TIME AND SPACE :
THE MEANINGFULNESS OF EXISTENCE
" Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day"...Albert Camus
"The only reason
for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." - Albert Einstein
“As with most of the future worlds in the science fiction, you are not talking about the future.
You are talking about the present. You are using the future as a way of giving
a bit of room to move.”― Alan Moore
3.12.1 TIME AND REALITY
It is only the
intervention of time and space here and now that makes reality. Wholeness
is realized for a moment only—the moment that Faust was seeking: all his life. ~Carl Jung,
In the existential domain of the space-time axis, time is the greater mysterious
aspect that for the linear, rational process presents a challenging concept to
grapple with and eternity is even more intangible for the linear.
"Time is one of my most valuable assets"......Bill Anderson
"You will never
find the time for anything. If you want time, you must make it."
- Charles Burton
"The bad news is
time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." -
- Michael Altshule
In this work of Personal Validity, reason and its application in
intellectual understanding has been given a special emphasis.
motif is very important - Socrates is the new epic hero ( in Phaedo ),
who's epic odyssey is coming to an end - an odyssey in which he stays in one
city, the way James Joyce's Ulysses does, a journey of the soul rather than
the body. That's why he is superior to the epic hero, as all the dialogs taken
together are superior to the Iliad and the Odyssey put together.
Instead of a being a hero of murder and destruction that finally gets home
here in space and time, here we have a hero of wisdom and courage and
virtue who manages to continue a journey by staying where he is.
In other words, the monsters will come to him, unlike Odysseus, his journey
is a spiritual journey."......TTC M. Sugrue
A special kind of creative synthesis experience transcends space and time in a
manner that the space-time axis collapses and time loses its continuity and
linearity, and a glimpse or experience of eternity becomes possible.
"To see a World in a
Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
To hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an Hour".....W. Blake
“The moment of
vision – it is surrounded by this process of figuring
things out – but the vision itself is seeing it (together, synthesized).
For a Platonist that moment you say “Ah! Ha! I see it”, is the moment
when time touches eternity. The moment when a finite human mind,
caught up in this world, grasps something in the timeless
world of Platonic forms.” P. Cary TTC
can take place only in time."...Dreyfus on Kierkegaard
It is not the place here to overvalue or undervalue such experiences,
but this place deals more with how one can meaningfully transcribe from
or translate such experiences ( especially so if artificially induced ) into
linear reality. The meaningfulness of existence and life comes from not
only the exercise of one's creative faculty that leads to a creative vision
of the future direction of one's life, but also the exercise of the rational
faculty in the translation and
realization of this vision in linear time.
"They who know how
to employ opportunities will often find that
they can create them; and what we can achieve depends less
on the amount of time we possess than on the use we
make of our time".....John Stuart Mill
Everything in Reality can so easily turn into a trap if one is ignorant and not
careful about the direction of one's own motivations, predilections, meanings,
Will or purposes all of which contribute to one's uniqueness.
justify its existence before the judgment seat of
Reason, or give up existence.".....Friedrich Engels
Time is dealt with in depth in this article, the emphasis on the space element
is confined to the physical boundaries of this World, that is, this planet Earth,
the place where the real action seems to be taking place,
having reached a critical point in time.
" We are
constituted in that paradoxical condition in which we can
do two things - think in the quasi-utopian way about projecting from
everyday life to what the world might be like and on the other hand
be absolutely stuck in the finite banal conditions of everyday life - we
are a synthesis between the two.
We are a synthesis between our desire for freedom (signifying the infinite)
and our recognition of brutal necessity ( signifying the finite )"
……..Rick Roderick ( TTC – Philosophy and Human Values)
"A man is the master
of his liberty. Time is their master, and when
they see time, they'll go or come"......William Shakespeare.
3.12.2 THE WHEEL OF TIME :
" As if you could kill time without injuring eternity "......Henry David Thoreau
"Sir Walter Scott
was referred to as a writer with a sense of the past - this
means two things - first of all that like many writers before him realized that
human nature remained eternally the same, and the feelings thoughts and
motivations of people today are no different than people of a hundred years
ago, even a thousand years ago. All the passions and desires of human
experience - love, hate, greed, power, lust, sacrifice, devotion, etc. are played
out over and over again in different settings and time. Scott, like other great
writers, used the past to identify and explore issues that are timeless and
universal. But there was one thing that was unlike other writers - Scott
consciously chose to focus on the differences between past and present.
