'Flatland' and Einstein's Universe - On Our Relationship to the Temporal Dimension

Scientific Essay, 1991

14 Pages


"Flatland" and Einstein's Universe On our Relation to the Temporal Dimension

Wolfgang RUTTKOWSKI[i]

In his "romance of many dimensions",Flatland(1885), Edwin A. Abbott[ii] attempts to describe a two-dimensional world, whose inhabitants, flat themselves, can only move in a plane, neither upwards nor downwards. This description - as an exercise in consistency of visual imagination - goes far beyond the intellectual scope of children’s' books. But that is not all: the narrator of the story, an inhabitant of Flatland, has dreams and visions of even more limited worlds, "Lineland" and "Pointland", in which the freedom of movement that "Flatland" affords seems immense if not inconceivable. In the end this narrator has a quasi-religious experience of a "higher world", one that enables him to rise out of the limitations of his drab existence in Flatland into a "new dimension", into "Spaceland", that is to say, into our world. The man from Flatland gets punished for his vision and at the end of this science-fiction-satire we see him imprisoned and silenced. This was not Einstein's fate, who opened another dimension for us, though not a purely spacial one. It is tempting to extend the parallels and comparisons discussed in "Flatland" into Einstein's universe[iii] and see, what this kind of "analogical phantasizing" will yield.

Without going further into the details of Abbott's little book, we may summarize that inhabitants of Flatland cannottranscendtheir own two dimensions and, therefore, cannotsurveythem fully.They might have other ways ofknowing aboutthem, but they certainly cannotvisually imaginethem and, of course, not at all a third dimension. They also would not be able to describe a third dimension in their conventional language, since the concepts of their language are derived from their own world of daily experience[iv], witch does not reach into the “next" (third) dimension.

This cluster of limitations applying to the inhabitants of Flatland can - by analogy - be extended into all four dimensions known to us and to their imaginable inhabitants. To do this, we arrange the dimensions in an ascending order: A line is marked by points; a plane by lines; a three-dimensional space by planes; in Einstein's space-time-dimension space is measured by time and vice versa. We distinguish (with Abbott) "Pointland", "Lineland", "Flatland", "Spaceland" and (additionally) "Einstein's universe". The inhabitants of Pointland cannot move freely within a line, those of Lineland cannot move within a plane, those of Flatland cannot rise into space, those of Spaceland cannot move freely in time.

The last case, of course, marks our own situation: We live in time, we are aware of it and of its all-importance[v]. But we cannot move freely in it. We are caught in it like in an elevator, which does not stop, as Einstein would say. Time is our tyrant. It does not allow us to return to days gone by; and it is dragging us mercilessly into an unknown future. While being dragged this way, we age rapidly-and finally meet death.

By now we all know from modern science that we could escape this tyrant time only if we were capable of speed faster than light. If a space ship could carry us away at the speed of light, time would stand still for us. We would not age any longer. If our vehicle of transportation could travel faster than light, we would become younger on our trip. – But, horror after horror, at the return to our beloved planet: Nobody would recognize us any longer. Like in the archetypal myth of the man who went to sleep in a mountain (or under the sea[vi]) our friends and family would have died long ago. Because of the enormous distances involved, our trip would have taken a long time (earth time!), and here time would have not stood still (or be reversed). We would return as strangers to an estranged world. Therefore, some might feel that it is a good thing that any normal object is forever confined (by the laws of relativity) to move at speeds slower than the speed of light. If it were otherwise, we could acquire divine powers.

