Some thoughts on the way we perceive time

3개월 전

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There is a small example that I like to use to demonstrate some flaws in our thought process and some wrong assumptions that we make particularly when talking about time. And it consists of the following, first I drop a ball to the ground, and after it rests quietly on the ground without moving anymore I ask you the following question: since everything in this world has a cause, what is the cause of this ball being on the ground? Think about it.

Well, most people would say that the ball is on the ground because I dropped it, and that's the cause, but I don't think that is the case, and the reason is this, I dropped the ball to the ground in the past, not in the present, and the past, as we know, does not exist, but existed, that is, it has ceased to exist. The act of dropping the ball on the ground, happened in the past, therefore, it does not exist, but existed also. How then is it possible that something that does not exist is the cause that something that does exist is the way it is? How is it possible that the past, which does not exist, affects the present, which does exist? How can we tell that the ball is on the ground because something that doesn't exist is causing it to be on the ground? That's not possible. You see, this is a mistake we always make, and it is talking about the past as if it exist, as if it were a thing, and as if it were independent of the present. All the time we turn to the past to explain present conditions, such as "I am like this because I was raised that way", or "this works this way because it was done this way when it was created", etc., the reality is that this is not the true reason, the true reason is always in the present, because the present is the only thing that exists. There is a cause for all those things that is causing things to stay in the same state over time and that is a constant. There is a force that causes that to be so and that is not in the past but exists now. In the case of the ball, for example, what causes the ball to stay on the ground is not that I have dropped it in the past, but in the present there is a force that maintains a pressure so that ball is on the ground, and that is gravity, because without it, the ball wouldn't even fall out of my hand in the first place. The cause of all things is always in the present. The present is everything that exists, and everything that exists is in the present. The past does not exist. The future does not exist.

So we have to stop thinking as if the past and the future were a thing, when they are not. This does not mean that we should not take into account the past, or that we should not have plans for the future, but rather it is about understanding that the past, the present, and the future are not three different things that exist independently and as separate blocks, this is a mistake, it is about understanding that the past and the future are integrated into the present, that there are things from the past that still live in the present, that are constant, and that therefore the past lives in the present and is not something separate. In the same way, we must understand that the future begins today, that it is not something that will come suddenly, because it is not something that we will ever live, since we will always live in the present, therefore, everything we can do for the future is what we do now.

Since the only thing that truly exists is the present, are we acting and thinking as if this were the case, or are we falling into the illusion of thinking about the past and the future as if they were realities independent of our present? Are we being able to see what connects the past, the present and the future and unites them into one, or do we continue to believe that the past affects us and we cannot do anything to change it, or that the future is what will happen tomorrow and not what we do now? Our experience confirms that there is only the present, because we have never lived in the past and we will never live in the future, we have always lived in the present, but are we making the mistake of assuming the independent existence of the past and the future and believe that they are as real as the present? Just a few questions to think about.


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