Succession, Dialectically

In order to experience 'duration' we must necessarily be what 'duration' is, or 'duration' must be an aspect of what we are, for 'duration' is not some vague entity independent of the experience of it.

What we experience - we are. Conceptualising experiences, diversely named as opposing and mutually contradictory counterparts, emotions, sensations, etc. cannot be anything apart from the cognising of them. Their conceptual objectification as 'other', as independent entities experienced by a 'self', is an untenable relative supposition to which we have become conditioned.

Also, since we are 'duration', we cannot have been 'born' and we cannot 'die', because duration as such, or other than as a concept in mind, cannot begin or cease to endure, since duration cannot start or stop enduring, for otherwise it could not be duration at all. A conceptual object in mind may be supposed to start and to stop objectively experiencing 'duration', but non-objective duration as such cannot be 'duration' unless it endures.

It follows that since 'time' is an aspect of what we are, we are temporal, and we must be intemporal also: since we endure, we can never cease to endure and we can never have begun to endure, for 'time' cannot begin to be 'time' or cease to be 'time'. 'Time', therefore, is eternity, and there cannot be any difference between temporality and intemporality. The supposed difference can only be conceptual and due to the concept of succession which creates the illusion of 'lasting'.

Therefore 'appearance and disappearance', as concepts, 'birth and death', 'creation and dissolution', must be psychic effects of the concept of 'succession'.

Time is subjective, but it is conceptualised as an object to which 'we' are apparently subservient, but which is only an image in mind. In that respect and also, it is what we are - for what-we-are is subjective and is conceptualised as an object in mind which is not I but 'me'.

In relative phenomenality 'we' are conceptual objects subservient to conceptual succession which creates the illusion of 'lasting' in temporality, but noumenally we are Intemporality, 'eternal' in the sense of transcendent to any conceptual interpretation of the notion of duration. As such, however, we are no longer plural, nor are we singular either.

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Temporality is not in fact - but only in appearance - different from intemporality: each is a conceptual interpretation, positive and negative respectively, of the phenomenon of the sequential extension of objects, of their duration as opposed to their possible lack of duration. They lose all meaning in their mutual negation, which leaves the eternality which is what, ultimately, we are.

Ultimately the non-difference of all pairs of opposites lies in the absence of an experiencer of them.

(© T.J. Gray, 1968)

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