Time

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Post by nandu » Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:08 am

My! This thread has really taken off!

Thanks everybody, for your responses! I'm mulling over the ideas you have presented; truly, JCF associates can take any subject and make a scholarly study out of it. I think many threads here would make good books.

I'm not posting as frequently as I'd like to, as I am hard-pressed for time nowadays. :lol: A project with a very tight schedule has been assigned to me, and I can't convince my boss about the essentially illusory nature of time! :wink:

I'll be back soon...

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Post by noman » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:56 pm

However, accepting this logic makes it at least theoretically possible that knowing the future is much the same as knowing the past, since it all happens in the very same dimension.

- Evinnra
As I said in my last post – the future does – not – exist. You’re just projecting your beliefs – what you want to happen – what you think will happen. But it’s a figment of your imagination – like Tinkerbell, or Darth Vader.

The metaphor you are using for time is erroneous. Suppose I fly from San Francisco to Hawaii – and then from Hawaii to Singapore. If Hawaii represents the present, and the trip from San Francisco to Hawaii represents the past, then the trip from Hawaii to Singapore does NOT represent the future – because it hasn’t happened yet – it does not exist – but in our imaginations.

So you say, well, you may not go to Singapore from Hawaii but something will happen – time will go on. But why does time have to go on? We believe it will go on. But it may not. And there is no way to justify our belief. Simply to say it has always gone on in the past is using inductive reasoning. That’s like saying I’ve seen 10,000 swans and they are all white, so every swan I see will have to be white. It ain’t necessarily so.

But Time does exist without any changes occurring, because time is a dimension that does not require changes for its existence.

- Evinnra
How do you know? Have you lived in a Universe where there was no change ever – that had no beginning, and that had no end? I would say that in such a universe the words beginning and end would have no meaning – because time simply wouldn’t exist. Such a universe may have other dimensions, but not the ‘dimension’ of time. No change – no time. – NoMan
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Post by nandu » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:40 am

NoMan,

Time slows down and approaches zero as speed approaches that of light: so theoretically, time will be nonexistent for a person travelling at the speed of light. So logically, time should "flip" when the speed of light is crossed; so the thinking goes. However, this is not borne out by physics because faster than light velocities are generally not considered possible.

As for the future being nonexistent...

If we take Stephen Hawking's model of finite yet unbounded time, it seems that all possible futures and pasts exist, sort of like a globe. What we call history is only a geography of the time globe. We are prevented from seeing the future because we travel unidirectionally. It is not that the future doesn't exist, it exists in a variety of possibilities, of which only one continuum is experienced by us. This is a pet theme of SF writers; see Murray Leinster's Sidewise in Time and He Walked Around the Horses by H. Beam Piper. Interestingly, we have the concept of "Trikala Jnani" (One who experiences all three tenses of time) in Hindu mythology.

So I ask (even though I am a skeptic myself): is future memory possible?

Evinnra,

Does time exist if there are absolutely no change anywhere?

As I mentioned in some of my earlier posts, the way our consciousness perceives time is very important. And we understand that there is a physical time which is independent of the feeling of time because sometimes we look at the clock and say: "Oh! How time flew!" This is why I posed my question of about the hypothetical beings of pure consciousness who have a sense only of the NOW. Let's place them in a universe where there's absolutely no change occurring; does time exist there?

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Post by Evinnra » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:05 pm

noman wrote:
As I said in my last post – the future does – not – exist. You’re just projecting your beliefs – what you want to happen – what you think will happen. But it’s a figment of your imagination – like Tinkerbell, or Darth Vader.

The metaphor you are using for time is erroneous. Suppose I fly from San Francisco to Hawaii – and then from Hawaii to Singapore. If Hawaii represents the present, and the trip from San Francisco to Hawaii represents the past, then the trip from Hawaii to Singapore does NOT represent the future – because it hasn’t happened yet – it does not exist – but in our imaginations.

