Sunday, December 23, 2012

Past As Now

The moment before is gone. We cannot go back to it. Yet we live in a now that is composed of what was and not of what is.

It Takes Time

It takes a long time for the light from a star to reach my eye. Each of the stars in the sky is a different distance away. I see each star from a different time in the past.

The same is true of all the objects around us. We see each part of each object at a different time in the past.

The light itself contains a pattern reflected off the surface of thing perceived. We decode this pattern to construct a sensual experience of the moment, of the now.

Mind Constructs

Our mind constructs a now from the past. The reflections of the light are combined into a now. It is not the now that is, it is our personal internal representation of the now we think is happening.

Imagine I touch your toe with a feather. It takes a few micro seconds for the feeling from your toe to reach your brain.

Now imagine I touch your lip with the feather. It takes less time for the signal from your lip to reach your brain than from your toe.

What if I touch both your toe and your lip with a feather at the same time? We think we experience both touches at the same time. However, this is only how our mind chose to arrange the sequence of events.

 Our brains make it seem like events happened at the same time, even though our brain got the signals of touches at different times.

Memory Sediment

Our memory of the past is a residue of what was. The layers of sediment in a river are the residue of the river. The sediment is where the river was. The sediment is not the river.

Sediment is the arrangement of sand and rock and dirt that were carried by the river. Those pieces left the river of the moment and stayed behind as the river flowed on.

Our memory occurs when we use the now to reflect on the past. The light bouncing off our skin must move to the mirror then be reflected back to our eyes. The light we perceive is of an object in the past, not the now.

Now is Past

Even our experience of the moment now is of the past.

We live in the now, but what we experience is not the now, rather we live in our perception of what happened before.

We live in our idea of the past our whole lives.

I am all that -  What good manners demand - Matter Drifts - Santa's Claws - Past As Now


  1. The brain and mind are not the same. Experiencing the present moment or Life or the now is beyond physical sensation.

    You are right that most of us "live in our perception of what happened...." but that doesn't have to be. It's our choice. It's what we are taught.

  2. Mark,
    I agree with Ryan Naylor
    but i still find it an Interesting,Mind Stimulating Entry