In a way or another we are constantly dealing with the experience of death in some form. Life is made up by a succession of experiences that are moving through us all the time. In one moment we are delighting ourselves while eating a delicious dessert and the next moment we might be working at our desks on an important project. We rarely pay attention to the changes at every second of our lives unless something major makes us stop and notice that something is indeed taking place – or not.
Chances are that the only times we indeed take notice of the changes in our lives are in those moments when those changes are bringing some sort of negative experience or discomfort. However, every moment is flowing into another moment in an incessant flow of minuscule changes. One moment is never the same as the one which preceded it, while at the same time every moment is always a repetition of a previous model already set in motion before.
All we really have is the present moment, and even the concept of the present moment is an abstraction that ceases to be valid the moment we think of it because it is no longer there. Whether time is an illusion or not, fundamental or not, is all part of a debate that is yet to find a conclusion due to the limitations of our understanding of time-space as being relative or something fundamental from a total quantum mechanics perspective.
Are we predetermined to repeat models in eternal succession, or are we able to act as agents of our own stories co-creating our futures and manipulating realities at will? All in all, one can unquestionably argue that human perception is subjective and the physical reality we experience is relative to the individuality of one’s understanding and interpretation of any given event.
The flow of time is an illusion and it takes place in our understanding of events from the perspective of an objective and temporal phenomenon applied to the atemporal manifestation of the universe. The truth of the matter is that it is a puzzle that have entertained scientists, philosophers and laymen alike for centuries.
In relativity, reality is all part of a compact mass where past, present and future already exist in a static structure that seems doomed to repeat itself in a deterministic fashion. In quantum mechanics the probabilities are varied and the angle of perception of the observer and the implications result in parallel universes being combined, recreated and experienced all the time. It is within this field that we may question reality according through the perceptions experienced by each individual.
Each person experiences reality differently. This fact alone brings us to the concept of moral relativism and the resulting discussion that nobody is objectively right or wrong and therefore all perceptions or perspectives need to be taken into account when we try to understand any phenomenon we are conscious of.
Can we really tell we are experiencing anything at all while we are in the process of living through an event of some sort? Scientists agree that time actually exists; what does not exist is the flow of time as an active entity permeating the universe. In a four dimensional universe, time is only another component that intersects with, let’s say, length, height or breadth, thus generating a continuum that meshes them together and creates multiple and malleable realities within any given energetic field.
In order for us to consider the concept of time we need the presence of an observer and an object in relation to the velocity one passes from the other. So, the perception and duration of time is relative in relation to the other three dimensions active during the phenomenon observed. as we contemplate this, we cannot fail to realize that all understanding and interpretation of reality is relative to the one observing and therefore never objective. It is interesting to note how cosmology and mathematical laws are pointing to similar conclusions found in spiritual traditions. If my interpretation and understanding is always relative to my own experience of reality through my senses, how can I be completely right if someone else is also interpreting the same reality according through their own subjective perceptions of that same reality? We are both right in our interpretations because the probabilities are manifold and only together they can be whole.
In a way, from a simplistic viewpoint, we are constantly saying goodbye to things, situations, people, places etc, at every moment. Because time is never linear but cyclical, the concept of the “eternal recurrence” proposes that there is a strong probability that life can repeat itself ad infinitum. Since every configuration of atoms and events are also possible to occur, the probability of life occurring differently in its repetition of combinations is also suggested here.
In this sense, the acceptance proposed in Buddhist philosophy agrees with Nietzsche’s concept of “amor fati” – or “love of one’s fate”. It is the premise that reality cannot be argued, disputed or refused, but instead it is what it is and one can only accept without judgement. It does not mean we should not strive to change circumstances, but it says that being in opposition with reality will not change the components that brought the facts together as an intrinsic and necessary aspect of that reality.
As we meet time and space in a manifold conceptualization of the universe, we may come to realize that all events are combined into past, present and future altogether. Through this perspective, today, August 12th – exactly 2045 years ago -Cleaopatra commits suicide. We might as well meet at the point where that event took place and observe, through our perspective, that day in history, and wonder how many Cleopatras are repeating the same historical act today.