By Gaelen: “How can one possibly see the future from the present?” This is the cry of many a sceptic. The monotonous bleat is usually accompanied by a string of pseudo logic, in which the phenomenon of divination is thoroughly disproved to the cynic’s satisfaction. These blinkered arguments do not, however, fool the mystic.
To achieve a greater understanding of prediction, we must look further than the events themselves. The mechanisms or possible mechanisms involved, need to be inspected with an intelligent and enlightened approach. A mystic using such methods is much like a scientist. Scientists however, would never agree that the mystical approach is scientific. Science is unfortunately too bound up in its self imposed restrictions to accept mystical disclosure.
The mechanism at the core of prediction is time. Theories of time exist which show that the process of prediction can be quite logical. In particular, the combination of a pair of opposing theories present the possibility of a time outside of time. This opens up new vistas to those who have only ever seen time as an enemy. Because of its connection with Divination, I will refer to this alternative concept of time as ‘Divine Time’. Before presenting an explanation of Divine Time, it is necessary to contrast the concept with aspects of time to which we usually relate. The two major ones are cyclical time and linear time.
The Arrow of Time.
The idea that time corresponds to the metaphor of ‘the arrow of time’ is known as the linear concept. This idea represents time as an exceedingly long line, with the past at one end, and the future at the other. The arrow flies from the past into the future, and wherever it is positioned on the line of flight represents the present, or now. Each new now is different from any old now and any portion of the arrow’s flight corresponds to the duration of any now.
The accepted image of this metaphor is life’s journey from the cradle to the grave. This path is marked by retrospective milestones such as leaving school, or turning points like falling in love.
The alternative concept to linear time that of cyclical time. An awareness of the passing of the seasons, the rising of the Sun and the phases of the Moon, highlight this concept. Mechanical, electronic and atomic clocks, have been built which designate this sort of time with varying degrees of accuracy. This feat has been accomplished to the extent that our lives appear to be governed by this pedantic machine. Modern society does not rise with the Sun, and rest when it sets. We tend to distort our personal rhythms to fit the machine rather than the rhythms of nature. Our internal clock is not governed by a man made machine, but governed by natural cycles.
Geoffrey Workman lived in a cave for 100 days, his sleep wake cycle settled at 24.7 hours. Similar effects have been found on Antarctic research bases during the long winter night period. Without the Sun being present, our internal clocks are regulated nearer to a 25 hour period than the accepted 24 hour period.
Our biological clock is a pair of small clustering cell bodies called the suprachiasmatic nuclei in the hypothalamus and close to the optic nerve. In the brain, this is in the region of the pineal gland, which is accepted as being the ‘third eye’. These two areas make up part of the old reptilian brain and in some lizards, the pineal is connected to a light sensitive membrane. In the brain then, sight, foresight and time appear to be interconnected. Chronobiologists, believe that the internal clock is governed by an environmental clock referred to as a, “zeitgeber,” or time giver.
The Sun is a powerful zeitgeber and takes the majority of control. The 25 hour period cycle which occurs in the absence of the Sun is the resulting synthesis of the Lunar and Solar Cycles. Bodily rhythms apart from the sleep/wake cycle are profoundly influenced by these two celestial bodies.
Do the two concepts of time so far described provide us with a logical explanation of divination, the ability to experience future events? I think not. If time is linear, the past is the past, and only accessible through our fading memories, the present is here and changing, but the future remains logically inaccessible.
There is also a problem with cyclical time. Each cycle is different from any other. So, although we may be able to predict that a spring will follow winter, we cannot logically predict the events which make this spring a different spring from the preceding one. To provide a satisfactory logical explanation, for the varying forms of divination, we certainly need a better concept of time than the two so far described. Perhaps we can get a better perspective by considering the origin of time.
Start the clock.
Physicist Stephen Hawking believes that time began with a ‘Big Bang’. Researchers Andrei Linde and Alan Guth, have shown how a tiny seed of energy smaller than the nucleus of an atom, could have triggered this supposed ‘Big Bang’. Convincing though their arguments may be, the lack of information about the origin of this ‘tiny seed of energy’, precludes any convincing scientific declaration on the start of time.
Indeed, many cosmologists and physicists regard these questions as beyond the scope of science. If one asks Hawking about the events which occurred before this explosion, he glibly states that it is like asking what is north of the north pole, thus implying that no further information is available. This reasoning aptly illustrates the restrictions of reductionist thinking.
Critical inspection reveals that, either there was something occurring before the big bang, or there was nothing occurring before the big bang. In either case there is an earlier time at which there is either something or nothing occurring.
