Joseph Campbell always points to this joyful participation in suffering (life is loss) as the essential message of Christ, and the Buddha, for that matter. Life is suffering, there is the cessation of suffering, said the Buddha as his core teaching.
When all is change, impermanence, which means loss and death, one’s only movement is to embrace it, choose it, but why joyfully and not resentfully? One embraces sorrow joyfully because there is freedom from sorrow when you see there is no way out of it.
If everything were green, you could perceive no green. When everything is change, you can perceive nothing fixed, and if there is nothing fixed, there is no death of the fixed. Only the fixed can die. One must let go of time which fixes everything.
I’m still hung up on Daylight Savings Time. I’m still using my free hour minute by minute, carefully because I know my time is running out. We are always spending too much or too little time, wasting it or saving it. All our mental suffering (and all suffering is mental) comes from our hanging from the clock of time, like Harold Lloyd.
When I took my 100-year-old other to see Avatar she recalled that the first movie she remembers seeing was Harold Lloyd hanging from a clock. She lived to be 102 because she never hung from the tyranny of time.
Time is thinking. Ever think of that? Time is past and future, and past and future only exist when we think about it. So time as thought flows out of the Now, or the center of the clock face, as I point out in this talk. You are at the center. You are Time, while at the same time you are the hands of time going in circles around you as Center. When we get older we get this sense that time, our history, our life as a person in time goes around us like a merry-go-round.
So why did I say “only the fixed die.” When you are in time, chasing time, running from time, saving it, losing it, ignoring it, you are fixed in time. Time fixes you. That’s why we resist time, feel its noose around our neck. We feel fixed.
But all is impermanent, says the Buddha. We are not IN time. We ARE time. Yet we are still in time to catch a bus. But when we are time, everything changes. Our reference from being fixed to being the unfixed changes. When you are unfixed, you are undefined, the unconditioned, and you feel free. That’s what’s important: to Feel Free. One can think you are free, but thinking is time, so if you think you are free you are not; you just think you are, but you don’t feel it.
When we feel is the restricting, the enclosure of time. We feel we are in a time capsule. The only way to be free from time is to BE time. And only the Now IS time, so be Now…which means don’t take your thoughts seriously, don’t believe your thoughts. Don’t believe in time. Past and future are just thoughts in your mind. Only the Fixed die or run out of time.