Monday, June 30, 2014

Space and Time, Zeno's Paradoxes and Permanaides' Way of the Truth

The ancient Greek philosopher Permanides of Elea, said to have lived around fifth BC, is credited with impacting the thoughts of Plato who in turn influenced the whole of Western Philosophy.

In his work On Nature, the first part called the Way of the Truth deals with the changeless and timeless nature of the world. His student Zeno created three paradoxes that supported these ideas.
  • Achilles and the Tortoise divides space into infinite points and says it is impossible for Achilles to catch up with the Tortoise ever so infinitesimally.
  • The Dichotomy paradox says it is impossible to move because you can keep on dividing the remaining distance by two and you can never complete the first part.
  • Arrow Paradox says it is impossible for anything to move, since any object such as an arrow at any instance during its apparent movement is static.
These paradoxes points to the strange nature of the reality. Contrary to our intuitive experiences, these ideas point us to the true nature. While we  now have accepted a reality that can only be explained through probabilities and mathematics, this somehow seems to be delegated to the infinitesimally small world of particles.

While these ideas talk about the impossibility of motion , or change, we can relate it to the impossibility of action. Our actions can be classified into voluntary/conscious and involuntary. 

A muscle twitch, or scratching our skin, closing our eyelids at a dust particle are done without much conscious involvement. one can say it just happens.
On the other hand we act at times with intention, planning and fully conscious. while it appears we do act, one must take a step backward and look at the intention. If we look at how our thought of intention occurred to us, we can easily see that the though simply happened. we really do not have control over thoughts occurring to us. but we easily accept that the action that follows is ours. So it is clear that all actions which we falsely claim ownership are simply happening. 

Permanides followed in his second part The Way of the Opinion, how our senses leads us to falsely believe in a world that appears to be changing, and where there is space and time and there is movement.

A contemplation on who I am, by eliminating all the things that are not me, such as my possessions, name, body etc.. including the thoughts that I seem to get, I realize that I am not connected with this world. Eliminating this false notion of reality, I abide as my Silent , Inactive Joyful Self.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Matrix of time and space

To talk about anything, we need a context, or a frame of reference. Where you are is always relative to some other place, When is it, is relative to some other period in time. Tomorrow is relative to Today. Far is relative to Near.

The World we experience is a projection on a  beautiful fabric made up of crisscrossing threads of time and space. These magical threads form the framework, the matrix, or the canvas on which are laid all the events of the drama of life.

While space is a perceptual dimension, time provides the temporal aspect. At any point in time, one seems to have access to a series of events in space, stacked one over the other in time slices of the past. We refer to this as memory. 

One can access the childhood slice. days of school. or any other event in the past. there is a distinct boundary as to when these events occurred.And each time these are accessed they always appear in that exact order,and always the same events at same points in time. If we recollect the first time ever of going to school, we always recollect the same school irrespective of how many times or when we recollect. Also the order in which events have occurred seems to always be the same. This apparent persistence or permanence of the past gives credential to a reality of the past. A random recollection will appear a lot less real. The brain as a device that seems to capture the temporal stories is a fabrication for further authenticity. If all the pieces of information are in fact stored in the brain, who is it that accesses it?

Similarly one encounters space. It seems to be really fixed. we know where we are. We do know where other places are. The distances between places seem to be absolute. Both objectively as well as subjectively the spatial relationship of things and places don't seem to change. This continuity or persistence gives credibility to the reality of space and things in it. The distances between our home and the stores, distances between our city and others are absolutely fixed.They measure the same exact length.

A deeper examination of time shows that, only the moment or the Present is actually experience able. Past is only accessed through thoughts from memory. Similarly the place we are at now is the only place we can experience.Even the next room is only accessible in our thought. When we do move to the next room, then we may be experiencing it at that Present moment, and the experience of the previous room becomes a thought in the past.

Similarly a deeper study of materials show how immaterial they really are. From a physical as well as temporal point of view matter as we experience it is not as real as well think.

A clear understanding of how such a Matter without reality is placed in the matrix of Time and Space which are as much a fiction themselves, is a striking revelation that results in the true Knowledge of Who we are. If Time, Space and Matter are not real, then the one asking about it, talking about it and having an apparent experience is the only real Self. Knowing that I am that only Self is Knowledge.

Obtaining and staying in this Knowledge, one is able to experience life as a mere play of light and sound in the apparent matrix of Time and Space.