Time Doesn’t Exist: A Step-by-Step Proof

The Illusory Nature of Time: II

“And there we were, all in one place
- a generation lost in space,
with no time left to start again.”
Don McLean, ‘American Pie’.
—————————————————————————————————–
Summary

For thousands of years sages and mystics have been telling us that time is an illusion.

Recently scientists discovered that at levels below Planck Time, even the concept of time drops off the scientific agenda.

Here, in very simple terms, is an explanation for why that is. As an objective cosmic reality, time literally does not exist.

Confused? You won’t be – read on …
—————————————————————————————————–

Taking a Step Backwards

Picture the scene: broken glass littered all over the floor, small orange thing flapping around on soaking wet carpet. Suddenly glass, water, orange thing lift off the ground and leap towards the table, assembling themselves as a goldfish swimming in a bowl – just as a cat leaping in backwards through the window brushes past the goldfish bowl, off the table and out through the door in reverse gear.

Couldn’t happen? Course it couldn’t, the universe isn’t built that way.

Then what way is the universe built, if the total matter and energy content is identical at both ends of that little episode but it can only happen in one direction? What is this ‘arrow of time’?

That one’s actually quite simple.  Imagine a bag full of grasshoppers: open the bag, and in no time the little critters are everywhere, heading in every direction.  Reversing the process, getting them back into the bag, would be nigh on impossible.  It certainly wouldn’t happen by chance.

The material universe is made up of energy, every bit of which is a good deal livelier than those grasshoppers. Some of that energy is tied up as bundles that we refer to as ‘particles’ – the particles that make up you and me and everything else. The rest is flying about as light, radio waves, microwaves and the like.

All of the effects of time are driven by that energy escaping – just like those grasshoppers.

Every physical or chemical reaction, including those in biological processes, involves energy transfers in which some of that energy gets away.  The nuclear reactions in stars are driven by the release of energy, the energy that comes to us as heat and light from the sun.  Scientists call this increasing entropy, also The Second Law of Thermodynamics.

That lost energy scatters in every direction, making the reverse process about as likely as all those grasshoppers obligingly stepping back into that bag.  [Reversing one of those reactions requires more energy, so there’s always a net energy loss.]  The one-way street of time is the route taken by those grasshoppers and that energy alike: out, never back in; scattering, never regrouping.

… And One More Time Around …

Numerous studies point to particles of matter being light wrapped round in closed loops.  The book Tapestry of Light shows how this precisely fits a whole spread of proven scientific facts.  Here, too, some of that steadily circulating energy can be released ‘into the wild’ by one-way reactions – such as two atoms joining to form a molecule, releasing some of the electron energy from each of those atoms.

So there we have the flow of time.  It’s actually those energy flows, scattering randomly from events that thus can’t run in reverse (since they’d need a random focused input of energy – a contradiction) or circulating round to form material particles.  The rate of those energy flows – the speed of light – defines the rate of time.

Or does it?  Let’s take a closer look.

Anything You Can Do …

If the rate of those energy flows doubled, then energy would get from A to B twice as fast, it would disperse from chemical reactions and nuclear fusion events twice as fast.

But it would also circulate around particles, atoms and molecules, twice as fast …

And that’s what gives us our measure of time, whether it’s an atomic clock or marks on a burning candle – or even the synapses in your brain or mine, giving us an estimate of time.  The faster rate of external events would be precisely balanced by the faster rate of every measure of time that you can imagine, including our own perception.  If something happens twice as fast, and your clock runs twice as fast, you won’t notice the difference.

Those energy flows* could speed up by a hundred, a thousand, a million times – or, conversely, slow down by any of those factors – and it would make no detectable difference whatever to the universe.  Our experience, and the way of being of everything around us, would be absolutely unchanged.
[* Yes, we’re talking about the speed of light here.]

This is because what we refer to as ‘timing’ a process or event is actually a comparison of two distances travelled by energy flows: around the process/event and around the ‘timing’ device, whatever that may be.  That comparison doesn’t change, whatever the speed of those energy flows.

In short: any externally imposed ‘rate of time’ would be 100% irrelevant to the workings of the material universe.  So inclusion of that concept in our world view is a red herring, it simply gets in the way of an objective analysis of material reality.  Time, in that sense, does not exist.

[This reasoning, of course, applies equally to the ‘proper time’ of objects in different frames of reference, for those concerned with relativity theory.]

How the – ?  What the – ?  Who the – ?

But … but … but there is time. We experience it every day, every minute, every second.

Transience

Clouds, bluebells,
Houndtor Rocks
[Dartmoor, UK]

Each reinforcing our perception of the steady progress of time – whether it be minutes, days, or thousands of years.

Yes.  We experience sequencing of events – but we also experience sequencing of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and the sequencing of notes on the piano.  Neither of them involves time.  We also have the sensation of duration: we can even check that sensation against a clock – but that’s just comparing the distance travelled by energy flows around the circuits in our brain with distance around energy-flow circuits in our clock.  Two distances again.

So – dammit, what is the thing we experience as time?

It’s the mind rationalising a rather greater (though actually very simple) cosmic principle – just as the mind rationalises some electromagnetic frequencies as colours.  That’ll have to wait for another time – but you could try reading this paper in the meantime (especially the final paragraph). [You'll need to register, free, here first.]

