Question of the Week: 10/22 - 10/28

Where is the Moment? For ages we hear the "enlightened" ones telling us they are in the moment. "We should be in the moment." Even Takuin has said similar things on this site. (although, I've never said I was enlightened, or that you should be anything other than what you are.) But what does that mean? What does it mean to be in the moment? Does the "moment" actually exist?

This seems strange to me. Whenever I hear someone talk about it, they say they are "in the moment." But is that possible? Can they, meaning their selves, be there? If they are seeing from the position of "I," then one has to question what is really there. Is this real, and has the moment arrived, or am I still dreaming?

It even felt strange when I talked about it, because I never questioned it. I assumed that the feeling I had was in the moment. And while others tell me that is the truth, I have to question everything. And the question I ended up at is, "Does the moment exist?"

I am not at all sure that it does.

Are We Fooling Ourselves?

The very phrase, "in the moment," would seem to imply that there is an ending of some sort. An ending meaning a temporary condition. "I am currently in the moment, unlike regular life." As if it is a condition that will gradually pass. But is there a moment that is different from life? Or is there just life?

If the self claims to be in the moment, and there is no permanence to the self, there is automatically a dualistic separation. It treats the moment as any other condition, but puts greater significance on it for being "spiritual." But it is still something that the self plays with.

The "I" will only fool itself into thinking that the moment has been had, as if it is something to possess. But what is there to be had? How can I touch it? How can I take it? All time has ended, so how can there be a moment?

Questions Arise 

These are questions that arise in this organism. The realization that occurred in December was the end. Or the ending of time, as some might say. So, if there is no time, meaning no self, how can there be any moment, even the moment that one is in?

(I might have jumped too far ahead, just then. I am not sure if I have talked about the self and time, and how that affects perception. Maybe that will be next week's question? Well, at any rate, don't take my word for it. Go into it for yourselves to try and see what is there.)

 As the body sits here in this chair, there is no "I" that is in the moment. The sensation of the moment is not here, because there is no one here. How can there be a moment without a self? There is no state to be in, and no one to be in it. This body lives, my fingers type, things happen, but no moment. How can there be a moment?

In order to be in a state, I have to stop. No, not "I." Time enters, the self enters, and awareness ends. So the "I" surfaces in order for there to be a state. The very self becomes the state it believes is real.

Is liberation a state? Is it something to be learned or improved upon? Can one be liberated, or is there just liberation?

If there is no self, there is no time. If there is no time, there is no measurement. If there is no measurement, there is no moment.

I should mention, when I say there is no moment, I mean there is no moment to be in. If there is a moment, no one is here to be in it. We can call it the moment, as one word is just a good as any other, but it is just a word.

Is there a moment to be in, or is there just being?

The first is from Jeff @ Micropolitan Living

If we talk about time as a continuum, as we are used to doing, it is a real number line; between any two points on that line there is another point. If we define a “moment” as a point on that time line, it has infinitesimal (practically zero) duration, we pass from “before the moment” to “after the moment” in no time at all.

This is clear. Within this organism, there is no line that can be perceived. I can imagine that time will pass when I am on the train to Tokyo, but that is only useful for planning. Beyond that, there no use, that I can see, to live in that fame of mind.

We see time as it unfolds chronologically. (That is not the case inside of this organism, but I think we can safely say that most people live their lives as slaves to this kind of time.) The problem arises when the self carries that action over to everything that it does. The only way this is possible is through thought. When thought enters, time is present within the mind. But it is not enough to just use thought when it is needed. The self, being as needy as it is, really feels that it needs this time to survive. I have gone into all of this myself, and a useful question to ask might be, "Why does thought carry over in this way?" or, "What is the need behind the constant dullness that time brings into the mind."

There is really nothing wrong with the conceptual thinking of time. It is useful for various undertakings, whether it is planning a trip to see your brother, or using Newtonian principles to land a probe on the moon. But is thought useful anywhere else? I am not saying it is or it isn't. Just go into the question and see what comes up.

Someone might say, "What if someone attacks you? Don't you need thought to survive or escape?" That is a great question. Ask yourself. What is the answer? If thought was important for immediate survival, instinctual survival, would we have survived as a species?

When others talk about being in the moment, most likely they are speaking the same language that we are, but it is useful to find out what is really there. How can we know that we are really coming together to find something out, if we can't even understand each other?

But is there a “self” that is the perceiver? No. The brain, three pounds of gray flesh, is doing the perceiving. If we go looking for the self within the brain (or, more broadly, the nervous system), it disappears.

It is easy to say all of this, and because it has been written about ad nauseum, it is also easy to just swallow and repeat. When we see words like these, and we agree, what is it that agrees? Is the person that agrees really in that place, or are they just repeating? One moment, a person might be talking about enlightenment and a silent mind and there is no self, etc., and the next moment they scream at their significant other for being home late. They talk about peace and bliss, only to truly feel hate for the person that cut them off on the freeway.

I am not saying anything about anyone; just asking. What is really there?