I’ve just returned from a five-day TSK retreat and this has reminded me of a half-year retreat more than 20 years ago which changed my life. In case any of you are interested, I wrote an article about the experience back then and have uploaded it to my website in the following PDF file:
4 comments to “The Past as Gateway”
Michael, I thought this exploration into your own past was fascinating. The saying, “The past is dead,” is simply not entirely accurate. It’s a summary statement to indicate the way we’ve assumed things are, but as a summary, it leaves a lot unsaid, and unexamined. Your exploration is an example of how one’s personal past can be investigated.
As long as the remembrances are not accepted as fixed, the way we normally summarize these limited recordings and impressions from a moment in time, they can be opened in the present moment for they are still alive in us, along with so much more that was present in the open moment we originally experienced the event.
It is fascinating to see how the memory shares the same space as the current moment, and how a higher knowing can reveal the open moment of time then and now.
David, I really appreciate your sensitive and “knowing” engagement of my article. It’s clear that you’ve taken a few time-travelling journeys into your own past. For me, seeing the past in a new light did more than return some lost years to my present self. It allowed me to look around with greater interest and confidence. This change seemed to involve a sence that earlier versions of myself–seen to have been more alive in my past life than I had supposed–could now be allies available to me in facing the perplexing road into the future.–Michael
Came across this in my reading today, and it jumped out at me, because this is what you did Michael, when you recalled your memory with a higher knowing—an open inquiry free of the self imposed limits you had presupposed…
“To attain this ‘knowingness’ we can begin with objects and experiences, using them to work back to the knowingness and clarity which they bear. Then, using that clarity, we can see all experiences as being preserved in a common ground in such a way that there is nothing separating them, one from the other. Our experience of last year and our experience of today both have the same clarity within them, and that clarity shows that they are even more fundamentally linked—the idea that one is ‘previous’ to the other is incorrect. The previous is not previous, the distant is not distant.”
‘Dynamics of Time and Space’, p. 282
Thanks for keeping this interesting discusssion going, David.
There seems to be a paradox lurking in the way we typically look at the past. In terms of George Santayana’s maxim: “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” perhaps we can add, “by visiting the past with interest and appreciation, we are empowered to move on from it, like a ship setting sail from the harbor.”