On the Elusive Nature of the Now

That was then....

I’d like to return to a theme I was discussing a few days ago. Where I’m headed is to assert that the now moment, the center, and the adult I-state are part of the same reality. They are related. But before I turn to that, I need to examine the only one of the three that hasn’t so far been treated – the “Now” moment.

In doing so I make two caveats. The first is that I’m neither an expert nor an enlightened being, but an intelligent human who is embedded in Third-Dimensional life and endeavoring to understand it and what lies beyond it.

The second is that, as I said in “The Trouble with Words,” I’m using words and language that are designed to render the physical and known world understandable. That same language and those same words are not primarily designed to make comprehensible the spiritual and unknown world.

In the end, the word “Now” is just a symbol. We create a symbol by taking a thing or event (in this case, a word ) and freely and arbitrarily bestowing meaning upon it. But you and I may have different meanings that we freely and arbitrary bestow on the word “Now.” The same word will mean different things to different people so I need to make sure you know what I mean by my use of the word.

This is Now

When I say I’m discussing the “Now,” I don’t mean that I’m discussing this present temporal moment, which is 11:33 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, July 1, 2011. I’m discussing a state of being that is rooted and only understandable in a spiritual and normally-unknown world, rather than a physical and known one.

The “Now,” as it is used by sages, points to a higher-dimensional experience in which linear time is transcended, awareness is expanded, and the individual feels bliss, confidence, security, and well-being of a kind well beyond and not usually accessible in an ordinary state of consciousness.

Krishnamurti used to remind us how we preferred to remain in the known, rather than venture into the unknown. But this preference condemns us to never encounter and know the “Now,” which lies outside our known frame of reference and where all spiritual growth ultimately lies. After all, is not God Unknown and Unknowable?

“The mind moves from the known to the known, and it cannot reach into the unknown. You cannot think of something you do not know; it is impossible. What you think about comes out of the known, the past, whether the past be remote, or the second that has just gone by.” (1)

Coming from the mind, we can never know the “Now,” which exists beyond the mind, beyond the realm of the known.

Jesus told us that when we awaken to our true identity or to the nature of God, we’ll find we’re in an eternal realm, an endless moment of Now which exists beyond the reach of the mind

“When you awaken you will find that there is only the eternal now – no past, no future…. Within the illusion, it is practically impossible to imagine life without linear time because it is one of its supporting pillars, rebuilding it in every new moment.” (2)

So linear time is one of the supporting pillars of the illusion or Third-Dimensional duality. It obscures the Now, which is not linear, dualistic, or separative. The Now is all-encompassing, unitive, and one. Matthew Ward calls it “the Continuum.”

“What you perceive as time actually is energy in motion, and as Earth continues her journey toward fourth density, she will enter ever higher, lighter energy planes as she approaches the continuum, where everything that you deem past, present and future is a series of events happening simultaneously. In this moment you cannot imagine that reality, but you will know it as you gain spiritual clarity and understanding of the universal laws. Ah, what wondrous knowledge and experiences await you!” (3)

The chief reason we cannot enter the Now is that we insist on retaining our identities, egos or personas, as the people we think we are. Always seeking to know usually means we always reduce the unknown to the known. But the unknown cannot be reduced to the known. Adyashanti says that this insistence on holding our illusory selves together and remaining in a state of knowing is what stands between us and the Now:

“The only thing that makes it difficult to find that [eternal Now] state and remain in [it] is people wanting to retain their position in space and time. ‘I want to know where I’m going. I want to know if I’ve arrived. I want to know who to love and hate. I want to know. I don’t really want to be; I want to know. Isn’t enlightenment the ultimate state of knowing?’ No. It’s the ultimate state of being. The price is knowing. This is the beautiful thing about the truth, ever-present, always here, totally free, given freely: It’s already there. That which is ever presently awake is free, free for the ‘being.”” (4)

Let me use a metaphor to suggest what is meant here. The Eighteenth Century was much fond of staging masked balls. At the midnight hour all the invited guests would delight in taking off their masks and seeing who it was they’d been flirting with all evening. All was a delightful way of passing time, ignoring social scruples, and accomplishing skullduggery that was more difficult when all was aboveboard.