So you say, well, you may not go to Singapore from Hawaii but something will happen – time will go on. But why does time have to go on? We believe it will go on. But it may not. And there is no way to justify our belief. Simply to say it has always gone on in the past is using inductive reasoning. That’s like saying I’ve seen 10,000 swans and they are all white, so every swan I see will have to be white. It ain’t necessarily so.
NoMan,

Certainly, on any occasion when we think about future events we are using inductive reasoning. However, it is the events that are reasoned for inductively not the dimension in which they will occur. If they occur there is a dimension in which they occur. You seem to be arguing that just because past events occurred in time we inductively reason that future events will also occur in time and this is why projecting the existence of time into the future is inductive reasoning. Right? If this is your claim then accepting that present perception is actually happening becomes inductive reasoning as well instead of being a priori knowledge. Then we are in all sorts of trouble. Pyrrhonism does not appeal to me the least bit but you could always try to convince me that you are not reading this message. 8)

But Time does exist without any changes occurring, because time is a dimension that does not require changes for its existence.

- Evinnra

How do you know? Have you lived in a Universe where there was no change ever – that had no beginning, and that had no end? I would say that in such a universe the words beginning and end would have no meaning – because time simply wouldn’t exist. Such a universe may have other dimensions, but not the ‘dimension’ of time. No change – no time. – NoMan
Well, I could say that yes, we are living in THE universe where there are no changes, no beginning and no end. (That is: not real changes. The Parmenidean view.) Could I boldly claim then that in this changeless universe what perception does is merely jumping between impulses available and creating the illusion of time and matter? But what you stating is that if there were a universe without any changes the words ‘beginning’ and ‘end’ would have no meaning at all. True! Since a universe like that would have no perception either it would not have any meaning for ‘beginning’ or ‘end’. But how could you be sure that time would not be present?


By the way, I do not believe I’ve ever claimed that time ‘goes’ as I tend to think that time simply is. :)

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Post by Evinnra » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:17 pm

Nandu,

If there is a universe then there is time. If there is no universe there is time. If there is no time then there is nothing that IS. How does this sound to you? :roll:

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Post by nandu » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:52 am

Evinnra,

If I understand correctly, what you are stating here is that time is an independent entity different from motion, consciousness, and existence in general.

The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy categorises time as physical, biological and psychological. The physical time is the one measured by the clock: biological time, by the processes of nature: and psychological time, by our minds. Thinking about this, I came to the following conclusions:
  • 1. Time is measured through motion. In fact, if there were no motion at all, it'd be impossible to know time. This is true for biological time also.

    2. We have a sense of time because of memory. Because we remember that "something has happened", we experience a past, separate from "what is happening". Since we know there is a past and present, we assume that there is a future, which will become the present when the current present becomes the past.
Now we can see that the "passage of time" is a function of our consciousness as well as motion. Again, we can translate the latter to our perception of motion.

So it follows that the way human beings are "built" allows them to perceive time.

This was the reason for my earlier question. In my hypothetical universe, there is no change and no memory, therefore there is no perception of time (we presume that consciousness exists, through our hypothetical beings with absolutely no memory). Since there is no way to measure it, and no feeling of its passage, how do we prove that time exists in this universe?

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Post by Aireal » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:51 pm

Creekmary

Yes it did slow my butt down a bit. For some time before the age of 30, I was actively trying to change my future from what I saw. A critical turning point came in 1985 when I altered a significant turning point in my life. I did not marry and have children with the woman of my visions. When we first meet at a party, I altered the seating arrangements so a friend of mine was next to her instead of me. It was an informal affair with no set seating arrangements.

Funny thing is, she noticed it at the time. She looked at me and said, "aren't you supposed to be sitting here?" My friend and her got together that night, were married within a couple of months, and had children.

After that, I had no more visions of my future, it had changed. More-ever other psychics could not read my future either. All they see is a burst of white light. Divination of any form no longer works for me or on me. An unexpected result of escaping my future.


Noman

The scientific concept of travelling backwards in time by exceeding the speed of light is about 50 years old or more. It was probably the inspiration for the superman and star trek travel through time. On show of star trek even encountered a race that used Tachyon drive for faster than light travel. Also when we look at the night sky, we are seeing the past, not the present.

