Monday Musings #14
" The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion " - Einstein
When I went to the University of Manchester’s open day, I accompanied Phoebe to her subject talk as well because yes, I know I'm a good friend ;)
The BA Philosophy talk was different, in a good way, because rather than giving the typical overview of what the course looks like, which is what most did, the professor spoke about a topic that is within the umbrella of Philosophy.
He talked about the concept of time and more specifically, the concept of the past, present and future which is what I wanted to share with you today.
To most people (myself included), it seems like a simple idea but trust me, when you look at anything through a philosophical lense it becomes brain-frazzling!
-- btw here's a definition of Philosophy, provided by the lovely Phoebe, if you have no idea what it's all about : "having the ability to question every aspect of one's life with the help of great minds"
aand here's the dictionary version (soz P >.<) :
"the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence" deep stuff I know --
Okay back to the topic. He introduced us to a theory where time isn't flowing like it's usually accepted to be, but rather the past, present and future is something that is the "present" infinitely. For example, you talk of an event being in the future but then when you get to that day, it becomes the present. Did I lose you? Hang in there and I'll try to explain it a bit more.
So imagine time as a timeline- draw it out if you need- with three positions labeled as "past", "present" and "future". Imagine yourself as a little stick-person walking along the timeline as you live your life. But it doesn't quite make sense because as you walk from the present towards the future, you are in the present when you arrive at that moment in the future.
Honestly I don't think that explanation was any clearer but anywayy, onwards and upwards!
Have a think about time travel, if that was possible, the past must still exist and the future must already exist in order that time travel be possible. Going back to the timeline we imagined (or drew) if the past just faded away it'd be like the timeline chippin' away as you walk past and it magically appearing beneath your feet before they touch the ground.
If the past, present and future don't exist simultaneously then time travel would not work because you would be travelling into ... nothing. zilch. a vacuum.
It made so much sense in my head at the time as I'd never thought of that idea before; and if you think of time in that way, you come to the question of if your actions are already laid out in front of you - aka, fate (which is a whole other topic in itself).
I think that's enough head-scratching for a day, thank you to the University of Manchester for giving this fascinating talk which I only gave you a tiny bit of insight into but I hope this post gave you something different to think about!