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Immediacy and the Present Moment

By Tom Dolan

Recently, the concept of time and its references to past, present and future have been haunting me again. Certainly this topic raises its head whenever conversations turn to matters of religion and spirituality. Even the popular press have hijacked many spiritual concepts related to time with such phrases as ‘live in the now’, or ‘now is the time’, or ‘be here now’, etc. Unfortunately, these are used in a variety of books and articles to offer us more and more ways to be more efficient amidst the ever-increasing speed and quite frankly, madness of our modern life. Of course we should ask, efficient for who and to what end…

That being said though, I would like to propose a very different word for our common experience and usage of the word time. Somewhere along the line, I seem to have picked up the word ‘immediacy’, with its lack of time reference, as a somewhat more useful pointer.

Immediacy… Immediacy… Unfortunately, it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily as it might, nor does it seem to have a place in our day to day conversations.

But what meaning might we give this strange, seldom used noun anyway? And there my dear friends, is the fly in the ointment. ‘Immediacy’ suggests to me ‘conscious­ness’, full stop. Certainly not my consciousness, as that would separate it and objectify it, limiting it and finally falling into the labyrinth of duality.

Consciousness. Just that. Whether one is doing the dishes or sitting on the local bus heading to work, it is the experience of living itself. We might say it is Absolute Openness to what we are in the midst of, without any need for its description or spiritual pigeon-holing. Something quite ordinary and complete in itself, yet fully alive, mysterious and all-embracing. It leaves no room for doubt or even discussion, as these would simply be mere intellectualisations, or in Zen terms, putting horns on a hare.

So that’s it. Nothing more. Anything more would make this essay quite a bit more redundant than it already is, as the experience is well-known to all of us. But of course, familiarity breeds contempt, don’t you think?

So if this poor, somewhat ridiculous essay helps to point in the direction of Immediacy, which after all would be the directionless direction, it will have served its purpose.

Time for tea…


This article by a very dear friend Tom Dolan is precise and to the point. To be conscious is to be in the so called… “Now” “Where else can you be?” Unfortunately to be caught in continuous analysing via various publications is never the actual. Best Wishes Tom.

‘Kingfisher’, 13th March 2018

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