Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Thinking itself is a distraction...


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Sat, 22 Jun 2019 #1
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

From today's QOTD...any comments?

Group discussion, 1947, Madras

"Your mind is a battlefield of various thoughts and desires. Predominantly you feel some pain or some suffering from which you would like to be free. When you seek freedom from such suffering you find that you are restricted by many bondages. Without knowing the nature of those bondages and how they arose, you merely strive to be free from those bondages, which attempt always proves futile.

It is therefore necessary for you to be aware that you are bound and what you are bound by - i.e. you must understand and be aware of 'what is'. To understand 'what is' you must give your whole being to it. If you feel any effort in this, then it is an indication that your attention is divided between that understanding and some other distraction. In your daily life, almost everything is a distraction - i.e. rituals, cinemas, radios, enjoyment of the senses, etc. which is mainly due to your thinking in relation to the objects around you. Every thought which is really the result of the past is a distraction. When the mind realises that thinking itself is a distraction it also realises the futility of thinking. You have only your mind at your disposal and you have been depending only on it for all your understanding; and now you realise that that too is undependable."

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 22 Jun 2019.

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Sat, 22 Jun 2019 #2
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

Is our conditioning similar to hypnosis? I recently watched a stage hypnotist select a dozen people from the audience and give them certain things to do. One man was told that whenever the audience laughed he should get up from his chair and scold them for laughing...and he did it every time and even got quite irate that the audience was finding humor in his trying to stop them from laughing...

Are we in a similar situation? as a child born into this society there are all these cultural ideas surrounding us. Not only the obvious like nationalism, class, racial, organized religions, but the taken for granted ideas behind the organizations: there is a god, a someone in the sky that you can contact and maybe your prayers will be answered...but even after we outgrow santa claus and tooth fairies there are these beliefs that we just absorb as being the quite natural way to think, to relate to one another and the world, etc. So immersed in them are we that we rarely begin to see this 'hypnosis' that has totally bound us of in various ways and those around us...and it all was just 'made up' over time like santa claus. The idea "I don't know" is avoided like the plague. The idea of possible freedom from all of it is quite radical to say the least.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 22 Jun 2019.

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 #3
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Is our conditioning similar to hypnosis?

The conditioning of thought is a form of hypnosis...hmmmm. If so, then we are in fact totally hypnotized. We are a product of thought, and thought is totally conditioned....hypnotized. Not totally clear on this point. Perhaps you have more to say about it, Dan....or anyone.

Let it Be

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
..but even after we outgrow santa claus and tooth fairies there are these beliefs that we just absorb as being the quite natural way to think, to relate to one another and the world, etc. So immersed in them are we that we rarely begin to see this 'hypnosis' that has totally bound us of in various ways and those around us...and it all was just 'made up' over time like santa claus.

I was watching the "hypnosis" take place this afternoon. An acquaintance of mine, grandmother of three children below the age of 5. Those children were instructed in the finest details of their every action. Also the mother took part in the giving the orders - not unkindly meant. Stop this, eat this, don't touch that, say goodbye, give a kiss ("Ahhhh" so sweetly) give a smile, don't look so serious, come here, go there ...... and on and on. Just like programing a computer. Backed up with subtle rewards, and I dare say at times, the threat at least of punishment. How do such children grow up?

Presumably with the enormous weight of their conditioning. There was absolutely nothing in the "parenting" to encourage any sense of autonomy in the children, so they might well be described as hypnotised. Why should they ever think for themselves when the adults are doing all their thinking for them? Freedom, where is the freedom? What freedom? Children, for the most part, are just regarded as receptacles for the conditioning of the adult world, of their unquestioned "knowledge", knowing what is best for them. No matter how confused and sorrowful are the lives of those adults.

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
We are a product of thought, and thought is totally conditioned....hypnotized.

As to whether thought is, or has to be, 'totally conditioned', I think we have to remain open, rather than assume it is or it isn't. After all, it is thought itself that makes the assumption, isn't it?

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 #6
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

QOTD:

The mind cannot think completely, fully, if it is tethered to a belief. It is like an animal that is tied to a post by a string. It does not matter if that string be long or short; it is tied, so that it cannot wander fully, freely, extensively, completely; it can only wander within the length of that string. Surely such wandering is not thinking: it is only moving within the limited circle of a belief. Now, men's minds are tethered to a belief, and therefore they are incapable of thinking. Most minds have identified themselves with a belief, and therefore their thought is always circumscribed, limited by that belief or ideal; hence the incompleteness of thought. Beliefs separate people. So if you see that, if you really recognize with your whole being that belief is conditioning thought, then what happens? You become aware that your thought is conditioned, aware your thought is caught up, tethered to a belief. In the flame of awareness you will recognize the foolishness, and therefore you are beginning to free the mind from the conditioning, and hence you begin to think completely, fully.

