Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Timelessness
Being in the Timelessness of Presence
It is here that we recognize Essence in its purity as a timelessness that is really you—what you are experiencing yourself to be right now. If you experience yourself purely right now—without your ideas, without your beliefs, without remembering what happened to you in the past, without referring to what you are and what you are not, without thinking where you are going, where you come from, what affected you, who your parents are, whether you are married or not, whether you are a woman or a man, whether you’re young or old, sick or healthy, happy or unhappy—if all of these thoughts, beliefs, ideas, remembrances, and identifications are completely gone from your mind, completely obliterated by the radiance, and you are just here and you are just your consciousness itself, then you are in the timelessness of presence. Then you are that timelessness; then you are that presence. As this timeless moment unfolds, you recognize that this presence extends and expands until everything is included in it. This is the eternal now. Real time takes us to timelessness, and timelessness ushers us into the now.
Brilliancy, pg. 48
Brilliancy is a Presence that Slows Time to a Standstill
To arrive at that all-inclusive experience of presence, where everything is one unified presence, we first have to understand what presence is in our own personal experience, and that means understanding the experience of presence as Essence in its various aspects. The aspect of Brilliancy brings in a very precise, specific experience of presence as completely in the now. Brilliancy is a presence that slows time to a standstill. As time slows down, we experience it as the flow of presence. When time stops, we experience timelessness, and the presence is pure and complete. There is purity now because experience is completely untouched by thinking. In place of thought there is radiance and brilliance. The luminosity and magnificence of Brilliancy is the exquisite perfection of presence without time. That is why the full experience of Brilliancy is the experience of timelessness.
Brilliancy, pg. 47
Intouchness with Nowness
When people talk about being in the here and now, it is a more profound experience than simply being aware of the content of the experience of the moment. It begins with that awareness because the content of the moment is what is arising now. So, we are aware of the content of the moment—the physical attributes, the feelings, and the thoughts that are arising in the moment. But the more we are attuned to what is arising in the moment, the more time slows down as we become more present to the moment. And when we become more present to the moment, we begin to recognize the now-ness itself, which turns out to be the presence that is present to the moment. So, my presence is the now-ness of the moment; they are not separate. It is not that my presence is present in the now of the moment; the presence is the now of the moment. That is how we actually know what presence is. In the practice of being where we are, it becomes clear that to be ourselves, to be real, we need to be in the present moment. We need to attend to the moment, we need to embrace and be completely aware, immediately in touch, with the moment. This immediate in-touchness with the moment is the in-touchness with the now-ness of the moment, which is the same thing as the Being of our presence.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 161
Our Freedom from Time is Total Freedom from the Concept of Time
Does a bird or a lizard experience timelessness? Does it experience time? I always wonder about this because I am interested in what it means to go truly beyond mind. You can’t go beyond mind as long as you have a neocortex. That is why I think of the lizard, which doesn’t have much of a neocortex and can’t think even if it wants to. The lizard can’t conceptualize, but obviously it perceives and responds as if it recognizes and knows its reality. True nature reveals this kind of total nonconceptuality as one of the possibilities for human beings. Nonconceptuality can reach a condition that has nothing to do with the opposite of what we experience. So our freedom from time is not timelessness. Our freedom from time is total freedom from the concept of time. The interesting thing about the experience of no time, which is beyond timelessness and time, is that it is comfortable with both time and timelessness. Time can be present, but the sense of Being is that Being has nothing to do with time. It is similar to the presence of concepts in total nonconceptuality—the condition is neither attached to nor opposed to concepts. It is a total transcendence of the polarity. We think that nonconceptuality is a transcendence of concepts, but total nonconceptuality is a transcendence of that very transcendence. More precisely, we could say it is not really a transcendence at all: It is the pure simplicity of experience and perception.
