For centuries, philosophy has been trying to figure out what time is. And there have been many different standpoints,but none of them seems to be supported by logic and rationality.The ordinary idea of time is that it is like a river that is flowing by your side.That which has passed is the past; that which is passing is the present; that which is going to pass is the future – as if time is a flux, a movement,and you are standing and time goes on moving.
But it is not true that you are standing still,because once you were a child, now you are young, now you are old, now you are dead.You are not standing still; you are continuously changing. Because of this fact there have been philosophers who propounded a second theory: that time is static, it is always the same, what changes is you. You are in a flux: from childhood to youth,from youth to old age,from old age to beyond. Because you cannot conceive your own changing process – it is so subtle and so quick – you project it on time.
Nobody knows what time is, where time is. Nobody has ever come to grips with time and its existence.
Then three hundred years ago, science became interested in what time is because philosophy had not given any satisfactory answer.
Albert Einstein stated something great about time: that it is only a dimension of space. We have always known that space has three dimensions; Einstein added the fourth dimension to space, and it fits very well with his physics and it fits very well with all that has been discovered,taking it as a hypothetical truth.So many things, so many discoveries, so many inventions and they all prove reflectively the truth of the hypothesis.
If time is only a dimension of space…you never ask about space: whether it is moving or static. Space is always there, the same. It is the same sky,it is the same space:things in it may change but space remains unchanging. And if time is also a dimension of space that means it does not change at all.
Time is always present – never past, never future. Things go on passing, disappearing. New things go on coming, but time itself is only a dimension of space, absolutely static. So when time stops for you, it is not time that stops, what stops is your mind.
Your mind is in a constant flux: so many thoughts, ideas, imaginations, dreams, and projections – and they have all stopped. Because your mind stops, suddenly you realise time has stopped.
But in fact, the stopping of the mind only reveals to you the reality of time: it is never moving, it is unmoving,it is just here,it is just now.Everything in it changes, but time itself remains absolutely unchanging.
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