You will be surprised to know that the East has never taken any interest in history, for the simple reason that history means time. Time means mind. When the mind stops, time stops. You may have sometimes felt it. When there is no thought in your mind, is there any time left? The procession of thoughts creates time.
This is the most fundamental insight of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity: that time is a flexible phenomenon, it depends on your moods. If you are happy time goes by fast, if you ate miserable time slows down. If you are sitting by the side of a dying man the night seems to be almost unending – it seems as if the morning is not going to happen at all. And if you are sitting by the side of a woman or a man you love, then it seems time has got wings; it is flying. Hours pass like minutes, days pass like hours, months pass like days.
As far as the clock is concerned it makes no difference whether you are joyous, sad, happy or miserable. The clock moves unconcerned with you. So there ate two things to be remembered: clock time is one thing, totally separate from psychological time; psychological time is within you.
Einstein was not a meditator, otherwise his Theory of Relativity would have reached a higher peak. He only says: When you are joyous time goes fast, when you are miserable time slows down. A great insight, but had he been a meditator the world would have been immensely enriched because then he would have said one thing more: If you are absolutely without mind, just pure consciousness, time stops completely, disappears, leaving no trace behind.
Bertrand Russell has written a book, Why I Am Not A Christian, and he has said many things, significant things. He has argued well against Christianity. One of his arguments is that Christians say that for your sins you will have to suffer in hell for eternity. Now this is absurd! How many sins can you commit in a single life? And Christians believe only in a single life, a seventy-year life. How many sins can you commit? Can you commit so many sins that it can make it look justified, the eternal punishment? Forever and forever you will be in hell? There must be a limit because your sins cannot be unlimited.
Russell says, “I have counted all my sins. If I confess to one of the most hard-hearted magistrates, he cannot give me more than four and a half years’ imprisonment. If he also includes my thoughts about committing sins which I have not committed, just thought about, if my dreams and thoughts are also included as if they were acts, then at the most the sentence can be doubled – nine years. But more than that is absolutely absurd.”
And I agree with him, but still I will say he has missed the point, totally missed the point. Logically he is right, but he has missed the point of Jesus’ insight. When Jesus says hell is eternal he is really saying what Albert Einstein said twenty centuries later: that hell is so painful, it is such a misery, that it appears as if it is eternal. It is not eternal, but it appears eternal.