Time and Space

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Studies in science and consciousness (e.g. Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, Biocentrism by Robert Lanza, The Field by Lynne McTaggart, My Big T.O.E by Thomas Campbell, etc.) have demonstrated through a variety of means that time and space are constructs of  human and animal minds.  They have no independent, observed or tangible reality in and of themselves.  We create them in order to establish dimensions within which to survive amongst and with other organisms and to play games.

Transcendent experiences, such as enlightenments, peak-experiences, even Scientology releases, are instances where the automaticity of creating time/space constructs are ceased – even if for the briefest of spans.  At those moments we experience more of the true nature of the universe and its interconnectedness. Here is the realm where psi (psychic phenomena – or theta perceptics – such as clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and telepathy) activities are observed and exercised. That reality only appears perceivable and achievable outside of our mental time and space constructs, which by their very purpose and definitions create the apparency of separateness.  Those transcendent experiences are often far and few between for folks because they have so permanently implanted upon themselves – and begun to mistake for ultimate reality – the reality of the time and space constructs they create. But, the more frequent a practice makes their experience possible, the more chance we have of, as Ken Wilber put it, converting temporary states more toward more permanent traits.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and Scientology processes are exercises in restoring the ability to cease the automaticity of creation of time and space.  Understood in this context, it is very easy to run processes, to run groups of them (grades/levels), or even the complete program (or Bridge), to their fullest potential gain.  Not a lot of duress and dogma designed to instill unswerving devotion and surrender is required to bring about ability when that simple, if all-encompassing, framework is kept in mind. When viewed against this scientific/consciousness field of evolving, tested context Hubbard processes can become as natural and simple to deliver as driving an automobile.

I think the more a practitioner appreciates these facts, and our increasing objective (scientific) understandings and how they relate to consciousness, the more proficient, effective, and empowering his or her practice becomes.

This ability can become unachievable in Scientology; much in the way it has in many other practices.  There are a number of reasons for this.  However, all of those factors can be recognized and understood to one degree or another as invitations or commands to build further time/space constructs, and to believe so implicitly in them that one – once again – puts the process on automatic.  Whatever titillating or inviting backdrops against, or foundations upon, which one presents such enticements to build new mental constructs, they still have the same regressive effect ultimately.  They send one back down the rabbit hole of time/space construction, which after enough practice ultimately to one degree or another goes back onto automatic.

Consequently, a simple axiom evolved for me that I have found useful in studying and applying any work in the fields of spirit, philosophy and psychotherapy.  To those cemented into the permanent constructs some paths tends to embed one in, this will sound like the most rank heresy.  To those not so embedded, it might help keep you from falling into the wet concrete looming along certain paths.  It is simply this, to the degree data assists with relieving additives to the mind that enforce automatic time/space construction it is valuable; conversely, to the degree data invites introduction of additives that further automatic time/space construction it is destructive of higher awareness and states of consciousness.

99 responses to “Time and Space

  1. Joe van Staden

    Joe van Staden: AS I SEE IT

    It will require several chapters, to respond and do justice to the many insightful comments regarding this particular post. Nonetheless, I will attempt to do so as concisely and directly as possible.

    I believe two issues are essentially at the core of what is being discussed here. One is mindset and two is consciousness.

    ONE; MINDSET

    Nothing is as it seems – nothing. What we perceive and experience are the labels we have stuck to everything we encounter in an attempt to become or remain oriented in an ever changing “world”. We evaluate all we observe in accordance with the benchmarks – beliefs, values and assumptions, which constitute our mindset. In other words, the existence we experience and respond to is our creation.

    Two types of benchmarks in particular constitute mindset – those which are predominantly information based – defined in terms of thinking and logic, and those which are predominantly intuition based – defined in terms of feelings such as empathy.

    A functional mindset is a mindset in touch – the balance between info and intuition based benchmarks is appropriate to the prevailing circumstances. A dysfunctional mindset is out of touch – the balance between info and intuition based benchmarks is out. In the simplest of terms; where there is too much “head” and too little “heart” or too much heart and too little head we loose touch.

    (By the way, this is the state of the world today – too much head and too little heart. It is after all the information age. Regardless of humanities amazing technological advances, we are out of touch with our world).

