∆ Dinosaurs, Dodos and cigarettes are always here.


Dinosaurs and Dodos and cigarettes are always here now.

Surely dinosaurs and dodo’s are clearly things of the past, and so the expression ‘the past’ must relate to a ‘time’ that has passed, and things that no longer exist, and/or are no longer happening ‘now’. Thus there must be (or ‘have been’) other times than now, and thus time must exist...

Ultimately it all comes down to repeatedly asking the same line of questions

    “what if things ‘just’ move and change?”. 

And...

    " IS there 'a past' ?"


That is if things ‘just’ move and change, and are not heading into a future or coming out of a past. “If things just move and change would that be enough to mislead us into thinking there was a ‘past’”.

And, despite what we habitually just assume, as things move and change, is a 'past' record of everything, actually created, or existing, in some temporal place or thing we might call the past? Or is this just an unchecked, and unproven, assumption?


A good example of how a past need not be created or exist is to consider ‘cigarettes and dinosaurs’. Consider holding a tobacco plant seed in your hands and looking at the air that is literally around you now. If you put the seed down on the earth it will absorb all it needs from the soil and air around it, and a tobacco plant will seem to appear – in reality existing stuff will come together into a different apparent form. i.e we will never be seeing anything that was not already there, and nothing at all has ‘come out of’ of a ‘future’. And the growing of the plant does not prove there is a future.

 We could pull the leaves off the tobacco plant, dry them (chase the water parts back into the air), and roll them into a different shape that people would recognise as a fresh ‘new’ cigarette, they may even be willing to give you money and buy the cigarette from you. If we lit and smoked the cigarette it would seem to disappear, and we would no longer have ‘it’.

 As we light the cigarette we may say this cigarette ‘will no longer exist in the future’. We might say then say, I used to have a cigarette ‘in the past’ but I don’t now.

But when we burn the cigarette all that happens in simple terms is that it is broken up into lots of little bits that are physically very hard to see. i.e nothing about the cigarette goes anywhere mysterious, especially not ‘into the past’.

Just as the cigarette coming together from existing stuff in the air etc did not prove there was a ‘future’ the tobacco plant ‘came out of’, the fact the cigarette can physically fall apart and be dispersed so it is hard to see, does not mean ‘it’ (all of the stuff that makes it up) has also ‘gone into the past’. And so the cigarette’s demise does not prove there is a ‘temporal’ past.

On one level it is quite easy to consider that ‘of course’ a single cigarette does not prove there is a past or future... for a moment, but then it also still seems that this reasoning must be wrong. Because it still seems essential that the stuff that made up... the stuff that made up... the cigarette must have come from somewhere, and so again we still think it must have come from ‘the past’,

So here I suggest again we re-ask the question ‘what if everything JUST exists and moves and changes’ – i.e. not heading into a ‘temporal’ future or leaving a ‘temporal’ past behind? And, whatever the fact matter exists and moves and changes does prove, it may not also prove there must be a future and a past . so we re-ask, If things do just move and change would that be enough to mislead us into thinking the past and the future must be things or places that exist?

And we have to ask those questions scientifically, and be careful of where we may just be emotionally or habitually insisting ‘things can’t just be how they seem’.

Dinosaur-us,

The life of a cigarette, all just, and only, happening ‘now’ is not too hard to grasp, but now consider ‘the dinosaurs’ – surely dinosaurs used to roam the earth ‘in the past’, and dinosaurs do not roam the earth ‘now’. In this case there seems to be an urge in most people to still insist “of course the past does not exist... but it ‘did’ “ – and in conversation people seem to want me to compromise what I am saying to some extent, e.g “ ‘the past’ does not exist because ‘it’ is over”. But the word ‘it’ suggest we think we are talking about some ‘thing’ – while in the same sentence saying ‘it’ kind of ‘did’ and kind of ‘doesn’t’ exist. The solution I think I see is to consider the cigarette example and realise that ‘it’ (all the stuff that make up the cigarette) is ‘always’ doing something. So ‘it’, the collection of matter, is never ‘over’. ‘it’ is always just stuff moving, whether it is ‘coming together’ as in a tobacco seed growing, or occupying a small compact space, as in being in the form of a cigarette, or falling apart, as in a cigarette burning, ‘it’ is never in any sense ever in a thing called ‘the past’.  