What do we mean by saying we cannot "survey" time? - Since we cannot move at will into the past or future, we cannot truly know either one. We experienced onlyour ownpast, not that of others, and even the memory of our own past is always distorted by the present. We, whoremember[vii]our past, are different persons from our former selves, whoexperiencedthe past. The past itself has done this to us. It has changed us. Therefore, the past is sealed to our knowledge almost as hermetically as is the future. For the visitor from Spaceland everything in Flatland, which is considered by its inhabitants to be "solid" or "enclosed on four sides", lies open and exposed to his view, since he enjoys the advantage of rising over it into the third dimension. Here, he is able to move freely. In the same way, for the visitor from Einstein's universe, who can move freely in the "fourth dimension", time, the past and the future would he exposed and open to inspection. Would this make him "all-knowing", in the way God is supposed to be all knowing? - It seems that someone, who can know anything that happened or will happen, still misses out on one aspect of life: He would not be able to look into the hearts of men. He could observe onlyexternalevents; and only indirectly could he deduce motivation from the kind of action he could observe. This is what we often do in hindsight. But the stirrings of the human soul would be unknown to this visitor. Therefore, also in Einstein's universe it would be a privilege to be allowed to "look into someone's heart" and a special moment, when someone "opens his heart" to someone he loves.

If we could transcend the time dimension and freely move in it forward and backward, we would be able to re-live former experiences[viii] (moving backwards). Provided that we could retain maturity and insight reached later, we could correct old mistakes by acting differently "this time" in a "repeat performance". This means, we would be winning each "game" in life. Whenever hindsight would make us say: At this time, I could have . .. I should have. . . , we simply would reverse the flow of time and we would have a chance to do it again - and do it right this time. Destructive words could be made unspoken. Damaging actions could be undone. Missed chances would open themselves for another time. -

We see that power over the flow of time would entail power over almost everything. The chains of causes and effects, that determine us at any stage in our lives, could be broken. Whoever knows the results before their causes occur, can manipulate the causes if he has power over time. Whoever is not happy with any results, can eliminate them by going back in time and reversing their causes. Being able to move freely backwards and forwards in time, we could re-encounter deceased persons, who meant much to us[ix]. We could avoid encounters, of which we would know that they would bring us unhappiness. We could relive the ecstasy of first love and avoid the bitterness of jealousy and the disappointment of being deceived.

Since we cannot be at will in different moments and phases of time, but are always stuck in one moment in a sequence, we cannotmanipulatethe consequences of time. E. g., we need some time to travel from one place to another. The complaint we often hear from busy people, "I cannot be at more than one place at a time", would lose its meaning, if time would no longer pose an obstacle to our movement and presence. If we could be at several places at the same time, the boundaries of time, as well as of space would fall. Einstein's space is defined through time. So is ours. If we could be at several places at the same time, we could hear what is being said "out of ear's reach" about us. We could also influence events at different places at the same time[x]. It seems that time, space, and causality are connected in many ways. If the limitations of one could be transcended, so too could those of the others.

Just as Pointland-creatures could not imagine life in a line and Lineland inhabitants could not envision life on a plane and Flatland-people could not imagine life in space, so we cannot "picture ourselves" in the fourth dimension. We have no conventional language for the time-space-continuum. Einstein described his universe in mathematical formulae. - Not even for "our world", as it really is, do we have an adequate language. That is so because we derive our concepts from our world, butfiltered through our particular vision of it[xi].

In the West, this vision is predominantly a dualist one. Zen has taught us to see how our language determines, and probably distorts, our vision. A simple sentence like "I came to an insight" or "We come to the right knowledge" is in the eyes of Zen inaccurate in many ways. The separate self, expressed by the pronouns "I" or "We", is an illusion. "Came" or "come" implies action in time. Instead, we might say: "Knowledge arises in the illusion of our separate selves". But we still cannot eliminate the mistaken notion of a timely process, which is inherent in the verb-form[xii].

Nevertheless we are acutely aware of the importance of the time dimension[xiii]. If we assume that animals have no time consciousness, then the latter has to be seen as a characteristically "human" quality. Hatano[xiv] expressed this conviction in the shortest way: "Temporality is the most essential characteristic of human nature." But people differ in their relationship to time. Sayings like "She lives completely in the moment" or "He is living too much in the past" are indicative of that. Whole cultures have varying relationships to time[xv]. We have heard about the obsession with time of Mayan priests, which led them to devise intricate calendars[xvi]. We know of primitive tribes, which have almost no time-concept. Books have been written about the differing time concepts of differing cultures and about the changing relationships to time within cultures as well as about the reflection of various time concepts in different languages[xvii].

