By February 3, 2015 36 Comments Read More →

There Is No Time. There Never Was and There Never Will Be

timeJosh Richardson, Prevent Disease
Waking Times

Everything exists in the present moment and it’s a fundamental principle of the Universe that many of our scientists are still trying to grasp. Time does not actually exist and Quantum Theory proves it. There are things that are closer to you in time, and things that are further away, just as there are things that are near or far away in space. But the idea that time flows past you is just as absurd as the suggestion that space does.

The trouble with time started a century ago, when Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity demolished the idea of time as a universal constant. One consequence is that the past, present, and future are not absolutes. Einstein’s theories also opened a rift in physics because the rules of general relativity (which describe gravity and the large-scale structure of the cosmos) seem incompatible with those of quantum physics (which govern the realm of the tiny).

According to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, there is no way to specify events that everyone can agree happen simultaneously. Two events that are both “now” to you will happen at different times for anyone moving at another speed. Other people will see a different now that might contain elements of yours – but equally might not.

The result is a picture known as the block universe: the universe seen from that impossible vantage point outside space and time. You can by all means mark what you think is “now” with a red dot, but there is nothing that distinguishes that place from any other, except that you are there. Past and future are no more physically distinguished than left and right.

The equations of physics do not tell us which events are occurring right now–they are like a map without the “you are here” symbol. The present moment does not exist in them, and therefore neither does the flow of time. Additionally, Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity suggest not only that there is no single special present but also that all moments are equally real.


Some four decades ago, the renowned physicist John Wheeler, then at Princeton, and the late Bryce DeWitt, then at the University of North Carolina, developed an extraordinary equation that provides a possible framework for unifying relativity and quantum mechanics. But theWheeler-­DeWitt equation has always been controversial, in part because it adds yet another, even more baffling twist to our understanding of time.

“One finds that time just disappears from the Wheeler-DeWitt equation,” says Carlo Rovelli, a physicist at the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille, France. “It is an issue that many theorists have puzzled about. It may be that the best way to think about quantum reality is to give up the notion of time–that the fundamental description of the universe must be timeless.”

One might say that when we better understand consciousness we will better understand time. Consciousness is the formless, invisible field of energy of infinite dimension and potentiality, the substrate of all existence, independent of time, space, or location, of which it is independent yet all inclusive and all present. It encompasses all existence beyond all limitation, dimension, or time, and registers all events, no matter how seemingly miniscule, such as even a fleeting thought. The interrelationship between time and consciousness from the human perspective is limited, when in fact it is unlimited.

There Is No Such Thing As Time

Julian Barbour’s solution to the problem of time in physics and cosmology is as simply stated as it is radical: there is no such thing as time.

“If you try to get your hands on time, it’s always slipping through your fingers,” says Barbour. “People are sure time is there, but they can’t get hold of it. My feeling is that they can’t get hold of it because it isn’t there at all.” Barbour speaks with a disarming English charm that belies an iron resolve and confidence in his science. His extreme perspective comes from years of looking into the heart of both classical and quantum physics. Isaac Newton thought of time as a river flowing at the same rate everywhere. Einstein changed this picture by unifying space and time into a single 4-D entity. But even Einstein failed to challenge the concept of time as a measure of change. In Barbour’s view, the question must be turned on its head. It is change that provides the illusion of time. Channeling the ghost of Parmenides, Barbour sees each individual moment as a whole, complete and existing in its own right. He calls these moments “Nows.”

“As we live, we seem to move through a succession of Nows,” says Barbour, “and the question is, what are they?” For Barbour each Now is an arrangement of everything in the universe. “We have the strong impression that things have definite positions relative to each other. I aim to abstract away everything we cannot see (directly or indirectly) and simply keep this idea of many different things coexisting at once. There are simply the Nows, nothing more, nothing less.”

Barbour’s Nows can be imagined as pages of a novel ripped from the book’s spine and tossed randomly onto the floor. Each page is a separate entity existing without time, existing outside of time. Arranging the pages in some special order and moving through them in a step-by-step fashion makes a story unfold. Still, no matter how we arrange the sheets, each page is complete and independent. As Barbour says, “The cat that jumps is not the same cat that lands.” The physics of reality for Barbour is the physics of these Nows taken together as a whole. There is no past moment that flows into a future moment. Instead all the different possible configurations of the universe, every possible location of every atom throughout all of creation, exist simultaneously. Barbour’s Nows all exist at once in a vast Platonic realm that stands completely and absolutely without time.

