Recently I saw a low-cost one but interesting movie; the protagonist, a young man in their thirties, living in love with a woman, die in a car accident. Probably due to their strong attachment to their nice live and his couple, their soul remain into their home, wandering. The look of our guy is very classical: a phantasm covered with a white sheet with two holes acting as eyes. He can see but he can’t talk, nor communicate in any way. The phantasm contemplate their couple, depressed, crying, for a while, then, she start to dating with other man … time flies, the woman sell the house, so the phantasm become alone in the empty house, observing, new people come to the house, … at last, after many years of wandering, the phantasm suddenly realizes their time has passed away, realizes there are nothing there connected with him, and he become free of attachment, and disappear from this material world. Being a movie not dedicated to achieve high amounts of incomes, the action is very slow, with long shots showing the monotone “life” of the phantasm, doing nothing, only observing, watching the house. I think this slow speed, that at first worried me due to the lack of habit (you know, all the commercial movies are on the other side, action and more action, with very fast conversations, etc) was necessary for really understand the mental state of a person strongly attached to something that has ceased to exist, waiting unconsciously for a impossible return. I didn’t be aware in that time, but now I realize the message really penetrate into my subconscious.
Attached to a memory
Old times, people no longer there, but house still is there.
Last Saturday, I’m reading while traveling by suburban train; the convoy stops in a railway station, and absently I look up from the book for find out where I am … oh … is the station where I lived many years before, with my parents, both died now. Nostalgia invades me, my lost childhood, etc. And then I think maybe some day I’ll go down in this station, then I will walk to my old house, now inhabited for another family, and I will sit there, in front of the house, for relive the old sensations for a while, yes, maybe is a good idea. Then, while I was thinking about, I saw my own reflection on the window of the train, in front of me; being a window, not a mirror, my reflections was very blur. And then, suddenly, I remember the movie, my image looks like a phantasm, not with a white sheet but blur, seated there, still, waiting, desiring reliving a past that never will return … I was a phantasm! Oh dear! Or at least, I was behaving like a ghost, chained to a house by memories. This thought deeply disturbed me, I never before had considered the emotional attachment to a place in this way. The train resumed, and I remain meditative, trying to see, to understand the lesson. Seems to me that every moment is unique, it exists for a brief moment and then disappears… sure? All disappears every moment? Seems absurd, seems nothing really exists, is like another phantasm, with no real existence, mm…
The book, the time and the present moment
At home, I mean the actual one. After lunch, I’m looking for a book about Bach’s flowers, an alternative therapy for emotional equilibrium, not for me, but for my wife. We have lots of books in home, distributed in many libraries, shelves, tables, and not very well ordered, so is not easy to find the book. As it often happens, while looking for a book I find other books that read many years ago, almost forgotten, and is a nice surprise see them again … oh! this one, interesting, and this other, also interesting, … so I finally return to the living room with some books, for reread them. One of the books is about inner work, I mean, meditation; I opened it randomly and read:
We have the illusion that time is continuous, but really, at every moment everything disappears and reappears. It is like a systole and a diastole of creation, but we only live through diastole. At every moment, everything is created. Therefore, each moment is unique and unrepeatable. As this happens very quickly, we have the feeling of continuity, as when we see a film composed of dozens of frames that parade at great speed in front of our eyes. When you work the conscience, you can get to see this.
Wow … what a coincidence! The movie, the station and my insight, and now this text, randomly chosen. Indeed, modern Quantum Mechanics is also pointing in this direction: time is not continuous, but discrete, advance by “jumping”, with very short intervals of … no time! This intervals are really short: named Planck time, is approximately 5.39 × 10 −44 s, a unimaginable little bit of time: universe is about 4,7304e+17s old, so in a scale from Plank time to a Universe age, the time “one second” is more near to the age of Universe than the Plank time, that is a very very little interval of time!
Scale of powers of ten: at left, 10⁻⁴⁴ is the Plank time, 1 represents 1 second, and at right, 10¹⁶ is near the age of Universe
Is possible that a meditator are able to perceive such insignificant time interval? Maybe the writer was aware of this quantum law and was influenced by it, imagining he can fell it. Anyway, it was a great coincidence.
Indeed, my own experience is just the contrary; in deep meditation, feeling the unity of all the creation, I often also feel the unity of time: there are only one unique instant, eternal, that incorporate all. Is the unity of all in space and also in time. Maybe is a matter of point of view: when we see all from a whole view, with expanded awareness, the unity of all is the answer, but when we dive in our own awareness, looking for the center, then we find the pulse of the creation, that systole and a diastole movement of creation.