Shimmering of Time

Anne Lindberg, Inside Green, 2012, Egyptian cotton thread, staples, 24 x 18 x 6 ft.

Anne Lindberg, Inside Green, 2012, Egyptian cotton thread, staples, 24 x 18 x 6 ft.

How can we understand the motion of time as ‘not going’?

Some long-time TSK students have discussed how TSK might manifest in art. This might be one example… Anne Lindberg created an onsite installation at the Akron Art Museum using taut cotton thread to draw lines that create a ‘shimmering’ mass in space. Extending ideas the artist began exploring in drawings on mat board, scribing thousands of parallel lines using an architect’s bar, her installations are “built with color and air, filament by filament, through space.”

For “inside green,” the artist appreciates how her installation both fills and is confined by the space. Lindberg conceived the accompanying drawings in tandem with her installation to enhance and complete her transformation of the gallery. Find out more about Intersections: (Thanks to EK O’Conner for sharing this.)

In many of his TSK books Rinpoche has used the term ‘shimmering’ to describe Time’s appearance, beside the photo of the sculpture shown, here are a couple of his uses of the term…

Knowledge appears through Space as beauty. We find the beauty of Great Space in the vastness of the blue sky, the unboundedness of space, the vivid colors of myriad rainbows, and a joy that wells forth within all interactions. Appearance presents itself as though clothed in the richest fabrics, ‘shimmering’ with unimagined colors, inviting with the smoothest caress. Music wells forth in the fullness of an ever-present silence, and form brings delight to vision through its perfect arising. Fragrances transport us to realms that never were, and the taste of a bliss that knows no limits melts into our being. Active within time, on time, and in time, we celebrate the all-providing mother, the all-knowing presentational immediacy of Great Space. KTS p.251

The potential depth within experience is another source of knowledge that falls outside the conventional range of the knowable. In times of beauty, the world can appear like a celestial garden, ‘shimmering; with treasures awaiting discovery. In times of leisure, the abundance of the senses delights us. Nature and our own capacities bring us great pleasure. If our minds are active and our hearts open, we can discover the riches of joy, romance, fantasy, and love. Art, music, and ideas can reveal a realm in which the power of creativity expresses and ennobles inner knowledge. Spiritual insight can lead to a tranquility that nourishes and heals. Free from our usual concerns, we can know wholeness, fullness, and well-being that take us far beyond our usual ways of knowing. LOK p.69

First level features, such as the ‘drawing apart’ or consolidating tendency of the self, referrings and pointings, and the ordinary experience of going from place to place, all depend on our ‘knowing’ being deceived (convinced) by this subtle ‘shimmering’ or ‘motion’ of ‘time’.

As more ‘knowingness’ investigates this ‘motion’ on the second level of insight, it is still seen as a ‘going’, but in a much more open-ended way. Any facet or region of the ‘motion’ is seen to move ‘forward’, ‘backward’, and in all other directions simultaneously. And any one of these ‘goings’ can be seen to be ‘going’ forward, backward, etc. . . . and any of these can in turn be seen in the same way. Solid things, places, and directed processes seen on the first level become appreciated—-in their second-level ‘time’ aspect—-as being very fluid. This fluid quality is a central feature of ‘time’, which has been rendered more dry and friction-filled in order for us to play in a first-level way.

When fully appreciated, Great Time is seen to be a kind of perfectly liquid, lubricious dimension—it is quintessentially ‘slippery’. For this reason—although there seems to be movement and separate places to move to on the first level, and still more open, fluid possibilities of movement on the second level—on the third level there is ‘going’ and no separate places. It is as though all the friction in the world were removed—nothing can then walk away from anything else. So, from a third level view, an eternity of ‘straying’ still leaves us very much ‘at home’, intimately united. TSK p.161-2

About David Filippone

David Filippone has been a student of Tarthang Tulku’s Time, Space, Knowledge (TSK) vision for over twenty-five years. For the past twelve years, he has studied TSK and Full Presence Mindfulness with Jack Petranker, director of the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI). He also participated in programs offered by Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Center. For the past several years, David has curated the CCI Facebook page, which is often TSK-focused, and he serves on the CCI Board of Directors. The CCI Facebook page can be found at the following link...
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2 Responses to Shimmering of Time

  1. Erin says:

    Since I was a girl, I’ve imagined “shimmering” similarly to how it is described above. I think this is why I enjoy TSK so much…it doesn’t feel like a foreign concept. It feels familiar, kindred… Rivendell in reality ;)

    The word, “slippery”, for Great Time reminds me of the scene in the movie, “Interstellar” where the father is in space and at home at the same “time.”

    Fascinating seeing the manifestations reflecting TSK teachings emerge, directly, indirectly and serendipitously (i.e. Leonard Shlain).

  2. Erin says:

    I knew at once when I saw the note about this at my local museum it would speak to TSK :) Beautiful visual representation speaking to our studies…

    Now I get to enjoy your interpretation…

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