Are You Exiled From The Here & Now?
- TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 07.07.06
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Realisation: Are You Exiled From The Here & Now?
That beyond here and now is beyond relevance here and now. - stonepeaceIn "Exiles", a spin-off series to the "X-Men" comics, a band of mutants become "unhinged from time". Heroes from different realities, their "timelines" were compromised. To return to their worlds, back to their former identities, they must restore the balance of the "multiverse" (collection of alternate universes) by repairing the broken links in the "chain of time", as they teleport from one alternate reality to another on missions to right wrongs. Despite being reluctant to live unpredictable and dangerous lives, they find love and friendship along the way. Now, what does this have to do with us? The very moment we feel alienated from the "here and now", feeling like misfits, we too are "exiles". Feeling different from the crowd, we are mutants, as if rightfully from another reality, a better time and place. But what is "time" really? The Buddha defined it as the "measurement of change". (That which is timeless is bliss beyond change - Nirvana). It's illusory to think of time to be flowing linearly like a river, capable of branching off into streams. Time is not a thing - it doesn't flow; but we do - fluxing physically and mentally, from moment to moment.All we have is the "here and now". Even if uncomfortable, the bad news is it's all we have. The good news is that we can all learn to be comfortable in good time! This is possible because we can change our minds, especially if the situation does not change at the pace we want. We can be "re-hinged into time" by living in the moment, by making the best of it. There is simply no better choice. There is only one "timeline" and we're smack in the middle of it. To be off-sync or off-balance is to miss this moment of your life, to break the link of mindfulness. Like the Exiles, who are but temporal visitors in strange lands, the only true way to be happy before returning home is to treasure their short stay in the moment, wherever they are, but without attachment, with which there would be more pain. Wishing to go home to their actual identities, this drives them to accomplish whatever missions they face. A metaphor for us aspiring to realise our true nature - the quest to be enlightened!The multiverse of alternate realities "exists" only in the sense of the infinite possibilities that might be actualised by your present thought, word and deed. They are "ghost-like", unsubstantiated. Time is experienced relatively because there is no absolute speed of change. However, time-travel is impossible since cause and effect would break down. The past is but memory and the future a dream. Yes, we are stuck in the now - now and forever - unless we attain the timeless. The only way to change the past is to review it, so as to learn missed lessons. The only way to change the future is to change the present. The only way to break free from present humdrum and ennui is to change our karma, by righting the wrongs we encounter in ourselves, and helping others along the way. To be heroes like the Exiles, be brave to face our ordeals squarely. Every obstacle should be seen as an opportunity to strengthen us spiritually. Despite how horrible "now" might be, we can always learn to use it to nurture our compassion and wisdom. The only way to beam to another alternate better reality is to change our attitude to how we perceive this reality. "Now" might not be ideal, but we can always make it more ideal now! - Shen Shi'an
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