Continuing with Time, we run into some discussion of assumptions and frameworks. Conventionally, we perceive things as being inseparable from time. I’m going to be inconsistent with my capitalization of time, so my apologies for the poor craftsmanship. We perceive things as inseparable from time, and this in itself is a function of ordinary time. Somehow, the perception of things as moving in and flowing through time is regulated by our understanding of linear time. I take this to mean, among other things, that when things happen in a way that does not fit with our concept of time, we filter them out, because time is such a basic part of the perceptual apparatus.
Tarthang Tulku calls normal time here a “subtle but powerful time.” Our perception of things being ordered about by time is subtle, and it is powerful. I would agree with this, and it is one of those things that is easy to miss. Perception of time happens constantly, it seems, and is so basic as to seem not worth even examining. Maybe it is not. Maybe this experiment is not going to bear fruit. But I always find those sorts of things interesting, the missed assumptions.
Next, Tarthang Tulku refers to time as a focal setting on space, specifically that our normal version of time is a kind of focal setting on Great Space. Just as there is general Time, Space, and Knowledge, in this system, there is also what are referred to as Great Time, Great Space, and Great Knowledge. I will write a tiny bit about what these mean to me next time. In general, I associate Great Time as an experience of perception and reality manifesting itself that is vast, powerful, magical, not bound by small-minded thinking. I associated Great Space with being beyond any sort of concept or limitation. I associate Great Knowledge with the awakened mind that can navigate the world of Great Time and Great Space.
I want to go back to the idea of time as a focal setting on space, however. How is it that time is a focal setting or way of experiencing space? How can this be explained thoughtfully? What is the idea of “focal setting?”- is it just a perspective?
So next time- the “greats,” what is a focal setting, and how is time a version of space….