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Updated -- 11 November 2006

It’s time for... well... time.  [And don’t say, “It’s about time!”]  

A typical dictionary definition of time might easily cover one to two complete pages in order to fully explain the meaning of time, and then, of course, fail to really pin it down.  Time is far more than that.  Even the slightest portion of its definition is indeterminate, i.e. “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in past, present, and future regarded as a whole.”  Time is literally beyond precise definition.  One might even liken it to transcendental, as in Transcendental Numbers.  

Metaphysics -- which literally is “beyond physics” -- often describes the timelessness of the universe as if all things are happening at once; that everything is in the current now.  Any limitations imposed by our having “fallen into time”, where “buffers of time” prevent instant manifestations of our thoughts... these no longer exist.  As we approach this state, as time speeds up, with greater synchronicities occurring on a regular basis, with increasing frequencies and vibrations of all that exists, we begin to experience a world without time -- a world where memories do not exist, or where cause and effect becomes meaningless.  

As Albert Einstein allegedly said, “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

If this lack of cause and effect -- and therefore justice? -- if it is meaningless, one can only stand in awe at the potential for "What now, Lieutenant?" How does one exist in such an untimely fashion? To answer this question, we may be able to better appreciate such timely things by referencing the view of the Tralfamadorians:

"All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever."

To explain the plight of the Earthling, the Tralfamadorians would explain the human view as one in which "his head was encased in a steel sphre which he could never take off. There was only one eyehole through which he could look, and welded to that eyehole were six feet of pipe." "He was also strapped to a steel lattice which was bolted to a flatcar on rails, and there was no way he could turn his head or touch the pipe. The far end of the pipe rested on a bi-pod which was also bolted to the flatcar. All Billy could see was the little dot at the end of the pipe. He didn't know he was on a flatcar, didn't even know there was anything peculiar about his situation.

"The flatcar sometimes crept, sometimes went extremely fast, often stopped -- went uphill, downhill, around curves, along straightaways. Whatever poor Billy saw through the pipe, he had no choice but to say to himself, 'That's life.'" [1]

Curiously enough, Fred Hoyle, the noted astrophysicist, used the same concept in his science fiction novel, October the Fifth is Too Late. One might also note a similarity to Plato's description of humans living in a cave and perceiving the shadows from things outside the cave as the only reality. Incarnated humans have a very narrow point of view.

Dean Radin <http://www.psiresearch.org/>, in his exceptional paper, “Time-reversed human experience: Experimental evidence and implications,” reports, “One implication of the cumulative evidence is that time-reversed effects permeate all aspects of human behavior.  Another is that experiments in all scientific disciplines may be vulnerable to time-reversed influences.”  Radin suggests that teleology -- the explanation of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes -- “deserves to be seriously reconsidered as another form of causation.”  

Bertrand Russell, in 1913, said, “All philosophers imagine that causation is one of the fundamental axioms of science, yet oddly enough, in advanced sciences, the word ‘cause’ never occurs.”  Mathematician John von Neumann added (1955):  “We may say that there is at present no occasion and no reason to speak of causality in nature -- because no [macroscopic] experiment indicates its presence... and [because] quantum mechanics contradicts it.”  Both statements suggest that the “arrow of time” is not unidirectional as in cause Ž effect, but with “time-reversal” becomes cause Ü effect (or cause Ū effect).           

Radin <http://www.boundaryinstitute.org/experiments.htm> goes on to provide good experimental evidence of what might be termed precognition (in the manner of ESP), but which is effectively a time reversed, cause and effect relationship.  Basically, the idea is one of information flowing backwards in time.  This does not imply that the time-reversed effect changes the past, but that the future is inherently probabilistic.   

Alan Lightman, in Einstein’s Dreams [Warner Books, New York, 1993] said,  “It is only habit and memory that dulls physical passion.  Without memory, each night is the first night, each morning is the first morning, each kiss and touch are the first.  A world without memory is a world of the present.  The past exists only in documents, in books.”

 “Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic.  Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first.  Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past while effect [is] in the future, the future and past entwined.  In this acausal world, scientists are helpless.  Their predictions become postpredictions.  Their equations become justification, their logic, illogic.  Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting.  Scientists are buffoons, not because they are, but because the cosmos is irrational.  Or perhaps the cosmos is irrational only because the scientists try to force it to be rational.  In this same world, artists are joyous.  Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, all things in retrospective.  People learn to live in the moment.  Each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own.  It is a world of impulse.  It is a world of sincerity.  It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or future, each kiss becomes a kiss of immediacy.”  

A similar point of view, but taken from another perspective, is that everything is happening at once.  Very confusing, perhaps, but potentially very freeing.  The idea is that there are Multiple Timelines, where Creating Reality is a personal choice, and where there exists the inevitable availability of Multiple Choice.  In fact, the concept whereby we have “fallen into time” may be explained as an experiment or an exploration in what might be, have been, or become -- as in the brief fictional tale of Paatah.  

Another aspect of time, not generally considered, is its potential for providing unlimited amounts of energy.  Tom Bearden <www.cheniere.org> et al, has concluded that energy is available from the vacuum in unlimited quantities, and that such availability does not conflict with the law of Conservation of Energy, because the energy is conserved in the fourth dimension, time, and not just in the three-dimensional world of space.  

