The Monist 104 (3):410-425 (2021)

Olla Solomyak
Polonsky Academy, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav describes the tzaddik as experiencing time in a distinctive, enlightened way: What is seventy years for the rest of us feels like a mere fifteen minutes for the tzaddik. Furthermore, even higher levels of enlightenment are possible—for a tzaddik on a higher level, what feels like seventy years for the first tzaddik is again but a mere fifteen minutes. This pattern continues, approaching a limit point which Rabbi Nachman calls “above time,” and which is the perspective on time of the Divine. How might Rabbi Nachman’s claims about enlightened temporal experience be understood? In this paper, my aim is to examine some ways of understanding what it might mean to ‘experience time more quickly’ or to ‘experience 70 years as 15 minutes’ in light of contemporary theories of the structure of temporal experience. I then present a novel interpretation of Rabbi Nachman’s claims which appeals to the contemporary notion of the specious present —a nonzero temporal interval experienced in a unified way as present.
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DOI 10.1093/monist/onab008
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The Unreality of Time.John Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time.Theodore Sider - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):642-647.
Objective Becoming.Bradford Skow - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.

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