Tag Archives: time

Surfing the Dimensions

camellia011316Can you describe this in three dimensions?  Of course not.  Fundamentally, the notion that “reality” is three-dimensional (or four-dimensional, if you include the concept of time) is based on a mathematical depiction of a box, but it doesn’t even describe what kind of box, its color, smell, materials, or anything beyond spatial measurements.

Nothing in nature can be described in three dimensions, yet mathematical rigidity limits our minds to its man-made constructs and inhibits understanding of the “essences” of physical reality.

Albert Einstein could never accept quantum physics, because he believed science should be able to predict with certainty.  That a quantum particle could defy attempts to predict its position and momentum simultaneously offended him deeply, yet probabilities rather than certainties make for an infinitely creative universe with multi-dimensional possible futures.

A desire to know “the” future, to predict or control it, has attended man’s evolution since time immemorial.  When there were no instruments except the five known senses for guidance, man looked to the stars and other natural phenomenon for understanding.  Whether a god or gods created man or whether man created his gods remains a subject of debate, but no one argues about the cycles of the sun, moon, and visible planets.  In earlier times, those who could predict eclipses and the like were believed to have godly powers.

In modern times, we don’t think of ourselves as superstitious, yet predictions abound, and they have the power to influence large groups of people.  But just as you can only predict an electron’s probable location at any given time, you can only predict probable events based on current trends and the beliefs that contribute to them.  A study of astrology shows how futile predictions are, because there are so many factors influencing any given moment.

A horoscope is nothing more or less than a symbolic map of a moment in a specific place and time.  It is completely impersonal, but an individual’s horoscope, cast for the place and time of birth, describes the potentialities of the moment itself, not of the person incarnated at that time, although that person may manifest some or many of the potentialities indicated in the chart.

The so-called “scientific mind” does not accept anything it can’t measure and “prove” by “objective” criteria, meaning it meets certain “laws” of nature.  It’s important to remember these are not necessarily nature’s “laws” but man’s “laws” imposed on nature through mathematics. The ancient Greeks liked symmetry, so conceived of a symmetrical universe, but the cycles of time defy symmetry.  Calendars reflect the difficulty of fitting the solar system into mathematical  laws.  The earth refuses to orbit the sun in exactly 365 days but must take a quarter day extra to make its ellipse (not a circle) complete.  The lunar day is a mathematically inconvenient 24 hours and 50 minutes.  In short, it’s a wobbly universe, not predictable, but in terms of the human time frame, stable enough.

Science doesn’t have the instruments to detect subtle fields or the “essences” of things.  It approaches the “essence” idea with its relatively recent discovery of the electromagnetic spectrum, of which light is the most obvious manifestation.  Astrology and the loose assortment of “psychic” phenomena, operate like electromagnetic energy,  on the principle of vibrational patterns or frequencies.  The Oriental concept of qi, or “life force,” which permeates everything, may approach this idea of energy patterns that are as yet beyond the scope of human instrumentation.

Anyone fully indoctrinated into modern “scientific” thinking might be justifiably skeptical of the claim that there are energy fields outside scientific measurement.  Such people might scoff at the idea that human thought has the power to influence “the” future, yet science has begun to approach that threshold with quantum physics.  That the experimenter influences the experiment–and is necessarily a subjective part of the experiment–shatters the illusion that true objectivity is possible.

Attempts to predict “the” future are also attempts to control “the” future, and those who predict catastrophe become invested in the futures they predict.  They thus take subtle steps to bring about the future they fear, even though it may be disastrous.

It becomes a question of free will and the notion that you can choose what you think about.  Those who believe in pre-destination , that they are fixed on a path and have no choice but to follow it, do not understand the infinite variations possible within every moment in time.

 

 

What If?

What if time and space really are illusions?  To imagine such a possibility requires suspending conventional views of heaven and hell, and unconventional views about reincarnation.  It necessitates considering the “spacious present” as containing an infinite variety of probable pasts and futures.

In such a scenario, what we perceive as immortality is a given, with no beginnings, no endings, and no ultimate answers or conclusions, just a perpetual state of becoming.  In the world of the spacious present, time is not a line, and space is not measured in distances.  Immortality is a state of being, with varying focus creating the experience we call life.  We do not move through time or space; they move through us.  In considering this concept, the question becomes one of how a person might change his/her approach to life if he/she believes there is no final escape and no final reward, just a continuation of challenges and abilities encountered in this existence.

