It’s tempting to say that we can notice two types of change and that we notice it in two different ways.
IMMEDIACY AND STORIES
We can notice change and impermanence in immediacy. What’s here now is fresh and different from what just passed.
And we can notice change and impermanence in stories. I have a mental representation of a timeline and how things are different at different points in that timeline.
When I look more closely at what’s happening, I find that those two are not that different. They are essentially the same.
IT’S ALL HAPPENING WITHIN MENTAL REPRESENTATIONS
Even when I notice change in immediacy, I do it by comparing images of what’s here and now with what just passed. (The images of “here and now” is also, in reality, about what just passed.)
So how do I notice change and impermanence? My mind creates a timeline and compares two or more points on that timeline, even when one of those points is what thoughts call “here and now”.
HELPS ME SEE IT (MORE) FOR WHAT IT IS
Is this useful to notice? I don’t know. But I do find it fascinating to notice as it happens.
It helps me recognize that my mental representations of time, a timeline, points on a timeline, and even the ideas of change, all happen as and within my mental representations. It’s an overlay over the world as the world appears to me.
The image – a polyptychis with different scenes – is created by me and Midjourney.
Notice in immediacy
- Tempting to say
- Can notice impermanence here and now, in immediacy
- And any other impermanence is, to us, in the realm of stories
- But all of it is in stories
- Notice impermanence here and now through comparing images of what’s here now to what just was