• Brett

    Can't argue with that. Of course your right.
  • BrianW

    It is just a concept, a predominantly metaphysical one. But then knowledge of reality would have to be constructed predominantly on metaphysical (beyond our physique/physics) blocks. There are books with such ideas, try books on spirituality, yoga, esoteric, etc. However, beyond books, it is possible for someone, if diligent enough, to work out reality for themselves since it is something they are. The idea is to know thyself and it's the best way to learn (see Sadhguru).
  • Punshhh
    I'm already there, have been for a long time. The difficulty I have is the translation of those ideas into a form palatable for contemporary Western Philosophy.
  • Punshhh
    The problem as I see it is the approach of academic philosophy. You can see it in the subject/object thread. These intelligent philosophers going around in circles chasing their tails, over the difference between the neumenon and the thing in itself, for example. I haven't delved all that far into metaphysics because it seems to be more of the same and trying to understand it is unnecessarily confusing.

    I find myself coming to the forum already with a breadth of understanding of issues like what your OP is about, but from a different philosophical tradition, reluctant to broach many of the subjects because I just get shouted down by academic philosophers, especially the post modernists, as talking new age nonsense. Well if I'm spouting nonsense, what are the post modernists up to, I ask?
  • BrianW

    Perhaps, instead of modern contemporary philosophy, try explaining it to the present modern you. If you can explain it to yourself, then it is philosophy.

    Well, the present isn't the past, is it? The past is the past. The present is the present. And the future is the future. They're mutually incompatible properties.

    Something that exists now, is in the present. It may have existed in the past - but that's not the same as saying that it exists now.

    Past, present and future, or linear time as I have learnt to call it, is fundamentally dependent upon our 'refresh'-rate. That is, how many times we need to do (perform) or relay influence over our faculties for perspective to be generated, developed/cultivated and permanently set (crystallized) within us. The intelligence which operates within reality is continuous throughout infinity/eternity. That is, for reality (the absolute or God), everything is one continuous active moment of intelligent application. For us, humans, the 'refresh' rate is quite short. For example, we cannot endure more than a few minutes without oxygen or a few days without sleep, we cannot carry memory from the first moment of our breaths to our last, to cultivate any kind of discipline within us takes many cycles of repetitions, we have a life cycle of about 100 years, and so on. So, it may be said that, in terms of application of intelligence, the greater the 'refresh' rate the lesser the intelligence a particular point of reality applies.

    Think about it this way, why do we say that our reptilian brain governs our survival mechanism. Perhaps, it's because, in one perspective, the reptilian mechanism of physical life is superior to any others. Even today, reptiles are some of those with the longest life-spans. So, it could not be coincident that, through all our life evolution, that part has been maintained.

    Anyway, my point is this, we have a past, present and future, or whatever other designation of time, because the processes of intelligence which we apply need to be reset every so often. This way, when we sleep, nature's intelligence (mechanism) takes over, and when we wake, our activities are a combination of nature's intelligence and ours. For us, time is a better marker of relativity and activity than our memories.

    Another consequence of the refresh rate in our application of intelligence is the size of our consciousness (awareness-response mechanism). For example, I'm currently alone in my study. Suppose, one of the people I know dies right now. By the time I'm informed about it, the event would be in the past. And, before being informed, the concept of that life would still be in my present, eventually to be revised much later after the fact. However, if a significant part of your body dies, you will be in the know throughout the whole process of its demise. But, the intelligent mechanism making that possible is one designed by nature (reality) for us.

    Therefore, it is our limitations that organize sequences of events linearly through pasts, presents and futures. And, it is possible, with unlimited application of intelligence and, consequently, an unlimited consciousness (awareness-response mechanism), to conceive of reality (in its absolute sense) as only having a now. Because all activities are contained within that single enduring moment.
  • Brett

    Well math isnt something that has always existed.DingoJones

    Im missing the connection between man-made things being problematic and the above,DingoJones

    I understand that maths is a description of reality. But the reality interpreted by maths existed before us and apart from us. It’s something we have discovered and are still discovering.

    The connection between invention (man made) things and the discovery (existing reality) was brought about by asking if Capitalism was a discovery (an evolutionary process) or an invention. An invention would be a Command Economy, a feature of Communist regimes, which so far has not worked out and not only failed but created hardships and poverty while producing nothing, therefore problematic.

    Obviously malaria is problematic, which is a discovery. I don’t know how to address this aspect of my post.

