The conventional view of physical life is linear and sequential. By "linear", I mean the concept that the lives we live can be described in terms of a line consisting of a progression beginning at birth, through the past to the present, then to the future and ending at death. This is often referred to as a timeline. The model for this is a line where "now" is a point on the line, the part of the line "behind" now is the past, and the part of the line in "front" of now is the future. The sequential aspect means that along this line is a single file of moments, one after another, aligned from birth in the past to death in the future. This model makes time appear to be one dimensional, like a line, leaving much to be desired about what the nature of time really is. So let us begin by analyzing the conventional measurement of time.
Your first surprise is that the linear, or conventional, conception of time does not describe the true dimension of time at all, but rather a ratio. This ratio is known as change over time, but even that phrase is a misnomer because it is not the ratio, change/time. What people think of as time is really a ratio of change(r)/change(m), where (r) stands for the reference change and (m) stands for the measured change. We can demonstrate this by using the illustration of an analog clock face measuring the time that elapses while a person is running a distance equal to one mile. Observe that this is a comparison of the distance traveled by the minute hand around the clock face with the distance traveled by the runner. First, let's assume that we have a big clock face with a circumference of 60 inches, and that the distance between each minute marking is one inch. This runner covers a distance of one mile while the tip of the minute hand moves a distance of seven inches. Therefore, what the runner has done is to run a mile in seven inches, but instead we say he ran a mile in seven minutes. What has confused the understanding of time is that, rather than using the actual distance measurement for the movement of the minute hand around the clock face, we have substituted another symbol, minutes, to describe the same distance.
This is convenient because not all clock faces are large enough for a minute to equal one inch and, furthermore, many clocks are digital rather than analog. So a universal reference has been chosen, the atomic clock, to determine what measurement a minute represents. With this reference, all clocks can be set so that all minutes are of essentially uniform length. Realize, though, that even the atomic clock is not measuring time itself, but the movement of an atomic event, the measure of which is stable enough to be a reliable reference. However, where we go astray is in deciding that those minutes are, in fact, a measurement along the hyperdimension of time, which as I have demonstrated, is completely inaccurate.
The value of this change/change ratio actually represents measurements along dimensions five through seven. Those three dimensions define movement along the three spatial dimensions, and this movement is possible only because the hyperdimension we call time does exist. This movement is meaningful only in a relative sense, which is another way of saying that any finite measurement of movement can have meaning only when compared to another finite measurement serving as a reference for the first measurement. That is why we need some kind of reference measuring device, such as the clock in our example, in order to give meaning to our runner's performance.
To prepare yourself for a truer understanding of time as the hyperdimension that it is, you need to set aside the linear concept of life and time and, instead, consider that life and time are simultaneous. What this means is that you recognize that past and future do not exist in the way we have been taught to understand them and, furthermore, that what we are accustomed to calling "past" and "future" are essentially the same. All that actually exists is "the now", or Moment, and that is the whole of it. The following exercise will help you in making this radical shift.
First, imagine an individual physical life experience as represented by a finite line starting at a beginning called birth, progressing to a point called "now", and continuing until an end called death. Next, imagine escaping this line and viewing it from an external, non-dimensional perspective. From this extra-dimensional vantage point, the entire line representing the life lived up to the now point can be seen, but in addition is seen what could be described as an infinite three-dimensional array of alternate lines on the "future" side of now, all converging at the now point. This array represents all the alternate future timelines that can be lived. Because the timelines we are discussing are measurements described by a ratio, change/change, rather than by time itself, these timelines are more accurately referred to as changelines. A similar infinite three dimensional array of alternate lines on the "past" side of now is also converging at the now point, and amongst that array is the past changeline remembered as having been lived. Note that this "past" array does not consist of the changelines other people have lived, but in fact are the alternate changelines not remembered as having been lived by the individual in question.
Thus, the now point represents the center of a kronospheric consisting of an infinity of changelines. These changelines radiate from the center to the kronospheric surface, like an infinite porcupine ball. We have divided this kronospheric arbitrarily and conceptually into two hemispheres, one of which we call the "past" hemisphere and the other of which we call the "future" hemisphere. Unlike the Earth's hemispheres, which are separated into north and south by a line called the equator, the hemispheres of the kronospheric are separated by a conceptualized plane that runs perpendicular to any given changeline and bisects the sphere at the now point. However, from our non-dimensional vantage point "past" and "future" are not perceived as separated in this manner, contrary to the arbitrary conceptual division we have made within our dimensional perception. This kronospheric of all pasts and futures is actually One. As part of the essence of the kronospheric, the dimension of time itself is recognized as nonlinear and is measured at right angles to all changelines. By contrast, the ratio of change over change, which is measured along dimensions other than time, runs congruent with any given changeline.
