UNDERSTANDING TIME AND THE CONCEPT OF UNCHANGING REALITY:
The word ‘Concept’ describes a thought or an idea about a thing or event. Man exists on the surface of planet Earth and formulates his ideas or concepts about the reality of his existence and the reality of the world in which he exists. These mental concepts will not be possible unless the reality of the world is modified by other forces on which man has no control or power. Even if man knows that the Sun does not rise in the East, and the Sun does not set in the West, his mortal existence is governed by this singular event. I would use the term ‘WholeConcept’ to describe the relationship between man, world, Time, and Space that is established by an Unchanging Reality which is unaffected by the dimensions of Time and Space.
Time is defined as the period or interval between two events or during which something exists, happens, or acts; the duration is a measurable interval. Indian thinkers have described ‘Time’ or ‘KAALA’ as a Power or a Force that is eternal suggesting that ‘Time’ existed before the formation of this created universe, Time operates during the existence of this created universe, and Time remains after the total dissolution of this created universe. ‘Things in Nature change with Time’. Does Time exert a force entirely of its own to change things in Nature? If Time is viewed as a Power or Force, who controls this Force and what are the Laws that operate this Force.
Everything that is born, everything that has come into existence, and everything that is conditioned arrives with its own plan for dissolution. Whosoever had arrived on this planet Earth, is sure to depart. Time operates this plan for dissolution. Time has the power to cause dissolution of the animate as well as the inanimate world and the physical universe. Whatever qualities, or attributes such as material wealth, social status, social position, and physical state of well-being that man cherishes and desires most would be dissolved and would be rendered useless by the effects of Time. Humans lack the material, and the biological abilities to transform their physical beings into sources of perpetual enjoyment. Time with its Power of Dissolution would eventually compel us to investigate and to explore the concept of Absolute and Unchanging Reality. This Subjective Reality of Man’s existence on this planet Earth which is a member of the Solar System would be dissolved by the influence of Time. The dissolution of Sun and the Solar System would not result in the dissolution of this universe that we currently know and understand. When man has been dissolved, the conditioned reality of this physical universe will continue and remains as before as earth and sun do not describe the total reality of this conditioned universe.
THE PERCEPTION OF CHANGE AND HUMAN CONCEPTS ABOUT TIME:
Many of you who learned Physics understand the term Speed and Velocity. A person riding in a train or any other moving object could perceive a change that is caused by the motion. The nature of this perception depends upon the Speed or Velocity of that moving object. If the person jumps out of the train, the change that he has been perceiving immediately stops. There would be no changing landscape. If the speed of the train is increased, the perception of change also alters and at very high speeds man actually loses the ability of visual perception. The visual image becomes a blur. If man is viewing a Motion Picture, his visual ability to view the Picture could be destroyed by simply increasing the speed of the Projector. Any given point on the surface of the Earth moves with the Speed of the Earth. Earth is moving at a great speed and man has no ability to perceive this motion or the speed. Man perceives a change in his environment and calls it day and night. We run our lives by numbers on clocks and calendars. The clocks and calendars create the illusion that we live in a world of mathematically measured segments of time. Time is looked upon as a flow like a river. Sir Issac Newton(1687) stated that the flow of Time is absolute; “It flows equably without relation to anything external.” In 1905 while postulating the Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein had observed that Time is not absolute and the measurement of Time is affected by the motion of the observer. The Relativity of Time becomes significant only at great speeds. Gravity affects both Light and Time. Gravity bends both Space and Light. Time is affected by the gravitational field of each celestial body. Time is unique to any one spot in the universe. If you and me do not exist at the same spot in the universe, our experience of Time is conditioned by the place or the position of that particular spot in the universe. Thus, the experience of Time on this planet is an illusionary experience and is not an absolute experience.
