“The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
An ordinary human perspective cannot separate time from space. Time cannot exist without space and space cannot exist without time. In discussing time in this piece assume that time is always bound by space unless stated otherwise.
Humans by definition are corporeal and are subject to entropy’s jaws in a sea of time. The reverse may also hold truth: Consciousness expresses itself through individual human experiences or lives. Human life in our current epoch is finite. When humans are born they grow, their biology is plastic, then growth slows, entropy promotes decay and human bodies die and consciousness moves on. However the human power of identification (similar to manifestation) is a powerful force where life is bonded with the physical. When the bond is broken biological life ceases.
Our search for meaning occurs within the boundaries of time that can be both finite and infinite. Discussing the intricacies and types of time is a good backdrop to the search for discovery of meaning of the human species and the consciousness that is associated with it.
The following discourse is meant as an introduction to Time as Process so topics that are introduced may not necessarily be explored in depth.
[see also: Memory, Time and Identity ]
Using the Enneagram as a process tool to map Time
Enneagram or Nine-Picture represents an on-going process of completion. In number theory nine represents completion. Ten is manifestation and belongs to a new cycle of numbers. The numbers of 1 – 9 are natural numbers. Nine is the highest one digit number in a system of numbers using base 10.
The enneagram examines the system of process that includes the law of three – a basic principle of action in this universe. The law of three contains these principles:
- Affirming – active with a positive charge
- Denying – receptive with a negative charge
- Reconciling – neutral with no charge
The law of three is the principle of every action and transformative urge in our universe throughout the arc of time.
- Biological 5. Relative
- Linear 6. Simultaneous
- Being 7. Alternate Reality
- Perceptual 8. Transcending
9. Time At Work
ONE: Biological Time
Animals and plants are biological beings. A single cell reproduces through mitosis – divides and makes a copy of itself – in an asexual manner. This is movement through space-time.
Biological beings live in the context of an environment created by Earth that we now refer to as the ecosphere. This context is related to day and night cycles as governed by the rotation of Earth on her axis, the tilt of Earth’s axis that creates the angle of the Sun’s light striking Earth creating seasons and the orbit of the Earth around the Sun creating the yearly cycle. We are biological beings in an intricate relationship of Earth with itself, the Sun and other planets in the solar system (and beyond).
All biological beings are living in finite time: they are born, they grow, they reproduce, they begin to decay and then they die – in terms of their physical bodies. As living beings they move through space-time and as such an awareness of time is programmed into their cells, biological systems (neurons, cardiovascular, endocrine, genetics and so on).
Animals including the human animal have biological systems that interact with the environment in space-time. We may consider the circadian and diurnal rhythms of animals and plants primitive. In fact they are not primitive but the foundation for awareness of time and survival of an individual or a species.
Humans are animals separated from a greater awareness of biological time due to the technologies of civilization: language, days, seasons, agriculture, machinery, computers, neural nets and so on. As humans we dwell inside homes saturated with light pollution for example. We don’t fall asleep with the dark and rise to the light, instead we often use alarm clocks to awaken, stay awake with the assistance of electric light, television, computers, electronics – all light pollution that enables us to break from our biological time sense.
We have forgotten that we are animals and have lost our connection to biological time in part through mediated experiences. Mediation is the state in the middle, that which acts through an intervening agency or exhibiting indirect causation, connection, or relation. The buffers are mediators between us and nature. Language is a buffer or media that separates us from direct experience because words are media descriptions of reality. They are symbols of reality and may stand in the way of our direct experience of reality. Civilization and its increasing complexity serve to keep us separate from biological time.
TWO: Linear Time
Linear time was invented by humans through the auspices of language, aural and written as well as increasingly complexities of civilization. Linear time belongs to a mediated experience primarily connected to the structures of language. Human languages are based on syntax that provides a subject, an action, a starting point and a destination. In other words sentences have a beginning, middle and end. The structure of language is analogous to the structure of linear time.
Time as we know it has a beginning, middle and end, connected to biological time loosely through the mediated experiences of language and via extrapolation civilization’s codes of behavior and order. Its highly unlikely that linear time would have developed in the way that it did without the platform of biological time supporting the rhythms found in our physical bodies.
Linear time is connected to Earth’s spin on its axis as well as its orbit around our Yellow Dwarf Star that we refer to as the Sun and this is part of our biology and these cycles have been measured and quantified.
Our separation from our natural selves (in biology) through the mediated experiences of language and linear time has erased our individual and collective experiences of anything beyond linear time. Linear thinking and linear time have become invisible and as such constitute the only reality that we know and accept often without question.
