Monday, 5 March 2012

Time

I’m not an astro-physicist, but I’ve come to the conclusion that time doesn’t exist – that, rather than a dimension, it’s a measurement.

There is nothing that has happened, in time, that can’t be explained by the natural change of things.

The illusion of the Sun rising on this Earth comes from movement… the turning of the Earth and its rotation around the Sun. Yet, our Sun is perpetually moving around the gravitational centre of our galaxy, and our galaxy moves, too.

It’s a difficult concept to grasp… because it means that there really is just one moment, and everything changes within it. We are in a constant state of restructuring, and – in the sense of time – this is the same moment the dinosaurs were roaming the Earth; Christ was here; the Sun has exploded; the Universe began… the Universe ends.

If you consider a mountain, and if you believe that it’s been there for tens or hundreds of thousands of years, unmoving, then you’re wrong. It’s just a massive soup of atoms, in constant travel. A mountain is always moving.

Things change. Humans have a problem with this. It doesn’t sit well with our feelings of superiority over the rest of this world we live in, and on. But we die. In 100 years, everyone who reads this will be dead and gone. This is our fate on this small rock in the incomprehensible vastness of space.

The concept of time is just a way of us rationalising the change we can’t understand.

It’s actually quite liberating, when you remove the illusion of time, because you see that life is just this constant process of change and improvement, and we are the architects of the change we want in our own lives.

I’m not an astro-physicist… just a reminder, there.

53 comments:

  1. "The concept of time is just a way of us rationalising the change we can't understand".. how incredibly profound is that! :)

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    1. Mmm, I Like the questioning world of Les, I also like to question and challenge supposed knowledge, but I have to reply here. Time does actually exist..it is in effect, the 4th dimension.

      Not to say one day we couldn't become masters of time and manipulate it's properties in unheard of ways.

      How do people dream of the future? quantum properties of the sleeping mind outside the boundaries of time can experience the future, for sure.

      But ponder this, if there was no time, there would be no movement, no atomic vibration, no energy, no molecules would form, thus no life would experience time, clocks would not move and importantly there would be no Universe.

      Time is intimately tied to our experience being 3 dimensional animals as a property of space, therefore spacetime is experienced as one.

      Humans have adopted a measurement of time which suits our needs, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, etc. It has been determined from astute measurements of the movements of the planets by watching the sky.

      It works for us very well and can be measured accurately to miniscule levels.

      There is actually such a thing as 1billionth of a second and in that time frame, events can happen.

      Consider a light year, the time that light takes to travel in one year is a measurable distance. so time is useful and is experienced in a 3 dimensional, (material) world. These are big world properties and are useful.

      With time and speed we can calculate distance traveled reliably. Or with time and distance we can accurately determine the speed of an object. Time is a cosmological anchor point. it's the foundation of experience. w

      No to say that time is everything. of course time as we know it is a valuable way of measuring past to future. a navigational aid to existence.

      However it's important to experience the 'now' as the past cannot be changed and the future has not been determined (yet).

      chit hart.

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    2. Chit, if there was no movement, there would be no time. Movement doesn't need time to move. It's just that we try to explain that movement by giving it a title: time.

      Dreams are the movement of energy through the brain, as we sleep.

      It's not time and distance that measures distance travelled or the speed of an object. It's a measurement of movement set against another measurement of movement - for example, the bus moves 60 geographical miles while the Earth rotates 1/24th, thus making the recordable speed 60 mph.

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    3. Time, movement: a distinction without a difference.

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  2. Suzanne Lucero6 March 2012 at 12:08

    Yes, time is a measurement of change, and we are creatures of time, we exist in time. Remember the old saying, "The only thing constant is change"? I'm not sure the person who first said that understood how right he (Or she!) really was. Everything in space, every particle that exists in the universe, even the tiniest object that must be magnified billions of times for us to see it, is changing.

    I'm paralysed right now, my mind just bursting with my beleifs and conjectures on the subjects of time and space, but that's a lecture I'm not qualified to give. Instead, I'll leave you with another thought: is there something beyond time and space? And could we comprehend it if there was?

