Chapter 8: Tomorrow Never Comes
Or it goes to the future. Again you can imagine. The future is also, basically, the projected past. You have lived, you have experienced many things. You desire them again, or you desire to avoid them. That is your future. You loved someone; it was beautiful, blissful. You desire it again, you project it into the future, to repeat it. You were ill, you suffered. You want to avoid it in the future; you project not to be ill again.
So your future is just projected past, and you can move in the future - endlessly. And mind is not satisfied only with the future which belongs to this life: it projects heaven, it projects future lives. It is not satisfied with such a small future. Beyond death also mind creates time.
Past and future, they are vast territories. You can move easily. With the present you cannot move. No movement means to be in the present. That is the second dimension of stillness. If you are in the moment, just here and now, you will be still. You cannot do anything else. Then no other possibility exists but to be still.
Live in the now and movement stops, because mind stops. Don’t think of the past and don’t project the future. That which is given to you is all and all. Stick to it, remain in it, be content with it. This very moment is the only real existential time. Past is just a memory, nowhere else. It is just in your mind - accumulated dust, accumulated experience. There is no past in existence, there is no future in existence. Existence is the present.
If man is not on this earth, there is no past and no future. Flowers will flower, of course, but in the present. And the sun will rise, but in the present. The earth will not know anything of the past, will not dream anything of the future. There will be no past, no future. The past is in the mind, in the memory, and because of that memory it is projected into the future.
Ordinarily we divide time into three parts: past, present, future. But, really, past and future are not parts of time at all. They are parts of mind, not parts of time. Time has only one division, if you can call it division: that is the present. Time is always the present. These three divisions are not divisions of time. Past and future belong to the mind, not to time at all. Only the present belongs to time, but then it is difficult to call it “the present” because to us, linguistically, present means something between past and future. It refers to the past, it refers to the future. If there is no past and no future, then the word present loses all meaning.
Eckhart is reported to have said that there is no time but only eternal now. It is an eternal now and an infinite here. When we say there, it is only in reference to us; otherwise it is only here. If I am not here, then what point will be here and what point will be there? In reference to myself, the nearer place I call here, and that which is not near I call there. Where does the here end and where does the there begin? You cannot demarcate the line. Really, it is all one hereness - infinite here.