I run the risk of sounding insane in writing this post. I want to air a number of threads which I sense to be connected, but can’t link coherently. I so appreciate this forum which provides a ‘safe space’ for intricate discussion.
In this week’s orientation, Jack writes: This non-experiential relationship with lower-level time is what structures the kinds of experiences we have. Not connected to time’s flow, we find ourselves in a world of ‘things and identities’ that are completely consistent with the static past-present-future structure we assign to time. Do you see how this supports the claim that “objects, their states, and their interrelationships may…be a function of ‘time’ itself?”
I’m not sure that I do fully see this but, as I read these words, I have a sense of something becoming unglued (both in the physical sense of separated, differentiated, but also in the psychological sense of ‘unhinged’). Aware of a pulsing of dis-continuity that hints at the dawning of something entirely unfamiliar and heretofore unknown; like something flashing in and out of existence (this is noticeably localized as sensation at the base of my spine and somewhere round the diaphragm). More accurately, it is as though I do know what this means in some part of my awareness which I am not accustomed to linking up with who I consider myself to be. There are no words with this: the mind I am used to can’t bring this knowledge into coherent expression.
A few months ago I wrote an article entitled Time to Walk through Walls. I think this has a bearing on this contemplation. It referenced the traditional Tibetan ‘yoga’ sometimes called the ‘doctrine of the illusory body’. This idea makes complete sense to me though I am not capable of embodying it. ‘Walls’ could stand for all objects, and the apparent solidity of walls to the apparent solidity of all objects as well as the interrelationship of wall/object and the ‘one’ who ‘passes through’ ‘the wall’/’perceives’ the ‘object’. This seems to be dependent upon whether or not awareness is wedded to an ongoing continuity of past-present-future, or somehow integrated with a pulsing in and out of existence with resultant ‘gaps in solidity’ from the point of view of the usual (lower-time?) perception of things and identity.
A couple of evenings ago I attended a talk given by Charlie Morley on dream yoga. He is the author of a new book, Dreams of Awakening. Intuitively I sense this territory of exploration also has to do with levels of time and with our current discussion.
I sense there is a relationship between all of the above and my experience of our Walkabout practice. Jack asks: Are we actually in contact with the flow of time? “We experience one thing, ‘then’ we experience another,” he writes. “Do we experience the transition from one to the other?” he asks, and encourages us to look at precise and particular events.
I focused on the writing of notes to report my experience of the exercise. It seems, if anything, that ‘I am the flow of time,’ I wrote, or rather ongoing change is recognised only because “I am here”. There is just a sense of ‘being present’ – concluding that ‘I wrote’ the words above and before this on the page, but no actual experience of link/continuity – only continuing nowness and what I’ve been told about past, present, future. Whisper of a sense of forward intention; imagined future, before each moment of writing. Less-than-instantly replaced by it becoming present again.
I know this is patchy in its understanding and full of holes. Thank you for bearing with me long enough to read it. If any of it makes the least sense to you, I would love to hear your feedback and experiences. I’m not even sure if I’m in the ‘ball park’ invited by this inquiry.
There is a sense of ancient and long-standing confusion being stirred up and also that this particular inquiry is of crucial importance to seeing through and solving most (if not all) of our problems as humans.