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    1. Time and space is what we know. The unknown beyond merely becomes time and space if it is comprehended. Capturing and comprehending are intimately linked to the time and space that we know.

      Athletes in the zone for example easily fall out of the zone as soon as they "comprehend" that they are in the zone.

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    2. Funny that you say this, because Time and Space both don't exist. They are a 'Reality' among 'Actuality'.

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  3. But I think we live to the rule of that measurement, rather than it being a dimension that we exist in. It's definitely a mind-clanger, trying to consider it, though. :-)

    I believe there's so much more to this Universe than we humans experience within the restraints of our five senses. Not sure I could comprehend it, though, no. :-P

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  4. It is more or less what I have been thinking for ages. Time simply is. Things change and clocks measure their passing. But there is no beginning or ending to infinity. We exist in the now of infinity. Probably nonsense but it is what I believe. God? God is infinite. Without beginning or ending.

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  5. I don't quite follow this. To me, change implies time. Time is simply our word for the sequential nature of the universe - the fact that things happen one after another and not all in one go. Sure, we measure time, but that doesn't mean it's not a thing as and of itself, independent of us. Put it another way, time existed, one has to assume, even when there was no one or no thing around to observe it. Events happened: stars were born and died, galaxies formed, etc. All these things happened one after another, in time. Sorry if I've missed something here, but that's how I see it.

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  6. Time can't be independent of us -- it can only be relative to us. That time passes irrespective of our observations is an illusion. We can movie in and out and backwards and forwards in 'time,' it's what quantum physicists have been talking about and experimenting with forever. There is only one moment. And this is it. Whether we are here or not and regardless of what we think about it. Mind-boggling, huh?

    Great post!

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  7. Like you, I believe time is a measurement. What an interesting article, Les. It makes you think. I agree we limit ourselves with our five senses and the key maybe in opening your third eye (the sixth sense) so that you can see the other dimensions we have been programmed to miss.

    I agree with Khyiah Angel, it is mind-boggling.

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  8. Why would anyone think time is relative to us. If we did not exist, ever, would our absence have the least effect on time? On the universe? The motions of the visible entities therein?

    Granted,we would not be present as observers, but we can be certain of the universal dynamics continuing just as they do when we are.

    The only thing different would be the absence of human presence in the scheme of the universe; and our semantic interpretation of our observances, which have meaning and value only to ourselves.

    So far, our time on earth,as part of the universe is but a mere blink compared to all of the vastness and complexities of all that exist. We would have to survive and grow for an unimaginable length of time before we could BEGIN to plumb the depths of understanding required to have ANY IMPACT on this existence: In terms of our habitation or of our effect in any measurable manner upon our habitat. Or the dynamics of the habitat, ie: motion,(time) since our Day is a concept of "Time" as measured by one full rotation of our earth on its axis.

    Consider: one hundred thousand billion trillion quadrillion,++++planets are spinning at the same time, right now. Not 1 after another. All together. All at the same time. Not sequentially. All have days.and weeks, and months and years. One Universe.

    Scientists are now considering the possibility of of a system of a multiplicity of UNIVERSES. Countless universes: They have even started calling this a Multiverse.

    Consider finally: How insignificant is man. Man with his mighty ego, who supposes his magnificence in the Grand Scheme of things, when all the evidence points to just a colony of germs clinging to a speck of dust, lost among everything.

    Yes. We have a long, long, long way to go............

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    1. If time exists only in the form you propose, we have only begun and have a long, long way to go. If there exists an alternative to your version, perhaps what is thought to take a long time can happen in an instant; in an insight.

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    2. sorry, you are completely wrong on most counts.

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  9. Interesting theories, but my favorite part of this blog entry is at the very bottom...

    "Posted by Les Floyd at 20:26"

    Shouldn't that read, "Posted by Les Floyd at always?"