Time has been measured with increasing accuracy as the sophistication of civilization has increased. Pope Gregory convened a commission in the year 1582 AD to fix the calendar due to Easter moving forward in time. Leap year was created to correct the time discrepancies in the calendar: every four years one extra day was added to February – mainly the 29th of the month. Something like 3 non-weeks were observed before the new (Gregorian) calendar was re-booted. When trains began connecting communities across Europe each town had a different time, so trains weren’t on-schedule due to different times in each town. This was corrected by the creation of time zones and a universal time based on the time in Greenwich England that came to be known as Greenwich Mean Time. Now Atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks in their measure of seconds, minutes and hours.
Linear time is an agreed-upon fantasy.
THREE: Being or Eternal Time
This is part of the triad and exists as an intermittent part of linear time and independently from the flow of time from biological to linear to perceptual. Being or Eternal time is rarely experienced because it exists outside language and outside biological time as perceived through linear time.
Being / Eternal Time lightly touches linear time by nullifying it abet briefly and enabling ego a wider perspective.
When Being or Eternal Time is discussed using aural or written language it loses it’s meaning because it exists outside linear time. As such there is an ineffable quality to it that transcends ego. Inevitably ego claims the experience and it is reduced in its scope to the mundane.
In a traditional relationship of master to student or apprentice Being / Eternal time may be explored or discussed only to confirm the authenticity of the experience and provide ground for future experiences. This must be engaged in with care and precision due to the delicacy of the experience and only when the student is ready.
I have experienced Being/Eternal time three times from a spontaneous arising. Other encounters with Being / Eternal time has been by cultivating a space through a variety of practices without expecting any particular results.
FOUR: Perceptual Time
Perceptual time is our individual subjective experiences of time that lies between biological and linear time. In the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander Riker tells Data that humans don’t have “internal chronometers” and that he should turn his off if he wants to perceive time like a human being.
The subjective nature of perceived time allows linear time to be perceived as shortened or lengthened depending on the participant. Perceptual time may be closer to our experience of biological time but because of the invisible technologies of language, ego and individual perceptual facilities we may never know definitively.
Attention and the focus of attention come into play in perceiving time. For example an hour and a half trip from Sonoma to downtown San Francisco in moderate to heavy traffic took only 60 minutes due to the focus of my attention. Normally the trip is 1 hour and 40 minutes in moderate to light traffic. I had a fever of 101 at the time and I was driving a friend/colleague to a conference. My focus was 100% on the trip, not driving too fast and being efficient. I focused on the result, our safety and arriving as soon as possible. I never drove over the speed limit.
Points 1 through 4
Points 1, 2, 3 and 4 belong both to a linear progression and an eternal process. Points 1, 2 and 4 belong to the finite world of a cause and effect progression. As you can see (figure 2 and figure 3) there is a gap between points 4 and 5. The gap is an opening for a shock to occur, something that occurs from outside – a transformation that allows the process to go from point 4 to 5.
For example in the quanta world (of quantum physics) nine dimensions are often discussed – these 9 dimensions could support this dimension by providing the energy to intersect the enneagram between points 4 and 5 to provide the jump between the mundane and the quanta world.
See also the piece Enneagram as Process – Primer https://psychesweather.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/enneagram-as-process-a-primer/
In the Primer The Kitchen at Work The points 4 – Preparation of meats and vegetables – to Point 5 – Cooking. The points between 4 and 5 or the process of cooking provides a transformation that shocks the process into the second part of the octave 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
FIVE: Relative Time
Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity is the feature of point 5 with some expanded ideas:
- The speed of light is a constant (meaning that it never changes)
- People traveling at or close to the speed of light observing others on a planet the planetary persons would be moving slower. (This is only true for objects traveling close to or at the speed of light.)
- Time and Space cannot be separated.
- Objects approaching the speed of light become heavier – increase in mass while decreasing in length.
- Mass can be transformed into energy and energy can be transformed into mass resulting in the law of “conservation of energy” or more correctly stated as the conservation of mass-energy. The conservation of energy is a System based theory where two systems are connected. E = MC2. E is energy. M is mass, C is the speed of light or velocity.
Light is Consciousness and Love (knowable as a person of knowledge “knows”.)
Light transcends time
Light, Consciousness and Love hold time
Light and Consciousness hold multiple time-space modalities
These expanded ideas can only be known in a way of learning that as seekers touch mastery they “know” from a place of Being.
SIX: Simultaneous Time
Points 1 through 5
Each of the modalities of time listed above can occur in an experience of simultaneous time. In experiencing simultaneous time – travel through time via both consciousness and linear travel become possible.
