Shankara bhagavatpada doesn't suggest ignoring the practicalities of space and time in daily life but encourages introspection and seeking the "true self" beyond limitations of individual perception

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4/23/20241 min read

The argument against the reality of space and time can be summed up like this: Space is all about the difference between "here" and "there". This difference only seems real as long as we see objects in space as separate from ourselves. But when we realize that both "here" and "there" are part of the same consciousness within us, the distinction loses its grip, and space becomes unreal. Similarly, time is about the difference between "now" and "then". But when we see time in relation to our unchanging self, which persists through past, present, and future, time loses its reality too. Objects appear to come and go only because we mistakenly believe they exist apart from us. When we understand that they are one with us, they neither come nor go; they simply exist eternally within our consciousness. courtesy ahambrahmaasmi. org

Now, about action and agency: They also lose their reality once we understand the unreality of space and time. While Shankara Bhagavatpada sometimes talks about knowledge as an action, he means it in a practical, everyday sense. In reality, knowledge is not a passing event but the timeless essence of the self. As for the unity of the self, despite appearing different in different people, it becomes evident that this apparent diversity arises from the illusion of time and space. Once time and space merge into the self, the idea of multiple selves disappears. When we realize that the factors causing finiteness are unreal, finitude itself disappears, leaving only the Infinite. Thus, our individual selves, which we mistakenly see as limited, are ultimately nothing but Brahman, the Infinite Reality.

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