———————–
If you’d like to be informed about future posts: subscribe (free).
———————–

65 Responses to “Time Doesn’t Exist: A Step-by-Step Proof”

  1. Peter Farrie says:

    Hi Grahame, very interesting and thought-provoking. Thanks for this post, Peter

  2. J says:

    Even though time seems to be a man-made concept, it’s perception is created by change caused by motion. For example, a certain position of the sun in the sky determines the time of the day. Motion plays an important part in it because change occurs when an object moves from one location to another.

    Theoretically, if it was possible to exist without worrying about time, for instance, if you were allowed to come to work at your conveniece instead of 8 o’clock in the morning, and leave whenever you feel like it, and if it wouldn’t have any impact on anyone, then the perception and track of time could be entirely lost. Change would be occurring without any time restictions or any point of reference on a time scale. An object wouldn’t need a, what is accepted to be a 7 year restriction, to be considered 7-year old. What the clock really measures is change in space.

    Perhaps, the loss of the perception of time, in its turn, might actually stop time….as well as unwanted change such as aging created by it, and may be we’ll never age or die because we won’t have an estimated expiration date.

    It’s also confusing to qualify time as the fourth dimension because the 3 visually perceivable dimensions are spacial. One would expect the 4th dimension to be spacial as well.

    What is also interesting is that a time restriction, like 1 hour, is experienced differently in different circumstances by different people. You always hear some say, “The week went by so quickly. It felt like 3 days.” Or vise versa, “This week has been dragging on forever.”

    It’s amazing, that they use an adjective that measures distance
    when they talk about time as in “it’s been a really LONG time since anybody questioned anything”.

  3. jghjhg says:

    I view “Time” as being intertwined in many phenomena such as change caused by motion, speed of the motion, frequency of the occurrence of change, direction of the motion, distance, planetary rotation, change in solar illunimation of the earth, and change of seasons and time of the day.

    How can somebody determine whether an object is moving fast or slow? Or how can you prevent the occurence of the oncoming evening, when it’s afternoon, and you know that evening is inevitable no matter what you do? You know that it will come at 6pm, for instance, and you wait for it, and, surely, it does come.

    Whether time is inherently existing, or it’s just a concept that people invented in order to better understand their reality, the perception of time is created in your brain due to the above mentioned phenomena.

    When people talk about time as being the fourth dimension, they talk about a different kind of time. Even though past and future is a time frame in someone’s life, it’s not the same kind of time that the clock measures in order to determine speed, for example. Therefore, it’s hard for some people to comprehend the idea that past and present can exist simultaneously with present in a different, but parallel dimension(s).

  4. Ben says:

    You are basically saying time doesn’t exist because it’s energy traveling from one point to another, but for energy to travel, it needs time to do it in, else it is at the starting and finishing point at the same time (aswell as everywhere in between), because traveling is the act of moving from one point to another. so it according to your theory it isnt traveling at all.. I think what you’ve done is give a theory on how time works, rather than disprove it..

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding something, I don’t have a degree, and I’m definitively not as good as you with words, but I felt the need to share this.

  5. Reality Check admin says:

    Thanks for your comment, Ben. You’re right that I’m relating time to the transition of energy from one place or state to another, but my main point is more fundamental than that. We measure time by changes on a clock face, state-changes in an atom, level that a candle has burned down to, or even the perception of duration registered by changes in our brain. And all of these are basically DISTANCES – the distance that energy has travelled to produce those effects. We attribute this to something we refer to as ‘time’ – but there’s no objective reality, outside of our perception, that supports that concept. Alter the ’speed’ of light (a time-based concept) and absolutely nothing changes in our real-world experience – since ALL of that experience is governed by that speed, acting like a metronome keeping everything in perfect synch. Nothing – apart from our perception – indicates that ‘time-states’ of the universe are separated by ‘time-intervals’ as opposed to all coexisting ’simultaneously’ (another time-based word – that concept is ingrained into our collective psyche).
    In short: There IS something going on – but to attribute it to a concept of ‘duration’ in the sense that we understand that concept is to assume that what we perceive is the objective reality. Quantum Mechanics has shown us in many ways that this isn’t necessarily the case.

  6. Jeff Guarino says:

    You can also say space doesn’t exist either. For example: How far is a foot ? Well it’s 12 inches. So then how far is an inch ? This is defined by so many wavelengths of a frequency of light. But how far is a wave length of this light ?

    You can go on and on and finally you see that all lengths are defined in terms of other lengths. Or length is relative. Time is also defined relative to other times.

    I’ve having a lot of trouble making sense of any of the arguments. I think a lot more study has to go into this before we can say “time doesn’t exist”

    The numbers 1,2,3,4,5 written here are not a sequence in space unless you have time also. You need time to observe the numbers. Things in space have to be observed and observations take time.

  7. Reality Check admin says:

    Thanks, Jeff, for your comment. The point that you’re making is very important – all distance is, of course, relative. We have no way of knowing how big the universe is in absolute terms, so of course the idea of ‘absolute size’ of the universe has no meaning.

    That’s a little bit different, though, from the point I’m making about time. First it’s necessary to see that the concept of ’sequence’ does have meaning without reference to time. For instance, I can take an instantaneous snapshot of houses in a street, all in the same shot, with house numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 (the even numbers are on the other side of the street here in the UK). That’s a sequence, and it’s represented in two spatial dimensions on a snapshot. Sure, it takes time to assimilate the info in that snapshot – but that’s a feature of sensory perception, not of the sequence itself.

