A person who begins the journey to the center of his being passes through various aspects of time. If he looks at life by thinking about it, he asks: “What wants to become?” If he looks at it with his heart, he experiences: “What becomes”. And through his timeless being he sees: “What is”.
Who would not like to look into the future in order to avoid unpleasant surprises? The weather forecast warns of storms. Many companies use statistical methods to estimate the success of their offers in the future.
In every moment that we deal with the question: “What wants to become”, we move physically into the 4th dimension, the time. Every process of becoming or development is time-bound.
Time has different aspects
The economist regards time as something quantitative: How can I structure production processes in such a way that I can produce more and more in less time and convert it into money? He looks today for the optimal production and sales processes of tomorrow in order to earn more and more in less and less time. The stock markets reward this with rising share prices. Here, time is a purely quantitative variable by which our affluent society measures its success and by which it is possible to determine how fast and sustainably an economy is growing in the context of competition.
An important pillar of this success is the high availability of knowledge. We have arrived in the age of information. And the most successful information channel is the fiber optic cable, in which light is used to transmit information. Light is the fastest medium in the universe. Knowledge today spreads at the speed of light.
We compress time
In earlier times, more complex questions that had to be solved with remote contributors were sent by mail. Once the letter was delivered to the post office, a phase of waiting or further reflection began, since the answer might have been expected after a week if it was quick. Today, if the question is sent via the Internet, it will reach the recipient in a few seconds. In a few minutes the recipient might already receive an answer. In this way, the number of actions that are possible in a period of time increases. We have learned to compress time by increasing the speed of action.
This quantity of information and action in time is ultimately a foundation of our Western society. In many areas it lives according to the premise “quantity instead of quality”. Quantity creates a certain superficiality in experience and an indefinable hunger that cannot be satisfied. With this hunger modern man hunts for ever greater and more exclusive consumer experiences. Inside, the experiences disappear like in a big black hole, into which everything falls without a feeling of satiation.
The black hole
All time structures, i.e., “What wants to become”, “What becomes” and “What is” are already present in us and can be experienced. Depending on where man focusses his attentiveness, he experiences one of them. If we look at the human being like a spinning top, then he stabilizes himself in his life by spinning at high speed. According to the dynamics in a spinning top, his life has a high speed at the outer edge – while in the middle time stands still completely.
This gyroscopic shape is easier to recognize in the universe. The Milky Way is a spiral nebula, in which our earth moves along with it and whose shape reminds one of a spinning top. According to scientific findings, its center consists of a black hole. Black holes are highly condensed matter and sources of enormous gravitational forces. They give space a new structure, bend it and slow down time. Ultimately, the black hole gives the galaxy shape and motion. It swallows large amounts of matter and compresses them into the smallest space. At its innermost point, time stands still and becomes “non-time”, and space is compressed to such an extent that it becomes a “non-place”.
Man is a “microcosm”, as the hermetic philosophy says, symbolically a miniature of the entire universe and, looked at from a spiritual point of view, man could,to some extent, be compared to a spiral nebula. According to the dynamic of such a nebula, when man moves away from the center with his attentiveness, he experiences that the speed of his life increases. Many people today walk on this outermost orbit, which gives them the experience of that fast burning orbit of life as we experience it daily, always searching for what wants to become. At some point, the experiences of their velocity frenzy have become so condensed and compressed that forces act there that are reminiscent of the gravitational forces in a black hole.
Forces emanate from the center
Similar to the gravitational forces of a black hole in the universe, forces emanate from the center of the human being that change the experience of space and time. In this way,mystics such as Jacob Böhme, Rumi or Meister Eckhart experienced dynamics that unhinged their world.
There are some scientists today who believe that space-time is falling apart in a black hole. This would also mean that there is a deeper physical structure with different laws, in which the black hole has its roots. In the intellectual history of mankind, there are also the ideas of various philosophers and teachers of humanity who assume that man is rooted in another nature in his deepest being, in his “black hole”.
The qualitative aspect of time
The condensation of the experiences slowly draws the mindfulness from the outer edge of the spiral nebula towards the center. Hermann Hesse lets Siddharta, in his Indian story of the same name, determine what happens then. Man transforms time in deep meditation. Its qualitative aspect comes to the fore. The “How much can I experience?” becomes a “What am I experiencing?” The human being is thus connected with the dimension of depth. In western societies many people are currently becoming aware of the lack of depth. Due to the pandemic situation, the speed of experience has slowed down. In the spiritual realm, such an “experience brake” is created through meditation. Man temporarily closes his sensory organs to the outside world, allows himself to be drawn inwards and becomes aware of his depth.
The door to depth
If one begins to reflect and question one’s life, then the different qualities of time can be experienced. Time means uniqueness. Every moment passes and it is impossible to return to it. Every point in time is unique and can only be grasped when the question “What wants to become?” – the credo of dynamic quantitative time – changes to a “What becomes” as the expression of a consciously reflected, qualitative time. In the “now” alone, a door opens to a completely new understanding of space and time.
Qualitative time has a door to the dimension of depth. Many mystics have tried to make people aware of this dimension. It opens to a space that is not limited. Its center is a “non-place”, the “time” there a “non-time”. Every “what wants to become” comes to a standstill there, and changes to a “what becomes” in a silent contemplation.
The omnipresent being
This “what becomes” is connected with a total presence in the absolute moment of the present. Life reveals itself from moment to moment. Herman Hesse further describes a state that comes to bear at the end of his narrative Siddharta. In the great vision in which Siddharta lets his friend Govinda participate, there is a “what is” that contains the experience that everything is already, that everything exists simultaneously as an aspect of unity. Govinda returns from this experience with a burning heart.
Black holes are not dark because they contain no light, but because nothing perceptible seems to escape them. And yet they radiate energy in the form of quantum entangled information. This information does not seem to be subject to the laws of space-time, but has something “omnipresent”. These laws are highly abstractly mathematical. But there are philosophers and mystics in the history of mankind with experiences that have a correspondence to them. Herman Hesse writes about them in his Siddharta.
When the aspect in which a person is “Buddha” awakens and suffering comes to an end and from the depth of his being he sees everything with his eyes closed, then he has arrived at the “what is”. He is like a galaxy from whose center the forces of the “black hole” bring the whole “galaxy” into a new order.
Hermann Hesse, Siddharta
Marianne Oesterreicher (Ed.), Hans-Peter Dürr, Auch die Wissenschaft spricht nur in Gleichnissen (Also science speaks only in parables), 2004