the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space; abstract theory or talk with no basis in reality.
the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them; a thing that is actually experienced or seen; a thing that exists in fact, having previously only existed in one’s mind.
the state or quality of having existence or substance.
The notion of hierarchy is a difficult one to escape when it comes to thinking about the nature of reality from a metaphysical standpoint. Even if say, we change the concept of time divided into its component parts, past, present, and future, and instead assign to these temporal place-holders degrees of perceptive intensity, we would still be saying that that which is ancient is in some respects more important, because it represents a potential foundation for our current civilisation, and so it has more of an emotional resonance perhaps because there is a certain sense of solidity about it, being that it has already happened and is fixed somewhere in the past. Equally that which we may entertain as a distant potential future carries more weight because it is something that we are aspiring towards, it bears the potential of undiscovered potential.
However, I’ve been toying with this notion for some time now, trying to change the nature of my own mental landscape to one less biased by the assumption that time follows a linear progression, to one that encompasses more the kinds of non-linear concepts that I’ve been writing about through these channelling exercises over the years.
Culturally, I think, we have given ourselves permission to believe that that which is way out of our reach, like the distant past and distant potential future has some kind of mystical reverence, submitting to the notion that we could not possibly know or understand either reality, because, well, either one is likely to have been, and likely to be so very different from what we recognise as normal in the temporal now. They appear to be grander than our current mundane experience, and therefore of more potential value, because of what they represent in relation to our NOW. Although it’s worth bearing in mind that the temporal now covers the most recent past and the immediate future, which are both perceived to be within the bounds of the familiar and predictable respectively, and that converge to give us a nebulous concept of the present, which of course cannot exist as a temporal state as our temporal experience is in a constant state of becoming.
This sense of hierarchy incidentally, is an indicator of how we evaluate our perceptive experience as a whole, in that we treat our current experience with descriptors like ‘mundane’, ‘ordinary’, making a distinction between reality and fantasy, with the former implying a burden of limitation and responsibility, and a sense of focus that is meant to channel our efforts into the immediately significant. This is an important thing to note in discussions about the function and perception of time, memory and imagination, because it delineates the nature of our often very conscious thought processes, and the narrative beliefs that we impose upon our human experiences through the act of self-governance.
If however, all of these potential realities, past and future exist simultaneously, then surely they would all be of equal value. Or so would say a logically thinking person, such as I am. But my instincts remind me that the way in which we process knowledge at the physically awake human level, insofar as it becomes relevant and important to us as individuals, and en masse is the part we need to pay attention to. Just because something sounds logical, doesn’t mean that it is the only possible theoretical solution, with emphasis on the word ‘theoretical’.
Now, I’m always looking for the fault in my own logic, because guaranteed there is one. I’ve learned over the years that as all knowledge is subject to ellipsis, being that the processing of knowledge is ultimately a subjective one, defined by what it isn’t, rather than what it is, then at best it remains hypothetical, and so exceptions to the rule must always be entertained, even if as yet you don’t know what they are. We can accept that the sheer breadth of what is not known far exceeds that which is, simply because the unknown is an immeasurable quantity, therefore limitless in its potential, unlike the known, measurable world which is limited and thus defined by its apparently quantifiable mass. In the acquisition of knowledge we make a very rigid rod for our own backs!
If we begin with the premise that all knowledge and experience is of equal value, and therefore of potentially equal import, then the knowledge and experiences that we have access to and encounter can be said to serve a very specific purpose for us both on the micro and the macro scale. That’s assuming of course that there is indeed a wealth of knowledge and experience that actually exists outside of our current perception, as my and other channelled sources seem to suggest, not to mention that this line of enquiry is indeed the fundament of science and academia as it currently operates. To varying degrees we can attest to that in that we take it for granted for example, that there is a whole world of experience occurring alongside our own that we have little to no awareness of, i.e. we accept that billions of other people are going about their day all over the world as are we individually, and that their experiences are just as valid and current as our own.
This tussle between the ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ can be said to be the defining quality of the human condition as it currently exists. It is fundamental to human life, and our understanding of it. We define ourselves by what we are not. The process of understanding then, is one of elimination and of comparison with our immediate physically sensory, remembered, and imagined experience. Our validation of knowledge is in a constant state of reinforcement, as it is in a constant state of flux. Or so it would seem if we follow the model that time is indeed a linear process.
Human perception, and the evaluation of our experiences can be likened to the words and sentences that string a page, being plucked as we read them from one end to the other, often in a very specific order so that their meaning is able to resonate with us in a coherent, and melodic fashion. A collection of these words can be deemed a body of work that will have a clear beginning, middle and end, and that will often explain a concept or experience in a concise and self-contained fashion. Similarly our recollection of events, or the way in which we analyse information might appear to be linear, and therefore uni-directional, because of the way in which we create and translate meaning. However, when examined more closely we realise that the internal and external narratives that we create are composites of knowledge that we piece together to create a cohesive and coherent whole, just as authors we may construct an essay or write a book. By design therefore, we create meaningful concepts and experiences that are anything but uni-directional, even if their verbal expression creates the illusion of a linear chain of events or processes.
However, any writer will know that an essay or a book will rarely be written in a linear, start to finish fashion. Such a work will undergo a lot of editing as the whole body of knowledge being presented is fine tuned so that it conveys as precisely as possible the intent of the author. The intent being to create a meaningful experience through a narrative format to which others can relate. How we create and relate knowledge both to ourselves and others follows a similar process, as we weed out the parts that don’t resonate or fit as well as the others within our approved conceptual models. Indeed the same process is involved in the evaluation and dissemination of knowledge as it pertains to personal and mass experiences.
