Saturday, April 25, 2015
My time as a 30-something, like my time writing this blog, is quickly running out, or away, or ending, or I'm ending it, or something. I've always been fascinated by time, especially at how much control we let it have over our lives, so I'd like to just think on it a bit here today.
Time is this gigantic construct we as human beings have formed into our lives to the point that we rely on it to keep us on track every second of every day, but it's also the greatest mystery still beyond our comprehension. Take any so-called believer in God and any so-called non-believer back to the Big Bang, and you'll quickly find yourself with two people scratching their heads. One might point to the time before time as this mysterious solitude when God was just waiting to create, and the other might point to it as this mysterious solitude when creation was about to create itself. For many of us, neither of these explanations works, and we reach that point every adult reaches when we say, "You guys really don't know what you're talking about, do you?"
I've always loved the quote by Edwin Conklin, who said, "The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the Unabridged Dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing factory." I know there's more to science than this, and life has proven over and over again just how capable it is of forming itself into new creatures with new abilities, but you've got to also appreciate the appreciation by Mr. Conklin too. Whether you believe in God or not, we've certainly all come a long, long way over time.
This leads me to my main question, the question I've thought about most of my adult life: if time is a construct of a larger space time reality, in which space and time are interwoven and always have been, then why can't we see previously occurring events more clearly? If we can see and measure space, even dark matter now, why can't we somehow see real events that have already happened? I've had enough powerful dreams over the course of my first 40 years on this planet to recognize how flexible time is, how memory works too, yet when I'm fully conscious and aware, not asleep or in some overly reflective state, why can't I then too see the past in front of me? Why is it so hidden? And indeed, can the future reveal itself in the same way? If there are more and more people out there (who we've only discovered in the age of the internet) with powers to predict or warn of future events, why can't we all somehow see time the way we see all the constructs of space...all this stuff around us?
Deep thoughts, sure, but they're deeper than I want them to be! I want the depths to be such that I can plunge myself into them from time to time, and pull out gold nuggets of truth from the caves of my brain or even the recesses of my soul.
I'm turning 40 years old next Friday, May 1st, 2015, yet I truly don't feel that I have lived forty years yet (or even five-and-a-half days short of it). If tasked to determine my age based on how I've felt the passing of time, I'd guess at a number closer to 30 years, maybe 32. This number has nothing to do with how I feel in mental or physical age either, or how old I think I look. It's only how old I feel as far as the length of time I've been a human being on Planet Earth.
I know life is easier, and indeed more fun too when we just think on all the silly things, or the funny or strange events that have happened to us, as I've done so much over this past year, but I couldn't let the end of this year of my life pass by without pausing, just for today, to honor the mystery. I am a believer in God, but I'm also wise enough to respect and honor the science that seeks to answer so many of the same questions I have.
Time is passing by, and it's walking next to us, and it's even walking behind us too. I don't know what time is, but I know it's much bigger than all its little parts. Time is not just seconds and minutes whipping around in a circle. It's the face of the clock itself. It's the face that sees with its own kind of eyes and peers out with its own knowing none of us with any kind of mind--scientific or spiritual--can quite figure out. Still, we'll keep trying, wrestling with the concept, for all the time we have.