Chapter 7: The Ten Grounds of the Way
People say time passes. But where does it pass to? From where does it come? You say it comes from the future and goes into the past? That means the future exists before it has become present? Otherwise, from where is it coming - from nowhere? from nothingness? And then you say it goes into the past? That means it goes on collecting in the past, it is still there? It still exists? Then what is the difference between present, past, and future, if they all exist? Then they are all present. Then there is no past and no future.
You say a moment that has passed is past, and a moment that has yet to come is future. You stand on a road, you have walked two miles; that has passed. But those two miles exist; you can look back, those two miles are still there. And if you want to go back you can go back. But can you go back in time?
Look back - nothing exists. Except for this present moment, on both sides there is simply smoke, and nothing. The past simply disappears, and the future appears out of nothing. And then a problem arises: if in the beginning there is nothing, and in the end again there is nothing, how can there be something between two nothings? It is impossible.
Time is not a valid concept at all. It is just utilitarian. It is accepted, it has utility. Every morning you come at eight o’clock; if there were no time it would be difficult. When would you come? How would you manage? And how would there be a possibility of me meeting you? It would become difficult. But remember it is just an agreement, it is not truth.
Truth is timeless. Time is a human invention, truth is eternal. In fact, time does not pass, we pass. We come and go; time remains. Then time is not time; then it is eternity.
Buddha was asking all these things in a simple question. The monk said, “By days.” Buddha said:
“You do not understand the way.”
The man’s understanding was very superficial. We can call it the understanding on the level of the body. Of course, the body has a clock in it. Now the scientists call it the biological clock. That’s why if you eat every day at one o’clock, your lunchtime, then every day at one o’clock the body will say you are hungry. The body has a clock. You need not actually look at the clock. If you listen to your body, the body will tell you, “Now it is time to sleep because every day you go to sleep at this time.”