So if things in the universe just move and change ‘timelessly’, such that we may say some things are ‘ coming together’ as others are ‘falling apart’,  then ‘time’ does not exist, and so ‘the past’ are just a couple of ‘words’ that misleadingly seem to point to a real thing.

 

The key here is to realise that even an ‘idea’ like “the dinosaurs roamed the earth ‘in the past’ “ is a thing that exists in our minds ‘now’ – (and there is only now). A dinosaur may be much bigger than a cigarette, but each one, like any animal or thing, is still matter that comes together to form something.  And matter also falls apart into tiny pieces, which may be too small and too spread out to see, and which may no longer operate in close proximity to each other as a single ‘thing’, but is still matter that exists.

So, just as a burning cigarette does not prove the existence of a thing called ‘the past’, and is not disappearing in to ‘the past’, and is always here – every dinosaur is still here now. You and I can’t see them – not because they are actually invisible, or ‘in the past’ but just because all the atoms that make them up are buried deep underground, and/or detached from each other so completely that in absolutely no way at all do the resemble or function as even the smallest part of a living dinosaur.

Such is life, what ‘are’ the people you talk to.

So the dinosaurs still, and always, roam the earth but just as separate and harmless atoms in the world around us and floating in the air. The arguable difference between a rock, or building or a tobacco plant or dinosaur is that something like a dinosaur seems to be phenomenally different to those things in that it can autonomously eat and walk and hunt and kill. A dinosaur, like ourselves lives and dies, and like any other living creature may have a soul or spirit in some form.

So, consider a human child, growing and learning, living and dying. If there is no time how could that kid become alive, and how could they learn more throughout their life, and even learn things that no one else has ever known, and teach these things to others?

Well imagine two distinct people, a man and a woman stranded on a dessert island, completely isolated from any other humans. They get on great and there are enough resources on the island, and they end up having a baby. They interact with the baby as it grows, and of course it doesn’t just grow up speaking any random language, but it learns their language from them. As the child grows it explores the island, sometime alone, and discovers things that even the parents don’t know, and so can tell them things that are new to them.

But the question is, ‘”what ‘IS’ the child?”. i.e. literally what is this new being that is autonomously walking around the island, making new discoveries, listening to opinions, and discussing, even arguing for or against different things? Because the island is completely isolated, and because only 2 people landed on the island at the start, then the answer must be that the ‘child’ with all his or her discoveries, thoughts and beliefs etc must ‘be’ some of the stuff on the island. That is to say, for the baby to exist, the pregnant woman must eat ‘inert’ or ‘unconscious’ food from the island. And within her body the food is fantastically assimilated into becoming a baby. The baby eats for itself and one way or another it becomes an evident fact that ‘food’ can and does become sentient.

It may well be that the spark of life, the essence of self aware intelligence if you will, did not exactly come solely from the food on the island, but must be taken to the island in the parents bodies. But the point is that if we went to the island, the ‘stuff’ you or I may talk to and which may ask us questions, or tell us things we did not know, i.e. ‘the child’ literally ‘is’ part of the island, in human form. And the child did not come out of ‘the future’, and was not formed ‘as time passes’, but is always in existence in one form or another. so the spark of life does not get passed ‘down through the generations’ e.g. in a time sense, but just gets passed physically from here, to there.

An obvious analogy is an actual flame from a burning log. We could use the log to ignite 2 separate trees one to the north and one to the east. Thus we would have 3 fires. All the wood in our first log becomes ash, the reaction of fire stops, but the other two fires are still burning, but just in different places, nothing goes into a past or carries on in a future, there is just different stuff happening in different places.