Within the arts, the time factor seems to be most important in music and literature[xviii]. Their various forms are experienced in time. But in literature time is also essential for the development of plot, especially in drama[xix]. Conflict and tension can only arise through "coincidence" in time. Lovers and enemies have to meet first in order to interact. If they miss each other, there is no plot. In the suspense of a dramatic plot we experience an intensification of our time-consciousness, in rapture sometimes a shortening of time, a lengthening of time in boredom. But also "timelessness" can be experienced in poetry, especially in predominantly lyrical poems[xx].

To a certain extent, art always transcends the boundaries of time (and space[xxi]) since it has its own time (and space). For music, this is known well enough. In literature, the reading-time of a novel differs from the time depicted in the plot[xxii]. And within the narration we are made to jump backwards and forwards in time in "flashbacks", reminiscences, anticipations and similar devices[xxiii].

Not only in ghost stories and science fiction do we occasionally transcend the limitations of time and space. Our dreams are characterized by their suspension[xxiv]. We can be in one moment here and in the next one there. Even the limitations of a clearly defined individuality are broken: One moment, we are the pursuer, and in the next, we are the pursued. Now we are the dancer on stage, later we sit in the audience.

Not onlyin artdo we seek an intensification of our time-experience. We alsotravelin order to "get more out of our time"[xxv], to interrupt the rushing away of time in daily routine.

Finally, some phenomena that are being explored by parapsychology[xxvi] (e. g. clairvoyance, telepathy, the experience of "deja vu" as a reminiscence of former incarnations etc.) could be explained by theorizing that some especially gifted individuals can indeed transcend the dimension of time, if only for moments. - In a space-time-continuum, which could be manipulated by us at will, everything would be present, at least potentially, at the same time. That is why individuals, who for an instant can transcend the limitations of earthly time, might be able to "foresee" coming events. As we explained, with the limitations of time those of space would vanish. This is why such gifted individuals can "see" things and events that happen far away and therefore are not observable to "normal" persons. Or, as Freud in his later years theorized, extrasensory perception might be an archaic method of communication, which was gradually replaced, by sensory communication since in developed civilizations the latter is more efficient.

An intensification of human attachment might promote such moments of "super-natural" vision. The mother, who "feels" that her child is in danger at the precise moment when it is being killed, can serve as an often-attested example. The "deja vu" experience is often explained with reincarnation. When the Tibetan sages set out to find a reincarnation of the deceased Dalai Lama[xxvii], they do not have to search for a boy born precisely at the hour of death of their former leader or soon after. When earthly time is an illusion and all things exist in the same time, the two life-spans (of two incarnations) may overlap a little. The boy, who is reaching out for the belongings of the deceased Dalai Lama (for his own belongings!) may have been around already, while the old man was still alive. Our ideas of the "migration of the soul" do not seem to be quite correct, once we abolish our ideas of the universal validity of the categories of time, space and causality. If we assume that the "soul" of the Dalai Lama has to "leave" first his body before it can "enter" a new one, we apply spatial notions. At the same time, in assuming that one event, the reincarnation, can happen onlyafterthe other one, the departure of the soul from the body, we apply our notions of a temporal sequence. And at the same time we underlay causal relationships: The demise of the old Dalai Lama caused his soul to migrate and reincarnate in another body. Causal sequences can only unfold in temporal sequences. If one of the two is declared to be an illusion adhering only to "our" world and vision, both have to be negated. The results would have to co-exist with the causes.

This is precisely what Eastern religion has taught for almost 3000 years. Space, time, causality are illusions, which we project into the world and then believe to "find" there[xxviii]. One more illusion in the eyes of these religions is the most difficult one to be accepted by Western man: Also our individual existence, the idea of a separate self, is supposed to be a self-deception. This last negation seems to be difficult even for Eastern man to accept as is evidenced by contradictions in the karma-doctrine of Buddhism. Karma is supposed to be accumulated in various reincarnations and carried from one existence into another. It is, after all, a form of effect, the cause of which is our conduct in former lives. And who is transferring karma? Who is collecting merit? To what does karma attach itself, if not to individuals?[xxix]

We experience our "individual" existences from birth to death in a chain of moments of consciousness. These moments and the contents of consciousness change constantly, but are being held together by memory. Memory we need for survival[xxx]. Because of memory we experience our life as one whole. These moments of consciousness follow each other in a temporal sequence. If time is an illusion, these moments should be thought to coexist. That is to say, each "Self” really consists of many Selfs, of as many as there are such moments in life, as a baby, as a boy, as a mature man, as an old man, right up to the moment of death. All these moments would have to be thought of as always having existed and always existing together. They would have to be thought to exist together with such moments of all other beings, everywhere and nowhere, since space is also an illusion. - Where does this leave the "individual"?

