The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about the existence of time. I was of the opinion that time does not exist. My friend was finding it hard to comprehend this fact. As a matter of fact, many of us can find it hard to digest that time is merely an illusion created by human mind. I personally found it hard to do until I read about Robert Lanza’s Bio centricity. In this book, he argued, among other things, about the non-existence of time.
My argument is that time and the need for it is merely a creation and a necessity of human mind. We see the world spinning, the sun setting and coming to rise again. This generates in us a need to measure time. Time as such does not exist in the universe.
Consider how time may have been invented. I am not referring from any book on the theory of time or the like. I am just stretching my thought process about what must have happened. I am just going to scribble that down. And I am sure that you will begin to agree with me to a large extent, even if you don’t consider my account as an absolutely accurate history of time.
Human beings have been living on our planet for millennia. And some of the ancient people were really smart. We have heard of Greeks as brilliant philosophers, mathematicians, and thinkers. And then we had Babylonians and Egyptians who were brilliant engineers. Contemplation is generally attributed to Greeks. And there are stories of lives of thinkers like Plato and Aristotle who thought a lot about quite a few things that also includes cosmology.
Contemplation transcended to further generations and we have this famous renaissance era that produced a whole lot of brilliant mathematicians, astronomers, and physicists. And such contemplative traditions have transcended to this day.
When man is confronted with the sequential observations of the sun setting after dawn, and rising again in the morning or of shifting of a star or a galaxy from its previous position of observation to a new one, a certain dire and immediate need arises to measure the time that has elapsed between two, or a bunch of, sequential events.
Many celestial objects move in harmony with other’s, while other may not. Moreover, their movements or phenomena, such as a heavenly explosion, in the universe or its aftermath are sequential. Many of our planet’s phenomena are also sequential. Change of weather, the burgeoning of buds, their conversion to flowers, fruition and ripening are all sequential events. They happen one after the other. But this does not imply that time exists. As a matter of fact time not only does not have a material existence, it is not even present immaterially in the universe.
It is a necessity of the human mind that whenever it observes sequential events such as those listed above, it feels compelled to measure the epochs that have passed in between. This dire human need to measure those epochs has given rise to the time measurement systems that we know today.
Humans call the time taken by earth to perform one complete rotation around its center as one day. The day is further divided into hours, minutes, seconds and so on. To measure larger scales of time it was quite helpful to know that one complete revolution of the earth around the sun is a function of its rotation around its own center. This introduced to us the notion of years that can be measured as so many days. And finally, this gave rise to the Julian calander that we know of today.
A great deal of help was lent in inventing time by the inherent harmony in our universe. The universe is largely harmonious and follows certain laws of Physics. The notions of time that we humans have invented, and that was derived to measure this harmony, is just a way to measure that harmony back on different scales and about different parts of the universe. This does not warrant at all the existence of time.
The year 2017 does not have any meaning except for the calendar we follow. It is useful only for timekeeping. Similarly, all the past years and even year 2016 do not exist. The universe just keeps on spinning according to its own laws. It keeps on getting closer and newer stars are born. Our earth keeps on getting older and an unprecedented event jolts it to take a fresh start.
So when we read history, sometimes it can make us nostalgic that such a long time has passed that a certain war or a battle happened. Time, however, has not elapsed on the universal scale. The universe lives in the present moment. It is our minds that give us such impressions of the passing of time. The mind creates this urge to measure time and we think that it really exists in the universe. The only thing we have is the moment by moment experience of life.
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