If time is relative, can we time travel? Sadhguru replies, past, present and future are not 3 different geographical places, but all one happening. He describes the relationship between space, time and gravity, and their significance to the spiritual process.
Questioner: If time is relative can we time-travel?
Sadhguru: (Laughs) So you want to go into the past or the future. Isn’t… Isn’t this the biggest problem in the world - people are time-travelling within themselves? They are trying to live what happened ten days ago, or they’re trying to live what may happen day after tomorrow, hmm? Time-travel is the biggest problem, don’t seek it, it’s already a great problem. Now that’s not what you are asking - you want to know what happened in the past or you want to know what’ll happen tomorrow. When he said, “Mere bare me kuch bolo (Please say something about me),” whatever (Laughter) what he is telling me is why don’t you time-travel for me and tell me what’ll happen tomorrow, okay? Yes? That’s all he is asking. So I have to wear my astrological clothes (Laughter).
See if you transcend your physical nature there is no such thing as time. Ihere is in… In India in this culture we have a word called trikala gnani, that means one who knows past, present and future. This does not mean he is time-travelling, that is a… what these Hollywood movies which misunderstand everything logically and literally… everything that’s said literally.
So why I am saying this is they are always trying to understand everything factually, literally. When we said there is a trikala gnani, they said, “Oh, there is somebody who goes into past, present and future.” See this moment is eternity, I want you to know, it’s question of are you living in the surface or have you… have you… do you have a profound experience of what’s now?
What you think is past, what yeh think you… what you think is future or what you think is now is all one happening, they are not three different happenings. They are not three different dimensions or three different geographical spaces that you can go into and come back. When you use the world travel it suggests movement, isn’t it? I travel from point A to point B, I can’t travel from point A to point A, point A to point A, point A to point A – I cannot travel unless I’m making rounds. So right now when you say past, present and future you are talking about triple A, you understand? It’s A, A, A, it’s not A, B, C. When we say time, in the yogic perception, which ultimately modern physics will come to someday hopefully is, time is the basic aspect of creation - because of time there is gravity, because of gravity everything else.
Right now the problem with modern physics is they have reasonably understood the other forces, they are unable to understand what’s gravity. Gravity is a consequence of time, it’s not the other way round. Because there is time there is gravity. The word time itself may not conjure that image in your mind. The Sanskrit word is correct, it’s kala. Kala means two things - time and emptiness. Kali – not talking about the Devi, Kali means what? Empty. Kala means darkness. Kala means time and it also means emptiness.
If you try to speak with little more personified context we will call this Shiva. So we are talking about time and emptiness, time and nothingness as the same thing. Because there is time there is creation, because what we call as creation exists there is gravity because to maintain the integrity of a little bit of physicality in this vast kala – you need some force to hold it together. So gravity is only when time bends in a certain way. Time which is nothingness, time which is emptiness takes a curve. When it takes a curve physical dimension begins. If it doesn’t take a curve physical does not exist. So when we say spiritual process you’re trying to get out of the curve because whatever curves ultimately will go in circles, isn’t it?
So because you experience time as a consequence of the curve that it took you’re understanding time as the spin of the planet, as the rotation of the moon and the sun and whatever else. But when we refer to kala, we are talking about time in a more fundamental way that it is emptiness. It is nothingness, it is… clear space is time. We are always… the modern concept is talking about time and space as two different things. We are talking about time and space as one thing, the existential is gravity. The non-existential presence that is there is kala or kali or emptiness or time or whatever you want to call it or darkness – all these things symbolize the same thing.
So if somebody travels in time he’s lost his mind. Really, I know books are written about it. Don’t… Don’t ever believe… please… I want you to understand, you throw up a new concept… let’s say a scientific community throws up a new concept or philosophically some new concept comes. Instantly there will be hundred authors in America, first eighty will come from America, next ten will come from India maybe these days. They will write books about how they experience this concept which may not even exist. Powerful books will be written and one generation will grow up on that and it will die.
Next generation has not even heard about - what… the books that were popular in seventies and eighties – this generation has not even heard about those things which shaped those people’s psyche completely. So this time travel business, this near death (Laughs) stuff that’s going on, these are popular subjects right now. I would advise you write a book, you will sell well, make money, it’s all right. If it’s your survival, write something but if you… it’s your seeking don’t bullshit yourself into something and you’ll get lost. Don’t do time travel because you cannot do time travel. Time as you know it only exists because of your physical nature.
If you really want to know the profoundness of time, if you want to know the kala which holds everything together, which holds everything in its lap, you must distance yourself from your physical nature. Then you know kala not as three but three As superimposed on each other not A, B, C. So then you will not try to travel. You will dimensionally… dimensional shifts within you… you… within yourself, not psychological understanding of time. What happened yesterday is one time, what’s happening now is another time, what may happen tomorrow is another time - not in that context. They are not three separate things. Actually what happened yesterday if you sit here and imagine all that it’ll all happen now, isn’t it? Yes?
What may happen tomorrow if you sit here and if you have powerful enough imagination, it’ll happen right now. This is why people are suffering something that happened ten years ago and something that may happen day after tomorrow, yes? They are enjoying and suffering things which don’t exist. So if you try to do time travel you will lose your mind and think you are experiencing something. Psychological… Psychological drama that you create in the form of thought and emotion is not life, it is a badly directed movie (Laughter).