Author Topic: Time  (Read 3987 times)

Saber

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Time
« on: November 18, 2009, 08:30:23 AM »
Dear forum members, my thoughts about time are similar to these articulated below, not that I have contemplated the issue to great depth, but living constantly in the present as we do, brings the issue of time into a sort of puzzling question.  Of course our experience of phenomena does not encompass too much, but even the idea of the relativity of time related to speed is really valid in comparison to other speeds of change.  So lets say we catch up with the rate of change of some atomic structures, have we then changed time?  I don't know, but it softens the edges of the hard concepts we have been taught about time.  From what I find in Master Ou's English translations, "time" is described as an aspect of the universe, along with space, energy, and material; as well as spirit. Yet spirit is the fundamental aspect transcending the differences.  If that is the case, then time is just another relative and therefore somewhat illusory aspect of the relative creation.  What are your thoughts about time?

The Dalai Lama on Time
Daniel Goleman: What is the Buddhist understanding of Time? How can we relate our sense of the process of time to our experience of the present moment?
His Holiness the Dalai Lama: In Buddhism, the concept of linear time, of time as a kind of container, is not accepted. Time itself, I think, is something quite weak. It depends on some physical basis, some specific thing. Apart from that thing it is difficult to pinpoint—to see time. Time is understood or conceived only in relation to a phenomenon or a process.
Daniel Goleman: Yet the passage of time seems very concrete—the past, the present, aging. The process of time seems very real.
The Dalai Lama : This business of time is a difficult subject. There are several different explanations and theories about time; there is no one explanation in Buddhism. I feel there is a difference between time and the phenomena on which time is projected. Time can be spoken of only in relation to phenomena susceptible to change, which because they are susceptible to change are transitory and impermanent. "Impermanent" means there is a process. If there is no process of change, then one cannot conceive of time in the first place.
The question is whether it is possible to imagine an independent time which is not related to any particulars, any object that goes through change. In relation to such an object, we can talk about the past of that thing, its present state, and its future; but without relation to such particulars, it is very difficult to conceive of an instant of time totally independent of a particular basis.
- From “The Experience of Change,” Tricycle, Summer 1996
Qifully, George

Michael

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Re: Time
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 07:22:33 AM »
People often say that the only thing which really exists is "now" and that the entirety of life happens in a moment. Some who've had near death experiences also talk about their life flashing before their eyes where everything and everyone within their perception during their life happened simultaneously.

I find it very difficult to wrap my head around this, but I began to think about driving. When I get in my car and start driving to another state many hours away, my destination exists in the present of when I depart, but for me that destination is the future. The present and the future exist simultaneously, but my experience of them happens according to a phenomenon of time unfolding in a series of events.

It's a curious topic and I don't feel I have any insight on it. I don't find too many clues about it in The Path of Life except perhaps there's an analog in reincarnation. I think the normal understanding of reincarnation, and the one I get from TPOL, is that we have hundreds of lives, or incarnations, in series throughout the existence of this world. "In series" means that along the time line these incarnations occur one at a time and do not overlap. Born in 500 AD, dead from a spider bite in 545 AD, born again after the previous death in 545. Sounds a bit too neat and simple to me and goes along with a linear understanding of time, which may be a very limited understanding of reality.

What if there were both serial and parallel incarnations? I mean multiple incarnations would overlap during the same years along the timeline. Might be accomplished by the body splitting mentioned in TPOL, although it would not be consciously controlled by us, instead it would be a dissembling of one soul for maximum tempering, then re-assembling later. I think it would correspond better to the idea of past/present/future happening simultaneously.

Also, I always thought roughly 10 billion individuals landing in The Future World all at once seemed a bit much. If we are going to be aggregated at a ratio of 10:1 or 100:1 before transition, it would seem a little more in keeping with the tone of TPOL used to describe the first New Year's Day Party. Then again, a million people at a party might not be that much different from a billion once you find the right caterer.  ;D

Well, just an idea. Don't really know if there's anything to it.

portage creek

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Re: Time
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 08:49:37 AM »
Let us do a small experiment in time.