    If one goes deeper into it then it does turn out that something more is needed just for things to exist at all, something that we refer to as ‘time’. But the point that I’m making is that the thing we refer to as ‘time’ – when we measure time in any way – can always be reduced to a comparison of two distances. There’s no need for anything other than spatial dimensions to fully explain our measurement of time. This suggests that what we refer to as ‘time’ is actually something rather different, interpreted that way by our sensory system as a ‘notational convenience’ (i.e. makes life easier for us). There’s actually no need for anything more than spatial dimensions (including one that our consciousness interprets to us as ‘time’) for a full explanation of observed phenomena. [Note that this is NOT the same interpretation of 'time' as the proposed 4th dimension of 'spacetime' in the sense that relativity theory uses it.]

  8. If ‘Time’ didn’t exist, then there would be no ‘Speed of Light’ and all physical laws would break down. Just as our thoughts are physical, time is too.

  9. Reality Check admin says:

    Thanks for your comment, Chris. I think your point is answered by my post, where I show that the speed of light (and all other speeds) is effectively a comparison of two distances. Now thought, that’s another matter entirely …

  10. david says:

    like the concept of god. they’re human concepts.

  11. Glen says:

    Perhaps if time were something else it could be called that.
    Times can be illusory.

  12. monkey says:

    Its rather simpel acually. The concept of time is for the most part based on our perception. We use the more or less even intervals of detectable phenomena as a measurement for other phenomena, even our own perception.. In the pure materialistic (natural) sense, there is no need for something like time, only enery that interacts with other energy that is moving relative to each other in space.

  13. OTB says:

    This is one of the best explanations I have read in a very long time. There are few other issues of time non-existence that would need to be added to fully explain the truth but not many would understand it. What you need to realize is that to grasp the truth a highly logical mind is required, only a handful of people are actually capable of abstract thinking on that level. For a ‘normal’ person once the conclusion exceeds the brain’s capability of logic it goes into an overdrive mode producing highly illogical absurdities (the best example of this here is the comment by Jeff Guarino). I have been observing this for years and gave up recently as I realized that there was a very good reason for the likes of Einstein to live a life of solitudy and frustration. As Einstein once said – “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.”

  14. Adam says:

    Hi, I agree with you completely, however please note that we experience a present- that is that we exist in in “time”. This “location present” makes little sense in a world which has allways existed, why would the present for me writing this post be any more real at this very moment than any other ones? Why would there be a distinction which I sense in this very moment?

    More importantly which I want you to answer is, if the flow of time is a contruct of the human brain- how come it progresses in a completley consistent way- birth -death with no inconsistencys?.

    How come time doesn’t mess up when we hit our head seriously? why does not time change when we fall asleep(seriously alter the brain state)? Again it’s all giving the impression that time exists independent of our brains perception.

    It truly does feel like we perceive the time flow rather than independently organise it. I am not in favour of intuitive arguments generally but the consistency is so high that one has to wonder.

    Ultimately I agree with you but I am keen on getting a grip on this.

  15. Roberto says:

    Hi, the brain doesn t progress in a consistent way. If you were a cockroach, the world would be moving faster, way faster. People with some mental disorders see the world movind faster, when you are in a dangerous sitiation, and you see everything slowing down. Thats your brain processing things as fast as it can be, and “slowing” time. So its not a consistent way that the brain processes the world. You were talking about, birth, death. Its not consistent, people in africa, in some contrys live at average 45 years, and in europe an everage os 70 years. Its a matter os tenchnology, os money, of health. What if every thing stoped… Every person, every car, every animal, every bacteria, the winds, the seas, the clouds, the nuclear reactions inside the sun. And nothing hapened anywhere, would there be time still? Its not a question of time. Time is as real as our imagination. Sorry for the bad english. Not my first language.

  16. Will says:

    Hello,

    I am a teenager trying desperately to understand this post. I feel that I have some grip on it, but I have a problem with the fact that we perceive time even when there is not motion. For example, say I were to lock myself in a rather silent, windowless room. I am strapped to a chair and cannot move, and I close my eyes. For all intents and purposes, sensory motion has stopped for me (excepting inner-body perceptions of ‘motion’ or ‘time’ such as my heartbeat or breathing). Yet I still feel that time exists.

    So, as Roberto above me asks, if all motion were to stop, how could we reconcile the nonexistence of time with the fact that we would still feel very much a part of time in the present, would have a memory of the past (when there was motion), and could mentally project ourselves into the future? If everything stopped, we would still have memory, basically, which implies a past to be remembered. If motion ceased and time even appeared to human sensory perception to cease, how could we reconcile the existence of our memories? Would memory cease to exist only because our perception of present and future time ceased? I feel that we would still carry with us a sense of the “past” though “present” and “future” may no longer have any meaning.

    I hope I wrote that clearly enough. It’s an odd thing to talk about time. And ironically, enough “time” has passed in my writing that I am now late for dinner. I think…

  17. Reality Check admin says:

    Hi Will,
    A very fair comment and a sensible observation. The ’simple’ answer (it’s not a simple topic!) is that there is NEVER a situation where there is not motion – if there were then the universe would instantly cease to exist.

    Einstein told us that matter is a form of energy (E=mc-squared), and energy can never be static. Even the energy in a dry-cell battery, for example, is maintained by the circulating motion of the electrons in its component atoms. It’s actually the motion of the fundamental energy-flows forming elementary particles that gives us the illusion of solidity of those particles, if that motion were to stop (which thankfully it can’t) then those particles which form our physical reality would collapse into nothing.

