“The dividing line between past, present, and future is an illusion.” –Albert Einstein
What? Had Einstein lost his mind? We all know time flows in an orderly fashion, is quantifiable, and has duration. Therefore, since time can be measured, it must be real, right?
We measure time in a linear fashion: seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, decades, centuries, millennia. We give it dimension, quantity, direction, magnitude. Without measuring the passage of time, we would not know how old we are, when to arrive for and how long to stay at work, when to go to bed and wake up in the morning, how to bookmark events, when to catch the train . . . In our fast-paced technological society, without time, we would be lost. Time gives structure and order to our lives yet is no more real than Batman or Catwoman. Or is it?
Some physicists state that time is relative. Others argue that time flows and is ongoing. But both seem to agree that the space-time we inhabit is a construct of the human mind rather than a fundamental of nature. Thus, if time is not a primitive – not fundamental – then it follows that time is not needed to construct reality.
In his article Time, Space and Consciousness, Kevin Ryerson states that how we experience an event is what creates our reality, rather than the event itself.
If there is no clock in the cosmos, then there is no clock on planet Earth. We do not exist apart from the universe, because we are part of the universe. As above, so below.
Because our spirits inhabit material vehicles, we’re under the impression that all things material are in relative position to each other. But if we remove the material from this equation, we’re left with the spiritual. And although quantum physics is approaching understanding, the spirit realm is something science has yet to explain.
So if time is an illusion, then where are we relative to past, present, future? If we exist in no-time, then it would likely follow that the only true reality is the now. And if all that exists is now, then past/present/future must be occurring simultaneously.
The TV series Quantum Leap touched on the theory of time being an illusion. And in his book, The Isaiah Effect, Gregg Braden discusses the mystery of time.
In one example, he tells of a tour bus traveling from Mt. Sinai to Cairo in four hours, when the trip should have taken seven or more hours. In Another example, he tells of a woman healed of bladder cancer in only two minutes and forty seconds. This was observed on ultrasound while three practitioners stood behind her and repeated only one word in their native tongue, a word loosely translated into English that meant ‘already gone’ or ‘already accomplished.’
We know a bus trip down a mountain, then under the Suez Canal, and then across a desert could not be condensed from seven hours to four. And yet it was. We know a cancerous tumor cannot be shrunken and made to disappear within two minutes and forty seconds. And yet it was. Some might attribute these events to the entity referred to as God and call them miracles. Yet if present and future coexist, and we observe events from the perspective of no-time, then the future becomes the present as concentric circles of absolute reality overlap and superimpose, one upon the other. This theory implies that all possible outcomes to any situation already exist within the now.
In an article adapted from Integrative Health & Healing, Fall 2003, the author discusses the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, i.e., there’s an interplay between how our reality manifests and how we observe it.
It’s not easy to wrap one’s head around the concept of space-time being an illusion, because most of us can’t imagine life without yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But if we view life as circles within a circle rather than a sequence of events, the concept of no-time begins to make sense.
In the video below, Michael Harner explains three experiences of ‘time outside of time’ achieved by shamanic journeying via sonic driving using the drum and vibrational instruments:
Type 1: Simple Experiences
(a) The compression of time;
(b) Going backward in time;
(c) Going forward in time.
Type 2: Simultaneous Experiences
(a) The dreamtime – one is simultaneously in relative time and the dreamtime (the origin of all things), and can move in and out of each at will;
(b) Merging with a beneficent helping entity in absolute time while keeping a foot in relative time.
Type 3: Ecstatic Cosmic Union.
The Transcendence of Time in Shamanic Practice,
Michael Harner, SAND 2011
What I find heartening is once Types 2 and 3 have been experienced, it becomes easier and easier to go there at will. Practice really does make perfect.
What is your concept of time?
Until the next time, my friends . . . Namaste ❤
Written for Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special published on February 21, 2017