What is it about the moment?

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What is it about "the moment?"

"I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moment's gone" ... from the song, Dust in the Wind, by Kansas.

So what is it about the moment? Except that it stands outside of time and space? ... Or, does time and space stand within it? Ahh, could this be the origin of both eternity and infinity?

Ahh, could this be the very connection to an Eternal Creator Who, stands outside of time an space? ... i.e., through the moment? So what is it about the moment that speaks to us about such things ... "our experience."

Therefore it must be like they say, how can you experience God or, for that matter anything else, if you can't experience "It" for yourself?

"Be still, and know [experience] that I am God ..." (Psalms 46:10)



Posted from the thread, Whaddya know?

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
"Nothing shall be admitted as fact except what can be experienced at some definite time . . . everything real must be experienceable somewhere, and every kind of thing experienced must somewhere be real."
Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
So, what do I know? That which I am experiencing.
Posted from the thread, The Paradox of Existence ...

Originally posted by wuliheron:
"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."
 

arivero

Gold Member
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Derrida

Most believers of "moment" quote a french poshmodernist guy, Derrida.
 
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To get the ball rolling ...

Transferred from the post, Whaddya know?

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
Originally posted by Iacchus32:
Oh, does that mean it's possible to experience God? . . . And I suppose you're very pragmatic about the whole thing too, or at least try to be.
Those two statements seem to me to be confrontational. Are you having a problem with my explanation of knowing? If you are, then I wish you'd be more clear about what your objections are; it is hard to interpret your intuitive way of writing.
These are two separate statements from two separate posts and, although the first is somewhat confrontational (I think when we start asking how do we really know? it should also include that which no one want to talk about, God), it doesn't mean that my reply to "your reply" (which didn't even include the first post) was confrontational. In fact if anything, it could be construed as a compliment ... I guess in my own mind I was saying the whole idea of "epistemology" which, I had never heard of before (although it closely resembles my own views), seems very "pragmatic" in its approach and, that in fact you seemed pragmatic yourself ...

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
Originally posted by Iacchus32:
If God is Eternal, then where are we going to find Him but in the "present moment" which, exists beyond the future and the past and always is? ... Thus the moment must be Eternal too. And it's through our understanding -- in the moment -- that we are filled with insight from God. So, "Be still [in the moment] and know ..."
I would not necessarily disagree with that statement, except to say I don't think the past or future are "beyond" the present moment . . . I don't think they exist at all. The moment is always the present -- always has been and always will be.
If the present moment is Eternal, then there is no past or future (except when preoccupied in our thoughts), in which case we both agree.

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
Originally posted by Iacchus32:
So what is it about the moment? Except that it stands outside of time and space? ... Or, does time and space stand within it? Ahh, could this be the origin of both eternity and infinity?
How can one say a "moment" stands outside of space, or similiarly, is the orgin of infinity? A moment might have some relationship to eternity, but infinity and space are a different catagory. Seems like you are mushing everything "profound" together and not thinking about each distinctly.
If just for "one moment" we took a snapshot of Creation, "everything" would exist in the here and now, including time and space, which are infinite. Therefore the moment itself must encompass (i.e., stand outside of) everything. Just picture in your mind for "one moment," the universe as a bubble, and you'll see what I mean.

What's that you say? The whole universe is "conceived" in a moment? Huh? Does this explain the big-bang theory? Yes, but who was banging who? (pardon me) ... What? Does that mean God had a Mistress? (pardon me again) ...

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
Originally posted by Iacchus32:
Oh, does that mean it's possible to experience God?

Whereas for those who haven't yet experienced it, maybe it's just a matter of setting up the experiment in order to go through the experience ...
That seems contradictory to me. The first part of your statement sounds doubting, and then it sounds like you are saying it is possible.
No, the experiment here is what you apply (conduct) through your own experience. Otherwise if you don't go through the experience (conduct it for yourself), how else would you know?

