|Art by JACK KIRBY. Copyright relevant owner|
Monday, 1 April 2019
EXCUSE ME, DO YOU HAVE THE TIME?
Time. Does it exist, or is it merely a human perception? Is it simply a contrived 'device' by which we measure our lives in the same way that a tape-rule measures size, or is it an objective, definite reality? Is an object an inch because we say it's an inch, or because calling it an inch makes manufacturing things more convenient for us. Likewise, is an hour an hour because we call it an hour, or is it only part of one big 'now', which we've mentally divided into segments the better to navigate our way through it?
Imagine a chessboard with living, sentient chess pieces. Now imagine tipping that board over and watching the pieces topple. If you're looking down on the entire chessboard, do you see things happen in the same way that the pieces do? No, you see the full picture, the pieces see only part of the picture because their view is obstructed by other pieces, and their experience of the event is shaped by their spacial constraints which are on a more limited level than yours. Is it the same with time? Is that why, to an adult, the month leading up to Christmas flies by, whereas, to a child, it seems like an eternity? It's the exact same length of time, but the perceptions of it are different. Which perception is the 'true' one - or might it be both or neither?
Imagine for a moment that God exists. When I say 'imagine', I don't mean to dogmatically imply that He doesn't, I'm merely allowing for the possibility that you may not believe so. And when I say God, I don't mean any specific theological idea of God, I merely mean a supreme being who is not subject to the same limitations as the rest of us, who is outside of time and space, and who brought everything into existence. Whether or not He cares about or interacts with His creation or is indifferent to it, for the purpose of this discussion, is neither here nor there. With that in mind, consider this:
What if everything - past, present and future - is, as I suggested earlier, simply one big now, which this God can see happening all at the one time, but we, because of the way we're made, can only experience bit by bit? In something like the same way an entire movie exists on a DVD, but which we can only experience as it plays. To push the analogy further - we only have one screen on which to view that movie, but God has countless screens on which He can see every second of it at the one time. Impossible you say? Well, there has to be some advantages to being God, and if you were watching a movie that lasted 90 minutes, and had a separate screen for every second of that 90 minutes, then theoretically, every second of the entire movie would be available to you at (more or less) the exact same moment.
But how can the 'future' exist if it hasn't happened yet? Good question. However, if there's no actual past or future but only one big present, what if a 'delay button' (figuratively speaking) on our sensory perceptions creates the illusion (to us) that we're further behind in our experience of our lives than we actually are? So my life in the scheme of things might already be over, but my 'conscious' mind has yet to catch up to that fact. Is such a thing possible? Bear in mind that you'd have to be aware of absolutely everything that is or isn't possible before you could answer with any kind of certainty (or authority).
Anyway, sadly I have no answers, only questions, but it's interesting subject on which to speculate, don't you think? Your thoughts, theories, and fancies are most welcome - assuming that I've expressed myself in a cogent and intelligible way. And, of course, if you have the time.
Posted by Kid at Monday, April 01, 2019