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

16th June 2016

The Present

“Here and now”

Many things happen in the present in man’s life. This is a conditioned belief.  The belief includes that many things also happen in the present in life as well. This belief makes man hope and expect things to happen in the present. 

Man has taken the present for granted as a realm of numerical time and has not questioned its authenticity. To question its authenticity is absurdity to the conditioned mind. The enlightened have nevertheless proclaimed that the present is illusory and not real.

The statement by the enlightened requires to be understood deeply with reason and logic to understand its wisdom.

The question is where does anything happen at all in life? It is obvious that a moment in life is ‘here and now’. It is also obvious that everything happens in the ‘here and now’ of the mind as a thought, and the thought ‘present’ in the mind indicates numerical time. 

This implies that the present happens in the ‘here and now’, as a thought in the mind called ‘present’, that indicates numerical time, while the ‘here and now’ in ‘Life’ is just ‘here and now’, which is neither a thought nor indicates numerical time.  

If man were alert, he would understand that the ‘here and now’ in life is a moment without thought, while the ‘here and now’ in the mind is with thought. The duration of numerical time, however, is unknown within a moment either in life or in the mind.

It is obvious that numerical time is needed for anything to happen either in life or in the mind in the present. Therefore, the present needs to be understood deeply. There is only the ‘here and now’ in life. There is no space between the ‘here and now’ and the next ‘here and now’, because the space in between would also be the ‘here and now’.  Therefore, the ‘here and now’ is a continuous, spontaneous, uncontrollable and unpredictable, timeless and thoughtless flow either in life or in the mind.

In the ‘here and now’ of either life or mind there is only light and sound. The enlightened have rightly stated that life flows like a river. Therefore, the answer to the question where does anything happen at all, is that everything happens as thoughts in illusory time called the ‘present’, but not as a physical actuality.

When man understands that he neither makes the moment ‘here and now’, nor is there numerical time in the ‘here and now, it is obvious that everything that happens in life or in the mind in the ‘here and now’ is [albeit] illusory. By this understanding man lives in trust that what will happen will happen, albeit illusory, which is what the enlightened have proclaimed.

When understanding happens to man that he is always alive in the timeless and thoughtless ‘here and now’ and that the thought ‘present’ is illusory, he is grateful for the moment ‘here and now’ in life. This gifts him illusory time and illusory thoughts in the ‘here and now’ of the mind, which enable him to live his daily, illusory life.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2016

Editor’s Note:
The present gives us our bearings in our daily life and enables us to keep in touch with what is happening, like it or not. Of course, in our minds we regularly drift between the past and the future and thus lose touch with what is here and now - and at times even try to. In appreciation of man’s conditioning, the wise are revealing how man may, with trust and gratitude, live in the flow of life.
Julian Capper, UK.

German Translator’s Note:
The mind is trapped in numerical time while planning, checking and validating the reality it takes for life itself. Deep understanding of how illusory time really is, as presented here by Dr. Shankar, is impossible to grasp for the mind, because the mind functions in time. But the enlightened don’t live in their mind, however they live with a mind, being aware that time is illusory and therefore the mind has to be illusory too. What a precious gift: the presentation of a timeless understanding in time-bound words.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.

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