Time Dialogue Part 3

By this time it was getting late and we needed to begin to make out way back towards the train station, so we talked as we walked. “Well, if we look back to the example of the hourglasses, the third and newest one, the one least touched by time was in the greatest condition.”

She retorted, “But there had to be time for it to be built, and we only saw it once it began to exist in time.”

“But did we see it at all?”

“What do you mean?”

“So far all we have been doing is speaking in hypotheticals and creating thought experiments. None of the things we have spoken about have ever actually existed in reality. Anyways, suppose we go back to the example of the King of Hearts who exists only within two-dimensional space. Isn’t his existence much less complicated if his world does not have a third-dimension to deal with as in the case with the conveyor belt?”

“Well yes, but his existence still requires time if he wishes to move around.”

“Is it really better for him to be moving around and such? Is anything really any better because it can be found in this world? I would say that it is not. Indeed it seems to me that things are better if they exist within pure thought, the world of forms as some put it. A thing that exists in the material world is always limited by its being. When we try to imagine what say the ideal island for a tropical vacation would be like, it could be however we like it to be at any given moment. Let’s say that we want it to have coconut trees as we want to have access to fresh coconuts, so we would have those dot the beaches. Then one day our tastes change and we no longer like coconuts and we want some bananas. The ideal in our mind is capable of shifting to whatever our preferences are for the moment.”

“True but at least we could still go to visit the beach with the coconuts if it was real. We could experience it, feel the sand, smell the air, hear the waves.”

“Well if we are saying that a thing is superior because it can be perceived, then there is still no problem with things existing purely within the mind. Through meditative practices one can be made to experience their thoughts as if they were truly real. There is one such meditative practice known as tulpamancy in which one makes for themselves a mental companion that they experience as truly being there with them. People suffering from schizophrenia also experience some of their thoughts as physical manifestations, though they do not have control over them which can lead to a different set of problems that we do not need to get into at the moment. Concepts as well tend to exist better in the realm of the mind rather than being brought into reality. It is nearly impossible to create the concept of beauty into our world despite the best efforts of countless of artists, and yet we all have our own mental ideas of it and seeing physical representations can evoke feelings that call back to that image of what beauty is that we hold.”

Annoyed, she insisted, “But thinking still takes time.”

I chuckled, “Yes I suppose it does. We still have not fully developed what our image of time is. I suppose that we really need to get back to that if we want to progress anywhere in our discussion. I do like to think of it in terms of sand, just as is in the case of the hourglass. Every second that passes is another grain of sand that falls. Each grain of sand becomes stacked on top of one another. Indeed, we currently are living in a desert, all buried in the sands of time. As pressure builds, the lower layers are consolidated into sandstone and form sedimentary rock layers.”

At this my sister seemed to be a bit puzzled as to what it is that I was trying to get at. “So you are trying to say it is as though things become permanent and set in stone?”

“Or perhaps that it all already is. You do recall what I have said about fate and randomness before, do you not? (Link) I believe that it is a fallacy to believe that we are at the top of this canyon having the grains of sand fall right down onto our faces, but rather if we look down into the area cut away by the river, at any given moment we are existing down in one of those layers. Many philosophers have pointed out the problems of time in the past, such as the fact that at any given second an arrow flying through a field is really just floating motionless in the air and indeed if time were some kind of contiguous flow, then we would never really able to get anywhere. Before we wanted to move through a doorway, we would have to move halfway between where we are and where the door is, then halfway between that new point and the door, then halfway again, and there are an infinite amount of halfway points that we must pass through, tough at some point we do make it through because there comes a time when we just skip over it. It is like the transitions on a slideshow or a flipbook, and such transitions cannot be made unless the next page has already been written. At any given point in time, we are some place trapped in those stones, trying to work our way upwards towards the surface, but all the while more sand is falling down and more layers are being made.”

“Do you really believe that,” she asked with sincere eyes.

“Well I am not certain but at this moment I do not see what else could possibly be the case. Well that is not true, but we do not have enough time to discuss this, the train is nearly going.” Indeed we had made it back to the station just in time and our train along with five others were waiting. We did have some trouble with finding which train was our train, but a quick question to the staff removed any of our doubts. “Well we could talk more about this on the train, but I am tired.” She too was tired as we had spent so much time wandering around the city lost. On the ride home we slept.


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