Please experiment with this, and you will see that life is not a process of continual battle, battle against standards as opposed to what you want to do. There is then neither what you want to do, nor the standard, but right action, without personal identification.

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 #7
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
As to whether thought is, or has to be, 'totally conditioned', I think we have to remain open, rather than assume it is or it isn't

Is it an assumption or belief....or fact? I see it as a fact, though I could be mistaken. Perhaps thought, when it’s used by intelligence is not conditioned? Perhaps. But thought as it’s used normally in our everyday lives...such thought is a product of memory and is conditioned by memory....good vs bad...punishment vs reward...right vs wrong (as you described earlier today), should and shouldn’t, etc.... as I’m seeing it. How can thought be free if it’s bound by the past? Even practical thought is conditioned by the past/memory...obviously...though it’s necessary for physical survival. Something new is discovered by the scientist when there is a break in thought...a flash of insight coming from outside of thought, no?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sun, 23 Jun 2019.

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 #8
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Perhaps you have more to say about it, Dan....or anyone.

Take the example of the hypnotized man trying in vain to keep the audience from laughing. He would give reasons for his behavior that could include everything but the one thing we in the audience can see clearly: he has been hypnotized into seeing the environment that he is seeing and believing in it to be true, to be reality. Isn't it the same with us that we have whole philosophies, belief systems, ideals etc that are behind our actions and we feel that we act out of 'free will'? That we act the way we do, think the way we do and feel the way we do and can't see like the hypnotized subject, what is actually behind it all? K. says "religion is uncovering reality". In that sense, true religion also is uncovering belief, isn't it?

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 #9
Thumb_leaping_fire_frog_by_sirenofchaos natarajan shivan India 86 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote (quoting K):
You have only your mind at your disposal and you have been depending only on it for all your understanding; and now you realise that that too is undependable."

I think we need to read this along with two other quotes of day from previous days, where he talks about emotionally coming into contact with a fact and also of the need of a nervous response along with verbal understanding. It appears to me that he is objecting to having a focus only on the mind/intellect/thought aspect which prevents total comprehension.

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #10
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

"Why do you call something a distraction? Nothing is a distraction, at least to me" ---K

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #11
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

"why do you call inattention a distraction? It isn't a distraction"--K

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #12
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:

Is it an assumption or belief....or fact? I see it as a fact, though I could be mistaken.

Yes, one might see conditioning as a fact. That applies for one instance, does it not? We see (or we might see) what is happening NOW. But seeing is not the same as drawing a conclusion from the seeing. Of then making some assumption based on that conclusion. Which is dangerous, dangerous in the sense of misleading, leading us to interpret, distort future seeing through the veil of the assumption.

I am becoming wary of such words as “all”, “aways”, “must”, “certainly”, (not saying that you have used them, Tom, I mean in myself). They indicate a pretence of knowing – but I don’t really know, do I? All knowledge is limited.

So there I go, falling into the trap of “all”. Do I really know that all knowledge is limited? Such a statement leads to a paradox – which indicates what? That some wrong assumption has been made? Which is what?

Is it not true that whenever (whenever = that trap again) thought ASSERTS something, counter-assertions must appear? Which means, conflict, confusion. In writing all this above, I feel I am approaching the perception of the limits of thought. Thought is “ok”, isn’t it, as long as it carries a perception of its own limitations? And it’s ok as long as it is questioning, inquiring, rather than asserting. And I would add as long as it is aware of its own transience. More on this later, perhaps

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #13
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
When the mind realises that thinking itself is a distraction (K)

Who am..... I? wrote:
"Why do you call something a distraction? Nothing is a distraction, at least to me" ---K

So how can these two statements by K be reconciled? CAN they be reconciled?

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #14
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

Is it an assumption or belief....or fact? I see it as a fact, though I could be mistaken.

Yes, one might see conditioning as a fact. That applies for one instance, does it not?

Can't we see that thought by it's very nature is limited...that it's based upon the past...conditioned? Can we see a fact as true or not in ourselves? We are looking at what is in 'me', right? Is there anything in 'me' that is not conditioned? Seeing the fact has it's own action....'I' don't have to act. K often spoke of facts..."thought is conflict", "thought is limited", etc. Not comparing anyone here to K or trying to emulate him, but he did in fact speak of facts that are observable or perceivable....like realizing that fire burns.

Let it Be

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #15
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote in #13:
So how can these two statements by K be reconciled? CAN they be reconciled?

I hope someone else will tackle this one. at the moment I'm not able to make head nor heels of this.

