TIME: What It Is – What It Is Not

Continuing from above.

It is inconceivable for the simple (person) that time can be removed from the imagination. This is because of the fact that since the human soul is linked with a body which is under time, it cannot go beyond (time) without being nurtured with the knowledge of the truth.

 

–Ismaili Muslim Philosopher, Nasir Khusraw.

Nasir Khusraw, the best known of the Ismaili writers in Persian, attempted to define Time in one of his treatises: what it is and what it is not:

Knowledge and LiberationNasir Khusraw, in his treatise on philosophical theology entitled “Knowledge and Liberation” has the following comments to make on the notion of time and how it relates to the acquisition of rational and suprarational knowledge:

‘We say that first it is necessary to know what time is so that this knot can be untied. It should be known that in reality, time is (contained in) the act of an agent, because it is (a measure of) the movement of the (celestial) sphere. Thus, when a measure (equal to) a constellation passes from the sphere, we say that two hours from night or day have elapsed, and when half of the sphere passes we say twelve hours of time from day or night have elapsed. (However), if you take away the sphere from (your) imagination, nothing remains of time. When the existence of a thing depends on another thing, then if you remove the latter, the former which had come into existence through the latter (also) disappears. For instance, if we remove the sun from (our) imagination, the day would be removed. From this demonstration it is evident that if from the imagination you remove the sphere, time (too) would be removed. (In reality), since the rotation of the sphere is the act of an agent by the command of the Creator, time is (caused by) the act of the Creator Himself.’

‘In this connection, those in possession of wisdom have also said that time is nothing but (a measure of) change in the conditions of body, one after the other. This view is the same as that of time being (contained in) the act of an agent, because the totality of the world’s body is within the vault of the spheres, and when the spheres rotate its condition changes as every point of it moves from its existing place to another place. (Furthermore), the rotation of the spheres does not stop because its time is never-ending.’

‘It is inconceivable for the simple (person) that time can be removed from the imagination. This is because of the fact that since the human soul is linked with a body which is under time, it cannot go beyond (time) without being nurtured with the knowledge of the truth. As God says: “O assembly of jinn and men, if you can penetrate the bounds of the heavens and the earth, do so, but you cannot without the proof” (Quran 55:33) – that is, jinn and men cannot conceive anything in their souls other than what they see in the heavens and the earth, and they cannot go beyond what is under the heavens and time unless they receive nurture(of true knowledge) from the Imam of the time, who is proof of God (hujjat-i Khuda) on earth.’

Nasir Khusraw, states in a passage paraphrased by Corbin:

Time is eternity measured by the movements of the heavens, whose name is day, night, month, year. Eternity is Time not measured, having neither beginning nor end…The cause of Time is the Soul of the World….; it is not in time, for time is in the horizon of the soul as its instrument, as the duration of the living mortal who is “the shadow of the soul”, while eternity is the duration of the living immortal – that is to say of the Intelligence and of the Soul.

Continue here:

 

Sources: http://www.iep.utm.edu/ismaili/http://www.iep.utm.edu/time/

Collaboration:

Science and Religion in Islam: The Link.

Easy Nash: This blog contains my thoughts on the above, reflecting the tradition of Shia Ismaili Islam: The material universe is part of the structure of truth, the ultimate nature of which it is the goal of religion to reach (monoreality). Among other things this blog asks two questions, what is the universe made up of and how does it operate? The answer to these questions finds its way onto a continuum of knowledge ranging from rationally-acquired knowledge to transcendental knowledge of the divine.

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, its achievements and humanitarian works.

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