Killing Time: Why Time Is An Illusion
Entertainment

Killing Time: Why Time Is An Illusion

Rough deadlines? Scared of aging? Don't worry! Nothing matters!

35
Killing Time: Why Time Is An Illusion
Institute of Art and Ideas

It’s about time you found out the truth: Time is not real.

“Of course time is fake,” you say. “It’s just a series of meaningless numbers meant to communicate an arbitrary concept merely for the sake of pretending to engage in functional society. Having trains run on schedule is a purely human invention, just like awkward foreplay and Cheez-Its. It’s not a real thing in the universal sense.”

It’s true. The timekeeping of the universe is, indeed, as meaningless as a simile with no comparison. However, it is also the case that time itself is just another way of fooling yourself into thinking you have agency.

How is it that you decide one particular state of being is different from another? The answer is change, whether it’s the slow rotation of the earth, the quick ticking of a wristwatch, the death and regeneration of skin cells, or the slow drip of the pipe in your basement you keep forgetting to fix. (The pail you put there to catch the water is almost full. You should go empty it out.)

But imagine for a moment that there was no change. It would be impossible to tell whether or not the world had been still for a minute, an hour, several thousand years. The universe could have come to a complete time-stop hundreds of times between when I opened this word processor and when decided it was mediocre enough to submit. There is no way to know, and there is no way to measure.

“Whatever,” you say. “I only care about what happens when I, personally, am involved.”

And yet everything is moving relative to everything else, so what is the point of comparison? There is none. What differentiates one moment from another? Nothing. When does Now become Then? There is no one definite event that separates the two. Perhaps everything is just one continuous moment.

All events are relational; they have a fixed position only relative to other events. It would be absurd to say that the printing press was invented before the first organic life form crawled out of a sea of primordial goo, or that the fall of Rome occurred after your breakup with Brenda.

One of these relational events is your existence. If the event of your existence coincides with another event, you would call it the present. There are multiple presents, all of which stand in relation to other presents, but none bear any correspondence to any objective fixed point. In the vast sea of causality, you only have our one subjective relational standpoint, like a boat that never knows exactly how far it is from shore because the tides keep moving and the waves keep rolling and the fish keep swimming and the phytoplankton keep photosynthesizing, and nothing stays still even for what one might call a moment. Not only is there no way to measure the distance, there is no way to know at all.

Indeed, time is just a clever ploy to sell clocks.

“No thanks. I’d rather defend a view of metaphysics that allows me to believe I have autonomy,” you say. Finally, you have made a statement against which I cannot justify any argument. It's about time.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I remember the days where closet drinking before going to a party or bar was part of the night's itinerary. It was a requirement to have a good buzz flowing before calling the Uber to take you to that bar where you see everyone from your high school at. The pregames were the best part of the night, but it wasn't ever because of the alcohol, it was because of the atmosphere and those who were in it. The number of times I've heard "Wait, why aren't you drinking tonight? C'mon, get drunk with us" is endless, but think about it. Where were you when you were asked that? You were at the goddamn pregame and being there doesn't mean you need to be ripping shots. Being social doesn't require alcohol.

I asked 20 people how they cut back on alcohol while still being social.

Keep Reading... Show less

Listen, you can do whatever you want with your free time. It's yours to spend and you have free range. However, I hope you recognize that there are a ton of proactive things you can do right now instead of stalking your man's ex – yes, I know you do it becuase we are all guilty of it.

Take this time to research your privilege. There are always new things to learn and ways to deepen your understanding of yourself, this world, and your surroundings. We live in a multi-dimensional, ever-changing society that needs your help and your time. By that, I mean there are so many layers to each and every one of us, and with our physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional selves, we can create real, positive change.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

This Viral Miami University Instagram Page Features Stories Of The Victims Of Discrimination On Campus

There's a new wave of battles for change on Miami University's campus, and Dear Miami is at the root of the fuel to the fire.

There's a lot going on right now, and everything is extremely uncertain. Some of the largest and time-old issues we're facing heavily right now are the ones around human rights.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments