“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”
Henry Van Dyke
It was a clear and sunny day at Heathrow Airport in early December 2001; security was manic and the queues were long and slow moving. They were even stopping people just before boarding and making them empty the contents of their luggage out onto a table. I witnessed a lot of distressed and agitated people, some wishing to simply get on and settled, some merely doing their work as best they could in the circumstances of new security procedures.
It could have been a very stressful time (no pun intended) for me, yet I moved past the desk of clamor and chaos, found my seat and enjoyed the flight; reading, chatting, watching movies, enjoying the endless vistas of cloudscapes.
Ten hours later we landed in Washington DC to a bright and sunny day (sound familiar?). As I walked down the steps onto the runway to cross to the terminal, something strange and interesting happened. In that moment of touching earth again, I realised ‘time’ simply didn’t exist. It occurred to me that the experience of boarding, flying and disembarking were all the same moment, continuously unfolding; any previous experience that I had of time vanished without a trace.
A week or so later, a good friend asked me: “does this mean that I had no experience of emotions any more?” I told him that what it felt like was if one could imagine an analogue radio that has a clear signal and that emotions were like interference in the experience of a clear mind.
Jump several years to April 2004 and I found myself in a room with Dr. Roger Mills in a workshop exploring the Three Principles. I had missed the first two days of this four-day seminar due to work. At the end of the first day I was on a glorious high and despite the fact that I could put very little of what I had heard in to tangible words, I knew what had occurred during that first day had something to do with what I had experienced years earlier.
The following day, we were all asked a question: “Had anyone noticed anything in their experience since the previous day?” I almost jumped out of my seat to relay how it felt as if someone had flipped a switch inside my head, and all my thinking had slowed down. It was like a deep and peaceful silence had descended upon me.
Since that day in DC, I have never once been able to return to my previous experience of time as actually passing. It simply eludes me. Each beautiful moment is as all moments; it is just that sometimes my personal thinking causes me some discomfort about this issue or that circumstance.
Interestingly, I was recently looking at some photos of a dear, dear friend that had died in 2009 and in my reminiscence I had the ‘thought’ that it seemed like a long time ago! Yet in actuality, in my present personal experience, I could have just come off of the phone with her, and her beautiful voice was still ringing in my ears, like music to my heart. This is both the beauty of memory and the hell that it can cause us.
Thus, the mystery we call ‘time’ can set us free, or it can lock us up in a prison of pain for an eternity.
The late Mr Sydney Banks once said: “Life is an illusion suspended in the bounds of time, space and matter”. If this gem of wisdom makes no sense to us as a reader, we can rest assured that it cannot make sense to the analytical personal mind. However, we can have an experience of what is meant here, in fact we do almost every day of our lives. Every time we have moments of clarity or instinctive good feelings that arise free spiritedly from within, we are seeing past the illusion of our own creation. We are stepping outside ‘the bounds of time, space and matter’. We have come home.
And ‘home’ as we all know, is where the heart is.
Have a wonderful life, each and everyone of you.