"People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity!"
"Absolute, true, and mathematical time, in and of its own nature, without reference to anything external, flows uniformly and by another name is called duration. Relative, apparent, and common time is any sensible and external measure (precise or imprecise) of duration by means of motion; such as a measure for example; an hour, a day, a month, a year, is commonly used instead of true time."
The component of note in this argument stipulates; time exists as a separate entity which becomes relative only when observed as a function of motion through the medium of space.
The second perspective, held by Immanuel Kant in his 1781 paper, "Critique of Pure Reason" posits the following.
"Time is not an empirical concept. For neither co-existence nor succession would be perceived by us, if the representation of time did not exist as a foundation a priori. Without this presupposition we could not represent to ourselves that things exist together at the same time, or at different times, that is contemporaneously, or in succession."
In my, most humble opinion, Kant had hit the nail on the proverbial head, which, by the way, was firmly attached to Newton's torso. Let me clearly state, Newton was one of many academic puppets; dirty rotten scoundrels who twisted and distorted science for the benefit of their elite paymasters. Newton's work on gravity was monumental, however, most his theories thereafter were cleverly woven constructs designed to mislead the scientific community. To prove my point, in the light of Huygen's wave theory, how could anyone believe an intelligent thinker like Newton would have remained inexplicably glued to his particle paradigm.
I digress, getting back to Kantian philosophy; astute as Kant was, he did buy into the theory of linear time. Possibly his stance was more a result of impositions by the religiosity of the day. Unable to find the quote in any of his work, I do remember Kant describes linear time as a necessity, as if he needed his ally to construct his world. Aside from his linear time theory, I believe Kant's most beautifully described time as an "experiential ally", an "a priori" construct enabling humanity opportunity to establish beingness as a succession of separate acts.
The point of eloquence found in Kant's argument hits upon esoteric knowledge, which implies, although we can quantify time (The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.) we cannot tacitly suggest time is "real", at least not in a physical sense, as believed by Newton. Einstein completely destroyed Newtonian concepts of absolute time with his "Big Bang" and "Relativity" theories. By example; just ask a child to reflect upon time spent in the pew at morning church, juxtaposed to, time spent fishing with a buddy, or playing ball hockey. Shortly after the death of his longtime friend Besso, Einstein penned a note to the family suggesting, although Besso had preceded him in death, it is of no consequence,
"...for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one."
When considering the ontology of time, we would be remiss if we failed to introduce a philosophical component of time past, present and future to our investigation. Many philosophical giants, like Plato, believed God created time and the heavens in unison, which Newton felt added weight to his cosmology of time. Aristotle preferred to mark time as being relative to movement. By example; Aristotle cited the path of celestial bodies, like the Sun, as they move across the sky, or he suggested, one could observe the sand as it moves through an hourglass. Motion, being the key to Aristotle's sense of time, indicated to him the past and future must be considered non existent, whereas, in the absence of motion, time itself does not exist. Saint Augustine pondered the same dilemma an enigma which the following quote suggests he never resolved with his philosophy.
"A present of things past, a present of things present, and a present of things future. The present of things past is memory, the present of things present is sight, and the present of things future is expectation."
Saint Augustines ultimate conclusion suggested; time cannot exist in the absence of a reasoning mind capable of discerning past, present and future. One of my favorite philosophers, Rene Descartes, offered up an absolutely beautiful definition of time; in his book "Meditations of First Philosophy", Descartes suggested a body has a property of spatial extension; however it cannot have temporal endurance. He believed that God continually sustains the body or re-creates it instant by instant. Time, he says, is a kind of sustenance. We are taught, in the subsequent two quotes of Descartes, to understand the component of illusion, as well, to heed the arrogance of ones philosophy.
“I suppose therefore that all things I see are illusions; I believe that nothing has ever existed of everything my lying memory tells me. I think I have no senses. I believe that body, shape, extension, motion, location are functions. What is there then that can be taken as true? Perhaps only this one thing.... that nothing at all is certain.” “Some years ago I was struck by the large number of falsehoods that I had accepted as true in my childhood, and by the highly doubtful nature of the whole edifice that I had subsequently based on them. I realized that it was necessary, once in the course of my life, to demolish everything completely and start again right from the foundations if I wanted to establish anything at all in the sciences that was stable and likely to last.”
In the last hundred or so years; science has given us a plethora of microscopic and macroscopic imagery. Looking back to Newton's age where the minutest observable detail was the atom, we can now use the largest microscope in the world, the Cern Hadron Collider, to see a quantum morass more than one billion times smaller. The macroscopic view of our universe, as seen from the Plank telescope orbiting in space, affords modern scientists with an intergalactic perspective almost a million times more vast than Newton’s telescopic lens of yore.
"Alpha State". From the Alpha state of pure mass, the universe explodes into an expansion of space, thereby creating the relativity needed to establish the space/time continuum. This continuum excites a path to its antitheses known as the Omega point which is aptly defined as space without mass, or if you will, nothingness in potentiality. The ultimate Omega expression, in a few hundred billion years or so, will establish the cosmos as an experiential emptiness where time and space do not have referential points of existence. In such a paradigm; time is not a linear construct as much as it is a cyclical expansion and contraction of cosmic proportion. The apex of transitional change occurs when space becomes a morass at -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit, or absolute 0. Scientists define the point where all the mass of the universe has disappeared into a frozen 0 expression labeled as the "Omega State".
