Time and Timeless Eternity

Yesterday’s post concerned itself with the mind’s experience of “eternity” and the various options that could explain what is occurring there. Sri Aurobindo advances this review further: “if we look at the mind’s concept of this eternity, we see that it comes only to a continuous succession of moments of being in an eternal Time. Therefore it is Time that is eternal and not the continuously momentary conscious being. But, on the other hand, there is nothing in mind-evidence to show that eternal Time really exists of that Time itself is anything more than the conscious being’s way of looking at some uninterrupted continuity or, it may be, eternity of existence as an indivisible flow which it conceptually measures by the successions and simultaneities of the experiences through which alone that existence is represented to it.”

This analysis indicates that from the perspective of the mind, neither the eternity of the individual’s existence, nor in fact, the eternity of time can be proven. A long series of moments, stretching back beyond our ken into the past, and stretching as far as we can imagine into the future still does not act as a proof of the eternity of Time.

An Eternal Timeless Existence would be beyond Time, and “uses Time only as a conceptual perspective for His view of His self-manifestation. But the timeless self-knowledge of this Eternal is beyond mind; it is a supramental knowledge superconscient to us and only to be acquired by the stilling or transcending of the temporal activity of our conscious mind, by an entry into Silence or a passage through Silence into the consciousness of eternity.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 8, Memory, Self-Consciousness and the Ignorance, pg. 504

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