Four-Dimensional Bowling, Sensible Footwear, and the Metaphysics of Death
One approach is to consider the nature of the self, which you might think of as a hyperdimensonal object that necessarily discloses its nature within the container of linear time, "one piece at a time." On a personal level, this soulprint is our "alpha and omega," the secret map of our existence. Maurice Nicoll has an interesting way of thinking about it, following along the lines of Hermetic tradition:
"think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave; grasp in your thought all this at once, all times and places, all substances and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend God" (in Bolton).
Thinking of the problem in this way allows us to get beyond the veil of time and to catch a glimpse of what it would truly mean to be an image of the One who is beyond (and the source of) space and time. It is not so much that it is an either/or proposition; rather, this nonlocal and "universalized form of identity integrates our individual natures with a world of objective realities," and represents a "necessary supplement" to our natural, or local identity.
For one thing, it shows how the past can be preserved -- how "previous states of being still really exist in objective reality, even though they are not perceptible by our time-bound senses" (Bolton). Sense perception is what affixes us to the present moment, which "is why it is always deceptive if taken for anything like a complete representation of reality." We must use time, not be used up by it.
You could say that time forms the basis of our local subjectivity, and moors it down below. I'm trying to think of an appropriate metaphor... maybe it will come to me later. But Bolton points out that "the illusion of temporality can be overcome when we perceive the passage of time as a movement through a fourth dimension" where "there are no distinctions between past, present, and future." It would be like, say, a history book, which externally looks like an object; but internally, you can see that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end, all mutually copresent.
Indeed, human beings have their own history book, known as the unconscious. It is the unconscious that provides the deep continuity to our life, since one of its characteristics is that it is "timeless." There, hidden away in the unconscious, is our infancy, our childhood, every personally significant experience we have ever had. It is always holographically resonating with the present moment to produce -- or disrupt -- "meaning." (It is also what creates the "false meaning" of, say, an obsession, or paranoia.)
In fact, as I have written before, I think it is misleading to refer to "the" unconscious, since every waking moment is a product of the dialectic, or complementarity, between conscious and unconscious. For example, if you enter psychoanalytic therapy, you are basically talking to someone who is trained to observe and interpret the "underside" of your verbalizations and experiences, when you are accustomed to seeing only the "top." Materialists, atheists, and other shallow types are usually precisely the people who overvalue the surface and know nothing about their own unconscious (which again, extends both "up" and "down"; transpersonality extends in both directions).
Change is always relative. When we say we have changed, the question is, "relative to what?" Thinking again of psychotherapy, if it is successful, we want the person to be able to say that he has changed in such a way that he is "more himself." Here we can see that the change we seek is incomprehensible in the absence of the changeless, i.e., that personal blueprint alluded to above.
But at the same time, once we have made contact with this higher self and begun to live our lives from this new psychic center, time takes on more of a "flowing" quality, in that it becomes the mode of our actualization instead of the graveyard of our hopes and aspirations. It begins to be seen as the very substance of life, rather than merely the ineluctable train track to our doom.
Looked at in this way, you could say that we must not allow time to be our container. Rather, we must see that the real container is the nonlocal self. And since it is a higher dimensional object, it obviously cannot be completely contained within time, any more than a sphere can be contained in a plane. So it is not so much that time is the "great destroyer"; rather, as Bolton observes, "what is destroyed or ceases to be is only as much of the object as can be contained in the moment," which isn't much. The destruction "has no effect on this object in its other places along the fourth dimension." So, "not only are we invisible as spiritual beings," but "by far the greater part of our physical being is also invisible because only an element of it can be visible at any one time."
The only reason we have a personal memory is because it is a reflection of what you might call "cosmic memory." Science obviously operates on this basis, in that our cosmic past is encoded in the present, to such an extent that it can be interpreted so as to disclose "events" that took place all the way back to the horizontal "beginning."
Just so, the purpose, say, of Genesis, is to show that echoes of the vertical origin (as opposed to beginning) are everywhen and -where present: paradise, temptation, fall, talking snakes, etc. Genesis is a hyperdimensional text par excellence. How could it be otherwise?
Speaking of hyperdimensional books, Bolton notes that "Death, or what we call the end of life, could thus only be the end of a person in the way that the last page of a book is the end of the book." It is only the end of the line, not the sphere.
Even if we view the emergence of man solely in naturalistic terms, from "the bottom up," it nevertheless can be shown that the human mind is the cosmos' first hyperdimensional organ. To say that it is somehow the result of our linear senses is pretty much unalloyed lizard droppings. Rather, it's the other way around: the senses are always deployed by a subject who is their a priori unification in a higher dimension.
The point is that our mind is an "organism," but strictly a transtemporal organism that unifies "all our past momentary selves in both their mental and physical states" in order to "form a single continuous organism with what we are now." Which is why "our present psycho-corporeal state is in dialogue with all we have been before." And which is also why the past can be altered, as in psychotherapy. It becomes altered by properly metabolizing it in the present.
I see that Bolton gets the point: "We assume that the present state of the self can thus heal earlier ones because they really exist in union with what we are now." It obviously works in reverse as well, which is why our past can muck up the present and ruin our quality of life. It is also why you can kill your own future, even to eternity.
So, when we reach the end of the line, we exit, or "withdraw" from time. Which is apparently like removing a tight pair of shoes. Or so ve have heard from the vice.
Rishi does it. Take your shoes off and set a spell. Relux & call it a deity. --The Coonifesto