On the Dimensionality of Time

Time is weird.

Some people smarter than I am have decided that time is the “fourth dimension”. As in, heighth, width, length, and fuckin’ time. 

Now, when a mortal man conceives of a fourth dimension, it is typically completely beyond his realm of understanding. A normal 3D human can’t invision within his mind the merest hint of an extra dimension. Trying to imagine a shape with 4D attributes boggles the mind. Where would the extra sides even come from?

Imagine a tiny little man living inside your living room wall. He looks up and down and around, and he sees his own little 2D world. Everything is flat there. To him, flatness does not exist, but is merely an aspect of reality.

Likewise, to us, the three dimensional nature of our existence is perfectly normal. It is natural. And, necessarily, we are not equipped to imagine what could exist on a plane which we are not capable of existing.

However, it is not impossible to get a glimpse of this. Or, at least, we can get a grasp on it.

Now, time is a very weird thing. Science doesn’t understand it just yet. So things I say next might sound a little cooky. I might sound like a big dumb hippy-dippy cult leader trying to convince you of some dimensional weirdness in your bathroom. Just try and bear with me.

Various enlightened individuals through time have remarked on the timeless nature of existence. True presence of mind allows them to witness a truth within reality. And, hopefully, you can experience that too. All you have to do is realize some truth about time. And also probably meditate a lot.

Imagine your current environment. Imagine all its lovely physical features. Now, imagine that there are two copies of that environment on top of eachother. Then three copies, then four, then five, more and more copies, each stacked  on top of eachother slightly to the left so that each passing moment has its own freezeframe in a long line of spacial copies, all overlapping on eachother.

That’s one conception of what time could be like. Obviously this is an oversimplification, because it confines time, a fourth dimension, to our own three dimensional perspective. But this is a metaphor which can allow you to understand the nature of things.

Next, just throw that metaphor out the window. Time doesn’t line up neatly in a row of moments stacked up next to each other. All of time exists simultaneously. All of time exists as a constant in the universe. Time does not happen. Time does not pass. Time does not slip through our fingers. Time simply exists. Time is always there, and it always has been, and there is not less of it now than there was 10 billion years ago.

Now, this brings up some philosophical questions. If time all exists at once, what about free will? Would that mean all future events are predetermined? Well, maybe, but that’s a topic for another day. For now let’s say that it might not be that simple. Just because time is a constant doesn’t mean that free will can’t exist within that same paradigm. Maybe free will is an illusion, but I’m not convinced.

You might ask, what’s the point of even talking about the dimensionality of time, if human minds are incapable of comprehending it? Good question. Well, there’s no point. The point, dear reader, is to convey something to you which may open your mind to various possibilities in the world to which your eyes were previously not open.

Once we are aware of this dimensionality of time, we can enter a state of awareness which acknowledges the truth of it. Our perceptions are not a true representation of time. Time is beyond us. Time is everywhere. Time is always, and it is at all times.

The past and the future are merely constructs of human memory. They are not true, in the sense that the present moment is true. The only time which has a bearing on us is right now. Right now is the only time that exists.

So, thanks dear reader, and see you tomorrow.

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