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  10. Time is man-made. Everything natural is cyclical. Time allows man to be productive and for others to gain or profit. Man has not always recorded time. The ancients recorded cycles not time. (Common misconception.) The periods between events are cycles. This same concept is applicable to everything that man did not create. Time is only relevant to man. The only reason that I agree (daily) with the concept of time is so that I may afford the opportunity to appreciate all that is natural around me. Name one event that occurs naturally (without human influence) that is not cyclical. The seasons, heavenly bodies, tides, currents, life, weather, and so on are all cyclical. There are cycles inside of cycles. I see them as circles or bubbles all around me when I hike. Man can adulter or alter cycles temporarily, but natural cycles always return to their proper rotation. The more in tune I become with the cycles, the less time is relevant to me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Les.

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    1. 'Natural' is a silly term and can be misinterpreted in this context. Cyclical behavior is only applicable to things that have yet to be complete the way a person goes from body to body (awful term of reincarnation) is cyclical until that person doesn't wish to play any more. So, all lies are cyclical, all truth is ' '.

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  11. Conversation at college...
    Lecturer:"You're late!"
    Me:"Time is an abstract concept,invented by man to do his own head in.."
    Lecturer:"Not in my workshop it isn't.."
    Personally I think it was invented by the Chinese to get us back for the opium and tea trade...

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  12. yet the barriers that time provides for us is something society needs and it always remains the same, people and the environment are what changes, time simply records these changes.

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  13. les, your understanding of time as a dimension is flawed. like you said, you are not an astrophysicist. the scientific view of time is that it is change. time is just how we measure that change. you how you understand is pretty much how scientist view it. the scientific view of it as a dimension is a construct. imagine a box (3 dimensions) moving with that movement being change/time (4 dimensions).

    to those who say time is a human construct, no, how we measure time is a human construct. time/change happens. how we measure that change (time) is a human construct.

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  14. I've always been fond of the following as a metaphor for time:

    You go to a movie. The characters on screen are walking down a long hallway. This scene follows the laws of physics, just like the real world. The actors on screen can't fold the hallway or speed down it beyond what's possible for them as humans in a hallway (unless it's a superhero film but that's a different story!)

    And yet.

    They aren't in a hallway. There is no far and near. They are projected along a screen in two dimensions only - not the third dimension that they perceive.

    So too do I think it is with humans and time. We perceive time. In fact, adhering closely to the concept of "timekeeping" has led to most if not all human success.

    And yet.

    To the outsider, that extra dimension may well be an illusion entirely of our own making.

    Thanks for getting me thinking about this again. :)

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  15. I'm not a physicist either but I think the way we experience time is a function of consciousness within the universe, contained by our subjective experience of travelling through the 4th dimension. if we could escape to a higher dimension we would see ourselves like a continuous snake winding from single celled conception and slowly growing until we eventually die and disassemble.. this is string theory as eloquently explained here.. cheers les >>>

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkxieS-6WuA

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  16. I feel that Time is the present instant, only humans break it up into structured segments. The animals only know when it "feels" time to sleep. Time is as it should be in that instant. Time is quite active.

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  17. That's the question, isn't it? One that's been toyed with a lot because of it's abstract nature. Change is fundamental to evolution, to our growth as people but, and this is just the way I see it so take it for what it's worth, time remains, and will remain in existence until we master it completely, and not just ourselves. As long as it remains a linear concept strengthened by a progressive forward motion we are the malleable ones, altered by time and its sibling experience, and not the other way around. Still, it shouldn't stop us from trying to master it, viewing it as that frontier to the spirit that challenges our soul in our quest to live beyond ourselves and become more than ourselves in the changes we can bring and that we can be. At least that's my two cents.

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  18. Great piece, Les. I've often pondered the same thing ever since reading "A Brief History of Time." The faster we move through space, the slower time/change passes. Therefore, it seems to me that if we could ever attain the speed of light, all moments would blend into one.

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  19. Couldn't agree with you more. To Americans we Australians are living in the future - because (according to our clocks) our day is ending as theirs begins. It's all a nonsense.