    There is no such thing as an unprejudiced point of view or perspective. We are often told to think out the box which is generally seen as good advice. Yet this isn’t possible. We may shift to a different box – a bigger or more comfortable box, but a box – a frame of reference – a mindset of some kind can not be avoided.

    We rely on mindset – a frame of reference – to filter, contextualize, categorize, reject and/or channel the vast amount of information and feelings we are constantly exposed to in an immense ocean of omni present consciousness. In other words, mindset provides the orientation which makes it possible for us to focus and function. Without such a filter – without our beliefs and values, our assumptions and “truths”, we are likely to become completely disoriented and overwhelmed by mental and emotional stimulation.

    In the following scenario, simple as it is, can be seen the role of mindset as it applies to our daily lives as well as every facet of existence.

    Imagine being given the choice to live anywhere in the world with an allowance that will ensure a very comfortable lifestyle. Let us assume you accepted the offer, and after going down a list of a thousand possibilities, you made your decision. In narrowing down the list, certain criteria will have been used in the process of elimination. Undoubtedly, you will have had benchmarks which immediately eliminated most possibilities, leaving you with a few probabilities. Those left on the list will reflect your idea of an ideal place to live. In the end, your final choice of the ideal spot would not have been possible without a frame of reference to filter the vast number of choices at your disposal. Without the benchmarks, which constitutes your mindset, you would simply have remained overwhelmed and unable to make the “best” choice. Under pressure, and out of desperation, you may have closed your eyes and blindly placed your finger on the list, allowing for the possibility of winding-up with an igloo inside the Arctic Circle!

    In the absence of relevant benchmarks, the thousand possibilities you had to choose from amounted to more information than you could effectively process. Not having the appropriate means of evaluation will invariable put you out of touch. This is where mindset comes in. It provides the criteria from which you can make a choice. It provides the benchmarks, context, frame of reference, setting, in which life can happen. Mindset provides the required orientation (the context) within which life can be sustained and have meaning—a basis for self-expression in a world of constant change. The more appropriate the criteria – the beliefs and values, we use to make choices, the more functional the mindset.

    TWO; CONSCIOUSNESS

    The quest for an answer to what consciousness actually is goes back millennia. In order to gauge success in this age-old endeavor, we need only Google consciousness studies. What we will find is an overwhelming amount of data which will take us more than a lifetime to work our way through. Even so, there seems to be no explicit simple answer to the question.

    Generally speaking this quest can be broken down into three approaches. Firstly there is the approach predominantly driven by a mindset based on information based benchmarks – the scientific and academic approach – logic and “facts”. Secondly there is the approach predominantly driven by a mindset based on intuition, subjective insights – the esoteric and metaphysical approach – a “sixth sense”. Thirdly we have the approach driven by a mindset which seems to run between one and two. Although this third approach has been around for more than two or three centuries, it is only in recent years that authors like Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics), Gary Zukav (The Dancing Wu li Masters), Amit Goswami (The Self-Aware Universe), Lynne McTaggart.(The Field) and others have brought some fascinating material into the public domain.

    (L Ron Hubbard and Scientology I believe fits in the third approach. However, my personal preference is to use the word consciousness rather than Theta). .

    Whatever approach one favors, each will reflect the prevailing mindset behind the approach, which is also reflected in the “language” used. It has been my experience that in most cases this “designer” language tends to be over the heads of all but initiates. Probably the worst of the three are those involved in the first approach. The mind-numbing complexity of the strictly academic approach to the consciousness question could be forgiven had it come up with the answer, but it hasn’t. And it doesn’t look as if it will anytime soon.

    In my attempt here to answer the question of what consciousness is I have tried to the best of my ability to do so in “user friendly” language.

    THE NATURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

    It could be said that consciousness from the human perspective is synonymous with our sense of existence. Unless we are aware of something – unless it has entered our sphere of consciousness, as far as we are concerned, it does not exist – it isn’t real. Yes, this is a fundamental aspect of consciousness, but it doesn’t really tell us what consciousness is; so what is it?

    Consciousness is an experience – the experience and perception of variation, change and difference, diversity and transformation. In the complete absence of variation, change and/or difference of any kind, whatsoever, of what would you be aware – of what would you be conscious?