In fact he took great delight in researching and describing these differences
- for although human nature never changes, the props, costumes dialogs that
express this nature are constantly changing.".....Intelliquest
America, Honoré de Balzac in France, and Charles Dickens and
Thackeray in England were among the many who learned from Scott's
panoramic studies of the interplay between social trends and
individual character." ......Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009.
Time is both circular ( like a spinning wheel ) as well as linear. The end ( dissolution or
destruction ) meets the beginning ( creation ) in a circular time loop, and yet eternity
or "ultimate reality" is not the same as in the beginning. It will have refined.
The process of life and death is a test of reality's core or essence. The actions of the
finite beings inherent in this reality, given certain limitations, are a test of this
"goodness" or "fineness" of this soul or essence of Reality.
IN the reality of the flow of time, the linear aspect can never be ignored, if we consider
that reality is a moral order or has an inherent moral sequence, or follows the direction
resultant from the moral and immoral actions of the beings in the Reality of a
"The law of humanity ought to be
composed of the past, the present, and
the future, that we bear within us; whoever possesses but one of these
terms, has but a fragment of the law of the moral world'.....Edgar Quinet
3.12.3 FIRST ASPECT - Current Reality :
The Reality Of Experience : The Reality of Being
"A man who is truly
modern is one who is fully aware of the immediate present,
conscious to a superlative degree, a man who stands upon a peak, or the very
edge of the world, the abyss of the future before him, above him the heavens,
and below him the whole of mankind with a history that disappears
in primeval mists."...Jung
" Scott condemns narrow minded loyalties and fanatical idealism. He also makes
the favorite point about the futility and ignorance of remaining fettered to the
past, instead of centering oneself in the present. So embittered by past wrongs
that you can be blind to the opportunities of the present".........Intelliquest
The first, foremost and therefore the most important aspect of time is this
moment - now, the Present. Both time and eternity are available in the
This is the instant in time independent of meaning, purpose, goals but extremely
relevant for Will, for Will manifests instantly and spontaneously and only in
its wake gives birth to purpose.
"One of the
illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive one."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The present is the Reality of the spontaneity of the moment, of pure experience,
without meanings, but with instantaneous appeal and force, the moment of
discovery of one's predilection, Will and uniqueness, of creativity,
of Power and Inspiration.
arrive in their own mysterious hour, on their own terms
and not yours, to be seized or relinquished forever".......Gail Godwin
In pure experience, one's beliefs and operating assumptions should become
suspended, and irrelevant. It is a moment when the conscious self fuses with
the super-conscious self, when the self is revealed, the Will and its predilection
The experienced Reality of the instantaneous moment is the only Reality, the
rest are all words, concepts, beliefs about Reality.
This is the aesthetic aspect of reality.
3.12.4 THE ETERNAL - BEYOND LIFE and DEATH
The Reality of Essence
primitivity, and you will most probably get along well in
the world, maybe achieve great success - but Eternity will reject you.
Follow up your primitivity, and you will be shipwrecked in temporarily,
but accepted by Eternity." Soren Kierkegaard
"Plato (in the
metaphysics of the forms) is pointing upwards - as a gesture
towards the absolute, the eternal.".....M. Sugrue
not mean parallel extension of time running alongside the
moments of History. Eternity is a single instant of the fullness of time,
and in that instant of the fullness of time, all moments of time are equally
present to eternity.".....TTC C. Mathews
consciousness of the eternal were not implanted in man; if the
basis of all that exists were but a confusedly fermenting element
which, convulsed by obscure passions, produced all, both the great
and the insignificant; if under everything there lay a bottomless
void never to be filled what else were life but despair? If it were
thus, and if there were no sacred bonds between man and man; if
one generation arose after another, as in the forest the leaves of
one season succeed the leaves of another, or like the songs of birds
which are taken up one after another; if the generations of man
passed through the world like a ship passing through the sea and
the wind over the desert a fruitless and a vain thing; if eternal
oblivion were ever greedily watching for its prey and there existed
no power strong enough to wrest it from its clutches how empty
were life then, and how dismal! "
...............Selections from the Writings of Kierkegaard
translated by L.M. Hollander
The timeless Reality of the Absolute and Infinite, also experienced as the dissolution of
the self in time and space. The experienced fusion of the self with the totality of Reality,
where time collapses, space assumes infinity.
