Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 (The Mother Insitute of Research - MIRA) - Track 606

As Sri Aurobindo says, if you don’t have that existence, it is like the staircase which stands suspended in the middle, neither end, nor beginning. Can there be a staircase, which has no end and no beginning? So if that spaceless-ness and timelessness does not exist then you can’t even explain this movement, therefore, there must be another kind of ground; this is the specialty of this argument.  Although, it is true that they are in the space and time there is nothing but continuous beginning and continuous end, endless end and endless beginning, still there must be a very big basis, a ground for it but that ground necessarily cannot be in space and time. If it is space and time, it is finite and it has a beginning and an end therefore that particular ground must be above space and time.

There is with me a picture, not a picture but a diagram, don’t read the whole diagram but I will only show you one particular thing this was presented by Sri Aurobindo in a state of amusement. So this is what Mother said that Sri Aurobindo wrote this in the state of amusement in which this diagram. This is the diagram of the totality of the Reality, the world and everything, if you want to see in a form of a diagram. This is a long one but you come to the third page and see the last diagram, you will see here ground above and the beginning-less and endless, temporal manifestation. It has no beginning and no end but it is rooted in that which is above. All the above exists but not in this form, so the relationship between ground and manifestation is exactly of this kind, this is in space and time and this is above space and time and that is the real ground. So, it is as it were, the ground is the vertical reality and the time and space is the horizontal reality. In the Bhagavad Gita there is a description of the ashwatha tree which has the roots above and the branches downwards, so this is that, the root is above and the branches are all that we are seeing as branches.

Now in that paragraph there are two three sentences, which are really very difficult and I shall like to concentrate on it. We have so far only two statements there is a timeless and spaceless Reality of existence and we are seeing the reasons since it must be there. So, rationally we are sure it must be the timeless and the spaceless infinite as a ground of the beginning-less and endless infinite. There two propositions we can see very clearly.

I want to state a third statement and if you go very slowly you will see it also very clearly without much difficulty but let us see how far we can succeed. Our normal experience of space and time is that of successive extension. Supposing you imagine for the sake of very elementary understanding of this statement, which is not difficult to understand there is a very small insect, which can only see one or two points ahead of it. We can of course see quite a lot at one stroke, the entire; whatever we see there is a kind of a scope. But if there is an insect, which is crawling upon a small branch of a tree, it moves little by little and it thinks that that which it has crossed is a past and that which now it is about to cross is a present and that which is coming forward is a future. To our perception the entire branch is in the present then you know, past or present or future the entire branch is in the present. Why, because your scope of perception is larger, if, therefore, your scope of perception becomes larger then what happens, all that we call past, present and future is only one moment in which all moments are contained. So what is the real nature of space and time? The successive movement, successive extension is only a result of our narrow consciousness. If you expand your consciousness then you will get not a successive duration but duration without succession, all containing one moment, all containing ever present moment. All containing ever… moment. Even space, both time and space they are both relative, in the example that I gave you of the insect crawling upon the branch, space and time can be seen to be relative. The space that we cross is past, the space that is to be crossed is present and the space that is going to come is the future, so space and time are correlative. It is because of our normal notions that we make a lot of difference between space and time. We think that space is a box in which time is a running, is a running brook but basically both space and time are correlative. When you think of time as all containing ever present moment, similarly, you can think of space as all containing extension without magnitude. It is extension but without magnitude which is a contradiction in terms because for us all extension is with … but if you have now seen all containing space. What kind of space, is it just like all containing moment in which there is no duration at all, or it’s a duration which is only one moment. If there is extension, if there is magnitude, it is magnitude in which all points are included.

There are three points – there is a timeless and spaceless infinite, which is the necessary ground for the beginning-less and endless time and space. The beginning-less and endless space and time is a second step, which is all containing duration, all containing extension and you will see that this is only dependent upon your consciousness. We had said that the successive moment of duration in the case of that insect is dependent upon its consciousness. The wideness of our consciousness in which we see the whole branch as one present is also dependent upon our consciousness. The Rishi who sees the whole space time in one regard is also state of consciousness. Therefore Sri Aurobindo says that space and time whether a successive duration or all at one moment both are category of consciousness. It is entirely upto us as to how we arrange things what we call past it depends upon the state of consciousness in which you are. What is future depends upon the state of consciousness in which you are. There can be another state in which the future is past. There can be a consciousness where the future is past already. That is why it is said that to the rishi and … is smriti. He remembers the event. He remembers the event. The event was already there but he now remembers that event. There is only smriti. It’s a question of memory because you are situated differently. It is entirely a question of how you arrange your perception that makes a difference in between past, present and future.