The common perception of the future is based on a linear view of time as its arrow travels from one event to another. This view is genetically encoded into the hardware of the human brain, perhaps indicated by the familiar Sanskrit word Samsakara in the theosophical world view. Leading thinkers of today describe the importance of future as:
THE FUTURE is the most cosmic, mind-expanding, and philosophically enlightening topic the human mind can entertain. It is also the source of most of our most pressing practical problems and issues. Because the future has such great value and significance, we should do our best to understand it and actively and intelligently participate in its creation. Each of us should become more knowledgeable and educated on the possibilities of the future and learn to think about the future with more depth, breadth, passion, skill, and imagination. Becoming more conscious about the future energizes the human spirit, transforms the mind and self, expands our mental horizons, and moves us forward within our lives.
Yet emerging thought challenges this notion of time.
The challenge began when Relativity added Time as a dimension to space and opened up an entirely way of thinking. Albert Einstein himself wrote:
"...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one."
Several ancient eastern texts agree with Einstein. But what is making the exploration of future even more complex is the thought that the future may even modify our past.
Is there a future for us?
There is a question that we have to ask ourselves , what is the world that I am leaving for future generations ? , would it be life enhancing or life threatening - no philosophy or thinking on the future devoid of such a concern would be meaningful. If the present holds cynicism and engenders pessimism leading to a purposeless drifting and loss of faith in eternal values , peace and harmony will suffer . Peace is always the cornerstone of any philosophy , and it can only come about by a close scrutiny of the thought structures prevalent in each country vis a vis the thought structure that is uppermost and enduring in each country. What I mean to say is that if you take any country in the world , within their thought structure inhabiting the thought world there are smaller thought structures which form the body of of thought of a nation . The totality of such thoughts is the Ego of the thought of that nation . It is not a gross thing - it is highly subtle and permeates the total thought world much as cultures historically spread and vanish or even languages and dialects. It is related to Knowledge . There is a literary ego in every country (for example) and the quality of the thoughts endure in the cosmic intellect , as also a scientific ego (these egos or body of knowledge that I prefer to call them ) are not man made it happens naturally in the course of life and evolution . . Similarly Philosophical ego is also there - now the rules relating to these are quite intelligent - they are not random egos - it is the Philosophical and Spiritual Ego which has the top most precedence and everything else is contained within it , The literary ego and religious ego are held within this main body within the intellect of a nation which is in turn held within the Cosmic intellect relating to the manifest . The sciences being more physical related are at a lower level than the Religious,Literary and Philosophical Egos of the nation. But the more enduring in any such subsidiary ego would have a permanence based on how much more close it is in generalities to the higher egos (for Instance Einstiens Relativity or ambit would be higher than either that of Higgs or liebnietz etc ) . Now it is found that Religion ends where philosophy begins and literary ego sometimes overlaps at some points with the Philosophical ego . There are some correspondences between the different egos at certain places - but there are also clear demarcations. So to illustrate - Bishops Berkleys though structure would be much higher than that of einstiens and would be part of the Religious and Philosophical egos . It in such cases when we come across these higher thought structures we have to determine if a person though he was a religious person was he a philosopher ? and make our stand within our own intellect (whether right or wrong ) The cosmic intellect will position our knowledge correctly so as to not leave us in any doubt . Another broad factor is the religious ego is higher than the scientific ego and philosophy starts where religion ends . In between there is the polictical ego but it is not the polictics we talk about - it is the ego of the thoughts relating to the constitution of the country that hold sway and the nobler it is the more it has power (whether followed or not ) - And corrections when the current interpretations and practices are degraded are happening automatically - everyone in a country suffers . It is fascinating to see the( Say) African countries and Arab countries which have no such constitutions . The greeks still have the Ego of Plato and Aristotle as they are more eternal than most philosophies or subsequent philosophies . It is the strength of that which defines the nation - what we see now is not material . In India amongst the many prevailing philosophies it is the ego of Advaita that holds all other within it.
Maybe I am not making sense or opening myself to opprobrium - but the proof of the pudding is in its eating , as you think so you become - a man is perfectly entitled to rate the Scientific Ego as the highest and proceed in his philosophy and his personal philosophy will be so . Its endurance will prove how much closer or further he his placed by knowledge within the cosmic intellect - inferior thought structures (or systems of thought ) are broken and assimilated into other superior thought structures IN IDENTICALLY THE SAME WAY IT WAS BORN - it returns to the mother thoughts and stays there and does not become a cohesive philosophy even as the man is alive and pontificating - things happen in the intellect first - and it is the death of a person so to say but he does not know . The thought system thus faultily generated creates a lot of head ache for the person even as he lives as he will be accused or reviled buy others as to the source of his inspiration .
It has been found out that those thoughts that are most life preserving are part of that body of faith and the ego is held by cosmic nature - variences and practices are dealt with severely through perversion in the intellect which makes people read the signs wrongly and act stupidly . One gets removed further from the truth again and again .
