Time is not just linear as we commonly use it in calendars, diaries and clocks. We could say that the pendulum in the clock swings to and fro but time stands still. To say that the pendulum measures time is a misunderstanding. That's an intellectual constructed of the mind. It's actually a very useful intellectual construct and is also very deceptive. It tends to make us think there is only linear time and ignore the other dimensions of time. Any appointment we make we do in the present moment, and we later meet in the present moment, and we never leave the present moment. We do everything in the present moment, now. Now is also part of Time.
I have decided that we need a new word to describe the essence of Now. Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now was a seminal book a decade or so back and has now penetrated into our current world consciousness of understanding of now. The Tao Te Ching is an ancient book about the movement of now which is also highly influential. This is a subject we are now in a position to elaborate upon in greater detail and we need a new word to describe what we mean so it is not confused with the normal now, and the many common uses the word now has. I want to name this concept with a new word NAO, which I will use from now on in this blog.
It’s perfectly obvious that Nao is a never-ending moment and there is no beginning or end to it and it continues on forever. We never leave it. When we are thinking of the future or the past we are thinking of it from the present moment Nao. We never actually leap forwards or backwards in time. There is no other time but Nao. Nobody time travels, except in Hollywood. Actually, some people time travel like Barbara Marx Hubbard, but it happens in expanded Nao.
In my way of understanding, time is like a spiral, a bit like the builders measuring ruler that rolls up into a coil. It's linear when we take it out and it's a spiral when we let it coil itself up. And we carry time/nao around with us, in our time pocket so to speak.
I admit it is really hard to understand this model, but at least it's an attempt to get away from the linear model which is in direct contradiction to the obvious that nao is the only time that we ever experience.
The reason we think of time as linear can be explained by the fact that we all have a story-maker in our brain.
I quote what two leading neuroscientists say on this story maker.
Prof Antonio Damasio http://www.usc.edu/programs/neuroscience/faculty/profile.php?fid=27
who describes it this way: "Perhaps the most important revelation is precisely this: that the left cerebral hemisphere of humans is prone to fabricating verbal narratives that do not necessarily accord with the truth."
Michael Gazzaniga, is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he heads the new SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind. He is one of the leading researchers in cognitive neuroscience. He writes: "The left brain weaves its story in order to convince itself and you that it is in full control. . . . what amounts to a spin doctor in the left brain. The interpreter is really trying to keep our personal story together. To do that, we have to learn to lie to ourselves."
These insights, based on solid experimental work, show that we tend to believe our own press releases. Often when we think we're being rational, we're being spun by our own thinking.
I remember a Stazi informer, confronted on TV, 50 years or so after her informing. She says, these letters are in my handwriting, and it’s my signature, but I did not write them. That’s a press release even a politician would be proud of. I’ve come across similar things in incest.
I extend these ideas on a bigger scale of ideas to time and Nao. The left hemisphere of the brain tries to make sense of what is going on in every field of life and tries to weave it into something we can comprehend and understand. So it makes up simplistic notions like linear time because it's so easy for us to understand. Once we accept the linear time idea we can build enormous so called scientific systems upon this even though it's a partial fallacy, or just one extreme of nao/times many aspects.
I like to think that there is a continuum from the time Nao to linear time and everything in between. Many people are aware that time also has different dimensions. Anybody who's been through a car windscreen, giving birth, had a spiritual breakthrough, or being in a similar situation to these type of events may have experienced the fluidity of time. It seems like the more intense the event the more time becomes a fluid experience.
Most of us pop in and out of Nao. When we start a thought, we always have a choice. We can stop, stay in present moment, Nao, or go ahead and engage in the thought. We cant do both at once. Some intellectual people I know find it very hard not to be in thinking mode and seem not to understand the being/nao mode exists. People can be lost in thought for seeming ages. Some people are convinced that they only exist when they are thinking (Descartes for example) and they have no idea how to be when not thinking. On the other hand such intellectuals often enjoy music, sex, cooking and wine tasting, all very Nao experiences.
The amount and the ways we pop in and out of nao sets the range of our experience of nao.
Nao itself is something that is multidimensional and multilayered and however hard we try there are limits to how much we can penetrate it. These are self-imposed limits. Typically these are habits and fears of what might happen if we really stop thinking!
Yet there is a big incentive to let go and go into the depth of Nao. In the depth of Nao is hidden the greatest secret of life, the holy grail. All we have to do to find it is to drop all our fears and go into this present moment. What’s more it’s a pot of gold. I am sure that when Michael Jordan was air swimming and seemingly defying gravity, about to dunk, he was in the Nao. Tiger Woods is very explicit about being in the Nao when striking the ball in his autobiography. Both earn/earnt $10millions by being in the Nao. In fact, success in life is a lot to do with one’s degree of Naoness.