Mystics throughout the ages emphasize varying versions of “Be here now,” which gives the present its due.  Quantum physics is verging on the same understanding of time as a matter of perception.

The idea of timelessness subtends the premise of my novel, in which an immortal being from a seven-dimensional universe becomes stuck in space-time.  He hopes to save himself by saving the Earth from itself.  Unfortunately for Beon, he has contracted the disease of solipsism, which convinces him he’s the center of the universe, and everything outside himself is a figment of his imagination.

This excerpt from the chapter that introduces Beon describes his disease.  It seems relevant in light of our current Earthly challenges.

* * * * *

From “Beon’s Disease” chapter:

Suddenly, the word “solipsism,” caught his attention.  He looked past Bud’s throne to the far wall, where the large screen Interdimensional-Intergalactic Internet and High-Vibe TV transmitted news and programming from 7-D, Beon’s home universe, the one he escaped forever ago, in a moment of weakness.

“Solipsism has reached epidemic proportions in 7-D,” the newscaster was saying.  “Mutant life forms from the destroyed planets Reshiba, Charam, and Binorem are stalking the universes, desperately seeking vitality, spreading solipsism wherever they go.”

The announcer continued.  “We are honored to have as our guest Dr. Robert Strand, medical director for the famous Solipsism Treatment Center.  Dr. Strand is here to tell us about this virulent disease and how to protect yourself from it.”  He turned to face his guest.

“Hello, Dr. Strand,” he said.  “Thank you for joining us.  First, would you explain what solipsism is and why it is so dangerous?”

The camera zoomed in on the doctor’s haggard face.  Beon raised the volume and exclaimed, “Look, Bud.  It’s Doctor Stand.  He diagnosed me, remember?” Bud opened his eyes, yawned, and closed them again.

“Certainly,” Dr. Strand replied, “but I need to supply some background.  As many of you know, in 7-D, everyone is immortal, so life is measured in units of vitality rather than time.  It can flow strong or weak, but it never stops.  For us, time is a minor dimension, subservient to vitality levels.  We can past and future fish, changing the past and the future with our focused intent.  Our vitality levels determine the pasts and futures we reel in.  We know that peaceful living enhances vitality.  Conflict depletes it.”

The interviewer interrupted, his voice nervous.  “If what you’re saying is true, then our universe is severely vitality-depleted.  War and conflict have become the norm, and few remember peaceful times.”

“That’s correct,” said Dr. Strand.  “It’s the major manifestation of a solipsism epidemic.  It’s important to understand that solipsists deny any reality other than their own.  For instance, if I stopped taking my medication, I would begin to view you as a figment of my imagination, to be controlled or extinguished as I see fit.  I could deny your existence or sap your vitality by provoking you into a rage, or by manipulating you in other ways.”

“You are a solipsist?” the interviewer asked.  “I thought admitting you have it is proof that you don’t.”

“And denying you have it is proof that you do,” replied Dr. Strand, with a wry grin.  “There’s some truth to that, but primarily the disease is characterized by the pain you cause others.  Others are forced to catch it in self-defense.

“Solipsists drain others’ vitality to feed their own.  Working with solipsists would have sapped my vitality to the vegetable point if I hadn’t put myself on medication.”  The doctor paused.  The camera shifted to a group of various life forms in a large room.

Dr. Strand’s voice continued.  “This video clip shows a typical meeting of solipsists at the Solipsism Treatment Center.  I called the meeting for new patients to meet and set the day’s priorities, then I left the room.”

Suddenly, sounds of pandemonium blasted from Beon’s speakers.  Everyone was talking and no one was listening.  There was no moderator.  Beon felt his vitality levels decreasing, sucked across the dimensions into the vortex of the solipsistic gathering.

Beon winced and muted the sound.  He shifted his gaze and spoke to the cat.  “Do you remember Dr. Strand, Bud?  He said I was a textbook case of solipsism, the worst he’d ever seen.  He put me on medication after I caused the Triple-Big Accident that destroyed those three planets.  He said my chest pain resulted from toxic buildup of stolen vitality.”

Bud winked, or appeared to wink.  Beon couldn’t be sure.  His eyes drifted back to the High-Vibe screen, where the meeting continued.  “No solipsist considers anyone else wise enough to moderate a meeting or impartial enough to make a decision.  The meeting will continue indefinitely, with attendance waxing and waning, and no resolution possible.”