Conclusions, derived from observing space, express to us the relationship of time, space, energy, mass, gravity and temperature are irrevocably intertwined, in so much as, we can imagine the ultimate Alpha and Omega points. Moving closer to understanding the Omega state; we discover the 0 point to be the same as its mathematical equivalent, whereas, Zero is the sum total of all negatives opposing all positives. In the real world; we can state the cosmological Zero as the sum of all universal matter weighed against all universal antimatter. This final beingness of our universe therefore represents the ultimate singularity of matter; what we could easily define as the expression of quantum potentiality, or in lay terms; everything, forever, omnipresent and eternal.
Eternal, omnipresent, these are uber gross terms which most of us find difficult to contemplate and almost impossible to comprehend. Once time winds down to Zero; all that will remain is a perfectly flat space/time continuum extending infinitely in all directions. However vast; it will be indiscernible and meaningless in a dimension devoid of material experiential relativity. In this reality; the whole is everywhere and nowhere at the same time, an indivisible singularity of limitless potential, just like the atom itself, just like you. The misstep, easily awaiting careless mental minions, is to assume the lack of experiential relativity speaks to an environment of absolute nothingness. The exact opposite is the case; whereas, Zero represents the true singular totality, experientially vacuous, however, an absolute completeness none the less. Hence, the biblical expression;
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty".
Rationality of this concept is also offered by one of my favorite Nisargadatta Maharaj quotes;
" Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves."
How are we to rationalise the notion of time/space as a cycle? Are we to assemble an eternal dance from separation to singularity and back again, or do we hang on to linear perspectives as illustrated by Newtonian physics, Platonian philosophy, and the theology of creationism evilly illustrated by Abrahamic ontology. Is time real? Does time physically exist? If time is an eternal all present paradigm, what implication does this have on consciousness? How does this speak to our personal experiential being?
Real or illusion, what do you think?
Theology and Cosmology of Time:
Having never cared for religion, I am tempted to pass by "ism" anecdotes which help define time. With that said, I would be negligent if I failed to use religion, to aid in framing how our concept of time has evolved. The Jewish-Zoroastrian concept of time included "creationism" as proof the universe was established by God at a definitive moment in our history. Couple this with the fact all Abrahamic religions hailing from the roots of Islam, Judea and Christianity adopted a linear concept of time. Religious pundits like Augustine and Aquinas expressed time as the human journey from Genesis to Judgment. The Vedas, known as the earliest Hindu literature, defines time in my favorite terms, whereas, time is series of cycles. Each cycle is then broken down into "yugas" which translate into epochs of darkness and light, awareness and ignorance. The Puranic concept maintains the universe is endlessly created, destroyed and recreated. One day in the life of Brahma is as such that the universe exists for 4,320,000,000 years at which time the elements of fire or water destroy earth, a process called pralaya. From the destruction of day, night is created anew. Each Brahman night lasts a similar length to the day as the cycle continues for the life of Brahma which, Hindu lore suggests is 100 years. For those of you curious to know the total number of human years in one 100 year Brahmanian lifetime, the answer is 311 Trillion, 40 Billion years. It is believed we are currently in Brahmas 51st year. When Brahma dies, legend suggests there must be 100 Brahaman years of nothingness until the next Brahma will be born. This cycle of Brahmanian consciousness continues eternally.
Personal Observations and Conclusions:
To me; universe is a fractal representation of consciousness itself. Consciousness, expressed as separate in a limitless universe, will always evolve toward the singularity. Esoterically, our awareness of the true self evolves from the illusion of many to the truth of oneness. In this matrix of beingness all planes; esoteric, illusion, physical, even archonic evolve under the control of exactly the same functional template. As a child, my universe appeared as a compilation of many billion separate entities. Presently, I see consciousness as a singular entity disguised by illusions of multiplicity. How do we know if our spiritual philosophy is sound? Just look to the stars for an answer; the material must always perfectly mirror the esoteric.
There can be little argument against the fact time is an illusion. Past and future are non existent, which leaves us with the "NOW" moment. Reason, coupled with the application of experiential common sense, suggests we can refer to the now moment as consciousness. Escaping the bonds of believing in the material world; we easily comprehend the entire realm of our beingness is omnipresent, omnipotent and eternal. Yes, we are Brahma, we will always exist, no other conclusion is reasonable. There is comfort in knowing the greatest philosophic, scientific and spiritual masters of millennia have paved the way for us to understand consciousness as an eternal expression.
Expanding our concept of time, as well, defining the illusions of the physical time/space continuum, afford us opportunity to peel away the countless layers of fear. Fear of death is a crippling concept for any human to adhere to; we cower under the auspice of a Grim Reaper harvesting souls. Fear of carrot/stick paradigms like; heaven and hell, purgatory, karma and rebirth, life with Allah's grace or life without his love. Fear, caused by the illusion your brother or sister is separate from you and is out to compete against you or cause you harm. Fear, there will never be enough, that we must struggle for our personal survival.
Observe your world; what do you see?
We are led to believe we are finite, when we are infinite. We are led to believe we are physically separate, when we are a singularity. We are constantly running; either toward a new future, or away from a dreadful past. Our reluctance to see beyond illusion has us chasing our tail. Accepting irresponsible, irrational, concepts of linear time; we tacitly proliferate the force feeding of ignorance as defined by sociopaths hell bent on destroying our ability to experience unconditional love.
Open your eyes, tell me you can see the elephant in the room, tell me also you will not surrender to the nightmare!
In Lak'ech, dear brethren, ... time to love... time to be free... time to go...