Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Martin LeFevre: When Time Stops

Meditations - From Martin LeFevre in California

When Time Stops

Overhanging the gorge are great angular outcroppings of volcanic rock--solid and sharp edged protrusions from the gently sloping grasslands behind them. Many have huge slabs balanced on top of them, some looking like they had been perfectly placed there by a giant stonemason.

Other formations, with deep fissures where they meet the canyon wall, sit vertically in precarious positions, awaiting the next major earthquake to send them tumbling into the stream far below. Perched near the edge of the precipice under one of the plentiful oaks in the area, I can hear the rushing of the stream at the bottom of the glistening gorge, stretching hundreds of meters down and away.

The grasses around me are so dry that they break at the touch, and appear golden from even a meter away. Directly across, beyond the narrow gorge within the sanctuary of the large, fan-shaped canyon, are sheer, majestic cliffs, rising hundreds of meters into a cloud-scudded sky.

Big buzzards, masters of the air in their own right, appear as lumbering leviathans next to smaller, light-winged hawks that follow in their wake, screeching as they wheel and dive into the trees at the base of the cliffs.

Psychological time ends, and the mind, anchored in the present, ranges over the past. The people who once lived at this beautiful place come to mind. Native Americans loved this canyon, and revered it as sacred. They were wiped out, driven off, and assimilated into a dominant culture that thinks only in terms of commodities. But in the meditative state one can still hear whispers of their lives echoing across the land.

The mind in meditation is like a laser effortlessly boring through all the strata accumulated in content-consciousness--not only from one’s own life, but also from the lives of all the previous generations. Through that opening the light of the cosmos pours into one, and one participates, however briefly, in the infinite intelligence beyond thought.

Even for adept meditators, indeed even for ‘enlightened’ people, the meditative state is not a constant, but a quality of consciousness that one has to ignite each day by making space for undivided attention. Nature is crucial to the process, though a mindful, silent walk through a park in the middle of a city, followed by a half hour’s sitting in one’s residence with the light flooding in as the bustle goes on below, can be sufficient to generate a radical shift in consciousness.

Spiritual development is the easiest thing to fake, but meditative states are much harder to feign. Any bright man or woman can put on wisdom robes and pass himself or herself off as an enlightened guru. There’s an entire industry of such charlatans now, willing to sell you their books, DVD’s, retreats, or whatever.

The ‘enlightened’ ones teach people how to get from here to there, because that’s all we know, in one form or another. Becoming sells, especially with regard to ‘enlightenment.’ But one does not ‘attain’ illumination. There’s nothing to reach as an end, just a developing in negation.

Our consciousness is based on time. Not chronological time, but psychological time —becoming this or becoming that. We’re nearly always looking forward to something. To some degree looking forward to things is healthy, but when time-based consciousness is all one knows, one is a slave to becoming, and it prevents one from growing into a human being.

Time is obviously necessary for carrying out tasks, and for evolution, but are time and evolution involved in radical change and revolution in consciousness? No, time is antithetical to transmutation and revolution. Spiritual growth only occurs when psychological time ends.

It is therefore a confusion of the highest order to talk about ‘conscious evolution.’ When we are really changing, we aren’t conscious of it until later, and then only fleetingly, like looking in a rear view mirror while driving at high speed.

Timeless consciousness can function in the field of time, but time-based consciousness has no relationship to the timeless. If the shift happens spontaneously, does one know when psychological time stops? Yes, because the mind no longer looks forward or back, but effortlessly remains with what is.

************

- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: martinlefevre@sbcglobal.net. The author welcomes comments.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news