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Thread: How time flies

  1. #1

    How time flies

    Do Not Think That Time Merely Flies Away

    Do not think that time merely flies away. Do not see flying away as the only function of time. If time merely flies away, you would be separated from time. The reason you do not clearly understand the time-being is that you think of time only as passing.

    In essence, all things in the entire world are linked with one another as moments. Because all moments are the time-being, they are your time-being.

    The time-being has the quality of flowing. . . .

    You may suppose that time is only passing away, and not understand that time never arrives. Although understanding itself is time, understanding does not depend on its own arrival.

    People only see time's coming and going, and do not thoroughly understand that the time-being abides in each moment.


    -Zen Master Dogen, Moon in a Dewdrop, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi


    Many Blessings,
    Lora

  2. #2

    Re: How time flies

    Thanks for posting this. I've been thinking a lot about 'time and place' and didn't know how to find more of Dogen's talk on such. I want to understand this better, but really don't know what or where to read more.

    My experience of time seems odd when I try to tell others, but maybe it will make more sense here. I have no way of 'tagging' things with date labels--to me, yesterday and last year and last decade are all the same. The only events I've memorized date-tags for is school graduation, my wedding, and my trip to USSR. Everything else flows together in a soup, and I can mentally grab one thing or another with a mental spoon at will, but with only the vaguest notion of 'this happened before that'. Same with further history--I kind of think of everything happening at once, kind of parallel to each other. So, when I put on my civil war dresses and go out to the field, to me it's just taking a side step -- not forward or back -- into a different world, be it time or place. In that context, I really don't know if Bush or Lincoln (or Davis) is in the White House, and it really doesn't matter to my 'in the present' moment or experience. In this 'all at once' feeling, reading a historical account (of any time or place) is no different that reading a newspaper to me.

    Same thing with place--my mental picture of Oregon, or USSR, which I think I saw directly, or that particle accelerator that I saw through Jundo's eyes & camera, or the castle at Hogwarts, which I saw through the author and movie director's eyes & camera, or the safari that I see through cable TV--in my mind these places are all experienced with equal clarity. It doesn't seem to matter to me if I was really there or not; or even if something is 'fiction' or not--I experience each place in my mind the same way.

    Both time & place seem fluid to me--with the same time or event 'frozen' differently by whoever chooses to recount some aspect of things. No one records in the same way what we label as 'past' and the future constantly changes as well. Even places change--I know the USSR I saw is not there now, at least in the same way I saw it. Not even with the same 'place name labels'--it's Russia now, and the Leningrad I saw is back to being St. Petersburg now.

    Is that what is talked about with dropping 'now & then' and 'here & there'? It seems as though it's always been that way for me. (It's long, but it's 2-3 weeks worth of thinking ) Gassho, Ann

  3. #3

    Re: How time flies

    I think it's best expressed by something that I've read many times in many different ways: I call a river a river but I can't pick it up, I can't pinpoint its "riverness". It's continually flowing and I can only observe it, but even at the moment of observing it, it has changed. So too, it is the same with "me" and my life. I sometimes feel like I'm a bit player in a really trashy soap-opera or the star in an epic movie! But nowhere in there is there a solid, forever unchanging Lora. Life is a continually unfolding movement and no matter how much I wish to solidify it and make it into a concept, it ain't gonna happen.

    At least, that's the way I see it right now and that opinion is subject to change at any moment now! Woops, missed it!

    Many blessings,
    Lora

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