A Tangible Now

‘News’ – Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1905 – WikiArt

Everything that we truly have is now. In the unplanned. In the unprojected. Only we have to be very still to see it, to comprehend that truth. Not busy. To be busy is to plan, project, think, believe, fear, suffer. All these can never experience the now. For the sufferer and the believer have left the still, untouched, virgin presence of the now to venture into the past or the future. And in doing so, have somewhat died. They have stopped being. The reason for this is that being can only thrive in and as itself. That’s what makes it eternal, infinite, unformed, whole. To move from it, to have the slightest impulse away from it, is to trade being for becoming, eternity for time, infinity for limitation, and wholeness for separation. This is what makes the now into an unknown, unlived passage between two ideas: ‘that which was’, and ‘that which will be’. Both being some phantoms that we have invented to make one single thought about ourself viable. A thought that has separated itself from the true reality of being. A thought whose only purpose is to bridge ‘that which was’ to ‘that which will be’, and whose fate is to forever seek in the future its lost happiness. We are enclosed in our own fake self and reality. And the now has been lost, replaced by time and becoming. And the peace of being has been buried, replaced by a self that thinks itself separate and lacking, therefore suffering.

So this is the new world we have invented for ourself. This is the new situation. We are now looking to possess, attain, and reach. The now has been made into something negligible, not worth anything, a mere ‘obligatory passage’. We have killed the wide expanse of the now, and have jumped into a train of thoughts. We have deserted vastness and freedom for the prison of a mind. We have made ourselves merchants, mere traders of objects with an idea in view. Our feelings, our body, our sense perceptions, have come to define us. We have come to believe that we are what we are not. And we have, in consequence, become blind to what we truly are. We live in a fantasised world, forever running and rushing between beliefs and concepts, filling the space of being until it has become indiscernible, crowding the now with the whole paraphernalia of time. This is how the now is trampled. This is how its noblesse is sullied over and over again. For the loss of the now is our loss. It is therefore important, and some vital enterprise, to return to the now its forgotten grandeur, and to restitute its position at the very centre of our lives.

The now is not a fleeting moment in time, but the solid presence of the eternal. It cannot be known as an object — which would make it finite, situated, graspable — but as the very being of the very nature of ourself. The now is made of our presence. We are filled with it. The now is foundational. It is the unseen ground and walls of our being. The now isn’t one of the innumerable bricks of time. But time is refracted in the now as one of its many possibilities. The now is the space in which the whole of life unfolds its many mysteries. And its presence cannot be dissociated from that which we are in essence. We can try as we may, we will never be ‘not now’. Our being is forever stretched in and as the eternal and unlimited field of the now, curling up its true body in and as the own, ungraspable body of the now. We will never experience the now as ticking in our life at regular intervals. For it is the very life that we are made of and that refracts itself as a thousand experiences. It is hosting ourself, lending its structure to the very structure of our being. It can be felt as the tangible aspect of the intangibility of time. It is the only thing we have. It is had in us before even the concept of time appears, let alone the past and the future; let alone the body and the world; let alone thoughts, feelings, and the sense perceptions that give our many experiences their contours and qualities. Time is the now having limited itself to accommodate the limitations of thought. And space is the now having limited itself to accommodate the limitations of the world as sense perceptions. Behind all that is fleeting and overwhelming in the flow of experience, ‘now’ is the only solid, peaceful, tangible ground we have.



Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911)



Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (Wikipedia)


Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…


5 thoughts on “A Tangible Now

  1. Excellent write up on the present moment: NOW.
    Well explained that Now is tangible. Indeed it is. One who can dwell in NOW is great.
    Most of the time we Dwell in past or future and unnecessarily call anxiety and stress with wrong perceptions.
    I feel very lucky to have your site before me. There are very few people who thinks and writes on nonduality.
    My best regards to you.
    Arun from India


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