The TES Hypothesis
The TES Hypothesis states that everything we have and will ever see and know is composed of three elements: time, energy, and space, which we can call the TES (Pronounced as the name Tess.) Even the ethereal phenomena of compassion and love are a product of this singular universal cosmic entity. There are forms of energy and dimensions of space that have not yet been quantified by science. Those mysterious realities are within the normal workings of the TES. Nothing in the universe is supernatural and beyond the laws of nature. Everything that exists is created through cycles of the TES, both on the large physical scale involving the formation of stars, galaxies, and planets, and on the subtler inner dimensions involving the evolution of the human brain and consciousness.
The Hindu word 'Atman' means the soul of life and the essence of being. The Atman is not the individual human mind but is defined as the universal soul that exists everywhere. For this discussion, we will use the word Atman more strictly to designate that part of the TES that becomes conscious of itself on the grand and cosmic scale. We thus define the Atman as the universal cosmic consciousness.
The vast majority of the TES exists unconsciously, without feeling or life. This portion exists as space, stars, and the bulk of planets. Primitive life forms that exist on a minority of planets have a utilitarian consciousness which allows them to survive by interacting with their environment. The fundamental awareness of physical objects, combined with the pleasure-pain mechanism and the ultimate survival of the fittest and smartest creates the evolutionary pathway through which the unconscious TES slowly evolves to greater levels of awareness. The unconscious TES, raw matter, and energy, give birth to the partially conscious TES, the world of plants and animals. With the evolution of higher animals, the intensely conscious TES, the Atman, arises. This oceanic consciousness is a normal product of the TES and is inherently immortal. When human beings become enlightened, their consciousness becomes one with the Atman, but they never achieve magical abilities outside of the natural laws and properties of the TES. Enlightened beings remain physically mortal, but their consciousness becomes one with the primordial consciousness of nature itself. This Atman has always existed and will exist eternally into the future.
No human being has ever known the unconscious part of the TES directly because all that we know is within the world of consciousness. We become aware of the unconscious realm of the TES only through inference. When you look at a tree, you are not seeing the tree directly, but rather a representation of the tree created by your brain. Our experience of colors, smells, tastes, and sounds are all subjective creations of our mammalian neurological evolution.
As long as we feel we exist as individuals, we suffer because that perception is based on a temporary neurological illusion. This illusion of an individual "I" is so vulnerable that even sleep destroys it. Every time you go into deep sleep, your consciousness temporarily dies, and your subjective individual identity dies with it. Get rid of the feeling I exist, and you get rid of attachments that create tension, suffering, and feelings of danger. When you focus your consciousness on that which is limited, you become small and vulnerable. When you open your consciousness to experience the whole universe, you become vast, limitless, and without mental anguish. Thus, the art of meditation is the art of inner astronomy.
The ultimate experience of the TES is so vast that there is nothing to compare it to. With no comparison possible, the experience of everything feels like nothingness. How can infinity have a size or a shape when by definition it has no boundaries? The TES is so full of space that it feels like oblivion; thus many enlightened teachers have called it the Void. This feeling of the ultimate extinction of all things is cosmically erotic, and in a strange contradiction of terms, it is a rich and positively charged experience. Even this ultimate experience of the Void is a subjective illusion because Energy-Matter and Time-Space do exist, even if enlightened humans do not perceive them in the ordinary gross physical way.
The Hindu and Buddhist concept of ultimate personal liberation, "nirvana" or "moksha," is impossible. Ask yourself two fundamental questions. Who is going to be liberated, and what is he going to be liberated from? In truth, the 'who' and the 'what' are the same thing. Ask yourself what being was behind the eyes of the Buddha. The answer is Time-Energy-Space, the TES. Then ask yourself what being is behind the eyes of Vladimir Putin. The answer is still Time-Energy-Space. Individuals exist and have reality, but they are just temporary products of the TES, which is our fundamental immortal identity.
The TES is always creating new life and new personalities out of its being. The individual is always in danger of being destroyed, but the cosmic presence that animates us is eternal. Unless the entire TES is destroyed, liberation from cycles of life and death is impossible. The TES creates a human being, and that individual experiences joy and suffering, but it is the TES having these experiences in a dream drama that the TES itself creates. The TES is within each cell of our body and is our true personal identity, not the temporary mortal personality that carries a picture ID in his wallet. Therefore, the goal of religion should not be an impossible liberation from the inevitable cycles of life, but rather how to make the unstoppable fact of life more ecstatic.
The term TES is a temporary creation, as are all the holy words of ancient scripture. Those words are names used to designate that which is beyond any language. It is an effort to express that which cannot be expressed by a mountain of scholarly scriptures. No name can stick, and no philosophy can ring perfectly true, because you cannot paste a bumper sticker on a tidal wave. You cannot shrink a supernova into something that will fit in a library.
In time, all evidence that human animals existed on this Earth will be washed away, and new civilizations will be born on other worlds to take our place. Those new conscious beings will discover the unity of the TES, which they will call by another name in a language never spoken by any human being. The meaning, however, will be the same.
Here is an inspirational quote from my father, a man I never fully appreciated until after he was gone.
"The alternative to despair is courage. And human life can be viewed as a continuous struggle between these two options. Courage is the capacity to affirm one's life despite the elements which threaten it. The fact that courage usually predominates over despair tells us something important about life. It tells you that the forces that affirm life are stronger than those that negate it."
Opinions expressed on this page must be viewed as the ideas of an ordinary student of meditation. While I truly believe everything I say, you should not believe anything unless you see it, feel it, and know it for yourself. I make no claims of infallibility. In fact I claim fallibility.
Christopher Calder email@example.com