Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part III….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part III….

“The significance of the Avatamsaka and it’s philosophy is unintelligible unless we once experience a state of complete dissolution where there is no more distinction between mind and body, subject and object. We look around and perceive that every object is related to every other object not only spatially, but temporally. As a fact of pure existence there is no space without time, no time without space; they are interpenetrating.”


D.T. Suzuki


In this spiritual world there are no time divisions such as the past, present, and future; for they have contracted themselves into a single moment of the present where life quivers in its true sense. The past and the future are both rolled up in this present moment of illumination and this present moment is not standing still with all its contents, for it ceaselessly moves on”


D.T. Suzuki


So what gives?  We have all this talk about “Time” not really existing but “we” grow old right?  The car I bought shiny and new isn’t so shiny and new anymore it’s old now right?  Remember in my blog on Anatta (not-sef) how we determined that we do not exist as “abiding permanent self”?  If that is true then how can “we” grow old?  Remember the example of taking a photo every year on your birthday for your whole life and then laying all out in front of you?  What causes the difference in the photos?  Is it caused by us getting older, in the sense of time passing?  For that to be so there would have to be some abiding, permanent self to get older.

Have you ever gone back to a place from your early childhood that you have not visited in many years?  When I went back home on vacation a couple months ago I took my wife and kids to the Elementary school that I attended when I was a kid.  It is a very odd feeling going back to a place like that.  It looks very similar but it doesn’t look the same, does it? It is kind of like you in those photographs, somewhat similar but certainly not the same.  Why is this?  So why do we see things get old over the passage of “time”? Remember the blog on The Swastika and the chocolate box…?  It was all about Impermanence.  Everything in the Universe, including us,  is under constant change right?  Well I believe that what we generally perceive as “time” is Impermanence in action all around us and within us!  When you see yourself look different in the photos or the difference in your childhood playground it isn’t because “time” has past, it is because everything, including you, has gone through constant change.  Age=change, time=change. You are not the same person and it is not the same place! It is the change that you see and associate with the notion of a passage of “time”. It is Impermanence.


“Nothing endures but change.”



We are continually arranging bits and pieces of what we experience in order to fashion them into what we call “a self”.

Uji, Shobogenzo, Zen Master Dogen


Our buddy Al proved to the world that Time and Space were inextricably linked. You cannot have one without the other. Dogen in his Masterpiece the Shobogenzo takes this even farther.  Dogen inextricably links “being” (existing) and “time”!  “Being” does not exist without “time” and “time” does not exist without “being”!  There is a phrase from a sutra that illustrates this but for the life of me I cannot remember which one it comes from!  So I will try to paraphrase it.


“When you are born, the world is born with you”


Dogen goes on to say:


At the time when proverbially a mountain was being climbed and a river was being crossed, an “I” existed, and it was the time for that particular “I”.  Since such an I existed, time could not abandon it. If time did not have the characteristic of coming and going, being continually in flux, then the time when this “I” was ‘climbing atop the mountain’ would have remained forever, eternally comprised of that particular ‘time when’. But since time retains the characteristic of ‘coming and going, being continually in flux’, there is a flow of ever present ‘nows’, each comprised of a time when an “I” exists.

Uji, Shobogenzo, Zen Master Dogen


“In short, everything whatsoever that exists in the whole world is a series of instances of time. Since everything is for the time being, we too are for the time being.

Uji, Shobogenzo, Zen Master Dogen


Unfortunately I do not have all the answers when it come to the subject of “time”.  Obvious the is a difficult and heady topic.  The different Physicists and Buddhist Masters that I have quoted have described it much better than I ever could. The Buddha told his followers that if they could prove to themselves that something was true, then it was true even if he did not teach it.  So maybe covering this topic illustrates that we can find relevant information on Buddhist subjects from outside the sphere of Buddhism.  Hopefully I have given you some food for thought and maybe a new perspective the next time you ask, “Hey Bud do you got the “time”?”


Time, space, and causation are like the glass through which the absolute is seen….In the Absolute there is neither Time, space, nor causation.

Swami Vivekananda


The absolute tranquility is the present moment. Though it is at this moment, there is no limit to this moment, and herein is eternal delight,”


4 thoughts on “Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part III….

  1. I’ve loved this series on time that you’ve been doing for the past few days. Can you imagine how interesting it would have been to have been able to hang out with D.T. Suzuki and Alan Watts while they were in the midst of one of their wine-fueled philosophical discussions?


    1. Thanks! Being a total newbie at this I feel like I am kind of in an echo chamber. I have a few followers but not many people are commenting so I am not sure if I am communicating my idea’s well. I think that Alan Watts was one of the few westerners that actually get the whole enchilada! I would have loved to be able to have a direct conversation with him. Oh the questions I would have asked!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, for what it’s worth, I tried to leave comments on several of your posts over the past week, but until today, some glitch was preventing me from commenting on anyone else’s page. It takes a while for people to find your blog and then a while more for them to start getting into it…considering how profound your writing is, I have no doubt your echo chamber won’t last for very long.


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