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Indigo cantor

commander in chief, Satori International

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How could we relate to the world around us without the concept of time?

I have often wondered about what life would be like if I could not include the concept of time. It is in EVERYTHING we do, think, talk about, it is a component of life that is completely man made, it seems to me it is the glue that holds everything together? without it... what do we have? how do we explain? where do we stand?
what is NOW?
So, how would you explain " life" without time? the universe without Time? all your thoughts without implementing time?

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  • Jun 10 2011: I have thought about this question, but to be in this universe is to be in time in some sense. Of course thats what Einstein confirmed. But I suppose thats not the end of it - new physics sometimes apparently treats all time as being present simultaneously. Indeed if you study Feynman diagrams you can see some interactions that work backwards in time (as we think of it).

    Clearly better men than me have grappled with this issue. TS Elliot for example in Burnt Norton.

    And of course there are the Tralfamadorians in Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse 5"

    Tralfamadorians say that human perception of time as linear and flowing with only one moment existing at 'once' is erroneous. (quoting here!). All moments exist concurrently and it is only an illusion if they appear to have any linearity. Tralfamadorians see people not as a single image but as a kind of wormlike manifestation that runs from the past into the future - from cradle to grave.

    I have often though something similar - that, at each present moment, all past and future moments are present but the future exists as a kind of set of possibilities. As the quantum wave function collapses, as it were, the many potential futures crystalise into one definite present that creates our history-line. Thus free will and cause and effect both exist in what would otherwise be a deterministic universe.

    About 20 years ago I had an experience that drove this home to me. I was sailing on a yatch in a storm when the main sail was accidentally and violently jybed onto me by the helmsman. I felt the boom brush my head and I was stuck by the traveller which flung me down and seriously fractured my arm. Even a half step more and I would have been in its direct line and without question I would have died.

    At that instant, even as I flew thru the air I had the most distinct feeling that the universe had split and in the other universe I had been killed. This was such a strong physical feeling I still feel it today,
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      Jun 13 2011: Oh, the Tralfamadorians! Hello past reading experience, nice to see you again!
      It feels, though, that if you want to be treated with respect, not seen as a crazy dreamer, you are supposed to believe in time as a straight line. They say your life starts when the sperm meets the egg and ends when your brain shuts down. I can't believe that, and never will. Which makes me uncomfortable in some situations, but what to do?
      • Jun 14 2011: Much prefer to be a crazy dreamer :^)
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      Jun 17 2011: By the way, Peter, I also had a experience long time ago (when I was almost 21). I was sleeping in my bed. I dreamed on a setting where everything was exactly as my room was. Each detail was as I knew by that time. The only exception was that there was another guy identical to myself, but his name was very extravagant, an alien-like one. He started a conversation with me, telling me everything about me and my own world. He knew it all. Then, he told me that he was living into a parallel universe, where everything was almost exactly the same way it was in this universe, but dimensions in that new universe were millions of times less than the universe I was living in (i.e., this one). Till this point, anyone can say that this is a simple self-suggestion of mine. The amazing thing here has to do with other things he told me too. He asserted that a train of events will happen to me the next 180 days starting the day after. Each of his predictions were fulfilled exactly the way he said it will have been happen, including location, time, people and circumstances from which I have had no idea at that time.

      I think this experience taught me that there's something wrong with quantum-wave function, because there exists (at least this is the way I read that incident) some location in universe (or multiverse) that has our destiny stored in some kind of hard disk drive and, therefore, when any one of us do something, here and now, it's because that teleological HDD is reading at once any bit of certain information that is reflected in the way everything displays as a process or an event. Let's remember that HDD has a random access to its registers, and the strong implication of this has to do with a very uncommon kind of non-linear time: the CLUSTER INDEXING TIME. That's it. Time would be just a random number associated with any pre-allocated position of the register containing the experience you are about to live in short. So, time could be anything but real positive NUMB3RS.
    • Jun 19 2011: WOW !! Everyone here at TED is a modern day Einstein (especially Peter) !!! To be very honest,I did not understand a word what you said (or trying to convey),Peter.It is maybe because I do not know much regarding this subject.Nevertheless,I am very happy that I am a part of the forum where I can get to learn so much(I really mean SO MUCH) from my fellow TED members.

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