There Is No Time But Now

Few things are easier to describe and harder to do than catching the present moment without words or thought. The crux of the matter is time.

Most of us take for granted that time flies, meaning that it passes too quickly. But in the mindful state, time doesn’t really pass at all. There is only a single instant of time that keeps renewing itself over and over with infinite variety.

The secret about time, then, is that it exists only as we usually think of it. Past, present, and future are only mental boxes for things we want to keep close or far from us, and by saying that “time flies,” we conspire to prevent reality from coming too close. Is time a myth we are using for our own convenience?

In the one reality, the only time on the clock is now. The trick to dropping the past is to find out how to live now as if it were forever. “Now” is more complex than it looks. Are you in the now when you are most active and energized, or when you are most still?

Take a look at a river. On the surface, the current is fast and restless. At the middle depths, the flow slows down, until one reaches the bottom, where the silt is only slightly stirred before you touch bedrock, where the motion of water no longer has any effect.

The mind is capable of participating at every level of the river. You can run with the fastest current, which most people try to do in their everyday lives. Their version of now is whatever has to be done right now. For them, the present moment contains constant drama. Time equals action, just as it does on the surface of the river.


Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).


Lenee K.
Lenee K.3 years ago

I am not sure if I agree nor disagree.. a lot of truth though, thanks

aj E.
aj E.3 years ago


Ron B.
Ron B.3 years ago

Some philosophers speculate that the past, present and future may be taking place all at the same time. Who knows?

Marianne B.
MARIA B.3 years ago

Now this article I like, and understood. Sometimes, Deepak is too Deep for me. Maybe its how he words things. Or maybe, I think too much...

Uma Chernoff
Judith Shafer3 years ago

When I last tripped in the garden there was a "moment" that seemed to extend itself where I saw that if I turned my head I would land with my face in the nice soft dirt instead of that rock I was heading for. Think about how fast an event takes place, falling, yet in the midst of it there is that eternity. If this wasn't the true nature of reality it could never happen yet it does all the time to all of us.

Uma Chernoff
Judith Shafer3 years ago

We prefer it this way and only sometimes give ourselves permission to bring in other awareness based on simultaneous experience if we determine that it will be beneficial to our mortal purposes. All consciousness here not focused in abstraction, the consideration of the "what if's "; basically all the rest of creation participating at this level is simultaneously aware of both the linear and the great NOW reality at once. Our species commitment to individualized focus and abstract capacity makes this awareness very awkward. We count on our cellular mind partnership with our bodies and the rest of the natural world to run things enabling us to speculate and experament with new potentials. Since all the cells of our bodies are constantly dying and replacing themselves, in other words pulsing in and out of this reality, they straddle the past now and future to produce the physical reality. Only that capacity tells them what form to return as. I think it's probably the same for the rest of the natural world consciousness in relation with the "Gaia", the planetary identity, keeping it alive here and that we are HER brain cells with that unique capacity to look back at herself in wonder.As one example of the reality of the timeless think on all the times you have had accidents during which if relaxed enough there is a "Moment" during that nano second where a choice is presented with "time " to choose. When I last tripped in the garden there was a "moment" that seemed to extend it

Uma Chernoff
Judith Shafer3 years ago

"Time flies.....time lags", depending on the lens we focus through. "Time flies when you're having fun"
while waiting for something to end that must be endured seems to last forever. Linear time, sequential cognition, is based on the line between birth and death. The length of our lives as compared to mountains and mayflies is the eternity we perceive to be our span of existence. The 24 hrs of the mayfly is as much of an eternity to it as our lifetimes are to us so time and the perception of time are based on duration of pulsation into this reality and our mood . The forever of mayfly is equal to our lifetime concept of forever.We are like inverted trees with our roots in the heavens (or planes of faster vibration) extending our focus into slower moving realities, imagining ourselves to be one with them for the duration of attention. Being rooted in the heavens we focus in these branches and tendrils in pulsations, in sleep we return our attention to our source and at death we permanently remove it, withdrawing all of our energy of manifestation .Creation emanates from the "inner" faster vibrating realms to the "lower" or slower ones for it's own purposes., identifying with the dramas created and only made possible by the density of this plane for the intensification of experience. In identifying with position in this density we are enabled to give total focus to experiencing it and all the textural reality offered. We prefer it this way and only sometimes give ourselves p

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Ron Grubner
Ron Grubner3 years ago

The reality is that time is but a man made measurement of anything physical.It commits to memory previous experiences ( past),prepares the memory for coming experience (future) and the present process of storing infomation to memory.Other than the present.all else becomes abstract when the reference of time is used.And the " now" is so fleeting,it is unmeasurable.If we look at a clock on the wall,the only measurement it is capable the instant it registers the moment between each second.It cannot measure the past any more or the future...the hands are but a visual recognition of what HAS is memory.And to use that concept in the WHOLE SCEME OF THINGS.Time acually does not exist at all.Our human way of thinking is to convert each moment into seconds,then minutes, then hours,then days,then weeks,then months,then years, then decades,then centuries,then milleniums,then in millions of years.It keeps expanding and eventually becomes immeasurable because it can go no further than space which is....well nothing ! Space has no boundaries.The marvel of it all is that is where from the moment of conception,we have ALL been created into.Our bodies are but physical but our spirit has been created in God's image where time has no meaning.Eternity has no boundaries.It is the realm of Heaven while hell is confined within eternity.

Kirsten B.
Kirsten B.3 years ago

Good thoughts - and yet every moment is simultaneously past, present and future. Maybe there is something to watching time flow by from the future to the fleeting now to the past and enjoying it?