The Light Itself

The Light Itself

transcending space-time

Time & Space

We interpret Reality through the lens of Space-time. However, space-time is only a mental model we create in our mind. Neither time nor space exist out there. If we study space and time up close we quickly realize their limitations. They are only tools and past a certain point, they start to break.

Let’s start by looking at time as it is the easiest to understand. You think of time as past, present and future. However, you have never been in the past or in the future. When you were in the past, you called it the present. You’ll also call tomorrow “now”. All you ever experience is the present. The past is gone, the future hasn’t happened yet and all you have is this current sensory experience made of five senses and thoughts. For simplicity let’s focus on sight only. You see because light hits the objects around you and brings that visual information to your eye allowing your mind to create a mental image. But when you look at a tree, you see the tree as it was when light hit it and light took time to reaches your eye. Even if it is a split second, you are still seeing a tree as it was. You are seeing the past. And the past is gone. It is often said that the light from some of the stars we see in the sky is so old that those stars are already dead by the time their light reach your eye. 

If you have been following me until now. Congratulations. Your understanding of time is above average. But wait, there is more to it. Light hits different points in space that are all at different distances from you. It means you aren’t even seeing one past, but a conglomerate of pasts that your mind interprets as a single image. Studies show that the mind keeps the same visual image and when something changes, it only updates the parts that changed. It means if you could stay perfectly immobile and stare at a tree, the image will not update until the breeze shakes a leave. At that point, only the leave will be updated in the visual image in your mind. The trunk will remain the old trunk that hasn’t changed. The brain does this to save time and energy. As you can see, Time is a only a clumsy model that the mind uses to interpret change.

If I haven’t lost you yet, let’s try the same line of reasoning with space. It’s going to be harder to digest, because we tend to take our spatial environment for granted. You think of space as here and there, but you have never been there. When you were there, you called it “here”. You have only ever been “here”. But what is here? Is it one single point the size of a particle? If so where is it? And if it’s at the center of your body for example, does it mean that all the particles around it are not here, but there? On another hand, if here is an area, where does that area start and where does it end? And if all the particles that are in that area are here, how do you explain the spatial difference between two point within that same area called “here”? As you can see, Space is only a clumsy model our mind uses to make sense of different vantage points.

This means we’ve all been living our life thinking there was a time and a space out there waiting for us in the morning. What does it teach us? It teaches that our reality is made of nothing more than our sensory experiences. It is not premised on time or space.

In the light of this, ask yourself the question “Who am I?” While you ponder this eternal question, notice every time you use time or space to interpret your Self. Reformulate your worldview accounting for the fact that space and time are just tools.