The true nature of time

Sunday, Jan 01, 2023 584 words 2 mins 35 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2023 Paul West

We may think that when ACIM refers to the past it may be talking about 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago.

But when you think about it, the world seems to present a continuous unbroken stream of events. Objects morph from one state to another without any seeming gap in between. It's not like the present is "missing" in this sequence. Actually Jesus refers to it as a continuum, as in the continuum of spacetime.

In this continuum bodies and objects appear to constantly exist from one moment to the next, seamlessly. And yet, we're also told in the course, that at no time does the body really exist in the present. It is always slightly away from presence in the past and the future. We're also told that in holy instants the world may disappear, as happens in revelation also.

So the apparent illusion of a continuum of time in which we seem to think of the past as "a long time ago" and in which there seems to actually BE a present moment, this is not really the nature of time. Time is delay, denial and avoidance. Somehow there is a gap, of space, between the real present moment and everything that appears. And yet everything appears to always be present in this timeline, without a gap.

This MUST mean, that time is more of a vertical "immersion" or sinking down into density, away from true presence, which is above the battlefield. It must be a general sense of distance or avoidance of reality, which results in a more dense experience and a seeming solidity of matter. "The past" must not so much refer to certain measurements of time "ago", but rather to the general sense of how heavily you are in denial, and therefore how "darkened" your mind is.

Jesus describes in the course that with shorter distances we tend to think of it as space, and as distance increases we tend to think of it as time. This means distance from immediacy is spacetime. And without ANY distance there is no spacetime. Total stillness would eradicate it. Slight distance produces an illusion of a world which is slightly "laggy" and seems to gloss over the present with an illusion of a present.

"The continuity of past and future, UNDER ITS (ego) DIRECTION, is the only purpose it perceives in time, and it closes over the present, so that no gap in the EGO's continuity can occur. ITS continuity, then, would KEEP you in time"

So the ego illusion actually produces a sense of past, seamlessly and smoothly transitioning into the present, and continuing on to the future, in a continuous stream. But Jesus is saying this is an illusion. And the "present" in this continuum of time is NOT really the present. In time we're not quite in the real present of eternity because it's always a bit removed from it, and filled with images that make it seem like there is no moment at all.

As such the ego has made time look as though it's a totally closed system and it hides the real eternity beyond it. The real eternity is the real present. It is not a state of change or transition or delay or distance or avoidance or denial. And it does not entail the imaginary images of "right now" that the illusion of spacetime shows to us. If you want to find out what the real present is you have to go to heaven.

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