This is the religious aspect of Reality.
physics is a physics of light. Light is composed of photons,
which have no antiparticle. This means that there is no dualism in the world of light.
The conventions of relativity say that time slows down as one approaches the
speed of light, but if one tries to imagine the point of view of a thing made of light,
one must realize that what is never mentioned is that if one moves at the speed of
light there is no time whatsoever. There is an experience of time zero. ... The only
experience of time that one can have is of a subjective time that is created by
one's own mental processes, but in relationship to the Newtonian universe there
is no time whatsoever. One exists in eternity, one has become eternal, the universe
is aging at a staggering rate all around one in this situation, but that is perceived
as a fact of this universe — the way we perceive Newtonian physics as a fact of this
universe. One has transited into the eternal mode. One is then apart from the
moving image; one exists in the completion of eternity."....T. Mckenna
This experience is useful, if not necessary for the self to be free of the shackles of self-
importance. But by itself it may not be able to accomplish that, and has the danger of
trapping the self into excessive indulgence of so called "highest experience".
Its a kind of trap that meditators, junkies and mystics fall into, and can no
longer meaningfully relate or contribute to the personal self and far less the
Social and Cultural reality.
Power and Will have no relevance in the state of this experience and one's
uniqueness also dissolves, there being no need for uniqueness in this state.
The real danger however is that subsequent to such experiences, one starts
operating from the beliefs that the Self is irrelevant, that the whole world is
an illusion, life has no meaning except to break from the cycle of birth and
rebirth, from pain and suffering.
The only goal left is to seek a state of perfect peace of mind, further to shut
off the mind, self altogether - to seek a state of unity with the eternal, to
transcend the existential domain of space and time.
Nothing wrong with that if one has paid the price of having existed in this world
by giving back to it more than one has taken from it. And that is the crux of what
this work tries to promote.
And the belief projected here is that no one can cheat Reality on this issue.
contribution is the essential ingredient".
.....Ethel Percy Andrus
measure success in terms of the contributions
an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings"
to maintain ourselves as we are so we can contribute
our differences, our particular understanding, to both the
national community and to global society." ..LaDonna Harris
NOTES 2013 :Eternity
is not an infinitely long period of linear time, and therefore eternity cannot
conceived by reason, only fleetingly felt or glimpsed in intuitive, synthesis experience. Linear time
is conceived by rational thought working on memory, that then extrapolates its generalizations to
extend this conceived linearity which is appropriately limited only to one’s lifetime and therefore
it is a misconception to generalize it beyond the memory, beyond the personal experiences
and the History of mankind.
This does not mean that linear time is a total misconception. It is only in linear time (can also be
called objective time) that the synchronization of all the living, sentient beings of a world and
(by extension) of the universe can possibly take place. The point here is that to make a ‘leap of logic’
to extend the validity of linear time indefinitely to the past and the future is fallacious and misleading.
Even logically it is inconceivable that time extends infinitely backwards into the past – it brings up
absurdities and paradoxes that cannot be cannot be resolved if we stick to a fixed conception of
linear time that can be extended indefinitely into the past or future. One way of resolving this
absurdity and paradox is to conceive of time as the rate of change of events taking place in the
physical world, rather than stubbornly stick only to the notion of ‘objective time as recorded by a
clock’ (a notion that has been ‘hard programmed’ into us by the standard science based
Secondly, when we are in a synthesis, intuitive or imaginative mode of experience, these fixed notions
of linear time are necessarily suspended for this mode of experience to be of any significance. Even in
dreaming, there is no definitive linearity of time, as very often in dreaming (by the recall of the sequence
of events subsequently), what seems to have taken place in hours or days may only be a matter of a
few minutes of ‘recorded time’ by the clock.
Even in the physical cosmos, the theory of relativity tells us that ‘time dilates’ in ‘objects’ that ‘travel’
close to the speed of light. Many paradoxes and misconceptions arise from this when we try to relate
these time-warping ‘physical’ aspects of linear time to living beings like humans. (One must note
that this time dilation has been experimentally observed only in ‘time recording devices’ like clocks.)