When the camera cut back to the interview, Beon turned the sound back up.  “How do you replenish vitality?” the interviewer asked.

“No one knows for sure,” Dr. Strand replied, “because no one knows where vitality comes from.  If we knew that, we might find a cure for solipsism, by providing pure sources of vitality for depleted individuals.”

“I know!” Beon almost screamed at the screen.  “I know how to harness pure sources.”

He knew attempting to communicate through the Triple-In was futile.  He could receive but not transmit, ever since he plunged the Cosmo Cruiser through that black hole forever ago.  From a 7-D perspective, Beon had ceased to exist, or so it seemed.

“I was once a hero, but now I’m not even a villain, even though I’m responsible for infecting all of 7-D.  I don’t get credit or blame, because solipsists don’t recognize specialness outside themselves.  They don’t even notice I’m gone.”

Beon muted the High-Vibe TV and jumped up from his chair.  He started orbiting Bud’s throne, a habit he’d developed since his ill-fated suicide attempt, the one that trapped him in this space-time prison.  He circled counter-clockwise, as if to recapture the lost past, with all the choice points that had landed him in this fix.  As he walked, he talked.

“For me, solipsism is a disease, but for you, it’s an art form, isn’t it, Bud?” he said.  “You are the center of the Cosmos, and life serves you.  Maybe I’m a figment of your imagination, conjured just to feed you, invent vitality-enhancing thrones for you, and build robots like Alfred to change your litter box.”

As Bud started purring, his throne responded to the change in vibrations, with its energy field brightening and sparkling. The musical tones quickened, and Beon’s pace kept the beat, stepping lively now, in his circuit around the throne.  The worry lines between his eyes relaxed.

Let’s End the Clock Fiddle

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While the sun and my roosters don’t recognize clock time, I must re-set eight clocks every six months, thanks to the US government.  Now that we have officially gone off daylight saving time, I vote to save time in the future by not having to re-set clocks again in March.

Supposedly, Benjamin Franklin first introduced the concept of daylight saving time in France in 1784, as a joke, but the French took him seriously.

Daylight saving time was first instituted nationally in the German Empire and Austria-Hungary in 1916.  It had been suggested in the United Kingdom in 1908 and had influential supporters but was opposed by farmers and theater owners.  It was adopted in the UK 1914-1918 during WWI. In the US, the Standard Time Act of 1918 instituted it, but this was repealed in 1919.  Franklin D. Roosevelt re-introduced it in the form of “war time,” in 1942 and it lasted year-round.  Between 1945 and 1966 there was no federal law regarding daylight saving time.

In the US, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 sought to establish a uniform DST throughout the USA, but allowed individual state exemptions.  Of the states, only Arizona and Hawaii opted out.  US-controlled territories Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa have also opted out.  The Navajo Nation in Arizona uses DST.

In 1974-1975, during the energy crisis, the US Congress extended the beginning and end dates of DST as an experiment to measure its effects on energy use.  The latest adjustment to DST came with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which re-set the DST start date to the second Sunday in March, and the end date to the first Sunday in November.

The use of seasonal clock adjustments varies around the world.  Daylight saving time is used in 70 countries, most in mid-latitude areas.  Russia, China, and Japan are notable exceptions.

The issue of daylight saving time is controversial and political.  Farmers and rural residents tend to oppose it, as their outdoor-based livelihoods depend more on daylight than on clock time.  The primary beneficiaries of DST are those who enjoy or profit from the post-work hours of sunlight in the summer.  These are the golfers and outdoor enthusiasts, and the retailers who sell to them.  In the mid 1980s, Chlorox (parent of Kingsford Charcoal) and 7-Eleven lobbied to extend DST’s seasonal duration.  Both Idaho senators voted for the extension, under the premise that fast food restaurants sell more French fries (Idaho potatoes) during DST.  Other supporters tend to be urban workers, retail businesses, outdoor sports enthusiasts and businesses, the tourism industry, and others who benefit from evening outdoor activity.

However, a 2014 Rasmussen report said only 33 percent of Americans see the point of DST.  The start of DST in the spring has been blamed for increases in heart attacks, traffic accidents, work injuries, and suicides.  Studies into energy savings are inconsistent, but indicate any savings are negligible.  What is saved in lighting may be lost in increased use of air conditioning in the summer.

