A Riddle

I run towards a stationary man. I can measure the distance, my velocity and the time it takes for me to get to him. Conversely, the stationary man too, from his point of view percieves exactly the same time, velocity and passage of time as I do. We move in exactly the same space time in relations to each other. However that man is not stationary because the earth is revolving relative to both of us. The earth is also moving relative to the sun and therefore the sun and the earth have the same perception of each other.


I move only if I can imagine my movement against something that is either percieved to be stationery or which moves slower than myself. Or so I imagine. Distance can only be measured against another object. The Earth moves relative to the sun, our galaxy expands (or so I am told) relative to other Galaxies, but in the finality in an infinite Universe I come to a block, for there is no context that I can measure distance/velocity against. How can any distance be measured against something that is infinite ?
Similarily for time. I can imagine time only in relation to something else. Ageing against someone that is young, the hour of the day against the movement of a clock, or the movement of the sun against the Earth. And I can go on creating the realitiy of linear time, but only as long as I can find something that has a relative difference.
And then again in the finality of it I come against the infinite Universe that is Timeless !
So if I am running towards something that is infinite, from the point of view of that which is infinite, I am not covering any distance, have no velocity and there is no linear time being expended between me and that which is infinite. We have no
The only logical conclusion I can come to then, in it’s finality, is that there is no distance, no velocity and no time.
Its a riddle.
Shekhar

13 Responses to “A Riddle”

  1. Ramesh Chellamani says:

    Question nicely put… according to me :), what you are stumbling upon is the concept of VishistAdvaita, which states that GOD is the totality of all matterial things and all our souls. Though i will not be answering your riddle directly, may be i will at least be able to put forth some related (relative again!) thoughts.
    From the little i have read what i have understood is, the totality of everything(matter and antimatter) is Brahman. Matter is everything we see around ourselves and what we see as ourselves. At some level we can consider ourselves(humans) as clouds of atomic and sub-atomic particles, vibrating strings(String theory) etc. So is the table next to us, so are the plants, animals, et al. We account for the matter part of the Big Bang theory equation, which states that the universe we see today was formed by the split of matter and antimatter.
    Now lets consider a theory for how concept of God comes into play. Hinduism tells that God is personal. So my definition of God will be different from yours. This makes sense because, my faults, desires are different from yours. “God, according to my interpretation of Hinduism, is the perfection that I am not”. Consider for a moment that our short comings, desires etc are a form of matter that need to be nullified so we can grow as human beings. One thing that i have read somewhere is that everyday thousands, if not more, sub-atomic particles from outer space pass through our bodies. Either by prayers or constant meditation or effort maybe we attract the particular anti-matter to the material desires we have and have them nullified. This again augments the power of thought emphasized by Hinduism and all other religions. This also implies that thinking negative thoughts could add on more desires etc.
    When matter and anti-matter unite there is light. So we as human beings yearn in search of our anti-matter to become one with God, light. We conveniently have coined the term “matter” to mean us, when God is the matter that matters (maybe we should reverse the terminology here !!!)
    So to kinda-sorta answer your question, you are right, the only truth is the infinite which we are all part off.

  2. kedar says:

    dude…
    yes…this is it!!! there is no distance, no velocity, no time and no GOD!!!
    now please for a moment think of all those books you have read, all those scriptures you have referred to , all the discussions you have had and you will be surprised to find this SAME ONE POINT in all of them.
    but we deny it. we want an experience. we want a miracle to happen. we want to see it, want it as a proof. we are THE PROOF! our whole existence is the PROOF!
    but if it is an intellectual understanding then the next question mind asks is ‘ so there wont be a moment if i will be empty…there wont be any growth…the stagnation will come!’
    how can it come? rather we are stagnated if we are asking this question. only an empty mind can be the most active mind. because the person with an empty mind uses this knowledge, he uses his mind to act instead of mind using him.
    this reverse approach or backward approach is a fantastic thing. you can use it as a technique. this is almost ZEN. why you were stumped because you hit the core. you became empty. thinking stopped. this is MEDITATION!
    Now, if you will start with this same REVERSE thought, you will directly feel that emptiness.
    but how long one can be in this state? keenly observe whether you are consciously coming out of it or your fear is pulling you back? mind is pulling you back?
    are you and your mind two different entities?
    Yes…but how? i am matter. i can see, touch,smell,taste, smell myself…what about mind?
    Mind doesnt have a physical existence. Mind is countless flow of memories. and we become mind. we think we are this, we are that…but we are not what mind tells us we are! and you broke away from this deception and hence were stumped because mind was not there to tell you who you are! you became free!
    but…
    We wait…we wait for the miracle to happen, for an experience, for a proof. mind is an ancient phenomenon. we are miracle in ourselves. imagine…at this very moment our nails are growing, hair are growing, blood is flowing continuously.
    how this can be so simple…there must be something great happening…energy must be conserved because when the realization will struck my body should be ready to control the power generated etc. etc. MIND again!… Mind- the most beautiful RIDDLE of all time!
    let me have this last smoke…then i will quit…otherwise cancer will kill me…well…i am not afraid of pain or death but i dont want to be dependent on some one in my last days…so many excuses…! same old story…different situations but the story is same.
    Go through this ‘Reverse process’ again and again and stare at things like your pc, book, shirt, table, trees , sand, sky and the moment you will stare back through these objects at yourself then keep staring!
    take care…lots of love…tata…kedar…

