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The Timeless Now

Last summer, I went on a family vacation to the beach. I brought Ken Wilber’s book No Boundary with me, and I had planned on reading it completely before the vacation had ended. So, one day, I was out on the beach, it was sometime in the evening, and I found myself sitting in a chair, reading Ken’s book underneath a tent, surrounded by the people I loved the most, listening to Love Theme by Jerry Goldsmith from the movie Forever Young through may AirPods while simultaneously hearing the waves crash and seagulls in the background, and in that moment, something profound happened. In that moment, time stood still, and I entered into a state of timelessness.

How did this happen, you ask? Well, I was totally absorbed in the present moment, and the present moment is the gateway to eternity. Now, I used to think eternity was a time that had a starting point that would last forever and ever. I was wrong. Eternity is not a time that lasts forever. Actually, it’s not time at all. It completely transcends time. It's pure timelessness. Joseph Campbell said, “Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time.” And Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “…eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.”

If you reflect on your own life and you think of some of the most incredible memories and moments you’ve experienced, what you’ll notice is that these were occasions where the awareness of time that we think to be so concrete and absolute became flimsy, relative, and possibly non-existent. You may have said or thought to yourself: “Time flew by,” or “Where did time go?” or “Time stood still.” Maybe it was when you held your child for the first time. Maybe it was when you were at a concert, and the entire venue harmoniously sang your favorite song. Maybe it was during a movie when a particular scene touched your heart and reminded you of something you're experiencing in your life. Maybe it was when you went on a first date. Maybe it was when you were hiking and you reached the summit of a mountain just in time for sunrise. Or maybe it was just the simplicity and tranquility of being at the beach reading your favorite book.

In these moments, whatever they were, your mind wasn’t fixated on the past or future. It was totally absorbed in the present moment, and you entered into the realm of timelessness, of eternity. During the experience, whatever it was that brought you into the “eternal now,” what you’ll notice is that something about being totally one with the present moment feels perfect. It’s hard to describe. It’s almost like that feeling of returning home after a long journey. “There’s no place like home,” said Dorothy.

The kingdom of heaven is not something far out, distant, and in our future. It can be discovered and experienced in this bliss of existence, in the wonder of life, in the eternal now through the doorway of our hearts. Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home.” And by “home,” I don’t think he meant a distant place in the afterlife. I think he meant that place within each of us where there is no time. That place of eternity, where for a moment, our world is transformed from the inside out, and we get a glimpse of what reality is like on the other side of the veil. And once you get a glimpse of what reality is like on the other side of the veil, you’re never the same.

*The picture above was taken while I was at the beach last summer, during my experience of timelessness.

1 komentarz

Love that quote by Ram Dass. Slowly reading through his book by the same title. I try to live out that quote in light of my own understanding of God and how I live out my life with others.

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