In actual fact Mind measures Time by event and Space by Matter; but it is possible in pure mentality to disregard the movement of event and the disposition of substance and realise the pure movement of Conscious-Force which constitutes Space and Time; these two are then merely two aspects of the universal force of Consciousness which in their intertwined interaction comprehend the warp and woof of its action upon itself.
Mind measures Time by event. For example, we say, ‘I am waiting for half an hour’, ‘I will be driving for one hour’ – here waiting and driving are events by which we measure Time. We measure Space by Matter. It is always distance between two objects or places which are matter.
Sri Aurobindo says, in pure mentality we can disregard the movement of event and the placement of substance; we can realise the pure movement of Conscious-Force. It is the Conscious-Force which constitutes Space and Time.
Then Time and Space are merely two aspects of the universal force of Consciousness. The two in their intertwined interaction contain the warp and woof of its action.
And to a consciousness higher than Mind which should regard our past, present and future in one view, containing and not contained in them, not situated at a particular moment of Time for its point of prospection, Time might well offer itself as an eternal present. And to the same consciousness not situated at any particular point of Space, but containing all points and regions in itself, Space also might well offer itself as a subjective and indivisible extension, —no less subjective than Time.
How Time is regarded in a higher Consciousness? It regards past, present and future in one view. It does not dwell in the past, present or future. Rather, all these three Time-states are contained in it. It is not situated at a particular point of time to foresee some event in future. Time offers itself as an eternal present to the higher Consciousness.
Similarly, the higher consciousness is not situated at a particular point of Space. It contains all points and regions of Space in itself. Space offers itself as a subjective (not objective space) and indivisible extension.
How do we view Time & Space from our present mental consciousness?
We place our mind at a particular point of time. With reference to that point, we say some events belong to the past, some to the present and some will happen in future. Similarly, our mind keeps our position at a point in space. With reference to that point, it views other points and say some are distant and some are nearby.
If one is in higher consciousness, say, Supramental, it doesn’t place itself at a particular point of time. It sees from above the past, present and future in one view. There is no division of time. It contains in itself past, present & future. There is always an eternal present.
Similarly, if one is in higher consciousness, it does not place itself at a particular point of space. It contains all points of space in itself. Here also there is no division of Space. Space becomes a subjective reality like time.
Imagine, we are walking on the road. We can see only persons who come behind us & go in front of us. But if we see the same road from a tall building, we see all the persons from back to front at the same time. Mental consciousness is within Time & Space. Higher consciousness is above Time & Space. It contains in itself Time and space.
At certain moments we become aware of such an indivisible regard upholding by its immutable self-conscious unity the variations of the universe. But we must not now ask how the contents of Time and Space would present themselves there in their transcendent truth; for this our mind cannot conceive, —and it is even ready to deny to this Indivisible any possibility of knowing the world in any other way than that of our mind and senses.
At certain moments we become aware of the indivisibility of Time and Space. Because behind all variations of the universe there is immutable (unchanging) and self-conscious unity.
One may ask how Time and Space would present themselves at the level of transcendent. This question is beyond the scope of our mind.
What we have to realise and can to a certain extent conceive is the one view and all-comprehending regard by which the Supermind embraces and unifies the successions of Time and the divisions of Space. And first, if there were not this factor of the successions of Time, there would be no change or progression; a perfect harmony would be perpetually manifest, coeval with other harmonies in a sort of eternal moment, not successive to them in the movement from past to future. We have instead the constant succession of a developing harmony in which one strain rises out of another that preceded it and conceals in itself that which it has replaced.
The Supermind embraces and unifies the successions of Time and divisions of Space by its one view and an all-comprehending (all-containing) regard. This we should realise and understand.
There would be no change or progression if there is not this factor of succession of Time. In the absence of succession of Time, a perfect harmony would forever manifest, in an eternal moment existing at the same time with other harmonies. It would not be a movement from past to future. There would be no evolution.
In reality, what we have in this manifested world is the constant succession of a developing harmony. One character/quality comes out of another that came before it. It conceals in itself that which it has replaced. For example, man has qualities of animal which are hidden in him.
Or, if the self-manifestation were to exist without the factor of divisible Space, there would be no mutable relation of forms or intershock of forces; all would exist and not be worked out, —a spaceless self-consciousness purely subjective would contain all things in an infinite subjective grasp as in the mind of a cosmic poet or dreamer, but would not distribute itself through all in an indefinite objective self-extension.
Let us take the scenario where there is no divisible space. Then, there would be no mutable (changeable) relation of forms. There would be no interaction of forces. All things would exist without any interaction between them. There would be a spaceless self-consciousness. It would contain all things in itself subjectively like a poet or dreamer who hold images only in his mental vision. It would not be a consciousness having an objective reality.
Or again, if Time alone were real, its successions would be a pure development in which one strain would rise out of another in a subjective free spontaneity as in a series of musical sounds or a succession of poetical images. We have instead a harmony worked out by Time in terms of forms and forces that stand related to one another in an all-containing spatial extension; an incessant succession of powers and figures of things and happenings is our vision of existence.
Let us presume that Time alone is real. Then successions in Time would be a pure development. One strain (quality or character) would come out of the other in a subjective free spontaneity. They would be like musical sounds or the poetic images without any tangible reality.
But what we have now is, both reality of Time and reality of Space. Because of that, with the succession in Time there is harmony in terms of forms and forces. They stand related to one another in an all-containing spatial extension. What do we see in our existence? We see an incessant (continuous without break) succession of powers and figures of things and happenings.