Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of July 10, 2017

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The Timeless

(Levels of Oneness 6)

Our life consists of a series of events, from the small scale, like our heartbeat, breathing, and brushing our teeth, to the major ones like being born, getting married, and the birth of our children, and everything intermediate, such as our successes and difficulties, and all the painful, neutral, joyous, and inspiring events. All of that forms our memory and shapes our personality.

In none of it, however, do we see or experience time. Time is simply a measure of the intervals between events and cannot be perceived directly. We may hear a clock ticking or see water flowing, but we are perceiving the clock or the water, not time.

In a real and profound sense, time does not exist. Physics, since Einstein, tells us as much, revealing the malleability of time and focusing instead on events and their measure. But more concretely, we can look into our experience. Over the decades, we can see our hair turn grey. That is a series of events: our body aging. But it is not time. We can keep score with time, that we are so many years old. We use clocks and calendars for measuring the intervals between events. But if we look for time itself, we do not find it.

Our past exists as an uncountable series of unique events in memories and traces. Our present moment has its own unique content, available to immediate perception. Our future lies shrouded in the unknown. Still, every moment of our life has one constant, one common quality that transcends time: namely, our consciousness. This fundamental awareness serves as the cognizant context of each instant of our life. As the saying goes: wherever we go, there we are.

Somehow, in a fundamental, visceral way, our experiencing never changes. Beneath all the moods and thoughts, the sights and sounds, here we are experiencing now in the same way we did experience yesterday, the same way we experienced our childhood, and the same way as we shall experience tomorrow. All experience is always and only now. Time can be used to measure the transitions between experiences, but in this ever-present present itself, time holds no sway. We live only in this present moment, which has no room for time. Time is before and after the present, never now.

Sit back and relax. Notice all that your senses bring you, both inner and outer. The sights, the changing sounds, the sensations of your breathing, the pulsing of your blood vessels, the endless stream of experience.

Now notice the screen on which all this appears. Like the video sensors in our cameras and phones, our being has a perceptive screen that receives all that our inner and outer senses bring us. That screen itself does not change, it just reflects the passing events. From moment to moment, here we are, in the screen of consciousness.

Consciousness is not in time, not in any event. Consciousness does not happen, it just is. Because of that, it is our doorway to the timeless. This is closer than we might believe. It is in us always.

So when we relax into ourselves, we relax into our basic awareness, our consciousness. Through consciousness, we have our contact with the present. As things occur and pass through this present moment, we stay in consciousness. We do not fall into the stream of time-measurable events. We stay here and now. Our present moment grows, expanding beyond the precarious knife-edge instant to embrace more of our immediate experience. Our consciousness becomes more stable. We stay here and now, letting everything, all the events, come and go. We see that each event itself is timeless. We are not caught in the illusion of time. We live in the timeless.

The timeless has its own inner logic. Consciousness does not change. It abides. In that unchanging sameness, it is one.

For this week, please practice entering and abiding in the oneness of the timeless.


     

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