It turns out that an individual, in the Western sense of the term, can only be thought to exist in asequenceof time. In this time-span it develops and partially changes, but does not loose its identity, whatever the latter may consist of. Once we declare time to be an illusion and thereby negate theseparateexistence in time of "former selfs" and the "present self”, the concept of individuality collapses. All the various "selfs" or stages of an "individual" now co-exist, just as this "individual" itself co-exists with others. Since there is no continuity of cause and effect between the various stages of an "individual", that latter term itself loses its meaning. The notion of a continuous, developing "individual" shows itself to be connected with (and dependent on) the notions of time, space, and causality. If one of themis declared to be an illusion, which holds only to this world of ours,allmust be.

Almost all religions have mystic traditions, and most mystics have declared individuality to be an illusion. In Christianity, we only have to mention Seume and Meister Eckhard[xxxi]. But we can find this thought already expressed by the Pythagoreans[xxxii]. Early Buddhism probably adopted the same conviction from the Hindu tradition, as expressed in the Upanishads[xxxiii]. It lives on in highbrow Zen[xxxiv]. Without the background of this basic conviction, the metaphors of Western and Eastern mystics remain incomprehensible. The "All-is-one"-pathos with its ever new and surprising imagery - all the way up to Romanticism[xxxv] - comes out of this experience of the artificiality of distinguishing separate selves. It has been said that this experience is basic to Eastern culture with its stress on the group[xxxvi]. ”Western individualism" - with all its consequences in philosophy, religion, and science - is a relatively new and isolated phenomenon[xxxvii].

Western science, up to Heysenberg's "uncertainty principle"[xxxviii], was based on the law of causality. But there were always a few thinkers, scientists amongst them, who believed that another principle could be observed. It does not fit into our Western concept of the world and therefore had to remain underground. The biologist Paul Kammerer[xxxix] soberly called it the "law of series" (1919). The psychologist Gustav Jung[xl] and the atomic physicist and Nobel-laureate Wolfgang Pauli[xli] described it under the name of "synchronicity". Arthur Koestler[xlii] called it "confluential" elements". But it was known already in the renaissance by Pico della Mirandola[xliii] and in the baroque period by Leibniz in his "Monadology"[xliv]. Also Schopenhauer[xlv] wrote about it and later Sigmund Freud in his last years of life[xlvi]. And, of course, it has interested parapsychology. All this shows, that there were always people who felt that the law of causality might not suffice to explain all kinds of connection between various occurrences.


[i] I would like to thank the participants of Bukkyo Daigaku's (Buddhist University’s) Tetsugakkai (Philosophical Circle), to whom this paper was presented on Febr. 6th 1991, for their lively discussion. Published inActa HumanisticaXX/2, Humanities Series No. 18 (Kyoto, March 1991) 280-295.

[ii] Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926) was a noted Shakespearean scholar whose hobby was the study of higher mathematics.