‘KAALA CHAKRA’ OR THE CYCLICAL FLOW OF TIME :
Herman Minkowski, a mathematician, added Time as the Fourth Dimension of Three Dimensional Space. Time is seen as a Dimension as it gives meaning to events and the order in which they occur. Physicists describe Time and Space as the building blocks of this universe. Biologists see Time in the internal clocks that keep all living entities in sync with Nature. Human existence and the existence of all other living entities depend upon this illusionary experience of Time. Life exists and operates only if Time flows in a cyclical manner just like a wheel that moves, rotates on an axle or axis. Man needs this experience of day and night during his entire life journey. Man needs the changing Seasons with its cyclical regularity. Just imagine the consequences to human existence if Spring Season does not arrive at the Time it is expected. You have correctly pointed out that planet Earth is not at the same location or place in Space as Time flows. Last year, we had experienced the Spring Season while Earth existed at an entirely different location and we look forward for the arrival of a new Spring Season in spite of the Change in the position. In spite of Changes in location or position, in relative terms, the Spring Season is the Unchanging Reality of the Conditioned State of Human Existence. Because of the Conditioned nature of Human Existence, Man always looks forward, and hopes that Time would flow in a cyclical manner bringing cyclical changes. Biologists describe Life in terms of Life Cycles. All living functions have a rhythmic or cyclical quality. The exchange of gases during a cycle called Respiration involves the cyclical events of Inspiration and Expiration. The vital functions sustained by Circulation demands cyclical flow of Blood. The Individual and his State or Condition of Individuality remains existing as an Unchanging Reality as long as he experiences the cyclical changes in his bodily functions and in the environment in which he exists. I am that Unchanging Reality, the Reality of my Identity and my Individuality remains unchanged as my physical body experiences cyclical changes in its substance and in the environment where it exists. My phenotype or morphological appearance or outward appearance undergoes a constant change and this change is synchronized with the cyclical change called alternating periods of Day and Night. The Biological Clock precisely measures this Time interval or duration of my existence relative to the illusionary change; in Reality, the Sun is shining with all His brightness at all times with no significant change that I can perceive.
THE GOD CONNECTION :
My Identity and my Individuality is the Unchanging Reality of my conditioned state of human existence. I had explored the Nature of this Unchanging Identity and Individuality. This Unchanging Reality of Identity and Individuality exists during the Time interval or duration of my God Connection. I know that Time existed before my creation, Time is operating during my existence as a created being, and Time would continue to operate after my physical dissolution. Time with its great power of Dissolution could not change my perception about my Unchanging Identity and Individuality because of my God Connection. It is rational, it is logical, and it is reasonable to reflect upon Absolute and Unchanging Reality as long as I maintain my Identity and Individuality which can not be changed or altered by the flow of Time.
From: Dr. Srinivasa Rao Kankipati.
Lovely story and nice response. The story holds a great truth in it. The truth is that change is the law of nature. The universe, which means the aggregate of all things in it, is changing right from the moment of the Big Bang. I wouldnt say that change is constant. Even the rate of change may be varying. Swami Sivananda penned a beautiful poem titled:”Even This Shall Pass” and some other philosophical essays and poems. All these were contained in a book authored by him, which he sent to me free when I wrote a letter to him in my student days but told him that I cannot pay the cost.
I believe that death which is inevitable for everything is only a result of unavoidable change. As far as I can analyse, the only law governing the universe is the law of (maybe changing) change.
Even though we think that the earth is returning to the same position in space year after year, astronomers tell us that its relative position is changing. We never go back to the same point.
My own definition of civilisation is the construction of something which is less impermanent with the help of things which are more impermanent. All civilisations will eventually crumble. There is nothing permanent.
In this context, imagining a permanent god who will receive us into his kingdom permanently after our cycle of births and deaths is also illusory. With a person’s death, nothing more is heard from him. He has existed only once in the universe and it is just not true that his mind (as Buddhists propound) or his soul (as Hindus propound) will go on to take up another body, until finally God receives the mind and soul.
When a man dies, …
On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 8:30 AM, Dr. Rajaram Bojji wrote:
Truth, simple but so difficult to assimilate because, the question, “So, what next ?” arises.
The King could have been captured and beheaded too. Yes that too will pass. Bit it gives a chance to the chance of the saying that may be, even the improbable horse may fly after all!
More often than not our own fear defeats us by painting bleak pictures of failure much before actual occurrence .
