"There are still these questions baffling me," Sashi* told me, not because he was actually baffled, I am sure, but because he wanted to probe what my answers would be. "Is there something called Time? Is there something called Space?"
He told me he wanted a simple answer. If he were to ask me whether I was thirsty, I would answer him 'yes' or 'no'. If I wanted to drink a glass of water, I would know it spontaneously. I would not have to think and select the appropriate answer from my accummulated stock of knowledge and experience. He said he wanted such a spontaneous answer.
However, instintively, I started thinking for the answers, because thinking is a habit we nourish and carry with us as an extremely important quality in life. We are not used to acting spontaneously. We think, calculate and then act. We introduce the time-and-space factor into all our responses.
I told him: "The last time we met, you told me about looking at things without giving names to anything I see. I have tried it. I see my wife, but I don't give her a name. I don't give a name to our relationship either. I see a cow grazing in a valley, but I don't limit either the cow or the rest of the scenery to names and symbols. I don't allow my brain to go into its trained function of decoding from memory the impressions that reach it, giving each impression a name, reducing each impression to a symbol...There is a strange stillness and a flooding in of something when that kind of seeing happens, which is not always. Then everything becomes fresh and new, with neither a past, nor a future. Everything IS. In that stillness, is there 'Time', is there 'Space'?"
Sashi was amused by my answer. "You can also answer my question by posing the same question back to me," he said, laughing.
"Why do we have this concept of Time and Space," Sashi asked. "Isn't it a creation of thought, the basic nature of which is to seggregate, compartmentalise and grade the seggregated entities in different ways, pitting one entity against the other and grouping some entities together, arranging all these in an order in our mind in Time and Space?"
[*Sashi is an old friend. Some of my other friends are of the view that our discussions with him should be recorded. I had a one-to-one discussion with him on Friday.]