Make some time, to kill some time, to discover that time itself, doesn’t even exist.
Once upon a time, it was New Year’s Day.
Starting a new year enables all of us to simultaneously cross a metaphorical line, giving everyone a sense of rebirth of sorts. It is a global cleansing, founded in centuries of mysticism, legend and lore.
What it really is, is a point on a cycle in which we all agree as a starting point, such that in the celestial rotations of either the Earth making a full rotation in a (day) and traveling around the sun (year), or a series of lunar cycles, we are able to come to a consensus on the perception that time is passing. Time flies.
We are happy to kill time. We do it by wasting time. We do it all the time. We find time to kill time. Whereas in other moments of our being, we are making time. We make time, presumably by expending time, so that we find time elsewhere to kill time doing whatever we wish with the time!
Buddha was very clear, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Einstein added to this by saying, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one.”
Yet, here is the conundrum… Ask any physicist what time actually is, and you will be stunned when they tell you with complete accuracy, that they do not know. Time is something everyone thinks they know intimately, until they have to define it. Even more baffling is that the deep sense we have of time passing, may only be an illusion. (Good time to own the name The Illusion Factory). How is it that our understanding of something that we experience (all the time) can be so completely wrong? In the link below, Brian Greene will explain to you a perspective in which every moment of your life exists all at once. The journey takes you all the way (back?) to the Big Bang, where physicists think the ultimate secrets of time may be hidden.
Did time have a beginning. Did it have an end? Where did it come from? Clocks can tell us what time it is. But they cannot tell us what time is.
A common understanding of universal time only became a need with train travel. It was the first time we went quickly into another “time” zone. Each zone was calculating by noon being when the sun is directly overhead.
Time is calculated through repetitive motion. First from the sun, then from a quartz crystal and now with ultimate accuracy with a Caesium atom. Caesium atomic clocks are one of the most accurate time and frequency standards, and serve as the primary standard for the definition of the second in the International System of Units (the modern form of the metric system). When this atom is bombarded by energy, it vibrates and it generates 9,192,631,770 vibrations per second. Those steady vibrations are at the center of our measurement of time. This creates a clock with such accuracy as to gain or lose one second every 100 million years.
But what if it all has already happened? What if we feel we are on a continuum, but the continuum is the illusion?
Happy New (?) Year!