Time vs Life: The Paradox
Our lives seem to be completely consumed by time. We remember milestones in our lives from the past, we visualize our goals and hopes for the future. Our behaviors are dictated by various schedules in time - waking up, going into work, scheduled activities, going to sleep, how old we are, etc etc.
Yet in all this, what is real? Is time real? How can it be? If you put things into true perspective you will realize that the only time which truly exists is NOW. Every breath we take to sustain our bodies is in the now, our power to take various physical actions is now, we are experiencing our emotions in the now (although those emotions are often influenced by thoughts of other times). The past lives in our thoughts as memories. The future lives in our thoughts as something to be excited about or to fret over. Most of us are either living in the past or consumed by what we want (or don't want) in the future - and as a result we ignore what is in front of us right now.
Where did this whole idea of time come from? Time has been with human beings since our origin. Our earliest ancestors were aware of time by the rising and setting of the sun ... and although there may not have been a calendar to follow, their behaviors were dictated by the 24 hour cycle. As time went on, our methods for tracking it became far more sophisticated: We became aware of the seasons by tracking the movements of the moon and the stars, and things continued to get more precise until we had the current systems for tracking date and time in place.
Where does our reality lie? What really exists is right in front of us right NOW. Everything else is a fabrication of our thoughts. Many will argue about how real time is because of how our lives are impacted by it. But time is truly a concept, a form of reference or measurement. We cannot hold it or touch it. We cannot control it. If time was really something tangible then we would have figured out how to traverse it by now.
Where does time exist? Time exists in our thoughts. Bearing in mind how real time feels for us, that must also mean that our thoughts are real on some level. And this is where the paradox lies: The concept of time, although unreal on one level is something completely tangible within our thoughts. It is something that we can perceive beyond the five basic senses. So bearing that in mind, if time is tangible, then so are our thoughts. And if our thoughts are tangible (although subtle beyond our physical senses) then there must be some sort of significance to their existence.
What gives us life is energy, and that energy is TIMELESS. Yet we exist in a reality which can SENSE time, making it something tangible. And that is the paradox of duality in which we exist.
Knowing what we do from the above information, the most important question we could ask ourselves at this point is:
What really exists right NOW?
I would like to suggest the following fun experiment:
Sit comfortably somewhere quiet and alone, and spend as much time as you can focused entirely on your breathing. A focused breath will take your busy mind off all other thoughts of the past and future and bring your full awareness into the current moment. At first you may find it hard to focus on more than one or two breaths, but after practice you will be able to bring your full conscious perceptions into the NOW. What will then unfold for you will be something beyond what words can describe...