    Fate; our fate exists, in the future but already actual. It appears at the end of our life. If we died right now our fate would be there. Our fate is always close at hand, right beside us every day, shadowing us. It must exist to happen suddenly. It’s always the future but it has to be right here to happen.
  • Brett

    The problem as I see it is the approach of academic philosophy. You can see it in the subject/object thread. These intelligent philosophers going around in circles chasing their tails, over the difference between the neumenon and the thing in itself,Punshhh

    I tend to agree with you. Everything’s pretty much set in stone. I don’t come here expecting much except to play with a few thoughts that occur to me. None of us are going to crack the code.
  • Devans99
    If passenger ‘B’ (trackside) sees the light pulse on the left hit before the light pulse on the right does that mean the pulse on the left is the present and the pulse on the right is the future if there is a difference in time between them for ‘B’ ?Brett

    The two people are in the same spacetime location yet the trackside person's past would contain events from the person on the train's present.
  • Punshhh
    None of us are going to crack the code.
    But I have cracked the code, for myself. But in a way that is almost unintelligible to others, except others who have followed a similar path to myself.

    Also crack the code can be debated extensively and may be meaningless.

    I will say though that I would answer you question in the OP with a yes. But if I were to explain this, it might come across as unintelligible to people coming from the perspective of western philosophy.
  • Brett

    Well, somethings are not meant to be explained but lived. Philosophy is action.
  • Punshhh

    Quite, a lot of my explanation would be in relation to the self, being and life, following on a journey.
  • Punshhh
    Perhaps, instead of modern contemporary philosophy, try explaining it to the present modern you. If you can explain it to yourself, then it is philosophy.
    Yes, this is no problem for me and I do after being on these sites for a few years now use a lot of the accepted terminology and process. But the difficulty arises when I attempt to convey mystical thinking, I use words and concepts which most philosophers find unintelligible.

    Let me give you an example, key to my philosophy is the principle of self orientation. Now on first reading that doesn't sound to complex, or difficult a conception to grasp, but it is not that simple. For starters, I haven't come across anyone anywhere who uses or refers to the concept except in a body of work by an author, which I took inspiration from about 20 years ago.

    Let's look at self orientation, what is being oriented and in which direction. Let's take what we agreed on, that all absolute beings are fully present with all limited beings at all times. If that limited being learns skills of orientation via communion with and guidance from those absolute beings, alignments of sorts can be established. This provides the opportunity for the limited being to develop alignments and communication with those absolute beings enabling aspects of growth in the development of the being, via control and mutual alignment with the absolute being through a process of growth/ development and greater alignment, thus a daily practice is developed leading to what could be described as spiritual growth, or walking the path. The limited being if so desired, or if they posses the appropriate faculties to align aspects of mind and intellect, so developing transcendent insight, for example. Can then develop intellectual understanding of what he/she is aligning with.

    This is a simple introduction to the conception, which is I think easier to understand when applied to absolute beings, because they are greater, or further advanced than us, while easily understood through common understanding of deities.

    I expect you will understand what I am saying, but I doubt many on this forum would give it much credence.
  • Devans99
    There is also an argument from the start of time that eternalism must be true:

    1. There is a start of time (because could a greater than any finite number of days have elapsed?)
    2. Assume only now exists
    3. Then [1] and [2] requires creation ex nilhilo - impossible - so ‘more' than only now must exist
    4. The ‘more’ must be temporal or atemporal
    5. Assume temporal:
    6. Let the ‘more’ exist in time2
    7. Then time2 must also have a start
    8. So now we are in an infinite regress of times
    9. But infinite regresses are impossible (they have no first member, if they have no nth member, they have no nth+1 member, so they cannot exist)
    10. So the ‘more’ must be atemporal
    11. When the ‘more’ looks at our universe, which ‘now’ does it see?
    12. It has to be all ‘nows’; IE eternalism
  • BrianW

    I get your perspective.
  • PoeticUniverse
    By this do you mean ‘becoming’ as a linear event and so of time?Brett

    Yes, and in opposition to 'being'/'is'.

    It appears that what 'is' has no alternative, else there wouldn't be anything; so, it's not just that 'is' is possible but that it's mandatory, given no opposite, and so it needs be all at once, and needs be everything but not anything in particular, since it can't have a design point. Nor can it go away; it is permanent.

    Its transmutations according to the laws of nature are temporary and so fleeting that not anything particular remains even for an instant; however, certain semblences seem to continue on as if from a moment ago—these are long events, such as trees, rocks, protons, and us.
  • Edgar L Owen

    First there it's easy to demonstrate there is a universal current present moment in which everything exists.

