Perceptions of Time : Part 2 – Metaphors for Describing Time
Last blast from the past (29th March, 2012). This post is almost irrelevant when you consider Dude’s proclamations that there is only space and my experience with him taking me through time – in which he literally seemed to create reality.
“WARNING : THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS CONFUSING INFORMATION THAT MAY CAUSE FRUSTRATION AND NEUROLOGICAL DISTURBANCES.
In this post I wanted to say a little about how we describe time. You may remember that in part 1, I suggested that I don’t believe that time is an objective phenomenon. I’d go so far as to say that time is an entirely subjective phenomenon. So I want to explore that perspective. I don’t want to say anything about time being an objective phenomenon, except to say that I can’t rule out that that is a component of the overall phenomenon.
To start with I want you to consider how we measure time. In simple terms we measure time by the movement of the sun – or more specifically, the speed at which our planet moves around the sun. From that we’ve created what I think is an arbitrary system of years, months, weeks, hours, minutes, seconds and parts of seconds. Days, well they’re a little less clear as to whether they are entirely arbitrary. The notion of a day representing 1 rotation around the sun, seems pretty much a fact but the number of hours and minutes that takes – is based on their own arbitrary nature and how we’ve chosen to define them. Since ancient times, we have developed everything from the menhir/monolith and sundial, to the Nuremberg eggs, the modern clock and now the atomic clock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_clock) . They all pretty much measure the same thing but on a different scales, with recent things like atomic clocks measuring time with greater precision than ever.
Einstein demonstrated that time is relative to the viewer who is experiencing time and most people take that to be true. Whether it is or not remains to proven yeah or nah ! But what happens when we go to some other place in the universe. Lets say we go to the space between planets or between solar systems or between galaxies. Sure we can measure the amount of time we were away or calibrate our clocks to the time of the place we left using the exact same units of measurement but how has time actually moved ? And what happens if we go to another planet with a different orbit around its sun. If it takes 300 years (in Earth terms) to rotate around a sun for one cycle – what does that really mean in time. Can we cross-reference and use an Earth comparison to work out how long it takes to move around that sun in one cycle. I don’t think we can ? Remember time appears to be relative. So how then do I measure how long a day (one rotation of the planet) takes ? Do I compare with Earth rotations or is there a more universal standard ? Or, as I suspect is there a subjective measure ?
Here’s another example. The Teal’hia tell me it sometimes takes about 3 days for them to travel from their Galaxy to Earth. I don’t understand how they do it because they would have to travel many times the speed of light to do so or have wormholes or alter the time space continuum some how. But anyway, how do they measure time ? How can they tell me it takes 3 days to get from there to here ? Is there a way to translate one set of times to another set of times – in other words translate how long it would take in their units to our units ? Or is it simpler than that. They know what time it is for us when they leave and when they arrive. What if they are measuring time subjectively. And if somehow they feel time with their minds, rather than measuring it ?
So what about the differences in terrestrial time vs space-time vs orbit time ? Terrestrial time is used to measure objects in space from Earth. Space time is a time that we COULD use to measure objects in space from space. Orbit time is time measured in orbit. Won’t all of these vary according to location and the length of a rotation of a planetary body. And then, won’t they vary according to how we measure them ?
Some other methods of measuring time such as Barycentric Dynamic Time, measure things other than the Earth relation to the sun but they still depend on an expression of units in using Earth bound time (seconds and so on).
No single method for measuring time, defines time by a universal standard. Instead all time is defined by the location of the observer. Time appears as Einstein said, to be relative to location. So what does that mean for our perception of time. Well first, I don’t think we can say there is an objective thing called time – as it appears to differ all throughout the universe, in accordance to the observer and his position and cultural manifestation of understanding time.
So looking at time from a purely subjective perspective. Time appears to manifest as a logical sequence of events – whatever they might be on whatever scale we want to look at, from the microscopic (sub atomic particles) to the macroscopic (galaxies, galaxy clusters and entire regions of space). But in order to have any coherence as a sequence of events, what we perceive must be interpreted by the brain and the mind. I can’t even begin to talk about that process but let me say that the brain appears to create perception from the movement of electrons, ions and molecules inside; between neurons and in the movement of water within microtubules and the activation of higher order process from RNA and DNA (such as the formation of peptides). Mind appears to be some kind of manifestation of subtle energy created by the brain but it is unclear as to whether this manifestation, includes only energies created by the brain or the brain plus everything else in the universe. Within the brain, there appears to be the movement of a sequence of events. But can we say that is true of mind ? I think it’s both !
Feeling confused and lost ? Join the club ! I don’t think anyone can understand this notion of time !
What I think we can all agree on is that there is a perception of now. Some undefinable moment (however small we choose to define) that seems to be all that exists. As if time is for an instant static and unflowing and non directional. The now is almost timeless (which I think it is). Then we have this perception fo the pat and the future. Think of an infinity sign – with the past on the left and the future on the right.
