Sunday, April 22, 2018

What is time?

The first thing to understand is time. "Understand" might be totally wrong. Examine, comprehend, contemplate upon, meditate on time.

If I told someone that they should prepare for a severe storm, the first question they might ask is when is the storm coming? If I tell them "someday", then, their response is "no action". If I tell them, "now", then, there is panic.  Depending on how much time is available, the response changes.

What if I told you that time is an illusion? We cannot really make sense of such an assertion in the example given above.  What if I told that we have infinite time to prepare for a storm even if it is coming "now"? Even as I write these words, I cannot accept them myself logically.  However, I have a strong conviction that this has to make sense if we have to make sense of this whole universe.

The key might be in understanding that our minds are tuned to linear sequences. Our intelligence and logic are grounded in linear terms.  Our perception is linear to most extent.  Can we switch to non-linear modes of thinking? Is this what happens in altered states of consciousness? Even if we change our own perception, that does not imply the rest of the reality will adapt to it.  If a storm is coming "now", I might see it in slow motion, one-thousandth of speed, but the rest of the world may not.

Can one be like the superhero Flash and take charge of the rest of the reality? Maybe. But it does not sound plausible.  Can we collectively become like Flash on demand?  (I keep thinking I should watch the move Arrival again to get my thoughts wrapped around this concept.)   What if we can stretch time infinitely?  What is time?

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