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TLKY Public Lecture Series: Time and Space, A Buddhist Perspective


TIME AND SPACE: A Buddhist Perspective

featuring Professor Y. Karunadasa

visting from the University of Hong Kong

and the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka

Friday, June 19th




Tung Lin Kok Yuen Public Lecture Series and the Department of Humanities present Professor Y. Karunadasa to speak about Time and Space: A Buddhist Perspective. Professor Karunadasa is a visting scholar from the University of Hong Kong and the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka.

Most early Indian philosophical systems recognize the objective reality of both time and space. However, in this regard Buddhism takes an entirely different position: Time and space are not two absolute realities, but two conceptual constructs with no corresponding objective counterparts. There is no time without reference to events; therefore time is always determined by events. There is no one absolute time, but there are as many times as there are events. Different times means not different parts of one and the same time, but times determined by different events.  The same fate fell on what we normally regard as absolute space. Space is not bare geometric extension, but the void, the void that delimits and separates objects, and thus enables us to perceive them as distinct things. Accordingly, space is said to represent the principle of material delimitation. As in the case of time, there is no one absolute space but many spaces determined by various material phenomena.  Space is defined, not as that which provides room for the existence and movement of matter, but as the mere absence of matter. Space is not the opposite of matter but the absence of matter.

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