Tag Archives: no-thing

A Meditation on Time, Eternity and God

12 Dec

A Facebook friend of mine was commenting on the following meme I had copied and shared from a blog run by the Passionists, a Roman Catholic religious order. The quote, which I find to be simple but profound encapsulation of one of the central truths taught by all the great religious traditions, was authored by Bil Keane, the cartoonist who created the much beloved comic strip “Family Circus.” Here it is:

My friend wrote the following comment in response:

I just read, recently in fact, that Einstein didn’t believe in “Now;” he didn’t believe there was a past, present, or future, that all time was “one.” I get dizzy trying to grasp that.

But then, do you know you can never really TOUCH anything? Has to do with those pesky electrons; since they repel one another they keep all your molecules from bumping into each other. What that has to do with “past, present, or future,” well, probably doesn’t. But I thought that was interesting, like Einstein’s disbelief in “Now.”

(I like the sentiment of that quote though.)

I, in turn, responded “…Bro…you are not far from the Kingdom of Heaven, or Enlightenment…Oh, and btw, the notion of the insubstantiality of everything is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism.” My retort was offered only partially in jest.

My friend inspired me to look up a long quote I copied in my journal (way back in June of 1989) from a philosopher and mathematician named Charles Muses during an interview of him I was watching on PBS. He, fact, wrote a book containing an extended meditation on Time. I never did read that book, but I will present here my personal thoughts as I recorded them in my journal, those being inspired directly by what Charles Muses said during the interview.

I wrote:

“Zero is beginning of the ruler. It is not to be equated with nothing. Zero is real, is something. (“Nothing” is just that: no-thing!)

We have been brainwashed by modern logic to equate the two (zero = nothing). Thus we cannot conceive or believe the notion of God existing beyond or at the edge of creation. To transcend creation is to find that the “edge of the ruler” is GOD!”

And finally, I concluded my little meditation with this little aphorism I wrote, again inspired by what Charles Muses had said:

“Be present to this moment in Time, for it cradles the entire universe.

As I look back, I can see that this processing of what I head heard in this interview represented for me a kind of epiphany, a watershed moment, one in which my attempt to finally free myself from the shackles of Western dualism was coming to full flower. I was on the verge then of forging a mature synthesis (or perhaps a better word would be reconciliation) of the western metaphysics that had grounded my Christian worldview and theology with that of the metaphysics of the Oriental mindset, especially as found within the Buddhist traditions. This attempt to reconcile the two was a philosophical and spiritual pursuit that occupied me greatly over the next two decades, and to some degree even up to the present.

If you have followed my blog for sometime, you may recognize many of these same themes — of Time, eternity, God, and being mindfully present to the moment — often emerge in many of the essays and poems I have posted here since I first began this blog a couple of years ago. And you can be assured that I will continue to flesh these thoughts out more in the future!

As always, your thoughts, questions and comments are welcome and encouraged.

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