Is time is an illusion? Is managing time really an illusion? Who manages time? Three great questions to consider before we dive head over heels into managing something we don’t fully understand.
Managing our time in everyday life is not rocket science; it’s a matter of priorities. We can read endless books about it. But here we are invited to consider time itself, and the manager of time, so that we have a slant on life that few have, and perhaps we will take a step or two toward freedom from time.
We must consider what time is. Is it not a record of our experiences within existence? We exist as a person. We know that we exist because time measures the changes that occur in existence – another way of saying that we are getting older, etc. Therefore, without change, there would be no time. When we die, and consciousness ends, where will time be? It won’t. An eternity will pass as quickly as a flash of lightening. So why concern ourselves with death?
Since everything changes within existence, and the changes are recorded by time, the question that should create great passion in ourselves is what lies beyond existence? What is it that doesn’t change, and is therefore beyond time? Is it a nothingness? Probably not. Too many enlightened individuals throughout history who ‘s credentials are impeccable and would never lie to us have stated unequivocally that there is that which is outside of existence, that which was never born, never dies, and never changes.
There is a constancy that doesn’t exist. We can call it Reality. If it existed, it wouldn’t be unchanging and therefore couldn’t be constant. And believe it or not, it’s this constancy that we search for. The trials and tribulations we go through in this life is no more than our attempt to touch this constancy within our experience of an existence that is nothing but flux. We thirst for Reality.
When we try to control or manage things, it’s simply a misunderstanding of life. Life is conflict, but the cause of this conflict is not life itself, but our reaction to life. In other words, it is ourselves that cause conflict; life is innocent. It’s our wanting things to go our way that causes our stress. Managing time is but a meager attempt to control something that is very huge, much larger than ourselves, and when we simply get out of the way, time has a way of managing itself.
How can we get out of the way? This is the root of all religions, at least their deeper aspects; how to rid ourselves of “self, " so that the Reality of non-existence can make itself known. This is the crowing achievement of human beings; this is enlightenment. This is coming face-to-face with God.
Copyright © E. Raymond Rock 2007. All rights reserved
E. Raymond Rock of Fort Myers, Florida is cofounder and principal teacher at the Southwest Florida Insight Center, http://www.SouthwestFloridaInsightCenter.com His twenty-eight years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents, including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk. His book, A Year to Enlightenment (Career Press/New Page Books) is now available at major bookstores and online retailers. Visit http://www.AYearToEnlightenment.com