[iii] We use, of course, the term "Einstein's Universe" in a metaphorical manner as a brief code word for our-rather generalized and vague-notions of those concepts of time-space, causality etc. that modern physics seems to have agreed on. As an introduction to Einstein's universe, we might just as well use the author's own "popular exposition”: Albert Einstein (1879-1955):Relativity; The Special and General Theory(Transl. by Robert W. Lawson. 1964. In chapter XXXI, the reader will notice, that Abbott's kind of analogical reasoning was not alien to Einstein himself.); and: A. E. und Leopold Infeld:Evolution der Physik von Newton bis zur Quantentheorie(1962). - In philosophy, a mere enumeration of authors (in alphabetical order) who have written book length treatises on the problem of time - during the last decades and in English, German or French alone - may attest to the prominence of this topic: J. W. De Bakker (1988), G. Berger (1964), H. Bergson (1889), S. M. Cahn (1967), Millie Capek, ed. (1976), T. Chapman (1982), Hedvig Conrad-Martius (1954), W. Cramer (1954), Richard R. M. Gale (1967, 1968), Werner Gent (1926-30), Adolf Grünbaum (2 1973), Hatano, Seiichi (1963), Martin Heidegger (1927), Steven Heine (1985), Paul Helm (1988), Ian Hinckfuss (1975), Edmund Husserl (1928), F. Kümmel (1962), J. R. Lucas (1973, 1984), A. March (1948), H. Meyerhoff (1955), J. Pucelle (31962), Y. Reenpää (1966), Hans Reichenbach (1924, 1928, 1956, 1958, 1971), John M. E. McTaggart (1934), Mark J. Temmer (1958), Bas van Fraassen (1970), Johannes Volkelt (1925), G. J. Whitrow (1961), G. H. von Wright (1968), Wolfgang Wieland (1956), Alfred North Whitehead (1929), Z. Zawirski (1936), Jiri Zeman (1971).-

[iv] Benjamin Lee Whorf is especially known as having pursued this idea, e.g. in: "An American Indian Model of the Universe." (ca. 1936) in:International Journal of American Linguistics, 16, 1950, pp. 67-72; also in:Language, Thought, and Reality(ed. John B. Carroll, 1956), -in German:Sprache, Denken, Wirklichkeit(transl. by Peter Krausser, 1963); see also Ekkehart Malotki:Hopi-Time; A Linguistic Analysis of the Temporal Concepts in the Hopi Language(1983), Reinhart Koselleck: Futures Past; On the Semantics of Historical Time(1985), -Henry Kucera and Karla Trnka:Time in Language; Temporal Adverbial Constructions in Czech. Russian and English(1975); - for the developmental aspect of our time concepts see Jean Piaget:The Child's Conception of Time(transl. by A. J. Pommerans, 1969).

[v] The evolution of various time concepts has been traced, in the history of ideas and in cultural anthropology, amongst others, by Harrison J. Cowan:Time and Its Measurements(1958), Stephen Jay Gould:Time's Arrow Time's Cycle; Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time(1987), Georges Gurvitch:The Spectrum of Social Time(La multiplicitie des temps sociaux,trans. by Myrtle Korenbaum, 1964), Charles Nordman:The Tyranny of Time(1925), Richard Broxton Onians:Origins of European Thought(1988), Ricardo J. Quinones:Renaissance Discovery of Time(1972), -Gustav Wendorff:Zeit und Kultur; Geschichte des Zeitbewusstseins in Europa(1980).- In literature, we can mention only very few, very different works, in which time is a central theme: Michael Ende's "fairy tale-novel":Momo; Oder die seltsame Geschichte von den Zeitdieben und von dem Kind, das den Menschen die gestohlene Zeit zurückbrachte(1973), -Thomas Mann's "Zeitroman”:Der Zauberberg(engl.:The Magic Mountain,1924) and his highly original essay "Lob der Vergänglichkeit." (in:Eckart, 21. Vol., 1952; comp. R. Thieberger:Der Begriff der Zeit bei Thomas Mann,1952); Marcel Proust'sA la recherche du temps perdu(1913-27), and H(erbert) G(eorge) Wells' utopiaThe Time Machine(1895).While the latter describes a "time-trip" up to approx. the year 800000, Inge Aichinger's (b. 1920) short story "Spiegelgeschichte" (1954, Mirror Story) attempts the interesting experiment of letting narrated time run in reverse: A life story is being told backwards from its tragic ending to its hopeful beginnings.

[vi] In Europe, the story of Rip Van Winkle may serve as an exemple; in Japan the popular tale of Urashima Taro.

[vii] One of the central themes of Proust's novel (see above).