Changing clocks every six months, especially since every country has different rules, creates confusion in the transportation, communications, business, and medical sectors.  Problems with clock-based thermostats, medical instruments, computers, and other equipment can lead to inefficiency and sometimes dangerous errors.

Why do we make things harder than they need to be?  Why create unnecessary confusion when the world is confused enough already?  Could Congress break through its stalemate to relieve us of this semi-annual Clock Fiddle?  If only to annoy our golf-loving president?  What’s your vote?

 

 

Daybreak

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S. Squire Rooster, Attorney, for the Law of the Land

No matter what happens on Election Day, the US has the opportunity to curb presidential power and to force Congress to become more accountable to the voter-citizen-taxpayers who have been increasingly disenfranchised.

There are a number of issues I would like to see on the 2017 Congressional plate.  At the top of my list is to abolish Daylight Savings Time.  This semi-annual Congressional jerk-around forces me to reset no less than eight clocks every six months.  The time change has caused me to be late for Easter brunch (for which I was never forgiven), to be late for my first day of work at a new job, and for a number of other social and professional blunders that I’ve repressed.

The guy pictured above could care less about Congressional mandates.  He starts his insistent crow the moment the sun peeks over the horizon.  Nor is the sun influenced by US law, so why is everyone who goes by clock time so easily manipulated by a bunch of lobbyists in Washington DC?

Wikipedia gives an exhaustive account of the history around the world  of Daylight Savings Time.  For our purposes, Congress made created a national standard in 1986-7 (PL 99-369) at the behest of Clorox and 7-Eleven lobbyists.  Both Idaho senators voted for it under the pretext that fast-food outlets would sell more french fries (made from Idaho potatoes).  Arizona is the only continental state that does not observe it.

Today, November 6, 2016, on this first day of freedom from the abhorrent DST, I make my semi-annual bid for doing something practical and achievable without causing anyone undue stress.

Where does your Congressperson stand on Time?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go re-set some clocks.

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Wave Theory of Time

My view

My view

Now that I have retired, I wonder what to do with all this unrestricted time? At the moment, I’m sitting in my living room recliner, looking out over the marsh and sky.  A treeline on the opposite shore runs like a narrow band of greener green than the marsh, all virtually unchanged over the years.

I will take the time one moment at a time, for starters. Isn’t that the point? Each moment is boundless, if given the creative thrust of vital energy. Even if unappreciated, the moment has its own life apart from the person who experiences it. I let the moments fly by unnoticed.  I can’t attend individually to all, but they assert themselves in different contexts, as when I remember them.

chlrwindlat0715How many moments have I spent in this recliner? It’s easier to conjecture in terms of waves or patterns of chair-sitting time, where multiple similar experiences superimpose themselves on each other.  Like standing waves, together they create a symphony of like-toned moments, a certain quality of moment, thickened and intensified, deepened by repetition over time.

I can sit here and remember pasts of similar but not identical moments, times when I can see a blue heron, who is not there now, but forever in place in my memory.

Once experienced, it is forever accessible.

No birds flocking to the feeder this moment, but they live in memory and expectation, a moment’s edge from appearing before my physical eyes.

If I think of moments as waves rather than particles, they can exist everywhere at once, in all times right now, as alive, from my perspective, as they ever were.

Thus have I built quality time in this chair, hours upon hours of moments at all times of day and night, season, temperature, and even location in the living room. The other recliner has occupied similar locations. Together they remind me of blocks of time that contained experiences like Hoppy, the wild baby rabbit my cat brought in, eyes still unopened, weighing less than an ounce. I spent many moments feeding him goat’s milk from a dropper, or letting him sleep in the quilt on my lap. His eye got hurt as he hid in the other recliner, the gray one.

I think of Mama, who gave me the gray recliner, or Clements Furniture, where I bought this green one. I see the vistas outside the window and recall the changing weather patterns, the naps I’ve taken, blankets I’ve wrapped around feet, fans I’ve turned on, as now. Sun in my eyes, books at my side, journal and pen in lap and hand. All these memories consolidated in this moment, in the wave theory of time.

The hummingbirds. Phone conversations. Snacks. The time the pressure cooker blew up in my face and I could do little except sit around and recuperate, or when knees, ankles, or feet won’t let me do much other than sit.

A wave theory of time recognizes the nurturing effect of certain types of moments, such as the ones spent sitting in my chair.