In the infinite there is no time , past and present and future are not there - It simply is everyone and itself and does not forget itself . This is the truth - if the finite wants to save itself it has to do it intelligently by knowledge as knowledge and intelligence is recognised by the infinite as itself - The infinite does not think about itself since it is always known that it is itself . Just as a man never thinks constantly ''I am a man'' - it is known . It awakens from meditation (so to say) when it finds another struggling on its behalf !!!!!!! to become itself !!!!
There is a small problem with the human intellect - as with actions and with Karma what a person does is like an arrow sent from a bow and cannot be recalled .It is an idle thought that man can learn from his mistakes , it is a kind of idealism that is part of the eternal hope in mankind - there is nothing to be learnt from the past , everything that has happened has already taken place at a certain point of time and history and cannot be changed . To think that the past bad experiences will help in reformation of human life is a gross fallacy . Bad judgement leads to bad results and experiences . The same experience will never be repeated in the history of mankind with the same players - same experiences will be repeated with different players who will have decided views on what is bad and good . Man is inherently an animal which only learns by experience so it is a fact there will be adverse experiences . As an example Napolean invaded Russia during winter which started the downfall of his empire - Hitler too made the same mistake and it proved to be too much for him also .Is it even concievable that Hitler's ego would have deferred to history and learnt from Napoleans mistake ? In anyway both were leaders and no amount of arm chair scrutiny would be able to justify what in hindsight may seem in subsequent years on analysis as a mistake occur to either of them .Take the Russian invasion of Afghanistan it was a failure though Russia is more suitably situated than America for its role as an occupation force , But it was not a deterrent for the American establishment , Russia in turn never learnt from the experience of the British who never really could make any headway in Afghanistan during the heydays of the Commonwealth. Take the example of Vietnam , Cambodia and Korea - people fighting on bicycles forced the Americans to capitulate from Vietnam . What did they learn ? Everybody makes history .
Even individuals never learn from history , see how many divorces now a days people go through - even after misery they still hope for a "good alliance'' - It is folly Nobody learns from life . We are upgrading the faults of the past into the present and the future . There are no repetition of events other than the call of nature in sentient beings - the playing field gets changed each time . In human history the statement that those who forget are those who repeat is a totally philosophical statement and has nothing to do with the community or country as a whole it refers to the forgetting of our true natures and so having to repeat lives and births interminably . There is a solemn promise to the infinite when a man chooses to manifest that he will not forget his true nature , but unfortunately the moment a man is born he is born into forgetting - to be born as a human being it is necessary to forget , but to live as a human being one has to remember his true nature and live accordingly .Those who pay attention to the past become historians and nothing more , they do not become better persons. If a man does any judgement based on previous experience you can be sure he will be disappointed again as the same set of conditions may not apply equally in all situations so he is said to make a bad judgement thus hurting him ..
Dear Paul ,
The thing of it is Paul , Truth is not an ordinary word like all words - It is not correct if each person has a different meaning for Truth , obviously it seems to me from your post that in your opinion everyone has a different definition . Truth is what remains the same in all periods of time - Past , Present and Future , It does not undergo any change at all times , it is not born in other words it does not come into being or phenomenal existence , it is homogenous ie. there are no parts to a truth or partial truths , it is the same always . What is true never goes out of existence and is ever present .Truth is eternal and rests as an idea .You have to clearly comprehend that human existence or phenomenal existence (ie. something which comes into being is also liable to vanish - it is not eternal). It is untrue - common intellects may not agree with what I am writing - but the fact is people are so used to proscribe a word into something meaningless or even its exact opposite . There have been people who have told me that I am wrong and what I am speaking is of the ''Absolute Truth" and not the ''Phenomenal Truth" - it is a foolish argument Truth is Truth one cannot again qualify it with another word ''Absolute" just to introduce a concept of Phenomenal Truth and call it Truth proper .
there is in the Upanishads a good analogy of what truth is :
''Some rivers flow to the South and some rivers flow to the North , but they all flow to the sea - and once there do not say "I am from this river or place '' - they are all same - That which is the essence in everything that exists and has itself for its being , that is the truth , that is the self that thou art "
''Just as bees gather honey from different flowers and gather them together and there the honey does not say "I am from this flower and he is from another '' - That which is the essence in everything that exists and has itself for its being , that is the truth , that is the self that thou art.
Every man has hope - but it has to be seen in the light of each one of our experiences - reasonable hope is allowable , hoping for the uplift of mankind as one, Sea changes and new awakenings in human consciousness and behaviour are all misplaced hope - hope is an individual belief , it is never collective - If collective hope is there as a single body - then it means that prevailing conditions are bad for the individuals and they share a common hope - this is delusion , the individual has to reform singly
Paul I am chagrined that my post has made you throw more doubts than answers, it was never my intention to do so so - I have a small request you are free to disregard anything that you do not find in consonance with your beliefs . There is nothing that says that what I am writing is an ultimately acceptable truth to all .Every person has his own path charted out for him according to their inclination particularly so in the case of spirituality so it is very rare that piligrims progress will be the same for two people . But faith and knowledge are intrinsic to the process of evolution of the human being . John had previously given you a very good pointer once , but it seems you have a very short memory .