    According to this hypothesis on the nature of consciousness; the catalyst for awareness and consciousness is the inherent ever changing, always different, nature of “nature”.

    The existence we know – the reality we respond to is sustained from one instant to the next by constant variation, change and difference (VCD). The common denominator in all we are aware of is perpetual VCD. It is this ever-present diversity and transformation which the mind (mindset) endows with meaning, relevance and value, which is then interpreted as the reality we perceive and experience. The only constant in life is variation, change and difference.

    Our sense of existence – our sense of self, is dependent on VCD. For instance, your perception that something is too big, ugly, of no use or too expensive, is in each case due to a comparison of some kind being made – a comparison indicative of variation, change and/or difference. Store A is seen as expensive when its products cost far more compared with those in store B. It is the difference in what stores A and B charge that makes store A expensive.

    When we look at our immediate environment, what do we see? No matter how we describe what we are looking at, awareness of what is being observed is possible only because of the variation, change and difference inherent in what we are looking at. It is the fluctuation and diversity in terms of shape, size, color, location, velocity, purpose, value, temperature, texture and so on, that distinguishes one thing from the next, making it possible to see and experience anything.

    Whatever is being defined or described, variation, change and difference, in terms of something comparable, is inherent in that description. It does not matter whether the comparison is specifically referred to or not, or whether it is obvious or obscure, it is always there. One could say that the raw material of existence (reality) is VCD.

    Time: a key component of reality is, in the final analysis, a manifestation of change. Time is not the background against which variation, change and difference takes place. VCD happens—and we have time. From the human perspective we measure, describe and experience time in terms of the variations and changes we encounter daily. Things vary, change and become different—which is then perceived and experienced as time.

    Space: another key component of reality is invariably perceived and experienced in terms of two or more dimension points. For us to experience space there is always at least a point A and a point B in a relationship of some kind. Point A and point B could be anything as long as point A is different from point B in terms of location, meaning, relevance and/or value. One could say that space is the product of the relationship between two or more points separated by variations and differences. In the complete absence of difference between A and B of any kind whatsoever we have complete sameness, making interaction (relationship and relativity) of any kind impossible. Complete sameness also renders meaningless and irrelevant the designation of points A and B.

    Energy: the basis of this key component of reality is that where there is a point A and a point B, there is the probability of interaction and flow. And where there is interaction or flow, there is energy in some form. However, the nature of interaction or flow between A and B is entirely dependent on the variation and difference separating the two.

    Our ability to manage our existence diminishes to the degree that variation, change and difference, fluctuation and diversity is perceived as unacceptable and experienced as beyond tolerance.

    THE BRAIN

    The supposition here is that brain activity and neurological phenomena, any biological sensor – the 5 senses – such as the visual system, only kick-in once variation, change and difference is detected.

    Nonetheless, there is considerable support for the idea that the brain is ultimately the source of consciousness (the first approach). It can be argued that it is the brain – our biological receptors, which make it possible for us to perceive and experience VCD in the first place. Based on this supposition it must then be concluded that the concept of consciousness only applies to “living” entities in possession of a brain or some form of neurological system. For such an argument to be sustainable the exploration of consciousness must remain introspective – limited to a world defined in terms of brain activity and/or neurological phenomena – a world contained within a skull, so to speak. This assumption is unacceptable to those who favor the second and third approaches to the exploration of consciousness.

    The second and third approaches to the nature of consciousness imply that there is more to it than that which is defined in terms of our physical anatomy. Even so, due to the compelling material (physical) orientation, in which humanity find itself, the average individual is inclined to give more credence to institutions and people who represent and promote the first approach – the scientific and academic approach to finding answers to the nature of consciousness. Consequently most of humanity see and experience consciousness only in terms of a sense of self – a sense of me – I – an ego – a point located inside the skull. .

    The position taken here is that consciousness is not limited to the human sense of self. It pervades all of existence – existence beyond the reach of the 5 senses. In other words, we exist in an “ocean” of consciousness, whether we are aware of it or not.

    There seems to be consensus amongst inquiring minds throughout the ages that a “connectedness” exists between all in existence. The supposition here is that this “universal” connectedness may just as well be described as an all pervasive omni present consciousness.