The key in the other five points of time is awareness. From our finite biological perspective it’s impossible to hold all of the five points of time in our awareness simultaneously. Humans think associatively, meaning that one idea is associated with another. Multitasking is a myth (see https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/psychology-and-neuroscience-blow-up-the-myth-of-effective-multitasking.html and https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creativity-without-borders/201405/the-myth-multitasking ). Multi-tasking is shifting attention from one task to another rapidly often with a loss of efficiency and a creating an illusion that many tasks can be done at once with superb attention.
An example of associative thought is – taking a walking or an automobile trip. One cannot think of the whole trip all at once. Looking at a map is not looking at the trip itself it is a mediated representation of a trip. 1. You might get in your car, back out of your driveway or pull out onto your street. 2. Drive to the end of the street by the traffic light and go right after stopping or waiting for the green light. 3. Driving down the next street towards the entrance to the interstate or freeway. One cannot hold all three steps in your head or attention at once, but you can follow each step one after the other and even access them from your memory.
There are five and possibly many more perspectives on time especially when the quanta worlds are applied. Linear is built on biological; perceptual time happens when we pay attention. Being and Relative Time occur mostly outside linear time by chance or by cultivation.
Humans can sometimes experience small moments of simultaneous time in a continuum of associated thinking supported by memory. Memory is the key to simultaneous time. Memory is an interactive process that occurs between perceptual facilities such as sight, sound, olfactory, gustatory, balance, etc. and the combinations of these perceptions create memories of the human experience. Individual memories interact with other individual memories to create a neural net of shared and /or consensual memories.
Simultaneous time makes space for theories of time travel to be constructed. Briefly memory is primed for quantum entanglement, which is the bedrock from whence time “travel” becomes possible. This will be discussed in a future article.
SEVEN: Alternate Reality Time
Dissociative Identity Disorder at its most extreme that include blackouts and alternate personalities that have no awareness of other personalities is the first link or clue to alternate realities in time.
Often when the notion of alternative realities is presented we go straight to a Hollywood explanation, which is mostly based in fantasy. It creates a reality peopled with people like us or with monsters (TV shows: Fringe, Timeless, Travellers, & Stranger Things). The alternate realities in the quanta world are potential realities that may exist for short periods of time as a way to support the current corporeal space-time.
We currently create temporary quanta alternate realities all the time (in the now) in a limited bandwidth of choice. These alternate realities do not have enough energy to involve others because the force of each choice is very limited. Extreme trauma in certain individuals creates dissociative identity disorder or multi-personalities and this is an example of alternative realities that exist for an individual.
Time lines can be altered if the energy is great enough. Only one corporeal or coarse physical reality can exist, so if enough energy is applied one reality can be destroyed and another created. Atomic bombs are the only known force where time-lines for entire civilizations can be altered.
An alternative reality could exist parallel to this one if there were enough people able to make free choices or decisions in harmony with one another. The choices that most humans have are extremely limited because they are NOT free choices. We are under the illusion that we make free choices all the time and this has to do with our political systems at work etc.
Choices we assume are free are based on the programming we receive as children from our parents. Whether we accept or reject what our parents have taught us we are not free. If we rebel or are opposition to a parental stance we are still caught by the rubric of our parents’ teaching because we are in reaction to it. Most of our choices are based on unconscious role modeling from our parents and this is the most pernicious.
Analyzing or using talk-therapy to explore our choices while helpful does not address the problem of choice so it’s swallowed up by slavery to habitual actions. The constant pull of the ego creates an illusion of control and the illusion of free will. Ego does not provide a permanent center in an individual. To find and cultivate the Master within takes a commitment that most are unwilling or unable to take.
We have free will under the illusion of Ego that keeps us enslaved to habits and allows for temporary alternate realities to form and fall away.
If we were to have free will and make an act based on nothing then we could create something real that could include a force powerful enough to launch an alternate reality for a brief period in time in which consciousness could dwell for the purpose of creating greater consciousness and possibly more.
EIGHT: Transcendent Time
Transcendent time is related to Being or Eternal Time because it allows us to have a point of reference that includes ego and higher aspects of the self.
Transcending time is made through the cultivation of spaces within our ego-existence where ego can be relinquished. This takes work along the area of the four sources .
- Learning – comes from books, which are often secondary sources of knowledge. Learning also originates from a traditional process of the student – teacher relationship. Under the way of “knowing” this kind of learning being comes into play. Certain truths are recognized and other information is discarded. However some information can be put aside for later re-examination.
