Time is a river.
It flows at varying speeds, in a single direction, but the only place we can access it usefully is here and now.
We can’t experience water that has already flowed past us. We can’t experience water that has yet to arrive.
So why do we invest so much in attempting to d so?
Perhaps it’s because we haven’t made best use of the water that’s here and now!
Time can be our servant, properly used; it can be our master, if we let it!
Let’s not do that! Carpe diem!
Of course we can always attempt to walk upstream and enter the stream at some previous point, but the water is always changing – and the water is the river, not the access point.
Likewise we can explore downstream to see if the river might be better suited to our purpose, but it will only be a re-established ‘now’ should we attempt this. The river simply is, yet it’s continuously changing, and we can never enter the same river twice – it will have changed.
This is perspective, the way we frame our realities, and also our perception, the values we attach to our perspective. It all comes down to evaluating and responding to the reality of this moment, the only time we can ever actually know. The sanest appreciation of reality requires us to accept this truth.
Of course there are other ways to view the material world of which we’re part. We are trapped, in our mortality, in the flow of creation over which we have little or no real influence or control. The past, which occurs only in our memories, does have a purpose – it is our best teacher. We learn from our experiences and from those incidents of which we’re aware, then we let them go and we move on.
The future, or rather our speculation about how things might be, helps us to make current choices and decisions, and then we let it go as we adapt to present realities. However, to achieve a better, fuller life our best options can occur just ‘right now’, no other place, so we’ll profit by spending relatively little time anywhere else.
Just as in a journey, we move through life one step at a time, accruing reality only as a series of incremental steps. Building such steps with deliberate and sensitive intent, knowing who we really are, and what our life purpose really is, makes most sense. We need to get in step with our Self!
The Delphic Oracle of ancient Greece invited us to ‘Know Our Self’ and this is unquestionably important. We also need to “Now Our Self” if we are to progress in a meaningful way. The paths we might choose are many, but like the river we can only be in one place at any point, and change is the milieu in which we are bound to exist. There is no stepping off the roundabout!