• TiredThinker
    642
    I vaguely feel like I might have asked this already but can't find it. Some cultures seem to believe time is circular versus linear. I don't know what that can mean. Like a cassette tape that records over itself after a certain amount of time has passed, or is it a simple emphasis on how the seasons change and each winter will be more similar to other winters than other seasons? What do they mean?
  • Jack Cummins
    4.4k

    The idea of circular time is often the idea of eternal recurrence. It is hard to know how that could work though or whether it is symbolic. The only way it is possible as a literal reality is in idealist views of reality in which the non material fell into matter because that might allow for time to be outside of the material universe as some form of eternal cycles.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    The more things change, the more things stay the same.

    Change is constant but progress is an illusion.

    Direction without destination.

    Homo Viator – no departures, no arrivals, there's only the journey.

    ... imagine Sisyphus happy.

    Breathe in, breathe out ...
  • javra
    1.9k
    The only way it is possible as a literal reality is in idealist views of reality in which the non material fell into matter because that might allow for time to be outside of the material universe as some form of eternal cycles.Jack Cummins

    In case you're not familiar with it, there is this:

    The Big Bounce is a hypothesized cosmological model for the origin of the known universe. It was originally suggested as a phase of the cyclic model or oscillatory universe interpretation of the Big Bang, where the first cosmological event was the result of the collapse of a previous universe. It receded from serious consideration in the early 1980s after inflation theory emerged as a solution to the horizon problem, which had arisen from advances in observations revealing the large-scale structure of the universe. In the early 2000s, inflation was found by some theorists to be problematic and unfalsifiable in that its various parameters could be adjusted to fit any observations, so that the properties of the observable universe are a matter of chance. Alternative pictures including a Big Bounce may provide a predictive and falsifiable possible solution to the horizon problem, and are under active investigation as of 2017.[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bounce

    So it's said, this model can be accommodated for by both physicalism and at least certain types of idealism or neutral monism. And it is one of "eternal return" / "circular time".

    EDIT: wanting to preempt this just in case it might come up: to use certain terminology commonly enough used on this forum: if - for example - a panpsychistic objective idealism, then the Big Bounce can be accommodated by such system of idealism.
  • TiredThinker
    642


    One person reference the pyramids as to why our future gives us the technology to create the pyramids? That is crazy. I mean we still apparently went back to slavery in that case.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    One person reference the pyramids as to why our future gives us the technology to create the pyramids?TiredThinker

    Well, he's a limo driver and not a scientist !

    Thought you'd like to see a host of "ideas" :cool:
  • punos
    155


    Circular time can mean different things in different contexts. I think what you're asking about specifically is called for example in the ancient Greek culture "the ages of man", or in the Hindu traditions the "Yugas". All the ancient cultures believed that all civilization on Earth ebbed and flowed between high and low periods of time lasting a couple to a few thousand years. Things get very good such as in the "golden age" and then things decline into an "iron age" when things get very bad, and back around like a wheel of time.

    The approximately 24,000 year precessional cycle of the equinoxes is purported to be the cause of these historical time cycles on the Earth. The Zodiac was a cosmic calendrical system developed by very ancient people to track Earths position in this precessional time cycle. It was deemed important to track these cycles because depending on where in the cycle the Earth was could mean disasters and catastrophes due to repeating periodic conditions in our solar system.. having to do with a dark binary star partner (probably a brown dwarf star) to our Sun.

    Today modern people think of time linearly in the sense that things are always better in the future or present than they are in the past. According to the Hindu yuga short count system (not the long one) we are at the cusp moving into Dvapara yuga and out of Kali yuga (Iron to Bronze respectively). Transitions between these cycle periods are usually accompanied by social, climactic, and geological disturbances.


    check these out for more details:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_Man
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuga_Cycle

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_precession#Polar_shift_and_equinoxes_shift
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_calendar#Long_Count

    https://binaryresearchinstitute.org/bri/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Sri_Yukteswar_Giri
    book: "The Holy Science" by Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    I vaguely feel like I might have asked this already but can't find it. Some cultures seem to believe time is circular versus linear. I don't know what that can mean. Like a cassette tape that records over itself after a certain amount of time has passed, or is it a simple emphasis on how the seasons change and each winter will be more similar to other winters than other seasons? What do they mean?TiredThinker

    I think what they mean is that if you don't standardise the passage of time. By that I mean give it an arbitrary discrete measurement - a finite unit such as a second, minute or hour etc, which can accumulate or be counted upwards on an infinite line (linear time) in chronologically recorded order,

    Then,

    The only other possibility to perceive time is in cycles. Rhythms, frequencies, oscillations - things that repeat themselves again and again but at different rates (orbits, seasons, tides, reproduction) and are built into larger cycles on orders of magnitude.

