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Time and space are concepts of the mind!

Updated on December 11, 2013

Imagination of time!

It is the mind which forms the ideas of time and space!

Many Eastern as well as Western philosophers have written about the concepts of time. Without time, space and causation, our existence will be in question! The mind is a very mysterious force of the Self! In some religious texts of the East, mind is equated to an illusory power termed as "Maya". Even magic symbolizes Maya or illusion. Some magics are tricks and some other magics are hoodwinking the mind of audience. The concept of time itself has come only after creation!

Before creation, there was 'nothing' except mere darkness! How can we assert this unless there is an onlooker? This is the theme of philosophy which stems from Vedanta and Upanishads. Many religious scriptures assert that the void or nothing was permeated by knowledge! The knower is none other than the creator who was formless as well as attribute less! For the sake of our understanding, the sages of ancient time has attributed three qualities to the formless creator. What are they? Existence, Knowledge and Bliss! Though it was formless the force behind the cosmos and creation was identified with the three unique qualities. Let us examine each of these with our worldly understanding!

The formless Self was not created by anybody since it was 'self existing'. It was all alone! There was no second entity! We possess bodies and limbs, thinking and reasoning faculties. We enjoy the sensory pleasures of the world through various sensory organs. We take birth and grow! We exist for certain period of time and finally we die. Hence all created beings undergo the above without fail. Even the incarnations of God, prophets and sages take birth as human being, interact with human society to inculcate the supreme knowledge and to guide us towards eternal existence and bliss! When the tasks they undertook is over, they go back to the source from where they came! Jesus Christ is one example. Likewise there were many sages, saints, yogis in the East. Hindus aver that Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and others fall in the category of Avatars or incarnations of god. They are born and they too pass away like other human beings! The only difference is that their birth is not due to any karmic effects but due to the love and sympathy towards the human race!

Unlike the above, the Self is never born nor it cease to exist at any time. Many cycles of creation may take place, but the Self remains as a mere witness! In fact, the creation is part of the Self and the self pervades every thing as the sky pervades the universe. Wherever you may go, you will find the sky everywhere! But the self is subtler than the sky and its pervasiveness can never be explained adequately. Hence it is termed as 'infinite'! Since it is self existing, self is denoted by this!

Secondly comes 'knowledge'. For us, knowledge means worldly knowledge which is 'false'. The world is changing every moment. How can we retain a permanent knowledge? The only knowledge that is worth learning is the Self-knowledge. Self is neither the body nor the mind or the senses. These things are momentary and fleeting. The mind is never steady and hence it is compared to a 'monkey' that too intoxicated! Sathya Saibaba has once said, 'bodies are water bubbles and the mind is a mad monkey". Hence one should never rely upon the ephemeral and evanescent things! Rely on the inner Self which is the source of all things, all knowledge and supreme bliss! There is charcoal and fire. The charcoal should be brought near the fire and with vigorous fanning, the charcoal to becomes fire! Hence by focusing our attention and thinking about it enable us to gain a fraction of those qualities, the self possess. Hence all scriptures teach us to have good company and especially those who believe in the existence of a supreme power! The spiritual quest leads us to the knowledge of the Self which is also called spiritual wisdom or Jnana!

Then comes the supreme Bliss! We unfortunately equate worldly pleasures with bliss. But bliss is supreme and associated only with the Self! Hence to gain that supreme bliss, we should become one with the Self, which is otherwise termed as Self-Realization. Look at those sensory pleasures. They are momentary and fleeting. How long you can keep a sweet dish on the tongue? It has to be swallowed! Likewise, beautiful scenery and melodious songs can be pleasant for few hours and moments. How long one will enjoy the company of opposite sex? These things are trivial compared to the supreme bliss of the Self which is eternal, ever lasting!

Now let us go to the theme of the hub. The mind consists of thoughts. You think that there is still time to catch a plane or train. This is only a thought. You conceive time in your mind and there is no such thing as time. It is for the convenience of existence, time has been invented or measured by watches and clocks and the days and months by calenders. It is connected to the rotation of earth, the alternating phenomena of day and night. Hence time is just a concept of the mind like the space and causation. You can not isolate time from from space or causation. To travel from one place to other, there is certain interval. The measure of the interval is 'time'. There is changing of environ of space and we say that there is 'distance' which is connected to space. Then the traveling part is the 'causation'. All the above are mere concepts of the mind of the individual.

I have mentioned in the first part, that the formless creator was all alone and creation emanated from him as his will. The formless aspect of god is pervasiveness. He fills the cosmos and creation. There is no place where god is absent. Where is the question of 'movement' when one alone fills everything without any vacuum? When there is no movement, there is no time or causation! Hence it is the mind of the individual which conceives the idea of time and space and not otherwise. In fact, time, space or causation have no meaning in the realm of creator!


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