“Time is a concept looking for a function.”
THE HUMAN MIND is a very beautiful capacity and extremely lucid when it’s rather thin substance is gathered together into a place of stillness and its lens-like essence focused on the moment, or the topic at hand, in humility and open-minded receptivity of what is coming now from Divine Intelligence for expression and implementation — as well as to what is coming from the heart where true understanding of the things of Spirit takes place. A tranquil mind allows for clarity and a sharp focus of singular direction and purposeful action with unwavering resolve and determination toward truth. Under the dominion of Spirit, it channels pure genius.
We have used our minds and imaginations to create many imaginings that have no reality in fact. They are simply concepts, some of them old hand-me-downs and some we’ve created ourselves. Cases in point: time and space, both creations of the mind having no palpable existence, nor can they be measured. How long, for instance, is the present moment ? And how much space does it occupy? Time is a measurement of the clock, a convenient mechanism someone in the past invented for measuring forward movement — like the ball in a football game, in which time can be stopped or even moved backwards to accommodate the rules and events of the game. Time is something we find very useful, and for which Spirit has limited use. if any, being present only in the Now.
What is the distance between this moment and the next? Not even a millisecond — even though an Olympic medal has hung in the balance of a few hundredths of a second. In reality, there is only this moment. The “next moment” doesn’t exist and never will. There’s only now, and now is eternal. Even travelling at the speed of sound or light, we cannot escape the present moment. We take time and space with us wherever we go and at whatever speed, because they only “exist” as concepts in our imagination and belong solely to us.
Dr. Robert Lanza and Bob Berman elucidate further on this subject in chapter ten of their fascinating book BIOCENTRISM, a work of genius outside the box of conventional “thinking”— if we may call it such. Conventional thinking is more often than not a rehashing of yesterday’s mental constructs for managing our daily lives. That’s the default way of letting the past determine and set the pace for the ongoing creation of life’s journey, which excludes any real and critical thinking. True thinking is the flow of a stream of fresh and truthful ideas through the mind from Source within. I invite you to gird up your leisure mind and focus your listening as you read the following excerpts from Dr. Lanza’s book with intent to increase your understanding about the universe and your functional existence in it. But more than that, get into the author’s mind and try to see what he sees as he writes and attempts to articulate the infinite with finite words and ideas. Here we go. (All underscores added for emphasis)
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“From wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of Space-Out of Time”
––Edgar Allan Poe, “Dreamland” (1845)
NO TIME TO LOSE
Because quantum theory increasingly casts doubts about the existence of time as we know it, let’s head straight into this surprisingly ancient scientific issue. As irrelevant as it might first appear, the presence or absence of time is an important factor in any fundamental look into the nature of the cosmos.
According to biocentrism, our sense of the forward motion of time is really only the result of an unreflective participation in a world of infinite activities and outcomes that only seems to result in a smooth, continuous path.
At each moment, we are at the edge of a paradox known as “The Arrow,” first described twenty-five-hundred years ago by the philosopher Zeno of Elea. Starting logically with the premise that nothing can be in two places at once, he reasoned that an arrow is only in one location during any given instant of its flight. But if it is in only one place, it must momentarily be at rest. The arrow must then be present somewhere, at some specific location, at every moment of its trajectory. Logically, then, motion per se is not what is really occurring. Rather, it is a series of separate events. This may be a first indication that the forward motion of time — of which the movement of the arrow is an embodiment — is not a feature of the external world but a projection of something within us, as we tie together things we are observing. By this reasoning, time is not an absolute reality but a feature of our minds.
Much absurd theorizing goes on in this part of the chapter about the scientific opinions on the subject of entropy, the diminishing of structure over time, which all boils down to this defining paragraph:
Such endless unanswerables and seeming absurdities come to a blissful end, however, when time’s nature is seen for what it is — a biocentric fabrication, a biologic creation that is solely a practical operating aid in the mental circuitry of some living organisms, to help with specific functioning activities.
