How Does Evolution Exist If Time Is an Illusion?
This article is based on the transcript from the Rupert Spira video below in which a questioner asks, “Is evolution an illusion?”
Introduction: Does Evolution Really Exist?
The concept of evolution has been supported by a vast amount of seeming evidence – the Big Bang, billions of years of geology, bones, dinosaurs, and more. But does evolution in the way we’ve been taught really exist?
That is, if scientists can’t actually find the matter that they claim is evolving, what implications does this have for our understanding of evolution and the nature of reality?
If matter simply can’t be found, could it be that the universe is actually made of consciousness? And that matter is simply an appearance in consciousness?
In this article and video below, Rupert Spira delves into how the perception of evolution and the universe can be more fully understood within the framework of finite and infinite consciousness.
It Is the Mind That Evolves
Do people evolve, and if so, what actually changes? It may seem obvious and unmistakable, but the consciousness that is aware of your current experience is the same consciousness that was aware of your experience as a 5-year-old.
Consciousness never evolves – it remains uninterrupted, unchanged and unaffected by the passage of time. But certainly there is the strong, commonly shared sense that something is continually evolving. What is it?
It is the mind. The mind is in a continual state of evolving toward ultimately grasping that the principles of truth, such as peace and happiness, are the very nature of our being.
The Universe as the Activity of Consciousness
Even before the emergence of life on earth, the reality of the universe and infinite consciousness already existed. ‘Stuff’ continually happened because the nature of consciousness is to vibrate perpetually within itself.
Until there was a finite mind to whom the activity of consciousness could appear, however, there was no conceiving of the activity of consciousness as ‘the universe’. Consider, then, that what we call the ‘physical universe’, which we observe with our senses, is how the activity of consciousness appears from our localised finite-mind perspectives.
Accordingly, the universe we perceive is not an entity existing independent of us.
Time Is a Concept, Not a Universal Principle
To recognise that we and the universe are not separate from one another has a profound impact on our understanding of time.
Because time, as we commonly conceive it, is an interpretation of our perceived experience of an independent-seeming world. Time is a construct derived from our observations and interpretations of the ‘evidence’ of change in the physical world.
Looked at from another angle, prior to perception, the activity of the localisation of our finite minds – there is no prior. There is no independent entity dividing the activity of consciousness into past, present and future.
Have you ever truly experienced time? Could anyone experience the past? Or the future? Of course not, it is always now.
Space and Time Are Filters of Perception
In fact, neither time nor space are fundamental to reality. They are characteristics of our perceiving and conceiving apparatuses, rather than inherent properties of reality itself.
Space is how reality appears when it is filtered through perception. Time is how reality appears when it is filtered through thinking.
Challenging Our Assumptions About the Evolving World
If we don’t assume there’s a world outside consciousness, we could interpret the evidence differently. We could say that the world is the activity of consciousness itself and that, to reiterate, what appears as the physical universe is merely what consciousness looks like from our localised viewpoints.
What’s more, this interpretation aligns with our direct experience, where we never encounter anything outside consciousness.
Dreams Provide a Model of Reality and Consciousness
This consciousness-only interpretation of reality is clearly modelled in the experience of our nightly dreams. We ‘enter’ our dreams seeming to be a character immersed in an environment – for example, you dream that you (the dream character) are walking the streets of a distant city.
The environment is perceived as being external to, separate from, and independent of the dream character. Upon waking, however, we realise that the dream world and the dream character were both the creation and activity of our mind.
Dreams, then, invite us to extrapolate this understanding one level higher. Could our waking reality be the activity of universal consciousness? And are we (much like the character in a dream) the localised perspectives through which consciousness experiences its own activity?
Dinosaur Bones Do Not Prove Evolution
Returning to the seeming evidence of evolution – dinosaur bones and such – we can now see that, just as with space and time, this evidence is more closely related to the functioning of our localised finite minds than to reality itself. There is no such thing in the present moment as a previously existing anything.
Also, there are no actually independent people, dogs, cats, chairs, tables, lights, windows, trees, sky, or earth. Such definitions, labels and categories are merely the creations of the finite mind, which itself is an appearance within consciousness. This is consistent with our intuition that what we are on the inside is one with the universe.
There’s just God’s infinite, indivisible, intimate, impersonal being vibrating within itself.
Watch full video