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
As I said before, I don't want to get into discussing if it is possible to experience God because I don't think that is what this thread is about. But I can say that I would not believe in God or anything else unless I can personally experience it. Experience-less faith does not work for me.
That would be fine if "God" was just another word in the dictionary, but it's not, besides you're not the one who brought up the topic. And the keyword here is "think" ... By the way, what does the word "epistle" mean? Doesn't it come from the Bible?

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
You say, "And it's through our understanding -- in the moment -- that we are filled with insight from God. So, 'Be still [in the moment] and know.'" Well, how do you know that? Are you speaking from having realized God in the moment, or from your fantasy of having done it? There is no way for me to tell when you speak like a prophet rather that using evidence and reason because I don't know you or your history. So yes, my approach to things is "very pragmatic about the whole thing" when it comes to discussions at a public philosophy forum.
Well how do you know that I don't know? Hey I don't know you either, so why should I waste my time? Except at first, as I say, you seemed to be "pragmatic in your approach."

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
I've read the small amount of writings preserved of Brother Lawrence (a 17th century French Carmelite). I've been inspired by his insights on the "practice of the presence of God" which he says ". . . is an application of our soul to God, or a remembrance of God present . . . in the depth and center of the soul . . . the soul speaks to God heart to heart, and always in a great and profound peace that the soul enjoys in God."
I can accept the validity of such a claim but, based upon my own experience of course. I don't even know who this is, and yet I can still "recognize" from experience.

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
Brother Lawrence I feel I can trust some because he fits a pattern of people who undertake realization. He practiced in an inward way his entire life, living in a monastery for much of it, and his descriptions jive with what other Christian monastics described (such as Teresa of Avila, or some of the Greek Orthodox monks) who also spent years dedicated to an inner practice.
So maybe we would really rather talk about God afterall? ...

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
But you I don't know, so I have to judge on what you say here. So far you've been leaning too far toward mystical statements for my tastes. I also visited the website you list in your signature, and find that far too speculative for me. Plus, even if it's true, I don't see what difference it makes to my personal experience.
I don't know you either, but what it sounds like you're saying is that because your beloved Brother Lawrence got there first, that I shouldn't bother to try? ... This is your opinion.

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
Say it is possible to experience what others have called "God." If so, I don't think one has to have a single concept or interpretation about what that experience is; i.e., if it is God or Truth or Bleep. The experience is the experience, and has nothing to do with interpretation. If I liked the experience, I'd keep doing it and let it teach me what it is; I'd keep my own mind out of it as much as possible.
So why do we bother to try communicating in the first place? If it were all "self-evident," then what's the point?
 

steppenwolf

i think the moment is essential to any experience of 'something else' :

"Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour"
-W. Blake

it's a strange paradox that eternity can only really be understood through the moment, i can see two possible reasons:
-through being completely opposite they are intrinsicaly linked
or
-as the instant can be so complete it may as well be infinite, ie unity of sensation, emotion, time...

why are unity and infinity essentially the same thing?

in french literature last year we dedicated a massive amount of time to poetry of the instant, we studied the importance of unity, especially of sensation, perhaps because feelings are more imediate then thoughts?

Omar khayyan said "be happy for a moment, that moment is your life" (the translation from french is shoddy, pardon)
one beautifully complete and independant moment is all you need.
 
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Omar khayyan said "be happy for a moment, that moment is your life"
Oh yeah, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life ..."
 
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Asians like to say existence has "suchness" or "isness" and that this statement can only be understood in the moment. In the moment synergy and change both exist and do not exist. It is the principle of yin yang.

Synergy is the natural observation and principle that any two or more things together possess unique properties they do not have separately. Yin and Yang is likewise a principle and natural observation, albeit a historically Asian one that acknowledges the paradox of existence.

