According to my best comprehension of what the Vedic sastra teaches about time – it is both linear and cyclic. Have you ever been in or seen one of those swimming pools shaped like a giant “O”? The water pushes around in one direction, and shuttles you through lap after lap of the pool. The basic flow of the water is both linear and cyclic at the same time. My understanding of time is that it works like this.
One moment leads to the next in a sequential order. In that way, time is linear. However the order proceeds in an arc that completes a circuit eventually. In that way, time (on a grand scale) is cyclic, non-linear.
In this context “non-linear” doesn’t mean able to jump here and there haphazardly. The consciousness of the conditioned entity is rooted to an infinitesimal “present” state and time continually flows past it (at relative speeds, however) causing the future to inevitable become the past. But it does mean that an incident in the current “lap” that is in the future from your current position could have an effect on the “past” relative to that same position in the next “lap.”
“Laps” are called “kalpa” in sanskrit – as best as I understand them.
There is a different topic that is related and also important, I think, to the discussion of time. As best I understand – time is actually an ILLUSION generated by MOTION. The consciousness actually is not subjected to time, but under the habitual force of projecting itself into a world of change/motion, it experiences as if it was subjected to time.
Thus, in the uncontaminated state, consciousness experiences time in a fundamentally different manner. As best I understand it, instead of being dominated and limited by time, pure consciousness is FACILITATED by time for the sake of allowing it’s will to unfold. Thus it seems that when consciousness exists in its own element (not projected into a world of changes) time ceases to be linear or non-linear. And simply exists as a facilitator of will and love.