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The illusion of time.

Every moment we live is different. It has never been and never will be. Each second of life is new and unknown. But there is a great illusion we have created about time.

We have created three parts of time. Past, present and future. Also, we have numbers to measure time. We associate these numbers to travel to past and future in our minds. for example..”5 years from now” , “2 days ago”, “Today at 6:00 pm”..etc.

Our mind has become so associated to these numbers that we never realise that all these numbers are only in mind. It is not the time, but only an anticipation or the memory of time in our minds. In other words, it is not real. And we spend most of our life in this ‘unreal’ zone of past and future.

Think about it, “Most of life spent in an illusion?” Something needs to change!

Time is not real. It is simply an awareness which is endlessly flowing. We can not define time because defining anything would freeze its meaning. But time never freezes. It is always flowing. And yet our mind tries to freeze it with memories and anticipations.

Our ego wants to relive that pleasure of a single moment which ended years ago by creating its shadow. It also worries about a certain moment in a future which will come and go (if at all it comes) like a flash of lightning. When we worry about things, we prolong the anticipated moment and trace it back to spoil moment that we are living right now.

Using numbers to define time has its practical use. But it should never replace the real flow of time. There is abundance of joy in the things that flow. The flowing water is beautiful. The leaves which continuously move with the wind have a meditative effect on the observer. And if we become aware enough to watch, we can find the beauty in every single moment of life, which otherwise seems boring. Just by observing the flow of time, we start noticing all those things that are different about this moment.

Even when I am writing this right now, I hear the surrounding sounds which have never been. I feel like I am experiencing the world for the first time. And when I stop to grab that moment of curiosity, I lose the flow.

Of course, we cannot always live in this flow of time. But we should do it more often because that is the only reality. Observing the flow of various things makes us understand what true beauty is! It makes us understand the impermanence of everything.

And also, when we observe the flow, after a while we notice the observer, who has been still and eternal for all these times. Who or What is that I wonder…

43 thoughts on “The illusion of time.

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  1. Sarthak what a beautiful discription & importance of ‘ time ‘ in spiritual terms, which pinches our soul to rethink the definition of time, in today’s fast paced world. Which is not running behind it but in the beauty of experiencing each and every moment. Loved each and every sentence u wrote thoughtfully.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Gauri!. It is really positive to see a feedback like this! I am truly grateful. Yes, we really need to rethink the definition of ‘time’. Clocks and phones are replacing the true meaning of time and making us insane.
      Again, thank you very much for your time.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your post. I have written some poems in a similar vein. It is true that everything in this world is changing and impermanent, but we are not really in this world of illusion. What we are–our soul–is eternal. A Course in Miracles uses the term “holy instant” to represent the awareness of the present moment, without worry about the past or the future. The holy instant is our window to eternity and the freedom that it brings has no limit. As Einstein said, “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” This world is full of illusions, but it is our destiny to overcome our attraction to them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much Alan. You rightly said, we are eternal and it is our destiny to overcome illusions of all kinds. It is really important to generate these kinds of discussions to remind each-other of this fact. I’m happy that you liked the post. I will surely check out your writings..:)


  3. I was just discussing with a group about the difference between liner time and circular time though I really do not know the real meaning of time. Thank you so much for this article. It made my day!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow! You did a superb job with this analysis. Did it have you running around in circles sometimes? I think we, as human beings, try to capture time with numbers because we lack the knowledge to deal with it any other way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I have questioned the concept of time since childhood. When I saw people getting forced to do something at a particular time, it felt very unnatural, and still does. We are getting trapped within our own concepts. ‘Money’ is another similar concept. Money is only a means to get to something. But many people have money itself as an ultimate goal. That is insaneπŸ˜‚.
      Capturing time with numbers has practical use. It is much easier to have numbers to set up a particular ‘meeting’ or any event.
      But the only problem is that real essence of ‘time’ is getting lost . We need to remember that we can’t live any other moment except ‘now’. This realization and the habit of becoming aware can help us get out of this illusion of time. 😊
      Thank you once again. Very Happy that you enjoyed my post.πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hate MONEY. I don’t think it’s the root of all evil or anything, but it gets people to do the most horrendous things. It is just a device to get what you need or want. And people, in general, have a screwed up notion about that is needed and what is wanted.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Brings to mind a scripture, Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Theology says that God is outside of time. Everything from that perspective is now. Thanks for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. πŸ˜€ Thank you.
      So it all started at about 16-17 age when I was in 11th-12th standard. I started reading simply about self-help and personal development books.
      I developed a very keen interest in mind and things related to our minds. So I also read about a bit of self-hypnosis.
      Later in 2nd year of college I had already started reading spiritual books such as ‘intelligence’ by Osho, ‘power of now’ by ekchart tolle.

      Then I started developing interest in zen buddhism. I read and wrote a review of ‘introduction to zen buddhism’ by D.T. Suzuki as a part of our college exercise. The professor absolutely loved that review, and that is when I knew that I could write well. That book review is also on my blog:

      So by this time I had already developed some good insights and I started going on that way. I came across Alan Watts and read his books ‘wisdom of insecurity’ and ‘on the taboo against knowing who you are’

      After that, in 3rd year was a Huge shift. I came across U.G. Krishnamurty’s (not J.Krishnamurty) and his thoughts. I think that was a great shift in my mind.

      In and after 3rd year I read some books which were all very beautiful. I am listing them here
      Bhagvad Geeta
      Miracles of mindfulness- Thich Naht Hahn
      The heart of buddha’s teaching-Thich Naht Hahn
      Swami vivekananda complete works vol-2
      zen stories to tell your neighbours
      (or 101 zen stories)
      The Tibetian book of living and dying
      The upanishads (penguin classics book)

      All these are absolutely wonderful books. But Bhagvad Geeta is my most favourite.

      I read these all in a span of 18 to 23, and there was a lot of self-reflection and questions which I pondered on. It was as important as reading those books.

      So there you go!πŸ˜‰ That was the answer of your question. πŸ™‚ Feel free to ask me anything or connect with me on social media. It is really rare to find friends with similar interests.
      People usually run away from such talks but I think these are the most important areas of life. They are directly related to our life and the way we live! πŸ™‚


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