These changelines are not separate, discrete lines; all of them intersect many others at various points as they are measured from the center to the surface of the sphere. The direction you take in life, therefore, is far from being a straight line. It can have many curves, twists, turns, and sharp angles to it when compared to a straight line measured from a point on the sphere surface, through the now point, and onto a point on the opposite side of the sphere. Additionally, there is no limit to the directions a changeline can take, meaning that a line can swerve into what I've called the future direction, then abruptly double back into what I've called the past, then turn at right angles to the past and future, then back to the future again, and so forth. One implication of this is the possibility for us to have a memory of the future in much the same way as we can remember the past. You see the necessity of discarding the linear approach to life in order to grasp this concept!
Any difficulty you might be experiencing with grasping this is rooted in the idea that there exists an absolute fixed past that is "over" and a future that has not yet happened, but still able to be known by someone sufficiently clairvoyant. The truth is that when your changeline takes a turn into the "past", it is not a voyage into a fixed past, but means, simply, that you are experiencing in a direction greater than 90 degrees away relative to your previous direction. These degrees are measured along the actual time dimension, not along a changeline. Changelines are measured along the dimensions that define what most think of as change over time, but what is actually change over change. Changelines are not measured along the actual time dimension. Using the kronospheric model, the directional degrees are measured along the surface of the kronospheric, and must be relative to a starting, or reference, point. For example, a 180 degree shift would direct you at a point opposite your reference point, or at a point on the other side of the kronospheric relative to your reference point. Therefore, if your starting point was what you call moving towards the future, then by simple logic your new position is moving towards the past!
With the kronospheric structure in mind, does an absolute past exist? While this is a common belief, in truth all we have is memories. Ask each of two people who were present at the same event to tell you what really happened. You will find that you cannot get an absolute answer because details will differ in the two accounts. Add to this recognition the knowledge that a vividly imagined event can have the same impact on us as a so-called real event, and the answer to the question of how to define the past becomes even more elusive. Our experience in the now and the artifacts we possess are of doubtful help, because we interpret our perceptions according to our beliefs. If we believe a certain set of experiences is our past, then we will interpret our present and artifacts in light of those beliefs. This observation is one of the reasons why determining or keeping accurate records of historical events is such a challenge. The question that should be asked concerns whether it makes any difference what the so-called real past is. The bottom line here is that the concept of an absolute past is a red herring and is not the issue; how we process the energetic involved in whatever experience we hold in mind is the true issue. The exercise of assigning measurements to experience, such as "this thing happened to me 10 years ago, and it's still painful" is an example of the dimensionalizing of experience, and all this accomplishes is to make life experience more complex and refractory to resolution.
Within this new understanding is the key to coping with, or processing, life experience. For example, if we know that we can watch a movie depicting some horrific event and yet be able to assimilate and even enjoy the movie experience, we have the mechanism in place to cope with traumatic events in our lives. The internal processing involved is exactly the same in both instances; the only reason we do not realize this as a matter of course is because of our beliefs. Beliefs are conditions we have adopted and set within ourselves; these conditions limit our ability to respond constructively to life experience. In this context, "constructively" means any response that indicates greater awareness and unconditional acceptance of life experience.
While the kronospheric model, as described in this essay, is a radical departure from the linear time concept we are all familiar with, I will take it even further and state that Reality is that the kronospheric is not merely an assemblage of a great many changelines. The kronospheric is actually solid with every possibility being as real as any possibility. The now point is not merely the center, but comprises the entire kronospheric! Time is thus shown to be both infinite and dimensionless simultaneously and the now point is shown to be none other than the Infinite Point, both the center of All, and All; dimensionless and yet of Infinite Dimension. This is in keeping with the enlightened understanding that now is all there is, and that All is One.
- Paradox and Path
- The Eleven Dimensions of Space/Time (Spatial, or linear, dimensions in a temporal domain) Important Update 2/20/07
- The Eleven Dimensions of Time/Space (Temporal, or nonlinear, dimensions in a spatial domain) New for 2/8/07
- Infinity and Infinitesimals Important Update 11/15/06
- The Myth of Zero, or nothingness Updated 11/23/05
- Infinite Dimension and dimensionlessness New 9/19/06