More recently, I have a young Internet friend, Mansouryar at http://www.mansouryar.com/ , who has developed a theory on that allows time travel and travel through wormholes. Still a young lad, he has been hailed as the next Einstein. The math he uses is so complex that only the greatest known mathematician's can barely follow his work. I have high hopes for his future.

Science does indeed hold the concept of future time. In fact the theory of light is based on it. A photon of light travels through all possible futures to arrive at its destination with the least amount of energy spent.

Could this not also be the source of Daja Vu. Photons record pictures of their travel through all possible futures. When the photon arrives at us, it carries information about these possible futures in the form of a snapshot, or vision. This would also help explain why when psychics try to see my future, all they get is a blast of white light.


Evinnra
I quite agree. Time exists whether we are there to observe it or not. Time passed even before there were particles with their internal atomic clocks in the early universe. That is why time is given its own dimension in math. Time is an independent entity. Related to motion and consciousness, but not dependent on them.

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Post by nandu » Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:27 am

Aireal wrote:Time exists whether we are there to observe it or not. Time passed even before there were particles with their internal atomic clocks in the early universe. That is why time is given its own dimension in math. Time is an independent entity. Related to motion and consciousness, but not dependent on them.
Aireal, can you prove that time exists if we are not there to mark its passage?

I'd also like an answer to my earlier question: the one about the hypothetical beings with no memory.

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Post by Aireal » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:01 am

Nandu

Yes, look at the geology of the earth, fossil remains. Time had to pass for these things to happen, does not matter if someone is there to witness time passing or not. Light from a star may take a million years to reach us, who watched this journey. Science could not exist without this basic concept, we would still be in the stone age otherwise.

To say otherwise is a great reach. I am having a hard enough time just proving that time is not curved to the scientific community.

Hence the hypothetical man with no memory would see life only on the present. Not much to discuss there, and endless moment.

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Post by noman » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:29 am

Well – if we are using physicists as authorities on this (and there’s nothing says we have to) – but if we are, they say there was no time before the big bang – there was no space either. Space and time came into being 13.7 billion years ago according to these nut cases.

But the hardest concept doesn’t require modern physics at all. In fact, I got it from David Hume. The hardest concept for people to grasp is that the future – future time – doesn’t exist but in our imaginations. Evinnra suggests that the present or past may just as well be imaginary. But that is entirely different.

However, all people in all cultures think the future is real. Every culture has soothsayers, prophets, fortune-tellers. I once read the Chinese referred to the future as ‘the sealed mouth of heaven.’ In the West we talk about the Fates. Even the gods were wary of the Fates.

I’ll try to convince you all that there is no future with an example. Suppose you watch movies every night with a very young child.

The first film you watch is Apollo 13. You, being the older and wiser are asked if the story is a true story. And you say, “yes – this really happened”. We know it happened because we have corroborating evidence. It doesn’t mean every single word and action in the film actually happened but it is close enough to what we believe actually happened as to not let the inaccuracies bother us.

The next night you watch the film Ever After – the Cinderella story with Drew Barrymore and you get the same question, “It this a true story?” And you say, ‘No’. There may be a sliver of truth – France once had a kings and queens, people got around on horses, and the Americas were not a desirable place to go. But – we can ignore the truths and say the tale is a product of the imagination.

The next night it’s the film The Titanic. Same question. And you say, ‘Well, yes and no.’ There really was a ship named the Titanic that hit an iceberg on this night in 1912, on its maiden voyage – but there was no Rose or Cappy. So you explain to your inquisitive friend that it’s a mixture of truth derived from memory and corroborating evidence and fantasy derived from a scriptwriter’s imagination.

On the fourth night, you watch a Star Trek movie – star date such and such in the 23’d century CE. And you get the same question, “Is this a true story?’”

“No”, you say, “This story takes place 200 years from now.”

“But is it true?”

“No, it can’t be because it hasn’t happen yet. It’s make-believe.”

“Is the Titanic ship make-believe?”

“No, the Titanic was real”

“Is Apollo 13 spaceship make-believe?”

“No, Apollo 13 was real.”

“The is the Star ship real?”

“No”

“But why? They’re all ships.”

