Time and Eternity
Shambhavi shares how spiritual practice changes one’s sense of time and relationship to death and dying. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi
Podcast First Words
Student: Can you talk about time, and why we’re so attached to it?
Shambhavi: Haha! How are you attached to it?
Student: I was just thinking today while I was at work that a lot of suffering comes from the concepts that I have about being in time. And when I step out of that and into more timeless experience, the things that I thought were serious or important are just kind of laughable.
Shambhavi: Some of Anandamayi Ma’s most esoteric teachings are about time. There’s a book that was put together from her satsangs and translated by Atmananda. There’s really a huge range of satsangs in that book. And some of them are about time—some of the most difficult to understand and most esoteric teachings in that book.
Ma called the experience of stepping out of linear time coming into contact with what she called the supreme moment. So our experience of linear time is built into our experience of impermanence. We have an experience of linear time because we experience things coming into being, having some sort of life process, and going out of being.
And we have an experience of the planets, stars, our sun, and our moon having a life cycle. They appear, go through some stages, disappear, and then reappear. So this—particularly the sun and the moon—exactly tracks our experience of linear time. This is also recapitulated in our bodies: being born, growing up, fooling ourselves into thinking that we’ll never die, realizing we’re going to die, and then kicking the bucket.
We watch the seasons change, we watch different events happening where things are coming and going. So our experience of linear time, and our sense of a journey and a path is all based in our experience of nature.
When we’re doing spiritual practice and we have a certain level of perceptual opening, then we begin to touch something else. We begin to have an experience of immersion in something else other than linear time. And this is a direct experience. It’s not some concept.