• ICSL

Time and Mind

Updated: Jul 17, 2019

G. Balasubramanian | Chairperson, Board of Advisors, ICSL | Editor-in-Chief, The Progressive School


Here is an extract from the book:

The power of Now

by Eckhart Tolle:


"Time and Mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops – unless you choose to use it.

To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise for salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.

But without a sense of time, how would we function in this world? There would be no goals to strive toward anymore. I wouldn’t know who I am, because past makes me who I am today. I think time is something very precious, and we need to learn to use it wisely rather than waste it.

The more you are focused on time – past and future- the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is."


This is a very powerful message on the utility of time as most of us tend to live either in the past or in the future. An effective leader dwells in the present – he understands the power of Now – the power of action – the power of being. This message does not really relate to time management but it is ushering a philosophy into our mind – to live in the present, to live in action. In turn this would enhance the power of the self detaching you from worries of the past and future, enabling you to enjoy every moment of life.


In a workplace we often indulge in several postmortems of our actions as well as those of others least realizing the potential of the present. A review of the past is not negated but the ability to move on, to grasp with the present and to indulge in meaningful action is what is stressed.


Many psychologists feel that we hang on to the past or future because of latent fear. The words Marianne Williamson is something striking and calls for introspection:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.

In the academic world, we often debate on the issues of “Learning to become” and “Learning to be”. Association of the mind with the past and future shapes the mind to become while the while its association with the present- Now – leads to the liberated state of “being”.


The royal conflict between “becoming” and “being” is something which is seriously impacting the content and pedagogy of education. Often the inability of a few mediocre to understand the difference leads to shifting the paradigm of “education” to mere “certification”. It is time that we give a serious thought to it!

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