To understand this, consider for a moment that you are watching a film of an archery tournament, with Zeno’s arrow paradox in mind. An archer shoots and the arrow flies. The camera follows the arrow’s trajectory from the archer’s bow toward the target. Suddenly, the projector stops on a single frame of a stilled arrow. You stare at the image of an arrow in mid-flight, something you obviously could not do at a real tournament. The pause in the film enables you to know the position of the arrow with great accuracy — it’s just beyond the grandstand, twenty feet above the ground. But you have lost all information about its momentum. It is going nowhere; its velocity is zero. Its path, its trajectory, is no longer known. It is uncertain.
To measure the position precisely, at any given instant, is to lock in on one static frame, to put the movie on “pause” so to speak.
Conversely, as soon as you observe momentum, you can’t isolate a frame — because momentum is the summation of many frames. You can’t know one and the other with complete accuracy. Sharpness in one parameter induces blurriness in the other. There is uncertainty as you home in, whether on motion or position.
At first it was assumed that such uncertainty in quantum theory practice was due to some technological insufficiency on the part of the experimenter or his instruments, some lack of sophistication in the methodology. But it soon became apparent that the uncertainty is actually built into the fabric of reality. We see only that for which we are looking.
Of course, all of this makes perfect sense from a biocentric perspective: time is the inner form of animal sense that animates events — the still frames — of the spatial world. The mind animates the world like the motor and gears of a projector. Each weaves a series of still pictures — a series of spatial states — into an order, into the “current” of life. Motion is created in our minds by running “film cells” together. Remember that everything you perceive — even this page — is actively, repeatedly, being reconstructed inside your head. It’s happening to you right now. Your eyes cannot see through the wall of the cranium; all experience including visual experience is an organized whirl of information in your brain. If your mind could stop its “motor” for a moment, you’d get a freeze frame, just as the movie projector isolated the arrow in one position with no momentum. In fact, time can be defined as the inner summation of spatial states; the same thing measured with our scientific instruments is called momentum. Space can be defined as position, as locked in a single frame. Thus, movement through space is an oxymoron.
Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle has its root here: position (location in space) belongs to the outer world and momentum (which involves the temporal component that adds together still “film cells”) belongs to the inner world. By penetrating to the bottom of matter, scientists have reduced the universe to its most basic logic, and time is simply not a feature of the external spatial world. “Contemporary science,” said Heisenberg, “today more than at any previous time, has been forced by nature herself to pose again the old question of the possibility of comprehending reality by mental processes, and to answer it in a slightly different way.”
The metaphor of a strobe light might be helpful. Fast flashes of light isolate snapshots of rapidly moving things — like dancers in a disco. A dip, a split, a snap becomes a still pose. Motion is suspended. One still follows another still. In quantum mechanics, “position” is like a strobe snapshot. Momentum is the life-created summation of many frames.
Spatial units are stagnant and there is no “stuff” between the units or frames. The weaving together of these frames occurs in the mind. San Francisco photographer Eadweard Muybridge may have been the first to have unconsciously imitated this process. Just before the advent of movies, Muybridge successfully captured motion on film. In the late 1870s, he placed twenty-four still cameras on a racetrack. As a horse galloped, it broke a series of strings, tripping the shutters of each successive camera. The horse’s gait was analyzed frame by frame as a series. The illusion of motion was the summation of the still frames.
Two and a half thousand’ years later, Zeno’s arrow paradox finally makes sense. The Eleatic School of philosophy, which Zeno brilliantly defended, was right. So was Werner Heisenberg when he said, “A path comes into existence only when you observe it.” There is neither time nor motion without life. Reality is not “there” with definite properties waiting to be discovered but actually comes into being depending upon the actions of the observer. . . .
