Past, Present, and Future
(from Earth People Volume 2 Number 3)
Albert Einstein studied the physics of matter and discovered his relativity theory, which says that space is not three-dimensional and time is not a separate entity, but they are both intimately connected and form a four-dimensional ‘space-time’ continuum. It is also the general consensus that quantum physics shows, that when all matter is broken down to its smallest component there is actually no such thing as matter, only energy, that at times vibrates so fast that it appears to be solid matter. It is on this basis that mystics and shamans can enter into the real world of vibrations and timelessness. For more information on the science of physics as a parallel with shamanism and mysticism I recommend reading my article on: ‘The Physics of Shamanism’; Fred Alan Wolf’s book ‘The Eagle’s Quest’; or ‘The Tao of Physics’ by Fritjof Capra.
I have noticed that, particularly at ‘New Age’ festivals, there seems to be huge market in Tarot readings and other forms of fortune telling. So I would like to say something here about the past and the future. Firstly, they are just another one of the pairs of opposites that I spoke about in the article on 'Duality and the Order of Life and Energy' and that we only experience as manifest forms; Spirit is beyond this duality. To some extent time travelling into the past is done every time we remember an experience from the past. However our memories can change as a result of our storing of other experiences on top of older experiences. However a shaman explained to Fred Alan Wolf about accessing real past events thus:
“Now, people call it cell memory. All the experiences from day one [the big bang] are locked in those cells. It is not the information that’s lost; it’s the access to that information that has been lost in a complex maze of doubts, fears, social blocks, mental blocks and disbelief.”
Regarding the future; the past and the present are the parents of the future. If you know the past and the present, you can predict the future. And Fred says:
“The answer, of course, depends on how far we look into the future. The future just a billionth of a second from now is about 99.99% certain… This also depends on what events we are looking at. In this transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics, messages from a short time ahead are more or less certain to be received. Messages from a more distant future are seldom heard. The reason has nothing to do with the strength of the message but simply has to with these other realities… Thus there are many different realities sending back messages to this one. Consequently the messages from the distant futures are garbled.”
And as the Buddhist scholar D. T. Suzuki has said:
“In this spiritual world there are no time divisions such as the past, present and future; for they have contracted themselves into a single moment of the present where life quivers in its true sense… The past and the future are both rolled up in this present moment of illumination, and the present moment is not something standing still with all its contents, for it ceaselessly moves on.”
So the only time of any real importance is the present. As the fourth principal of shamanism states; the moment of power is now! And it is also important to remember that the future is not written and can therefore be changed. And Eckhart Tolle' in his book 'The Power of Now' and 'A New Earth' has indicated very clearly that the only time that really exists is the present moment and that the concept of 'I' or the I am that is living in the present moment are the keys to experiencing a spiritual understanding, and that is to realise that I am the present moment.
As Fritjof Capra states:
“Modern physics has confirmed most drastically one of the basic ideas of Eastern mysticism; that all the concepts we use to describe nature are limited, that they are not features of reality, as we tend to believe, but creations of the mind; parts of the map, not of the territory.
"Whenever we expand the realm of our experience, the limitations of our rational mind become apparent and we have to modify, or even abandon, some of our concepts.”
When I do a Rune Stone, Shaman Stone, Medicine Card or I Ching readings I am aware, and often remind the other person, that the cards and stones can only pick up the energy patterns and belief systems that are contained in the person’s cellular memory. This cellular memory contains past experiences and subconscious memories and emotions. But these divination stones and tools mainly pick up on the person’s present energy patterns, their thoughts, and beliefs. These cards, stones and tools mainly show; in symbolic form, the strong energy patterns that have effected the past and present, and will therefore most likely effect the future. My job, as a shaman, is to interpret the possible meanings of these symbols and then give the person some methods of changing their energy patterns from ones that give an unfavourable future to patterns that give a favourable one.
There is one more important message that I have learnt from Joseph Campbell while I’m talking about time. He says that people think that eternity is a long time, but eternity has nothing to do with time, it is a dimension of the here and now that transcends all thinking; there's the key again.
The best image or symbol to explain eternity is the image of the Hindu’s God Shiva, the lord of the dance of life. Joseph Campbell says:
“Shiva’s dance is the universe. In his hair is a skull and a new moon, death and rebirth at the same moment, the moment of becoming. In one hand he has a little drum that goes tick-tick-tick. That is the drum of time, the tick of time which shuts out the knowledge of eternity. We are enclosed in time. But in Shiva’s opposite hand there is a flame which burns away the veil of time and opens our minds to eternity.”