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Spiritual Inquiries: 4. Space, Time and Consciousness

Nov 27, 2005 08:04 AM
by saidevotee

What is the relationship between Space, Time and Consciousness? 

"What is it that ever is?" 
"Space, the eternal Anupadaka." 

"What is it that ever was?" 
"The Germ in the Root." 

"What is it that is ever coming and going?" 
"The Great Breath." 

"Then, there are three Eternals?" 
"No, the three are one. 

That which ever is is one, that which ever was is one, that which 
is ever being and becoming is also one: and this is Space." 

-- The Secret Doctrine, I, II by H.P.Blavatsky 

The Void and the Fullness 
Aum Poornamadah Poornamidam 
Poornaat Poornamudachyate 
Poornasya Poornamaadaya 
Poornameva Vashishyate 
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

That is perfect - this is perfect. What comes from such perfection 
truly is perfect. What remains after perfection from perfection 
is yet perfect. May there be peace, peace and perfect peace. 

To modern Astronomy, space is empty. But if this idea means absolute 
vacuity, something which is non-existent, we reject it. 

When cornered by probing questions, the scientists would admit that 
the term empty merely signifies portions of space or cosmical fields 
which contain no matter, that is, no physical matter which they with 
their instruments can cognize or see. 

Modern space research using powerful telescopes has brought up 
images of what seem to be "apparent cosmic emptiness sprinkled 
throughout with glittering stars, and with millions upon millions of 
wisps of light that are nebulae," as G. de Purucker says in his book 
Fountain-Source of Occultism. 

These nebulae are seen to be universes of the stars and star 
clusters that are, apparently, vast bodies of cosmic gas. But many 
of the nebulae, if not all, does not merely contain physical matter 
in the form of cosmic gas. They are composed of ethereal matter of a 
higher plane than our physical plane. 

Thus the universe is not empty, but full, whereever we look. The 
doctrine of Void, then, is really the doctrine of Fullness. But 
there is a distinction. The doctrine of Void concerns the 
Unmanifested, the doctrine of Fullness concerns the Manifested. 

The Void refers to the divine-spiritual or formless aspect of the 
One, whereas the Fullness, the Pleroma of the Greek, refers to the 
prakriti, or matter aspect, which vanishes away like a dream when 
the great manvantara or period of world activity is finished. 

So the Fullness (prakriti) aspect is only an illusion or maya, 
because it is not eternal. In whichever form it is, atom, man, 
nature or universe, it ultimately dissolves into the Void, when its 
time is up. Maya on a cosmic scale is called mahamaya. 

We should note that maya as illusion does not mean that it does not 
exist. Illusion here means transitory, and therefore, maya is real 
so long as it exists. But it is not the Reality. The Reality, as we 
know, is the One, the Paramatman or Parabrahman. Maya is included in 
the Parabrahman and is not separate from Him. This is what Adi 
Sankara teaches as advaita vedanta. 

In the words of Shri Kanchi Paramacharya, "The term Maya indicates 
that this universe is not non-existent like the horn of a rabbit, 
but seems to exist like a mirage. While the term adyanta asat 
indicates that which is not existent, the term pradipasika satyam 
indicates that which seems to exist. 

Space, Time and Cosmic Consciousness 
Space, we have noted, is external as well as internal. Outer space 
and inner space. The inner space, of course, is not visible or 
perceptible to the physical senses. 

Space is actually seven-folded, the seven planes with different 
aggregations of matter. Space in the physical plane has three 
dimensions. The higher dimensions map to the higher planes. 

Space, comprises Koilon (ether) and the bubbles (ultimate atoms), 
representing the unmanifested and manifested aspects of the One. The 
Cosmic Consciousness pervades the Koilon and the bubbles. It is the 
Cosmic Consciouss that preserves the shape of the ultimate atoms of 
each plane. If He chooses to withdraw His consciousness, the atoms 
will instantly dissolve and the planes simply vanish, like light 
goes out of an extinguished lamp. 

So we have Space and Consciousness that animates it. Where does Time 
fit in? 

Time, as we commonly know, is the duration or interval between two 
events. Where do these events happen? In space, inner or outer. . As 
H.P.Blavatsky in her book The Secret Doctrine (I, 37) says: 

"The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of 
eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we 
call the past. 

"Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing remains without 
change--or the same--for the billionth part of a second; and the 
sensation we have of the actuality of the division of 'time' known 
as the present, comes from the blurring of that momentary glimpse, 
or succession of glimpses, of things that our senses give us, as 
those things pass from the region of ideals which we call the 
future, to the region of memories that we name the past." 

What she means is that time is essentially cyclic in nature, and is 
eternal. The consciousness of eternal time is inherent in the Hindu 
psyche, for the Hindu rituals start with these lines of mantra that 
call time from its eternal beginnings: 

adhya brahmaNa divtIya parArdhe 
svetha varAha kalpe 
vaivasvta manvantare 
aShTavimshati tame 
kaliyuge prathame pAde..." 

In the second half of the currently reigning Brahma, on the first 
day of his current year, in the Svetha Varaaha kalpa, in the 
manvantara of the Vaivasvata manu, in the first part of the Kali 
yuga that is repeated for the twenty-eightth time (in the 

And the desciption zeores in on the current moment of time and 
space, through a seires of references from their higher levels. 

Occultism affirms that in all things both great and small, whether a 
universe, a sun, a human being, or any other entity, there is a 
constant secular cyclical diastole and systole, similar to that of 
the human heart. 

Einstein's general relativity speculations state that space and time 
are essentially one. It is impossible to think of space apart from 
time, or of time, as existent apart from space. 

So we have Cosmic Mind (or Consciousness), Cosmic Space and Cosmic 
Time, an unending duration. Since these cannot be separate entities, 
all the three are one, being three aspects of the One. 

Our concept of solar time in year, month and days is just a 
conditional break (khandakala) of the infinite time (kala). Because 
it is cyclic in nature, we have the illusion of a continuous flow of 

The Space-Time continuum of modern Science is a hesitant step 
towards the ultimate truth. When Consciousnes is included in this 
continuum, we would realize that everything ultimately resolves into 
space, when the cycle ends, and this would be the indrawing of the 
Great Breath, or the beginning of kosmic pralaya. 

"To what does this world go back?" 

"To space (akasa)," said he. "Verily, all things here arise out of 
space. They disappear back into space, for space alone is greater 
than these; space is the final goal." 

-- Chhandogya-Upanishad (I, 9, 1) 

With these considerations, we shall discuss the formation of the 
solar system, and the seven planes, in the next instalments. 


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