How many times in your life have you know what time it is ( by our standards of measurement). How many times have you looked a clock, met an appointment, been in time for class, or turned on your TV or radio . I am guessing at easily over a 1000 times a year.

Now imagine plotting each time you knew time vs time. Pick any units or scales. There will be a well plotted set of dots that go over the years of your life. You would think with all that history and experience we cold easily extrapolate to say the next 10 minutes on with very little error. Try it - make it as little as two minutes if you wish. I suspect we won't be that accurate, unless we try counting heart rate or something. Why. Our concept of time is flawed.

Time is not a linear river. We move on earth and time changes, the earth moves about the sun and time changes, the sun moves thru the universe and time changes, but it is not necessarily linear. The universe is a pulsating , turbulent event.  Time is also a pulsating, turbulent event. Now think about how many dimensions time can have.

Memory and imagination let us turn time back, imagination let us move time, and I have trouble thinking what dreams can do with time and all these are in our own small minds.  I see the events we tie to time as happening on a surface. Instead of time proceeding in a linear fashion, I see as  moving growing, shrinking, swirling. Perhaps even standing still.

I can not conceive as time being independent from God. It must be part of Pan Gu as is everything else.

Master Ou, does not teach us to practice the ShenGong for any length of time. It is broken into sets of three and 26.

I ramble, but with time on my hands I have always had time to wonder about time.

Master Ou

Gary




Olivia

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Re: Time
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2009, 11:43:15 PM »
Just like any other concept, before we discuss it any further, it would be good to make sure that if we are talking about the same thing.  ;)
What is the definition of TIME? What is your definition of TIME? What is the current scientific definition of TIME? What is the common sense definition of TIME? What does TIME mean to you? Is the TIME of lineal time same as the TIME of parallel time? Same as the 'curve time'? Are all the different theories of TIME really talking about the same thing? Or same thing from different aspects? Are they really talking about TIME itself, or just the phenomena of TIME, or the illusion of TIME we created?  
Among all the definition, many people seem to consider the lineal time idea is the least significant. Is that so?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 11:47:52 PM by Olivia »
Wish you well-being and happiness!

Saber

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Re: Time
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 01:29:37 PM »
What interesting responses, I think parts of the responses deserve a unique subject topic of their own. Olivia, you are correct, one needs the proper focus and definition to discuss a topic.  Using the principle of making the complex simple, from the point of view of the material universe, time is one of the fundamental dimensions of the known material universe, along with space, matter, and energy.   As a working definition, time arises simultaneously with space, matter and energy.  Distance and movement are correctly described with an aspect of time, such as miles per hour, or light-years, or hertz per second.  Thus time cannot be separated from movement, and since all material has movement, even vibration, time is integral to matter.  In this state it may be relative, (Einstein) but it exists.  But where do they arise from?
There is another, more mysterious level to time.  In the Path of Life, it is figuratively represented as the “father” of PanGu, (the “mother” being space); the yin/yang symbol comes to mind.  For me, time is inseparable from the other elements of the material elements of the universe, however, a state of non-material could transcend the material universe. That state we sometimes call spirit; others may call it infinite consciousness.  Now if we view the universe from that point of view, the time element, and the other material elements, may need to be reconsidered.  Could we say that time doesn’t exist when in fact it seems to be a part of the known universe. Maybe, because usually our reference point is from the material point of view, from the spirit point of view, time might be something very different from our regular thinking.  I don’t claim to be an expert. 
So when we talk about time, space, energy, and matter, (and maybe anything else) we need to establish the proper perspective.  Are we looking at the universe from the spiritual or the material point of view?  Of course that brings another question to mind, is there really a difference?   
Qifully, George

Michael

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Re: Time
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 04:51:28 AM »
In the Path of Life, it is figuratively represented as the “father” of PanGu, (the “mother” being space);
I like where this thread is going, but I just wanted to check something because I don't remember this from The Path of Life. Are you sure it's in there?  :)

portage creek

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Re: Time
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 06:52:54 PM »
In terms of yin/yang - do these forces exist in time, or outside of time?

