CHENNAI:What is time?’ This very enquiry is of the machinery of time. So the enquiry has no meaning, for thought is time. The yesterday has produced thought and so thought divides space as yesterday, today and tomorrow. Sometimes they say “There’s only the present’’, forgetting that the present itself is the outcome of yesterday.
Our consciousness is made up of this chain of time, and within its borders we are asking: What is time? And, if there is no time, what happens to yesterday?’’ Such questions are within the field of time, and there is no answer to a question put by thought about time.Or is there no tomorrow and no yesterday, but only the now? This question is not put by thought. It comes when the structure and nature of time is seen with the eyes of thought.
Is there actually a tomorrow? Of course there is if I have to catch a train; but inwardly, is there the tomorrow of pain and pleasure, or of achievement? Or is there only the now, which is not related to yesterday? Time has a stop only when thought has a stop. It is at the moment of stopping that the now is. This now is not an idea, it is an actual fact, but only when the whole mechanism of thought has come to an end. The feeling of now is entirely different from the word, time. So do not let us be caught in the words yesterday, today and tomorrow. The realisation of the now exists only in freedom, and freedom is not the cultivation of thought.
Then the question arises: What is the action of the now?’ We only know action which is of time and memory and the interval between yesterday and the present. In this interval or space, all the confusion and the conflict begin.
What we are really asking is: If there is no interval at all, what is action? The conscious mind might say: “I did something spontaneously”. But actually this is not so; there is no such thing as spontaneity because the mind is conditioned. The actual is the only fact; the actual is the now, and, unable to meet it, thought builds images about it. The interval between the image and what is, is the misery which thought has created.
To see what is without yesterday, is the now. The now is the silence of yesterday.