Regarding this Note:
Please begin by reading the “Preface to Erik’s Notes on Buddhism:” found on the main page of Buddhism ~ Thanks
What is Time?
Here are some of the fundamental facts about Time:
- If something exists, it is the present moment only
- In the present moment, the past does not exist, and the future does not exist
- The present moment is almost beyond time
- No time – No Thinking. No Thinking – No time
If something exists, it is the present moment only: This means that if anything can be said to exist, then that thing can only be the present moment. This is not a philosophical assertion, nor is it a religious ‘blind faith’ belief. If a thing (anything) is investigated fearlessly and unconditionally then the only thing that will be found is the present moment. According to atomic physicists’, atoms- the basic building blocks of all material things- cannot be found. Atoms do not exist. Now if we were to jump to the outrageous conclusion that ‘nothing can therefore exist’ we would be denying the simple fact that we are aware of something: we are aware of the present moment. We can find the present moment.
In the present moment, the past does not exist, and the future does not exist: When we make the effort to investigate, we do not find the past. Everything we know about the past, we know now – in the present moment. When we make the effort to investigate, we do not find the future. Everything we know about the future, we know now – in the present moment. Again, if we investigate fearlessly and unconditionally, we only find the present moment.
The present moment is almost beyond time: If the present moment were any smaller, then there would not be enough time for anything to happen at all; and on the other hand, if the present moment were any longer, then there would be enough time for a beginning of time, a middle and an end of time. If the present moment were any longer than a ‘moment’ then there would be linear time and we would find the past and the future as well as the present moment. However, again, when we investigate fearlessly and unconditionally we only find the present moment – we only find now.
No time – No Thinking. No Thinking – No time: So what is the present moment? The present moment is your thinking – Present Moment Thinking! Without time there would be no thinking, no knowing; and without thinking, there would be no time. Time is thinking – thinking is time. Time and thinking are synonyms.