The complementary opposites of Yin and Yang extend beyond synergy unifying its disparate elements in singularity. In harmony, dissonance, and static equilibrium synergy and singularity comprise rudimentary complementary opposites of Yin and Yang. The mirror and shadow-like properties of paradox can therefore be derived from such singular synergy and the often surprising and unpredictable results of synergy itself can be conceived of as indicative of the paradox of existence.

Or, as Lao Tzu said,

Mystery

Looked at but cannot be seen
It is beneath form;
Listened to but cannot be heard
- It is beneath sound;
Held but cannot be touched
It is beneath feeling;
These depthless things evade definition,
And blend into a single mystery.
In its rising there is no light,
In its falling there is no darkness,
A continuous thread
Beyond description,
Lining what cannot occur;
Its form formless,
Its image nothing,
Its name silence;
Follow it, it has no back,
Meet it, it has no face.
Attend the present to deal with the past;
Thus you grasp the continuity
Of the Way,
Which is its essence.
 
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An afterlife?

Synergy is the natural observation and principle that any two or more things together possess unique properties they do not have separately. Yin and Yang is likewise a principle and natural observation, albeit a historically Asian one that acknowledges the paradox of existence.
Typically they (Asians) don't allow for an afterlife do they? Could this be the missing ingredient which would make existence seem less paradoxical?

Or, as Lao Tzu said,

Mystery

Looked at but cannot be seen
It is beneath form;
Listened to but cannot be heard
- It is beneath sound;
Held but cannot be touched
It is beneath feeling;
These depthless things evade definition,
And blend into a single mystery.
In its rising there is no light,
In its falling there is no darkness,
A continuous thread
Beyond description,
Lining what cannot occur;
Its form formless,
Its image nothing,
Its name silence;
Follow it, it has no back,
Meet it, it has no face.
Attend the present to deal with the past;
Thus you grasp the continuity
Of the Way,
Which is its essence.
Yes but the mystery can be touched -- and hence defined -- through "our soul."
 
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Typically they (Asians) don't allow for an afterlife do they? Could this be the missing ingredient which would make existence seem less paradoxical?
I'm sorry, but this is simply not true. Most Asians have historically believed in an afterlife of some sort. I don't know of any modern census done on the subject, but this has historically been the case. Religious Buddhists not only believe in reincarnation, but that once the cycle of reincarnation is broken they go to heaven or become one with the Buddha or God. The same is true for religious Taoists and whatnot.

Yes but the mystery can be touched -- and hence defined -- through our soul.
Exactly. Through our soul or spirit or experience.

Experience

The spirit of the Way never dies,
It is called the mysterious female:
Its entrance, the root of the world,
The Way of Happiness moves within it:
Draw upon its experience; it will not run dry.
 
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I'm sorry, but this is simply not true. Most Asians have historically believed in an afterlife of some sort. I don't know of any modern census done on the subject, but this has historically been the case. Religious Buddhists not only believe in reincarnation, but that once the cycle of reincarnation is broken they go to heaven or become one with the Buddha or God. The same is true for religious Taoists and whatnot.
I think the idea of reincarnation is much further removed though, because it's so far off in the distance that you might as well not concern yourself with it. How many times do you have to come back as a bug, or a fish (or whatever) before you truly transcend?

And yet it may not be a bad thing in and of itself, because it puts you in the position where you just have to get on with it (your life), rather than spend so much time preoccupied with whether or not you're going to go to heaven ... which, unfortunately is the fallacy of so many Christians.
 

Les Sleeth

Gold Member
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Re: To get the ball rolling ...

Originally posted by Iacchus32
So why do we bother to try communicating in the first place? If it were all "self-evident," then what's the point?

Sorry Iacchus, I reread my post of yesterday to you today and I definitely sounded testy! I do have some problems with a couple of your points, so let me see if I can make sense cordially.


Originally posted by LW Sleeth
How can one say a "moment" stands outside of space, or similiarly, is the orgin of infinity? A moment might have some relationship to eternity, but infinity and space are a different catagory. Seems like you are mushing everything "profound" together and not thinking about each distinctly.

