Sunday, December 29, 2013

Closing 2013: What is Time?

With the end of another year, and the new year fast approaching, the older we get, the more we think about time and the sense of its fleetingness.  But what exactly is time?  We think of time as being a clock that turns continuously, never stopping for a moment.  We think of time as the past, present, and future.  We think of time as those moments that come and go.  But in all of these, it is an abstract feeling more than something that is "real".

First of all, as I've said often, all ideas, concepts, observations, etc. are from the mind.  They exist in the mind and we experience everything through the mind.  This means everything we perceive is of the mind.  Keep this in mind so that ideas like time and no-time are easier to grasp.  Otherwise, you'll find this subject difficult to reconcile only through the physical sensory experience.

The idea that time is a feeling is not so hard to understand.  In fact, you could say that everything we experience in this reality is a feeling manifested into physical reality as different experiences.  When I say "feeling", I'm not talking about just emotions.  I'm referring to that sense of "knowing" that we all have, which most do not consider the sense of "feel".  For example, touch is a physical sense, but it is also called "feeling".  Sight could be interpreted as many different feelings (joy, sadness, etc.).  The same goes for all of our physical senses.  Along with the feeling, there is an associated "knowing" or knowledge that can go along with it, such as memories, information, identity, etc.  So how can time be a feeling?

When we look around us, we see change occurring all the time.  That change is the manifestation of the feeling of time.  In fact, when we see change, we feel it more than anything else.  How do we feel time?  Don't think about it in terms of just aging.  Aging is the physical manifestation (symbolic representation) of development.  Think about it in terms of memories, reminders, longings, boredom, and anxieties.  These are all aspects of the feeling of either occurring change or the desire for change.  Time itself as we think of it (i.e. clock, moments, etc.) is just a way for us to measure that change.  But time itself doesn't really exist except as a sense of feel.  In this reality, we do not have the luxury of moving "through" time physically, but it's easy enough to do it emotionally.

When we think about a past event, we are literally moving through "time".  That is, we are moving through the feelings that are associated with the past.  Along with the feelings, we get the knowledge, as mentioned.  Now this occurs not only for past memories, but also when we think about the future, or even the present moment.  You'll notice that the feelings aren't there when we think about a past historically, meaning something we read about, but not necessarily something we personally have experienced.  That's because we have not "memorized" the feeling of those events since we were not there to experience it.  Thus time itself has no "feeling" component in that case.  In fact, we do not really consider the time aspect of historical events because we did not experience it, unless the narrative can express the feeling, but in that case, you are feeling the thought and emotion of the author, not the events themselves.  Obviously, if you were a part of that historical event, then it is a personal experience, not a historical one.  When we personally experience something, we remember the feeling and knowing of that moment, not the time aspect itself.

Time is relative.  One could say that this relativity is what differentiates personal experience and knowledge-based experience.  In other words, a person who lived through an experience will have a different recollection and feeling about it than someone who read about it.  This is an obvious statement, but the reason for it has to do with what experience is relative to time and other people.  Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity demonstrates that time appears to slow down when observed by a stationary observer. But this is demonstrated mathematically by calculating the path taken by a light clock which doesn't really measure time, but instead the distance traveled by the light as observed (I won't go too deep into this since it's a different relativity).  In our case, a person who is moving near the speed of light relative to another person who is not moving that fast will feel that the slower person is moving slower and slower and thus time also appears to slow down for the slower person.  Conversely, the slower person viewing the speeding person will feel that the speeder is aging faster and faster because the speeder is able to do more in the same time span.  But in reality, both persons are aging at the same speed and each will feel their own time rate is constant.  It is the feeling of change that is relative.  Each is viewing their own rate of change relative to the other person's condition, but in essence, it is a difference of perspective only.  This is the same thing in regards to feeling of events.  It is all relative to each individual's perspective.

So what is time?  It is a feeling.  And we can overcome the idea that time is linear and in one direction when we realize this.  While our physical forms may not be able to overcome its programmed linear progression through time, our mental form can.  The idea that time does not exist simply means this unbreakable linear progression through change is only an aspect of this reality.  When people think about no-time, it is difficult to grasp because of this belief that time is a constant forward movement.  But even this statement should show you that time is merely change and change can happen in any direction.  Not only is it change, but it is also a change in perspective.

Why do we have time in this reality?  Again, the physical notion of time is the manifestation of the feeling of time.  This reality can be thought of as a learning reality.  It is designed to help each consciousness learn about free-will and the consequences of our choices.  Because it is a learning tool, it is designed to be forward moving, unable to change the past physically, though the past can be changed mentally, because again, time in terms of linear progression, does not really exist.  The past is actually occurring "now" simultaneously.   How can this be?  Because we are moving through probabilities as we make choices and what we choose becomes an actuality.  That actuality lives on as a memory, and memory is just a term we made up to describe something that have been actualized.  What does "actualized" mean?  It means that we expended energy to "lock" something into a specific state.  That state "lives on", and thus we can return to it through remembrance.  The act of "remembering" isn't just some mental act, but rather we are putting ourselves back into that state in a non-physical way.  We in the body think it is a mental act, but then again, most people only believe they are physical and don't really think about what it means to be "mental" (in a non-crazy way).

So as the 2013 year comes to a close, remember that time is not slipping by, but instead, we are changing every moment of our lives.  It's up to each of us to determine how we view those changes through understanding perspective (think about other perspectives) and the consequences of our choices.

No comments: