Bye and bye comes the Great Awakening,
and we find that this life is really a great dream....

Then we are embraced in obliterating Unity.
There is perfect adaptation to whatever may happen
- and so we complete our allotted span.

Chuang Tzu, ch. 11

CHAPTER 1 : Time and Space

We tend to misunderstand the nature, and exaggerate the importance, of 'time' and 'space'.

There are no such 'things' (they do not exist in their own right): these come into apparent existence, i.e. they 'function' only as a mechanism whereby events, extended spatially and sequentially, may become cognisable. They accompany events and render their development realisable. In themselves they have no existence whatever. They are appearances, and their apparent existence is deduced from the events they accompany and render perceptible. They are hypothetical, like the 'ether', symbols, like algebra, psychic inferences to aid in the cognisance of the universe we objectify, and they neither pre-exist, nor survive apart from, the events they accompany, but are utilised in function of each such event as it occurs.

Where there is no event there is no need of 'time' or of 'space' - and in their absence we are no longer in bondage - for there is no one to believe that he is bound.

Time is only an inference, devised in an effort to explain growth, development, extension and change, which constitute a further direction of measurement beyond the three that we know and at right-angles to volume; and 'past', 'present' and 'future' are inferences derived from this temporal interpretation of the further dimension in which extension appears to occur. All forms of temporality, therefore, are conceptual and imagined.

Thus prophecy or precognition is perception from a further direction of measurement, beyond that of time, a fourth right-angle, wherefrom - as in the case of each superior dimension - the inferior ones are perceived as a whole, so that the 'effects' of 'causes' are as evident in what we call the future as they are in what we call the past.

The event only occurs in the mind of the perceiver of it, singular or plural as the case may be, and no event could be anything but a memory when we know it. No event is anything but a psychic experience. Events, or memories of events, are objectivisations in consciousness.

(©HKU Press, 1965)

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