Come to Think of it ...

Huang Po on 'time': 'If there's never been a single thing - past, present, and future are meaningless ... Full understanding of this must come before they (you) can enter the Way'. (Blofeld, p. 110)*

One must be tireless in pointing out that unless we (each of us) face up to the apparent problem of what 'time' is we shall never see the way things are - other than phenomenally, nor shall we understand what we are apparently doing in this apparent universe. Taking 'time' for granted - as everyone seems determined to do - is searching blindfold for an open door.

So, 'past, present, and future are meaningless' - because from the beginning 'there's never been a single thing': phenomenally indispensable, noumenally - just meaningless. And vice versa one may say 'Things are meaningless - because there's never been a past, present or future'.

Let us analyse this proposition. 'Things' are wholly dependent on 'time' (past, present, and future) for the extension that renders them perceptible as 'things', and were they not perceptible how could they be 'things'? Things, therefore, are only the perceptibility or the perceiv-ing of 'things'.

And 'time' is wholly dependent on 'things' (objects perceived) in order that it may be cognised and conceptualised as 'time', for without objects perceived, being perceived, about to be perceived, there could be no 'time' - for 'time' is only the cognition of 'things in duration'.

'Time' (duration), therefore, must be inherent in objects, inseparable from objects, an aspect of objects, as 'space' must - to which the same factors apply - so that 'time' and 'space' must both be inherent in perceiv-ing.

It follows that all phenomena are the perceiv-ing of phenomena, and that their extension and duration is inherent in the mechanism whereby perceiv-ing appears to occur, the dualist mechanism of noumenon phenomenalising noumenality.

Does this not demonstrate the correctness of the metaphysical intuition common to Buddhism, Vedanta, and Sufism?

There is only perceiv-ing: all else is void of noumenality - the eye that cannot see what is looking.

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The 'future' is a dream. The 'past' is recollection of a dream. The 'present' is an unlikely hypothesis.
What, then, is left? Must I say it? Why, Intemporality, of course!
It never was any 'where' or at any 'time' but Here and Now, and Here and Now it will be forever.

*'Entering a way' implies movement in duration, and Huang Po has just stated that 'past, present, and future are meaningless'! There must be a misunderstanding? When one points out that 'the Way' is the 'philological' translation of 'Tao', which that word can and does sometimes mean colloquially, but which - as is often pointed out here - it does not mean metaphysically, it will be seen that Tao is a synonym for Dharmakaya, Bhutatathata, Buddha-mind, Noumenon, so that the sentence implies 'Full understanding of this must come before you can re-become (or actualise) what-you-are'.

(Ed. note: Huang Po quotes from John Blofeld's 'The Zen Teaching of Huang Po')

(© T.J. Gray, 1968)

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