, yard or feet. The length of these units is arbitrary but we accept it as a standard to facilitate commerce and convenience. Similarly, the changes that happen around us are measured using an arbitrary unit of time. Therefore like a yard or meter, time is created by the human mind. 10.We use time to measure changes. For example we say ‘miles per hour’. We are not measuring speed with something real called time. We are just comparing a known motion of the sun with an unknown motion of the car. A unit of time which is used to measure the changes is similar to any other units of measurement like meter, kilogram or rupee. All are manmade. 11.The universe is constantly undergoing change. Every atom in the universe is constantly moving. Atoms are not solid matter but energy in motion. These constant changes are perceived as a solid unchanging world by our mind. Unwilling to accept the truth that the universe is an illusion, our minds have developed an ability to compare a particular change (our physical body has undergone tremendous changes since birth) with another change (revolution of the earth around the sun) thereby inventing the concept of time and age. 12.When we say ‘I am 50 years old’ we disregard the truth that the number 50 has no significance. Measuring everything using a particular unit of measurement does not make the unit a reality. Nor can it be concluded that that which is being measured is real. We are changeless and therefore we are timeless. 13.“I do not change”. All of us are inherently aware of this truth. However, we yield to the popular belief of attributing the changes in the illusory body and mind to the changeless me. Just because everyone accepts a counterfeit currency note, it does not gain any intrinsic value. It may settle a few debts but it is still not real. Similarly, the usefulness of time in our day to day life does not make it real. 14.In prehistoric days money did not exist. But one may assume that goods and services which represent money existed in those days. Before debating whether money existed in some form in the prehistoric days, it should be noted that even the prehistoric days are mere concepts which exist only in our mind now. Time does not exist therefore the words ‘those days’ do not have any meaning.
15.There is absolutely no difference between histories and made up stories. Both exist as memory in our mind. We are not debating here whether or not Gandhiji existed in the past. We are concluding that the past does not exist outside our memory and it is not in any way different from a made up story. 16.We are aware that that which is present now and vanishes after a while cannot be the absolute truth. Instead of applying this knowledge and figuring out that the entire universe is an illusion, our mind has invented time. By attaching a time stamp to all the changes, the illusion is made to appear as real. Thus imaginary time has given the status of reality to the illusory universe. 17.We have invented many gadgets like clock, calendar, television, iPod and such to reinforce the idea that the world is real. Our struggle to achieve more things in less time binds us to illusory time and makes us forget the fact that time is the brain child of our mind only. 18.Even if we travel at the speed of light, space will keep expanding and it is not possible to reach the edge of the universe ever. Similarly, if we do more things in less time, there will still be more time left to do many more things. The completed work will always be insignificant compared to the pending work and how much work we do within a given time period is irrelevant because time does not exist. 19.It is impossible to step into the same river twice. Everything is continuously changing. Mind has invented time so that it enables us to swim in the ‘same’ river ‘every day’. 20.In deep sleep, time is gone, place is gone and the situation is gone BECAUSE mind is gone. Although we are aware that we slept well, we cannot say how long we slept because the mind is not ticking during deep sleep. We are timeless (since we are mindless) during deep sleep. Without mind we are beyond time. 21.Time is a product of the mind. That’s why in a dream one can go to the past and one year may pass in a few seconds. The mind determines how to perceive time. That is why time passes slowly when we are waiting for someone and it passes quickly when the mind is absorbed in an interesting conversation. 22.To give reality to the imaginary concept of time, the mind divides it into three parts, namely, Past, Present and Future.
23.Past is a mere collection of memories. We can't experience the Past, we can only remember it. And we can remember it only in the Present. There is no objective thing that we call the Past; it can't be measured in any way; our only contact with it is in the Present. 24.Future is only a mental construct in the Present. We can't experience the Future until it "becomes" the Present. Until then it is only a hope and dream in the present. There is no objective thing that we call the Future; it can't be measured in any way; our only contact with it is in the Present. 25.That leaves us with only the Present - the ever changing Present. We have created time to measure the rate of change of the Present. It is always NOW. But it is an ever changing NOW. In an effort to cope with the change, we have invented time. 26.This change that we experience in the ever-present Present does have a "direction." Things change in the general direction of having greater entropy. Entropy is a measure of the amount of disorder in a system. That's why when we measure time we find it restricted to one direction (unlike when we measure distance) - things are changing such that the overall system has more and more entropy. 27.The present has no beginning and no ending; it has no cause and effect. The present is timeless, and has no relationship whatsoever to the past. There is no future as well. When the future comes, it is always the now, the new present. 28.Yet thought regards the now as merely a means to the future, a stepping stone to achievement. Thought has set up time as a crutch of security. Thought thus never comes into actual contact with the present. Thought cannot, in fact, fully face the present. 29.The past is not required and has no relevance to one’s actions in the present. There are many who struggle with the statement that the past is not needed in order to live. All our conditioning says that our actions are based entirely on past experience, which we think is essential to live properly.
