The Timeless IntervalPerhaps you'd agree, then, that the "timeless interval between" you pointed to, is thus all that actually is?
I’ve lost track now, of what has and what has not been responded to, but here are a few that haven’t, I think:
Dan: Perhaps you’d agree, then, that the “timeless interval between” you pointed to, is thus all that actually is.
Rupert: Yes, exactly. From the point of view of the mind, where time and space are considered to be the background of all experience, experience itself is considered to be a series of objective events or perceptions occurring upon or within this background.
From this point of view, Presence is conceived as the timeless spaceless interval between two such perceptions or events.
However, from the point of view of Presence, it is itself the background of all experience, and the mind, the body and the world appear upon it or within it ‘from time to time.’ In other words, time and space (which are simply ideas) appear within Presence, not the other way round.
And if we go deeper into the nature of the mind, the body and the world, we find that there is no other substance there other than this Presence that we are.
So, ultimately we find that our self, this Knowing Presence, is the substance of all experience, both when objects are appearing and when they are not.
So this ‘timeless spaceless interval’ is only an ‘interval’ from the point of view of time and space. In reality, yes, it is all there is.
Dan: It is when you make statements like this (R: “I think it is fairly obvious that if we think we are a separate entity we cannot….”)that I get confused. Who is this “we” who thinks that “we” are a separate entity? It seems pretty clear in other of your statements that there is no such “we.”
Rupert: Yes, there is no such ‘we,’ ‘I,’ ‘object’ or ‘entity.’ In reality the thought that ‘I am a separate entity’ is not thought or held by anyone, it just appears in Presence, along with all other thoughts.
However, if we know this, the belief ‘I am a separate entity’ doesn’t appear. We cannot believe ‘I am a separate entity’ and at the same time understand that there is no separate entity. If we claim this, our understanding is not real understanding, but rather, theoretical knowledge.
In other words if ‘we think we are a separate entity,’ we by definition think and feel that there is an ‘I,’ a ‘we,’ present there having that thought.
Of course, in reality that thought arises in impersonal Presence.
Dan: we can’t really hypothesize a “Presence” that does things, such as taking shapes. Maybe this is a subtle point, but notions of an agent that does things requires a belief in entities.
Rupert: Yes, by hypothesizing Presence that does things I certainly don’t mean to suggest any agent or entity. Such a statement is only made to try and evoke the experiential understanding that it is only this Presence that we intimately know ourselves to be that is the substance of all things and is at the same time independent of all things.
All these words….Presence, substance, being, understanding….they all suggest some kind of subtle thing or object and of course, this is not in any way the intention. But we simply have to accept this limitation of words if we are to speak about these things.
What can we say that is absolutely accurate and true….Presence is? I am? Only this? No…all the these minimal phrases say one thing too much. What about just ‘I,’ ‘am,’ or ‘is?’ No, even these subtly suggest the possibility of ‘not being.’
At this point we fall silent. If we were all having this conversation in the flesh, there would perhaps be long periods of silence in between, within and around our words, in which the experiential element of the understanding would resonate. Without that, there is a tendency for these types of conversation to become intellectual, but in general I feel that very much more than this has been taking place in this forum.