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Time Is Thought and Thought Is Time
By Martin LeFevre
Jul 29, 2022, 12:17pm

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A high, thin layer of clouds fills the western sky, blunting the warmth of the sun and giving the land a subtly somber cast. The little stream on the edge of town is full enough to create a cascade over a step of rocks as it wends it way through the Central Valley.

A hodgepodge of poorly planned and poorly designed housing projects is engulfing the creek and the land. The falcons, coyotes and rattlesnakes one saw here a few years ago are gone. Without radical change in human consciousness, man will continue to decimate the earth.

Another great asset of this formerly remote corner of California-the stupendous views of the hills and canyon beyond town-has been permanently marred by the moronic construction of monster houses along the ridge at the entrance to the semi-protected expanse of "Upper Park." Chico has begun to look like the San Francisco Bay Area that many of its wealthy residents fled, only to duplicate it here.

But the hills are clear today, and if one looks beyond the multi-million dollar mansions, the sharp edges of sentinel rock in the canyon beckon the eye. Effortlessly, in method-less meditation, the gaps between thoughts grow, and insights flow into the spaces. Then, spontaneously, the mind quiets altogether, and once again, as if for the first time, there is the blessedness of being on this beautiful earth.

Suddenly, a huge hawk silently glides by as I sit under the large sycamore, its flight path below treetop level. For a split second our eyes meet-the piercing look of a raptor and the intense look of a human being in whom thought is silent. One sees at that moment that there is no actual divide between species, only in the human mind.

The mind in meditation is like a laser effortlessly boring through all the strata of accumulated content-consciousness-detritus not only from one's own life, but also from one's lineage, culture and previous lives. Through that opening the light of the cosmos pours into one, and one participates, however briefly, in the infinite intelligence beyond thought.

Even for adept meditators, perhaps even for illumined people, the meditative state is not a constant, but a quality of consciousness that has to be ignited each day by making space for undivided, unwilled attention. Nature is crucial to the process, though a mindful, silent walk through a park in the middle of a city, followed by a half hour's sitting in one's residence can be sufficient to generate a radical shift in consciousness.

Spiritual development is the easiest thing to pretend, but meditative states are much harder to fake. Any clever man or woman can put on wisdom robes and pass himself or herself off as a guru. There's an entire industry of such charlatans in the West now, eager to sell you their books, DVD's, retreats or whatever.

The 'enlightened' ones always teach people how to get from here to there. Becoming sells, especially with regard to enlightenment. But no one 'attains illumination,' since there's nothing to reach as an end.

Since our consciousness is based on time, we're nearly always looking forward to something. (Not chronological time, but psychological time--becoming this or that.) To some degree looking forward to things is healthy. But when time-based consciousness is primary, one is a slave to becoming, and that prevents growing as a human being, which occurs when there is negation and being nothing.

Time is obviously necessary for carrying out tasks, but time and evolution are not involved in radical change and psychological revolution. Psychological time is antithetical to transmutation.

It's therefore a confusion of the highest order to talk about 'conscious evolution.' When we are really changing, we aren't conscious of it at all until later, and then only fleetingly, like looking in a rear view mirror while driving a car.

The shift happens spontaneously when passive observation gathers sufficient attention. Though the mind may revert, it no longer lives entirely by looking forward or back once it has awakened the capacity to effortlessly remain with what is.

Timeless consciousness can function in the field of time, but time-based consciousness has no relationship to the timeless.


Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue.

Published with permission of the author. All copyright remains with the author.

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