In our usual state of consciousness we stay submerged in the multitude of forms and shapes. In this state of consciousness we play the scenario of the film of our life. We look around and see objects that are desirable to us, we wish to possess them, and we also see objects that scare us and we want to stay away from those. We are carried away by the colourful, noisy and scented whirling of life, and we fully abandon ourselves in this whirlpool.
In this ”troubled,” mind-dominated state our identity is determined by the beliefs, thoughts, emotions and feelings whirling in us, everything we have learnt in the course of our life.
In an ordinary sense, being conscious means the simultaneous presence of three levels in our Consciousness.
- The first level is that of the present. It means that at the present moment we are awake, capable of reacting to stimuli from the external world. We sense our external and internal environments at the same time. When we feel hungry, we find some food in the fridge. If it starts raining, we open our umbrellas.
- The second level is that of the past. We are able to remember who we are, what our personal life story is, we can recall a smaller or larger part of the information we have learnt at school or read at books in our life.
- The third level of daily consciousness takes us to the future, as there are the objectives we intend to achieve in the rest of our life. The second two levels constitute the level of psychological time, in which the film of our life is playing.
These three levels are present in every person who is conscious in the ordinary sense. If any one of the three is missing, we believe that there is something wrong with the person concerned, and (s)he should seek medical assistance.
Some people live largely in the past, dealing a lot with the memories of the past, whereas others are preoccupied by the future, they keep thinking about their future plans, fantasies, or fears of the future. These people rarely visit the level of the present, they only use it when they satisfy their physical needs or perform activities that they are only able to do in the present. Most people in Earth live either in the past or the future, they mostly stay in the psychological levels of time, and not so much in the present.
In our days, however, more and more people are able to detach themselves from the psychological levels of time, they no longer deal so much with the future and the past, but discover present, and find peace of mind in the tranquility of the here and now. They have realized that past and future only exist in their mind, as psychological time, and the cornerstone of their life is found in the ”here and now.”