“Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.” These words were spoken by a man who died mere months after saying them. I wonder if he believed them as he said them. I wonder what they meant to him? The first part seems clear enough. How could eternity have anything to do with time if it’s eternal? If something’s eternal, there’s no way to measure it. Measurement is essential to time’s existence.
It’s the here and now that’s harder to deal with. If those words are true, and I have an inkling that they are, then this very moment, and this, and this are eternity. It saddens me. It’s so hard to be here and now. Though I suppose it should excite me. It means each moment is endless – I guess.
It means I should be aware enough of my moment to recognize what it’s offering. Or at least to know that I can be – if I so choose.That’s hard work, it’s tiring . . . but also a gift. I just did it. I sat down at the computer feeling tired and disheartened and basically like a failure because of a series of things I’d failed at in some way in the past hour. One mess up leading to another to another and to add to it, increasingly becoming frustrated at the way it seems my body has been betraying me lately (disconnected from the failures but disaster builds upon disaster.) And so, wanting to test my words I closed my eyes and tried to focus on the now – feeling everything around me – my foot propped on the window ledge, the pain in my gut, the frustration in my soul, until I hit upon something that allowed me to feel the moment. A song I’ve perhaps never really listened to and that in that here and now took me away from myself to something beautiful. It also gave me a vision of a scene in what’s shaping up to be my next novel and as a result, though nothing’s really changed from 15 minutes ago, I feel more connected to me. That moment, at least, wasn’t a waste. This one isn’t either.
Maybe that’s all it’s really about. Working to compile as many moments as we can that aren’t wastes, learning to do that naturally, and not beating ourselves up for those ‘other’ moments.
It’s so easy to live our lives focused on tomorrow, next year, ten years from now, or in hope of an afterlife. And yes, there’s definitely some value in planning for some of those ‘times’ but at the same time it makes no sense to miss today because of it. One thing about time, we can’t go back in it.
“The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.” Yeah, I think the guy who told us all to follow our bliss may have gotten this one right too. Wherever you are, thanks Mr. Campbell for some words to ponder.