Monday, June 05, 2006

Time Is An Illusion

I have always held that time is an illusion, and that it is our perception that gives rise to this illusion. This faith grew in me as a result of sitting quitely and mulling over the related concepts. I had no scientific evidence to support my theories. Until now.

Recently I read the book "The Time Illusion" by Dennis Wright, which clearly supports not only my claims that time is indeed an illusion, but also my other claims related to Karma, Destiny, and Life itself. This author has offered a more practical discussion with ample scientific and experimental examples. I hereby quote some interesting paragraphs from the first chapter of the book.

We experience the passage of time physically, and observe it in our environment yet are unable to understand how time flows or we advance through it. It is relatively easy to understand some aspects of space-time as they are observable, particularly the space aspect. When we see a mountain it is simple enough to accept that it has occupied a particular space for some thousands or even millions of years (in relation to other matter in the same vicinity) and will continue to occupy that space for some time into the future.

It is not possible however to identify that place it occupies in time, as the only time period we know exists is this very second we are now experiencing. The past is gone; the past item has disappeared replaced by the now which will in turn be replaced by the future, and what of the future? Does it pop into existence as the moment arrives, or is it there already, and what of the past has it disappeared or does it still exist?

Our existence or consciousness is actually a point or intersect of space and time. We understand our place in space as it is easily observable and as we move from one area of space to another, we can easily see where we are going. We cannot see our progress through time and must rely on memory to know where we have been, and on faith that the past will extend into a future.

Time is the result of the motion of matter and energy. It is apparent that different objects must exist differently in time. Motion is not necessarily a movement through space. An object at rest is obviously moving through time for if it ceased to do that it would disappear in relation to an observer who is moving forward in time. It is therefore apparent that any item observed is traveling through time at the same rate as the observer.

In order to examine the effects of different rates of movement through time let us examine a hypothetical star. Imagine, for the purpose of this exercise, that this star is orange and only emits energy at one wavelength that of one metre. An observer sitting in a spaceship and looking at our star, while at rest relative to each other, he sees an orange star.

Once he starts accelerating away, the colour of the star begins to change as his motion lengthens the distance between the wavelengths of light reaching him. Assuming he could reach the speed of light the star would appear to vanish because he would be traveling with the light waves, if he had the ability to see energy he would notice a wave of energy stationary every one metre.

Imagine that our observer has the ability to accelerate to twice the speed of light, he will again see the star exactly as before, but instead of seeing it behind and moving away, it now appears to be in front and it appears that he is approaching the star.

Adopted from "The Time Illusion"
By Dennis Wright

Yes, all time occurs in a single instant, it is only our awareness, which traverses the moment, which constitutes the time continuum. This comfortably also supports my other claims that cause-effect is an illusion as well, because it heavily depends on the so-called sequential passage of time. Our imperfect mind takes two events which seem to occur one after another to assume that one is the cause of the next. This might be a disappointment to those who believe in the laws of Karma, because this means effectively that Karma is an illusion.

All is one.
Cheers! :)


Eclipsed Thoughts said...


We have been schooled in such a way that we can hardly suppose that there is nothing called time. Some scientific logics might support time as an illusion. Maybe you are right. This is a link which might interest you (cube of space) which i went through months back. I dont say i understand it all, but it made me think for a while.

Go through it and see if it can interest you at all. If you notice, here, they give the perception and sensation in the two corners... past also plays the role. When there is something called past, sensation, experience, existence... blah blah... all intertiwned. It might now make sense at all, or it might just be crapp...still is it easy to suppose time as "illusion"... enjoy the cube of space. We will share ideas about it.

P.S.: I mean i would certainly try to learn something from you about this... hehe
take care

Ashley said...

We are likely far more insignificant in the 'universe' than our egos allow us to believe....

When I was a child, I so wished I was Dr. Who!!

Keshi said...

if Time is an illusion why do we age? What is the PAST and what is the FUTURE?

hows u today Prady?


Navin S said...

Interesting Post

I have to say- Things work by the way we tend to perceive a concept.It has been for a very long time that we are drawn into normalities- to change that, we would require a certain amount of period. I would exactly put the term "time" here. But Think about it

Keshi said...

Pradeep I hope ur ok...


PRADEEP K. said...

Dear Eclipsed,
Thank you for that link. I visited the page and found it quite interesting. I shall read it in depth soon. We can certainly share our views on it after that.

Thank you, again. :)

Dear Ashley,
Your statement rings so true. However, we cannot discount ourselves as insignificant at all. The universe is only because we peceive it to be. :)


Hi, Keshiiiiiiiiii! :)

Awwwww... you are so worried about me. Thank you so much, my dear. I am fine. Love you. :)

As for your questions about time, please read the post, (specially my last para) again.

If you have more questions, I shall be glad to clarify by email. :)


Dear Navin,
The idea of time as you speak of it does indeed ring true. But it is still a relative concept.

In a way, time is always measured in relation to motion, or in relation to events, or something else. It is neither absolute, not real.

As you put it rightly yourself, it draws heavily on our perception, and changes with our perception. It is an illusion, not much unlike a mirage.


Keshi said...

read that para Pradeep...I still dun get it :( I must be blonde lol!


~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hey !

read the 2 posts .. but dont have the energy to comment now , thanx to clashing schedules , resulting in a headache

newat , do u suffest the book ?

nakedwriter said...

Hey Pradeep - Just thought I let you know too that I have just finished reading a book by Julian Barbour about the concept time and its non-existence. Do a Google search or go to - it relates to much of what you've quoted from that book.

Cheers to you too.