I appreciate your post Joanne, and I believe you espouse several philosophies which I realize are held by many, but tend to lead to illusion and even danger.
What is that?
Let us start with number one.
Joanne makes a good point that we should not live in the past or the future, but I maintain that neither should we live exclusively in the present. Think back to The Pendulum Principle which we discussed earlier. People tend to go to the extremes as does a pendulum making the point of truth which should be lived a moving target difficult to pin down.
Going to the extremes always leads to illusions, and we can go to an extreme by living too much in the past, the future or the present.
Now we have all met people who live too much in the past or live in their dreams in the future, but how could one live too much in the present? After all isn't the present all there is? If this is true then the true reality is that we indeed live totally in the present and the truth is to merely acknowledge this. Right?
Answer: Present time is no more a true reality than is past time or future time. This is understood when we realize the principle which creates present time.
What is that principle?
Present time is created through the interplay of past time and future time just as soul is the creation of matter (a past creation) and Spirit (perfect future creation).
As we discussed earlier, the present as we understand it is not a point, but a package or quantum of time which is composed of past, present and future. Consciousness itself is merely the registration of these packages of time moving by us as a film clip with each package consisting of around one sixtieth of a second, but even within this quantum there are billions of points of time past, present and future.
Consciousness therefore cannot live in the present for the present cannot exist without the future and the past.
In reality we "see only the past" (as taught by "A Course in Miracles") because our consciousness is always at least a sixtieth of a second behind the true present. Therefore, all of us technically live in the past because we never catch up to the true present.
In this reality we cannot exist exclusively in the past, present or future. This reality is created from this Trinity of forces, and wholeness (or holiness) consists of living wisely within all three of these points and managing their direction, so the past, present and future all become desirable realities.
But how can the past become desirable if we had a bad experience there?
If we manage the present and the future wisely, then even past painful experiences become springboards to joyous living, and are turned to a pleasant memory rather than painful.
When I think back to my most painful memories that I have learned from I certainly would not want to go through them again, but because I have learned lessons from them they have become some of my post precious memories that I cherish very highly.
On the other hand, when one does not learn from the past the pain from the past remains and the present, past and future all become distorted and uncomfortable to pass through.
What would happen if there were no past or future?
Answer: There would also be no present for the present is the interaction of the two.
If then there is no past, present or future what would there be?
Answer: There would be no form, no energy, no consciousness, nothing to act or to be acted upon, no sadness, no joy, no duality. There would be "NO THING."
Now some say the state of "NO THING" [or "Nothingness"] is the goal to which we should all aspire, but if this is so then why are we here to begin with?
Obviously this universe, with you and I in it, is here for a purpose and if we do not live through this experience we are in with wisdom then we are negating the grand purpose of God.
To illustrate, here is a revised version of Aesop's Fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant:
There was a positive thinking grasshopper who had not a care in the world. He spent his day singing and playing for he had no fears or cares about any dreadful future of lack. Thus he made no preparations to prepare to avert an unhappy situation which was far from his consciousness.
The grasshopper came across some silly ants who were working very hard to store and prepare food so that when the winter comes they would not freeze to death.
"Come play and sing with me," said the Grasshopper, "for look -- the sun is shining, the weather is good -- let us enjoy life."
"We enjoy work as well as play, said the ants and now is the time to work so we may be prepared for the freezing cold and time of lack to come."
The grasshopper, who had never seen a winter, ridiculed the ants. "You ants are doing all this work for nothing. From the time of my first memory the sun has shined in its strength and there has always been plenty of fruit and greens for me to eat. Life is for play and joy. Do not be deceived into thinking that you must go through this drudgery of work to prepare for a fearful future. Let your fears go as I have and you shall be forever free."
"We do not work out of fear," said the ants, "but work to be free from fear. When the winter comes we shall see who will really know what fear is."
The grasshopper shook his head and went his way playing, singing and making fun of the ants until the day of winter.
A day of great cold came and snow blanketed the area. The grasshopper was freezing and there was nothing to eat and a fear overtook him the likes which he had never before experienced. Then he remembered the busy ants and the thought occurred to him that they would have food stored up for a time of lack.
He sought out the ant colony and peeped in the ant hole and sure enough there were the ants dancing and singing as they feasted on the bounty they had stored up. The grasshopper called out to them and said:
"Help me please. Give me some of your food that I too may survive the winter."
The ants responded, "You are much larger than us and if we help you our colony will starve also. You had your chance to prepare and your answer was to think positive and enjoy life. We looked to the future and prepared. We enjoyed our work and now we enjoy our play. Now is the time for you to learn the lesson that is taught by lack and fear that such a situation will never again happen to you. We wish you well."
The door was then shut.
Question: Is being like the grasshopper and thinking positive thoughts and having no fear enough to avoid negative consequences in life?
Is looking to the future as did the ants a silly thing to do, or is it wise?
-- End Of Part One --
The Illusive Present -- Part 2
The Illusive Present -- Part 3
Copyright 2001 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved