Chronos: being devoured by, or itself food

 

A while back, I wrote a post about eating time.

Slow as I am, I didn’t remember at first that this is the Chronos myth, the Greek god of time eating his children.

Eaten by time

First, there is an identification with the seen, with our human self. We find ourselves as an object in the world, within time and space. There is a sense of precariousness, of being at the mercy of the whims of other objects and the relentless stream of change and time. I am clearly subject to birth and death, and there is a sadly limited span in between. I am being eaten by time, day by day.

Release from being eaten by time

But am I the seen? Am I really a segment of this content of awareness?

The seen, no matter what it is – sensations, sights, tastes, smells, feelings, emotions, thoughts, they all come and go. But something does not come and go. What it is that does not come and go?

The more I look, the more I find what does not come and go is this seeing itself, this clear awake space that the seen unfolds within and to.

Gradually, I may find myself as the seeing itself, as pure awareness, the witness of the seen, of this content always coming and going.

I also notice that time is part of the seen. It is the always changing content, and arises to the seeing. The seeing itself seem inherently absent of time. It seems timeless.

In this, there is a release from being eaten by time.

The seen is revealed as absent of any I, and I gradually become more familiar and comfortable with this. Gradually, there is more and more of a living from this realization. The seen appears to be absent of any I, and the I appears to be this seeing itself.

Eating time

Time, as the always changing seen, arises to me as the seeing. It is different from me. There is a release from being identified with it.

But where does the seen end, and I – as the seeing of it, begin? Can I find the line that separates the two?

The more I look, the less certain I am that I can find it. It is elusive. It seems to be just another idea, with no real referent in immediate awareness.

The more there is the looking for this demarcation line, the more it seems that the seen is not that different from the seeing itself. The seen really appears as awareness itself.

The seen and the seeing seem to both arise as this clear awake space.

And, surprisingly, there seem to be no I even in the seeing.

There is no I in the seen, because it comes and goes while something else does not.

And there appears to be no I in the seeing either, because the seen and the seeing are not inherently different from each other. They both arise from and as the same Ground.

Here, there is an eating of time of sorts. There is an absence of any I and Other. An absence of I in seeing or seen, so an absence of any separation.

Reversals

So there is a series of shifts.

First, there is an identification as the seen, as a segment of content of awareness, as this human self. An object within time and space, and at the mercy of time and space. I am eaten by time.

Then, there is a release from identification with the seen, and a finding of oneself as the seeing. There is a release from the drama of being at the mercy of time and space. I am released from being eaten by time.

Finally, there is the realization that even the seeing is inherently absent of any I. The seen and the seeing arises within and as Ground, as empty awakeness.

The seen, the seeing, the identification with the seen or the seeing, it is all Ground, inherently absent of any I. Even the identification itself is absent of any I. There is no drama there, even in the midst of the appearance of much drama.

Eating Time

 

One of the instructors at the Breema Center talked about eating time, rather than having time eat us. It is a snappy metaphor.

If I am exclusively identified as something within space & time, as an aspect of the world of phenomena, as a fragment, then time easily becomes an enemy – at least sometimes. I am at the mercy of time. I am at the mercy of change and eventually death. Time eats me.

If I find myself as Witness – pure awareness, or as Big Mind – beyond and including all polarities, then space and time is within me. I am timeless, and that in which time and space happen. I am that within and as which all phenomena unfolds – all births and all deaths. I am eating time.

Talking about it is of course not very useful, other than for the person doing the talking (an opportunity to explore and clarify my own experience and put words on it). But this is something that can be explored by anyone in ones own immediate experience, through for instance the Big Mind process.

First, how does time look from the voice of for instance the finite (an enemy, something that brings me my death, something that threatens my very existence). And then, how does time look from the voice of non-seeking mind, timelessness, Witness or Big Mind (something unfolding within and as me, as waves within the ocean, I am the mirror in which time and space unfolds).

Space & Time

 

In Anatomy of Miracles (on Sat Nam Rasayan), Subagh Singh Khalsa mentions something that seems quite obvious when pointed out: when we shift our attention from one object to another, it is inevitably accompanied by a sense of space and time.

To say it in a different way…

When there is an identification with any segment of what is, when I believe in the idea of I and place it on a segment of what is, then my identity narrows down to an object in the world, to something finite, appearing in space and time. I apparently am – in my own experience – “trapped” in space and time.

So identifying with focus of attention is one example of this. When I identify with focus of attention, I see how it moves – or I move – from location to location, one after another, and this gives a sense of being trapped on the “inside” of space and time.

When the belief in the idea of I drops, there is only what is – beyond and including all polarities, including space and time. If I call this “I”, then I can say that space and time unfolds within me.

Original draft…

When I look at it, I see that it is not the shifting of attention itself which gives rise to this experience of space and time. It seems to be the identification with the focus – and sometimes the content of the focus – which brings this about. As soon as this focus becomes “I”, then there is space and time. “I” becomes the one moving around bringing first one thing, then another, into focus of attention. “I” am the one travelling from destination to destination, one after another.

Going one step back, I see that this comes from the belief in the idea of “I” as a segment of what is. And in this case, the “I” is placed on the focus of attention (and maybe other things as well, such as the object of attention, intention, awareness, thoughts, and so on).

If there is no identification with anything happening, there is also no identification with space & time. Everything is just happening in an always fresh and eternal present.

Here, the focus of attention can move around as it naturally does, and space and time unfolds as it does, yet there is no identification with either – so no contraction of identity down to ay segment of it, such as focus of attention and/or space & time.