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  20. I've been evolving my ideas and concepts over the last couple of years, and can really appreciate what you've shared here concerning time, Les. I think you nailed this! Since this is my first time visiting your site, I can say I look forward to reading more of your material in the near future. Thanks for sharing your insights, mate. :)

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  21. I've given up trying to understand or make sense of it but I like that change is constant. It provides opportunity to redirect yourself and adapt although having a fixed idea of where you want to move to then starts to bring in the word "control" and that is a whole different conversation......

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  22. It's entropy, man!

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  23. The concept of time is integral to physics. Scientifically speaking, nothing makes sense without time. There's a mountain of experimental, observational, and mathematical evidence showing it is a real thing, separate from human's perception of time (which is the subjective part, how we measure time e.g. seconds, minutes, etc. is the only human made and arbitrary part of it). There are even rules about how time behaves under certain conditions (many of which have been experimentally verified). If time weren't real, that's what the experiments would be showing, but they don't.

    Sorry, but I just have to disagree with you here. I invite everyone to do a little Google searching on what physics has to say about time.

    Now, if you want to talk about people's subjective perception of time, that's a whole different story.

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    1. Whatever dude, your brainwashed by the religion of science - as flawed as the dogma of religion itself. Firstly, quantum physics shows how we cannot be (science cannot be) 'objective' because consciousness is an integral part of, and precursor to all. So any 'rules' you want to inflict on people are arbitrary, objective to the truth, and condescending.

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  24. Wow very deep questioning, but I see where you are coming from

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  25. It's a very philosophical thought, and one that's very hard to get your head around - like saying the Universe has always existed. We're not used to thinking things like this; used to washing the dishes and having routines and choosing which pair of socks to use. Regardless of whether time is a real thing, our perception of it is always going to be different. Why else would time seem to behave differently under different circumstances?

    Great post, though. Made me think.

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  26. Personally i think it is too simple to just claim time doesnt exist, a space-time continuum does exist, so does speed of light. What you are challening here is our experience of linear time. The past, the present and the future are indeed all existing at the same time but obviously it matters where you are on this axis. Also someone referred to physics experimenting with going back and forth ... Also simplistic. It is true that according to the laws of physics timd could run backwards - in theory... But obviously it doesnt... Which may or may not be connected to the law of enthropy... Anyway i like the mind play but deep philosophical thought about these matters should include some actual findings (i.e.the speex of your moment in space determines the speed of time etc etc) ... I mean it is still physics and no they dontknow everything but it s not simply enough to assume without any evidence :)

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  27. Another great blog Les and on a subject that you know is very close to my heart .... or at least to Loss. Kindest Regards, Stephan.

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  28. Time exists. Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.

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  29. How did I miss seeing this when it was published?! Couldn't agree more, Les. Like I just tweeted to you, I've intrinsically known this my entire life. Never doubted it for a minute. It has always brought great peace.

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  30. "Time" is a "linear manmade measurement". Time does not exist in God's spiritual "consciousness". Eckhart Tolle wreites about "time" in the Power of Now book.
    ie: when you lose track of time in the sense that "time seems to stand still", since it literally feels that way to us, in those moments, we do not "age", for that brief time period. Time, evil, poverty, sickness are all "manmade concepts" and are thus (are) illusions, relative to the prosperous truth of who we were meant to be.. ref: "Prosperity" by Charles Fillmore, written a century ago.

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  31. I like this article and I like the thread here as well. I get a kick out of phrases like, "I don't have all day." Time - it definitely exists. In fact I had to ask today, "what time is it?" to make sure I got back to class on TIME. It's a tool. Nothing more. A tool to measure space in between one event and another. It exists just like a protractor, a ruler, or a coin. It's a tool. Time is an Earth thing ... so we can feel free to miss, to dream of, to anticipate, to remember and all of the other crazy stuff we do to escape the magnificence of the present. Why do we do that?