While doing tunneling, after making all the pep talk to workers and engineers facing repeated collapses, I used to sleep the night in frustration and depression, which you can share with no one. Get up in the morning and with a gusto start with the saying ” don’t worry , the horse will fly” ( reminding one self of another story when a man promises a King to save own beheading for a few days, that he would make King’s horse fly and before he was required to fly the horse some enemy King beheads the King and releases him from prison)… wear a smile and go back to the job.
Yes, as another American writer has said, the only thing you learn from living and observing life is that life goes on.
Story of a King
Once a King called upon all of his wise men and asked them “Is there a mantra or suggestion which works in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and in every time. Something which can help me when none of you is available to advise me. Tell me is there any mantra?” All wise men got puzzled by King’s question. One answer for all questions? Something that works everywhere, in every situation? In every joy, every sorrow, every defeat and every victory? They thought and thought.
After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested something which appealed to all of them. They went to the king and gave him something written on paper. But the condition was that king was not to see it out of curiosity. Only in extreme danger, when the King finds himself alone and there seems to be no way, only then he’ll have to see it. The King put the papers under his diamond ring.
After a few days, the neighbors attacked the kingdom. It was a collective surprise attack of the King’s enemies. King and his army fought bravely but lost the battle. King had to flee on his horse. The enemies were following him. His horse took him far away in the jungle. He could hear many troops of horses following him and the noise was coming closer and closer. Suddenly the King found himself standing at the end of the road – that road was not going anywhere. Underneath there was a rocky valley a thousand feet deep. If he jumped into it, he would be finished. And he could not return because it was a small road. The sound of enemy’s horses was approaching fast. King became restless. There seemed to be no way…
Then suddenly he saw the diamond in his ring shining in the sun, and he remembered the message hidden in the ring. He opened the diamond and read the message. The message was very small but very great. The message was – “This too will pass.”
The King read it. Again read it. Suddenly something struck him; Yes! It too will pass. Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom. I was the mightiest of all the Kings. Yet today, the Kingdom and all his pleasures have gone. I am here trying to escape from enemies. However when those days of luxuries have gone, this day of danger too will pass. Calm come on his face. He kept standing there. The place where he was standing was full of natural beauty. He had never known that such a beautiful place was also a part of his Kingdom. The revelation of the message had a great effect on him. He relaxed and forgot about those following him.
After a few minutes he realized that the noise of the horses and the enemy coming was receding. They moved into some other part of the mountains and were not on that path. The King was very brave. He reorganized his army and fought again. He defeated the enemy and regained his lost empire. When he returned to his empire after victory, he was received with much fan fare at the door. The whole capital was rejoicing in the victory. Everyone was in a festive mood. Flowers were being thrown on the King from every house, from every corner. People were dancing and singing. For a moment King said to himself, “I am one of the bravest and greatest Kings. It is not easy to defeat me..”
With all the reception and celebration he saw an ego emerging in him. Suddenly the diamond of his ring flashed in the sunlight and reminded him of the message. He opened it and read it again: “This too will pass”. He became silent. His face went through a total change – from the egoist he moved to a state of utter humbleness.
If this too is going to pass, it is not yours. The defeat was not yours, the victory is not yours. You are just a watcher. Everything passes by. We are witness of all this. We are the perceiver. Life comes and goes. Happiness comes and goes. Sorrow comes and goes.
Now as you have read this story, just sit silently and evaluate your own life… Think of the moments of joy and victory in your life. Think of the moment of sorrow and defeat. Are they permanent? They all come and pass away. Life just passes away. There were friends in the past. They have gone. There are friends today. They too will go. There will be new friends tomorrow. They too will go. There were enemies in the past. They have gone. There may be enemies in the present. They too will go. There will be new enemies tomorrow and they too will go.There is nothing permanent in this world. Everything changes except the law of change. Think over it from your own perspective.You have seen all the changes. You have survived all setbacks, all defeats and all sorrows. All have passed away. If there are problems in the present, they too will pass away. Because nothing remains forever. Joy and sorrow are the two faces of the same coin. They both will pass away.
Who are you in reality? Know your real face. Your face is not your true face. It will change with the time. However, there is something in you, which will not change… It will remain unchanged. What is that unchangeable? It is nothing but your true self. You are just a witness of change.
- The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking – God Did Not Create the Universe (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)