Questioner: Sir, how should I spend my time?
Speaker: Whatever you have in imagination, can be spent only in imagination. Do you really have time? If you have time, show me where is time? You are talking about spending life. I am asking you, do you have it? How will you spend it? How will you spend it? Where is it? Where is time?
Yes, we all are living in the illusion that we have time to spend. But where is that time? Where exactly is the time to spend? Do you have even one second with you? One second? Forget about time as a large quantity. Do you have even one second to spend?
What do you have, to spend? What is it that you really have with you?
Listener 1: Sir, the present moment.
Speaker: And that present moment is so small, that you cannot say anything about it. By the time you say anything about it, it is already gone. So, how will you spend it? By the time you pull it out from your pocket and try to spend it, that moment is already gone. How will you spend it? Are you getting, what I am trying to say?
Where is time? Except in the head, except in the imagination; where is time? You don’t really have time. You have Life, but not time. You have the opportunity to live, but you don’t have time. Living is possible, but spending time is not possible.
Alright, let’s take a very current example. You are here! As you are sitting here, are you spending time? Somebody outside this room may say so, that you are spending time here. But anybody who is really present here, would very well know that he is not spending time. What is he doing?
Listener 2: Utilizing time.
Speaker: Not even utilizing time. If you are really immersed, are you even utilizing time? Are you even utilizing time? Is the thought that time is being utilized or that “I am there to utilize time”, is it crossing your mind? There is just simple presence, right? There is nothing to spend in your pocket and there is nobody with that pocket. There is simple outright present and that is what we called as living. Are you getting it?
Where is time? If you are really here, right now with me, where is time? Where is the time to spend? I am repeating, somebody outside with a watch, may indeed feel that time is being spent here. He might feel so, the watch might feel so, but if you are really present here, do you also feel so that time is being spent? If you are really present. Yes, if you are like that man who is outside, if you too, are wandering outside; you may also feel that time is being spent. In fact the more outside you are, the more you will be conscious of time; have you noticed that? The more you are inside, the less conscious of time you become. And the more you are outside, the more conscious of time you are. Have you seen that? Is that not so?
Speaker: Whenever you are in the action, whenever you are in the happening, whenever you are inside life, there is hardly any time to spend. And whenever you are outside life, whenever you are outside the happening, whenever you are afraid, whenever you just watching from the fringes, then time comes into the picture.
Many of you would have gone to watch a movie. You are standing outside the theater in that particular hall where movie is being screened and the show is to begin in the next 10 minutes or lets say, gets delayed by 10 minutes. Then there is time. You are outside the hall and you keep looking at the watch and say, “When will the show begin”, “When will the show begin?”, right?
And if the show doesn’t begin in another 15 minutes, then you begin to feel uneasy, irritated. Don’t you? But once you are inside the hall and the movie is there, how many of you still keep looking at your watch? How many of you find that you keep looking at your watch, while watching a movie? Provided the movie is not too boring. So, where does time go when you are watching that movie? Where is time now? Do you have any time to spend? Remember: To spend something, first of all you must have it.
There is a very indicative story in the Abrahamic scriptures. So, what does the story say?
When Satan was coming to earth – to corrupt the minds of people – somebody asked him, “What will you tell the people to corrupt their minds? Satan said, “I will tell them just one thing that ‘Your time, is your time’.” He said, “Just this much is enough to corrupt the mind of any human being, ‘Your time is your time’.” And contrasted to that there is another saying by Jesus: “When he was asked that “You keep talking about the kingdom of your father, you keep talking about God’s heaven. What it would be like in the kingdom of your father? Jesus said, “In the kingdom of my father, there will be no time.” “In the kingdom of my father, there will be not time.” Wherever there is time and ownership of time, it’s the work of Satan and wherever there is timelessness, it is the kingdom of God.
So, if you are asking me that “How do I spend my time?” then you have already been possessed by the Satan. Do you see this? (Says with a smile)
While watching that wonderful movie, would you get up and ask, “How do I spend my time”? You are watching that lovely movie; do you get up and ask, “How do I spend my time”? That question will sound so stupid, wont it? And what are you asking, the same, “How do I spend my time?”
The question doesn’t mean anything. The question doesn’t mean anything. You are with your loved one, immersed in intimacy and then you get up and say, “How do I spend my life?” That’s a vulgar question to ask. Getting it?
You have no time. Time comes into the mind. The very thought that “There is a future and that it must be taken care of”, this comes into the mind when mind is not alive to the present; only when the mind is uprooted from the present. Getting it?
~ Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi: Immersed in life, you will not ask how to spend your life
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: To manage time, see what your mind values
Article 3: Attention and time