Is time either yin or yang in nature, or the combination?

Did time begin from the source of nothingness and does it disappear into the sink of a black hole?

Gary

Michael

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Re: Time
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2009, 07:49:22 AM »
There's a lot of room for semantical clarification, but I don't consider yin/yang to be forces in and of themselves. They are categorizations of recurring patterns, or trends that other forces can be predicted to follow when interacting as paired, complementary, yet polar, opposites. From The Path of Life, time is one of the four things that sort of came first. I don't think time is either yin or yang, but it must always be understood that these are relative and not absolute categorizations. The sun is yang in comparison to the moon, but in other combinations that I can't think of, not a Taoist philosopher here, the nature of the sun or the moon might be expressed differently depending on what they're interacting with.

Also, from The Path of Life, it mentions that Pan Gu can stop time for everything except himself. I think there's a clear indication that when Pan Gu came into being, time, space, matter, and spirit already existed, implying he did not create these things. He did create people, so from our perspective, time can fluctuate according to his desire, but in terms of the highest level of creation, time is 'absolute'. It's also completely mysterious being one of the "two knotty problems" that is mentioned in The Path of Life that Pan Gu could not solve during the first period of history. I don't want to imply that he directly solved those problems later, but he seems to have come up with a work-around :)

If the Future Human World is the 'beginning of time' for a new age of society that will always progress and never devolve into repetitious, and ultimately boring patterns (from an immortal's standpoint) of rising and falling, then perhaps in this way the mystery of time can basically be ignored and become irrelevant. Just my opinion on that, certainly nothing in the English translation that makes it clear how Pan Gu may escape the "two knotty problems", but since it says these problems are the cause of all our troubles, and in the Future Human World most of our current troubles will not exist, maybe the big two will no longer be a headache for Pan Gu.

Richard

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Re: Time
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 01:54:06 AM »

  Well, time really flies! :)  It's interesting to read your different understanding of Time. I haven't deep sense for the Time nor a philosopher :)

  However, recently I have felt that every week goes very fast out of our control and expectation. Basically,Monday is beginning for working. If you enjoy it, you would feel a new start; if you dislike your job, you will feel, well, how can I spend the week? Time goes by its rules regardless your thinking or taking your day.

  So what I'm concerning is that if we really value our time to do something. What's our goal? future? Do we achieve it with value and meaning? This is what we should ask ourselves! For example, after a day long working, you come back home and enjoy life of family or personal time. Before sleeping, you say: I spent a richful day! Even though life is full of ups and downs, with challenges that you haven't predicted. But life is meant to be experienced, and allow every situation for learning and growing.

  When you look back in a certain time, you feel your Time really deserves it. That's enough!

    Richard
Be modest and humble

SedonaBob

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Re: I'm New to the Forum and need help.
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2009, 05:40:01 PM »
Well hello everyone and anyone I am first of all trying to
post an original message, but can't seem to figure out how to do that.
also, I would like to ad my photo.  Don't see how to do that either.
So,   All I seem to do here is reply to someone posting and maybe one or
two that might look on and supply some help.
I live is Sedona AZ, and am a certified teacher and have been with
Master Ou four times as he travelled to Arizona.
All for now....
SedonaBob

portage creek

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Re: Time
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2009, 08:13:35 PM »
SeldonaBob,

I am sure that Olivia will provide a more clear and rational method to solve your new topic question.

Click on any topic ( like General discussion) in the blue bar on the above right ( at about 1:00 on your screen) click on new topic.

Welcome and enjoy.