    To get closer to the true nature of consciousness we need to look beyond the mindsets and language used in the different approaches to the exploration of consciousness.

    Looking at this all-encompassing consciousness from a “birds eye-view” we see it reflected in every aspect of existence. For instance, it is present in the “awareness” existing between sub-atomic particles and a rock “knowing” to fall toward the center of the Earth. The latter is clearly not stated in the language of physics. The scientist will use words like entanglement and gravity instead of awareness and knowing. Nonetheless, whatever the words used to describe an aspect of existence, a “connectedness” between all in existence seems to be conventional wisdom, be it from the perspective of science or mysticism.

    Postulating consciousness as the determining factor in the “setting” for all of existence is likely to be problematic for some. Here is the thing; whatever description is preferred for the “backdrop” against which existence is realized, be it; The Quantum Field, Heaven, The Ether or Blank Canvas, inherent in any such label are characteristics indicative of “consciousness”.

    IN CONCLUSION

    Although there is a great deal more I could say, the following analogy is intended to provide some insight in how what has been said relates to our daily lives.

    Imagine being in a large art museum hall filled with a multitude of art works hidden from view in darkness. All we have is a tiny narrow-beam torch. Although it sheds some light on our surroundings, our view will be determined by the width of the beam. In most cases this will be much too narrow to shed light on the complete item in front of us. In some cases, we may have to scan the beam up, down and sideways to make out what is there. Now imagine having a torch with a much wider beam. Using the wider beam it becomes possible to see complete items at one glance. Having a torch with an even wider beam, it is now possible to see several items simultaneously. The wider the torch beam the more we can see. It may be that at some point the beam is wider than what is required – too much is exposed to our view – we can’t take it all in. Now imagine the impact on our senses should the main lights in the hall be switched on. Every item comes into view simultaneously.

    Here is the thing. The multitude of art works in this large museum hall represents every possible possibility – infinite potential. The light beam emanating from the torch indicates the extent of our awareness – the width of our consciousness. The device for adjusting the width of the beam is mindset. The variation, change and difference inherent in the art works we are looking at, at that instant, will be indicative of the width of the beam – the extent of our consciousness at that moment. Should the torch beam be too narrow it means mindset is too closed and we can’t see what is required at that time. The VCD inherent in what we are looking at will be too little. Should the torch beam be too wide it means we are exposed to more data than we need – more than we can effectively assimilate – mindset is too open. The VCD inherent in what we are looking at will be too much. In both cases mindset is dysfunctional. A functional mindset would be a case of what we are looking at and experiencing – where what we are conscious of – where what the torch beam reveals – is what we want to see, can experience and tolerate.

    The most significant aspect of this scenario is the implication that everything possible already exists. All that separates us from this all encompassing omni present consciousness is mindset – a mindset which narrows the torch beam and gives us defined time – past, present and future as well as defined space – here and there. Within the context of a “museum hall” which is all lit up, we have an infinite now and undefined space.

    The consciousness we are familiar with – that which we currently see and experience, is simply a reflection of how wide our torch beam is and how much or how little VCD we can tolerate. In the final analysis, improving conditions amount to raising our tolerance of variation, change and difference. This, in turn, amounts to gaining mastery over that device (mindset), which widens and narrows our focus.

    Joe van Staden.

  2. As to:

    “to the degree data assists with relieving additives to the mind that enforce automatic time/space construction it is valuable; conversely, to the degree data invites introduction of additives that further automatic time/space construction it is destructive of higher awareness and states of consciousness”

    Well said!

    By the way, I think even many or even most physicists today would agree that in some sense, time is an illusion. (I am an avid student of physics and cosmology.)

  3. I found solace in the pre-Socratics.

    Google “The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps” narrated in over a hundred 20 minute short simple lectures, by Peter Adamson.

    I think the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers (borrowing from Hinduism) had it right.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/history-of-philosophy/id396903391

    (lectures 2 – 12, especially the lecture on the “atomists”), indicate to me.

    The roots of of materialism go way back, the definition of materialism where it means there’s no spirit, it’s all matter (or it’s all whatever it is). Bringing the atomists up to date, I like Lawrence M. Krauss’ 2012 book “A Universe from Nothing”.

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