[viii] Comp. Pascal Jordan: "Atomic Physics and Parapsychology." and Henry Margenau: "Physics and Psychic Research." (in:Newsletters of the Parapsychology Foundation, Vol. 2, No. 4/5, 1955). -

[ix] Thornton Wilder's play:Our Town(1938) provides us with a touching demonstration of that experience. The urge of many people to attempt to communicate with their dead is witnessed by various phenomena from shamanic mediums as contact persons to the souls of the deceased (e. g. on Osore-yama in Aomori, Northern Japan) to spiritualist séances, which have become very popular again recently among young people in Germany.

[x] It could, of course, be argued, that in our age of telecommunications people, e. g. industrial managers,canbe at, and influence, several places at the same time. A stock market agent, sitting in reach of several telephones and a computer, can know what is being said and done "out of ear's reach" as well as make his influence felt at more than one place at practically the same time. The age of telecommunications has endowed us with almost "divine" powers, not only through the atomic bomb.

[xi] This insight is being expressed in the German term "Weltanschauung", which is aiming at our comprehensive and all embracing way of viewing (and consequently acting in) this world. Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) and German Romanticism were particularly interested in the ways the "world view" of various nations and cultures is being reflected (and transmitted) by languages. Comp. M. Frank:Das Problem 'Zeit' in der dt.Romantik(1972).

[xii] Comp Hajime Nakamura's comparisons of Wittgenstein's views on the limitations of logic imposed by language with very similar ones in Buddhism (in:Parallel Developments; A Comparative History of Ideas, 1969, pp. 220ff., 228ff).

[xiii] Imanuel Kant, amongst others, pointed out that we never perceive time as such, but only occurrenceswithin it.We experience their timely succession in their causal connectedness. If nothing would happen in this world, we would not talk about time. This observation, be it correct or not, is a psychological one; and psychology indeed has contributed many insights about our ways of experiencing time, as may be demonstrated by enumerating some of the most famous names: V. Benussi, P. Bieri, P. Fraisse, M. Frankenhaeuser, W. James, F. Kümmel, E. Mach, J. Piaget, M. Siffre.

[xiv] Seiichi Hatano:Time and Eternity(1963, p. 7).

[xv] See especially for the varying time consciousness within Europe Wendorff's comprehensive study, ann. 4.

[xvi] Comp. Cyrus Thomas:The Maya Year(1894), W. M. O'Neil:Time and the Calendars(rev. ed. 1978), Tony Shearer:Beneath the Moon and Under the Sun(1975).-

[xvii] In meta-linguistics, the various assumptions relating languages to cultures, especially the conviction that our ways of seeing the world are molded by the languages in which we think, are called the "Sapir-Whorf-hypothesis" (or "linguistic relativity principle"). Edward Sapir (1884-1939) was the teacher of Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897-1941). In Germany, these views go back to Wilhelm von Humboldt's (1767-1835) famous introduction (in book length) to his work on the Kawi-language on Java, titled: "Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluss auf die geistige Entwicklung des Menschengeschlechts" (1830-1835,Ges.Werkeand were pursued in our time by Leo Weisgerber (mainly in:Die Kräfte der deutschen Sprache. 4 Vols. '1954). See the works of Whorf, an. 3.

[xviii] Comp. for literature, H. Meyerhoff :Time in Literature(1955); for all kinds of art, my book:Typen und Schichten(1978), esp. pp. 293 ff.

[xix] Comp. Peter Pütz:Zeit im Drama; Zur Technik dramatischer Spannung(1970).-

[xx] Comp. Emil Staiger:Zeit als Einbildungskraft des Dichters ; Untersuchungen zu Gedichten von Brentano, Goethe und Keller(1963).-

[xxi] Comp. Brigitte Hellwig:Raum und Zeit im Homerischen Epos(1964).-

[xxii] The German terms "Erzählzeit" and "erzählte Zeit" (time needed for narration, narrated time), coined by Günther Müller (Die Bedeutung der Zeit für die Erzählkunst, 1947, p. 7) try to capture this difference.

