chapter
Introduction
Pages 13

Consciousness and time have an ambiguous relationship. My individual consciousness had a beginning, though its starting point —if there was such a thing-may elude me. And it will have an end. Even if I believe that some form of consciousness as yet unknown will replace the centre of thought, desire and feeling I now call ‘I’, my imagination must falter at placing myself in it as in ‘my’ future. My future, like my past, reaches no further than what I can relate to as my individual consciousness. I may believe that the glimpses I have of a reality beyond my death are foreshadowings of a mysterious transformation. I may believe that they are nothing more profound than intimations of my own mortality-unthinkable only because in the nature of things I cannot think beyond it. Either way, it seems, my consciousnessin any form in which I can identify it with myself-is circumscribed by time. Whether I think of death as end or as transformation, I know that both the time of the cosmos and the human time of pleasures anticipated and losses mourned will certainly continue when I am gone.