Question: You’ve often spoken about how thoughts create time or the sense of time. I come from a physics background and look at the world around me and think of time as that in which change occurs. Are you talking about thoughts creating an internal sense of time, because you also talk about coming from a timeless space?
How do you come from a timeless space into a world where change is occurring in time? From a timeless perspective, I would think there is no change – all things are happening at the same time, or something, which seems pretty wild.
Linda: It is wild. I could talk about it forever – it’s my favourite topic.
It’s true – everything is happening now. There’s still relative time. Things are always changing, but in this timeless state, you realize that everything is happening now. It contains everything that has ever happened and ever will happen, right now. It’s all now. That’s how huge the whole thing is, and it’s all related to time.
I remember one night you were talking about the black hole. For me, it was so interesting, so exciting. I found that fascinating. And it was really related to this – everything comes out of that black hole. And that’s what this is all about. Everything comes out of that source, of creation.
So yes, the mind does create the belief that time exists. And that creates the belief that we are separate, because between a subject and an object there is time. But that is not reality. And the challenge of enlightenment is combining the two – the absolute and the relative. The first big realization is realizing eternity – the absolute. But then you have to realize that the absolute is actually relative and contains the relative. That is a much deeper realization.
But the time thing, it’s just incredible – when you realize that you go, “Oh my God! This universe is now and it contains everything!” And there is no past, there is no future, because everything happens now. It’s impossible for something to happen in the future – it’s just impossible, because it’s always now.
Questioner: So in that sense, it isn’t some internal perception of time – you would say time isn’t real, even in an absolute sense and we just create it with our mind?
Linda: Yes, we create this belief in time – that time exists. It’s all in our mind. It’s an illusion. We believe it. It doesn’t mean that the body doesn’t age – everything ages, but it all happens now.
Questioner: Isn’t it a human construct? Animals don’t have time. Isn’t it something we’ve invented to measure?
Linda: Yes. It’s fine if you’re using it to measure, like it’s six o’clock now – but we believe that’s the truth. The mind has created the sense that everything runs on time – that everything that’s real is time based , but that’s not the truth. Everything that’s real is not subject to time. So your whole perception of time starts to change – it starts to break down that progression in time that you feel.
Questioner: Would it be true that newborn babies don’t have a sense of time?
Linda: No, they don’t, they’re just here, completely trusting, completely innocent. And the time starts to accumulate in their bodies.
Questioner: I was going to say it’s something we learn to do to make sense of the world to survive in.
Linda: You don’t need it to survive in the world.
Questioner: The experience gradually filters things so that it’s easier and easier to deal with things as they come.
Linda: Does it? Does it get easier? I think we accumulate and develop defence mechanisms just to cope with the world and other people and other people’s neuroses and our parents, who through no fault of their own, instil what they were taught on to us as best they can.
Questioner: If all the past and future exists at once, does that mean there’s no predetermination or free will? Or are there multiple futures that all exist simultaneously?
Linda: It’s like everything is now, but it cancels everything else out, so it’s actually nothing. It’s why you’re doing this now too, because you have to prepare yourself for this – it’s such a huge thing – too much for your brain to take in at once. And when it’s happening, it’s so amazing!
Questioner: It’s good a physicist does this work. Get enlightened and then write a book about it.
There are several physicists who have written stuff about this that is sort of similar. David Bohm is one of them. Anyway, I’m looking forward to one day having that experience. But it’s not really an understanding is it?
Linda: It’s not an understanding. You realise why you can’t understand it – why it’s impossible to understand – because it’s so far beyond the mind that you can only realise it when you stop trying to understand it. It’s impossible for the mind to understand it – it’s so far beyond the mind. That’s what makes it so exciting. And you see how limited the mind is. This world that we create for ourselves that we think is secure – you see how ridiculous it is, how limited – just this tiny, tiny bit of everything. And it’s all to do with time.