Runaway Realization, pg. 198
The Experience of Timelessness Still Retains the Concept of Time
Now total nonconceptuality reveals that the experience of timelessness still retains the concept of time. Just think about it: It is called “time-less-ness,” which begins with time and then takes it away. Although it means “no time” or “the absence of time,” you have to know time first before you can know timelessness. It is the polar opposite of time. So time is on one end and timelessness is on the other end. The two are inextricably tied in a polarity. The moment you know time, it is possible to know timelessness. And the moment you know timelessness, it is possible to know time. True nonconceptuality is neither time nor timelessness. It is no time without knowing that there is no time. In true nonconceptuality, the sense of Being doesn’t have the usual sense of time. So in the total now, there is no sense of time and there is also no sense of timelessness or eternity. It is much simpler than either of those options. More like, “Time? What’s that?” Does a bird or a lizard experience timelessness? Does it experience time? I always wonder about this because I am interested in what it means to go truly beyond mind. You can’t go beyond mind as long as you have a neocortex. That is why I think of the lizard, which doesn’t have much of a neocortex and can’t think even if it wants to. The lizard can’t conceptualize, but obviously it perceives and responds as if it recognizes and knows its reality.
Runaway Realization, pg. 198
The Experience of Timelessness, Spacelessness and No Mind is the Entrance to the Beyond
The process of understanding continues; however, it is not seen as a necessity, as work, but rather as the process of creative discovery itself. Life becomes a process of creative discovery from the moment essence is recognized and experienced as one's true being. It continues to be an endless process of creative discovery when the identity shifts to essence; however, there is now the understanding that it is so. There is now the understanding and the trust that essence will bring about whatever needs to be brought about. The ego does not need to work any more. The
creative process happens on its own. Ego can only obstruct it. This is true the moment essence is discovered. Living one's life and the work on oneself become one thing: It is “His Endlessness,” unfolding as a creative discovery. The shift of identity from personality to essence is nothing but the realization of the true self, the high self of essence. This experience of timelessness, spacelessness, and no-mind is also the entrance to the Beyond, to the Universal Impersonal, the Absolute that is the ground of all existence. This is the Ultimate that is beyond personality, mind, time, and even essence. Realization then becomes more and more expressed in living, in action. Practical action becomes the action of the true being. There is efficiency, economy, simplicity, directness. One fully lives in the world but is constantly connected to the Beyond, the Supreme Reality.
The Experiential Recognition of One's Identity as Beyond Time and Space
True nature, similarly, transcends time because it is outside of our time. It contains all time, yet it possesses no temporal extension, no duration. We cannot look at it within the concept of time for time is its creation, its product. It is ontologically prior to time just as it is ontologically prior to space. This is what we mean when we say true nature is timeless. However, actually experiencing this timelessness—knowing one’s own mind and nature from this perspective—is a far cry from recognizing it conceptually. It is paradoxical, as we described Jackie’s experience in the dream, and it is just as miraculous and mind-blowing. We now have some idea of what is meant by transcendence. It is the experiential recognition of one’s identity as beyond time and space, as timeless and spaceless.1 The soul experiences the luminous intensity of true nature, a formless sense of consciousness aware of itself without a self-awareness consisting of shape, size, location, or duration. Since there is no concept of space there is no sense of being small or large, finite or infinite, bounded or boundless; and since there is no concept of time there is no sense of time or timelessness, of being old or young, or of time passing or standing still. There is only an ineffable freedom.
Timelessness is the Transcendence of Time
Experientially, eternity is the state we experience when we are aware of the passage of time, but feel untouched by it. Timelessness, on the other hand, is the transcendence of time. There is no awareness of time at all, for there is no differentiation, and hence no change. Therefore, time is in the midst of now, but eternity is in the midst of time.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 304
True Nature in Its Timelessness and Spacelessness
The pure experience of true nature, in its absolute timelessness and spacelessness, is the experience of the unmanifest. In other words, true nature in its true and transcendent truth is unmanifest. The universe, with its space-time, and its underlying spiritual dimensions, is the manifest.
True Nature is Ontologically Prior to Time
True nature, similarly, transcends time because it is outside of our time. It contains all time, yet it possesses no temporal extension, no duration. We cannot look at it within the concept of time for time is its creation, its product. It is ontologically prior to time just as it is ontologically prior to space. This is what we mean when we say true nature is timeless. However, actually experiencing this timelessness -- knowing one's own mind and nature from this perspective -- is a far cry from recognizing it conceptually. It is paradoxical…