Although in our day to day life situations, we use the Space & Time just like any other words; these two are not as simple as they seem. Almost for every human being the meaning of space & time is different depending on how they perceive these two experientially. I would say the experience of space seems to be the same for most of the people but the experience of time is significantly different. Imagine a day where you went on to a trekking expedition high up in the mountains for a week. You camped in the jungles and had a lot of fun. After one week when you came back, in your experience, it seemed like it was just one day and the time was over. On the other hand, imagine that you are working on something which you don’t like. In this case, every single minute will feel like a day in your experience. So this thing is sure that ‘Time is a relative experience’ and depends upon what state of mind you are; in a given situation. If you are in a happy mood, the time runs fast, if you are feeling miserable the time runs slow. And that’s the reality of your own experience. I don’t have to prove anything because all of us have experienced the same in our life one way or the other. If we have to define time, it is the imagined distance or gap between two events. Now depending upon which state of mind you are in, this distance either increases or decreases. In the above example, when you were fully soaked into your activity, there was no experience of time because you were not thinking of any other event. You were fully involved in Now. And when you are fully involved in now, the time doesn’t exist in your experience. It just flies off.
Similarly, the experience of space is also relative in nature. If I have to define space, it is an imagined distance or gap between two points. Now if I take the same example as mentioned above, just like you lose the sense of time when you are fully involved in now, similarly you lose the sense of space when you are 100 percent here i.e. you are not thinking of here and there, you are simply here and you are fully enjoying being here. When this happens, in your experience you will lose the sense of space as well. I know this is little difficult to understand, but once the same comes in your living experience, then you will agree with me. We will see this aspect in detail in the below section.
Let’s go into an exploratory mode and see how true is the above analogy. This exploration process is going to be a series of questions and I want you to look sincerely into these questions. Don’t go by what I am saying or what other people might be saying. Just pose these following questions to yourself and delve deeper into them. Once you have sufficiently analyzed the questions, then arrive at a decision based on your experience.
Q1: Ask yourself, when does my experience take place?
Phase 1 exploration: Sit quietly & comfortably and be aware of your own present experience whatever it may be, and then ask again: When does my experience take place? Let’s modify the question a little bit and now ask yourself, when does any experience of mine take place? If you have looked sufficient enough within yourself, you will experientially realize that your experience takes place in ‘NOW’. Let’s stretch this question further. Ask yourself, when you woke up in the morning and went for a walk, when did that experience happen? The answer is, it was NOW when I was having that experience. When you had your breakfast, when did that experience happen? Again the answer is same. It was NOW when I was having my breakfast. Right now you are reading this article, when is this experience happening? The answer is, this experience is happening right now in NOW. And I am sure you are aware of this experience as well otherwise you wouldn’t even know that there is an experience.
Phase 2 exploration: If you have successfully gone through the experience up till here, Let’s explore further. Ask yourself, is there any difference between any of these NOWs? When you went for a walk or when you were having your breakfast or while you are sitting here reading this article? If you say the answer is Yes, then ask yourself, when did the previous Now end and the New Now start? If you look deeper, you will find that you will come to a logical end and you won’t be able to answer this question. Try as hard as you can, there will come a point where your mind will say, I can’t answer this question. If you have the answer, then I would be happy to get enlightened about that, you may please share that in the comment section.
If you say there is no difference between the NOWs which you are experiencing, then Ask yourself, how many NOWs does actually exist or Is it just the same NOW which you are experiencing every moment of your life? If you look deep enough, suddenly you will experientially realize that something which we call NOW is the constant element which exists in our every experience. If that is so, that means, The NOW doesn’t share the limits of TIME. If the NOW doesn’t share any limits of time, this implies it should be eternal. Hence it wouldn’t be wrong to say that NOW is not a moment in time. Time exists in NOW and NOW is all there is at the level of fundamental reality of existence. Again, don’t just simply agree with me, just try analyzing the above questions again and again and see what is your own experience.
So from the perspective of the physical universe, Time exists only when eternal now is objectified by the mind as a thought. Every moment in time is NOW when it is experienced. In existential reality, there is only NOW, there is no now and then.
Q 2: Ask yourself, where does my experience take place?
The very simple answer is, my experience takes place HERE. When you are trekking on a mountain, where does that experience take place? The answer is HERE. When you are driving a car, where is that experience taking place? The answer is HERE. How many different HERE’s have you experienced? Can you differentiate between this here and that here? If you look deeper, you will realize that Every point in Space is ‘HERE’ when you experience it. If that is so, then HERE cannot share the limits of space. If the HERE doesn’t share any limits, that means it should be infinite, Isn’t it? Which means, HERE is not a point in space, It is in HERE within which space exists. And I am assuming that you are aware of this experience that you are here right now in HERE. In reality, there is no here and there, there is only HERE and HERE. Space comes into the picture when HERE is objectified in the mind by using a perception. Again, I am not here to convince you about my perception of space. I would highly recommend you to go by your own experience. Dive deep into these questions and you will yourself find the answers.
Q 3: Lastly ask yourself, if everything is HERE and NOW, what is that element which cannot be separated from both HERE and NOW? Or in other words what is that element which has the most intimate relationship with HERE and NOW and hence is inseparable?
The answer is your own Consciousness or Awareness. Ask yourself, how do you know that you are having any experience right now? You know any experience because you are conscious of the experience at that moment in NOW. How do you know that you are having an experience here? You know that because you are conscious of the experience of HERE. Which means awareness is the inseparable element in both Here and Now. And as I have already mentioned that at the deepest core of our own existence, we are essentially consciousness or awareness. If that is so, It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Now is I AM and Here is also I AM. Well in fact, when we say here and now, we are inherently talking about the same reality expressed in two different ways. At the most fundamental level, there is just awareness. Rest everything is just a modified form of that. So here and now in this context are modified forms of consciousness.
Mind & Sense perceptions bring time and space out of eternal consciousness or awareness into existence. Time is eternity filtered through thought. Space is infinity filtered through perception.
So lastly, if you ask me, Does Space time really exist? Well, my answer would be, depends upon which level of consciousness or awareness you belong to. If your experience of life is just limited to the physicality of who you are (i.e. the body and mind), then in your experience Space and Time will exist. If you have transcended the limitations of your own physicality, then Space and Time will not exist in your experience. Because your mind and sense perceptions have no access to a transcendent experience (To know more about transcendence please Click Here). In a transcendent experience, everything is HERE and NOW……!
Peace & Love!