Let it Be

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #16
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

natarajan shivan wrote:
Tom Paine wrote (quoting K):

You have only your mind at your disposal and you have been depending only on it for all your understanding; and now you realise that that too is undependable."

I think we need to read this along with two other quotes of day from previous days, where he talks about emotionally coming into contact with a fact and also of the need of a nervous response along with verbal understanding. It appears to me that he is objecting to having a focus only on the mind/intellect/thought aspect which prevents total comprehension.

I understand your last sentence natarajan, but I'm at a loss as to which other quotes you are referring to.

Let it Be

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #17
Thumb_leaping_fire_frog_by_sirenofchaos natarajan shivan India 86 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I understand your last sentence natarajan, but I'm at a loss as to which other quotes you are referring to.

-> http://kinfonet.org/krishnamurti/quotes/there-i...

->http://kinfonet.org/krishnamurti/quotes/if-you-...

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #18
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Thanks, Natarajan for the excerpts (#17)

Let it Be

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
K often spoke of facts..."thought is conflict", "thought is limited", etc. Not comparing anyone here to K or trying to emulate him, but he did in fact speak of facts that are observable or perceivable....like realizing that fire burns.

But was K speaking from what he was observing at the time, or was he speaking from conclusions that he had drawn?

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #20
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

natarajan shivan wrote:
-> http://kinfonet.org/krishnamurti/quotes/there-i...

I read this quote. In it are these words:

Our difficulty is to bring about a direct emotional contact with the fact, and this demands that we approach the fact negatively, that is, without any obsession of opinion.

There is a vast difference, then, between the mental examination of a fact and the understanding of that fact. Mental examination of the fact leads nowhere. But the understanding born of approaching the fact negatively, without opinion or interpretation - this understanding of the fact gives tremendous energy to deal with the fact.

I can sense this issue is really important, as it is concerned with why I don't fully understand K's words, or perhaps anything (K would probably omit that word "fully"). But I am not seeing the significance here of approaching the fact negatively. Can anyone shed light on this?

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 #21
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5099 posts in this forum Offline

natarajan shivan wrote:
It appears to me that he is objecting to having a focus only on the mind/intellect/thought aspect which prevents total comprehension.

Here is an excerpt that I came upon recently that has bearing on this:

Question: We know that thought destroys feeling. How to feel without thinking?

Krishnamurti: Obviously, we know that rationalizing, calculating, bargaining, destroys feeling, love, affection. Have you not noticed that the more you rationalize, the more you bargain, the more you exploit, the more you use the mind, the less feeling there is? Because, feeling is very dangerous, to feel is very dangerous, is it not? To feel very strongly might lead you to what you call chaos, to confusion, to disorder; therefore you control it by rationalizing, and by rationalizing it you cease to be generous. Your feeling is destroyed when there is the thought process, which is naming, terming. You have a feeling of pain, of pleasure, of anger, and by terming it, by giving it a name, which is thinking about it, you modify it, and thereby reduce the feeling. Don't you know? When you feel generous, when you spontaneously want to give your shirt to somebody, your mind comes in and says, 'What will happen?'. You begin to rationalize your feeling, and then you become charitable through organizations, not directly - which is avoidance of action. Strong feelings are dangerous, love is very dangerous; therefore you begin to think about love, which minimizes and slowly destroys love.

The next question is, 'Is it possible to feel without thinking?'. What do we mean by thinking? Thinking, merely, is the response of memory, either of pain or of pleasure. That is, there is no thinking without the residue of experience; and feeling - when I use the word 'feeling' I mean love, not desire, not emotionalism, not all the putrefied stuff which you call feeling - , love cannot be brought within the field of thought. So, the more you respond to memory, which is called thinking, the less love there is. Love is burning, never still, it is from moment to moment, creative, new, fresh, joyous, and therefore it is very dangerous in society, in our relationship; so thought steps in, thought being the response of memory, and modifies love, controls it, tames it, guides it, legalizes it, puts it out of danger. Then it can live with it. Don't you know? When you love somebody, you love the whole of mankind - not just one person, you love man. And it is dangerous to love man, is it not? Because, then there is no barrier, no nationality, there is no craving for money, for position, for things - and such a man is dangerous to society, is he not? But you all want many things. You want fame, you build around yourselves a hood of ideas, of exclusions, and that is why a man who loves is dangerous to society; and so society, which is you, begins to build a thought process, which soon destroys love. For love to be, memory, with all its complex processes, has to come to an end. That is, memory arises only when experience is not fully, completely understood. Memory is only the residue of experience; memory is the result of a challenge which is not fully comprehended. Life is a process of challenge and response, the challenge always being new and the response always being old. So, one has to understand the old, the conditioned response, which means that thought must free itself from the past, from time, from yesterday; it must live each day, each minute, as completely, as fully, and as newly as possible. And you do that when you love, when your heart is full; you cannot do it with words, with things made by the mind, but only when you love. Then memory the thought that is merely the response of memory, ceases; then every minute is a new minute, every movement is a rebirth, and to love the one is to love the whole.