Linear time is therefore inseparably related to the physical cosmos, and even then it is subject to
it’s relation to sentient beings. Ultimately, what notions we can have of time depend upon our own
subjective and individual experiences and what we collectively make of the events between the first and
‘last syllable of recorded time’ (Shakespeare).
One thing should be clear: that for any coherent thinking the extreme mystical notion of ‘time is an
illusion’ has to kept at a distant if not rejected out-rightly, because after all that is the subjective
experience of the mystic and therefore valid for the mystic, not for a thinker. Properly speaking
the phrase ‘time is an illusion’ is the intellectualized (ironically) interpretation of the experience
of time by a ‘kind’ of mystic, if not all mystics.
3.12.5 SHORT TERM REALITY - LIFE and DEATH
This is the ethical aspect of Reality.
"Life has always
seemed to me like a plant that lived on its rhizome or root,
it's true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above
the ground lasts only a single summer, then it withers away - an ephemeral
apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and
civilization, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity, yet I have
never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the
eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes, the rhizome
In the end, the only events in my life worth telling are those when the
imperishable world erupted into this transitory one. That is why I speak
chiefly of inner experiences, amongst which I include my dreams and
visions. These form the prema-materia of my scientific work - they were
the fiery magma out of which the stone that had to be worked was
crystallized.".......C G Jung
"A commitment to
questioning in search of a meaningful way to live
one’s life is our most basic responsibility and our very best hope as
human beings." ---TTC : Prof Ambrosio
“We are responsible
for the meaning of our lives and in that meaning
lies all our hope as human beings.” ....Victor Frankl
" He that will not
apply new remedies must expect new evils:
for time is the greatest innovator"......Francis Bacon
"Listen, you have
now found the conditions in which the desire of your heart can
become the reality of your being. Stay here, until you acquire a force in you
that nothing can destroy. Then you'll need to go back into life, and there you
will measure yourself constantly with forces which will show you your place."
A lifetime beginning with birth and ending in death is the limited time period that
is crucial for meaning. And meaning of life cannot come without a sense of
purpose, a sense of leading a useful and productive life. For this to happen,
it is essential to have a sense of wanting and having to accomplish something
that fulfills the vital human need to find purpose. It is not necessary to have
a definitive goal at the outset, but only a desire to lead a worthwhile life : for
reality always provides for the appropriate purpose for those who seek a
The question of meaning is a fundamental and perennial question and therefore a good one,
and to comprehend meaning is a long, difficult process, but first an individual must find meaning
in his/her own life to connect with the broader meaning to life, and to do that is to first give
purpose to our life. The answer to the question therefore lies within.
It is just
this transformation of the meaningless into the
meaningful that reveals the trickster's compensatory
relation to the "saint".......C G Jung
It is the awareness of a limited time span that terminates in death that
serves a beacon for having a desire for a worthy purpose which gives
meaning to life.
Just as Freedom and Responsibility are inseparable, Meaning and
purpose are similarly inseparable. It is only when acts are
driven by conscious
purpose that they become meaningful.
"The problem of
nihilism ( for Nietzsche ) is the problem of finding meaning in a
world that is no longer god centered. It meant that an overarching cosmological
story in which you could fit - that which could provide a background, meaning and
a place for you, would be radically missing and in its place there would be market
relations. In which what you were would amount to what you do for a living.
So if in dinner parties when someone asks you what you do, its not a trivial remark.
Its a story about a culture. This is a culture full of market relations where the
construction of meaning becomes the burden of a newly constructed category -
the bourgeois individual - the individual of modern life - the individual competitor
in a market. No longer like - a member of a community of god, in the broad sense,
but someone who must construct the meaning of their lives in singularity,
that is, with their own resources - a task that Max Weber thought would
overburden them, a task that Nietzsche thought was almost impossible,
but which he undertook in trying to become Plato to his own Socrates,
to make meaning of his life in a context where the threat was nihilism -
in a culture where there was no fabric in which to construct meaning.
We are diagnosing a nihilistic culture where no enduring belief can
provide meaning for the overwhelming majority of people in that
culture. That's a problem Nietzsche identifies coming along with
modern life, comes along with a new view of the cosmos with its
de-mystifications, like to de-mystify the importance of the earth.
The de-mystifying of a whole series of things which earlier there
were earlier powerful meanings to the myths. Part of the work of
the enlightenment was this destructive work of destroying myth.
