two in one

Two kinds of time for two different worlds

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In pre-Columbian Middle America the Indians made use of two different kinds of time, Tonal time and Nagual time. Tonal time is the real-time of our daily life in which an hour consists of 60 minutes, which we use to bring our life into some semblance of order through planning and structuring in order to regulate the bewildering unpredictability of our lives. For this purpose we make use of our ego-driven thought-machine, which will have us believe that our life is ‘makeable’. Cities and organisations are structured around Tonal time.

Nagual is liquid time – inner time. In Nagual time our sense of time may be longer or shorter than the clock time. Tonal is one-dimensional. Nagual has two dimensions: our own inner dimension and behind it a second otherworldly dimension that can only be entered by first entering the Nagual.

Nagual is also the reservoir of our intuition and, as such, the door to higher consciousness. When it is not possible for us to retreat into Nagual from time to time we become hyper-charged, burned-out, depressed.

The otherworldly dimension of the Nagual was also known as ‘the unknown Infinity’ which was impossible to describe in words. It was only to be experienced within the inner being. It is wryly funny that science is now trying to create an artificial Nagual by means of what they term ‘virtual reality’ systems. What’s in a name!

How does one travel from the Tonal to the inner Nagual and hence to the otherworldly Nagual?

The first step is a sustained investigation, with ruthless honesty, into what you encounter within yourself, with regard both to your hindrances and your spiritual potential. This is an investigation by means of our ‘observer.’ It is a bias-free observing with the eyes of the soul. The soul is a wondrous instrument: through the eyes of this observer we may look at ourselves from a distance.

This is something completely different from our ‘inner critic’, a sub-personality in our ego system for which no situation is good enough.

Although the observations of the soul in Nagual time occur in silence, it is nevertheless a dynamic process. It requires determination and courage to confront (and continue with) essential questions like: ‘Who am I? What does life mean to me? What is true for me in my existence? But is that really the Truth? What actually remains of me if I give up my roles and my importance? Where do my deepest essence and yearning really lie?’

These questions will confront the seeker in Nagual time.

Keep these questions alive in the silence of the soul. The answers will not be very palatable for the ego, for the masks and the roles in our theatre of life will be mercilessly revealed to us. But keep observing in silence and do not answer the questions my means of your thinking process.

Staying with the questions will most likely one after the other peel off your judgements and convictions about how life and the world and yourself should be. Only then can the next step can be taken and exercise its effect within you: the dimension of the sacred silence of the Otherworld Nagual. This dimension will create another Reality.

The only way to enter and stay there is to let go of all your ‘truths.’ And very amusing: even your assumptions about spirituality will wither and die for they were additional barriers against the emptiness into which your self-surrender brings you, within which the real spiritual experience takes place.

Your true companion on the path is your sincere yearning for the Truth. Or, in the words of Rumi:

What is unreal agitates the heart but Truth brings joyful calm. Through the window between heart and Heart flashes the Light that separates truth from lies. 1

Reference: This article first appeared in Pentagram 2016 number 4

  • 1. Rumi – Masnavi II 2737
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