One of the ideas that circulate in deep discussions around metaphysics is that time is an illusion, that ultimately, all possibilities, existing in all dimensions, whether they be past, present or future, exist Now. This is one of those brain stoppers. The words make sense but the mind, being three dimensional, cannot possibly grasp this multidimensional thought. At best it considers such a discussion mentally entertaining, or an unsupported theory. Is there any practical value to such discourse?
For starters, it is a brain stopper. There is practical benefit in stopping thought, just like the Zen question: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It creates Presence. Saying Time is an illusion, that all possibilities exist in the Now, can trigger connection to a deep reality. Entry into the Now has tremendous practical value. It opens a space for making conscious choices, choices that access experiences more aligned with our highest life intentions.
This awareness also frees us from the past/future prison created and maintained by thought. The realization that yesterday and tomorrow have no existence outside the realm of thought releases attention into The Now, where time as illusion ceases being theoretical and becomes experiential. Ask anyone who is engaged in some activity they find joyful (for me it is watercolor painting). They will tell you they lose all sense of the passage of time, “Where did the time go?”. They almost literally disappear. All attention is focused on the paint, the paper, the composition, the challenge of creation. Sitting in a room with several people focusing this way is ecstatic. The Presence in the room is palpable.
I am not a big advocate of thinking. In fact, I consider most of what we call thinking at the very least useless and often dangerous. We can, however, use the mind to point to deeper realities, expanding our consciousness. Focusing thought on the notion that all possibilities exist Now transcends the mind’s automatic tendency to create the illusion of separation, evoking Inner Stillness, opening the door to the experience of a deeper reality.