Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
The Netherlands

12th March 2010

Past (1)

“Had Been”


The past is the graveyard of the mind where everything is confined after its existence in the present. Man has within mind’s coffin memories that he cherishes and wishes for repeats, with amendments. They are mixed with memories he repents and hopes that they never repeat.

The past is a reminder to man as to what to expect from life and what not to. He is convinced that he has the past from which to learn lessons to improve the quality of his life. It appears, though, as if man has learnt much to change the quality only of his surroundings, but not the quality of his mind, for he remains fundamentally the same as he ever was at any point in time, in the past.

Man experiences life through the feelings generated within him in the present. The experiences are religious and spiritual besides those that make up daily life. Feelings are conveyed by thoughts, spoken by words and written too, and primarily emanate from the mind. The mind is, therefore, the storehouse of man’s feelings which he recollects from the past. 

Man is convinced that his feelings have been hurt in the past, meaning that they are stored in the past after their existence in life, however brief that may be. Every feeling that man has either gets worse or better within his mind, but remains nevertheless in the past. 

The question to be clear about is whether man’s feelings are in the present at all? Man believes that his experiences, which give rise to feelings, are in the present but drift into the past, so obviously feelings need to be in the present before they march off into the past.

If so, who could have been the first man who recognised the past? Was the past present the moment man recognised the present? The past could not have been present the moment present became known to man, for he would have needed time to recognise the present and be familiar with it.

If so, where could the past have been when man did not know it existed? If the past existed even before man knew that it did, it would only mean man was not needed to shift anything from the present to the past.

Man is not sure how his present drifts into the past. He merely believes the past exists just as he believes the present and the future exist. He believes the past exists where experiences go and a future exists from where the present day, hour, minute and the moment arrive.

Man believes in the past because he is convinced the present exists in which he can see, hear and experience. His conviction is further strengthened by the discoveries of science in the present, which has sophisticated since the birth of science.

Man needs to ponder where could the past have evolved from? Is there space where the past is accommodated? If so, where could be that space? These answers cannot be found easily, for such a space exists nowhere except in the mind as a thought, which is an auditory illusion of sound.

So, the past is in the mind and nowhere else. The mind is within man, who appears to be in the present. The present, according to science, is an attosecond, which is one billionth of a billionth of a second.

Wonder how much of man, brain or mind could possibly exist within an attosecond? Wonder how much man can see, hear and experience within an attosecond in the present? Wonder how real could a past be within an attosecond? 

All that exists within an attosecond is energy that cannot be named. As the past is only in the mind as a thought, and thought is sound, the past can only be an auditory illusion of energy within an attosecond. 

Life is indeed a miracle for it accommodates the evolved and sophisticated past within an attosecond, a time-period which is illusory and never can be real. Life is the timeless and thoughtless ‘now’, which includes the past, present and the future as an illusion of light and sound.

© Copyright V. S.  Shankar 2010

back to articles page