Clearly then, time is about more than the Days of the Week, something to be kept track of in our Calendars, or something to be used to make Cyclical Predictions.  At the same time, [pardon the pun], there is the distinct possibility of time coming to an abrupt end.   

For example, time is scheduled to end with the end of the Mayan calendar (possibly December 23, 2012 A.D.).  More significantly, perhaps, is the idea that if everyone knows that time has a definite end, and when that end is, there may be a very significant change in the way we view time.  For in realizing time is about to end, everyone would begin to show what is often called “a short timer’s attitude”, pensions would become obsolete, planning limited to only that space before the end. “The end approaches like approaching ground.  Cool air rushes by, bodies are weightless.  The silent horizon yawns for miles.”  [ibid]  It might likely be a peaceful end, no one attempting to escape the inevitable.  


Other timely possibilities are legion, as in the following Variations on a Theme, or unique and different views of what Time might be (and the consequences thereof) [more from Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams]:


Time is a circle, repeating itself endlessly.  Its participants are unaware of this fact.

Times branches into three dimensions at every notable decision point.  These 3 dimensions are all perpendicular to one another.  This produces an infinity of worlds.  Participants begin to make light of decisions, since all decisions will occur anyway.

There exists Mechanical Time and Body Time -- the first is rigid and metallic, the second wiggly and squirming.  Participants can choose one or the other.  But when the two times meet, there is desperation.  When they are separate, contentment.  Both are true, but the truths are unlike each other.

Time proceeds more slowly the greater the distance from the center of the Earth.  People go to great lengths to live at ever greater heights.  

Time is absolute, precise and rules the participants.  Time becomes religion.  

Cause and effect are sometimes reversed -- effect being in the past and cause in the future.  But not always.  In the acausal world, scientists are helpless and artists are joyful at the unpredictability.  It is a world of impulse, of living in the moment.  

Time barely moves. Very, very little happens.  The unambitious suffer unknowingly, the ambitious suffer knowingly, but very slowly.  

A life in the past cannot be shared with the present.  Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.  

Time flows not evenly but fitfully, causing participants to receive abrupt glimpses of the future.  This is a world of changed plans, of sudden opportunities, of unexpected visions.  For those encountering their visions, it is a world of guaranteed success.  Few passions are wasted.  There are no dead ends.  For those without visions, it is a world of inactive suspense.  These people sleep most of the day and wait for their vision.  Few risks are taken.  The future seems changeless.  

Time passes more slowly for people in motion.  Thus everyone travels at high speed in order to gain time.  But motion is relative, and everyone sees those they pass as apparently gaining time on them.  This is maddening, and only those who slow and live without speed are able to live lives of satisfaction.  

Time flows fast (or the Earth revolves slowly) such that every person lives just one day -- twenty four hours.  Seasons are learned about in books -- many will never see a snowfall, or a sunny day.  A life is planned by light (depending on time of birth).  Time becomes precious -- compared to the longer cycles the people know about.  People never get to know one another (there isn’t time) and die alone.  [And for those who live as we do, and never see the changes to and from the Age of Pisces, or live in anything other than the Kali Yuga... what happens to them?]  

A world without a future.  Time is a line that terminates at the present, both in reality and in the mind.  No one can imagine the future.  Each parting is a death.  People cannot contemplate the results of their actions.  

Time is a visible dimension.  People may choose whichever moment along the axis of time (just as he chooses his place in three dimensions).  Some never venture from a comfortable moment.  Other dash into the future and miss most of their life.  

Time is not continuous, but with incredibly small discontinuities.  But sometimes the segments of time do not fit perfectly together.  And changes occur thereby.  

Time is a local phenomenon.  Clocks separated by a distance tick at different rates, the father apart the more out of step.  Each city must live on its own.  Travelers are cut off from their origin (and do not return).  The isolation brings a rich diversity of life -- life developing in a thousand different ways [which might also be true of different star systems and/or different dimensions].  But the abundances caused by isolation are stifled by the same isolation -- as different cities [stars?] cannot share their experiences.  

Time is rigid, fossilizing the future as well as the past.  Everything is determined.  There are no uncertainties.  In a world of fixed futures, there can be no right or wrong.  Right or wrong requires freedom of choice.  With no responsibility, everyone is free in a world without freedom.  

Time is like the light between two mirrors.  Time bounces back and forth, producing an infinite number of images, of melodies, of thoughts.  It is a world of countless copies.  And each copy remembers the others, fading into the distance.

The firmness of the past is an illusion, a kaleidoscope, a pattern of images that shift with each disturbance.  Memories are fleeting dreams, shapes in clouds.  Events, once happened, lose reality, alter with a glance.  In time, the past never happened.  No one knows that the past is not as solid as this instant.  

Time is a flock of nightingales.  Time flutters and fidgets and hops with these birds.  Trap one of these nightingales beneath a bell jar and time stops.  The moment is frozen for all people and trees and soil caught within.   Children have no desire to stop time, while the elderly are too slow to catch the birds.  A trapped nightingale soon dies, the trapped moment growing withered and without life.  



[1] Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five, quoted at http://www.eemadges.com/tag/mosaic


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