Our perception of past and future, moves like some kind of Like some kind of strange attractor – our perceptions swing between these two phenomenon. And when our minds remain still, we collapse the phenomenon into the Now. There is a kind of potential to see a large number of variations in the past and the future. But if we look at the past in terms of historical events – there is only one past. But our individual perceptions of the past vary, according to a huge number of variables – like how we’re feeling, whether we were traumatized, how the event made us feel, how many points of view we’ve considered or heard, what time of day it is, our thoughts, our energy, how tired we are, whether we like or dislike what happened or who was
involved, our conditioning etc. The future however, is a different story. Our perception appears to suggest that the future does not exist. We can anticipate and predict the future based on past patterns, probabilities and potentialities but nothing is certain. Recent advances in understanding consciousness, such as holodynamics and remote viewing would suggest that the future does exist. But what none of these can say is how it exists. The future, as yet unmanifest to our general state of perception and consciousness, appears to exist, when we allow the mind to expand and reach out beyond its normal confines.
What we have realised is that time is uncertain. There are almost an infinite number of potentialities. Potentialities depend on variables. In humans, such potentialities (potential outcomes) depend on choices. Every choice can yield a different potentiality. To know the future, we don’t necessary need to know all the variables that went into creating different potentialities, we only need to know an approximation of when we seek.
A small diversion. Much of our language (especially syntax) and subsequently our perception, is shaped by the context of time that is built into a specific language. Linguistic relativity how language affects perceptions and conceptualization of the world, depends largely on how time is expressed. Different cultures express time differently and subsequently perceive time differently. To give you a very basic example, the first nations people fo Australia, talk about the Dreaming (which has been largely bastardized in recent times). In traditional interpretations, the dreaming is a pattern of creation that is ongoing. It has not finished. It has happened, it is still happening and it has happened all at once. But contemporary interpretations see The Dreaming in a linear sequence from the beginning of time. Temporal descriptions vary largely across cultures and this is important to note because just as we have diversity in temporal descriptions on Earth (and subsequently different perceptions and conceptions of time), there are an almost infinite ways of describing time and perceiving nd conceiving time throughout evolved races across the universe. And as humans, we should be careful that we don’t limit our understanding of the universe and alien races, by our limited understanding of how we describe or understand time.
And without even expanding our horizons to include an alien POV, what about the perception of time by plants and animals. Surely it must be vastly different. And what relationship exists between the perception of time and how long we live ? What does time mean to a butterfly or a mosquito, relative to a tortoise or an elephant ?
That said, I want to be a hypocrite and stick with a limited view of time because that’s all I know.
Let’s come back to the future and potentialities. If there is no fixed factual way of describing time, is there a metaphor for describing time as a subjective phenomenon (whether it includes an objective reality or not) ? I don’t know if there is an accurate metaphor but here are some possibilities :
- Time is a braid – it twists and turns. There are separate time lines that emerge from individual critical nodes.
- Time is a fractal. Each individual choice and event creates an infinite number of branches or time lines of potentialities or actualities. This idea supports the infinite parallel worlds idea.
- Time is a manifold – an ever branching topological space with X number of dimensions. Each individual manifold has its own set of spatial dimensions and therefore creates its own time or dimensions of time.
- Time is a dimension – just as space as there are 3 spatial dimensions, time has its own dimensions – forwards, backwards and goes knows what else. If time has only one dimension, then there is only one future. More dimensions of time, may create more futures.
- Time is memory. All matter is composed of nothingness. On one level everything is nothing. On another relative level, all matter comes from the same source. All is one, is all interconnected. If everything exists at all times, all things containing nothingness (coming from the source) – contain a memory of all time. In the human mind, this memory comes from the memories within the smallest parts of matter and energy. Neither mind nor brain are separate from source and they contain a memory of all things, including all time.
There are probably hundreds of metaphors that are appropriate for describing time. Some of these metaphors of time are a subjective phenomenon but most (and reality as it really is) may well be a combination of both subjective and objective phenomenons.
When we realise that there are many different potential metaphors for describing time, both subjective and subjective and objective – we realise that there is always going to a question of which metaphor best describes reality and I think the only way that we can narrow down that answer is to look at the evidence that has arisen from thousands of years of intense persona processes (such as meditation and other methods for creating altered states of consciousness) and the evidence that continues to arise from cutting edge studies in consciousness – such as the impact of anaesthetics on consciousness and perception and processes that encourage the expansion of consciousness such as remote viewing, the use of the 3rd eye and journeying.
Thanks for getting this far. I’m afraid I can’t describe these systems for measuring time or understanding time any better than this, because I am neither mathematician or physicist or a philosopher but as my lowly intelligence understands it – time as we understand it, seems to be an illusion.
You can read more about the measurement of time and the impact of language on perception here :