30.The challenge of life is always immediate, always in the present. The response to life’s challenge is also in the now. All of man’s mental problems occur because of the time interval between the challenge and the response introduced by thought. This time is a complete illusion created by the mind. 31.The mind is simply never just in the now. Yet all of life is in the now. You will see this issue of time very clearly if your life is under immediate threat. In the face of extreme physical danger, you act. It is the response of the intrinsic intelligence of an organism which exists for the body's protection and survival. There is a rush of adrenalin, the normal physiological response (the so-called "flight or fight"), but in that moment of immediate danger there is no fear and there is no time. It is only when thought comes later that fear sets in. 32.All of man’s mental problems occur because of the time interval introduced by thought. This time does not exist; it is a complete illusion 33.Time as we perceive it is an emergent concept which our mind creates. Present is the consciousness or awareness. Past is just a recording in our memory while Future does not exist. 34.Everything that depends on time and space is illusion. Here and Now alone is the absolute reality. Rest is illusion. 35.All distances are within space and there is no distance between space and any object. Similarly, all events are within time and there is no time gap between the event and time. The only entity present is awareness which contains time and space within it. 36.The past, when it existed, was the present. The future when it manifests will be the present. So to know time one has to know only the present (NOW). What is the length of time involved in the present? Can we say the current year is the present year and therefore the present is one year long? Or one minute, or a nano-second? One can go on endlessly but it is not possible to get to the present. The present is when there is no length of time. 37.Length of time is the work of the mind. If there is no mind there is no time because the present has no length of time. The awareness or the consciousness is the present. In the conscious mind thoughts rise and fall and present and future is created by attributing length of time as second, year etc. Without mind only the consciousness is present and that is the present.
38.‘Eternal’ is not hanging around in time for some time. Eternal means timeless or beyond time. Consciousness which is ever present is eternal. It is not bound by time. It is timeless. It is the basis on which the mind functions and creates time. 39.Waves come and go creating an illusion that water arrives and departs. Water is ever present and does not depend on waves for its existence. Wave depends on water for its existence. Similarly time depends on the consciousness for its existence and not the other way around. 40.All time is nothing but present. (Chronological time is maintained to convince our mind that time is not a product of mind.) Present is nothing but the presence of awareness. That awareness is nothing but me! 41.Awareness has no beginning or no end. It is eternal and therefore timeless. 42.Limitlessness and timelessness is joyfulness. 43.Have you ever played hide and seek with yourself? That is exactly what is being done by everyone all through their lives. We begin our journey with ‘What IS’. ‘What IS’ is nothing but EverWitnessingJoy. But we lose sight of it and start searching for it. Trying to get happiness, peace and security is a time bound program extending from the beginning till death. Time is invented to bridge the gap. If it is understood that there is no such thing called time we will realize that all that exists is the present which is nothing but me. Only after finding the answer to the question WHO AM I will one stop looking. The game will go on forever – birth after birth – as long as one thinks in terms of time. In the instant when understanding happens that time is an imagination, it will dawn upon us that we are what we are searching for. 44."Be Here Now" isn't just good advice, it's the only possibility. If you want to experience the deepest truth of things as they really are, you are going to have to be in harmony with being here, now.
45.If there is a tomorrow one cannot escape from suffering. Only those who understand that there is no tomorrow, are liberated. If you go with the truth you are enlightened. If you choose to follow the illusion of time, time will take its toll.
46.Time is the experience of being present right now, in this very moment. We however, like to measure things. In this way, clock time gives us a sense of coherence and stability. But in terms of our inner lives, no time exists except for what is happening in the present moment. 47.Continuity is the carry-over of something from the past to the present, and then from the present to the future, thus establishing a permanent identification. If there were no continuity then you would wake up in the morning with a fresh mind, not burdened by all the past memories that make up the centre, the self image with all its desires. Then you would face life as it actually is, from moment to moment. 48.Everything that a man needs is available in the present. 49.A knowledgeable mind is not content during every moment of life because the mind thinks it makes life happen. A wise man is content every moment, because he realizes that man is not the doer and that life happens timelessly in the moment without the help of the mind. 50.To live life we do not need the mind since we are beyond time.
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