SPACE AND TIME
In order for perceiving of the manifestation to take place, three simultaneous processes have to occur:
• the splitting of unity into the duality of subject and object (seer and seen) along with all the other opposites (because we comprehend in opposites);
• space within which to extend as form;
• time or duration within which the form can be observed.
The splitting of Unity into the duality of seer and seen has already been touched on. The other two, Space and Time, are one and the same (scientists describe it as Space/Time) and are basic to all phenomena. Without form and duration, phenomena cannot have apparent existence. Without Space/Time, nothing can be perceived. But Space and Time are simply concepts – they are not entities. Time has been described by a scientist, John Wheeler, as something that had to be invented to prevent everything happening at once. Similarly, Space could be described as something that had to be invented to keep everything apart. Funny as these sound, they are very good descriptions of all that they are – concepts to account for what we perceive.
Time is nothing objective to which we are subjected but a measurement of our phenomenal extension in space, integrated with the experience of what we are through our senses. It is by means of this apparent extension in space and a fourth directional measurement of that (which we interpret and experience as duration), that we are able to experience what we really are. In other words, we are Noumenon or pure subjectivity knowing itself as manifested phenomenon – and this is the only way that Noumenon can know itself.
The idea that our life is merely a concept dependent on being strung out in time is strengthened by the phenomenon experienced by people who have survived drowning and other trauma when they say that they saw their whole life in a flash. And they seem to mean their whole life and not just a few memories. It looks as if a major upset in extreme situations of our normal perception of life actually casts light on what we are and what ‘life’ is, seen as a whole.
We cannot conceive spacelessness, nor can we conceive timelessness. Our idea of intemporality or timelessness only stretches to eternity that we usually interpret as ‘time without end’, just as we think of infinity as space going on forever. It’s surely significant that we have not got words for the concepts of timelessness and spacelessness. And what is the only ‘thing’ for which we don’t have words and is inconceivable? The answer is ‘I’. This suggests that time is what we are, just as space is where we are. Space/Time, in other words, is not something we perceive but simply we who are perceiving it, using the concepts of space and time to create our world as we know it. What we are cannot be in time because what is perceiving is not in time. We are therefore intemporality and intemporality is what we are. Only what we perceive with our senses, including some of the bits of this apparatus that is the body we identify with, is temporal or in time.