“Compare ‘now’ with ‘here’. ‘Here’ designates the place where the speaker is: for two different people ‘here’ points to two different places. Consequently ‘here’ is a word the meaning of which depends on where it is spoken. The technical term for this kind of utterance is ‘indexical’. “Now” also points to the instant in which the word is uttered and is also classified as “indexical”. But no one would dream of saying that things ‘here’ exist, whereas things that are not ‘here’ do not exist. So then why do we say that things that are ‘now’ exist and that everything else doesn’t?”
In physics, philosophy, and poetry, time has always been a subject to be elaborated, the idea that the future never comes because when it arrives, it already is the present; the present never is because when we see it, it is already gone, and the past never will be, it has been discussed since this world is world and perhaps even before.
This flow, called time, makes us see just a sequence — before, now, and then — but it is not something palpable like the pointers of a clock that only mark the time, and along with the calendar, try to create the idea that time would be the count of the years, days, over the hours and minutes, seconds and milliseconds.
The founder of the Loop Quantum Gravity theory, Italian physical theorist Carlo Rovelli, here in very general terms, argues that relativity theory and quantum mechanics are not opposites, but complementary, and then proposes the idea that we should think about a world where time is not a continuous variable;
“Because everything that begins must end. What causes us to suffer is not in the past or the future: it is here, now, in our memory, in our expectations. We long for timelessness, we endure the passing of time: we suffer time. Time is suffering.”
The Theory of Relativity, which Einstein shows us that the difference between past, present and future could be an illusion and that time would be linked to speed, proposing the idea that time would pass more slowly for those at high speed, along with Universal Block theory that Bradford Skow based on Einstein’s theory of relativity proposes that we wouldn’t be living in a single moment with the idea that past, present and future coexist and that we would then be living in dimensions, really appeal to me.
“The block universe theory says you’re spread out in time, something like the way you’re spread out in space.”
In December 2015, when I was already questioning myself about the linearity of time but not studying it so much, I wrote this poem;
About time, what’s left?
Only a thousandth of a second
Door, window, flowers
On the rustic wall, your photograph.
My eyes painted it.
Your secret is to let yourself be consumed by time …
I leave my time to pass
I lost Time
Time passing and we do not see
Invisible pointers compassing life
And faded photos that cause the Saudade
Unique and capable,
It does in time all things hover in the air.
How much time do we have left?
I still don’t have the answers to the questions that I ask myself at the time, I still believe that I waste time and nostalgia still leaves things hanging in the air, but I like to believe that time is not linear.
One movie that has been fascinating me about the same topic is Interstellar by Christopher Nolan, who had the support of a scientific consultant, the theoretical physicist Kip Thorne to ensure the rationality of the movie. In this movie, Christopher along with his brother Jonathan Nolan approaches the time dilation effect predicted in Einstein’s theory of relativity.
In the film, we can see time dilation exemplified in several scenes, which basically is the effect of time being relative to the position and speed of the viewer. In one scene, the NASA pilot Cooper, who already is on a mission off Earth and away from his family and especially his youngest daughter Murphy, only ten years old at that time. Cooper enters a planet called Miller, with time going extremely slower than on Earth due to its proximity to a black hole. When leaving the planet and upon entering the spacecraft, he discovers that after spending only a few hours on Miller, twenty-three years have passed on Earth and by then, Murphy would be the same age as Cooper at that moment.
While I can’t access my past, I consistently perceive the present, without this feeling that the future is every moment, and thus guaranteeing that I’m coexisting in dimensions, I reaffirm my existence through the idea that the journey to the future is guaranteed and I do it every day, or rather, every moment.
“Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.”