I appreciate everyone's views, especially on matters that are intimate and personal. In this post, I seek simply to explore my own experience in an area that has interested me since I was a boy, and which I sometimes feel is a bit "taboo" in our society.
It can be excruciating, of course, to let go of an old, familiar belief that perhaps has been drilled into us since we were a child – and perhaps is still being drilled into us, just as it was hammered into our parents and our ancestors back through the ages.
It was very difficult, for example, I'm sure, to let go of the belief that the earth is flat, and accept the radical notion that it is a sphere, basically. Or to let go of the belief that this planet is the center of the universe and accept a drastically different idea of earth's place in the cosmos. And yet these times come, it seems to me, in our evolution -- as an individual or a species -- when we are summoned to participate in a drastic change of outlook.
So it is that I find myself questioning, perhaps more deeply than ever before, the belief that who I am and who you are is limited to a few short years. That our life is hemmed in, so to speak, by birth and death. That we are timebound, in other words.
Obviously, our body is timebound. It has a beginning, and an end, and nothing I think or say is going to change that. And I would be the first to admit that the fear of death is deeply ingrained in me.
A different notion that is very liberating
But what I also want to admit, in these few short words, is that I experience rising up in me a different viewpoint that is very liberating, and joyful. It is a growing recognition, as I say, that while my body is aging -- is timebound -- I am timeless. My true nature is timeless.
I like to take a few moments now and then, particularly in the evening to meditate on this new way of experiencing myself. And so it was that last night I found myself revisiting a simple little task I used to perform as a small boy when I was evacuated to the countryside in England during World War II.
Picking up fresh milk from a farm
Every morning I used to walk down this Devon lane with a jug in my hands to pick up fresh milk from a nearby farm. I realized, as I thought about this distant experience from my past -- and as I let myself feel what it was like to be that lonely little boy carrying a jug of milk in his hand -- that in a sense it is not a distant event at all.
Who I am now is who I was then, and it is who I always will be. In a sense, it is not a memory at all. True, I have changed, physically and mentally, and grown in other ways too since that time, of course.
But as far as my true nature is concerned I rather think I am the same now – precisely and immutably – as when I was a child. Or when, as a young man, filled with an irresistible longing for freedom, I said goodbye to my parents at Victoria station and boarded a steamer at Southhampton to start a new life in Canada.
Are we timeless, or timebound? What do you think? What do you experience? I'd love to hear from you.
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Picture credit: sssline