That was the work carried out by the bourgeois class, and Nietzsche's
worry was that this kind of de-mystification, without creating new
myths, new games, would lead to a situation where human beings
would will only not to will any longer, would want only not to want
any longer ( exclusively human values ). Such an emerging culture
would be inimical to human life.
( In the post-modern global culture, the search for
meaning itself has become meaningless.)
……..Rick Roderick ( TTC – Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition)
It is the short term reality of the time between birth and death that provides for
meaningful thought, beliefs, goals, purpose and action, without which one
cannot develop and realize one's given potential.
"Time marks us while we are marking time".......Theodore Roethke
An assumption that has been made here is : The Neurophysical Brain
of a human being has potential for intelligence and creativity whose diversity
and limits, we as the human race are nowhere close to realisation.
To believe that life is meaningless is to demean it, although each one of us has
to discover, develop and define the meaning and purpose of ourselves' existence
even if it means that one comes to the conclusion that one's life has no meaning.
But one cannot insist that all of life is meaningless, at the most
this conclusion applies only to oneself.
" Tisn't life that matters. 'Tis the courage we bring into it"...Hugh Walpole
Whether we like it or not, the truth is that no one lives continuously in the domain
of pure experience, and so, meanings, interpretations and beliefs are bound to
result from any experience.
And if these are not critically examined and analyzed time and again, the existing
defaults become reinforced to the point where one's existence becomes
static and sterile, not explorative and growing.
Furthermore, it is in the domain of the short term reality, that beliefs, goals and
purposes become crucially valid, since most of what we experience is derived and
interpreted, from and to the beliefs one holds.
Even more crucially important are the beliefs one projects onto others,
because society is shaped by commonly held or shared beliefs. These
shared beliefs are what define and direct a society and culture. The most
open society is one which encourages its members to not only develop
their own ideas and beliefs, but also to question or put these to test
in current reality
The short term time reality is crucially related to Personal Validity through the
meanings one holds for life in general and of one's own life in particular.
But it should be clearly comprehended that there are no mass meanings that
can be shoved over masses as a doctrine.
Mass meanings only lead to organised religion, which this work attacks.
Mass meanings kill individuality and creativity and become the breeding
grounds for mass-deception, the domain of cult groups.
The only possible mass meaning is to be found by giving back
to the world in which one lives, more than one has taken from it.
"Once I was in
Victoria, and I saw a very large house. They told me it was
a bank and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of,
and that by and by they got it back with interest. "We are Indians and we
have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give
them away to other chiefs and people, and by and by they return them with
interest, and our hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our bank."
............Chief Maquinna, Nootka
"We have taken so much
from your culture, I wish you had taken something
from ours...For there were some beautiful and good things within it. Perhaps
now that the time has come, We are fearful that what you take will be lost"
......... Chief Dan George
" The world is divided
into people who do things and people who get
the credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There's far
less competition".................D W Morrow
is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care
who gets the credit."........Harry Truman
"The true meaning
of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you
do not expect to sit.".............Nelson Henderson
The least of
things with a meaning is worth more in life than the
greatest of things without it.........Carl Jung
"The essence of
the North American Pot-latch (Native
ceremony) is the obligation to give".....Mauss
"If you help others, you will be helped, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps
in one hundred years, but you will be helped. Nature must pay
off the debt.."...... Gurdjieff
All the three time aspects of Reality are significant in the sense that experience of
the totality of oneself, and the development of one's potential is not complete
without all of them, the experiences and the valid interpretations thereby of all
the three aspects of time should be complimenting and balancing for each other.
To overvalue or dwell excessively only in one
aspect is to lose out on the other aspects.
" Neither fire, nor wind, not birth nor death can erase our good deeds"....Buddha
[Notes: The essence of
human nature and the meaning of our existence lies in our ability to
distinguish good from bad and right from wrong, and that is the whole point of our existence -
that the good deeds transcend our mortal existence is the result of this process.
How these will be incorporated and reflected in future or Eternity, we cannot say, but that
it definitely will is the point that the Buddha statement implies. That is what "faith" rests
upon, or else it makes no difference and all our judgments/actions are worthless.
Of course, this cannot be 'proved', so what deeds are good may not be agreed upon by us
mortals, by definitely weighed for their worth in both future and eternity.
You have to use the power of your own reason to figure this
out or take it 'on faith' - that's your choice.]
of Personal Validity
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