Our minds love to create meaning. Our minds are constantly looking for and creating meaning. We need a way to store this meaning in our minds. To do this we use pictures and symbols. We have used symbols so well to reflect physical reality that we can barely tell the difference between the two unless we make a conscious effort. For example, we make physical vibrations with our voice, and we have added meaning to the vibrations which are the spoken word. Then we took these vibrations and created shapes which we call letters, which make up written words. Symbols are great for communication.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a consonant and a vowel? To make a vowel sound your throat must close for a moment. It is a physical difference.
Here is a list of other symbols we use regularly:
· Written and Spoken Words
· Written Music
Money is a tool, a number that is supposed to be reflection of actual value. It helps us keep track of things. But because it is only a symbol it can be manipulated and detached from actual value. Is the arrogant rich wife really as valuable as she believes herself to be? She may have a lot of symbols and large numbers representing her value, but what contribution is she making? What is human status really based on?
Time. What we call “one second” is the time it takes for an electrical current to pass through a rock of quartz. But what has actually happened? Has a second gone by, or has a change simply happened and our minds recorded it, and added meaning to the change, a meaning of one second.
A few days ago I when I was meditating, which includes sitting absolutely still, with my eyes open, observing the world around me, and my body, a thought popped into my mind. As I sat there I heard creaks and sounds throughout the house. I heard the wind blowing outside. I realized that there were many other things going on outside of my awareness. The earth was spinning, people across the planet were moving, things in outer space were moving and changing too. I realized that everything is in a state of change, flux or metamorphosis. I realized that what was a second ago, no longer is now.
So how do we use this knowledge?
We need to ask ourselves, what is more important, the fact that one second went by, or the change that has been incurred?
Try paying attention to the changes that are happening, even the small changes, and ignore the symbols for a while.
What changes are you creating each day? What changes are happening in your body right now? Pay attention to every change. When you cook eggs you have just changed the eggs from one form to another. Does it really matter that five minutes have gone by?
Some changes are catalysts, like writing an kindle book and uploading it to amazon. This change will trigger more changes, changes that can benefit you.
Some changes are benign. Driving to work, only to drive back home again. What was the point of that? Will that change ever benefit you beyond that day of pay? Maybe if you invest it.
What changes are happening during your vices? How is your mind changing while you watch Netflix? How is your body changing while you drink that beer? How will this change affect your future?
So, in summary, don’t fall for the illusion of time, it is symbolic for change, instead pay attention to actual changes, and consider them carefully.