Happy New Year to all Readers.
Yesterday (New Year’s Eve), the lovely waiter asked me in my local coffee shop if I had any plans for New Year’s Eve. I smiled and responded. “I do have one commitment for the evening.”
“Oh, what’s that?” she asked.
“To go to sleep.” I added with a smile. She smiled, too. I said I am not a social butterfly and added I trust she and many others have a lovey evening despite Omicron and other events.
She told me that she was off to Bristol, 90 minutes on the train, to see in the new year. I live in the small town of Totnes (population 8400) in south Devon. If I lived in a city in the UK, I would choose Bristol. In June 2020, activists in the city pulled down a statue of a Bristol-based 18th century slave trader between Africa and Central/North America. That gets my vote. My four Anglo-Caribbean grandchildren would wholeheartedly agree, too.
Let us remind ourselves the new year exists only as a thought in the mind.
Time as a Mental Construct
1 January 2022 exists as a mental construct with nothing to confirm it other than the social agreements of countless others holding to same view.
There is nothing to confirm the date in the sky above or earth below last year or this year. We live in the spell of relative truth as if such truths were absolutely true.
We impose past, present and future on events, internal and external. Here and Now belongs to another manufactured view in the mind. Nothing confirms time, nothing belongs to time unless we grasp one thing and relate it to another – such as earth, sun and moon, this and that.
Universals, like Nature, Cosmos and God, have no substance either. Only humans claim everything exists in nature or the cosmos or God.
You might draw the conclusion we cannot function unless we identify with time, time and space, nature and other generalities.
I am not sure whether we can function with clarity and wisdom living exclusively in a range of constructed views, as if the views had a substantial reality such as See in the New Year or Welcome to 2022. These are two classic examples of the mind-only world.
Highs and lows, ups and downs, togetherness and loneliness can rest on the projected importance of events. People had a great night out last night and others were at home feeling lonely and envying those spending time together enjoying themselves.
There is no such thing as New Year’s Day for millions of people around the world. I cannot recall any reference to Christmas Day or New Year’s Day in my years as a Buddhist monk in the Thai monasteries. The same applies to many other cultures. Other creatures do not carry notions of last year, this year and next year.
- Can we allow ourselves the opportunity to abide without indulging in yesterday, today and tomorrow?
- Can we allow the brain cells to go quiet in terms of the impositions of nature, self and other, living in the moment and more?
- Can we abide receptive to a non-constructed, non-socially or personally conditioned view?
If we understood the significance of this, suffering would haemorrhage away, as it is bound up with the conventional truths of time, of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Don’t take my word for it.
You do not have to reject or deny conventional truths such as Today is 1st January 2022 and the time is 11.22 am. Place regularly two short words in front of these mental constructions. AS IF, it is 1st January….
AS IF….What a relief.
Happy New Year!
Photo shows new year message found on Google search. Click on photo to read message below heading.