The structure of verbal language plays a very important role in the way that we create and express meaning, and invariably in the way that we understand the world around us. As such our comprehension of the concepts of time, space, and the nature of reality are strongly affected by our need to verbalise our experiences. This brings us to another very significant factor in the creation of understanding, in that it is a collaborative affair which gains its validity from consensus with others having similar experiences. The fallacy however, that I believe we are frequently faced with, that I personally find myself facing, is that this consensus is regarded as the highest form of approval in the validation of knowledge, especially when that consensus is reached among peers of a notable social standing. This is often the point at which knowledge begins to be expounded as a set of absolutes, as facts, and thus as immutable truths. This most dangerous of assumptions dismisses the purpose of knowledge and its shared expression, if you take into consideration that it is fundamentally flawed by its hypothetical and superficially engineered nature.
Our understanding of time is simplistic at best, and predominantly based upon what we have been taught by the learned establishment throughout the course of our lives. As I currently perceive it, many of us have bought into the widely accepted social narrative of what is considered current and acceptable. Furthermore, we have likely also bought into the part of the narrative that tells us that questioning such basic assumptions is not conducive to maintaining strong social relations, because it limits the willingness of others to accept us into their adoptive social circles, and thus truncates our ability to be successful, and to grow and evolve in a healthy manner.
Knowing that, we can perhaps begin to forge new ideas and narratives based on a more transparent understanding of how our current perceptions operate, and discard what we have been taught thus far in favour of a less limiting avenue of inquiry.
If our core understanding of the nature of time, space and reality is solely dependent on maintaining good favour with others, then it would appear, to me at least, that it has little to do with a desire to understand the nature of these concepts at all. In fact it displaces the import and validity of personal, subjective experience in favour of appeasing the elected masses where knowledge is selected in terms of hierarchical importance, according to the accepted rule, and where the validity of personal inquiry is quashed, or considered at the very least to be whimsical and of little importance, or at the other end of the scale, the machinations of an eccentric genius. Through self-governance and limitation we oppress ourselves, and disregard the very nature of our own personal realities and the very valuable wealth of personal knowledge that we have at our disposals. Why? God only knows. Maybe because the fear of rejection is a much more powerful motivational force than we like to believe it is.
The only way to understand the nature of time, space and reality is to begin with understanding what it isn’t, and by eliminating the illusion of what it appears to be in order that we might develop new ways of looking at it.
I’ve been struggling most of the day with this particular article. Unlike my channelled pieces that are coherent by virtue of a lack of conscious effort on my part, trying to rationalise some of these metaphysical concepts through the tight focal lens of a commonly accepted outlook has been like trying to untangle a huge ball of knotted yarn. One has to affix so many caveats to such a treatise in order that it makes any logical sense at all, mostly of course, to me. It’s exhausting. I tell myself that that in itself should be an indicator of the validity of a commonly accepted concept. That if you feel like you have to dig yourself out of a very deep hole in order to create validity, then the hole really wasn’t worth digging at all, and that the concept was likely heavily flawed to begin with.
In short, our understanding of time, space, and the nature of reality as based on the standard social model is bogus.
4 thoughts on “The Daily Channel – The Misconception of Time, Space and Reality.”
I’ll need to read through this again to come up with any sort of intelligent insight, but one thing did resonate a lot. Do the consensus nature of our defining what I consider to be currently (in linear time) unknowable, we do actually seek acceptance from our peers more that understanding. If 100 scientists tell you that time moves from left to right, it’s far more important, socially, to nod and agree than to test whether you can close your eyes and experience time in a different way. Perhaps it’s this consensus that does define reality, since no one wants to jump away from these definitions and be considered a whack job.
I don’t think I (or science) understands the nature of space-time. Indeed, I’m not convinced that space and time are even directly related. We can see things that no longer exist, and can’t see others that do. Is our seeing the light from a star the same as looking into the past? If our telescopes could see object moving around a distant sun that went supernova a billion years ago, but whose explosive light hasn’t reached us, have we seen the past? Is that time still linear, or are we simply confined to this one-dimensional time stream because of our infantile science?
I’m less swayed by any argument than I am by the belief that no one can possibly know? Is time linear? Hell, we don’t even know if space is linear yet.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. My blog is now fixed, new theme and all, and a tad more legible than it was before. Big font too which is good for my tired, achey eyes!
I suppose in more recent years I have come to feel thoroughly duped by our societal teachers, who seem to be quite happy to espouse paper thin hypotheses as if they were facts in a bid to tame the masses. I understand the motivation behind it, the need to conform and be accepted by others, it’s what makes us human. You worded it very well:
” If 100 scientists tell you that time moves from left to right, it’s far more important, socially, to nod and agree than to test whether you can close your eyes and experience time in a different way. Perhaps it’s this consensus that does define reality, since no one wants to jump away from these definitions and be considered a whack job.”
It makes me wonder then, if our experience of reality is ever about the information the experience provides us with, or wether it is just about the experience of being alive that counts. If that’s the case, then all knowledge as we think of it does not serve the purpose that we are told it does. We are taught that knowledge makes us successful. It provides us with opportunity and wealth, and the gaining of respect from one’s peers. It still sounds like one of those commercials that tries to sell you more than just the product by introducing concepts that have little or nothing to do with the product at all. But I suppose information without being applied to a meaningful context is just dry information, like a block of lard that when applied to a piece of hot toast is just lard spread on a piece of dry bread. The glamorisation and the prolonged exposure to the marketing of the block of lard is what we remember however when we take a bite of that hot, buttered toast, and for a moment we are fooled into believing that we did something right, and that all will be right with the world.
Knowledge then, for the sake of knowledge has no purpose. Perhaps it’s time these important concepts were marketed differently, packaged in a way that was more honest maybe?
Maybe that’s a future post–marketing truth.
It has a good ring to it. 🙂