Ego life is something we all know and have been inculcated with since birth. Ego life is built upon the invention of time and language. We have concluded that we are free from within ego because ego creates illusions that we are free. Once one has a taste of a being life perspective a transcendence of time begins to reveal an essential truth – eternity.
Ego is dependent on the finite and yet pretends the finite is infinite. Being is founded on consciousness and is sublimely infinite and devoid of the context of content. Eternity from an ego perspective is thought of in a linear time matrix. Eternity from the ego point of view may be thought of as living forever. Children equate eternity with life after death in perpetuity in heaven. Eternity and Being spring from the Now in which past and future dissolve as the convenient illusions into an expanded present now. Describing this Being / Now is extremely difficult because we are bound by language, words and concepts all of which belong to a world of the finite and things or content
Moving beyond content is letting go of attachment. Since the nature of our human experience is about becoming attached to the content of life. For example – I identify as having a gender, a sexual orientation, a son, having parents, a nephew, a grandson, a position in society and culture, a race, job status, yearly income, mortgage payments, husband, father, grandfather and the accumulation of other possessions – things etc. and so on… Moving beyond attachment or letting go attachment is no easy endeavor.
In the 1960s early LSD experiments approached from the sacredness of life were the beginnings of the transcendence beyond ego and self to a larger view of reality. People like Ram Dass left the LSD movement behind embracing his Guru the Maharishi and realizing the “Be Here Now” dynamic. Many others took up practices of meditation as a way of transcending ego and feeding essence instead of merely ego.
One of the many times I experienced Eternity of the Now was on the Plaza in downtown Sonoma, California during the early 1980s. It was twilight during a Peace Vigil where I stood with others for peace. It was windy and cool in October of 1983. Someone lit a candle I was holding. The wildly flickering flame became still. I stared near the blue of the flame and the radiance of heat between the wick and the blue of the flame. I felt the core of my being or essence. As in all epiphanies I felt the eternity of the now in that moment and I felt my being aligned with the eternity. It wasn’t a linear eternity as in the-life-after-death of living forever in heaven it felt much bigger than that intersecting many realities. Even now as I write these words, they scarcely describe the awe and immensity of the experience. It was so simple, boundless and simultaneously ego shattering. [There is a vortex on the Sonoma Plaza and like all vortexes – it moves somewhat.]
The spiritual practices that I had begun in 1975 had laid the foundations for a rich understanding of being and /or essence. In 1980 the group I trained with at a spiritual school practiced an exercise called the Expanded Present Moment Exercise. We “went back 10 years” to the linear present of Spring of 1970 and experienced this as an expanded present moment. Then we “went forward 10 years” the spring of 1990. On the day of the exercise 10 years earlier that day passed in linear time in 1990 – I said: “I get it”. It was the experience of Being.
In the future we cannot know content in the same way as we know the memories of our past. We can know our Being. Knowing Being we have an opportunity to work on and develop being. Being work is the foundation of all inner or spiritual practices.