“Time. We kill time, spend time, lose time, make time, beat time, take time, waste time; but we virtually never consider time, much less understand it.” –Richard Berendzen, physicist, astronomer and my university professor
The Atlantic contains a must read article, The debate over time’s place in the universe, on physicists grappling with time.
Questions like these informed my faith and worldview as I minored in physics in college.
The way I conceptualize time is this way:
There you are standing there, still.
But oh! Not still! You may be unmoving in the first three dimensions, length, width, and height. But you are zooming through the fourth dimension, which is time.
We are never still in Einstein’s spacetime. Of course, the faster you approach the speed of light in the first three, the slower it goes for you in the fourth — hello relativity!
Nobody sits still. We are hurtling through spacetime.
Per The Atlantic article, I suppose my conception is most like the “accretive” theory described at the end.
Perhaps when we die, we cease to flow through the first three dimensions so easily, but how could you ever cease to flow through the fourth? If time is made of particles, maybe we exist forever in the particles that we existed in, even as new time is added. Maybe heaven is merely another word for time.
If you like to ponder time — and really, what better could you do with your time? — consider the following posts:
Why the passage of time confounds us
Down with gravity, up with entropy!
Don’t let unconscious inertia decide for you
Outsourcing versus insourcing your own life
Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it
We love consistency but need change, voila, the seasons