    The point that I’m making in this post is that something has to carry the effects of time, from our past through our now into our future – something has to give rise to the effects that we refer to in general terms as ‘aging’ – whether it’s an explosion happening, a plant absorbing sunlight, a seed sprouting, a chemical reaction, radioactive decay, you-name-it. That something is the continuous process of energy-flow that gives form to our physical environment – the physical universe in all its detail. Energy flowing around in particles to give them form and between particles as electromagnetic radiation accounts fully for every time-based effect that we can think of.

    The natural dispersal of free energy – like those grasshoppers in my post – is the process referred to in science as ‘(increasing) entropy’, which is also often referred to as ‘the arrow of time’ (since it accounts for time effects). Energy that isn’t free, but is bound up in particles, MUST also be responsible for changes in those particles such as radioactive decay or absorption or release of photons (which is the energy change behind chemical reactions) – that’s all there is.

    So it follows that the amount of ‘time that has passed’ corresponds exactly with the distance that has been travelled by any one of those energy flows, whether in a particle or between particles. In the case of your feeling the passage of time, as well as the obvious effect of your blood-flow and heartbeat there are the myriad electrical flows constantly passing through your nervous system (which includes your senses) and your brain, triggering synapses and effecting changes – all of which you will attribute to ‘the passage of time’.

    Thanks again, Will, for your question & observation. As I say, it’s not an easy issue to get your head round. And unquestionably, what we sense as ‘time’ must surely represent some deeper cosmic truth . But in itself, everything we call ‘an effect of time’ can be explained by the passage of energy from A to B – and the rate of that passage of energy is totally irrelevant to the effects that we experience, as I’ve tried to show in this post. I.e. ‘objective time’ is a meaningless concept as far as our physical experience is concerned – and our physical experience is the only thing we have to measure by.

    I hope your dinner wasn’t cold, and that you didn’t get told off …

  18. Jure says:

    Hey everyone..
    From my point view, we haven’t evolved enough to make definite claims about abstract things as time and space are. We cannot understand them, this is beyond our mind’s reach. Every time you think about it, you get mind-blown and come to a conclusion that makes perfect sense in one way, but beats itself out in an another way. Just like there is no biggest number of all.
    I know that it is maybe fun to think about these ideas but you can’t define something that is beyond the grasp of our own conscience.

  19. Ashok says:

    Suppose WE were not there , will TIME be there? If yes then, it has nothing to do with OUR perception.

  20. Sammy says:

    What about superposition? if a particle can exist anywhere at any given “time” and still be linked ( supersymmetry ) then the observer creating the result would also be creating the concept of time ( and space for they are two sides of a coin )?

    So time is just a way of us rationalising the fact that anything could happen but we subconsciously feel it necessary to dictate the result.

    Superposition and symmetry lead me to believe that every particle that was once close together at the point of the “big bang” are all still linked and can communicate instantly.. yes faster than the speed of light because without our observing there is no such thing as speed.

    I’m not saying i know anything at all but this seems to make some sense to me.. we can only percieve our known dimensions so untill we let go of reality and realise that energy is complately random.. but patterns can still be found in randomness, we will be stuck where we are.

  21. Sammy says:

    Jure, no one can make definite claim about abstract theories. All physics is theoretical. But giving up on thinking about something just because you don’t understand it isn’t going to get us anywhere. If we just sit back and wait for evolution to teach us lessons we wont learn anything because we arent giving ourself something to evolve into.

  22. Jules says:

    I have read a great deal on this subject, and I realize how simple minded this question is going to sound. However- My only inquiry I have left after researching the theory of time being nonexistent is- Why do we age? Why do our bodies get older? How does that tie into energy flows, or motion? Things grow. We all change. Change happens over TIME. I am a huge conspiracy-theorist. I am extremely into reading about nearly anything to be pondered on about this world. But this is an idea I can’t seem to believe. Which O can admit, at times I am gullible. I’d rather say open minded to any and all possibilities though. (; And this theory or whatever you’d like to say this is; doesn’t seem valid. Time exists. That is my opinion. Einstein was a wise man, and I’m positive of that. Why didn’t HE ever say in certainty that time doesn’t exist? Or did he?

    These are just a quick post of my thoughts. Any responses would be awesome! I don’t know many people I can discuss these things with, so websites like this are my OUT. Thanks!

  23. Mel Andrade says:

    Time exists only in our minds. The earth exists moving the flowers grow regardless of our minds the sun irradsiates its energy but every action is happening only in the present the earth is not thinking of the flowers of tomorrow or about the yesterday’s volcano eruptions we understand nothing of actual reality, barely our minds cope with our six senses (yes, including the sixth sense of balance) and rationalize about phenomena as time, other than in our minds there is not such thing as time.

  24. Reality Check admin says:

    Hi Ashok,
    The whole point of the post is that all of the effects of time that we perceive are just that – perception. It follows that time is a subjective effect, there is no evidence that it in any way exists as an objective phenomenon, and so no reason for us to believe that it does.

  25. Reality Check admin says:

    Hi Sammy,
    Thanks for your two comments. I totally agree that we shouldn’t give up on thinking about things – that’s exactly what this post is all about. We won’t move forward unless we examine our preconceptions, including those about time, to see whether they stand up to analysis or whether they are actually just over-simplistic assumptions. Seems to me that we’ve made assumptions about time that have no real basis in fact (when you look at the evidence) and then not bothered to look at those assumptions any further – it’s high time (!!) that we did!

