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Is Time Real? One Physicists Opinion May Convince You Otherwise

Look what I found on Facebook…

I was happily minding my own business scrolling through my Facebook news feed, when I stumbled upon a little article from Quartz. The basis for the article was that, although time feels real to us all, it may not even exist! This is of course according our good old friend quantum physics. For the record, I am still trying to decide if quantum physics is helping me out with working out aspects of the paranormal or just gradually breaking down the reality we have already accepted. Is quantum physics our friend? Perhaps a future blog post.

The article goes onto discuss various aspects of what theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli understands about time, our world and the universe. It was some the quotes from Rovelli that caught my eye, especially as he connects time to our very emotions, our lives, our memories and our existence.

Carlo Rovelli’s book on time…

Rovelli released a book back in April called The Order of Time, which discusses our experience of times passage as humans and that its absent at minuscule and vast scales. In this book he makes a good argument in regards to chronology and continuity may just be a story that we tell ourselves so we can make sense of our existence.

You’re probably wondering where I am going with this, but please stick with me on this.

So what’s time all about then???

The article of course continues to go into further detail around the theories of Rovelli and explain how time may not be quite what we think it is. In fact, there’s all kinds of cool examples thrown into this little article, which really do get you thinking about the reality of time.

An obvious one being that time clearly passes at different rates from one location to another. For example, on a mountain top time passes faster than at sea level for example. Then there’s the feeling of how time passes dependant on what you may be doing, it can either appear to move quickly and ‘fly by’ or be so slow that you could remark that it feels its moving backwards.

Of course we are all aware of the different time zones around the world, most are aware that when look at distant planets what we see is old information because the light takes time to travel. However what some may not know is that uniformity of times is actually a fairly modern thing. Prior to this more modern consideration of time, different places would consider specifics like ‘noon’ to occur at different points in the day. Not dramatically different mind you, but different. ‘Noon’ was considered to be when the sun was highest in the sky, villages in Europe would mark this with the ringing of church bells. Which would occur at different times. Hence it was what could be considered a ‘business decision’ as the article puts it, not a fact. Time is brought into alignment by us not the universe.

This all got me thinking!

If we take time, as we understand it in its linear fashion out of the equation so to speak, then what we have left is a sequence of events related to locations that occurred during our existence. Stuff that happened to us and others around us at some place. Oddly when you start to think of things like this it begins to draw some interesting similes with the paranormal. In order to visualise this I thought of it as each of our life events being written on a post-it and stuck on a wall. The wall represents our life as one whole experience broken down into the many that make it up. The order of the post-its on the wall depends on their relationship to the other post-its on the wall. Thus if one post-it describes a birthday party and another describes a bike ride on a bike that was received for the birthday that relates to the birthday party, then those would be in close proximity.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good linear time line with everything in order, but sometimes you need to look at things with a different perspective. This new way of looking at things may seem a little chaotic at first, but when we look closer we begin to see the relationships between the events on the individual post-its. There becomes a correlation between what on one scale appears chaotic and on another has distinctive order.

Paranormal time…

However in order to really bring this into the paranormal we need to change something about our wall of post-its! Let’s get rid of the wall and allow the post-its to freely float in the space in front of us. Now rather than being flat they become more three-dimensional, like a cloud of post-it notes of events. This allows us to see multiple relationships between the events on the post-its, in different directions. Looking from this perspective presents us with events that appear to cross the linear boundaries we usually have in place.

Have you figured out where this is going?

Rather than the collection of post-its being related to yours or even my life experience events, lets relate them to a specific location. Let’s call it Location X, for dramatic effect obviously. Location X has existed for 400 years, so there are now many post-it notes detailing various events that have occurred at Location X floating in front of us. However its important to realise that the post-its don’t just document historically documented events, they document every event no matter how big or small it was. If actual events exist in reality as I am describing, where they are not restricted by a linear fashion, then it may be possible for those events to become connected to new events as they occur.

Lost? Confused? That’s because we deleted linear time, ooops!

Think about it though. When it comes to investigating a particular location, if all those events existed and occurred without time, then they happen now! As in they didn’t happen then or are going to happen, then all occur at once, so to speak. That might mean that nothing gets recorded at a location, no residual energy resides there, no ghosts and no spirits. Which means the activity we experience could be a cross-over of those events or perhaps when there is a particularly close relationship. Question then becomes why are some of the events overlapping? Why are some closer that others or more related?

The only thing that comes to mind at this point, is that perhaps as more of the events are related they overlap. Although as ever this is just another theory, but perhaps this might spark ideas that lead us to the answers.

Don’t forget to check out theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli’s book The Order of Time on amazon, by clicking the link or image below.

What are your thoughts on time and this concept of it?

Please comment below and join the discussion..

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