Past, present, and future

Droste Experiment

People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

— Albert Einstein

Why? Because now is all that is. The past, the present, and the future, all is contained in this moment, now.

How? What you think as past is nothing but your recollection, from your memories, of what you suppose to have happened. It’s not real, it doesn’t exist now, it’s only your memories. And what you think as future is your imagination. Right now it exists only in your mind, otherwise it is not real. The present is the only time that comes close to real, present is what you perceive to be happening right now, and even all recollection (of the past) and all imagination (of the future) can happen in your mind only in the present moment.

Read also this post.

(Photo by Thorsten)

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Steve Jobs on following the heart and the blossoming of intuition

Steve Jobs cross-legged with the first Macintosh, in 1984.

Steve Jobs cross-legged with the first Macintosh, in 1984.

Wisdom from Steve Jobs:

… When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

[From Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address]

But then how do we get in tune with the inner voice amidst all the noise? How does one develop the intuition?

Let’s hear from Steve Jobs himself…

If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things — that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.

[From the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson]

In fact, even before Apple happened, young Steve Jobs used to spend days in meditation retreats at the Tassajara Zen Center in California. It’s very clear that Jobs’ exploration of eastern spirituality during his younger days had a big influence in his life and work later on. His Zen meditation practices really poured into his work, his ability to focus on just what’s needed, his design sensibilities, passion for perfection and the way Apple has shaped up as a brand it has come to be. He found his Zen in Apple.

Today, February 24th, is Steve Jobs’ birthday.

In silence, you know what needs to be known

Lotos Buddha

When the mind is perfectly silent, pure like a well-polished mirror, immobile as a pond on a breezeless day, then, from above, as the light of the stars drops in the motionless waters, so the light of the supermind, of the Truth within, shines in the quieted mind and gives birth to intuition. Those who are accustomed to listen to this voice out of the Silence, take it more and more as the instigating motive of their actions; and where others, the average men, wander along the intricate paths of reasoning, they go straight their way, guided through the windings of life by intuition, this superior instinct, as by a strong and unfailing hand. This faculty which is exceptional, almost abnormal now, will certainly be quite common and natural for the new race, the man of tomorrow.

— Mother Mirra (Words of Long Ago, p. 164)

(Picture by Angela Marie)

Love is Shiva, Shiva is Love

Tibet:Mount Kailash,Gangs Rin-po-che, meaning "precious jewel of snows" གངས་རིན་པོ་ཆེ། 6638m

Love and Shiva [God] are two, the ignorant say
Love alone is Shiva, they know not
Love is Shiva, when realized
Love alone remains, as Shiva, for ever.

Thirumantiram, 270

Original:
அன்பு சிவம் இரண்டு என்பர் அறிவிலார்
அன்பே சிவமாவது ஆரும் அறிகிலார்
அன்பே சிவமாவது ஆரும் அறிந்தபின்
அன்பே சிவமாய் அமர்ந்திருந் தாரே.

(Photo by Jan Reurink)

True compassion…

anjana-the-chimpanzee-and-tiger-cub

Real compassion is not just an emotional response; it is a firm, thought-out commitment. … True compassion does not stem from the pleasure of feeling close to one person or another, but from the conviction that other people are just like me and want not to suffer but to be happy, and from a commitment to help them overcome what causes them to suffer.

— Dalai Lama

Click here to learn more about Anjana the chimp caring for the tiger cubs.

(Photo © Barry Bland / Barcroft Media)

The illusion of reality

Entering Hyperspace

What in fact is the past? The past is not a reality; it’s just a concept. The future corresponds to projections, anticipations that do not have any reality either. The past has already occurred; the future does not yet exist. These notions affect us as realities, although they have no substance. The present is the truth that we are experiencing here and now, but it is an elusive reality that does not last. We find ourselves in a paradoxical situation in which the present constitutes a border, a limit between a past and a future without any concrete reality. The present is that elusive moment between what no longer exists and what has not yet happened.

These notions that we take as “reality” are pure intellectual fabrications that do not involve an independent reality, existent in itself. According to the Buddha, perceived phenomena exist only from the standpoint of their designation—that is, the names and concepts we attach to them. The functioning of phenomena does not reveal a palpable entity that is uniquely theirs. You could compare phenomena to a mirage: the closer you get to it, the farther away it gets, until it disappears. Similarly faced with the mind that analyzes them, phenomena vanish.

— Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

(Photo by Éole Wind)

Sense of wonder…

We should be able to enjoy the wonders of life in us and everywhere around us. The whispers of rustling pine boughs. Flowers blooming. The beautiful blue sky. Fluffy white clouds. The smile of a neighbor. Each of these is a small miracle of life that has the capacity to nourish and heal us. They’re there for us right now. The question is: are we there for them?

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Here is a video with absolutely beautiful pictures and wonderful thoughts!


Louie Schwartzberg on Gratitude and Happiness