We have been discussing what we generally believe.
Since we believe all of this this, we spend an inordinate amount of time in the present regurgitating the past, reviewing all of our past failures, traumas, terrible things we have done or that were done to us, in an effort to never have these things occur in the future.
The present never seems as important as the past and future. As the matter of fact, most of us are never actually experiencing the present. We are either obsessed with the past or focused on the future.
Try this experiment out. Look at anything you see in the present. Are you actually “seeing” whatever you are looking at in the present? For example, let’s say you are looking at a ceramic coffee cup. How do you know that cup would hold hot coffee?
You would have to be thinking back to a past experience with that, or another similar coffee cup. You would have to have, at some point in the past, poured hot coffee into that cup or a similar one, and the coffee didn’t leak out.
You have an image in your mind of that past experience. Your perception of that cup is simply a thought about a past experience.
I would suggest that all of your current perceptions are simply thoughts about the past. Try this one out for awhile. You may need to play with it to see that it is true.
We can call the things we see within our visual field “forms”. I would again like to suggest that every form you see is actually past thoughts. Don’t freak out, or put the book down… just stay with it.
While we are on this topic of perception, we also believe that thoughts and images are separate things. Similar to the above concept of vision, I would like to suggest that all thoughts are actually images of the past that you have created. Try it out. Think any thought you like. Can you have that thought without images arising in your “mind”? I don’t think so.
Remember above that your “present” perception is based on thoughts about past experiences. Thoughts/images, images/thoughts. You can’t have a thought without an image arising, and images are based on past experiences. If this is confusing you, you’re on the right track. It get’s worse before it gets better!