What follows is a blog posted by The Atheist Missionary dated Monday, February 23, 2009. My response to this blog follows.
The future is now, the past is the present and I am confused ….
I have decided to substantially edit this post because the article underlying this discussion is fairly complex.
My interest in this topic was motivated by Dan Falk’s In Search of Time which is a popular science treatment of the enigma of time. After discussing some of the freaky implications of Einstein’s theory of special relativity, Falk refers to Hilary Putnam (born July 31, 1926), the American philosopher pictured to the right. Putnam used the absence of a universal “now” to argue that future events are fully predetermined. Falk goes on the explain as follows:
“Let’s say that an event – an election, for example, is in my future, but in your past. (Again, though it may seem odd, this is quite plausible in special relativity, depending on our speeds and the distances involved.) Putnam argues that at the moment when we pass, I am obligated to consider “real” everything that you consider real – including the results of the not-yet-held election! (Not yet held from my perspective that is.) This clearly plays havoc with our traditional ideas of free will and the “openness” of the future. And it’s not just the future that gets an overhaul: by a similar line of reasoning, I am obligated to regard “as still real” events that seem to lie in my past but that may be in the present from your perspective.”
If you are interested in reviewing Putnam’s article Time and Physical Geometry from the The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 64, No. 8 (Apr. 27, 1967), you can access it at: http://faculty.washington.edu/bonjour/556/Putnam.pdf
The future is as real (and, more to the point, is as predetermined) as the present and the past. If that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will. If I was a fundamentalist Christian, I would find this proposition more threatening than the theory of evolution.
I will be discussing the philosophical implications of quantum mechanics in future posts but I need to figure out quantum mechanics first.
My response to this blog by Brother Bruce
Wow! I like you’re your subject matter and feel that you are heading in the right direction. To explain the nature of Reality does indeed involve looking beyond this linear dimension where time and space get in the way of our true awakening.
I believe that very few in this world have begun to see or understand that the only way we can truly know our Spiritual selves is when we go beyond thought/thinking. Modern science is indeed getting closer to the answers when it moves to the quantum field. In the book that I wrote Prophet or Madman I said that “God created a perpetual system that would move infinitely within the eternal moment.” I would say that an understanding of quantum mechanics is necessary to comprehend what that one line means.
When looking at religions, I believe that they like everything else in these world religions serve a purpose and have a place. I also believe unless any religion moves the individual to beyond thinking relative to a judgmental mind, they must be released or they becomes anchors that prevent the experience of awakening they that purport to bring about.
Getting back to the quantum mechanics, Einstein once said;
“To a physicist, the past, the present, and the future is nothing more than an optical delusion of consciousness, albeit a persistent one.”
From the experience of being present with source beyond the limits of time and space, I can say that Einstein was right. The view most people accept as reality is an optical delusion of consciousness.
I recently read something that demonstrated scientifically why man can never get a true complete understanding of the Eternal Now Moment. What I read was regarding the examining of a quark. Apparently, while studying a quark they were amazed to discover that the properties of the quark were altered simply by the observation of the quark.
I have often said God (the consciousness that is the totality of that which is) can not be intellectualized but it can be and is experienced. The fact that you and I are communicating tells me that life exists not only within my sphere of being but also outside my sphere of being. Upon further examination from the viewpoint of seeing life as consciousness I have no problem with the statement I found in the Bible that says we live, breath and have our being in the body of God. To those who have ever heard Jesus say, I and the Father are one, I would ask you, if God is the totality of all that exists, would that not mean all of humanity could make the same claim?
If I offended anyone with that last statement let me say it was not my intention to do so. Personally, I believe Jesus, along with other masters, came into this world to save mankind by teaching them to awaken to their oneness with God (that which is beyond all perceptions.)
Regardless of your path or what religion you practice, if you wish to awaken yourself and live awakened in this world you will have to struggle. More to come…
Love and Light,
Prophet or Madman