Time – An illusion


An interesting quote I found:
‘Time’ is the word we use to describe the fact that matter ‘exists and moves’ – then, when we say ‘matter exists and moves… over time’ – we are really saying ‘Matter exists and moves… matter exists and moves'”

So time just indicates the rate of change. It is not a solid dimension by itself. The past is like recalling stored memories in the present and the future is our imagination working in the present. So everything is happening now. Everything is present and changing all at once from moment to moment. The next moment is the same raw material in a different form and structure.

Time is something we use to record, predict and analyze and predict change. In the larger concept of cause and effect, time is as a parameter to understand their relative rates. But all of those are intellectual constructs/concepts like we have the concept of numbers. It is a mental layer which keeps on evolving depending on our breadth of experiences and awareness.

In the physical world, everything is continuously changing at different rates. Similarly even our ‘perception speed of these changes’ change from event to event. But all this is actually happening just now. So everything that exists is here in the now. Nothing absolutely new is going to come up in the future. The total amount of energy in the universe is constant. Things only differ in form and diversity. The same group of atoms may take a different form in future or split to form double the number but nevertheless nothing new is added as time passes. All the raw material is constant in the absolute sense. Its just their properties, form etc that change.

Love, compassion and joy, the things that really matter are timeless: exist beyond the mind.
Everything is continuously changing in form depending upon cause and effect laws which is what Hinduism and Buddhism refer to as Karma.

The way cause and effect manifests can be linear or circular. Patterns need not always be new in the future. The future can also be a past pattern repeating itself and its cycle. We cannot hold on to either of these concepts. At the highest level, time is neither cyclical nor linear. Every moment the form structure of the universe is unique. On what basis do we construct a linear graph from this? Linear time is a predictive control imposed on the infinitely complex changing of forms. Things can be controlled and predicted only if you choose some variables and create an optimization problem for yourself. Linear time assumes goals and tracks their progress in time. At the ‘God perspective’ level, there is no duality: Good, bad, right,wrong. All that is relative and these entities do not have any absolute essence by themselves. God perspective would be the perspective of infinity.

Is our mind capable of really grasping this concept of infinity? The biggest mystical moment I think would be when the realization occurs that, I am everything and everything is in the now and changing (at different rates). It would be an infinitely expansive and timeless state.

Interesting blog comment:
Lets say a person is 49 going on 50 years old. In no time at all the wedding anniversary, the vacation, football season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a birthday, come and go again in what seems like no time at all.

Now, think of a child of 4 going on 5 years old. The child is in school for the first time. Everything is new. The child is learning numbers, letters, how to interact with peers, teachers etc. The first hour seems like a day, the first day seems like a week, and the first week seems like its going to last forever.

This phenomena is what I call the “Esker Effect”*. When a person is 50 years old and goes through all the experiences during a year, there are not to many things that happen that are new and unique. In fact a year is only equal to 2% of that persons entire life to that point. All future years become a smaller percentage of the life experience. However when when a person is five, almost everything is still new and a year is 20% of that persons life at that point.

So at 50 years of age, a year is equal to 2% of a life, and time flies; but at 5 years of age, the same year is equal to 20% of a life, and time drags.

Great comments on this article:

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