  26. Reality Check admin says:

    Hi Jules,
    Nothing at all simple-minded about your question. We see the successive stages in the state of our bodies (also flowers, rocks, etc etc) – what we call ‘ageing’ – as proof of the objective existence of time. But what if all those stages actually exist together in some all-embracing ‘now’ (aka ‘eternity’ – which isn’t the same as time going on forever, it’s timelessness)? What if our perception of ageing is just our consciousness moving through those successive stages, just like walking down a street? We don’t say one house is older than another just because it’s further down the road – the difference is in our perception, not the houses.

    As for Einstein, just because he didn’t happen to say something doesn’t mean it ain’t so. Einstein is one of my heroes – but just because he didn’t (as far as I know) ever say that mangoes taste great doesn’t alter my view that they do. He talked about a lot of things, but he never (for example) said that the moon isn’t made of cheese – does that mean we should believe it is?

  27. Travolter D says:

    Hi, I am no scientist but is time not like sound, there has to be a some kind of receiver or like colour, if everyone could only see in Black and White, would colour exist?

    I personally think all of what we now witness as time happened in the singularity of the Big bang and we now live in its echo. So everything that has happened and will ever happen occurred at the very same time but our locked minds need consistency therefore we have a uniform time?

    But look at Quantum Physics…. it does what it wants because it’s not bound by our laws of the mind? and maybe that’s why children tend to see so called ghosts or events that are happening at the same time but they’re to young to perceive time ( not controlled by day to day life )

    Anyway like I said I’m no scientist just saying what I think, It might be a load of tosh!!!! but who actually know??? ;-)

  28. pord says:

    I completely agree with this post and enjoyed it. I’ve informally suggested it to friends numerous times, but none have seemed to grasp what I suggest. I view the world as a giant chess board. Pieces are moving. The further the pieces are from their starting position, the more “time” we believe has passed. If I show a chess player a board with pieces scattered, they will say there must have been a lot of time that has passed. A blitz chess player may say 5 minutes. A traditional player may say an hour. The point it that it is relative to the “time” it takes the pieces to move based on what these players are used to seeing in their previous experience. Matter is moving in the universe. As many people and Jules said, “Change happens over TIME.” But what if it really is “Change happens”…perceive. Things are moving, we call this the passage of time, but it’s really just motion.

    I have yet to find any logical fallacy in the belief that time doesn’t exist, but my confidence in this notion is somewhat crushed by the fact that is doesn’t seem to be accepted by physics in general.

    Perhaps we should not measure speed as distance divided by time, but rather the distance divided by the distance traveled by a uniform traveling object. It seems to me that time is just an extra parameter added to fill in a void and link events together.

  29. Thesis says:

    We’re orbiting the sun on a spinning planet. That’s all.

    Fundamentally ‘Time’ is a man made concept that helps us make sense of the transitions of light and dark.

    It’s become an essential tool or standard for measuring, calculation, co-ordination, rationalizing events and motion etc etc.

    Like a screw driver or hammer it’s something we use to solve problems.

  30. Pete says:

    Here is another consideration which may cause some to laugh. But think on it, because it has a fundamental impact on our existence. We only consider time at all, because it ultimately is a measure of cradle to grave. The Bible tells us that God is outside of time…everlasting to everlasting. Some struggle with that because that question arises “well who made God”. But inherently that question comes from a mind bound by time.
    We are also told that if we link in to the existence of God we will ultimately be admitted to that outside of time realm.

    Science is great…. But it is in catch up mode with the biblical record… Which itself declared thousands of years ago that the universe is stretching out isiaiah 40:22. It describes the water cycle in ecclesiastical, in the book of Job it declared that the world was hung upon nothing. All this stuff has since been observed by science.

    This thread is good because it explores another biblical statement that says in the letters of the Apostle Peter…. A thousand years is like a day to God and a day like a thousand years.

    Time is only in place so that man can understand his own mortality and do something about it. You may say I am crazy…. Your option and it won’t upset me….but consider the options eh?

  31. Miki says:

    “Recently scientists discovered that at levels below Planck Time, even the concept of time drops off the scientific agenda.”
    Does this apply to the concept of space as well? I mean, levels below Planck Space?

  32. Jacob says:

    Regarding the aging question, I think it’s important to first discover the presumptions and mental associations that come with the word “aging”:

    1. “Aging” is commonly associated with a presumption that “over TIME” change is taking place

    2. “Aging” comes with the presumption that the human body is “wearing out”, which requires an idea of a PAST and FUTURE condition of the human body.

    I am nothing of a scientist (yet), but in general, here’s what I think.

    At a cellular and microscopic level, the way that certain matter interacts with our bodies literally CHANGES the properties of given parts of our bodies. There is a subtle difference between this idea and the idea that a present state of our body is “more worn out” than the last. “more worn out” implies that the PROPERTIES of our bodies on a cellular level remain the same, but over TIME begin to function differently. This is not the case, in my opinion. I think that every PRESENT moment, on some microscopic and beyond level, properties of certain things are constantly changing completely…not being morphed or “edited” from a previous state.

  33. Luke says:

    If anyone gets this far down in the comments and wants another explanation, this might help:

    I don’t think the argument is against the fact that things CHANGE – feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, admin! People asked why we can age, or why we perceive time in a consistent way. The argument is that the changes we perceive to be happening aren’t recorded on some cosmic VCR and actually EXIST somewhere, like in a dimension, and we’re moving through it. Instead, change always happens in the present, and the reason we perceive time is because we have memories to record past events, and we have logic to predict future events. Time is a measure of change, not a measure of a dimension in the same way inches are.

