no time, no space: no me


It’s curious that while most folk who inquire, even at a fairly superficial level, will concede that time is a conceptual construct with no objective reality, they continue to argue for the existence of a solid-state self-entity.  This is ‘me’ – wysiwyg!

But if time is illusory, it follows that duration in space is impossible.  How can any concept of space be workable without the added dimension of time?

How can there be a near and a far?  A then, a now, a when?  And bereft of space (in which to exist) and time (in and through which to endure) what’s left of ‘me’?

I’ll tell you what’s left: the entire gobsmacking universe.


I am not
but the Universe is Myself
~ Shih T’ou
AD 700 – 790

7 thoughts on “no time, no space: no me

  1. “I” am nothing and yet I am all – “all this” – . I am “no thing”, as “Sailor” Bob Adamson so aptly puts it.

    ‘Things’ are not “things”. ‘I’ am not “I”. The ‘Self’ is not “the Self”. Time and space are not… any thing. And yet, ideas are ideas, name and form are name and form. A tree is a tree. Isn’t that so?

    1. Is a tree a tree? We label the form “tree” but forget that the word isn’t the thing.
      Nor, as it turns out, is the thing a real thing.
      The thing is an appearance in space and time, and therefore a mirage in mind.
      The thing turns out to be no-thing – just as the thing I call “me” does.
      Where does no-thing become some-thing?
      Ideas, names, forms and trees are all mindstuff.
      Busy with mind-matters one is oblivious to the marvel of the one vast No-Thing = Emptiness = Universe.

      I’m sure you have looked into this.
      ~ ml

  2. Very well expressed, thank you. Actually, my last comment was almost a trick comment, which was unintended. I was keeping in mind the last (4th)turn of the wheel from ‘small I’ to ‘Big I’ as put forth by the zen master Seung Sahn (‘Dropping Ashes on the Buddha’), which I am sure you know about. For ‘small I’, 1+2=3; then there are subsequently ‘freedom I’, ‘nothingI’ (no form, no emptiness), ‘karmaI’ (attachment to thinking:form is emptiness, emptiness is form), and, finally, ‘Big I’ (form is form, emptiness is emptiness). As S.S says in the Introduction, “The Heart Sutra says, ‘Form is emptiness, emptines is form’. This means, ‘no form, no emptiness’. But the true meaning of ‘no form, no emptiness’ is, ‘form is form, emptiness is emptiness’.

    Could we not say, ‘An idea is an idea’, ‘a name is a name’, ‘the name “tree” is the name “tree”‘, just that and nothing else(pedantry is pedantry, whether there are selves to be ashamed or not). May be I belaboured the point too much. In any case, can one trick consciousness?

    1. Dear AM when you end your comment with a question I am compelled to reply! 🙂
      I’m not familiar with the writing of Seung Sahn, however there’s nothing in your references to his writing that I’d disagree with.
      As for the rest, we can say whatever we like, be pedantic, be ashamed or not, it makes no difference to consciousness. (Or was that a rhetorical question?)
      ~ ml

  3. This reminds me of Jorge Borges’ statement: “There is no whole self. The self does not exist.”

    Although he’s actually arguing about the “real self” concept.

    I do acknowledge that everyone of us is just a part of the universe. What I hate though about our existence is that what we feel is only limited to our own perception. We can only speculate about what others feel and think of. We’ll never know what they actually feel and think of. Ego, oh, ego, I hate you.

    1. Dear Jenn – welcome, and thanks for your heartfelt comment.

      You’ve hit the nail on the head with your “what we feel is limited to our own perception.” Feelings and thoughts can’t ever be anything but limited. If we wish to enter true empathy with others it’s necessary to meet ‘them’ in the fundamental Awareness that we all share – the changeless, unconditioned light of beingness.

      Oh please don’t hate your wee-me ego. It too is part of the Dance. It just has a problem with control and self-inflation! Once Awareness is known to be your true Identity, it’s simply no longer a problem. Ahhhhh!

      With love and appreciation
      ~ miriam louisa

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