Time is an illusion. A phantom extension of our brains’ evolutionary development.
The architecture of the human brain is not much different from that of other vertebrate species. The primitive regions of the brain still share the same function across vertebrates. One structure of the brain that is evolutionarily conserved and is inherently linked to my explanation of the illusion of time is the cerebellum. The cerebellum works the same way in a shark as it does in a snow leopard and in humans. The basic function of the cerebellum is to issue anticipatory changes in motor command in response to predictable events in the physical world. For example when someone throws a tennis ball at you, the cerebellum calculates where the ball will be and activates predictive muscle contractions before you catch it. The sensory updates that you receive with you eyes are of events that occurred in the past so are insufficient in guiding accurate muscle movement (Information extracted from my MSc thesis).
In humans, the cerebellum has more neurons (50 billion) than the entire central and peripheral nervous system combined. A single cell of the cerebellum synapses with as many as 200,000 other neurons. What is the reason for this? Quite simply – All your available information, including current perceptual information and past experiences are held active and are used to predict your next movement or thought structure. For example you are able to predict patterns in common language structure – Try predicting how these sentences end: “You are drop dead (…)” or “Hold Your (…)”. In each case you are most likely to predict the word in the brackets – gorgeous and horses. Your thoughts follow the same predictive patterns as your anticipatory muscle activations.
With 3/4 of our neurons invested in the live fabrication of the future – it is no wonder we are so deeply governed by past experiences and future projections. Our senses perceive the present moment while the basic brain architecture is running on the future. This tenacious dynamic prevents us from being in the body, and to hold our presence in this moment. This leads to the inherent error of living in the future. I call this end-point satisfaction. The end point is an instant that you have calculated in time that will make you happy. Because the end-point is in the future – your current state becomes empty and unfulfilling, since what you want is still in the future. This end-point will constantly shifts forward in time and so is the source of emptiness and unhappiness. It does not matter how much you get – you cannot fill an emptiness that is based on events that constantly slips into the future.
Time however, is not linear. In fact there is no such thing as time! You can never make time, Have less time or Run out of time. How you approximate time relates to your physiology. Weeks seem to go by quickly if there is adrenaline/cortisol involved. When the body is relaxed, breathing is deep and the heart beats to your natural rhythm, time seems to slow down. Your whole day may be filled with fun activities but when physiologically relaxed; by the time the evening arrives, it may seem like a week has passed since morning. By simply slowing down – you can expand time!
The illusion of time is created because matter is constantly changing. People age, trees grow, night becomes day and seasons change – all are particles that make matter. If you extend this beyond our own earth… Where is time in all of this? It is not time that is changing, it is matter. Time can be imagined as the enormous fabric on which 3-dimensional matter changes from one form to another. In fact, ask your self – when did this moment begin? When does this moment end? There are no such thing as a start and end-points in time.
What does this all mean? Timelessness exists instead of time. What you do now, changes the past and the future because all three points in time are one in this moment, they are all now. This moment is eternal, timeless. This is the paradox of time.
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