Listener 1: Sir we talked about ‘now’. We look at the past, conditioning starts getting activated. If we look at the future, fear gets activated. But if we look at the ‘now’, because there is only this moment, this ‘now’, so can we say that this moment is timeless? It’s not in time?
AP: No. When you say, “This moment”, you always mean it in context of the previous and the next moment. So this moment is a part of the stream of time. You can say ‘this moment’ only when you forget to say ‘this moment’. If you remember this moment it means you are remembering using your memory and your memory is time.
L1: Sir, ‘now’…
AP: When you say ‘now’, you always say ‘now’ in context of yesterday and tomorrow.
L1: So ‘now’ is only now?
AP: What is it right now?
L1: It is absolutely static.
AP: Where are you right now?
L1: I am moving in the now.
AP: So you are there?
AP: If you are there, and remember that you are the product of your past, if you are there in the ‘now’ then time is still there in the ‘now’. ‘Now’ is a non-existent word. ‘Now’ can be uttered when you have forgotten now. Some of us were so deeply in this session that they knew nothing of yesterday or now or future. Only they can say ‘now’. The beautiful part is, they will not say ‘now’. That’s one of the things about Lao Tzu. He said that whatever is real, is totally forgotten.
If you are really in love, you will forget the word ‘love’.
Only when love is gone then you start cramming “Do you love me? I love you so much.” and such things. When you are conscious of time, only then you keep talking about yesterday, today, now… When time is gone, where is ‘now’? Along with time, ‘now’ also disappears. All this talk about living in the ‘now’, living in the present is such nonsense.
‘Now’ has no existence, how can it have power? But you have people talking about great powers of the present and such things. You know what is this present? The present is that, only that, which is really present. And that is the pure self. The present does not mean all this.
The present means the unthinkable Atman.
That is the present!
And you are talking of it as if it is here in now, now what here in now? In space? On the ground? What are you talking of?
Living in the present means living in the Atman.
That is what it means. Yes please?
L2: I wanted to say that you said that you cannot get to know the moment. You just can be…
AP: In the moment. Wonderful! Very well said. If you are in the moment, how can you ever talk of the moment? And if you are talking of it then you are missing it. That’s what the Upanishads say, “If you are talking of it, you have lost it.” That’s why I repeatedly said, don’t talk of God. The moment you talk of God, you have lost God. But there are teachers who have been constantly telling you to remember God. And that is why the world seems to have become so God-less. Everybody is remembering God. Now there is only the remembrance of God and no God.
L2: Actually I wanted to ask you something. It’s troubling me a little bit. It’s like umm… even if there is a witness there, I am not totally immersed. So ‘me’ is still there, it’s not totally it. Well I am a little confused with that.
AP: Stay with it. If you are acutely conscious of what is happening, then stay with it. That is something very close to attention. By talking about it, you will only generate more disturbance. Just quietly stay with it.
L2: Let it be.
AP: Let it be. Let it be!
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
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