    You can perceive a timeless state directly by simply looking around you and realizing that you exist in the present, and this present doesn’t ever become the past or the future, it just continues on being the present. We spend most of out time (if I can use the phrase!) thinking about the past and the future, so time seems like a given until we stop doing that.

    P.s. I thought the explanation of entropy was good here! I don’t think I’ve understood it correctly before.

  34. Kevin says:

    As a Time Master everyone can do so much more or less, if they like. Maybe mastering time is just too simplistic for the conscious mind to grasp? When you are happy or having fun time goes by fast. Being sad or bored and time goes by slow. What more clear hints do you need concerning everyone’s time master ability?

    Point is we’re all not just creating our reality we are all “being our reality.” Go back to sleep or awaken the mind and heart for further information and more answers from within may come.

  35. jeffrey says:

    I contemplate on such things a lot, my father and I use to speak of such things and try to grasp our minds around these issues. It is all the more fascinating to me since he is no longer alive with his body. forgive me if I’m wrong but I believe that Einstein said that all points in time and space are here and now. As for me i believe that our greatest discovery would be the possibility that there indeed is an afterlife, that just because the reactions that take place in our brains to make consciousness real come to an end as we can perceive them that just Because, we put our loved ones in the ground and say goodbye to them. and we cannot communicate with them any longer as we had previously done. that they are not gone that their memory lives on in more literal ways then we can possibly imagine on a normal day to day basis.

  36. cwmartz says:

    Time does not exist simply because it is not needed. Everything we think of as time is simply counting movement. You can’t come up with one physics problem where time cannot be replaced by counting. Occam’s razor suggests the simpler answer is the correct answer. Removing time from all of physics simplifies physics. There is no past, no now, no future there is just space (of unknown dimensions). Yep it sure feels like time exists, and certainly the bookkeeping of time is very important to ordering our days, but then the flat earth theory felt really good too.

  37. Hi Grahame,

    Very interesting post, and I agree, time does not exist. However there is a big difference between thinking hey time doesn’t exist, and accounting for every single feature of the world we seem to observe and attribute to ‘time’ or proving the existence or need for time.

    I concluded we are wrong to assume time exists, having written a 500 side book on the subject “A Brief History of Timelessness”, stuck together a searchable website (timelessness.co.uk) and produced around 15 videoed talks.

    (anyone on this forum, please feel free to check some of them out….

    “Answers to Brian Cox’s Science of Dr Who:”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii3gxxn2reA
    Is a reinterpretation of a BBC time travel lecture , timelessly,

    “Timelessness Downstairs at the Kings Head”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSJ8A-w78xM
    Is a more detailed, +hopefully entertaining power-point talk )

    So, I don’t want to flood your blog with a long post, but I think you are on the right track, And here is the essence of how to see hot they universe -may- be genuinely timeless.

    (if you apply this reasoning to each of the thoughtful and considered replies (with respect to each contributor) you may see how it reveals some hard to spot slip ups where ever we insist time -does exist-)

    Timelessness,
    First, -don’t- ask “does time exist?”, this is a leading question, like “do trangs exist?” -(what’s a ‘trang’ you may ask, and that’s my point. They don’t exist but asking about them makes some people wonder what they ‘are’ ).

    Instead, ask “what do we actually at the simplest level observe?”

    Assuming we observe “matter, moving changing and interacting” we can then ask,
    Would matter, moving changing and interacting be enough to -mislead us- into thinking there may be a ‘past’.

    then we see that perhaps the contents of our minds we refer to as ‘memories of the past’ – in fact only prove that matter can exist and interact.

    -specifically, the changing contents of our minds , do *not* (imo) also prove that as things move the universe creates and stores some perfect record of all events in a fourth dimension.

    then we can see if we have no reason at all to actually assume there IS ‘a past’,
    And – we can -possibly- see that just matter moving and changing might be enough to mislead us into wrongly thinking there may be a past, and thus wrong a future, and thus wrongly ‘time’.

    If there is no time, then what we feel, is what we feel , eg blood running throughout veins, our bodies wearing out because they are constantly running, but we do not feel the invisible flow, of an unimaginable force though a fourth dimension from an unseen and intangible ‘future’ to an unseen and intangible ‘past’ – of which we have no reason to assume exists.

    Anyway, I haven’t explained it particularly well above ( i get tired of rewriting the same concept in many places) – but you have a nice site, good luck, please check out the videos if you are really into seeing how the universe might be timeless.

    Matthew Marsden
    (A Brief History of Timelessness)

  38. Reality Check admin says:

    Thanks, Matt, for your very detailed and thoughtful contribution to this discussion, which I’ve delayed posting until I’d looked at your two videos that you’ve provided links to. It seems to me that your position relates closely to that of Eckhart Tolle, who famously states that the only time in which anything can be achieved is NOW – though you go one step further (as I understand it) in saying that the only time that actually EXISTS is ‘now’. I’m not 100% clear on whether you consider that ‘the past’ USED TO exist and ‘the future’ WILL exist – though presumably not, as ‘used to’ and ‘will’ are both time-based concepts. I’m also not sure how you reconcile the idea that ‘things move’ and ‘things change’ (both of which you appear to give assent to) with a lack of time – which as I see it is an essential for such variation.