[xxiii] Comp. Patricia Drechsel Tobin:Time and the Novel(1978),- Leon Higdon:Time and English Fiction(1977), Wolfgang Kayser:Das sprachliche Kunstwerk(1948),Eberhard Lämmert:Bauformen des Erzählens(1955),-A. A. Mendilow:Time and the Novel(1965),-Paul Ricoeur:Temps et Recit(transl. by Kathleen Blarney and David Pellauer:Time and Narrative,1988).-

[xxiv] Comp. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939):Traumdeutung(1900, engl.:The Interpretation of Dreams, 1954),-R. De Becker:The Meaning of Dreams(1968),-E. Diamond:The Science of Dreams(1962), -C. S. Hall:The Meaning of Dreams(1959),-J. S. Lincoln: The Dream in Primitive Cultures(1935),-R. L. Woods:The World of Dreams(1947).-

[xxv] On various motivations for travelling, in comparative perspective (JapaneseGerman), comp. Dierk Stuckenschmidt:Japan mit der Seele suchen(1988).-

[xxvi] Comp. Encyclopedia of the Unexplained.(ed. Richard Cavendish, 1974), Hans Bender, ed.:Parapsychologie; Entwicklung, Ergebnisse, Probleme(1980, contains bibliography), J. B. Rhine and J. G. Pratt:Parapsychology.Frontier Science of the Mind(1957).-

[xxvii] See the TibetanBook of the Dead, in :Buddhist Scriptures(trans. E. Conze, 1959).-On reincarnation: Joan Grant and Denys Kelsey:Many Lifetimes(1969), A. Guirdham:The Cathars and Reincarnation(1971),-J. Head and S. L. Cranston:Reincarnation: An East-West Anthology(1961), the same:Reincarnation in World Thought(1967).-

[xxviii] We cannot discuss in depth the correspondences of these views to those expounded by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) in hisCritic of Pure Reason(Kritik der reinen Vernunft,1781; -comp. M. J. Temmer in an. 2).

[xxix] Comp. 0. Rosenberg:Die Probleme der buddhistischen Philosophie(1924).-

[xxx] Comp. Konrad Lorenz :Die Rückseite des Spiegels(1977), -Evolution and Modification of Behavior(1986).-

[xxxi] Meister Johannes Eckhardt (ca. 1260-1328): Dt. und lat. Werke (1936), - Works (1924); Johann Gottfried Seume (1763-1810):Sämmtliche Werke(12 Bde. 1826); Comp. Ephrem M. Filthaut, ed.:Johannes Tauler(ca. 1300-1361), James McClarkThe Great German Mystics(1949), Josef Quint, ed.:Textbuch zur Mystik des dt. Mittelalters;Meister Eckhart, Johannes Tauler, Heinrich Seuse(1952), S. SpencerMysticism in World Religion(1963).-

It goes without saying that almost all esoteric sects, cults, and "new religions" have pronounced, through their founders and leaders, some views on time and space and the possibility of transcending them. Most amazing was probably Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the founder of "Anthroposophy", whose collected works, published by his devoted followers (Rudolf Steiner Press) comprise more than 300 volumes, more than 600 titles. - Besides on sex, Steiner had something to say on practically all aspects of life.

[xxxii] Comp. J. A. Philip:Pythagoras and Early Pythagoreanism(1966),-G. S. Kirk and J.E. Ransom:The Pre-Socratic Philosophers(1960).-

[xxxiii] Comp. A. C. Bouquet:Hinduism(1966), Paul Deussen:Die Philosophie der Upanishads(1899),-S. Radhakrishnan:Indian Philosophy(1948), K. M. Sen:Hinduism(1961).-

[xxxiv] Comp. Edward Conze: Buddhism: Its Essence and Development(1959), H. Dumoulin:A History of Zen Buddhism(1960),-D. T. Suzuki:Zen Buddhism(1956).

[xxxv] See M. Frank (an. 10).