Thank you Paul and Hari for the beautiful exchange.
Hari, could there be 'Absolute Time"and "Phenomenal Time", just like the Truth?
Dear Captain ,
Time is the concept , Time is the Idea - Absolute and Phenomenal are just an acknowledgement that since time can never be the same in all persons it is generalized into two broad classifications for matters of exposition , only manages to further corrode the actual word Idea . We cannot in any way do such a classification and then try to understand Time in the true meaning of the Idea contained within the word . We are conditioned by the clocks and watches and the sun dials and by day and night , seasons, calendars , festivals ,birthdays etc . Even the enunciation of time in Cosmological proportions depend on the expansion of smaller time periods till one is stultified as to the concept and no further thought arises . It is not exactly a concept like Truth , the indications may point to such a conclusion but the fact of the situation is that - it is a far more inferior principle than Truth . Time is not self evident like Truth nor self intelligent (ie it cannot realize its own nature - so it is not a conscious principle ). Time is a principle arising out of some other essential things - 1. It must have a conscious observer or experiencer 2. The Conscious observer or experiencer must be truncated or have shape (physical or divine ).
3. It requires objects in order that it may be known , since time is manifested through objects alone and the passage of time is known . 4. Space is required for objects to be present and for the concommittant manifestation of Time 5. But apart from consciousness and an ability to intuit or percieve or cognize time mind is required . So a fact which emerges is that since space is non conscious but time is percieved in space , Time is subtler than space and holds space within it , but again it is the mind which is required to cognize time so mind is subtler than time and time is an object of Mind (not space ) which contains all other succeeding principles within it .
4. The word Idea or Clear concept of Time thus shows that it is related to phenomena only and not to the infinitly conscious principle which part we are all .
The moving mind alone has time and the mind moves by the vital force or prana , a steady silent and unmoving mind is no more a mind and prana is located at any one of the Yogic centers and one does not breathe nor is aware of the body , since prana is subtler than the body and permeates it - replenishment of the vital force is through prana which does not necessitate any breathing , but all vital body functions continue as normally .
In Ayurveda it says " The mind is born in the heart , and moved by prana space and time is manifested ....wherever in this Veda there is a reference to the body , it is to be understood as the Mind ...."
Time is an Axiom in the Particular (ie.Phenomena) or can be used as a Truth or General Principle only in cogitations involving all succeeding things and would not hold good when cogitating on its preceding elements .It will make a person arrive at a wrong conclusion . Time is a General in the particular whereas Truth is an Axiom in both General in the General and in General in the Particular . Just by way of example when we meditate on the Self we do dispense with Time, Space and Causation as the self is not concerned with any of these and if meditated on would yield wrong knowledge.
Meditations on Time is quite helpful in that since the whole of the manifest universe both physical and subtle are included in the word Idea of time it can be used to Transcend the Viswan and Virat Purushas in meditation of A and merge the microcosmic in the macrocosm and similarly from that proceed to the meditation on Taijasa and Hiranyagarbha and merge A in U with a succeeding increase in the magnitude of the meditation whilst becoming more microcosmic .This is the end of the dream state and corresponds to the 5th state of wisdom .
Time being a subtler concept than the world pervades in consciousness(knowledge) the word Idea of world and so the world is held (in our actual consciousness) within the Idea of Time (within us )- but better is if you can manage to uncondition yourself from time as we know and then a very fascinating thing happens - Time as an Item of knowledge having been proved to be not universally true vanishes from consciousness , but the world which is subject to time appears as a faint remembrance in memory which inferentially on effort makes one aware of time , but the more fascinating aspect is that - the world does not impinge upon ones consciousness as before , it will be just an outline of the world with no solidity (in Consciousness). It is easier than trying to meditate on the non existence of the world directly , in fact this non existence meditation has more validity only at the stage where the Word Idea of the world that we have loses its solidity just as with the God idea when the personal god idea is transcended . The world will then appear as only a small thing which is very ephemeral and very very minute phenomena of no consequence. Mostly people experience a feeling of void etc when the God Idea and world Idea (which are personal) vanish and mistake it for athiesm , but it is here one has to have immense faith and then proceed to merge ones Idea of Personal Nature and merge in the cosmic - this is done by meditation on M where the microcosm is Prajna (Consciousness/ Knowledge) and Macrocosm is Ishwara (or Sarveshwara ) which is totally unbound .Obviously the U is merged in M and the M vanishes in knowledge . This is the Truth the absolute truth which can be experienced in the intellect .
I have digressed a little so that just in case , the flow of thoughts might be helpful to you in tying up many other things that you may be having knowledge of .