    I agree completely with your interpretation of Einsteinian Relativistic time dilation: it’s not an effect on time itself, rather it slows down (time again!) the processes of change in the moving (notably fast-moving) individual or object.

    In other respects, though, my position is almost the opposite of yours (whilst still being ‘timeless’ at the deepest level). My interpretation of ’spacetime’ is that ALL of space and time exists (so time is actually a quasi-spatial dimension, but in a rather different sense from Minkowski’s ‘World’ view), but that CONSCIOUSNESS moves through that quasi-spatial dimension steadily so as to give us an impression of change. This is fully consistent with both freewill and causality (‘laws of science’) if you see consciousness as the creator, as well as the experiencer, of the 4-D ‘landscape’ through which it progresses and the ’sequential developments’ of physical phenomena as related to ’structural’, as opposed to ‘temporal’ rules.

    The main point of my article (as I’m sure you’ve seen) is that if we see energy-flow as the instigator of ‘the passage of time’ – as it must surely be – then imposition of an external objective time-flow onto our physical experience is totally superfluous. It appears that on this last point we are fully agreed. (McTaggart’s Paradox adds some interesting food for thought on this issue.)

    [As a point of detail: You refer (correctly) to Einstein's assertion that there can be no immediate effects - i.e. no instantaneously spatially-separated 'cause & effect'. This is of course the reason for his famous 'EPR paradox' paper of 1935 (with two colleagues) questioning the completeness of Quantum Mechanics: this assertion famously backfired on AE when quantum entanglement and instantaneous (FTL) nonlocal action was shown to be fact, supported of course by Bell's Inequality.]

  39. P Jilbert says:

    The dimension of time does not exist
    Merely the gyrations of cosmic mist.

    Electron-positron annihilation in its simplest form releases two gamma rays each of 511 keV, which recede at light speed (c) in opposite directions. Gamma rays are pure photonic energy as must be the electron and the positron each having intrinsic ‘rest’ energies of 511 keV.
    A simple deduction is that each rest particle contains a photon of energy locked into its own orbit, which for want of a better analogy may be considered as a ‘smoke ring’ that itself gyrates on a second orthogonal orbit. The little orbit matches the classical radius and the larger orbit matches the Compton orbit for each rest mass, their relative radii being 137.036 (Prof. Feynman would have known about that).
    The ‘time’ taken to execute one revolution is roughly 1x 10E-21s. When a rest particle is accelerated the rotational velocity is shared with translational velocity vectorially so that ‘rest mass’ maintains its velocity c. When the particle reaches ~c there can be no significant internal rotational velocity and that means that the rotating ‘clock’ in the particle has ~stopped. Such a description is embodied in the SR equation for ‘time’ dilation.
    Thus ‘time’ is a measure of relative energy cycling rate and has no independent existence. In the introductory couplet ‘cosmic mist’ means pure energy whether it be electron ‘rest mass’ or the rotation of galaxies with their stars, planets and satellites.

  40. P Jilbert says:

    A model for the electron was derived using the Bohr model for hydrogen and the de Broglie wavelength of the former. ‘Where is the KE of the orbiting electron, itself having mass according to E=mc^2?’ The earth ‘stays’ with the sun, yet it orbits at 18½ miles/s. The same mechanics applies to the electron KE, which orbits the electron while it in turn orbits the hydrogen atom proton.
    The KE ‘mass’ orbits at light speed (c) in 1:1 synchronism with the electron period (de Broglie requirement), whose orbital velocity is c/137.036, hence their orbits’ radii ratio is 137.036:1. A ‘spin off’ from this model is that the KE has a ‘spin’ of ½ of Plank’s constant.
    Hence, one way of visualising the hydrogen atomic dynamics is a KE ‘smoke ring’ gyrating in a plane orthogonal to the electron orbit but also orthogonal to the electron orbit tangent. Another question, ‘What holds the KE in place?’ I do not know but it turns out that the electron itself is a direct analogue of the hydrogen atom – or should that be vice versa? Except that KE is replaced by the electron ‘rest mass’ (trapped photon) and its orbit is related to the electron Compton wavelength. ‘What holds the gyrating rest mass in place?’ – I do not know.
    From elementary thoughts about hydrogen, an analogue for the electron emerges and that combined with the SR equation for time dilation I arrive at a conclusion that time has no independent existence as posted on Jan. 14, 2014.

  41. Faming, Netherlands says:

    It was a few month ago when I was lying in bed but couldn’t sleep and thus was thinking about time. An enlightning idea struck.
    When I read an article about time travel not long ago, I put this idea into a comment as a means to explain why such a journey is not possible.
    Only afterwards I start looking for other peoples ideas and found yours, Reality Check admin, rather similar.
    So I would like to share my comments with you and readers of this site, as it may help to explain the concept a little further. As it is in my native language, I will reproduce it here in translation, rather than hyperlinking. As explained, it is a little biased towards time travel.

    …. [See full text of comment 'Time travel comment']

  42. Reality Check admin says:

    Thanks, Phil, for your very perceptive comments.

    Much of what you say in your first comment matches, almost word for word, things I say in my book ‘Tapestry of Light’ (pub. Jan 2007, see http://www.transfinitemind.com) – I even have a picture of that smoke-ring you talk about (for static and moving particles). Your reference to electron-positron annihilation into two gamma rays appears in my first paper on this subject (April 2011). You’ve encapsulated the essence of this post in your observation that “time is a measure of relative energy cycling rate and has no independent existence”. I think we’re very much of like mind on all of those things!