    The irony being that all clocks that we use to measure time as linear, are based on oscillations/frequencies: sundials, hourglasses and their inversion when they run out, pendulums, the circular clock face, quartz crystal vibrations, the rate of decay of isotopes, etc. The smaller and more numerous the oscillation the more accurate it is as it is less influenced by the external environment/set up.

    Hence the atomic clock. So precise in fact that it could measure the influence of gravity and speed on the passage of time.

    I hope this helped/was useful.
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.4k
    I vaguely feel like I might have asked this already but can't find it.TiredThinker
    Not improbable, if time is circular. The time has returned to a point for you to ask this question again! :grin:

    Well, my view of time is that it is neither circular not linear, since these things apply to physical things, and time isn't. Actually it is not even non-physical. It simply isn't anything at all. It only exists in our minds as a concept and used for description purposes as well as a dimension for measuting movement and change.
  • Nils Loc
    1.1k
    Circular Time: It's all going to just happen again for the very first time (like a virgin).
  • punos
    155
    Circular Time: It's all going to just happen again for the very first time (like a virgin).Nils Loc

    I think it's better to not think of it as just a circle but more like a coil or spiral (hybrid of line and circle). As time comes around to repeat the cycle it doesn't simply just repeat the same cycle literally as the last time but builds on the cycle that came before.. thus advancing or moving one level up or out with every cycle. We know that this summer was not the exact same summer from last year, every summer is a new summer, but what happened last summer will go some way in determining what happens this summer, so on and so forth.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    When might time come to a halt? A photon moving at light speed experiences no passage of time due to complete dilation, and a hypothetical environment in which there are absolutely no physical changes. So, complete stillness and complete speed = no time. Forget seasonal changes that suggest "circular" time or any such geometrical analogies.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    or spiralpunos

    Like a helix? Like the fundamental code at the basis of our living existence. Lol.

    I think evolution mimics the form of its underlying rules, as fractals do.
    Like the golden ratio which can be seen in dna, in how a sunflower arranges its seeds, the shape of a conch shell, how a galaxy is shaped etc. All products of times continuing emergence of cycles built on cycles - Or - as you said, a spiral - a revolution that is not the exact same as the one that came before it.

    I imagine time as one fundamental cycle of an Inconceivably large magnitude, one you could easily assume will never repeat and is thus linear.

    This cycle contains smaller more rapidly changing, more highly energetic and chaotic cycles all rotating against one another like cogs in a machine. But not only do they rotate statically against eachother but they themselves revolve on the circumference of a larger cycle so that constantly new emergent phenomena appear as they interact with one another and different cycles they have et encountered yet.

    Plate tectonics (convection currents) and the cycle of ice meteors repeatedly hitting the earth gave rise to a new phenomenon: oceans and land.

    The ocean as a new emergent phenomenon then sets up its own cycle - with land and the moons orbit (tides) and with the equator (hot) and poles (cold) - ocean currents - again convection, and so on and so forth. The complexity of the system constantly increasing - more ways to be chaotic and orderly simultaneously.

    The beauty of the geometry of a circle is it is the union of the finite/discrete - a line of determined length, and the infinite and irrational - pi (a number that goes on forever and never repeats but statistically would contain all possible sequences that could ever exist).

    A circle then is infinite on its circumference as it has no start or end, but a discrete finite point at its center.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    2.5k
    When might time come to a halt? A photon moving at light speed experiences no passage of time due to complete dilation, and a hypothetical environment in which there are absolutely no physical changes. So, complete stillness and complete speed = no time. Forget seasonal changes that suggest "circular" time or any such geometrical analogies.
    jgill

    That's because a photon travelling at the speed of light is pure potential energy. It is change itself. The ability to do work on its surroundings. Its surroundings then must be material, slower and not travelling at the speed of light, and thus experiencing time, and having duration as solid substantial interacting/changing things.

    Pure change can change/act upon everything else except itself. It is a constant - the speed of light.

    The minute it acts on itself it is no longer change but rather the changed, not pure potential, less potent, and subject to other things that limit its potency - time/space etc.

    I think this is what Einstein equation E=mc2 signifies.
    Energy is matter when it is worked upon, and energy when it's doing the work. The ability to span the whole spectrum between the two is the ultimate potential.
  • punos
    155


    Yes.