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019 #22
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

K often spoke of facts..."thought is conflict", "thought is limited", etc. Not comparing anyone here to K or trying to emulate him, but he did in fact speak of facts that are observable or perceivable....like realizing that fire burns.
But was K speaking from what he was observing at the time, or was he speaking from conclusions that he had drawn?

Well, we don’t know, do we? He may have been speaking about a past insight into thought ...not necessarily a present insight. If he once saw/perceived/observed something as a fact, it’s still a fact now, right? I don’t have to have continual perception of the fact that fire burns to state the fact again, do I? (rhetorical question:))
I haven’t ‘concluded’ that fire burns, I’ve seen the fact. And seeing it once is enough in this case, right, to change my behavior?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Tue, 25 Jun 2019.

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2640 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But I am not seeing the significance here of approaching the fact negatively. Can anyone shed light on this?

I think by ‘negatively’ K means without conclusions or ideas about the fact. Negative in the sense that I know nothing about it, and don’t act on the fact. ‘Positive’ approach means that I try to do something about the fact. ‘Negative’ approach means I do nothing to try to change or modify. Non action...

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Tue, 25 Jun 2019.

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019 #24
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

Seems like my quotes might have created some confusion, let's see if it can be clarified:

Is the water cold to the fish that live in it or for us? The attribution of coldness to water is our linguistic attribution isn't it? Can that be said about the usage of the word "distraction" in this case? Most likely so.

K has rightfully created a distinction between reality and truth hasn't he? Reality being a non-fact masquerading as a fact for those that are not in touch with the truth of it. Can it be said that "distraction" is a reality and not truth? Therefore those that are clear on the truth of an absence of distraction will say what K has said. However for those that lack such insight distraction is a fact and a denial of such a perceivable fact may lead to delusions.

This post was last updated by Who am..... I? Wed, 26 Jun 2019.

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019 #25
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 817 posts in this forum Offline

Who am..... I? wrote:
K has rightfully created a distinction between reality and truth hasn't he?

Did K. created the distinction or is there this difference between reality and truth ?

Who am..... I? wrote:
Reality being a non-fact masquerading as a fact for those that are not in touch with the truth of it.

Reality is all we can think about and that can be false or true, truth is of a completely different order, this is made very clear in "Truth and Actuality" a dialogue between K. and David Bohm.

Truth will unfold itself to those who enquire their own actions.

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019 #26
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

It is so much easier to stand on someone else's shoulders isn't it? Or use someone else's faculties....

Wim Opdam wrote:
Did K. created the distinction or is there this difference between reality and truth ?

I should have said 'stated' instead of "created".

Wim Opdam wrote:
Reality is all we can think about and that can be false or true, truth is of a completely different order, this is made very clear in "Truth and Actuality" a dialogue between K. and David Bohm.

Yes, it was said so in my previous comment but the play of the word "truth" was perhaps confusing, a second read might clarify.

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019 #27
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 817 posts in this forum Offline

Who am..... I? wrote:
It is so much easier to stand on someone else's shoulders isn't it? Or use someone else's faculties....

why so challenging, when something is understood, it is understood, and that belongs to no one, only if it is imitation is that understanding a 'not fact' but sure a reality.

Who am..... I? wrote:
but the play of the word "truth" was perhaps confusing, a second read might clarify.

To me true and truth are as far away as atom and cell, that's not a play of words but clear communication.

Truth will unfold itself to those who enquire their own actions.

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019 #28
Thumb_17fb3c103b15073d6425c2d272aac133l-w1xd-w1020_h770_q80 Who am..... I? United States 24 posts in this forum Offline

It doesn't seem like either of my two comments were understood.....its ok.

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Wed, 26 Jun 2019 #29
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1311 posts in this forum Offline

This might be the thread to post this observation: At one point this morning sitting quietly, the thought arose: "what will I do next?" In the sense that it was ok what I was doing now but what's next? There was a bit of anxiety involved. How would I stimulate or occupy myself next? There seemed something 'pernicious' in that thinking...Psychologically speaking, there is no 'next' is there? There is only the 'timeless now'. But 'thought' doesn't see it that way, does it? Is it another example of thought taking the concept of 'time', so necessary in the world of physical survival and bringing it (usually unnoticed) into the world of the psyche where is has no place except to create conflict? Where it projects a past and future where there is really only, ever, 'now'?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Wed, 26 Jun 2019.

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