    As for Compton and de Broglie wavelength, they are two very interesting (and very different) phenomena indeed. I’ll say no more on that, except that they have more significance than anybody seems to have realised.

    I really enjoyed reading your comments – sorry I’ve taken a while to post them and respond to them.

  43. v says:

    I really enjoy these types of conversations and we should always look further to answers. I don’t fully understand everything here but then that could also be said for everyone here or else we would not be having this conversation at all. No offense to anyone but I agree that it would seem that humans would need a much higher intellect and different perspective of this subject to understand it fully. I don’t see how time can truly be measured. If the big bang theory is true then at what point does time begin. If it begins at the start of the bang how would we know how much “time” went by before such an event. That could go on forever which suggest time just “is” and always “was” without a beginning so maybe time does in fact exist and its our perception of it that is false. I would also like to know how there is never a moment with out movement. If everything moves or vibrates at one frequency or another can’t there be something or some force that doesn’t move at all. Is there no law of duality…if something can move then it can be still. What about space itself is that always moving. If there is a place where energy does not move or travel could it be suggested that time does not exist then.Again I hope this doesn’t sound dumb I’m not an expert, just someone fascinated by the topic.

  44. A to the Anada says:

    If measurement of time is observed by two objects moving in through space in relation to each other, and space itself is moving contracting and expanding, then how can we ever truly measure time in any meaningful way?

  45. kurt says:

    As someone who is into yoga meditation I understand this. Everything has only ever occurred in the present moment. The mind creates a perception of a reality of time because it holds on to everything that we experience. Yet we can never experience the past or future, because anything remembered would be re-experienced in the present moment. It’s not mystical or that difficult to perceive. Basically the present moment is unfolding itself in precisely one infinite point in our consciousness.

  46. Thought exists so Relativity exists.
    Relativity exists so time exists.
    Time exists so clocks can be brought to exist.
    Spirituality tells we are consciousness, Science tells we are something in or beyond God particle. In both the cases there is something that creates the illusion for RELATIVITY. And we as the thinker or the researcher or the scientist or the meditator we are in this relativity limitation and bound to see , hear , touch , feel and understand in terms of RELATIVITY phenomena.
    The interesting fact is that the answer is free from ” yes” or “no” . “True” and “False” ” Right ” and “wrong”. Because we are inside the “answer” and everything in it is the part of it. So the question can be – then what is outside the answer? And the answer is “correct the earlier sentence” don’t say we are inside the answer say we are the answer.
    Again the question can be – then what is “not the answer”?
    The answer is ” there cannot be question in the answer”
    Again a question arises ” then why the question arising?”
    The answer from spiritual master is ” wake up” to realise, you are in dream !
    The answer from quantum physics “God particle” … Beyond !

  47. Rajib Pradhan says:

    Mind does not create anything not even the thoughts.
    Mind is the traveller. Wherever it reaches thought begins to play. The beauty or the problem is that it can even travel inside a thought of the thoughts. And the sick thing is that even within thoughts inside a thought wherever mind travels the thoughts cannot stop playing.

    Mind travels because it does not exist and yet it is there so it is so much unstable that unless bring it to one point its not realised but once realised it does not exists.
    Thoughts keep playing because its the game of its own thoughts.
    The thought without mind is possible, but mind without thought is not possible. Because thought creates mind , that is ; the mind is a first thought of the thought.

    The moment the thought creates mind , it (thought) begins to play.
    The first thought for the mind to travel is The “I”.
    The first place the mind travelled is the “I” because “I” is the first, one only place for mind to travel to begin its journey. And the rest is the universe.
    The term “Light Speed” is of the science. The term “Mind Speed” is of the spirituality.
    Both speeds cultivates “relativity ” that brings ” Time” to existence. One exists because light exists and another exists because the mind exists. Both are the form of energy because both travels.

  48. Rajib Pradhan says:

    The universe and life here is just a flash of energy.
    The beginning of flash ultimately reaches back to the source and thats the life and that duration is the total time.
    The law and nature of energy with its reversible and irreversible kind is obtained within the potentiality of the flash of the energy. We as a thinker gain knowledge and understanding as the separate being but science is now pointing the source that is very much suggesting the flash of the energy.
    My sentence “flash of energy ” may not be convincing ,inappropriate or looks yet to mature but please take it as an attempt to express according your higher knowledge.

  49. gary tash says:

    Time is an illusion generated from the way the brain perceives and processes information. It is a convenience in the fashion of money, which is a product of human minds only, allowing us to measure in a uniform manner. What we perceive as time are merely processes involving movement, energy, matter and space. These processes are not instantaneous, they have a duration to complete themselves and the durations have ratios or proportionality to each other and surrounding processes. That is why I’m very puzzled by the constant references to “spacetime” in science. It is more likely that “time” seemingly slows at very high velocities because of the massive energy gain at those speeds and the resultant gain in mass, that based purely on mechanical grounds, slows movement. Feedback would be most appreciated.

  50. Reality Check admin says:

    Thanks, Rajib, for your comments.
    I’ve taken a while to post them as I wasn’t sure how much of your various thoughts to include. As you’ll see, I’ve included all of them as I think it’s only fair to allow others to read and consider them. I don’t fully agree with what you say – but then, your views aren’t there to be agreed with or disagreed with, they’re not those sort of observations!
    Thanks for your interesting contributions to this ongoing discussion.

Leave a Reply