All pasts and futures are unverifiable as anything actual

Sitting outside last summer the air was filled with the sound of maple leaves rustling in gusts of wind. The touch of sharp leaves, pale green and crimson bow shaped seedpods with air and each other in total orchestration of unique sound. Each gust sounding through the tree incomparably precise in expression, for nature has no comparison.

Leaves trembling, tapping and sliding against each other, color hues shifting, as light is more direct, then more oblique, then blinking to shadow. Each thing/event of color, sound, shape and movement being so free and so complete to leave no space for a measuring reference point. Incomparable precision, choiceless, unbroken, complete.

A flock of  goldfinches flies into the tree catching insects. They sound like rain drops hitting dry leaves. Their sharp chirps cool and bright as silver. Red maple leaves, small yellow, green feathered bodies, flashes of silver light in sound form.

Clear morning sun shining through branches, absolutely pristine. The brightest mood, clearest intelligence, incomparable purity of light. Everything is woven from this brilliance, so are we.

Nothing can be extracted from each experienced moment to later be applied to evaluate that moment. Any thought that looks back at a moment to compare or evaluate is a new event within a new moment. There is no unbroken continuity to stick that thought to the previous thought, no bedrock, continuous experience of any memory. No memory found attached indelibly to that which it inherently claims to remember. Nor thoughts linked, as in a chain, but thought after thought appearing in space, surrounded by space. Carrying no more of previous experience than the reflection of a rotating ceiling fan on a polished cafe tabletop. No actual sticking-to or substance in its nature.  Less than that, more ephemeral than light.

This subtle, usually over-looked mental action, of successive thought pieces referring to other thought pieces, builds a world of fragments and fragmentary actions. A necessary, and when working well, a beautifully honed software.

All pasts and futures are unverifiable as anything actual – that is, not simply symbols or images of something. Existence is found in direct perception, through seeing, hearing, feeling, even through instruments. No past or future experience is found in the place assigned it, but in a non-space, non-time Isness. As this assignment of place and time is really a thought structure that simply builds on a spatial image of “back there” and “up ahead”.

All that can be found to exist is an immediate experience. Always. Ever this. But what is this? I go through all manner of changes in one day. Walking or driving or cycling through so many environments. Seeing, hearing feeling so many things, people, places, animals, plants, trees. Yet THISNESS doesn’t go anywhere. What a miracle is that!

Thomas Martin

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