The Here and Now – where the nondual secret is in the “And”
— 7 Steps (@7Steps1) April 24, 2015
There is a tendency to throw out the term “Here & Now” with little attentiveness to what we mean in terms of living experience. In general, it is received as becoming “present” or even simply as paying attention. Yet for those who have begun to uncover the incredibly positive benefits of inner inquiry, the here and the now can represent two parallel dimensions – of time and space. As such, each can be a journey in its own right.
Yet the real magic, and perhaps the core of human purpose is not found in the Now, neither will it settle in the Here, it is in the AND – that mysterious third point of perception that allows both time and space to take form.
…and so we begin to move beyond the forms of language itself. As it is, the Now is just a word, denoting a relative position in a timeline of cause and effect – whether it is a linear story told in our minds in a chronological fashion of the happenings that have made us what we are, or whether it is the fantasy of unsatiated needs we project into the future, the Now is always relative. It is an empty space, unhooked from cause and effect, from linear time, or even from the time it takes the mind to argue with itself in endless internal dialogue.
In the Now, silence falls, and that which is beyond time becomes apparent. First, we might realize that time does not define us, and in this we stand in a kind of timelessness, outside of time, yet still relative to time. When we are able to relax deeply into this new freedom of disentanglement, we can find ourselves as the eternal witness of our lives, unaffected by the changes in the body, or the experiences or happenings that are occurring in a constant flow of impermanence.
In this, many throw the “Here” away, as if it were synonymous to the “Now”. Although we cannot truly access here, except through the Now of physical sensation, the Here still exists independently of the Now. It is, in a way, the container in which the Now – or Time, can happen.
The Here is connected in the first instance to the physical dimension. But don’t let that make you think it’s not sacred. The deeper we go into the quantum core of the physical, the more we can atomically shocked by the flow of pure energy, vitality and awakened consciousness.
In a way, the Here contains the Now, just as the body contains the brain. Which means that the “Here” can never be left behind, without creating an inner split of accumulating despair.
When we search for the Here, or come into the Here, our first impressions can be of an enlivened attention to physical sensations. The sensations are changing, just as the perspective of our senses is constantly changing. As we allow ourselves to sink into the miracle of physical sensation – the surreality even of being in a body, here – the physical dimension can become increasingly fluid as the mental sense of separation fades away as in itself impermanent. When we are truly Here, we no longer need worry about the Now, as the mind itself immediately bows in obedience to this most notable and real feature, of being in a body for the Now of this life time.
Yet there are two dimensions – time and space – now and here, through which all form is composing and decomposing, and through which all transformation can occur. All of this is witnessed and observed by us. In witnessing or observing, we are forced to allow it all – for how could we truly perceive something with which we remain entangled or to which we remain attached?
At the source of ourselves, in that first layer of awakening, whether it is of the sentient awareness or objective consciousness, we witness ourselves being here. From the space of the & – not entangled with thought and not attached to feeling or emotion – we see the creation, destruction and recreation of forms within ourselves. A moment of sorrow. A guilty feeling releasing. A wave of beauty. A tiredness, normalcy, or sense of despair. It all rises and falls before us, from the critical perspective of AND.
AND there is this experience arising and these thoughts happening, and yet I AM HERE. I am still here. Perpetually here.
The AND is the masterkey, as it introduces relativity. All perception is occurring, beyond our control, from a relative perspective – from a certain dot in time and space. This perspective is relative to any other perspective – it is never absolute in itself. This means it is never separate. All perspective are interdependent on other perspectives. There is no division, only points of view – to the profoundest depths of impression and experience.
This is one of the powerful beauties of mindfulness. With the simple use of breathing, we make perspective relative. I am experiencing anger, AND I am breathing calmly. I am experiencing a busy mind, AND I am breathing calmly. The two are always also observed by a third point – you – the one who sees both and in this, is ultimately held captive by none. This is the formula of freedom, all the way home to source of who we are – that place where we are one – and which is never its own reflection.