Time – more accurately described as “clock time” or “psychological time” is a product of the mind.
The western view is that time is a one-way motion from the past to the future, one event following another, endlessly. What happens now and what will happen later seems to be a result of what has happened. In other words, the past drives the future.
The course of time is really like the course of a ship in the ocean. The ship moves, and leaves behind it a wake, and the wake fades out, and it tells us where the ship has been in the same way our past, and our memory of the past, tells us where we have been.
And as we look back into the past, we get to a point where our instruments, and the records left behind, fade away, just as the wake of the ship fades away, and eventually disappears.
The important point here is that the wake doesn't drive the ship. The ship creates the wake, and it always creates it in the NOW, and leaves a trail behind it.
The past is not a determinative factor. Creation happens in the present NOW and trails away in our memory, and eventually vanishes.
Foreground & background
The physical world that we see and live in and mistake as reality – or all there is – is only 50% of the equation.
The other 50% is the background – also referred to as emptiness, the void, the field of possibilities, the "ground of all being", God, Allah etc.
The physical world is the world of the mind and exists in the foreground and is experienced through our senses.
Then there is the spiritual world – the background - from which all form emerges into the foreground, and into which it eventually dissolves.
The physical world of form could not exist without this background.
This is summed up in the Buddhist saying:
"Form is nothingness, and nothingness is form."
And also in the saying of Christian theologians (Tillich et al)
"The ground of all being"
A universe of vibration, duality and attachment
This is a universe of vibration, and whether we think of vibration in terms of waves or particles, no crest of a wave can occur without a trough, and no particle can occur without a space or interval between itself and other particles.
There can be no on without off, no up without down.
Our senses are constructed in such a way that we notice and respond to the "on" but miss the "off", but that doesn't mean it isn't there, and that doesn't mean it isn't absolutely essential. The dark, the silent, the empty, the off interval, are ignored.
Our consciousness ignores the intervals between one "on" and the next "on", but it could not notice the "on" without the existence of the "off."
Another expression of this vibratory aspect of the universe is duality.
Duality, or opposites, only seems to exist as opposites in that each side of the duality depends on the other side for its existence.
"Here" makes no sense without "there". "Not me" makes no sense without "me". "Good" makes no sense without "evil". Each of these can only exist in relation to the other.
Whilst I have the deepest respect and understanding for those who ask "How can a so called God of love allow suffering?", the truthful answer is "How can He/She not?"
Each of these seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum is one thing, not two. Hard as it is for the dualistic mind to comprehend, in being opposite, they are also inextricably tied to each other, and cannot exist independently.
They're like two sides of the same coin.
You can't have a one-sided coin, and the two aspects of duality cannot exist separately either, nor can one win out over the other.
Beyond the mind, you jump out of subject-object relationship into a realm where there is no duality.
In the everyday realm of the mind we cause and experience so much pain and suffering by our refusal to accept that for things to be good they have to be bad, for things to be well they have to be wrong, to be understood and valued we have to be denigrated and unappreciated.
Because of our inability to understand this we get stuck or attached to states of mind and emotion, we get stuck or attached to things and people.
Our "stuckness" to one side of the duality of life or the peak of the vibratory curve or the “on” switch is the root of much of our suffering
Our "stuckness" is caused by, and is the cause of, our resistance to change and our suffering.
The following articles develop and support the main themes and should be read in conjunction with the main pages under the relevant theme. Please see: