Time and Thought

Killing Time
does anybody really know what time it is?
Visualize a calm pond, you toss a large rock up in the air and as the rock passes through the water’s surface a series of concentric waves begin to radiate away from the center of impact. One way to view reality (which is in alignment with the theory of relativity) is to imagine the big bang which is to have occurred 13-15 billion years ago. Visualize the big bang as a central point in which all the known universe started an expansion outward (just like the radial waves in the pond). Einstein stated that it was hard to measure the universe because as soon as you have measured it, it has already expanded some more, and constantly continues to expand. Einstein had a non-linear idea of time but never ventured down the path of trying to understand exactly what “time” as a concept represented. Paul Dirac and most recently Julian Barbour have attacked “time” at it’s very root, attempting to weed out what is real and what is an illusion. Their conclusion is that time could simply be an illusion that is created by man, an attempt to quantify (in a linear way) the expansion of the universe. Using the constant spinning of the earth once every 24 hours as a basis, and to further divide and chop duration into smaller and smaller segments, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds, milliseconds, nanoseconds etc. In reality, its like an attempt to measure the sky, there are really no clear edges to measure to if you take the the motion of galaxies, superclusters and the like into consideration.

Now visualize the radial concentric waves on the pond continuing to expand outward. Einstein saw time as non-linear, arising from the initial impulse that set the expansion in motion. Everyone’s perceived reality (as viewed in time/space) is in actuality the shared experience of everyone (in unison) experiencing the outermost ripple of the wave at the same moment, which in reality is the outermost edge of the expansion of the universe, the here/now.

The most current version of the edge of the expansion is the here/now. The here/now will ALWAYS be the the current location of the expansion. Any event that has occurred prior to the current position of the edge of the wave is what we call the past (when viewed with time/space coordinates). Non-linear reality is not the straight line of a steady arrow moving in a single absolute direction, but is actually all positions inside the area of the expansion occurring simultaneously. Non-linear dynamics is simply the symmetrical unfolding of all matter and energy in the predesignated order of the universe as a gigantic pattern….it acts independently of time because what the mind perceives as time is only a derivative byproduct of the unfolding process. It is just the compartmentlization of the events of this process as viewed in sequential stages. Barbour believes that the only glitch that prevents relativity theory and quantum mechanics from meshing together cohesively is the element of time. Remove time from both theories and there are no conflicts. He sees a world that is in a state of timelessness and every event is a complete NOW!
I highly recommend reading Julian Barbour’s book, “The End of Time”. He is far more eloquent than I could ever be, much more intelligent and can bring the concepts home to you as he did with me. Below is a short TV show he filmed in Holland:

What are we thinking?

What is thought, where does it come from,where does it go, what is it’s purpose? One of the best ways I came up with describing meditation back in the 80’s (after reading the yoga sutra of patanjali) is to close your eyes, take a deep breath and visualize a flower right n the middle of your forehead, now imagine a mountain stream, a car or any other object that is clearly different from the flower. The force or energy that made the CHANGE or TRANSITION from the flower to the stream in your mind is pure universal energy that is in constant motion and is on the current edge of the outermost wave of the expansion as discussed earlier in the “time section”…it is the ever present “here/now” – The universe is in a perpetual state of “becoming something else”…our thoughts will always be in a state of transition, whatever they are.
What is Thought?
Normal human thought process is usually generated from an emotional reaction to the external stimuli confronted in the current moment combined with the emotional residue (baggage?) of emotionally charged experiences from the past in conjunction with any anxiety that may be derived from projected impending future events.​

Quantum Wave Function
Try to view your thought process as a water fountain like the one shown in the video above (turn down the sound and just watch the fountain). Thoughts are constantly changing but consistently pouring forth. I think in reality every thought must be the rise and fall of a quantum wave function. It gathers up the energy available within the current system (past, present & future stimuli) and then collapses under the weight of quantum gravity only to gather energy and repeat the process again and again throughout our lives. Our complete life itself could be the rise and collapse of a quantum wave function as could the whole universe. The big bang and everything that is expanding could be the ultimate quantum wave function, the question is, will it collapse or will the universe fizzle out in what physicists call “heat death”?
Either way, the period at the end of this sentence proclaims the collapse of this system of thoughts and words. Now, the rise of a new wave function, fixing my wife some lunch while she slaves away in her jewelry studio. After the collapse of that wave there may be the rise of a wave that involves recording some unfinished songs in the studio. Please let me know if this strikes a chord and pass it on to like minded friends. Or if it is totally incoherent as I am a total newbie at “quantumspeak”, so to speak.  Thanks!


2 responses to “Time and Thought

  1. I think it was Heraclitus that once said that no man could step into the same river twice because both the river and man are never the same. OK, I may be paraphasing here, but I think this is exactly the point Barbour is making. We created “time” to explain everything from seasons to aging. But isn’t it actually motion that is measured? Or better still, change caused by motion. Sure we can break it down to milliseconds so we feel like we are in some sort of control of the situation, that’s what we humans do, but ultimateIy, it is an invention made in an attempt to measure change.

  2. exactly broseph!! But he also takes it one step further. According to the mathematical functions of the “configuration space” in quantum mechanics there is the theory among Barbour and other physicists that even motion is an illusion (this will be another blog altogether, but a quite profound way to look at it). The only thing we determine constitutes motion is the relative changing of positions of physical objects in three dimensional space (the physical world). Time itself is extracted from the duration between the change of an objects position in space. Einstein nailed this with curved space and the supposition that time and space were woven together into one. And since space is curved by external gravitational fields time would be curved as well. But Einstein never tackled “what” time was as a foundational issue. No doubt had he lived longer I think he would have ventured down the path that Barbour is….more to come. But oh yeah!! In the last sentence you nail it bro, It’s our attempt to measure change.

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