It’s About Time

One notion I keep on bumping into in the course of my reading is that time is an illusion, a man-made construct. This hypothesis, increasingly embraced by theoretical physicists, holds that there is no past or future. There is only now, the present moment, which serves as the portal to infinity. Everything that has happened, everything that ever will happen, is happening now.

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.
Albert Einstein

This concept has been around for quite some time (meaning, I suppose, that it has always been, and will always be, around). For instance, Kurt Vonnegut wrote in his 1959 masterpiece, The Sirens of Titan, ” . . . everything that ever has been always will be, and everything that ever will be always has been.” Trying to make sense of the idea that time is an illusion makes my brain hurt.


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7 Responses to “It’s About Time”

  1. Kim Wencl Says:

    I’ve gotta weigh in again Phil … as usual I have something to say! Time is an illusion … all time is, is a measuring system for us so we can interact with others in some sort of measured way, and we all use the same time concept, so when we agree to meet at 7 pm we each show up at the right time! Time makes the world run smoother and be less chaotic. But there is no time in the spirit world.

    Applying it to my own life and in the context of my daughter Liz … she died 5 years ago … sometimes that time frame feels like yesterday and sometimes it feels like 100 years ago … and both of those feelings are exactly the same – yesterday feels just like 100 years ago.

    Everything I’ve learned about this I’ve learned from Kathryn Harwig … and she says that the concept is that if everything is now, then we all have the ability to change the past and the future. I can see how you can change the future because it hasn’t happened yet, but how can we change the past? That concept is too large for my brain to figure out, and Kathryn didn’t know either so that made me feel better!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, I understand all this . . . to a point. If this reality is an illusion then certainly time would be part of that illusion. But within this material existence, the passage of time cannot be denied.

    It’s true that our perspective can seemingly alter the passage of time. For example, 30 seconds can seem like a blip or an eternity depending on which side of the bathroom door you’re on! But that doesn’t mean that those 30 seconds are ticking off at a different rate than they normally do. It’s our own experience that colors our interpretation to them.

  3. Kim Says:

    exactly – the measurement of time doesn’t change … but our PERCEPTION of the measurement does, depending entirely upon our circumstance at that particular moment in time.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Actually, experiments based on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity proved that time can be manipulated. Not by much, but the results were inarguable.

  5. Phil Says:

    time is what keeps everything from happening at once.

    “Space is what prevents everything from happening to me!”

    John Wheeler wasn’t it?

  6. Phil Ricketts Says:

    Phil Ricketts not Phil Bolsta

  7. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Ha! I like it, Phil! Thanks!

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