Change is measured not by the passing of time but through the evolution of thought. Time is a relative measurement that changes from one dimension to another and from one area of the universe to another. Time and space arise from causation, which is the “I am” consciousness. In the third dimension of time and space, we can transcend time by focusing on causation. It’s through the will of the divine that we exist at all and within this play we have certain laws of nature and metaphysics that the manifest universe abides by.
Measuring your life
Through mastery of ourselves, we can shift our relationship with time from something physical to something metaphysical. We can measure our lives not by the passing of years but through the accumulation and embodiment of permanent understandings. There’s a simple way to do this. It occurs through focusing on ideal, purpose and activity. There’s one ideal that we share as offspring of the creator and that ideal is to know God. Each of us uniquely expresses that ideal through the creation of a personal ideal that reflects the specific understandings that we have and that we seek.
For example, if someone has the ideal to become a strong and inspiring leader, they may desire to bring forward the understanding that’s associated with the purpose of knowing and experiencing not just their human authority but rather the divine authority from which they come. Another person may have the ideal of stillness in the mind. Through accomplishing this, she will bring forward the understanding of the divine intelligence that precedes and transcends the mind.
All ideals can be directed towards knowing the Self/God more completely. In fact, whether a person is conscious of it or not, we’re all reaching for the same thing, which is to know God. All ideals lead to the same end point. The beauty of creation is that there is an infinite amount of ways to express the desire for God.
Defining your ideal
By definition, an ideal is expansive and contains within it elements that transcend the physical. It’s the highest image of ourselves that we can imagine. And because we live in the third dimension and are presently captive within time and space, it’s important to ground our ideals with specific and measurable goals that aid the mind to see that it’s making progress. This is a necessary part of the process because measurement and comparison is the nature of the mind. We can use this to our advantage by setting goals for ourselves and using ourselves as our own points of comparison.
The dangers of egoism
Another part of the nature of the mind is egoism. This allows us to have a separate sense of self. Because the felt experience of egoism is so strong, it’s easy to get lost in a goal, attached to its manifestation and forget its higher purpose, which is to bring us closer to knowing God.
The continual dangers or warnings that we meet on the spiritual path are getting lost in the physicality of our senses, pain and pleasure, attraction and repulsion, and the prioritization of the ego’s perspective on reality. Instead of using the mind and the senses as our servants, we make the high self into their slaves and forget that everything exists for the sake of spirit. In this state of forgetfulness, we become more and more deeply entrenched in illusion and suffering.
The fruit of action
The Bhagavad Gita (chapter 2, verse 47) teaches us that the human right is for activity alone and never for the fruit of activity. This means that we must not become so entangled with our goals that we let their success or failure determine our value or our state of happiness.
Repeatedly throughout the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna urges Arjuna to detach himself from the fruit of action. The way that this can translate into the practice of ideal, purpose and activity is to attach oneself to the process of who they are becoming rather than the outcome of the activity. That’s to say that all goals exist merely to bring forward the awakening and the understanding of the soul.
As one moves their attention from physical achievement to spiritual unfolding, their relationship with time transforms and they’re consciously and directly fed energy and intelligence from another dimension, that of spirit. Thus, a task that may have previously required hours can be done in a matter of minutes because the individual has a perspective that far exceeds the limits of reward/punishment or praise/blame.
With attention on knowing the whole self through every experience and letting go of the notion of success and failure, not only does one gain divine wisdom, they release themselves of the tendency towards grasping. It’s through surrender that one attains every object of desire and channels that desire into knowledge of the highest Self.