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  32. Perhaps this isn't an "either, or" argument. Consider that there are two types of time: psychological time and chronological time. With psychological time, it is always now and we put ourselves into conflict with a belief in the future or the past. There is a past, present and future with chronological time. This is the measurement of the changes and movement mentioned by you and others commenting. As you point out, it is quite liberating to be free of believing that psychological time passes like chronological time. With psychological time, the past is completely dead and gone. When we drag the dead weight of the dead past forward, we create a conflict for ourselves psychologically. We have an impediment to being in the zone in the present. Over concern with the future does the same. It is now. Oh, man, look at the time! It is 2:24 am!!! I need to go to sleep! :)

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  33. Time may or may not exist and no one can prove it one way or the other. Science can't prove anything. All scientific knowledge is based on experimentation and hypotheses, the first of which is subject to interpretation and the latter of which is admittedly only a best guess. Any attempt to perform an experiment invalidates the experiment, as scientists admit with the Uncertainty Principle. We humans believe that things change, that time passes, but we only have the now as evidence that we ourselves even exist. All our knowledge of the past is but a state of our minds and recording devices, which we cannot prove ever existed in any other state than they do at the present. All our hopes and plans for the future by definition do not exist in the now.

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    1. Hopes and plans are thoughts in the mind, in the now. The tangible results of those hopes and plans don't exist and won't ever exist if intent isn't backed up with action... and action happens in the now - never at any other perceived time... but hopes and plans aren't the finished article; they're blueprints.

      I've never heard of the Uncertainty Principle before. I'll have to have a read up on it. Cheers! :-)

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    2. Hey, Les, thanks for the clarification on my last statement. Hopes and plans themselves do exist in the now, but, as you so eloquently put it, the tangible results of those hopes and plans don't exist yet. That's what I meant! Thanks for keeping me honest.

      I also messed up when citing the Uncertainty Principle instead of the Observer Effect. I'm not the first person to cite the Uncertainty Principle when meaning to cite the Observer Effect. Ugh. Read up on them both, perhaps?

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    3. Ah, yes, I've seen a YouTube video about the Observer Effect, with the 'twin slot experiment' that shows different results when inspected closely. It baffles my brain, but I suppose that's fair play, considering nobody else seems to know why it does that, either!

      That this whole Universe came out an eventuality that could have been neatly packed inside the space of an atom hurts my head, too.

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  34. I say something contorted, right! - If time was a block and we chipped away at it with measurements, we would find our viewable future history, more dead dinosaurs etc.. but on another dimension they could exist alive and well in are very own space just seen in another time Di. If time is present, well then all time might be present and we are in the presences of all time. halalouia. Matter may have the ability, like film to reflect consciousness or hold memory, it just depends what instrument you use to see it.
    I enjoy navel gazing out and out.
    Nice thread.
    I'm a fraid knot

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  35. Since everything, past, present and future can only be lived in the nanosecond of now, time is the instant of now which is a moment in the motion of energy.

    When the motion of the now momemt passes, it is gone forever because the energy that produced it has changed and can never be reproduced.

    Likewise the next moment of now is being constructed/created by the motion of energy now. In other words the future does not nor cannot exist until it is created by the motion/ transformation of evolving energy.

    Without energy there is nothing. Since nothing can come from nothing (anymore than something can become nothing) there must exist an eternal state of something. Since something cannot exist without energy, this eternal state of something must be some form of energy.

    There is therefore no beginning nor end to anything but everything that exists, exists only in this moment of now.

    If this is so, our concept of past and future live only in a conscious memory and imagination.

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  36. Damien, you might well have hit the nail on the head when you say that perhaps matter like film may be able to hold memory or perhaps retain information. From everything I have read and researched on consciousness, this would appear to be the case and seems logical.

    However, if time is energy in motion, metamorphosing from one state to another as for example a dust cloud to star to super nova and back to dust, the combination of energy states that created each of those states is a succession of one - off moments that can never be recreated. Once passed, its gone forever.

    It would never be possile to reconstitute the unique combination of universal energy frequencies/vibrations/states again anymore than I can reconstitute my previous youthful states.

    So unless there is a celestial photographer filming every event, the past simply no longer exists other than as a memory.

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  37. Time is a man made invention. It's not a natural phenomenon. Man says we age a year revolving once around the sun but again only in measured time created by man. The universe knows no time.

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