The idiom Jump the Gun is perhaps not known world wide but is well known in western cultures. The phrase derives from Track and Field sport competition and was originally called “Beat the Gun”. This quote has a spiritual significance for us to consider. The now is constant. It may be the only true constant in the universe.
The isness of the moment is often used to express the now. So how does the term Jump the Gun help us to understand the isness of now?
This is the internet definition for Jump the Gun:
Act before the proper time.
Synonyms: act prematurely, act too soon, be too/overly hasty, be precipitate, be rash
Be ahead of oneself.
Here we see the usefulness of this phrase in conscious awakening. The two explanations of Jump the Gun offer an open passage to our relationship with the now. This is a sign post that points toward enlightenment. What is enlightenment? We can say that enlightenment is “awareness” that offers change. The Tao te Ching shares this insight in Chapter 26:
“He who knows others is clever; he who knows himself is wise.
He who masters others is strong; he who masters himself is powerful.”
We can paraphrase this by writing: “He who knows others is wise. He who knows the ‘self’ is enlightened.”
The earlier mentioned definition suggests that to Jump the Gun means “Act before the proper time.” Isn’t this what we are continuously attempting in each moment? We are always acting from a standpoint that is not real (future, past and even present). This is experienced through worry, anxiety, fear and even happiness on occasion. We are always trying to get to a future or past moment through the present “isness” of now. Thereby we are actually attempting to avoid the now through lack of true awareness to the process of change; which is the isness of now.
Don’t Jump the Gun!
This means that conditioning factors of the mind demand that we super-impose a false reality onto the present moment. Furthermore to Jump the Gun, spiritually speaking, separates a person from the true self; or (To be ahead of “one” “self”). This demand to be everywhere but in the now greatly nurtures duality. Duality is a state of mind and not a state of being in the now. It is impossible to experience the now when a person is mentally invoking a condition of falseness onto the present moment. We remain embedded in a field of illusion.