Making Effective Choices in the Timeless Present Moment
We use linear time as a tool — but the action of life takes place exclusively in the anatomy of the present moment.
Change Is Fundamental
Change is more fundamental — perhaps — than time. If linear, narrative time is at least partly a psychosocial convention, a social construction and consensus reality — then there does not have to be a universe which is billions of years old. That notion of linear time is conditionally-irrelevant within the moment. It’s a fiction, a story told by physicists. It may be true, it may not be true. Everything possible is right now.
Time is the language of change. Change is parsed into units with words and measurements — seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millenia, eons. Other words for time are less definitive, reflective of subjective differences in the sense of the passage of time. “I’ll be there in a bit”, “It seemed like it took forever!”, “Give me a sec!”.
That things change moment-by-moment has a deeper reality than the mechanics of linear time because it is immediate and empirically observable. It is subjective, but we can mainly agree that something is happening right now.
Time is the bookkeeper, the accountant for keeping track of change. There can be a present moment which is billions of units of change, billions of years deep. The moment has a certain width, a stationary window with changing images. These images can be put together into a temporal map in one’s mind which is a line. Or we can use nonlinear notions of time and causality, in which linear time, if present at all, maybe be folded or curled up implicitly into tiny dimensions within the present moment.
Experientially, then, one would not be inclined to treat metaphor and experience as, in reality, either mutually exclusive or bound together. Instead, even if one is taken with what seems like an objective truth concerning a psychic event experientially, one still would be open to whatever experience may ensue from thinking and believing this truth.
— Warren Wilner, Psychoanalyst