Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Moment after Moment

The stars seem so bright this evening. I’ve forgotten how amazing it is to stir my sight into the night sky, lying down on the soft spring grass, allowing my mind to drift where it may through the vastness of space and time. To see the stars is to see the past. As science now understands it, light from the stars takes a very long time to reach us, so we are literally watching the past tumble forward before us. In fact, it is said, if one were to take a spacecraft off earth, going faster than the speed of light, and then be able to turn around, watching with a 'God-Like' telescope, we could see the previous events of Earth unfold.

Albert Einstein theorized that time is relative; its properties are dependent on the density and speed of matter over a given area of space. The faster an object moves, the slower it changes, and the more stationary the object, the faster it changes. Sometimes boredom can make time seem to go so slow, can’t it? And conversely, the busier one becomes, the faster time seems to pass? Isn’t time really just a measurement of change, just a human conception that helps us manage our daily activities of life by compartmentalizing the hours and days?

I think because of change, it is inherent in our human intelligence and desire to see impermanent objects as having a beginning and an end; a creation and destruction, form and substance. Maybe many of us assume that the universe, or all that ever existed, must have had a beginning and therefore will have an end. In the same line of thought, perhaps one would bring up a God as the creator, and then the inevitable follow up question will arise, “But who created God?”. This is all silly. If we just closely paid attention, we could see that nothing exists separately from anything else. We would see that all things arise, because of everything else around it, and nothing exists independent of anything else. As one of my favorite blogger's, Jody Wieler so eloquently wrote
"...reminds me of music, where that chord or note that you hear right now, only makes sense because of what came before it, and where it resolves to in the next moment to come - in a sense, we exist in an eternal state of commingled past, present and future, where each can only be truly known as all are considered."

Buddhists teachings have talked about a beginning-less beginning, and an endless end. The ancient masters try to point out to us that perhaps, our idea of creation and time are just human inventions, and maybe all that is and will ever be has always been and at the same time never was. It is not a God that creates the objects of the world, but only our minds. To see the world as if one moment ends and another begins is a false impression. Moment after moment does not exist. Only this one present moment exists, ever changing and eternal.

I think our thoughts are much like these stars, dwelling on the past, watching them rise and fade, innumerable, unquenchable, so distant from this very moment, one after another. Our minds seem embraced in a mortal dance with creation, splitting the world from one to many. It seems to wrap itself up in the passing moments of the world, labeling and judging each object, giving them permanence and form.

Bruce Lee once wrote,
“Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.”

Ah, too much idealism and conceptualizing in this writing. I think I’ll go back to lying on the grass, watching the stars turn in the night sky. Maybe I can forget myself for just a moment in the melodic freedom and blissful rhythm of this moment. There is plenty of time until the dawn comes, right? The stars are so beautiful, and I wish not to lose them.

1 comment:

  1. just a human conception that helps us manage our daily activities of life by compartmentalizing the hours and days?

    Great way to put it. Time can be helpful but only in so far as we realize that it is a finger pointing to the moon and not the moon itself to use a Buddhism example.

    I also liked this part:

    and maybe all that is and will ever be has always been and at the same time never was.

    So beautifully put. It pretty much sums it all up. Thank-you for such a wonderful post. It made me smile and breath a sigh of relaxation or two. Much appreciated. :)