'The Essential Understanding Seems to be ...'

The essential understanding seems to be that everything we can know appears to exist in 'mind' and can have no other kind of existence whatever. If that has been apperceived as inevitable and factual, then we have to apperceive that this 'mind' does not exist independently as such either. Why is that? The answer is almost absurdly simple: it is because 'mind' is just a symbol for what we ourselves are, and therefore we cannot see it as an object independent of what is looking!

This so-called 'mind' is just what is meant by the word 'I' and, when I turn outwards and objectify, 'mind' divides into a duality of subject and its object. This means that I create as an apparent object something other than I, so that 'mind' is thereby split into 'I-subject' and 'you-object', 'self' and 'other'. But I always remain as I, objectively void or devoid of objective existence. However, 'you-object' are an apparently sentient being in 'mind', and 'you' start calling yourself 'I' also - although you are factually only an object of Subject-I. Therefore I am always I, and 'you' are always 'you', but 'you' can come back with that and say the same to 'me' - since what I am as an object is 'you' to you-as-I. Therefore we can say: ''We' are all the apparent objects of what mutually we all are, which, whoever says it, is always I.'

In order to understand this more thoroughly it is necessary to see how it works. The process of objectifying is by splitting 'mind', which as 'I' remains whole and eternal (intemporal), into Duality which demonstrates what it is as 'I' sensorially, which is relatively, by dividing its wholeness - which we can describe as 'equanimity' - into contrasting elements, positive and negative, pleasure and pain, love and hate, and all the endless pairs of contrasting concepts. In order to do this, which is the conceptuality in which the universe appears in 'mind' (now split), these images have to be extended in length, breadth, and height, which is called 'volume', and in order to be perceptible they must be further extended by duration, which we call 'time', which is a fourth direction of measurement interpreted as 'lasting' or as being 'horizontal' as opposed to 'vertical', and which cuts the measurements of volume at right-angles, thus giving the illusion or impression of duration.

This space-time element, therefore, is nothing objective to ourselves as objects, is nothing independent to which we are subjected or 'bound', but is part and parcel of our appearance, being our extension which renders us objectively perceptible to subjective perceiving. And our notion of 'bondage' is just this illusion that we are independent entities subjected to temporality.

We know that what prevents us from knowing ourselves as 'I' is this apparent temporality which enables the notion - that each of us is an independent 'I' - to endure. These supposed 'me's only appear to exist because they appear to last, to endure, and if they did not, if they were not temporal, they would be intemporal which is what I AM whoever says it.

We have been taught that in order to know ourselves as 'I' we must destroy the illusion that we exist as 'me's in duration, but we cannot destroy our 'me'ness as long as we leave its duration as 'me'ness objectively behind it, for the concepts are inseparable. They are not independent or different: they are elements of one another! If we could remove the notion of 'me' for a moment, its 'lasting' in 'time' would still remain - and it would re-appear. Which it does. So 'time' (duration) must go with it. We should apperceive what 'time' is, that it is not an independent objectivisation but is an essential part of the objectivisation of our apparent 'selves'. The former, however, is insufficient as an independent operation for if the ego-concept be removed alone, the time-concept may remain, whereas if the time-as-an-object concept be removed the ego-concept which depends upon it, in which it extends as 'lasting', must go with it. If it could not have duration, if it could not 'last', it could not appear to be at all.

Therefore our problem is really only to apperceive that 'time' could not be anything objective to 'ourselves', but on the contrary must be, and clearly, demonstrably is an intrinsic element of what we are as phenomenal objects in mind.

Is not all this really very simple and obvious? As I - which is all that we could be - we are in-temporal and in-finite, for 'time' and 'space' are concepts by means of which what we are is objectivised in divided 'mind' as phenomenal individuals through whom the whole objective universe appears so-extended and made perceptible sensorially. Those of us who are not satisfied to accept this phenomenal universe at its face-value and to make the best of our supposed 'bondage' thereto, seek to apprehend what factually we are, and so to recover our intemporality which, as I, we have never lost. We make a lot of fuss about it, and let ourselves be led up the garden path by well-meaning, mostly religious, sages and prophets in the most abstruse and intricate manner conceivable, expounded in ancient metaphor and jargon of all sorts and descriptions, and all with remarkably mediocre results! Yet is it not in fact comparatively simple and obvious?

It is important also to understand that 'we' are only able to experience what we are as I, for there is rigorously nothing else to be experienced. That 'we' experience it as contrast between opposites, fundamentally positive and negative but affectively as pleasure and pain, etc., is an ineluctable effect of the duality of which 'we' are constituted as concepts in 'mind'.

'We' are conditioned to imagine that these contrasting elements can exist independently the one of the other, but such a simple-minded notion is untenable, as every student of philosophy, however elementary, must know. Unfortunately religions, impregnated with such notions from early times, tend to perpetuate this absurdity, which is an added and unnecessary obstacle to clear understanding, and one so elementary that it should not be allowed to hinder the de-conditioning which leaves open the way to clear apprehension of the truth concerning what we are.

When this inevitable concomitant of duality, called relativity, is understood it should no longer be difficult to apperceive that with the disappearance of temporality as an objective existence independent of the perceiving of it, and its recognition as an intrinsic element in that perceiving, that thus it is subjective, the perfect equanimity which is our natural condition intemporally must necessarily supervene and replace all the miseries due to our supposed bondage to temporality.

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Arya Deva regards Space and Time as inferences, sensorially imperceptible (Catuh Satadam ix.5). If an object existed it could not change - change being movement in duration, the illusion of 'stills' or quanta seen successively in mind, existing only in mind - as Hui Neng pointed out in settling the argument about the movement of the wind or the flag.

(© T.J. Gray, 1968)

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