Our illusion of the past arises because each Now contains objects that appear as “records” in Barbour’s language. “The only evidence you have of last week is your memory. But memory comes from a stable structure of neurons in your brain now. The only evidence we have of the Earth’s past is rocks and fossils. But these are just stable structures in the form of an arrangement of minerals we examine in the present. The point is, all we have are these records and you only have them in this Now.”

Time, in this view, is not something that exists apart from the universe. There is no clock ticking outside the cosmos. Most of us tend to think of time the way Newton did: “Absolute, true and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature, flows equably, without regard to anything external.” But as Einstein proved, time is part of the fabric of the universe. Contrary to what Newton believed, our ordinary clocks don’t measure something that’s independent of the universe.

The word “Mechanics” used in the term “Quantum Mechanics” indicates a machine like predictable, buildable, knowable thing. The Quantum Universe in which we live, whether we want to accept it or not, may seem on the surface to be mechanical and linear but it is not. It is probably better described as an infinite multitude of possible linear actions. If we must give this still mystical process a name lets call it “Quantum Ecology” rather than “Quantum Mechanics” because it is built from within it’s self. Everything comes out of the invisible in the same way as any living organism does.

In quantum mechanics all particles of matter and energy can also be described as waves. And waves have an unusual property: An infinite number of them can exist in the same location. If time and space are one day shown to consist of quanta, the quanta could all exist piled together in a single dimensionless point.

The current predominant world paradigm is that if a thing can not be explained, detailed, analysed and documented by linear scientific thought processes then it’s mumbo jumbo. If you have a spiritual explanation for human existence then your crazy, you’re in dream land. The scientific mindset says everything in the universe must be capable of explanation either now or at some point in the future by scientific analytic methods alone. Science says “In the absence of scientific proof it’s not worth the time discussing. If it can not be put in a box with a label then forget it. Go figure out what box you can put it in, label it, then come back to us and we’ll see if we agree”. Can you see the limitations that this puts on human development?

Quantum particle behavior can not be explained in terms of science alone, that is to say, it can not be explained in terms of the mind because the mind by it’s nature functions on the basis that reality consists of things, things that can be broken down into individual bits of information and explained in a linear mechanical fashion. To realise how flawed this mindset is you must first accept that this is a relative world in which we live and on the conscious level we interact with other human beings and the rest of the universe in a linear fashion. This is the nature of the mind. We must go beyond the mind to access the answers.

According to physics, your life is described by a series of slices of your worm; you as a baby, you as you ate breakfast this morning, you as you started reading this sentence and so on, with each slice existing motionless in its respective time. We generate time’s flow by thinking that the same self that ate breakfast this morning also started reading this sentence.

So do we really need to mourn time’s passing? Einstein, for one, drew solace from the view of the timeless universe he had helped to create, consoling the family of a recently deceased friend: “Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

About the Author

Josh Richardson is blogger, healer, and a constant pursuer of the natural state of human consciousness.

Sources:
popsci.com
discovermagazine.com
imprint.co.uk
wokenmind.com
newscientist.com
scientificamerican.com

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  • Sean

    Special Relativity can be extremely intuitive, if you choose to discover it for yourself. This can then better your understanding of time.

    If you have a grade 10 education, or more, you can independently discover Special Relativity. You can also independently create all of the SR equations. All you need to do, is analyze “motion”. The outcome of this independent work, is the acquiring of a full understanding of Special Relativity, meaning, acquiring a level of understanding which exceeds that which is acquired by the majority.

    Meanwhile, as time passes by, people both write books and create videos about “Understanding Special Relativity”, yet in truth, they all have absolutely nothing to do with understanding.

    Instead, they provide knowledge concerning Special Relativity, thus in turn they simply provide a list of the bizarre outcomes predicted by Special Relativity, and they expose you to the Special Relativity equations.

    Thus you will have learnt “WHAT” happens as the result of special relativity, but not “WHY” it happens.

    If you understand Special Relativity, then you can derive all of the equations yourself.

    If you do not understand Special Relativity, then you can not derive all of the equations yourself.

