Yesterday in a conversation the concept of deep time came up. The central insight is that humans live enfolded by deep time. It leaves its impression upon us, and we impress upon it our anxieties, our inventions, our desires. I often have these experiences when I feel the notions of conventional time and physical presence at the moment, are being bent and distorted. A good friend keeps on wondering about me, how can I be so absent at the moment while being sharply present. I think I understand now that for me being present is not related to a physical presence. My experience is shaped not at the moment and there is not really something like a moment in the first place. I mean, sure there is a word, it points to something, but the deep experience of a moment is different to me.
I believe that a moment can be relived many times. Every moment carries the fullness and potential for engaging with it over and over again. The experience of a moment is limited by the relevance realization, where should the attention go, of a particular moment. The pattern of self is formed according to choices that follow a salience of the moment. Memory is a representation of this salience landscape, a unique outcome shaped by attention. It is an image of what is important at a specific moment. When we are in a moment we have physical contact with reality which translates into an experience. But when we are outside of that moment, we still can have an experience of that moment without being present. We relieve the memory a new experience is being shaped, but it is still an experience which is real. As the pattern of self changes, other facets of the moment become relevant and memory expands into new experiences, new memories and new insights. The present moment, when the reliving is happening, can be considered as a completely new experience and a completely new moment. What is the point in arguing over memory, the experience of it in the present is a new thing to deal with. What is the point of having things in the past and in the future if everything is just now? What are the past and the future but physical sensations arising in the body when memory is pulled out? What are the past and future of individual experience? Concepts to hold on to? To make an order in our thoughts and enable prioritization and relevance realization? Do they help to hold on to a shared reality?
Everything that is happening is being squeezed into a single moment, moment after moment. Layers and layers of experiences become one as I speak. The whole individual life is a reliving of this single moment, pulling out relevant things that we seek in the presence. Imagine a recorder that is able to record the depth, but without hierarchy in layers, established by the linearity of time, culture or any other conventions. Individual engagement and salience are what create a composition and a sense of flow within this single moment. The moment which started billions of years ago is the deep time that we are part of.
How much of a moment can I absorb, be perceptive, open and curious, so I can go back to it, reliving it over and over? Relaxed spaciousness without closures that are coming from contradictions, fears, and disappointments limits the ability to absorb. These obstacles cut off perception and limit the overall reservoir of a moment. Remember, now is not going anywhere the way I live now will stay with me forever. Now is inescapable, the only thing there is. Every thought is in now, every experience, regardless of the physical contact, is in now. So what and why am I waiting to realize that?