  3. Rudra says:

    hi Shekhar ,
    looking at your posed ‘riddle’ purely analyically, here is what you are saying : there is no distance,no velocity,no time “from the point of view of that which is infinite” – in your words.
    some questions: how can ‘infinite’ which is not a singular entity have a singular reference ? do you think its correct to simplify it ? how or why did you not refer to ‘infinite’ as a plural entity ? how about the infinitesimal distances?
    so the riddle is not really a riddle anymore. it goes asking for the definition of the infinite.in a way ,it is a self-created-riddle due to this sweeping simplification of ‘infinite’ you made . the riddle then is purely theoretical , since you have theorised/assumed that the ‘infinite’ as a singular.
    if the mind can grapple and comprehend ‘infinite’ for what it is – pure infinity without assumptions , then we see that distance,time and velocities are a noticeable/ observable reality to the observer.
    assuming , of course that the ‘observer’ has enough reaction time and ‘bandwidth’ in his senses to percieve such things as movement and distance.
    something of interest : the average sampling rate of the human optic nerve is 0.1 seconds , which means the human eye cannot notice anything that moves faster than that – which is why the Movie reel appears continious , where we should actually be seeing a series of snapshots ! so if anything passes by us faster than that , we would not notice it.
    cheers,
    Rudra.

  4. GJ says:

    There is the relative
    And then there is the absolute.
    You can choose to measure your life by relatives
    Or by absolutes.
    I don’t know the answer to your question
    because I live in absolution.

  5. Reuben says:

    Yeah, its the mother of all riddles, the solution(if there is one) to which we are probably not ready to understand. Terms like faith, hope and love may either cease to exist or could have a completley different meaning when the riddle is solved. The DNA of God would be cracked. May be we would understand how it feels to be God.
    May be its TIME for me to shut up.
    Reuben.

  6. Nikita says:

    Nicely put. In my interpretation, it relates to the quintessential need of quenching one’s thirst of infinite questions. I am not too sure if I am right or wrong, but as a reader I have full liberty of having my own conclusions or maybe, I could be in that question and answer mode…
    But this concept, or riddle in your words, of inexistence of distance, time or velocity towards infinity is like putting subconscious doubts and jitters in words. Yes, you were quite right abt judging others in relation to one’s fears and I believe I do that quite often. Sometimes, I feel I am mixed in a state of living in the present, that calls for fixing oneself in one’s routine, and unfolding the mystical future omitting my insecurities.
    Anyway, coming back to this post, it closely reminds me of the concept of parellal railway tracks explained in the book ‘The Zahir’. I dont know if you have read it but I simply loved it and recommend it as a must. 🙂

  7. XYZ says:

    hi shekhar,
    there is no distance
    when you are every where
    there is no velocity
    when you are every where
    there is no time
    when you are every when
    rings true! you are right.

