I feel that the most interesting question that I have ever heard continuously from many people is.
“Where did time go?”
After all, time is what completely shapes our experience as human beings.
Without the past, the knowledge you have gained, the experiences you have gone through have shaped how you view the present.
With that being said the knowledge that we have gained, and the experiences that we have been through are an extremely limited scope of what is truly available right now for every human being.
What this means is that the past if it is all we know then we don’t truly know the present.
Let’s assume that you take the human experience to be directly related to what life means.
Now reconsider that question in through the lens of what you take life to be.
“Where did Life go?”
From a logical mind perspective, it makes sense. More times than I can count I’ve previously asked myself or others where did time go?
Time seemed to be moving an exponential rate and it was really depressing to contemplate really how fast life is moving by, we are getting older and how short life really is.
We keep moving year by year, month by month, day by day taking care of our responsibilities, paying our bills, going to work, going to school, enjoying the weekends, rinsing, washing and repeating.
When we wonder where life went, it is painful. It essentially reminds us that nothing lasts forever and one day we will inevitably be faced with the eternal unknown. (Death)
THAT IS assuming we take life to be based on our experiences within time.
Here is what I mean
Just as you can understand something intellectually or based on knowledge does not mean that you understand it through knowing it.
Intellectually speaking means your mind’s ability to analyze, interpret, grasp a worldly phenomenon.
Say you want to go Skydiving but first you want to know all about it. So you ask as many people who have gone Skydiving what it was like.
“OH BOY!” they tell you.
“It was the most thrilling experience I have ever gone through. The sheer anticipation of about to a free fall next to the clouds!”
You watch videos, read books, read more experiences and by the end you know ALL about skydiving, Intellectually.
But until you have gone skydiving you will only know about skydiving intellectually. Once you take the plunge physically speaking will you KNOW what it means to go skydiving.
Rather than being what your mind understands, it will be what your body knows in its direct experience.
In a similar manner the mind understands that the only constant externally is change. And that the only thing that does not change, is change.
We understand this on an intellectual level and of course, it’s a figure of speech for saying that time is moving fast, but they’re still seems to be something missing.
If there was not something missing, then that question would never have to enter our psyche ever again.
Here is why
If you take a look directly in front of you right now you will see that because clock time is passing you by, that change is happening right in front of your eyes.
Change is not something that is occurring, occurrences happen periodically and can be measured.
Change itself cannot be measured that works for every perception on earth, and thus it cannot be defined by being fluid as a characteristic, but rather being fluidity itself.
It’s like a river that continues to roll downstream that never started and will never end.
But because your perception is born from the past, this present moment situation seems stable intellectually but all of your experiences that arise in and out of it are completely unstable in some form or fashion.
Our present moment situation is changing right before our eyes even if it doesn’t look like it to the mind.
The mind thinks in terms of patterns, logic, cause & effect for survival purposes.
This is absolutely necessary for survival because without some reference point (knowledge) we would not survive physically for very long.
Our projections to the future based on the past are often right in terms of doing what is necessary to pay the bills on time, and to take care of responsibilities.
The projections to the future based on the past that are right are our own best friend in terms of survival and our own worst enemy in terms of life.
So why it is that we are missing this change that is right before our very eyes?
Why is it that we know that change is a constant intellectually but we cannot actually see it consistently?
Here is why
Until we know what DOES NOT change, will we be able to see clearly what does change.
If everything in the world was the color yellow, we would not know what the color yellow is because there would be no other color to compare it too.
We only know that yellow is yellow because we know the colors green, blue, orange and so forth. They are different colors thus we can compare and distinguish them from one another.
So until you KNOW what does not change, you will actually be able to see right now that your current life situation is a constant flow and a constant change.
Just as if you want to know Skydiving you must actually go, and just if you want to know life than you must actually KNOW.
And the only real way to know life is to know what does change.
The intellect only knows things through its labels and of all its labels are changing, so things change but presence does not.
So when I say
The period means the end, in words of Bugs Bunny
“That’s all folks”
What it means is that life is already here and because it’s not changing it’s already complete.
According to the mind that is constantly projecting the future, it does not seem that way. But because all of our experiences are fleeting, whatever seems to be will not be for much longer.
Presence is in the knowing that you’re here not because of your knowledge or intellect but because you can feel the now on a biological level.
Would just knowing and being an expert intellectually about skydiving have a direct effect on your brain, nervous system and cells the same way actually jumping from about 20,000 feet would?
The obvious answer is no.
The reason why we don’t know where time is going is that time isn’t going anywhere because it never truly started.
Not according to life, which is.
Clock time is real according to the external, we follow it for practical and logical reasons but when clock time starts to take over the intellect it then becomes psychological time.
Where according to the mind the past and the future is the most important thing in our lives. This becomes very painful.
In our life situations, but NOT life though.
Our life situations are how our present moment situation is taking form, but life itself though has no form.
But because knowing, being, the present has no form, that is why it does not change.
It has been said that what you cannot see, taste, touch or smell or hear is the most impractical.
But because presence is here unchanging, unwavering, and you cannot see, taste, touch, smell or hear the unseen. It THE MOST practical.
Not the most practical intellectually, but the most practical in terms of stable, always, untouched, unaffected by anything externally.
The reason why you can notice change, is because you’re noticing it from what does not change. You.
It means silencing the intellect, the thoughts, the past, the future and just being.
You don’t have to wait to be here, in fact, you cannot wait to be.
Waiting cannot prolong what is, but it can prolong you from life, from the knowing of what is.
Just as presence allows you to notice what changes, silence is what allows you to hear your thoughts.
My buddy Demetrious and I were having lunch the other day and there was a ton of noise in the background of our conversation.
I told him that without silence of the mind, then we would not be able to notice any noise.
Because there would be nothing but noise. Nothing but chaos, stress, anxiety and tension.
But even in your most silent, serene presence the external is still going to change.
Even in your deepest stillness, the walls of your house are continuing to rot, the roads are still going to breakdown, fluctuations of pain/pleasure are going to arise and you are still going to be in the process of dying.
From the moment you are born, is the moment you begin to die physically, with each and every breath, you’re getting older and closer to official death.
In some of my deepest meditations I could literally feel my body dying. It is only tragedy to the intellect that there is death, but to life it the most beautiful.
Imagine for a moment if you lived forever physically speaking.
Just as if everything was the color yellow you wouldn’t know the color yellow, if you lived forever physically you wouldn’t know what life is.
If you lived forever physically you would have nothing to compare it too, and thus it would be an identical reality to having never been born on this earth.
Because we have been born on earth and we will die is what allows us to be here and to be present with what the coming and going experiences and precisely at the same time with what never came and will never go.
So to answer the question…
“Where did life go?”
It never went anywhere, it’s always been here and always will be.