Friday, December 05, 2008

Time is God

I had this idea the other day and I wasn’t even stoned when I thought of it: and that’s that time is god, or, I guess, vice-versa.

One of the reasons this claim could make sense is that, like the classical Judeo-Christian conception of the all-powerful, all-knowing, creator of the universe, time is everywhere and, one might say, everlasting—that is, it has no end. (Or, you might imagine that time exists outside of time; in that sense, it would be eternal.)

Another piece of supporting evidence would be that, for some intents and purposes, anyway, time created the Universe. That is, before there was time (in the time before time?), nothing existed. It wasn’t until the Big Bang, when the singularity exploded, that the Universe came into being. So, at the very least, time is coextensive with creation, but with just a little bit of fiddling, one can see it was prior to it, or, at least a necessary condition for creation to come into being.

And then, in a certain sense, time is all-knowing, and all-powerful, too. In support of the latter, time certainly can and will defeat everything. Existence (at least as we can understand it) depends on time and should time stop, so would everything else.

The support for omniscience is a bit tougher to make (up), but given that, from the perspective of general relativity (at least according to my armchair physics perspective), linear time is an illusion and everything that ever has or will happen already, in some sense exists, so, to that extent, time does know all and see all.

Naturally, all this raises deeper questions about the nature of time itself; I do, think, though, that there’s a way in which all that time is is the motion of particles, which would make God, if you will, change; and while I’m not at all sure that’s what I would worship, I sure am in awe of it.

5 Comments:

Anonymous lm said...

Quite a curious connection…if it wasn’t cannabis induced, then what triggered this epiphany?

I noticed you did not address the benevolence of the classical conception of God. Is this because you maxed out on words? Or are you implying that “Time-God” is apathetic to the living's plight?

This idea seems to contradict your mystical experience during a holotropic breathwork workshop. You described having a revelation “that the boundaries of our beings are just an illusion and that time and space don’t really exist, either.”

Does this mean you think that time is God, but neither exists? Or by “timelessness” did you mean the absence of linear time?

If that is what you mean, then how could God be change? Change, as I understand it, is the transition from one thing to another. How can a transition take place if something is all encompassing of everything concurrently?

5:21 PM  
Blogger dashap said...

Well, shoot, it just came to me, without any medicinal incentive.

Omnibenevolence, yeah, kinda gave it short shrift; but at least time treats all things the same, so it's perfectly just in that way.

And no fair using my own words to point out contraditions! Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous lm said...

hmmm i'm not so sure time really does treat all things equally...doesn't time move slower for objects traveling quickly? or should i stop taking physics lessons from Planet of The Apes?

well in any case i still think it is an interesting notion.

...and quite off the subject...do you still pal around Seattle with the conference bike?

6:39 PM  
Blogger dashap said...

I guess you're right that time doesn't treat all things equally, but it treats them all according to the same rules, I would say. That is, anything that approaches the speed of light, whether it's a rocket ship or a piece of toast would be treated the same.

And oh, the CoBi! Haven't ridden it in a while, but I still want to buy one.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous lm said...

Should you come into cahoots with CoBi again, i know of 6 prospective riders (including a couple of redhook employees willing to sponsor an outing with craft brew) hoping to take a tour with you.

11:30 PM  

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