    “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” - Nikola Tesla
  • punos
    155
    I think evolution mimics the form of its underlying rules, as fractals do.Benj96

    In the same way that the dunes of the desert can tell you about the wind (the name of the wind is written in the sand), or a foot print in the sand can tell you much about who or what stepped on that spot. Time is the wind and we are the dunes. Everything evolution does is written on the "wall" so to say, just not everyone can see the wall, and yet others who do see the wall can't read the writing. Only a few can read what evolution is trying to say.
  • punos
    155
    I imagine time as one fundamental cycle of an Inconceivably large magnitude, one you could easily assume will never repeat and is thus linear.Benj96

    That is what i call the "prime soliton".. one wave the size or amplitude of the entire universe. All other waves fit inside this one wave (the universal carrier wave) in half multiples resembling a fractal structure of smaller and smaller waves of higher frequencies but lower amplitudes.
  • punos
    155
    Pure change can change/act upon everything else except itself. It is a constant - the speed of light.Benj96

    It's interesting to note in reference to the quote that the photon is the only boson that does not interact with itself (all other bosons do self-interact). Photons interact with all fermions except for neutral leptons or neutrinos. I'm still trying to work out what that might mean.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Photons interact with all fermions except for neutral leptons or neutrinos. I'm still trying to work out what that might mean.punos

    And I'm sure you will elucidate an explanation for that in time. I myself am not as well versed on those particular specifics of quantum mechanics. So you're more educated interpretations for sure take the floor on such subjects..

    I'm happy to hear what you come up with, how you apply meaning to those things and weave them into the big, cohesive, connected picture.
  • Constance
    1k
    I vaguely feel like I might have asked this already but can't find it. Some cultures seem to believe time is circular versus linear. I don't know what that can mean. Like a cassette tape that records over itself after a certain amount of time has passed, or is it a simple emphasis on how the seasons change and each winter will be more similar to other winters than other seasons? What do they mean?TiredThinker
    Just a thought: There is in place a structural problem, which is that you can never get the bottom of what time is since time is presupposed by the "getting". But more importantly, the linear concept of time has as its basic elements, past, present and future, and it is very difficult to disentangle these from one another. first, past and future don't have any, well, presence, I mean, there is never a past of a future there to witness, for witnessing is always a present event, but this present falls apart entirely without a past of future to give it meaning. How would this even work, given that to acknowledge a present event begs the question, what is an event? And what is an event if not a beginning toward and end, and what are these if past and future are removed from the analysis? So we are stuck with this construction: past, present and future are aspects or features of a temporal unity that itself of not a "thing of parts", if you will. But this unity itself stands outside of time, or rather, does not "stand" at all, for it belongs to metaphysics.
    All inquiry meets metaphysics, and this is ubiquitous at the level of basic questions. But to consider how past, present and future are, in analysis, just ONE. One dynamic. The question in my mind is, can we realize this prior, primordial unity in a way that is not an abstraction of speculation? How does this play out in meditation, say; or Husserl's reduction? Or apophatic theo-philosophical inquiry?
  • punos
    155


    Oh thank you :-) but i don't have a degree in any of this, but i do think about it a lot, and i have my own ideas about things that depart somewhat from the orthodoxy in the field.

    From my own understanding at this time in my own current working model of the universe is the idea that primordial chaotic energy (quantum foam, or the thing that lies directly beneath it) essentially produces patterns (information) some of which we perceive through instruments as fundamental particles and forces. So for me the idea is to understand the pattern of matter creation (note that matter and pattern mean etymologically mother and father respectively) not just from an energetic perspective like in quantum mechanics but from a structural or quality perspective like "qualium mechanics" perhaps?.

    By analyzing the relative quantum values of the fundamental particles it may be possible to determine by a kind of triangulation what the process pattern beneath the "board" is that produces the fundamental particles of consistent order thru time to form from an infinite sea of chaotic and constantly fluctuating in time energy. The underlying primordial chaos is "pan-symmetric" but localized fluctuations break local symmetry which produce said particles. This is similar in concept to how a "rouge wave" would form in the ocean. The way in which this symmetry breaks is kind of the goal of my investigations into this subject.

    The actual details of my model are a bit involved to get into here, but i hope you found some of this ultra-simplified description interesting or useful in any case.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Oh thank you :-) but i don't have a degree in any of this, but i do think about it a lot, and i have my own ideas about things that depart somewhat from the orthodoxy in the field.punos

    Hey Einstein didn't have a degree in physics when he came up with his ideas. He worked as a clerk in a patent office in Switzerland.

    All great and innovative ideas at the frontier of understanding depart from orthodoxy (what is commonly assumed). Until it isn't. A paradigm shift.

    Never underestimate the power of free thought. If it feels right intuitively, pursue and expand upon that logic and show it to the world. Maybe its believed. Maybe it isn't. But change doesn't come about from settling for what is commonly assumed to be known.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    By analyzing the relative quantum values of the fundamental particles it may be possible to determine by a kind of triangulation what the process pattern beneath the "board" is that produces the fundamental particles of consistent order thru time to form from an infinite sea of chaotic and constantly fluctuating in time energy. The underlying primordial chaos is "pan-symmetric" but localized fluctuations break local symmetry which produce said particles. This is similar in concept to how a "rouge wave" would form in the ocean. The way in which this symmetry breaks is kind of the goal of my investigations into this subject.

