It’s almost ‘old-spiritual-hat’ to speak of ‘being in the moment’ these days. New-Age bookshelves are brimming with suggestions of how to let go of the past, forget the future and simply “be in the now”. Yet what if every distortion conceals a hidden truth? If I regret something of the past, then perhaps I’m still carrying it’s energetic lesson just waiting to be uncovered? And if I have one foot in the future, perhaps I’m already intuiting the flow of events yet to fully take shape? Maybe then, there’s much more to this ‘moment of now’ that we’re not fully giving credit to?…
No past, no future, just space-time-continuum
The moment of now and its awesome power is nothing new of course. The great spiritual scientist himself – Einstein – many decades ago coined the term ‘space-time-continuum’: that linear time is but an illusion perceived only within the mind. But how can this be? I leave my house to go to work. If there’s no past and no future, how do I travel from my front door to my desk, and why does it still take me time to get there?
Great question! Perhaps try to see the universe as one enormous, amorphous jellyfish, continually reshaping into new form. In one moment it has one shape, in another it changes slightly to form something new. Now, if the jellyfish represents the entire universe and is all there is, then the past moment – when it had one particular shape – has ceased to be. It literally does not exist. Hence no past. Yet the jellyfish still has a consistency to it. So as it changes shape from one form to the next and by observing its flow, we might still predict the kind of form it will become. Just as you might predict your desk will still be there by the time you arrive at work. You can’t guarantee that of course, but based on a whole host of flowing (and stationary!) factors, there will be a certain likelihood – a probability that it still is.
So that makes this moment – this huge amorphous jellyfish – very interesting indeed. Because it still contains essences of the past – parts of itself still formed from the past – just as it contains shapes forming of what it is to become. Amazing! There is no such thing as linear time, yet in space-time-continuum, I can still see the present seeds of the future sewn in the past.
Throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
So what does considering the universe as a continually reshaping amorphous jellyfish
have to do with us you might ask?
How might the metaphor help us understand more about the moment
and potentially how we’re being fooled by it?
Well good question. In the work we do here at Openhand, we’re often hearing from people the perception that any thoughts and emotions that potentially block ‘this moment’ need to be let go of – washed away. So when riding a bike, or taking a walk, to dissolve any thought or emotion that might get in the way of the experience we would like to be having. But is this true wisdom? Is there not truth and value in the thoughts and emotions we’re having? Are we not throwing the baby out with the bathwater?