PC

Saber

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Re: Time
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 02:58:33 PM »
Dear time travelers,
After a visit with my family in Chicago and Indiana for Thanksgiving, I returned to read the interesting posts. Now here is a response to one point and another provocative perspective on time from The Path of Life.
      First to address Michael’s point. In chapter 26, page 179 the following is described:
     “The act of creating his own parents contained profound meaning: to let his father represent his infinitely perplexed and chaotic self of the past; to let his mother represent the endlessly broad and deep body of the chaos: negative and positive matched to each other, all originating from the four inherent elements of the cosmos but becoming something nobler.”
     “Therefore to respect one’s parents means to respect time and space and also never to forget the muddle and sufferings of the past!”
 
   And here is another mention of time to ponder from chapter 4, page 37.  This is in the context of celebrating the festivals of the Lunar New Year, The Festival of Pure Brightness, The Dragon Boat Festival, and a fourth one, which I believe is the Festival of Rejuvenation, Chapter 29.
      “Today the relative positions of the sun and moon are different when people of the earth look at them at the same time from different locations.  Yet in the future world there will be a completely unified sense of time, so that at any given time their positions will be the same no matter where people are viewing from.  In other words, in the future world even the benefit bestowed by the sun and moon on each person will be equal.  All natural phenomena will conform to the idea of a unified and just human world.”
   
     Michael, I do not know where this is going, but my heart seems to enjoy it.  (That seems to reflect my experience with PGSG.)  What would be a "unified sense of time" especially when the sun and moon continue rise and set?
Qifully, George

portage creek

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Re: Time
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 08:05:45 PM »
Saber,

Oh to be eloquent.

I tried to express that time is not stable, it is whirling, swirling, expanding and contracting - in our present world.

Thanks for taking me back to the " Path of Life".  Time become stable in the future life!  Perhaps a level up from where we now exist.

For everything there is a time? 

Gary

Saber

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Re: Time
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2009, 04:30:59 PM »
Here are some more thoughts by Master Ou that include a reference to time, from "PanGu Mystical Qigong:"

Through the study of the ancient Chinese philosophical thoughts, the observation of man's physiologic characteristics and the relations between man and the universe, I have obtained the following profound understanding:
1. The universe consists of four key factors, namely time, space, materialistic element and spirit. To be exact, the universe is made up of four essential factors. They are time, space, materialistic elements and the dynamic energy beyond materialistic elements.
2. The four key factors are all characterized by moralization. Modern science has also confirmed that time and space are immortal and so are the materialistic elements. Accordingly, I have put forward the theory: "The heaven is immortal and so are the materialistic elements".
3. Time, space and materialistic elements are passive. Spirit is active. The combination of the active dynamic energy with the passive materialistic elements can manifest a rich, wonderful and unique materialistic world on the boundless stage of time and space.
4. The combination of spirit with time, space and materialistic elements make it possible for a great experiment for the purpose of creating an immortal world conforming to the immortal nature. The present world, the universe and the celestial bodies are existing in such a great experiment. Therefore, mankind should realize its importance and conform to this "will of the heaven" (the original idea of the universe or the expression and demand of time, space, materials and spirit).
Based upon the above explanation, I put forward the following: "The universe will never be extinct, neither will the materialistic elements. But why is man mortal? It is because man is unable to achieve the harmony among the everlasting universe and the materialistic elements." Harmony is in fact cooperation, and coexistence. Therefore, if one tempers oneself both spiritually and physically, one should be able to live forever. This is truth.
What I mean:
Why do the human race considered the highest class of living being, although it was created from the immortal materialistic universe and brought up in the environment of time and space which have the characteristics of immortal, yet this class of living being easily get sick and die? Intrinsically speaking, it is because man's behaviors are not consistent with the immortal nature of the universe. If man understands these reasons and temper hard both spiritually and physically to make conform to the immortality characteristics of the universe, it is possible for man to enjoy good health, longevity and exist in the universe eternally.

 
 
Qifully, George