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Root of Our Suffering: Psychological Time

The swallows rode the wind high above the lake, slicing the air, gliding hither and thither. One wonders if this is how they play, or is it how they pray?

Time, so swift to pass by at times, yet so haltingly slow, at others. Such is the movement of time, psychologically. Inquiry into the movement of psychological time is a deep inquiry into the workings of our psyche. Yet, we can plunge into its depths in a single stroke if we can see that the movement in our mind manifesting as thoughts, memories, and fantasies is what brings time into motion, without which, we are right here, in the timeless now. The moment thought, memory, or fantasy come into movement, psychological time comes into motion. Memories can bring pain from the past back to life, and ceaseless thoughts can bid any inklings of peace a bittersweet farewell.

Now, what is one to do with this fact, that the movement of our mind can cause us immense suffering? Is one to suppress thought, memory, and fantasy, or for that matter all movement of the mind? Bringing the mind into stillness seems to be a promising state, free of suffering, one aspired by humans all over the world from time immemorial. But, can we see now fact that such an aspiration for stillness in the future is yet another movement of the mind, another fantasy, only this time to end its own movement, but nevertheless, still a movement, and therefore bound to perpetuate the movement of the mind, and leave it restless. So, what is one to do?

This question is one of great humility. For if we are asking this question sincerely, we are acknowledging the fact that we do not know what to do, and therefore, we are ripe with the possibility of finding something out, something we have not yet grasped. But to understand what all is at play, we must look closely at the movement of our psyche, at all its subtleties to understand the whole movement that is at play. We do not need to learn a technique or a tool in the future to do this, for we have to understand deeply that we do not need anything or anyone to look within ourselves, that simply, it is possible to observe ourselves without a technique, at once, right away, right now, for we are already doing it in this moment as we are exploring this matter together, right now.

This observation, concerned only with what is going on presently within our being, is an observation beyond time. In this observation, memory and fantasy arise and fade, and we begin to see clearly that they cause us immense suffering, without trying to end them. This deep observation is an understanding, which dissipates the movement of memory and fantasy in our being, for we see their futility. We are not saying that this observation will go on to bring about a fundamental transformation. We are saying something much more radical: we are saying that this observation is the fundamental transformation.


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