Sunday, April 3, 2011

What’s Simply the Case, My Dear

I hope I can pull this off. I am very much moved to be intimately in touch with you, dear reader, whoever you may be. I have been sitting for many hours over the past few days just letting the intuitive muse weave her spell, as many notable ideas have swirled around and then receded. None of her offerings seemed entirely suited to the purpose; I could sense that an inspiration was present, but it had not taken any specific form. No matter; the waiting and watching are loads of fun, and nobody is any worse for the wear.

But then, most graciously, something did land and stick. This little bit of news I have is so self-evident, but yet so completely neglected by most of us most of the time, that its announcement has the potential to be quite an “ah-ha” experience for all of us! This apparently insignificant bit of news is actually not insignificant at all; it is a most crucial key to understanding the life that we live. It is our own experience each and every moment, but it passes by unnoticed.

This simple truth needs a few seconds of rested attention before it can lend its effect, so please easefully grant those few seconds, gentle reader. This gem, this incredible insight is simply: The here-and-now is all there is.

Surely, we might say, there is a continuity from past to present to future which confirms itself over and over in our experience. However, this conclusion is simply an oversight on our part. Yes, I know, this claim may raise a few doubts, but I would only ask for a bit of trust in this matter. Like with all new ideas, there needs to be some reflection and engagement with the notion before it can find a place.

In addition, it is helpful to employ an already recognized idea as an example to make the newly introduced idea a bit clearer. So, all of us have been to the movies, and when we look up on the screen, we think we are seeing an actual moving image, but we are not. We are seeing individual frames projected 24 times a second. Our eye is not quick enough to pick out the single frames, so as they rush past, the movement looks to be unbroken.

Our own experience, as a human being living a life that seems to pass in linear time, is one of movement from past to future with a fleeting stopover in the present. But could it be that it is all happening right now?

This cannot become clear if we are caught up in all our thoughts, emotions, sensations and experiences and if we take them all to be absolutely real. If, however, we can be a little bit at ease and not so pulled along by the demands of the thoughts and emotions, then things slowwwww downnnnn. If we are not always off chasing after our thoughts, and we choose over and over again to NOT go off chasing our thoughts, then something interesting happens. We start to see that things are not as they had appeared to be. What seemed to have a reality, a fixity and a certainty seems less substantial.

No one need accept this without experiencing it themselves. So, simply be still and watch, and do that over and over again as you feel moved to do so. Don’t insist that it be any particular way, and don’t seek anything. Just let things be as they are, watch as the whole pageant unfolds and see what happens.

It is not something that you do at any special time; just when you remember to do so, stop for a second and just LOOK. You could be very busy and engaged, but you will find that the looking can go on unimpeded, because that looking is always going on in the here-and-now, whether we acknowledge it or not.

So, this is my simple message. I am not giving you anything that you don’t already have. You don’t have to expend any effort to acquire something new. If more and more of us choose to slow down, even if outwardly we are required by circumstance to move very fast, the world we experience will be a different place. The alertness and clarity that are already present within us will become more and more obvious, and seemingly impossible things will become possible. Who knows what wonders we can bring about together!

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