We all experience pain and despair - the two keynotes of our growing process and wisdom. The two contexts are just as powerful as happiness and pleasure. Yet, the amusing part is most people do not live in their present-moment of happiness. They tend to live far too much in the past - of pain, angst and despair

The essence of time, along with space, holds the pivot to metaphysics. It also finds representation in a host of things that exist in nature. How? With the passing of every event in our life, we feel it, perhaps, for a 'short-lived' moment. Once the moment is over, we speak of such things as being only a part of what-was-as-it-was, at some point in time. Of the past, not the present.

Likewise, for each passing night, we become older by a day.

You and I feel as if time is always slipping away from us, or we just don't have the capacity to stop it. This thought is erroneous - because not all of us look at time from the depths of our consciousness. Of time being the eternal spring without an end. Of time in eternity that belongs to us all - of time with which we are always capable of pumping in renewed energy into our life.

It is only when we reflect on the spirit of all things as nature intended them to be that we are able to establish the belief that it is always best to live in the moment, the all-encompassing present-moment.

When we savour every part of this present-moment, and make it the purpose of our life, we begin to look at everything with profound wisdom, too. That the present alone is all-inclusive, and that everything else is but a game of chess in the perimeter of our past.

For some, this is a paradox, the greatest folly - because our next moment may not exist anymore than it does. It tends to disappear just as swiftly as it comes, or fade like a 'dream state' not worth our effort.

With all the chaos that exists around us, there's good reason for us to live and evolve in the ever-fleeting present. This highlights a form of repetitive activity - one that does not seem like taking us to the possibility of finding the reality for which we are all striving for. Yet, it does.

Just think of yourself as a flamboyant batter, who must keep scoring runs at will - if you drift into your shell, you will fail miserably.

To keep going, you've to engage yourself with your natural game. This also relates to a gymnast's pyrotechnics.

A gymnast would fall flat on one's face, if there's no urgency in climbing the next level.

The two paradigms connote the reality of our existence - living in the midst of chaos, or mind's turbulence.

And, that it's okay to be what you are - as you are.

This is one side of the spectrum. There is the other part, too. You'd call it the mindful signpost.

There is nothing our mind's compass and radar cannot see, feel, perceive or distinguish with its own molecules of thoughts, feelings and emotions. The equation is simple - the mind is all-encompassing.

However, when one 'does away' with the self, or consciousness, the self becomes a chimera - with no conduit for experiencing anything else that exists, or does not exist.

This is the reason why the transformation of our conscious awareness opens up new horizons, new echelons and new possibilities - more so, because its 'infinite expanse' is far beyond the precincts of our reality, or conceived actuality. What does this indicate? That the waning away of the self, or consciousness, is the only valid 'death experience' all living beings will ever experience, or feel, because anything less, or not apparent, is not demise.

We all experience pain and despair, sometime, or the other - the two keynotes of our growing process and wisdom. The two contexts are just as powerful as happiness and pleasure, winning and rejoicing.

Yet, the amusing part is most people do not live in their present-moment of happiness. They tend to live far too much in the past - of pain, angst and despair, if not gloom.

The best thing one could do to wriggle oneself out of one's self-imposed despair is to break the shackles and emerge from their gloomy cocoon - and, look, reclaim and dwell in the sunshine of happiness within oneself, not outside of oneself.

Picture this - if we simply renovate our outlook in this reengineered manner, we will emerge from the shadows and gradually feel invaluable and protected within ourselves. In other words, we will begin to once again live knowingly, and consciously, while being complete with the full responsiveness of our thoughts, emotions and purpose. We will, in the process, be able to pick every moment - with the choice of how we want to be and/or how we want to act with poise, confidence and cadence.

One grand mode of charting our passageway through life and time with such a purpose is to think of ourselves as emerging from the mysterious into the luminosity of consciousness.

When we, in so doing, tow along our awareness and expand it, we will notice our ever-increasing facility to see in the mysterious, or 'nothingness', within ourselves.

This will impel us, in due course, to comprehend that such perplexing nothingness is nothing but the divine - from which we all emerged and with which we are one.

This brings us to the fundamental question of knowing oneself as a customary idiom - one that is totally self-made, self-regulated and self-directed. It works at a totally 'out for the count' level, or what philosophers call the 'reflective' level of our consciousness.

When this happens we echo our thoughts and feelings in the best manner possible and also introspect and appreciate the multipurpose delights of our own 'oneness' - oneness with oneself and the divine element. This is not a composite module - it is also nothing more than a simple cog of a receptive state. It exists at the mindful and non-mindful levels of our psychical periscope - the observatory post that connects us to every facet of our being.

Nidamboor is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author

A version of this article appears in the print on April 4, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.