Thus the idea of time having a beginning appears contradictory. If time did begin, it would imply that there was a moment before this beginning at which time did not exist. Very simply, this reasoning suggests a time which is earlier than the earliest time.
In the face of scientific befuddlement, the mystic produces reason from myth. Chronos was a primaeval God of the Cosmos and was also known as Aeon. The God Chronos, emerged from the darkness and fashioned a primordial silver egg out of the Aether, thus creating the cosmos. This legend implies that there definitely was something occurring before time began, and Chronos was part of that previous time.
Supporting information can be gleaned from the thoughts of philosophers. Plato divided reality into two types – two reality’s. Each reality related to time in a different way. One, involved the impermanent or imperfect being, and belongs to the realm of things which come into existence and pass away in time. The other, true being, belonged to the everlasting, the eternal. The former reality can be regarded as encompassing both linear and cyclical time, the latter is involved with eternity.
“Eternity is the possession all at once of unlimited life”. This traditional description of eternity was propounded by medieval philosophers such as Boethius and Aquinas.. This idea reveals the ownership, “all at once” or instantaneously, of something that has no beginning and no end. Take for instance a life which is eternal and experienced instantaneously. Not only does this mean that the whole gamut of life is enjoyed simultaneously, it also means that no single part of the life is earlier or later than any other part. An entity enjoying this sort of life could be referred to as a God.
Modern Theists, theologians and philosophers however, do not seem to understand the existence of a Deity in terms of a single instant. They make the mistake of assuming that the instant at which God exists is a part of time, and not one of the infinitely many instants which exist outside of time. The Chronos myth implies that Chronos emerged out of Divine Time and created a Universe with its own time. This would indicate that Chronos exists in what the medieval theologians call the nunc stans which means, “the standing now”. Beings who exist in time exist in the “moving now”. A polarity emerges which is cognizant of the Yin and Yang principle.
It is commonly accepted that left brain activity is logical and limited, whereas right brain activity is abstract and infinite. Language functioning takes place almost exclusively in the logical left brain, whilst symbolism is the realm of the abstract right brain. We refer to time in the English language using the past present and future tenses. It is difficult to convey the concept of a time outside time with this linguistic construction. The Hopi language, for instance, does not suffer these grammatical restrictions and so a Hopi Indian, would easier understand the concept of Divine Time.
There are two opposing theories of time which go hand in hand here, one is called the Tensed theory, and the other known as the Tenseless theory.
The tensed theory suggests that events are either future, present or past.
The tenseless theory implies that all events exist equally regardless of whether they are earlier or later than today. It is logical to assume that if something exists but is neither future present or past, then it exists outside of time. It exists in the nunc stans from which Chronos emerged. We could say therefore, that Chronos exists in tenseless time and the Universe exists in tensed time.
The important point is this: if something exists outside of time, it can exist simultaneously with the events which are in time. So a being outside of time, in the “standing now”, can be instantaneously aware of all the events simultaneously occurring in the “moving now”. In relation to time, this being would be instantaneously everywhere.
The All-seeing Eye.
To create an analogy, imagine a dandelion seed cluster. The round, white, diaphanous, puff-ball which floats on the Autumnal air. An imaginary observer on the circumference would be aware of the events occurring on the surface of the ball only to the range of the horizon. For instance if you stand on the surface of the world and look around you, you will only see a minute portion of the whole of the surface. This means that only a minuscule proportion of the events that are occurring on the surface of the dandelion seedball are available to the observer. Now, imagine an all-seeing eye that can observe 360 degrees in all three dimensions and place it at the centre of the seed ball. This common point will be able to register all of the events that are occurring on the surface of the ball in any one instant, and continuously for all other instants.
An observer on the surface requiring information about events anywhere, on the ball, needs only to contact the information source at the centre of the ball.
Extend this analogy so that the common point registers all events instantaneously in the past and future too, and you have an idea of Divine Time.
Our brain anatomy shows a connection between the sense of sight, foresight and time, but the correspondences do not end there. Plato’s polarity of realities, namely true being and imperfect being correspond with other polarities in the concept of Divine Time. Imperfect being belongs to the ‘moving now’, this corresponds to logic, linguistics, the tensed theory of time and mortality. These are all left brain oriented or the Yang principle. The alternative polarity ‘true being’, belongs to the ‘standing now’, is abstract, non-linguistic, the tenseless theory of time and eternity Those are all right brain oriented or the Yin principle.
For the mystic, it is sometimes the little things that whisper in your ear that are important. There is information right at the edge of awareness which is sometimes teasing to process. It is nevertheless there. It is part of the whole process of being, of living, of existence.
Love and Light,