    If you have your doubts about this, then watch the 9 mini YouTube videos at http://goo.gl/fz4R0I

  • Consciousness Is Spacetime

    Peace Or Mind?

    The Annual Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee since 1901, yet true lasting global peace remains a dream, a hope, a utopia.

    The world is in crisis, which drags us ever closer to the nuclear precipice.

    There remains no choice but to address the fundamental problems of our global dystopia.

    To discover the very roots of it’s unconscious nature.

    Yet until the people begin to realize that the solutions we seek can only be found beyond the intellectual mind.

    Global peace will remain a utopia!

    How many world leaders, artists, scientists, academics, politicians, clergy, celebrities, know themselves?

    Or are even aware that they do not know themselves?

    Knowing oneself is intelligence.

    Intelligence comes from seeing.

    Not from the mind. – thoughts must cease for your intelligence to be.

    Intelligence is consciousness itself.

    Consciousness, being free of thought, is the door to knowing the absolute zero.

    It is ever present within us.

    Intelligence is always in the present.

    “By placing the Hubble’s Space telescope orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere.

    It has allowed Hubble to take extremely high-resolution images of the universe.

    Many of it’s observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics.”

    Uncovering intelligence, from the distortion of mind, allows us to see directly the very nature of reality.

    Fully unlocking the present will release humanity from its entire past of divisions, violence, hatred and war.

    Set intelligence as a universal existential constant.

    Intelligence is a state of no-mind.

    Our whole structure of education is built not on intelligence, but on intellect and competition,

    Only trying to achieve results in the future.

    Never realizing that intelligence is always in the present.

    Education initiates the fever of ambition and the struggle for power.

    Education does not make you more aware, more conscious.

    It simply fills you with information by increasing the power of your memory.

    But while the world and it’s leaders remain oblivious to this truth.

    The implications are enormous.

    The intellect without intelligence awake is one of the most dangerous things in the world.

    And we are living under the danger of intellect.

    Because intellect has given science immense power.

    But the power is in the hands of children, not in the hands of wise people.

    Only by knowing oneself, does a man become wise…

    • All that and you haven’t said a thing.

  • “Past, Present, Future”, all CO-Exist in the following manner: Consciousness, (Present) decides upon a Goal for itself, (Future) and then creates a Physical Foundation to achieve that Goal, (Past). Past Present and Future cannot exist apart, and therefore can never truly be a Subjective Experience. It may, however, cause a Subjective Interpretation, and there is a big difference between those two. I believe that “Time” is a derivative of the belief in “Death”. (when the “Time” is all “Gone”). Without the belief in Death, Humanity would have no reason whatsoever to have discussions about “Time”.

    • mara

      Sounds good. With the present, future, past coexisting like you said, it actually looks like we are creating past and future all the time in he now? Cool 🙂

      • Another way to look at it is that “Future” = Intention and “Past” = Motive. Again, they Co-Exist. Everything Co-Exists…around the Middle!

  • Walter

    The subject of the article is not science, but rather metaphysics. That’s where science seems to be headed to, and that is very disturbing. Science is a system of collecting and ordering observations and establishing a unifying principle that puts them in a general perspective. There is nothing deep about it, even if it is very complicated if one descends to details. In this system time is a necessary component to relate events, and their sequences, to one another. Therefore, time exists in this context. Time, as well as space are also necessary components of life, our life, the existence of the world of reality. Any speculation of the existence or realness of basic notions is therefore no more than a silly play with words. Sophistry may be the tool of choice of lawyers or criminals, but that aims at a fundamentally dishonest concept of life. In science, the goal is to achieve a humanly-possible understanding of reality, not a simulation of god-like existence.

    • Is the Mechanic’s Wrench a functioning part of the Car Engine? “Time” is just a Measuring Stick. A Tool. The Tool that measures Reality must exist apart from that Reality, or else it is not an Objective Device. Time does NOT exist, any more than a Ruler “Exists”…it’s just something we use.

      • Walter

        Time exists in the same manner as the clothes exist you are wearing when going to the bank . You are in this situation objectively not an Emperor Without Clothing.
        So I think that we have no disagreement. There must be something real about time beyond just the concept, how else would the fact be explained that two material bodies can occupy the same piece of space only when”time is different”. I am saying this regardless of quantum mechanical wave theory where everything is everywhere as a probability describe by the wave equation.
        Schopenhauer’s idea encapsulated in the title Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung is satisfactory way of looking at the reality of reality. It leaves room for the psychhological and the physical sides of our world.

