Sunday, 28 September 2008

The Illusion of Space and Time

Time is not inherent to the Universe. A detailed search of the Universe will reveal that there's no such thing as 'time', but only this moment... and this moment....and this moment. Some think of time as being one moment piled up ontop of another moment to create four dimensional space. You can imagine it a bit like a polaroid picture being taken of this present moment and then another being slapped on top, and then another, until eventually a worm-like structure appears. This idea of four dimensional space creates the illusion that time is real, and somehow tangible in the Universe, but it's not. The only place where four dimensional space exists is in the human mind. What really happens with that polaroid as it lands on top of the one below, is that the old picture disappears- it ceases to exist and it's replaced by this moment....and then this moment... For more details on fourth dimensional space you can go here...

Over 99% of an atom is empty space. In-fact there is hardly any matter whatsoever. I like how this site illustrates just how empty an atom really is :

The electrons which orbit an atom spin so fast that it enables a mostly empty structure to appear solid to the observer. If we were to shrink ourselves and accelerate our speed of perception, the electrons of that atom would appear to slow down in their orbits. Eventually the atom would become more apparent for its empty space than its solidness, and I can't help but draw on an image of our own solar system to illustrate this (but perhaps another time). What this shows is an inextricable relationship between matter, time and our rate of perception. The rate at which we percieve the spin of an atom designates just how solid(or empty) matter appears to be. Matter is thus revealed as a function of time. Time is created by our rate of perception and is therefore personal to each observer. Time is the product of how we percieve the Universe, and not inherent to the Universe itself.

Time inside an atom is measured in attoseconds. One attosecond is one quillionth of a second. To try and give that some kind of perspective, one attosecond is to one second what one second is to the age of the Universe. One attosecond is the time it takes light to travel the length of 3 hydrogen atoms. 150 attoseconds is the time it takes for an electron to circle the nucleus of an atom. These speeds are unfathomably fast, but only in relation to our rate of perception which is measured in 'yawn' milliseconds. The earliest response to stimuli begins at the cerebellum within 2 ms, whilst the first response of the visual cortex is around 50-70 ms. A full state of arousal of the brain takes around 200 ms. So what we have is a vast, almost unthinkable difference in time scales : one millisecond is one thousandth of a second, but if an attosecond were stretched to the length of a full second, a second would last longer than 31 million years.

If I was to speed up my rate of perception from milliseconds to attoseconds, then the rate at which I drop the next polaroid would slow down. If I increased it further, say the speed of light, then I would stop....everything would stop....but only in relation to me; in other words only my experience would have stopped. What's also interesting at this stage is the presence of consciousness and its role outside experience. As the rate of perception increases or decreases, consciousness will have remained invariably constant, and indeed, if my rate of perception were to run at the speed of light would we not find that the only thing to exist would be consciousness? Does this then confirm what the mystics and religion have told us for thousands of years - that it's all One, and that it's all God?

I found this on Wiki and I thought it poignant...

A further name for this irreducible, time-and-space-transcending mysterious Truth or Essence of Buddhic Reality is the Dharmakaya (Body of Truth). Of this the Zen master (Zen Buddhism is a Mahayana school), Sokei-An, says:[10]
... dharmakaya [is] the equivalent of God ... The Buddha also speaks of no time and no space, where if I make a sound there is in that single moment a million years. It is spaceless like radio waves, like electric space - intrinsic. The Buddha said that there is a mirror that reflects consciousness. In this electric space a million miles and a pinpoint - a million years and a moment - are exactly the same. It is pure essence ... We call it 'original consciousness' - 'original akasha' - perhaps God in the Christian sense. I am afraid of speaking about anything that is not familiar to me. No one can know what IT is ...

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