On time and space travel, consider this:
. . . . Those that assume time to be an actual state of existence logically muse that time travel should be valid as well — and some have misused quantum theory to make this case. Very few theoreticians take seriously the possibility of time travel or of other temporal dimensions existing in parallel with ours. Aside from the violations of known physical law, there’s this little detail: if time travel were ever possible, so that people could journey into the past, then -– where are they? We’ve never been faced with tales of unexplained people arriving from the future. . . .
[Only in movies like “Deja Vu” where Denzel Washington’s character travels via sophisticated technology four days back in time to save a woman who was about to be blown up, along with a lot of people, in a homespun terrorist attack.]
. . . . We feel as if we live on the edge of time. That’s a psychologically comfortable place, really, because it means we are still among the living. On the edge of time, tomorrow hasn’t happened. Our future has not been played out. Most of our descendants haven’t yet been born. Everything to come is a big mystery, a vast void. Life stretches ahead of us. We’re out in front, strapped to the engine of the Time Train, which relentlessly travels forward into an unknown future. Everything behind us, so to speak, is the dining car, business class, the caboose, and miles of track we can’t retrace. Everything before this moment in time is part of the history of the universe. The vast majority of our ancestors, about whom we haven’t the foggiest idea, are dead and gone. Everything prior to this moment is the past, gone forever. But this subjective feeling of living on the forward edge of time is a persistent illusion, a trick of our attempts to create an intelligible organizational pattern for nature in which one calendar day follows upon another, that spring precedes summer, and that years pass. Time in a biocentric universe is not sequential — however much our habitual perceptions dictate that it is.
If time is truly flowing forward into the future, is it not extraordinary that we are here, alive, for a split instant, on the edge of all time? Imagine all the days and hours that have passed since the beginning of time. Now, stack time, like chairs, on top of each other, and seat yourself on the very top, or, if you prefer speed, strap yourself once again to the front of the Time Train.
Science has no real explanation for why we’re alive now, existing on the edge of time. According to the current physiocentric worldview, it’s just an accident, a one-in-a-gazillion chance that we are alive.
The persistent human perception of time almost certainly stems from the chronic act of thinking, the one-word-at-a-time thought process by which ideas and events are visualized and anticipated. In rare moments of clarity and mental emptiness, or when danger or novel experience forces a one-pointed focus upon one’s consciousness, time vanishes, replaced by an ineffably enjoyable feeling of freedom, or the Singular focus of escaping an immediate peril. Time is never cognized normally in such thought-less experiences: “I saw the whole accident unfolding in slow motion.”
In sum, from a biocentric point of view, time does not exist in the universe independent of life that notices it, and really doesn’t truly exist within the context of life either. But let’s return to Barbara’s point: growing children, aging, and feeling most poignantly that time exists when our loved ones die constitute the human perceptions of the passage and existence of time. Our babies turn into adults. We age. They age. We all grow old together. That to us is time. It belongs with us.
This brings us to the sixth principle:
Sixth Principle of Biocentrism: Time does not have a real existence outside of animal-sense perception. It is the process by which we perceive changes in the universe.
We really can’t “lose any time” or “waste any time” then, can we. I’ll continue with this series in my next post. Until then,
Be love. Be loved.
Comments on: "BIOCENTRISM: No Time to Lose" (2)
That was wonderful. Ever since my first encounter with Shrodinger’s uncertainty principle I’ve known it was special – a magical rune that pointed directly to the heart of reality.
And such a great description/journey of and through time. I recalled the experience of learning about dealing with time as a child. I realised very young that when I looked forward to some special event, time seemed to move inexorably slowly. But when I was busy living, time seemed to fly by. So … I could somewhat avoid that dispiriting feeling of moving through molasses towards a far-off objective, by getting lost in activity. And over time that becomes a deep-set habit that can lead to avoidance of introspection. Until one day the secret of life clothed me in its glory fell unto me: the present moment.
Yet in attunement, or meditation, I do have an awareness of position and momentum.
[…] 11 of Robert Lanza’s insightful book BIOCENTRISM, “Space Out.” Following up on my last post, “Time No More,” the illusion of space has always puzzled me—until one day, back […]