the un·real·ity of time

Removing the concept of “time” from  our ontological processes is a radical step towards large scale consciousness. For the more one studies the very assertion that time is “real”, the more difficult it becomes to actually substantiate what constitutes an absolute value.  The best minds of the pioneering field of quantum physics were daunted by this oblique concept—a concept which we humans insist is “real”.

John Wheeler (1911-2008), the physicist who coined the terms, “black hole” and “wormhole”, framed it in entirely subjective terms: “Time Is What Prevents Everything From Happening At Once…Space is what prevents everything from happening to me!”

Metaphysician and philosopher, John Ellis Taggart (1866-1929), wrote in “The Unreality of Time” (1908), that our perception of time is an illusion. The article, published in the 1908 Mind: A Quarterly Review of Psychology and Philosophy , opens with this statement:
“It doubtless seems highly paradoxical to assert that Time is unreal, and that all statements which involve its reality are erroneous. Such an assertion involves a far greater departure from the natural position of mankind than is involved in the assertion of the unreality of Space or of the unreality of Matter. So decisive a breach with that natural position is not to be lightly accepted. And yet in all ages the belief in the unreality of time has proved singularly attractive.”

“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

— Sir Isaac Newton

The work of Julian Barbour has significantly advanced these late 19th, early 20th century concepts by modeling time and relativity around Ernst Mach’s arguments of relative motion and the dynamic effects of the universe. Barbour echoes, and expands Mach’s statement:
“It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction at which we arrive through the changes of things.”

Barbour adds: “…time as such does not exist but only change. The quantum universe is likely to be static. Motion and the apparent passage of time may be nothing but very well founded illusions.”

 The Sanskrit word, māyā (“illusion) , as found in the Vendanta, says, that the universe cannot be reduced to a concept or word for the ordinary mind to manipulate. Rather, the human experience and mind are themselves a tiny fragment of this truth. Herein we are confronted with the fractal aspects of the human consciousness…the truth is inside you.

Julian Barbour 
The Unreality of Time – John Ellis Mctaggart 
John Wheeler – Wikipedia 
John Ellis McTaggart – Wikipedia
Ernst Mach – Wikipedia

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>