Originally posted by Iacchus32
If just for "one moment" we took a snapshot of Creation, "everything" would exist in the here and now, including time and space, which are infinite. Therefore the moment itself must encompass (i.e., stand outside of) everything. Just picture in your mind for "one moment," the universe as a bubble, and you'll see what I mean.

I can agree that each moment contains the whole of existence. But then you say time and space are infinite, and to that I cannot agree if we are to use the standard definitions of time and space. I see time as related to the duration of the physical universe, and since that had a beginning and an end (apparently) then time will end with the physical universe does. There are people I've debated with at PF who don't link time to physical existence, so I suppose they might be able to agree with you.

But I think "eternity" is nonetheless possible if you take the temporal element out of it (i.e., the physical universe) and also allow that possibly there is some base level of existence which was never created and can never cease to exist. Say it is some sort of eternal substance, maybe a vibrant luminescence, that has always existed. It has no "time" because it had no beginning and will have no end. Maybe all the physical stuff is compressed vibrant luminescence, which makes it vibrate and assume color etc., but since that is a "form" vibrant luminescence has taken, it means the form will eventually return to its base state. So it is that which has "form" which possesses time, finiteness, and limits; it would be the form-less which is infinite and eternal.

The Buddha, who is believed to have merged with this level of existence, described it in the following passage: “There is, monks, that plane where there is neither extension nor motion. . . there is no coming or going or remaining or deceasing or uprising. . . . There is, monks, an unborn, not become, not made, uncompounded . . . [and] because [that exists] . . . an escape can be shown for what is born, has become, is made, is compounded.”

When I said I trusted Brother Lawrence, it was because he is one of many I've studied who, like the Buddha, attempted "union" with something immaterial. I quoted him because he is known for practicing union in a "moment" sort of way, which you seemed to be talking about.

The issue is for me goes beyond recognizing the richness of "now," and extends to how able my consciousness is to directly experience that richness. Personally I don't think it is so easy as "recognizing" the now. I have concluded from both my personal experience and studying others that it seems a skill attained through lifelong dedication and inner practice.


Originally posted by Iacchus32
So maybe we would really rather talk about God afterall? ..
One might wonder if some area of that infinite and eternal vibrant luminescence has become conscious, and if so how conscious it is. How conscious would anyone of us become if we had eternity in which to evolve? Say you have been evolving for a zillion to the zillionth power years, what might you become capable of achieving through consciousness?

But the problem is, to get back to the original subject, how does one "know" it? Even if you experience such an evolved consciousness, it might be such a small part you experience that you'd never really know what you were experiencing other than its base nature of light and vibrancy. Intuitively you might sense it is "love" or other qualities, but people go so far beyond that. They say things like it is omnipotent and omniscient. How do they know that. Maybe, for instance, it is really powerful relative to us, but not all powerful; and maybe it is very knowledgable relative to us, but not all knowing.

So, I return once again to my statement about what I know. I know what I experience. However, I will amend that a little and add that I will infer from my and others' experience, particularly experience I've had or observed enough to make me "certain" of it.
 
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I think the idea of reincarnation is much further removed though, because it's so far off in the distance that you might as well not concern yourself with it. How many times do you have to come back as a bug, or a fish (or whatever) before you truly transcend?
Supposidly it just depends upon the individual and it doesn't really matter anyhow unless you are unenlightened. I might also point out that despite any possible limitations of the idea it also has advantages over Christian and other ideas of an afterlife. It's greatest appeal, perhaps, is that it provides strong support for the idea of an infinitely forgiving God who does not merely go to extremes, but designed existence to suit everyone's needs.
 
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Re: Re: To get the ball rolling ...

