If we let go of time, what would be left?
What if time ceased to exist in our minds, and instead just became a practical reference?
What if our attachment to time is the very cause of suffering?
You tell me - when you're feeling depressed, is it due to the fact that your present situation is bad? Or is it due to your fears of how your current situation will mess up your future life? Or perhaps due to your feelings of how your past ruined your present?
For example, you might be in your comfortable bed, well-fed with pizza boxes all around you, in pajamas (or even naked!) in the privacy of your own home. Your present situation is actually quite nice, if you think about it. But yet, you could be absolutely miserable, on the brink of suicide, isn't that true?
How could this be?
Well, it's very possible that what's making you miserable are your thoughts about the future, the past, and any hypothetical situations that aren't actually happening now.
In other words, your present situation is actually totally fine, but the layer of time that you've bound on top of your present moment has you depressed.
The story narrating in your head about why things are so bad can only exist outside of the present moment. Anything outside of the present moment is time, and it's the type of time that screws us up.
It's the same thing if you're anxious. People get anxious about things that aren't actually happening right now. This is what it means to layer time onto the present, and it's why we suffer.
I, for example, oftentimes struggle with the time in the day conundrum. As my days wind down and come closer to an end, I feel rushed to finish everything I aimed to accomplish in the day. This feeling of being rushed can paralyze me into non-action. Clearly, it's a counter-productive way to deal with a problem.
I attribute this form of suffering to my attachment to time.
So instead, what if we learned to let go of time?
What if we instead only used time for practical purposes - you know, to show up to our meetings on time, to pick up the kids on time, to plan a proper vacation. I'm not talking about letting go of this time.
I'm talking about letting go of the concept of time that creeps up in whatever we're doing, rearing its dark head and telling us we're behind, or too slow, or that life is passing by too fast. The time that scares us, stresses us, makes us anxious - that is, the disturbing time.
If we let go of this, what would be left?
What's left is simple: the now. The present moment. The only thing that would be left is what's in front of us. What happened a second ago doesn't exist. What's going to happen a second from now doesn't exist. The only thing that exists is the now.
If we let go of time, what would remain is a never-ending sense of presence with whatever is happening in the moment.
When a sunset takes our breath away, even if just for a second, in that moment we temporarily lose track of time. Well, that's what it would be like all the time if we let go of time, not just when we're witnessing a sunset.
When we're in the flow state playing an instrument or a sport where we're not even thinking, that's what it would be like, except all the time.
It can be like this all the time.
There's nothing inherently more special about a sunset than there is about sweeping a floor. There's nothing inherently more engaging about an instrument than there is about going to work.
Everything can be equally as beautiful, engaging, inspiring, and breathtaking as anything else. The problem is, our minds get in the way, and as slaves to our own minds, we don't see how it could be otherwise.
But it can be. It can.
The question is, during this short period of time on Earth, will you allow it?
Live with substance!