Musings on Time and the Life of Man

by Ganesh Varadharajan

The present is always looming above our heads like a dark cloud, bearing down on us. It turns us into the restless, ‘busy’ creatures that we are or have become. The past, both recent and distant, weighs us down, slowing the rate of any progress or growth, destroying resolutions subconsciously, eroding our will, making us creatures of habit as we continue to live from moment to moment.

The past is slipping away through our fingers as we try desperately to hold on to it, as something that will never return to us. Only a ghost of it lingers in our memories, fading as the days go by. Is it not strange that our memories are mostly visual? We often try to remember it as pictures or film, occasionally as words, but we seem to not give the same importance to our other senses as we extend to the visual medium. Taste, smell or even feelings, we do not recall perfectly. Only an idea remains that is often brought to life and imperfectly re-created by our imagination, each time more inaccurately.

Trying to hold on to the past is like trying catch mist. But the future isn’t less foggy. In fact, when it comes to the future, we lose every ounce of certitude. In other words, all bets are off. Your guess is as good as mine. But the other side of that coin is that it presents us with infinite quanta of possibilities, a sense of hope, an aspiration to achieve the difficult or the impossible. It is this sense of linear time that gives people the ability to look back and reflect and measure one’s past quality of life, measure one’s progress and look forward to a future that will see this upward trend continue.

But there are other views of time such as cyclical or simultaneous time. Both exist. Cyclical time does not mean recurrence but where there is a certain progress, a new development, an evolution or even a retrogression in each cycle. The retrogressions and overleapings of nature are deliberate ‘mistakes’ committed by the implicit wisdom in nature to either correct or recover something that was left behind or to push the mass consciousness to the next stage via an individual or civilization, destined for failure, abortion and doom, an impermanent development yet extremely important and necessary.

Yet time is ever simultaneous, flowing like three streams, always existing, never linear. The future is never a mystery nor the past a thing forgotten. Yet this is only to a consciousness that has itself gone beyond or outside of time to the timeless and from there embraced the infinite unfolding of the lacuna of time; serpentine and labyrinthine. But it is merely what is already conceived in the timeless that is being manifested, loosed forth and formulated tediously and methodically in time. It cannot be any other way for the causal seed was already sown by the causeless Absolute, the sempiternal.

Whatever the view of time, that will be the perspective. An endless time of endless births through cosmic cycles, a simultaneous view of time, participating in the play while firmly seated in timelessness bliss, observing the three streams of time, one with the cosmic self and the time-spirit, the Zeitgeist, master and gamester, a GOD. Or, blinded by temporal ignorance, unaware of the infinite births of an immortal soul, or the eternal freedom of a timeless unborn self, living from moment to moment, blown like a hapless leaf by the cold breath of relentless TIME.

Man is truly a puppet and plaything of nature. TIME, SPACE, CAUSALITY; there is no other nature.


See also by Ganesh: Primal Divergence : A Contrast of Cultures (Part-4)
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