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
Originally posted by Iacchus32:
So why do we bother to try communicating in the first place? If it were all "self-evident," then what's the point?
Sorry Iacchus, I reread my post of yesterday to you today and I definitely sounded testy! I do have some problems with a couple of your points, so let me see if I can make sense cordially.
While I admit that I do come across as a bit confrontational at times, in part because my approach is different, and I'm not always prepared with what to say. It has to do with how I view science, which I believe is okay, except that it "won't" address the most fundamental question of all, God? And, what is science without a soul? ... I could say more here, but I don't have the words right now.

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
How can one say a "moment" stands outside of space, or similiarly, is the orgin of infinity? A moment might have some relationship to eternity, but infinity and space are a different catagory. Seems like you are mushing everything "profound" together and not thinking about each distinctly.


Originally posted by Iacchus32:
If just for "one moment" we took a snapshot of Creation, "everything" would exist in the here and now, including time and space, which are infinite. Therefore the moment itself must encompass (i.e., stand outside of) everything. Just picture in your mind for "one moment," the universe as a bubble, and you'll see what I mean.
Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
I can agree that each moment contains the whole of existence. But then you say time and space are infinite, and to that I cannot agree if we are to use the standard definitions of time and space. I see time as related to the duration of the physical universe, and since that had a beginning and an end (apparently) then time will end with the physical universe does. There are people I've debated with at PF who don't link time to physical existence, so I suppose they might be able to agree with you.
Whether time and space is infinite or not is debatable. I'm not a physicist. And yet if you agree that the moment contains the whole of existence, then that would include time and space, which is really all I'm saying.

Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
But I think "eternity" is nonetheless possible if you take the temporal element out of it (i.e., the physical universe) and also allow that possibly there is some base level of existence which was never created and can never cease to exist. Say it is some sort of eternal substance, maybe a vibrant luminescence, that has always existed. It has no "time" because it had no beginning and will have no end. Maybe all the physical stuff is compressed vibrant luminescence, which makes it vibrate and assume color etc., but since that is a "form" vibrant luminescence has taken, it means the form will eventually return to its base state. So it is that which has "form" which possesses time, finiteness, and limits; it would be the form-less which is infinite and eternal.
It sounds like you don't believe in a spiritual world, i.e., heaven and hell, where actual spirits dwell? Now I have been "in the spirit" (not unlike experiencing a lucid dream) and I can attest that it does exist. And guess where that might be? outside of -- or, possibly within? -- "time and space." And the spirit "lives on" unto Eternity ... Yeah right!

Originally posted by Iacchus32:
So maybe we would really rather talk about God afterall? ...
Originally posted by LW Sleeth:
But the problem is, to get back to the original subject, how does one "know" it? Even if you experience such an evolved consciousness, it might be such a small part you experience that you'd never really know what you were experiencing other than its base nature of light and vibrancy. Intuitively you might sense it is "love" or other qualities, but people go so far beyond that. They say things like it is omnipotent and omniscient. How do they know that. Maybe, for instance, it is really powerful relative to us, but not all powerful; and maybe it is very knowledgable relative to us, but not all knowing.
It helps to have a good mentor, some good reference materials, and at least one or two "crucial experiences," all of which I have had. Well, that's about all I have to say for now.
 
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Thunder Thighs

If everything in the Universe has a cause and effect, meaning everything has a beginning and an end, then the Universe must be paradoxical, because Who was there to trip the "first domino?" Of course I believe in the big-bang theory myself, but that would imply God had a Mistress? ... And the whole idea was conceived in "the moment" ... Hey Zeus!

Yep, Good Ol' "Thunder Thighs" ...

By the way, did you know that Nyssa, Oregon was the Thunder Egg Capital of the world and, that Dionysus, the only begotten son of Zeus -- born of Zeus' thigh -- was brought up on Mount Nysa? How strange? ... Whereas Nyssa (with two n's) lies directly on the border between Oregon and Idaho. And guess what? Zeus was brought up on Mt Ida! ... Whoa dude!

http://www.dionysus.org/x0602.html#nyssa
 

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