Are you and I only an illusion? Is our life an illusion?

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This topic contains 35 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  _Robert_ 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #36241

    Unseen
    Participant

    Many scientists believe in what is essentially a static universe with past, present, and future existing all at once. Many also think that the present is an illusion.

    I have questions, the first of which is this: If the future is already out there, then isn’t just a kind of past, according to how most of us think of the past as a “been there done that already” kind of thing? Is there a future-past in addition to the familiar past-past?

    And death. Maybe Kurt Vonnegut’s description of death as “getting stuck in time” is really a lot more than just a cute turn of phrase. Maybe it’s a truth as solid as any truth in physics.

    As for the present being an illusion, is the present simply a conceptual noun with no corresponding worldly reality, like, for example, a geometric point, which is a point with space at all associated with it. No width, depth, or height. The present, then, is just a duration-less moment between past and future.

    And of course, there goes free will. It can’t exist if the future is already out there.

    Your thoughts?

    #36243

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I have questions, the first of which is this: If the future is already out there, then isn’t just a kind of past, according to how most of us think of the past as a “been there done that already” kind of thing? Is there a future-past in addition to the familiar past-past?

    It works if you think of spacetime as a 4-dimensional landscape, and if you travel into a 5th dimension (straight up from the landscape) then you can see the landscape for a certain distance all around.

    #36244

    Unseen
    Participant

    But, Simon, how do I float above it all in a 5th dimension? Or if past, present, and future all exist simultaneously, have I already done so?

    #36245

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    “Simultaneously” is a property of the time dimension, no. 4, and the space dimensions: something happens at the same time in multiple spatial locations.  Now, I thought that there is no such thing as a universal standard time in the universe, only relative time frames, or something.

    Dimension no. 5 would be neither space nor time, but a way of rising above those.

    #36246

    Unseen
    Participant

    “Simultaneously” is a property of the time dimension, no. 4, and the space dimensions: something happens at the same time in multiple spatial locations. Now, I thought that there is no such thing as a universal standard time in the universe, only relative time frames, or something. Dimension no. 5 would be neither space nor time, but a way of rising above those.

    Is this helpful? Has anyone here done this? Simon…have YOU?

    #36247

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    It’s a hypothetical dimension – a straight line, orthogonal to the other four.

    #36248

    Unseen
    Participant

    It’s a hypothetical dimension – a straight line, orthogonal to the other four.

    I don’t see how it helps. Does it answer one of my questions?

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Unseen.
    #36251

    _Robert_
    Participant

    There are people still waiting for the big bang to happen.

    #36252

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If you could step outside the 4-D universe, you would be outside of space and time.  Therefore, where you are, you’re outside of the concept of “simultaneous”.  You can see it below you, within the universe, but you are not experiencing it.

    #36253

    Davis
    Moderator

    And there are people who experienced the big crunch and are feeling a little stuck!

    #36254

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    you’re outside of the concept of “simultaneous”. You can see it below you, within the universe, but you are not experiencing it.

    But then, on the other hand, I thought it is true that there is no single frame of reference for time over the whole universe.

    #36255

    Unseen
    Participant

    How long is the present? It must have a duration to exist, mustn’t it? The past we know to be something like 13.7 billion years old. The future we have to trust has a definite duration of some trillions of years. What is the duration of the present? Or does it have a mythical duration the way a geometric point has a mythical, purely conceptual size?

    #36256

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Good questions to ponder when you are feeling expansive or baked out of your mind. But we are so fucking lost as to understanding the universe even if we have advanced significantly.

    #36257

    _Robert_
    Participant

    How long is the present? It must have a duration to exist, mustn’t it? The past we know to be something like 13.7 billion years old. The future we have to trust has a definite duration of some trillions of years. What is the duration of the present? Or does it have a mythical duration the way a geometric point has a mythical, purely conceptual size?

    Let’s call the present to be 150 years long. This way “we’ve got no future and we’ve got no past”. (name that tune)

    #36258

    Here is a book – The Arrow of Time – that has a good preview. And a video.

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