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.
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.
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.