A: The importance of time is very much related to your question about the afterlife. Without time, there would be no importance or immediacy to the ego. Just picture this, if you had a job to do, set forth by your boss, but he put no time restraint on it. Many people would not even start the job, they would just let it sit there. In the same way, if our ego does not have something to compare our progress to, it tends to also not get started with a job, undertaking or journey. Herein lies the importance of time. So time is actually very important. However, the ego then because of its dual nature, of seeing thing only one-sided, not both sides or gradations in the middle, sees time and performance as the most important things and either strives for them, gives up, or creates denial to its own progress. One must take the middle ground when dealing with time and performance and see that they are supremely important, however not develop stress and anxiety around them. If you contemplate on these two things, with time and results on one side, and enjoying the present moment on the other side, and bring them to your heart center, a synthesis will occur wherein you respect time and progress but live in the moment, honoring them.
A: There is no afterlife, unless you count the life after this one (as perceived by the ego). The thing with the afterlife is that people think that after you have this life, then you die, and your soul goes somewhere else, when really it just get recycled into another body. The importance of having multiple lives, is just like when you would play a video game. When you play a video game, there’s a finite beginning, the time you play, and then the player dies. If there was no beginning, middle, and end, the game would be boring, there’d be no importance to it, and you wouldn’t learn from it. That’s the importance of multiple lives and reincarnation. The reason why we forget these lives, is so that we put importance on our present life in the moment. In the moment, is where you make spiritual progress and have spiritual realization and enlightenment. You do not have it in the past or in the future, you have it in the moment. If we didn’t put supreme importance on the current moment, we would not learn, just as if you play a video game and you have unlimited lives, you tend to put less importance on it and do stupid things in the video game that get you killed more often. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if you did not put importance on your present life. With the emotional and spiritual immaturity that we are experiencing right now in this world, if people were unhappy, they would just kill themselves. There would be no government regulations on suicide, and people would just be killing themselves left and right. There would be killing centers and mounting dead bodies in the world, similar to the problem that we have with trash. Basically, we would live in a hellish bardo. So treat your life with the utmost importance, but do not get stressed or anxious about how important it is. This is the art of spiritual discernment.