        • O.k. O.k…but in order to find the “realty” of Time we have to look at it’s necessary constituents, which would be two (2) individualized forms of awareness, separated by Space, yet observing the same Event. “Time” then would only be the variances of observation, relative to distance and viewing angle, from the “shared observation”. “Time”, then, requires Co-Existing Consciousness, in order to exist in the first place, which would explain both the sense of reality we all share in relation to it, AND the inability to physically manipulate that “reality”.

          • Yes I know I mis-spelled “reality” but I don’t think you can edit these comments after posting them. Please excuse.

          • Anonymous

            Seems that you are reading a lot about the theory of relativity. This theory comes down to mere word play and practically restates the equations of motion in another coordinate system with the impossible parametric condition of c = 300000 km/sec.
            I have to think about your last two sentences. You state something very interesting there, but I still think that, although reality exists for us only through our consciousness, it is nonetheless there, even without any consciousness.

          • Walter

            You appear to read a lot about the theory of relativity; this theory is essentially a tautological restatement of the equations of motions in another coordinate system with the imposition of the arbitrary c=300000 km/sec.
            It is essentially a word game.
            Your last two sentence state something very interesting and I will have to think about it some more, but I still think that, although reality exists for us only through our consciousness, there is still an independent reality of the cosmos, and time, matter, space and events do occur even without our existence.

        • Walter

          I sent out about the same message as Walter and apparently as Anonymous. I thought the first one was lost, and I re-typed it.

  • hp

    “So the Lord, the living entity, material nature and time are all interrelated and are all eternal. However, the other item, karma, is not eternal.”
    Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Introduction

    Kala – Eternal Time

  • keldoone

    Not only is time an illusion… so are the very numbers that are used to supposedly explain what we “think” we know about it…. Especially when our ego decides that we “can prove it” Ironically our capacity to “think” is also an illusion.. And so we have the break down of “science” There are no constants except, apparently, some egos. Light for example is exactly the speed science claims it is – except when it is slower or faster. Therein lies the problem.

  • Mary

    Hehehe!

    I have to laugh about the Einstein example/comment, that people keep bringing up…..as if he was a genius. Einstein was a clown, a plagiarist from Poincare Theory, in the late 1800s.

    ANd anyhow, that’s all it is, theories. The alleged “Einstein’s Theory” – because NO ONE knows. And that’s the hoax of science. THey want to make us, the non-Ph’D’s, believe that they’re geniuses, better than the rest of Humanity, and that they KNOW it all!

    • THANK YOU Mary! Yes…Einstein was a Plagarist and a Joke and the “Michealson-Morley” confirmation of his theories was like the Scientific equivalent of a False Flag incident!

  • Anon

    The talk of no time basically undermines causation and volition. So reluctance weighs in when examination of time indicates there’s really no one examining anything. But even the reluctant don’t choose per se their reluctance–reluctance (the idea of reluctance) just happens. And it appears quite a few folks think, believe, or feel they’re someone, only no time points out there’s no one living out a chain of effects administered or influenced by their will.

    So, maybe, the insane really do run the asylum. Heh heh heh.

  • John Turney

    Time there is no provable workable theory, Gravity there is no provable workable theory, electricity and magnetism there are no provable workable theories Einstein was a plagiarizing patent office clerk! Who’s theories locked physics into a false narrative from which science is still struggling to throw off! tell me what gravity is not the observed effects, tell me what magnetism is not the observed effects, tell me how an electric current produces a magnetic field etc. etc. then I will concede there is real progress! To all the above there are math equations to describe the effects and sometimes predict the effects but nothing to say what they actually are!

  • Martin

    That’s why I don’t own a wristwatch! Although I do have a mobile phone that has some numbers that show me the supposed time of whatever!!

  • Anonymous

    Can you feel time? can you touch it? can you sense it? Can you see it? Although reality is an illusion also time is too. The cosmos does not have a clock, just because we can measure an add the universe by numbers supposedly! does not mean time is real. It is just our way of putting order into chaos and quite a simple way. We have a wrist watch or some other from of time telling but the universe has no time as it just is as it is and scientist measure that by numbers. We will die; so in theory our time/life will expire like the stars some will be reborn others will create, but time is just a Human trait and nothing more.

