It’s a very nervous diposition, and by nervous disposition I mean one that instils emotions in your very nerves, making them alive and pulse and behave like tendrils of human tendencies. I’ve captured myself into that dreaded fear of not wanting time to move forward. Instantly unheeding of the adventure and intrepidity that advancing minutes usually bring to my veins, my mind has sat down in my body, curled up in meninges, and now refuses to budge. A silly enough reason lurks behind the most mature of responses, I being no sore thumb. I’ve misplaced my umbrella yet again, making the number of times this folly has frequented my threshold large enough to indiscriminately fill two of the blog pages I currently find myself staining. I’m dreading breaking this news to my mother, and hence take to this sad pastime under a sniggering branch of a banyan tree. I’m teasing my skills towards slow, measured rants, meaning expressions of spontaneity conveyed through succinctly framed, and elaborately worded compositions. This is the first and the most inexperienced of my ventures, and I would greatly thank anyone who overlooks any instance of immaturity that may peek out from beneath this ocean of abstract vocabulary like blood from a poorly-imposed bandage.
Why is it that time moves forward? A question that seems so commonplace it never reaches the apparently ‘broad’ spotlight of attention we offer to questions worth deliberation. For to question the passage of time would mean to question why the leaf moves when detached from its parent, or the brush lathers the tooth against occasional, sleepy drafts of air; or why the sun goes up and down and back up as a gleeful child on a trampoline spree, or why rocks cascade when pushed from atop high lands, or why the clock ticks, ticks and ticks again in our ears with such persistence that the mind soon finds it beneath practicality to heed its sounds as anything more than circumstantial pebbles, or even nuisances.
Therefore, I end this short-lived episode with my viewpoint as I sit here, breathing in the banyan smell, a fragrance so rich and inspiring I’m sure it turns the rocks below into geologically inclined miniatures of Aristotle. Time isn’t real.
We have surpassed my rather defunct limitations of human reasoning centuries ago, when we divided distance into fragments and allotted every fragment a unit of temporal measure. The ideology of time moving forward is turned on its feeble head the moment one realises the reality: there is no time to move forward.
The earth is lapping up hundreds of light years of space in less than four hundred days, and this monumental distance has been divided into pieces or pointers of reality; this vast, directionless quantity been notched down into tangible milestones coined as months, weeks, days, hours and minutes and seconds, all the way down to the last nanosecond that holds such paramount value when shoved just before the third hour of an examination. Think of time as an incessant, ever-existing stream of successive events, and you will easily be hoodwinked into pledging your alliegance to the beaten-to-death idea of time as an entity that’s always moving forward. What matters, therefore, is not a shift of belief but a shift of perspective.
It is my firm and informative stand that humans have created the illusion of time as an inconsequential background to all events, for time, a concept so layman, explored relishingly by laborer and philosopher alike, is actually a tangible remnant of a higher dimension.
As Earth, this fall, rises rejuvenated from another anniversary of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, we pore into one of the fundamental interpretations of the idea that shaped physics for the rest of posterity. Time isn’t a film reel of sequences continuously moving forward, as popular research claims; it is a coordinate that helps determine the position of an event in a four-dimensional ‘block’ universe. Just as length, breadth and height help us locate an asteroid hovering somewhere near Mars, so does time help us identify exectly which form of the asteroid we wish to consider. The asteroid thirty years before today will, for instance, be much different from the same asteroid thirty thousand years from now. Adding time as the fourth coordinate helps identify the disposition of an object to near-accurate precision, for it takes into account not just the spatial location of the object but also the exact point in the life of the object we are referring to. If such a theory is proven true, then it truly testifies the famous dialogue from the Three Eyed Raven: “The past (and the future, if we’re proven correct) has already been written. The ink has run dry.” Of course, this theory, and my citation of the most-watched television show on earth has raised the question of time travel, but in the light of my mother trying to reach me through incessant phone calls and frantic shouts from the balcony, it is best we leave that for further ponderment.
What remains then, is little more than a disturbing thought. If time isn’t a linear, flowing sequence of events but a static parameter of measurement woven into the very fabric of the universe, is it really fact that out futures have already been decided? Will the inevitability of fate, an idea delved into with delight by every tragic writer to have ever penned, finally receive scientific consolidation? Will we ever be privileged to partake of the honor of viewing the cosmos through a four-dimensional perspective, and gain the ability to hop between moments and hours and millenia with the effort of hopping from one room to another? And will I, even after being granted such an overwhelming power, ever get my umbrella back? I like to keep my thoughts positive.
Gathering the positively three-dimensional remnants of my Lays Tomato, I brush crow excreta and banyan fragrance off my hood and trudge towards home and an angry mother. Save me, passing hypercube.