Time and Space

Einstein saw time and space as a flexible material that could be distorted by gravity

Space and time become players in the evolving cosmos.  They come alive.  Matter here causes space to warp there, which causes matter over here to move, which causes space way over there to warp even more, and so on.  General relativity provides the choreography for an entwined cosmic dance of space, time, matter, and energy.

However, there are indications that at least a part of the psyche is not subject to the laws of space and time… Along with numerous cases of spontaneous foreknowledge, non-spatial perceptions, and so on … these experiments prove that the psyche at times functions outside of the spatio-temporal law of causality.

… This indicates that our conceptions of space and time, and therefore of causality also, are incomplete.  

… we must face the fact that our world, with its time, space, and causality, relates to another order of things lying behind or beneath it, in which neither “here and there” nor “earlier and later” are of importance.  I have been convinced that at least a part of our psychic existence is characterized by a relativity of space and time.  This relativity seems to increase, in proportion to the distance from consciousness, to an absolute condition of timelessness and spacelessness. 

As I see it, the three-dimensional world in time and space is like a system of co-ordinates; what is here separated into ordinates and abscissae may appear “there,” in space-timelessness, as a primordial image with many aspects, perhaps as a diffuse cloud of cognition surrounding an archetype. 

   The experience of separateness is only a secondary experience within the a priori frame of time and space which is the separating principle, what Nietzsche calls the principium individuationis, the individuating principle of time and space.  If it weren’t for time and space we would not be separate here.  So this is our secondary experience.  You have to have this experience in order to live in the world, but every now and then there’s a breakthrough to the other realization.  TMTT 133

So the function of yoga is to release us from the time-space commitment, introduce us to the transcendent.  Then comes the problem of bringing us back so that we can operate in both knowledges.  TMTT 134

 

   Now, a very interesting thing happened at the end of the eighteenth century, when Hindu texts began to be translated into the European languages.  Just before the time of those translations, European philosophy took an immense step forward with the work of Immanuel Kant.  There are two kinds of philosophers in the world: those who have understood Kant, and those who have not.  Kant worked on the problem that had already been announced by Locke: How do we know that what we experience through our senses is really what is there?  Do our senses distort?  Kant begins with what he calls the a priori categories of logic.  We can’t even think of anything except in terms of subject and object, right and wrong – pairs of opposites, logical categories.  Without those categories, there’s nothing to discuss.  Kant then brings up the point that what our senses do is put time and space around us, and everything comes to us through the a priori forms of time and space.  But suppose there was not time or space; then there would be no separateness.  We’re separate in space, we’re separate in time – otherwise we’d be one with the people who sat where we are sitting a year ago, or a century ago, or on the other side of the world.  Taken together, time and space are what Nietzsche calls the principium individuationis the individuating principle that makes us separate creatures.  G17