  • mothman777

    Time is also matter, external time and matter is actually a potency of a different soul, ultimately, in the final analysis, the substance of the Godhead Soul Himself, and not that of ourselves, and when consciousness is expanded, the area of consciousness grows, and when perception of the eternal moment develops to it’s maximum infinite potential for each of us, then we are given by His arrangement to share the timeless cosmic percept of the Godhead with Him, within Him and through Him, even whilst maintaining our distinct eternal individual soul natures alongside the eternal individual soul nature of the cosmic-sized Godhead Soul Himself, He effecting our expanding awareness by progressively dovetailing our awareness of the extremely limited spatial magnitude of our own souls with the relatively massive cosmic area of His own spiritual soul, almost as if each of us ourselves then become a tiny part of His own non-particulate cosmic-sized soul, but without ever actually merging in substance, or ever having to do so to have that awareness.

    This is a type of relationship with the Godhead called Sarshti, in which the Godhead is mentioned in vedic literature as sharing 78% of His cosmic qualities, potencies and opulences with each of those souls who have become perfectly liberated as His loving devotee associates in the spiritual Vaikuntha planets, also sharing 100% of the bliss that He Himself feels with each jiva soul there, so that all enjoy qualities similar to those of God Himself in that state, without having to bear all the responsibility for organizing building material universes and so on, or creating all the events within sequences of material time, within the millions of material universes, which is quite a soft and pleasurable option really.

    This eternal transcendental spiritual relationship between God and all other souls, of inconceivable simultaneous oneness with and difference from the individual Godhead Soul, whilst at the same time eternally maintaining our own individual soul natures in relation to His, is known as Achintya Bhedabheda Tattva.

    More subtle knowledge on time and matter can be found by examining the following spiritual literature;

    http://www.prabhupada.de/Books/pdf/Brahma-Samhita-Complete.pdf

    • WTF are you talking about? Why did you spew all that crap and then throw in “78%” like your being even remotely serious? Wow.

      • mothman777

        That is the vedic calculation, not my own.

        Just like an atom is extremely complex, so is the cosmic spiritual body, not being merely an homogeneous cosmic blob of gloop to suit the demands of human beings, who seem to need in some instances to have to oversimplify these matters so that they can go back to sleep.

        Perhaps you have no opinion either way. But if you do, what might your explanation of time and matter be? You are obviously reading this article and the comments for some reason, and I hope at least that you are not merely the usual troll type, but someone who is genuinely looking for an answer.

        Your words; ‘spewing all that crap’ tells me you have anger issues that you ought to take elsewhere. Try to keep it together, and you might learn something.

        • Not Anger Issues…B.S. Issues. I take these conversations seriously, and I don’t appreciate people bringing up “Mathematical Venusian Magic” that obviously never amounted to much, or the information would have been so cherished by Humanity that it would still be around…you know, like Math. “GodHead”. Grow Up! “God’s” are for Frightened Children!

        • If it’s “Inconceivable One-Ness”, like you said, how is it you are able to talk about it?

          • mothman777

            Your ‘comment’ just doesn’t make any sense at all.

        • Check out this Vocabulary…Sarshti, Vaikuntha, Achintya Bhedabheda Tattva, Jiva,…WHAT? As they say on Guy Code…Get the F*ck outta here!”

          • mothman777

            Really?

  • Antonietta Francini

    There is a difference between manifested “bodies” and unmanifested “souls”…and the difference is only in “language”. No point in writing physically and scientifically about what is the “field” of intuition….No time, no space, universal Cosmic Consciousness eternal and all pervasive is what you “know”… time and space are what you “experience” in this manifestation.

  • Chas

    Time and space, each the measure of the other, do not exist: for one without the other is meaningless; therefore, neither does their child, motion, exist. All is illusion.

    • isnamthere

      Yet, you have to drag your butt out of bed in the morning and go to work.

  • Reckless

    Awesome stuff. Please write more about this subject.

  • Leon

    Science as yet knows NOTHING about TIME !

    Unless you can explain The Akashic Record, you do not know what Time or its variations are.

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