    1. It's well known that everything in the universe continually travels through spacetime (combined space and time) at the speed of light.

    2. As a consequence everything in the universe is continually traveling the same distance through spacetime as light does.

    3. Thus the current distance everything has traveled through spacetime is the universal current present moment. This is the only moment that actually exists, and it's common to the entire universe.

    4. Now the current proper time on any object's clock depends entirely on its own path through spacetime, not on how it is being observed from any other frame. Specifically all the distance it travels through spacetime is through time if it's path is inertial. However the amount of deviation from an inertial path reduces the distance it travels through time. Whatever the result an object's current proper time at the current common distance it has traveled through spacetime is the proper time it has in the universal current present moment.

    5. There is a unique 1:1 invariant correlation between the current proper times of all clocks in the universe in this universal current present moment, which we all inhabit simultaneously.

    6. It must be noted that this is independent of how observers in relative motion view each other's clocks. That is a matter of perspective, and in general relatively moving observers each view the time on each other's clocks ticking slower than their own. They DO NOT see the actual 1:1 current present moment proper time correlations except in specific cases such as being at rest in the same frame.

    Edgar L. Owen.
  • Gnomon
    This is a problem, isn’t it? Things of the imagination are not real. Real things are temporal. Only unreal things can exist externally and because they don’t exist they don’t count.Brett
    It's the essential problem of Ontology (understanding of Being). Ideal non-things are un-real, because they are immaterial, and don't matter. But, if they "exist" eternally, then their Being is essential, even if they don't count.

    "To Count" means to enumerate individual things. In a reductionist materialistic worldview --- abstractly imagined in the concept of money --- whatever is uncountable (i.e. immaterial) does not matter. So such abstract human concepts as "freedom, good and evil, love, idealism, success, morality, money" don't matter, because they don't exist in a physical form.

    In a Holistic worldview, though, countable parts are important only in their contribution to the whole system. In a human system, imagination is un-real, but it can refer to concrete countable things in terms of abstract symbols, concepts, and ideas. In Plato's theory of ideal Forms, those eternal unreal concepts were of more value than the specific instances in the real world, because they are more than the sum of all things.
  • DingoJones

    I don’t know why that was addressed to me. What do you think any of that has to do with anything I’ve said?
  • Gnomon
    If our fate already exists out there, waiting for us, then does everything exist at once? And if so does that mean no time?Brett
    This may be off-topic, but Gevin Georbran, wrote a book presenting a novel approach to understanding the space-time universe in a larger context. At first it may seem mind-boggling, and it won't tell you anything about your personal Fate, but it does address the literal meaning of your thread title. Unfortunately, like too many geniuses, he committed suicide shortly after uploading the web site. Maybe he saw his own fate, and decided to deny Fate with an act of Will.

    "This website literally journeys through the timeless realm, presenting a panoramic God’s eye view of the big picture. What is timelessness? To the surprise of many, all the world's greatest physicists such as Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, and also David Bohm, concluded during their lives that past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. What then is the timeless universe like?"

    Everything Forever : Learning to see the timelessness of the universe.

    PS___I don't agree with all of his ideas, but this worldview was an influence on my own.
  • Edgar L Owen

    Well it's the scientific answer to whether or not everything exists at the same time or not.

    Yes everything does exist at the same time. Now is the only time that actually exists, and in which the entire universe exists....

    Edgar L. Owen
  • PoeticUniverse
    Eternalism, Presentism, and … more?

  • DingoJones

    You must have meant to respond to someone else.
  • Punshhh
    What then is the timeless universe like?
    I go further than that, if one is to go to this place intellectually, surely extension, or space is in the same place at the same time. So we have all extension (space) and all time in one place and one time. And the extension and time we experience is some kind of progression (limited) through the all I just mentioned. Somehow we, as a limited person perceives a limited space and time. Or more specifically we experience a point in an apparently endless space and a point in an apparently endless time together as our point of existence, or experience, our being. If one views this from the perspective of a solipsist, it illustrates the point well. Really I think we should view all of humanity as essentially one being which has been extended into 7.5 billion parts, or individuals ( actually I would extend it to the entire biosphere).

    So in this scenario we have one being (the human species), in one point of time and one place (the human world), which is somehow extended into 7.5 billion individual points in space. One could also say that this being is extended in time into all the different points of time (moments) experienced by humanity from their evolution a few million years ago, to the distant future (or not so distant).
    But rather than place the moments along the linear time line, it makes sense to me to refer to 7billion individual moments, experienced by the 7.5 billion unique points in space, in this one moment of now that we all exist in.

