Can consciousness exist without time? 

From the viewpoint of Advaita Vedanta (and I believe also zen and Dzogchen), time is not just something elusive, but ultimately unreal – only an idea or concept. The same can be said about the concept of ‘now’, which cannot be elucidated or measured in any way. ‘Now’ can only be a symbol of eternity, immeasurable but always present. ‘Eternity’ itself is a symbol or slanted conception of reality or existence/being, which is timeless. For the absolute time does not exist. Consciousness alone is real and, thus, timeless. Stated differently, ‘what is never ceases to be; what is not never comes into being’ (Shankara). Parmenides, Gaudapada, and Shankara were strong in that position.

 

1 thought on “Can consciousness exist without time? 

  1. Thanks Martin for an interesting Post.

    As you write, “What-is never ceases to be; what-is not never comes into being” comes in BG 2.16. But Krishna also says at BG 10.33 says that “I am verily the inexhaustible Time.” And at BG 11.32, he says: “I am the mighty world-destroying Time.”

    Swami Krishnananda of the Divine Life Society observed: “Space is the relation of the coexistence of ideas and time is the relation of the succession of ideas.”

    It is also said that Consciousness, when associated with ignorance, engenders time.

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