[xxxvi] Comp. Ruth Benedict :The Chrysanthemum and the Sword(1967),-Douglas G. Haring : "Japanese National Character: Cultural Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and History." (in :Yale Review, XLII, 1953, 375-92), Nyozekan Hasegawa :Japanese Character: A Cultural Profile(Nihon-teki Seikaku, trans. John Bester, 1942/65), Takie Sugiyama Lebra :Japanese Patterns of Behavior(1976), the same and William P. Lebra:Japanese Culture and Behavior; Selected Readings(1974),-Hajime Nakamura:Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples(1964).-

[xxxvii] Comp. David L. Miller:Individualism; Personal Achievement and the Open Society(1967).-

[xxxviii] Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976):Der Teil und das Ganze(1969),the same:The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory(trans. Carl Eckart and Frank C. Hoyt, 1930), William C. Price and Seymour S. Chissick, eds.:Uncertainty Principle and Foundations of Quantum Mechanics(1977).-

[xxxix] Paul Kammerer (1881-1926):Das Gesetz der Serie(1919).-

[xl] C. G. Jung (1875-1961):Zur Psychologie und Pathologie sog. okkulter Phänomene. (Diss. 1902),-the same: Psychiatrie und Okkultismus.(Frühe Schriften1, 1971),the same: "Seele und Tod." (in C. G. J.:Wirklichkeit der Seele, Bd. IV, 1934, pp. 227-230), the sameSynchronicity(1972), the same:Mysterium Coniunctionis(1955/56),-the sameThe Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. (in :Collected Works, trans. R. F. C. Hull, Vol. VIII, 1960); J. Jacobi:The Psychology of C. G. Jung(1951), Aniela Jaffe: "C. G. Jung und die Parapsychologie. " (in:Zeitschr. f. Parapsychologie,Bd. IV. No. 1, 1960, pp. 8-22); the same: "C. G. Jung and Parapsychology." (in:Science and ESP,J. R. Smythies ed., 1967),the same:Memories, Dreams, Reflections by C. G. Jung(1963).-

[xli] Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958): "Der Einfluss archetypischer Vorstellungen auf die Bildung naturwissenschaftlicher Theorien bei Kepler." (in: Jung-Pauli :Naturerklärung und Psyche, 1952), the same: "Naturwissenschaftliche und erkenntnistheoretische Aspekte der Idee vom Unbewussten." (in:Dialectica. Internat. Zeitschr. f. Philosophie der Erkenntnis, Vol. 8/4, 1954, pp. 299-300).-

[xlii] Arthur Koestler (1905-1988):Die Wurzeln des Zufalls(1972),-engl.:The Roots of Coincidence(1972).-

[xliii] Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494):Of Being and Unity(De ente et uno, trans. V. M. Hamm, 1943),-the same:Opera Omnia(Basle, 1557).- Comp. Koestler (an. 41). -

[xliv] Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716): Monadologie (Sämtl.Schriften, 1923 ff.);The Monadology and Other Philosophical Writings(1898),-(trans. Robert Latta, 1985).

[xlv] Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860):Parapsychologische Schriften(Einf. von Hans Bender, 1961, esp. pp. 144-151: "Versuch über das Geistersehen"), the same:Sämmtliche Werke, Vol. VIII (1850); Hans Driesch: "Schopenhauer und die Parapsychologie." (in:Jahrb. der Schopenhauer-Gesellschaft,Bd. 23, 1936).-

[xlvi] The old Sigmund Freud wrote in a letter to Hereward Carrington (1. 8. 1921): "If I had my life to live over again I should devote myself to Psychical research rather than to psychoanalysis." (quoted by John Mischo in : "Der andere Freud. " in:Parapsychologie,ed. Hans Bender, 1980, 405-412, p. 412); - S. Freud: "Psychoanalyse und Telepathie." (in:Ges. W.Bd. XVII), "Traum und Okkultismus" (in :Ges. W. Bd. XV),-"Traum und Telepathie." (in :Ges. W.Bd. XIII), "Die okkulte Bedeutung des Traumes." (in:Ges. W. Bd. 1); Comp. D. Bakan:Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition(1965).

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'Flatland' and Einstein's Universe - On Our Relationship to the Temporal Dimension
Kyoto Sangyo University  (German Department)
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In Acta Humanistica XX/2 (Kyoto, March 1991).
Zeitbegriff in Philosophie, Religion, Parapsychologie
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Dr. Wolfgang Ruttkowski (Author), 1991, 'Flatland' and Einstein's Universe - On Our Relationship to the Temporal Dimension, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/7997


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