Extracts

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Space, time, causation not applicable


essay

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, space and time in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.4": detail "Section 5623 - 5627"
Those who die as little children and those who come into the more inward heavens do not know what time and space are. As regards time, it is because the sun does not make a circuit as in the world, so there are no years or days. The sun there, which is the Lord, is always in the east. Consequently no other changes exist there than of states of life as to good and truth which make their own cycles, and because the sun is not of such a nature as in the world they can have no physically based notion of time but only of state, although with respect to the duration of states, there is time equally as in the world. But from this they cannot have a notion of time because the states do not recur with fixed alternations. In the more inward heaven even the concept of time perishes, because with those who come there the natural element, which has the physical notion of time, is put to sleep. They do not know what spatial distances are because these change variously according to the state of their life. Consequently they are only what appear to be spaces, and they are not fixed as in the world. The spaces also vary as to distances and dimensions according to states of life; and because their spatial distances are like this, they do not have any notion of them, even though they still exist.
 I spoke with some like this and asked what space is and what is time is, but they did not know at all. They called the spaces, from the variety of their appearance, either beautiful or not beautiful; and speak of times in another way; they were qualities of life. It is important to know that there are still spaces and times, but from the foregoing it follows that they have no time-based concept of them.
 This shows how natural earthly mental images all perish there because these are based on measurable spaces and periods of time; and thus what is related to matter perishes and the things in place of them refer to the changes and variations of their state. From very many mental images that have been examined, it can be shown how earthly thought, and especially that of a sensory nature, cannot withdraw from a notion of spaces and times, and that if it does withdraw, there can scarcely be any thought, because the earthly-minded person cannot think without reference to measurable spaces and periods of time.
 It is a result of this, too, that spiritual wisdom increases in the degree that it is removed from a concept based on matter, and that the ancients said that they come into light in the degree that they are drawn away from the faculty of sense perception.
 They do not know what spring, summer, fall, and winter are, nor what morning, mid-day, evening, and night are, yet they do have a notion of heat and cold, as well as of light and shade, but not from time, but from their state of life. Besides this, they see everything there as in the world, but still do not perceive them according to spatial distances, but according to the state of their life.


[2 of 2] Plotinus (c. 204-270, Egypt): primary subject "World, spiritual" (search under Beings/Other Beings)": source "Philosophy of Plotinus: Gifford Lectures 1917-1918, vol.2": detail "From ‘Enneads’ 4.3.18, 3.3.5, 3.8.8"
In the spiritual world finite beings exist as pulse-beats of the whole system; finite relations are superseded by complete communion. All the faculties of the Soul must be transmuted to suit these eternal conditions. There can be no reasoning Yonder; a constant activity takes the place of dubitative reasoning. Nor can there be any memory; for all is timeless. In the spiritual world all is reason and wisdom; spirits pass their existence in 'living contemplation'. 'The calm of the spirit is not an ecstatic condition, but a state of activity.' Its rest is unimpeded energy.