The masked ball was a contrivance, an illusion. In the same way, this life we lead is also a contrivance, an illusion, designed to accomplish a certain end as well. That end is to gradually reveal to us our true identities so that fragments of God can move from unconsciousness of that identity to consciousness. We do it by donning costumes called “bodies” and dancing to a rhythm called “linear time.” At the midnight hour of enlightenment, we transcend the limits of these bodies and linear time, enter the heightened spiritual state of the “Now” moment, and realize who we truly are (take off our masks).

Here’s another metaphor for entering the Now. Earlier yesterday I wrote about how I was in an upset and, when I saw the truth of the upset, triggered the experience of release. One minute I’m rooted in upset and the next minute I feel a release of tension and the immediate disappearance of upset.

The movement from one emotional state to a very different one is similar to the movement from the experience of linear time to the experience of the “Now.” When, in a peak moment, I shift from being embedded in time to being released from it into the Now, my experience transforms from one of cramped awareness, joyless neutrality, a tendency to move in and out of unwanted feelings to expanded awareness, joyful positivity, and freedom from unwanted feelings.

The experience of the Now is often accompanied by bliss, confidence, security, well-being. My daily concerns fall away. Whatever my agenda was previously is forgotten. All the identity-maintenance activities I’d previously do seem no longer necessary. I haven’t a care in the world and would be happy simply sitting here and being. Usually my ordinary state of mind doesn’t come near to this extraordinary state. But when I’m in this state of mind, I’m merely a visitor. These “transformational moments” or “peak experiences” last for varying lengths of time but they’re inevitably brief glimpses.

Here’s the value of living in the Now according to Krishnamurti.

“The now has greater significance than the tomorrow. In the now is all time, and to understand the now is to be free of time. Becoming is the continuance of time, or sorrow. Becoming does not contain being. Being is always in the present, and being is the highest form of transformation. Becoming is merely modified continuity, and there is radical transformation only in the present, in being.” (5)

Being and the Now are one and the same. Becoming and linear time are also one and the same. Only the former transforms or transcends. The latter merely continues.

Here is the Master Hilarion saying a similar thing to what Krishnamurti has said:

“Live neither in the present nor the future, but in the Eternal. This giant weed [of ego] cannot flower there; this blot upon existence is wiped out by the very atmosphere of eternal thought.” (6)

Jesus also recommends living in the Now, though he means by it more living in the present moment than living in the Now as a transformed state: “Living in the now moment, accepting what occurs without judgment, is as close as you can get to experiencing something real while still embracing the illusion.” (7)  The more we’re able to live in the Now, the closer we approach to the day when we’re no longer a visitor to the present moment, but reside in it permanently, as is promised to us after Ascension.

When we move from the dualistic experience of linear time deeper and deeper into the unitive experience of the Now or “Continuum,” we’re taking more and more steps towards God, towards our natural or original state, and into higher spiritual planes or dimensions. God exists beyond the illusion of time, just as She (He, It) exists beyond gender. The highest state of enlightenment is always now, as Adyashanti testifies: “The ultimate state is ever present and always now.” (8)

For this reason we hear many enlightenment formulas couched in the language of the Now: “Be here now,” “Get present,” “Sink into the present moment,” etc. After Ascension, we’ll exist round the clock and forever in the Now moment of unitive consciousness.

I believe that the ever-deepening “Now” moment is the doorway to the infinitely-expandible center and the tranquility of the adult I-state. And, at my next opportunity, I’d like to consider the relationship among the three.


(1) J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Bombay, etc.: B.I. Publications, 1972; c1974, 43.

(2) Jesus, “You can Change Your Moods to Bring You Peace and Contentment,” through John Smallman, June 26, 2011, at

(3) Matthew’s Message, June 11, 2011.

(4) Adyashanti, “The Only Price,” 2004, downloaded from, 2004.

(5) J. Krishnamurti, ibid., 11.

(6) Ascended Master Hilarion, channelling through Mabel Collins, channel. Light on the Path and an Essay on Karma. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974, 8.

(7) Jesus, ibid.

(8) Adyashanti, ibid.

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