“The past is an interpretation. The future is an illusion. The world does not move through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment.”
Quantum physics, anyone?
Ha. No, but on a serious note, how we perceive time and space is constantly changing. In a book called "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman, the author tries to give the reader some insight into how Einstein himself was working through his own perception of time as he worked on his theory of relativity. And then there was that absolute mind-boggler, "Interstellar". It's amazing to see how this idea interconnects across time itself.
This rule even puts into question our perception of "eternity", which directly affects our notion of an afterlife. Rumi puts forth that eternity is "simply timelessness". How you take that is up to you, I know that for me it helps solidify a feeling that the afterlife as described in scripture is simplified for us to understand it, but does not look or feel anything like time, space or being as we know it.
Forget about that thought for the moment. Be in this moment. That's a tough one. Being in the present, fully present, letting go of the past, and not trying to predict the future is the toughest thing for us all. I'm rubbish at it, I can tell you that. My brain refuses to go blank while I'm awake. It's exhausting, though. That's why I need to really put more of an effort into the meditation / relaxation part of class and not fall asleep!
I can tell you what feels like a spiral, alright. The daily grind, the daily routine. Wash, rinse, repeat... for all of eternity. What are we working for? What are we running around like crazy for? What is this rat race we've created for ourselves? This is why I start fantasizing about dropping everything and for our little family to just get up and go anywhere we like, and do something crazy. Start a new life. Screw the safety nets, get out of the rut, the idea that this is crazy and responsible adults don't just do that. But, what if... just what if it's the other way round? What if that's exactly what we are meant to be doing instead of being corporate rats? Some people really love their jobs and their structured lives, and I don't mean to belittle them at all. I am very happy for them. But with time, I strongly feel it's not something I want as much as I thought I did. Plus, I have a terrible case of wanderlust (blame it on my urban nomadic globe-trotting childhood, something I wouldn't trade for the world). My friends and I often have this conversation, where we say, ok, let's just do it. Let's buy a guest house in Thailand and run it together. Why the heck not? Well, it's nice to dream for a while.
Time is crucial, but to me, so is space. Each place you go to brings out a different part of your personality, allows you to discover something new about yourself because it throws you into the unfamiliar. Sometimes, you'll go somewhere you've never been before and feel right at home, too. No matter where we've moved, I've always tried to embrace it wholeheartedly, give it time to see what's in store. Some moves have proved to be far better than others. Either way, it's always an adventure.
If you're stuck in a real rut in life, my advice is... move. Up and go. This option is not available to everyone and is getting tougher by the day, but if you can and are so inclined, don't think too much about it. I mean, this lady seems pretty pleased about her decision to start over. When David Bowie wanted to reinvent himself, clean up and get out of his own rut, he moved to Switzerland and then Berlin (1976). Berlin defined a new sound in his career, and is one of the reasons he is the legend he is today.
Sometimes, you just need to find a new sound to change the course of your life.