- Struggle – Most struggle is considered odious. We want life to be easy without struggle. However most of our struggles are not seen as struggles, but as experiences that we easily pass through. A person excited to bound out of bed in the morning to greet the day is a struggle that is easily overcome and is not considered a struggle. Struggle reduced to its most common elements is a battle between “Yes” and “No”. Effective struggle can create energy.
Help and Sacrifice/Surrender belong to Spirit. When we open to it – the interface between the divine and mundane happens outside causal physics – in the quanta world.
- Help – Asking for assistance /help from somebody is fairly straight forward. When many people ask for help from God, for example, they have reduced their personas to those of children. Asking for help from the divine or that which is greater than oneself is an art. Asking to win the lottery or a new car falls into the category of child-parent asking. It makes for expectation without having to do anything in return. Expectation fills the space preventing help from entering or being recognized as help. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The art of asking for help is making a request, making a space to let the wish appear and then releasing the request. Gifting from the divine is not usually answered in the spoken word. It may come in the form of clues or prompts for action. Or it could come all at once.
- Sacrifice / Surrender – Modern peoples have an abhorrence to the word “sacrifice” because they see it as coming from lack or self flagellation. Surrender is a less offense word, but to sacrifice the ego is a swift action, so both may be used. Sacrificing ego and self-will allows the divine aspect ourselves to enter and act through us. The Observer watches as this happens. We don’t disappear. The divine / Higher Aspect of the Self though elusive and difficult to define is a robust force that holds ego. Ego comes in rapidly as soon as we claim the experience thinking or saying “I” did this or felt that. It’s impossible to adequately describe the sacrifice and / or surrender of the will because this is a step into transcendent time.
An examination of the parallel lines assist in understanding the causal events in linear-time:
- 8-1 Eight is Transcendent Time which cannot exist without a biological platform as is in number One. These points form the structural center for completion to manifest. It is part of the inner structure and is not causally visible as are points 1, 2,  and 4…
- 7-2 Seven are Alternate Realities which cannot exist without the platform of Linear Time / number Two. Perception of alternate realities cannot be discerned without the invention of linear time, due to the intellectual parsing needed to see individual and collective alternate reality worlds.
- 5-4 Five is the Theory of Relativity which is an expansion of Perception – number Four and is the only two points that have a cohesive internal parallel structure and a causal one that requires a shock for transformation to occur.
NINE: Time At Work
Number Nine contains elements of all the other 8 points. Its impossible to think of all the points simultaneously due to our associative thought processes (associating one thought with another in binary pairs).
Time at Work represents all the preceding 8 points in one place. Approached from the law of three we add three and the result is 6 plus 3 is 9. If all human thinking is associative based on a binary system of (+) and (-) or affirming and denying; force and reception, the third force is missing, the force that is (0) or neutral. If associative /binary thought can be balanced a calmed emotional or neutral state may be the zero point. By providing a neutral point the dialectic or battle between (+) or (-) / between “yes” and “no” can be released through the neutral or reconciling “force”. The power between the binary associative thought of (+) and (-) (or “yes” and “no”) is released in a transformation of energy through the neutral or reconciling energy. The triad of energy is reproduced two more times to make the enneagram or completion process.
The triad is reflected in our human structure in our three brains:
The three grains are: point 3 – the 3rd eye- the higher aspects of thought; point 6 – the chi – locus of the physical body or gut brain or moving center; point 9 – The Heart / Emotion from the absolute of Love;
Nine then becomes the reconciling or neutral force in the triad of 3 and 6.
Looking at Time at Work within the enneagram structure from the perspective of the octave – the musical scale of:
- Do – Dominus – Lord/Absolute
- Re – Regina Coli – Queen of the Heavens/Moon
- Mi – Micro Cosmos – Small Universe/Solar System
- Fa – Fatima – Mother – Fate/Planets
- Sol – Solar – Sun/Demiurge
- La – Lactea – Milk/Milky Way Galaxy
- Si – Sider – Stars/All Galaxies
- Do – Dominus – Lord/Absolute
- Om – the one tone that is the completion process that includes the other eight.
The one “place” we may realize time at work fully is a place where space and time do not exist in that “realm” after death where consciousness and love abound. Time at Work may be glimpsed here in the realm of corporeal life when we contact the divine mysteries for brief moments when ego falls away and we can touch the illusion of time.
 The Four Sources are paraphrased from J. G. Bennett’s book: Transformation by J.G. Bennett
 for a comprehensive study of the Enneagram see: The Intelligent Enneagram by A.G.E. Blake
For more about my work: Ontario’s The Kai – website