    All things that are extended are essentially the same, but apparent difference emerges when extension happens on a large scale. Until there is enough difference to be equivalent to the diversity we find in the world we find ourselves in.
  • PoeticUniverse
    We have often asked why some space exists,
    Why it permits the countless to briefly persist
    On Mother Earth, nourished under Father Sky—
    All of those finite sparks that light and die.

    Behind the Veil, being that which e’er thrives,
    The Eternal ‘IS’ has ever been alive,
    For that which hath no onset cannot die,
    Nor a point from which to impart its Why.

    Some time it needed to variate Everything for,
    And now knows how these bubbles to pour,
    Of existence, in some ‘meant’ universe,
    Those that wrote your poem and mine, every verse.

    So, as thus thou lives on yester’s credit line,
    In nowhere’s midst, now in this life of thine,
    For of its bowl our cup of brew was mixed
    Into the state of being that’s called ‘mine’.

    Yet worry you that this Cosmos is the last,
    That the likes of us will become the past,
    Space wondering whither whence we went
    After the last of us her life has spent?

    The Eternal Saki has formed trillions of baubles
    Like ours, for e’er—the comings and passings
    Of which it ever emits to immerse
    In those universal bubbles blown and burst.

    So fear not that a debit close your
    Account and mine, knowing the like no more;
    The Eternal Source from its pot has pour’d
    Zillions of bubbles like ours, and will pour.

    When You and I behind the cloak are past,
    But the long while the next universe shall last,
    Which of one’s approach and departure it grasps
    As might the sea’s self heed a pebble cast.
  • Bartricks
    Past, present and future, or linear time as I have learnt to call it, is fundamentally dependent upon our 'refresh'-rate.BrianW

    I don't know what you mean.

    I have said that past, present and future are mutually incompatible properties. That is, if an event is present, it is not also past and future. And if it is future, it is not present or past. And if it is past, it is not also present and future.

    Do you dispute that?
  • BrianW

    Like I've said, it's about perspective. If you choose to experience multiplicity and differences with respect to time relations, then that is what you will experience. All I'm saying is that, there is a perspective where time relations are not part of the experience because they are too limited.
    For example, here inside this planet earth, we have day and night. Immediately outside of it, they cease to be experienced because that phenomena is limited to the relation between the rotation of the planet with respect to the sun. (And perhaps it affects other planets and satellites within solar systems.)
    Also, I said what we refer to as past, present and future is dependent upon our 'refresh' rate which, as I explained, is determined by the variations operating in our consciousness (awareness-response mechanism) and through our application of intelligence.

    For example, how long is a present moment according to you? A second? A millisecond? A microsecond? More? or less?

    Personally, from what I've observed, a moment for most people is when the attention of their consciousness is directed towards their memory. That is, when they are aware of the record of mental images (the percepts and concepts). Therefore, a moment would still be abstract in its definition even if it got imprinted with other tags and labels, and which would not really delineate any discernible character/aspect from its mysterious/unknown identity.
  • Bartricks
    Like I've said, it's about perspective.BrianW

    So you think that if an event if present, it is also future and past?
  • Brett

    I’ve put up thus quote and source because I know you prefer to see arguments put into a form you value. Hopefully this does. I myself find it hard to paraphrase this sort of entry, which is why I’ve put up the quote. And I appreciate the resistance to throwing up quotes instead of explanation.

    However the point is that Eternalism can be looked at without resorting to mystical forms of explanation, which are rarely convincing or satisfactory.

    “Presentism is opposed by Non-presentism, which is the view that there are some non-present objects. More precisely, Non-presentism is the view that, possibly, it is sometimes true that there are some non-present objects.
    ‘Non-presentism’ is an umbrella term that covers several different, more specific versions of the view. One version of Non-presentism is Eternalism, which says that objects from both the past and the future exist just as much as present objects. According to Eternalism, non-present objects like Socrates and future Martian outposts exist right now, even though they are not currently present. We may not be able to see them at the moment, on this view, and they may not be in the same space-time vicinity that we find ourselves in right now, but they should nevertheless be on the list of all existing things.” (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/)
  • Bartricks
    Why can't you just answer the question?

    Note: I believe you don't know what you're talking about.

    My evidence for that: you don't know what your answer is to this simple question:

    If an event is present, is it also future and past?
  • Brett

    I can’t answer the question because I’m only just getting my head around the theory of Eternalism which I find supportive of my OP.
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.