“Because the future exists only in our imaginations. We don’t have memories and corroborating evidence to support the existence of the future. Empirical evidence of future events doesn’t exist because it can’t exist. We human beings like to think of the future as being real because it helps us prepare for it. We evolved to think of the future as being just as real as the past. But there is no logical reason for us to believe that a future exists save for in our imaginations. We believe in it intuitively. David Hume figured this out in the 18th century but no one understood what he was talking about until Immanuel Kant a generation later.”

“Can we have ice cream now?”

* * * * * * *

The illusion of a ‘real’ future is so powerful and potent that we have a word for remembering the future: precognition. We pre-cognize images of the future rather than re-cognize images of the past

All stories have some passage of time. True stories are always stories that ‘have’ happened. True stories do not take place in the future. Nor do they take place ‘once upon a time’. And those special stories, those stories that reach myth status – usually – not always – but usually, are stories that mix truth, a true past, with our imaginations. Explain that.

- NoMan




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Post by nandu » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:45 pm

I do not have any doubt at all TIME, and its ARROW (the forward direction) exists for us. But does it exist as an absolute if change and conscousness are not there?

Fossil remains are evidence of biological change.

Time's arrow is innately linked to our existence, and our perception of it.

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Post by Aireal » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:25 am

Nandu

Your stance, that time does not exist without consciousness is not new. That view has been put forward many times in the last 7000 years. It was most likely debated even before then, we just did not have writing back then to record it. It will most likely be debated over and over again for the next 7000 years.

I am a scientist and a shaman, but not a philosopher. This question about time and consciousness is a philosophical matter. Science has answered it to its satisfaction. My view as a shaman also agrees with the view of science. While I dearly love a good discussion, philosophy is outside my realm of expertise. Besides, I am deep into the construction of a formal scientific paper at this time, which partly deals with time, and it requires much of my time, so my time on this thread will be brief.

If you or someone else wants to talk about some of the other aspects of time, I will try to spare some time to join in.


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Post by nandu » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:11 am

What happens when we dream?

Science tells us that our dream periods are extremely brief (of the order of a few seconds), yet we spend lifetimes in them. The "length" of dreams is an illusion, science says. If we think deeply about it, it is actually the memory of the dream that has temporal existence. We have experienced "this much", so it must have taken "this long".

It is no coincidence, I think, that many cultures have a concept of "Dreamtime".

http://www.crystalinks.com/dreamtime.html

This is the "Time before time", when all myth happened: born out of the dreaming consciousness, this time has no past, present or future. Interesting to see that the aboriginals differentiated it from "Real Time"!

Joe Campbell said that myths were public dreams and dreams were private myths. This prompts me to think of a "time" before the evolution of individual consciousness, when all was the Brahman and the Brahman was all... only thing is that "before" has no meaning in this context! Are we returning to the timelessness of dreamtime when we sleep? Frightening, and exhilarating at the same time.

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Post by Aireal » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:14 pm

Nandu
Sorry I have been absent for a while. I have been too wrapped up in my scientific research. "Much learning hath made me mad." to quote an old saying. Of course I will soon return to my scientific investigations, I just can't help myself it seems.

The time dilation seen in dreams is easy to explain scientifically. Thoughts move at the speed of light as they are electrical in nature. In real life, our speed is MUCH slower. plus there is the time dilation at high speed as shown in Special Relativity. When we are awake, we slow down our thoughts as they enter the conscience part of our brain, which is not active while sleeping.

So dream-time is much faster than real time, as we perceive it. So you see the aboriginals are quite correct in their view of dream-time.

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Post by The Cove » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:45 pm

Greetings -

Idiot bound by logical thinking.

Idiot bound by illogical thinking.

Is there a knowable future?

Yes.

Wake up and smell the moment.

Take a look at your hands Aireal.

They shall be there tomorrow.

Even if you cease.

Those hands will be there tomorrow.

To know the future is just the act of paying attention to a faster aspect of time.

The paying attention part is not a common occurence among folk - but it holds it's place.

Your statements work within a model of conception.

Your model is limited.

Luck.
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