    The actual details of my model are a bit involved to get into here, but i hope you found some of this ultra-simplified description interesting or useful in any case.
    punos

    Nah I get it. I'm on board. Based on how my own logic follows ideas I can totally see where you coming from. To me it's sensible and on the right track. So perhaps if I can follow it, maybe anyone can?

    In that case ask yourself, how ought I make it sensible to a large amount of people? Could you for example explain this to a young child? Is it so logical that it is basic? Simple.

    My advice is go with it. Follow your reasoning to an end, whatever that may be, and then perhaps question why it ended where it I did, and re-evaluate just enough to progress it pass that point.

    You seem like a very considerate and intelligent person. That for me is all it takes to push boundaries. You just need confidence in yourself
  • punos
    155


    You also seem intelligent and thoughtful...

    ...yes the model in my opinion of course is totally logical, but that all depends on ones basic axiomatic assumptions and premises. For example if one believes in a traditional type god that created the universe for personal reasons as the fundamental axiom is completely incompatible with a person who holds that the universe emerged from chaos and evolves. Some people think from a subjective point of view and then others prefer to think from an objective point of view (the truth includes and lies between both).

    The crux of the problem is to get the other person to agree on the fundamentals first before trying to argue higher level concepts that are contingent on the lower ones. No one learns algebra before learning arithmetic, or calculus before algebra. Some people don't believe in logic for whatever 'reason', or in the primacy of mathematics. One person thinks the universe or time is an illusion while the other thinks it's real, one person thinks free will is a thing and the other doesn't. To have fruitful discussions those involved must be on the same page fundamentally. Discussions about these things have to be done systematically from first principles upward and out. It's not about what you know or don't know because anything can be learned but it's about what you can agree about or not.

    The way to address disagreements is to move the discussion down one level until the lowest point of agreement is reached and then work out the logic and or math together back up and out. Logic and mathematics are the only stable objective criteria by which we can advance to higher levels of truth based on lower levels of truth. This chain of logical progression must not be broken all the way up the latter of understanding.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    The way in which this symmetry breaks is kind of the goal of my investigations into this subject.punos

    @apokrisis could assist you in this. He enjoys breaking symmetries. :smile:
  • Bret Bernhoft
    124
    What do they mean?TiredThinker

    Spiritually speaking, it implies that everything is a waveform. Everything that goes up, must come down.
  • Nils Loc
    1.1k
    A photon moving at light speed experiences no passage of timejgill

    The mathematics of Special Relativity tells us that as a reference frame moves at ever higher speeds, its space contracts ever smaller and its time becomes ever slower, relative to the stationary observer. In the limit that its speed approaches the speed of light in vacuum, its space shortens completely down to zero width and its time slows down to a dead stop. Some people interpret this mathematical limit to mean that light, which obviously moves at the speed of light, experiences no time because time is frozen. But this interpretation is wrong. This limiting behavior simply tells us that there is no valid reference frame at the speed of light. A reference frame that has exactly zero spatial width and exactly zero time elapsing is simply a reference frame that does not exist. If an entity is zero in every way we try to describe it, how can we possibly say that the entity exists in any meaningful way? We can't. — Dr. Christopher S. Baird
    Why is time frozen from light's perspective?

    I still don't understand how something that is moving relative to something else can't experience change. No light in the universe is moving.... because it is traveling at the speed of light... but it isn't traveling at the speed of light... because it isn't moving. WTF?

    Light doesn't exist from its own reference frame?! Seems as preposterous as saying light doesn't doesn't experience change from it's own perspective.
  • jgill
    2.6k


    Thanks for the link. Puzzling, isn't it? Beyond my pay grade even though I'm a math person.

    As for the opposite extreme, the existence of a volume of space in which there is no change of any kind is probably equally unlikely. Even emptiness seems to be flooded with fields of various kinds.

    When I look at the spacetime metric it appears that where there is no (Euclidean) movement it is possible for there to be no time elapsed. But my understanding of this is shallow, even though I taught a course in metric spaces years ago.
  • TiredThinker
    642
    Can we assume the existence of past, present, and future? The past supposedly happened because we remember things being different and may have witnessed their change, and the future can be predicted based on past memories or records? The present in my view would have to be the elusive one because events are already passed by the time we perceive them so we don't really experience present tense, just the echos of it having happened?

    So with those three statuses must time then be linear?
  • Heracloitus
    471
    Yeah time is modular on a 12-hour clock.
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