Sunday, March 6, 2016

Time Does Not Exist

Think deeply for a moment and meditate on the following three quotes from science and spiritual teachings:

“It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction at which we arrive through the changes of things.” Thus, time as such does not exist but only change. ..............Ernst Mach (1872)

"Time is not separate from you, and as you are present, time does not go away. As time is not marked by coming and going, the moment you climbed the mountains is the time-being right now. If time keeps coming and going, you are the time-being right now." .............. Zen master Dogen

"If we could stand outside the universe and ‘see it as it is’, it would appear to be static. I arrive at this radical conclusion by considering the most basic structure of Einstein’s general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. These are the two fundamental theories of physics, and both have been confirmed to exceptional accuracy within their respective domains of validity: large-scale phenomena for Einstein’s theory, microscopic phenomena for quantum mechanics. They have, however, remarkably different structures. In particular, time is treated in completely different ways in the two theories. This presents a severe problem," ...........Julian Barbour (1999)

I have been fortunate to read, over a long period of time (pun not intended), and try to grasp both the scientific and spiritual dimension of reality. While the metaphysical view of objective realty as illusion is experienced through deep reflection of our sense perceptions translated into the symbols it promotes within our mind, the scientific view is promoted purely through sense perceptions derived through experimental objective observations and repeated verification. In both methods time as we know seems to hit a road block. In science the concept of time has been downgraded from its Newtonian absolute nature to an Einsteinian relative nature to a questionable nature in Quantum physics.
In the metaphysical method we learn that time is an attribute of manifestation and hence limited and is a product of conditioned consciousness and in science the divergent nature of time at the macro and micro observed reality seems to be staring down an unfathomable divide.

While in the scientific domain time is precisely calibrated to an accuracy of attosecond {An attosecond is 1×10−18 of a second (one quintillionth of a second) using Laser Spectroscopy} in Eastern philosophical domain, it is loosely defined by two Sanskrit words; ksana and kalpa. (ksana is a very small unit of time and its accuracy is not critical in our life journey and in a recent entry in the Sanskrit dictionary it is defined as "a measure of time  [ 4/5 second or 24/35 second or 4 minutes or 48 minutes ] Kalpa is again loosely defined as eons or very large amount of time).

In Buddhist tradition  time is not given any significant measure as what matters in the progress of humanity is the ultimate Nirvava or merger of all human beings. This ultimate nature from which all manifestations came is explained in the following quote:

"... our fundamental nature of mind is a luminous expanse of awareness that is beyond all conceptual fabrication and completely free from the movement of thoughts. It is the union of emptiness and clarity, of space and radiant awareness that is endowed with supreme and immeasurable qualities. From this basic nature of emptiness everything is expressed; from this everything arises and manifests." ....... Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

A very common analogy that explains this ultimate nature and manifestations within in the philosophy of Monistic idealism, is an ocean of consciousness where there is absolute stillness and the inherent nature of this emptiness is a creative potential and this potential is transformed into kinetic movement through a manifestation like a whirlpool in a very large still pond. The whirlpool is transitory by nature and hence being self aware marks the period of its existence in units of time. As long as a manifestation exists it interacts with other manifestations such as elements, micro organisms, plants, animals and fellow human being (all different whirlpools) and arrive at a common standard from the most evolved manifestation as a measure for grasping a false perception of existence and survival as if this is our true nature.

Science is slowly waking up to look beyond objective reality, a path which has already been set by the spiritual mystics in various traditions. While time becomes a necessity of our existence, extending time beyond our physical manifestation or in our spiritual journey is futile and does not serve any purpose.

Love to you all.

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