The concept of time must be taught with rigor in order for children to conform to it. What greater illusion exists than to habitualize existence based on the past, to lay out the future while ignoring the present. Children have no concept of time—and they are right. For time is simply a mental relation between two moments—a learned reckoning. Living in the moment is therefor timeless.
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist only in the present, which is what there is and all there is”—Alan Watts
The past is a memory. The future—an expectation. Is the immediate present simply a fractal marking on a line of events, or a continuous movement through it, where the past is moving with the present?
“Our perception of time’s flow depends entirely on our inability to see the world in all its detail”—Carlo Rovelli
We have a deep intuition that the future is open until it becomes present and that the past is fixed. As time flows, this structure of fixed past, immediate present and open future gets carried forward in time. This structure is built into our language, thought and behavior. How we live our lives hangs on it.
“The concepts of time and change may emerge from a universe that, at root, is utterly static”—Craig Callender
“The concept of time is simply an illusion made of human memories, everything that has ever been and ever will be is happening RIGHT NOW”—Max Tegmark
“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between a causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation (thinking and thinking about thinking) We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas“—Alan Watts. These symbols limit our perceptions of life, for what can be known (accepted as knowledge) is simply that what can be put into words—symbols of events.
Aa a small example, our english language structure changes the meaning of the past every day, even moment to moment, ie; I love…you. Really, I love flowers. See how that works, even in common speech? Forgiveness also changes the meaning of the past, while a grudge locks you in it, held to bitter moments that no longer exist.
“reality is just a complex network of events onto which we project sequences of past, present and future”—Carlos Rovelli
“Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality”—Alan Watts
We teach history, we plan for the future, but rarely teach anything on how to live today—and if you don’t ever live in the present, you wont be able to enjoy the future, because it never comes. Our cultures are constantly preparing for the next level of life.
Learning to think like an adult (to take life seriously) takes effort and repetition. Playing this hoax on our children is the key to maintaining the illusion and keeping players in the game—and kids know life is a game, and of such is the kingdom of heaven, uh, I mean…the game of life. But interesting nonetheless, that mystics, philosophers, and physicists all agree that time is an illusion—simply not what it seems. Language and writing are partly to blame (symbols) yet religion is quite the guilty party—always training for later.