So on our island, the parents may die, and the kid may still be alive, so this seems to point to a sequence of events, we each are born, live, then die. But it is more accurate to say all of the stuff that makes any of us up is (like the burning or not burning wood) always doing something.

For you to be alive, you must being the process of dying. Just as for a car engine to be running the car must be in the process of wearing itself out. We do not live and ‘then’ die, we are dying as, or while, we are living. Whether a tree is dramatically burning or not, it is still growing, and falling apart, it does not grow, and ‘then’ fall apart. In the same way a building (like the ‘Parthenon’ in Greece) is not built, and then falls to ruins, it is falling to ruins as it is being built.

People, trees, buildings and anything else are all constantly, both, coming together and falling apart. The trick is that a baby, sapling, or building under construction, are all coming together faster than they are falling apart. A very ‘elderly’ person, a rotting tree, or a disintegrated building (with more of its structure exposed to the elements) are all falling apart faster than they are coming together. But whatever any collection of matter anywhere in the universe is doing, it is all doing it now, and there is no past, no future, no time... and thus, although it may be hard to grasp no ‘sequence’ or temporal order to ‘events’.

If the parents of the child ‘die completely’ then all of the matter they are made up of, and non of the ‘formation’ that matter is in (i.e. the things that are known, held physically in the in-formation in their brains) is lost to the past, in the direction of time etc, it all is just being physically dispersed in different directions, away from the decomposing bodies.

No dodo’s ‘in the past’.

So , the idea that dinosaurs and dodo’s are a thing of the past, and thus  are things, or events that no longer ‘exist’ or are no longer ‘happening’ can be broken down an reconstructed in a very different way if we realise that ‘events’ and ‘objects’ are the same thing. A tree is an object, and is also an event, it exists, and it happens. More over no matter what happens to the stuff that makes up the tree that stuff still exists, separated by distance, unrecognisable as a tree , but non the less always somewhere being something. (even if some of the matter transforms into energy).

And just as everything that makes up a tree, or dinosaur, or dodo is always ‘some where’ , the matter that makes up any of these things, and everything, is always doing something. Thus objects never disappear, AND the ‘events’ never ‘stop’. So there is no beginning or end to any object or event. The ‘dodo’s’ never started or stopped, they didn’t come before or after the dinosaurs, they, and us, and the stars and the planets are just constantly getting mixed up and taking on different appearances.

Conclusion.

So what I am saying, is the reader, lay or scientific  has to decide what they think is probably true. Either things just move and change ‘timelessly’ ‘now’ and there absolutely is no such thing as the past or the future at all, whatsoever, no matter how strongly we may ‘feel’ there must in a sense be – OR -, things move and change, and there is in some sense a past and a future.

If you hold the second point of view you have to either accept it is not a scientific position, and that you may just assume time exists because the ‘language’ of time is so compelling and seems to make so much sense, and be so useful. Either that, or you should start producing real reasoning and proof to show that it cannot just be the case that things just move and change and this alone mistakenly gives us the idea there ‘is kind of a past’ etc.

The present is not infinitely thin, it’s just how it appears to be.

In eliminating the ideas of the past and the future sometimes we are left wondering then what is the present. That is we may start off thinking the present is this ‘infinitely’ or very thin ‘moment’ that exists just between the past and the future. So if we remove the past and the future we are left with an infinitely thin moment, sandwiched in-between nothing. But this is a result of wrongly assuming something exists, then thinking there must be a problem if it does not.

The idea that the present is infinitely thin comes from the idea that there is a past and a future. But when we drop those unfounded, or mistaken, ideas we see the present exactly for what it is – a massive three (and only three) dimensional space filled with matter, that can move and change and form living or inert objects, which can move and interact in any and all directions. And that’s it, in no way is it a ‘sequence’ of moments that are constantly arising and passing.

Things may be moving and changing at various rates, but nothing is ever ‘fleeting’, nothing ever just exists for a moment, everything always exists and is always somewhere doing something ‘timelessly’.

>> go on to >>>06 Advanced Timelessness.

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