“I only see the past.”
The brain processes information by using snap shots over time, comparing them, then making decisions based on the whole of the compared snapshots. “I only see the past” can be particularly difficult to believe at first. When we are in observation we are not pulling the snapshots into this moment. We can not access historic or past information while in observation, being totally immersed in the moment.
“I only see the past” is why nothing that you see means anything. It is why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you. It is why you do not understand anything you see. It is why your thoughts do not mean anything, and why they are like the things you see. It is the reason you are never upset for the reason you think. It is the reason you are upset because you see something that is not there.
Our lives are deeply rooted in time. Because of this we move in and out of this moment in time, seeing the past and using it to predict the future.
“I only see the past” idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first. Consider this example of a cup, for example. Think of a cup. Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experiences of being thirsty, picking up a cup, drinking from a cup, feeling the cup against your lips, meals that included a cup, and so on? Consider the attachments to your cup memories, if you have dropped one and it broke. You are in the past if you think of dropping it in this moment. How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? Without the catalogue of your past observations you would have no idea what this cup is in this moment. Do you, then, really see it?
Look about you. This is equally true of whatever you look at. Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye. For example:
“I see only the past in this foot.”
“I see only the past in this shoe.”
“I see only the past in this car.”
“I see only the past in that body, that face.”
“I see only the past in those cookies.”
Notice we do not use the possessive form of my. Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next.