  8. kedar says:

    sorry, other topic –
    Today, i saw Happy Feet!!!
    i didn’t like the story line much but some sequences are ROCKING!!!
    roller coaster ride….ooooooooooooo….bap re…
    dude…tell us something about Animation industry of Hollywood. why cant Indian’s make films like Monster’s Inc , toy story or happy feet?
    is it only about budget or lack of basic idea and visualization?
    apane raw style me kahenge to ‘ happy feet dekhake meri PHAT gayi’ 🙂 ( breath taking film thats all i am saying for those who dont understand Hindi)
    PS: but there is some major problem in the story line. this statement stands! ( kuch to gadbad hai…par sach much phat gayi… 🙂 )

  9. shekhar says:

    Nikita, could u share some of what the book ‘Zahir’ says with us ? shekhar

  10. rinesh the God of Love says:

    I would like to beleive nothing is relative.
    Everybeing is just ONE.Frankly I don’t beleive shekar is above me or below me faster than me slower than me .He is me .We are all just one.And iam at my creative best when i think everybody is just one.Although its very difficult to ascertain to yourself everymorning that you are noway superior to the begger on the street but its gives me atmost self worth when i can put myself in the same level as shekar kapur or stphen spielberg or for that matter Mahathma gandhi.Advaita says it all There are no two things Just the ONE

  11. Nikita says:

    I don’t know if I will be able to explain it since I am very bad at expressing and hence it may not sound as beautiful as it is in the book. It may not even be related to what you have written but as I said it simply reminded me of it maybe because of your established thory. So this is my small attempt…
    Did you know that the distance between two railway tracks is 4ft 8 ˝ inches instead of 4ft 8inches or 4ft 9 inches? No one ever thought of questioning it because that’s how Romans,the pioneer of roads, decided it in the ancient times. They did so because that was the length of the carriages. Their length was again based on the distance between the legs of two horses. Thus, when the railways were established, the tradition was followed and no one ever thought of changing it because that is how it was supposed to be.
    Doesn’t it sound similar to what we do in life? We start on great highs, mellow down with time and sometimes reach a state where we decieve ourselves in believing that everything is perfect because thats how it looks. We have nothing to whine about but we are not happy. Everything is right at the same time everything is wrong. We accept it and choose to stay that way because that’s what the rule says. We lead a life of railway tracks…

  12. Avtar Singh says:

    Resolving Your Riddle
    Avtar Singh
    avsingh@alum.mit.edu
    Dear Shekhar:
    Only recently, I came across your website and read your “Riddle”. I have been exploring these very questions regarding the relativity of space-time-mass-energy in the universal context for the last six years. The answers to your riddle are provided in my book – “The Hidden factor – An Approach for Resolving paradoxes of Science, Cosmology, and Universal Reality.” The following are some brief answers to your riddle:
    Space (distance), time, and velocity (distance/time) are all relative realities. Relative means related but still different from what it sis related to. Space is related to time (S=Ct), they cannot exist without each other. As per Einstein’s theory of relativity, when time dilates to zero at the speed of light, space (distance) also dilates to zero. That means, at the speed of light, the reality exists as eternal (clock stopped as time dilates) and omnipresent (the entity is everywhere since the distance contracts to zero). Hence, any entity that exists in nature has to be measured relative to this absolute state of being of eternity and omnipresence (commonly referred to as consciousness or God). In summary, all relative realities that are measurable and have a finite boundary or occurrence in space and time, are relative to this absolute state of eternal and omnipresent consciousness.
    Extending this argument further, even matter (mass, m) and energy (E) in the universe are relative realities related via E=mC2. In my book, I show that mass, energy, space, and time exist as one continuum with all four entities existing in relation to each other. When, mass dilates or transforms fully to energy, space and time dilate fully to zero as described above. In this state, all existence is in the form of pure zero-point energy or consciousness, which represents the absolute fundamental reference state from which everything else is observed and perceived. It also explains why the universe is comprehensible to us thru the consciousness of our minds, because there is a common wholesome consciousness thru which everything in the universe is related as the ultimate grandmother of nature.
    In summary, what you refer to as “infinite” is essentially the universal consciousness that is the source of all being, the ultimate reference state of the zero-point energy encompassing all existence. You and other readers who may be curious to know answers to other questions regarding the mysteries of the universe, reality, and purpose may want to read my paper – “In search of the Universal Reality & Purpose” published in Metanexus. The link to the paper is given below:
    http://www.metanexus.net/conference2005/pdf/avtar_singh.pdf
    Please feel free to contact me at avsingh@alum.mit.edu or (408) 768-4850 in case of any questions or comments.
    Best Regards,
    Avtar Singh

  13. Dr.G.C.Sahu says:

    Yes Mr.Sekhar…to feel infinity you must be in a state of absolute stillness……and as you also know………..because………all your time past and all your time future…….is inside……your time present……Dr.Sahu

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